Sep 272017
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am thrilled to welcome Eileen Watkins to Escape With Dollycas today. 

Her book The Persian Always Meows Twice was released yesterday! 

 

COZY WEDNESDAY BLOG POST

By Eileen Watkins, author of

The Persian Always Meows Twice,
A Cat Groomer Mystery

 

If you work at a fairly standard nine-to-five job, you’ve probably dreamed at times of escaping that routine. Not necessarily to give up working completely, but to be your own boss—to become an entrepreneur!

Ever notice how many amateur sleuths in cozy mysteries are entrepreneurs? Probably the main reason is so they can take off fairly easily to interview a suspect or follow up on a clue, without having to account to a boss and risk being fired for their unscheduled absences. But I think we mystery fans also enjoy living vicariously through these independent types. While you’re reading about a someone who runs a niche bookstore, raises emus or crafts stained glass windows for a living, you can fantasize about whatever job might satisfy your unconventional, creative side.

On the other hand, how many people do you know who make a decent living by running their own small businesses? The few who do generally put in long hours, struggle to balance the books and wear many hats. Succeeding as an entrepreneur is hard work, and in real life might not allow much time for solving murders. We happily accept this contradiction while we’re escaping into crime fiction.

Though I’m not above sugar-coating the entrepreneur’s life a bit myself in my new Cat Groomer series, I also wanted to ground it in reality. When I decided that my sleuth, Cassie McGlone, would operate a cat grooming service in a small town, I did some of the same research as if I were starting up the business for real.

First I wondered, can someone actually make a living as a cat groomer? As skeptical people tend to ask Cassie in my books, “Don’t cats groom themselves?”  Through online research and in-person interviews, I discovered that many cat breeds have special grooming requirements that could be hard for their owners to fill. Some longhairs, for example, develop stubborn mats that cause discomfort and can be tough to remove without special tools and training. Others types need frequent baths for their oily skins, or special handling for their curly, fragile coats. In addition, I learned, many professional pet groomers will not deal with cats at all because they’re considered too temperamental.

That was good news for Cassie. Her services would fill a definite need!

The most successful of the cat groomer I talked to, though, also ran a boarding business. She had a steady stream of customers because, she explained, many cats don’t do well in a mixed kennel. The sight, sounds and smells of dogs can make them nervous wrecks, and what owner back from vacation wants to pick up a traumatized cat? That insight helped me a lot. If Cassie did boarding as well as grooming at her shop, she’d have a chance of making a decent income.

Of course, every entrepreneur needs customers and will struggle if she sets up in the wrong location. I helped Cassie out by creating the fictional small town of Chadwick, N.J. It’s just historic and picturesque enough to attract well-off visitors from more urban areas, as well as new-money folks moving to the surrounding suburbs, all of whom might become potential customers.

Her choice of a career provides one other, important perk. As all of those sleuths working as bookstore owners, dog-walkers and hair stylists have discovered, when you come in contact with a steady stream of strangers it increases your chances of stumbling across the occasional dead body. Cassie quickly finds this out in my first Cat Groomer book, The Persian Always Meows Twice—she makes a house call to her wealthiest client and finds him murdered in his own study. The only witness is his Persian, Harpo, who doesn’t seem likely to give up any secrets…or could he? After Cassie agrees to board the cat temporarily at her shop, all at once several people seem awfully eager to get their hands on Harpo, maybe to “silence” him forever.

As Cassie’s business grows, of course, she will be kept hopping. The more boarders she has to care for and the more cats she has to groom, the less time she might have to muck around with murders. So, at the beginning of Persian, I let her hire a mature, level-headed assistant, Sara Wilcox. Of course, Sarah came prepared to deal with the occasional spitting Siamese or hissing Himalayan, but not homicidal humans. Now when Cassie gets embroiled in solving crimes, and sometimes sheltering feline “persons of interest” at her facility, she also has to worry about putting loyal Sarah in jeopardy.

You can see that, for Cassie, caring for other people’s cats isn’t all fluff. And if we looked closely at the lives of most entrepreneurs, we’d probably find they work as hard as, if not harder than, those of us with a “straight” jobs. Still, after the boss has once again barked at your for a mistake that wasn’t your fault, it’s always fun to daydream about striking out on your own!

Have you ever taken the leap and started your own business (other than writing)? How did it turn out? If you’ve never tried it so far, what would be your dream “entrepreneurial” career?

—Eileen

Thank you Eileen so much for visiting today! 

 


The Persian Always Meows Twice (A Cat Groomer Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New Jersey
Kensington (September 26, 2017)
Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496710567
Kindle ASIN: B01N0WN6UG

 

 

Cat lovers are thrilled to welcome an expert groomer to the picturesque town of Chadwick. But scratch below the surface, and unmasking a killer becomes a game of cat and mouse . . .

Professional cat grooming isn’t all fluff—when the fur starts flying, Cassie McGlone, owner of Cassie’s Comfy Cats, handles her feistiest four-legged clients with a caring touch and nerves of steel. While these qualities certainly help keep her business purring, they also come in handy when she makes a house call to her best client, millionaire George DeLeuw, and discovers his murdered body next to his newly orphaned Persian, Harpo.

To help the local police find the actual killer, Cassie begins her own investigation. But no one, from George’s housekeeper to his vindictive ex-wife, is giving up clues. Not until Cassie is given permission to temporarily board Harpo does anyone show interest in the Persian’s well being. Someone is desperate to get their paws on Harpo before the feline helps untangle a felony. Are there deadly truths that a cat whisperer like Cassie can coax out? She needs to tread lightly and remember she gets one life, not nine. . . .  

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have been excited about this book since I saw the cover on Amazon months ago and it was well worth the wait.

Our protagonist is Cassie McGlone, owner of Cassie’s Comfy Cats in Chadwick, New Jersey. She makes house calls for her top client, millionaire George DeLeuw, to groom his beautiful Persian, Harpo. When she arrives for her scheduled appointment she finds Harpo next to George’s dead body. The police are asking a lot of questions, even casting Cassie as a suspect. They are really getting nowhere until Cassie boards the furry feline at Comfy Cats and then several people become very interested in Harpo’s well being and go to great and dangerous lengths to get their hands on the pretty Persian.

I fell for the characters in this story immediately. Cassie, her friend Dawn, and her new employee Sarah are so well developed for the first book in this series. We also meet local veterinarian Mark who Cassie and I would both like to get to know better. The author also gives us a nice variety of suspects from the ex-wife, to the housekeeper, and more. Of course, they are some furry characters too, that I absolutely loved!

The plot has some really nice twists. I thought I had figured out a very important clue and was pretty proud of myself until I found out I was totally wrong.  The author manages to drop a key clue here and there as she tells us about cat grooming and Cassie’s life. There are also a couple of very suspenseful moments that had me sitting up straight in my chair and really paying attention. At first I didn’t think the story was fast paced until I reached the end and realized I had read the whole thing in one sitting. To say I escaped into the book is a true understatement.

I love the theme of the series as I am a cat lover, the characters are some I want to get to know better, and if future mysteries are this entertaining, Eileen Watkins will have a hit series on her hands. The Bengal Identity will be released March 27, 2018 and it is already on my wish list. 

A cat-ivating cozy for all cozy lovers but for true cat lovers this is a must read!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out more about Eileen Watkins and her book on her webpage here. You can also sign up on her mailing list there too. She is also on Facebook.


Click on covers to go to Amazon to purchase or add to your wish list.

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sep 262017
 

Don’t Let Go
Suspense/ Thriller
Setting – New Jersey
Dutton (September 26, 2017)
Hardcover: 368 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0525955115
Kindle ASIN: B01NH7GION

 

 

With unmatched suspense and emotional insight, Harlan Coben explores the big secrets and little lies that can destroy a relationship, a family, and even a town in this powerful new thriller.

Suburban New Jersey Detective Napoleon “Nap” Dumas hasn’t been the same since senior year of high school, when his twin brother Leo and Leo’s girlfriend Diana were found dead on the railroad tracks—and Maura, the girl Nap considered the love of his life, broke up with him and disappeared without explanation. For fifteen years, Nap has been searching, both for Maura and for the real reason behind his brother’s death. And now, it looks as though he may finally find what he’s been looking for.

When Maura’s fingerprints turn up in the rental car of a suspected murderer, Nap embarks on a quest for answers that only leads to more questions—about the woman he loved, about the childhood friends he thought he knew, about the abandoned military base near where he grew up, and mostly about Leo and Diana—whose deaths are darker and far more sinister than Nap ever dared imagine.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Harlan Coben is my favorite author when it comes to a suspenseful story. This time he uses two common legends of his home town in New Jersey for the story.

Readers are introduced to New Jersey Detective Napoleon “Nap” Dumas, a man whose entire life was turned upside down and inside out on one day. That day he lost his twin brother Leo and his girlfriend Maura. Leo and his girlfriend Diana were killed in a horrific way and Maura just disappeared. Now fifteen years later Maura’s fingerprints show up in a murder case making her the prime suspect. Nap has been trying to find her this whole time and this is the first connection but he can’t believe she would kill anyone. He has to find her but the clues keep leading back to an abandoned military base and may even have something to do with his brother’s death.

Hold on tight folks, this is a book you are not going to want to put down.

Coben tells this story in a unique way. From Nap’s point of view but telling his deceased brother Leo and not the reader always what is thinking and doing. These inner dialogues gave the story a different feel. We see that Nap is still clearly traumatized by his brother’s death. At first I had a hard time connecting with him but the connection grew as I got deeper into his story. Nap didn’t know if his brother’s death was an accident or suicide, so I did tap into the pain he was feeling having lost my son to suicide 30 months ago.  His relationship, purely platonic, with his best friend Ellie, was the thing that made him feel more real for me.

The plot is very complicated. There are people dying that all attended high school together but motive is hard to define making it difficult to find suspects other than Maura. Nap’s thinking is mostly of the What If? variety. Conspiracy theories arise, he reaches out to his mentor for help trying to bring together his thoughts with what actually could be going on. There are so many twists and turns I had to slow down my reading speed so I could grasp the clues clearly. Still, the final twist was a complete surprise. The story does have a rapid pace and I almost read the entire book in one sitting.

I have enjoyed all the books by this author. I was thrilled to see Myron Bolitar make a cameo appearance.

While not my all time favorite Coben novel it was a very exciting story. I can’t wait for his next one!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find our more about Harlan Coben and his book on his webpage here.





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

 

 

Feb 282017
 
For the first time ever, one of Harlan Coben’s #1 New York Times bestselling hardcovers will be going straight to trade paperback with the release of HOME (on sale February 28th, 2017) TODAY!
I reviewed this book back on September 20 when the hardcover was released and gave it a Paradise Rating – More then 5 stars!
It was one of my Top Reads of 2016.
Today I am reposting my review and the publisher is allowing me to give 2 copies away!!
home
Home
Myron Bolitar Book 11
Crime/Suspense/Thriller
Dutton (September 20, 2016) TODAY!
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Hardcover: 400 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0525955108
E-Book ASIN: B01COJUGOE
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Ten years after the high-profile kidnapping of two young boys, only one returns home in Harlan Coben’s gripping thriller.

A decade ago, kidnappers grabbed two boys from wealthy families and demanded ransom, then went silent. No trace of the boys ever surfaced. For ten years their families have been left with nothing but painful memories and a quiet desperation for the day that has finally, miraculously arrived: Myron Bolitar and his friend Win believe they have located one of the boys, now a teenager. Where has he been for ten years, and what does he know about the day, more than half a life ago, when he was taken? And most critically: What can he tell Myron and Win about the fate of his missing friend? Drawing on his singular talent, Harlan Coben delivers an explosive and deeply moving thriller about friendship, family, and the meaning of home.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

First let me state this book can easily read as a stand-a-lone, but the main characters have a history and after reading this book you will want to know that history.

The story starts with Myron getting a call from Win. Ten years ago two boys went missing and for Win it is personal because one of the boys was family. After all this time Win receives information that puts him back on the trail and he needs Myron’s help. These two are like the dynamic duo only while Myron is the star of these books he is more often Robin to Win’s Batman.

While Myron does make appearances in Coben’s young adult series, Live Wire, the last Myron Bolitar thriller was published in 2011, so at first I was worried first about my memory of everything Bolitar but also if during the years away the characters wouldn’t live up to my hopes.  Coben has written some stellar thrillers since we last visited these characters so the bar was set really high. Well, I need not have worried, my memories picked up like I has read the previous book the day before  and Coben hits this one out of the park!

Myron, Win (Windsor Lockhorne III), Esperanza and Big Cindi are all back. Mickey, Myron’s nephew and his girlfriend and friend Spoon (Young Adult Series) along with Myron’s parents are all involved in this book. We meet more of Win’s family and the other missing boy’s family too. Plus the criminals who play a part in this story. They are all vital and spring from the pages.

The entire plot starts and ends with gripping and astounding twists, exactly what I expect from this author. The story has tons of drama, action, and mystery along with several edge of your seat moments. Family interactions and deep psychological matters are revealed that had me absolutely stunned. There are some moments of humor too that fans of Myron and Win will truly appreciate. These two are a pair like no other.

The pace is so fast. I wanted to savor this story I had been waiting so long for but with points of view continually switching between Myron and Win that was impossible.  I did the just one more chapter thing so many times I just gave up and stayed up and finished the whole thing and again at the end I exclaimed “WOW!” His books tend to have that effect on me.

In recent years my reading has been more on the cozy side but if I had to choose my all time favorite author my answer has been and will be Harlan Coben. His writing grabs me by the collar and doesn’t let go. I anxiously await each new book. As I finished this one I thought is this the last Bolitar novel? The characters seem to be in a good place so it could be but I sure hope it is not. I do know that whatever this author writes I am going to want to read it immediately so I can’t wait to see where he takes me next.

paradise 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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

Contest Will End March 14, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

To find out more about Harlan Coben and his books visit his webpage here.

Myron and Mickey Bolitar Series’




Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher via NetGalley. 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.”

Dec 142016
 

The Seven-Course Christmas Killer: A Holiday Novella from the Italian Kitchen (An Italian Kitchen Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
Setting – New Jersey
Beyond the Page (November 27, 2016)
Print Length: 77 pages
ASIN: B01NBDVUCX

 

 

On Christmas Eve, someone might be sleeping with the fishes . . .

It’s December at the Casa Lido, which means only one thing: the Rienzi family’s traditional Christmas Eve celebration, including wine, song, and seven Italian seafood courses. As Victoria and Tim prep scungilli and calamari, Nonna directs the cooking until all is in readiness for the big night.

But the holiday cheer is interrupted by the attempted murder of Mayor Anne McCrae, who asks Vic to investigate. Trouble is, there are as many suspects as there are fishes on the Christmas Eve menu . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

There are many tense moments as the community comes together for the Rienzi family’s traditional Christmas Eve celebration. The mayor  pulls Victoria aside and tells her someone is trying to kill her. Then she basically blackmails her into finding out who by the end of the dinner. Since the mayor is not that well liked one just needs to look around the room and see that everyone is a suspect, but she comes up with a list of 7 that may actually be guilty of attempted murder. Seven people, seven courses, with a little help she may be able to pull this off.

This is a fun, fast read from Rosie Genova, just in time for the holidays. It is a nice companion story to go with the series. You do not need to have read the previous books to enjoy this novella. The author does a wonderful job of introducing all the characters all while giving the reader a nice little mystery.

This series does have 3 previous books but was cancelled by Penguin Random House. I was so excited to see this novella that gives you just a taste of Casa Lido, the family that owns it and the community it serves. An introduction for new readers and something to hold fans of the series as we hope the author continues the series on her own. She is thinking of making holiday releases an annual event. That would make this reader very happy.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author:

A Jersey girl born and bred, national bestselling author Rosie Genova left her heart at the shore, which serves as the setting for much of her work. Her series, the Italian Kitchen Mysteries, is informed by her appreciation for good food and her love of classic mysteries from Nancy Drew to Miss Marple. Her debut novel, Murder and Marinara, was named a 2013 Best Pick by Suspense Magazine and was a finalist for a 2014 Daphne Award. The proud mama of three grown sons, Rosie still lives in her home state with her husband and a charming mutt named Lucy.

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 132016
 

seeds-of-deception

Seeds of Deception (An Orchard Mystery)
by Sheila Connolly
Cozy Mystery
10th in Series
Setting – Massachusetts/New Jersey
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (October 4, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425275825
E-Book ASIN: B01AHKXJF0
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The New York Times bestselling author of A Gala Event returns with newlyweds Meg and Seth Chapin who should be worried about writing thank you notes, not taking a juicy bite out of crime…

With the bushels of time they spent organizing their wedding, Meg and Seth didn’t have a chance to plan a honeymoon. But now that winter has arrived, there’s not much to do at the orchard. So with their shared love of history and all things apple, they pick Thomas Jefferson’s orchards at Monticello as the perfect getaway.

While they enjoy the beautiful sights, there’s a rotten addition to the agenda when Meg’s parents discover their handyman dead in the backyard. With a bitter police chief eyeing Meg’s father as a suspect, Meg and Seth have to cut their honeymoon short to find the root of the problem.
 
 
Includes Delicious Recipes

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It’s honeymoon time for Meg and Seth and they set off on a road trip. The trip gets a huge detour when they get a call from Meg’s mom saying when they returned home to New Jersey there was a dead body in their backyard. Seems the police chief and her dad have a bit of a conflict so Meg and Seth head to Jersey to aid in the investigation, who am I kidding, Meg butts her way into the investigation to follow the seeds of deception as only she can.

We really don’t know too much about Meg and her parents or her life before coming to Granford. Her parents married right after her dad received his law degree. He eventually went to work for the New York firm, Blackwell, Hyzy and Cates 🙂 (Love this cozy author tie in.) He commuted on the train every day.  Her mother kept house and volunteered. When Meg left for college he opened his own firm and moved to the home where they now reside. Much too large for just 2 people but it sounds like a fabulous home. I really enjoyed getting to know her folks and I think they saw a whole different side to their daughter.

This has been a strong series from book 1 , One Bad Apple,  because the author has not only created fantastic characters that have continued to grow throughout the series, but she always plots a fabulous mystery around those characters. This time she takes the story out of Granford and the mystery really focuses on Meg, Seth and Meg’s parents, Elizabeth and Phillip. We learn a lot about all four characters. Seth hangs back a little in this story as he lets Meg lead the way and deal with her parents. That is not to say he is not involved. Staying quiet and listening helps him to ask the right questions at the right times to move closer to finding out whodunit and why.

I have enjoyed every book in this series. Winter in the orchard has a lot of downtime so this was the perfect time for Seth and Meg’s wedding and honeymoon and taking them on a trip. They get some news when they get home that means some changes are ahead and leaves me excited to see what Sheila Connolly has planned next.

I recommend you pick this one up and take a nice juicy bite. But why stop there, if this is a new series for you then you are going to want to read the whole bushel.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Sheila is the author of many fantastic reads. She not only writes County Cork Mysteries, but the Orchard Mysteries and the Museum Mysteries too. Find out all about Sheila  and her books on her webpage here.

GIVEAWAY
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 mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.

Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.
Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End October 27, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

May 312016
 
FOREVER BEACH
Forever Beach: A Novel
Release Date – June 7, 2016
Contemporary/Women’s Fiction
Setting – New Jersey
William Morrow Paperbacks
An Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers
Trade Paperback: 416 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0062439062
E-Book ASIN: B015WXQEMC
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One woman struggling to hold on to what she has,

One woman learning to forgive

Their lives entwined by one little girl. 

Sarah Hargreave is anxious to finalize the adoption of her foster daughter Leila. Once a foster child herself, Sarah longs to become Leila’s “forever” family and give her all the love and stability she was denied in her own childhood. When Leila’s biological mother suddenly reappears and petitions the court for the return of her daughter, Sarah is terrified she’ll lose the little girl she loves to the drug addicted mother who abandoned her.

Having grown up in foster care, Ilona Cartwright fights for the rights of children who have no one to fight for them. But to Sarah she is Nonie Blanchard, who grew up in the same group foster home as Sarah. They’d promised to be best friends forever, then Nonie was adopted by a wealthy family, and Sarah never heard from her again. Sarah still hurts from the betrayal. But Nonie harbors her own resentment toward the past.

Mistrustful of each other, the two women form a tenuous alliance to ensure Leila’s future, but when Leila’s very survival is on the line, they’ll have to come to terms with their own feelings of hurt and rejection to save the child they both have come to love.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sarah Hargreave grew up in the foster system, in and out of foster homes. She didn’t find her forever home until she aged out of the system and met a wonderful man who ran a clock repair shop. Sarah has brought Leila into her home and doesn’t want her to go through what she did so she starts the adoption process. The biological mother has signed off her parental rights and Sarah is just waiting for the adoption to be finalized. Then the bio mom changes her mind and the court grants her visitation. This is not the first time this has happened and Sarah knows it will be a huge step back in Leila’s progress.

Ilona Cartwright also grew up in the foster system but she was adopted by a well to do family. She and Sarah were just like sisters and it was so hard for them to say good-bye. They promised to stay in touch but Ilona “Nonie” didn’t write to Sarah and Sarah was devastated. Ilona did go to law school and she does works fighting for the rights of children. Can Sarah and Nonie get together to provide Leila a forever home?

What a moving story! A picture of the foster system and the adoption process. They do go to great lengths to keep families together but there are times that the child needs a new family. There are a few dark and scary moments but they show us both sides of these issues.

I found Sarah so interesting. Her life was in her hands and she met a man with a huge heart and no agenda or shifty plans. She made the decision to stay with him and he became like a father/grandfather to her. It took a long time to trust him and she still has huge trust issues. She doesn’t let anyone get to close to her or Leila because things could fall apart at any time. She does have “friends” and a man that would like to be more than “friends”, but she has put up huge walls to protect herself and her heart.

These characters are natural and believable. This story becomes a huge story of friendship and self growth. Building relationships, trust, and trying to forgive. Superb writing!

The story is also set in an amazing place. Near the beach, there are several shops, most more touristy than Clocks by the Sea. The funny thing is Sarah can’t swim and hates the water. The beach is a great meeting place and she is fine planting herself in a chair under an umbrella while Leila builds sand castles.

I really loved this book. It was a wonderful escape. The cover looks like is definitely belongs on my blog. If you need a beach read this summer this is a perfect one, to sit back, put your toes in the sand and enjoy! My definition of Paradise!

paradise 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

ShelleyNoble FinalV3 copyAbout The Author

SHELLEY NOBLE is the NEW YORK TIMES Bestselling Author of the women’s fiction novel BEACH COLORS, a #1 Nook bestseller, STARGAZEY POINT three novellas, Holidays at Crescent Cove, Stargazey Nights, BREAKWATER BAY and WHISPER BEACH.

As SHELLEY FREYDONT she is the author of the CELEBRATION BAY FESTIVAL MYSTERIES (Berkley Prime Crime) as well and two other mystery series, and the upcoming Gilded Age Newport Mystery series. Her mysteries have been translated into ten languages.

A former professional dancer and choreographer, she most recently worked on the films, Mona Lisa Smile and The Game Plan. Shelley lives near the New Jersey shore where she loves to discover new beaches and indulge her passion for lighthouses and vintage carousels.

 

Writing as Shelley Noble

Coming June 7, 2016


Writing as Shelley Freydont


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

May 262016
 
the girl from home
The Girl From Home: A Thriller
Setting – New York/New Jersey
Gallery Books (April 5, 2016)
An Imprint of Simon and Schuster Inc.
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1476764283
E-Book ASIN: B010MHAB2W
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Jonathan Caine is a true master of the universe—a currency wizard with a trophy wife, a penthouse condo with a view of the Statue of Liberty, and the desire for more—when his world comes crashing down, spiraling him into a relentless fall from grace. Devastated, Jonathan returns to his hometown to care for his ailing father and attend his twenty-fifth high school reunion, where he becomes reacquainted with former prom queen Jacqueline Williams. Back in the day, Jackie didn’t even know Jonathan existed. Now she is intrigued by the man he has become. But their budding relationship has problems, not the least of which is Jackie’s jealous and abusive husband. Jonathan is determined to learn from his mistakes, but is he capable of complete transformation? Or will a shocking temptation test his desire for redemption beyond anything he could have imagined?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

“I want what I what” says Jonathan Caine several times throughout this book. He has a wife that he doesn’t love, but she looks good on his arm, and she is only there for the money. He has a giant penthouse and wants a house in the Hamptons right on the ocean and won’t settle for less. He has expensive clothes, expensive shoes, and eats at the elite restaurants. His mother has died, his father is sick, but he makes rare trips home. All he wants is more and more money and he takes too many risks to get it. It was just a matter of time before everything falls apart.

Jacqueline Williams was popular in high school. She married the top player on the football, had two children, a boy and a girl. Her life is perfect, NOT! Her husband is abusive and she is afraid he is going to kill her.

As Jonathan life is in a downward spiral, he goes home to check on his dad and try to escape what is happening in New York. He goes to his high school reunion and meets Jackie. He always admired her from afar in school but now they seem to have a real connection. A connection that could get them killed.

I will start off my saying Jonathan Caine is very unlikable character, his wife is no better. That being said they will draw you right into the story. A story of greed and the price you can pay. I felt so sorry for Jackie Williams and her kids. Her husband is drunk who was cheats on her but is super possessive of her. She better be at home and answer the phone when he calls. Treat him nice in front of his friends and cater to his every need. Because if she didn’t she met his wrath. When Jonathan and Jackie meet we see a different side and Jonathan’s wants change.

The prologue tells us where we will end up. Then the story starts in the past, but every other chapter jumps months into the future. Then in Part 2 we are in present time.  Written this way we are given a chance to get to know the characters and I liked that.

The plot then takes a twist that I thought may be coming but it wasn’t playing out in the way I imagined. The twists continue until the final one that I thought was startling. I went back and read a few pages again to see if I read it correctly. Yes, I did! I love those kind of endings.

A very gripping read. This is a story that will keep you up late into the night reading until the very end.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out more about Adam Mitzner and his books on his webpage here.

Click the covers for more information or to order from Amazon.
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I am giving away my hardcover review copy!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End June 9, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Mar 082016
 

While by favorite genre is Cozy Mysteries I do also like a good suspense thriller. Harlan Coben is my all time favorite thriller author. When he has a new book come out the world just stops and I escape deep inside the story. I was blessed to receive an advance copy for review. I am thrilled to tell you all about it so you can grab it on March 22 when it is released.

FOOL ME ONCE
Fool Me Once
Suspense/Thriller
Setting – New Jersey

Dutton (March 22, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Hardcover: 400 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0525955092
E-Book ASIN: B0141ZP33S
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Former special ops pilot Maya, home from the war, sees an unthinkable image captured by her nanny cam while she is at work: her two-year-old daughter playing with Maya’s husband, Joe—who had been brutally murdered two weeks earlier. The provocative question at the heart of the mystery: Can you believe everything you see with your own eyes, even when you desperately want to? To find the answer, Maya must finally come to terms with deep secrets and deceit in her own past before she can face the unbelievable truth about her husband—and herself.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have a new FAVORITE COBEN!! Fool Me Once has edged out Caught. This story is absolutely brilliant!!

Maya flew helicopters overseas in Iraq but she has left the military after a mission goes way wrong. Home with her husband Joe and her daughter Lily, she is suffering from the mental effects of war and dealing with her sister’s death a few months before.  She tries to get on with her life but her troubles continue as her husband is viciously murdered. Two weeks later she returns home to find the nanny camera has images of 2 year old Lily playing with her dad. Is he alive? Who did they bury? Why is there so much death around her? Maya starts on a journey to find the truth and what happens with amaze you.

Maya is a very engaging character. She is a super strong woman fighting her demons. Joe and his family have secrets upon secrets and I just can’t tell you more.

Twisted, woven together, plot lines cross and untangle just to mix all together again. Coben is a genius, the story is masterfully written. The reader is drawn into the story and the tension and suspense builds and builds until you get whiplash from the final spin that will leave you breathless. Fool Me Once, Mr. Coben is full tricks. He got me. He got me good! And I positively LOVED IT! This is his best book yet!

New to this author, this is a fantastic one to start with!  Already a fan, get this book as soon as you can!

paradise 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To find out more about Harlan Coben and his books visit his webpage here.

Myron and Mickey Bolitar Series’






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 082016
 

major crimes large banner 640

Major Crimes
by Michele Lynn Seigfried

The Jersey Shore Mystery Series is a wonderful whodunit series to read. Each book in the series has enough witty humor, mystery, suspense, and romance that easily draws the reader into Chelsey’s latest madcap investigation adventure.
~Jersey Girl Book Reviews

Major Crimes ebook cover
Major Crimes
(Jersey Shore Mystery Series)

4th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Horseshoe Bay Publishing (January 26, 2016)
Print Length: 220 pages
ASIN: B017GG55FU
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Synopsis:

Buckle up for hours of laughter, romance, and excitement with this Jersey Shore Mystery. When handsome detective, Bryce Kelly, is accused of a crime he didn’t commit, he finds himself on the run and in hiding. Can amateur sleuth, Chelsey Alton, and a few quirky friends help him find the real killer and prove his innocence before it’s too late? If you love mysteries, don’t miss this humorous whodunit!

michele photo for book cover

 
 
 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Michele Lynn Seigfried is the author of humorous, cozy mystery novels and a children’s picture book author/illustrator.

Michele was born and raised in New Jersey. In her mystery novels, she draws from her personal expertise in the area of municipal government, in which she has served for over 17 years in two different municipalities.

She holds a B.A. in communication from the College of New Jersey with a minor in art. She obtained the Master Municipal Clerk certification from the International Institute of Municipal Clerks in 2010. She also holds the Registered Municipal Clerk certification and Certified Municipal Registrar Certifications from the State of New Jersey.

In combining her love of writing with art, Michele began writing and illustrating children’s picture books in 2013.  She has won several awards for her novels.

Author Links:

Website           Facebook           Twitter
Goodreads       Pinterest          Amazon
Google+           Tsu

 

Purchase Link
Amazon

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Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Mar 242015
 

strangerThe Stranger
Suspense/Thriller
Dutton
Published by The Penguin Group
Release Date: March 24, 2015
Setting: New Jersey
Hardcover: 400 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0525953500
E-Book ASIN: B00NMPN46W
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The Stranger appears out of nowhere, perhaps in a bar, or a parking lot, or at the grocery store. His identity is unknown. His motives are unclear. His information is undeniable. Then he whispers a few words in your ear and disappears, leaving you picking up the pieces of your shattered world.

Adam Price has a lot to lose: a comfortable marriage to a beautiful woman, two wonderful sons, and all the trappings of the American Dream: a big house, a good job, a seemingly perfect life.

Then he runs into the Stranger. When he learns a devastating secret about his wife, Corinne, he confronts her, and the mirage of perfection disappears as if it never existed at all. Soon Adam finds himself tangled in something far darker than even Corinne’s deception, and realizes that if he doesn’t make exactly the right moves, the conspiracy he’s stumbled into will not only ruin lives—it will end them.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I get so excited when a new Harlan Coben thriller is about to be released. I drop everything and read it as soon as it arrives. This one had a very different feel right from the start but like all of his other books I started reading and just couldn’t stop. I had to break it up over 2 evenings because my eyes just wouldn’t stay open but if my body had let me I would have finished the whole thing all in one sitting.

“The Stranger” visits normal everyday people that could have been me or my friends or neighbors. Anyone who is affected by a secret someone close to us is keeping. Adam’s wife, Corinne, had a secret and after the stranger reveals it to him his life is never going to be the same. The stranger also visits other throughout the story with secrets too, changing their lives.

What appeared to be a pretty straight forward story quickly twists and turns. Exactly what I expect from Mr. Coben. I found myself completely enthralled by this story, you may even say mesmerized. At first I thought Corinne’s secret was hurtful but not life shattering. Yes, the couple’s trust had been broken, but I thought a strong marriage would survive it. But the more Adam’s story continued and the plot started to play out I saw the author’s writing style start to shine and draw us in deeper. It is a story that has many layers. This is not you typical nail biting thriller, but more a mystery with thrilling and suspense filled moments.

I have been impressed with every Harlan Coben novel. I can’t say that is my favorite Harlan Coben book, Caught still holds that spot, but frankly all of his stories rate 5 stars to me. They all grab a hold of you and don’t let go. If you a are a new fan or an old fan this book should be on your “Can’t Wait To Read” list!!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Click Here To Pre-order Today From Amazon

To find out more about Harlan Coben and his books visit his webpage here.

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

The Drawing Game (A Sketch in Crime Mystery) by Deirdre Verne Get Your Copy Today!
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