Oct 062017
 

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.
I am determined to get caught up on this series!


Wicked Witch Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
16th in Series
Setting – Maine
Release Date – September 1, 2010
Kensington
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0758229298
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0758229304
Kindle ASIN: B00DZURKWI

 

When the bewitching Diana Ravenscroft comes to quiet Tinker’s Cove and opens Solstice, a quaint little shop offering everything from jewelry to psychic readings, Lucy Stone writes her off as eccentric but harmless. Even after Diana gives her a disturbingly accurate reading, Lucy can’t help but befriend the newcomer. But not everyone in town is so enchanted. And when Lucy stumbles upon a dead body near her home, she can’t shake the feeling that something sinister is lurking in the crisp October air. . .

Convinced Diana is an evil witch, prominent businessman Ike Stoughton blames her for a series of recent misfortunes, including Lucy’s gruesome discovery and his own wife’s death, and rallies the townsfolk against her. But after Lucy learns the murder victim was a magician and close friend of Diana’s, she starts to wonder who’s really stirring up a cauldron of trouble. By Halloween, her suspicions lead her to a deadly web of secrets–and a spine-chilling brush with the things that go bump in the night. . .

Dollycas’s  Thoughts 

There’s a witch or two or maybe more in Tinker’s Cove. Diana Ravenscroft has opened a unique shop, Solstice, and it is not getting rave reviews from many in town. The most vocal is Ike Stoughton. He thinks Diana has cursed his family and his home. When Lucy finds a dead body she finds herself both leery of Diana but willing to accept a little protection from her. Things start to escalate the closer we get to Halloween and Lucy finds herself in a deadly situation.

Leslie Stone mixes murder and magic in a bewitching mystery. The book does span several months so we can learn about Diana and her coven and the way the town reacts to the new element in the midst. Ike Stoughton also moves to town and becomes Lucy’s neighbor. Something eerie is going on at that house and with his family and Lucy treads lightly at first but grows more concerned as the story continues.

The new characters in this installment are intriguing, different, and some just plain scary. Partnered with the series regulars an entertaining story emerges. Lucy has more courage than I will ever have.  Using her part time job at the Pennysaver she interviews all the people connected to the case. Diana Ravenscroft also tries to teach her about Wicca, although she is skeptical her daughters are interested so she needs to know as much as she can.

A lot happens within these pages including a huge storm. There are several twists that turn the story in so many directions. At times is felt just a little disjointed. I think that was because the story took place over so many months.

Be sure to check out the recipes in the back of the book perfect for this Halloween.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out all about Leslie Meier and her books on her webpage here.


I am giving away my hardcover 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 October 20, 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

*Book was from my private collection.

Oct 062017
 

Turkey Trot Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
24th in Series
Setting – Maine
Kensington (September 26, 2017)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496710307
Kindle ASIN: B01MR1SWE5

It’s late autumn in Tinker’s Cove, Maine, and the last surviving flowers on Lucy Stone’s porch have fallen victim to the first frost of the season. But as the part-time reporter learns, this cold November morning will claim more than potted plants . . .

Besides the annual Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving Day, Lucy expects the approaching holiday to be a relatively uneventful one—until she finds beautiful Alison Franklin dead and frozen in Blueberry Pond. No one knows much about Alison, except that she was the daughter of wealthy investor Ed Franklin and struggled quietly with drug addiction. Police blame her death on an accidental overdose, but Lucy can’t understand what terrible forces could lead a privileged woman to watery ruin . . .

Alison’s funeral service is just as puzzling. Many believe Ed’s young—and very pregnant—new wife, Mireille, divided the family, leaving Alison to wither on the vine. Did Mireille truly adore her stepchild as Ed claims, or did she pit father against daughter for personal gain?

As a state of unrest descends on Tinker’s Cove, Lucy is thrown into a full-scale investigation. Now, in a race against time, Lucy must beat the killer to the finish line—or she can forget about stuffing and cranberry sauce . . .


Find out all about Leslie Meier and her books on her webpage here.


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.

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 October 20, 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

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 152017
 

Town in a Maple Madness (Candy Holliday Murder Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – Maine
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (April 4, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425278642
Kindle – ASIN: B01IAUGAB4

The imminent arrival of spring has the locals gearing up for their sweetest celebration ever—the first annual Maple Madness Weekend. Along with maple sugar house tours, a community-wide marshmallow roast, and a weekend-long pancake breakfast, restaurants will be serving up special maple syrup dishes. But the weekend festivities are put in jeopardy when things start to get sticky…

One of Candy’s friends is accused of stealing sap from a rival’s sugar maple trees, and landscaper Mick Rilke is found dead, floating down the river wrapped up in a fisherman’s net. As Candy taps into Mick’s life, his unsavory side comes to light, as well as a possible connection to both crimes. Now it’s up to Candy to follow the flow of suspects to a cold-blooded killer…

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES!

For more information on the Candy Holliday Mysteries, visit www.hollidaysblueberryacres.com.

Follow Them On Twitter @bbhaywood
Holliday’s Blueberry Acres on Facebook
Tumblr: Holliday’s Blueberry Tumblog


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.

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 April 29, 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

Apr 042017
 

Tightening the Threads (A Mainely Needlepoint Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Maine
Kensington (March 28, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496706287
Kindle ASIN: B01HWKM6CU

 

 

In the coastal town of Haven Harbor, blood runs thicker than water—and just as freely . . .

Antique dealer Sarah Byrne has never unspooled the truth about her past to anyone—not even friend and fellow Mainely Needlepointer Angie Curtis. But the enigmatic Aussie finally has the one thing she’s searched for all her life—family. And now she and long-lost half-brother, Ted Lawrence, a wealthy old artist and gallery owner in town, are ready to reveal their secret connection . . .

Ted’s adult children are suspicious of their newfound aunt Sarah—especially after Ted, in declining health, announces plans to leave her his museum-worthy heirloom paintings. So when Ted is poisoned to death during a lobster bake, everyone assumes she’s guilty. If Sarah and Angie can’t track down the real murderer in time, Sarah’s bound to learn how delicate—and deadly—family dynamics can truly be . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This fifth installment of the series brings us the story of Angie’s friend Sarah. Sarah is an Aussie that moved to Haven Harbor. She has her antiques business and works with the Mainely Needlepointers but has remained pretty well stitched up about her past and her family. She has grown close to Ted Lawrence, a wealthy man, who runs an art gallery. His father was a famous artist. Ted’s is an artist too but never reached the acclaim of his father. She finally reveals to Angie that she and Ted are related and explains the history is complicated. Ted wants to celebrate his birthday with his children that he rarely sees and introduce them to their Sarah. Things do not go as planned when Ted dies during a family lobster bake. The entire family makes up the suspect list with most the family’s fingers pointing at Sarah. She, Angie, and their friend Patrick start tightening the clues together and following the threads to catch the real killer…but can they find the truth in time…

Lea Wait never disappoints and this time she draws in a piece of history I knew absolutely nothing about. There was a time when number of foster children in Britain was more than the system could handle and children were sent to Australia. Sarah’s search for her family takes her from Australia to Britain and then on to Maine. That doesn’t quite bring all the family dynamics to light but as the story continues and the mystery plays out more secrets are revealed.  The author explains this child migration and the aftermath in such interesting detail all while not taking away from the coziness of the mystery. I love learning something new when reading just for fun.

The new characters she created, Ted’s children, are an eclectic group. His daughter and her husband live in the northern part of the state and have an organic farm. One son has a high pressure job in New York and the other is a frustrated poet and perpetual student. The family hasn’t gotten together for years. There was already plenty of family drama even before their father’s murder. Ted also has an assistant that has helped him in the gallery for years. Together they all bring their own excitement to the story.

As this is Sarah’s story the other Mainely Needlepointers are absent or just have cameo appearances. I was fine with this as Sarah and Ted’s story is a pretty powerful one that I really enjoyed.

This is another solid addition to this series. It flows well, has several twists, diverse characters, and kept me guessing from start to finish.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


Click on cover to order from Amazon.

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.

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 April 18, 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 262017
 

Whale of a Crime (Gray Whale Inn Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Maine
Self Published (January 13, 2017)
Paperback: 308 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1542550666
Kindle ASIN: B01M7QVJ0Q

 

 

The long-awaited seventh book of the bestselling Gray Whale Inn Mysteries is finally here!

When a tour company books the Gray Whale Inn for a full week, innkeeper Natalie Barnes can’t wait to get cooking — and to hitch a ride on the antique schooner Summer Winds, getting up close and personal with the local whales. But when one of the humpback whales turns up dragging a mass of fishing gear from its tail, the tour takes a dark turn. It turns darker still when the schooner’s handsome captain winds up attached to the vessel’s anchor, sixty feet underwater… and not by accident.

Before long, the tour naturalist (and Natalie’s best friend’s beau) is behind bars, charged with a murder Charlene swears he didn’t commit. Stir in a surprise visit from Natalie’s quarrelsome sister, midnight kitchen sabotage, a sick orphan kitten, and a mysterious investor with plans for a massive resort on the quaint island, and Natalie’s got a recipe for potential disaster. When a second body turns up just outside the inn, the heat is on Natalie to solve the double murder… or risk ending up with her own goose cooked.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Thank you Karen MacInerney for continuing this series on your own!

Natalie and John are back and the Gray Whale Inn is fully booked. Their guests are all in town to see the whales from atop of an antique schooner. This are sailing smoothly until the captain is found dead when the ship’s anchor is lifted. There are several suspects but Alex, the tour’s naturalist, is arrested. Natalie is going to have a whale of a time trying to find the real killer so Alex can be set free. If that isn’t enough, Natalie’s sister blows into town fuming about her daughter’s engagement and blames everything on Natalie. Never a dull moment at the Gray Whale Inn.

These are some of my favorite cozy characters. This series started even before I started blogging and I anxiously awaited each new installment. The characters are so realistic and engaging. It felt so good to visit my old friends.

We are treated to a fast paced story in both the plot and subplots. I read it quickly on a Sunday afternoon. With all the possible suspects it was fun to follow the clues and whittle them down one by one. Having Natalie’s sister arrive unexpectedly added a wonderful family dynamic. We also see some things disappearing and happening around the inn that gives us more to figure out. Are the murder/s connected to this or is this something else all together?

As for the setting, Cranberry Island, Maine would be an absolutely fabulous vacation getaway. Whale watching, the yummy food, and staying at the Gray Whale Inn sounds great to me. I am ready to book my next trip today. Please Karen, don’t make us wait too long for book 8.

If this is a new series to you I recommend starting at the beginning but this book also reads well on its own too.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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

The Gray Whale Inn Kitchen… free!

Sign up to receive a FREE copy of the Gray Whale Inn Kitchen e-book (priced at $2.99 on Amazon)… along with subscriber-only updates, bonus stories, and deleted scenes!

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 052017
 

I love it when Sofie drops by for a visit!
She is also starting her Great Escapes Book Tour today.
You can find the schedule in the sidebar. 

Angelic Banana Bread
by Sofie Ryan

 

In the Second Chance Cat mysteries you can always count on three things when it comes to those senior sleuths known as the Angels. One, they’re actually pretty good detectives. Two, they drink gallons of tea. And three, a cup of tea tastes better with a little something sweet on the side—at least according to Rose Jackson. Rose is often the source of those sweet treats, anything from oatmeal cookies to cinnamon coffeecake to her popular banana bread.

Ingredients:

1 cup of mashed bananas

⅓ cup butter or margarine

⅔ cup white sugar

2 eggs

1 ¾ cups flour

1 ¼ teaspoons cream of tartar

¾ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions:

Grease a loaf pan. Preheat oven to 350° F.

Cream the butter, sugar and eggs until light and fluffy. Whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Add alternately with the mashed bananas to the creamed ingredients. Mix well.

Pour into the loaf pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in the pan then remove and cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy!
~Sofie

Sounds Yummy!


Telling Tails (Second Chance Cat Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Maine
Publisher: Berkley (January 3, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1101991206
E-Book ASIN: B01E4WAHRA
goodreads-badge-add-plus

Synopsis

The New York Times bestselling author of A Whisker of Trouble returns as secondhand shop owner Sarah Grayson and her rescue cat, Elvis, get caught up in a case of she said, she said….

When Sarah Grayson opened a secondhand shop in the quaint town of North Harbor, Maine, she was expecting peace and quiet. Then she was adopted by a rescue cat named Elvis and a kooky trio of senior sleuths known as Charlotte’s Angels. Now she has nine lives worth of excitement…

Sarah’s friend and employee Rose is delivering a customer’s purchase when the quick errand becomes a deadly escapade. Rose arrives just in time to see the customer murdered by his wife, but before she can call the police, she is knocked out cold. When she wakes up, no one believes her, especially after the woman claims her husband is very much alive and has left her for someone else—and has a text message and empty bank account to prove it.

Despite her convincing story, Sarah is sure something is fishy—and it’s not Elvis’s kitty treats. Sarah, Elvis, and the Angels are determined to unravel this mysterious yarn, before the feral killer pounces again…

About The Author

Sofie Ryan/Sofie Kelly is the pseudonym of author and mixed-media artist, Darlene Ryan. Sofie/Darlene lives on the east coast with her husband and daughter. In her spare time she practices Wu style tai chi and likes to prowl around thrift stores. And she admits to having a small crush on Matt Lauer.

Webpage


Click covers to purchase from Amazon.


Thanks to the publisher 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.

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

Leave a comment for Sofie for 5 Bonus Entries.

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 19, 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

 

Dec 212016
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

Today we have 2 authors visiting!! 

Welcome Barbara Ross and Liz Mugavero! 

Talk of the Town

Liz Mugavero and Barbara Ross both have books coming out December 27. For Liz, it’s Custom Baked Murder, the fifth book in her Pawsitively Organic Pet Food Mystery series. For Barb, it’s Iced Under, the fifth book in her Maine Clambake Mystery series. Recently, they got together to talk cozy towns.

Barb: Hi Liz. If I know you as well as I think I do, you, like me have been watching the new season of The Gilmore Girls. As I watched, I realized one of reasons for the series’ success, along with the snappy dialog and endearing characters, is the town of Stars Hollow. Like the towns we write about, Frog’s Ledge, Connecticut and Busman’s Harbor, Maine, Stars Hollow is a classic New England town with a green and a band shell and a grab bag of eccentric characters.

What do you think attracts readers and viewers to these places?

Liz: Hi Barb! Yes, you do know me as well as you think…although I have a dilemma. I made a pact with myself that I’d watch all the original Gilmore Girls before watching the new season. I started over the summer and convinced myself that I’d be done way before November 25th! Alas, life got in the way and I’m only on season four – so no spoilers for the new ones!

Now, to your question. I have a confession. I watched Gilmore Girls before I moved to Connecticut. And I think one of the reasons I ended up here was because I was convinced every town was like Stars Hollow! Unfortunately it wasn’t true, but I became obsessed with the idea that I would find a little town to love that would love me back. A town with the perfect bookstore, the perfect grocer, the perfect people. And, the perfect coffee, of course. But it’s that sense of security I got from watching the show that drew me in. The idea that the people around you had your back, even though they weren’t traditional family. It’s that idea that you make your own family, right?

So let’s talk about that. How did you come up with the people with whom you populated your town? Based on real people, or totally made up?

Barb: What a great question. Of all my characters, Gus is the only one based on a real Maine person. There really was a guy who owned an old restaurant near us in Maine with a gorgeous view of a place called, believe it or not, Cozy Harbor. The restaurant looked like an Edward Hopper painting with an old-fashioned gas pump on the outside and a candle-pin bowling lane on the inside. And, just like in the books, Gus only served food to people he knew, or people who knew someone he knew. No one else is based on a real person, though I know people in the real Boothbay Harbor like to guess who’s who!

So my town is kind of, sort of, based on a real town, highly fictionalized. What about you? Is there a real basis for Frog Ledge? How is it similar and different physically and otherwise?

Liz: My fictional town started with a real thing. The town next to me has a really cool town green with a walking path, and I started bringing the dogs there. It’s about a mile around, and there are houses on both sides as well as a bunch of historical buildings, the library, and a museum. And there are always activities happening on the green, from farmers’ markets to 4th of July fireworks to summer concerts. It’s a cool place, and there’s a lovely little Victorian house on one side. I was there one day and thought, wow, this is the place. The place where people in my books can go for all the gossip. The place where Stan should live and spend a lot of her time. The true center of town, you know? And then from there I beefed up the rest of the town with some fictional places like Izzy’s coffee and chocolate shop, the flower shop, the pub. I pulled elements of neighboring towns so it became sort of a hybrid of real places with some fiction thrown in.

It works for me. What about you? Is there something different you wish you’d done relating to how you set up your town? Or is it perfect the way it is?

Barb: Five books in, Busman’s Harbor is still growing. I’ve added shops along Main Street as I’ve needed them—a hardware store for Clammed Up, a frame shop for Fogged Inn, and a jewelry store for Iced Under. It’s kind of like an old map, some places are well understood and finely drawn, while others are completely blank “Here be dragons.” One thing I wish I’d done. I wish I’d called my main road “Maine Street” with an e. So obvious, and yet I missed it.

Of course the most important thing in a cozy mystery, wherever it is set, is a sense of community, of people pulling together, and then potentially pulling apart due to murder. Our sleuths need to set things to rights again, and that means Stan Connor and Julia Snowden have their work cut out for them.

We have our work cut out for us, too, since both of us are on deadlines for book six. Good luck with it, Liz. Let’s talk soon!

Liz: Good luck, Barb.

About The Authors

Barbara Ross is the author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries, including the Agatha-nominated Best Contemporary Novel Clammed Up, as well as Boiled Over, Musseled Out, Fogged Inn, and Iced Under. Her story “Nogged Off” appears in the holiday novella collection Eggnog Murder along with stories by Leslie Meier and Lee Hollis. Barbara blogs with the Wicked Cozy Authors and Maine Crime Writers. In the summer, she writes on her big front porch overlooking the water in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. You can visit her website at http://www.maineclambakemysteries.com

Liz Mugavero is the author of the Agatha Award-nominated Pawsitively Organic Mysteries Kneading to Die, A Biscuit, A Casket, The Icing on the Corpse and Murder Most Finicky. Custom-Baked Murder, the fifth in the series, will be released in December 2016. As you can imagine, her canine and feline rescues demand the best organic food and treats around. She is a member of Sisters in Crime National, Sisters in Crime New England, Mystery Writers of America, and the Cat Writers’ Association. She currently lives in Connecticut.


Iced Under (A Maine Clambake Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Maine/Massachusetts
Kensington (December 27, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496700391
E-Book ASIN: B01DRXCGEE

 

 

The snow is deep in Maine’s Busman’s Harbor and the mighty rivers are covered in ice. Snowden Family Clambake Company proprietor Julia Snowden and her mother, Jacqueline, are hunkered down for the winter when a mysterious package arrives—heating up February with an unexpected case of murder . . .

Inside the mystery package is an enormous black diamond necklace that once belonged to Julia’s great-grandmother and disappeared in the 1920s. Who could have sent it—and why? Julia’s search for clues takes her on a perilous journey through her mother’s troubled family history, from a squabble over the family fortune in “frozen water” to the recent unexplained death of Jacqueline’s long-lost cousin Hugh—who’d been missing and presumed drowned for more than forty years. To protect her mother’s inheritance, Julia must fend off a small army of feuding relatives, solve the mystery surrounding Hugh’s demise, and get back home before the next blizzard buries them all . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It may be winter in Busman’s Harbor but Julia still has a mystery to solve. Her mom received a package containing a wonderful family heirloom, one the disappeared back in the 1920’s. The problem is they have no idea who sent the package. Julia’s investigation leads her to connect with family she didn’t know she had and she arrives at their door just in time to find out the person she hoped to meet died recently. Shortly after her arrival the family learns that the death was not from natural causes, it was MURDER!

I really love these stories. So much happens in addition to the main mystery. In a subplot Julia’s sister, Livvie, is due to give birth any day and the snow coming could make getting to the hospital an adventure. This mirrors my daughter’s experience almost exactly 4 years ago. Her dad drove her to the hospital in the middle of a blizzard following a snow plow all the way. Babies seem to want to make appearances in reality and fiction at the most inopportune times.

In the main mystery plot the author introduces many new characters enabling Julia to meet and learn about family members she and her mom didn’t even know existed. She also learns the truth about an event in the past that happened very differently than her mother thought. I enjoyed the history research and the stories told by these family members almost more than the mystery and it is a great mystery full of twists and surprises.

The author provides enough background to allow this book to be read without reading the previous stories but I encourage you to read them all in order. The characters really grow and become more distinct throughout the series and each includes a stellar mystery.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


Custom Baked Murder
(A Pawsitively Organic Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Kensington (December 27, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496700193
E-Book ASIN: B01DRXCGD0

 

 

Kristan “Stan” Connor gladly turned tail on her high-flying job and moved to a quaint New England town to sell organic pet treats. But with her nose for solving murders, there’s no such thing as a quiet life…

Summer is winding down in Frog Ledge, Connecticut, but Stan’s love life and career are both heating up nicely. In between planning her new pet patisserie and café, Stan is settling into living-in-bliss with sexy pub owner Jake McGee. Love’s on the menu for Stan’s mom, Patricia, too, who’s engaged to Frog Ledge’s mayor, Tony Falco.

Mayor Falco’s dogged ambition isn’t popular among locals, but it’s his executive coach, Eleanor Chang, who’s inspired a dangerous grudge. When Eleanor is found dead, there’s a whole pack of suspects to choose from. Stan has first-hand experience of Eleanor’s unsavory business tactics. But finding out who forced her to take a fatal plunge off the corporate ladder means unearthing some shady secrets…and a killer who’s too close for comfort.

Includes Gourmet Pet Food Recipes!

This is a series I really need to get caught up on. I did receive a note from a friend warning me that this story may have parts that would be hard for me to read after the death of my son so I will hold off reading it for now. 

Thanks to the authors I have 1 copy of each book 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.

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

Nov 232016
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

With the holiday tomorrow there is no guest post today but there is my review and a FANTASTIC Giveaway! 

dangling-by-a-thread
Dangling by a Thread
(A Mainely Needlepoint Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Maine
Kensington (October 25, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496706263
Digital Ebook ASIN: B01BAYWZHU
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The Mainely Needlepointers are about to learn that no man is an island—especially when greedy developers want his land . . .
 
Hermit Jesse Lockhart lives alone on King’s Island, three miles east of Haven Harbor, Maine, where he’s created a private sanctuary for the endangered Great Cormorants. But when a wealthy family wants to buy the island and Jesse’s cousin Simon petitions for power of attorney to force him to sell, Jesse is the one who becomes endangered.

Mainely Needlepointer Dave Perry, who befriended Jesse in the VA hospital, rallies the group to his defense. Angie Curtis and the ravelers stitch “Save the King’s Island Cormorants” pillows and sell T-shirts to pay for Jesse’s legal counsel. But tragically, on a visit to the island, Angie finds Jesse dead. Now the search is on for a common thread that can tie the murdered man to his killer .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

grco_nigelvoadenterathopiusI am always excited when Lea Wait has a new book released. This time we are drawn right into the story as we travel to King’s Island, one of the many islands off the coast of Maine. This one is a nesting ground for some Great Cormorants and it is inhabited by just one person, Jesse Lockhart. He travels across the water 3 miles to Haven Harbor for his mail and supplies. He leads a solitary life and will do anything to protect “his” birds. When a well to do visitor to Haven Harbor decides he wants to purchase the island and build an enormous house, Jesse refuses to sell. But Jesse owns the island jointly with his cousin and the man is not giving up. Jesse asks his friend Dave Perry for help in halting the sale. Dave, one of Angie’s needlepointers asks her for her assistance but before they can even get a plan together Jesse, not his birds become the hunted. Now they need to find a way to save Jesse’s birds and find his killer.

I became invested in Jesse and his cause right away. I was sad that he became the victim. I love bird watching and even with all the great descriptions and information the author provided about Great Cormorants I wanted to know more. She also includes sampler sayings and information at the beginning of each chapter.

Angie is a wonderful main character. Her relationship with her grandmother always touches my heart. Dave Perry plays a major role in this story. Through him we also meet 3 new furry baby characters.  Patrick and his mother have returned to town but he is still recovering from his injuries. There was also a real sense of community in all of Haven Harbor about the island and the birds.

The author’s writing style starts slow and builds so we get a chance to engage with the characters before they become a victim or a suspect.  The needlepointing took a bit of a backseat to the mystery but the Mainely Needlepointers were helpful as Angie tried to eliminate suspects. Her friends make great sounding boards, but Angie’s best friend, Sarah Byrne, is involved in a new relationship that has her a little distracted.  About half way through the book the pace picks up and the book becomes very hard to put down.

Lea Wait definitely brings Maine and her characters to life in each and every one of these stories. To fully enjoy them and realize the way the characters evolve I encourage you to read them all and in order. Each contains a wonderful mystery too!

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

lea1

About The Author

Lea Wait lives on the coast of Maine. A fourth generation antique dealer, and author of the Agatha-nominated Shadows Antique Print mystery series, she loves all things antiques and Maine, and she’s learning to do needlepoint. She also writes historical novels for young people set in (where else?) nineteenth-century Maine. Lea adopted her four daughters when she was single; she’s now the grandmother of eight, and married to artist Bob Thomas.

Author Links

 Webpage     GoodReads 

 

Purchase Links


Click on cover to order from Amazon.

GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the publisher I have 5 copies 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.

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.

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If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
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Contest Will End December 7, 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 182016
 
eggnog-murder

Eggnog Murder
by Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, Barbara Ross
3 Cozy Mysteries
Setting – Maine
Kensington (October 25, 2016)
Hardcover: 345 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496704474
E-Book ASIN: B01BAYWZF2
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With the fireplace crackling, the tree twinkling, and the carols humming, few things in life are as picture perfect as Christmas in Maine—until murder dampens the holiday spirit. It must be something in the eggnog . . .
 
EGGNOG MURDER by LESLIE MEIER
When a gift-wrapped bottle of eggnog—allegedly from the Real Beard Santa Club—proves to be a killer concoction for a Tinker’s Cove local, all Lucy Stone wants for Christmas is to find the murdering mixologist who’s stirring up trouble.
 
DEATH BY EGGNOG by LEE HOLLIS
Food and cocktails columnist Hayley Powell has never cared much for Bar Harbor’s grouchy town librarian, Agatha Farnsworth. But after the Scroogy senior has a fatal—and suspicious—allergic reaction to supposedly non-dairy eggnog, it’s up to Hayley to ladle out some justice.

NOGGED OFF by BARBARA ROSS
Julia Snowden’s tenant Imogen Geinkes seems to be jinxed. First, her poorly named “Killer Eggnog” gives all her co-workers food poisoning at the holiday party, then her boyfriend’s body shows up in Julia’s moving truck as she’s headed back to Busman’s Harbor. Now Julia has to get moving to catch the cold-hearted culprit.

Cozy up with a glass of eggnog and enjoy the spirit of murder and mystery in a Yuletide treat perfect for those winter holidays . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I will start this review by saying I have read all of Barbara Ross’s Maine Clambake Mysteries, I have read many of Leslie’s Lucy Stone Mysteries and there are some screaming at me from my To-Be-Read shelf, and Lee Hollis is a new author to me. So I will start my review will Barbara’s story.

NOGGED OFF focuses on Julia cleaning out her old apartment in New York since she has decided to stay in Busman’s Harbor. When she meets her subletting tenant her quick trip to the city gets complicated. The author packed a whole wonderful cozy into just over 100 pages. The mystery takes us on quite a ride that at times was just plain crazy and so much fun to read. I love Julia and her big heart. It was fun to make another winter trip to Busman’s Harbor.

EGGNOG MURDER is set in Tinker’s Cove, Maine and within a few paragraphs I remembered all about the main characters and had no trouble jumping back into this series. I loved learning about their Real Beard Santa Club, which I now know is a real group with branches everywhere. The characters of this story drew me right in and I realized I have missed them so I know I need to get caught up on the books I have missed as soon as possible.

DEATH BY EGGNOG by LEE HOLLIS takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. I was at a little disadvantage with this one as it was my introduction to these characters and the writer’s style of Hayley’s articles right in the story but I knew from the start Agatha Farnsworth, the head librarian, was definitely on Santa’s naughty list and was not surprised she was our victim. What was surprising was the culprit responsible for her demise.

All three of these stories were well written with interesting characters. Great reads for the holiday season but they may have you refraining from eggnog for awhile. I say fix a cup of hot chocolate and curl up in a cozy chair. These mysteries will captivate you for a few wonderful hours.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


Find out all about Leslie Meier and her books on her webpage here.

Find our all about the team that writes as Lee Hollis and their books and her webpage here.

Find out all about Barbara Ross and her books on her webpage here.

GIVEAWAY
I am giving away my advance review copy signed by Barbara Ross!

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 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.”

Murder Wears Mittens (Seaside Knitters Society) by Sally Goldenbaum Get Your Copy Today!
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