May 132017

I will be reviewing this book next month.
The Girl Who Was Taken
Suspense Thriller
Kensington (April 25, 2017)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496701008

Charlie Donlea, one of the most original new voices in suspense, returns with a haunting novel, laden with twists and high tension, about two abducted girls–one who returns, one who doesn’t–and the forensics expert searching for answers.

Nicole Cutty and Megan McDonald are both high school seniors in the small town of Emerson Bay, North Carolina. When they disappear from a beach party one warm summer night, police launch a massive search. No clues are found, and hope is almost lost until Megan miraculously surfaces after escaping from a bunker deep in the woods.

A year later, the bestselling account of her ordeal has turned Megan from local hero to national celebrity. It’s a triumphant, inspiring story, except for one inconvenient detail: Nicole is still missing. Nicole’s older sister Livia, a fellow in forensic pathology, expects that one day soon Nicole’s body will be found, and it will be up to someone like Livia to analyze the evidence and finally determine her sister’s fate. Instead, the first clue to Nicole’s disappearance comes from another body that shows up in Livia’s morgue–that of a young man connected to Nicole’s past. Livia reaches out to Megan for help, hoping to learn more about the night the two were taken. Other girls have gone missing too, and Livia is increasingly certain the cases are connected.

But Megan knows more than she revealed in her blockbuster book. Flashes of memory are coming together, pointing to something darker and more monstrous than her chilling memoir describes. And the deeper she and Livia dig, the more they realize that sometimes true terror lies in finding exactly what you’ve been looking for.


Emerson Bay, NC
August 20, 2016
11:22 p.m.

Darkness had forever been part of her life.

She looked for it and flirted with it. Became quaint with it and charmed it in a way foreign to most. Morbidly of late, she convinced herself about the joys of its company. That she preferred the blackness of death to the light of existence. Until tonight. Until she stood in front of an abyss that was dead and blank in a way she had never encountered, a night sky without stars. When Nicole Cutty found herself in this chasm between life and death, she chose life. And she ran like hell.

With no flashlight, the night blinded her as she broke through the front entrance. Knowing he was just an arm’s length behind, adrenaline flooded her system and drove her for a few strides in the wrong direction until her eyes adjusted to the tarnished glow of the moon. Spotting her car, she reoriented herself and ran for it, fumbling with the handle until she ripped open the door. The keys hung from the ignition and Nicole cranked the engine, shifted into drive and stepped on the accelerator. She gave the engine too much gas and nearly sideswiped the vehicle in front of her. Her headlights brought to life the ink-black night, and from the corner of her eye she saw a flash of color from his shirt as he appeared from around the hood of the parked car in front of her. She had no time to react. She felt the thud of impact and the awful rocking of the car’s suspension as the wheels absorbed the unevenness of his body before regaining traction on the gravel road. Her response came without thought. She pushed the accelerator to the floor and twisted a tight U-turn, then raced down the narrow road leaving everything behind her.

Nicole jerked the wheel as she skidded onto the main road, swaying in the driver’s seat as the fishtail settled and ignoring the speedometer as it climbed past 80 mph. She flexed her arm from where he’d grabbed her, a deep purple bruise already forming, while her eyes bounced from the windshield to the rearview mirror. Two miles went by before she eased off the four-cylinder and the whine quieted down. Being free gave her no relief. Too much had happened to believe fleeing could make the problems of tonight disappear. She needed help.

As she turned onto the access road that led back to the beach, Nicole ticked off the people she couldn’t ask. Her brain worked that way, in the negative. Before deciding who could assist her, she mentally crossed off the people who would do her harm. Her parents were at the top of the list. The police, a close second. Her friends were possibilities, but they were soft and hysterical and Nicole knew they would panic before she explained even a fraction of what had transpired tonight. Her mind churned, ignoring the only real possibility until she had ruled out all others.

Nicole paused at the stop sign, rolled through it while she grabbed her phone. She needed her sister. Livia was older and smarter. Rational in a way Nicole was not. If she dismissed the last stretch of their lives and ignored the distance between them, Nicole knew she could trust Livia with her life. And even if she wasn’t sure about this, she had no other options.

She stuck the phone to her ear and listened to it ring while tears rolled down her cheeks. It was close to midnight. She was a block from the beach party.

“Pick up, pick up, pick up. Please, Livia!”

2 Weeks Later

Emerson Bay Forest
September 3, 2016
11:54 p.m.

