Jan 252017
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so happy to have Kristi Abbott visit with us today!

kristi abbott from FBGuest Post by Kristi Abbott
(Post provided by publicist)

There was a time in my life when I had a terrific memory. I mean, seriously terrific. I could quote poems, rattle off telephone numbers, remember what day I was supposed to go to the dentist, and was never at a loss for a name to go with a face.

I don’t remember precisely when it changed (ha!). Some time in my thirties, I think. That was when I started carrying a purse-sized calendar into which I’d write notes, clip party invites for the kids, and jot down flight information. Now of course all that is on my phone and/or my computer calendar. None of this, however, prepared me for writing a series.

There’s so much to keep track of! Names, places, relationships, hair colors, town history, streets, ages, cars! It’s hard enough for me to keep track of all of them in a stand alone book, but to remember them over the course of several books? As Tony Soprano would say, “Fuhgeddaboudit.” I know other people have more complicated series than I do. Heck. I’ve had a more complicated series than this one where I had to keep up with whatever rules I was making up for a paranormal world on top of all those names and places and appearances. Still, it’s been a challenge!

I’ve heard other authors talk about keeping a “series bible.” I really like the idea. First of all, it makes it all sound so important. I mean, a bible! Wow! Second, it would be nice to have something to flip through when I needed to remember one of those little details that are so easy to forget. What street is her friend’s house on? Did that guy have brown hair or gray? When was the lighthouse constructed?

That would require me to actually keep track of those details and, this might sound nuts in the middle of a blog post about how I can’t remember anything anymore, I always think what I’m writing is important enough that I’ll remember it. I seem to have forgotten that I won’t . . .

Enter the copywriter. In case you aren’t familiar, sometime after the revisions are finished and the line edits are done but before publication, we authors receive our copy-edited manuscripts. Someone else, not the editor who plucked you from the slush pile or from the bouquet of manuscripts presented by your agent, goes through the manuscript with a fine-tooth comb looking for grammatical errors, continuity problems, and plain old logic goofs. That is that person’s job. That human being is paid to go through the pages you’ve been slaving over and point out every tiny error you’ve made.

It’s not my favorite phase. Of all the phases of a manuscript’s production, it’s the one most likely to send me crawling back into bed with a box of tissues and the cat. It requires greater ego strength than I possess on even a good day, and yet it must be endured. One very good thing comes with the copyedited manuscript, though. Generally, there’s a list attached. A long beautiful list of all the names and places with a few little details added in.

Ta da! A bible. Or at least the basis for one. Those lists — and the copywriters who create them — have saved my life and sanity more than once. So with the marked up manuscript that is going to make me feel like an idiot comes my salvation.

Funny how life works, isn’t it?

~Kristi

Pop Goes the Murder
(A Popcorn Shop Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Ohio
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (January 3, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425280928
Kindle ASIN: B01E4WAGEO

 

 

Despite Rebecca Anderson’s best efforts to distance herself from her ex-husband, the guy keeps popping up. When Antoine offers to feature her breakfast bars and popcorn fudge on his popular cooking show, she suspects he’s once again trying to butter her up—but the TV exposure for her gourmet popcorn shop, POPS, is too good to turn down.

Things take a shocking turn when the crew comes to Grand Lake to film in her shop, and Rebecca discovers Antoine’s assistant electrocuted in a hotel bathtub. Now the police want Antoine to come clean. Her ex may be a pain, but he’s no killer. So Rebecca decides to bag the real culprit. If she isn’t careful, however, she may be the next one getting burned.

INCLUDES POPCORN RELATED RECIPES!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this second installment of this fun series Rebecca’s ex-husband is in town to film a piece for his television show featuring her shop, POPS. She knows she needs publicity to grow her customer base but being summoned to go over details again with his assistant has her a little fired up. But when she arrives and finds the assistant dead she is shocked  – which also happens to be the victim’s cause of death. Just as shocking is that the police think her ex is the killer. He has his faults but there is no way he would have killed anyone. Rebecca pops herself right into the middle of the investigate to prove his innocence. This makes her brother-in-law, Sheriff Dan Cooper, a little hot under the collar.

Rebecca Anderson is a strong protagonist but for me her pregnant sister stole her thunder just a little bit this time. She is due very soon and anyone that has been pregnant or around someone pregnant knows those last couple weeks are stressful and an emotional time for the mom to be. She expects her sister and husband to be at her beck and call even when someone has just been murdered. She wants her sister to leave the investigation to the police/her husband and to stay away from her ex-husband. She wants her husband to do his job but remember his family could increase at any moment. It is all very humorous and something easy to identify with. Great one liners, loved it.

Rebecca also has a very lovable canine companion, a very smart one. She has a great friendship with her brother-in-law, trying at times, but a strong bond. She seems to be getting more comfortable with her decision to buy her shop and her life in Ohio. I hope she continues to move forward and we see less of her ex.

The plot has a nice flow. I did figure out the real killer early in the story, but the book had other things happening that held my interest to the very last page.

This story popped for me in several ways. A strong addition to this series. I am excited for the next book.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out more about Kristi on her webpage here. Like her on Facebook.  Follow her on Twitter.  Contact her here with recipes ?

Thanks to the publisher 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.

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

Leave a comment for Kristi for 5 Bonus Entries.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End February 8, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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 092016
 

ECLAIR AND PRSENT DANGER

Éclair and Present Danger (An Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery)

New Cozy Mystery Series
Setting – Ohio
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (June 7, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425280898
E-Book ASIN: B016JPTP4G
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The first book in the delicious new Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery series from national bestselling author Laura Bradford.

With her rent rising faster than her pie crust, bakery owner Winnie Johnson had hoped to be rescued by an inheritance from her wealthy friend and neighbor Gertrude Redenbacher. Instead all she inherits is the widow’s hostile hissing tabby, Lovey, and a vintage ambulance, restored by Gertrude’s late husband. As her dream crumbles, Winnie makes her final delivery—a peach pie to an elderly widower. But she finds Bart Wagner lying on his kitchen floor, smothered by a pillow.

To comfort her frightened and grieving neighbors, Winnie comes to the rescue with her baked goods—and an idea is born: dessert delivery via her ambulance and a new business called the Emergency Dessert Squad. When she’s not speeding to the scenes of dessert emergencies, Winnie is also racing to track down Bart’s killer—before she needs to call a real ambulance for the next victim…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Laura Bradford scores huge points for originality. When Winnie Johnson loses her bakery to a greedy landlord she takes her luscious desserts on the road in her Emergency Dessert Squad. She has inherited an old ambulance and a tabby cat, that seems to love everyone but her, from her neighbor and friend, Gertie. It doesn’t take her long to figure out a way to mesh her new vehicle and her business together.  She comes up with catchy names for her treats and starts to rescue her customers from their stressful days.

Many of Winnie’s friends and neighbors are elderly and she is fine with that even though some people aren’t. She made a special promise to Bart Wagner’s wife before she died. Deliver her husband a peach pie every week. Sadly when she arrived with the pie this week she found someone had killed Bart. Now Winnie is doing all she can to get her new business off the ground while searching for the killer. She plans to give them their just desserts.

When I first saw the cover I thought of the Ghostbuster’s car but this one has nothing to do with ghosts, just yummy desserts. Did someone do something nice for you? send them a You’re A Peach Pie! Worrying over a project at work, you need some Worry No s’More Bars! Want to reward your child for good grades, bring on the You Are One Smart Cookie! (Recipes are included in the book.)

The characters we meet in this story are extraordinary. I love Winnie and she has the perfect sidekick in her best friend/employee Renee. We also meet Winnie’s senior citizen friends and neighbors. They are quite a group and wonderfully written. We are also introduced to some paramedics, one Winnie asks for help outfitted her rig to tie her concept to the reality of an ambulance, in a sugary sweet way, of course. I can’t forget, Lovey, Winnie’s new pet. The hissing didn’t make her too lovable for Winnie, but I think they were coming to an understanding as the story ended.

Ms. Bradford also served up plenty of suspects. It was surprising how the whole mystery played out and yet it all made perfect sense.

This was a deliciously delightful debut! I can’t wait to be rescued again by the Emergency Dessert Squad!

 

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

laura bradford

About The Author –

Laura Bradford (aka Elizabeth Lynn Casey) is the author of several mystery series and a handful of romance novels. She is a former Agatha Award nominee and the recipient of an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award.  In her free time, Laura enjoys making memories with her family, baking, playing games, and catching up with friends. In addition to the Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries, Laura writes The Amish Mysteries and The Jenkins & Burns mysteries, as well as The Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries (as Elizabeth Lynn Casey).

For more information, visit Laura’s website: www.laurabradford.com  or get to know her even better on Facebook, on Twitter:  @bradfordauthor and on Pinterest.


Click Here for books written as Elizabeth Lynn Casey.

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End June 23, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

May 102016
 

final tap large banner640

The Final Tap
by Amanda Flower

THE FINAL TAP
The Final Tap
(A Living History Museum Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Ohio
Midnight Ink (May 8, 2016)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738745138
E-Book ASIN: B01A5OGTDM
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Synopsis

March on Barton Farm can only mean one thing: maple sugar season. To combat the winter slump, resilient director Kelsey Cambridge organizes a Maple Sugar Festival, complete with school visits, pancake breakfasts, and tree tapping classes. Kelsey hires curmudgeonly maple sugar expert Dr. Conrad Beeson to teach the classes, despite misgivings over his unpleasant demeanor. It’s a decision she ends up regretting when, before the first tree can be tapped for sap, Dr. Beeson turns up dead.

The maple sugar expert’s death threatens to shut down not only the Maple Sugar Festival, but also Barton Farm itself. Kelsey must solve Dr. Beeson’s murder to escape the increasingly sticky situation.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In the follow up to The Final Reveille, we visit the Barton Farm in the winter just in time for maple sugar season. Kelsey Cambridge may have a long term deal running the farm but she still needs to make it as profitable and self sustaining as she can. She plan the 1st Maple Sugar Festival at the farm featuring a maple sugar expert to teach the adults and a maple syrup demonstration for both the adults and kids too, complete with pancakes. A few Civil War reenactors will be traveling the grounds talking about maple sugar collection in history. Dr. Conrad Beeson, the hired expert, never gets a chance to share is knowledge. He is found dead on the grounds and while Kelsey is hoping it was from natural causes we quickly learn the man was murdered. Then we learn how disliked the man was by almost everyone he met. Meaning plenty of suspects and a very sticky situation for Kelsey.

Amanda Flower doesn’t just write a very intriguing mystery, she teaches us all about maple sugar/syrup collection and processing. So much work goes into the natural treat we pour on our pancakes and waffles. She does this by introducing interesting characters that we follow through the story. The Barton Farm has its own sugarhouse and their is another one close by in a local park. Kelsey even ventures into the all male Sap and Spile group in her efforts to eliminate and find suspects. She doesn’t receive a warm welcome from all the members. Maple sugar is a major thing in this area of Ohio.

The mystery was well written and flowed syrup smooth. I was caught by surprise at the end. The guilty party was way off my radar.

In addition to the drama at work Kelsey has drama at home. She is sharing custody of her son, Hayden, with her ex and he is threatening to take her to court to change their agreement. Too many dangerous things happening at the farm aren’t really his main concern. He seems to be bent out of shape that Kelsey may be getting into a romantic relationship of her own. He seems to forget he left her for Krissie and they are engaged to me married. This story line is ongoing and I know things are really going to get good in book #3.

Characters that continue to evolve, a fabulous setting, and a top notch mystery. I recommend this one highly.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

AMANDA FLOWER

About This Author

Amanda Flower, a two-time Agatha Award-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. She also writes mysteries as national bestselling  author Isabella Alan. In addition to being an author, Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland.

Author Links:

Website            Pen Name Website

Facebook     Twitter

Goodreads     Pinterest

Purchase Links


Prose and Cons: A Magical Bookshop Mystery – Coming in December.

Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series (writing as Isabella Alan)

 

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

May 9 – Bubble Bath Books – REVIEW
May 10 – The Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW
May 11 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
May 12 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
May 13 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW
May 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
May 14 – Off
May 15 – Melina’s Book Blog –  REVIEW, GUEST POST
May 16 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
May 17 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
May 18 – Classy Cheapskate – REVIEW
May 19 – Queen of All She Reads –  REVIEW
May 20 – Book Babble – REVIEW
May 21 – Booklady’s Booknotes – REVIEW, GUEST POST
May 22- LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW
May 22- Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

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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 162016
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so happy to have Kristi Abbott visit with us today!

kristi abbott from FBGuest Post by Kristi Abbott
(Post provided by publicist)

When my editor at Berkley first talked to me about writing the Popcorn Shop Mystery series, I was thrilled. I developed a thing for Garrett’s Caramel Cashew Popcorn when I lived in Chicago about a bazillion years ago. That stuff was like crack. One taste and I could not stop. Writing about a gourmet popcorn shop felt like a totally natural fit. Besides, who doesn’t like popcorn?

kernel of truthSome books are just easier to write than others. They flow easier. The words bring you more joy. The plot naturally evolves in a way that’s both inevitable and surprising. It’s kind of like having an easy baby. You’re never sure what special alchemy occurred to have a book that is a joy to sit down to every day any more than you really know what made that kid sleep through the night at six months. Kernel of Truth was one of those good-sleeping babies.

So far so great. Delicious popcorn. A book that’s flowing from my fingers into my laptop via my keyboard (an external one since I sort of accidentally poured ice water on my computer, but that’s another story). My editor sent the back cover copy. It was, in a word, adorable. Things were bursting. Problems were being resolved in a jiffy. Suspects were popping up. And recipes were included!

I wrote to my editor telling her how much I loved the copy and asking who worked up the recipes. She wrote back that she was pretty sure we’d talked about that way back when we were discussing the contract and I was supposed to be coming up with recipes. Once she said that, it did ring a bell. Thanks tons, middle-aged brain.

Cue panic mode. In the book, Rebecca had developed all kinds of special popcorn products like popcorn breakfast bars and popcorn fudge. Everyone loves them. Now I had to make them a reality. Really?

To say my first attempts were less than stellar is a bit of an understatement. My breakfast bars were more oozy breakfast lumps. The popcorn fudge wasn’t bad. I mean, how far wrong can you go with sweet and salty together? Not far in my book or in my life. Still, the chocolate was a little too stiff and the popcorn got a tiny bit soggy.

Enter my good friend and amazing author, the lovely Spring Warren who is not only a good cook, but understands the science of how food works. There was a bad moment when she asked me what I was using to hold the breakfast bars together and nearly choked when I told her marshmallow crème. Apparently, marshmallow crème is not considered to be a healthy part of a balanced breakfast. Who knew?

Spring, being the fabulous friend that she is, spent about four hours in my kitchen one afternoon and by the end of it, I had the recipes for Kernel of Truth. They were edible and replicable. I even shipped some off to my kids in care packages. Of course, twenty-year-old boys will eat pretty much anything, but they were still well-received.

I have at least two more popcorn books to write. That means I need somewhere between six and ten new recipes. Anybody have any favorite popcorn recipes they want to share? You’ll totally get a shout out in the acknowledgments of the next book if I use them!

~Kristi

You can find out more about Kristi on her webpage here. Like her on Facebook.  Follow her on Twitter.  Contact her here with recipes 🙂

kernel of truth

Kernel of Truth:
A Popcorn Shop Mystery
Brand New Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Ohio
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (March 1, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Cover Illustration by Catherine Deeter
Cover Design by Sarah Oberrender
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425280911
E-Book ASIN: B00Z8VTL7O
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

 

An all-new Popcorn Shop Mystery bursts on the scene, featuring gourmet popcorn entrepreneur Rebecca Anderson and her poodle Sprocket.

Opening a gourmet popcorn shop was never on Rebecca Anderson’s bucket list. But after a failed marriage to a celebrity chef, she’s ready for her life to open up and expand. She has returned to her hometown of Grand Lake, Ohio, with her popcorn-loving poodle Sprocket to start a new business—naturally called POPS. As a delicious bonus, Cordelia “Coco” Bittles, a close family friend who has always been like a grandmother to Rebecca, owns the chocolate shop next door, and the two are thinking of combining their businesses.

But when Coco’s niece, Alice, discovers her on the floor of her chocolate shop, those dreams go up in smoke. The local sheriff thinks Coco was the victim of a robbery gone wrong, but Rebecca isn’t so sure. As suspects start popping up all over, Rebecca is determined to turn up the heat and bring the killer to justice in a jiffy!
 
INCLUDES POPCORN RELATED RECIPES!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Warning – pop some popcorn before you start reading this story. You are going to want to be munching as you read.

POPS is the newest shop in Grand Lake, right next to Coco’s Cocoas. In fact Coco and Rebecca have found they work pretty well together and are planning a new venture. That is until Coco is found dead in her shop. Robbery gone wrong, Rebecca doesn’t think so. She starts popping up all over town trying to prove it was murder and will bag the killer herself if she has to.

What a great idea for a mystery series. A Popcorn Shop with a peppy protagonist and a poodle named Sprocket, yes a poodle.

Kristi Abbott is off to a fantastic start. I was sad that our victim was Coco though, she seemed like a grand lady. Everyone loved her and her fudge, who would want her dead? Surprisingly there are plenty of suspects if Sheriff Cooper would open his eyes. He is Rebecca’s best friend and he is married to her sister, he can’t seriously think she had anything to do with the murder?

I liked all of these characters, Rebecca really pops off the page. She has escaped a bad marriage and is putting herself first for a change. I love the way she stands up to her ex. She has been friends with Dan forever and is thrilled he married her sister.  She lives on their property and they have dinner together often. It is hard when he has to keep the case confidential and Rebecca keeps butting in where she shouldn’t. This family dynamic pulls us right into the story.

The mystery is very believable too and well written. A little predictable but the “why” was something that was not what I thought at all. There were several twists that made me think maybe I was wrong along the way. There is a surprising secret revealed when Rebecca rushes into a situation that was so not what she thought at all that put me back on the main track.

The story has just the start of a romance and I was happy that it is starting slow. I think Rebecca needs some time for just herself.

Bottom line, this is a charming start to what I hope becomes a long running series. The theme is unique and the characters are fresh and I hope to pop in for another visit very soon.

enjoyable 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

This year I am trying to build my Twitter following so for this giveaway 4 Bonus Entries will be awarded by following me on Twitter. @dollycas

Leave a comment for Kristi for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End March 30, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Mar 102016
 

and then there were nuns
And Then There Were Nuns: League of Literary Ladies
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Ohio
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (March 1, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Cover Illustration by Dan Craig
Cover Design by George Long
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425282953
E-Book ASIN: B00Z8VTAIO
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The national bestselling author of The Legend of Sleepy Harlow returns to South Bass Island, where the League of Literary Ladies has to find out who’s killing off nuns.

B and B owner Bea Cartwright has taken on the responsibility of taking meals to ten visiting nuns, who are on retreat at the Water’s Edge Center for Spirit and Renewal on picturesque South Bass Island on Lake Erie. But the peace of the retreat is shattered when one of the nuns is found at the water’s edge—murdered. And when a second nun is killed, Bea and the other members of the League of Literary Ladies—Chandra, Kate, and Luella—start to wonder about eerie parallels with the Agatha Christie mystery classic, And Then There Were None.
 
Since Bea has the trust of the sisters, the local chief of police asks her and the other Literary Ladies to interview each of them. Expecting a confession may be asking for a miracle, but Bea hopes she can at least find the killer before another nun gets crossed off the guest list…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It has been almost a year since the Ladies were court ordered to form a book club. The League of Literary Ladies quickly turned into more than a book club and even with all their differences these women have managed to become good friends. In this installment Bea has been asked to provide meals for 10 nuns who have come to South Bass Island for a retreat.  Chandra, Kate, and Luella are pitching in to help. They also want to get inside the Water’s Edge Center and see what is behind the gates of a place the used to be off limits. When one of the nuns is murdered shortly after the retreat starts and another dies in quick succession the place becomes anything but restful. Now with only eight nuns the Ladies start to think about the similarities to Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. They are hoping the similarities have ended but they again “assist” the police is catching the killer just to be sure.

This is my favorite book in the series so far. I love the ladies and they sure do land themselves in the middle of one murder after another. Don’t think the other residents of South Bass haven’t noticed. This time the author adds a very diverse group of nuns to the mix and brought us a super mystery. That may seem like a lot of characters but they are each unique and easy to keep track of We also lose two of them in the early chapters.

The story really does parallel the Christie classic in so many ways, but whether a Christie fan or not, you will totally enjoy this book. Logan liberally spreads the twists and turns throughout and truthfully I figured it out at the same time as Bea. Excellent writing!

I also loved the setting. A grand place with several suites overlooking the water. All the renovations have not yet been completed but will be soon. It would be a lovely place to spend a week or two.

The subplot with Chandra’s major plans for her yard, swimming pool and a huge lamppost added a whole element I didn’t expect but totally understood as this part of the story played out. She really was pushing the other’s buttons and I was surprised by how long it took for one of them to let her have it.

Fun, entertaining, a great way to spend an afternoon. I hope this is not our last visit to South Bass Island. I really want to solve another mystery with the League of Literary Ladies Book Club.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Kylie Logan and her books on her webpage here.
Be sure to Click the AKA Tab at the top right hand side of the page.

Coming May 3, 2016


GIVEAWAY

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

This year I am trying to build my Twitter following so for this giveaway 4 Bonus Entries will be awarded by following me on Twitter. @dollycas

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End March 24, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Jan 272016
 
cozy wednesday 2013 640
Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am always excited when Avery Aames stops by for a visit!

Daryl Wood Gerber 0218 100dpi

I adore Mac ‘n Cheese
By Avery Aames aka Daryl Wood Gerber

My author pal Krista Davis tells me that everything tastes better with bacon. I believe her. I believe everything Krista says.

When I’m writing, I need mental support. And mac ‘n cheese is, quite simply, comfort food to the MAX. Each bite packs a punch. Each bite melts in your mouth. Add bacon and wow!

By the way, according to Wikipedia, which happens to be my go-to source for absolutely truthful information (LOL), I discovered the following.

Did you know that pasta and cheese casseroles have been recorded in cookbooks as early as the Liber de Coquina (which is one of the oldest medieval cookbooks)? Also, a pasta and cheese casserole known as makerouns was recorded in an English cookbook in the 14th century. The casserole was made with hand-cut pasta and sandwiched between a mixture of melted butter and cheese. Oh, yum!!! AND it was considered an upper class meal in Italy until around the 18th century.

So there. Raise a pinky and eat mac and cheese!

What’s your favorite guilty-pleasure food?

Mac & Bacon & Cheddar Cheese
(Gluten-free or regular)

4Ingredients:

2 cups dried macaroni, cooked to tender (about 4-5 cups cooked) (gluten-free or regular macaroni – I like the Bionatura brand of gluten-free elbow pasta)
4 tablespoons butter [1/2 cube]
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1 teaspoon garlic salt
2 tablespoons rice or potato flour (for regular, you may use regular white flour)
1 cup milk
1 cup grated cheese (equal parts white and orange Cheddar)
4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and broken into bites
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (for garnish)
Paprika (for garnish)

Directions:

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside. This may be made a day ahead. NOTE: Do not forget to drain and set aside. You do not want the pasta to be “wet.”

In a large sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic salt & pepper and cook about 2 minutes. Add flour (gluten-free, if necessary) and stir. Cook 1 minute more, letting boil. It will thicken into a roux. Stir constantly.

Add milk, stir and let boil to thicken. About 1 minute.

Remove from heat and add white and orange Cheddars. Add bacon. Stir.

Pour sauce over drained macaroni. Toss well. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Dash with paprika.

cheddar or worse
For Cheddar or Worse:
A Cheese Shop Mystery

7th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Ohio
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Berkley (February 2, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-0425273326
E-Book ASIN: B00X593CK8
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In the new Cheese Shop Mystery from the Agatha Award-winning author of As Gouda as Dead, an extra-sharp tongued cheese critic is cut down during a summer cheese festival.

It’s time for the annual Cheese Festival in Providence, Ohio, and Charlotte Bessette’s cheese shop is packed with homemade specialties. Meanwhile, her friend Erin is prepping her dairy farm and inn for cheese makers, marketers, journalists, and one surprise guest—Lara Berry, pretentious cheese whiz, pompous bestselling author, and pungent critic whose extra sharp tongue can crumble a reputation.

Even though any love for Lara by her friends curdled long ago, Charlotte is surprised when the foodie is smothered to death in her room at Erin’s inn. Accusations start flying, but the one laying blame on Erin strikes Charlotte as a crock. Now, to clear her friend’s name, Charlotte has to sift through Lara’s ex-lovers, former business partners, and unforgiving enemies to find a killer before Lara’s past casts a tainted pall on the festival’s future.

RECIPES INCLUDED

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Say Cheese for one last time. Seriously, I had tears in my eyes when I learned that this would be our last visit to Fromagerie Bessette. I absolutely love these characters and I will miss them dearly. Avery Aames pulls out all the stops and gives us a fabulous mystery to bring the series to a close.

Providence, Ohio is hosting their annual cheese festival. Food, music, plays and a “brain trust” for cheese makers, distributors, and journalists. The “brain trust” is being held at the Emerald Pastures Farm owned by Erin Emerald. She also has an inn where several of the participants are staying. One special surprise guest has been added to the group, Lara Berry, best selling author and food critic. She is not well liked by those who know her, her reviews have done damage throughout the industry. When she is found murdered there is no shortage of suspects but the prime one is Charlotte’s friend, Erin Emerald. Charlotte butts right into the investigation to prove her friend’s innocence.

All our favorite characters are back.  Charlotte and Jordan are settling in to their married life and doing their best to mesh their very busy schedules. Charlotte’s grandmother, the mayor, is involved in almost every aspect of the festival. Her grandfather is helping out at the cheese shop while Charlotte attends the brain trust with her new hubby. Matthew and Meredith are expecting and she has been put on complete bed rest.  Not an easy task for an active woman with 2 young girls in the house or the man trying to keep everything as normal as possible. Delilah and the police chief, Urso, have rekindled their relationship.  And then we have all the crazy characters in town for the festival and the brain trust.

A fantastic plot full of surprises carries these characters through the pages. Interspersed between the main plots and subplots there is plenty of cheese, both tasting and food created with cheese. You will find yourself drooling. I found myself so entranced by the story I felt like I was searching out clues along with Charlotte and could almost taste the delectable treats sprinkled throughout the entire story.

I didn’t want the story to end. I slowed down my reading and tried to savor each and every interaction and step the characters took.  I knew when I reached the final page there would be no more. No more Charlotte and Rebecca working together at the shop, no more Matthew picking out the perfect wine, no more Pépère sneaking pieces of cheese, no more Grand-mère and her magnificent plans for the city or the playhouse, no more Charlotte trying to get Urso to tell her things he shouldn’t, no more cheese and those amazing recipes, no more of so many things I am going to miss. I am greedy. I wanted more! The only good thing is that I will still be able to read what Avery Aames writes because she does have another series written as herself, Daryl Wood Gerber. The Cookbook Nook Mysteries are fun and fabulous too! So if like me and are saying good-bye to Charlotte and her family and friends, I hope you are saying hello to Jenna and everyone in Crystal Cove. Of course, if both series are new to you I highly recommend them all.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Avery Aames is the Agatha Award–winning author of The Long Quiche Goodbye and six other titles in the Cheese Shop Mystery series. As Daryl Wood Gerber, she is the nationally bestselling author of  the Cookbook Nook Mysteries, including Fudging the Books, Stirring the Plot, Inherit the Word, and Final Sentence. Like her protagonist, Avery is an admitted foodie. Prior to writing, Avery (aka Daryl) acted on stage and television, including on Murder, She Wrote. Don’t forget to sign up for her fan club so you can be entered in all her contests! You’ll find that fan club on her website! Visit her website at www.darylwoodgerber.com.

Author Links

Blog: www.mysteryloverskitchen.com (Blog Wednesdays)

www.facebook.com/darylwoodgerber     www.pinterest/darylwoodgerber

www.twitter.com/darylwoodgerber     www.twitter.com/averyaames

www.goodreads/darylwoodgerber     www.goodreads/averyaames



GIVEAWAY

Penguin is giving away a copy of For Cheddar or Worse
and Avery is giving away copy of winner’s choice of CHEESE SHOP MYSTERY!!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for Avery for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End February 10, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Avery is also touring with
Great Escapes Book Tours this week!
Visit every stop for more reviews, recipes and giveaways

for cheddar or worse large banner640

Tour Participants
January 25 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review, Giveaway
January 26 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
January 27 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
January 28 – Mallory Heart Reviews – Review
January 29 – Griperang’s Bookmarks – Review, Giveaway
January 30 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
January 31 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway

Including this Great Grand Prize!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Dec 292015
 

almost alwaysAlmost Always
PageSpring Publishing (January 12, 2013)
Contemporary Woman’s Fiction
Setting – Ohio
Trade Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1939403032
E-Book ASIN: B00AR93X1C
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Here’s the way Eva sees it: if John is so concerned about her butting into strangers’ lives, he shouldn’t leave her sitting at a table in Bob Evans with nothing to occupy her time . . . Enter Cecelia—a pregnant teenager who needs a family for her baby. Fate has placed her at the table behind Eva and John. Now Eva has a chance—a chance to give her daughter, Shelly, the one thing Shelly desperately wants. But nothing is ever as easy as it seems. Because sometimes daughters are not born to us—they are gifted by desperate teenagers—or seated behind us at Bob Evans . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I will admit I picked this book up because I thought it going to be more of a Christmas story looking at the cover. A gingerbread house does play a part in the story but this more of a year round story.

I would find it difficult to be Eva’s child and hope I am never a mom like her. I know it is a in mother’s nature to always want to fix things, but sometimes Eva just goes too far. She does have a huge heart and thinks she is doing the right things and that her way is the best way but they way she butts her way in to certain situations drove me a little nuts.  Eva happens to overhear a conversation in a restaurant, a pregnant teenager talking to her friend. She immediately decides it is fate and this girl is going to give her baby up to Eva’s daughter who has been trying to adopt a child. We follow on Eva on her journey to make that happen.

It is a very heartwarming story in places and aggravating in others but a very compelling read none the less. Eva is a complicated character with many layers. While I didn’t like her overbearing qualities she was very real. There are many moms in this world just like her. She has a good heart, helps her friends and neighbors, but could have been more supportive of her husband and a little more understanding of her daughter’s wishes. She does open her heart and home to Cecelia and they become very close. Things do “Almost Always” work out the way Eva wishes but the key word is “almost”.

Husband John is retired and is interested in gingerbread houses. In fact, he is planning to make one to enter into a contest held in North Carolina. Eva wishes he had a more “manly hobby” and thinks he is wasting his time in his endeavor to enter the contest.

Daughter Shelly and her husband have been unable to have a child and their attempts in adoption have failed when the birth mothers have backed out. They have decided to just take a breather from all the treatments and filings to regroup when Eva informs them of her plan. They are not sure what to do or say but they are just not ready for another disappointment.

Cecelia comes from a single parent home with a mother than is basically absent. She is following in her mother’s and sister’s footprints by having a child way too soon and is completely overwhelmed by the prospect of being a mother.

This story is very well written with many twists. The characters are very developed and realistic . They continue to evolve as the story continues.  Eva was over the top but redeems herself a little bit in the end.

I enjoyed this story.

just you and a friend

4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAY

I am giving away my review copy!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End January 12, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Oct 212015
 
cozy wednesday 2013 640
Amanda Flower, I mean Isabella Alan is here today,
well they both are!!

Can you tell I am excited??
Welcome to Cozy Wednesday and WELCOME ISABELLA!!

Amanda Flower photo

October to Remember
Amanda Flower / Isabella Alan

 

October is here! It seems that I have been preparing for this October for a long time. By a complicated turn of events, I have three books releasing this month from three different publishers. Of course, they are all mystery (that’s my thing), but they are all very different books too. I thought it would be fun to tell you why I’m excited about each one and why each book is special to me.

MURDER PLAINLY READThe first of these is Murder, Plainly Read, the fourth novel in the USA Today Bestselling Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series, which I write as Isabella Alan. In this mystery, my protagonist is solving a murder committed on a library bookmobile. In addition to being a mystery author, I’m a librarian. For a long time, I’ve wanted to mix my two occupations into an Amish mystery. The start of this novel really began when I was invited to do a ride along in the Holmes County District Library’s bookmobile a few summers back. The bookmobile services mostly Amish patrons, and as an undercover librarian on the bookmobile, I was able to see how important the library is to the Amish community in the county. I knew the moment that I stepped on the bookmobile I was going to have to set a mystery on one. I even told the library director so.

The second book is Andi Unstoppable, the third middle grade mystery in the Agatha Award-nominated Andi Boggs Series. This book was so much to fun to write because I got the idea from my brother. My 12 year old sleuths, Andi and Colin, solve a ghost story while on a birding assignment for their science class. Yep, you read that right, a birding assignment. My brother is an avid birder. He’s always on the lookout for new birds to see and will travel great distances to see one he’s never spotted before. I wanted to share a little bit of my brother’s birding culture (because it is truly a culture of its own) with the world. I thought it would be most fun in children’s book, and I threw in the ghost story because kids like ghosts, right?

The third and final book is Amish Christmas at North Star. WaterBrook/Multnomah, which is an imprint of Random House, was putting together an Amish Christmas novella collection and asked me if I wanted to join the authors Cindy Woodsmall, Mindy Starns Clark, and Katie Ganshert in writing it. They are all great authors, so I jumped at the chance. However, I wasn’t sure how it would work out since they were all romance authors and I am a mystery author.

On a conference call with the three other authors and my editor for this project most of the talk was about the romance for the four novellas, which made me even more nervous. I enjoy reading romances. Some of my best friends are romance authors, but I wasn’t prepared to try my hand on one with so many big time romance authors in the collection. When there was a lag in the conversation, I interjected, “Can I kill somebody?”

I don’t know what the other authors thought, but the editor responded immediately. “Of course, we want a mystery from you. You can kill someone.”

What a relief that was to hear.

I’m so excited to share all three of these stories with readers, and even though they are different stories set in different worlds with different characters, they still very much my stories. So as usual readers can expect witty dialogue, hijinks, and lots of fun!

***********************

Amanda Flower, a three time Agatha-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland. She also writes as USA Today Bestselling Author Isabella Alan.

Social Media Links

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MURDER PLAINLY READMurder, Plainly Read:
An Amish Quilt Shop Mystery

Cozy Mystery
4th Book in Series
Setting – Ohio
An Obsidian Mystery (October 6, 2015)
Published by New American Library
An Imprint of Penguin Random House
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451475022
E-Book ASIN: B00S75RYYU
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In the latest from the author of Murder, Served Simply, an Amish man checks out permanently, but quilt shop owner Angie Braddock’s got this mystery covered…

With so much to do between running her shop and spending time with her new boyfriend, it’s amazing Angie is able to help organize the Rolling Brook library’s annual book sale. Luckily she’s working alongside brash librarian Austina Shaker, a lady who isn’t afraid to make waves to get books to her patrons—even the Amish. Unfortunately, this draws the ire of cranky Bartholomew Beiler, an Old Order Amish bishop, who publicly vows to ruin Austina.

And she certainly might be ruined after Belier is found dead in her bookmobile. Now Angie must employ the help of her loyal quilting circle—as well as her beloved French bulldog, Oliver—if she hopes to prove Austina’s innocence before the real killer books it…

INCLUDES QUILTING TIPS

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have loved this series from the very beginning. Murder, Plainly Read is an excellent addition.

Angie is involved in not only the Rolling Brook library’s annual book sale but the grand opening of The Miller’s Amish Pie factory’s as well. She also needs to run her own quilt shop. Thankfully she has good help there because when Bartholomew Beiler is found dead in the bookmobile and Austina Shaker, the bookmobile librarian, is charged with his murder she has to add FIND THE REAL MURDERER to her long list of Things To Do!

Because Angie’s aunt married an Amish man she is a little more accepted in the Amish community than most Englischers. Not by all but many of them welcome her into their homes and businesses. Bartholomew Beiler is the bishop for an Old Order Amish sect and they are not as open or welcoming even when Angie explains that she is trying to help them.  These characters are so well written and so real. It is so interesting getting to know all of them. I enjoyed the new characters and my favorites were all back too, including a certain goat that has stolen my heart.

Angie jumps into solving the mystery with both feet and we get to tag along right with her. She does raise my blood pressure when she follows the clues and puts herself and her bulldog Oliver in peril. The author has stitched together quite a mystery. She not only keeps the reader guessing until the final reveal but has us in stitches with some delightful humor too.

I read this book at in one sitting. The was no way I could put it down. Now I am excited for Murder, Handcrafted coming this summer.

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for Isabella for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End November 4, 2015 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Jul 132015
 

somebody i used to knowSomebody I Used to Know
Suspense/Thriller
Setting – Ohio
New American Library (July 7, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Paperback: 432 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451474209
E-Book ASIN: B00OQS4CBU
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

When Nick Hansen sees the young woman at the grocery store, his heart stops. She is the spitting image of his college girlfriend, Marissa Minor, who died in a campus house fire twenty years earlier. But when Nick tries to speak to her, she acts skittish and rushes off.

The next morning the police arrive at Nick’s house and show him a photo of the woman from the store. She’s been found dead, murdered in a local motel, with Nick’s name and address on a piece of paper in her pocket.

Convinced there’s a connection between the two women, Nick enlists the help of his college friend Laurel Davidson to investigate the events leading up to the night of Marissa’s death. But the young woman’s murder is only the beginning…and the truths Nick uncovers may make him wish he never doubted the lies.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I will not lie, David Bell has become one of my favorite suspense authors, right up there with Harlan Coben. When I see he has a new book coming out I have to have it and read it right away.

In Somebody I Used To Know Bell introduces us to Nick Hansen, a man trying to move forward while a big part of him is stuck in the past. Twenty years ago his college girlfriend, Marissa, died in a fire just 2 days after breaking up with him. His failure to put this behind him ruined his marriage and has him in a constant holding pattern. One day he sees someone that looks just like the girl that died. She even uses the same mannerisms. He realizes it can’t be her but she has to be related to Marissa. He tries to find out but the girl runs away. The next day the police come to his door and tell him the girl has been murdered and that she had his address in her pocket. He is their main suspect. Those days from all those years ago come flooding back, there has to be a connection to Marissa and he is going to find it and prove he did not kill the girl too!

I started reading and could not put this book down. I immediately became invested in Nick and his journey to find the truth. I thought I knew how this story was going to play out and I was partially right, a very small part. Bell threw in there quite a few unexpected twists which keep giving me more and more clues to decipher as I was led through a very riveting read.  Like every other book Bell has written the story has many layers and an intoxicating pace. You think just one more chapter and before you know it you have reached the end of the book.

I lost a distant relative to a campus fire several years ago that was wrapped up very quickly even though many questions were left unanswered so I found the story to be believable. Bell has grown so much as a writer from his start with Cemetery Girl. He continues to just keep getting better and better.

My only complaint – I can’t get this song out of my head. 🙂

 a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about David Bell and his books on his webpage here.

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

May 302015
 
special guest blue
I am so happy to welcome Maureen to Escape With Dollycas today!
I am so glad we connected thanks to GoodReads!

 

Brigette&Maureen

Hello from sunny Lake Erie! (at least from mid-April until late October). I, Maureen Kovach, along with my daughter, Brigette Howard, make up the author entity known as Maureen K. Howard. Together we have penned Sunny Side Up, book one in the Lake Erie Mysteries series. We continue our collaboration as we work to complete book two, Deviled, which will be published later this year. All of the books in this series are set either on the shores or islands of beautiful Lake Erie.

Why Ohio? Why Lake Erie? My love affair with this region of the country began over twenty-five years ago, in 1988, when my husband decided we should become boat owners. I had no idea at the time how this decision would shape my life and the lives of everyone in my family. We lived in Michigan then, and our first experiences boating on the great lakes took place in the Saginaw Bay region, but after enjoying Lake Huron and its pristine, natural beauty for two years, we decided to explore the shores of Lake Erie in search of a new home port that would offer more leisure activities suited to our young children. After a weekend spent driving the shoreline and stopping at every port we encountered along the way, we found an ideal marina located in Marblehead, Ohio. The travel distance to our new summer getaway spot was, to our surprise, no farther than driving north to Caseville, Michigan. The kids are all grown up now, with spouses and children of their own, but we are still members of the same marina and have no desire to move on. In fact, we enjoy the park, the beaches, and the close friends we’ve made over the years even more now that we have grandchildren to entertain. One of the best perks of our location is its proximity to some of the best vacation destinations in the country. Come with me now and visit a few of my favorite places to kick back, relax, and enjoy all that summer at the lake has to offer.

KelleysIslandLet’s start our tour at Kelleys Island, a quaint vacation spot in the heart of the Lake Erie islands.

The village of Kelleys Island covers the entire area of the 4.41-square-mile island. There are just over three-hundred residents living in the village year-round, so neighbors all know one-another in all the cozy ways we are familiar with as readers of our favorite genre.

Vi'sIslandTreasuresThe first stop on the tour is Vi’s Island Treasures. Vi (short for Violet) is the proprietor of this unique gift shop located right next to the historic Kelleys Island Mansion. Behind the signature purple door, you will discover unique, nautical-themed gifts, a fine line of clothing, and beautiful sterling silver and 14kt. gold jewelry. Vi will make sure you leave with a little purple bag engraved in gold script containing just the right gift for someone special. You will recognize many similarities between my friend, Vi, and Ruby Burns, a central character in Sunny Side Up, proprietor of the fictitious Ruby’s Treasure Chest. One similarity that you cannot ignore is the fact that both boutiques, the real and the fictional, are destroyed by fire.

Vis_inside_1

Inside Vi’s

On August 19, 2010, Vi’s original shop on Division Street was destroyed after a fire started in the attic of a neighboring store. The fire quickly spread and destroyed the entire strip of attached businesses. Ohio state fire marshal later ruled the blaze had started after a work lamp was left on in the attic of one of the buildings. Thankfully, no one was injured as a result of the fire.

sunny side up

Sunny Side Up is set on Kelleys Island, but unlike the true story, there is a victim in the fire. The book’s mystery revolves around a charred corpse discovered in the attic of Ruby’s Treasure Chest after it is destroyed in a suspicious fire. The main characters, best friends Francie and June, visit many of the real-life mainstay attractions of the island such as Sea Way Marina and The Caddyshack bar and restaurant as they try to figure out the identity of the mystery corpse, and clear the name of Francie’s husband, Hammond, who seems to have disappeared while circumstantial evidence piles up against him, pointing the finger of guilt in his direction.

The next stop on our jaunt around the lake is the world-renown Cedar Point Amusement Park and Resort. If you like roller coasters, live entertainment, five-star restaurants, water parks and beaches, you should make it a priority to plan a weekend trip to this stellar theme park. The term, amusement park, does not do justice to this destination. You will be far more than amused by everything the resort has to offer. Book a room at the newly-renovated Breakers Hotel which sits at the edge of the water, its soft sandy beach beckoning you to spread out a blanket, unpack your favorite cozy mystery, and rejuvenate your spirit in the sunshine. If you’re in the mood for more adventurous fun, you can book a parasailing lesson or rent a jet-ski and zip around the lake. Whether you want a gourmet meal and a fancy cocktail, or a snow cone and a ride on a state-of- the art roller coaster, you won’t be disappointed by the decision to spend a few days at Cedar Point.

I just noticed that I’m sounding more like a travel agent than an author, but on second thought, as an author, my job is to take you somewhere enjoyable or out-of-the-ordinary so you can forget the details of your everyday life for a few hours and live vicariously through your favorite characters. I would love for you to meet some of the characters in my novels and hope you all enjoy the ride!

~Maureen

Find out more about the authors on their webpage here.

Like them on Facebook.   Follow them on Twitter and on Pinterest.

sunny side upSunny Side Up (Lake Erie Mysteries Book 1)
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: Silver Phoenix Publishing (November 21, 2014)
Paperback: 260 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1634432887
E-Book ASIN: B00Q79DB90
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“Drink in one hand, credit card in the other, and everything else will sort itself out.”

The school year is over and the article deadlines have been met, so best friends, Francie and June, ditch their business attire, grab their flip flops, and head to the lake for some fun in the sun.

Instead of enjoying a relaxing Memorial Day weekend at Kelleys Island on Lake Erie, this dynamic duo finds themselves in the middle of a murder investigation. They need to find out who burned down their friend’s store, discover the identity of the charred corpse found in the wreckage, and clear Francie’s husband, Hamm, before he is charged with the crime.

Fueled up with their favorite snacks of wine and cheese, these adventure-loving ladies manage to keep their eyes open for a bargain, come up with a plan, and even indulge in a bit of romance, all while dodging increasingly dangerous attempts to silence them for good.

Grab your sunglasses, your favorite cocktail, a copy of Sunny Side Up, and head to the lake with them for an unforgettable weekend adventure.

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