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.”

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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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Dec 212013
 

great escape tour banner large sketcher in the rye640

sketcher in the rye

Sketcher in the Rye:
(A Portrait of Crime Mystery)

4th in Series
InterMix (December 17, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
E-Book Only
ASIN: B00AVA4NH0

In her new job as a private eye, former police sketch artist Rory McCain has a spirited partner: Old West marshal Zeke Drummond. He may be a ghost, but when these two combine their skills, they reap justice…

Rory and Zeke take on a case for Gil Harper of Harper Farms. It seems his future plans for events and general business decisions are being leaked to his biggest competitor. There have also been a few instances of sabotage and Gil wants Rory to undercover the culprit responsible before someone gets hurt. Because it is a family business no one is off limits, even his own wife.

Before Rory can even get started on her investigation she finds the body of the company accountant in the Harper Farms Corn Maze. So now the sketching sleuth has another crime to solve.  Rory uses her contacts at the medical examiner’s office and local law enforcement to try to “assist” them catch the killer before anyone else is found dead among the corn stalks.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
I love the way Sharon Pape writes and she also gives us more than one mystery to solve.

In each installment we learn a little more about Marshall Zeke and this time it was pretty significant. Sharon takes us back in time and ties it to the present seamlessly. There are also those little touches – figures of speech or words Zeke is just not totally familiar with – “it must be of those sidekick things” sidekick – psychic – these just crack me up.

The characters are all terrific – Zeke and Rory of course, but Eloise, Olga, Aunt Helene, Hobo and I hope Aaron sticks around. Hobo is quite a dog and has stolen my heart as well as Rory’s. I am going to have to see what my dog’s think of whipped cream, it is a treat Hobo loves. But I will be keeping my dogs away from any piglets, I don’t think I could handle the “piglet/puppy love” :)

I do have to say the way the main mystery played out was very surprising. It did bring a few tears to my eyes but I don’t wait to spoil anyone’s enjoyment by telling too much. 

This is a fantastic story as is the whole series. I highly recommend starting at the beginning to see how the sketch artist and the Marshall came together.  

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Sharon and her books here.

Check out the rest of the tour for more reviews, guest posts, interviews and giveaways!!!

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

December 11 – Chloe Gets A Clue - Interview
December 12 – readalot blog – Review
December 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview
December 14 – Melina’s Book Blog - Review, Guest Post
December 15 – Christa Reads and Writes – Review
December 16 – Books-n-Kisses – Review
December 17 – Socrates Book Review Blog/Socrates Cozy Cafe – Review – Giveaway
December 17 – Mochas, Mysteries and More – Interview – Giveaway
December 18 – A Chick Who Reads – Review
December 19 – rantin’ ravin’ and reading – Review, Guest Post  – Giveaway
December 20 – Queen of All She Reads - Review, Guest Post – Giveaway
December 21 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review
December 22 - My Devotional Thoughts  – Review, Guest Post  – Giveaway
December 23 – Thoughts in Progress – Review – Giveaway
December 23 – Dru’s Book Musings – Guest Post

Still need to sign up to be a Tour Host so that emails about new tours can be sent right to your inbox?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

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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Oct 172013
 

leasding man
Leading Man (Vintage Contemporaries Original)
Vintage Books (September 3, 2013)
A Division of Random House, Inc.
Contempoary Fiction
Paperback: 240 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0307949615
E-Book File Size: 1196 KB
ASIN: B00A5MRDVC
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Life is sweet.

Max is living the dream. His high school sweetheart Samantha is an aspiring actress. He is working for a prestigious national magazine. They are living together in an apartment in the West Village.

Then Samantha is swept off her feet by another actor, Johnny Mars, who Max idolizes himself. His Jack Montana movies are some of Max’s favorites.

Max spends years trying to win Samantha back only she doesn’t know it. He is working in the glamorous world Samantha left him for interviewing A List actors trying to make himself so important she’ll leave Johnny and come back to him. Will it work?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This is a true coming of age story, but I really had a hard time with the fact that a seemingly very intelligent man just couldn’t get on with his life when his high school girlfriend moved on with hers. I know first loves always hold a place in our heart but this was just a little hard for me to swallow.

It is well written in that much of the back story was very interesting. The jetting around the world to movie sets and interviewing the actors, but the main character Max was lost to me in this story. I pitied him, I was not rooting for him. The cover say this story was funny and they may have been a couple of moments of humor I wouldn’t call it funny.

I like a main character that even when the chips are down you see them rally. Life is not all rainbows and happy endings but it is what you make of it and frankly Max did have a fabulous job and couldn’t have evolved and grew but he just fell flat on these pages. The book gets better near the end and there is a twist the changed my feelings about Max just a tad but not enough to give this book more than 3 stars.

still at the beach but not as tranquil

3 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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

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Sep 262013
 

09242013
The Double Wedding Ring:
A Someday Quilts Mystery Featuring Nell Fitzgerald

5th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Plume (September 24, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0452298798
E-Book File Size: 819 KB
ASIN: B00C5R757M
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It’s murder before marriage in book five of the Someday Quilts series…

Nell’s future is on her mind, and it looks as though the pieces are coming together like a perfectly made quilt. Her relationship with police chief Jesse Dewalt is heating up, she’s thinking of starting her own business, and Grandma Eleanor, is about to get hitched. But just as the future seems sewn up, Jesse’s former NYPD partner turns up–dead. Nell has to scramble to keep the wedding on track, her relationship from falling apart, and herself from being the target of a stranger with a secret.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
After two novellas to get us Someday Quilt Series fans back in the groove, Clare O’Donohue is back with a full length mystery and I am thrilled. I am so happy to return to Archer’s Rest, New York and my quilting friends.

Eleanor is getting married and that means her friends are planning a wedding quilt and a shower plus Nell is helping with all the wedding details.  Nell’s parents even come home but not for the reasons you may think.  Jessie is having a hard time dealing with his old partner’s death but he is also hiding something. Jessie tells Nell to stay out of the investigation but she just can’t.

Again we are drawn right into the story. Ducking bullets, shivering from the cold, and enjoying that wonderful smell and feel of new fabric. It really makes me miss being able to sew and quilt.

I am so impressed with the way I feel when reading these stories. They touch my heart but also test my mind as I follow the clues. Big changes are coming to Someday Quilts as Eleanor takes this big step.  I have to say I am a little concerned but trust Clare O’Donohue to keep bringing me the stories I love! This will be just another twist!!

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To Find Out More About This Wonderful Author Visit Her 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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Sep 042013
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome To Cozy Wednesday!!

I am super excited to welcome Victoria Hamilton here today!!

Cozy Is As Cozy Does
by Victoria Hamilton

 

VictoriaHamilton-WebWhen I started writing mysteries I wasn’t really aware of sub-genres. I wrote what I wanted to write, disregarding what I considered arbitrary rules.

And I couldn’t get published to save my life.

I happened upon a great agent who, just before she went on hiatus from accepting any more proposals for a matter of months, gave me some tips, the most important of which was to read some of the cozies she represented. It was the best advice I’ve ever gotten. I ‘got’ it after reading a few.

BranNewDeathcover mediumHere are my conclusions:

- Cozies don’t focus on the guts and gore of the murder itself, thought the body may be examined and the death may be gruesome.

- Cozies may, but do not have to, focus on the protagonist (the main character) and the complicating factors in his or her life.

- Cozies may have elements of suspense and action, but these must not overwhelm the working-out of the puzzle by the protagonist.

And that’s about it. I don’t believe that writing in the cozy genre necessarily means you cannot have a sexually active main character, nor does it have anything to do with race, religion or sexual orientation.

But not everyone agrees with me. I had one ‘reviewer’ on Amazon give my book A Deadly Grind one star because he/she said, and I quote: “I like my cozy mysteries to be a true definition of cozy. I felt that having Homosexual characters was not necessary to the plot. Did the author really intend for it to be in there or is the editor trying to push an agenda? If homosexuality is going to be in a book, shouldn’t it be under “Gay/Lesbian” and not “Mystery”?”

So… disregarding that she was factually incorrect about A Deadly Grind, and the crack about an editor pushing an agenda (something that has never happened to me), what about her ‘true definition of cozy’ remark? Is there a true definition of a cozy?

If you asked a hundred cozy readers, you’d probably come up with a wide range of opinion as to what is a ‘true’ cozy, and maybe that’s the way it should be. Some say that a police detective or officer should not be the main character, but Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache mysteries are considered cozy by most. Some, like the quoted ‘reviewer’, feel that there shouldn’t be any gay characters in a cozy mystery, but what, then, do you say about Monica Ferris’s Needlecraft Mysteries and her protagonist’s needlework shop employee, Godwin?

I say it’s individual. Your cozy is not necessarily the next reader’s cozy. Of course there are parameters and conventions, but rules were made to be bent, and the guidelines are malleable. I like stretching them a bit, and I enjoy reading mysteries that will not be bound by the rules. But I think we’re each allowed to make up our own guidelines and decide what cozy is for us.

What about you? As a reader, do you have any guidelines as to what YOU think a cozy is or should be?

~::~

BranNewDeathcover medium
Bran New Death
(A Merry Muffin Mystery)

BRAND NEW SERIES
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (September 3, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Ben Perini
Cover Design by Lerley Worrell
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425258835
E-Book File Size: 1071 KB
ASIN: B00BDQ39E4

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When Merry Wynter discovered that she inherited a genuine American Castle in the ‘wilds’ of upstate New York, her first reaction was to contact a real estate agent to sell it, sight unseen. Things were a little complicated, what with a lunatic employer making her life miserable. But after losing her job and with the castle not sold, Merry decides to trek to Wynter Castle to see what the problem is.

One barrier to selling is immediately evident; someone is digging giant holes on the property! Merry accuses local Tom Turner of being her late night gopher and warns him to stay off her property, or else, but it happens again. Merry storms out to confront whomever is doing the damage, but doesn’t count on finding a dead man at the bottom of the hole.

What is going on at Wynter Castle and in Autumn Vale? How can Merry convince hunky sheriff Virgil Grace that she is not the one who bashed the victim over the head?

Dollycas’s Thoughts
When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. Or in Merry Wynter’s case if life gives you questions you make muffins while you try to find the answers.

She has not recovered from her husband’s death, she has lost her job, and she has inherited A CASTLE!! A castle that needs a lot of work before it will be ready for sale. Plus Autumn Vale is not your normal small town.  Just a couple of people welcome Merry, she gets an icy reception from most of the residents. Then she find one of them dead on her property.

Victoria Hamilton has written an extraordinary story featuring some very eccentric characters in some unique situations. This story twists more than Chubby Checker.  These characters all have so much depth and we learn so much about them in this series debut but I feel like we are just starting to scratch the surface to their stories. Plus in addition main mystery there are many subplots intertwined and the story flows effortlessly. The reader is drawn right into Autumn Vale and into this wonderful castle and into all the drama that ensues.

I want to visit this castle. It sounds like a place I would love. If Merry is baking I will probably never want to leave. Plus is sounds like in Autumn Vale you never what is going to happen next.

~There are yummy recipes included too!

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Victoria Hamilton, nationally bestselling author of the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series, is the pseudonym of Donna Lea Simpson, bestselling author of romance and historical mystery novels.

Victoria starting reading mystery novels at the age of 12 and devoured Agatha Christie mysteries, as well as those of Dorothy L. Sayers and Ngaio Marsh. She still adores mysteries, especially the cozy mysteries of Janet Bolin, Krista Davis, and others.

She loves to cook, and collects teapots and teacups, as well as vintage kitchen utensils and bowls. She also enjoys crafts, especially cross-stitching and crocheting, and spends summer days in the garden, drinking tea or wine. Besides the Merry Muffin Mystery series (Bran New Death – September 3rd) Victoria writes two other mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime, the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series (Book 3, Freezer I’ll Shoot debuts November 5th) and the Teapot Collector Mystery series which debuts with Tempest in a Teapot, out June 3rd, 2014.

Author Links:

Victoria Hamilton Mysteries

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/AuthorVictoriaHamilton

Merry Muffin Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/MerrysMuffinsMysterySeries

Twitter: @MysteryVictoria

 

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 Victoria for 5 Bonus Entries !

What about you? As a reader, do you have any guidelines as to what YOU think a cozy is or should be?

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

Contest Will End September 18, 2013 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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

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Aug 172013
 

cover34129-mediumStreak of Lightning:
A Penguin Special from Plume  (July 30, 2013)
(A Someday Quilts Mystery)

E-Book File Size: 946 KB
ASIN: B00938YEES
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A stand alone story for mystery fans that will also tide over series fans over until O’Donohue’s next novel, The Double Wedding Ring, this October.

Nell and Jesse are finally taking some time off to celebrate New Year’s in the Big Apple. They really need a romantic weekend away. Nothing is going to ruin their plans. BUT before they even get off the train in New York City they are called back to Archer’s Rest.

A man in jail for disorderly conduct has been found dead in his cell. Jesse had left his most trustworthy deputy in charge. This freak event sets the town abuzz like a streak of lightning. He has no choice but to go back and find out what the heck happened!

Dollycas’s Thoughts
A wonderful short story to bridge the gap between full length novels. These are great characters and the story has a very interesting twist which I loved.

Add this one to your e-reader today and head to the beach. A fun, quick read even those not familiar with the series will enjoy! Fans of the series will be counting the days until The Double Wedding Ring hits shelves. Amazon says September 24!!

just you and a friend
4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To Find Out More About Clare Visit Her Website http://clareodonohue.com

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

readalattechallenge_zps01d248d02013EbookChallenge

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Jun 252013
 

A DIET TO DIE FOR
A Diet to Die For:
A Skinny Mystery

Brand New Series
Cozy Mystery
Pocket Books (June 25, 2013)
A Division of Simon & Schuster
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1451684681
E-Book File Size: 964 KB
ASIN: B008J4ROWQ

Does this murder make my butt look big?

Meet Jen Stevens—a hungry New York City event planner who’s 31 years old, 30 pounds overweight, and flirting with disaster when it comes to sticking to her diet. Working for the food-centric Yummy Channel, it’s hard to resist temptation. But when there’s a crime for Jen to solve, it’s easy as pie. . . .

Baker extraordinaire Bess Brantwood is one of the Yummy Channel’s brightest stars—and biggest divas. Despite the off-camera drama, Jen has to admit that Bess’s chocolate buttercream cupcakes drizzled with caramel are simply to die for—and kill for, as it turns out—when Bess’s body, like a baked good gone bad, is discovered . . . in a Dumpster.

Who iced the cupcake queen? Jen is determined to find out. With the help of her BFFs—fab foodblogger Gabby and lively life coach Elizabeth—she starts sifting for clues. She’s got all the ingredients to solve the perfect crime, including one delectable detective, one divalicious diary, and enough industry rivals for a battle of the network stars. But is Jen prepared to risk her life as well as her waistline? No matter how you slice it, revenge is sweet—and loaded with carbs.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
A girl after my own heart. Yes, I love the foods that are bad for me, and have walked the same path as Jen, but I have never ended up in the middle of a murder investigation.

Steding has created extraordinary characters and let readers get to know them while leaving plenty of room for growth. I love Jen.  The true friendship she has Gabby and Elizabeth just shines, even a bump or two in the road. My favorite character was “Officer Hazel Eyes”. He just kept popping up everywhere Jen went and hopefully that will continue in the next installment.

She also created a great whodunit. It was easy to identify the method of murder but the suspects all had motive and opportunity for icing the Yummy Channel diva. The killer could have been any one of them.

The story is a very entertaining read, definitely written by someone who has to have lived through the diet cycle a time or two. She is able to tell give us a clever mystery, sprinkled liberally with humor and just a touch of romantic tension.

I am looking forward to the next Skinny Mystery!

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author
Sarah Steding has cut carbs, calories, white foods, yellow foods, packaged foods, and fatty foods (not all at the same time, or any for more than a few well-intentioned days). She’s tried grapefruit, cayenne-spiced lemonade, macrobiotics, and even gummy bears. While crusading against thunder thighs, she has developed quite a sense of humor about the whole ordeal. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with three little boys and a husband who has learned to say she looks quite slender in those jeans.

 

A DIET TO DIE FOR

Low-carb Chocolate Mousse

2 tbsp cold water
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
4 tbsp boiling water
1 cup granulated zero-calorie sugar substitute-try Truvia
1/2 cup unsweetened powdered cocoa
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp whipped cream

Servings: 4

Total carbs for serving: 7.3 grams

sarah steding recipe

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

Thanks to the people at Pocket Books
I have 2 copies to giveaway!!

My Advance Review Copy and 1 Brand New Paperback!!!

U.S. and CANADIAN RESIDENTS
You must be a follower of this blog to enter. 

2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page

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

Contest Will End July 9, 2013 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

 

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

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May 172013
 

A Case of Redemption

A Case of Redemption
Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Gallery Books (May 14, 2013)
A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1451674798
E-Book File Size: 652 KB
ASIN: B008J2B29O

Dan Sorenson was a high profile attorney at a big New York firm spending 12-16 hours a day working. Then the unthinkable happened. His wife and daughter were killed in a horrifying auto accident.  He quits the law firm and spends 18 months wallowing in his grief. Drinking so much that he blacks out and forgets hours of time.

At a party he meets someone who can give him the opportunity of a lifetime, a way to start over, but first he has to have them explain the whole idea again as he barely remembers the meeting.

An up and coming rapper has been accused of killing his pop star “girlfriend”. He swears he is innocent but the press has the story on every front page  so defending him will be an upward climb. He is not sure he is ready just a huge case. He also realizes this could be his last chance to get his life back on track. In a way he needs this client as much as his client needs him.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Oh this story is like a ride on a tilt-o-whirl. Full of twists and spins and plenty of excitement.

I love the way Mitzner creates characters readers will love even the ones we love to hate. Defending L.D. takes over Sorenson’s life. Nina was the calming influence he needed. J. D. has a past that has to be clarified and clarified again. The prosecuting attorney was a strong woman just doing her job. The trial judge adds a little humor to the story.

Told from Sorenson’s point of view readers have the “you are there” feeling.  The story builds and builds at a perfect pace leading up to the trial but I can’t tell you more you have to read it for yourself. Just know the pages will be flying.

Fans of Grisham and Turow will love Mitzner. With just two books out he is definitely an author to watch. I can’t wait until his next book. Will Dan Sorenson pop up again? I sure hope so!!

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

adam-mitznerAbout This Author

Adam Mitzner, a lawyer by day, is the author of A Case of Redemption, and A Conflict of Interest, one of Suspense Magazine’s Best Books of 2011. He lives in New York City.

To learn more check out his webpage here.

Follow him on:

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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.”

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Apr 032013
 

cozy wednesdayWelcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so excited to welcome Chrystle here today.  Her books pack a punch with clever mysteries and so much information about Natural Remedies. Check out her post, then brew yourself a cup of tea and escape into a cozy mystery!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATHE JOYS OF DRINKING TEA AND READING COZY MYSTERIES

By Chrystle Fiedler

Nothing warms the body and soul like holding a fragrant steaming cup of herbal tea, inhaling its subtle scents as you slowly sip, while you enter the world of a cozy mystery. Not only does tea bring you flavor, variety, and easily digested nutrients, it also provides numerous health benefits from soothing a sore throat with fennel to easing anxiety and stress with chamomile. Making herbal tea is a unique way to use the benefits of aromatherapy, the theme of my latest cozy Scent to Kill: A Natural Remedies Mystery.

I like to brew a nice cup of tea in the late afternoon, what the Brits call “tea time” and drink it as I am writing my cozy mysteries. Use this guide to make the perfect cup of tea the next time you’re planning on reading one!
Here’s how:

iStock_000004128612XSmallMaking the Perfect Cup of Tea

Herbal tea is an infusion of leaves, seeds, roots or bark, whose goodness is extracted in hot water and sipped for its benefits, both mental and physical. To begin, use pure water, distilled, spring filtered, or well water. Use one heaping teaspoon of dry herbs per cup of hot water. Dried herbs available in loose bulk form are often less expensive and offer a wider variety of flavors. Health food stores offer muslin tea bags and tea balls, which can be filled with herbs and used to steep to make herbal tea.
You can also try using a conventional teapot. Here’s how:

Teapot Method

Fill a china or porcelain tea pot with hot water and allow it to stand for a minute or so. This warms the pot so that the tea you pour into it will not cool down quickly because of a cold pot and impede the steeping process.
Then pour off the water, add loose herbs (1 heaping teaspoon for each cup plus one extra one ‘for the pot’) and fill the pot with boiling water. Cover and allow the herbs and water to steep for ten to fifteen minutes. This also allows the herbs to cool to a comfortable drinking temperature. To serve the tea, simply hold a strainer over each cup as you pour.

The Infusion Method

The Infusion method is ideal for herbal leaves, flowers and seeds and even roots (such as ginger, osha, and valerian) that have delicate essential oils that would be diminished if boiled. The best way to prepare this type of tea is to lightly bruise seeds with a mortar and pestle to help release their flavor and properties.

Next, simply boil a cup of water and remove it from the heat. Add one heaping teaspoon of herb, cover (to prevent the delicate essential oils from
evaporating) and allow it to steep for ten to twenty minutes.

Scent to kill (2)French Press

A French press is a glass pot, a gadget beloved by coffee drinkers, but works great for herbal tea. Simply add the herb to the press, cover with hot water and allow it to steep for ten minutes. The press automatically strains out the herbs, and you can give it a squeeze to further release therapeutic value.

Sun Tea

Sun teas work best with leaves and flowers. Add one cup of herb or herb mixture or twelve tea bags and allow the herbs to sit in sunlight for four to six hours. Cover the jar to prevent leaves from blowing into the jar.
Strain before drinking.

Cold Water Infusion

Cold water infusions retain more vitamin C, and a brighter color than hot infusions. Fill a glass pitcher with fresh picked herbs from the list below and cover with spring water. Allow to steep in the refrigerator for several hours (8-12) or overnight.

death dropsThese herbs are good choices for cold infusion:

Bee Balm
Catnip
Lavender
Lilac
Lemon Balm
Lemon Verbena
Anise
Hyssop
Peppermint
Rooibos
Rose
Rosemary
Spearmint

Add Flavor to Your Tea

Make your tea even more flavorful by adding a touch of honey, agave nectar, apple juice, maple syrup, raw sugar, cinnamon extract, a squeeze of fresh lemon, lime or orange. I like to add Truvia which is a kind of stevia. You can keep tea up to four days in the refrigerator.

Types of Tea You Might Like to Try:

Chamomile tea is a soothing and sedative herb that’s effective at relieving stress and anxiety and easing insomnia. Valerian tea also helps you to relax.

Ginger tea soothes tummy and digestive troubles like nausea and an upset stomach.

Milk Thistle tea is a gentle liver cleanser that helps this important organ to regenerate and work more efficiently.

Lemon Balm tea can help you see the glass half-full so it’s good for the winter blues. It can also help you concentrate better.

Rosehip tea is bursting with Vitamin C, so it’s good for your immune system and can help to ward off colds and flu. Green tea is also packed with polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that helps boost health.

~Chrystle

About This Author

Chrystle Fiedler is the author of Scent to Kill: A Natural Remedies Mystery, (Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster) the second in the NATURAL REMEDIES MYSTERY series, Death Drops: A Natural Remedies Mystery, the non-fiction title THE The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Natural Remedies (Alpha, 2009), co-author of Beat Sugar Addiction Now!: The Cutting-Edge Program That Cures Your Type of Sugar Addiction and Puts You on the Road to Feeling Great – and Losing Weight!(Fairwinds Press, 2010), currently in its fourth printing, the Beat Sugar Addiction Now! Cookbook: Recipes That Cure Your Type of Sugar Addiction and Help You Lose Weight and Feel Great!The Country Almanac of Home Remedies: Time-Tested & Almost Forgotten Wisdom for Treating Hundreds of Common Ailments, Aches & Pains Quickly and Naturally (Fairwinds, 2011). Chrystle’s magazine articles featuring natural remedies have appeared in many national publications including Natural Health, Vegetarian Times, Better Homes & Gardens and Remedy. Visit www.chrystlefiedler.com.

Scent to kill (2)

Scent to Kill:
A Natural Remedies Mystery

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Gallery Books(February 26, 2013)
A Division of Simon & Schuster Inc.
Trade Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1451643619
E-Book File Size: 968 KB
ASIN: B008J4RPRK

Scent to Kill (A Natural Remedies Mystery #2)

Willow McQuade, naturopathic doctor, along with her hunky ex-cop boyfriend Jackson Spade, attend a party for a psychic TV show that is filming on Long Island’s idyllic East End. However, Willow is much more interested in visiting the estate’s lavender farm, seeking inspiration for the new aromatherapy workshops she’ll be holding at her store, Nature’s Way Market & Café.

Before the party is over, Roger Bixby one of the producers is dead and the police suspect murder. Roger was working on the show, MJ’s Mind, with Carly Bixby, his ex-wife and the new girlfriend of Willow’s ex from L.A., TV writer/producer Simon Lewis.

After Willow leaves the party, she gets a frantic text from Simon asking for her help. Since Simon had a fight with Roger earlier in the evening, and because of his death is now the primary shareholder in Galaxy films, Willow’s ex becomes the prime suspect. Simon begs her to crack the case and clear him of the murder. MJ McClellan, the psychic and star of the show also asks Willow for help. She hires Willow to provide natural remedies, including aromatherapy, massage, acupuncture and yoga to soothe the agitated crew of her show.

To find the killer, Willow has to deal with ghosts in a haunted mansion, a truly dysfunctional family, death threats and “accidents,” while trying to untangle a homicide identical to one committed during prohibition.

Thankfully, Jackson has been hired to provide security and is there to watch her back and help Willow solve this spooky mystery. As a bonus, you’ll find dozens of natural aromatherapy cures throughout the book that can improve your health in mind, body and spirit!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I was fortunate to be able to read the two book back to back and really enjoyed both.

Scent to Kill focuses on aromatherapy and essential oils and I could almost smell the lavender fields while reading. As soon as I finished the book I went online to check out diffusers and oils.

Willow McQuade uses her knowledge of herbal remedies to put herself right in the middle of the action. Helping the crew through the stresses of their jobs and the added stress of knowing there may be a murderer among them. She also keeps the door open to a more supernatural solution that could solve this murder and those that took place decades earlier. She and retired cop Jackson Spade make a great team. Their romance is also growing at a perfect pace.

Strong characters and setting made this a fun whodunit.  The ghosts  and the spooky mansion really added great elements to the story.

I can’t wait for my next trip to Nature’ s Way.  I will need an appointment with both Hector and Allie. I once had a doctor tell me to do yoga for my back pain. Maybe Nick can explain how someone like me, paralyzed on one side could do yoga :) while I enjoy the nice healthy smoothie. I am sure the author will have a wonderful mystery to solve too!

just you and a friend

4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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

There are two copies available plus 1 lucky winner
will receive a copy of Death Drops: A Natural Remedies Mystery.

To win a copy of Scent to Kill: A Natural Remedies Mystery directly from the author
just leave a comment telling Chrystle your favorite cup of tea!
The winner will be randomly selected from the comments.

To win my review copy of both books
fill out the entry form. (Link Below)

U.S. and CANADIAN RESIDENTS
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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 April 17, 2013 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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