May 042017
 

This book is available for pre-order. Release Date – May 30, 2017


About a Dog ( A Bluff Point Romance)
Women’s Fiction/Romance
1st in Series
Setting – Maine
Berkley Sensation (May 30, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0399584718
Kindle ASIN: B01LX3H0Q5

 

 

Fall in love with a little help from man’s best friend in New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay’s contemporary romance debut.

Mackenzie “Mac” Harris fled her hometown of Bluff Point, Maine, after being left at the altar—and seeking solace in the arms of her best friend’s off-limits brother. Now, seven years later, she’s back to attend her best friend’s wedding—safe, or so she thinks, from the mistakes of her youth.

But Gavin Tolliver has never forgotten the woman who has always held his heart. And when Mac rescues a stray puppy named Tulip, only Gavin, the town’s veterinarian, can help. With a little assistance from Tulip, Gavin vows to make Mac realize that their feelings are more than just puppy love…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Back in 2011 I found some romance novels written by Jennifer McKinlay written for Harlequin. I am not sure when they were originally released but they were re released as e-books in 2014. I really enjoyed them so I was very excited when I heard she was starting a new romantic comedy series. I was over the moon to receive an early copy of the first book to review.

We meet Mackenzie “Mac” Harris as she returns to Bluff Point after leaving seven years prior when her groom left her standing at the altar. She returns to be her best friend, Emma’s maid of honor and hopes her past won’t rise up to smack her in the face.  Gavin Tolliver, Emma’s little brother, was there for her when her wedding fell apart and has never gotten over the feelings he had for her. They reconnect because of the wedding but also because of Tulip, a stray puppy Mac rescues. It’s all About A Dog until suddenly it isn’t.

I loved, Loved, LOVED this story!

Mac and Gavin along with all their family and friends are wonderfully written. The friendships both new and old come together so naturally. Mac’s aunts were my favorite characters next to Mac and Gavin. These senior citizens are going through their second phase of being teenagers. Their antics will have you smiling ear to ear.

Being a dog lover I was taken by Tulip the moment Mac found her. As you may imagine by the title she is a key character to the entire story. She is just so darn lovable. If I didn’t have two dogs already I would rush right out to adopt one just like her.

Gavin and Mac have a secret. Something she has tried to forget and one Gavin wants her to remember very clearly. Emma has not had much luck in her relationships and tries to fight her feelings for Gavin but sparks just seem to fly whenever they are near each other. She even enlists her friends to be buffers and help her to never be alone with him. She is only in town for two weeks, there is no way they can be any more than friends. Yeah, right.

Jenn McKinlay has penned quite a romance with several twists. Lighthearted, funny and romantic. A totally entertaining story of life, love, and friendship.  This series is out to a fabulous start.  I can’t wait for Barking Up the Wrong Tree when it releases on September 26 and then Every Dog Has His Day comes out January 2, 2018. 

I highly recommend an escape to Bluff Point soon and often.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

*Adult language and situations as expected for this genre. 

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.”

Apr 192017
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am excited to have Jenn McKinlay stop by today.
Her latest Cupcake Bakery Mystery was released April 4!!

 

Where do your characters come from? Are they really you?
by Jenn McKinlay
(Post Provided by Publicist)

 

I get this question a lot. I mean a lot. Here’s the short answer – No, they aren’t me. I mean, I don’t think they’re me. Maybe just parts of me? When I step back and look at the characters in the cupcake bakery mystery series, I see glimmers of myself in all of them. So, I suppose it’s sort of like your children, you know, when you don’t see yourself in them but people keep telling you that the toddler — usually, when he’s screaming his head off — looks just like you. Um…thanks?

Melanie Cooper the chief baker of Fairy Tale Cupcakes is tall, okay, that’s me, blond, nope, not me, and very self-conscious, ha, totally not me. Her partner in baked goods, Angie DeLaura, is short, nope, not me, Italian, sadly, not me, and has a wicked temper as is evidenced if you mess with the people she cares about, okay, there I am! And then there’s Tate Harper, their male counterpart. Tate is brilliant in business, laughably no, not me. He’s level-headed and reasonable, okay, sometimes I can pull that off with three days warning and lots of practice. And he’s a dude, nope, not me.

Moving on to the entourage of side characters in the cupcake bakery series, there’s octogenarian Marty, who is a cranky curmudgeon. I am working my way there in another forty years or so. Marty is my hero! And there’s Oz, a young Hispanic skater dude and wannabe chef. We do share a love of the Ramones, skateboards, and baked goods, so while Oz is not me, he clearly is my people.

Now, I’ll let you in on a little secret. The bad people and the victims in my books are usually loosely based on people I do not like. They may be the jerk who cheated on my friend, the woman who slept through the green arrow when I was in a hurry, the boss I did not enjoy working for back when I had a real job, or the news story that caught my attention about a reprehensible human who was cruel to an animal who I desperately want to slap until my arm gives out…ahem. So, that’s the birth place of the bad people.

And lastly, how do I come up with what my characters look like? Magazines. Mel and Angie in particular came off the cover of Prevention Magazine back when I was working as a librarian at the Scottsdale Hospital and cobbling together the very first proposal for Sprinkle with Murder. I was doing some reference work for a doctor on bone spurs and my mind wandered — it happens — and I started thinking about what those two cupcake bakers would look like when I glanced down at Prevention Magazine and there they were on the cover. Yes, sometimes it is just that easy.

So, that’s the long answer to the question of whether my characters are me. I guess I have to change my original answer. In a way, they are all me but they are also all of the people in my life, good and bad. The shenanigans my people get up to are frequently turned into something the characters in the books would do. And sometimes when I meet a particularly interesting person, I take their whole backstory and use it for a character or two or three. I believe the moral of this tale is be careful what you say and do around a writer because you just might find yourself in a book. Pro tip: You don’t want to be the dead guy.

And now, here’s a brief description of the next cupcake bakery mystery Caramel Crush so you see what the crazy crew is up to this time. Who knows? You may see someone you know it there!

When a breakup via cupcake threatens to crumble their friend’s life for good, Mel and Angie race to solve the murder as this New York Times bestselling series continues…

Love is in the air at Fairy Tale Cupcakes as bridezilla Angie prepares for her wedding, but co-owner, Mel, is preparing for a breakup. Her old friend, Diane Earnest, is dumping her fiancé after discovering he’s only marrying her for her money. She wants Mel to personally deliver a batch of caramel breakup cupcakes to the louse and give her a play-by-play of his reaction.

When Mel finally tracks the man down, the look on his face isn’t the reaction she was expecting: he’s dead. After the police arrive and see the incriminating cupcakes, Diane becomes their prime suspect. If she hopes to taste freedom again, Mel and Angie must make sure the real killer gets their just desserts…

Thanks for letting me visit! Happy Reading!

~Jenn

Thank you Jenn for visiting today.  Caramel Cupcakes for everyone!! Well virtual ones anyway! Enjoy!! 

 

Caramel Crush
(Cupcake Bakery Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
9th in Series
Setting – Arizona
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (April 4, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0399583810
Kindle ASIN: B01J2STXDU

 

 

When a breakup via cupcake threatens to crumble their friend’s life for good, Mel and Angie race to solve the murder as this New York Times bestselling series continues…
 
Love is in the air at Fairy Tale Cupcakes as Angie prepares for her wedding, but co-owner, Mel, is preparing for a breakup. Her old friend, Diane Earnest, is dumping her fiancé after discovering he’s only marrying her for her money. She wants Mel to personally deliver a batch of caramel breakup cupcakes to the louse and give her a play-by-play of his reaction.

When Mel finally tracks the man down, the look on his face isn’t the reaction she was expecting: he’s dead. After the police arrive and see the incriminating cupcakes, Diane becomes their prime suspect. If she hopes to taste freedom again, Mel and Angie must make sure the real killer gets their just desserts…

INCLUDES SCRUMPTIOUS RECIPES

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jenn McKinlay absolutely crushed this mystery! It just became my favorite in this series!

Angie is planning the “perfect” wedding and Mel, Tate, Marty and Oz are paying the price as she turns into a classic bridezilla, complete with breakdowns and blowups. Can they survive 3 more months? To add to the drama a college friend of Mel’s would like her to make a special cupcake delivery. Diane Earnest, has had enough of her fiancé and she is breaking up with him by sending him cupcakes and has asked Mel to use her phone to catch his reaction. Sadly his reaction time is pretty slow because when she finds him he is dead. Again, Mel is in the wrong place at the wrong time and becomes a suspect. She starts investigating to get herself out of this sticky situation all the while being the best maid of honor possible.

These characters always make me smile. The dialogue cracks me up because they all talk just the way I talk to my friends, sarcastic, blunt, zany, but always caring when they need to be. This is a group that would be fun to be part of. I love the different stages of romance. Angie and Tate, but mostly Angie, planning their wedding. “Dear Joe” and Mel’s relationship is moving in the right direction. Even Marty and Olivia trying to live together. There is never a dull moment.

Mel’s old roommate, Diane, is holding something from the past over Mel’s head, telling Mel she “owes her”. Diane is one pushy woman and because of the way Mel reacted to her constant requests I knew it had to be something major. Diane was that character that you really don’t like but she needs to be there to make the story work and push it forward. You know, the character you love to hate. She does help us learn about Mel’s past.

The story has a few very suspense filled moments but they are tempered with humor. I was laughing out loud numerous times. The pace was very quick and I think this was the fastest I have read a book in a long time. I was engaged and excited to see how it all played out.

Then in Jenn McKinlay style she wraps up one mystery and teases us with just enough for the next book to really whet our appetite. With a little taste (an excerpt) of what is to come and a title like Wedding Cake Crumble, I can only imagine what she has in store for these wonderful characters.  I know we will probably have to wait until next April to find out but I know it will be worth the wait!

Every book in this series is a must read.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out all about Jenn McKinlay and her books on her webpage here.

Cupcake Bakery Mysteries


Library Lover’s Mysteries

Check Out Her New Romance Series

Click on covers to order from Amazon.
Click here to see more books by Jenn McKinlay.

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Contest Will End May 3, 2017 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 072017
 

Assault and Beret (A Hat Shop Mystery)
by Jenn McKinlay
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
A Berkley Prime Mystery
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425279595
Kindle ASIN: B01E4WAFF4
Shop Indie Bookstores

Assault and Beret by Jenn McKinlay – London milliner Vivian Tremont and her American cousin and partner, Scarlett Parker, tip their caps to their beloved shop on Portobello Road in Notting Hill and set off for Paris, where Viv can’t wait to teach a hat-making class. But she has another reason to travel to the City of Light: to find the man she impulsively eloped with years ago and have their marriage annulled.

William Graham is not only handsome and charming, but he also has a glamorous job as an insurance investigator who works with priceless pieces of art, most recently a small Renoir that has been discovered in a junk shop. But when both Will and the masterpiece suddenly disappear, it’s up to the ladies from London to follow the trail of clues. They’ll need to hold on to their chapeaux, however, because someone is a master in the art of deception…

Find out all about Jenn McKinlay and her books on her webpage here.

Hat Shop Mysteries

Library Lover’s Mysteries

Cupcake Bakery Mysteries


GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away! 

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US 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.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End January 21, 2017 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


Nov 172016
 

special guest blue

 

It is always a fun day when Jenn drops by for a visit! 

jenn-mckinlay-3

Better Late Than Never by Jenn McKinlay
(Post provided by Publicist)

Twenty years ago, The Catcher in the Rye was checked out to Candice Whitley, a teacher, on the day she was murdered. When the book is returned to the Briar Creek Public Library during its fine amnesty day, librarian and amateur sleuth Lindsey Norris can’t help but think it might be a clue to the cold case that has haunted the small coastal town for decades. And so starts BETTER LATE THAN NEVER, the seventh title in my library lover’s mystery series.

Why The Catcher in the Rye? This has probably been the question I’ve been asked the most since I wrote the book. It’s a really good question. I wish I had a really good answer. But I don’t. Frankly, my relationship with the novel has been a love hate relationship over the years. I first read Salinger’s story about Holden Caulfield when I was in high school. Full disclosure, I hated it. I thought Holden was a whiner and his ceaseless complaining about everyone being a phony grated on my nerves. Of course, in high school, I was heavily into genre fiction (that has never changed) so I wasn’t really enjoying any of the literature I was reading. Faulkner gave me fits!

better-late-than-neverLike a bad penny, Catcher showed up again in my college years. I hated it less as I was feeling rather anti-establishment myself and Holden’s angst and confusion, as I dipped my toe into adulthood, made more sense to me. He seemed to be able to read people with a clear-eyed gaze and was frequently disappointed in them and their lack. By that time, I had met a few disappointments myself. We were not friends but I felt less animosity towards the book.

Then I began my library career. Reader’s advisory was my jam so I read anything and everything I could get my hands on. I was lucky enough to be the fiction selector for three years in my first library job in Cromwell, CT, so I read every issue of the New York Times Book Review, Publisher’s Weekly, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, etc., all in my quest for the best the fiction world had to offer. (Side note: some of these publications could be very harsh to authors and the fact that Publisher’s Weekly gave me a starred review for one of my first mysteries still makes me Snoopy dance). In addition to keeping up with the latest and greatest, I also encouraged my patrons to read the classics and as a librarian I became a big promoter of encouraging people to read banned books. Well, guess which book in the twentieth century is one of the most frequently challenged and banned? Yes, you got it – The Catcher in the Rye.

Why was it banned? Vulgar language, drinking, promiscuity, not fit for children, yada yada, the same old noise that is always made when something challenges preconceived notions of appropriateness. As I look at my own journey with the book, I realize it was not a novel I could appreciate as a teen but when I read it again before writing BETTER LATE THAN NEVER, I actually fell a little in love with the damaged Holden Caulfield. I had finally lived enough life, known pure joy and tremendous sorrow, to understand him and his desire to be “the catcher in the rye” the keeper of children’s innocence. So, that’s why I chose to use The Catcher in the Rye as the book that was checked out to the victim in BETTER LATE THAN NEVER.

Now the only question is, does the book help Lindsey solve the case of who murdered high school English teacher Candice Whitley?

Thanks for letting me visit!
Happy Reading,
Jenn

better-late-than-never

Better Late Than Never (A Library Lover’s Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Connecticut
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (November 1, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0399583735
E-Book ASIN: B01BK0SQ90
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

In the latest Library Lover’s Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of A Likely Story, a decades overdue book puts library director Lindsey Norris hot on the trail of a cold case…
 
When the Briar Creek Public Library holds its first overdue book amnesty day—no fines for late returns—the volume of incoming materials is more than Lindsey and her staff can handle. In a bind, Lindsey drafts the crafternoon ladies to help check in and sort the stacks of books.

But one tardy tome catches her attention—a copy of J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, twenty years past due. When Lindsey looks up the borrower, she’s shocked to discover it was a murdered teacher named Candice Whitley, whose killer was never found.

Candice checked out the novel on the day she was murdered. Now Lindsey wonders if it could provide a clue to the decades-old cold case. No one noticed who brought the book back in, but could it be Candice’s killer? Lindsey is determined to catch the culprit one way or another, because justice for Candice Whitley is long overdue…

INCLUDES READING GROUP RECOMMENDATIONS

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It’s a cold case this time for Lindsey as a book is returned to the library 20 years after it was checked out. Imagine the fine if it wasn’t Overdue Book Amnesty Day! I know they wouldn’t charge more than it cost to restock the book but think of all those days adding up, right around 7300. The creepy part comes when we learn that the book was checked out by a teacher that was murdered on the same day as she checked out the book. Who had the book? Why did they return it to the library? Lindsey just can’t let it go. She turns over the book to the police but like an awesome research librarian she starts investigating on her own. She wants justice for the victim but she may find herself checked out permanently.

This was a super mystery. Lindsey wasn’t in Briar Creek 20 years ago so she needed to reach out to people that were. The former police chief, the victim’s friends, students and even her boss, who is still principal at the school today. It meant digging into the archives for newspaper articles and year books. I really enjoyed this because I used to spend a lot of time in the old stacks and basement of our community library during high school and college. I loved the hunt and finding out about things long forgotten. I never had to search out a killer but some of the old history did include a few mysteries, some still unsolved 🙂

Due to the little cliffhanger at the end of A Likely Story this installment had a little more romance than previous books in the series. Jenn and Sully are finally realizing what we readers and the people of Briar Creek have know for awhile. Robbie is not handling it well but with him working as Watson to Lindsey’s Sherlock he is starting to see it too. This reader was thrilled with this development.

The author blends the romance with the mystery with a very even hand. One does not overshadow the other. The characters have evolved naturally and the mystery was perfectly suited to what needed to happen in the character’s lives.

I laughed when I saw The Catcher in the Rye was the book the teacher had checked out. I hated that book when we forced to read it in high school. I have been told by many I need to reread it now as an adult but I have made it this far in my life without it so it is not one of those books screaming from my TO-BE-READ shelf.

Have you heard of OMC Syndrome? Jenn McKinley mentions it in this book. It stands for One More Chapter. I had it with this book, one more, then one more, that continued until I reached the end of the book at just before 2 a.m. Yes, I had a book hangover the next day but it was well worth it for this fabulous story. That makes it a Paradise Escape!

paradise 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out all about Jenn McKinlay and her books on her webpage here.

Library Lover’s Mysteries

Cupcake Bakery Mysteries


Hat Shop Mysteries

GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the publisher I have 2 hardcover 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 Jenn and earn 5 Bonus Giveaway Entries!

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End December 1, 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.”

Oct 282016
 

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.

This book has been on my shelf waiting all year.
In fact the paperback edition comes out next week.

a-likely-story

A Likely Story (A Library Lover’s Mystery)
6th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Connecticut
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (November 3, 2015)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425260746
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages – (November 1, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-1101986837
E-Book ASIN: B00SI026IS
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

 

NOT HIS BROTHER’S KEEPER

Delivering books to the housebound residents of the Thumb Islands, just a short boat ride from the town of Briar Creek, library director Lindsey Norris has befriended two elderly brothers, Stewart and Peter Rosen. She enjoys visiting them in their treasure-filled, ramshackle Victorian on Star Island until she discovers that Peter has been killed and Stewart is missing. Now she’s determined to solve a murder and find Stewart before he suffers his brother’s fate.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

An excellent story.

This time Jenn McKinlay takes us to a little island off the coast to meet 2 elderly brothers, one like me spends his days in a wheelchair. Sully takes Lindsey there in his water taxi to deliver books. Stewart, the older brother, always meets them on the dock. She has never ventured beyond there to the house until now. She and Sully approach the old house carefully because they have been warned the place is booby-trapped to keep away unwanted visitors. They immediately know something is wrong when they reach the porch and Stewart has still not appeared. What they find into addition to the traps deterring their entrance is a house full of everything you can think of, the brothers are major hoarders. They make their way through the small open paths to find Peter, the younger brother dead. Stewart is nowhere to be found. They call the police but Lindsey knows she needs to find Stewart and find the killer.

This was a bendy twisty mystery that could have gone several ways and included more suspects than I at first imagined. It was very well plotted and written and kept this reader very engaged.

In addition to the mystery we have the love triangle of Lindsey, Sully and Robbie. I was feeling this was going the way I wanted and would be wrapping up, but then, on the last page of the story, just one word through a monkey wrench into the saga which will now continue on.

I did enjoy children’s librarian Beth stepping beyond her comfort zone and meeting someone new. I also enjoyed Ms. Cole’s relationship with town historian Milton Duffy as well. It had a few tense moments. Stewart Rosen is also a very interesting character. His family, one of the first in the area, gave some history to the story. Of course, the crafternooners were back sticking their noses into everything.

Jenn McKinlay is an expert of blending a suspenseful mystery with the proper amounts of humor and romance. She always leaves us wanting more, ready to jump into the next Library Lover’s Mystery. She didn’t make us wait long this time as there is a short story, A Unlikely Meeting, at the end of this book. No, the romantic cliffhanger was not addressed but she does introduce us to a new Briar Creek resident and the lovable Heathcliff plays a major role.

Because I was late reading this installment, my wait to read the next is quite short.  Better Late Than Never comes out November 1! 

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Find out all about Jenn McKinlay and her books on her webpage here.

Library Lover’s Mysteries

Cupcake Bakery Mysteries


Hat Shop Mysteries

GIVEAWAY
I am giving away my hardcover review copy and
the publisher is giving away 1 paperback 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.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End November 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.”

Apr 192016
 

vanilla beaned
Vanilla Beaned (Cupcake Bakery Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Settings – Series Originates in Arizona but this installment travels to Nevda
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (April 5, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Cover Illustration by Jeff Fitz-Maurice
Cover Design by Leslie Worrell
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425258941
E-Book ASIN: B011IVP96E
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

 

 
Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura are taking a gamble by opening their first franchise of the Fairy Tale Cupcakes Bakery, so where better to hit the jackpot than in Vegas? Business manager Tate Harper has lined up a meeting with Holly Hartzmark, a former showgirl who’s looking to bring Mel and Angie’s sweet treats to Sin City, but Mel isn’t so sure she’s ready to hand her recipes over to a complete stranger—especially one as brash as Holly.

But after the potential bakery location gets blown up, Mel begins seeing another side to Holly—one that reminds her very much of herself. Determined to help a kindred spirit, Mel sets out to discover who is trying to keep the bakery from cashing in. But with a murderous mischief maker on the loose, the odds are stacking up against a happy ending for Mel and her friends…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Fairy Tale Bakery is expanding! opening a franchise store is Las Vegas! Tate and Angie are ready to gamble on showgirl Holly Hartzmark, to be their first franchisee but Mel still isn’t ready to throw the dice just yet. The threesome travel to Vegas to meet with Holly and their visit just happens to coincide with an Elvis Presley impersonator convention. Mel tries to give Holly the brushoff but agrees to at least scout out the proposed location for the shop. When the store gets blown up in front of their eyes and leaves a lawyer dead Mel finds that Holly is very much like herself. She also realizes the showgirl may be in danger. The Fairy Tale bakers need to band together before everything is “All Shook Up” and one of them has their fairy tail come to an end.

These are some of the best characters in the cozy genre. Over the years we have watched them grow and evolve in so many ways. Tate and Angie are now engaged and no, they are not eloping in Las Vegas, her family would be heartbroken. Mel and Joe are still on the outs and she and Manny still have that flirty thing going on. Manny, Marty and Oz all show up in Vegas when they think Mel may be the real target due to case Joe has been working on. But Holly has a stalker so she could be the target too.

The setting of this story was very interesting. I have never been to Las Vegas but hope to someday. I am sure I couldn’t afford the rooms that Tate provided but it sure would be fun. One place we were taken was behind the scenes at a Las Vegas show. The whole set up is very unique and not the best or easiest place to catch a killer.

Jenn McKinlay has written a wonderful mystery with twists and turns liberally sprinkled through the entire book. She keeps us readers on our toes and we nibble our way through the clues. I started to catch on just a little before the characters but there was so much happening I never slowed down. I was so excited coming into the last pages and McKinlay twisted things again.  I can’t wait for the next book in this series.

I always recommend reading the books in a series in order but this one would read very well as a stand alone too. I bet you will go back to read them all. Even in Vegas that bet would have great odds.

Don’t forget all the cupcake recipes. Of course there is a Vanilla Bean cupcake recipe but there are also recipes for Snickerdoodle cupcakes, an Elvis cupcake, and Cherry Cola cupcakes. Bake up a batch of your favorites and escape right into this tasty mystery.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out all about Jenn McKinlay and her books on her webpage here.

Cupcake Bakery Mysteries


Library Lover’s Mysteries

Click on covers to order from Amazon.
Click here to see more books by Jenn McKinlay.

GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the publisher 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.

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

Contest Will End May 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.”

Apr 162015
 

dark chocolate demiseDark Chocolate Demise
(Cupcake Bakery Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Arizona
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (April 7, 2015)
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425258934
E-Book ASIN: B00LMGK69G
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

The New York Times bestselling Cupcake Bakery Mysteries bake up sweet surprises, but as the series continues, Mel and Angie are in for a fresh batch of trouble…

Scottsdale, Arizona, may not be the liveliest place on earth, but it’s never been as dead as this. Hundreds of fans have gathered together for the first annual Old Town Zombie Walk, and Mel, Angie, and the Fairy Tale Cupcake crew are donning their best undead attire to sell some horror-themed desserts to the hungry hordes.

But the fun turns to fright when Mel finds a real dead body in a prop casket outside of the bakery’s truck—and the corpse looks alarmingly like a zombie of their own. Knowing that Joe, Angie’s brother and Mel’s former flame, has been working on a dangerous mob case, Mel worries that the murder is a hit gone wrong and that someone near and dear was the real target. To keep any of her friends from winding up six feet under, Mel will do whatever it takes to find a killer—no matter how scary things get…

INCLUDES RECIPES

Dollycas’s Thoughts

If you have read my reviews you know zombies are not my thing but A Zombie Walk with Mel, Angie, Tate, Oz and Marty, I will be there in New York Minute. These characters are a blast and wherever they go you know there is going to be CUPCAKES!! and probably a murder, but CUPCAKES!! How can you not want to go along on their wild ride?

Joe is working a big case and for the moment he and Mel are on the outs, but that is just because he wants to keep her safe. The gang from Fairy Tale Cupcakes tries to keep her mind off him by trying to sell cupcakes at the First Annual Zombie Walk. They are even all dressed up as undead and have added a casket to their display for some unique selfie pics. All is going well until someone very much dead is found in the casket and their death may be connected to Joe’s big case. Everyone thinks the murder may have been a mob hit and someone very, very, close to Joe was the real target.  All the DeLaura brothers go on high alert to keep Mel and Angie safe but Mel is determined to dig up the clues needed to catch the killer before anyone else ends up in a casket buried six feet under.

Jenn McKinlay has baked us up a scrumptious mystery that I had me from the first page until the last. First she scared the frosting right out me when the body was discovered and I wasn’t the only one. This one hits a little too close for comfort and several characters are deeply affected. We learn cupcakes and movie quotes don’t lighten anyone’s mood this time or at least not too much. This case needed to be solved as fast as possible.

Don’t get me wrong though there was plenty of humor and romantic tension. Even Manny, the hunky detective, caused some fun moments that had Mel feeling the heat. 🙂

I was surprised by how fast I read this book. My reading speed has been too fast the last few weeks but before I knew it I was at the end. The story is excellent and I was sad to see it wrap up because then I realized I have to wait a year to get to the next chapter and cure my cupcake craving with the Mel and Angie.

This series makes the bestseller’s list for several reasons. These are fabulous stories with fabulous characters and readers have a fabulous time reading them. I encourage you to take a huge bite out of Dark Chocolate Demise. You will thank me and definitely want more!!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Jenn McKinlay and her books on her webpage here.

GIVEAWAY

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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 April 30, 2015 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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

Nov 262014
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

My guest today is Jenn McKinlay! and she is celebrating!!

jenn mckinlay2

Nov 4th is a very special day for me. Yes, it’s election day, but no I’m not running for office, rather I am celebrating the publication of my twentieth mystery On Borrowed Time. When I began this journey I had no idea that I had twenty novels inside me, in fact, I was surprised I even had one!

My first mystery came out in 2009. It was the first mystery in a short lived series that I wrote under the name Lucy Lawrence. I loved that series set in a paper store in Massachusetts, not only because it was my first but also because I learned so much about writing a series during its creation. Because that series didn’t last, I was convinced my writing career was doomed. I began pitching more and more ideas until I had three series under my own name Jenn McKinlay; the Library Lover’s Series, the Cupcake Mystery Series, and the London Hat Shop Mystery Series. You’d think that would be enough, but no. I also took on another series under the name Josie Belle about a group of bargain hunters, Good Buy Girls Mystery Series.

When people see the amount of books I write, about four a year, they often ask me how. I wish there was a simple answer but writing is such a unique experience that one size most definitely does not fit all. I have author friends who tell me that every single word is excruciating. I know others who tell me they have to think about the book for months before they can write a word. And then there are the crazy ones who write three books at the same time and never get mixed up. Incredible, I know.

on borrowed timeFor me, writing is a lot like falling down a rabbit hole. I don’t think about it too much, in fact, it’s sort of an out of body experience where the story is unfolding in front of me and I am just dutifully taking down notes. Frequently, when I go back over the book before turning it in, I literally have no recall of writing a particular scene or conversation, which is a little unnerving. Then again, I fall asleep at the computer so often it could be that I’ve trained myself to write in my sleep and just don’t know it.

In any case, the one thing that I have learned is that for me the cupboard never seems to be bare. It’s actually the opposite. The more I write the more ideas I get and the more stories I want to tell. Not all of them are worthy. Sometimes it’s just a snippet that goes nowhere, like a puff of smoke when a candle is blown out, but other times the idea sinks its fangs so deeply into me I know I won’t shake it loose until I write it. On Borrowed Time was like that, and I got absolutely no peace until the book was done.

Here’s a brief description of the twentieth book to give you an idea of the story that demanded to be told:
Holiday cheer fills the air in the town of Briar Creek, making even the grumpiest public servant almost chipper. Things take a somber turn; however, when Lindsey finds her brother Jack hiding in one of the library’s meeting rooms. He tells her that he’s on the run from someone who wants to kill him and that he’ll explain later. When later comes, Lindsey opens the door to the meeting room to find her brother missing, leaving a dead body in his place. Now Lindsey is in on borrowed time, trying to find her brother before the police or the killer do.

I hope you enjoy reading On Borrowed Time as much as I enjoyed writing it. Here’s to twenty more mysteries or more! For more information about me or my books, you can go to my website. Find me on Facebook and Twitter.  Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter.

Happy reading!
Jenn

on borrowed timeOn Borrowed Time
(A Library Lover’s Mystery)

5th in Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Julia Green
Cover Design by Rita Frangie
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425260739
E-Book File Size: 2372 KB
ASIN: B00JJXTOUG
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

Loving a good cup of coffee runs in the family for Briar Creek library director Lindsey Norris. But when her brother, Jack, a consultant for a coffee company, goes missing, her favorite beverage becomes a key clue in a dangerous mystery.

Between preparing the library for the holidays and juggling the affections of ex-boyfriend, Captain Mike Sullivan, and her new crush, actor Robbie Vine, Lindsey has her hands full. But the mysterious disappearance of her world-traveling playboy brother takes precedence over all.

Afraid that involving the police could brew trouble for Jack, Lindsey takes matters into her own hands. But as her quest for her brother embroils her in a strange case involving South American business dealings and an enigmatic and exotic woman, it’ll take the help of both her library book club—the crafternooners—and her eager-to-please suitors to keep Jack from ending up in hot water…

INCLUDES READING GROUP RECOMMENDATIONS

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Lindsey’s brother comes to town and he seems to be living “on borrowed time”! One minute he is there in the library crafternoon room resting after his long trip and when Lindsey goes back to check on him, he gone, but there is a dead body in his place. Hang on tight because the next 260 pages are packed with action as Lindsey tries to find her brother and figure out just what kind of trouble he has gotten himself into. The crafternooners and Lindsey’s love interests are more than happy to help her but they also need to keep Lindsay safe. They know her reputation to leap before she looks.

I love this series. The characters are real and fun. I think I would fit right in with the Crafternoon Book Group. Ms.Cole (Lemon) reminds me of a few librarians I have known personally. It is nice to see her softening just a little bit. She still tries to keep Lindseay minding her p’s  and q’s. I do like both Sully and Robbie and this tug of war in Lindsey’s love life but we learn more about Sully in this story and I think it is time for Lindsey to make up her mind. The way these guys try to to one up each other though is pretty funny.

This story was a very fast read because there was so much action. There was a boat chase that kept me turning those pages as fast as I could. There were some curlicue twists and some sharp turns to keep us readers fully engaged and even enraged at one point when our protagonist gets just a little too close to being hurt.

Jenn McKinlay is a fantastic storyteller. I anxiously await each and every book in this series. Every one surpasses the last. It is wonderful to see each character grow in each new adventure. The Briar Creek Library is just where the fun begins. From there who knows where Lindsey and and her friends will take us. All I know is I can’t wait to find out!

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 Jenn 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 December 10, 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.”

Apr 222014
 

sugar and icedSugar and Iced
(Cupcake Bakery Mystery)

6th Book in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (April 1, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Jeff Fitz-Maurice
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425258927
E-Book File Size: 1991 KB
ASIN: B00F9F0UV0
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

Sugar and spice and murderous vice.
That’s what pageants are made of…

Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura are back in this sixth cupcake mystery and their cupcakes are donning tiaras! As a favor to her mom Mel agrees to provide cupcakes for the seventy-fifth annual Sweet Tiara Beauty Pageant.  It is great publicity for Fairy Tale Cupcakes and when their young friend Lupe decides to enter the pageant Mel’s mother is smiling ear to ear. She takes Lupe under her wing to help her prepare for the competition.

Not everyone is thrilled with this new face on the pageant circuit. One high strung judge scores her very low on the  first day. When that judge ends up dead, fingers are quickly pointed at Lupe as the prime suspect. The whole Fairy Tale Cupcake crew comes together to prove her innocence so she can continue in the competition and not end up behind bars before she gets to strut her stuff.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jenn McKinlay has whipped up another great story with SPRINKLES on top!!!!

I love this series and I love these characters!!

Mel and Angie are best friends, as close as sisters and may actually be related in the not too distant future, unless something goes terribly wrong.  She now has three man in her “man club”  Joe is #1, Manny is #2 and Steve is #3 and each man knows and understands their rating but that doesn’t stop them from trying to win her over to their side. They all also try to keep her out of trouble.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Tate is also part of team that makes up Fairy Tale Cupcakes and he is very interested in another part of the team, he just needs to get out of his funk and do something about it.

Oz and Marty round out the crew and are a different as night and day but they part of the reason this series is so great. They really add the humor!!! We get to know Lupe, Oz’s skateboarding friend, and Oz finally sees her as a girl instead of just his buddy. I absolutely loved it!!!!

I was in a pageant eons ago, first runner-up, thank you very much, and the girls and their mothers could be a bit catty but killing a judge, oh my!! What a splendid idea for a mystery! There are plenty of suspects with means, motive and opportunity.

The only thing I didn’t like about this book was that it left us hanging about a very important person and I have to wait until the next book comes out to find out more. Next year? That is just too long!! 🙂

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thankfully Jenn has other series for us to read while we wait for the next Cupcake Bakery Mystery!!

Check out her webpage here too!!

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

Aug 272013
 

clothe and dagger august
Cloche and Dagger
(A Hat Shop Mystery)

Brand New Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group August 6, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Robert Steele
Cover Design by Diana Kolsky
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425258897
E-Book File Size: 679 KB
ASIN: B009RYS39A
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

Not only is Scarlett Parker’s love life in the loo—as her British cousin Vivian Tremont would say—it’s also gone viral with an embarrassing video.

Scarlett agrees with Viv that it is time to get out of Florida for awhile so she jets across the pond to visit her cousin and check in on the business they share.  Mims’s Whims was left to them by their grandmother. Viv has the perfect touch of creating outstanding and outlandish hats just like her grandmother, Scarlett is a novice when it come to creating any type of chapeau.  So when Scarlett arrives in London only to find her cousin not in residence she is like a fish out of water.

Harrison Wentworth is the business manager for the hat shop and is used to Viv taking off on whims of her own. But when one of Viv’s hoity-toity clients ends up dead people including Scarlett and the coppers start to wonder if she is really off on a buying trip or in hiding.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jenn McKinlay has done it again!!! Scarlett is a fantastic character! I absolutely love her. She spent most of the book worried about her missing cousin and I did too.

With all these viral videos hitting the internet lately, and I know a couple from one of the latest personally, Scarlett’s story is current and believable and hilarious!! I didn’t need to see it with my eyes this author made me see it in my mind perfectly.

It was fun to follow the murder mystery too along with a couple other unusual happenings. No spoilers here!!

Jenn has laid the foundation for another wonderful series. Harrison has captivated me with his stories of infatuation for Scarlett when they were young and she still holds a place in his heart. After recent events she is not ready to see that yet. Viv was missing for most of the story but these three together along with Fiona “Fee”, Andre and Nick are going to take us on some wild rides. Death of a Mad Hatter can’t be released soon enough for me!! I wonder what part Ferd the Bird will play in that one.

a perfect escape
5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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.”

The Detecting Duchess (Victorian Bookshop Mystery) by Kate ParkerBuy Now
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