Feb 252015
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so happy to have former Wisconsinite Mary Ellen Hughes drop by for a visit!

Mary Ellen Hughes author pic

My Ten Favorite Things about Writing License to Dill

Starting a new series is always exciting, but it’s also plenty of hard, intensive work. There’s so many decisions to make, such as where to set it, who your characters will be, their relationships, and so on, which is what I went through with The Pickled Piper, book #1 of my Pickled and Preserved mystery series. After careful thought, I chose upstate New York as my setting and named my fictional town Cloverdale. I sent my twenty-nine year old principal character, Piper Lamb, there from Albany after she ended her going-nowhere engagement. And I put Piper’s Aunt Judy and Uncle Frank on a nearby farm, gave Piper a great assistant for her pickling shop, and introduced Piper to Will, a handsome Christmas tree farmer. So all the important decisions were made with book #1.

Book #2, License to Dill, by comparison, turned out to be a breeze. Everything was set up and ready to go! All I needed to do was write the mystery (“all” she added, laughingly). But having already done the ground work, I could now relax and focus on the plot, which became the first of my…

Ten Favorite Things About Writing License to Dill :
1. My characters, after a couple of weeks of rest, were super-eager for action. They practically snatched the pages from me to get back to work.

2. Piper and her new boyfriend, Will, had progressed beyond the awkward getting-to-know-you stage and were pretty happy and comfortable with each other.

3. Of course, I couldn’t let that continue, so I brought Piper’s ex-fiancé, Scott, back from his travels, and he decided to settle in Cloverdale. (Uh-oh.)

4. I imported an entire soccer team of handsome young men from Italy to challenge Cloverdale’s All-Stars, which meant writing exciting soccer scenes. I now understand the game much better!

5. The Italian team’s coach and manager occasionally spoke Italian. With the help of a Italian-born friend, I learned several useful Italian phrases and sometimes found myself writing with an Italian accent!

6. Since a dill field figures importantly in the murder, I learned—and shared in the book—quite a bit about growing and using fresh dill. I could practically smell that wonderful weed as I typed.

7. Since Piper makes all the pickles and preserves for her shop herself (with the help of her assistant, Amy), I kept various pickles on hand, because writing pickling scenes was sure to bring on a craving.

8. Piper spends plenty of time with her Aunt Judy and Uncle Frank at their farm. Whenever Piper drove up, Jack, their mixed-breed dog went crazy with excitement. I, unfortunately, am allergic to dogs, but I could enjoy petting Jack vicariously through Piper—with no sneezes!

9. While looking into the murder, Piper meets several people in the Cloverdale area with new-to-me occupations. I particularly loved writing about the chainsaw sculptor and will have to seriously consider bringing him back some day.

10. After spending months with Piper and all the people of Cloverdale in The Pickled Piper, I became pretty fond of them. (Well, most of them. There was, after all, a murderer in the mix.) But writing License to Dill was like going to a reunion—lots of fun getting reacquainted with everyone. But I do hope they’ve forgiven me by now for what I’ve put them through…

~Mary Ellen

About The Author

Mary Ellen Hughes is the author of the Craft Corner mystery series – WREATH OF DECEPTION, STRING OF LIES, and PAPER-THIN ALIBI – as well as the Maggie Olenski mysteries – RESORT TO MURDER and A TASTE OF DEATH.

She has also authored several short stories, including THE WOMAN ON THE TRAIN, and short mysteries included in the Chesapeake Crimes and Tales from the Backlist anthologies.

A transplanted Wisconsinite, Mary Ellen now lives in Maryland where she is excited to be working on her new Pickled and Preserved mystery series beginning with THE PICKLED PIPER.

license to dillLicense to Dill
(Pickled and Preserved Mystery)

2nd Book in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – New York
Release Date: February 3, 2015
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Chris O’Leary
Cover Design by Karen Oberrender
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425262467
E-Book ASIN: B00NUMIDHC
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Piper Lamb knows how to make fruits and vegetables keep for months. Unfortunately, it’s the people around her who are expiring too soon…

After her fiancé left her, Piper came to Cloverdale to rebuild her life and open up her shop, Piper’s Picklings, to sell pickles and preserves. When her ex decides to drop in for a visit—just as things are heating up between her and a local Christmas tree farmer—Piper finds herself in a jam.

But there are other visitors to worry about…

An Italian soccer team is set to play the Cloverdale All-Stars in an exhibition game. Their manager, Raffaele Conti, was a bitter rival of Piper’s dill supplier, local farmer Gerald Standley. After Conti is found dead in Standley’s field, Piper must work to clear Gerald’s name and find out who relished killing Raffaele before the town is soured by another death.

INCLUDES RECIPES!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I knew that darn Scott was going to be trouble when he appeared in Cloverdale at the end of The Pickled Piper and he is sticking around too, renting an office just down the street from Piper’s store. Piper does her best to fully explain to him their relationship is over, but Scott does not give up. Thankfully Will is a patient man but Scott just keeps popping up everywhere, even at the exhibition soccer game where he wedges himself into the seat closest to Piper. When the manager of the Italian team is killed he even tries to help Piper catch the killer. Piper truly has herself in a pickle as she tries to clear her friend’s name and make it clear to Scott she has moved on.

I love Piper, she is really making herself at home in Cloverdale. She still visits her Uncle Frank and Aunt Judy often but is branching out making new friends and her relationship with Will was moving at a nice pace. She made me laugh out loud several times and caused me to worry about her too as she finds herself in more than a bit of trouble.

Mary Ellen Hughes has given readers a nice treat by adding a few hunky Italian soccer players to the story. The way she tied this into the whole plot is very interesting and gives us a barrel full of suspects.

The story has a wonderful mystery, fun characters, a nice romantic subplot and the perfect amount of humor. I am already looking forward to my next visit to Cloverdale!!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAY

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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will earn you 3 Bonus Entries.

Leave a comment for Mary Ellen for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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

Feb 202015
 

great escape tour banner large drawing conclusions640

Drawing Conclusions
by Deirdre Verne

CeCe is an interesting character and the story is well written and will keep you interested and intrigued until the last page.
~Shelley’s Book Case

This is a good mystery with twists you don’t expect…
~readalot

I love a mystery that keeps me on my toes…Deirdre certainly has a talent for plot twists.
~Booklady’s Booknotes

Drawing Conclusions is really thrilling and exciting, full of twists. Do not start it the night before you go to sleep because you risk a sleepless night.
~LibriAmoriMiei

Drawing ConclusionsDrawing Conclusions
(A Sketch in Crime Mystery)

New Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting: New York
Publisher: MIDNIGHT INK (February 8, 2015)
Paperback: 312 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738741314
E-Book ASIN: B00S1MTLDQ
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Synopsis

Cece dumpster dives her way through this suspense-filled murder mystery…

Cece Prentice is a most unusual young woman. Heiress to a large fortune thanks to her doctor father, who is the head of a genome company on Long Island, Cece is also a freegan—ecologically-minded and socially conscious. If that happens to include dumpster diving for half an old hamburger, previously started by someone she has never met, then so be it.

Cece would still be going about her ordinary, albeit weird, life had her beloved twin brother Teddy not been murdered. Drawn into the police investigation, CeCe uses her sketching abilities and knowledge of her father’s company to provide Detective DeRosa with the clues he needs to ferret out what happened to Teddy. But she soon realizes that this mystery is much more complicated than she ever imagined.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

There is so much I loved about this story I just don’t know where to begin and I have to be very careful not to give anything away.

We meet Cece while she is dumpster diving and then we learn that she is a “Freegan” and is from a very wealthy family. She is also a sketch artist and captures the nuances of faces in an uncanny way. She has a twin brother, Teddy, who works with their father at a lab that researches DNA. Her father is known all over the world for his work. She lives in a house with 4 other ecologically-minded and socially conscious friends, Charlie, who is her twin brother’s best friend,  Trina, Becky and Jonathan.

We learn very quickly that her twin brother has been killed. It is Cece’s artistic ability and her knowledge of her father’s company that brings her in to the middle of the investigation of his death but the investigation goes off in some truly unexpected tangents that will change her life and others in monumental ways.

I started reading this story and just couldn’t stop. Every time a clue connected it seemed to twist the story into another direction and this continued throughout the whole story. I was like “wow”, “no way”, oh my stars!” and then the final twist so good…I couldn’t wait  to write this review to tell you all about it!!

I truly don’t know how the author is going to top this story in the next installment but I want to be first in line to read it!!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

deidre

About This Author

Deirdre Verne (Scarsdale, NY) is a college professor and an active college blogger. A writer for the millennium crowd, Deirdre’s interest in green living inspired her to create an off-the-grid character who Dumpster dives her way though a suspense-filled mystery series. A member of Sisters in Crime, Deirdre’s short stories appear in all three New York chapter anthologies – Murder New York Style, Murder New York Style: Fresh Slices and Family Matters.

 

Author Links

www.deirdreverne.com (web page)

www.deirdreverne.com/blog/

@deirdreverne

GoodReads

Thanks to the people at Midnight Ink I have 1 Print 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.

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

Leave a comment for Deirdre for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End March 6, 2015 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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

Jan 242015
 

great escape tour banner large ONE GARISH GHOST640

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000037_00031]One Garish Ghost & Blueberry Peach Jam
(Dead by the Numbers Mysteries) (Volume 1)

Cozy Mystery
Setting: New York
Publisher: Publisher: Gemma Halliday Publishing (October 22, 2014)
E-Book ASIN: B00OTYMGX2
Paperback: 218 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1502961587
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Gianna Mancini has chatted with ghosts most of her life. It’s never affected her much. Until now.

The latest ghost in Gianna’s family-centric, boy-complicated, job-depleted world is Emma Tinsdale, a woman Gianna despises. Wanting Emma out of her apartment and her orbit, Gianna chooses to help her move on, but she doesn’t expect to come across poisonous jam, a vengeful cop, or a group of friendly clowns.

When a relative is framed for Emma’s death, Gianna must dig deeper and faster to find out what really happened that fatal night on the beach. With help from her sister, her cop brother, and her ex-boyfriend, Julian, she gets close to figuring out the truth. But when the killer closes in, Gianna better watch her step unless she wants to become the latest member of the dearly departed.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I absolutely, positively, loved this book!!

Gianna has a very unique gift as does her family’s deli. Gianna’s gift is that she can see and talk to ghosts, to find out the deli’s special “gift” you have to read the book.

Gianna has come back home and moved into the small apartment above the deli. She is surprised to learn she already has a spirit as a roommate, but it is better than staying with her parents. Her sister and niece have moved home due to some trouble with her husband and that makes things at home just a little too crowded. She still hangs out with her sister though. In fact, they had a girl’s night out that included quite a bit of drama and ended up with them asleep on the beach. When they woke up and headed home they thought their only problem was a little sand in their clothes. Then a body is found on that very same beach not far from where they slept and the victim happens to been part of the drama the night before. The victim’s ghost also finds their way to Gianna’s apartment and has no idea who killed them. When the police start to suspect someone very close to Gianna she has no choice  but to unofficially help point the police, including her own cop brother, in another direction. It may also help a ghost or two move on and let her finally have her apartment to herself.

