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
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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

Jul 052014
 

fatal fortune spotlight
Fatal Fortune:
A Psychic Eye Mystery

12th in Series
Cozy Mystery
New American Library (July 1, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Hardcover: 304 pages
E-BookFile Size: 1081 KB
ASIN: B00G3L6JM8
Audible Audio Edition
Listening Length: 8 hours and 58 minutes
ASIN: B00K0TD9BS
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In New York Times bestselling author Victoria Laurie’s newest Psychic Eye Mystery, Abby Cooper is trusting her intuition and heading to Sin City to bet on a friend’s innocence….

When police show Abby surveillance video of her best friend and business partner, Candice Fusco, shooting a man in cold blood, she can’t believe her eyes. And when the cops tell her they think the victim has ties to the Mob—and perhaps Candice does too—she can’t believe her ears. Surely there is a logical explanation. But Candice is nowhere to be found.

Abby decides the only way to find out the truth is to go to Vegas herself—which may be the biggest gamble of her life. Once in town she begins to uncover a rigged game of dirty double-dealing where the stakes are no less than life and death. And if she’s not careful, Abby can forget about ever leaving Las Vegas…alive.

Find out more about Victoria Laurie and her books 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 19, 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

Jan 182014
 

mr. monk gets on board

Mr. Monk Gets on Board
17th in Series
NAL Hardcover (January 7, 2014)
Publisher by The Penguin Group
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451240958
E-Book File Size: 1163 KB
ASIN: B00DGZI9RW
goodreads-badge-add-plusThis was one of my favorite television series and the books are always fun to read.

Obsessive. Compulsive. Detective.

An all-new original mystery starring Adrian Monk, the brilliant investigator who always knows when something’s out of place…

Of all the things that make Adrian Monk uneasy, change ranks high on the list. So when Natalie completes her P.I. license—and technically becomes Monk’s boss—it’s not easy for him to accept. Nor can he accept Natalie attending a business seminar at sea without him, even if it means spending a week with her on a cruise ship.

Between choppy waters and obnoxious kids, Monk finds himself in a perfect storm of anxiety. Luckily, Mariah, the cruise director, is always able to smooth things over…until someone pulls the man overboard alarm, the ship drops anchor—and the crew fishes Mariah’s dead body out of the water.

Finding alcohol in Mariah’s system, the ship’s doctor declares her death an accident, but Monk isn’t convinced. He knows that Mariah and the captain were having an affair. Could someone have pushed her overboard?

When the captain hires Monk and Natalie to look into a mysterious rash of vandalism onboard, Monk steers the investigation toward murder…

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 February 1, 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

Aug 082013
 

special guest blueI am super excited to Welcome Kate Collins to Escape With Dollycas Today!

The Flower Shop Mysteries always put a big smile on my face and this time Dollycas even made the Praise Page so this girl was chair dancing!!

Follow Your Bliss

By Kate Collins

katecollinsI almost titled this, “Paralyzed by Fear”, but that sounded too negative, and I want this to be a positively uplifting blog.  Just so you know, I’m using the word bliss to reference what makes us happy in life, what makes us want to get up in the morning, what fulfills us as human beings.

Stalled careers are a big problem among writers both published and unpublished. I’ve met people who want to be published, who have the ability to write, but can’t bring themselves to send their work out to a publishing house for fear of rejection. I’ve met talented musicians and artists with the same problem. The only thing keeping them from achieving their bliss is fear. They are afraid to trust their talent. They’re afraid of how bad rejection will feel. They’re afraid they’ll be humiliated. Ask successful writers/artists/musicians about those fears and they will tell you they had to let go of them or they never would have made it.

Seed No Evil coverBeing out in the public as much as I am, I encounter so many people who are stuck in a cloud of fear and negativity — from stalled careers, money troubles, relationship issues, parenting problems, and on and on. But then I see others who have had the same or worse tribulations and still found ways to find their bliss. I’ve heard unbelievably touching stories of people who’ve come from some of the worst conditions in the world – impoverished villages in Africa, dangerous ghettos, prisons—who made their dreams happen against all odds. Their secret was that they never stopped believing in themselves. 

Believing in yourself gives you the power to achieve. Letting fear take hold keeps you from achieving. You have to ignore fear, push it aside, and say to yourself, “I want to do this. I will do this. If I get rejected, that doesn’t mean I failed. It means I have to do better. I will learn from this and try again.” That’s what I call success. After all, what is the worst that can happen? You may discover that your talent lies elsewhere. But how will you know unless you try?  As in a quote I read recently, failure isn’t trying and not succeeding, failure is not trying at all.

Write down your goals on a piece of paper and post them where you can see them. Meditate or pray about them every day. If your gut is telling you to go for it, if a little whisper in your mind is saying, “Write that book!” or “Get that song published,” don’t ignore it. Those gut feelings, or whispers, are coming from a higher power. Listen. Let go of your fears and seek your bliss.

Sunset in Key WestIf you haven’t found your bliss, what fears are holding you back?

 ~Kate

Kate, this is inspirational and just what I needed to read today :) Lori

About Kate Collins

Kate Collins is the author of the national best-selling Flower Shop Mystery series. Her latest mystery, SEED NO EVIL, #14 in the series, hits the shelves on August 6, 2013.Her books have made the New York Times Extended Bestseller List, Barnes & Noble best-seller lists, the Independent Booksellers lists, as well as lists in Australia and England. All of Kate’s mysteries are available in print, digital, and large-print editions both in the U.S. and in the UK. Kate’s historical romances are also available in digital format at Amazon, B&N, and other e-book sellers. For more information visit Kate at: www.katecollinsbooks.com. Kate loves for fans to visit her on her Facebook page, too. www.facebook.com/authorkatecollins/

 

Seed No Evil coverSeed No Evil:
A Flower Shop Mystery

14th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Obsidian (August 6, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451415493
E-Book File Size: 569 KB
ASIN: B009GSFZTI
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

It’s finally time to say, “I do!” As long as I can keep my mom
out of jail long enough to get her to the ceremony….

With her wedding just 2 weeks away the last thing Abby Knight needs is for anything else to go wrong. The cooler in her shop is leaking all over the floor and she knows it will be an expensive part that needs to be fixed, her glands are swollen and it looks like she is getting a rash, her preggers cousin is “rehearsing her pregnancy”, Marco is acting distant and the actual place to hold the ceremony is still up in the air. Enough already!!!

But then Abby’s mother finds a dead body. Abby was so excited when her mother started working at the animal shelter. It gave her something to do besides create the “masterpieces” Abby had to try to sell in her store. Why did she have to be the one to find the director of the Protecting Animal Rights charity killed suspiciously in one of the cages? The woman trying to save animals from being euthanized has someone put her lights out permanently and Abby’s mother is the main suspect.

Abby just doesn’t have time for this, but she and Marco are going to find the real killer so her mother can be at their wedding, wherever it takes place, and not behind bars!!

Dollycas’s Thoughts
This is one of the best cozy mystery series being published today!!

I love everything about this series. It has a strong cast of characters and it is set in a place that could be my hometown or many hometowns throughout the country. I can see myself having my morning tea with Grace at Blossoms while Abby is in the back filling orders, lunch at Down The Hatch and bumping into Francesca, Lottie and even Jillian while out running my own errands. I can even see myself at the animal shelter rescuing a puppy or kitten. I have done it several times in the past. I may even adopt a very special canine like Seedy. He is a very important part of this story.

Kate Collins writes these characters in such a way that they can’t but help work your way right into your heart. She puts them in what could be very real situations with all the twists and turns necessary to root out the real culprit making the pages just fly.

Snappy dialogue, a clever mystery, the perfect amount of humor and a wonderfully happy ending. I have called more than one book my favorite of this series. To Catch a Leaf was my favorite book out of almost 200 that I read  in 2011, but Collins has topped herself with this one. This is definitely the best one!! yet……

If this series is new to you the author does give you enough depth to be able to read this one as a stand alone but I recommend you start at the beginning. These books are like a beautiful fragrant floral bouquet and each stem deserves to be thoroughly enjoyed one at a time.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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.

Leave a comment for Kate 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 August 22, 2013 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.”

readalattechallenge_zps01d248d02013where are you reading

Jun 062013
 

special guest blue

 

Tropical Hibiscus – a Rum Drink from Mystery Author Kate Carlisle

Author of A COOKBOOK CONSPIRACY

kate-carlisle-bookshelf-webAward winning author Kate Carlisle spent over twenty years working in television production as an Associate Director for game and variety shows, including The Midnight Special, Solid Gold and The Gong Show. She traveled the world as a Dating Game chaperone and performed strange acts of silliness on The Gong Show. She also studied acting and singing, toiled in vineyards, collected books, joined a commune, sold fried chicken, modeled spring fashions and worked for a cruise ship line, but it was the year she spent in law school that finally drove her to begin writing fiction. It seemed the safest way to kill off her professors. Those professors are breathing easier now that Kate spends most of her time writing near the beach in Southern California where she lives with her perfect husband.

 A lifelong love of old books and an appreciation of the art of bookbinding led Kate to create the Bibliophile Mysteries, featuring rare book expert Brooklyn Wainwright, whose bookbinding and restoration skills invariably uncover old secrets, treachery and murder. Find Kate online at www.katecarlisle.com.

It was a long, hard winter through much of the United States. I’m from southern California, where “winter” is just a word, but I had readers complaining on my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/katecarlislebooks) of snow in the middle of April! One reader in Wisconsin even said that school was canceled in her town on April 19 because sixteen inches of sleet and snow had fallen overnight.

Sixteen inches! In April! Where were the gentle April showers?

But summer is finally here, and with it, the release of my latest Bibliophile Mystery, A Cookbook Conspiracy. To celebrate both events, I’ve come up with a delicious and refreshing summer drink. I’m calling it the Tropical Hibiscus because just after you pour the cranberry on top of the pineapple juice, the drink has the same beautiful bi-color look as a hibiscus flower in my neighborhood. (In this picture, my husband had stirred the drink, ruining the bi-color effect. What was I to do? Complain? The man was bringing me a drink!)

Before I give you the recipe, here’s a snippet about A Cookbook Conspiracy:

cookbook conspiracyIt’s a recipe for disaster when bookbinder Brooklyn Wainwright is asked to restore an antique cookbook….

Brooklyn has always been a little obsessed with food, but it was her sister Savannah who became a chef, graduating from the prestigious Cordon Bleu school in Paris. She and her classmates all went on to successful careers, but none of them achieved culinary superstardom like Savannah’s ex-boyfriend Baxter Cromwell.

When Baxter invites the old gang to participate in his new restaurant’s gala opening in San Francisco, Savannah looks forward to seeing her friends, and even asks Brooklyn to restore a tattered cookbook—an old gift from Baxter—as a present for him. But Brooklyn immediately recognizes that the book, which has strange notes and symbols scrawled in the margins, is at least two hundred years old. She thinks that it probably belongs in a museum, but Savannah insists on returning it to Baxter.

Shortly after receiving the gift, Baxter is found dead, with Savannah kneeling over him, bloody knife in hand, and the rare cookbook has disappeared. Brooklyn knows her sister didn’t kill him, and she suspects the missing cookbook might lead to the real villain. Now Brooklyn will have to turn up the heat on the investigation before Chef Savannah finds herself slinging hash in a prison cafeteria.

 

tropical-hibiscusTropical Hibiscus, a Rum Drink Recipe

1 part coconut rum

2 parts pineapple juice

1 part cranberry juice

Pour the coconut rum and pineapple juice over ice. Stir, then add the cranberry juice for that beautiful bi-color effect. Enjoy!

~Kate

 

cookbook conspiracy

A Cookbook Conspiracy:
A Bibliophile Mystery

7th in Series
Cozy Mystery
An Obsidian Mystery (June 4, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Jacket Illustration by Dan Craig
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451415967
E-Book File Size: 589 KB
ASIN: B00CC126O8
goodreads-badge-add-plus-d700d4d3e3c0b346066731ac07b7fe47

 

 

It’s a recipe for disaster when bookbinder Brooklyn Wainwright is asked to restore an antique cookbook….

Brooklyn is quite a foodie and having a sister who graduated from the prestigious Cordon Bleu school in Paris is fantastic as she isn’t much of a cook herself.

One of Savannah’s classmates, Baxter Cromwell, is opening a new restaurant in San Francisco and he has invited the old gang from Paris to participate in the Grand Opening. Savannah asks Brooklyn to restore an old cookbook that Baxter had given her years ago so she can give it back to him as a gift. Brooklyn realizes the book must be at least 200 hundred years old and it has some strange notes in the margins. This is a book that belongs in a museum but Savannah is determined to give it back to Baxter.

Derek and Brooklyn attend the grand opening and the food is delicious, each and every course. It was a wonderful evening until shortly after the restaurant closes and all the guests have gone. It is then Baxter is found dead, the cookbook is missing, and Savannah is found next to the body with the murder weapon in her hand.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
After reading Peril in Paperback a couple of weeks ago I couldn’t wait to start this book and I devoured it in just a couple of hours.

Savannah has brought Brooklyn a very special cookbook, steeped in history and full of interesting recipes and intriguing information. Information that brings Dexter’s brother, Dalton, to town. Can there really be two hunky handsome guys in this family? Oh my YES! He definitely needs to be in upcoming installments.

The girls “hippy” parents along with the rest of the Wainwright family return. Guru Bob also makes an appearance. I just love their mom with her spells and incantations. Now she is planning to study Exorcism! :)  

The authors creates a capricious group of supporting characters as well. Quite a blend of chefs that are so totally different and all of them seem to have secrets.

Kate Carlisle continues to deliver us marvelous mysteries and this is the best one yet. I highly recommend you add this one to your shopping cart today!

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Would you like to win a copy of this wonderful book?

Thanks to the people at Penguin
I have 2 copies to giveaway!!

U.S. and CANADIAN RESIDENTS
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 Kate 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 June 20, 2013 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

May 162013
 

topped chef

Topped Chef:
A Key West Food Critic Mystery

3rd Book in Series
An Obsidian Mystery (May 7, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451239709
E-Book File Size: 528 KB
ASIN: B009UYXNSS

Hayley Snow loves her job as the food critic for Key Zest magazine, tasting the offerings from Key West’s most innovative restaurants. She’d rate her life four stars, until she’s forced into the spotlight…and another murder investigation.

Hayley’s boss has volunteered her to be a judge for the Key West Topped Chef contest hoping to score some extra publicity for his magazine.  Hayley is both nervous and excited until she realizes one of the other judges is Sam Rizzoli. She just slammed his restaurant in her very first negative review.

When Rizzoli ends up dead speculation is one of his business rivals is responsible but Hayley has a feeling maybe someone is taking the chef contest a little too seriously. Hayley sees the police are not following the right leads so she decides it is up to her to serve up the actual killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Lucy Burdette has me in love with Key West. Life on a boat in nice sunny Florida eating her way through all the delightful cuisine the area has to offer. Hayley better watch out I want to steal her job!

Burdette is such a strong writer and creates really lively characters and puts them in spectacular situations. The plots are tight and the twists are plenty.

The murder takes us from the docks to the inner workings of a reality tv show and even into the world of drag queens. I absolutely loved it. The new characters turned the story on its ear while they recurring characters continue to steal out hearts. Hayley’s mom even appears in Key West via Skype and Gloria becomes Hayley’s sidekick in the investigation.. 

A new character to this story is someone returning to Key West. She has disrupted Hayley’s life with her return and I am very interested to see how she effects it in future installments. Maybe a new direction is just what Hayley needs. 

Add this one to your Summer Reading Lists! An impressive read that will tickle all of your senses. There are recipes included too!! so you can actually tickle your taste buds!!

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author

New Jersey born clinical psychologist Roberta Isleib took up writing mysteries to justify time spent on the links. Her first series, featuring a neurotic professional golfer and a sports psychologist, was nominated for both Agatha and Anthony awards. Roberta is now writing the Key West food critic mystery series as Lucy Burdette.

Check out Lucy’s blog here.

Her alter ego’s website here.

Follow her on Facebook on Twitter or an Pinterest

She is one of the Jungle Red Writers.

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 272013
 

cozy wednesdayWelcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled today to welcome Elizabeth Craig to Escape With Dollycas.
Her Southern Quilting Mysteries are so much fun!

Hi Elizabeth!

ESC Head Shot (riley)Hi Everyone!

Writing the South? 

You’ve Got Heaps of Material

By Elizabeth S. Craig

Why do I pick Southern settings for my books?  Well, for one thing, it’s the only area of the world that I can write about with any degree of authority.  As a lifelong Southerner, and an observer of all the South’s fun and foibles, it’s only natural I’d pick the settings I do.

For another—let’s face it.  There’s just a lot of material to write about here.  Everyone has at least one relative who’s a little bit batty (I claim several), there are family secrets, gossip, interesting diction choices, and quite-involved traditions and customs.

In many ways, the South is very old-fashioned. Most ladies of a particular age still adhere to the no-white-shoes-after-Labor Day rule.  Even if you don’t wear pantyhose to work, you should wear it to church and funerals. And nobody wears white at weddings but the bride (wearing black at weddings is considered bad luck.)  Take down the Christmas tree by New Year’s Day or else you’re cursed with bad luck for the year.  Actually, there are a whole bunch of traditions related to luck and superstition.  Eating black-eyed peas at New Year’s is another (this is one you should do, instead of avoid.)

Am I the only one here who was threatened with charm school when I used bad manners as a child?  Children are cajoled and scolded into good behavior with plenty of ma’ams and sirs thrown in for good measure—and charm school is still around.  Except now I think they call it etiquette class or something. Which doesn’t have the same appeal, to me, somehow.

knot what it seamsSo for this new book, Knot What It Seams, I figured I’d have to include a smattering of Southern funeral tradition.  It might also be tradition where you live, and if it is, I’d love to hear it…or how your traditions differ. Although I only touched on this in the new book, most of my books include Southern funerals. They’re just so distinctive and such occasions for both grief and celebration that it’s tough to leave them out.

Funerals here in the South are occasions for food.  Food is considered an amazing balm for the troubled spirit, here.  The interesting thing is how heavy the food typically is—you’d think we’d all be a lot more health-conscious since we’ve got funerals on the brain.  But there are no antioxidant super foods to be found after Southern funerals.  There are plenty of casseroles, brought over by your neighbors, coworkers, church friends, family, and friends—thoughtfully put in throwaway containers with reheating instructions on them. My character in the new books, Meadow, mentions “a cornucopia of lovingly donated casseroles.”

And there will be ham. If you’ve lost a loved one here, the church ladies will descend upon your house with fiercely tender efficiency. They’ll organize the food, freezing some and putting others in the fridge.  After your funeral when everyone drops by your house to be fed (does this happen elsewhere, too?), the church ladies will command your kitchen for you, shooing you out gently but firmly as they create a buffet line and serve plates of food to your grieving guests.  Eventually, a party-like atmosphere may commence (particularly if the deceased was of an advanced age and the death was not an especially tragic occurrence.)  It will be the first time many have seen their cousins and great aunts for years and they can’t resist the temptation to celebrate, despite their grief. Besides, Me-maw would have celebrated, too.

What about where you live?  Have you got special customs related to weddings or funerals? What are they like?

~Elizabeth

Thank you so much Elizabeth for visiting today. Ham and church ladies run rampant here after funerals here in Wisconsin too:)

About This Author

Elizabeth’s latest book is Knot What it Seams, which released February 5. Elizabeth writes the Memphis Barbeque series for Penguin/Berkley (as Riley Adams), the Southern Quilting mysteries for Penguin/NAL, and the Myrtle Clover series for Midnight Ink and independently.
Facebook: Riley Adams Author and Elizabeth Spann Craig Author.

knot what it seams

Knot What It Seams:
A Southern Quilting Mystery

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Obsidian (February 5, 2013)
Published by New American Library
A Division of The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451239617
E-Book File Size: 716 KB
ASIN: B0099CURF8

Knot What It Seams: A Southern Quilting Mystery

When former folk art curator Beatrice Coleman retired to Dappled Hills, North Carolina, for peace and quiet and quilting, she never expected that murder would disturb the peace…

Meadow Downey is on a quest to recruit new members for the Village Quilters Guild. She sets her sights on Jo Paxton, mail carrier, quilter, and judge for many of the nearby quilting contests. She is a much better quilter than mail carrier but all that mail gives her just enough information to cause trouble wherever she goes. Beatrice wonders if Jo is the right fit for the close knit Village Quilters. Before she can voice her concerns to Meadow Jo is killed in a car accident. Evidence shows that Jo’s crash was no accident – someone tampered with her vehicle. Meadow is sure someone is out to kill off the members of her guild. It is time for Beatrice to piece together some clues and pin down the killer before another quilter’s life is cut short.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Never a dull moment in Dappled Hills. Thankfully Police Chief Downey can filter his wife’s comical hysteria and has an open enough mind to listen to Beatrice’s theories. 

Beatrice has quickly made herself at home in her new town and is even learning to quilt. Meadow and Ramsey are the perfect couple. She is absolutely as crazy as the quilts she creates and always up to something. Ramsey is calm, cool and collected, and reads poetry to relax after a hard day of fighting crime. Miss Sissy is my absolute favorite character. She is off beat and unpredictable and I love her. Jo was a fabulous character as well. A true troublemaker. Too bad she had to die.

Craig’s whodunit was full of misdirection and curves with bits of humor sewn right in. There is a true Southern feel to the characters and events. More like Southern chaos instead of Southern charm. A fun and entertaining story. These are characters I can’t wait to visit again.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Would you like to win a copy of this wonderful book?

Thanks to the people at Penguin
I have 2 copies to giveaway!!

U.S. and CANADIAN RESIDENTS
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 Elizabeth for 5 Bonus Entries !

Answer her question:

What about where you live?
Have you got special customs related to weddings or funerals? What are they like?

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

Contest Will End March 13, 2013 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.”

readalattechallenge_zps01d248d085941mystery challengeWAARC