Apr 012015
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640
Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am still behind on my posts but am making progress.
Rebecca was originally to be my guest last Wednesday.

Rebecca Hale author pic size large

San Francisco’s Golden Gate: Hidden in Plain Sight

In the first five books of the How to Wash a Cat series, Rupert and Isabella’s feline adventures have taken them all over San Francisco and across Northern California. From their home base in the Jackson Square antique shop, the cats have ventured out to explore the murals of Coit Tower, the science museum in Golden Gate Park, and the cupola at the top of City Hall. With the help of a cat-modified stroller, they’ve visited a California gold mining town, the State Capitol, and historic Monterrey. Along the way, the cats have uncovered Gold Rush treasure, cavorted with multitalented frogs, rescued an abducted albino alligator, and unmasked the murderer of a City Hall intern.

how to catch a catRupert and Isabella’s latest mystery takes them on a journey through time – back to 1775 when the first European sailboat discovered the Golden Gate, the passage leading from the Pacific Ocean into the San Francisco Bay.

With each book in the series, I’ve tried to capture an intriguing aspect of San Francisco history or culture. There’s no shortage of potential material. The Bay Area has always prided itself on being quirky and peculiar.

The story of the San Carlos certainly fits the bill. For hundreds of years, mariners failed to notice the opening to the San Francisco Bay. Even after Governor Portola stumbled across the estuary on a land expedition, few believed the enormous bay he described existed.

The Golden Gate, the opening now spanned by San Francisco’s famous red bridge, was hidden in plain sight. The hills on the bay’s east side combined with the bay islands of Alcatraz and Angel to create an optical illusion. From the perspective of someone sailing in the Pacific Ocean, the shoreline appeared to be contiguous. Some of the world’s most famous explorers sailed right past the strait, never giving it a second glance.

The San Carlos might have missed it too – if not for the assistance of a sharp-eyed Siamese named Isabella…

~Rebecca

About The Author

NY Times bestselling author REBECCA M. HALE worked for almost ten years as a patent attorney in the San Francisco Bay Area before taking time off to write her first novel, HOW TO WASH A CAT. She is now the author of nine Penguin titles and a growing list of ebooks released under her own imprint Green Vase Publishing. She writes fiction, typically in the form of quirky mysteries that reflect her travel experiences and the people she meets on her journeys.

Rebecca lives in Western Colorado with her feline writing associates, that is, when she’s not off researching future books set in San Francisco, the Caribbean or wherever else her wandering spirit takes her.

Find out more on her webpage here.

how to catch a catHow to Catch a Cat
(Cats and Curios Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – California
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (March 3, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Mary Ann Lasher
Cover Design by Diana Kolsky
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425258880
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A serial killer with a peculiar penchant for City Hall interns is on the loose in San Francisco, and it’s up to me—and my two cats, Rupert and Isabella—to put a stop to the spree. Unfortunately, worrying about my uncle Oscar’s failing health and assisting with the interim mayor’s America’s Cup regatta doesn’t leave me with much opportunity to chase down clues.

Could the key to apprehending the killer be found in San Francisco’s sailing history? The first European vessel to pass through the Golden Gate contained a familiar cast of human—and feline—passengers as well as an elusive killer who used a similar murder weapon. Will the past catch up to the present in time to crack the case?

Dollycas’s Thoughts
The truly is one of my favorite series. They are so much more than mysteries that are adventures and Rebecca M. Hale spins quite a story or should I say stories. She takes the reader back and forth from 1775 to present time and gives this series a fabulous finish.

Again the story picks up right where the last one leaves off as Oscar, his niece and her cats are trying to catch the Knitting Needle Ninja. A killer who hides blades in the ends of knitting needles, apparently it is a weapon used way back in the past too. This time the story focuses on an America’s Cup Regatta in present day and the search for a hidden bay off the coast in the past. The stories parallel perfectly and leave the reader wondering about all the characters.

Like my reviews of previous books in this series I stress that these books need to be read in order because each one builds to the next. Reading this as a stand alone would leave too many questions or disappointment for the reader. The entire series is excellent so if you are not already a fan please start from the beginning.

The author does a vast amount of research and her fiction is based on facts which really draws me into these stories. I always want to do a little research on my own after finishing or sometimes during these stories. Her writing style is very creative and it takes a few chapters to get into the rhythm but soon the reader is so immersed in the story it is as if you are watching a movie as the pictures just form before your eyes.

The characters are rich, genuine and also quirky and the cats Rupert and Isabella are some of the finest felines you will find in fiction today.

This book is dedicated to the readers by Rupert, Isabella and Rebecca – stating “It has been a pleasure sharing our adventures with you.” Well all I have to say the pleasure was all mine. I loved each and every one of them!

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.

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

Leave a comment for Rebecca 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 April 14, 2015 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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

Jul 122013
 

ode to a fish sandwich
Ode to a Fish Sandwich (Quirky Tales from the Caribbean)
Short Mystery Story
Green Vase Publishing (June 24, 2013)
E-Book File Size: 252 KB (92 pages)
ASIN: B00DLQJXQC

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Recently jilted at the altar, Dr. Walcott Emerson Jones decides to set off on his honeymoon without his runaway bride. An adventurous week on a remote Caribbean island is just what the sun-averse dermatologist needs to mend his broken heart.

Along the way, he braves a creepy cane field, tracks a grief-stricken fisherman up the side of a volcano, and befriends a chef at the local beachside diner.

But the calculating cook has broader ambitions than spending the rest of her life serving up fish sandwiches, and the spurned diamond ring hanging from the doctor’s neck is a prize too tempting to resist. Will the vacationer’s last meal on the island turn into his last meal – ever?

A story about a man, a fish, and the daily special.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
This novella is Rebecca Hale’s first Quirky Tale from the Caribbean and it was a real treat.

Following Dr. Jones around the island for a week was fantastic and yes, quirky! Not happy staying with the confines of the posh resort he travels outside the gates and meets the unique residents of the island like Winnie, owner of Delilah’s Beachside Diner, who makes the best fish sandwiches ever. The islanders don’t know what to make of this man covered head to toe with either clothes or sunscreen but for the week he becomes a daily fixture in their lives. The even give him the nickname “White Wally”.

The story also has some quirky twists that had me humming the theme music from the old Twilight Zone television show as I reached the end.

A fun read for a quick summer escape to the Caribbean. One problem, I am now craving an authentic island fish sandwich 🙂

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Rebecca M. Hale is the NY Times bestselling author of How to Wash a Cat. The series, starring Rebecca’s cats Rupert and Isabella, takes place at an antique shop in San Francisco’s historic Jackson Square. While fictional, each book features a different aspect of California history — from the Gold Rush (How to Wash a Cat), to the San Francisco exploits of Mark Twain (Nine Lives Last Forever), to the Bear Flag Revolt (How to Moon a Cat). The fourth book in the series, How to Tail a Cat, came out September, 2012.

Rebecca just released a new Mystery in the Islands series, set in the US Virgin Islands, which starts with Adrift on St. John.  The second book in the series, Afoot on St. Croix (Mystery in the Islands), is scheduled for an October 2013 release.

Ode to a Fish Sandwich (Quirky Tales from the Caribbean) is the first short story in this series available as an e-book only.

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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.”

2013EbookChallenge2013where are you readingreadalattechallenge_zps01d248d0

Sep 072012
 

How to Tail a Cat
(Cats and Curios Mystery)

4th Book in Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (September 4, 2012)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cozy Mystery
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages ISBN-13: 978-0425251294
Cover Illustration by Mary Ann Lasher
Cover Design by Diana Kolsky

How to Tail a Cat

Never a dull moment in San Francisco. The mayor is headed to Sacramento as Lieutenant Governor and an interim mayor needs to be selected by the board. But much more exciting is the albino alligator that is on the loose and been sighted in many places from Fisherman’s Wharf to Nob Hill.

Oscar’s niece and her cats Isabella and Rupert don’t have time to tail an alligator. Her uncle has left her more clues to chase and this adventure starts at Lick’s Fried Chicken and has something to do with the Steinhart brothers. This is where the alligator connection begins as in the 1900’s the brothers were the benefactors who provided the original funding for the alligator’s aquarium.

So which trail to follow? Hunt for Oscar’s hidden treasure if there even is one? Or follow the aspiring mayor, Monty Carmichael, around town as he tries to capture the alligator? It would be bad if Monty became lunch for the pale reptile but Isabella seems set on following Uncle Oscar’s clues. What to do? Maybe both!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I love these cats and these stories. Rupert and Isabella are two awesome cats, even if they just want fried chicken for dinner like Uncle Oscar used to make. One is very opinionated and inquisitive, the other much more laid back, both are very entertaining. They are the main characters of these stories.

I also love these stories because they have real settings and true adventures. There really is a Steinhart Aquarium and they really do have an albino alligator, his name is Claude. He is definitely the inspiration for Clive in the story right down to an injury and bad eyesight. You can even see him here. The California Academy of Sciences looks like such a cool place and Rebecca M. Hale takes us there on a mini escape. She takes real happenings and places and creates a mystery around them. Sometimes you really wonder what is real and what is fiction and that just keeps those pages turning. Her previous book in the series How to Moon a Cat, was my choice for Best Cozy Mystery in 2011 for just that reason. You find yourself drawn into the story, following the clues, down in the tunnels, out on the streets, and all around San Francisco. CHOMP! The story just grabs you and hold on tight.

It has to be hard to write for cats, alligators, and humans but this author seems to do it with ease. Oh Rebecca, where will you, Rupert and Isabella take us next? I can’t wait for our next adventure.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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

Mar 082012
 

I am super thrilled to welcome Rebecca here today. Her book How to Moon a Cat was my pick for Best Cozy of 2011. Her new series, Mystery In The Islands, is quite different from the Cats and Curios Mysteries. I am excited that she is here to tell us how the new series new series came to “fruition.”

Welcome Rebecca!

Hi Everyone!

I first traveled to St. John in September, 2007. A good friend of mine planned to get married on the beach, so several of us decided to fly down for the ceremony. I had never been to the Caribbean, and this seemed like the perfect excuse to check it out.

Of course, I had a fabulous time. I fell in love with the beaches, the water, and the jaw-dropping landscape. But the end of that journey came far too soon. I knew there was much more there for me to explore.

As soon as I got home, I booked a return ticket. A few weeks later, I boarded a plane for my first official island research trip.

It was during that second visit that I met many of the people who inspired the fictional characters in Adrift on St. John (Mystery in the Islands)

There was the crazy-eyed hippie with a beat up guitar case who slid into the bench seat behind me on a stormy ferry ride from Charlotte Amalie to Cruz Bay. The scrawny little man chatted at me the entire way across the Pillsbury Sound. He had been coming down to St. John for the last twenty years, and each time, he assured me, he stayed at the Maho Bay Eco Resort – in his favorite cabin that he fondly called the “Teepee Tent.”

Then there was the group of ex-pats I met outside a local bar at a table positioned uncomfortably close to a large refuse bin. On the day I joined them, the Dumpster table crowd included a chubby Puerto Rican sous chef, a frizzy-haired deckhand from one of the local dive shops, and a short muscular contractor whose wife had left him several years earlier after a failed migration from Minnesota to St. Croix. The conversation soon drifted to the sad fate of Kaka, a previous resident of the sous chef’s and deck hand’s moldy basement apartment.

The most significant inspiration, however, occurred late one night while riding into town on the back bed of a truck taxi. A housemaid from the resort sat a few feet away, complaining bitterly about the water taxi she would soon be boarding for her trip home to St. Thomas. Something had come up at the resort, and she’d had to work past the departure time of the last regular ferry out of Cruz Bay.

I can still remember her indignant, heavily accented voice, lamenting the consequences of her late night shift.

“What-ter taxi…what-ter taxi…ohhh, no…
Eye doon nut lyke thuh what-ter taxi…
Beeg sheep go down slowe…
Small sheep go down fest….
Eye wurk und Eye wurk,
But steel Eye’ve gut to tek thuh what-ter taxi…
Ack, Eye doon nut lyke the what-ter taxi…”

Water taxi…water taxi…oh, no…
I do not like the water taxi…
Big ship go down slow…
Small ship go down fast…
I work and I work,
But still I’ve got to take the water taxi…
Ack, I do not like the water taxi…

It was then that I knew I had to write a book based on these experiences. It’s taken several years to come to fruition, but I hope you enjoy sharing my journey Adrift on St. John (Mystery in the Islands).

About This Author

Rebecca M. Hale is the NY Times bestselling author of How to Wash a Cat. The series, starring Rebecca’s cats Rupert and Isabella, takes place at an antique shop in San Francisco’s historic Jackson Square. While fictional, each book features a different aspect of California history — from the Gold Rush (How to Wash a Cat), to the San Francisco exploits of Mark Twain (Nine Lives Last Forever), to the Bear Flag Revolt (How to Moon a Cat). The fourth book in the series, How to Tail a Cat, is due out September, 2012.

Rebecca just released a new Mystery in the Islands series, set in the US Virgin Islands, which starts with Adrift on St. John.  The second book in the series, AFOOT ON ST. CROIX, is scheduled for 2013 release

Adrift on St. John
(Mystery in the Islands)

A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group

Available Now!

Pen Hoffstra made a huge decision four years ago to escape the rat race and relocate to paradise. She quickly realized the idea of a tropical paradise is really just an illusion.

When a young woman, Hannah Sheridan, a new resident of St. John, disappears and a water taxi mysteriously sinks off the island, she is not surprised that all is not what it seems. Hannah had an uncanny resemblance to the Amina Slave Princess from the 1733 Slave Revolt on St. John.  The ghost of the princess is said to haunt the island. The residents of St. John start to believe she is the reason for the sinking of the taxi and Hannah’s disappearance.

Only one person really knows the truth, the whole truth, and it is definitely not what anyone suspects.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
This story is another Rebecca M. Hale story that it is steeped in history but it takes a little different turn. It is a very complicated mystery full of deception, denial, and some delightful duplicity. The author takes us on a wild spin around this small island where everyone seems to have a secret and nothing is really as it appears.

The setting seems so ideal but while this may be a great place to visit I can see why it may not be the best place to live. Everything is quite pricey, the population is only a few thousand and area is really small, just 19 square miles. However it is a magical place for an obscure mystery.  A mystery where no one really knows anybody, where sometimes the price for living in paradise is just too great. 

This is perfect story to escape into, escape to the paradise of St. John, just beware just when you think you have everything figured out, you don’t.  Enjoy!!

p.s. You are going to love Fred!!!

 

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have
2 copies of this wonderful book to giveaway,

but thanks to the generosity of Rebecca I have some awesome swag to giveaway.

In addition to the book, two winners will receive
matted photo from Rebecca’s research trip to St. John!

Three additional people will win 2 matted photos
and 5 more will receive a set of picture postcards.

These picture are amazing!!!

U.S. & Canadian Residents
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 Rebecca for 5 Bonus Entries.

Tell your friends and family about this book!
If you publicize the giveaway anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End March 22, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted 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.”

The Barkery & Biscuits Mystery Book Series by Linda O. JohnstonBUY TODAY
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