This was a fantastic read. It was funny in many places but also had many places that touched my heart.

All the characters were so well developed, even those than only Gianna could see. We get to know them all so well it is very easy to be invested into each and every one of them. Gianna is complicated as is her relationship with her ex. Her family is close, sometimes too close, but isn’t that how most families are. What Gianna does for these ghosts that just happen to find their way to her is amazing – finding out what is holding them back from crossing over and trying to help them make that very necessary transition. A gift that causes her to have some very haunting dreams.

As to the mystery surrounding the killer that is very complex as well with several twists and turns and a surprise. Oh my when I figured out just a few pages before Gianna I almost shouted it out loud. I love stories that surprise me like this one.

This book is shorter than the normal cozy mystery but the story was not lacking anywhere, in fact it soared beyond my expectations. And if this story wasn’t amazing on its own the author leaves us with a cliffhanger that has me waiting very impatiently for the next installment. I will drop whatever I am reading the minute it becomes available to read it!

I know it is early in the year but this is an outstanding debut to this series and for that reason it gets my first paradise rating of 2015.

paradise5 STARFISH5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

authorphotoAbout This Author

Jennifer Fischetto is the National Bestselling Author of the Jamie Bond Mysteries. Unbreakable Bond, her adult debut novel, has received a National Reader’s Choice award nomination. She writes dead bodies for ages 13 to six-feet-under. When not writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, singing (off-key), and watching an obscene amount of TV. She also adores trees, thunderstorms, and horror movies—the scarier the better. She lives in Western Mass with her family and is currently working on her next project.

Author Links

Website: http://jenniferfischetto.com/

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/2ell5

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennfischetto

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JennFischetto

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6421179.Jennifer_Fischetto

 GIVEAWAYIn addition to the Rafflecopter Giveaway below I have 1 e-copy of this wonderful book to give away!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Leave a comment for Jennifer for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

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

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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Tour Participants

January 12 – Michele Lynn Seigfried’s Blog – Guest Post

January 13 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway

January 14 – deal sharing aunt – Interview, Giveaway

January 15 – readalot – Review, Giveaway

January 16 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, too! – Guest Post, Giveaway

January 17 – A Blue Million Books – Interview, Giveaway

January 18 – Kelly P’s Blog – Guest Post

January 19 – Tea and A Book – Review, Giveaway

January 20 – A Cup of Tea, A Friend, And A Book – Cancelled

January 21 – Community Bookstop – Review, Giveaway

January 22 – Writers and Readers of Paranormal Mystery – Interview, Giveaway

January 23 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review, Giveaway

January 24 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review, Giveaway

January 25 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway

 

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

Jan 092015
 

special guest blueI am excited to welcome Susannah Hardy to Escape With Dollycas!
Her new A Greek to Me Mystery Series is off to an excellent start!
You can read my review below her post.

Susannah

I love mysteries! You’re here visiting this blog because you do too. Did you ever solve a real mystery? Not ones like what that smell is emanating from your teenager’s bedroom, or who put the toilet paper on the roll backwards. Not that those aren’t important or that you shouldn’t get credit for your detective skills, LOL! But I’ve solved a couple of family mysteries, and I’ll tell you about one here today.

feta attractionGenealogy is one of my hobbies, and there is a genealogical element to Feta Attraction, one that will become more important in Book Two (sorry, I don’t have an official title or a release date on that yet!). My heroine, Georgie, will find out some very interesting things about who she is and where she came from and why murders keep happening around her in Bonaparte Bay.

My real-life family, and I suspect just about everyone else’s too, has its own mystery. Family legend says that my great-great grandfather was a Native American (Mohawk), that he and my white great-great grandmother had an affair, then he ran off when she found out she was pregnant. She left the baby with her widowed mother, and ran off herself. I’ve always taken that story with a grain of salt.

Now, thanks to the Internet and some digitized old newspapers, it turns out I was right to be skeptical.

The real story, which I pieced together from old newspaper articles and online census records—did I mention, I LOVE research?—is rather more Downton Abbey or Upstairs, Downstairs. Not nearly as romantic or interesting as having a Mohawk ancestor! The documentation proves that Great-Great-Grandma was a servant in the home of a wealthy shopkeeper, and they had a relationship, which resulted in a baby, my Great-Grandfather. A lawsuit was brought by the girl’s mother for loss of the girl’s services due to the pregnancy, and damages were awarded against the shopkeeper. My Great-Grandfather either never knew the real story, or deliberately lied about who his parents were on his marriage certificate, which other members of my family have taken as truth. Even though I’ve presented my proof, most still cling to the legend rather than the reality.

Not that I can blame them. Stories are often so much better than real life, aren’t they? Which is why we keep reading novels, and especially cozy mysteries with their familiar characters and satisfying endings. I hope you enjoy Feta Attraction!

Wishing each and every one of you peace and prosperity in the New Year,

~Susannah

About This Author

Susannah Hardy thinks she has the best job in the world: making up stories and inventing recipes to go along with them. A native of northern New York, where she attended St. Lawrence University, Susannah now lives in Connecticut with her husband, teenaged son, and Elvira the Wonder Cat.

