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

Jul 302014
 

billionaire-blend-cover
Billionaire Blend
(A Coffeehouse Mystery)

13th in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (August 5, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425255513
E-Book File Size: 1728 KB
ASIN: B009VMCDV2
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One of the best cozy mystery series continues with Billionaire Blend.

Has Clare met her match in this coffee loving millionaire, Eric Thorner? He has tested all her barista’s coffee knowledge and driven them crazy with his crazy coffee requests. As he was sparing with Clare about unusual coffee concoctions a car bomb explodes right in front of the coffeehouse nearly killing the coffee quiz master and injuring several others. With her shop out of commission Clare’s world turns upside down as Thorner takes her and her ex on a whirlwind tour to find the best coffee beans so she can make the most expensive coffee in the world. All the while Clare is wondering – Is this charming young CEO truly marked for termination? Or is he the one making a killing?

Her hunky detective boyfriend, Mike Quinn is not happy she is spending so much time with the techy CEO, but his assignment is Washington is keeping him away from New York right now. He knows she is going to get right in the middle of this investigation and there is nothing he can do about or can he??? He is going to make sure his friends on the NYPD do everything they can to keep Clare safe.

Includes a wealth of delicious recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This was a very entertaining read.

Coyle has a great crew of regular characters that readers have come to love more with each new story. In this installment she adds Eric Thorner, his sister, his business associates and his rival.

Clare and Matt get caught up in all the drama of Thorn Enterprises and realize that are also putting themselves in great danger. The author has brewed a very tight plot line that really captivated this reader.

The dialogue is smart and full of humor.

I love the way the city of New York is described especially the fancy restaurant Eric took Clare to for dinner. I felt like I was across the room taking in the whole experience. I also enjoyed a surprise destination Eric arranges for Clare too!

Yes, this is the 13th book in the series and I must admit I need to catch up on a couple of the ones I have missed but the author writes these stories in such a way that they can be read as stand alone. So if this is a new series to you or you have missed a book or two don’t fret, you will be engaged in this story very quickly. But then I just know you are going to want to read them all.

Oh and did I mention the recipes!!! They will grab you 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.

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

Contest Will End August 13, 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 242014
 

deadly assetsDeadly Assets
(An Allison Campbell Mystery)
(Volume 2)

Mystery
Henery Press (July 22, 2014)
Paperback: 296 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1940976211
E-Book File Size: 595 KB
ASIN: B00LWFWYGU
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

An eccentric Italian heiress from the Finger Lakes. An eighteen-year-old pop star from Scranton, Pennsylvania. Allison Campbell’s latest clients seem worlds apart in every respect, except one: Both women disappear on the same day. And Allison’s colleague Vaughn is the last to have seen each.

Allison’s search for a connection uncovers an intricate web of family secrets, corporate transgressions and an age-old rivalry that crosses continents. The closer Allison gets to the truth, the deadlier her quest becomes. All paths lead back to a sinister Finger Lakes estate and the suicide of a woman thirty years earlier. Allison soon realizes the lives of her clients and the safety of those closest to her aren’t the only things at stake.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Oh this one is so good!!!

Allison’s clients couldn’t be more different. When they both disappear on the same day and their only connection seems to be her company Allison jumps in with both feet to get to the truth.

Francesca hasn’t left her home in years but when her brother falls ill she has to take over the family business. She needs Allison’s help so that she can show the family and their shareholders she is up to the task.

Tammy has been chosen to be on a television singing show. She has a beautiful voice but Allison is hired by her “manager” to help with her social skills and in the fashion/hair makeover departments.

Allison knew she had her work cut out for her with both women but never thought they would just disappear without a trace.

Both of these women have families that go way beyond the normal eclectic/quirky levels. Wendy Tyson has created some of the best characters I have read lately. She has allowed Allison, Vaughn, Jason and Mia to grow since Killer Image, the first story in this series.

Tyson puts her characters in some very unexpected situations with some masterful twists. Allison does not let her fear of her own physical safety hold her back and at times I was so scared for her! You will not believe who she is taking on in her quest to find the truth!

This is one of those books where you sit down to read and hold on tight because you will stay up late reading until you reach the very end.

DYING BRAND, the 3rd book in this series comes out May 2015 and I can’t wait!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Check out Wendy’s webpage here to find out more about her and her books.

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.”

Jun 252014
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so excited to have Shelley visit today!!

ShelleyNoble FinalV3 copy

The Making of a Destination Town
By Shelley Freydont

I’m not really a knitter, or a crocheter, baker, or quilter. I make a decent cup of coffee, and I can throw a casserole together if company calls. I can manage a little bit of all these activities, but what I really am is a holidayer.

Give me a holiday and I’ll celebrate it, I’ll even knit, quilt, cook or scrapbook for it. But mainly I’ll enjoy it. With friends and strangers. With bells on.

So when I started my new series I decided it would be about holidays. Holidays and small town living. That way it could incorporate all those arts and crafts that I dabble in but rarely finish and my favorite kind of people, opinionated, energetic and fiercely loyal.

indepenndence slaysmall townAnd where could you find a better place to live than a town dedicated to the celebration of holidays? Celebration Bay is a destination town on the New York side of Lake Champlain. I decided on that location because it has snow in winter, I’m dreaming of that White Christmas, and water sports and parade weather for the Fourth of July. Can’t you smell the hot dogs and see the fireworks display over the lake?

Being a destination town, Celebration Bay has it all, the baker, the bookstore owner, the barista, the diner, a great little Italian cafe, a fabric store and a quilting club. And a big town square. All geared to making holidays fun and profitable.

Of course as with any town, Celebration Bay has its share of grinches and bah humbugs, but that just makes writing about it more fun.

flagsBut who could be the sleuth? An amateur in sleuthing but competent and industrious in her daily activities. The baker? The quilter? Someone who had lived in Celebration Bay all his or her life? Whose family had lived there for generations? That’s the kind of town it is. Proud of their history and their way of life.

Well, that would be fine, but what if the sleuth was an outsider? An outsider, an event planner from Manhattan, hired to coordinate the town’s holidays. Someone the town needs but doesn’t quite trust since, after all, she’s an outsider. And from New York City. Even the barista who has lived in town for twelve years is still considered a newcomer.

Holiday GazeboSo Celebration Bay become a town that welcomes throngs of tourists year round, but closes ranks and sticks together when the going gets rough, as it sometimes does in small towns, especially when there is a murder to solve.

And where is this town? Somewhere up north. Made up of pieces of my favorite real towns. With a pinch of imagination thrown in. And always celebrating something.

And so I created my mystery setting. I wouldn’t try to cook it or knit it, but writing it is lots of fun. Like having a holiday everyday.

~Shelley

To find out more about Shelley and her books visit her webpage here.

indepenndence slay
Independence Slay
(A Celebration Bay Mystery)

3rd Book in The Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (June 3, 2014)
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Art by Robert Crawford
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425252567
E-Book File Size: 2297 KB
ASIN: B00EOARZFU
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

On the Fourth of July, Old Glory is flying high in Celebration Bay—until someone raises a red flag…

With Independence Day fast approaching, Liv Montgomery is swamped coordinating one of the town’s biggest festivals. In addition to the traditional July fourth events, the town stages a spooky Revolutionary War reenactment that can’t be missed. Every year, the ghost of local war hero Henry Gallantine—played by his eccentric descendant of the same name—appears at the top of the family mansion, kicking off the night’s revelries.

But Henry’s annual cameo goes awry after the ghost signals SOS instead of his traditional cue. When Liv rushes to the rescue, she finds Henry missing and a real dead body instead of a fake haunt. Now she will have to hunt down both a murderer and a missing person quickly before unwanted political fireworks ignite and someone else winds up as local history…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

What a great story! Released at the perfect time of year. Celebration Bay plays a bit with the historical facts but they throw quite a party. If it wasn’t for that pesky murder the celebration would have been prefect.

Again Liv has her hands full pulling things together for this huge festival but she has Ted by her side and he knows all the details by rote. This festival has been going on for years and new event coordinator Liv just needs to add a few of her touches plus some additional security. But even with the top-notch security team A.K. has put together not every incident can be averted.

Shelley Freydont has created another great mystery and all of out favorite characters are back including Whiskey and his wonderful Ah-Roo-Roos. I thought I had the guilty party pegged but those darn twists stumped me again. Hildy was my favorite new character this time. Her cleaning skills may be waning but she is sharp as a tack and isn’t afraid to pull out her shotgun to protect her employer or his treasures. Chaz, the wayward journalist, also returns but he clearly isn’t himself and Liv tries her best to find out what is wrong. The interplay between these two is a real treat to read.

I have really enjoyed this entire series. I can’t wait to gather with the gang in Celebration Bay again soon!

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 Shelley 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 July 9, 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.”

Jun 242014
 

I am playing a little catch-up on this series because
Shelley Freydont is my guest tomorrow for Cozy Wednesday!!
Her new book Independence Slay was released this month!

silent knifeSilent Knife
(A Celebration Bay Mystery)

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (September 3, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Art by Robert Crawford
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
E-Book File Size: 833 KB
ASIN: B00BDQ3ASE
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Celebration Bay is full of yuletide cheer—
but it’s hard to remain festive when someone’s out to slay Santa.

It’s Liv Montgomery’s first Christmas out of Manhattan and in Celebration Bay. They’ve got a tree to rival Rockefeller Center’s, but this year’s holidays are turning out to be a disaster. As the small town’s event planner, Liv wants everything to be perfect. Unfortunately, the local Christmas shop has been replaced by the gaudy Trim a Tree—complete with tacky ornaments and a new replacement Santa who isn’t spreading any cheer.

At the town’s annual Celebration of Lights, Trim a Tree is the only shop left unlit. Liv, furious, goes to investigate, and discovers something even less festive—the store’s new Santa has been murdered. Small-town gossip begins to stir, and Liv must clear the name of the previous town Santa just in the nick of time before the real killer ruins Christmas.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I so enjoyed reading this snowy mystery while the temps outside were heading to the 80’s.

Celebration Bay sound like a fun place to live or just visit. The way the residents pull together to host all these different celebrations sounds like a lot of work but they sure sound like a good time. Picturing the town square and the businesses lit up with twinkling white lights was very easy. Liv Montgomery and her assistant Ted work together to be sure everything is coordinated perfectly. Ted  even has a little time to teach Liv’s pooch, Whiskey, to sing Jingle Bells. His Ah-Roo-Roo’s sound just like my border collies. They sing just as well as he does.

We are introduced to Hank, the only Santa allowed in Celebration Bay, so as to not confuse the children. Back are Chaz, the editor of the local newspaper that would rather be fishing, Sheriff Bill who just never seems to be investigating fast enough for Liz, Bebe, Liv’s best friend in town and owner of the coffee shop and Dolly from the bakery. I swear the town would screech to a stop if Liv and Ted didn’t have their muffins and coffee :)  We also get to meet the Thornsby’s, who quickly become a thorn in everyone’s side.

The author also created quite a mystery. She even tied a terrible time in my state of Wisconsin into the plot. The horrible Trim-A-Tree (TAT) is just where the story gets warmed up. Soon secrets are revealed that take the chill right out of the air and several people find themselves cooling their heals as the killer has them cornered. Talk about a twist.

A wonderful winter cozy that you can curl up with any time of the year.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Shelley Freydont and her books 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.”

 

 

 

May 242014
 

the pickled piperThe Pickled Piper
(Pickled and Preserved Mystery)

1st in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (May 6, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Chris O’Leary
Cover Design by Karen Oberrender
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425262450
E-Book File Size: 1645 KB
ASIN: B00FX7LVE4
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After her dreams of romance are crushed, Piper Lamb decides to pursue her dream of opening her own shop of pickles and preserves, called Piper’s Picklings, in the idyllic small town of Cloverdale. But she isn’t in town long before she encounters a barrelful of trouble…

The Cloverdale fair offers Piper a sweet opportunity to promote her business. With her new assistant, Amy, she sets up a booth centered around an eye-catching display of the ever-popular dills in an old-fashioned barrel of brine.

But things soon turn sour when fairgoers witness a fight between Amy’s boyfriend, Nate, and town council blowhard—and bagpipe player—Alan Rosemont. When Rosemont is found floating in Piper’s barrel, Nate becomes the prime murder suspect. With Amy’s boyfriend in a pretty pickle, there’s no time to dillydally. But as Piper searches for the real killer, she needs to be careful to preserve her own life…or she may end up a pickled Piper herself.

INCLUDES RECIPES

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am not much of a pickle eater but I remember going somewhere as a child that had a big pickle barrel at the end of the counter so I could easily picture Alan Rosemont stuck in Piper’s pickle barrel. What a way to die, just plain pickled. He wasn’t the most popular guy around town so Piper has her work cut out for her finding the real killer.

I really liked Piper. She is a strong woman that decided a change was definitely in order and had the guts to follow her dream.

Cloverdale seems like a wonderful small town and because of the fair the author was able to introduce readers to quite a few members of he community. I was really drawn to the friendship between Piper and Amy. Amy works part time for Piper and part time for a local restaurant. They worked on the canning and recipes together and were so in sync one could immediately pick up where the other left off.

I also enjoyed the relationship building between Piper and Will but I just know Scott, the former fiancee,  is going to throw a monkey wrench into it and put Piper into quite of a pickle.

Mary Ellen Hughes is off to a great start with her Pickled and Preserved Mysteries. I am excited for the next installment.

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 About This Author

Mary Ellen Hughes may live in Maryland today but she started out right here in Wisconsin!!! Find out more about Mary Ellen and her books here on her webpage.

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.

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

Contest Will End June 7, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

 

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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

Mar 182014
 

2nd helpingA Second Helping of Murder:
A Comfort Food Mystery

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
An Obsidian Mystery (April 1, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451415097
E-Book ASIN: B00F3KX112
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Trixie Matkowski is warming up to running her family’s diner in the small town of Sandy Harbor in upstate New York. But the only thing more demanding than serving up piping-hot comfort food twenty-four hours a day is getting to the bottom of a double homicide….

Trixie fondly remembers summers as a child spent visiting the shores of Lake Ontario. Not much has changed—there are still vinyl booths at the Silver Bullet Diner, families eating home-cooked comfort food, and days of swimming in the lake.

But before Trixie can say “Order’s up,” someone’s summer is abruptly cut short. One of the cottage residents is found dead, and Trixie suspects the crime might be linked to an unsolved disappearance in the picturesque town’s past.

As Trixie works with Deputy Ty Brisco to solve both mysteries, their shocking discoveries will shake up the small town. And when word gets out that she’s on the case, Trixie’s in trouble—after all, the murderer won’t spare her life just because she makes a killer corned beef sandwich….

Includes Delicious Home-Style Recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am so excited! I received an advance copy of this book and I quickly devoured it!!!

The Silver Bullet reminds me of my own past. My family ran a local diner type restaurant and all the lingo and comfort food brings back such wonderful memories. The camaraderie of the staff rings true to everything I saw growing up. We disagreed occasionally but always had each others back no matter what.

Trixie is trying so hard to make things work so she can keep up her payments to her aunt who has retired to Florida. Getting the housekeeping cabins ready for the tourist season has kept her handymen Clyde and Max quite busy. Plus she has decided to bring back the Saturday night dance tradition started by her aunt and uncle. Things are really looking up until she finds her first guest in Cabin #8 murdered.  Funny, that is the same cabin a girl who disappeared 25 years ago was staying in.

Wenger has plotted a fantastic mystery linking a cold case to a new one. She has also added some intriguing characters to the mix.  The Van Plank family is quite an interesting group. I really like new busboy/dishwasher/computer genius Ray. I am thrilled that Trixie hired him, looking past his little hacking episode. I hope to see much more of him in the future. Deputy Ty may just be the man to make Trixie forget about Deputy Doug which puts a big smile on this reader’s face.

I loved this story, awesome characters, a mystery that kept me guessing right to the end, fabulous food and a dance that featured a polka band!!! I know this is set in New York but this Wisconsin girl enjoyed this book from the first page to the last!! I think I will try that easy pulled pork recipe and impatiently wait for the next book in this wonderful series!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author

She worked in the criminal justice field for more years than she cares to remember! It seems like she was forever going to school while working full time, but in the end, received a dual master’s degree in Probation and Parole Studies and Sociology from Fordham University.

Unfortunately, the knowledge gained from way too many years in night school, didn’t prepare me for what she loves to do the most – writing romances and cozy mysteries.

Find out more on her Webpage 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.”

Mar 132014
 

MISSING YOUMissing You
dutton_small
Published by The Penguin Group
Release Date: March 18, 2014
Hardcover: 400 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0525953494
E-Book File Size: 1295 KB
ASIN: B00DMCPQUW
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From #1 New York Times bestselling author Harlan Coben, a heart-pounding thriller about the ties we have to our past…and the lies that bind us together.

It’s a profile, like all the others on the online dating site. But as NYPD Detective Kat Donovan focuses on the accompanying picture, she feels her whole world explode, as emotions she’s ignored for decades come crashing down on her. Staring back at her is her ex-fiancé Jeff, the man who shattered her heart—and who she hasn’t seen in 18 years.

Kat feels a spark, wondering if this might be the moment when past tragedies recede and a new world opens up to her. But when she reaches out to the man in the profile, her reawakened hope quickly darkens into suspicion and then terror as an unspeakable conspiracy comes to light, in which monsters prey upon the most vulnerable.

As the body count mounts and Kat’s hope for a second chance with Jeff grows more and more elusive, she is consumed by an investigation that challenges her feelings about everyone she ever loved—her former fiancé, her mother, and even her father, whose cruel murder so long ago has never been fully explained. With lives on the line, including her own, Kat must venture deeper into the darkness than she ever has before, and discover if she has the strength to survive what she finds there.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I know when I pick up a book written by Harlan Coben I will not be putting it down anytime soon. Missing You kept me up late into the night and the pages were flying. The John Waite song is still playing in my head.  You see it was Kat and Jeff’s special song and a very important clue.

Kat’s friend set her up with an online dating profile and it sets off a multitude of unexpected and unimaginable events. You will rethink you whole online life after reading this book.

The best thing about a Coben thriller in that his characters are so real and believable and the reader becomes invested in them very quickly. I love that our main character is female.  Within minutes we knew Kat was a strong woman but we also saw her vulnerable side. The fact the Kat is NYPD Detective with an analytical mind used to tracking down facts grips the reader as we follow the clues right along with her. The fact that is her life that is danger had my heart racing during this whole adventure.

The supporting cast is just as fully developed as the main character. From Kat’s friend Stacy, to the homeless man, Aqua, and even the psychopath and his henchman, these characters jump right off the pages.

There are many layers in this story and the clues are expertly interwoven throughout. Coben is one of those writers that sets his chapter breaks like a master, each a mini cliffhanger so you can’t stop reading even if you want to, leading to a very fast pace.

I believe I have read all of Harlan Coben’s books. I started with his Myron Bolitar series, books I picked up because I thought my husband  would like them. Since then I anxiously await each new story. And each time I reach the end the first word out my mouth is WOW!!! He is a fantastic writer and anyone would loves mystery/suspense/ thriller books with love his stories. Just be prepared, fix yourself a snack and a big glass of your favorite beverage, turn off the television and your phone, don’t plan anything because once you start reading you are not going to stop.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 Visit Harlan Coben’s Author Page at Penguin to find out more about him and his books
or at 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.”

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