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
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

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
goodreads-badge-add-plus

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.”

Jul 152014
 

White Magic Five and Dime cover FINAL
The White Magic Five & Dime
(A Tarot Mystery)

New Series
Cozy Mystery
MIDNIGHT INK (July 8, 2014)
Trade Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738740225
E-Book File Size: 17221 KB
ASIN: B00KWEY794
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

Alanis McLachlan has not seen her mother in 20 years so when she is summoned to Berdache, Arizona to collect her inheritance she is very surprised. Her con-woman mother has left her The White Magic Five & Dime, a small shop where her mother has her tarot card reading business.  Unsure what to do with the place she decides to temporarily open the store to try to figure out how and why her mother died. She assumes one of her mother’s cons was run on the wrong person and she ended up paying for it with her life.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Alanis McLachlan (the name she is currently using) has quite a life which makes her a very interesting protagonist. Her mother has been a con-woman Alantis’ whole life and as soon as she was old enough she ran away and left that world and her mother behind.  Arriving in Arizona with a long list of unanswered questions she finds her mother had a teenage roommate. Did her mother replace her with this girl to help her with her con games? She hopes by reopening the shop and meeting with her mother’s customers she may get some answers to her questions and find out who killed her mother. Alanis is very cynical but with her upbringing it is easy to understand why. She truly is a good person and wants to do right for a mom who really did a lot of things wrong. I was engaged by her story immediately.

The authors also gave us some great supporting characters. Clarice, who seems to be Alanis’ mother’s apprentice, and Josh Logan, the officer in charge of her mother’s investigation. The dialogue between Josh and Alanis is absolutely fantastic.

The mystery was well written and well plotted. All the information about Tarot Cards was very interesting. While this area of Arizona is know for psychics and its energy vortex the paranormal part of the story is very mild. Alanis starts out feeling it is just another of her mother’s con’s but  the story has a nice twist that makes her question her theory.

I can’t believe how quickly I read this story. I was captivated from beginning to end!! I can’t wait for Book 2.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About This Author

Steve Hockensmith’s first novel, Holmes on the Range, was a finalist for the Edgar, Shamus, Anthony and Dilys awards. He went on to write four sequels as well as a pair of bestselling follow-ups to the international publishing sensation Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. More recently, he wrote (with collaborator “Science Bob” Pflugfelder) the middle-grade mysteries Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab and Nick and Tesla’s Robot Army Rampage.

Author Links:
http://www.stevehockensmith.com
https://www.facebook.com/steve.hockensmith.7
https://twitter.com/MrHockensmith
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/146628.Steve_Hockensmith
http://www.amazon.com/White-Magic-Five-Tarot-Mystery/dp/0738740225/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396625839&sr=8-1&keywords=the+white+magic+five+and+dime

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 132014
 

The Sunday Salon.com

The Sunday Salon used to be a meme but was getting so huge it became unmanageable, so it is now a Facebook group that has become an informal week in review
gathering place for bloggers.

It is also a place to share our thoughts about things of a bookish nature.

SUNDAY POSTThe Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by
Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer
~ It’s a chance to share news~
A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

I had such a great weekend off last week. I was able to meet my newest grand nephew, Carson. You can see the little cutie is my Monday post from last week. We are saw an excellent production of Driving Miss Daisy. It was done in the round and we were in the second row. I absolutely loved it. The meal was fantastic too.

I always get excited when the new books arrive for the following month but this month it was extra exciting. You see this was one of the books to arrive:

and this was on the page inside
001I was so overjoyed!
Ellery is a masterful storyteller and I love her books.
To think she would dedicate the book this way still has me chair dancing!!
This is a brand new series. I hope all of you will check it out!!

weekly rewind credited235Weekly Rewind July 7 – July 12, 2014

MondayIt’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

TuesdayReview/Giveaway – Scene of the Climb by Kate Dyer Seeley

WednesdayCozy Wednesday with Dawn Eastman – Author of Be Careful What You Witch For (Giveaway too!)

Thursday  – Review – Dakota Blues by Lynee M. Spreen

FridayReview – Grace Against The Clock by Julie Hyzy

SaturdaySpotlight/Giveaway – Mr. Monk Is Open For Business by Hy Conrad

mail call314It was the week all the new cozies arrived!!

I hope you all have a great week!!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jul 092014
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so excited to welcome Dawn Eastman back to Escape With Dollycas!!

headshot dawn eastman

The Revenge Character
by Dawn Eastman

Characters seem to come to me from the strangest places. Sometimes, I simply need a character for a specific job in the story. It’s a bit like a job interview. For instance, in a mystery novel, there has to be a victim, a sleuth, and a villain. But sometimes a character appears who isn’t technically necessary to the plot, but who adds a wonderful dimension to the story. And often they are created in a roundabout way. Seth Proffit, my sleuth’s nephew, is one of those characters.

COVERI live with a teenager and a tween. Be Careful What You Witch For is dedicated to the teenager. Six or so years ago, when I was writing the first book in the Family Fortune Mystery series, I was engaged in a pitched battle with my oldest child over when he could ride in the front seat of the car. I’m a physician and my husband is a physician and we tend to be conservative when it comes to things like bike helmets, trampolines, and automobile safety. Insurance companies love us. My son really wanted to ride in the front seat even though the guidelines said he wasn’t yet tall enough or old enough. Everyone he knew was in the front – even younger kids! Looking back, we probably could have loosened up the rules a bit, but as our first child, we tend to practice on him so we can get it right for the next one.

Finally, the glorious day came when he was allowed to ride in the front seat. He. Drove. Me. Nuts. He kept up a running commentary on how much better the view was, constantly adjusted the seat (including putting it all the way back so he could nap on the way to the grocery store which was two minutes from the house), flipped radio stations and pressed every button within reach. It was more than I could take and I almost banished him to the dreaded backseat. I warned him. I really did. I said, “If you don’t knock it off, I’m going to write all of this in my book.” He was undeterred. For one thing, I wasn’t published yet, so how many people would actually see my threatened exposé? Well, I warned him.

pall in the family

The beginning of Pall in the Family wasn’t right. It needed tweaking, and the boy had gotten on my last nerve. So, with an immature desire for revenge, which I would regret if not for the wonderful result, I wrote a scene with a character named Seth who drove Clyde nuts. He chattered constantly and messed up the seats in her car, he had something to say about her every action and opinion. He slouched, he sulked, he was like a monkey on speed. My son thought it was hilarious and even added his own slant to the ridiculous scene. We had a good laugh over the whole thing and I hit delete.

But Seth did not accept his fate. He kept coming back, inserting himself into the story. He promised to tone things down and be helpful. He stopped adjusting the seat and pressing the buttons. He developed a relationship with the dogs. He ended up being one of my favorite characters to write and one of the most mentioned favorite characters of readers. He has obviously strayed far from his roots. He is now his own person and there is nothing in the books that can be directly related to anything my son has ever done. For one thing, as far as I know, my son is not an animal psychic. But they do share a gentle nature, and an acceptance of others that I admire. And a snarky sense of humor.

Seth, and the rest of the gang return in Be Careful What You Witch For.They look forward to spending time with you.

~Dawn

About This Author

Dawn Eastman is the national bestselling author of Pall in the Family, the first book in the Family Fortune Mystery Series. She lived in Michigan for many years in a house full of animals, unusual people, and laughter. She now lives in Iowa with her husband, son, daughter, and one extremely bossy small dog.

Author Links

www.DawnEastman.com

Twitter – @DawnAEastman

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/DawnEastmanAuthor

Goodreads –https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6544185.Dawn_Eastman

COVERBe Careful What You Witch For
(A Family Fortune 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 Daniel Craig
Cover Design by Judith Lagerman
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425264478
E-Book File Size: 1883 KB
ASIN: B00KB58WQ8
goodreads-badge-add-plus

Leaving a traumatic police career behind, Clyde Fortune has returned to her seemingly quiet hometown of Crystal Haven, Michigan. In spite of the psychic powers of its residents, there’s no telling what trouble is brewing in this burg…

The highlight of this year’s fall festival in Crystal Haven is a bonfire with a witch’s cauldron resting over it. Clyde’s best friend, Diana, leads a ritual to divine the future, but it seems no one foresees that one of their own will drop dead—or that Diana will be a prime suspect.

Clyde already has her hands full with her eccentric family, runaway nephew, and burgeoning secret romance with a hunky homicide detective. But after another coven member is attacked, Clyde suspects there’s a witch hunt afoot and focuses her psychic and sleuthing skills to clear her friend’s name and catch a killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Crystal Haven’s Fall Festival has something for everyone, a bonfire, a boiling cauldron, and even a dead body. Okay so the dead body of Rafe Godwin was not part of the planned festivities but it will definitely make the event memorable.

Clytemnestra, oh what a name, (Clyde) is right in the middle of another murder investigation and her “gift” is really haunting her. She has dreams about things that seem to be happening in the future but she really doesn’t understand her ability yet. Can she change the future? She enlists a little help from woman she never imagined ever visiting hopeful that it will help her dreams not be such nightmares.

Clyde’s family takes eccentric to a whole new level. With the exception of her father they all have different special gifts. Aunt Vi is an absolute hoot and a half. I would only be able to handle her myself in very small doses but she does really add the humor to the story.

Diana, Clyde’s best friend finds herself in hot water when it appears Rafe died of an allergic reaction from a piece of bread she had baked but then the prime suspect quickly becomes her brother Dylan. The Fortune family goes into overdrive using all their crystals and pendulums. They even stakeout suspects and follow them to try to catch the real killer.

Seth has also returned to Crystal Haven. I really felt for this teenager who has learned he also has a special gift and it is unbearable in the big city. His mother has vowed not to return to Crystal Haven but she just may have to if she wants to do what is best for her son.

Eastman has brewed up a real mystery for us readers to enjoy. The paranormal parts are not overpowering, they just give the story a very interesting element. There is the perfect balance of spooky, mystery, humor and romance. We also see that not everyone is happy with the Wiccans having so much of a presence in the community. Even Clyde catches herself making presumptions.

The Fortunes are not your normal American family but I sure love our visits with them. Then again my family is far from normal but I don’t think we have anyone with these nice spiritual gifts :) but there are times I wish they did.

A truly charming mystery that I highly recommend. Fun and entertaining. You may catch yourself laughing out loud.

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 Dawn 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 23, 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 082014
 

First I want to thank Book World for giving me a copy of this book to review!!

SCENE OF THE CLIMB
Scene of the Climb
(A Pacific Northwest Mystery)

First In A New Series
Cozy Mystery
Kensington Publishing Corp. (June 3, 2014)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0758295316
E-Book File Size: 1158 KB
ASIN: B00GYLVTO0
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

Portland, Oregon, is the perfect fit for someone like Meg Reed. It’s a city with a small town feel, where she can crash on the couch of her best friend Jill, now that she’s graduated from journalism school. . .

But a girl needs a job, so Meg bluffs her way into writing for Northwest Extreme magazine, passing herself off to editor-in-chief Greg Dixon as an outdoor adventure enthusiast. Never mind that Meg’s idea of sport is climbing onto the couch without spilling her latte. So when she finds herself clawing to the top of Angel’s Rest–a two-thousand-foot peak–to cover the latest challenge in a reality TV adventure show, she can’t imagine feeling more terrified. Until she witnesses a body plummet off the side of the cliff. Now Meg has a murder to investigate. And if the climbing doesn’t kill her, a murderer just might. . .

Includes Adventure Guides!

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Meg Reed is a fantastic new heroine on the cozy scene. She embellished her “adventure lifestyle” just a bit to land the job but in the day and age you do what you have to do to get hired. Like Meg my sense of adventure is from a watching standpoint but she sure did give it the old college try.  Her father was an investigative reporter and like him she keeps digging until she get answers and in this case she needs to  find out why one of the reality show contestants took a dive off the top of Angel’s Rest. She is certain it was not an accident.

The author has created a great cast of supporting characters as well. Meg is camped out on her friend Jill’s couch until she can afford a place of her own. Her friend Matt is a great friend but there is a little romantic tension there. Her boss Greg seems to a great guy but he could also be a suspect, no spoilers here. Meg is always so nervous around him and their interactions add a bit of humor. Like me, Meg tends to spill things and is a bit of a klutz, especially around her new boss.

The setting for the story is a character in itself. Kate Dyer-Seeley is very descriptive in her writing making it very easy to see what the characters see. The beautiful skylines, the rocks, the cliffs, and the trails through the woods. Oregon has some very beautiful places for adventure enthusiasts and she sure does them justice in this story.

The mystery plot is also really good. It has the expected twists but there is one in the woods that had me on the edge of my seat and when the details were revealed all the hair stood up on my arms.

Kate also gives us a little cliffhanger!!! I hope the book comes out in 6 months, waiting a year would be torture :)

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Find out more about Kate Dyer Seeley on her webpage here.

I am giving my review copy from Book World 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 July 22, 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. 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.”

book world2

Jul 052014
 

fatal fortune spotlight
Fatal Fortune:
A Psychic Eye Mystery

12th in Series
Cozy Mystery
New American Library (July 1, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Hardcover: 304 pages
E-BookFile Size: 1081 KB
ASIN: B00G3L6JM8
Audible Audio Edition
Listening Length: 8 hours and 58 minutes
ASIN: B00K0TD9BS
goodreads-badge-add-plus

In New York Times bestselling author Victoria Laurie’s newest Psychic Eye Mystery, Abby Cooper is trusting her intuition and heading to Sin City to bet on a friend’s innocence….

When police show Abby surveillance video of her best friend and business partner, Candice Fusco, shooting a man in cold blood, she can’t believe her eyes. And when the cops tell her they think the victim has ties to the Mob—and perhaps Candice does too—she can’t believe her ears. Surely there is a logical explanation. But Candice is nowhere to be found.

Abby decides the only way to find out the truth is to go to Vegas herself—which may be the biggest gamble of her life. Once in town she begins to uncover a rigged game of dirty double-dealing where the stakes are no less than life and death. And if she’s not careful, Abby can forget about ever leaving Las Vegas…alive.

Find out more about Victoria Laurie and her books here.

 

 

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.

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

Contest Will End July 19, 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 022014
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!!

I am super excited to welcome Jessie Crockett here today!!

SONY DSC

Escape Artist

By Jessie Crockett

Readers all know the appeal of escaping into a good book. Vicariously living through the ups and downs of someone else’s romance or the heart pounding thrill of a chase you are conducting from the comfort of your armchair are amongst life’s keenest pleasures. Traveling to exotic places or even places in time are part and parcel of the delights readers’ experience.

Writers are the ultimate escape artists. We escape into our own stories and into our characters’ lives and loves, into their secrets as well as their dreams. When I read, I am transported into the heart of someone else’s creation and am thrilled to be along for the ride.

But when I write, it’s more like lucid dreaming. I feel as though the story is running through me and only occasionally do I remember I am the one holding the reins.

maple mayhemWhen I’m working I can see the scenes I am creating unfolding like there is a movie theater screen smack dab in the middle of my forehead. All the action plays out across it, all the dialogue comes through as loudly and clearly as if my ears were a high-end sound system. The air changes temperature and smells fill my nose. My books feature a lot of food and I can taste just what it is that my characters are eating. No matter where my body is actually located, the best parts of me are elsewhere stirring up trouble and having adventures.

Because I am always working, I’m always escaping. The keyboard is not the only place the magic happens. There is just so much out there in the world to be enjoyed, imagined and used as a source of inspiration. Even when I am going about the routine tasks of life I find myself slipping into other realms.

For instance, I very well might escape while squeezing mangoes for ripeness at the grocer. It occurs to me that there is someone in the world who picked those mangoes and I find myself imagining what her life is like. Maybe I give her a name and a beautiful singing voice. Maybe, I decide she is a secret agent using her job as a mango picker to infiltrate a fruit cartel bent on world domination. By the time I make it to the checkout line I’ve no idea how the rest of the groceries made it into the cart.

As the lazy days of summer come upon us I hope you have the opportunity to get lost in a great story, especially if it is one you sit down and write yourself.

~Jessie

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

Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and GoodReads too!

maple mayhemMaple Mayhem
(A Sugar Grove 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 Mary Ann Lasher
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425260203
File Size: 2048 KB
ASIN: B00HDMMFUQ
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

In Sugar Grove, New Hampshire, people are serious about their maple syrup—especially Dani Greene, whose family owns the Greener Pastures sugarhouse.  But when murder disrupts the small-town sweetness, Dani pores over clues to draw out a killer…

Despite being a fourth-generation syrup maker, Dani isn’t stuck in the past. She’s starting a new agricultural cooperative that reduces costs for every syrup producer who joins. Everyone considers it a sweet deal except the die-hard curmudgeon Frank Lemieux—and when a saboteur starts targeting supporters, everyone suspects Frank.

But it turns out they’re barking up the wrong tree when Dani finds Frank murdered in his own sugarhouse. As the sabotage continues, she realizes that Frank was framed. With the help of her family, and a handsome official from the Fish and Game Department, Dani must catch the killer before another syrup maker kicks the bucket.

Recipes Included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Things are getting very sticky in Sugar Grove and that makes for a fantastic cozy mystery.

Dani is right in the middle of another murder of investigation and the local sheriff is away on a cruise with Dani’s mother. He left Mitch Reynolds in charge. Mitch and Dani dated a few times and she does everything to avoid him. When her fabulous car, that she just got back from the mechanic, is vandalized he tries to ticket her for having broken headlights and taillights instead of being concerned about who wrecked her car. He is definitely in over his head when Dani finds Frank’s body. Of course, she becomes his prime suspect.

Jessie Crockett has created some truly wonderful characters, ones we love like Dani, her grampa, Piper, the owner of The Stack Shack and Dani’s best friend, Graham, the handsome Fish and Game Warden and Celedon, Dani’s sister who is doing anything she can to get Dani settled down and married. And those we don’t love so much like Knowlton and Mitch. I wanted to jump in the pages at more syrup over Mitch’s head more than once.

The mystery is top-notch and the dialogue is so well written. The perfect amount of humor and romance is blooming for more than just Dani. Her phone calls from her mother just cracked me up.  I also enjoy learning all about making syrup and tapping the trees.

This is a fun and entertaining story for those of us who like our whodunits on the cozy side.

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 Jessie 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 16, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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

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