Author Links

Webpage: www.susannahhardy.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Susannah-Hardy/111056935644467
Twitter: @susannahhardy1

feta attractionFeta Attraction
(A Greek to Me Mystery)

New Cozy Series
Setting: New York
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (January 6, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Bill Bruning
Cover Design by Diane Kolsky
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425271650
E-Book ASIN: B00KWG5W1Y
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Georgie Nikolopatos manages the Bonaparte House, a Greek restaurant and historic landmark in beautiful upstate New York rumored to possess ghosts and hidden treasure. But when her husband disappears and her main competitor is found dead, it’s up to Georgie to solve a big fat Greek murder.

With her husband, Spiro, inexplicably gone for days, Georgie has her hands full running the restaurant and dealing with the crew of the TV show Ghost Squad, called in by Spiro to inspect the house for haunting. So when she has a chance to take a boating excursion on the St. Lawrence River with her friend Keith Morgan, she jumps on it. But their idyll is quickly ruined when they discover the body of rival restaurant owner Domenic “Big Dom” DiTomasso floating in the water.

When the police start asking questions, it doesn’t help that Spiro can’t be found—and with Georgie on their suspect list, it’s up to her to find her missing husband and find out who killed Big Dom before someone else’s order is up.

Includes delicious Greek recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

As soon as I read that the Bonaparte House was an Octagon House I was so excited to keep reading. I was amazed by an Octagon House back in elementary school when we took a field trip to the Octagon House Museum in Watertown, Wisconsin. Many years later I learned of another Octagon House in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin and that one has been said to haunted! There is said to be another in Hudson, Wisconsin. These house were popular in the 1850’s thanks to amateur architect and lifestyle pundit Orson Squire Fowler*. Because of knowledge of these homes I had a very good idea about how this mystery may play out.

Georgie has an interesting life. She is married to a gay man and now that their daughter is grown it may be the right time for her to make some changes. The problem is that her mother-in-law  and her husband own the restaurant she manages and she can’t imagine doing anything else. She is also very close to her mother-in-law. They all live above the restaurant too.

Georgie is not really shocked her husband has disappeared, he’s done it before but always comes back within one one two days.  When he doesn’t return and she finds he left his cell phone behind she knows something is terribly wrong. She also starts receiving some strange messages. She doesn’t want to worry her mother-in-law so she starts to do a little investigating on her own.

Add to this a “Ghost Squad” looking for paranormal activity at Bonaparte House and a dead restaurant owner floating in the river and you have everything you need for a fantastic cozy mystery.

There is a lot going on in this first installment of the A Greek to Me Mystery series. I may have figured out part of the mystery early but the huge twist near the end was totally unexpected. To say more would give too much away.

I can say that Ms. Hardy has created some excellent characters. We really get to know Georgie and Sophie. Spiro not so much but I am confident he will be just as engaging. I believe the author has just scratched the surface of where she can take these characters. She has all the ingredients needed to whip up several tasty mysteries. I am really excited for book #2. “Opa!” pass the Ouzo!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

GIVEAWAY

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Leave a comment for Susannah for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End January 23, 2015 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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

*Wikipedia Link

Dec 082014
 

ONCE UPON A GRINDOnce Upon a Grind
(A Coffeehouse Mystery)

14th in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (December 2, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Hardcover: 416 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425270851
E-Book File Size: 1610 KB
ASIN: B00INIXU9Y
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When coffeehouse manager turned amateur sleuth Clare Cosi roasts “magic” beans for a Fairy Tale Fall event, she brews up a vision that leads to a sleeping beauty in Central Park; a big, bad wolf of Wall Street; and an East Side enclave with storybook secrets…

Fairy tale fever has descended on New York City. Broadway fans are flocking to Red Riding Hood: The Musical; museums are exhibiting art inspired by the Brothers Grimm; and Clare Cosi and her merry band of baristas give their coffee truck a “Jack and the Beanstalk” makeover for a Central Park festival. Clare’s coffee hunter ex-husband contributes a bag of African beans with alleged magical properties. His octogenarian mother entertains customers with readings of the grinds, but Clare remains skeptical–until she receives a vision that helps her find a young model’s body in the park’s woods.

The police dismiss “sleeping beauty” as the victim of a drug overdose. Then Clare uncovers evidence that points to a list of suspects–from a New York Giant to quite a few wicked witches–and a cold case murder that reaches back to the Cold War. Now Clare is really in the woods with a dangerous predator on her heels and an investigation that leads from a secret Prince Charming Club right back to her own NYPD detective boyfriend. If she doesn’t solve this mystery, those magic beans predict an unhappy ending.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This was an truly enchanting story and so much fun to read! I stayed up until early in the morning reading telling myself “just one more chapter” again and again. It is stories like this one that give readers like me “book hangovers” but they are so worth it.

Clare and the Village Blend crew are taking part in the Fairy Tale Fall Event in Central Park. The  coffee truck has a Jack and A Beanstalk theme complete with magic coffee beans and coffee grind readings. All is going well until Clare’s ex-husband is pulled in to replace a Prince Charming that failed to show up at the festival. He is paired with a beautiful princess for most of the day and then she goes missing. The search is on until they find the “sleepy beauty” in the dense part of woods in the park. Only she is not sleeping, she is dead and Clare’s ex becomes the prime suspect in her demise. The magic coffee beans and the visions they give Clare not only helped find the missing princess but they may help her to find the real killer.

So much happens in this story but it unfolds so naturally it is not overwhelming at all. The clues lead to a secret club and a cold case murder. Clare’s boyfriend, Detective Mike Quinn, is on temporary assignment in Washington D.C. but he is still head of a task force for the New York Police Department so he is up to speed on this case. In fact his ex-wife may even be involved since the princess who died was also working as a mother’s helper for her taking care of his kids. Coyle has woven quite a tangled web in this mystery linking people and events together you would never imagine and Clare is right in the middle of it all.

There are also things going on outside the main mystery. The subplots deal with some Village Blend employee drama and decision Clare is wrestling with. Matt and Clare may not be romantically involved anymore but they do work well together. I really admire the way the authors have thought outside of the box and let their characters evolve in many directions. It keeps this series fresh and each book better than the last.

This is a must read for cozy lovers. Whether you have read all the books in this series or this is your first Cofffeehouse Mystery I just know you will love this story. Just a little warning – this is not a book you can read a few chapters and set it aside. This writing team uses the same technique as suspense/thriller authors like James Patterson. Short chapters that lead right into the next one and the next one and the next one and before you know you are at the end. So don’t start this book if you have to work the next morning. This is the perfect book for a lazy weekend day snuggled up in front of your fireplace in a comfy chair. 10 Starfish!!

paradise
5 STARFISH5 STARFISH
Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the AUTHORS 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.Leave a comment for Cleo for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.
Contest Will End December 22, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Nov 142014
 

by cook or by crook By Cook or by Crook
(A Five-Ingredient Mystery)

New Cozy Series
Kensington Books (November 4, 2014)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1617731389
E-Book File Size: 957 KB
ASIN: B00JVW6H8M
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Take one burned-out city girl. Add a crusty codger, a dash of romance, and a twist of humor. Stir in a generous helping of murder, and you’ve got the ingredients for one truly delicious mystery …

Haunted by the car accident that ended her career as a cookbook publicist, Val Deniston has traded in the chaos of New York City for a quieter life near the Chesapeake Bay. Living with her curmudgeonly grandfather in the tourist town of Bayport is hardly glamorous, but she enjoys running the Cool Down Café at the local fitness club, and she finally has time to work on her long-planned cookbook. After a club patron is murdered, Val cooks up a scheme to find the killer who framed her best friend. While Val investigates five suspects and uncovers five key clues, Granddad takes up cooking, creating havoc in the kitchen even when trying recipes that have only five ingredients.

Includes 8 five-ingredient recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The number 5 is the key here.

  • 5 ingredient recipes
  • 5 suspects
  • 5 key clues

Maya Corrigan is off to an excellent start with this mystery! Val Deniston is a great character with a tragic past. She is trying to get on with her life but is haunted with nightmares of the night when a car accident changed her life. She thought coming to Bayport would make things easier but a recent murder that has her best friend pegged at the prime suspect has her remembering that fateful night again and again as she tries to find the real killer.

I love the relationship Val has with her grandfather. She thinks he needs her there to take care of him and he does to a certain point but that man has more going on than she gives him credit for. He even turns the table on her and it was so much fun to read. Brought back a few memories of my own grandfather.

The other characters were great too. I think everyone in town has a secret and Val considered them all suspects at one time or another, even the one whose kisses gave her that warm and tingly feeling.  The reason for this is a masterfully plotted mystery. There were several red herrings in this mystery’s recipe and they all needed to be sifted through to find the real killer and I figured it out just as Val did. Isn’t that what we readers want?

The author has served up a wonderful story with more than mystery to solve, a pinch of romance and a morsel of humor. It also contains a huge “hang on to your seat” moment that had my heart pumping.

I am truly excited for the next book in this series. I think the author has just given a tidbit of what she can dish up. “What are the chances of another murder in a peaceful small town?” We shall have to wait and see…

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

maya corrigan

About This Author

Maya Corrigan lives near Washington, D.C., within easy driving distance of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the setting for this series. She has taught courses in writing, detective fiction, and American literature at Georgetown University and NOVA community college. A winner of the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense, she has published essays on drama and short stories under her full name of Mary Ann Corrigan. Visit her at mayacorrigan.com.

 Author Links

WebPage: mayacorrigan.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Maya-CorriganBooks/305167769636032

GIVEAWAY

I am giving away my review copy!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for Miranda for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End November 28, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Oct 022014
 

xsXs:
An Allie Armington Mystery

Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Little Moose Press (January 15, 2007)
Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0978604912
E-Book File Size: 391 KB
ASIN: B003552TIS
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The trouble started with a call from her sister, a supermodel, in New York City. The next thing she knew, Allie Armington, young, bright, successful and slightly bored Texas attorney, was on a plane to the Big Apple. Beautiful women are showing up dead, neat X marks carved in their breasts with almost surgical precision. Chilling enough in the abstract, but made all too real when Allie’s sister’s roommate turns up among them. In a New York minute, Allie’s up to her eyeballs in an NYPD sting operation targeting mega-rich men hosting parties in a secluded castle on the exclusive Jersey shore.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This book was released several years ago but I found it when searching for an “X” book for my Alphabet Soup A – Z Challenge. I have not read the first book in the series so I had a little catching up to do on the characters.

Sisters Allie and Angela may not live close to each other at the moment but when Angela calls with an unusual request Allie comes running.  What happens next is really quite unbelievable but the author reeled me right in and I couldn’t put the book down. Deception, lies, drug, sex and they are all tied together and I can’t say more or I will give the whole thing away.

Definitely an adult read with adult situations. This story was not what I expected and would call it a very unique read. The situations are serious and suspenseful but the author also adds a bit of humor. There are several twists and I feel that by not reading Anacacho first I was a little perplexed at the conclusion.

A quick, fast, entertaining read to fulfill the spot in my challenge. I do need a book set in New Mexico for my Where Are You Reading? Challenge and Spa Deadly which appears to be the next book in this series takes place so I may have to give that book a try.

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Do you need an “X” book to complete your A – Z Challenge?

I am giving my copy away.

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End October 16, 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

*From my personal collection – received from Paperback Swap.

Aug 242014
 
undertaking irene large banner 640Today I am thrilled to host the stop for Undertaking Irene on
the Great Escapes Book Tour!

undertaking-ireneUndertaking Irene
(Jane Delaney Mysteries Book 1)

Cozy Mystery
Self Published
E-Book File Size: 821 KB
Print Length: 260 pages
ASIN: B00MD5VDNS
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Jane Delaney does things her paying customers can’t do, don’t want to do, don’t want to be seen doing, can’t bring themselves to do, and/or don’t want it to be known they’d paid someone to do. To dead people.

Life gets complicated for Jane and her Death Diva business when she’s hired to liberate a gaudy mermaid brooch from the corpse during a wake. Well, a girl’s got to make a living, and this assignment pays better than scattering ashes, placing flowers on graves, or bawling her eyes out as a hired mourner.

Unfortunately for Jane, someone else is just as eager to get his hands on that brooch, and he’s even sneakier than she is. Just when she thinks her biggest problem is grand theft mermaid, things take a murderous turn.

But hey, when you’ve teamed up with a neurotic seven-pound poodle named Sexy Beast, how can you go wrong?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

There are so many things I liked about this book. Quirky characters, an intriguing mystery, and snappy dialogue all drew me in to this story.

Jane Delaney is quite a character and she has a very interesting job. She is a Death Diva. I had heard of hiring mourners to cry at funerals but never a Death Diva. She has quite a vast array of services that she offers, like stealing a brooch off of a dead lady during the wake. She has one client that keeps her quite busy or has in the past. If you think these are unusual characters there are more, a “priest” who is very easy on the eyes, a concierge doctor named Jonah, Patrick O’Rourke, son of the deceased who happens to have a huge secret, his daughter, his wife and let’s not forget Sexy Beast, a tiny apricot poodle who needs a trip to a groomer and soon.

The mystery starts when Jane finds a dead body that is ruled as a death from natural causes, but Jane just can’t accept that and decides if the police are not going to investigate she will. The plot is full of twists and diversions. At times I wasn’t sure if  it was really a murder or not, but Jane kept digging and then the chase was on to figure out just which suspect was guilty.

This was a quick read, told from Jane’s point of view, and I enjoyed very much! The author has laid a firm foundation for the series to unfold. I look forward to the next  job Jane undertakes!

just you and a friend

4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

pam-burford

About This Author

Pamela Burford is the best-selling author of 15 works of mystery, contemporary romance, and romantic suspense. She has received four RITA and Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award nominations and is a frequent speaker at writers’ conferences and workshops. Her books have sold millions of copies, received outstanding reviews, and been translated into more than a dozen languages. Pamela is the founder and past president of Long Island Romance Writers, a chapter of Romance Writers of America. Fun fact: her twin sister Patricia Ryan, a.k.a. P.B. Ryan, is also a published novelist

Author Links

http://www.pamelaburford.com

http://www.facebook.com/pamelaburford

https://twitter.com/PamelaBurford

https://www.goodreads.com/PamelaBurford

http://pinterest.com/pamelaburford

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Be sure to check out the rest of the tour!!
Tour Participants

August 18 – readalot blog - Review
August 19 – Cozy Up With Kathy - Interview
August 20 – Queen of All She Reads - Review
August 21 – Kelly P’s Blog – Interview
August 22 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review
August 23 – Mystery Playground – Interview
August 24 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review
August 25 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – Interview
August 26 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review
August 27 – rantin’ ravin’ and reading – Review
August 28 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – Interview
August 29 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Interview
August 30 – deal sharing aunt – Spotlight
August 31 – Dalene’s Book Reviews – Review

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 062014
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

It is  such a pleasure to welcome Elizabeth Lynn Casey back to Escape With Dollycas!!

laura_new_400x400Who Invited Who?
By Elizabeth Lynn Casey, author of the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries

I never had an imaginary friend.

Yes, I played pretend as a kid, but there was always someone there– a baby doll to mother, a Barbie to shop with, or a Dawn doll (anyone remember those?) to inhabit the walls of my dollhouse. If I wanted to play school or Little House on the Prairie, or store, I roped my neighborhood friends to help play the various roles.

Yet, now that I’m a professional writer, I have imaginary friends—nine of them, to be exact. Each of them has a name, of course (all good imaginary friends must have a name, yes?) and they range in age from twenty-two to eighty-four. Tori, Rose, Margaret Louise, Leona, Dixie, Beatrice, Georgina, Melissa, and Debbie (a.k.a. my imaginary friends) all live in the fictional town of Sweet Briar, South Carolina.

TAKEN INFive years ago, I breathed life into these women via my computer—giving them personalities, physical characteristics, and backgrounds in the hopes of making the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries something readers would enjoy. These nine women (known, collectively, as the Sweet Briar Ladies Society Sewing Circle) have supported one another, fought with one another, challenged one another, and loved one another. In the beginning, I thought I was calling all the shots, but by the second book in the series, it became apparent I’m there simply to take dictation.

And boy what I ride it has been so far.

They’ve made me laugh.

They’ve made me cry (numerous times).

They’ve made me want to bang my head against a wall.

But no matter their moods, I’m proud to admit they’ve become my friends.

Each time I sit down to write the next book in the series, it’s like sitting down with old friends—the kind that are irreplaceable.

When I sat down to write Taken In (the 9th book in the series which was released yesterday), I was determined to finally have the upper hand with the Sweet Briar Crew. I figured the best way to do that would be to invite them into my world. So I brought them to New York to experience the excitement of the big city.

Bringing them here was easy, especially when Margaret Louise told me she wanted to be a guest on a daytime talk show (Taped with Melly and Kenneth). Margaret Louise also saw the trip as a chance to liven up Dixie’s life (with the help of Rose, and Beatrice). Leona, the self-proclaimed world traveler, was positively giddy at the notion of ditching her twin sister’s small town in favor of a few nights in a five-star hotel in the middle of Manhattan. Even Rose, the matriarch of the group, saw the trip as something special to do with her friends before her advancing age made traveling more difficult.

I’m sure you can see where this is going, right?

Once again, the Sweet Briar crew relegated me to dictation duty as they took over their own trip. They picked the places to see, the people to interact with, and even how much luggage each of them would bring.

The only thing I got to do was throw one of them in a Big Apple jail cell…

For murder.

~Elizabeth

About This Author

Elizabeth Lynn Casey is the national best-selling author of the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries (Berkley Prime Crime). The ninth title in the series—Taken In —is now available. To learn more about Elizabeth and the Southern Sewing Circle series, you can visit her website: www.elizabethlynncasey.com, “like” her on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Elizabeth-Lynn-Casey/286853572181, or follow her on Twitter @ElizabethLCasey.

TAKEN INTaken In
(Southern Sewing Circle Mystery)

9th in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (August 5, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Mary Ann Lasher
Cover Design by Judith Lagerman
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425257852
E-Book File Size: 2681 KB
ASIN: B00I3N5YRK
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When a trip to the Big Apple ends in murder, the sewing circle searches for a killer who’s rotten to the core. . .

Winning an appearance on a top-rated, New York based morning show means the trip of a lifetime for librarian Tori Sinclair and the Sweet Briar Ladies Society Sewing Circle. Anxious to experience Manhattan with her friends, Tori is less than excited when fellow member Dixie Dunn opts to use the vacation as an opportunity to rendezvous with a man she met online.

Still, Tori never imagined her friend would be taken in by a con man specializing in scamming vulnerable older women—or that Dixie would be arrested for his murder.

Now, as the sewing circle goes up against Gotham’s elite to prove Dixie’s innocence, they will have to unravel tangled secrets and alibis, patch together a mess of clues, and put a clever killer in the city’s hottest spotlight . . .

PATTERN AND SEWING TIPS INCLUDED

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The Sweet Briar Ladies Take New York as only they can!! Look out Kardashians!!!

This story was so much fun starting with the t.v. show  Taped With Melly and Kenneth that brought the friends to the big city. Maybe the author should sent a copy to Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan, they would probably get a kick out of it!!

I felt so sorry for Dixie being stuck in jail. But the rest did what they do best, and this time they had help from a new friend they met in the Big Apple. Together they tracked down the truth and the real culprit and I was completely taken aback as the clues panned out.

Elizabeth Lynn Casey takes on quite an adventure with our friends from Sweet Briar. There is never a dull moment when these ladies get together and New York barely intimated them at all. She has written an absolutely wonderful story. The locale may have changed but these characters bloom wherever they are planted. There are parts that are laugh out loud funny and others that will warm your heart.

The Ladies of the Sweet Briar Society Circle are quite a group.  They range in age from 22 – 84 and are each as different as can be. There is even one that doesn’t even sew!!  They don’t always see eye to eye, in fact there are times they don’t agree on anything,  but their friendship runs so deep. They are there for each other through anything life throws at them. Friendship like this rare, something to treasure. I am thrilled to be able to tag along with them through each of the stories in this series.

I hate it when these books end. I was completely Taken In by this story and I know you will be too!

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 Elizabeth 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 20, 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 302014
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!!

Today I am super excited to welcome Cleo Coyle to Escape With Dollycas!!

A Cozy Cup of Coffee by Cleo Coyle

Alice-Alfonsi-and-Marc-Cerasini-Cleo-Coyle-Central-Park-NYCLike my husband (and partner in crime-writing), I grew up in a small Western Pennsylvania town among a family of food-loving Italian Americans. Although Marc and I were raised in the same region, we didn’t meet until we finished college and moved to New York City. Here is where we fell in love and made our home.

Because we grew up outside NYC, we have a special relationship with the city. In some ways we’re tourists who never left. So when we want to get away from our daily grind, we do what 50 million other tourists do each year: We escape to New York!

Not only do we roam our resident city for fun, we explore it for research. Our readers may recognize many of our Coffeehouse Mystery settings below. So come with us now on our little tour of the Big Apple. We’ll start with…

Greenwich-Village-courtesy-Wiki-Commons.jpg

Greenwich-Village-courtesy-Wiki-Commons.jpg

GREENWICH VILLAGE

The winding lanes, secluded gardens, quaint cafés, and historically preserved townhouses make this neighborhood one of the most picturesque in the entire city, which is why we chose to give our amateur sleuth, Clare Cosi, a home here, above a century-old coffeehouse called the Village Blend.

As we all know, a cozy mystery series is typically set in a little village—and, in many ways, Greenwich Village is exactly that. Marc and I know first-hand what it’s like to live in the real NYC, among families and hard-working folks. Like residents of small towns, we New Yorkers become quite attached to our neighborhoods. We join community boards, walk our dogs, and throw block parties and street fairs. We also become friendly with—even depend upon—the people who run our local stores, restaurants, and libraries (again, just like residents in small towns).
What else makes our series cozy? The characters. In every book, our characters show love and support for each other. From our coffeehouse manager to her quirky band of baristas, the goodness of our cast is the light that shines through the darkest New York night.

Bryant Park Carousel courtesy Wiki Commons

Bryant Park Carousel courtesy Wiki Commons

BRYANT PARK

Of course, we can’t argue the fact that New York has seen many dark nights (and days), but nothing symbolizes its rebirth more than Bryant Park, a gorgeous public space located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, right behind the main branch of the majestic New York Public Library (a worthy destination in itself).
With its rows of London plane trees, Bryant Park is an urban paradise. Don’t miss the lovely hand-painted carousel. We used this very merry-go-round as a setting for murder in our 12th Coffeehouse Mystery, Holiday Buzz. And yes, we confess to staging a little mayhem at this location in our 3rd series entry, Latte Trouble.

Rock Center Photo courtesy Wiki Commons

Rock Center Photo courtesy Wiki Commons

ROCKEFELLER CENTER

Clare Cosi and her ex-husband, coffee hunter Matteo Allegro, taught their daughter to ice skate under the famous Golden Prometheus statue at Rockefeller Center. In Murder by Mocha, Clare discovers a crime victim at the Rock Center’s Loft and Garden, an incredible open, rooftop space high above Fifth Avenue, which features a spectacular view of the spires of St. Patrick’s Cathedral right next door.

Statue of Liberty Photo by Cleo Coyle

Statue of Liberty Photo by Cleo Coyle

THE STATUE OF LIBERTY

Lady Liberty is an awe-inspiring sight, whether you’re gazing at her grand visage from Battery Park in Lower Manhattan, the deck of the Staten Island Ferry—or the icy waters of New York Bay! When Clare Cosi is thrown into those frigid waters in Holiday Grind, she uses Miss Liberty as a mental lifeline. Lucky for Clare, a New York Fire Department boat comes to her rescue, which leads to complications in Roast Mortem, the book that follows.

 

High Line courtesy Wiki Commons

High Line courtesy Wiki Commons

THE HIGH LINE

The entire city is excited about the High Line. Once an eyesore, it began as an elevated railroad bridge abandoned to rust and graffiti. Now this mile-long walkway is a lovely green space on Manhattan’s West Side. Marc and I used it as a setting in our latest Coffeehouse Mystery, Billionaire Blend. The elevated park has even spurred a real estate boom around it, despite the fact that park goers can easily peer through nearby apartment windows. (Hmm…that gives us another idea. Remember Rear Window?)

Belvedere Castle by Alice Alfonsi (Cleo Coyle)

Belvedere Castle by Alice Alfonsi (Cleo Coyle)

BELVEDERE CASTLE, CENTRAL PARK

The Central Park Zoo, Shakespeare in the Park, and Strawberry Fields are famous. But lesser known attractions are just as charming. The Alice in Wonderland Statue, for example, is a whimsical delight; and Belvedere Castle, a fairy tale folly, crowns one of the highest points in Central Park. Below the castle you’ll find The Ramble, a tangled stretch of wild woodlands and twisty paths dotted with rustic stone arches, mossy tunnels, and ornate bridges. Part forest, part fairyland, the Ramble is an easy place to get happily lost, or set a crime scene, which is precisely what we do in our forthcoming Coffeehouse Mystery, Once Upon a Grind (December, 2014).

 And that concludes our tour!

Coffeehouse-Mystery-Checklist-PDF-CoverThank you all for coming and thanks especially to Dollycas for being such a kind travel agent.

SOUVENIR? If you’d like a memento of your New York tour, Marc and I have a free title checklist for you of all 13 of our Coffeehouse Mysteries in order, including brief story summaries. To download the free PDF, click here.

Friend Cleo on Facebook:www.Facebook.com/CleoCoyle

Cleo’s Newsletter: To sign up, simply write an email that says “sign me up” and send it to CoffeehouseMystery(at)gmail(dot)com. You’ll get a reply with a few past newsletters than include free recipes.

Visit Cleo online:www.coffeehousemystery.com

About This Author

CLEO COYLE is the pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini. Their latest Coffeehouse Mystery, Billionaire Blend, newly released in its paperback edition, earned a starred review from Kirkus and a “Top Pick” honor from RT Book Reviews. Their next Coffeehouse Mystery, Once Upon a Grind, will be released by Penguin in December 2014. When not haunting coffeehouses, hunting ghosts, or rescuing stray cats, Alice and Marc are New York Times bestselling media tie-in writers who have penned properties for NBC, Lucasfilm, Disney, Fox, Imagine, Marvel, and MGM. They not only write the bestselling Coffeehouse Mysteries but also the popular Haunted Bookshop Mysteries.

COFFEEHOUSE MYSTERY SERIES OFFICIAL BOOK TRAILER

Cleo Coyle’s Prize Package

Cleo-prize_GimmeCoffee_LatteCup(1) A personally inscribed copy of the brand new mass market edition of Billionaire Blend (cover included in the blog post e-mail).

(2) A set of glossy recipe cards with illustrated bonus recipes from Cleo.

Cleo-prize_LaughingMan_gourmet_coffee(3) A 16-ounce Gimme Coffee Latte Cup (made in Italy) and also great for enjoying soups and cereal.

(4) A freshly roasted package of gourmet coffee from the Laughing Man Coffee Company, co-founded by actor Hugh Jackman to help coffee farmers in the developing world (all profits to charity).

This wonderful company has a storefront not far from our very own fictional Village Blend. If anyone would like to learn more about Mr. Jackman’s coffee company, they can click this link: http://cleocoylebooks.wordpress.com/2013/11/06/travel-to-an-african-coffee-farm-with-wolverine/ -

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Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent