Feb 062016
 

special guest blue
I am so happy to have Monica Ferris visit today!
The paperback version of Darned If You Do was just released!

monica ferris

Hi Everyone,

One of the pleasures of writing a series is watching the recurring characters change and develop. Yes, “watch.” Any serious author will tell you that at least half the time the characters in a story will tell the author what they’re doing or thinking or wanting. My sleuth, Betsy Devonshire, has gone through several boyfriends (I really liked Morrie, but apparently she didn’t like him enough); her best friend Jill has quit the police force to get married and have children (we’re up to three); her formerly flirtatious store manager has settled into a healthy relationship with a Spaniard who collects medieval silver English coins (so do I, so that’s a happy way to use something I already know about). Betsy’s current beau wants to marry her, but so far she’s resisting. So while every novel features a new murder for her to solve, there is a stable undercurrent of familiar faces. Sometimes I think my fans are at least as interested in what my characters are getting up to as they are in the crime—which is fine by me, as I’m interested, too.

9780425270103_medium_Darned_if_You_DoThe title of the newest mystery in my current needlework series is Darned If You Do—a cute title, but not one I came up with myself. I was going to call the novel A Needle Case, because a needle case is an important clue in the story. (It’s a container needle workers use to hold needles.) But my editor asked me to suggest something else. Since my brain was stuck on A Needle Case, I got on my Facebook page, gave a limited outline of the novel, and asked for title suggestions. One faithful reader sent in a list of titles, which I forwarded to my editor. And she jumped on Darned If you Do. She loved it, and said they had never before published a book with that title.

But nothing gets darned in the novel. So create something, I told myself. Thank God for Google. I did a search and came up with a method of knitting a patch over a hole in a knitted sock. It even had a video lesson. I watched it until I was sure I understood how to do it, and then had one of the employees in the needlework shop Crewel World show a customer how to do it.

Joyfully, electronic information abounds in this twenty-first century. In Darned If You Do, for example, the plot revolves around a house full of junk and treasure. There are a lot of reality shows on television that give endless examples of the kind of stuff one can find in attics and basements and even living and bedrooms. Antiques Roadshow, Pawn Stars, American Pickers, Hoarders Buried Alive – all feature heaps of extraordinary things found in houses, barns, and sheds. Or, in some cases, the shows discover someone who has allowed his or her habit of never throwing anything away to fill a dwelling to bursting. And there are endless resources on the Internet on valuable antiques and art. So I had all the material I needed to invent an eccentric recluse whose ability to differentiate between what was valuable and what was merely interesting was seriously flawed, and whose house is overflowing with broken bicycles, chipped glass jars, moldy books, radios and record players missing their insides, rusty cans of vegetables – and a cookie jar full of very valuable Morgan silver dollars.

knit your own murderThe next book in the series, Knit Your Own Murder, features poison, knitting your own animals, secret hatreds, and an Episcopal celebration of Easter. In this case, much of my research was more direct. For example, I was blessed to be in London this past Easter and attended the Easter Vigil service at Westminster Abbey. I transferred my experience of the service to the Episcopal cathedral in Minneapolis, and sent my heroine and her boyfriend to it – all is grist for my mill!

~Monica

Thank you Monica for stopping by. I am so saddened that Knit Your Own Murder is that last book of this long running series. 

You can find out more about Monica and her books on her webpage here. 

9780425270103_medium_Darned_if_You_DoDarned if You Do:
A Needlecraft Mystery

18th in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (February 2, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425270110
E-Book ASIN: B00L9AXXBS
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The USA Today bestselling Needlecraft Mysteries have shown that when it comes to murder, Betsy Devonshire, owner of the Crewel World needlework shop, doesn’t mess around. But when a local hoarder is murdered, she’ll need all her wits to dig a new friend out of a heap of trouble…

After a tree falls on Tom Riordan’s house, landing him in the hospital, the police discover a mountain of junk piled high in his home. Locals in Excelsior, Minnesota—including Betsy and her Crewel World Monday Bunch—offer to help with the cleanup while Tom recuperates.

But when Tom is found murdered in his hospital bed, the sole heir to his property—his cousin Valentina—becomes the number one suspect. Betsy believes there’s more to the case than meets the eye, but finding clues to the killer’s identity in the clutter Tom left behind will be like looking for a needle in a haystack …

FREE CROCHET PATTERN INCLUDED

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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 February 20, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Feb 052016
 

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

When I was asked to organize a book tour for Hy Conrad’s new book, Dearly Departed, I knew I had to go through my Kindle books and find this book and get it read.

toured to death
Toured to Death (An Amy’s Travel Mystery)
1st in Series
Cozy Mystery –
Setting – Monaco
Kensington (January 27, 2015)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1617736780
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1617736803
E-Book ASIN: B00M4ASP1K
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While Fanny takes care of the business end of Amy’s Travel in New York City, Amy is traipsing around Monte Carlo, managing their first mystery-themed excursion, a road rally in which guests compete to solve a fictional murder along the way. Amy still has reservations about partnering up with her mother. But both women, having lost the men in their lives, need a fresh beginning.

The trip starts off without a hitch. Clues quickly mount, the competition is lively, and just when the suspense is peaking, the writer they hired to script their made-up mystery is found murdered in his New York apartment. Suddenly, on top of running a new venture together, mother and daughter must solve a real-life case of foul play, while trying not to drive each other bonkers. But Amy and Fanny are ready, willing, and Abel to track down a clever killer with some serious emotional baggage, one who will go to any lengths to keep dark secrets from seeing the light of day…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A traveling whodunit based on a real case, sign me up!

Amy and Fanny are trying to pump some life into Amy’s Travel. Amy hires a man to write a murder mystery game for a tour she has booked to Europe. It will be more of a rally than a race. There are 6 teams of 4, each representing a character in the mystery. Each day the guests will find and follow the clues to try  to be able to solve the whodunit by the time they reach the final stop. Sounds like fun but soon there are extra clues, a hotel break-in, and rocks flying. One of the guests thinks the mystery is based on a real life murder. An investigation they were part of… Then Amy learns from Fanny the author of the mystery has been killed. She hopes everything she needs to complete the tour has been sent, but when one of the group dies suspiciously, the game fades. The group realizes their is a killer among them. An arrest is made but has the killer been caught?

This was a entertaining read. The guests on the tour are an eclectic bunch, from a couple with their teenage sons, a wealthy socialite and her “companion”, an uncle with his 12 year old niece, and even a judge.

The story itself is broken into 2 parts. The first is the game and the time abroad, part 2 takes place after Amy and some of the guests return to the states. Amy tries to track the original case and determine if and how it relates to the new cases. It has to be the same person/s for all 3, or does it? The author throws some clever twists throughout the book and a really good one at the end. I had it narrowed down to one or two people myself, but he surprised me with the details.

A quick read, a good pace, great characters, beautiful settings. This was an enjoyable excursion. I am looking forward now to Dearly Departed.

enjoyable 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author
Hy Conrad was the co-executive producer of the hit television series Monk. Monk received three Edgar nominations from the Mystery Writers of America for “Best TV Series.” The author of hundreds of short stories and ten books of short whodunits which have been sold around the world in fourteen languages, he’s also the author of the novels, Mr. Monk Helps Himself and Mr. Monk Gets On Board. Hy splits his time between Key West, Vermont, and New York City.

Author Links:

Webpage – Facebook – Blog – GoodReads

I am sorry I don’t have a giveaway for this book because it was an e-book. But Hy Conrad is touring Dearly Departed with Great Escapes Book Tours. Click Here to go to the tour page and enter to win a copy of Dearly Departed  or Toured to Death. My tour stop is February 13. 

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

Feb 032016
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

Sheila Connolly is back for a visit!  Let’s give her a warm welcome! 

sheila connolly

Hi Everyone, and thank you Lori for hosting me today.

When I started writing about murders in Ireland, everybody told me I had to meet Sergeant Tony. Sergeant Tony is a garda (that’s policeman in Irish, and the national police force is An Garda Síochána, or The Guardian of the Peace). It wasn’t easy to track him down, because the local garda station is small and its officers are often busy, but I kept trying. And I’m very glad I did.

a turn for the badYou see, there’s not a lot of crime in Ireland. Well, maybe in Dublin or Cork or Limerick, but get outside of the cities it’s a very peaceful place. This is both good and bad for me, since I’m trying to write about crimes in Ireland—not Ireland in general, but in one of the safest parts of Ireland, West Cork. There aren’t a lot of murders there (I’ve read the statistics), and I feel guilty about increasing the murder rate by a couple of hundred percent by now, in my books (no, I haven’t killed anyone personally). But that’s why it was important to talk to someone who knows, so I could get the details right.

Sergeant Tony was a gift from the heavens (or if there’s a patron saint of writers, from him or her). He’s had postings all over Ireland, including Northern Ireland, but he’s come back to Cork, where his wife’s family came from. Apart from police procedures, this is an important point: in Ireland, family matters.

He has told me lots of great stories, which I’m going to hoard until I can use some of them in a book. In any case, it’s great to have someone who can answer my stupid questions like, “What time do pubs really close?” Anyone can look up the official times online these days, but what’s the reality? Or, “How do you arrest someone?” In fact, it has to go through the Dublin office, to get a warrant. And more recently, I’ve asked him, “How do you reopen a closed case, or one that’s been dormant for a long time?” That’s for the next book.

A Turn for the Bad grew out of one of the stories Sergeant Tony told me. He was referring to a case from several years ago (long since solved), but I discovered other related cases when I looked it up. It involves smuggling, a time-honored tradition in an area with a lot of coves and beaches that nobody is watching. But in the modern world, it’s hard to turn a blind eye when there are millions of euros worth of illegal drugs arriving on Ireland’s shores (on their way to Europe, not for local consumption!). Still, people might look the other way—until one of their own gets entangled, through no fault of his own.

And that’s where Maura Donovan comes in, helping to put the pieces together to make a daring rescue, with the help of some unlikely friends. Because that’s what people do in Ireland.

~Sheila

Thank you Sheila for visiting today. I hope you come back soon! 

a turn for the badA Turn for the Bad:
A County Cork Mystery

4th in Serie
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Ireland
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (February 2, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Cover Illustration by Daniel Craig
Cover Design by Judith Lagerman
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425273425
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The New York Times bestselling author of An Early Wake returns to Ireland where Sullivan’s Pub owner Maura Donovan gets mixed up with smugglers.

After calling Ireland home for six months, Boston expat Maura Donovan still has a lot to learn about Irish ways—and Sullivan’s Pub is her classroom. Maura didn’t only inherit a business, she inherited a tight-knit community. And when a tragedy strikes, it’s the talk of the pub. A local farmer, out for a stroll on the beach with his young son, has mysteriously disappeared. Did he drown? Kill himself? The child can say only that he saw a boat.

Everyone from the local gardai to the Coast Guard is scouring the Cork coast, but when a body is finally brought ashore, it’s the wrong man. An accidental drowning or something more sinister? Trusting the words of the boy and listening to the suspicions of her employee Mick that the missing farmer might have run afoul of smugglers, Maura decides to investigate the deserted coves and isolated inlets for herself. But this time she may be getting in over her head…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I couldn’t wait to return to Ireland and Sullivan’s Pub. In this 4th book, Maura just blooms. People are coming to the pub to await news about a local farmer that has gone missing. He was walking on the beach with his 4 year old son when he disappeared. All the little boy can offer is that he saw a boat. The sea has taken many men, did it take this man too?

As the days go by and she listens to the people around her, including the farmer’s brother, she starts to realize what may have happened. She decides to do a bit of investigating to see if what she is thinking could have happened, and if it did, is there any way to save the man and bring him back from his family.

Like An Early Wake, this story has a slow build to draw us in and lets us get to know these very appealing characters. Gillian who usually summers in the area is back due do some upheaval in her life and she moves in with Maura and they become very close. They are also great sounding boards for each other. Maura meets several new people too and learns all about true Irish Whiskey. It is these new people that help her test her theory of what happened to the farmer. There is just a bit of romance too. Both Maura and Gillian are trying to sort out their hearts.

About midway through the book the suspense ratchets up as a plan starts to come together. At this point the book became glued to my hands and the pages turned much faster.  Again we see that crime can be anywhere, even in County Cork. The area around Leap seems to be a prime area for an unsavory time-honored tradition and we find out about it right along with Maura.

This is my favorite book is the series so far. I loved the suspense and the way the author set the groundwork. I loved the humor as Maura learns more about the area, the pub and even her home. I especially enjoy the community feel of Sullivan’s Pub, the way people gather in good times and when things taken A Turn For The Bad. This was an absolutely wonderful read. I want to book my next escape to Ireland today!

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Sheila is the author of many fantastic reads. She not only writes County Cork Mysteries, but the Orchard Mysteries and the Museum Mysteries too. Visit Sheila’s webpage to find out more about her and her books.

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.

This year I am trying to build my Twitter following so for this giveaway 4 Bonus Entries will be awarded by following me on Twitter. @dollycas

Leave a comment for Miranda for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End February 17, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Feb 022016
 

NEW RELEASE TUESDAY 2014

Welcome to New Release Tuesday!

January went by so fast,
I can’t believe it is February already!

I am so excited about all the new books!

These wonderful books are available today
wherever fine books are sold.
Click on the book covers below to order from Amazon.com


For Cheddar or Worse: A Cheese Shop Mystery
We had a bit of a heart start.
Avery was here last week for Cozy Wednesday!
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A Turn for the Bad: A County Cork Mystery
Sheila will be here for Cozy Wednesday tomorrow!
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The Flood Girls
I will be reviewing this one on Thursday!
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Darned if You Do: A Needlecraft Mystery
Monica will be visiting on Saturday.
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A Disguise to Die For: A Costume Shop Mystery
Diane will be her for Cozy Wednesday on February 10!
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Scene of the Brine: Pickled and Preserved Mystery
Mary Ellen will be my Special Guest on February 16!
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A Familiar Tail: A Witch’s Cat Mystery
Delia will be my guest on February 17 for Cozy Wednesday!
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Books Also Being Released Today

Coming on February 8


Coming February 23

Another month of awesome reading ahead!
HAPPY READING EVERYONE!!

 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Note: I am an Amazon Associate. If you click on most book covers and links on the blog and make a purchase I will receive a small commission on that purchase. These commissions are used to purchase prizes that I then giveaway here.

Feb 012016
 

It's Monday! What Are You ReadingIt’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
Hosted by Book Date

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

Happy Monday Everyone!! 

I spent the weekend working on my daughters’ taxes, still have to do my sons’. I haven’t received a W-2 for Kris yet so that means some phone calls. Mr. Dollycas does our return, only fair since I do the other four. Last year was the first year Kris did his own taxes, telling me “I am almost 30 year’s old, I should be able to do this.” I hate that is was also last year doing his taxes. So many firsts, so many lasts. It has been 10 1/2 months since he died and I still wait for him to call or come walking through the door. I have come to understand he will never be out of my thoughts. This is my new normal. There are less tears every day, but missing him will be a constant part of my life until I take my last breath.

Here’s what I read and what I have planned for this week.

FINISHED

A Turn for the Bad: A County Cork Mystery

Release Date – February 2, 2016
Sheila will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday this week!
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The Flood Girls

Release Date – February 2, 2016
Review will be up Thursday! 
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Toured to Death (An Amy’s Travel Mystery)

My Flashback Friday Read for this week! 
Release Date January 27, 2015
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CURRENTLY READING

Death & the Brewmaster’s Widow (An Auction Block Mystery)

Release Date – February 8, 2016
Loretta Ross is touring her book with Great Escapes February 8 – 17.
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ON DECK THIS WEEK

A Disguise to Die For: A Costume Shop Mystery

Release Date – February 2, 2016
Diane will be my guest nest week for Cozy Wednesday.
She is also touring with Great Escapes February 2 – 11.
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Drawing Blood (A Sketch in Crime Mystery)

Release Date – February 8, 2016
For Review
Deirdre is touring with Great Escapes February 8 -18.

escape

Click Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Happy Reading!!
Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jan 302016
 

DARLING DAHLIA TEXAS STAR

With all the snow and cold outside this book looked to me like A Perfect Escape! 

The Darling Dahlias and the Texas Star
Series: Darling Dahlias (Book 4)
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Berkley (September 3, 2013)
ISBN-13: 978-0425260586
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National bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert returns to the small town of Darling, Alabama, in the 1930s—where the Darling Dahlias, the colorful ladies of a garden club, are anything but shrinking violets when it comes to rooting out criminals…

The Texas Star herself—Miss Lily Dare, the “fastest woman in the world”—is bringing her Dare Devils Flying Circus to Darling. Unfortunately, she’s also bringing a whole lot of trouble. As the Dahlias prepare for the annual Watermelon Festival—where they will present the famous female aviatrix with her own Texas Star hibiscus—rumors are flying.

Dahlias president Liz Lacy learns from newspaperman Charlie Dickens that Miss Dare has been threatened and her plane sabotaged. Apparently the bold and beautiful barnstormer has made plenty of enemies. And is it possible she may even be involved with the husband of one of Darling’s local ladies?

And speaking of wings, the new cook at Myra May’s Darling Diner can fry a chicken and whip up a sweet potato meringue pie like nobody’s business. But why is she keeping her past such a mystery?

As the Texas Star barnstorms into town, Liz and Verna Tidwell offer to help bring down a saboteur who may be propelled by revenge. Before it’s all over, there will be plenty of black eyes and dark secrets revealed…

Includes Southern-Style Depression-Era Recipes!

Find out about Susan Wittig Albert and all her book on her webpage here.

GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the people at Penguin 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.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End February 13, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jan 292016
 

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
I have wanted to catch up on this series for awhile!

diners driveins and death
Diners, Drive-Ins, and Death:
A Comfort Food Mystery

Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New York
An Obsidian Mystery (January 6, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451415103
E-Book ASIN: B00KWFZ73S
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

 

For Sandy Harbor’s tastiest comfort food, venture to the Silver Bullet Diner. But head next door to the new drive-in theater if you have an appetite for murder….

Trixie Matkowski has a tall order to fill this fall. Aside from dishing out delicious fare at the Silver Bullet during peak fishing season, she’s helping her friend—Antoinette Chloe Brown, or ACB for short—open a drive-in movie theater in the vacant lot beside her diner. It’s just the thing to take ACB’s mind off Nick, her missing biker beau.

But their plans are fried after Nick’s body is discovered during the groundbreaking for the drive-in. And when the police connect the murder weapon to ACB, she becomes the prime suspect in eighty-sixing Nick. With the fate of her innocent friend and her business on the line, Trixie must make the guilty party pay up before someone else gets stiffed….

Includes Delicious Home-Style Recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Trixie Matkowski owns the Silver Bullet Diner and summer rental cottages. She also has a bit of land that came in handy when her friend’s significant other is found in a shallow grave. Antoinette Chloe Brown, or ACB for short, owns a restaurant in town and she wants to build a drive-in on land next to Trixie’s. Her biker boyfriend, Nick, has taken off without a word to anyone, her ex-husband, the boyfriend’s brother, is rotting in jail, and she is organizing a beauty pageant, so why not jump in with both feet to another venture. She is so worried about Nick she asks Trixie to help her find him but he turns up before they do much looking. His body is discovered during the groundbreaking for the drive-in and there is enough evidence at the scene to arrest ACB and haul her off to jail.

What follows next is a nifty mystery served up with a bowlful of humor. ACB and her colorful mumus and fascinations just crack me up. Seeing her in a motorcycle sidecar must be a hoot! She and Trixie are the best of friends. Trixie even put up the bail to get her out of jail. She also let her move right into her house. The antics of these two are absolutely hilarious but Trixie does keep them on track as they try to find the real killer.

I have grown comfortable with these characters and I appreciate the comfort food served at the Silver Bullet. I don’t know how I got behind on this series but that will be remedied soon. I am so glad I started Flashback Friday to help me catch up on great series like this one. Macaroni and Freeze has moved to the top of the To-Be-Read stack and It’s A Wonderful Knife comes out February 2.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Christine and her books on her webpage here.

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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 February 12, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Jan 292016
 

This is a new author for me. I am happy to be part of her tour.

PLAIN DEAD large banner640

plain dead
Plain Dead
(An Amish Mystery)

3rd in Series
Cozy Mysteries
Publisher: Kensington (December 29, 2015)
Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0758291769
E-Book ASIN: B00VQFKFT4
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Synopsis

When a newspaperman is murdered in the Amish community of Stone Mill, Pennsylvania, Rachel Mast digs up the dirt to find out who wanted to bury the lead…

Although she left her Old Order Amish ways in her youth, Rachel discovered corporate life in the English world to be complicated and unfulfilling. Having returned to Stone Mill, she’s happy to be running her own B&B. But she’s also learning—in more ways than one—that the past is not always so easily left behind.

After local newspaperman Bill Billingsly is found gagged and tied to his front porch, left to freeze overnight in a snowstorm, Detective Evan Parks—Rachel’s beau—uncovers a file of scandalous information Billingsly intended to publish, including a record of Rachel pleading no contest to charges of corporate misconduct. Though Evan is certain of her innocence, it’s up to Rachel to find the real killer. A closer examination of the victim’s unpublished report leads Rachel to believe the Amish community is far from sinless. But if she’s not careful her obituary might be the next to appear in print…

About The Author

Emma Miller is the author of Redeeming Grace and Anna’s Gift.  She lives with her family in Kent County, Delaware
GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25310469-plain-dead

Purchase Links

IndieBound     B&N 
Find More Books by Emma Miller Here
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Please check out the rest of the tour too!!

Tour Participants

January 20 – Back Porchervations – Review
January 20 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – Spotlight
January 21 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – Review
January 22 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – Review
January 23 – Island Confidential – Spotlight
January 24 – Brooke Blogs – Spotlight
January 25 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review
January 26 – Queen of All She Reads – Review
January 27 – View from the Birdhouse – Spotlight
January 28 – A Chick Who Reads – Review
January 28 – Christa Reads and Writes – Spotlight
January 29 – Laura’s Interests – Review
January 29 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review

 

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Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jan 282016
 

special guest blue

I am absolutely delighted to welcome Jacklyn Brady to Escape With Dollycas today!

Jacklyn Brady 01

Thanks so much for inviting me to visit your blog today. I’m thrilled to be here.

One of the most frequent questions I get as a writer is where ideas for a book come from. There’s no one answer, of course. Sometimes an idea comes in a flash. I might see a character in my imagination or overhear a snippet of conversation, and my creative muse is off and running. Those times are great, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love when that happens.

cakes of monte cristoThere are other times, however, when the idea is more elusive, the thread of a plot harder to find, the characters more difficult to discover. Most writers like to talk about those flash-of-inspiration moments because they’re interesting and exciting. I think readers like to hear about them, too. I know I do. But I’m afraid that finding the plot and the characters for The Cakes of Monte Cristo wasn’t one of those lovely experiences.

I had the idea for signing Rita up to cater the Belle Lune Ball while writing Rebel Without a Cake. It seemed like a great idea, a chance for Rita and the crew to stretch and grow. Besides, the title for The Cakes of Monte Cristo had come to me in a flash, and I loved it. But when I sat down to write the book, that’s all I had–an obligation for Rita established in the previous novel and a title I adored. Nothing else.

Milk Explosion PubDomainI’d already created the Monte Cristo Hotel in Rebel so that locked me into holding the Belle Lune Ball there, but I didn’t worry. I was so excited about the title, I expected the ideas to pour forth like … well, like something wonderful and fluid.

Dried Mud Pub DomainInstead, the ideas were hidden under layers of thick, dried mud.

It took a while and a lot of brainstorming with my editor at the time to excavate the plot and find the treasure that had been hidden at Zydeco Cakes this whole time. I think we were both as surprised to find it as Rita is. It took a while longer to discover the characters. Rita hired no less than six assistants to fill in for Edie while she’s on maternity leave before Estelle finally suggested her niece, Zoey. But once Zoey showed up, I knew we had our gal.

As difficult as the story was to chip out of the rock, I grew to love it and the characters involved as I wrote. Every day brought something new and unexpected. Every conversation between Rita and her friends, family and co-workers was a revelation. Characters did and said things I wasn’t expecting, and I had no idea how the book was going to end until Rita and I got there together.

I don’t know about other writers, but for me, a hard-won book earns a very special place in my heart. The Cakes of Monte Cristo is going on that shelf, for sure. To make it even more special, the art department at Berkley Prime Crime did a terrific job with the cover. I love the dress cakes!

Thanks so much for having me. I hope you and your readers enjoy the book.

~Jacklyn

Thank you so much for visiting us today Jacklyn! 

cakes of monte cristoThe Cakes of Monte Cristo:
A Piece of Cake Mystery

Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Louisiana
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Published by Penguin Random House, LLC.
Release Date: January 5, 2016
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425258286
E-Book ASIN: B01071RFUY
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In the fresh new Piece of Cake Mystery from the national bestselling author of Rebel Without a Cake, a pastry chef becomes embroiled in a suspicious death as a mysterious curse casts a pall over an annual New Orleans ball.

Rita Lucero, co-owner of New Orleans’s Zydeco Cakes, is thrilled to be catering an annual ball held at the Monte Cristo Hotel. Designing the high-end desserts is her priority—until she stumbles upon a mystery long-buried at her shop. It’s an ornate ruby necklace, hidden underneath her staircase and rumored to be cursed.

After the gem’s appraiser suddenly drops dead and Rita herself is targeted by a menacing stranger, she’s no longer laughing at local superstition. Now with five cakes on order and an investigation into the necklace’s past revealing layers of unsettling clues, Rita has reason to keep looking over her shoulder while she’s frosting. Because any way you slice it, the next victim of the legendary curse could be her.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am so glad we finally return to New Orleans and Zydeco Cakes. The author set us up in Rebel Without A Cake for The Cakes of Monte Cristo and Rita and her staff are taking on their biggest job ever, the Belle Lune Ball.  They needed to bake 5 gorgeous dress form cakes complete with the accessories and they are catering the affair too. When the Monte Cristo Hotel ballroom is flooded just days before the event Rita has to settle for a smaller venue, but at least it is still in the same hotel. As if she doesn’t have enough on her plate, Zydeco is short staffed because Edie is out on maternity leave and the temps to replace her have been nightmares. Rita finally hires Estelle’s niece, Zoey. Rita vows to make it work even after a freak accident that destroys part of the beautiful old home that houses the business. Especially when a very interesting discovery is made. A discovery that leaves one woman dead and Rita extra cautious as she tries to piece together all the clues before she gets herself frosted.

I love this series! These characters are some of the best ones around. They work together from early morning until sometimes late at night. They go out for drinks together and have fun. They are as close as family and genuinely care about each other. Like family they have their little spats too. They also bake the most amazing cakes! The cover is nice but the picture I have in my head from the descriptions is nothing like on the cover. Rita makes so many peacock like feathers out of fondant and paints them all to look so real. The image is crystal clear in my mind along with all the other beautiful dress creations that were made. Thank you Jacklyn for the amazing imagery brought forth from your words.

The author not only paints us beautiful pictures with her words, she crafts quite a plot as well. She gives us plenty of twists, surprises, and a few tense moments before we reach the end. She introduces some new characters and one quickly got on Rita’s nerves and mine too, well frankly everyone around her. No, she wasn’t killed but I would not have been surprised. There is always the next book. :)

I do hope there is a next book, or two or three and we don’t have to wait too long for a return. Each of these characters “slice” of life has been delightful. If you haven’t taken a bite out of this series yet, start at the beginning and enjoy! You can thank me later.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Jacklyn Brady lives on the Gulf Coast and writes the Piece of Cake Mystery series which is set in New Orleans and features cake artist and trained pastry chef, Rita Lucero. The Cakes of Monte Cristo, 6th in the Piece of Cake Mystery Series, is available at your favorite bookseller now!

Jacklyn loves to hear from readers. Connect with her on the web: Website   – Facebook   – Twitter       

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.

This year I am trying to build my Twitter following so for this giveaway 4 Bonus Entries will be awarded by following me on Twitter. @dollycas

Leave a comment for Jacklyn 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 February 11, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Jan 272016
 
cozy wednesday 2013 640
Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am always excited when Avery Aames stops by for a visit!

Daryl Wood Gerber 0218 100dpi

I adore Mac ‘n Cheese
By Avery Aames aka Daryl Wood Gerber

My author pal Krista Davis tells me that everything tastes better with bacon. I believe her. I believe everything Krista says.

When I’m writing, I need mental support. And mac ‘n cheese is, quite simply, comfort food to the MAX. Each bite packs a punch. Each bite melts in your mouth. Add bacon and wow!

By the way, according to Wikipedia, which happens to be my go-to source for absolutely truthful information (LOL), I discovered the following.

Did you know that pasta and cheese casseroles have been recorded in cookbooks as early as the Liber de Coquina (which is one of the oldest medieval cookbooks)? Also, a pasta and cheese casserole known as makerouns was recorded in an English cookbook in the 14th century. The casserole was made with hand-cut pasta and sandwiched between a mixture of melted butter and cheese. Oh, yum!!! AND it was considered an upper class meal in Italy until around the 18th century.

So there. Raise a pinky and eat mac and cheese!

What’s your favorite guilty-pleasure food?

Mac & Bacon & Cheddar Cheese
(Gluten-free or regular)

4Ingredients:

2 cups dried macaroni, cooked to tender (about 4-5 cups cooked) (gluten-free or regular macaroni – I like the Bionatura brand of gluten-free elbow pasta)
4 tablespoons butter [1/2 cube]
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1 teaspoon garlic salt
2 tablespoons rice or potato flour (for regular, you may use regular white flour)
1 cup milk
1 cup grated cheese (equal parts white and orange Cheddar)
4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and broken into bites
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (for garnish)
Paprika (for garnish)

Directions:

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside. This may be made a day ahead. NOTE: Do not forget to drain and set aside. You do not want the pasta to be “wet.”

In a large sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic salt & pepper and cook about 2 minutes. Add flour (gluten-free, if necessary) and stir. Cook 1 minute more, letting boil. It will thicken into a roux. Stir constantly.

Add milk, stir and let boil to thicken. About 1 minute.

Remove from heat and add white and orange Cheddars. Add bacon. Stir.

Pour sauce over drained macaroni. Toss well. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Dash with paprika.

cheddar or worse
For Cheddar or Worse:
A Cheese Shop Mystery

7th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Ohio
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Berkley (February 2, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-0425273326
E-Book ASIN: B00X593CK8
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In the new Cheese Shop Mystery from the Agatha Award-winning author of As Gouda as Dead, an extra-sharp tongued cheese critic is cut down during a summer cheese festival.

It’s time for the annual Cheese Festival in Providence, Ohio, and Charlotte Bessette’s cheese shop is packed with homemade specialties. Meanwhile, her friend Erin is prepping her dairy farm and inn for cheese makers, marketers, journalists, and one surprise guest—Lara Berry, pretentious cheese whiz, pompous bestselling author, and pungent critic whose extra sharp tongue can crumble a reputation.

Even though any love for Lara by her friends curdled long ago, Charlotte is surprised when the foodie is smothered to death in her room at Erin’s inn. Accusations start flying, but the one laying blame on Erin strikes Charlotte as a crock. Now, to clear her friend’s name, Charlotte has to sift through Lara’s ex-lovers, former business partners, and unforgiving enemies to find a killer before Lara’s past casts a tainted pall on the festival’s future.

RECIPES INCLUDED

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Say Cheese for one last time. Seriously, I had tears in my eyes when I learned that this would be our last visit to Fromagerie Bessette. I absolutely love these characters and I will miss them dearly. Avery Aames pulls out all the stops and gives us a fabulous mystery to bring the series to a close.

Providence, Ohio is hosting their annual cheese festival. Food, music, plays and a “brain trust” for cheese makers, distributors, and journalists. The “brain trust” is being held at the Emerald Pastures Farm owned by Erin Emerald. She also has an inn where several of the participants are staying. One special surprise guest has been added to the group, Lara Berry, best selling author and food critic. She is not well liked by those who know her, her reviews have done damage throughout the industry. When she is found murdered there is no shortage of suspects but the prime one is Charlotte’s friend, Erin Emerald. Charlotte butts right into the investigation to prove her friend’s innocence.

All our favorite characters are back.  Charlotte and Jordan are settling in to their married life and doing their best to mesh their very busy schedules. Charlotte’s grandmother, the mayor, is involved in almost every aspect of the festival. Her grandfather is helping out at the cheese shop while Charlotte attends the brain trust with her new hubby. Matthew and Meredith are expecting and she has been put on complete bed rest.  Not an easy task for an active woman with 2 young girls in the house or the man trying to keep everything as normal as possible. Delilah and the police chief, Urso, have rekindled their relationship.  And then we have all the crazy characters in town for the festival and the brain trust.

A fantastic plot full of surprises carries these characters through the pages. Interspersed between the main plots and subplots there is plenty of cheese, both tasting and food created with cheese. You will find yourself drooling. I found myself so entranced by the story I felt like I was searching out clues along with Charlotte and could almost taste the delectable treats sprinkled throughout the entire story.

I didn’t want the story to end. I slowed down my reading and tried to savor each and every interaction and step the characters took.  I knew when I reached the final page there would be no more. No more Charlotte and Rebecca working together at the shop, no more Matthew picking out the perfect wine, no more Pépère sneaking pieces of cheese, no more Grand-mère and her magnificent plans for the city or the playhouse, no more Charlotte trying to get Urso to tell her things he shouldn’t, no more cheese and those amazing recipes, no more of so many things I am going to miss. I am greedy. I wanted more! The only good thing is that I will still be able to read what Avery Aames writes because she does have another series written as herself, Daryl Wood Gerber. The Cookbook Nook Mysteries are fun and fabulous too! So if like me and are saying good-bye to Charlotte and her family and friends, I hope you are saying hello to Jenna and everyone in Crystal Cove. Of course, if both series are new to you I highly recommend them all.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Avery Aames is the Agatha Award–winning author of The Long Quiche Goodbye and six other titles in the Cheese Shop Mystery series. As Daryl Wood Gerber, she is the nationally bestselling author of  the Cookbook Nook Mysteries, including Fudging the Books, Stirring the Plot, Inherit the Word, and Final Sentence. Like her protagonist, Avery is an admitted foodie. Prior to writing, Avery (aka Daryl) acted on stage and television, including on Murder, She Wrote. Don’t forget to sign up for her fan club so you can be entered in all her contests! You’ll find that fan club on her website! Visit her website at www.darylwoodgerber.com.

Author Links

Blog: www.mysteryloverskitchen.com (Blog Wednesdays)

www.facebook.com/darylwoodgerber     www.pinterest/darylwoodgerber

www.twitter.com/darylwoodgerber     www.twitter.com/averyaames

www.goodreads/darylwoodgerber     www.goodreads/averyaames



GIVEAWAY

Penguin is giving away a copy of For Cheddar or Worse
and Avery is giving away copy of winner’s choice of CHEESE SHOP MYSTERY!!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for Avery 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 February 10, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Avery is also touring with
Great Escapes Book Tours this week!
Visit every stop for more reviews, recipes and giveaways

for cheddar or worse large banner640

Tour Participants
January 25 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review, Giveaway
January 26 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
January 27 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
January 28 – Mallory Heart Reviews – Review
January 29 – Griperang’s Bookmarks – Review, Giveaway
January 30 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
January 31 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway

Including this Great Grand Prize!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Jan 262016
 

sweet peppet heroSweet Pepper Hero: A Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mystery
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Tennessee
4th in Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Published by Penguin Random House, LLC.
Release Date: January 5, 2016
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425279236
E-Book ASIN: B00W2ZKNZ8
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Old rivalries heat up in the fourth Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade mystery from the national bestselling author of In Hot Water.

Fire chief Stella Griffin has been put in charge of judging the annual recipe contest, but Eric—her resident ghost and true culinary genius—has vanished. Before she can track down his latest haunt, she’s called in to investigate a local moonshine distillery that was set ablaze, making her realize there’s more than pies and cakes cooking in Sweet Pepper.

As rumors of a revived whiskey war ignite, Stella turns to the town’s elders to help her find answers. The past might have some clues as to what has sparked the present fires. But when following a lead lands her in buried rubble, Stella realizes she must extinguish this case fast or she might be going down in flames.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Is that a beautiful cover or what? Kudos to Mary Ann Lasher and George Long!

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book. The authors left us with a cliffhanger at the end of In Hot Water and these characters are some of my all-time favorites. Chief Eric or his ghost is near and dear to my heart because he reminds me so much of my dad. The cliffhanger was resolved but not in a way I ever expected. Pretty dramatic but it had me laughing too.

Aside from the cliffhanger, in this installment, the police have orders from the ATF to investigate stills in the area. It seems that even today people are brewing moonshine illegally. When a still explodes and a man dies it is time for Stella to step in. Then when another still starts on fire along with the house it is hidden in, Stella starts to think it is not a coincidence so she starts her on investigation. But before she can even sort through the evidence she finds herself in peril.

I love the way Stella and Eric work together to solve the mystery. This story is filled with fires, explosions, whiskey wars and other drama. We also meet a few more ghosts that are nothing like Chief Eric. They have their own issues. More members of the community are joining the fire department and the fires and training sessions are quite interesting as all the personnel kinks are worked out.  But in my opinion fire dog Hero, lives up to his name and is the star of the story as the title implies. He is such a smart dog. with keen instincts. The people of Sweet Pepper are fortunate to have him as part of the brigade.

These authors continue to give us absolutely awesome stories time and time again. They can have us on the edge of our seat one moment, laughing out loud the next and even occasionally reaching for a tissue. So much happens in these pages that it truly boggles my mind and everything just flows right together perfectly. The ending was a real surprise and the teaser for the next book has me so anxious that waiting a year is just plain mean :)

Sweet Pepper, Tennessee is know for its peppers so of course there are recipes in the back of the book.

This is a great addition to this wonderful series! Start a fire (in your fireplace) and curl up with it as soon as you can.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Authors

J. J. Cook is a pseudonym for a married couple who writes mysteries, mostly set in the South, with a touch of paranormal and romance.

Author Links:

Webpage       Facebook      Twitter

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.

This year I am trying to build my Twitter following so for this giveaway 4 Bonus Entries will be awarded by following me on Twitter. @dollycas

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End February 9, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Jan 222016
 

MURDER AT THE GRILL large banner640

Murder at the Grill
by Christa Nardi

It’s a warmhearted and gentle story, set in a comfortable small community.
~Mallory Heart Reviews

Another fun and twisty cozy mystery from author Christa Nardi.
~Laura’s Interests

It is well written and has a very good plot.
~Melina’s Book Blog

Those who like a romance with their mystery will enjoy…
~The Ninja Librarian

Murder-at-the-Grill-FINAL
Murder at the Grill
(Cold Creek Book 3)

Cozy Mystery
Self Published
Print Length: 204 pages
ASIN: B016X7FZWQ
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Synopsis

An amateur sleuth, Sheridan Hendley jumps at the chance to work with the defense when a favorite waitress is arrested for the murder of her ex-husband. Determined to prove Zoe’s innocence Sheridan probes into the victim’s past and why he chose to return to Cold Creek 15 years after the divorce. Personalities clash and Zoe’s family closes ranks as Sheridan attempts to unlock the carefully kept secrets of the family that owns and operates the Grill. The closer she gets to finding the truth, the more her own life might be in danger – a situation that strains her increasingly serious relationship with Detective Brett McMann.

ChristaHeadshot1

About The Author

Christa Nardi is and always has been an avid reader. Her favorite authors have shifted from Carolyn Keene and Earl Stanley Gardner to more contemporary mystery/crime authors over time, but mystery/crime along with romance and scifi/fantasy are her preferred choices for leisure reading. Christa also has been a long time writer from poetry and short stories to the Cold Creek series, Christa has joined many other reader/writers in writing one genre she enjoys reading – the cozy mystery. The series started with Murder at Cold Creek College; Murder in the Arboretum is the second in the series. Murder at the Grill is the third. Christa Nardi is a pen name for a real life professor/psychologist from the Northeast who is well published in nonfiction and technical venues.

Author Links

Twitter – @ChristaN7777          GoodReads              Facebook 

 

Purchase Links

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Participants

January 13 – Mallory Heart Reviews – Review

January 14 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy,  &, Sissy, Too ! – Spotlight

January 15 – Laura’s Interests – Review

January 16 – StoreyBook Reviews – Spotlight

January 17 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review

January 18 – The Ninja Librarian – Review

January 19 – A Blue Million Books – Interview

January 20 – View from the Birdhouse – Spotlight

January 21 – Tour Page Promotion

January 22 –Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Spotlight

January 23 – deal sharing aunt – Interview

January 24 – Lori’s Reading Corner – Spotlight 

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jan 202016
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am pleased to welcome Bailey Cattrell to Escape With Dollycas today!

McRae_Cricket pic

 

Daisies For Innocence is first in the Enchanted Garden Mystery series and features Elliana Allbright, aromatherapist extraordinaire and owner of Scents & Nonsense. A thirty-something recent divorcee, Ellie has lived in Poppyville, California her entire life.

In fact, her great, great grandfather was one of the founders of the town – along with Pauline “Poppy” Thierry, the local madam in 1849. Originally settled in order to cater to the miners headed into the Sierra Nevada Mountains during the California Gold Rush, modern-day Poppyville is a tourist town chock full of Old West flavor and offering nearby hot springs, mountain biking, horseback riding, and fly fishing.

Ellie lives with Dash, her Pembroke Welsh corgi, in a super-efficient Tiny House at the back of the Scents & Nonsense property. The shop is guarded day and night by a Russian blue shorthair named Nabokov who regularly attracts clusters of blue butterflies when he ventures out to sun himself in the garden. By the end of the book, Ellie’s growing menagerie is joined by a beta fish named Leonard.

daisies for innocenceThe space between Ellie’s home and work is packed with garden beds connected by winding stone paths. There are seating areas and cozy alcoves interspersed with fairy houses, gnome doors and miniature tableaus tucked in surprising nooks and crannies. An etched boulder in the center of the space declares it The Enchanted Garden, and over time it has gained a reputation as a place for children to come explore the tiny “fairy” worlds while their parents have a cup of tea and nibble on the cookies Ellie’s best friend, Astrid Moneypenny, brings into the shop each morning.

However, the Enchanted Garden also provides the flowers and plants Ellie distills down into custom “perfumes” that do more than just smell good. She learned about plants and their essences from her gamma, who left behind a dog-eared but beautifully illustrated garden journal and an ancient, copper alembic. An alembic is a kind of still (think moonshine), but much smaller and used for distilling essential oils.

Her whole life, Ellie always had a fine-tuned sense of smell, which, combined with a natural ability to know how scents can help other people, uniquely qualifies her to create her special perfumes. When Astrid calls it a superpower, Ellie just laughs, but it turns out Astrid might be more right than Ellie realizes!

In Daisies For Innocence, Ellie’s part-time employee, Josie Overland, confesses that she has been dating Ellie’s ex-husband for a month or so. Ellie is surprised and worried at this news, as she doesn’t want Josie to get hurt the same way she did. But when she finds Josie dead on the boardwalk in front of Scents & Nonsense the next morning, she is unable to convince Detective Max Lang that she had no motive to kill Josie. After all, Max and Ellie’s ex, Harris, are best friends, and Harris has painted Ellie to be a jealous shrew.

Fortunately, Max’s partner, Detective Lupe Garcia is open to looking for other suspects. Unfortunately, Garcia’s new to town, and so it’s up to Ellie and Astrid to ferret out the real killer. Ellie also gets help from members of the Greenstockings, her women’s business group, and Ritter Nelson, an old high-school crush who is back in town visiting his sister.

And then there’s the mysterious plant that sprouted under the birdbath the same day Josie was killed – a plant that grows faster than anything Ellie has ever seen and that she can’t identify anywhere except in her gamma’s journal. As she looks into the life of a woman she thought she knew while hunting for her murderer, Ellie waits for the chance to distill the strange plant’s heady essence – and whatever memories it might bring – for herself.

The book includes a recipe for Astrid’s Chewy Double Chocolate Chunk Hazelnut Cookies, aromatherapy tips, and essential oil blends for things like relaxations and concentration. There’s also the first chapter of Brownies and Broomsticks, the first of the NYT bestselling Magical Bakery Mysteries that I write as Bailey Cates.

Next up? Spells and Scones, the sixth Magical Bakery mystery, will release in July, 2016, and I’m currently working on the second Enchanted Garden Mystery, Nightshade for Warning.
For more information about all my books, please visit www.baileycates.com, Like my page on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter.

~Bailey

daisies for innocenceDaisies For Innocence:
An Enchanted Garden Mystery

New Cozy Mystery Series
Setting – California
An Obsidian Mystery
Published by New American Library (January 5, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451476883
E-Book ASIN: B00W2ZKKM4
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From Bailey Cattrell—who writes the New York Times bestselling Magical Bakery Mysteries as Bailey Cates—comes the first Enchanted Garden Mystery featuring custom perfume maker Elliana Allbright…

The Enchanted Garden behind Elliana Allbright’s perfume shop draws people of all ages with its fragrant flowers and lush greenery. But when the magical serenity is interrupted, it’s up to Ellie to sniff out a killer.

Ellie’s life has blossomed in Poppyville, California, since she opened Scents & Nonsense, a custom-made-perfume store. Her skills with aromas and botanical essences—some from her very own garden—seem almost…supernatural. Her perfumes can evoke emotions,  bring about change, or simply make people happy. Customers are flocking to the store to buy her wares or just to sit in her beautiful garden, sip tea and enjoy homemade cookies.

But she smells trouble when she learns that her part-time assistant Josie is dating her ex. And before she can tell the young woman to beware of his charms, she finds Josie dead in the Enchanted Garden. Now the prime suspect in Josie’s murder, Ellie must search for the real culprit in Josie’s past—because it’ll take a miracle to nip this problem in the bud….

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Elliana Allbright has a fantastic place in Poppyville, California. At the front of her lot is Scents & Nonsense, her store, where she sells items scented from the flowers in her very own garden. The Enchanted Garden fills the side and back yards right up to the front of her tiny house. I can picture it so clearly in my mind with her bird bath and other whimsical touches surrounded by flowers that bloom all year. Even a few extra special varieties.

Ellie has a gift of matching the right scent to each person for any occasion and her Gamma’s journal is the guidebook to everything growing in the garden.  Everything is coming up roses until her friend and employee, Josie Overland, is pushing up daisies, dead in the garden. Not so enchanting.

The was a fun read. Because of the location of the body, Elliana is the prime suspect. One of the officers on the case is best friends with her ex so she knows she isn’t going to get much help there but his partner, Detective Lupe Garcia, has a more open mind and actually investigates. I liked that Ellie didn’t just jump into the investigation. She stayed in touch with Garcia and they shared infomation. We meet several unique characters throughout the book. Friends from her high school days, friends that Ellie made before her divorce and new friends since opening her store. Ellie shop also has a resident feline and she has a Welsh Corgi named Dash too.

The book started a little slow for me but soon I was fully engaged and stayed up until early in the morning  to finish. The mystery has its share of plot twists to keep readers guessing and I was surprised to learn I had picked the right culprit from the bunch.

I loved the aromatherapy theme and was thrilled to see the blends at the end of the story.

Bailey Cattrell has planted all the seeds to get this series off to a blooming start.

enjoyable 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


Writing as Bailey Cates


Writing as Cricket McRae


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.

This year I am trying to build my Twitter following so for this giveaway 4 Bonus Entries will be awarded by following me on Twitter. @dollycas

Leave a comment for Miranda for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End February 3, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST

Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org

Winner Will Be Notified By Email

and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Jan 192016
 

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Gunfight at Grace Gulch
by Darlene Franklin

 

gunfight
Gunfight at Grace Gulch
(Christian Cozy Mystery)
(A Dressed For Death Mystery Book 1)

Forget Me Not Romances
A Division of Winged Publications (February 28, 2015)
Paperback: 216 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1508946991
E-Book B00U4XPROW
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Synopsis

The feud between the Graces and the Gaynors is still going strong more than a century after its inception in the 1891 Oklahoma land run. Newspaper editor Penn Hardy is murdered during the reenactment of the most famous gunfight in the history of Grace Gulch, Oklahoma. Cici Wilde, owner of a vintage clothing store, feels compelled to investigate when police suspect people close to her. She soon discovers her talent for sleuthing equals her flare for wearing period clothing. Theater director Audie Howe never expected the reenactment to end in a real murder. He cares too much for the future of the Magda Grace Mallory Theater – and the charming Cici Wilde – to let her face danger alone. Cici and Audie take a dangerous gamble to nail the killer – and lay their lives on the line.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Most people that live in Grace Gulch, Oklahoma, are either a Grace or a Gaynor, or are related to one of the families, or side with only one of the families. The Grace/Gaylord Feud dates back to the late 1800’s as two men fought over the same piece of land. There are 2 churches and 2 newspapers in town still today.

During the Land Rush Days celebration one of the newspaper editors is killed during a reenactment of the Grace/Gaylord gunfight. Vintage clothing store owner, Cici Wilde, along with everyone else watched it happen but no one saw who fired the shot. She find herself in the middle of the investigation when the police start questioning people close to her as suspects.

What I truly liked about this story was that we were treated to letters from Robert Grace to his fiancee, Mary, while trying secure land west to homestead. We hear his words as the town of Grace Gulch today reenacts his story today. History passed down from generation to generation is not always that accurate and each side tends to have their own version of the story.

We meet like Cici Wilde and Audie Howe, theater director at Magda Grace Mallory Theater, as they find themselves quite drawn to each other, much to Cord Grace’s dismay. He and Cici have been friends for a long time but he wishes they were closer. Cici thinks she wants to keep him as her friend and treads lightly to not ruin the relationship they do have. Truthfully either man seems to be a great catch. I don’t envy having to decide between the two.

As far as the shooting, there are quite a few people that could have pulled the trigger. Everyone is hoping it is tourist and not someone they know.

Darlene Franklin takes us to a quaint small town and introduces us to some wonderful characters that are very strong in their faith. She mixes romance and mystery together in a most enjoyable way. Cici’s family dynamic was very interesting. I would love to shop at her store. As someone that loves to sew and create Cici’s talents were delightful. The Christian tone is very balanced and natural. The mystery was so well written. The pace was pleasant and I was surprised at fast I read this book.

I hope we get to visit Grace Gulch again soon.

enjoyable 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

guest post

OKLAHOMA LAND RUNS

Once you’ve seen it, you can’t forget it. Thousands of people lined up, held at bay by marshals and guns. People on horseback, on foot, on bicycles, in wagons. All ready for the moment the guns are fired and the thousands of hopefuls rush to find the hundreds of plots. Only one out of every four hopeful will win his chance for a 160-acre plot of land.

The scenes from Cimarron (1960) and Far and Away (1992) give us a hint of the excitement on that day. People made the run from trains, on feet and horseback, by bicycle and wagon. By the time 47 states and territories filled the United States map, more and more people hungered for the lush grasslands at the crossroads of the nation, in Indian Territory.

With the passage of the Dawes Severalty Act, pressure was placed on the Indian tribes to make settlements with the United States government. The 1889 land run only made the nation hungry for more: the experience was repeated in 1891, 1892, 1893 and 1895. The 1893 land run was actually the largest, known as “Cherokee Strip.”

The land run behind the history of Gunfight at Grace Gulch opened the Sac and Fox, Potawatomi and Shawnee “unassigned lands” in 1891. The lands later became Potawatomi and Lincoln counties. Grace Gulch is located in Lincoln County, near Route 66. It’s a fictional town, in case you were wondering.

Grace Gulch founder, Bob Grace, is tempted to be a Sooner—that is, to camp out on the lot he wants to claim instead of making the run. He already tried and failed in 1889 and desperately wants to claim land and wed his precious Mary. His struggles with the decision, revealed through letters to Mary at the beginning of each chapter, lie at the heart of the Grace Gulch legacy.

~Darlene

Darlene (1)

About the Author

Best-selling author Darlene Franklin’s greatest claim to fame is that she writes full-time from a nursing home. She lives in Oklahoma, near her son and his family, and continues her interests in playing the piano and singing, books, good fellowship, and reality TV in addition to writing. She is an active member of Oklahoma City Christian Fiction Writers, American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Christian Authors Network. She has written over forty books and has written more than 250 devotionals. Her historical fiction ranges from the Revolutionary War to World War II, from Texas to Vermont.

Author Links

Blog          Amazon Author Page                   Facebook                @darlenefranklin

Purchase Links
Amazon

Your can find more Books by Darlene Franklin here.

GIVEAWAY
I have 1 e-book copy to give away!
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.

This year I am trying to build my Twitter following so for this giveaway 4 Bonus Entries will be awarded by following me on Twitter. @dollycas

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End February 2, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Be sure to check out the rest of this Great Escapes Book Tour.
Tour Participants

January 11 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review, Giveaway
January 12 – Babs Book Bistro – Spotlight, Giveaway
January 13 – Laura’s Interests – Review, Giveaway
January 14 – Island Confidential – Interview, Giveaway
January 15 – Tour Page Promotion
January 16 – The Girl with Book Lungs – Guest Post, Giveaway
January 17 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview
January 18 – Christa Reads and Writes – Review
January 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
January 20 – deal sharing aunt – Interview
January 21 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy,  &, Sissy, Too ! – Spotlight, Giveaway
January 22 – Book Babble – Review
January 23 – LibriAmoriMiei – Review
January 24 – dru’s book musings – Guest Post, Giveaway

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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.”

Jan 162016
 

So happy to share this book with you today!
skiing is murder large banner640

Skiing is Murder
by Carolyn Arnold

…a fast read, and endearing…
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies

Another great installment with Sean & Sara.
~Storeybook Reviews

I liked that we only knew what the McKinley’s knew as they discovered information. I enjoyed putting the puzzle together along side them.
~Laura’s Interests

I could not wait to read a new book of this series, these cozy mystery are short but very exciting with two great private investigators. The plot kept me on edge from start to finish. I was excited each time I got to turn the page.
~LibriAmoriMiei

There are a number of ‘out of the ordinary’ aspects to this cozy mystery – and that’s a good thing, as it helps keep the genre ‘fresh’.
~Back Porchervations

I like Sean and Sara. Their characters are easy to get along with and I love their relationship. They’re both intelligent and work well together.
~Brooke Blogs

Filled with colorful characters and an intriguing mystery which takes advantage of its winter wonderland type setting, Skiing is Murder is a fine addition to an established series and can be enjoyed on its own.
~Queen of All She Reads

Skiing is Murder 2inch

Skiing is Murder
(McKinley Mysteries Series)

Cozy Mystery
10th in Series
Print Length: 116 pages
Hibbert & Stiles Publishing Inc. (January 28, 2016)
ASIN: B017UIZQAS

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Synopsis

They’re ready to hit the slopes when things go downhill…

Sean and Sara were supposed to have a relaxing vacation in Vail, but it all goes up in a puff of powder when there’s a suspicious death on the mountain. And the deceased is not just anyone; it’s Adrian Blackwell, a two-time Olympic skiing gold medalist.

Rumor has it that Adrian died in a skiing accident, but he was too skilled for Sara to accept it as fact. Though she’s convinced Adrian was murdered and she’s itching to find the killer, she doesn’t want to disappoint Sean by ruining his ski trip.

Sean has never had the ability to say no to Sara before, but this time he comes close. It takes a call from their PI firm back in Albany to change his mind. A job’s come in to investigate Adrian’s death, and his agent is the one footing the bill, leaving Sean with more questions than answers.

Yet one major problem remains: their New York State PI licenses hold no legal authority in Colorado. But they still can’t help but look into Adrian’s death on the sly. This case will definitely involve some underhanded tactics, all while trying to dodge the local police during the course of the investigation.

Carolyn Author Photo 2013 Color

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

CAROLYN ARNOLD is the international bestselling and award-winning author of the Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher, and McKinley Mystery series. She is the only author with POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town, but that never kept her from dreaming big. On par with her large dreams is her overactive imagination that conjures up killers and cases to solve. She currently lives outside Toronto with her husband and two beagles, Max and Chelsea. She is also a member of Crime Writers of Canada.

Author Links:

Website            Blog           Facebook                 Twitter

Purchase Links:

Skiing is Murder –

Amazon US     Amazon UK        Barnes & Noble      Apple iBooks          Kobo

 
 



Just click on covers to order from Amazon.

Tour ParticipantsJanuary 4 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – Review
January 5 – Babs Book Bistro – Spotlight
January 6 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review
January 7 – Laura’s Interests – Review
January 8 – LibriAmoriMiei – Review
January 9 – Christa Reads and Writes – Spotlight
January 10 – Back Porchervations – Review
January 11 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy,  &, Sissy, Too ! – Spotlight
January 12 – Brooke Blogs – Review
January 13 – Community Bookstop – Spotlight
January 14 – Queen of All She Reads – Review
January 15 – deal sharing aunt – Spotlight
January 16 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Spotlight
January 17 – A Blue Million Books – Spotlight
January 18 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review
January 19 – Island Confidential – Spotlight 

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Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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