Mar 022016
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am conflicted over this post. I strive to share with you original content on my blog, especially when it comes to guest posts from authors. It was recently came to my attention that some posts from authors, that I was given, were also being posted on other blogs. One person even emailed me to ask why I had stolen the post from another blogger. I had not stolen the post; it was the post sent to me by the publicist for me to, what I thought was, solely use. I didn’t realize the same post was sent to several other bloggers.

In the future I am going to make sure I personally contact the authors myself, to guarantee the content is new, fresh, and solely for my use.  Since I have committed to the posts for this month already and I do what to share the books with you, as well as to help the authors promote their books, I will use the content sent to me already. So from now on if I receive a post from a publicist the post will be prominently labeled as such, so that you will be alert to the fact that it may not have only been sent to me. If I review the book, that of course is original from me.

Lori

I am thrilled to have Denise visit today! 
This post was provided by the publicist.

Denise Swanson Author PhotoThe Top Five Reasons I Love Libraries

As a writer, I know the importance of libraries. But before I ever dreamed of becoming a published author, I was a little girl living in a small town. An only child, living on a farm with no neighbors within walking distance, I suffered panic attacks if I didn’t have a pile of books waiting for me to read.

Which was why, when I heard about all the libraries being closed due to lack of funding, I decided to focus the plot of my next Devereaux’s Dime Store mystery on the offer of a philanthropist to reopen the Shadow Bend Library.

Like me, my sleuth Dev, grew up on a farm outside of town, so she too would have depended on the library for entertainment, knowledge, and companionship. Knowing that it was important to the story that she feels conflicted about the library re-opening, I decided that the philanthropist would turn out to be her stepfather. A man she’d never met, married to the woman who had abandoned Dev and run off seeking greener pastures.

BETWEEN A BOOK AND A HARD PLACENext, I took a good hard look at what libraries meant to their towns in the twenty-first century versus what they had been when I was growing up in the late sixties and early seventies. I found out that in this ever increasing digital world, the role of libraries are undervalued. Many public officials have no idea that libraries are community and cultural centers and when there’s a shortfall in the budgets, libraries are among the first institutions to suffer.

With this in mind, I came up with the Top Five Reasons I Love Libraries

1. Libraries can strengthen a community’s bond. Libraries, especially in small towns, are one of the few remaining places where folks from diverse backgrounds can gather to interact.

2. Libraries are centers for the arts. In rural communities there are few places where creative souls can freely express themselves.

3. Libraries are safe places for children and adolescents to socialize and learn how to interact. Unlike Dev’s dime store, most businesses don’t like kids or teens hanging out. The library does.

4. Libraries are quiet. In today’s busy world with people shouting into cell phones or screaming at each other, a library provides a refuge from all the noise pollution.

5. Libraries are where the librarians hang out and librarians are special people sweet, who are knowledgeable, and great at coming up with suggestions for new books and authors to check out.

With that in mind, I wrote Between a Book and a Hard Place. It saddened me that because of the way the plot developed, I was going to have to deprive Dev’s hometown of the library they were counting on regaining. But rest assured, sometime in the near future, like the next book, Shadow Bend will get its library and it will be bigger and better than ever. Because as we all know every town needs a good library.

~Denise

Thanks you Denise for visiting today! 

Find Denise at www.DeniseSwanson.com
Facebook at www.facebook.com/#!/DeniseSwansonAuthor
Twitter at DeniseSwansonAu


Denise Swanson also writes the Scumble River Mysteries. You can find them all here.

 BETWEEN A BOOK AND A HARD PLACEBetween a Book and a Hard Place:
A Devereaux’s Dime Store Mystery

Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Missouri
An Obsidian Mystery (March 1, 2016)
Published by New American Library
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451477767
E-Book ASIN: B00Z8VTQT2
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Five-and-dime store owner Devereaux “Dev” Sinclair moved to Shadow Bend for her family. But when her long-lost mother shows up in town, she realizes too much kin can be killer…

Shadow Bend’s library closed years ago because of budgetary problems, so when a wealthy benefactor offers to reopen it, everyone, including Dev, is thrilled. But Dev’s excitement wanes when she realizes the mysterious donor is actually her runaway mother Yvette’s latest husband, Jett Benedict.

Dev suspects that Yvette and Jett’s intentions aren’t as noble as they appear, but before she can discover what they’re really up to, Jett turns up dead—and all clues point to Yvette as the prime suspect.

Even though Dev has no loyalty to Yvette, she’s in a bind. Setting the record straight could prove her mother is a killer. But doing nothing might get her mother booked for a crime she didn’t commit…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A tangled web, Dev’s mom returns to Shadow Bend and it is a complete surprise to Dev but not a surprise to everyone. Her mother, Yvette, moved on years ago leaving Dev behind. Why come back now? and with another new husband? Dev is on high alert, her mother is up to something. Her husband Jett has offered a huge amount of money to reopen and refurbish the town’s library. He says he is a history buff and all he asks is that he be able to do a little research in the library’s archives. Before he can delve too deeply someone kills him and Yvette is the prime suspect but Dev and her dad could be on the suspect list as well. Dev doesn’t really want to help her mom but she would do anything for her dad so she is going to track down the real killer and be sure he is booked for murder.

I whipped right through this story. Unlike the the last  installment Noah and Jake are both back in town vying for Dev’s affection. Things get a little steamy with both of them but they both have their share of excess baggage. She is going to have to choose one or set them both free soon, but I certainly don’t know what I would do in her situation. It does make for fascinating reading.

The author gives us a fun mystery to solve too. One that takes us visiting all over Shadow Bend and searching back in history too. You know Missouri was kind of split during the Civil War and Shadow Bend families were also affected. I loved tagging along following the clues and putting the pieces together.

Denise Swanson writes a fantastic story with characters I have grown to care about. She fills the story with mystery, mayhem, suspense, and a liberal dose of romance and romantic tension. Seriously, those guys are going to come to blows one day 🙂

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 Denise 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 March 16, 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.”

Feb 092016
 

SHHH….I am barging in on this Great Escapes Tour…so read quietly 🙂

DEATH AND THE BREWMASTERS large banner640

Death & The Brewmaster’s Widow
by Loretta Ross

DEATH AND THE BREWMASTERS WIDOW
Death & the Brewmaster’s Widow
(An Auction Block Mystery)

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Missouri
Publisher: Midnight Ink (February 8, 2016)
Paperback: 264 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738747057
E-Book ASIN: B019KKTWU4
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Synopsis

They call it “the Brewmaster’s Widow”; the abandoned brewery where Death Bogart’s brother died in an arson fire.

With his girlfriend, Wren Morgan, Death goes home to St. Louis to take on a deeply personal mystery. When Randy Bogart went into the Einstadt Brewery, he left his broken badge behind at the firehouse. So why did the coroner find one on his body? Every answer leads to more questions. Why did the phony badge have the wrong number? Who set the brewery fire? What is the connection between Randy’s death and the mysterious Cherokee Caves, where the opulent playground of 19th century beer barons falls into slow decay?

Not understanding how and why he lost his brother is breaking the ex-Marine’s heart. But the Brewmaster’s Widow is jealous of her secrets. Prying them loose could cost Death and Wren both their lives.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The first book in this series made my Best Reads of 2015 list. I couldn’t wait for this book to be released because we were given a bit of a cliffhanger at the end of the last one.

Wren Morgan and Death (Dee-th) “it’s a family name” Bogart are in St. Louis to wrap up affairs after Death’s brother is killed in an arson fire. But there is a mystery surrounding his death because he was found wearing a badge with the wrong number. His correct badge had a broken clasp and was left back at the fire station. Could this badge mix up have something to do with the fire? Wren and Death take us deep into The Brewmaster’s Widow and her secrets to find out.

I am going to say this up front. This book can be read as a stand alone but you really need to read Death and the Redheaded Woman to get to know this amazing couple. Wren Morgan is an assistant auctioneer and Death is a a private eye/bounty hunter. They meet and their relationship just grows and grows. He is a vet with not only PTSD, but physical disabilities too. Her life hasn’t been easy and she needs someone to lean on. They are just better together. These character are written so beautifully.

In this story Death’s brother Randy died while Death was still deployed. Randy thought Death had been killed in the war. As Death tries to wrap up Randy’s life there seem to be more questions than  answers.  Before Death can move on he needs to know why his didn’t get out of that building alive. He and Wren go to great lengths to find the answers.

I read this book quickly in an afternoon. I had a little suspicion about where we were headed but it was a wild ride to get there. I am so impressed with this author’s writing. She builds the story with intrigue, romance, and humor in a way that deflects your mind from everything around you and holds your attention fully.  Both my dad and my husband were firefighters. I lived the fear of someone getting hurt at a scene. Dying at one would be unfathomable. Randy’s death effected not only his brother, but his chief, his fellow firefighters and so many others that knew him. Ross wrote this in an a way that we knew what everyone was feeling but it didn’t take away from the enjoyment of the story as a whole. All her characters and their reactions and demeanor in the story were very believable.

The setting in the old brewery was so interesting. I enjoyed learning the history of the structure closed down at the start of prohibition in the 1920’s. It was quite a place. A perfect place for a mystery.

I love where Loretta Ross has taken us and these characters, and the little teaser she gave us at the end of this story tells us we are headed on another mysterious adventure soon. Just like the last time, I can’t wait!

Just a little spoiler alert – We finally learn Death D. Bogart’s middle name and it’s a doozy.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

LORETTA

About The Author

Loretta Ross is a writer and historian who lives and works in rural Missouri. She is an alumna of Cottey College and holds a BA in archaeology from the University of Missouri – Columbia. She has loved mysteries since she first learned to read. Death and the Redheaded Woman will be her first published novel.

Website         Blog           Facebook        
GoodReads         Twitter

 
 

Purchase Links

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Tour Participants

February 8 – Back Porchervations – Review
February 9 – Laura’s Interests – Review
February 10 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – Review
February 10 – Christa Reads and Writes – Guest Post
February 11 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard  – Review
February 12 – Moonlight Rendezvous – Review
February 13 – Cassidy Salem Reads & Writes – Review
February 14 – Jane Reads – Review, Guest Post
February 15 – The Ninja Librarian – Review
February 16 – Island Confidential – Interview
February 17 – LibriAmoriMiei – Review
February 17 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy,  &, Sissy, Too ! – Spotlight

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

Jan 092016
 

I am so pleased to be part of this tour!
DEATH GOES TO THE COUNTY FAIR large banner640

Death Goes To The County Fair
by Annette Drake

death goes to the county fair
Death Goes to the County Fair
(An Ogallala Mystery)

New Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Missouri

Print Length: 100 pages
Publisher: Baskethound Books (October 15, 2015)
ASIN: B014I7MH56
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Synopsis

Joni Harte knew her first job out of college would be tough, but she didn’t expect it to be murder.

With the ink mostly dry on her journalism degree, Joni accepts the position of news reporter and photographer for The Ogallala Gazette. She’s tasked with chronicling all of the goings-on of the quirky characters who inhabit this small Missouri town.

While investigating the identity of the first murder victim, Joni makes an enemy of the local sheriff. Worse, she catches the attention of a violent stalker who promises to cure Joni of her curiosity.

As the Ogallala County Fair comes to an end, Joni must uncover the truth before she comes to hers.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A new amateur sleuth hits the cozy scene. Joni Harte, fresh out of college, moves to Ogallala to start her journalism career.  Her stories this week will resolve around the county fair. Parades, carnival rides, kids with their sheep and cows, fried foods, a beauty contest, just general fair stuff. That is until murder is added to the fair’s fare. Joni finds herself asking the right questions to the wrong people and may end up paying more than her fair share.

Annette Drake squeezes one heck of mystery into 100 pages. The synopsis call the inhabitants of this Missouri town “quirky”, well they are that and then some. A few are totally off their rocker. The dialogue is was fantastic and fun.

The story does include quite a bit of humor but their are suspenseful moments too. Pretzel like twists kept me guessing but I figured out a little bit before Jodie did.

I think this series is off to a great start. I look forward to more stories about Jodie and her family and the residents of Ogallala.

enjoyable 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

annette drake

About The Author

Annette Drake is a multi-genre author whose work is character-driven and celebrates the law of unintended consequences.
Death Goes to the County Fair kicks off the premier of her cozy-mystery series set in Ogallala, Missouri. The book premiered on October 15th.

Her romance titles include A Beautiful Day in Alaska, A Year with Geno, and Celebration House.

Annette’s middle-grade novel, Bone Girl, was published in March of 2014 by Baskethound Books and is available in ebook, print and audiobook.

Annette makes her home in Washington State. A member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, she loves ferry rides, basset hounds and bakeries. She does not camp. If she can help it.

Author Links

Webpage               Facebook              Twitter

 

Purchase Link

Amazon

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Tour Participants

January 4 – Jane Reads – Review, Guest Post
January 4 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview
January 5 – Laura’s Interests – Review
January 5 – Mallory Heart Reviews – Review
January 6 – fuonlyknew – Review
January 7 – A Blue Million Books – Interview
January 8 – Book Babble – Review
January 8 – THE SELF-TAUGHT COOK – Spotlight
January 9 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Interview
January 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review
January 10 – Readsalot – Review
January 10 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy,  &, Sissy, Too ! – Guest Post

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

Oct 152015
 

I am so excited to be part of this tour!!

guaranteed to bleed large banner640

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00023]Guaranteed to Bleed
The Country Club Murders #2
Setting – Missouri
Cozy Mystery
Paperback: 268 pages
Publisher: Henery Press (October 13, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-1943390052
E-Book ASIN: B011PJCKP
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Synopsis:
With his dying breath, Bobby Lowell begs Ellison Russell, “Tell her I love her.”

Unable to refuse, Ellison struggles to find the girl the murdered boy loved. Too bad an epically bad blind date, a vindictive graffiti artist, and multiple trips to the emergency room keep getting in the way.

Worse, a killer has Ellison in his sights, her newly-rebellious daughter is missing, and there’s yet another body in her hostas. Mother won’t be pleased.

Now Ellison must track down not one but two runaway teenagers, keep her promise to Bobby and elude the killer—all before her next charity gala committee meeting.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Ellison Russell’s day was pretty normal until she drops her fancy lipstick under the bleachers at a football game. After that hold on tight because you won’t be able to put this book down.

Like the first story in the series, The Deep End, it takes place in 1974. Again Ellison’s mom, part of the Country Club set, is not happy with the way her daughter is living her life. I love that Ellison is getting stronger.   It seems the trip to Europe after her husband’s death really helped her. She is not letting her mother totally take over but her mother is hard at work trying to find her a new husband. All of their conversations are wonderful and a few will have you cheering and laughing out loud.

Trying to live a normal life just isn’t in the cards for Ellison after she finds a injured student. His last words before he died, “Tell her I love her.” That is all Ellison wants to do but she keeps finding herself drawn into the investigation. It doesn’t help her daughter has known the young man almost all her life and is now grieving him as well as her father.   Homicide Detective Anarchey Jones isn’t happy about Ellison’s involvement but she seems to be able to reach people he can’t – like Alice Standish, a young girl that is crazy in love and just plain crazy. She gave me shivers.

Julie Mulhern has a gift for creating lifelike 3 dimension characters that almost leap off the pages. It would be hard to choose a favorite. She has a way of drawing you into their story that makes the real world just fall away. I started reading this late at night thinking I would just read a chapter or two and the next thing I knew I was at the end and the sun would be rising soon. She made me laugh, she made me cry, she made me remember life in the 70’s when I was just a teenager. I would have been a high school freshman when this story took place. While none of my friends were murdered we did lose a few so the words and the actions of the teens were very genuine to me.

There was also a very important story within the story. I was so impressed by the was it was written, the way Ellison handled the situation, and blended into the main plot seamlessly.

An excellent read! I think we have just scratched the surface of Ellison Russell. I am anxious for the next installment.

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

julie

About The Author –

Julie Mulhern is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean–and she’s got an active imagination. Truth is—she’s an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.

Author Links – 

Webpage – www.juliemulhern.com
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8573907.Julie_Mulhern
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/juliekmulhern?ref=hl
Twitter – https://twitter.com/JulieKMulhern

 

You can get The Deep End today for just 99 cents!!

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

October 12 – Queen of All She Reads – Review, Guest Post
October 12 – LibriAmoriMiei – Review
October 13 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews  – Review, Guest Post
October 14 – A Blue Million Books – Interview
October 15 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review
October 16 – StoreyBook Reviews – Guest Post
October 17 – Griperang’s Bookmarks – Spotlight
October 18 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview
October 19 – Back Porchervations – Review
October 20 – Frankie Bow – Spotlight
October 21 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – Spotlight
October 22 – Jane Reads – Review, Guest Post
October 23 – Lori’s Reading Corner – Guest Post  
October 24 – Brooke Blogs – Spotlight
October 25 – Book Babble – Review
October 26 – Natural Bri – Review
October 27 – Girl with Book Lungs – Review
October 28 – A Fold in the Spine – Review
October 29 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – Review
October 30 – OmnimysteryNews – Guest Post

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

Oct 072015
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

It my pleasure to welcome Kathleen Ernst back to Escape With Dollycas today! 

The new Chloe Ellefson Mystery, Death on the Prairie, comes out tomorrow! 

Kathleen Ernst

 

Choosing a Setting

When I began conceptualizing the Chloe Ellefson Historic Sites mystery series, I knew I wanted my protagonist to be a collections curator at Old World Wisconsin. OWW is a large living history museum where I once worked, so I had that setting locked in my mind.

I also thought it would be fun to get Chloe out and about at times as the series progressed. I loved the early Anna Pigeon books from Nevada Barr, and eagerly anticipated each as a chance to vicariously experience a new national park. I wanted my series to introduce special historic sites and museums to readers.

DeathOnThePrairieCoverWebThe new Chloe mystery, Death on the Prairie, is the sixth. As the series has grown I’ve been delighted to receive readers’ suggestions for future settings. Equally delightful are invitations from staff at various historic sites and museums.

But choosing a setting for each new book is a complicated thing—especially since it’s not the first element I consider.

The most important factor is where my main characters are, emotionally speaking, at the end of the last book. Chloe usually takes center stage, but police officer Roelke McKenna is also a recurring character. In each book Chloe and Roelke discover things about themselves, and about each other. They grow emotionally. I want their journey to be reflected in the mystery plot, which has to do with setting.

In Death on the Prairie, Chloe embarks on a road trip to visit all of the homesites dedicated to Laura Ingalls Wilder, her favorite author. If you’ve read Laura’s books you know that the struggle to find a home is a strong recurring theme. I’ve wanted to write about the Laura sites for years, but I needed to wait until Chloe and Roelke were at a point where the issue of finding a home had resonance for them.

I also need a site or museum that has enough landscape, if you will, to support a mystery with lots of twists and turns. Old World Wisconsin is spread on 576 acres of land within a state  forest—the largest outdoor museum of rural life in the United States. Over sixty structures have been moved and fully restored, including ten working farms and a crossroads village. All that provides plenty of room for Chloe to get into trouble.

the light keeper's legacy

The other sites Chloe visits are equally rich. The Light Keeper’s Legacy was largely set on an uninhabited island in Lake Michigan. Heritage of Darkness was set at Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, housed in a big historic structure with an outdoor division of old buildings too. Tradition of Deceit was partly set in an abandoned industrial flour mill in Minneapolis, which historians were planning to turn into the Mill City Museum. Now that setting provided ample opportunity for excitement!

As much as I love one-room log cabins—and the people who have preserved them—I need more real estate to support a book. That doesn’t mean I can’t include such a cabin in a story, but it won’t work as a primary setting.

I also avoid historic structures that are, for one reason or another, a source of current conflict within a community. Is a town board divided on whether to keep funding the local museum? Is the debate causing hurt feelings and animosity among neighbors? I might one day fictionalize the kernel of dissent, but I don’t want to wade into a real debate about a real town and historic site.

The series starts in 1982 (when my museum career started), and my general plan is to write four books for each calendar year. The 7th Chloe mystery, which I’m writing now, is set in the summer of 1983. After beginning it I got an intriguing invitation that will likely lead to a mystery, but I think that particular book will also work best if it’s set in the summer. That means I have to wait several years before settling in on that.

Finally, I have to care about a place to choose it for a setting. I will spend a year or more “living” in that space while I explore its history and write the book. Loving the environment and local stories is a definite plus!

And I have to feel confident that readers will enjoy visiting a particular setting as much as I do. I love hearing from readers who visited the setting after reading a particular Chloe Ellefson mystery. Each book has a dedicated page on my website that includes maps and photos and, in some cases, tour guides to make site visits easy and armchair travel vivid.

My files of possible future locations are ever-growing. Do you have a favorite museum or historic site? I’d love to hear about it!

About Kathleen Ernst

Death on the Prairie is the 6th Chloe Ellefson Historic Sites mystery. In addition to the Chloe series, Kathleen has written many books for American Girl, including nine about the historical character she created, Caroline Abbott. She also writes nonfiction, including A Settler’s Year: Pioneer Life Through The Seasons. Over 1.5 million copies of Kathleen’s titles have been sold. The Chloe series has earned a LOVEY Award for Best Traditional Mystery, and several of her mysteries for young readers have been finalists for Edgar or Agatha awards.

Author Links:

www.kathleenernst.com

www.sitesandstories.wordpress.com

https://www.facebook.com/kathleenernst.author

 



DeathOnThePrairieCoverWebDeath on the Prairie
(A Chloe Ellefson Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
6th in the Series
Midnight Ink (October 8, 2015)
Paperback: 360 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738744704
E-Book – ASIN: B015CZD162
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Chloe Ellefson and her sister, Kari, have long dreamed of visiting each historic site dedicated to Laura Ingalls Wilder. When Chloe takes custody of a quilt once owned by the beloved author, the sisters set out on the trip of a lifetime, hoping to prove that Wilder stitched it herself.

But death strikes as the journey begins, and trouble stalks their fellow travelers. Among the “Little House” devotees are academic critics, greedy collectors, and obsessive fans. Kari is distracted by family problems, and unexpected news from Chloe’s boyfriend jeopardizes her own future. As the sisters travel deeper into Wilder territory, Chloe races to discover the truth about a precious artifact—and her own heart—before a killer can strike again.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

If you are a fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder you know there subsets to the fan base. The group that loves both the books and the television show, those that love the books but not the television show, those that loved the show but probably never read the books. Chloe Ellefson and her sister, Kari are in the book loving group. A friend has just given Chloe a quilt that supposedly made by Little House author to authenticate. The timing is perfect because Chloe has been asked to speak during a tour around the Midwest visiting all the places Laura and her family lived. Chloe invites her sister along and they embark on the journey of there dreams.  Both are so excited as they reach their first destination but one of the traveler has some sort of attack and dies before the event even gets started. Chloe tries to help and she soon realizes this death was no accident. The tour continues but trouble follows them. Soon Chloe is looking for more than provenance for her quilt. She is on the trail of a killer.

I am a  fan of both the Laura Ingalls Wilder books and the television show. I loved the Olesons, especially when the Mr. stood up to the Mrs. 🙂 I am also a fan of Chloe Ellefson Mysteries. It started because they are set in Wisconsin but grew because I love Chloe and all the drama she gets involved in. I also like how real her relational with Roelke is, they take one step forward and sometimes two steps back, but you know they truly love and support each other. This time he is dealing with something back in Wisconsin while she is traveling and since the book is set in 1983 there are no cell phones so communication isn’t easy. Kari is also dealing with something and even in the same room she and Chloe are not communicating.

What makes this story interesting is that that the group is traveling from state to state, so the crimes of murder and vandalism fall into different police jurisdictions so it is hard for law enforcement to bring all the clues together, but Chloe is putting them together and putting herself in danger.

Kathleen Ernst always blends history with fiction in a very entertaining way. The other travelers and those guiding the tours were very detailed and unique. I could picture them easily. The mystery is thoughtfully plotted and I was surprised by the ending.

 I did not realize that all of these historic sites existed. Now I want to take the tour myself, no dead bodies please.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAY

The author is giving 1 copy of this book away!!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for Kathleen for 5 Bonus Entries.

Do you have a favorite museum or historic site? I’d love to hear about it!

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 21, 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.”

Aug 272015
 

onions spring leeksIf Onions Could Spring Leeks
(Country Cooking School Mystery)

5th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Missouri
Cover Illustration by Phil Parks
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (August 4, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425269299
E-Book ASIN: B00QH831Z0
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The New York Times bestselling author of If Catfish Had Nine Lives returns to Broken Rope, Missouri, where ghosts of the Old West seek assistance from country cooks and amateur sleuths Betts Winston and her grandmother.

With summer tourists flocking to Broken Rope, locals volunteer to keep chaos to a minimum. Old West skits are running smoothly, actors are behaving, and stagecoach rides are more popular than ever, but when a spectral visitor appears by ghost train, it’s a job only Betts and Gram can handle.

Gram soon starts having nightmares about their ghostly visitor’s demise. And if a ghost and the hot summer weather weren’t making things sticky enough, one of the town’s volunteers—a man notorious for having more than his fair share of ex-wives—is murdered. When Jerome, Bett’s otherworldly friend, makes an unsettling appearance, this simmering double mystery becomes a recipe for disaster.

Includes delicious recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We return to Broken Rope and we are not the only ones. A train station from the past pops up in an empty field and one of the passengers needs a little help. The kind of help only Betts and her grandmother, Miz can provide with a little assistance from Jake and our favorite ghost Jerome.

My land, Paige Shelton has an amazing imagination! An imagination she can lasso up and herd together to create a truly entertaining mystery story or in this case the 5th fantastic mystery in the series.

Betts Winston and her grandmother own and operate a Country Cooking School located next to a cemetery. Over the years they have realized they have a special gift of being able to communicate with ghosts. Ghosts like Jerome. He is my absolute favorite ghostly literary character. He also has a very special place in Betts’ heart. Something her current beau, Cliff, is just going to learn to deal with.

Something is keeping Jerome from visiting Broken Rope right now but he knows Betts needs his help so he comes up with a very creative and sometimes very misunderstood way of making his presence known. Readers will find this quite amusing, the characters not so much.

Shelton has a special way of blending mysteries from the past with mysteries in the present and they intertwine and flow seamlessly side by side. It is hard to call one a subplot because both so powerful and engaging.

We can’t forget the Country Cooking School. This time they are featuring onions including the onion casserole standby of many homes around the country. That recipe isn’t in the book because it can be found everywhere but Betts and her brother Teddy had my mouth watering for Onion Rings and thankfully that recipe was in the book along with others I can’t wait to try.

If you like your mysteries on the cozy side with a bit of a ghost story too these are the perfect books for you. They can be read as stand alone because the author always plenty of backstory for new readers but I sure recommend you read them all and in order because they are all just so darn so good.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Paige Shelton has recently moved from Utah to Arizona. Find out more on her webpage here. You can also find her on Facebook.

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.

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 September 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.”

Aug 202015
 

DECEPTIVE HOMECOMINGA Deceptive Homecoming
(A Hattie Davish Mystery)

Historical Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Missouri
Publisher: Kensington (July 28, 2015)
Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1617737268
E-Book ASIN: B00P53E0L2
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Traveling secretary Hattie Davish is returning to her once-quiet hometown, where a deluge of deadly secrets leaves her feeling anything but welcome…

When her good friend Virginia Hayward’s father passes away, Hattie Davish rushes to her hometown of St. Joseph, Missouri. She’s looking forward to visiting the place where she grew up, even if the circumstances bringing her there are bleak. But upon her arrival, she learns that all is not well in St. Joe.

Virginia is cold and distant, Frank Hayward’s death is shrouded in mystery, and a string of troubling incidents have descended on Hattie’s alma mater, Mrs. Chaplin’s School for Women. Frank was the school’s bookkeeper, and as Hattie begins investigating the bizarre goings-on, she becomes convinced that someone other than Frank was in the casket—but who? Her search for the truth takes her from the town cemetery, to the home of an infamous outlaw, to the dungeon-like tunnels beneath the State Lunatic Asylum—and brings her face-to-face with a killer bent on the deadliest lesson of all…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this 4th installment we travel back to St. Joseph, Missouri and the school Hattie Davish attended, Mrs. Chaplin’s School for Women. She was their star pupil and gave her the training she needed to become a personal secretary. Her studies have also helped her become quite a amateur detective too.

There was plenty of deception going on throughout the entire book. Hattie’s homecoming turned out very different from anything she ever imagined. Virginia was her best friend. When Hattie received word that her friend’s father had passed away she made immediate plans to return to Missouri, but Virginia was very surprised to see her there. If Virginia didn’t send her the funeral notice who did? More questions arise when she peers into the casket. While the man’s face was disfigured by the accident that killed him Hattie doesn’t think the body belongs to Virginia’s father. Who else would it be? Hattie also hears rumblings about strange happenings at the school. Could all these things be connected?

This is a fantastic story. Hattie is such a strong woman with strong principles and an excellent role model. It is easy to see why Mrs. Chaplin thinks so much of her. All the secondary characters were so wonderfully written. I formed immediate images of just what they looked and acted like.

The author takes Hattie and the others into some very unique and a couple down-right scary situations. There was a part that was like watching a horror movie where you find yourself yelling at the screen, “NO! Don’t follow him!” Turn around! Come Back!” Okay I was yelling in my head but I was loudly yelling in my head!

We are taken to the Hayward home, the Chaplin home, the school, a historic landmark, and even to a lunatic asylum. We also travel the streets of St. Joe and along the river. All perfectly described and so easy to envision.

Things moved slower back then but this story is very fast paced with more than one edge of your seat moment. I absolutely love the way Anna Loan-Wilsey writes. I am ready for book #5 right now!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Loan_Wilsey_headshot

About The Author

As a biologist, librarian and then information specialist, Anna Loan-Wilsey tracked down mysteries every day.  Now as the author of the Hattie Davish Mysteries Series, featuring a traveling Victorian private secretary, she enjoys creating them.  Anna earned her B.A. at Wells College in Aurora, NY and had several poems published in their literary magazine, The Chronicle. She earned her M.L.I.S. from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She has worked in academia much of her life including Syracuse University, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, Texas A&M University-Commerce and most recently, Iowa State University, publishing in several scientific peer-reviewed journals. A Lack of Temperance, her first novel and first in the Hattie Davish Mysteries series, was the #1 bestselling historical mystery on Amazon.com. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. A Sense of Entitlement, the third in the series, came out out last summer. Anna lives in a Victorian farmhouse near Ames, Iowa with her inquisitive four year old, her old yellow dog and her very funny, very patient husband, where she is happily working on Hattie’s next adventure.

Author Links:

www.annaloanwilsey.com

www.facebook.com/pages/Anna-Loan-Wilsey-Author/226850674036259

www.goodreads.com/author/show/5810152.Anna_Loan_Wilsey

www.kensingtonbooks.com/author.aspx/26131

I am giving away by Advance 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.

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 September 3, 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.”

Mar 132015
 

special guest blue

I am so excited Denise Swanson is my guest today. She has been posting cupcake pictures on her Facebook Page for weeks and I have been drooling!!

Denise Swanson Author Photo

Everything I Need to Know I Learned from Cupcakes

1. Be open to new experiences. When I started writing Dying for a Cupcake, since it was about a cupcake contest, I looked for recipes with unique flavors and ingredients. Up until that point, I had only made my mother’s chocolate or my grandmother’s silver-white recipes. While I still love the old tried and true chocolate and white cupcakes, I have to admit that the cream cheese cupcakes with guava buttercream were mighty tasty. (See recipe below)

2. Never take shortcuts. Boxed mixes and canned frostings seem like a time saver, but like everything in life, if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right.

DYING FOR A CUPCAKE3. Be sweet, but not cloying. As children, most of us liked really sweet desserts and really sweet people. As an adult, I like a little zip or zest in my cupcakes Sweet can be a little boring.

4. The best things in life don’t last forever. Be it a freshly baked cupcake or your favorite jeans or the people you love, enjoy them while you can because the cupcake will get stale, the jeans will wear out and the people will eventually be gone.

5. Perfection is highly overrated. For a long time, I wouldn’t make cupcakes for parties or potlucks because mine never looked as perfect as the ones in the pictures. They all weren’t exactly even and the frosting wasn’t swirled just right. Then one day, my husband took a batch that I had rejected as not good enough to his office. They were a huge hit. Most of his colleagues were used to store bought bakery and couldn’t get enough of my homemade treats.

If I had never gotten over my perfectionism, I would have never gotten past the first chapter when I started writing. Sometimes, you just have to be willing to learn from your early efforts, rather than refuse to try.

In cupcake making, just as in life, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. You may have all the fancy equipment from the Food Network, you may be using a recipe that’s been in your family for generations, but stuff still happens. A too hot kitchen, high humidity, or a faulty timer can destroy all your work.

But instead of vowing never to try again. Clean up the mess and make a fresh start. When I was submitting my first book to agents, I received two hundred and seventy rejection letters. And while a lot of them had valid criticism, much of what they didn’t like was out of my control because when it all comes down to it, most things in like, like cupcakes, are a matter of taste.

~Denise

guavacupcakeCream Cheese Cupcakes with Guava Butter Cream
Ingredients
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup softened cream cheese

Butter Cream
Ingredients
1/4 cup and 2 teaspoons shortening
1/4 cup and 2 teaspoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/3 cups and 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon and 1/2 teaspoon milk
pinch of salt
1/3 cup guava marmalade

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
2. In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well, add cream cheese. Finally stir in the milk until batter is smooth. Pour or spoon batter into the prepared pan.
3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cake is done when it springs back to the touch.

Butter Cream
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, and vanilla. Blend in the sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the milk, and continue mixing until light and fluffy. Separately blend guava until smooth, then add to butter cream a little at a time. Place in the fridge. After cooling place in piping bag and swirl.

About the author: A former school psychologist, New York Times bestselling author Denise Swanson spent twenty-two years working in the public school system. She realized her experiences were actually excellent research for mysteries. Denise’s fourth book in the Devereaux’s Dime Store series, Dying for a Cupcake, debuted March 3. Denise also writes the Scumble River Mysteries.

Find Denise at www.DeniseSwanson.com
Facebook at www.facebook.com/#!/DeniseSwansonAuthor
Twitter at DeniseSwansonAu

DYING FOR A CUPCAKEDying for a Cupcake:
A Devereaux’s Dime Store Mystery

4th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Missouri
An Obsidian Mystery (March 3, 2015)
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451418890
E-Book ASIN: B00MNN7HVC
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When Devereaux “Dev” Sinclair hosts a cupcake contest at her five-and-dime store, she discovers that someone is just dying to win…

Kizzy Cutler finds it so delicious to be back in her hometown of Shadow Bend, Missouri, that she seems to have forgotten why she fled twenty years ago. For now, she’s excited to kick off her new line of cupcakes with a competition, which Dev has agreed to host in her shop. But before the first yummy cupcake is even baked, Kizzy’s assistant Fallon dies from a mysterious ailment.

While the medical examiner attempts to discover what killed Fallon, Kizzy declares that the show must go on. However after Kizzy escapes several near misses, Dev is convinced that someone in Shadow Bend has it in for the Cupcake Queen. Is the secret from her past so dark someone still wants to kill her for it?

With a list of not-so-sweet suspects, Dev’s in a race against the timer to solve the murder before someone else gets iced…

Includes a sneak peak of the next Scumble River Mystery!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Denise reeled me right in, she has been posted cupcakes on her Facebook page for weeks and had me drooling to read this book.

In this 4th installment to this fun series Shadow Bend welcomes former resident, now the Cupcake Queen, Kizzy Cutler, and a weekend of fun as a contest is held to find her newest cupcake creation. The 10 contestants arrive along with Kizzy and her entourage. But before the first cupcake is baked Kizzy’s assistant dies and it doesn’t appear to be from natural causes.

As the investigation gets underway Kizzy announces the weekend festivities will continue. That makes someone very unhappy as Kizzy has several dramatic experiences. Dev starts to think the assistant wasn’t the one that was suppose to die. She believes someone is targeting Kizzy and it may have to do with something that happened in Shadow Bend more than 20 years ago. The makes for one sweet mystery!

Dev runs the local five and dime and her father recently released from prison helps her out at the store. This time the men Dev is dating are both out of town. Dr. Noah is volunteering overseas for a couple of weeks and Deputy U.S. Marshall Jake is off investigating a case that involves his ex-wife. Enter the new fire chief with a pizza and Dev romantic life gets a lit more complicated.

What a fun read! We have the characters we already love, a new one to hate, plus a hunky new one that I know if going to cause havoc. Kizzy was a piece of work in high school, today we call them bullies. No wonder someone wants her gone.

The mystery was one that keeps us guessing and I can’t tell you more without ruining the story but it is really good.  Denise Swanson is a pro at blending mystery and romance with the perfect amount of humor. I loved this story!

This is a fantastic addition to this entertaining series. The author sets up the next story too whetting our appetite for next year.

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.

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

Leave a comment for Denise 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 March 27, 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.”

Feb 242015
 

great escape tour banner large the deep end640

The Deep End
by Julie Mulhern

You will be hooked on this whodunit from the start. This debut novel will keep you wanting more.
~Shelley’s Book Case​

Full of colorful characters, good dialogue, and taking place in the 70’s at the height of the Watergate scandal, The Dead End kept my attention from start to finish. The first book in “The Country Club Murders” series, is off to a good start.
~Queen of All She Reads

This book is pretty funny. The characters are well written. With the main character Ellison Russell your like I totally understand why she did that, and others your like, I just want to smack you. I can’t believe you did that.
~Tea and A Book

THE DEEP END cover 5
The Deep End
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Missouri
Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: Henery Press (February 17, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-1941962237
E-Book File Size: 507 KB
ASIN: B00PWE819Q
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Swimming into the lifeless body of her husband’s mistress tends to ruin a woman’s day, but becoming a murder suspect can ruin her whole life.

It’s 1974 and Ellison Russell’s life revolves around her daughter and her art. She’s long since stopped caring about her cheating husband, Henry, and the women with whom he entertains himself. That is, until she becomes a suspect in Madeline Harper’s death. The murder forces Ellison to confront her husband’s proclivities and his crimes—kinky sex, petty cruelties and blackmail.

As the body count approaches par on the seventh hole, Ellison knows she has to catch a killer. But with an interfering mother, an adoring father, a teenage daughter, and a cadre of well-meaning friends demanding her attention, can Ellison find the killer before he finds her?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Set in the 1970’s this book treads close to the cozy/non-cozy mystery line due to some very interesting interests of some of the characters. Since it tells you in the synopsis I am not giving anything away by telling you sex of the kinky variety takes place and could be the reason a certain woman ends up dead floating in a country club swimming pool. It was the swinging 70’s!

Ellison Russell is unhappily married but sticking it out for her child and for appearances. How things appear to the world or other members of the country club are very important to Ellison’s mother and she is sure to tell her daughter that several times a say. As the story goes on Ellison becomes much stronger and really could care less what other people think shocking her mother and giving readers a good giggle or two.

I enjoyed the references to Watergate, and old television shows like Kojak and The Streets of San Francisco. A time before cell phones and when you wanted privacy on the phone the squiggly phone cord was stretched to reach into a closet or another room. A time when news was found in a newspaper not on a computer.

Julie Mulhern does a great job pulling us back in time and into Ellison’s world. She fills the story with very colorful characters and a plot that keeps us guessing the entire journey. She also makes us laugh and that is always a plus.

The Deep End is an excellent start for The County Club Murder series. Ellison really evolved in this story and I look forward to where the author takes her next.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

julie

About This Author

Julie Mulhern is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean—and she’s got an active imagination. Truth is—she’s an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions. She is a 2014 Golden Heart® Finalist. The Deep End is her first mystery and is the winner of The Sheila Award.

 

Author Links:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/juliekmulhern

Twitter: @juliekmulhern

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/juliemulhern/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8573907.Julie_Mulhern
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Tour Participants

February 16 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review, Guest Post

February 17 – Queen of All She Reads – Review

February 18 – Babs Book Bistro – Guest Post

February 19 – deal sharing aunt – Interview

February 20 – Tea and A Book – Review

February 21 – A Blue Million Books – Interview

February 22 – LibriAmoriMiei – Review

February 23 – dru’s book musings – Guest Post

February 24 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review

February 25 – OMNIMYSTERY NEWS – Interview

February 26 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – Review

February 27 – Lori’s Reading Corner – Guest Post

Feb 062015
 

great escape tour banner large death and the red headed woman640I was set to review this book later in the month but today’s blogger has disappeared from the internet so I popped myself in as a replacement. I was originally just going to post a spotlight but I squeezed the book into my reading schedule and boy I am so glad I did!

Death and the Redheaded Woman
Death and the Redheaded Woman
(An Auction Block Mystery)

Mystery
Setting – Missouri
Publisher: MIDNIGHT INK (February 8, 2015)
Paperback: 264 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738743936
E-Book ASIN: B00S1MTLCW
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Next Up for Auction: Murder

When auctioneer Wren Morgan begins cataloging the contents of the Campbell mansion, she’s unprepared to find something that can’t be appraised—a dead man. After the body turns out to be a criminal with ties to a recent jewel heist, Wren comes face-to-face with Death Bogart. A private eye and part-time bounty hunter, Death is searching for the stolen jewels needed to convict a murderer.

Death finds a friend and willing ally in Wren, but they aren’t the only ones searching for treasure. Two ruthless men are also on the hunt, and they will do anything to eliminate the competition. To survive, Death and Wren must solve two mysteries spanning a century and a half and outwit a pair of cold-blooded killers.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This book is just amazing! When a book starts out with

He was gorgeous and he was naked but, unfortunately, he was dead.

you sit up and pay attention because you have not idea where this story is going to take you. But I quickly knew this was going to be an extremely entertaining read.

Wren Morgan is an assistant auctioneer. She arrived at the Campbell Victorian to start an inventory of the oldest house in the county for an upcoming auction. Barely in the door she finds the dead body, something tells her this auction won’t be taking place anytime soon.

Death (Dee-th) “it’s a family name” Bogart, a private eye/bounty hunter has just arrived in town chasing down a bail jumper. Death is also a veteran, who had to leave the military for health reasons. The government is taking its good sweet time processing his military benefits so he is presently living in his Jeep Grand Cherokee. He arrives at the police station to drop off his detainee and sees Wren across the room and is immediately captivated.

The relationship that has begun between Death and Wren was a pleasure to read as they quickly grew comfortable with each other. Death has been through so much and Wren opens her heart to him. Like many war vets he not only has a physical disability, he also suffers with PTSD.  His self esteem is pretty darn low and he has a hard time accepting help. Wren knows to tread lightly and allow Death to share things with her at his own pace. She too has a bit of drama in her past and he knows she needs someone to help her get on with her life and someone she can trust. Ross was written both characters in a way that you become engaged into their lives and what they are feeling pretty rapidly.

The main mystery plot of the story is excellent. We are not only following clues to solve a murder but there are some valuable items that have gone missing and there may be a tie in to some objects that disappeared back during the Civil War. The “aha moment” was absolutely priceless and something I never saw coming.

Loretta Ross has a fantastic sense of humor and liberally injects into this story. I was smiling and giggling throughout.

The author also knows how to tempt us readers. As this story wraps up she give us just a bit of a tease of the next Auction Block Mystery.

To learn this is Loretta Ross’ debut novel just blows my mind. I don’t need an appraisal to tell you this is an author we need to watch! She is going places! I am completely SOLD!!

paradise5 STARFISH5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

Author Photo

 

About This Author

Loretta Ross is a writer and historian who lives and works in rural Missouri. She is an alumna of Cottey College and holds a BA in archaeology from the University of Missouri – Columbia. She has loved mysteries since she first learned to read. Death and the Redheaded Woman will be her first published novel.

My Website is at http://www.lorettasueross.com.

My blog is connected to my website at http://lorettasueross.com/blog/

My Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/lorettasueross

My author page at Goodreads is at https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/236665.Loretta_Ross

I’m on Twitter as @lorettasueross and my profile page is at https://twitter.com/lorettasueross

Other Purchase Links: B&N Book Depository

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In addition to the Rafflecopter above I also have
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Check out the rest of the tour!

Tour Participants

February 1 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview

February 2 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway

February 3 – The Ninja Librarian – Review

February 4 – readalot – Review

February 5 – Kelly P’s Blog – Guest Post

February 6 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Spotlight, Giveaway

February 7 – LibriAmoriMiei – Review, Giveaway

February 8 – Jane Reads – Review, 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.”

Sep 252014
 

just for fun 2014
This is a challenge to help us get some of those books on out To-Be Read stacks read without the pressure of a review (unless we want to) or meeting any other challenge. These books are read totally Just For Fun. I have given just a brief review because I read the book JUST FOR FUN!!

This month’s Just For Fun read has been on my To-Be-Read shelf for over 2 years. My daughter kept asking “Why haven’t you read that book yet?” almost every time she visited. Now with the movie coming out and the 3 of us wanting to go I knew I had to read this book now. No more excuses.

gone girlGone Girl
Crown (June 5, 2012)
Published by Random House
Hardcover: 432 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0307588364
Paperback: 432 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0307588371
E-Book File Size: 1810 KB
ASIN: B006LSZECO
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On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?    As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I know I am probably one of the last people to read this book so I will give you just a brief review. I also don’t want to give anything away for those that haven’t read it or plan on just seeing the movie that comes out October 3.

This is  a really dark and twisted story.  I was fully engaged from the start and Part 2 was a huge surprise but I was totally disappointed by the ending but my daughter loved it so I guess it is open to debate. Maybe my age has something to do with it. This was one really screwed up marriage.

With all my reservations and conflicted feelings aside Gillian Flynn is an excellent storyteller. I was feeling a myriad of emotions while reading the story and it kept drawing me in. Then I wanted to throw the book at the end but I checked out a few reviews and talked to others and I am not alone.  In fact there are almost 23,000 reviews on Amazon for Gone Girl ranging from 1 to 5 stars. A book like this is perfect for a Book Club because as soon as you finish it you want to talk about it. I imagine there have been some awesome discussions since this book came out in 2012. I believe a good book invokes conversation and this one sure meets that criteria.

just you and a friend
4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

*This book was from my private collection.

Aug 192014
 

IF CATFISHIf Catfish Had Nine Lives
(Country Cooking School Mystery)

4th in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (August 5, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Phil Parks
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425269282
E-Book File Size: 1325 KB
ASIN: B00I3N5QKU
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Betts Winston has inherited more than her cooking skills from her grandmother—she can also see and talk to ghosts of people that once roamed the streets of Broken Rope, Missouri, in the days of the Old West…

With Gram’s Country Cooking School on spring break, Betts and Gram are taking part in this year’s cowboy poetry convention, offering lessons on frying catfish over an open campfire. But when a staged gunfight ends in real death and her brother Teddy becomes a prime suspect, Betts may be the one to jump from the frying pan into the fire.

After her ghostly guardian Jerome appears to watch her back and a spectral Pony Express rider gallops into town with some unfinished business, Broken Rope starts to seem more like a cowboy ghost convention. With trouble on both sides of this mortal coil, it’s up to Betts to clear her brother, put the spirits to rest, and make sure the true killer doesn’t become the one who got away.

Includes Recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Paige Shelton has given us another top notch cozy mystery. She blends cooking with mystery, history, and ghosts. She also adds in a spoonful of romance that may surprise you.

Betts and Gram are fantastic characters but Jerome always steals my heart. He is always there when Betts needs him and this time she really needed him to help unlock all the mysteries she was trying to solve.

Broken Rope is a very special place. It takes us back to the Wild West and I appreciate the way Jake tries to keep all the history straight.  An enormous task and he continues to receive more and more information and treasures for his collection. I loved learning more about the Pony Express.

Shelton continues to amaze me with her imaginative stories. The characters are unique and engaging, the main plots and subplots mesh together perfectly. The history and the mystery draws the reader in and hangs on tight. Then she adds some killer recipes to boot!

Paige you had me with this one – hook, line and sinker! This book is quite a catch!!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To find out more about Paige Shelton and her books visit her webpage 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 September 2, 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.”

Mar 062014
 

DEAD BETWEEN
Dead Between the Lines:
A Devereaux’s Dime Store Mystery

3rd Book in Series
Cozy Romance Mystery
Obsidian (March 4, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451418883
E-Book File Size: 1278 KB
ASIN: B00EOARAFU
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Opening an old-fashioned five-and-dime shop in her small Missouri hometown has been a great change for Devereaux “Dev” Sinclair. But when she hosts a reading group there, she learns that bad writing can mean life or death.

To keep her new business in the black, Dev opens up her shop to local clubs. But in the first meeting of the Stepping Out Book Club, the speaker storms out after members attack his poetry’s sexism and scorn for small towns. Later that night, the poet’s body is found outside Dev’s store.

Dev can’t afford for the murder to close her down, so she does a little stepping out of her own to investigate, with help from her two sexy suitors, Dr. Noah Underwood and Deputy U.S. Marshal Jake Del Vecchio. But when the killer threatens Dev, they will have to use every trick in the book to solve the case before she becomes the final chapter in this murder mystery.…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Another great story from Denise Swanson. I categorized this one as a Cozy Romance Mystery because the romantic triangle of Dev, Dr. Noah and Deputy U.S. Marshall Jake is really the prime storyline in my opinion. With Jake back in town and thinking about making that permanent, Dev is going to have to make a decision sooner rather than later. You can only keep these two men in limbo for so long or there may a murder that will be easy to solve. Thankfully I am sure one man will back off gracefully but unhappily when she makes her decision.

I love that Dev opens up the extra room to local groups to make a little extra money. This time it is the Stepping Out Book Club that is featured when their guest speaker turns up dead way too close to the five and dime. I was surprised the entire group didn’t strike him down right in the middle of the meeting. What a first class jerk he was!! I will say that final twist that unveils the killer was jaw dropping. I did not see it coming at all.

This series is filled with very interesting characters and I can’t wait to see where the author takes them next.  The possibilities seem endless.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Denise Swanson and her books here.
Denise Swanson – Amazon

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

Aug 132013
 

if bread could rise
If Bread Could Rise to the Occasion
(A Country Cooking School Mystery)

3rd in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (August 6, 2013)
A Division of The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Phil Parks
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425252239
E-Book File Size: 783 KB
ASIN: B009RYS4CQ
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Isabelle “Betts” Winston and her grandmother invite students from all across the country to attend Gram’s Country Cooking School. Many apply but only a few are chosen each year. This year a student arrives, Freddie O’Bannon, who has an acceptance letter but Betts nor her grandmother can remember seeing his application or can find any record of him in their files. They decide to allow him to stay if they can verify his references.

Another arrival puts the issue with Freddie on  the back burner. Cylas Gent, a ghost who may have been a romantic interest of Gram’s, seems to need some help solving a mystery from the past.

Then another mystery arises as one of the new students is found dead. Gram and Betts have their hands full. Can they solve all mysteries without getting burned??

Dollycas’s Thoughts
One of the reasons I love this series is because each story contains not one but two whodunits. With the help of their friends, both dead and alive, Gram and Betts do everything they can to get to the bottom of these mysteries. The ghosts only know so much and their memories are not very good, but the current residents of Broken Rope, Missouri have some resources that help bridge the gap a bit between the past and the present. Sometimes the mystery from the past points them in the right direction for those in the present and the current ones give a link to those in the past too.

All the characters in this story seem so real and jump right off the page. A picture is easily painted in out minds that bring every one of them to life.

This time a favorite ghost from a past story returns and it is so darn easy to forget he is a ghost for both Betts and us readers. Paige Shelton, you made me cry!!

The new ghost’s story is very unique and it truly captivated me from beginning to end. The author adds just the right little touches that makes it possible for us to step right over into their story.

This book is absolutely brilliant and a pure pleasure to read! I am always a little sad when I reach the last page. My visit to Broken Rope ends much too soon. We are treated to some tasty recipes to tide us over until the next installment. We have had chickens, potatoes and bread…wonder what tasty morsel will be featured next. All I know is I CAN’T WAIT!!!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To find out more about Paige Shelton visit here webpage here.

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 152013
 

NICKELED

Nickeled-and-Dimed to Death:
A Devereaux’s Dime Store Mystery

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Obsidian (March 5, 2013)
Published by New American Library
A Division of The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451239426
E-Book File Size: 1142 KB
ASIN: B008EKOO78

Nickeled-and-Dimed to Death: A Devereaux's Dime Store MysteryDevereaux Sinclair loves running her old-fashioned store in her small Missouri hometown. If only murder didn’t keep landing on her doorstep…

Dev’s five and dime is doing great but her personal life is a mess. She has feelings for two men, Deputy U.S. Marshall Jake Del Vecchio and Noah Underwood, her high school boyfriend, who is now the local doctor. His high society family came between them in the past but he claims he can now stand up to his mother.

When Elise Whitmore stops by her store to offer to sell her some antique chocolate molds that would be perfect for her Easter gift baskets she gets her mind off her love life and back to business. Dev realizes this is a deal to good to pass on but wonders why Elise is selling them. Are they even hers to sell? Elise and her husband are getting divorced, maybe she shouldn’t have bought the molds.

Not long after selling the molds Elise is found shot to death. Dev’s friend Boone is the one that found her and he has been taken into custody. Dev wishes Jake wasn’t away on an assignment because she could use his help. So she rounds up her friends including Noah to find the real killer and clear Boone’s name.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A romantic cozy mystery! I absolutely loved this story!!

None of Dev’s friends or her Grandmother think much of Noah. He treated her badly and they are holding a grudge. Dev is ready to forgive and forget but her friends are not letting her rush into anything. They like her so much better with Jake. Unfortunately Jake is spending a lot of time away from Shadow Bend and he is with his boss who just happens to be his ex-wife. Romantic tension – just a bit!

The mystery is quite complex with several suspects and by solving it Dev Sinclair may be finding more than a killer. I love the twists the author has given that connect the books in this series by more than the characters and the setting.

The characters are so warm and real. Fantastic dialogue. It is very easy to imagine pulling up a stool at the soda fountain for a cherry coke or grabbing a chair in the crafting alcove to catch up with them and learn what’s happening in this little town in Missouri.

I anxiously await my next visit with Dev, Gran, Jake, Noah, Poppy and Boone! I wonder what kind of trouble Denise Swanson has planned for the wonderful cast! a perfect escape 5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To Find Out More About Denise and Her Books Visit Her Webpage Here!

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.”

NICKELEDreadalattechallenge_zps01d248d0859412013where are you readingmystery challenge

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