Aug 232017
 


I am so happy to welcome Jean Flowers aka Camille Minichino to Escape With Dollycas today!!
Her new book was released on July 25!

Reading in Order, or Not
(Guest Post provided by publicist.)
 

My newest series, the Postmistress Mysteries, debuted in November 2015 with DEATH TAKES PRIORITY, followed by CANCELLED BY MURDER. The third in the series, ADDRESSED TO KILL is now out (July 2017).

Here’s a question I know I’ll be getting at bookstores and other events: Can I read this one without reading the first and second?

I’ve never understood why some think reading in order is important in a series. I imagine these readers at a party, being introduced to someone new, discussing shared experiences, really hitting it off.

“Let’s be friends,” the new person says.

“Sorry,” says the in-order reader. “We can’t be friends because I didn’t know you as an infant. I don’t know your full life story, your parents, et cetera.”

The way it usually works in real-life friendship is that you can start it at any age, with people of any age. As the relationship grows, each person’s backstory is revealed, not necessarily in chronological order.

It’s the same for me with characters in a book. If I happen upon book four of a series and it looks interesting, I’ll read it, then decide if I want to know more about the protagonist—what brought her to this point, what other adventures she’s had, what she’s learned from them. I’ll then pick up either earlier or later books, depending on what’s available.

Of course, it’s different for a trilogy or other format where the story is deliberately set up in a certain order and the last line in book one connects to the first line in book two. Even then, a “prequel” might be introduced to reveal pre-prehistory.

It’s also sometimes different for tv shows, where it’s hard to understand an episode unless you’ve seen the “previously on”s.

But each book in a mystery series should stand on its own, with relatable characters and a story that has a satisfying conclusion. If you’ve started with book five of a series and have no idea about the motivation of a character, or if you feel you’re missing something, it’s the author’s fault. Every book should be a standalone.

Many people, especially writers, read the ending of a book before they finish, wanting to know how the author leads up to the denouement. Talk about reading out of order!

As a more or less reasonable segue: I once received a nasty email from a reader, railing at me for a casual remark in one of my books, that revealed the ending to “Murder on the Orient Express.” The person called me “thoughtless,” and guilty of “ruining the experience” of reading the 75-year-old Agatha Christie classic.

At what point does it become okay to discuss an ending? Or to tell a reader of the second book in a series what happens in the fourth?

Do high school students not know ahead of time that Romeo and Juliet die at the end (oops, spoiler)? Do adult film fans not know that Anthony Hopkins’s mother’s corpse is in the house on the hill? That Ilse chooses her husband over Rick?

I’d better close before I get another nasty SPOILER! email.

~Jean (Camille)

Thank you Camille for visiting today!!


Addressed to Kill (A Postmistress Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Release Date – July 25, 2017
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425279120
Kindle ASIN: B01M8PU7NR

Love is in the air for postmaster Cassie Miller and the residents of North Ashcot, Massachusetts. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and the town is gearing up for a special dinner dance at the senior center. With the local musical group performing at the dance displaced from their regular practice location, Cassie is all too happy to host them during off-hours at the post office.

But not everything is coming up roses. When one of the musicians, Dennis Somerville, is found shot in his home, rumors swirl over who might have wanted him dead. Cassie must determine if there is a link between a string of recent break-ins and Dennis’s murder before another victim winds up with more than a broken heart.

About the Author

Camille received her Ph.D. in physics from Fordham University, New York City. She is currently on the faculty of Golden Gate University, San Francisco and teaches writing throughout the Bay Area. Camille is Past President and a member of NorCal Mystery Writers of America, NorCal Sisters in Crime, and the California Writers Club.

Camille has published over 20 novels and many short stories and nonfiction articles.

As Camille Minichino, she’s published Periodic Table Mysteries, featuring retired physicist GLORIA LAMERINO.

As Margaret Grace, she writes the Miniature Mysteries, featuring miniaturist GERALDINE PORTER and her 11-year-old granddaughter, Maddie. The 9th in the series, MATRIMONY IN MINIATURE was released in September 2016.

As Ada Madison, she’s published the Professor Sophie Knowles Mysteries, featuring college professor SOPHIE KNOWLES.

As Jean Flowers, Camille writes The Postmistress Mysteries. The third in the series, ADDRESSED TO KILL, will be released in July 2017.

A stand-alone, KILLER IN THE CLOISTER, is available on Kindle and CreateSpace.

The nonfiction book, HOW TO LIVE WITH AN ENGINEER, is available on Kindle and Createspace. Contact: camille@minichino.com


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.

Leave a comment for the author 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 September 6, 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

 

Aug 182017
 


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 was looking for something different this week so I grabbed a book from my PaperbackSwap To Be Read shelves. I didn’t realize it was an ARC (A no no for PaperbackSwap) until I was almost halfway through the book.


Seven Year Switch
Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Setting – Massachusetts
Voice Publishing
Release Date June 1, 2010
Hardcover: 256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1401341169
Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1401341640
Kindle ASIN: B00WT7TP1W

 

 

Just when Jill Murray’s finally figured out how to manage on her own, her ex-husband proves that he can’t even run away reliably. After seven long years missing in action, he’s back—crashing into the man-free existence Jill and her ten-year-old daughter have built so carefully. And what’s a good mother to do To a child, even a deadbeat dad is better than no dad at all.

Jill’s life just hasn’t turned out quite the way she planned. By now, she’d hoped to be jetting around the world as a high-end cultural coach. Instead, she’s answering phones for a local travel agency and teaching cooking classes at the community center.

Enter free-spirited entrepreneur Billy, who hires Jill as a consultant for an upcoming business trip. Is their relationship veering off in a new direction And what about her ex Jill couldn’t possibly still have feelings for him . . . could she? Suddenly, her no-boys-allowed life is anything but.

They say that every seven years you become a completely new person, but Jill isn’t sure she’s ready for the big change. It takes a Costa Rican getaway to help her make a choice—not so much between the two men in her life, but between the woman she is and the one she wants to be.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jill Murray’s life was finally going in the right direction then her ex-husband returns after being gone for 7 years wanting to see his daughter. Jill is not ready for him to be back in their life, how does she know he just won’t disappear again? When she tells her daughter he has come back she demands to see him as soon as possible and Jill watches the life she has created for herself and her daughter the past seven years implode. While all this is happening Jill meets Billy. He hires her to help him plan for a trip to Japan to pitch a business idea. Almost immediately she feels drawn to him and not in a business way. Is she ready for another man in her life? Should she try to get back with her husband for her daughter? She has no idea what to do so she signs on to a Costa Rican Girls Getaway to get away from both of them and the pressure in hopes she can figure out what direction her life should take.

This author has been recommended to me my several friends and this book was sitting on my To-Be-Read shelves for too long. Wanting a literary escape to the beach this cover called out to me so I grabbed it to read last weekend. Within a few minutes I was engaged by the characters. Jill working for a travel company from home with a phone headset attached to head as she travels her home taking care of her daughter, making supper, doing laundry, helping with homework, normal mom things. Her daughter, Anastasia, understands her mom needs to work but doesn’t appreciate the way it interrupts their time together. When her dad enters back into the picture she starts to turn to him for everything. He also makes the huge error of giving her things she wants without discussing it first with Jill. Billy adds the triangle-ish- ness to the story. The next door neighbor fits well into the picture too. All the characters are realistically written and the dialogues are excellent. The characters are the true strength to this story.

The plot starts out really well and because of the synopsis I knew a trip to Costa Rica is coming and as I got past halfway into the story I wondered how the author was going to tie up everything and thrown in a trip within the remaining pages. Well she does wrap things up but to me it was just too rushed, almost abrupt. All the depth and detail that I loved in the beginning was gone. I appreciated the message of self-worth, change and growth the author was trying to get across. The idea that every seven years you become a completely new person,as a theme was heartwarming but the decisions made at the end just happened too fast for me.

I really enjoyed the first 3/4 of this story so I still want to read more of Claire Cook’s novels. I am hoping this speedy end was just a fluke.

 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Claire Cook and her books here.



I am giving away my Advanced Reader 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.

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 September 1, 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

*This book was from my private collection.

Aug 092017
 


I always get excited when Julianne stops by for a visit!
Her new book Chime and Punishment was released last week!

FOR THE LOVE OF CLOCKS
by Julianne Holmes
(Guest Post provided by publicist.)

Whenever I explain the premise of my clock shop series—that Ruth Clagan is part of a clock making family who owns a shop in the Berkshires—most people smile, and then they tell me about a clock in their family. Everyone has a clock in their family, I’ve discovered.

For me, it is a mantle clock. I inherited it from my grandmother—a Telechron electric clock that looks a bit like a Seth Thomas. It likely dates from the 50’s, isn’t worth a fortune, but means the world to me. Of course, given the work I’ve done on these books, I am looking for a traditional clock that I must wind.

For some people, longcase clocks are passed down from generation to generation. Keeping them running can be a challenge, especially if they haven’t been moved carefully or maintained over time. Clockmakers will come in and do a house call to determine what the best course of treatment is for the clock. Now, folks trusted in the craft are few, and I’ve heard stories of people inviting clockmakers to travel or traveling to them for a consult.

Over the course of writing these books, I have fallen a bit in love with Banjo clocks. Simon Willard invented these here in Massachusetts, and patented them in 1802. They continue to be made today. The clock is shaped like a banjo, with a square case on the bottom that can be clear, or can be painted decoratively. Then there are the Seth Thomas miniatures. I spent a day in the American Clock and Watch museum, and these beauties stopped me in my tracks. Made of different types of wood, different shapes. I can easily see becoming obsessed with them.

I’m sure that there are family banjo clocks, or mantel clocks, or miniatures, or carriage clocks, or others that have been passed on from generation to generation. Do they still work? Hopefully yes, though many could use a good cleaning. While doing my research, and talking to Dave Roberts of the Clockfolk of New England, I’ve come to realize a few things about clock repair. First, that it is a craft that takes years to learn. Second, repair means different things to different people. For some folks, to hold value, that means painstaking authentic repair. For others, it means doing what it takes to get the clock working. The repair may cost more than the value of the clock, but that’s the third thing I’ve learned. Clocks own a place in people’s hearts, and that is priceless.

Do you have a family clock that has been passed down? Does a clock have a place in your memories?

~Julianne


Chime and Punishment (A Clock Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
A Berkley Prime Mystery (August 1, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425275542
Kindle ASIN: B01MRK5HU7

 

 

Expert clockmaker Ruth Clagan has another murder on her hands in the third Clock Shop Mystery from the author of Clock and Dagger.

Years ago, the serenity of picturesque Orchard, Massachusetts, was shattered by a fire that destroyed the town’s beloved clock tower. Ruth inherited the dream of repairing it from her late grandfather. Now that she’s returned home to run his clock shop, the Cog & Sprocket, she’s determined to make it happen, despite wrenches that are being thrown into the works by her least favorite person, town manager Kim Gray.