She pulled the burlap from her head and gasped for air. It took time for her eyes to adjust while amorphous shapes danced in her vision and the blackness faded. She listened for his presence but all she heard was the splattering rain outside. Dropping the burlap bag to the ground, she tiptoed to the bunker door. Surprised to see it opened a crack, she put her face to the crevasse between the door and the frame and looked out into the dark forest as rain pelted the trees. She imagined a camera lens trained tightly on her eyeball as she peered through the splinter in the door, and then the camera’s focus backing out in a slow reverse zoom that captured first the door, then the bunker, then the trees and eventually a satellite view of the entire forest. She felt small and weak from this mental picture of herself, all alone in a bunker sunk deep in the woods.

She questioned whether this was a test. If she pushed through the door and stepped into the woods, there was the chance he would be waiting for her. But if the open door and the moment free from her shackle were an oversight, it was his first misstep and the only opportunity she’d had in the last two weeks. This was the first moment she found herself untethered from the wall of her cellar.
With her hands trembling and still bound in front of her, she pushed open the door. The hinges creaked into the night before the slapping rain overwhelmed their whine. She waited a moment, held back by fear. She squeezed her eyes shut and forced herself to think, tried to push away her grogginess brought on by the sedatives. The hours of darkness from the cellar came back to her and flashed in her mind like a lightning storm. So, too, did the promise she made to herself that if an opportunity for escape appeared, she’d take it. She decided days before that she’d rather die fighting for her freedom than walk like a lamb to the slaughter.

She took a hesitant step out of the bunker, into the thick and heavy rain that ran in cold steaks down her face. She took a moment to bathe in the downpour, to let the water clear the fogginess from her mind. Then, she ran.

The forest was dark and the rain torrent. With tape binding her wrists, she tried to deflect the branches that whipped her face. She stumbled on a log and fell into the slippery leaves before forcing herself up again. She had counted the days and thought she’d been missing for twelve. Maybe thirteen. Stuck in a dark cellar where her captor stowed her and fed her, she may have missed a day when fatigue sent her into a long stretch of sleep. Tonight, he moved her to the forest. Dread had overwhelmed her as she bounced in the trunk, and a nauseous feeling told her the end was near. But now freedom was in front of her, somewhere beyond this forest and the rain and this night, she might find her way home.

She ran blindly, taking erratic turns that stole from her all sense of direction. Finally, she heard the roar of a semi truck as its wheels splashed through the wet pavement. Breathing heavily, she sprinted towards the noise and up an embankment that led to the two-lane highway. In the distance, the truck’s red taillights sped on, fading with each second.

She stumbled into the middle of the road and on wobbly legs chased the lights as though she might catch them. The rain pelted her face and matted her hair and drenched her ratty clothing. Barefoot, she continued in a push-slap, push-slap gait brought on by the deep gash on her right foot—suffered during her frantic march through the forest—which trickled a crooked line of blood behind her that the storm worked to erase. Driven by panic that he would come from the forest, she willed herself on with the sensation that he was near, ready to fast step behind her and pull the sac over her head and bring her back to the cellar with no windows.

Dehydrated and hallucinating, she thought her eyes were deceiving her when she saw it. A tiny white light far off in the distance. She staggered toward it until the light splintered in two and grew in size. She stayed in the middle of the road and waved her bound hands over her head.

The car slowed as it approached, flashed its high beams to illuminate her standing in the road in wet clothes and no shoes, with scratches covering her face and dripping blood down her neck to dye her T-shirt red.
The car stopped, wipers throwing water to each side. The driver’s door opened.

“Are you okay?” the man yelled over the roar the storm.

“I need help,” she said.

They were the first words she’d spoken in days, her voice raspy and dry. The rain, she finally noticed, tasted wonderful.

The man walked closer, recognized her. “Good god. The whole state’s been looking for you.” He took her under his arm and led her to the car, carefully seating her in the front passenger seat.

“Go!” she said. “He’s coming, I know it.”

The man raced around to the other side, shifting the car into drive before his door was closed. He dialed 911 as he sped along Highway 57.

“Where’s your friend?” he asked.

The girl looked at him. “Who?”

“Nicole Cutty. The other girl who was taken.”

About the Author

Charlie Donlea lives in Chicago with his wife and two young children. He spends a part of each year fishing with his father in the far reaches of Canada, where the roads end and lakes are accessible only by floatplane. These majestic trips to “God’s Country” inspired the setting for his novels. With so many choices of entertainment, and countless other books to choose from, he thanks you for spending your time and treasure on his creation. Readers can find him online at

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Kensington is hosting a giveaway!!
One winner will receive:
Finished copy of SUMMIT LAKE by Charlie Donlea
Finished copy of THE GIRL WHO WAS TAKEN by Charlie Donlea


Contest Ends May 31, 2017
They will announce the winner.


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Apr 242017
Day of Secrets
Setting – California
Self Published
Release Date – May 5, 2017



A mother he thought he’d lost. A father he never knew. An enemy that wants them dead.

At the age of five, Chase Day became an orphan. For thirty-one years, after a rebellious youth, he did his best to turn his life around and build a normal life—first as a Naval officer and then as a history professor at a boutique Bay Area college. Now, all that changes when he finds his mother, whom he thought had perished in a fire, dying from a gunshot wound. In her last breath, she urges him to find and protect the father he never knew. Where has his father been? Why has he never made contact? Can Chase discover why his family is a target before an unknown enemy destroys him?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Daryl Wood Gerber brings us her 2nd suspense filled story following Girl on the Run.

I was thrilled to receive an advance copy of this book.

Chase Day gets a terrifying phone call from a woman he had thought was dead. He knows that voice, his mother’s, without thinking twice he rushes to her aid. He finds her dying of a gunshot wound. In her last breath, she begs him to save his father. A man he has never met. Using his naval officer’s training and experience he tries to find his father and find out why his family is being hunted.

Wood takes us on a heart pumping adventure that will have you glued to your seat from the first page until the last. I read the entire book all in one sitting.

Chase Day is such an interesting character. His mother left him at the age of 5, he never knew his father. He is raised by his grandmother. He joined the Navy after graduation and now works as a college history professor. He has real trust issues. He has suffered from PTSD and works with a group helping those that are suffering. With some help from his friends and borrowing several of their vehicles he is trying to uncover the secrets that have put his family and those close to him in the sights of a killer.

We follow Day on a corkscrew of twists and turns as he makes contact with the people in his mother’s past. All of them seem to be hiding something. He even bumps into his old high school girlfriend and thinks she seems may be in on the plan to eliminate his family. Day doesn’t even know if he can trust the police. Is he being paranoid? Who can he really rely on?

This is a captivating story of physical and emotional pain, deception, and revelation. Day’s story is thrilling and heartbreaking.  It is a story that will stick with well beyond the final page. Daryl Wood Gerber has proven again to be a gifted storyteller and one to watch in this genre. An absolute must-read!


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Agatha Award-winning and nationally bestselling author DARYL WOOD GERBER ventures into the world of suspense again with her second novel, DAY OF SECRETS. Daryl writes the bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries and will soon debut the new French Bistro Mysteries. As Avery Aames, she pens the bestselling Cheese Shop Mysteries. Fun tidbit: asan actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to read and cook,and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!

Visit Daryl or Avery

Daryl’s Blog Avery’s Blog Mystery Lover’s Kitchen Killer Characters

Facebook:   Daryl      Avery 

Twitter: @AveryAames @DarylWoodGerber

Goodreads:    Daryl Wood Gerber     Avery Aames

Click on covers to view details on Amazon.

No Giveaway today,
but you can pre-order Day of Secrets for just 99¢
and have it delivered to your device on May 5.

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.”

Feb 282017
For the first time ever, one of Harlan Coben’s #1 New York Times bestselling hardcovers will be going straight to trade paperback with the release of HOME (on sale February 28th, 2017) TODAY!
I reviewed this book back on September 20 when the hardcover was released and gave it a Paradise Rating – More then 5 stars!
It was one of my Top Reads of 2016.
Today I am reposting my review and the publisher is allowing me to give 2 copies away!!
Myron Bolitar Book 11
Dutton (September 20, 2016) TODAY!
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Hardcover: 400 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0525955108
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Ten years after the high-profile kidnapping of two young boys, only one returns home in Harlan Coben’s gripping thriller.

A decade ago, kidnappers grabbed two boys from wealthy families and demanded ransom, then went silent. No trace of the boys ever surfaced. For ten years their families have been left with nothing but painful memories and a quiet desperation for the day that has finally, miraculously arrived: Myron Bolitar and his friend Win believe they have located one of the boys, now a teenager. Where has he been for ten years, and what does he know about the day, more than half a life ago, when he was taken? And most critically: What can he tell Myron and Win about the fate of his missing friend? Drawing on his singular talent, Harlan Coben delivers an explosive and deeply moving thriller about friendship, family, and the meaning of home.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

First let me state this book can easily read as a stand-a-lone, but the main characters have a history and after reading this book you will want to know that history.

The story starts with Myron getting a call from Win. Ten years ago two boys went missing and for Win it is personal because one of the boys was family. After all this time Win receives information that puts him back on the trail and he needs Myron’s help. These two are like the dynamic duo only while Myron is the star of these books he is more often Robin to Win’s Batman.

While Myron does make appearances in Coben’s young adult series, Live Wire, the last Myron Bolitar thriller was published in 2011, so at first I was worried first about my memory of everything Bolitar but also if during the years away the characters wouldn’t live up to my hopes.  Coben has written some stellar thrillers since we last visited these characters so the bar was set really high. Well, I need not have worried, my memories picked up like I has read the previous book the day before  and Coben hits this one out of the park!

Myron, Win (Windsor Lockhorne III), Esperanza and Big Cindi are all back. Mickey, Myron’s nephew and his girlfriend and friend Spoon (Young Adult Series) along with Myron’s parents are all involved in this book. We meet more of Win’s family and the other missing boy’s family too. Plus the criminals who play a part in this story. They are all vital and spring from the pages.

The entire plot starts and ends with gripping and astounding twists, exactly what I expect from this author. The story has tons of drama, action, and mystery along with several edge of your seat moments. Family interactions and deep psychological matters are revealed that had me absolutely stunned. There are some moments of humor too that fans of Myron and Win will truly appreciate. These two are a pair like no other.

The pace is so fast. I wanted to savor this story I had been waiting so long for but with points of view continually switching between Myron and Win that was impossible.  I did the just one more chapter thing so many times I just gave up and stayed up and finished the whole thing and again at the end I exclaimed “WOW!” His books tend to have that effect on me.

In recent years my reading has been more on the cozy side but if I had to choose my all time favorite author my answer has been and will be Harlan Coben. His writing grabs me by the collar and doesn’t let go. I anxiously await each new book. As I finished this one I thought is this the last Bolitar novel? The characters seem to be in a good place so it could be but I sure hope it is not. I do know that whatever this author writes I am going to want to read it immediately so I can’t wait to see where he takes me next.

paradise 2016


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Thanks to the publisher I have 2 copies 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.

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

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

Contest Will End March 14, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

To find out more about Harlan Coben and his books visit his webpage here.

Myron and Mickey Bolitar Series’

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher via NetGalley. 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.”

#Spotlight / #Giveaway – The Detroit Im Dying Trilogy by T.V. LoCicero

 Giveaways, Spotlights  Comments Off on #Spotlight / #Giveaway – The Detroit Im Dying Trilogy by T.V. LoCicero
Feb 252017

The Car Bomb (The Detroit Im Dying Trilogy)
TLC Media (May 7, 2013)
1st in Trilogy
Paperback: 222 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0615811772
Kindle ASIN: B00CP5CD5I

Detroit’s top TV newsman Frank DeFauw hunts down the story of a judge who may be corrupt—and is one of his best friends. Booze, drugs, womanizing and a passion for the news are all part of what makes brilliant, erratic Frank a major player in this deeply troubled city.

Plagued by his own dark pleasures and followed by a deadly assassin, Frank is finally forced to decide if digging out the truth about a bribe to his pal the judge is worth risking his career, his family and his life.

Admission of Guilt (The Detroit Im Dying Trilogy)
2nd in Trilogy
TLC Media (May 22, 2013)
Paperback: 248 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0615823393
Kindle ASIN: B00D5Z5J62

A 12-year-old girl is the desperate focus of three men—John, a dedicated young teacher searching for vigilante justice, Charlie, a small-time private detective with a checkered past, and Steven, a top mafia narcotics importer.

Their paths cross when John makes a shocking, vengeful move to save his eighth-grade students from Detroit’s vicious drug wars, Steven’s young daughter goes missing, and Charlie, hired to find her, confronts a moral dilemma that will change all their lives.

Babytrick (The Detroit Im Dying Trilogy)
3rd in Trilogy
TLC Media (August 20, 2015)
Paperback: 260 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1517023386
Kindle ASIN: B0148RTRFE

Camie at 14 is a wild Detroit street girl on the run from an abusive suburban home. In the underbelly parlance of Motown, she is a babytrick and ready to do anything to survive.

Ella is a beautiful black attorney and former cop, who finds herself accused of the murder of a wealthy businessman she used to date. What do these two very different female protagonists have in common in this fast-moving noir tale? More than you might ever imagine.

When they meet through Mark, a Rolling Stone free-lancer in town to write about Coleman Young’s final term as Detroit’s first black mayor, all three become the target of a vicious ghetto hitman and his brother. Ingeniously plotted and written with verve and dash, this third dark urban crime thiller in The detroit im dying Trilogy can be read as a standalone and will keep you guessing until its final line.

What reviewers are saying about T.V. LoCicero’s Detroit novels…

“If you like Elmore Leonard, you’ll love these books.”–Victoria Best, Tales from the Reading Room

“I have never met this author, have not given birth to him or any of his children. This is a solid and true fangirl review of a truly fabulous work.”–Tammy Dewhirst,

“LoCicero’s bio says he’s been writing across five decades, and you know what? It shows. It really does. The style is impeccable.”–Bridget Kulakauskas,

About The Author

T.V. LoCicero has been writing both fiction and non-fiction across five decades. Several of his books have been named Awesome Indies.

He’s the author of the true crime books Murder in the Synagogue (Prentice-Hall), on the assassination of Rabbi Morris Adler, and Squelched: The Suppression of Murder in the Synagogue. His novels include the coming-of-age story Sicilian Quilt, the romance When A Pretty Woman Smiles, and the crime thrillers Babytrick, The Car Bomb and Admission of Guilt (The Detroit im dyin Trilogy), and The Obsession and The Disappearance (the first two books in The Truth Beauty Trilogy). Eight of his shorter works are now available as ebooks. These are among the stories and essays he has published in various periodicals, including Commentary, Ms. and The University Review, and in the hard-cover collections Best Magazine Articles, The Norton Reader and The Third Coast. Find out more about T.V. and his books on his webpage here.

The author is giving away original hard cover of Murder in the Synagogue and
E-copies of the first of my Detroit trilogy, The Car Bomb,
and my romance When A Pretty Woman Smiles.

There will be 3 Winners!!


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

Click Here To Enter


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Feb 182017

The last book in this series, Drawing Blood,
received my Paradise Rating last year.

This one is just as good, maybe even better!

The Drawing Game (A Sketch in Crime Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New York
Gatekeeper Press (February 6, 2017)
Paperback: 300 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1619845725
Kindle ASIN: B01N3CM6P1



A lover of all things green, CeCe Prentice is not impressed when a fully-sustainable development, Green Acres, pops up next to her family’s homestead. It’s not so much the ridiculous price tag of the million dollar homes built entirely from re-usable materials and powered by the sun, but rather the new neighbors who think they can simply buy a green lifestyle.

To make matters worse, one homeowner turns out to be CeCe’s high school nemesis, Phoebe Purcell, a hair-tossing vamp who tried to break up CeCe and her long-time boyfriend, Charlie.

Already disillusioned by the so-called eco-friendly development, CeCe’s family home is threatened when a series of power-outages at Green Acres kicks off a rash of home invasions. When neighbors start showing up dead, the mood at Green Acres turns south. But when Charlie, CeCe’s on-again, off-again love interest is implicated in the murders, CeCe springs into action when she discovers the only clue – a portrait she painted years ago.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

CeCe Prentice and her friends, Charlie, and Katrina have a unique lifestyle, they are “freegans“. The grow their own food, dumpster dive for things they don’t grow, and visit thrift stores for other things they need. They try to lives their lives as green as possible. Which is one of the reason they are in her mother’s basement during a power outage. Katrina recently gave birth to baby boy Roon, but all they have are girl clothes, so they head to the basement to find some boy clothes. Before they find what they are looking for the lights go out. This is not the first time that has happened. Since the new eco-development was built next door, it is happening a lot. Ten homes costing over a million dollars each that are supposed to be powered by the sun should not be draining power from other houses. As Cece soon learns, the houses in Green Acres are having the same blackouts and there have even been some home invasions. When a neighbor is found dead things get even darker. When Charlie is pinned as the prime suspect in the murder Cece gets caught between helping her friend or standing by her man, Detective Frank DeRosa. She finds herself trying to help them both.

First, the title to the book is beyond perfect and even the cover has a clue, at least for me.

Simon Fletcher is the developer of Green Acres and he has built the homes with all the latest technology for his fully-sustainable subdivision. Unfortunately all that technology did not keep someone from killing him.

The author gives us a great bunch of suspects. People who were unhappy with the things going wrong in their new homes, his wife, his employees, a bunch of neighborhood kids and even Charlie who was working on a new high tech application with him.

CeCe also knew the man because she had painted a portrait of his wife. She may have even seen the killer from the basement window, but she can’t picture the face good enough to actually draw it. When another witness comes forward Frank asks CeCe to work with them to come up with a sketch both because of her unique talent and because it may spark hew own memory. She has a hyper sense of observation that enables her to catch clues even the good detective missed.

Deirdre Verne takes these characters and intertwines their lives together to give us an outstanding and complex mystery. One that had me paying close attention and glued to the pages. I tried to read it all in one evening but my eyes just would not cooperate. I woke up the next morning mad that I had to work and could not finish it right away. I did grab it as soon as I could and was surprised and delighted with the way the book ended. That is when I realized, yes, the title and cover were absolutely perfect.

To get the most out of this story and the wonderful characters you really should read the three stories in order, but just knowing about “Freeganism” gives you a good start. The characters have grown quite a bit from the first book and are still evolving.

Suspense, drama, a little romance and a touch humor all come together to make this escape Paradise.


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Deirdre Verne is the author of Drawing Conclusions (2015), Drawing Blood (Feb 2016) and The Drawing Game (Dec 2017). Deirdre’s interest in green living inspired her to create an off-the-grid character, CeCe Prentice, who Dumpster dives her way through the Sketch in Crime mystery series. “Verne’s mystery is a winner…” Kirkus Reviews.  A member of Sisters in Crime, Deirdre’s stories appear in all three NY chapter anthologies – Murder New York Style, Murder New York Style: Fresh Slices and Family Matters.

Author Links – Webpage – Facebook  – Twitter – GoodReads

Praise for The Drawing Game
by Deirdre Verne

This is a fun series that makes me wonder about the characters and their lifestyles almost as much as I wonder about the mystery itself.
~Michelle’s Romantic Tangle

I really loved reading this book. It’s a great mystery.
~Books, Dreams, Life

This is a really interesting mystery with lots of twists and turns! It is well written with a brisk pace and lots of interesting characters.
~View from the Birdhouse

This was a unique read from the start. CeCe is interesting and complex as a character, and her voice is strong …
~Christa Reads and Writes

Purchase Links

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Tour Participants

February 8 – Michelle’s Romantic Tangle – REVIEW, GUEST POST
February 9 – Books,Dreams,Life – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT
February 10 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
February 11 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
February 12 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW
February 13 – Mythical Books – GUEST POST
February 14 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 15 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
February 16 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 17 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
February 18 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
February 19 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST
February 20 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – SPOTLIGHT
February 21 – 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.”

Feb 162017

Where the Lost Girls Go: A Laura Mori Mystery
Thriller/Suspense/ Women Sleuths
1st in Series
Setting – Oregon
Crooked Lane Books
(February 7, 2017)

Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1629538051
Kindle ASIN: B01KGD6JV4
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Rookie cop Laura Mori catches her first investigation when the fiery crash of a sports car lights up the night sky. The fire burns the body beyond recognition, but the police are able to identify the car as that of Kent Jameson, celebrity author and benefactor of Sunrise Lake. And Jameson fears that the unidentified body is his seventeen-year-old daughter Lucy, who stormed out of the house that night after an argument.

When lab reports reveal that the body was not Lucy, but a teen runaway named Kyra whose disappearance has been linked with other missing persons–more than half a dozen “lost girls” who disappeared while living on the streets of Portland–the investigation takes a drastic turn. How did Kyra come to land at the Jameson estate in rural Oregon, and what was she doing driving their car? And who cut the brake lines on the vehicle?

Just when Laura is making progress in the case, she comes across a suspicious lane in the forest that uncovers new evidence that will once again alter the course of the investigation and rock Sunrise Lake to its core.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A serial killer in Portland?? That may be the case. When Rookie Officer Laura Mori arrives at an inferno of a car on fire with her partner, she had no idea what was going to develop. What seemed to be a tragic traffic accident turns into a homicide investigation. Since her partner is due to leave for vacation Mori is assigned the case. The girl in the car turns out not to be who they thought but someone linked to a missing persons case involved several “lost girls”. What evolves will have you unable to put this book down.

R.J. Noonan has written a riveting mystery full of suspense. This story is played out in Portland, Oregon but could take place anywhere.

Laura Mori is a Japanese American whose parents think her job is just a phase she is going through. Because of her gentle demeanor they thought she would become a psychologist to help people, but college didn’t quite go as planned. They don’t really understand it, in fact, she is still living with her parents and her mother was upset the night of the accident that she didn’t call home and tell them she was going to be late. Her natural compassion is a double edged sword in her being a cop. She seems to get people, witnesses and suspects, to talk to her easily, but she does take the job home with her. She has a few issues of her own, but when working on the case, she works through her own problems the best she can. She is a complex main character.

The case focuses on the Jameson family. He is a rich author, his wife, number 2, works for charities and helps him organize his complicated life, his daughter, 17 year old Lucy, is a rebellious teenager that has her dad wrapped right around her little finger. The car in the accident belonged to them and the girl killed in the crash was Lucy’s friend. They live on a huge estate with stables and guest houses and they raise alpacas. Of course, they don’t do the work, they have a crew of hired hands.

The author twists and tangles the Jameson family together with their staff and a group of people living in the woods near their estate. There is also a corruption aspect in the police force. Readers follow Laura through her investigation. While trying to prove to everyone she can handle her job she does take some real risks. I wanted to jump into the book a few times to stop her, like when you scream at the characters in horror movies,  telling them not to go into the dark scary places, same kind of thing here.

I am not going to say I was totally caught off guard by the way the story ended because I was in the ballpark as to the right suspect. I just needed the how and why to be definitely determined. It was even more twisted than I imagined.

Knowing this book is the start to a series is exciting for me. I found our protagonist to be very engaging and interesting. The other characters that I assume will be returning in future installments were also strong in this story. I am interested to see what the author has in store for all of them.

As this is the first story I have read by this author I now know I need to find out more about her and her other works.


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  You can find out more about R.L. Noonan on her webpage here.

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

Jan 142017

Wings of Mayhem (The Mayhem Series Book 1)
Thriller/Crime/Serial Killer
1st in Series
Crossroad Press (November 13, 2016)
Paperback – 300 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1941408902
Kindle ASIN: B01G9P1JGS


Cat burglar Shawnee Daniels always believed her “fearlessness rules” mantra would keep her on top and out of jail. When she hacks a confiscated hard drive at the Revere P.D., she focuses on a white-collar criminal accused of embezzlement. To teach him a lesson and recoup the funds she breaks into his massive contemporary in Bear Clave Estates. Jack has even more secrets, deadly secrets, secrets worth killing over.


As a glowing eagle taunts her Skype screen, Jack tells her she stole his precious trophy box — and he wants it back!


When her “helpful” best friend convinces her to date charismatic Detective Levaughn Samuels, her two worlds threaten to implode. Ordinarily Shawnee keeps a firm line between her professions, but dating Levaughn might help her get this psycho off her tail.


In this lightning-fast-paced psychological thriller of secrets and lies, Shawnee juggles being stalked by a serial killer, dating the lead detective on the case, and tap dancing around her librarian best friend. If she doesn’t find the trophy box, the killer’s coming for her. If she doesn’t expose her secret life, more will die. And if she does, she could lose her freedom and everyone she holds dear.

If you’re a fan of Lisa Jackson, Rachel Abbott, Karin Slaughter thrillers, crime fiction with an edge, or psychological thrillers, mystery, and suspense, then Wings of Mayhem is for you.

The Rendering: Collection of Dark Flash Fiction & Short Stories
File Size: 1271 KB
Print Length: 79 pages
Publisher: Sue Coletta (July 9, 2016)
Publication Date: July 9, 2016
ASIN: B01I8L9602

Flash fiction with a bonus short story thrown in to lighten an otherwise dark collection of tales.

Haunting Memories – Sometimes the one you seek isn’t who you’d imagined.

Emerging Evil – When that tiny voice inside your head leads you down a dark path.

Gut Instinct – Do we always trust our gut instinct?

K9 Christmas – A light, comical tale…some dogs have all the luck.

A Fighting Chance – Karma’s a bitch.

One Regret – Or maybe, it’s just what the doctor ordered.

Sweet Revenge – He who laughs last…

This collection is available for FREE at Amazon at time of this posting.

Visit Sue Coletta’s webpage here to find out more about her and her books.


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Jan 122017

She Stopped for Death: A Little Library Mystery
by Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Michigan
Crooked Lane Books (January 10, 2017)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683310136
Kindle ASIN: B01IRS85CG



Jenny Weston and her mother, Dora, have been receiving strange midnight visits. Bear Falls’s own elusive and highly secretive poet, Emily Sutton, has lived her life cloistered away with her sister in a house at the edge of Pewee Swamp. But now, Emily’s started leaving scraps of poetry in Dora’s Little Library, and Dora makes it her mission to befriend the sheltered woman.

Meanwhile Zoe Zola, almost famous author, Little Person, and the Weston’s quirky next-door neighbor, is hard at work on a new book, this one about the inner life of Emily Dickinson. And once again, Zoe’s literary work starts making uncanny connections with the events in her own world as Emily Sutton reemerges into society. But Zoe begins to suspect things aren’t anywhere near normal at Emily’s swamp house or in the lives of the people she claims have abandoned her…until looking further into the poet’s half-truths leads Zoe and Jenny to a horrible murder.

The chaos surrounding the ensuing investigation grows even more hectic with Emily’s increasingly erratic behavior, the arrival of a young woman searching for her missing poet uncle, and yet another betrayal in Jenny’s love life.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Like the first book in the series, Murder Most Curious, this mystery was curious. A reclusive poet, Emily Sutton has left her home in the Pewee Swamp to visit Dora’s Little Library and left some of her new poetry. Meanwhile another town resident is planning an event to honor the poet and is thrilled to learn that Emily wants to attend and do a reading. Dora with the help of Zoe and Jenny is determined to help the poet get out in the world again but Zoe has a bad feeling about her. She starts to do a little investigating and she and Jenny make a horrific discovery.

I really like the relationship between Jenny and her mom and love the way they have included Zoe in their little family group. Zoe doesn’t always make that easy. They were also very accepting of Emily and even welcome another visitor into their home midway through the story. They seem to be genuine individuals with the ability to truly empathize with others around them.

A twisted tangle of events take place in the story. This author has a real unique imagination that turned this story upside down. I was drawn deeper and and deeper into the mystery as I swiped each page. Such great writing, a complex mystery that brings a real psychological element to what otherwise is considered a cozy mystery. There are some very suspenseful moments that had me on the edge of my seat.

I can’t wait for the next installment. Watch this author, I expect many fantastic stories are headed our way.


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I received this book for review from NetGalley and I am sorry I do not have a copy to giveaway.

About The Author

Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli (aka Elizabeth Lee) is a Michigan based novelist whose 12th book is due out in 2016. She teaches fiction writing at Northern Michigan College and has written for the NORTHERN EXPRESS, the ROMEO OBSERVER, the DETROIT NEWS, and the RECORD-EAGLE. She is a member of the Author’s Guild, International Association of crime Writers, Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers’ of America, Michigan Writers, and Detroit Working Writers and has three mystery series out, or about to be published.

In the Emily Kincaid series her novel DEAD DOGS AND ENGLISHMEN was chosen one of the best mysteries of 2012 by Kirkus Reviews. A new series (written as Elizabeth Lee) is now out with the third: NUTS AND BURIED (based in Texas)  released in November from Berkley Publishers. Another series, beginning with A MOST CURIOUS MURDER, (Crooked Lane Publishers) and now SHE STOPPED FOR DEATH.

Written as Elizabeth Lee


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher on NetGalley. 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 262016

It's Monday! What Are You ReadingIt’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
Hosted by Book Date

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

Happy Monday Everyone!!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend!

Here’s what I read and what I have planned for this week.


Death of a Toy Soldier: A Vintage Toyshop Mystery
Release Date – October 11, 2016
For Review
Review will be up tomorrow!

Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum)
Release Date – June 17, 2014
Read Just For Fun!

Tick Tock (Michael Bennett)
Release Date – January 24, 2011
Read Just For Fun!


Third Time’s a Crime (A Love or Money Mystery) Diana will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday January 4!

Plus a couple more books JUST FOR FUN!!

Don’t forget my blogoversary is December 31! Watch for giveaways!!

escapeClick Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Happy Reading!!

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Dec 062016
The Red Queen Rules
(A Red Solaris Mystery)

Setting – Nevada
3rd in Series
Henery Press (December 6, 2016)
Paperback: 246 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635111217



Free speech or hate? When a white supremacist schedules an event on campus, Red Solaris must confront her own feelings about an issue that challenges the very core of American education: campus safety versus freedom of speech. Amidst escalating tension, Red meets with the editor of the student newspaper—who also confides in Red that her young cousin is missing, probably a victim of local sex traffickers.

Agreeing to rescue the girl, Red solicits help from her beloved Detective Joe Morgan. But when Joe goes undercover into the dangerous world of human trafficking, he disappears without a trace. Red must balance her fears for Joe with her worries that a campus riot may soon break out.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This has become one of my favorite series.

Bourne Morris takes on a hot topic in America right now. I know she wrote this book during the presidential election but she shines her focus on something in the news right now.

Red Solaris is the Dean of Journalism at a college in Nevada and recognizes how important the First Amendment is regarding Freedom of Speech, even when it comes to a group of white supremacists attending the college. They have asked a very controversial speaker to the college for a rally.  Red just wants it to take place without violence but to pull that off is not going to be easy. Joe is off on a special assignment working undercover to find a victim of human trafficking so she is worried about him as well. Especially because it was one of her students that put the case on his radar.

I was immersed in the story from the very first word and didn’t put the book down until I reached the end and was surprised at how quickly I read the book. To me this was like watching a movie or a prime time drama. The author sets the tone and scene so well giving the reader plenty of information. The pace was fast with something new always happening but not overwhelming at all. I pictured everything so vividly. Several times I found myself sitting up straight almost trying to actually escape right into the book.

Red and Joe are fantastic characters and in reality Red would not be able to go the places or do some of the things she did but that is why they call it fiction, you have to suspend that type of thinking and just let the story take you away. If you do that you will enjoy it as much as I did.

I do wish the way the students at the college dealt with the situation presented to them was reality. An easy solution that sadly does not happen enough or at all.

Every book in this series has been excellent and the topics are very current. The stories have an edge and while Red is an amateur sleuth I do not categorize these stories as cozy, they are suspenseful and wonderful mysteries. I highly recommend them all!

perfect 2016


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About TheBourne 2014 Author

After Bennington College, I worked at McCall’s Magazine and then went to Ogilvy&Mather, New York during the “Mad Men “ era. David Ogilvy and his colleagues treated me wonderfully, promoted me several times and then sent me west to become head of their agency in Los Angeles. I had a splendid run in advertising.

In 1983, I joined the University of Nevada Reno as a full professor in Journalism where I taught until 2009. I learned about campus politics when I served as chair of the faculty senate. I retired to write mysteries in 2009 after a wonderful teaching career.

I live with my husband of 34 years in a ranch house with a view of tall trees and mountains. We have four children and eight grandchildren. Life is good.


Author Links

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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.”

Silence of the Jams (A Down South Café Mystery) by Gayle LeesonBUY TODAY
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