Feb 022017
 


Murder Wears White (A Wedding Planner Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Kensington (January 31, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496704801
Kindle ASIN: B01FBZXPKA

 

 

Mallory Shepard’s wedding planning business is off to a shaky start when a member of the bridal family drops dead at a food tasting . . .

Mallory hopes to unveil her new B&B just in time for her first ceremony as a wedding planner. The renovations to Thistle Park—the mansion she inherited in small-town Port Quincy, Pennsylvania—are almost complete. But what Mallory didn’t plan on is the bride’s aunt being poisoned at the wedding tasting and her perfect venue becoming a crime scene.

Adding to the mystery is the discovery that this is not the first murder in the bridal family, and as Mallory becomes engaged in her own investigation she learns the man convicted of the crime may not be guilty. Now she has two crimes to solve before the bride walks down the aisle—but a killer has other plans to ensure that Mallory forever holds her peace . . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this 2nd installment Mallory and Rachel have moved in to Thistle Park while it is being renovated. They have plans to make the old mansion into a wedding venue and B&B, if they can get the permits. The timetable for their plans been pushed in a major way. A bride has asked to move her wedding up to just a few weeks away after she finds her father is dying. Mallory probably should have checked with her contractor but she gives the bride the o.k. and pushes full speed ahead with all the plans. But then the place and wedding seems to be plagued with problems. Stair railing falling, a floor being destroyed, a wedding dress in tatters, and then an aunt to the bride dies at the food tasting. Subsequently Mallory finds this is not the first murder for this family and the first death is connected to her backyard neighbor and close friend, (she wants it to be closer) Garrett. So Mallory has a couple of deaths to investigate, plus get the mansion ready for its first wedding, oh I can’t forget to mention, Thistle Park may be haunted…

There is so much happening in this story but this author keeps all the balls in the air, never dropping one.

First, her writing style is very descriptive, which is good, I loved learning about all the rooms in Thistle Park and it gave me the knowledge I needed to understand how it could handle weddings for up to 200 people. The outside space sounds like it will be amazing as well.

She also introduces us to several new characters, the bridal family, the construction crews, Port Quincy residents, and even some wonderful canines. Each character was distinct and well written, very easy to picture in my mind.

The story is very fast paced with plots and subplots converging and intermingling together all while standing out on their own and there is more than one mystery to solve. It never became too much or confusing, except I was sure kept guessing right up until the very end about who did what. She included humor in the right places, the romantic element is moving a pleasing pace, and the drama was the star as it should be but normal life events played their parts as well.

This book has everything I look for in a cozy mystery. Cozy lovers, I highly recommend this one. I am very excited for the next book in this series too!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

A native Pittsburgher, Stephanie Blackmoore now lives in Missouri, with her husband, son and two spirited cats. She was an attorney in Pittsburgh and a librarian in Florida before becoming a writer. Stephanie is a fan of everything black-and- yellow. She is hard at work on her next Wedding Planner mystery. Connect with Stephanie at the links below.

Social Media Links:  Website    Facebook    Twitter

Kindle Copy of Engaged in Death just $1.99 on Amazon.

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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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.”

Oct 052016
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!! 

I am so excited to welcome Joyce back to Escape With Dollycas! 

JOYCE TREMEL

 

THE TOP FIVE THINGS I’VE LEARNED WRITING A COZY SERIES

5. It’s not as easy as it looks. Believe it or not, there are readers out there who think that cozy mysteries are inferior to other mysteries. Obviously, they’ve never tried to write one. I’ve found it takes quite a bit of skill to kill someone and not gross out the reader. The cozy writer has to get the horror of the murder across without showing much in the way of blood, guts, and the like. You have to describe what happened without actually describing what happened. This also applies to any sexy scenes. I’m perfectly content with not having to write those kinds of scenes. Banter, innuendo, and an occasional kiss that leaves the character’s knees weak is enough for me. I like to leave the rest up to imagination.

TANGLED UP IN BREW4. It’s sometimes hard to find adequate substitutes for swear words. I worked as a police secretary for ten years. Believe me, cops swear. I learned a whole new vocabulary when I worked for the police department. When you have officers talking in a cozy, you can’t very well have them use what must be their favorite word in the whole world because they say it three times in every sentence. And you can’t have them say gosh, darn, or golly either. Andy Griffith could get away with it, but that’s about it. My protagonist’s dad is a homicide detective and in one scene I have Max say something like, “My dad rarely swore but I could tell he held back a string of words that would have turned the air blue.” I do throw in an occasional damn and have used the letters S.O.B. Sometimes I’ll interrupt the dialogue just before the swear word would be uttered. So far, it works. I think.

3. There’s a fine line between educating the reader on the character’s craft or occupation and boring them to death. No one wants to read page after page of how your character does something. My protagonist Max is a craft brewer and there’s a lot of chemistry involved in brewing beer. If I started rambling on about how to calculate the specific gravity of a certain brew in order to calculate the alcohol by volume, I don’ t think readers would be too happy. In the best case scenario, they’d skip those pages; in the worst case, they’d throw the book against the wall. It’s a mystery novel, not a textbook. Information like that must be sprinkled in lightly.

to brew or not to brew

2. Recipes are hard to come up with. I’m usually thinking more about the plot and what the characters are doing than about what they’re eating or cooking. I’ve had to train myself to actually stop and describe certain foods and then search for a recipe to include. That’s probably why the first book, To Brew or Not to Brew only had two recipes. I did a little better with books two and three. Tangled Up in Brew has four, and next year’s A Room With a Brew will have five.

1. Write everything down. When I was about halfway through writing the first book, I realized I was NOT going to remember which character had blue eyes, who had brown eyes, how tall a certain someone was, etc. I started what we call a Character Bible. I jotted down each character, what they looked like, and anything else I thought might be important. I did the same with each shop and location in the series. I even drew a little map so I’d remember which store/shop/restaurant was where. And thank goodness I did. I refer to it constantly. Between that and the style sheet (which has even more detailed info on it) from my copy editor, I’ve saved hours that would have been spent searching through previous manuscripts for one tiny tidbit of information. All because I couldn’t remember something I thought I would.

These are the top five things I’ve learned writing a cozy series. Readers, what have you learned reading one?

~Joyce

About The Author

Joyce Tremel was a police secretary for ten years and more than once envisioned the demise of certain co-workers, but settled on writing as a way to keep herself out of jail. She is a native Pittsburgher and lives in a suburb of the city with her husband and a spoiled cat.

Her debut mystery, To Brew Or Not To Brew has been nominated for the 2015 Reviewers’ Choice award for best amateur sleuth by RT Book Reviews. The second book in the series, Tangled Up In Brew has just been released.

Author Links

Webpage Facebook Twitter GoodReads 

TANGLED UP IN BREWTangled Up in Brew (A Brewing Trouble Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Berkley (October 4, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425277706
E-Book ASIN: B01AHKXIAQ
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Synopsis

Another intoxicating mystery featuring brew pub owner Maxine “Max” O’Hara—from the author of To Brew or Not to Brew.

BEER TODAY, GONE TOMORROW…

Brew pub owner Maxine “Max” O’Hara and her chef/boyfriend, Jake Lambert, are excited to be participating in the Three Rivers Brews and Burgers Festival. Max hopes to win the coveted Golden Stein for best craft beer—but even if she doesn’t, the festival will be great publicity for her Allegheny Brew House.

Or will it? When notoriously nasty food and beverage critic Reginald Mobley is drafted as a last-minute replacement judge, Max dreads a punishing review. Her fears are confirmed when Mobley literally spits out her beer, but things get even worse when the cranky critic drops dead right after trying one of Jake’s burgers. Now an ambitious new police detective is determined to pin Mobley’s murder on Max and Jake, who must pore over the clues to protect their freedom and reputations—and to find the self-appointed judge, jury, and executioner.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Belly up to the bar and try one of Max’s new brews.

Brew pub owner Maxine “Max” O’Hara and her chef/boyfriend, Jake Lambert, are 2 awesome characters. Working with your significant other can be tough but these two compliment each other nicely and each have their own strengths. Max knows beer and Jake knows food and the Three Rivers Brews and Burgers Festival is the perfect place so show everyone their talents. But cranky critic Reginald Mobley is not a fan of the Allegheny Brew House fare and delvers a scathing review. It puts them in the police’s cross hairs when he dies in front of a crowd of people while eating Jake’s burger. Max’s dad is also on the case but his partner has his mind made up. It may be time to call on a higher being, Max’s brother is a priest so he will be praying but Max is determined to save Jake, herself, and their pub any way she can.

The characters in this series are very interesting. Setting the story at a festival draws an eclectic group of people too. They are also very well crafted. The lead characters are both strong and independent, equals and very supportive of each other. They lean on each other but are not dependent on each other. They have known each other most of their lives and that gave them a strong bond before they even started dating.

The author also gives us a very strong plot with plenty twists. Reading the first book in this series, I figured out the culprit before Max, this time I was right there with her and figured it out at the same time. My early suspicions were totally wrong. She also gives us enough depth into the world of micro-brews with overwhelming the reader. I love learning new things.

I enjoyed the setting of the festival and could easily picture the booths and their layout. Ms. Tremel’s descriptions were so rich I could almost taste the beer and those burgers,

This is a fantastic addition to this series and I am really looking forward to the next installment, A Room With A Brew.  Now if I could just have a glass or two of Max’s citrus ale to hold me over until then…

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAY

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 Joyce for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

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If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
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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.”

Aug 262016
 

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

the quilt ripper
The Quilt Ripper (Miranda Hathaway Adventures)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
devlinsbooks (December 31, 2015)
Paperback: 190 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0692616611
E-Book ASIN: B01A2BL8AM
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

Miranda Hathaway is the town librarian and a member of Cutler Quilt Guild Number One. She likes to read mysteries, especially Sherlock Holmes. When someone breaks into the house of another guild member, rips apart an heirloom quilted skirt, and leaves the torn pieces behind, everyone in Cutler, Pennsylvania thinks Miranda can solve the mystery!

Gabe Downing, a retired FBI agent from Boston, has recently joined the quilt guild as its first and only male member.Coincidence? Miranda doubts it but she finds herself attracted to this new man in town. He asks her to dinner and she’s flattered at first, but then her suspicious mind wanders.

Does he know more about the break-in than he’s saying? Is he trying to find out what information she might have? Well, two can play that game!
Can Miranda and Gabe find the “Quilt Ripper” before another vintage piece is destroyed? Gabe may have experience on his side but she has her own secret weapon. The ladies of Quilt Guild Number One are on the case!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I snapped up this book when is was free on Amazon because I knew I would need a “Q” book for my Alphabet Soup Challenge.

The story starts with a letter being written in 1759 as a wife, Hannah, who is sending a trunk of her belongings ahead to her husband in the new world across the ocean. Then moves to present time with Miranda Hathaway’s story and the members of her quilt guild. A mystery arises when one of a member’s house is broken into and the only thing she can find wrong is an heirloom skirt has been ripped apart. Miranda notices that it has been carefully ripped, using a seam ripper and determines the damage was done by someone who knows how to sew. One member of the guild, the only male member, is hiding something, is he involved in this ripping situation?

I don’t know if I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind or if the constant changes in the points of view just confused me but this story and I were just not a good fit. Before I hit schedule on this post I checked out some other reviews and there are several good ones so I am going to assume it was me.

I liked the idea of something from the past making it so far into the future without being discovered but also thought this item had been passed down from generation to generation and probably should have been in a museum. It was so well kept and in fantastic shape that no one ever had an appraisal or an expert look at it. No, just stored in a box on the top shelf of a closet.

The characters were engaging but some were not that realistic. I did enjoy meeting “Queenie”, the quilt shop owner and president of the Cutler Quilt Guild Number One. Her shop sounds delightful and I do love that the guild devotes 1 meeting per month making things for charity. Gabe to me seemed all over the place, a private investigator with a couple of cases.  I would have loved more about Hannah’s story, I was drawn in my her letter immediately.

The mystery itself just didn’t hold my interest. I found myself putting the book down several times, only picking it up again because I knew I had to finish it for this review.  The reader knows who the “ripper” is pretty early in the story. I like mysteries that keep us guessing right up until the end. The ending itself did nothing for me.

I am wavering between 2 and 3 stars for this book. According to My Rating Chart with 2 being “A Dreadful Detour” and 3 being “A Satisfactory Excursion”. I will have to go with the 3 stars because I did finish the book and it wasn’t dreadful. It just wasn’t my Blue Hawaii (cup of tea).

satisfactory 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

*Book was from my private collection.

 

 

 

Jun 222016
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so excited to Stephanie Blackmoore here today! 

AuthorPhotoBlackmooreHi Everyone,

I love going to weddings. They are filled with good tidings and lively celebration. They provide a chance to see old friends and meet up with far-flung family, eat great food, dance the night away, and wish a newly married couple well. Whether they’re simple affairs at the courthouse or large bashes with hundreds of guests, most weddings involve many hours of planning and fretting that occur behind the scenes. Invitees are treated to a seamless ceremony and party with each detail lovingly attended to, but behind all of the tulle and flowers and cake, tensions run high and emotions are at the forefront of most wedding days. I’ve been a bridesmaid several times and witnessed the behind the curtain melee at my own wedding. There have been missing flowers, AWOL wedding party members, ripped dresses, late and lost ministers, misplaced vows, and feuding families. I wanted to create an atmosphere of high tension and family drama for my cozy series, and weddings seem like a perfect fit!

engaged in deathBut what happens when the wedding doesn’t go off without a hitch? Is there any way for a bride to make lemon meringue pie out of sour lemons? For my first cozy I wanted to explore what happens after a bride pours her heart and soul into making her big day perfect, but gets cold feet and has to jettison her wedding at the last second. What happens when a bride cancels the wedding? What does a bride do when the invitations have gone out, the vendors are ready to go, and she can’t get her deposit back? The dissolution of a wedding can be more complicated than planning a wedding that goes off. I wanted to see what happens when a bride not only calls off her wedding, but also finds out she’s stuck with it. In Engaged in Death, the bride and sleuth, Mallory Shepard, is shocked to realize she’s planning her wedding to appease her future mother-in-law rather than for her fiancé and herself. She lets the wedding get away from her until it resembles an out-of-control carnival, with her soon-to-be monster-in-law at the helm. Before the bloated pageant of her wedding can go on, she cancels and breaks off her engagement. Since she can’t get her deposit back, she goes on a mission to find a new bride in need of a wedding. I hope you enjoy reading Engaged in Death as much as I enjoyed writing it!

~Stephanie

engaged in death

Engaged in Death (A Wedding Planner Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
BRAND NEW SERIES
Setting – Pennsylvania
Kensington (June 28, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496704788
E-Book ASIN: B0165HUWCC
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All appears peaceful in sleepy Port Quincy, Pennsylvania–but in this small town, old grudges die hard. . .

After dumping her cheating fiancé and cancelling the wedding, Mallory Shepard can’t bear another disaster. So when the former bride-to-be unexpectedly inherits Thistle Park, a ramshackle mansion in her ex’s hometown of Port Quincy, it’s a problem she can’t afford–literally. Abound with stray cats, peeling wallpaper, and nosy neighbors, Mallory is dying to sell it off–once she finally fixes up both the place and her messy life. . .

Turns out, Thistle Park has its charms. But the honeymoon phase is abruptly cut short when an unwanted visitor is found dead on the front lawn. Enlisting the help of her sister Rachel, Mallory vows to unveil the killer before she herself becomes married to the suspect list. . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

As soon as I read the above synopsis for this book I knew I had to read it as soon as possible. Thank you Kensington for the early copy!

Mallory had no idea who she was engaged to, but his overbearing mother was pushing her over the edge. Finding out the guy was cheating on her was just icing on the cake. Then in a weird twist of fate she inherits Thistle Park, a mansion in need of loads of tender loving care. Mallory is faced with putting it up for sale but to that she is going to need to make some improvements. Finding a dead body in the front yard was not the renovation she had planned. The wedding was cancelled but her sister’s arrives to help in anyway she can. Never knowing she would be helping Mallory catch a killer.

So much happens in this story that intrigued me in addition to the murder. The house that Mallory inherited could be amazing in the hands of the right person. My imagination was running wild with ideas. Then what do you do when your wedding is cancelled and the venue refuses to return your huge deposit? You will have to read the story to find out.

As far as the murder, the man wronged so many people, meaning there are so many that could want him dead. Her ex-future mother-in-law could even be involved. Surely she wouldn’t kill someone, or would she? The clues seem to lead in circles at times but that just added to my reading pleasure.

Mallory starts out as a “goes with the flow” type of woman, but scorned she is a force to be reckoned with. She is a lawyer who is smart and organized and definitely doesn’t need a man making decisions for her. I was so impressed with her transformation just in this first book. I can’t wait to see what she takes on in the next story.

Her sister, Rachel, has yet to find her niche. She has tried several things but doesn’t really stick with anything long. She tends to find herself living with her mom and step-dad or having them bail her out of situations. Mallory is the responsible one, timid about trying new things. They each need to rub a little off an each other and they will make a fantastic team.

I enjoy the way Ms. Blackmoore writes, it is so descriptive. I could picture everything so clearly. She also unfolds the story at a brisk pace.

Even the secondary characters are fleshed out, real and believable. Keith, the ex and his mother Helene, are excellent characters to dislike. I am not going to lie, I would not have shed a tear if one of them was the body in the front yard, but they turned the story on its ear in their own way. The neighbors are interesting and the Chief of Police just happens to live in the house behind Thistle Park, with his son and granddaughter.

This is a fabulous debut! A great start to what I hope will become a long running series!

I see the next book in the series, Murder Wears White, will be out January 31, 2017 and is available for pre-order.  I am looking forward to it already!

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

A native Pittsburgher, Stephanie Blackmoore now lives in Missouri, with her husband, son and two spirited cats. She was an attorney in Pittsburgh and a librarian in Florida before becoming a writer. Stephanie is a fan of everything black-and- yellow. She is hard at work on her next Wedding Planner mystery. Connect with Stephanie at the links below.

Social Media Links:  Website    Facebook    Twitter


Click on cover to purchase from Amazon.

B&N
Coming January 31, 2017
GIVEAWAY

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for Stephanie for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End July 6, 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.”

Apr 282016
 

WITH A VEGEANCE large banner640

With A Vengeance
by Annette Dashofy

 

WithAVengeance cover FRONT
With A Vengeance (A Zoe Chambers Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Pennsylvania
4th in Series
Henery Press (May 3, 2016)
Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635110173
E-Book ASIN: B01BGZOFSU
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

Synopsis

Paramedic Zoe Chambers and the rest of rural Monongahela County’s EMS and fire personnel are used to wading into the middle of trouble to rescue the sick and the injured. But when someone with an ax to grind seeks retribution by staging accident scenes and gunning down the first responders, Zoe finds herself forced to not only treat her own brethren of the front lines, but also, in her role as deputy coroner, seek out whoever is killing her friends.

At the same time, Vance Township Police Chief Pete Adams races to track down a gun, a mysterious all-terrain vehicle, and the sniper before Zoe goes back on duty, placing herself—and Pete—firmly in the gunman’s crosshairs.

Books in the Zoe Chambers Mystery Series:

CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE (#1)
LOST LEGACY (#2)
BRIDGES BURNED (#3)
WITH A VENGEANCE (#4)

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts
First responders are getting shot at and killed in Monongahela County! And Zoe or Pete could be next!Dashofy’s story is hot and suspenseful right out of the gate. Zoe and Pete are trying to more their relationship forward but is sure isn’t easy. The day starts out with both of them at a fire arms training seminar and that was pretty chilling in itself, but when Pete gets a call that two paramedics have been gunned down after arriving at an accident scene things get downright scary. Pete and Zoe head to the scene and she deals with the lost and injury of two of her friends and Pete gets to work. The gunman is still at large.

The author proceeds to take us on a wild trip as EMS and Police and Fire still have to respond to calls not knowing if they will remain safe after they arrive. Meanwhile Police Chief Pete Adams and County Detective Wayne Baronick are trying to keep them all safe and catch a killer.

These characters are truly extraordinary. Zoe is a strong, independent, woman, unafraid to put herself in harm’s way if it means saving someone she loves. She is smart and a critical thinker but she has a huge heart and that can get her into trouble. Pete is the same, strong and independent but he is not as trusting as Zoe, which makes him a great cop. Together they make a great team and a force to be reckoned with.

This story has a ripped from the headlines feel because of what is going on in the United States today. This story is believable and alarming as it seems we have a shooting happening somewhere each and every day. The author brings it all alive with her words and keeps the suspense level high for most of the story. So many people in danger. So many suspects to be located and questioned.  So many twists before the big dramatic ending.  I think I read this story at breakneck speed but I was still absorbing every word.

Each of these stories is better than the last. They all walk that fine line between a cozy mystery and a thriller novel. Dashofy writes it that way perfectly. Small town, wonderful characters, and the main plot and the subplots woven together with an expert hand. Growing up in a small town with family and friends on police and fire departments this story really struck a cord with me. They truly do put themselves out there to save people never really knowing what they will find when they arrive on the scene.

I have given the previous 2 books in the series “Paradise” rating, more than 5 stars. This one is as good and maybe better. I may have to add a whole new category just for Annette Dashofy. 🙂

paradise 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Dashofy-1559 (534x800)

About The Author –

Annette Dashofy is the USA Today best-selling author of the Zoe Chambers mystery series about a paramedic and deputy coroner in rural Pennsylvania’s tight-knit Vance Township. CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE, published by Henery Press, was a finalist for the Agatha Award for Best First Novel and for the David Award for Best Mystery of 2014. LOST LEGACY, was released in September 2014 followed in April 2015 by BRIDGES BURNED, which has been nominated for the Agatha for Best Contemporary Novel. WITH A VENGEANCE, the fourth in the series, will be available May 3.

Author Links

website– www.annettedashofy.com

blog– http://annettedashofy.blogspot.com/ 

Facebook– https://www.facebook.com/annette.dashofy

Twitter– @Annette_Dashofy 

Purchase Links

All the links to all the formats available of all the books can be found at http://henerypress.com/annette-dashofy/

Amazon – B&N – ITunes – KOBO 
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Tour Participants

April 21 – Christa Reads and Writes – INTERVIEW
April 22 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
April 23 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 24 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
April 25 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
April 26 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST
April 27 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW
April 27 – Tea and A Book – REVIEW
April 28 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
April 29 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – INTERVIEW
April 30 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST
May 1 – Island Confidential – GUEST POST
May 2 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
May 3 – Femmes Fatales – booked by author
May 4 – Classy Cheapskate – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 5 – The Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW

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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.”

Apr 092016
 

Wendy Tyson is starting a new cozy mystery series!

A MUDDIED MURDER large banner640

A Muddied Murder
by Wendy Tyson

A Muddied Murder front cover--Tyson
A Muddied Murder (A Greenhouse Mystery)
First in Series
Series: A Greenhouse Mystery
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Pennsylvania
Paperback: 276 pages
Publisher: Henery Press (March 29, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-1635110050
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Synopsis

When Megan Sawyer gives up her big-city law career to care for her grandmother and run the family’s organic farm and café, she expects to find peace and tranquility in her scenic hometown of Winsome, Pennsylvania. Instead, her goat goes missing, rain muddies her fields, the town denies her business permits, and her family’s Colonial-era farm sucks up the remains of her savings.

Just when she thinks she’s reached the bottom of the rain barrel, Megan and the town’s hunky veterinarian discover the local zoning commissioner’s battered body in her barn. Now Megan is thrust into the middle of a murder investigation—and she’s the chief suspect. Can Megan dig through small-town secrets, local politics, and old grievances in time to find a killer before that killer strikes again?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Like our author, Megan Sawyer is a lawyer. Megan feels like she is leaving the rat race behind when she returns to Winsome to help her grandmother and open a store and café featuring things grown on her family’s organic farm. But Winsome has its own share of rats, namely Zoning Commissioner, Simon Duvall. He is holding up her permits and keeping her from her grand opening. She can handle the rain and her goats wandering but she can’t let one man keep her from her livelihood.

With the goats getting loose a lot, she has the veterinarian on speed dial.   Dr. Denver Finn, is easy on the eyes and has a delicious accent and he would like to get to know Megan even better. Romance takes a back seat when she and the good doctor find Simon Duvall dead in her barn. Her grievance with the man was public knowledge making her the prime suspect in his murder. She may live in Winsome but she could lose some if she doesn’t dig deep and figure out who really killed the rat, I mean Mr. Duvall.

I was already a fan of this author and her Allison Campbell Mysteries so I was anxious to read this story.  She has started off this series wonderfully.

First she gives us great realistic characters with depth. Megan is a strong woman with a dream. I think it will be a great success and she is definitely going to need more help. Especially if she keeps tracking down murders. Her grandmother, Bibi, will find her way right into your heart. Another strong woman who hates to slow down. She is excited about the new family venture and will do anything she can to help. Dr. Denver Finn is an interesting man and has a way with both people and animals. He is watching over a veteran with some issues due to his time overseas. He also rescues animals. He had me in his corner immediately. We also have a few 4 legged characters as well to add to the fun.

Wendy Tyson wraps these characters in a story that meshes history, politics, and general small time life. She also blends in a murder mystery with more twists than a tornado. Each time I thought I had it figured out there was another clue that wrecked my theory. She added an element I never even thought about that turned the story on its ear. The ending was just fabulous!

I hope this series lasts a good long time. I will tramp through the mud, the rain, the snow with Megan anytime. I want to get to know all the characters better. I can hardly wait for the second book.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

wendy

About The Author

Wendy Tyson is an author, lawyer and former therapist whose background has inspired her mysteries and thrillers. Wendy’s latest novel, DYING BRAND, the third Allison Campbell mystery, was released in May 2015. The first Campbell novel, KILLER IMAGE, was named a best mystery for book clubs in 2014 by Examiner.com. Wendy is also the author of The Greenhouse Mystery Series, the first of which, A MUDDIED MURDER, is due out March 29, 2016. Wendy and her husband are passionate organic gardeners. They live with their three boys and three dogs on a micro-farm just outside of Philadelphia.

 

Author Links

Author website    Facebook     Goodreads 

Twitter: @WendyTyson    Pinterest: Greenhouse Mystery Series:

 

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Tour Participants

March 29 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
March 30 – Ashleyz Wonderland – REVIEW
March 30 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
March 31 – off
April 1 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
April 2 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – INTERVIEW
April 3 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! –  SPOTLIGHT
April 4 – Community Bookstop –  REVIEW
April 5 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
April 6 – Deal Sharing Aunt – INTERVIEW
April 7 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
April 7 – The Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW
April 8 – Musings and Ramblings – GUEST POST
April 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
April 10 – Book Babble – REVIEW

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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 092016
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy when Laura Bradford stops by for a visit! 

laura_new_400x400

 

Magic Beans
By Laura Bradford
(Post provided by Publicist)

When I was a little girl, I was mesmerized by the power of the magic beans in Jack and the Beanstalk. I even remember imagining what it would be like to have magic beans in my pocket.

a churn for the worseSo it’s kind of ironic that not too many years later, I’d be bitten by the writing bug. You see for me, writing books is a lot like having a pocketful of magic beans. When you pull them out and look at them, they look like regular ordinary beans. But when you plant them in the ground, they become so much more.

Looking back at the twenty plus novels I’ve written, each one has been born from a single bean—something that I heard or saw or learned that perked up my ears. Sometimes, that bean is really small—a quick fact gleamed on a tour, or a character quirk observed while out and about in everyday life. But small or not, it always sets my plotting wheels in motion.

That’s what happened when, in the fall of 2014, I headed to Lancaster County, PA for my annual research trip. I was exploring the Amish countryside as I always do—taking tours, visiting Amish-owned shops, and chatting with the Amish, when I stumbled across a new-to-me fact I’d not learned during my previous trips…

When it comes time for the Amish to purchases a horse, more times than not they look to retired Standardbred racehorses. Trotters are particularly appealing to the Amish because of the horse’s experience pulling a sulky. These horses are disciplined and can transition well to pulling the family’s buggy.

Suddenly, I had a bean that I wanted in my pocket. I didn’t yet know if it would prove to be magic or not, but I knew it was worth exploring.

Armed with that single bean, I reached out to a reader I know who also happens to own racehorses. Over the next week or so, I fired countless racehorse-related questions at this woman. I didn’t know what I was looking for, specifically, but I knew that as I broadened my knowledge, there was potential to add to that original bean.

The next thing I knew, I had a grieving racehorse owner, a dead farmer, missing money, and an unknown person preying on Heavenly, Pennsylvania’s Amish community for the latest installment in my Amish Mysteries, A CHURN FOR THE WORSE.

Trust me when I say this is a “beanstalk” worth climbing!

~Laura
***
About This 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 Amish Mysteries, Laura also writes the Jenkins & Burns mysteries, the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries (as Elizabeth Lynn Casey), and the upcoming Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries (Éclair and Present Danger, Book # 1, will debut in June).

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

***

a churn for the worseA Churn for the Worse:
An Amish Mystery

Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Berkley Prime Crime (March 1, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Cover Illustration by Mary Anne Lasher
Cover Design by Sarah Oberrender
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425273036
E-Book ASIN: B00Z8VTJ8U
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The national bestselling author of Suspendered Sentence returns to Heavenly, Pennsylvania, where shop owner Claire Weatherly and Detective Jakob Fisher must put on their thinking kapps to solve a string of robberies and a murder in the Amish community…

When an Amish farmer is found dead in his barn, his family accepts his death as God’s will. But Detective Jakob Fisher knows the farmer didn’t hit himself in the head with the shovel lying beside his body. And when it comes to light that a stranger appeared at the farmer’s home and now money is missing from their milk can, Fisher suspects robbery as the motive—especially when another Amish family is victimized.

Getting to the truth proves difficult, however, since Fisher has two strikes against him in the eyes of the Amish—his chosen career, and the Amish roots he left behind. Desperate to stop a murderous thief, Fisher turns to Heavenly Treasures shop owner Claire Weatherly for help. The trust she’s earned from the Amish community enables her to go where the detective cannot—straight into the path of a killer…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Another Heavenly trip to Heavenly! Laura Bradford continues to give us wonderful stories starring some of the most engaging cozy characters. When I pick up one of her mysteries it is like wrapping myself in a warm cozy blanket.

Claire Weatherly is in love and not only with Jakob Fisher. She loves this town, her work, and all the heartwarming people of Heavenly. Her greatest wish is to bring Jakob and his family together again after they have shunned him when he decided to become a law enforcement officer after he had been baptized.  She pushes the boundaries to help him have contact with them while trying not break the rules of the Amish.

This time an Amish farmer has been killed and no one calls the authorities. “God’s Will”. Money goes missing, no one reports it. The man seemed “kind”. Well word gets back to Claire and she is sure to let Jakob knows what is going on. But will he be able to help if none of the Amish will talk to him? Claire does her best to keep her ears open and Jakob tries to get the Amish to understand he just wants to help. There is also a strong subplot that ties together a missing racehorse and the horses the Amish purchase to pull their buggies.

I love the way Claire and Jakob’s relationship is evolving. The pace has been perfect. They have built a trust working together, become friends and have now moved to courting. The author continues to nurture these characters in a delightful way.

I enjoyed learning about the horses too. I never really thought about the horses pulling the buggies and now it makes perfect sense.  It is easy to see Ms. Bradford thoroughly researched this aspect to her story.

They main mystery in the story has someone preying on the local Amish community.  It has to be someone familiar with their ways and traditions. We are given several suspects and a lot of different diversions as we try to solve the mystery right along with Jakob and Claire. I was totally wrong and surprised.

I loved this story and I love this series. Laura Bradford has churned up another captivating cozy for us to enjoy. Don’t hold your horses, race right out to get this one today.

perfect 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 Laura 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 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.”

Jan 142016
 

special guest blue

Today I am so excited to welcome Jane Jensen to Escape With Dollycas! 

JANE JENSEN

HOME AGAIN: BACK TO LANCASTER COUNTY

By Jane Jensen

 

My new release, “Kingdom Come”, is a murder mystery set in the Amish community in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Detective Elizabeth Harris is the protagonist and, in many ways, her story is my story.

In the book, Elizabeth grew up in Quarryville Pennsylvania, a small town in Lancaster County. As a teen, she wanted desperately to leave her small town life, and she succeeded. She went to college in New York City and stayed there. She became a New York cop, got her Criminal Justice degree, and finally ended up a detective. But that’s all before the novel begins. At the start of “Kingdom Come”, Elizabeth is a new transplant back to Lancaster County. Like me.

I grew up in small town Pennsylvania and moved to California for my first job right out of college. I lived on the West Coast for the next twenty-odd years, both in California and Seattle. In 2010 my husband and I bought a farm in Lancaster County and moved back. My feelings about this place, and the transition home, form the bedrock of “Kingdom Come”.

Can you go home again? And is the simple life of the past really as idyllic as you imagine?

kingdom comeThese are some of the themes of the book. Elizabeth is burnt out as a New York cop, sick of the violence, and suffering from PTSD. She also had a horrendous personal loss when her husband was murdered in a random shooting. She dreams that by moving back to Lancaster County, she will find a place without the senseless violence of the city, a place where she can remember the good in the world, in people. She craves peace and quiet. But as a new detective for the Lancaster Bureau of Police, she’s about to encounter one of the most disturbing cases of her career—and learn that there can be snakes in the grass even in paradise.

My own experience of moving back to Lancaster County has been equally fraught with good and bad (though not as dramatically or fatally as Elizabeth’s). This is a place where my childhood memories walk out of my head and into real life. For example, I remember my mother and aunts wearing silky polyester dresses, often in floral patterns, and having short permed hair. This is not something you’d ever see on the West Coast, but here at the local farmer’s markets, you will see older women still in that same mode—and that’s not even the Amish women. The Amish and Mennonites are heavily populated in this area and they harken back even further, to the 1800’s. I carry my smart phone and check my messages next to a lady in a bonnet selling homemade canned peaches. Time seems to have stopped here, and, honestly, I love that. It’s like being a time traveler in a way.

I have always been drawn to old things—old barns, antique furniture, old cobblestone roads. One of my favorite places to travel is the British countryside, where you can still walk through sheep herds on the hills and sit in a stone-walled pub that’s three hundred years old. This part of me adores Lancaster County, where I ride over covered bridges and see men plowing fields with horses on the bike ride loop I take from my own home. Hell, parts of the farmhouse we live in dates from 1732.

But. But. The past has its own problems, doesn’t it? Dark secrets can lurk there, as Elizabeth finds out.  For myself, I’ve had to make peace with the fact that most of my neighbors have religious and political beliefs far more conservative than my own, that women’s rights and animal rights are in rather prehistoric states in many places here, and that I can face more dismissal and sexism as a female than I ever did on the West Coast.

There are many little incidents and encounters that we’ve experienced since returning that have ended up in “Kingdom Come”. And the descriptions of the barns, fields, farmhouses, and streams in the story are based on our farm too. Will Elizabeth come to regret her decision to return, or will the good out-weigh the bad in the end?

I’ll give you a hint: We have no plans to move.

I’ve included some photos from our own Lancaster odyssey.

The old bank barn on our farm, the interior of which provides the setting for several key scenes in the book.

The old bank barn on our farm, the interior of which provides the setting for several key scenes in the book.

Our fieldstone farmhouse, which dates from 1732.

Our fieldstone farmhouse, which dates from 1732.

 

The author (Jane Jensen) helping to install a new kitchen garden on the farm.

The author (Jane Jensen) helping to install a new kitchen garden on the farm.

The kitchen garden months later with our bulldog, Lola.

The kitchen garden months later with our bulldog, Lola.

Our barn’s free stall is open to the pasture and stream just like the ones in the book. This wintery scene is very much like the day Elizabeth is called in to investigate the body found in an Amish barn.

Our barn’s free stall is open to the pasture and stream just like the ones in the book. This wintery scene is very much like the day Elizabeth is called in to investigate the body found in an Amish barn.

5

The author’s husband in the pasture with our cow, Trueheart, and her new calf, Bessy.

The stream on our farm is the basis for the stream in “Kingdom Come”

The stream on our farm is the basis for the stream in “Kingdom Come”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~Jane Jensen

kingdom comeKingdom Come:
An Elizabeth Harris Mystery

1st in Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (January 5, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Ransom House LLC
Mystery/Amish & Mennonite Fiction/Women Sleuths
Setting – Pennsylvania
Trade Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425282892
E-Book ASIN: B00W2ZKVUK
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Amish country in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, has always been a place of quiet beauty—until a shocking murder shatters the peace, and leaves a troubled detective picking up the pieces…

After her husband is murdered, Detective Elizabeth Harris turns in her NYPD badge and moves back home, hoping that a quiet life in remote Pennsylvania Dutch country will help her overcome the dark memories of her ten years in New York. But when a beautiful, scantily clad “English” girl is found dead in the barn of a prominent Amish family, Elizabeth knows that she’s uncovered an evil that could shake the community to its core.

Elizabeth’s boss is convinced this was the work of an “English,” as outsiders are called in Lancaster County. But Elizabeth isn’t so sure. All she’s missing is an actual lead—until another body is found: this time, a missing Amish girl. Now Elizabeth must track down a killer with deep ties to a community that always protects its own—no matter how deadly the cost…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Detective Elizabeth Harris comes home from New York after her husband was murdered. She needs a quieter life to start over. But life at home isn’t at all what she expected. A body is found in a barn in the heart of the Amish community. The young girl is “English”, and her body had clearly been moved. Why would she be here were violence is condemned and life is  “simple”? As the most experienced officer Elizabeth is assigned to the case, she thinks the killer is nearby while others believe it has to be an English outsider.

This is the type of story that I would expect to see on an episode of Criminal Minds. They definitely needed help coming up with a profile for the killer, but I don’t know if even Shemar Moore’s Derek Morgan could figure this one out.

Elizabeth Harris is a very strong, intelligent woman. She is not afraid to go anywhere or do anything to get justice for this girl and for a girl that had gone missing months ago. The disappearance of the first girl was never reported by her parents because she was Amish and everyone thought she had just run off. Well Elizabeth doesn’t think that is the case. When the police handle the Amish with kid gloves she becomes very frustrated.

The author tells us before the story even begins that nothing like this has even happened in an Amish community but she sure writes a believable story. The characters come alive in the pages as does the town, the woods, the fields, and especially the river. The imagery was absolutely fantastic.

We meet Ezra Beiler, a Amish man who lost her his wife an child at a very young age. He is unhappy living in the Amish community and there is almost an immediate spark between him and Elizabeth. Their budding romance and flirtation plays throughout the story. The romance ebbs and flows and sometimes collides with the intense drama.

This story is very well written but some parts were a bit predictable. I could tell from one of the girl’s behavior an underlying cause quite early, but was totally surprised by the way the story peaked.

I am happy to see the author plans on a series with these characters because I truly want to know them better. I feel their story is just beginning. This story has set the series off to a fine start.

enjoyable 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Jane Jensen is a novelist and game designer. Best known for her computer game series, Gabriel Knight, and her novel, Dante’s Equation, Jensen has published seventeen games and four thriller novels. She also publishes romance as Eli Easton. She lives with her husband, Robert Holmes, in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

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 Jane for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End January 28, 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 022016
 

angels burningAngels Burning
Trade Paperback Release – January 5, 2016
Suspense/Psychological Thriller
Setting – Pennsylvania
Gallery Books
An Imprint of Simon & Schuster Inc.
Trade Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1476755953
E-Book ASIN: B00UDCNJLC
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

 

 

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Oprah Book Club pick Back Roads comes this fast-paced literary thriller about a small town police chief who’s forced to dig into her own shadowy past as she investigates the murder of a teenage girl.

On the surface, Chief Dove Carnahan is a true trailblazer who would do anything to protect the rural Pennsylvanian countryside where she has lived all fifty of her years. Traditional and proud of her blue-collar sensibilities, Dove is loved by her community. But beneath her badge lies a dark and self-destructive streak, fed by a secret she has kept since she was sixteen.

When a girl is beaten to death, her body tossed down a fiery sinkhole in an abandoned coal town, Dove is faced with solving the worst crime of her law enforcement career. She identifies the girl as a daughter of the Truly family, a notoriously irascible dynasty of rednecks and petty criminals.

During her investigation, the man convicted of killing Dove’s mother years earlier is released from prison. Still proclaiming his innocence, he approaches Dove with a startling accusation and a chilling threat that forces her to face the parallels between her own family’s trauma and that of the Trulys.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Told from Dove Carnahan’s point of view you quickly find out she is a complex individual. She has not had an easy life and her childhood has left her damaged. She has friends but walls up that prevent her from getting into a real relationship. Her mother was murdered when she was fifteen and the man convicted of the crime has just been released from jail. He is pushing Dove to admit she knows he didn’t do it and she lied when she accused him. Her sister Neely, a dog trainer, is also scarred from the death of her mother. Their brother left town as soon as he turned 18 and they rarely here from him. Dove is the police chief in their rural Pennsylvanian town. She watches over the town and the residents love her. But she has a secret that could change everything. The  death of young Camio Truly has stirred up memories and feelings she thought she left in the past.

Tawni O’Dell has created some amazing characters. Dysfunctional families with some huge secrets. From the children to the adults, they are all unique characters and so fleshed out. Derk Truly, Camio youngest brother, is a little boy with no fear and ability to traverse to surprising places. Camio’s mother seems to be in a trace most days, gazing at a television screen while life goes on around her. Even the death of her daughter can’t draw her out. Neely has several dogs herself, all very well behaved. She trains other dogs for many things and she rules her classes strictly, she is a perfectionist. Her way to bring order to at least one part of her life. Dove also needs order in her life so her life has become her job. She tries to keep her past in the past but it comes spilling out all over.

The death of Camio Truly was horrifying. Who would have done this? Who gains by having her dead? Each little twist and each big turn draw us deeper into the well written story. I was truly surprised by the final revelations and the way the past and the future interconnected.  I felt a myriad of emotions while reading this book, sadness, sympathy, empathy and more. This was a book that was hard to put down, I appreciated the small minutes of humor because this was a really heavy story. A story of life, lives I am sorry these characters had to endure, but that is what makes it a great read.

enjoyable 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about author Tawni O’Dell on her webpage here.

Tawni O’Dell on Amazon


Click on covers to order from Amazon.

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 14, 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

Dec 172015
 

CHRISTMAS mOURNINGA Christmas Mourning:
An Amish Mystery Short Story

Cozy Mystery
Setting – Pennsylvania
Beyond the Page (November 12, 2015)
Print Length: 63 pages
ASIN: B017Y41LIY
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Claire Weatherly has come to respect how the Amish of Heavenly, Pennsylvania, value tradition. But not all traditions are necessarily quaint. When a decades-old mystery threatens the well-being of local police detective Jakob Fisher, she’ll pit herself against a community rooted in the past so that he can get on with his future.

When Claire decides to visit the one-room schoolhouse Jakob attended as a young Amish boy, she’s puzzled by his refusal to go along too. As Jakob tells his story, Claire is stunned and saddened by the heartbreaking tale of a childhood mistake that led to the mysterious disappearance of a precious family artifact—and signaled the first break between Jakob and his mother, made all the more painful now that he’s been shunned by the family and community he loves.

Knowing there’s only one way to help heal the irreparable wound that continues to haunt Jakob, Claire sets off to follow the trail of the missing heirloom, never suspecting that it will lead her to Jakob’s oldest friend, a long-ago Christmas secret, and an enduring truth about family, love, and the power of forgiveness.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A perfect story for the season even though it takes place in the summer. Scratching your head, well let me explain.

We all have Christmas traditions but way back when a young Jakob Fisher was in school something happened that changed one of his family’s Christmas traditions.  All these years later Claire is trying to heal that hole that was created.

I like this brief little visit to Heavenly. Claire’s love for Jakob just glows. She hates that he is shunned by his family and will do anything to bring them closer.

A heartwarming story that will stick with you. The story may be a short one but my emotions were all over the place.

We only have to wait 2 months for out next visit as A Churn for the Worse releases March 1. I can’t wait!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Laura Bradford and her alter ego Elizabeth Lynn Casey on her webpage here.


New Series Coming June 7, 2016

Click Here for more books by Laura Bradford
Click here for her books as Elizabeth Lynn Casey

*This book is from my personal library.

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