A crowd of residents and visitors are excited to see the progress of the tower at a fund-raiser for the campaign, until Kim is found crushed under the tower’s bell, putting an end to all the fun. The list of suspects is so long it could be read around the clock, and it includes some of Ruth’s nearest and dearest.

Time’s a-wastin’ as Ruth tries to solve another murder in her beloved Orchard while keeping the gears clicking on her dream project.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This series started with Ruth Clagan coming home to run her late grandfather’s clock shop and grew into her wanting to fulfill his dream of repairing the town’s clock tower. In Chime and Punishment his dream is so close to coming true. Her friends and the residents of Orchard, Massachusetts are attending a fundraiser to complete the task but the gears get all mucked up when the town manager gets her bell rung permanently. Ruth knows to make her grandfather’s and now her dream come true she has to find the killer. Time is of the essence, she doesn’t want anyone else getting clocked.

This is another top notch mystery for Julianne Holmes. I was excited to find out Kim was the victim this time, she has been a real pain in the backsides of almost every in Orchard and that means plenty of suspects. The story kept a nice pace as the clues were dropped and Ruth’s investigation continued. The twists had me all over the place when is came to who actually did the deed. I was surprised when the killer was revealed.

I have grown to love these characters over these three books. The business owners and those that work at the clock shop are very well written and have grown since out first meeting. I have more than one favorite.

The location, both the Cog & Sprocket and the town of Orchard was clearly envisioned in my mind. The clock tower and it’s building remind me of a place in my home town very much. I was thrilled by the whole premise of this series. People working to restore a piece of history was very heartwarming, aside from the murders, of course.

A captivating addition to this series. I think I like this one best of all.

If you haven’t clocked time with this series yet, start at the beginning and enjoy.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author
Julianne Holmes writes the Clock Shop Mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime. The first in the series, the Agatha nominated Just Killing Time, debuted in October 2015. Clock and Dagger was released in August 2016, and Chime and Punishment was released August 1, 2017. As J.A. Hennrikus, her Theater Cop series will debut in the fall of 2017 with A Christmas Peril. She has short stories in three Level Best anthologies, Thin Ice, Dead Calm and Blood Moon. She is on the board of Sisters in Crime, and is a member of MWA and Sisters in Crime New England. She is on Twitter (@JulieHennrikus), Instagram (@jahenn), Pinterest, and Facebook. She blogs with the Wicked Cozy AuthorsLive to Write/Write to Live, and is on Killer Characters on the 20th of each month. You can find out more about Julianne Holmes on her webpage here.

Coming Soon From This Author


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.

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

Leave a comment for the author 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 August 23, 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.”

Aug 022017
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
Cate is touring with Great Escapes, check out her tour for guest posts, interviews and more reviews!


Cat About Town
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Massachusetts

Minotaur Books (August 1, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1250072061
E-Book ASIN: B01N0Z4ZDP

 

 

The first novel in a frisky new mystery series set in a small New England town, where an unlikely citizen is called in to solve the purrfect crime. . .

Maddie James has arrived in Daybreak Island, just off the coast of Massachusetts, eager to settle down and start her own business—and maybe even fall in love. When a stray orange tabby pounces into her life, she’s inspired to open a cat café. But little does Maddie know that she’s in for something a lot more catastrophic when her new furry companion finds the dead body of the town bully. Now all eyes are on Maddie: Who is this crazy cat-whisperer lady who’s come to town? If pet-hair-maintenance and crime-fighting weren’t keeping her busy enough, Maddie now has not one but two eligible bachelors who think she’s the cat’s pajamas . . . and will do anything to win her heart. But how can she even think about happily-ever-after while a killer remains on the loose—and on her path?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Maddie James comes to town for her grandmother’s funeral and to spend some time with her grandfather as they both grieve.  The funeral has one surprise guest, a cute tabby cat that attached itself right to Maddie. Things go great until her new furry friend finds a dead body. Maddie finds herself reacquainting herself with the people of Daybreak Island and getting to know the new residents as she tries to find the person who was driven to kill the man that wanted to change everything about the Island. Turns out there are plenty of suspects.

Cate Conte has brought some truly lovable characters to this series. The relationship between Maddie and her Grandpa Joe is so heartwarming.  She will go to great lenths to protect him and he her. As a cat lover I was taken in by the way Maddie accepted orange feline into her life complete with a leash to take him with her everywhere. It reminded me of the relationship between Charlie Harris and his cat, Diesel, in Miranda James Cat in the Stacks mystery series, one of my favorite series.

Daybreak Island is a wonderful setting. It is filled with history in the shops and the homes. You need to take a ferry to reach it and while it does have a tourist season most residents live there year round. I could easily picture everything thanks to the author’s terrific descriptions.

The mystery was top notch. A variety of suspects with means, motive and opportunity drew me deeper and deeper into the story.

The “cat cafe” has not come to fruition yet but this first installment gives us the backstory that has started to put the cafe in motion.

This series is off to a fantastic start! I can’t wait for my next escape to Daybreak Island. My virtual bags are already packed.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Cate Conte is the alter ego of Liz Mugavero. Liz is the author of the Pawsitively Organic Mystery series from Kensington Books, the first of which was an Agatha nominee for Best First Novel. 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.

Author Links

Webpage  Twitter  GoodReads  Facebook

Purchase Links

Amazon  B&N  
a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

July 26 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
July 26 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
July 26 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – INTERVIEW
July 27 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
July 27 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 27 – A Cozy Experience – REVIEW
July 28 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW  
July 28 – Bookworm Cafe – REVIEW
July 28 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 29 – Jane Reads – REVIEW
July 29 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 29 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW
July 30 – Mystery Playground – GUEST POST
July 30 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST
July 30 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
July 31 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 31 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
August 1 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW
August 1 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
August 1 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
August 2 – Socrates’ Book Review – REVIEW
August 2 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
August 2 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
August 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
August 3 – Book Babble – REVIEW
August 3 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
August 4 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW
August 4 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW
August 4 – MysteriesEtc – REVIEW

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

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.”

