Mar 032015
 

NEW RELEASE TUESDAY 2014

New Release Tuesday – February 2015

These wonderful books are available today
wherever fine books are sold.
Click on the book covers below to order from Amazon.com

Suspendered Sentence (An Amish Mystery)

Laura Bradford will be here tomorrow for Cozy Wednesday!
She is also touring with Great Escapes!

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Dying For a Cupcake: A Devereaux’s Dime Store Mystery

Denise will be my Special Guest March 13!
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Denise also had a Romance Novel come out yesterday!
Good Girl Overboard

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A First Date with Death (A Love or Money Mystery)

Diana Orgain will Be my guest for Cozy Wednesday on March 18!
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Ladle to the Grave (A Soup Lover’s Mystery)

Connie Archer will be my Special Guest on March 20!
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How to Catch a Cat (Cats and Curios Mystery)

Rebecca M. Hale will be my Cozy Wednesday guest on March 25!
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More Books Out Today!

Out March 10 and touring with Great Escapes Book Tours!
Quicksand (A Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery) (Volume 3)

The Icing on the Corpse (A Pawsitively Organic Mystery)

Release Date – March 31
Great Escapes Tour starts March 9!!

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Out Later This Month!

I am an Amazon Associate so purchases made at Amazon.com originating from my
blog earn me a small commission which I use for giveaway prizes.

HAPPY READING EVERYONE!!

 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Feb 112015
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

My guest today is the fabulous Kate Collins!

kate collins

CREATIVITY ON THE RUN, ER, WALK

By Kate Collins

Brains are fascinating organs. They’re the original computers, processing whatever they take in and spitting it out when you need it – hopefully. They’re inventive, too, making up all kinds of stories to amuse, soothe, or scare us out of a night’s sleep. For me that inventiveness started at a very young age when I was certain my chest of drawers turned into a big hairy gorilla at night. I also convinced the neighbor kids that a monster lived in the crawlspace of our house. That backfired on me, however, because I told the story so often I came to believe it and wouldn’t go anywhere near that part of the house. There’s a price to be paid for being too creative.

root awakeningRecently I read an article* about how brains function better and are less prone to dementia when the body is exercised. What especially caught my attention was the paragraph that said exercise boosts creativity and helps a person come up with new solutions to problems. As a mystery writer, my ears perked up. I’m constantly solving problems, mostly of my own making, but still, sometimes I back a character into a corner and then have to figure a way out of it.

When that happens, when I’m staring at the words on my monitor and nothing is coming, I have to escape. For me that means taking a walk and letting the wayward scene play in my head like a movie and allowing my characters to talk about what’s happening. It also means that if you see me out walking and my lips are moving, pay no attention. I’m just working out their dialogue.

I wasn’t surprised, therefore, when I read in the article that researchers at Stanford University found that walking can increase creativity up to sixty percent. I’ll vouch for that! Even a casual stroll around the house or office can be beneficial, anything to step away from the words – or lack thereof – on the computer screen.

According to the researchers: “Four experiments demonstrate that walking boosts creative ideation in real time and shortly after… Walking opens up the free flow of ideas, and it is a simple and robust solution to the goals of increasing creativity and increasing physical activity.”

So it’s a win-win situation. Creativity goes up, calories burn off, blood circulates, muscles pump, and those feel-good endorphins rise. When I sit back down again, the ideas are there and so are my characters, waiting with a big “Welcome back, Kate. Let’s get this mystery solved.”

~Kate

Kate Collins is a New York Times bestselling author of the popular and long-running Flower Shop Mystery series. A Root Awakening, #16 in the series, is a February, 2015 release. Read about Kate’s mysteries, historical romances, and children’s anthologies at www.katecollinsbooks.com

*Source: www.Mercola.com (1-23-2015) “The Remarkable Effects of Exercise on Cognition and Brain Cell Regeneration.”

root awakeningA Root Awakening:
A Flower Shop Mystery

16th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Indiana
An Obsidian Mystery
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Release Date: February 3, 2015
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451415516
E-Book ASIN: B00LMGK55Q
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Abby Knight’s marriage may be in full bloom, but house hunting is no bed of roses in latest novel in the New York Times bestselling Flower Shop Mystery series…

Now that they’ve tied the knot, flower shop owner Abby Knight and her husband, Marco, want to put down roots. When it comes to picking a house, Marco can’t wait to get his hands dirty, while Abby isn’t ready for a fixer-upper. But conflict really sprouts when they’re checking out a dilapidated Victorian and watch a construction worker take a life-threatening tumble.

Since witnesses claim the man shouted for help, suggesting that the fall was no accident, the victim’s flamboyant wife hires Marco to find the person responsible. Meanwhile, Abby keeps secret from Marco her own investigation into the home’s inhabitants, a family whose off-kilter behavior has aroused her suspicions. If only Abby’s very pregnant cousin, Jillian, will stop distracting Abby with false labor pains, she can conclude her own inquiries before Marco finds out…and her case blossoms into a disaster.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

House hunting can be fun but most times it is pretty daunting. Buying a house is a huge decision and Marco and Abby are not exactly on the same page as to the type of house they want. Marco is okay with a fixer upper but Abby knows with them both owning businesses and a private investigating company they are not going to have much time for fixing anything up. But she is willing to look. They arrive to check out a Victorian that is already receiving a bit of a facelift just in time to see one of the workers fall many feet from his ladder to the ground. It looks like an accident but the victim’s wife hires Marco and Abby to investigate. Abby also thinks there is something off about the people renting the house and her brain just can’t let it go so she does a little investigating on her own.

Not sure what their next move is regarding finding a home a very pregnant comes to the rescue and offers to find them the perfect place to purchase. The trick will be finding it before she actually really truly goes into labor and has the baby. Hilarity ensues!

This is the 16th book in this series. That should tell you something right there. This is an excellent series and Kate Collins is a wonderful storyteller. She continues to keep these character fresh and their adventures colorful and entertaining. They are definitely blooming in the place she has planted them.

As someone who has worked on a construction crew the man falling from the ladder sent extra chills through my entire body. Those Victorian homes are tall, my first thought was where was his safety harness but then I quickly became enthralled in the mystery. Did he just lose his balance or was he really pushed? Why? and Who? and was he going to survive? Abby and Marco seem to be getting nowhere in their investigation.

This was one of those books I just couldn’t put down. I knew what Abby was thinking but the author twisted it in a way I didn’t see coming at all. An extraordinary WHODUNIT!

I am a huge fan of this author and I anxiously await each installment and am never disappointed, in fact she always exceeds my expectations. We have already learned #17 is called Florist Grump and it hits stores in November! I truly can’t wait!

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 Kate 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 February 25, 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 102015
 

NEW USES OLD BOYFRIENDSNew Uses For Old Boyfriends
(Black Dog Bay Novel)

Women’s Fiction
New American Library
Release Date: February 3, 2015
Trade Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451465863
E-Book ASIN: B00KWFZ6WU
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After growing up in privilege and marrying into money, Lila Alders has gotten used to the good life. But when her happily-ever-after implodes, Lila must return to Black Dog Bay, the tiny seaside town where she grew up. She’s desperate for a safe haven, but everything has changed over the past ten years. Her family’s fortune is gone—and her mother is in total denial. It’s up to Lila to take care of everything…but she can barely take care of herself.

The former golden girl of Black Dog Bay struggles to reinvent herself by opening a vintage clothing boutique. But even as Lila finds new purpose for outdated dresses and tries to reunite with her ex, she realizes that sometimes it’s too late for old dreams. She’s lost everything she thought she needed but found something—someone—she desperately wants. A boy she hardly noticed has grown up into a man she can’t forget…and a second chance has never felt so much like first love.

READERS GUIDE INCLUDED

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This is my first experience with this author and I am thrilled to have been offered this book for review. The story is like a breath of fresh air and just what I needed.

It is hard to go back home again. In Lila’s case her life has basically fallen apart. She has lost her job and her husband has left her and all just a few months after her father has passed away. She arrives back in Black Dog Bay to start over and help her mom adjust to living without her dad, which turns out to be a much bigger task that Lila ever imagined. What follows is an incredible story where she not only helps her mom and reconnects with old friend but she also finds that going home was the right thing to do for herself.

The is a light read full of funny moments. I really like Lila. She really is a strong woman who had a jerk for a husband and she moves on after first making a huge final purchase before he cut off the credit cards and bank account. She finds her friends that stayed in Black Dog Bay are moms and busy but they were able to carve some time out to spend together. She also runs into an old boyfriend or two and her mother is on a mission to find her a new man as  soon as possible.

Black Dog Bay is quite a place –  “the best place in America to bounce back from your breakup.”  With places like Better Off Bed-and-Breakfast, the Eat Your Heart Out bakery, and the Whinery bar, Black Dog Bay offers a haven for the suddenly single. So Lila is in the right place.

I particularly enjoyed this book because there is such a variety of women of all ages. Being older I really identified with Lila’s mom and the changes to her life. Younger women will tune into Lila and her friends. All of these characters are very engaging and they are all very diverse.

You do not have to have read Cure for the Common Breakup, the first Black Dog Bay Novel, to enjoy this story. It stands perfectly on its own. I do hope to go back and read the first one and anything else this author pens. She brings a great sense of humor to her work and gives us a happy ending too with several twists that made this an extremely delightful read.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author
Beth Kendrick is the author of several novels, including Cure for the Common Breakup,The Week Before the Wedding, and The Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service. She lives in Arizona with her family and a pair of unruly rescue dogs. Find out more about her and her books on her webpage here.

GIVEAWAYI 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.

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 February 24, 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.”

Nov 042014
 

NEW RELEASE TUESDAY 2014New Release Tuesday – November 2014

These wonderful books are available today
wherever fine books are sold.
Click on the book covers below to order from Amazon.com

Chorus Lines, Caviar, and Corpses (A Happy Hoofers Mystery)

I reviewed this last week.
My Review Giveaway still open!!
Great Escapes Book Tour starts today!

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Lethal Letters (A Books by the Bay Mystery)

I will be reviewing November 6th with giveaway!!

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Knot In My Backyard (A Quilting Mystery)

I will be reviewing November 11 with giveaway!
Great Escapes Book Tour starts today!
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Suede to Rest (A Material Witness Mystery)

Diane Vallere will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday on November 12!
Great Escapes Book Tour is running now!
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The Chocolate Clown Corpse: A Chocoholic Mystery

Joanna Carl will be my Special Guest on November 13!
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By Cook or by Crook (A Five-Ingredient Mystery)

I plan to review this book on November 14.
Great Escapes Book Tour Starts today!
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Knot Guilty: A Crochet Mystery

Betty Hechtman will be my Special Guest on November 15!
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A High-End Finish: A Fixer-Upper Mystery

Kate Carisle will be my Special Guest on November 20th!
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On Borrowed Time (A Library Lover’s Mystery)

Jenn McKinlay will be my Guest for Cozy Wednesday on November 26.
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Dae’s Christmas Past (A Missing Pieces Mystery) (Volume 6)

Great Escapes Book Tour Starts Today!
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More Books Out Today

Books Out Later This Month

Tradition of Deceit (A Chloe Ellefson Mystery)

Kathleen Ernst will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday November 19!
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Fatal Brushstroke (An Aurora Anderson Mystery) (Volume 1)

Release Date November 18!
Great Escapes Tour starts November 19!
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Plus

I am an Amazon Associate so purchases made at Amazon.com originating from my
blog earn me a small commission which I use for giveaway prizes.

HAPPY READING EVERYONE!!

 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Oct 092014
 

forgotten girlThe Forgotten Girl
New American Library (October 7, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Trade Paperback Paperback: 448 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451417527
E-Book File Size: 2846 KB
ASIN: B00INIJIV8
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The past has arrived uninvited at Jason Danvers’s door…

…and it’s his younger sister, Hayden, a former addict who severed all contact with her family as her life spiraled out of control. Now she’s clean and sober but in need of a desperate favor—she asks Jason and his wife to take care of her teenage daughter for forty-eight hours while she handles some business in town
But Hayden never returns.

And her disappearance brings up more unresolved problems from Jason’s past, including the abrupt departure of his best friend on their high school graduation night twenty-seven years earlier. When a body is discovered in the woods, the mysteries of his sister’s life—and possible death—deepen. And one by one these events will shatter every expectation Jason has ever had about families, about the awful truths that bind them and the secrets that should be taken to the grave.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

David Bell has become one of my favorite suspense authors. I couldn’t wait to read this book and all my expectations were fully met. He writes these stories that just draw you right in and don”t let go.

All the characters are flawed, some have bigger  problems than others but all are dealing with something. Jason and Nora  moved back to Ohio when their jobs in New York were  eliminated. They never had children, their careers always came first.  Jason and his sister Hayden have not spoken or seen each other in years. She always ran with a group of troublemakers and drugs and alcohol were what controlled her life.  Even her daughter Sierra could not help her stay straight. But now Sierra is 17 years old and Hayden promises she is clean. She just needs to tie up some loose ends and asks Nora and Jason to take in Sierra for 48 hours. But the 48 hours comes and goes and Hayden has not returned. They want to believe she has changed but the doubts are there. Especially when questions are being asked about a friend who disappeared 27 years ago. Can Hayden’s  disappearance be connected to that one? Could Jason have changed the past?

We all remember those parties we attended in high school or college. One party on a graduation night is what starts this whole story in motion.

Bell takes us on quite a trip trying to understand what happened in the past and how it is affecting lives today. Lies, secrets, deception, desperation and fear all play huge parts of this thrilling mystery.

The story has layers making readers really pay attention and even making us read between the lines. The crazy twists that I have come to expect from this author turn things upside town and inside out.  He weaves together the past and present with such precision and makes this book almost impossible to put down. At over 400 pages I knew I was going to have to break it up over 2 or 3 nights but it was so hard and I didn’t want to do anything like work during the day, I just wanted to get back to reading this book. The was more than one time I was on the edge of my seat. One chapter would end and I would think just one more and then it was one more. I read it in two nights but this book has stuck with me for days.

David Bell is a fantastic storyteller that continues to top himself with each new mystery. This one deserves more than 5 stars! I truly cannot wait to see what this man comes up with next.

paradise

5 STARFISH5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 Want to find out more about David Bells and his books check out his webpage here.

I am giving my advance review copy away.
Note: they are some creased pages but no rips or tears.

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 23, 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.”

Oct 072014
 

NEW RELEASE TUESDAY 2014New Release Tuesday – October 2014

These wonderful books are available today
wherever fine books are sold.
Click on the book covers below to order from Amazon.com

Black Thursday (A Mrs. Frugalicious Shopping Mystery)

The actual release date on this one is tomorrow
and the author will be my Cozy Wednesday guest this week!

The Forgotten Girl

I will be reviewing this book on Thursday!!

Bless Her Dead Little Heart (A Southern Ladies Mystery)

New Series from Miranda James!
She will be my Special Guest on Friday!

Picked to Die (An Orchard Mystery)

I will be reviewing this book Friday, October 17!

Murder Off the Beaten Path (A Search and Rescue Mystery)

M.L. Rowland will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday on October 22.

Off Kilter (A Scottish Highlands Mystery)

New Series from Hannah Reed. She will be my guest on October 20 for Cozy Wednesday!

A Crafty Christmas (Cumberland Creek)

Mollie Cox Bryan is touring with Great Escapes Book Tours October 7 – 20, 2014

More Books Out Today!

More Books Out Later This Month

I am an Amazon Associate so purchases made at Amazon.com originating from my
blog earn me a small commission which I use for giveaway prizes.

HAPPY READING EVERYONE!!

 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Aug 302014
 

paws for murderPaws For Murder:
A Pet Boutique Mystery

First in Series
Cozy Mystery
An Obsidian Mystery (January 7, 2014)
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451239501
E-Book File Size: 1643 KB
ASIN: B00DGZIB2A
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Izzy McHale wants her new Trendy Tails Pet Boutique in Merryville, Minnesota, to be the height of canine couture and feline fashions. But at the store’s opening, it turns out it’s a human who’s dressed to kill…

Izzy’s own beloved pets are dressed to the nines for the grand opening of Trendy Tails. Feisty feline Jinx is large and in charge, and happy mutt Packer is lapping up the attention. Izzy and her best friend Rena have their hands full meeting Merryville’s menagerie and serving tasty pupcakes and kitty canapes from their “barkery.” The last thing they need is the town’s local activist, Sherry Harper, scaring off customers and getting tongues wagging by picketing the event.

The two manage to stop Sherry’s protest in its tracks, but the trouble for Trendy Tails is just beginning. Sherry is found murdered in back of the shop, and Rena is immediately named as the lead suspect. Now Izzy and her furry friends have a new pet project—collaring a killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This story was a fun start to the Pet Boutique Mystery series. We have tried costumes on our pets over the years. None of them were ever too happy about it but it is a very cute idea and practical for those pets that venture outdoors in the cold winter months.

I enjoyed the way the author tied the story to my home state of Wisconsin too, with a dog named Packer, and characters that went to college or moved from Madison.

All he characters both two legged and four legged were introduced to us quite well in this first installment. I have a soft spot for Aunt Dolly, of course, us Dolly’s need to stick together. I love the way she supports Izzy both with helping her open Trendy Tails and in any other way she can. She even dons 4 inch platform sandals and “dresses up” to catch the eye of a crotchety store owner trying to make trouble for Izzy. Aunt Dolly is a hoot!!

Izzy is a strong protagonist too. Her life was turned upside down by a man. They had their whole future planned but just when they were supposed to be a making the move to New York, he changed his plans and left her behind and took another woman with him! She had to pick herself up, dust herself off and get on with her life.  She does that with Trendy Tails. At least she was in her hometown surrounded by friends and family. Going into business with her best friend Rena was the perfect choice. Hopefully she can patch thing up with her old friend Sean too. Their friendship had added rather abruptly but now that they are both back in Merryville she are going to constantly bumping into each other.

There are many more interesting characters who reside in Merryville. It is one of those small towns where everyone knows everyone or they have heard gossip about each other. A perfect setting for this cozy mystery series.

I did see the writing on the wall a bit before the guilty party was revealed, but this still a wonderful mystery. I enjoyed the story so much I have already started reading Groomed For Murder. It hits store shelves next week!

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Annie Knox and her books on 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 13, 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

 

Be sure to stop back next week when
Annie Knox will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday!

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 272014
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

Today I am super excited to welcome Penny Pike!

Her new Food Festival Mystery debuted this month with Death of a Crabby Cook.

Photograph (Jim Stevens/Bay Area News Group)

Photograph (Jim Stevens/Bay Area News Group)

DEATH OF A CRABBY COOK
by Penny Pike Warner

Do you munch while you read mysteries? How could you not, when reading one of the many wonderful food-related series on the market today, everything from cupcakes and pies to bacon and fries. I think the reason these culinary mysteries are so popular is simple: they make you hungry, you eat while you read, and they come with recipes.

I got the idea for writing a food truck mystery a couple of years ago before the “meals on wheels” phenomenon swept the country. I was in Napa, CA, doing research for another book (AKA drinking a lot of wine), and spotted a circle of colorful trucks offering intriguing specialties. I decided to try some plein air dining and ordered a little of everything from trucks Kung Fu Tacos, Happy Dumplings, The Boneyard, Fins on the Hoof, Me So Hungry, and Naked Chorizo. Yum. I was hooked.

crabbycookREVISECombining my love of both food and fiction, I began writing the first book in the food truck/food festival series, Death of a Crabby Cook. I created Darcy Burnett, a total foodie who loves to eat, but barely knows how to heat a frozen dinner in the microwave. To complicate things, I made her a restaurant reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle, suddenly downsized, and desperately in need of a job. While eating a therapeutic Caramel Espresso Cream Puff whipped up by Jake Miller from the Dream Puff Truck—and recognizing a hot food trend when she sees one—she’s inspired to write a cookbook full of food truck recipes.

Her first source is the upcoming San Francisco Seafood Festival. Darcy plans to use her journalistic skills to gather recipes for everything from Crab Mac and Cheese from her aunt’s Big Yellow School Bus food truck, to Hangtown Oyster Omelets from the Bacon is the New Black truck.

But her plans are interrupted by a loud commotion in the Ft. Mason food truck area. Chef Oliver Jameson is arguing with a petite woman wielding a large knife. The woman happens to be Darcy’s sixty-something Aunt Abby, a former school cafeteria cook who now owns her own tricked-out school bus and serves comfort food to hungry diners. Abby accuses Jameson of harassing the food truckers in the area—competition for his brick-and-mortar Bones ‘n’ Brew restaurant—which he denies. Did he really plant a rat in her bus to get her in trouble with the Health Department?

When the chef is suddenly poisoned by his own crab bisque—and Aunt Abby becomes a suspect—Darcy smells a rat. Together with Aunt Abby’s hacker son Dillon and dream puff Jake Miller, she discovers something rotten in the food truck world. But it’s not the recipes…they’re to die for!

I just finished DEATH OF A CHOCOLATE CHEATER, and I have to admit, the research was more fun than the writing. I think I’ll include a warning label inside the book: Read with chocolate. And there will be plenty of recipes to help.

~Penny

About Penny Warner/Penny Pike

Penny Warner has published over 60 books for both adults and children. Her first mystery series, beginning with DEAD BODY LANGUAGE, features Connor Westphal, a deaf reporter living in the California Gold Country. The book won a Macavity Award for Best First Mystery, and was nominated for an Agatha and an Anthony Award.

Her second mystery series, beginning with How to Host a Killer Party, features event planner, Presley Parker, and is set in the San Francisco Bay Area. Presley solves mysteries on Alcatraz, at the de Young Museum, at the Winchester Mystery House, in Colma, the City of Souls, and in the Napa wine country.

Her newest series, Death of a Crabby Cook, features Darcy Burnett, a former restaurant critic who now works in her Aunt Abby’s food truck and lives in an Airstream RV. The book is set among food trucks and food festivals in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the Seafood Festival. DEATH OF A CHOCOLATE CHEATER, set at the Chocolate Festival, will be out next year, followed by DEATH OF AN APPLE FEST PEST.

Her middle-grade mystery series, The Code Busters Club, won the Agatha Award for Best Children’s Mystery, and has been nominated for the World Mystery Anthony Award for Best Children’s Mystery. The series features four kids who solve mysteries by cracking codes in each chapter. The books are set in Berkeley, on Alcatraz, at the Carmel Mission, at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, and the International Spy Museum in Washington DC. Her non-fiction book, The Official Nancy Drew Handbook,was nominated for an Agatha Award.

She writes a column for the local newspaper on family life in the Valley, creates fund-raising murder mystery events for libraries across the country, and teaches child development at Diablo Valley College. She can be reached at http://www.pennywarner.com or pennywarnerink@yahoo.com.

crabbycookREVISEDeath of a Crabby Cook:
A Food Festival Mystery

Brand New Series
Cozy Mystery
An Obsidian Mystery (August 5, 2014)
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451467812
E-Book File Size: 1307 KB
ASIN: B00HZ1E3OQ
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At the San Francisco Seafood Festival, someone is steamed enough to kill a cook….

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I absolutely loved Penny’s Party Planning Mysteries so I am so glad she has returned with this Death of a Crabby Cook: – A Food Festival Mystery Series.

We meet Darcy Burnett who wrote restaurant reviews for the San Francisco Chronicle, I use the past tense because she was laid off as the story began. She quickly starts helping her Aunt Abby with her food truck with hopes of writing a cookbook based on recipes from food fests in the Bay Area.

Penny Pike has written quite a mystery and for most of the book I thought I knew whodunit and happily was so wrong. She had twisted me into quite a pretzel. No pretzel food truck in the story though but there is The Coffee Witch, Dream Puffs, The Yankee Doodle Noodle Truck, Road Grill, The Big Yellow School Bus and more.

Darcy’s aunt worked in a school cafeteria until she retired and opened The Big Yellow School Bus where she serves comfort food like Crabby Cheerleader Mac and Cheese and Science Experiment Spaghetti.

There is a local chef, Oliver Jameson, who owns a restaurant adjacent to where the food trucks park daily and he is sure they are the reason his restaurant is going broke.  He has had very public arguments with most of the food truck owners but he had a huge one today with Aunt Abby. So when his dead body is found she is the number one suspect.

Darcy knows her aunt would never hurt a soul, she may yell at someone but kill them, no way!! All the clues keep pointing to Abby so Darcy knows she is being framed. With a little help from her techie cousin Dillon, Darcy is going to catch the killer one way or another.

All these mobile restaurant owners are truly unique and most have some kind of secret. I was really surprised at how much we found out about these characters in this first book. My mother ran a restaurant/cafe for years in our small town. Aunt Abby reminds me a lot of my mom. She cooked comfort food too. She was also very independent just like Aunt Abby. Darcy is a little like I was back then, I couldn’t cook worth a darn and sometimes was a little too nosy for my own good. Thankfully my life was never in danger.

This story is a lot like the food Aunt Abby served, comfortable with a few surprises to keep those pages turning at a pretty speedy pace.  My only problem with the story is that it didn’t come with food samples. I know there are recipes included but I sure could go for a Dreamy Cream Puff or 2 or 3, any flavor drizzled with chocolate and sprinkled with powdered sugar right now and the whole time I was reading this story!!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

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 Penny for 5 Bonus Entries !

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

Contest Will End September 10, 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.”

Jul 262014
 

A LITTLE NIGHT MURDER SPOTLIGHT
A Little Night Murder:
A Blackbird Sisters Mystery

10th Book in Series
Cozy Mystery
Obsidian
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
RELEASE DATE – AUGUST 5, 2014
Hardcover: 384 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451415271
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Murder under the stars…

Nora Blackbird—pregnant at last!—is spending summer afternoons wallowing in the Bucks County pool of her best friend, Lexie Paine, who has just been released from prison. At night, Nora is covering Philadelphia’s high-society events for the local newspaper. And this time she doesn’t have to look far for a good story.

Next door, a Broadway show is in rehearsal at the estate of Toodles Tuttle, the long-deceased but ever-legendary composer. Reigning over the estate is Toodles’s diva widow, Boom Boom. The demanding old broad still rules with an iron fist, and considering the chorus line of enemies she’s racked up over the years, her death has been a hotly anticipated event. So imagine everyone’s dismay when it’s her beloved daughter, Jenny, who drops dead—from a cause that is anything but natural—just as the lights are set to go on for the lucrative new Toodles musical.

Yet murder is only an overture to the drama to come….

Nora’s sister Libby, a soon-to-be-grandmother, has gotten herself into a sticky situation, wooed by both a lowly bug exterminator and a cheesecake-loving Broadway impresario. Edgy sister Emma has a dangerous new boyfriend who may jeopardize her show-jumping exploits. And the love of Nora’s life, Mick Abruzzo, has been desperate to prevent Nora from meeting the most notorious member of his mobbed-up family—his mother.

Now Nora has to deal with the bump-and-grind of her personal life, and also bring the curtain down on a daring killer—before he forces her to exit stage left, permanently.

To find out more about Nancy Martin and her books check out her blog here.

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 1 copy to give away!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Contest Will End August 9, 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

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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

Jul 122014
 

 

mr. monk open for business spotlightMr. Monk Is Open For Business
An Obsidian Mystery (June 3, 2014)
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Series: Mr. Monk (Book 18)
Hardcover: 273 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451470560
E-Book File Size: 1092 KB
ASIN: B00G3L6L1W

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Welcome to the series of original mysteries starring Adrian Monk–based on the hit USA Network series Monk, starring Tony Shaloub–the brilliant investigator who always knows when something’s out of place….

Failing to win back his girlfriend in New Jersey, Monk returns to San Francisco where Natalie has set up an office for Monk and Teeger, Consulting Detectives. It’s time to stop bickering and get to work when Lieutenant Amy Devlin comes to them for help.

A disgruntled employee came into work and started shooting, killing three coworkers and leaving a female hostage severely wounded. After spotting the shooter through office windows, the police lost him—leaving Lieutenant Devlin with a real mess on her hands.

Visiting the bedridden survivor, Monk finds her to be helpful, cooperative…and quite charming as well. But the more he and Natalie try to track down the assailant, the more he seems to have disappeared from existence altogether….

About the Author
Hy Conrad was one of the original writers on the USA Network television series Monk and stayed with the series for all eight seasons, acting as co-executive producer for the last two seasons and garnering three Edgar® Award nominations. In addition, Hy was head writer of the webisode series Little Monk and served as consulting producer and writer on the USA series White Collar. He is the author of hundreds of short stories, dozens of interactive mysteries, and ten books of solvable whodunits, sold around the world in fourteen languages. To find out more visit his webpage here.

It should be noted that Lee Goldberg wrote 15 of the Monk novels. Find out more on his webpage here.

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 1 hardcover copy to give away!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Contest Will End July 26, 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

 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent