May 092012
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!!

I am chair dancing today because if you are a follower of my blog you know I have been loving the Quilting Mysteries by Terri Thayer. The latest installment Monkey Wrenchwas released just yesterday. I was so happy to get a review copy! I was even happier when Terri said “yes” to guest posting here today.  So pull up a chair and help yourself to some virtual lemonade and help me  welcome Terri to Escape With Dollycas.

Welcome Terri! We are so glad you are here!

Hi Everyone!

Thank you Lori for inviting me.

“Get a gang.” That’s one of my favorite quotes on how to be happy from one of my favorite authors, Kurt Vonnegut.

I was reminded of how true that is while visiting Colorado. I have been here for a month at my mother’s place while she recovers from a broken hip. To get out of the house one day, I attended a meeting of the Quaking Aspen Quilt Guild as a visitor. Immediately, I felt right at home. Here was a gang of people just like me. Who loved the challenge of turning an idea, fabric and thread into a beautiful object. Who liked to talk sewing machines. Who thought spending hours and hours on a quilt project was normal. More than normal, necessary.

At home, I have plenty of gangs. My writing critique group. My book club. My out-to-lunch friends. My quilting buddies. My walking friends. Gangs keep my goals on track,  inspire me with their writing or quilting, make me laugh. Laughing cures everything.

During my time here in Boulder, I’ve found more “gangs.” At the YMCA. At the Boulder Bookstore. At the Shambala Meditation Center. Connecting with others

Dewey Pellicano, my protagonist in the Quilting Mystery series, found her gang on the most unlikely place, at Quilter Paradiso, the quilt shop she inherited from her mother. She was nearly thirty and had never quilted. That was her mother’s gig, not hers. To her surprise, she loved the quilters she met. Pearl and Ina gave her the mothering she was missing. Vangie and Ursula help her out with the business end. Her regular customers inspire and entertain her. And make her laugh.

Gangs can spring up in the most unlikely places. The Internet is a wonderful place to connect with like-minded folks. Sites like Dollycas’ provide us a place to mingle with others who love mysteries. In our outdoor life, the library, the coffee shop, the gym, even the produce aisle of the grocery store can help us link up with people we admire and want to spend time with.

So follow Kurt’s—and mine—advice and get a gang.

 

Tell me about the gangs you already belong to.
Leave a comment and you’ll be entered into a drawing
to win my new book, Monkey Wrench.

 Thank you so much Terri!!!! I hope you will visit often! It would be wonderful to have you as part of my gang!!

About This Author
Terri Thayer is the author of seven mystery novels, including the latest Quilting Mystery, Monkey Wrench. She also wrote the Stamping Sisters Mysteries for Berkley/Penguin.
You can find her at the web on Facebook (Terri Thayer, author) or Twitter @territhayer.
Listen to an April 25th interview at Creative Mojo with Mark Lipiniski at http://www.toginet.com/shows/creativemojo.
Visit her website, http://www.territhayer.com to find out more about her unique serial Block of the Month, Tales of the Quilt Shop and Sugarplums.

Now for my review:

Monkey Wrench (A Quilting Mystery)
4th in Series
Midnight Ink
Published by Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd.
Cover Illustration by Cheryl Chalmers – The July Group
Cover Design by Lisa Novak

It’s time for the annual Quilter’s Crawl and this year Quilters Paradiso (QP) is back on the map as part of the crawl. Over the weekend quilters will travel to 12 different quilt shops in the area for special bargains and prizes. Vangie from QP has even set up a Twitter promotion to help boost sales.

Getting everything set up and organized has been quite hectic as Vangie has college classes to work around and a new boyfriend. The store’s long time teacher Pearl is starting to fail a bit so she is not as much help as Dewey was hoping she would be.  Dewey will work day and night with her few available employees to make sure everything is just right.

While picking up more maps for the Crawl Dewey learns of a program at the college that places young men with elderly women call “Grand Son”.  They help around the house, run errands, help with medications. She thinks this maybe just the thing to help Pearl get back to where she was and teaching classes again.

Just days before the Crawl a riot breaks out on campus as law enforcement tries to crack down on the drug problem at the collage and Vangie’s new boyfriends dies from an overdose.

As if that’s not enough, one of the Twitter promotions sets off a stampede and a customer is killed.

These events have all put a huge Monkey Wrench into Dewey’s weekend plans. Now she has to untangle the clues and piece them back together to save her store and herself and her friends.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Terri packs her pages with drama, humor, a little romance and some wild characters. We were introduced to quite a group in this edition. All the shop owners for all the Quilter’s Crawl stores, one leader very set in her ways, a few of her followers stuck in the past and not open to new ideas and a few that have wanted to evolve but not had enough courage to buck the leader. Add Dewey to the mix and watch the sparks fly. Things don’t go exactly as planned but the group pushes forward together. They become quite a gang. I hope next year’s Quilter’s Crawl is a big success hopefully  without the dead bodies. With the crew you just never know.

I love that Freddy has a shop near QP and was integral in the story. I even enjoyed Kym in a small dose as she steps in to help at the shop.  Anyone that has ever remodeled anything will enjoy Dewey putting her brother through the paces to get a bathroom ready and operational before the big event.

The characters in these stories have become old friends, some I like more that others but they are all entertaining. The happenings at Quilters Paridiso are sometimes a long way from Paradise but I have enjoyed every single visit more than the last.  I am looking forward to my next trip to California already.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Terri is giving away a copy of Monkey Wrench (A Quilting Mystery) in a very easy giveaway!
Answer her question above in the comment section and one comment will win!
Giveaway Will End May 23rd at 11:59 p.m. CST

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

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Apr 102012
 

Ocean Waves
(A Quilting Mystery)

3rd in Series
Midnight Ink
Published by Llewellyn Publications
Cover Illustration by Cheryl Chalmers- The July Group
Cover Design by Lisa Novak

Dewey Pellicano, owner of QP (Quilter Paradiso) is in just a little over her head. In her quest to learn more about quilting since her mother left her a quilt shop she decides to attend the Sewing-By-The-Sea Symposium in Asilomar, California. Everyone there has much more quilting experience than Dewey and the conference organizer is more of a dictator than a director. She collects their cell phones and car keys, only allows the public phone to be available from 7-9 p.m., doesn’t allow anyone leave the park, the woman definitely has issues.

Dewey just wants to learn what she can, relax a little, hopefully with her man by her side and get through the week. Then she learns about a ghost that lurks around the conference, a woman goes missing, and there is a mountain lion on the loose. If that isn’t enough a valuable sewing box is stolen and then someone ends up dead.

Poor Dewey, seems trouble follows her wherever she goes. Looks like she is going to have to piece together all the clues again and figure just what is going on in this crazy quilt of murder and mayhem.


Dollycas’s Thoughts

Terri has a true gift!! The twists and turns in this installment were fabulous!!!

Dewey reconnects with her brother Tony, he is a ranger at the park. The brother/sister interplay was so real and endearing. Snappy, teasing, but there for each other. Loved it. Dewey and Buster’s relationship continues to evolve as they can’t stand to be away from each other.

The author also delves into the topic of abuse, a wife being abused by her husband. She stitches it into the complex plot masterfully. She helps shed light on that an abuser can be anyone, the guy next door, a person asking for directions, someone you see everyday and would never think they would be an abusive person.

While we miss some of the characters from the quilt shop we are introduced to new ones that work their way into our hearts, plus the flamboyant Freddy is back from the first book is the series.

The next book in the series, Monkey Wrench, out May 8th, arrived in my mailbox last week. I can’t wait to see what Dewey and the QP gang are up to next. 

This series continues to impress me and bring me joy.  I urge you to pick one up and “Escape Into” it today!!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


This book was from my personal collection.

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Mar 242012
 

This is my March Just For Fun Selection.

Old Maid’s Puzzle
(A Quilting Mystery)

2nd in the Series

Published by Midnight Ink
Llewellyn Publications

Dewey Pellicano is looking forward to celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Quilter Paradiso, the quilting shop left to her by her mother. Dewey never caught the quilting bug but realizes she has to learn to keep the store a sucess and as she learns so is starting to love it just as her mom did.

The quilting love goes out the back door as she finds out there is a dead body in the alley behind the store. As if she didn’t have enough problems, facing stiff competition from other stores she is barely keeping Quilter Paradiso afloat, she has an employee who happens to be her sister-in-law fighting her every step of the way and she just learned her shop is going to be featured on national television the day before the huge 20th Anniversary Sale. A dead body in the alley is not going to lure customers to her store even if it is on television. She has to scrap together everything she can to find the killer before the sale. Hopefully her hunky detective boyfriend Buster will lend her a hand.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

There is just something about these books, once I start them I can’t put them down.  As I said when I reviewed the first book, Wild Goose Chase, this is a fun series. Dewey is getting stronger. Her romance with Buster is developing nicely. Kym has taken her fight against progress to a whole new level. We are also getting into more of the lives of the supporting characters.

But it is the mystery of who killed the man in the alley that kept the pages turning with its several twists and turns that made me love this book. It was full of surprises and suspense. There are also parts that are laugh out loud funny. Terri has crafted another cozy both quilters and non quilters will absolutely love. I can’t wait to read Ocean Waves and Monkey Wrench comes out on May 8. 

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


*This book was from my private collection.

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Feb 242012
 

Terri Thayer is the wonderful author who wrote the Stamping Sisters Mysteries and writes the Quilting Mysteries. She is so sweet she sent me this book, the first in the Quilting Mystery series last year and I just couldn’t squeeze it into my reading schedule, not even as a Just For Fun book because last year I was giving the books I read for the challenge away as a prize. Terri wrote a personal message in the book so I will treasure it always on my keeper shelf and never give it away.

It also gave me a wake up call about my reading schedule. I had to make sure I had room to read books off my shelf for series and authors that I loved before I started blogging and receiving review copies. The Finish The Series Challenge and the Off The Shelf Challenge  are also helping with this. There are two more books already released in this series Old Maid’s Puzzle and Ocean Waves with a new installment Monkey Wrench coming out May 8. In fact I am chair dancing because Terri will be here for Cozy Wednesday on May 9!!! So I will definitely be catching up on this series!!

Now let me tell you about this book. I was really getting into quilting at the time of my accident so now reading mysteries like this are a real treat!

Wild Goose Chase (A Quilting Mystery)
Published By Midnight Ink
An Imprint of Llewellyn Publications
1st in the series
Cover Illustration by Cheryl Chalmers
Cover Design by Lisa Novak

Dewey Pellicano, a computer techie, inherits her mother’s quilting shop, Quilter Paradiso. She “would rather swallow needles than be pinned down to a life of quilting.” Dewey is learning the business, trying to computerize the inventory and setting up and working at a booth at a national quilting show. Her employee who happens to be her sister-in-law is driving her crazy as she does not support anything Dewey is doing and just wants Dewey to back to her computer life and leave her alone to run the store.

Then at the quilting show, quilting celebrity, Claire Armstrong, seems like an answer to prayer when she offers to buy the shop. Unfortunately, the famous quilter is found dead before Dewey can accept her offer. Enter a handsome man from Dewey’s past, homicide detective, Buster Healy. Romance was the last thing she on Dewey’s mind. Then another murder happens while Buster and Dewey are away having a very emotional lunch.  She realizes there is no way her life can move forward until she can piece together the clues and to help catch the killer, hoping not to become the next victim.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
This is a wonderful debut to what looks to be a really fun series. Dewey is dealing with so much, her mother’s passing, a sister-in-law that I wanted to leap into the pages and shake a few times, a brother caught in the middle and trying to keep her mother’s legacy alive in a realm that is almost foreign to her.

I was taught to sew by my mother and when other girls were getting cedar chests for graduation gifts I received a sewing table and cabinet. Dewey was never drawn into the sewing and quilting world, although she should love the awesome computerized sewing machines available today. Maybe in a future book.

Terri has created a very complex character in Dewey. Her sister-in-law Kym really pushed my buttons as well as Dewey’s. I am reserving my opinion of her until I get to know her better in future installments. Buster is also a definite character to watch as we see how his relationship with Dewey evolves. The supporting cast of quilters, shop owners, and even security guards at the quilt show were colorful, quirky and added depth and humor to give this series the perfect foundation.

Wild Goose Chase is a mystery as sharp as a rotary cutter. Curl up under your favorite quilt and Enjoy!!


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

**Before my accident I looked forward to every Spring when Nancy’s Notions held their annual sewing weekend that includes a smaller version of the quilting show featured in this story. The seminars and shopping are excellent!! I saved up all year for that weekend. It is May 3 -5 this year and I can’t remember how many years it has been going on, but I haven’t attended for the past 11 years but went to many before that. If you live near Beaver Dam, Wisconsin or are an avid sewer/quilter it is definitely an awesome event to attend.

*This book was from my personal collection.

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