Jun 082017
 


I just love it when Edith Maxwell drops by for a visit!
Her latest Local Foods Mystery was just released on May 30th!

Welcome Edith!! 

Writing Cozy

 

I’m delighted to be a guest here again. Thanks for inviting me, Lori!. Mulch Ado About Murder, my fifth Local Foods Mystery, came out on May 30 and I’ll give away a signed hardcover to one commenter here today.

Here’s the cover text:

It’s been a hot, dry spring in Westbury, Massachusetts. As organic farmer Cam Flaherty waits for much-needed rain, storm clouds of mystery begin to gather. Once again, it’s time to put away her sun hat and put on her sleuthing cap when a fellow farmer is found dead in a vat of hydroponic slurry—clutching a set of rosary beads. Showers may be scarce this spring, but there’s no shortage of suspects, including the dead woman’s embittered ex-husband, the Other Man whose affair ruined their marriage, and Cam’s own visiting mother. Lucky for Cam, her nerdy academic father turns out to have a knack for sleuthing. Will he and Cam be able to clear Mom’s name before the killer strikes again?

This is the first cozy mystery series I wrote. I am often asked why I write in the genre I do, and my answer is that I love reading cozies. Real life is scary enough. I don’t need my down time to be filled with car chases and international thrillers, or with depressing noir and male detectives always commenting on women’s legs and other “assets.”

When I started writing the first book more than twenty years ago, I had a small certified organic farm, so I figured, hey, write what you know. I didn’t finish the book until 2012, after I landed the contract with Kensingon Publishing, but I loved the world I had set up all those years earlier so I kept it. It’s a classic cozy setup: an outsider returns to a small town, a cast of recurring characters support her amateur sleuthing, and justice is restored in the end.

In the case of the Local Foods Mysteries, Cam Flaherty is the outsider. She’s a former software engineer who takes over her great-uncle Albert’s farm at his request when he can’t do the work anymore. The cast of regulars are members of the Locavore Club, a group of locals who believe strongly in eating food grown close to where they live. And justice is restored by the end of every book.

Throughout the series, Cam has been referring to her peripatetic academic parents, to whom she isn’t particularly close, but we’ve never met them – until this book. Right away Cam’s mother Deb gets involved in a public protest against a new hydroponic farmer, and she was seen going into the farmer’s greenhouse. So when Nicole turns up dead, you know the police want to talk to Deb.

The series is set in a town modeled on West Newbury, in the northeast corner of Massachusetts, where I had my farm. One of the annual spectacles is the Memorial Day parade, with all the quirks and color only a small town can present. I knew I wanted to include it in a book, and I love that book came out exactly at the time it is set (as did the first book in the series. A Tine to Live, a Tine to Die).

I love writing this series and immersing myself in the farming life again without having to do all the hard work. Lots of readers have written me saying how much they learned about small-scale farming. I hope you like it, too.

Readers: What’s your favorite quirky Memorial Day parade? How about the small farm where you like to buy produce? I’ll give away a signed hardcover copy of the book to one commenter.

~Edith

About Edith Maxwell

2017 double Agatha-nominated and national best-selling author Edith Maxwell writes the Local Foods Mysteries and the Quaker Midwife Mysteries; as Maddie Day she writes the Country Store Mysteries and the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries. Her award-winning short crime fiction has appeared in many juried anthologies and journals, and she serves as President of Sisters in Crime New England.

A fourth-generation Californian and former tech writer, farmer, and doula, Maxwell now writes, cooks, gardens (and wastes time as a Facebook addict) north of Boston with her beau and three cats. She blogs at WickedCozyAuthors.com, Killer Characters, and with the Midnight Ink authors. Find her on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and at www.edithmaxwell.com.



As Tace Baker

As Maddie Day


Mulch Ado about Murder (Local Foods Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Kensington (May 30, 2017)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496700292
Kindle ASIN: B01LJKQGES

 

 

It’s been a hot, dry spring in Westbury, Massachusetts. As organic farmer Cam Flaherty waits for much-needed rain, storm clouds of mystery begin to gather. Once again, it’s time to put away her sun hat and put on her sleuthing cap . . .

May has been anything but merry for Cam so far. Her parents have arrived unexpectedly and her crops are in danger of withering away. But all of that’s nothing compared to the grim fate that lies in store for one of her neighbors. Nicole Kingsbury is the proud owner of the town’s new hydroponic greenhouse. She claims the process will be 100% organic, but she uses chemicals to feed her crops. To Cam’s surprise, her mother embarrasses her by organizing a series of loud public protests against Nicole’s operation.

When Nicole is found dead in a vat of hydroponic slurry—clutching another set of rosary beads—Detective Pete Pappas has a new murder to solve. Showers may be scarce this spring, but there’s no shortage of suspects, including the dead woman’s embittered ex‑husband, the Other Man whose affair ruined their marriage, and Cam’s own mother. Lucky for Cam, her father turns out to have a knack for sleuthing—not to mention dealing with chickens. Will he and Cam be able to clear Mrs. Flaherty’s name before the killer strikes again?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Spring is such a busy time for a farmer. The last thing Cam needs is a surprise visit from her parents. O.K. that’s not the last thing she needs, the last thing she needs is to get wrapped up in another murder. But that is just what she does. When she arrives at the new hydroponic greenhouse to drop off some seedlings she finds the owner Nicole Kingsbury dead in a vat of slurry. Because of the group protesting outside the greenhouse she has plenty of witnesses to provide an alibi for the time she arrives. Unfortunately that doesn’t work for her mom, who happens to be one of the protesters.  There are plenty of other suspects too but her mom is hiding something. To keep her mom out of jail she is going to be assisting the local police including her boyfriend Detective Pete Pappas.

What I really like about these stories is that Cam does the her sleuthing but she quickly tells the police anything she finds even if they don’t always appreciate her help. This time her dad even lends a hand.

Edith Maxwell has created such a vibrant cast of characters. Cam has really grown into her role as a farmer. I love that she has a group of volunteers that help with the chores and receive produce for their labors. They span all ages from teenagers to senior citizens.

Of course, I have heard of organic farming but hydroponic farming is brand new to me. The author educates the reader in the course of the story. I found the process very interesting.

The story is well written with important seeds sprinkled throughout getting us closer and closer to finding the killer. The family dynamic that grows between Cam and her parents was just as engaging as the murder mystery. The author gives us suspense and drama peppered with humor and also gives us several heartwarming moments too. Cam and Pete’s relationship has to take a little break because of the investigation but its strength shines in the way they handle the separation.

This is a strong addition for this series. A perfect summer read. And there are recipes in the back of the book too. Yes, it can be read as a stand alone. PICK yours up today!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Readers: What’s your favorite quirky Memorial Day parade? How about the small farm where you like to buy produce? Tell me in the comments below. I’ll give away a signed hardcover copy of the book to one commenter. 

Winner will be chosen Tuesday Morning – June 13

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

Apr 262017
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am excited to welcome Linda Reilly back to Escape With Dollycas today!

A funny thing happened on the way to the publisher . . .

There are so many components that go into writing a mystery. Fun characters, sneaky red herrings, a plethora of guilty-looking suspects . . .  all of these have to be dumped together, shaken up, and poured out into a cohesive story.

When I was writing the initial draft of A FRYING SHAME, I needed to come up with a street name. The street itself wasn’t important—simply a quick reference by the police detective as to why she was late for her meeting with Talia Marby, my main character.

Normally I’d stare out the window to dream up a name, or I’d think of a street name from my childhood. I still can’t recall how I came up with “Oriole Road” that day, but it found its way into the story.

A few months after I turned in the manuscript to my publisher, my husband broke his hip. During the early stages of his post-surgery rehab, we decided the time was right for us to move to a place where he’d no longer have to climb stairs. I found a promising apartment complex nearby, and decided to check it out. A newly renovated unit had just become available, with full bath and master bedroom on the ground level. It was perfect! Even more delightful was that the upstairs bedroom would make the ideal writing lair for me.

We took the apartment. As soon as my husband was well enough to go home after weeks of physical therapy, we moved in. The address of our wonderful new apartment? Oriole Court. But the street name didn’t even ring a bell — not until the publisher sent me the edits for A Frying Shame. I was stunned to realize I’d named a random street Oriole Road months before we’d even thought about moving! (insert Twilight Zone music here)

I’ll bet you’re thinking I’d driven past that street before, and that somehow the name got stuck in my sub-conscious. Nope. Oriole Court is an internal street within the apartment community. I couldn’t have seen it from the main drag unless I’d driven into the complex. And I hadn’t.

I’ve decided that the universe was whispering in my ear the day I made up that street name. The hubby and I are very happy in our Oriole Court apartment, just as Talia Marby, the fry cook in the Deep Fried mysteries, is loving her new digs in Wrensdale, Massachusetts. Living in her nana’s bungalow, she’s been having a blast transforming the old fish and chips shop into a deep-fried eatery.

But it’s not without its challenges. Wherever Talia goes, murder seems to pop into the picture. If you’re in the Berkshires, stop by Fry Me a Sliver and enjoy a deep-fried treat. The ambiance is cozy, the AC is pumping out chilled air, and the deep fryer is sizzling. And be sure to eavesdrop on the local gossip . . . you can bet it’ll be all about murder.

~Linda

(Guest Post Provided by Publicist)

Thank you so much for stopping by today Linda!! 

You can find out all about Linda Reilly on her Webpage here. Find her on Facebook and GoodReads too!  


A Frying Shame (Deep Fried Mystery, A)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (April 4, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425274156
Kindle ASIN: B01E4WAFEK

 

 

Fry another day.

The town of Wrensdale is abuzz with excitement when Steeltop Foods sponsors a cooking contest to promote its new product, the Flavor Dial. With a $25,000 prize at stake, all the contestants are on edge, including Talia Marby, owner of Fry Me A Sliver. She hopes her mini deep-fried apple pies will win her the money to pay off the renovations on her restaurant. But when Norma Ferguson wins with her flaky-top chicken stew, the tensions dial up even more.

After Norma is found dead at her cooking station, the police suspect a losing contestant got a little too hot under the collar. Now it’s crunch time as Talia works to catch the killer and clear her name before another cook gets burned.

Includes delicious recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We return to Wrensdale just in time for a cooking contest sponsored by Steeltop Fods. Talia is hoping to win the $25,000 prize for her mini deep-fried apple pies, but Norma Ferguson grabs the top prize for her flaky-top chicken stew. Before she can even deposit the check she is found dead in her cooking station and Talia’s part time employee Lucas is in the hospital in critical condition. Of course the police’s top suspects are the losing contestants, but Talia thinks there has to be other suspects with more motivation. When a key piece of evidence lands one of the contestants in jail Talia turns up the heat to catch a killer but she may be the one who fries.

I do enjoy the way Talia handles herself both in business and in her sleuthing. She is super friendly and honestly just wants to get to the truth. She does veer in some dangerous directions when her investigation goes awry making for some scary moments. She is a character with a lot of depth. If I lived in Wrensdale I think we would become fast friends. I also would love to meet Bojangles, the handsome kitty on the cover.

As in Out of the Dying Pan we are introduced to several new characters in this story. Everyone involved in the contest, a politician running for office ad his wife and other members of the community. They all bring their unique personalities to the story.

Wrensdale is the perfect backdrop for this cozy mystery series. Large enough to bring a diverse group of characters into play but small enough for everyone to know everybody’s secrets to make amateur investigating fun.

This story reeled me in quickly. The only thing that could have made this book better was if it came with free samples. The food descriptions had my tummy growling. There are recipes in the back of the book, but I really wanted fish and chips so I made Mr. Dollycas take me out for supper.

A catchy cozy with a clever plot and cunning characters. Bait your lines and catch your own copy. If you are new to the series start at the beginning to fill up your reading plate and dig right in.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


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.

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

Leave a comment for the author 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 May 10, 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.”

Apr 122017
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
Edith Maxwell drops by today for 20 QUICK QUESTIONS!

Favorite Color –  Turquoise, with purple a close second

Favorite Candy –  Dove Dark minis – a must-have on my desk at all times

Favorite Snack –  I’d like to say a freshly plucked sun-warmed strawberry. But honestly, it’s Cape Cod potato chips.

 

Favorite Soft Drink –  Cold Dr. Pepper, but I only have one per decade (I don’t touch the stuff otherwise)

Favorite Hard Drink –  A nice bourbon. Tiny splash of water, no rocks

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor –  Double dark chocolate fudge, or something similar

Favorite Movie –  Dr. Zhivago. Or Bridges of Madison County. And I don’t care what you think that says about me.

Favorite TV Show – Call the Midwife, of course!

Favorite Book – What? That’s like picking a favorite child.

Favorite Fictional Character –  Again: I have to pick one? Okay, Clare Fergusson from Julia Spencer-Fleming’s fabulous series. Can you beat a female Episcopal priest and former Navy helicopter pilot who falls in love with a married man and solves crimes, too?

Favorite Super Hero –  AuthorWoman!

Favorite Singer/Group/BandIris Dement, but she’s not writing new stuff anymore. Cheryl Wheeler, then. Love her voice, her lyrics, her concerts.

Favorite Carnival Ride – Merry go round. Rides that that hang me upside down? Can. Not. Do.

Favorite Spring Activity –  Planting my garden!

Favorite Summer Activity –  Harvesting in my garden and THEN deciding what’s for dinner. Going to the beach afterwards for a sunset walk.

Favorite Fall Activity –  Picking apples and making my world-famous apple pies.

Favorite Winter Activity –  Cross country skiing – quiet gliding aerobic exercise in clear crisp air, and for free? It’s the best.

Favorite Place to Read –  On the couch with a cat or two snoozing nearby

Favorite Place to Write –  In my lovely upstairs office, where I make stuff up and also keep track of what’s going on in my neighborhood (yes, all fiction writers are voyeurs)

Dream Vacation Destination –  A sunny beach, a big umbrella, fabulous local seafood, a few bottles of chilled white wine, and a huge stack of books. Geographic destination doesn’t much matter as long as I have those ingredients.

Thank you Edith for playing 20 Quick Questions today!!


Called to Justice (A Quaker Midwife Mystery)
Historical Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Midnight Ink (April 8, 2017)
Paperback: 312 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738750323
Kindle ASIN: B01FOR0YRW

 
 
 
 
 

Quaker midwife Rose Carroll is enjoying the 1888 Independence Day evening fireworks with her beau when a teenaged Quaker mill girl is found shot dead. After a former slave and fellow Quaker is accused of the murder, Rose delves into the crime, convinced of the man’s innocence. An ill-mannered mill manager, an Irish immigrant, and the victim’s young boyfriend come under suspicion even as Rose’s future with her handsome doctor suitor becomes unsure. Rose continues to deliver babies and listen to secrets, finally figuring out one criminal – only to be threatened by the murderer, with three lives at stake. Can she rescue herself, a baby, and her elderly midwifery teacher in time?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In her follow up to Delivering the Truth Edith Maxwell takes us back to Amesbury, Massachusetts in 1888 just in time for the Independence Day celebration. Rose Carroll is enjoying the fireworks with her beau David Dodge when gunshots ring out and a young woman in found dead. A former slave and Friend becomes the prime suspect leading Rose to delve into the investigation herself. She finds her life in danger the closer she gets to learning the truth. Just when she needs him most her relationship with Doctor Dodge gets rocky and Rose tries to remain strong. There are several lives in danger as this midwife strives to keep everyone safe.

Rose has become a very comfortable character for me. She is smart, caring and kind to everyone she meets. She carries a calmness about her, something that is very important in her work as a midwife. She also keeps her wits about her when things get out of control. She is true to herself and her beliefs. The author captures the history of the time very well. She draws on her Quaker roots to give us real sense of Quaker lifestyle.

The characters Ms. Maxwell surrounds Rose with are quite varied. From very wealthy to factory workers and even a former slave. All are very fleshed out and believable. As Rose connects with them we become aware of their true colors. Some we can quickly eliminate as suspects and others need further scrutiny.

The plot entwines the characters together in many ways making the mystery a tough one to solve. The story gives us a complex mystery with a perfect flow that builds to an exciting climax. Suspense was ratcheted up quite high as the ending played out. I absolutely loved this story.

A wonderful mystery you can get lost in. Travel back with Rose and the people of Amesbury. A  perfect escape!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Agatha-nominated and Amazon best-selling author Edith Maxwell writes the Quaker Midwife Mysteries and the Local Foods Mysteries, the Country Store Mysteries (as Maddie Day), and the Lauren Rousseau Mysteries (as Tace Baker), as well as award-winning short crime fiction. Maxwell lives north of Boston with her beau and three cats, and blogs with the other Wicked Cozy Authors. You can find her on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, and at www.edithmaxwell.com.

You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and at www.edithmaxwell.com.



As Tace Baker

As Maddie Day

Thanks to the author 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 Edith 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 April 25, 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.”

 

Mar 232017
 


I am excited to be part of this tour!

Elementary, She Read: A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery
by Vicki Delany
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (March 14, 2017)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683310969
Kindle ASIN: B01MT6H7O1

 
 
 

Gemma Doyle, a transplanted Englishwoman, has returned to the quaint town of West London on Cape Cod to manage her Great Uncle Arthur’s Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium. The shop–located at 222 Baker Street–specializes in the Holmes canon and pastiche, and is also the home of Moriarty the cat. When Gemma finds a rare and potentially valuable magazine containing the first Sherlock Homes story hidden in the bookshop, she and her friend Jayne (who runs the adjoining Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room) set off to find the owner, only to stumble upon a dead body.

The highly perceptive Gemma is the police’s first suspect, so she puts her consummate powers of deduction to work to clear her name, investigating a handsome rare books expert, the dead woman’s suspiciously unmoved son, and a whole family of greedy characters desperate to cash in on their inheritance. But when Gemma and Jayne accidentally place themselves at a second murder scene, it’s a race to uncover the truth before the detectives lock them up for good.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This series is off to an amazing start!

We meet Gemma Doyle, relative of Sir Authur Conan Doyle??? She says no, but her Uncle’s name is Arthur so you just never know. She and her uncle own the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium at 222 Baker Street. The also own half of the tea shop next door run by Gemma’s friend, Jayne. Both shops are very popular with the tourists. While setting the store to rights after a rush of customers, something Gemma is very particular about, she finds what appears to by a valuable magazine, said to contain Doyle’s first Sherlock Holmes story. In a way similar to the great sleuth, Gemma deduces who left the magazine and where the person is staying. But by the time she and Jayne arrive all the find is a dead body. Gemma has a little history with one of the detectives but the other detective seems to dislike her immediately and names Gemma the prime suspect. Gemma decides to use her own special skills to clear her name and find the real killer herself.

I will say at first I wasn’t a fan of Gemma. She is very Holmes-like in her manner and that can be off putting. But just like Holmes the more you get to know her the more she grows on you. She can be very driven by things that interest her, forgetful about things that are not her immediate concern, and just can’t help herself when her unique observation skills help her to read a situation and burst out with all the facts as she sees them or give her opinion whether wanted or not. We see through her friend Jayne that being Gemma’s friend is sometimes difficult but she is still a treasured friend.  Jayne is definitely Gemma’s Dr. Watson. The author has created these a great characters and a core of supporting cast that I am anxious to get to know even better.

I love the setting. The authors description of not only the wonderful bookshop but of the entire area sounded delightful. A place I would love to visit.

As for the mystery, that is excellent as well. Many viable suspects with motive and means. I thought I had the right person more than once but the plot kept twirling and proving me wrong. That final twist was one heck of a surprise. I never saw it coming.

I am a huge Sherlock Holmes fan. In fact we had our own Moriarty the cat, along with his brothers Sherlock and Watson. I have loved all the movies and most of the television shows. Because of that I know the author has to be a huge fan and/or has done her research diligently to bring this story to life. From the characters to the merchandise in the bookshop and the mystery itself, it is all a modern day tribute to the grand sleuth.

The first book in a new series always has a lot of expectations. Introduce the characters and make them engaging, give readers a great setting and a top-notch mystery too. Well Vicki Delany has done that and more with this book. She has exceeded all my expectations by far. She has given me a paradise worthy escape! You don’t want to miss this story!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Read the first chapter here.


Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers. She is the author of twenty-three published crime novels, including standalone Gothic thrillers, the Constable Molly Smith series, and the Year Round Christmas Mysteries.  Under the pen name of Eva Gates she is the national bestselling author of the Lighthouse Library cozy series.

The first in Vicki’s Sherlock Holmes bookshop series, Elementary She Read, will be released in March 2017 from Crooked Lane Books.

Vicki lives and writes in Prince Edward County, Ontario. She is the past president of the Crime Writers of Canada.

www.vickidelany.com  Facebook:  Vicki Delany & Eva Gates  and twitter: @vickidelany and @evagatesauthor

Purchase Links


Written as Eva Gates

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

More Praise for Elementary She Read
by Vicki Delany

I really enjoyed about the book is the continuing references not only to the original Doyle stories but to several of the adaptations and pastiches through the years…
~The Bookwyrm’s Hoard

A great escape read featuring best friends who will do whatever it takes for each other.
~Laura’s Interests

I found the read to be quick, fun and engaging. I highly recommend this to readers who enjoy Sherlock Holmes mysteries, enjoy attention to detail and like cozy mysteries.
~Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf

The comparisons between Elementary, She Read, and Holmesian lore are many, varied, and each one is like a little gift to unwrap and enjoy.
~Back Porchervations

I’ve already fallen in love with the town of West London and its inhabitants. Gemma, Jayne, Ryan, Louise, and the rest are all well-developed, complex characters …
~VALERIE’S MUSINGS

The mystery is intriguing and the characters are engaging. I’m ready for the next book!
~Reading Is My SuperPower

A strong cast of characters with an eye for solving the case and a great story that will keep you engaged until the end.
~Shelley’s Book Case

What a great find for a Sherlock Holmes fan!
~The Book’s the Thing

This cozy mystery is going to please many Sherlock fans. The entire time I was reading this book, I felt like one if not all the televised Sherlocks were visiting my mind.
~Bibliophile Reviews

If you’re already a Sherlock Holmes aficionado this book will make you happier than a chocoholic in a Godiva factory; if you’re not, you will be by the time you finish reading.
~Melissa’s Mochas, Mysteries and Meows!

It was well written and the plot was excellent. Again, I was totally surprised by the ending of this book and who the killer was.
~Melina’s Book Blog

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
March 13 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – REVIEW
March 13 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
March 13 – Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – SPOTLIGHT
March 14 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
March 14 – Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf – REVIEW
March 15 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
March 15 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
March 16 – Rainy Day Reviews – REVIEW
March 16 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST
March 17 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
March 17 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT
March 18 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW
March 18 – Girl with Book Lungs – GUEST POST  
March 19 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
March 20 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW  
March 20 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
March 21 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
March 21 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
March 22 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 22 – Carole’s Book Corner – REVIEW
March 22 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
March 23 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
March 23 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
March 23 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
March 24 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
March 24 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 25 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW
March 25 – Island Confidential – spotlight
March 26 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW
March 26 – Girl Lost In a Book – REVIEW

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

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

Feb 032017
 


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 not going to lie, what is happening in our country scares me. I will not get all political but it did cause me to choose a different type of book for this week’s Flashback Friday. A book with no mystery to solve, a book about just every day life that I could comfortably “escape” into for a few hours and forget about what is really happening in the real world. I hope you won’t mind that I slipped away from the mystery genre this week.


Everyone Is Beautiful: A Novel
Domestic Life/Humor/Fiction
Setting – Massachsetts
Ballantine Books (February 17, 2009)
Hardcover: 256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1400066438
Paperback
ISBN-13: 978-0749909307
Kindle ASIN: B001NLL2TS

 

 

Lanie Coates’s life is spinning out of control. She’s piled everything she owns into a U-Haul and driven with her husband, Peter, and their three little boys from their cozy Texas home to a multiflight walkup in the Northeast. She’s left behind family, friends, and a comfortable life–all so her husband can realize his dream of becoming a professional musician. But somewhere in the eye of her personal hurricane, it hits Lanie that she once had dreams too. If only she could remember what they were.

These days, Lanie always seems to rank herself dead last–and when another mom accidentally criticizes her appearance, it’s the final straw. Fifteen years, three babies, and more pounds than she’s willing to count since the day she said “I do,” Lanie longs desperately to feel like her old self again. It’s time to rise up, fish her moxie out of the diaper pail, and find the woman she was before motherhood capsized her entire existence.

Lanie sets change in motion–joining a gym, signing up for photography classes, and finding a new best friend. But she also creates waves that come to threaten her whole life. In the end, Lanie must figure out once and for all how to find herself without losing everything else in the process.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I needed to read something different and funny and this book fit the bill.

Lanie’s life takes an abrupt turn when her husband’s new job uproots her family from their Texas home and into a 3rd floor 2 bedroom apartment in Massachusetts. She is with her kids, three under the age of 4,  24/7. While visiting a nearby park one day she reconnects with a classmate from high school and this gives her at least one adult to share things with and keep her sane. Her husband is wrapped up in his work and their relationship has reached the phase where you just go through the days without any real firm connection beyond being parents. At the end of her rope she joins a gym and realizes she has dreams as well. She just needs to figure out what they are and then find space to place them in her life. But can her marriage survive her putting herself first even just for part of the day or week without losing everything else so important to her.

As a mother of four I could relate to Lanie’s story quite easily. Mom’s always put themselves last. Those days when the children are small and it is a triumph to just get a shower or go to the bathroom by yourself. Unlike Lanie, I worked full time when my children were growing up, so I was around adults for a least 8 hours of the day. Lanie heads to the gym for her “me time”. I used to escape to my sewing room, where I made the lion’s share of the clothes for my family, and let my creative juices flow.

The author gives us an entertaining and in places really funny look at family life. You know the day to day stuff most of our lives are filled with. It’s not rocket science but sometimes getting through days with toddlers it seems like rocket science would be easier. Three little boys can be tough, especially 3 boys under four years old. I did want to jump in the book a few times to tell her to put the youngest one down. He was almost a year old and not crawling or walking yet and I think that was because she carried him everywhere. He was like her security blanket. Funny, after some lifestyle adjustments near the end of the book the little guy starts walking and crawling all in one day

This was just the book I needed to read at this time. It brought back some fond memories, but even it, a book like this, my new trigger word appeared, “suicide”. It seems I just can’t escape that in anything I read these days. Thankfully it was only a mention and was followed by a moment that made me laugh. This book was recommended to me several years ago, long before my son took his life. It has been buried in my To-Be-Read stacks since then. Waiting for me to find the perfect time to read it. Well last Sunday was the perfect time. If you need a light read, this may be the one.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


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.

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

Contest Will End February 17, 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

*This book was from my personal collection.

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.

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 Barbara or Liz for 5 Bonus 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 January 4, 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.”

The Detecting Duchess (Victorian Bookshop Mystery) by Kate ParkerBuy Now
%d bloggers like this: