May 072016
 

special guest blue
I am thrilled to have Heather Blake drop by today!

Heather Blake 2014

Paranormal, on the Light Side

By Heather Blake

(Post received from publicist.)

I’ve always had a fascination with the paranormal, so it’s really no surprise to me that I started writing witches, psychics, and empaths… My early love of I Dream of Jeannie, Bewitched, and more recently, my slight addiction to Long Island Medium have all have influenced me. But alas, I’m not a witch. Or a genie. Or a psychic. Instead of writing what I know (a common phrase in fiction writing), I simply write what fascinates me.

gone with the witchBeyond pop culture influences, I’ve also had some personal incidents in my life that have made me take note of the paranormal. When my twenty-two-year-old son was three, it was early morning when I heard him talking in the other room, having a full conversation with someone I couldn’t see… When I asked him who he was talking to, he said quite seriously (yet calmly), “The man.”

Spooky, right? It was for me too—at first. But my grandfather had died the week before, before he’d had a chance to meet my son… I like to believe that they were getting to know each other.

For years, I’ve noticed that when I get into my car, my rearview mirror is tilted. If I run an errand and come back to the car the mirror is askew. Not every time, but enough times to make me wonder who’s riding along with me.

It’s situations like these — and others I hear about — that keep me writing about things that can’t easily be explained. I write books that deal with things that go bump…all day long. All of it is unexplainable. All of it so very fun.

Fun, because my preference is to take supernatural experiences and keep them light, to find the humor in them, or to take an emotional look at how these things can impact the lives of those around them…for the good. Despite writing murder mysteries, I prefer to focus on the good, not the evil, which comes across in every book I’ve ever written. There’s too much dark in the world as it is—which is why I don’t like scary movies…or watching the news. Instead you’ll catch me watching repeats of Bewitched.

Have you had anything go bump lately?

~Heather

Heather Blake (aka Heather Webber) is the author of more than twenty novels and has been twice nominated for an Agatha Award. She’s a total homebody who loves to be close to her family, read, watch reality TV (especially cooking competition shows), drink too much coffee, crochet, and bake cookies. Heather grew up in a suburb of Boston, but currently she lives in the Cincinnati area with her family.

Follow Heather – www.heatherblakebooks.com
On Facebook
On Twitter


Also by Heather Blake

gone with the witch
Gone With the Witch (Wishcraft Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
An Obsidian Mystery (May 3, 2016)
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1101990117
E-Book ASIN: B013Q70B1Q
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

Darcy and her dog Missy are determined to put their best foot forward at the Enchanted Village’s annual Pawsitively Enchanted pet contest. She’s happy to lend a hand when the show’s organizer hires Darcy to keep an eye on things among growing suspicions that someone is sabotaging the event. But Darcy’s quest for justice is thrown off the scent when her lead suspect is found dead at the competition.

As if a murder weren’t bad enough, someone begins snatching up prize-winning pets right from under their owners’ noses. Darcy is determined to protect the pampered participants at whatever cost. But she’ll have to work fast to sniff out the thief before she becomes the next victim of a killer determined to stop her dead in her tracks…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Another enchanting tale from Heather Blake. This series is so magical. I sat down to read and the real world just disappeared.

The pets are on parade in this Wishcraft Mystery with a Pawsitively Enchanted Pet Contest. It is set up like a fair with each pet having a booth. Darcy and Missy are entered but they are really on a job. They have been hired to make sure a certain someone doesn’t sabotage the competition.  When that certain someone ends up dead Darcy focus changes from saving the fair to catching a killer. That isn’t all, someone is stealing some of the contestants and their owners are desperate for their return. Darcy has her handful and wishes she could wish all the problems away but she is going to have to collar the killer by tracking them down herself.

I love the characters, the setting and Ms. Blake always pens a fantastic mystery.

The human residents of The Enchanted Village are wonderful but the “familiars” always put a smile on my face. Pepe and Mrs. P. are quite a pair and always available to help Darcy out. Archie has his own problems this time but still has time to throw a few movie quotes about.

The village is not just enchanting, it is a busy place. There is always something going on. In addition to Darcy work she is having a house renovated and her romantic relationship with Nick is moving right along. Aunt Ve is always up to something. Darcy thinks she is meeting in secret with The Elder and wonders what they have brewing.

Magic and mystery are blended together in such a great way. I was engaged from the first page until the last and sorry that the story had to end.

Throughout the series a big secret has been kept from Darcy and her sister. We got close to a reveal in the last book but it comes to light completely in this story. Now we have to wait to see what happens next in The Witch and the Dead in October. I am wishing it wasn’t so far away! 

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAY
The publisher is giving away 1 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.

Leave a comment for Heather for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End May 21, 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.”

May 042016
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I love when Sally Goldenbaum stops by for a visit.

Her new book, Murder at Lambswool Farm, the 11th Seaside Knitters Mystery, was released yesterday in hardcover. A Finely Knit Murder, book 9 in the series was released in trade paperback yesterday too. 

SALLY

 

My warmest thanks to our wonderful hostess, Dolly. She is a friend to so many of us, bringing readers and writers together in her cozy corner. Thank you, dear Dolly.

It all began with a Farm, a Lamb, a Beautiful Sunset Dinner . . .

sally 1Sometimes when a new mystery is about to be launched and people ask me how it all began, I have to really think hard to separate the final product from the very first idea, that first ‘ping’ that made me think of my Sea Harbor women and their mystery solving expertise.

Was it something I read?   A conversation I overheard in Starbucks? Something I saw on a walk?

sally 2Sometimes that moment is easy to remember, like the time I spotted a deserted baby car seat on a beach and it was still there days later. It stayed in my head, a mystery for Nell, Izzy, Cass and Birdie to solve—a scene that launched the fifth seaside knitters mystery, Angora Alibi.

Or the day I walked along the Gloucester harbor and was curious about an overgrown piece of valuable land, strewn with trash and bordered by a rusty fence. Who owned it? Why was it such a mess? It wasn’t until I explored it in A Fatal Fleece that an old fisherman named Finnegan helped the seaside knitters figure it all out.

sally 3Murder at Lambswool Farm was different. It began with beautiful photographs I came upon by chance: a green sustainable farm in Massachusetts, a photo of a barn transformed into my dream kitchen, and a photo of an elegantly set table out in a field. I wanted to be in every one of those scenes. And so was born Lambswool Farm, a piece of land Birdie (the oldest seaside knitter) had inherited. She decided to turn it into a farm where guests could dine alongside the vegetables—with the sea in the distance and soft music floating on the salty breeze. And of course it would be called Lambswool Farm. Birdie is a knitter, after all—and she has a granddaughter who loves lambs.

sally4It wasn’t until I began writing about the farm that the mystery developed. It happened the day a stranger stopped at the gate. His car broke down, or so he said. He was a photographer … or so it seemed.  A passerby…he said…but one who seemed overly curious about the seaside knitters and Sea Harbor—especially the town’s medical clinic, where strange things began happening.

And so it began . . . .a farm, a lamb, a sunset dinner . . .and the murder of a well-loved Sea Harbor resident. . . a seaside mystery to be solve

~Sally

About The Author

Sally Goldenbaum is a sometime philosophy teacher, a knitter, and an editor, and the author of more than thirty novels. Sally became more serious about knitting with the birth of her first grandchild and the creation of the Seaside Knitters Mystery series. Her fictional knitting friends are teaching her the intricacies of women’s friendship, the mysteries of small-town living, and the very best way to pick up dropped stitches on a lacy knit shawl.

Follow Sally

Webpage

Twitter    Facebook

MURDER AT LAMBSWOOL FARM
Murder at Lambswool Farm (Seaside Knitters Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
11th in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
An Obsidian Mystery (May 3, 2016)
New American Library
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451471642
E-Book – ASIN: B013Q70DCS
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

Late summer blooms in beautiful Sea Harbor, Massachusetts, and while a harvest thrives, Izzy Chambers Perry and the other Seaside Knitters will need to cast on their sleuthing skills to save a local farm.  Unfortunately, finding a killer can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. . . .
 
Seaside Knitter Birdie Favazza has long loved knitting, but lately she’s taken on a new challenge—making a family farm operational again. With help from friends, Lambswool Farm is now up and running, with thriving crops and grazing sheep.  In addition, the farm will host rustic, six-course prix fixe dinners plated by local chefs and served on a gorgeous restored harvest table, decorated to perfection with colorful knitted vegetables crafted by Izzy Chambers Perry, her aunt Nell, and the other Seaside Knitters.

But on the night of the first meal, everything spins out of control when one of the guests, Seaside Harbor’s family physician, becomes fatally ill. It seems that behind Dr. Alan Hamilton’s friendly bedside manner was a man with enemies and secrets.

Soon the town is gossiping and pointing fingers at all possible suspects—including the women at Lambswool Farm. Now the Seaside Knitters must join together to uncover the truth in Dr. Hamilton’s complicated past—and restore peace to town and country alike.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

When I pick up a book by Sally Goldenbaum I feel like I am going to visit dear friends. I can’t believe this is book 11 in this series, meaning this is my 11th visit to Sea Harbor. This time we travel to Lambswool Farm. Birdie with the help of several Sea Harbor residents has given new life to the Favazza Family Farm. The fields are full of crops and there are sheep in the pasture. The farm will now serve diners huge farm to table dinners outside at huge table. (Check out the cover for a great picture.) I love this idea! But on the night the first meal is served a long time Sea Harbor resident dies. No one else even got sick, so there is definitely some cause other than the fabulous food. The Seaside Knitters need to find the truth before it not only ruins Birdie’s plans but tears the community apart.

The Seaside Knitters, Izzy, Nell, Cass and Birdie, along with their spouses, significant others, kids and friends are some of the best characters right now in cozy literature. Over the years the group has grown because as a whole they are all so welcoming. Knitting may have brought them together in the beginning but it is their friendships that have stood the test of time. (Don’t worry if you are new to the series or need a little refresher the author includes a cast list as the start of the book.) They welcome someone new to the group this time who seems to be just passing through but ends up staying longer than they planned.

The dialogue between the characters is genuine and smart. They all have different ways to process clues and it is fun to see how it all comes together in the end.

Great dialogue is born from a great story. The murder plot was so well written and knit together with everything else going on is Sea Harbor flawlessly. I really enjoy the way Ms. Goldenbaum tells a story. The death doesn’t happen early in the book. She lets the reader catch up with our favorite characters and all that is happening in their lives before we really need to sink our teeth in to trying to solve the mystery. Then she throws in some twists that have us doing a backstitch or two as she keeps us guessing right to the end.

I have enjoyed every virtual vacation to Sea Harbor. It is a beautiful place to visit full of wonderful people. I am ready to book my next trip there as soon as possible.

Thank you Sally for the wonderful trip!

 

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the publisher I have 2 copies of Murder at Lambswool Farm to give away!
AND 1 copy of A Finely Knit Murder too!

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.

This year I am trying to build my Twitter following so for this giveaway 4 Bonus Entries will be awarded by following me on Twitter. @dollycas

Leave a comment for Sally for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End May 18, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

 

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

Apr 122016
 

delivering the truthDelivering the Truth
(A Quaker Midwife Mystery)

New Series
Historical Cozy Mystery
Setting – Massachusetts
Publisher: Midnight Ink (April 8, 2016)
Paperback: 312 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738747521
E-Book ASIN: B019KKTWX6
goodreads-badge-add-plus

Synopsis

Quaker midwife Rose Carroll hears secrets and keeps confidences as she attends births of the rich and poor alike in an 1888 Massachusetts mill town. When the town’s world-famed carriage industry is threatened by the work of an arsonist, and a carriage factory owner’s adult son is stabbed to death with Rose’s own knitting needle, she is drawn into solving the mystery. Things get dicey after the same owner’s mistress is also murdered, leaving her one-week-old baby without a mother. The Quaker poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier helps Rose by lending words of advice and support. While struggling with being less than the perfect Friend, Rose draws on her strengths as a counselor and problem solver to bring two murderers to justice before they destroy the town’s carriage industry and the people who run it.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This is an excellent debut!

The story takes place in Amesbury, Massachusetts in 1888. Rose Carroll is a midwife and she is also a Quaker. She has been taught from birth to see the best in people and let God’s light shine on everything she says and does and in times of turmoil. Turmoil comes in a fire, an arson, of a carriage factory and all the surrounding buildings. Several lives are lost. The turmoil continues when the owner of the carriage factory’s son is murdered. The weapon just happens to be one of Rose’s knitting needles. This means she knows the killer. When another death occurs, one of her patients, she knows she has to do all she can to uncover the truth and the murderer.

I am so impressed with this author’s writing. The Quaker lifestyle is unique and it is portrayed so well in this story.  She is writing about something she know personally and it shines. I appreciate the insight into their Meetings and their quiet form of worship, their views and beliefs on equality and passive resolution. As someone not too familiar with their way of life I really only knew about their manner of speech,  their use of thee as an ordinary pronoun, and plain manner of dressing. So in addition to a fine mystery the story was educational as well.

Her descriptions of Amesbury make the town come to life. Following Rose from place to place we have a clear bird’s eye view. I loved traveling back in time, no cars and only a few telephones. It was amusing to see Rose handling the new invention of the safety bicycle (both wheels the same size.) She also shows us the dark things of this period. Children working at a very young age and  the poverty families faced. Most people worked so hard to provide so little.

I love Rose. She has such a good heart and is an wonderful midwife. Amazing to think she was only paid $2 per child and when people could not afford to pay she worked things out in trade. Being a midwife and a Friend enabled her to get close to people to ask questions about the deaths. She also has a beau who is not a member of her faith. This makes for interesting times together like meeting his parents.

Edith Maxwell has written a complicated mystery. She gives us plenty of suspects with different types of motive. It keeps a good pace and then ramps up at the end with an edge of you seat climax.

If you are a fan of historical mysteries you will love this book. If you are looking for something fresh and new that takes you back in time this is the perfect book for you. For me this one goes on the keeper shelf and gets a paradise rating.

paradise 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

MaxwellAbout This Author

Edith Maxwell is an Agatha-nominated mystery author. MURDER MOST FOWL, book four in her Local Foods Mystery series, releases in 2016. Edith once owned and operated the smallest certified-organic farm in Essex County, Massachusetts.

Edith also writes the historical Quaker Midwife Mysteries. DELIVERING THE TRUTH, featuring a Quaker midwife sleuth in 1888, just released.  Edith is Clerk of Amesbury Friends Meeting. Her story, “A Questionable Death,” is nominated for an Agath Award for Best Short Story.

As Maddie Day, Edith writes the Country Store Mysteries set in southern Indiana. GRILLED FOR MURDER releases in 2016.

BLUFFING IS MURDER, the second in Edith’s Lauren Rousseau mystery series (written as Tace Baker), features a Quaker linguistics professor. Edith holds a PhD in linguistics.

Her short stories have appeared in more than a dozen juried anthologies and magazines. She is active in Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime and is the Vice President of SINC New England.

Edith, a fourth-generation Californian, has two grown sons and lives in an antique house north of Boston with her beau, their three cats, a small organic garden, and some impressive garden statuary. She worked as a software technical writer for almost two decades but now writes fiction full time.

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



As Tace Baker

As Maddie Day

Edith is touring Delivering the Truth right now with Great Escapes. You can go to the Tour Page HERE to check out the stops and enter the giveaway.

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 012016
 

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

After my son’s death last year my reading schedule really got messed up. I just realized that a new book was coming out in this series in May and I hadn’t read this one yet. I had given the 4th book in the series, The Goodbye Witch, a Paradise Rating so how did I miss this book??

some like it witchy
Some Like It Witchy: A Wishcraft Mystery
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
An Obsidian Mystery (May 5, 2015)
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451465887
E-Book ASIN: B00O2BKM0Q
goodreads-badge-add-plus

Wishcrafter Darcy Merriweather can charm desires into reality, but as the national bestselling Wishcraft mysteries continue, she won’t be able to magically avoid trouble when death holds an open house….

The Enchanted Village is abuzz when the old Tavistock house finally goes up for sale. Darcy’s friend Curecrafter Cherise Goodwin is hoping she will have the winning bid on the home, but Darcy can’t shake the feeling that something bad is about to happen—and her magical instincts are usually right.

Sure enough, while Darcy and Cherise are looking at the property, they discover real estate agent Raina Gallagher stone-cold dead on the floor. Clutched in her hand is a gemstone amulet and, on the wall above her, a large red A. While Raina had no shortage of enemies, there’s also a dark legend about the house itself. To track down the killer, Darcy must unlock the secrets of both the deceased and the estate—and she’ll need to act fast, because revenge is a deal that never closes.…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I LOVE THIS SERIES!!

Darcy Merriweather is wishcrafter, meaning she can grant wishes, with the exception of bringing someone back from the dead or money. Boy, those are two wishes I wish for every day 🙂 but she is able to grant some really wonderful wishes. She also runs a personal concierge business call As You Wish with her Aunt Ve.

In this installment Darcy is taking care of the business and Aunt Ve is running for town council. As You Wish has been hired to help Curecrafter Cherise Goodwin find the perfect home. Cherise has decided the perfect home for her is right next door to her ex and Darcy has been unable to change her mind, so they go to take one last look at the house before the final bid. Darcy just has an inkling something bad is going to happen and it does. They find their real estate agent, Raina, dead on the floor. This is when dating the police chief has its advantages. They kinda work together to solve the crime. I am sure Nick wishes she would leave the investigating to him but that is one wish she definitely will not be granting.

Again, I escaped right into this story and enjoyed every minute. All of the characters are special, the setting is as the name says, enchanting, and plot and subplots are fun, entertaining and tricky too. So many secrets are whirling around The Enchanted Village. Some humorous, one that made Darcy, her sister and me all say”EW”, o.k. I said it with a little giggle, and others that lead you deeper into the story of why the realtor had to die. There is also a big secret that I think I know the answer to. Maybe it will be revealed in the next book.

Heather Blake is a gifted storyteller. Every one of these characters came alive in these pages and I truly “WISH” they were real. I want to pack my bags and move there today.  She has created a modern day fairy tale, that tests our minds as we follow the clues and puts a smile on your face throughout the whole story.

Each story on this series builds from the last as Darcy learns more and more about her gift and this very unique tourist hot spot. That is why I recommend starting at the beginning. That being said the author gives enough information to really jump in anywhere.

Some Like It Witchy – I sure do!

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 About This Author
Heather Blake (aka Heather Webber) is the author of over a dozen novels. She’s a Dr Pepper enthusiast, total homebody who loves to be close to her family, read, watch Reality TV (totally addicted, especially to competition shows), crochet, occasionally leave the house to hike the beautiful mountains in the northeast, bake (mostly cookies) and dreams of owning a house at the base of Mt. Mansfield in Stowe, VT. Heather grew up in a suburb of Boston, but currently, she lives in the Cincinnati area with her family and is hard at work on her next book. Find out more at http://www.heatherblakebooks.com/


Coming in May

Also by Heather Blake

GIVEAWAY
I am giving away my review 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.

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 15, 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.”

Mar 302016
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640
Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am excited to have Linda Reilly visit today!

linda reillyGuest Post by Linda Reilly
(Provided by publicist)

One of the things I love to do is to poke around at a crafts fair. Whether it’s to snag a hand-made gift for the holiday, buy a whimsical pin, or pick up an herb packet from which to make a tasty dip, I find that spending an hour or so at a local crafts event really sparks my creative side.

out of the dying panOut of the Dying Pan, the second book in the Deep Fried mystery series, gave me the perfect opportunity to feature a crafts fair of sorts. Talia Marby, the newly-minted owner of Fry Me a Sliver, has volunteered to sell squares of deep-fried marble cake drizzled with raspberry sauce at the Town of Wrensdale’s annual fundraiser. Armed with a portable deep fryer, she sets up shop in a corner of the community center’s gymnasium, right next to a vintage accessories booth. While the delectable scent of Talia’s deep-fried cakes fills the air, unfriendly vibes drift over from the adjoining booth. Talia can’t imagine why Ria, the woman selling the vintage items, keeps throwing hateful looks at her. Talia doesn’t even know the woman! Then Talia spies a familiar scarf on one of Ria’s displays—it was the very scarf Talia had knitted for her nana eons ago. But how did Ria get her nana’s scarf? Talia tries to buy it, but is soundly snubbed. When Talia later stumbles upon Ria’s body, the scarf knotted around Ria’s slender neck, she catapults to the top of the suspect list. She later learns that the scarf was stained with telltale raspberry sauce . . .

I’m happy to report that I’ve never tripped over a body at a crafts fair. This past December I attended a huge crafts event that had all my favorites – glassware, pottery, baked goods (can’t go without those), and yes . . . knitted scarves. At one booth, a woman was selling gorgeous greeting cards. One set of cards in particular depicted forest animals lining up to visit an adorable Santa figure. It gave me an idea. I purchased the cards, which were blank inside. On my computer, I typed my own holiday greeting in red ink and printed out a bunch of them. Using a tiny paper cutter, I trimmed my holiday message to fit inside each card. A swipe across the top with a glue stick ensured that it would stay in place. What I loved about creating my own holiday message was that I could change the greeting, or even the font, to suit the recipient. Not only was this a fun project, but it gave me a way to personalize each of my cards.

So tell me, are you crafty? Have you ever set up a table at a crafts fair? I love hearing about readers’ creative pursuits!

~Linda

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!  


out of the dying pan

Out of the Dying Pan: A Deep Fried Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (March 1, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Cover Illustration by Dan Craig
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425274149
ASIN: B00Z8VT87W
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

 

For Talia Marby, the sweet smell of success is a lot like the pungent aroma of fried fish and vinegar. Her new business, Fry Me a Sliver, is rapidly expanding beyond fish and chips to become one of the best eateries in the Berkshires. But the nasty owner of a neighboring boutique is making a stink, baiting Talia in a very public fight at a community center fundraiser and nursing an inexplicable grudge.

When the boutique owner is found strangled with Talia’s scarf knotted around her neck, our favorite fish fryer finds herself in hot oil. Needing to clear her name, and fast, Talia’s investigation soon yields some shocking surprises as well as a sizzling suspicion: someone had good reason to want the victim dead—and it’s frying Talia’s nerves…

Includes delicious recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I read and reviewed the first book in this series, Fillet of Murder earlier this month, and loved it. This one grabbed me that same way.

Taila Marby now owns the restaurant and it has a new name, Fry Me a Sliver. She also has a new, employee, Martha Hoelscher, and she is a bit prickly to be around, but she is a good worker.  Lucas is still there as part time help and his skateboard goes almost everywhere he does.  Talia is working to make the place her own and adding some new items to the menu. She takes part in a fundraiser for the community center and debuts something new. It is a hit with almost everyone. Everyone except the vendor in the next booth. She owns a new boutique in the Wrensdale Arcade and she doesn’t like Talia or her food. By the time Talia starts to figure out why, the woman is dead and Talia is the primary suspect. How is she going to get herself out of this mess?

I liked that this time the murder takes place away from the Wrensdale Arcade and that meant we met several new people. Some nice, some a little weird, and a some that could be trouble. We do spend plenty of time at the Arcade with the cobblestone walks, unique shops and Talia’s eatery. Reilly really describes the scene well. I had a firm picture in my mind.

She also creates full bodied characters with a lot of depth. Some of the back stories are sad and my heart really felt bad for them. But not everyone is who they seem and those twists were so great. I would probably say one really shocked me. Totally surprised.

I was missing Bea, the previous owner of the restaurant. I was thrilled when she made a cameo appearance!

I have to mention that kitty on the cover, his name is Bojangles, Bo for short and he has not only captured Talia’s heart but mine too.

You will be craving fish and other fried goodies throughout this entire story so prepare according, We had fish for dinner. 🙂

Another delectable delight from this author. I am ready to place my order for the next installment today. FRY ME!!!

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

This year I am trying to build my Twitter following so for this giveaway 4 Bonus Entries will be awarded by following me on Twitter. @dollycas

Leave a comment for Linda for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End April 13, 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.”

Mar 182016
 

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

fillet of murder
Fillet of Murder:
A Deep Fried Mystery

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (May 5, 2015)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Cover Illustration by Dan Craig
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425274132
E-Book – ASIN: B00O2BS33O
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

 

Talia Marby serves up delectable English deep fried fare in the heart of the Berkshires—but she soon discovers there’s something fishy going on…

Sometimes in this life, you have to fish or cut bait. After walking away from a miserable job and an even worse boyfriend, Talia Marby has no regrets. She’s returned to her hometown and is happy to help her dear friend Bea Lambert by working at Lambert’s Fish & Chips, a cornerstone of a charming shopping plaza designed to resemble an old English village.

But not all the shop owners are charming. Phil Turnbull has been pestering Bea to sign a petition against a new store opening up, and his constant badgering is enough to make her want to boil him in oil. When Talia and Bea stumble upon Turnbull murdered in his shop, the police suspect Bea. Now it’s up to Talia to fish around for clues and hook the real killer before her friend has to trade serving food for serving time…

Includes delicious recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

What a delicious mystery!

Talia Marcy leaves a job she hates and a crumby boyfriend behind to return hometown and work at a place that is like her second home. She worked at Lambert’s Fish & Chips in high school and the owners Bea and Howie became almost a second set of parents. She knew it was just the place for her to reset and regroup her life until the right job comes along. Then the cantankerous Phil Trumbull shows up to torment Bea with some kind of petition to stop a new comic book store from opening. Bea has a few choice words for him, deep frying him in oil were some of the included words, but she never meant it in the literal sense. When Talia and Bea find him dead, (not fried), Bea’s words come back to bite her when she becomes the #1 suspect. Talia decides to prove Bea’s innocence by trying to catch the killer herself. Hopefully she doesn’t become the day’s catch herself.

I love Talia, she’s strong and smart and she deeply cares about her friends. Bea means the world to her and they work together like a well-oiled machine. Bea is a special lady too. Not afraid of hard work and with a heart as big as all outdoors. She reminds me of my own mom. I was really engaged by both of them. Whitnee also works for Bea. She is a student with a very overbearing mother. Both Bea and Talia do their best to look out for her.

The setting for this story is the charming Wrensdale Arcade. A  shopping plaza where all the shop exteriors looked like they popped right out of an old English village. It sounds like a very unique place.

The murder happens very early in the story but readers still have time to figure out enough about Phil Turnbull to understand why he was so disliked. As the story continued and more suspects were revealed and we see they all had motivation to kill the man.  As quickly as the man was killed the clues quickly lead to someone I totally didn’t expect as the killer. I had the WOW light bulb over my head. A really well executed twist.

I really enjoyed the background story of Talia staying in her Nana’s house while it was up for sale. Dealing with realtors, trying to to make herself not too much at home because this is just a temporary living arrangement. She even has a kitty come to her door who she starts to feed and soon the little guy has not only wormed his way into the house but also Talia’s heart.

This is truly a grand debut. It checks all the boxes of what I love in a great cozy mystery. – Likable and believable characters, a comfortable setting, and a mystery that keeps you guessing right up to the final reveal.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out all about Linda Reilly on her Webpage here. Find her on Facebook and GoodReads too!  The second book in this series, Out of the Dying Pan, was released this month and Linda will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday on March 30. 

GIVEAWAY
I am giving my review copy 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.

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 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.”

Nov 112015
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640
Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am always so happy when Sally stop by for a visit!

SALLY

 

Visiting Dolly’s cozy corner is like coming home in a way. She and I have been sharing books and lives for years now. Thank you for inviting me back.

 

And in the beginning there was . . .

 

The release of the tenth seaside knitters mystery this month (Trimmed with Murder) has me feeling nostalgic (TEN books. That means ten plus years of hanging out with Nell, Izzy, Cass and Birdie—ten years of friendship with these ladies, ten years of following them around and asking them to share their lives with me).

It has me thinking about the very beginning of the series when I had nothing but a vague idea that I wanted to write a mystery series revolving around four smart, curious women of different ages, four women with four unique personalities—just like the wonderful readers who have come to share them with me.trimmed for murder

Here’s how they came about. I sat down in front of a blank computer screen and began writing four essays about the women I’d like to have as friends. I decided on an age span that I found interesting—30s, 40s—60 and Birdie, who is Sea Harbor’s wise and wonderful grande dame, somewhere around 80. The essays included things that might never appear in the books, but allowed me entry into their lives, telling me where they were born, went to school, what they studied, their first romantic encounters, first jobs. Astrological signs. Hobbies and idiosyncrasies.

  • Izzy and Nell came from the Midwest where I now live. Izzy headed to Boston to college, just as my daughter did. Nell loves to cook (me, too).
  • Birdie is an easterner who has always lived in the Cape Ann area, but she was actually inspired by a Midwestern woman, a mentor of mine— a wonderful woman who taught me philosophy years ago, who marched at Selma and who is an infinitely wise and wonderful friend.
  • And Cass, my favorite lobsterwoman, was inspired by several books I read about a lobsterwoman who was raised in New England and worked on Cape Ann. I loved the idea of a woman overseeing crusty fishermen – and then sitting in Izzy’s back room and learning how to knit.

And the place? That was easy. My daughter lives on Cape Ann, and about the time I was developing the series, she was beginning her family. Grandchildren on Cape Ann. A place I would want to visit often.

  • Sea Harbor, the seaside knitters’ town, is culled from all that I love about Cape Ann and Boston’s North Shore. Charming New England villages, wonderful little stores and restaurants, and interesting personalities and nationalities forming communities that live and love and work together.

Ten years. Happy anniversary Nell, Izzy, Cass, and Birdie. Those long-ago essays were a start, and in each book, I hope to delve a little deeper into their lives, finding out what makes each of them the woman she has become. In TRIMMED WITH MURDER we learn a little more about Izzy’s family. I hope you enjoy meeting Charlie….

Until next time, thank you for joining me in this wonderful Cozy Corner. And thank you Dear Dolly.

~Sally

About The Author

Sally Goldenbaum is a sometime philosophy teacher, a knitter, and an editor, and the author of more than thirty novels. Sally became more serious about knitting with the birth of her first grandchild and the creation of the Seaside Knitters mystery series. Her fictional knitting friends are teaching her the intricacies of women’s friendship, the mysteries of small-town living, and the very best way to pick up dropped stitches on a lacy knit shawl.

Follow Sally

Webpage

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trimmed for murderTrimmed with Murder:
A Seaside Knitters Mystery

10th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Massachusetts
An Obsidian Mystery (November 3, 2015)
New American Library
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451471628
E-Book ASIN: B00SI02B2Y
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

In this holiday yarn from the USA Today bestselling author of A Finely Knit Murder, all Izzy Chambers Perry wants for Christmas is to keep her brother out of jail….

In Sea Harbor, the holidays mean cozy fires, festive carols, and soft skeins of yarn waiting to become hats and sweaters and scarves. And this year, Izzy and the other Seaside Knitters are also knitting tiny ornaments to decorate a tree for the first annual tree-trimming contest.

Their holiday cheer is multiplied when Izzy’s younger brother, Charlie Chambers, unexpectedly arrives to volunteer at a local clinic. He brings with him outspoken hitchhiker Amber Hanson, who is returning to Sea Harbor to claim an inheritance. She quickly reacquaints herself with the area—and forms an unlikely friendship with Charlie. But their bond is shattered when her body is found beneath the undecorated trees on the Harbor Green.

Charlie is a suspect in the murder, so Izzy and her fellow Knitters step in to uncover the truth. Their journey takes them into Charlie’s past and tests their fierce love for him. But it’s only by peeling away long-buried secrets that they can hope to restore joy to the season and enjoy the shining lights of the newly decorated trees….

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have been looking forward to this book since I finished A Finely Knit Murder in the Spring and it is even better than I had hoped!

Charlie Chambers, Izzy’s brother, returns to Sea Harbor very unexpectedly and just happens to pick up Amber Hanson along the way. Charlie is there to start work at a free clinic and Amber has some papers to sign regarding an inheritance. They become fast friends knowing that neither of them plans to stay in town for long. Sadly Amber’s visit is cut short when she is found dead on the Harbor Green. Charlie may have been the last person to see her alive and quickly becomes the prime suspect. So Izzy and the Seaside Knitters are plowing through the clues to prove his innocence. They are also hoping he stays in Sea Harbor well past the holidays.

Curl up in front of the fire with a class of wine and enjoy the latest Seaside Knitters mystery. I sure did.

Sally Goldenbaum breathes such life into these characters it is hard to remember they are not real. Izzy, Nell, Cass and Birdie are the Seaside Knitters. They meet each week at Izzy’s shop to work on their projects, enjoy some delicious food and discuss everything from knitting to families and  sometimes even murder. They also gather at least once a week at Nell’s along with their families and friends for a potluck dinner and some adult beverages. The current crime is also a hot topic. After 10 years we have met so many wonderful characters. I have given up trying to choose a favorite because I love them all.

It was so easy to envision Sea Harbor at Christmastime. The annual tree decorating contest is an awesome idea. All the trees recently planted on the Harbor Green and each business or group trimming with specially made ornaments all to raise money for charity.

Several plotlines, Charlie’s return after so many years, Amber’s life that was tear jerking as we came to know more and more, the holiday events. They all converge when Amber is murdered. The killer strikes several chapters into the story so Amber has found her way into our hearts. Charlie’s pain at the loss was just so sad.

Like all the earlier installments friendship is the main theme of this book. The people we meet in these stories are one big family. The celebrate the highs and are so supportive in the lows. There are shoulders to cry on, hugs are passed out freely and ears are always open to listen. Great food and drink and yarn entangles them altogether. And vicariously we get to go along for the ride.

It has been an amazing 10 books and I truly can’t wait for trip #11.

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas

GIVEAWAY

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for Sally for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End November 25, 2015 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 272015
 

christmas bellsChristmas Bells: A Novel
Dutton (October 27, 2015)
Setting – Massachusetts
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0525955245
E-Book ASIN: B00SI02BZ6
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini celebrates Christmas, past and present, with a wondrous novel inspired by the classic poem “Christmas Bells,” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

I heard the bells on Christmas Day/ Their old familiar carols play/ And wild and sweet/ The words repeat/Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

In 1860, the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow family celebrated Christmas at Craigie House, their home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The publication of Longfellow’s classic Revolutionary War poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride,” was less than a month hence, and the country’s grave political unrest weighed heavily on his mind. Yet with his beloved wife, Fanny, and their five adored children at his side, the delights of the season prevailed.

In present-day Boston, a dedicated teacher in the Watertown public school system is stunned by somber holiday tidings. Sophia’s music program has been sacrificed to budget cuts, and she worries not only about her impending unemployment but also about the consequences to her underprivileged students. At the church where she volunteers as music director, Sophia tries to forget her cares as she leads the children’s choir in rehearsal for a Christmas Eve concert. Inspired to honor a local artist, Sophia has chosen a carol set to a poem by Longfellow, moved by the glorious words he penned one Christmas Day long ago, even as he suffered great loss.

Christmas Bells chronicles the events of 1863, when the peace and contentment of Longfellow’s family circle was suddenly, tragically broken, cutting even deeper than the privations of wartime. Through the pain of profound loss and hardship, Longfellow’s patriotism never failed, nor did the power of his language. “Christmas Bells,” the poem he wrote that holiday, lives on, spoken as verse and sung as a hymn.

Jennifer Chiaverini’s resonant and heartfelt novel for the season reminds us why we must continue to hear glad tidings, even as we are tested by strife. Reading Christmas Bells evokes the resplendent joy of a chorus of voices raised in reverent song.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

There are two stories in this book. One set in present time and the other in 1863. They are tied together by Longfellow poem Christmas Bells. The book alternates chapters going back and forth between the two stories.

The main story tells the reader about Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and his family before and through the civil war. As always Jennifer Chiaverini has researched his life and bought us a wonderful story and presented a slice of history in a very enjoyable way. His love for his family and the heartbreak he suffers leaps off the pages. His wonderful poems are given new life. That new life shines in the second story.

The present day story introduces us to Sophia, a schoolteacher whose music program is being slashed by budget cuts. Something that is happening all across the United States. Sophia is also the music director at her church. She is featuring the carol “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” based on Longfellow poem for the church’s Christmas service. This story takes place in a short period of time and each chapter is told from a different person’s point of view. This story was entertaining as well. Because parts of the story overlapped there was quite a bit a repetition. I found myself skimming those parts and wish the author had found another way to present this story. The characters were very engaging and I would have liked a broader story about them.

Chiaverini has added another wonderful book to her repertoire. Perfect for the holiday season.

just you and a friend4 STARFISHDollycas

You can find out more about Jennifer Chiaverini and her books on her webpage here.



GIVEAWAY

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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 10, 2015 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 222015
 

special guest blue

Leigh Perry’s new book The Skeleton Haunts a House 
was released October 6.

I am so excited she had time to stop by for a visit
just in time for Halloween!

leigh perry

How to Write a Haunted House;
Or How to Haunt a Mystery

By Leigh Perry

 

Early on in the process of writing The Skeleton Haunts a House, I decided it was going to be set in and around a haunted house—meaning the Halloween season kind with fake ghosts and gore, not actual spirits. So I did a fair amount of research into how a haunted house is put together and run. Not only did I want to get the background details and jargon right, I actually wanted to lay out my fictional haunted house so I could bring it to life. (Not quite in a mad scientist bringing the monster to life kind of way, but sort of like that.)

I worked in a haunted house myself back in high school, and my original plan was to have my fictional house set up the same way, with random creepy sets and costumed spooks throughout the house. It turns out that industry standards have evolved a great deal since then. These days a haunted house is very much a carefully designed experience.

The starting point is the venue. Is it an old house, a theater, a cornfield, a amusement park, a hayride, or even an abandoned location like a hospital or prison. You can haunt just about anything. The best haunted house venue I’ve ever heard of is Burg Frankenstein, near Darmstadt in Germany. It’s rumored to have been an inspiration for Mary Shelly’s book Frankenstein, and there’s been a Halloween festival there since 1978.

Since my book was going to be set in Pennycross, a small Massachusetts college town, I couldn’t legitimately plant a set of castle ruins in the middle of town, or even on the outskirts. Instead I decide to sneak in an unused class building onto the grounds of McQuaid University, where my protagonist Georgia Thackery works. To give it some gravitas, I called it McQuaid Hall, but for Halloween, it becomes McHades Hall.

Once the venue is set, I gave my haunted house a theme. You see, the really modern haunted houses have themes that inform the details of the designs. I could have gone with haunted toy store, creepy carnival, post-apocalyptic nightmare, insane asylum, hospital of the damned, and on and on. Since I already had an academic setting, I ran with that: McHades Hall would be college-themed. (The fact that my daughter is starting to look at colleges had no influence in my view of a campus as intensely frightening.)

Even with a creepy college as a starting point, I had plenty of latitude to put together the actual scare areas and to staff them with a wide variety of scare actors. (Scare areas and scare actors are industry terms, but they’re pretty self-explanatory.) This is where I got a little fast-and-loose with the themes. I mean, for history classes I had Countess Bathory, the Black Death, and Jack the Ripper. Technically historical, but not what I studied in college. (Though Harvard used to have a great class about the repercussions of the Black Death.) For English, it was characters from The Exorcist, The Shining and Psycho. Good books to be sure, but probably better known for their movies. And I never had one single  chemistry prof turn into a werewolf. (Of course, I only had daytime chem lab…)

skeleton haunts the houseOf course, scare actors don’t just stand around and look horrifying. They have to be doing horrifying things. The zombie frat boys have to chase you, the cannibalistic cafeteria workers have to threaten you, and if anybody is just standing around, it’s a trick to lull you into a false sense of security until they jump at you. While there’s a certain amount of ad-libbing for the scare actors, in general they do have lines to say and blocking, as in any kind of theater.

Of course, all that stuff is what the customers see. (I was hoping to find an industry-specific name for people-who-come-through-haunted-houses, but customer is all I could find. Couldn’t they at least be scare customers?) Since I wanted some behind-the-scenes plotting, I had to figure out what it looks like behind the scenes. That’s when I found out that most haunts have a host of hidden paths and passages to get around the house. They line the rooms with a fabric called scrim, so they can hide behind and look out, but you can’t see them. Now that is mystery-writing gold!

For the final touch of authenticity, I used some of the wisdom accumulated by hundreds of scare actors.

Watch out for hitters! Apparently some people lash out when they’re frightened.

If you hear somebody’s name, tell the other scare actors so they can use it. It’s scary for anybody in a zombie suit to chase you, but even worse when they make it personal.

Never do a gag with a noose. People have died that way. That is not an urban legend. Scare actors have accidentally strangled themselves.

Nobody can resist a chainsaw. Apparently the bravest of customers is prone to losing it when somebody comes after them with a chainsaw. And if you think the chainsaw is an amazingly realistic prop, think again. It’s probably a real chainsaw. They take the chain off, but I still wouldn’t grab hold of one.

Once I had all my pieces in place, I could start plotting the actual sections of The Skeleton Haunts a House that take place in McHades Hall. And it occurred to me that the process is a lot like designing a haunted house.

  • Venue = Setting. I started out with the town of Pennycross.
  • Theme = Genre. It’s a murder mystery in which Georgia Thackery, an adjunct English professor and single mother, solves crimes with the help of her best friend Sid. Did I mention that Sid is an ambulatory skeleton?
  • Scare actors = Characters. In addition to Georgia and Sid, we have Georgia’s daughter Madison, her sister Deborah, her parents, her friends Brownie and Charles, and plenty of others.
  • Action = Plot. As with most mysteries, we start with the finding the body and then progress through investigation until Georgia and Sid find the killer. And along the way, there’s some romance and secrets and what I hope are surprise twists.
  • Behind-the-Scenes = Red Herrings. I have to walk that tight-walk between not being about to figure out the murderer right away while having it all make sense in the end.
  • Authenticity = Authenticity. Of course, I wanted to make sure the haunted house stuff was realistic, but I also have to make sure the university runs like a real university. The same for the carnival that comes to town, and the police procedures.

I hope that once it all comes together, The Skeleton Haunts a House has some of the same excitement and thrills as a haunted house. That’s the plan, anyway.

Maybe I should have put in a chainsaw.

~Leigh

About The Author

Leigh Perry is a pseudonym for Toni L.P. Kelner, an award-winning mystery author. Under the name Toni L.P. Kelner she has published eleven novels and twenty-something short stories, and have co-edited six urban fantasy anthologies with New York Times best seller Charlaine Harris. She was born in Pensacola, FL and raised in Charlotte, NC, and has been living north of Boston, MA for 26 years or so. She shares the house with her husband, two daughters, two guinea pigs, and a ludicrous selection of books. While the population of people and guinea pigs stays constant, the number of books is on an ever-rising curve.

You can find her on Facebook  and can follow Sid on Twitter. You can find out more about Leigh Perry and her books on her webpage here.


Find more at Toni L. P. Kelner 

skeleton haunts the houseThe Skeleton Haunts a House
(A Family Skeleton Mystery)

3rd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Massachusetts
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (October 6, 2015)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Cover Illustration by Ben Perini
Cover Design by George Long
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425255858
E-Book ASIN: B00SI02E4O
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

Sid the Skeleton bones up on clues to solve a Haunted House homicide in this mystery from the author of The Skeleton Takes a Bow

What holiday could bring more warmth to a skeleton’s chest cavity than Halloween? And when you’re a living skeleton who’s not supposed to be seen outside the house, it’s a welcome chance to get some fresh air and rub bony elbows with people. That’s why Sid doesn’t mind wearing a full-body dog suit and going as Scooby-Doo along with Georgia Thackery’s Velma to the Halloween Howl.

Sid can’t wait to go through the Haunted House—but he gets rattled for real when a genuine dead body is discovered. Trapped inside as the police quickly seal off the crime scene, Sid makes no bones about dropping the dog suit and posing as an actual skeleton. This murder is a skull-scratcher, but as long as Sid is on the inside, he might as well case the joint to figure out who used the cover of darkness to commit the perfect crime…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sid is truly one of my favorite characters. He and his family are getting pretty brave. This time he dresses up like Scooby-Doo to visit a haunted house on campus. Since Georgia is not a fan of these scary places Sid joins another group and enters by himself. What could go wrong? Well there happens to be a real dead body in one of the rooms that jars Sid right out out of his dog suit. When the police lock down the house he has no way to escape. Since there are several fake skeletons hanging around he decides to blend in and see if he can figure out what happened to leave the a young co-ed heading for the great beyond.

This is the 3rd book in this series and I have loved them all. For me Sid is a real as real can be. I can see it coming down the stairs, sitting at his desk on his computer, and hiding in the armoire when people come to visit. He is smart and has a keen sense of humor. He is just a bare bones kind of guy. 🙂 His antics will definitely put a smile on your face.

Leigh Perry has written a fabulous Halloween cozy mystery. One that we can enjoy from our skulls to our distal phalanges.  The whole family gets together to keep Sid safe and get him back home. Then Georgia does most of the legwork while Sid tickles the keys on his keyboard to track down the killer as the investigation continues. Sherlock Bones is an the case.

I appreciate this quirky family. Georgia is a adjunct professor at McQuaid University. Her parents are tenured professors at the university and have just returned from a trip abroad. Georgia and her teenage daughter, Madison, have been living in their home and have been asked to stay since the house has more than enough room and Sid has made himself at home in the attic.

I have not visited a haunted house for many years and they sound like even more fun and so much scarier than I remember. The author gives us plenty of details so we can easily picture both the eerie haunted house when it is in operation and behind the scenes while tracking down a murderer.  So many twists and turns made that murderer was a complete surprise.

This is a unique series and perfect for fall reading.  This one will surely tickle your funny bone too!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAY

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for Leigh for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End November 5, 2015 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.”

Jun 232015
 

FINELY KNITA Finely Knit Murder:
A Seaside Knitters Mystery

9th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Massachusetts
An Obsidian Mystery (May 5, 2015)
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451471604
E-Book ISBN-13: 978-0451471604
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

In the newest mystery from the national bestselling author of Murder in Merino, the sleuthing skills of Izzy Chambers Perry and the Seaside Knitters are tested as death mars the beginning of the school year…

Seaside Knitter Birdie Favazza is thrilled that her granddaughter Gabby will be visiting for the fall and attending the Sea Harbor Community Day School. Gabby loves the school, with its newly-adopted progressive curriculum, and she loves that the Seaside Knitters are teaching knitting as part of the enrichment program. It’s a huge success, and on crisp autumn days, girls camp out on the terraces, knitting up hats for charity.

But not everyone is happy with the direction the school is taking. Outspoken board member Blythe Westerland has sparked tempers with her determination to unravel the current administration. Then, on the evening of an elegant school event, Blythe’s body is found near the school boathouse.

With a killer on the loose, Birdie is determined to keep Gabby safe. Working together, the Seaside Knitters carefully unravel the layers of Blythe’s complicated life, bringing faculty members and town residents under scrutiny. Before the cast-off rows are made on the students’ projects, the knitters will need to stitch together the evidence to see if a murderer has been walking beside them all along.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Returning to  Sea Harbor is always a pleasure. The Seaside Knitters, their families and their friends have truly become fictional friends to me. I love checking in to catch up a news and what their are knitting and the local gossip too. This story focuses on the Sea Harbor Community Day School, the school Birdie’s granddaughter, Gabby attends. There is a new headmistress, Elizabeth Hartley,  and she has fabulous ideas but board member Blythe Westerland prefers the old ways and she is very vocal about it.  When her lifeless body is found the police tie her murder to the school and its new headmistress. The Seaside Knitters rally to prove her innocence as Police Chief Jerry Thompson is sidelined due to his romantic relationship with Elizabeth. The will need to finely knit all the clues together to find the real murderer.

Over the years the cast of characters has really grown. Fans of the series will have no trouble keeping everyone straight but if this series is new to you don’t worry the author tells you about all of them at the beginning of the book. The characters are absolutely fantastic and have evolved more in each installment. The Seaside Knitters and “the men in their lives” are a tight-knit group of friends and that is what makes these stories so great. The spend a lot of time together and when a murder needs to be solved that all band together and don’t give up until the mystery is solved. I especially like the way that they spend every Friday night at Ben and Nell’s  for some delicious food and drinks and share their lives.

In A Finely Knit Murder they are all drawn into events at the Sea Harbor Community Day School because one of the youngest and newest characters goes to school there. Some have taken positions on the board and several are teaching the girls to knit as part of the enrichment program. This introduces us to some new characters and new place for things to go awry. Blythe Westerland was not a popular person at the school and she was definitely an easy woman to dislike. When the Knitters dig a little deeper into her life more suspects emerge giving readers a wonderful read as we try to solve the mystery ourselves.

Sea Harbor sounds like a beautiful town and Sally Goldenbaum describes it so well we are easily transported there. The school grounds, the boats in the harbor, the boathouse, and even Ben and Nell’s home and deck are crystal clear.

As always the mystery is very intriguing, the characters are genuine and thoughtful and the setting is sublime. While the story reads well as a stand alone I do recommend you start at the beginning with Death by Cashmere.

I can’t wait to celebrate the holidays in Sea Harbor, Trimmed With Murder: A Seaside Knitters Mystery hits shelves November 1.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

SALLY

 

About The Author

Sally Goldenbaum is a sometime philosophy teacher, a knitter, and an editor, and the author of more than thirty novels. Sally became more serious about knitting with the birth of her first grandchild and the creation of the Seaside Knitters mystery series. Her fictional knitting friends are teaching her the intricacies of women’s friendship, the mysteries of small-town living, and the very best way to pick up dropped stitches on a lacy knit shawl.

Author Links

https://www.facebook.com/authorsallygoldenbaum?ref=hl

twitter.com/sallygoldenbaum

www.sallygoldenbaum.com

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have
1 Hardcover copy of A Finely Knit Murder
and 1 Paperback copy of Murder in Merino
to give away!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End July 7, 2015 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Apr 292015
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640I am so happy to welcome Edith Maxwell here today.
Her new book will be released May 26 and she is here to tell us a bit about it and one lucky reader will win an Advance Copy of Farmed and Dangerous!!!

Maxwell

farmed and dangerousI’m delighted to be your guest today for Cozy Wednesday. New England is just coming off one of the snowiest winters in history, so it’s apt that Farmed and Dangerous is set in January in Massachusetts. My farmer, Cam Flaherty, doesn’t get to escape for a tropical vacation, and instead is keeping her farm share program going despite snow and cold temperatures. She also tends her chickens, and has to deal with an anonymous neighbor dropping off an unwanted rooster named Ruffles for her to take care of.

I didn’t get to escape the cold, either, despite having a farmer son living and working in Puerto Rico. I’m now a full-time writer, though, and since we didn’t lose power in any of this winter’s storms, I just sat up in my second-floor home office, watched the snow fall, and wrote books.

JDmarch2013In past years, though, I did get to escape to the tropics several times. The first year my son was in Puerto Rico, I went for Thanksgiving. Late November is a very dark time of year in the northeast, so it was a total treat to head south. He joined me at a mountaintop bed and breakfast, where our cabin had an outdoor kitchen and I fell asleep to the sound of the Coqui frog chirping, “Ko-kee? Ko-kee?” and the sight of fireflies. The weather was warm during the days and comfortably cool at night. We ate Thanksgiving dinner at the beach with the family who owns the farm – picture doors open to the outside, everybody barefoot and in shorts, and children in and out of the swimming pool. It was heavenly.

CostaRica2009Two other Januaries we went to Costa Rica. Swimming in the warm Caribbean. Eating fresh pineapple and recently caught fish. Zip-lining through treetops. Gazing at splendid colorful birds like Scarlet Macaws and toucans.

Blue_MorphoSpending an afternoon in a butterfly sanctuary and having Blue Morphos land on your arm. Also heaven! On one of those trips I had the best massage of my life on a pavilion with a roof but no walls. Mild fresh air on my skin, a tall strong woman kneading my muscles, and hot oiled rocks warming my back. Now that’s an escape.

IMG_1579Other winter getaways used to be primarily to visit my mother in southern California where I grew up. The last one, in 2012, was especially poignant because she died two months later, but my sisters and I had a lovely time with her and we all felt so grateful to have been there.

PlayaI’m not sure where Cam would go for a winter escape if she could. Her pal, farm volunteer Lucinda DaSilva, is Brazilian, though, so maybe they’ll both go south to solve a farm-related mystery in Rio one of these books!

~Edith

farmed and dangerousFarmed and Dangerous
(Local Foods Mystery)

3rd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Massachusetts
Kensington Books (May 26, 2015)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0758284679
E-Book ASIN: B00ONTR4IU
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

Snow is piling up in Westbury, Massachusetts, and Cam Flaherty’s organic farm has managed to survive the harsh New England winter. Unfortunately murder seems to be the crop in season…

Organic farmer Cam Flaherty is struggling to provide the promised amount of food to her customers in her first winter in Westbury, Massachusetts, and her new greenhouse might just collapse from the weight of the snow. Supplying fresh ingredients for a dinner at the local assisted living facility seems like the least of her worries—until a cantankerous resident with a lot of enemies dies after eating the meal.

But while the motives in this case may be plentiful, the trail of poisoned produce leads straight back to Cam. Not even her budding romance with police detective Pete Pappas will keep him from investigating her.

As the suspects gather, a blizzard buries the scene of the crime under a blanket of snow, leaving Cam stranded in the dark with a killer who gives new meaning to the phrase “dead of winter.”

About The Author

Agatha-nominated and Amazon-bestselling author Edith Maxwell writes four murder mystery series, most with recipes, as well as award-winning short stories.

Farmed and Dangerous is the latest in Maxwell’s Local Foods Mysteries series (Kensington Publishing). The latest book in the Lauren Rousseau mysteries, under the pseudonym Tace Baker (Barking Rain Press), is Bluffing is Murder. Maxwell’s Country Store Mysteries, written as Maddie Day (also from Kensington), will debut with Flipped for Murder in November, 2015. Her Quaker Midwife Mysteries series features Quaker midwife Rose Carroll solving mysteries in 1888 Amesbury, with John Greenleaf Whittier’s help, and will debut in March, 2016 with Delivering the Truth.

A fourth-generation Californian, Maxwell lives in an antique house inorth of Boston with her beau and three cats. She blogs every weekday with the other Wicked Cozy Authors (wickedcozyauthors.com), and you can find her at www.edithmaxwell.com, @edithmaxwell, on Pinterest and Instagram, and at www.facebook.com/EdithMaxwellAuthor.

GIVEAWAYThe author is giving away 1 Advance Copy!!
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.

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

Leave a comment for Edith for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End May 13, 2015 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Oct 172014
 

PICKED TO DIE OCTOBERPicked to Die
(An Orchard Mystery)

8th in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (October 7, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Mary Ann Lasher
Cover Design by Annette Fiore Defex
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425257111
E-Book File Size: 2091 KB
ASIN: B00ISEOIMG
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

A TREE IS KNOWN BY ITS FRUIT

It’s harvest time in Granford, Massachusetts, and orchard owner Meg Corey and her fiancé, Seth, are both racing to beat the New England winter. Meg is bringing in her apple crop with a team of workers, while Seth is working to restore an old building in the center of town. But when his project is set back due to the unexpected discovery of a skeleton under the building—and even worse, a young man related to one of Meg’s former apple pickers is found dead behind the local feed store—the couple’s carefully laid plans are quickly spoiled…

Meg can’t help but wonder: are they just unlucky, or is there something rotten in Granford? If so, she knows she’s got to seek out the bad apple before it ruins the whole bunch…

Includes Delicious Recipes

Dollycas’s Thoughts
I am so excited to be back to Granford and it is the busiest time of the year – Harvest Time!

Meg and Bree and their hired hands are picking apples as fast as they can. Seth is involved in so many projects too. There is definitely no time for them to sit down and discuss wedding plans.

Seth’s biggest project is restoring and adding space to a building on the town square. Meg is excited about seeing just how they are going to add that space as they are planning to add it under the building. But just when things get started everything comes to a halt when something is found in all that dirt. Then one of the migrant workers is found dead. He was not working for Meg but they do have a connection. So if Seth and Meg were not short on time before they really are now as they have 2 mysteries to solve.

I really love these stories because the next one always picks up where the last story left off. Unfortunately that also means Granford is becoming a hotbed of mystery and murder which is starting to effect the residents we have grown to love. The one I think it is effecting the most is Bree. She has her moments when I think she really resents or gets a little angry about all the time Meg spends away from the orchard chasing down clues and checking out the happenings about town. Although she and one of the workers end up doing something really nice for Meg, I think Meg needs to concentrate more on her business. She would be totally lost with Bree by her side.

We meet some new characters this time too as a young history buff teams up with a professor at the university to try to sift out information about the incredible find under the building. The author throws in some history about the area too that was a surprise to many of the people of Granford.

As with all the stories in this series Sheila Connolly packs the pages with not just one but two mysteries and masterfully weaves them together. I love these wonderful characters and the way they interact with each other. Seth and Meg were too busy for much romance in this edition but a strong foundation is being built as they move forward with their life together. I also enjoy what big hearts they have, putting others needs before their own.

I really am sad when these stories come to an end. I can’t wait until my next escape to Granford.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

This is not the only mystery series Sheila writes. Check out her webpage here to stay up to date on all of them.

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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 31, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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

Sep 232014
 

the skeleton takes a bowThe Skeleton Takes a Bow
(A Family Skeleton Mystery)

2nd Book in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (September 2, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425255834
E-Book File Size: 1727 KB
ASIN: B00IOE3O7K
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

And the best performance as a skull goes to…

After years of hiding in the Thackery family house, Sid the skeleton is delighted to finally have his moment in the spotlight. He’s starring in a high school production of Hamlet. Well, not so much starring in as being a prop. At least part of him has a part—he’s using his head to play Yorick of “Alas, poor Yorick” fame. Every day, Georgia Thackery’s daughter, Madison, who’s also in the play, brings in his skull, and every night, she takes him home…

Until one night when he’s accidentally left at school—and hears the sounds of someone being murdered. But the next day, there’s no body and no one seems to be missing.

Sid is not a numbskull—he knows what he heard. Georgia thinks he imagined it—until a week later when a body is found. Now Georgia and Sid will both need to keep their heads as they stick their necks out and play sleuth to catch the conscience of a killer…

Dollycas’s  Thoughts

I absolutely love Sid!!! What a hoot it would be to have my own Sid 🙂 I couldn’t wait to read this book and Leigh Perry did not disappoint. I read the whole book in one sitting.

Georgia and Madison are great characters too. When Sid claims to have heard a murder happen they try to do everything right, even when no dead body is found. When all their efforts fail they have no choice but to investigate even if they put every bone in their bodies on the line.

This story is so much fun to read. It is one of those stories where it is so easy to let go of reality and believe Sid the Skeleton, can walk and talk and think. He can read and surf the internet and he is Georgia’s best friend and has been since she was a child.  If you haven’t  read A Skeleton in the Family you have to read that book first, then jump right into this one. You will not be sorry. These story will not only tickle your funny bone, it will delight your mind as well.

The worst part is waiting whole year for Book #3.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Leigh Perry is a pen name for author Toni L.P. Kelner. Find out more about the author here.

I am giving my review copy away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Contest Will End October 7, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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

Sep 152014
 

FOR EVERYTHING A SEASONFor Everything A Season
Self Published
Paranormal Romance
E-Book File Size: 458 KB
Print Length: 231 pages
ASIN: B00LBL7T9W
goodreads-badge-add-plus

Not all the witch trials took place in Salem. And there are people in nearby Rachael Crossing who believe the abandoned old house in their midst has roots going back to those awful times.

Determined not to be spooked by vague rumors, Deborah Colby leases that house for the summer and when she meets Ethan Burke, she’s certain she’s made the right decision – certain her whole life has been leading her there to him.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I was introduced to Sharon Pape through her cozy mysteries and was very excited to hear she was re-releasing her 1983 novel Ghostfire that she updated a bit and turned it into For Everything A Season.

I haven’t read a Gothic Romancel in a very long time and I escaped right into this one. What a fantastic story.

Deborah Colby was looking for a little escape herself.  She thought spending the summer away from her overbearing sister would be a good idea so she decided to work as a camp counselor in a place called Rachel’s Crossing. Her sister was very disappointed, they always spent their summers together and she was bound and determined to find Deborah the perfect man to marry.  When they traveled to Rachel’s Crossing to find a place for Deborah to rent for the summer her sister was so happy to hear there wasn’t really any place available. She thought he sister would cancel her plans but Deborah was determined. The real estate agent said there was one place but it needed a lot of work. Deborah thought the place was acceptable if some basic work was done before she returned for the summer and signed the lease.

Deborah never realized that when she signed on the dotted line how much her life was about to change. The house not only needed maintenance, the house had secrets and everyone in town thought it was haunted.  Deborah didn’t believe it, and shortly after moving in she met Ethan Burke. She was immediately drawn to him and was so happy so came to Rachel’s Crossing.

I started reading this story and couldn’t put it down. The story starts out in 1692, the time of the Salem witch trials and then the chapters go back and forth between 1692 and 1982. I was drawn right in. The story was full of intrigue and mystery and a very interesting romance. At the end it jumps into the future a bit with a twist the still gives me an eerie feeling. I wanted to know more.

If this was one of Sharon Pape’s first stories all I can say is Wow! It sure shows me her not so cozy side and I absolutely loved it.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 Find out more about Sharon Pape and her books on her webpage here.

*Amazon Purchase

May 292014
 

THE GOODBYE WITCHThe Goodbye Witch:
A Wishcraft Mystery

4th in the Series
Cozy Mystery
An Obsidian Mystery (May 6, 2014)
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451465870
E-Book File Size: 1571 KB
ASIN: B00FX7LWNO
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

As Enchanted Village’s resident Wishcrafter, Darcy Merriweather has the power to make other people’s wishes come true, but what she really wishes is that she had the power to uncloak the invisible man who’s stalking her best friend….

Darcy’s closest friend and fellow witch, Starla Sullivan, hoped she’d never see her ex-husband, Kyle, again. Two years ago he tried to kill her, and he has been a fugitive ever since. Now Starla claims to have seen him back in Enchanted Village, but it seems she’s the only one who can see him. To everyone else, her ex is invisible.

Darcy only wishes his motives were as transparent as the rest of him. Since the police can’t arrest someone they can’t see, it’s up to Darcy to find the secret behind Kyle’s latest disappearing act—before he does something they can’t see coming….

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have been totally and utterly fascinated by this series since the beginning but this one topped them all. Blake has created the ultimate world to escape into. The Enchanted Village is a magical place that wishes can come true. I wish I could live there myself.

The series has a wonderful cast of characters. Darcy is not only a wishcrafter, she is a strong woman. She has a great relationship with Police Chief Nick who understands her craft because his daughter is a wishcrafter too. Aunt Ve is helping Darcy learn more about her gift along with Darcy’s sister Harper. The all believe everything Starla is telling them, they just need to figure out how Kyle is doing it. They are assisted by some truly magical characters, Pepe, a mouse who can sure thread a needle, and Archie, a talking parrot who can remember any line from almost any movie ever made.

My favorite character though was Mrs. P.  (Mrs. Pennywhistle) This lady touched by heart. She wanted to do anything she could to help Starla and all her friends even when she wasn’t physically able.

There are several subplots marvelously woven into the main storyline. The Goodbye theme is carried throughout the entire story. I don’t want to say more because you need to read this and discover it yourself. Just keep a tissue handy. This is the first cozy mystery I can remember reading that made my cry.

Heather Blake has written a wonderful, sensational, awesome story.  It deserves way more than 5 stars!!

paradise5 STARFISH5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author
Heather Blake (aka Heather Webber) is the author of over a dozen novels. She’s a Dr Pepper enthusiast, total homebody who loves to be close to her family, read, watch Reality TV (totally addicted, especially to competition shows), crochet, occasionally leave the house to hike the beautiful mountains in the northeast, bake (mostly cookies) and dreams of owning a house at the base of Mt. Mansfield in Stowe, VT. Heather grew up in a suburb of Boston, but currently, she lives in the Cincinnati area with her family and is hard at work on her next book. Find out more at http://www.heatherblakebooks.com/

I am giving away my review 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.

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

Contest Will End June 12, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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