May 192017
 


On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.


Murder Gone A-Rye (A Baker’s Treat Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Kansas
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Published by The Penguin Group
Release Date – May 6, 2014
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425252444
Kindle – ASIN: B00FX7R8O6

 

 

Toni Holmes is the best gluten-free baker in Oiltop, Kansas—okay, she’s the only one—but when her grandmother becomes a murder suspect, she’s more concerned with keeping Grandma free…

When Toni’s beloved—and eccentric—grandma Ruth is arrested for the murder of her archenemy, Lois Striker, it’s time for a senior moment of truth. Telltale tracks from a scooter like the one Grandma Ruth rides lead the police to suspect the outspoken oldster, but Toni knows her grandmother wouldn’t burn a cookie, let alone extinguish a life.

In fact, the case has Grandma more revved up than her infamous scooter. A former investigative journalist, she decides to solve the murder herself—with help from Toni—by digging up long-buried town secrets. But as Grandma scoots in where others fear to tread, Toni needs to make sure she not only stays out of jail but out of harm’s way…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Another delightful treat from this author.

Toni Holmes bakes up gluten free tarts, scones, breads and other goodies when she isn’t trying to keep her grandma Ruth out of trouble. I envy Ruth’s scooter myself but she can cause a commotion. Apparently the local police have given her several tickets but that doesn’t seem to slow her down. When the police find her archenemy, Lois Striker, dead in the park surrounded by tracks made by a scooter Ruth finds herself in a bunch of hot water. Her scooter is confiscated as evidence and Toni may not be able to keep her out of jail. Ruth used to be an investigative reporter so she thinks with Toni’s assistance they should be able to solve the case themselves. Needless to say their plans go very A-Rye!

It has been awhile since my last literary trip to Oiltop, Kansas but within a few pages these characters snapped right back in my memory. Again, Grandma Ruth was my favorite character. She is pushy, opinionated, “smart as a whip, but deaf in one ear”. Local Police Chief Hank Blaylock is not a big fan. Tori runs interference as best as she can.  Ruth’s antics will have you shaking your head and laughing out loud. We also meet Aunt Phyllis who brings her own hilarity to the story. Tori has sworn off dating but she still has not one but two men vying for her affection. They are all terrific characters.

It is Thanksgiving to the rest of the country but in Oiltop it is Homer Everett Day. There is a parade and a carnival to honor the local war hero and pro football player. He was also Mayor of the town back in the 50’s. There are also a couple of mysteries in his past and that may be what got Lois Striker killed. Toni just needs to look back in time for suspects other than her grandmother.

This was a twisty turvy plot that diverted us and Toni is several different direction and it put a target on Tori and Ruth’s backs. It also led them to break a few laws themselves. We do spend plenty of time in the bakery too as Tori had to bake a boatload of pies for her customer’s Thanksgiving dinners.

This was a super fun whodunit that had be grinning ear to ear through most of it. Whether or not you need your treats gluten free, you will love this story.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Nancy J. Parra/Nancy Coco and her books on her webpage here

Written as Nancy Coco

I am giving away my 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.

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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 252014
 

scent of rainThe Scent of Rain and Lightning: A Novel
Published by Ballantine Books (May 4, 2010)
Mystery
Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0345471024
E-Book File Size: 1531 KB
ASIN: B0036S4AC2
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

One beautiful summer afternoon, Jody Linder receives shocking news: The man convicted of murdering her father is being released from prison and returning to the small town of Rose, Kansas. It has been twenty-three years since that stormy night when her father was shot and killed and her mother disappeared, presumed dead. Neither the protective embrace of Jody’s three uncles nor the safe haven of her grandparents’ ranch could erase the pain caused by Billy Crosby on that catastrophic night.

Now Billy Crosby is free, thanks to the efforts of his son, Collin, a lawyer who has spent most of his life trying to prove his father’s innocence. Despite their long history of carefully avoiding each other in such an insular community, Jody and Collin find that they share an exclusive sense of loss.

As Jody revisits old wounds, startling truths emerge about her family’s tragic past. But even through struggle and hardship, she still dares to hope for a better future—and maybe even love.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The What’s In A Name Challenge enabled me to cast the review books aside and grab this book off my huge To-Be-Read shelves.

Nancy Pickard takes us to Rose, Kansas where a man’s conviction of murder has been overturned and he is returning back to the scene of the crime. That shakes up the whole town but especially the family of the man who was killed and whose daughter-in-law is still missing. Their daughter Jody takes us through her story and finds things may take her down a very unexpected path.

Colin Crosby, the son of the man convicted of murder had a very interesting story as well. His father treated him terribly but he still grew up and became a lawyer and he was the one that was able to get the man’s conviction set aside.

Pickard has woven a story that could have taken place anywhere but she makes Rose, Kansas come alive and draws the reader right in. The vibrant characters jump off the page, but the story evolves slowly unveiling the mystery and the truth.  The family is very close, brought closer by tragedy.  She explores family relationships and the secrets and lies that can either draw a family together or rip it apart.

I was so impressed with the easy flow. There were surprises and twists but I would not call this a thriller as other reviewers have. It has a totally different kind of feeling. In addition to the mystery there is also an underlying love story that added another element to an already fabulous story.

I am truly sorry it took me so long to read this story. It was getting great reviews when it first came out that made me buy the book and while a few years have passed it is still getting those great reviews. If like me you missed this story when it first came out it is one that shouldn’t be missed. Add to your reading schedule as soon as you can.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 Find out more about Nancy Pickard and her books on her webpage here.

*This book was from my personal collection.

Sep 202013
 

covet
Covet
Dutton (September 17, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Women’s Fiction
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0525954071
E-Book File Size: 581 KB
ASIN: B00A6WOSSC
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

What if the life you wanted, and the woman you fell in love with, belonged to someone else?

Chris Canton has been unemployed for a year and his wife Claire is bringing in what income she can with her freelance Graphic Arts business. Chris is becoming more and more withdrawn and Claire feels them growing further and further apart. When he is finally offered a job that will have him traveling most of every week Claire thinks this will help their finances but may be the end of their marriage. She has never felt so alone.

Daniel Rush, a local police officer, pulls Claire over for a routine traffic stop and he feels immediately drawn to her. When they meet again at the 4th of July parade he tells her about a design job for the police department. They soon end up spending a lot of time together. They know they can be no more than friends but they love being together. They soon find they may be crossing the line Claire promised to never cross.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

That sticky question: Can a man and a woman just be platonic friends? I believe they can but there are times and situations that have you walking pretty close to the fire. I have to stay at times I wanted Claire and Daniel to be together and others when I wanted her to fight for her marriage as hard as she could. 

The author handled the whole situation masterfully and she kept this reader totally captivated from page one until the final word. I learned after reading On The Island to expect wonderful stories from Tracey Garvis Graves.

Told from several points of view the reader is pulled right into the story. You feel like you are walking in each characters shoes and see things so clearly. Friendships can grow in many different ways depending on those involved and the author could have taken these 3 characters in a very different or several different directions. It’s all about choices. I bet everyone who reads this story knows people that may have made the opposite and even the same choices. 

I have to say Daniel was an exceptional man. Any woman would be blessed to have a man like him in their lives, platonically or romantically. 

An emotionally honest story. I really enjoyed it!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author
Tracey Garvis-Graves is the author of On the Island and Covet. She lives in a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa with her husband, two children, and hyper dog Chloe. She blogs at www.traceygarvisgraves.com using colorful language and a snarky sense of humor to write about pop culture, silly television shows, and her suburban neighborhood.

Find out more on her website: 

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.”

May 292013
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

It is my pleasure today to welcome Nancy to Escape With Dollycas.
Her new Baker’s Treat Mystery Series is off to a wonderful start with
Gluten for Punishment.

SONY DSC
Six Things I Learned Writing a Cozy Mystery
by Nancy J Parra

6) You can always find someone to taste test a new recipe.

gf fun 007
5) My big, fat, crazy family finally has a useful purpose in that I have a
wealth of characters to choose from when coming up with crazy, cozy characters
.

family
4) All my years of 4H demonstrations and notebooks can be put to good use
when coming up with original recipes for my books.

kansas4h_1336421248_600
3) Cozy writers are welcoming, “real” people who see the world slightly tilted.
(Finally I have found my clan.)

2012-10-06 16.45.42

2) Cozy bloggers will hunt you down and ask you to write a blog
even when you’re on deadline and haven’t
had time to set up your own cozy blog tour.
(Thank you! Lori/Dollycas)

crazy cozy blogger

1) Cozy readers are brilliant, take no guff, puzzle-solvers with baking,
crafting, and hobby skills to die for, who encourage you to tell them a good story
and by gum you’d better have fun doing it.

~And learning this makes me smile and want to write more cozies.

Gluten for Punishment cvr

~Nancy

About This Author
Nancy J. Parra’s discovered she had a severe gluten allergy and had to give up her second favorite passed-time, baking. Six months into her forced new diet, she was back in the kitchen figuring out how to make her own gluten-free baked goods and soon posted delicious pictures on the web. When a good friend suggested she mix her two loves-baking and writing, she wrote her first cozy mystery, Gluten for Punishment (A Baker’s Treat Mystery), Berkley Prime Crime May 7, 2013.

On a happy roll, she soon sold a Mackinac Island Fudge Shop mystery series. All Fudged Up will be out in 2013.

With an MA in Writing Popular Fiction, Ms. Parra has written articles on writing, and has given workshops on writing techniques to various library and writers groups.

Visit her website at www.nancyjparra.com for more information, a list of her books and full reviews.

She can also be found on:
25 (2)badge1twitter

gluten for punishment may 2013

Gluten for Punishment
(A Baker’s Treat Mystery)

Brand New Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (May 7, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Patricia Castelao
Cover Design by Rita Frangie
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425252109
E-Book File Size: 1099 KB
ASIN: B009KUXAPI

With her mother’s death, Toni Ryder returns home to OilTop, Kansas bringing her gluten-free bakery business with her. But Toni has never felt at home in her hometown and cooking wheat-free in the middle of wheat country isn’t making her any less a fish out of water. When Toni becomes a suspect in OilTop’s first homicide investigation in twenty years, she must count on her crazy family and follow the clues to solve the mystery and clear her name.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A Fine Debut!

Parra has created a very interesting protagonist in Toni. Her gluten free bakery in the heartland adds drama and also informs about an allergy that has come to the forefront in recent years. Celiac Disease (those who are sensitive to gluten) is said to affect 1% of the U.S. Population. Her mystery shines the light in a fun and entertaining way with recipes too!

She also introduces some great supporting characters. Chain smoker Grandma Ruth was my favorite. She really has Toni’s best interests at heart and she constantly butts her way into every situation.  Toni’s friend and taste tester Tasha tries to keep Toni calm but she has someone new in her life that is making her a bit crazy. Toni also has not 1 but 2 men who would like to be more than just friends. 

The author makes the story current and real by blending in true life issues like farms changing how they do business today and the dangers of foreclosures in the rough economic times.  Her plot is believable and has plenty of twists to keep those pages turning.

OilTop seems like a great place full of quirky people. Perfect for a cozy mystery series. I look forward to returning again soon!

just you and a friend

4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Would you like to win a copy of this wonderful book?

Thanks to the people at Penguin
I have 2 copies to giveaway!!

U.S. and CANADIAN RESIDENTS
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 Nancy 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 June 12, 2013 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

For More Information About Celiac Disease Check Out The Celiac Foundation here.

I have heard much about it lately on the television program The View. Co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck has the disease and has written The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide.

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.”

Gluten for Punishment cvrreadalattechallenge_zps01d248d02013where are you reading

Mar 022012
 

Bent Road: A Novel
Plume
Published by The Penguin Group
Set in 1967. The Detroit riots push Arthur Scott to move his family back to his hometown in Kansas. He has not lived there for more than 20 years. His wife, Celia, knows he has secrets. Secrets that have burdened him for years. She fears moving back will be too much for her family. Celia knows his sister Eve died all those years ago but doesn’t know the details. She acquiesces to her husband’s wishes and packs up her family to return to Bent Road.

Life there is difficult, a local girl disappears and many believe that the same man took her that killed Arthur’s sister all those years ago. The man who is now married to his other sister Ruth is suspected of both crimes. Arthur’s daughter Evie looks remarkably like her deceased aunt and becomes fascinated by the clothes left behind in her aunt’s closet. Their son is unsure where he fits within the family. Arthur’s mother wants the past to stay in the past. Celia is just getting to know her in-laws and doing her best to keep her family together and safe. Life on Bent Road is just as unsettling as she suspected.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
I know why the was nominated for an Edgar Award. It is a fascinating debut and not your typical mystery. It is really a story of family relationships and struggles during a critical time in American history with mystery and suspense woven throughout the story. The characters are captivating and genuine. The family itself is very dysfunctional but so is the entire community. The drama is very real and intense in places, laid back in others. The story ebbs and flows at a comfortable pace, but on the whole is very dark. The author has a gift of drawing you in to the murky waters of this Kansas town. This book was not what I had expected at first but I am very glad I took the journey down Bent Road.


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.”

Spiced and Iced (A Callie's Kitchen Cozy Mystery) by Jenny Kales - Perfect for Christmas!Get Your Copy Today!
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