Apr 132017
 

 
Silence of the Jams (A Down South Café Mystery) 
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Virginia
Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (April 4, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House

Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1101990803
E-Book ASIN: B01IAUG44C

 
 
 
 
 

In the latest Southern cozy from the author of The Calamity Café, small-town chef Amy Flowers can’t take her freedom for granted when she’s served up as a murder suspect… 

It’s Independence Day in Winter Garden, Virginia, and the residents are gearing up for their annual celebration. The Down South Café is open and flourishing, and Amy Flowers is busy making pies and cakes for the holiday. The only thorn in her side is Chamber of Commerce director George Lincoln, who is trying to buy the café so he can tear it down and build a B&B on the site.

When George collapses while eating at the Down South, everybody assumes it’s a heart attack—until the autopsy declares it to be poisoning. Now, it’s up to Amy to prove her innocence before her liberty is lost.

Includes delicious Southern recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have been excited to read this story since I finished The Calamity Cafe back in December! I donned my Down South Café T-shirt and started reading as as soon as the book arrived.

We have returned to Winter Garden just in time for their Independence Day Celebration but before the fireworks even start there is drama at The Down South Café. Chamber of Commerce director George Lincoln has been a real pain in the butt for Amy. He is still burning about his inability to buy her building just so he can tear it down. But today he finds himself permanently silenced. He keels over right at the counter while eating his breakfast. At first look it seems to be a heart attack but the autopsy points to murder. Poisoning to be exact. This is not good for Amy or her business. Sensible people know there is now way she could be responsible but Amy needs to move fast before she gets so jammed up she loses everything.

Amy Flowers is the perfect protagonist. She is liked by everyone. She is friendly and caring. She also has the right business to keep up with all the happenings around Winter Garden. I love the way her family works together to help the cafe succeed and still deal with all the commotion of a murder and Aunt Renee swooping in for a visit. Amy’s mom, her cousin, Jackie and Aunt Bess are all fabulous supporting characters. I enjoyed Amy’s moments with Homer as well. I can’t forget Amy’s beau, Deputy Ryan. He is an excellent match for Amy.

This story is very fast paced. The clues kept circling round and round. I had an early inkling about the murderer but the clues just weren’t adding up. The Aunt Renee subplot also drew my attention. I really felt bad that she and Jackie were not close. Renee was not the mother Jackie needed but her Granny (Aunt Bess) did her best to raise the girl right while Renee just floated in and out of their lives. Amy does get herself in a little trouble for being too trusting and Renee is dealing with something everyone around her hopes she can start to make headway on. I applaud the author for the way these issues were handled in this book.

I can’t review these books without talking about the food. Thank goodness, there are recipes in the back of the book. The Fudgy Chocolate Cake as well as the Beef and Cheese Pasta Bake had my mouth watering. And yes, there is a Strawberry Jam recipe too!

Gayle Leeson has whipped us up a fine cozy mystery in Silence of the Jams. A great plot featuring fantastic characters filled with mystery, suspense, humor and a little bit romance.  A delicious way to spend an afternoon or two. I know y’all will enjoy this one.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Gayle&CooperAbout The Author –

Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. I also write as Amanda Lee. As Gayle Trent, she writes the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, she writes the Embroidery Mystery series. I live in Virginia with my family, which includes her own “Angus” who is not an Irish wolfhound but a Great Pyrenees who provides plenty of inspiration for the character of Mr. O’Ruff. I’m having a blast writing this new series!

Webpage – Gayle Trent Webpage – FacebookTwitter – GoodReads 
 
 
 

Writing as Gayle Trent



Writing as Amanda Lee



Just click on covers for more book information or to order from Amazon.GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
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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 102017
 


Laura’s Dream: A Cape Harriet NovellaWomen’s Fiction/Romantic Comedy
4th in Series
Setting – Virginia
Self Published
Print Length: 152 pages
ASIN: B01N9QAXAZ

 

 

Connor Brown’s life has turned upside down. All he wants now is a week of solitude at the Rising Tides Inn. Amy’s trying to dodge the curve balls life has thrown at her. She has no time to spare for anyone.

When Connor plows into Amy’s house, he unwittingly wrecks the garden she’s toiled at for months. Neither Amy nor Connor imagine their paths will cross again.

Laura’s Dream is the story of two strangers brought together by fate. They discover a new side of each other’s life every time they meet, only to find they have a lot in common. Will they take a second chance at love?

Book 4 of the much loved Cape Harriet series promises clean sweet romance in a beach setting, yummy food with recipes and small town charm.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Pete and Zadie Strathmore own the Rising Tides Inn and they bend over backwards to make their guests feel at home. Zadie is also something of a matchmaker. Connor Brown comes to the Rising Tides just hoping to escape his life for a while. He meets Amy when his car smashes through her gate and garden and into her house. She wants nothing to do with Connor but they just keep running into each other.

Roma Brooks has given us another wonderful novella to escape into. Another one perfect for a Hallmark movie. She breathes such life into all of her characters. From the main characters to the residents of this small beach town, they are all so real.  The author surprises us too with twists that take the story in different ways that you imagine with just a bit of mystery. Romance builds slowly with delightful ending.

All the stories in this series can be read on their own. I recommend you read them all.

I wish I could visit The Rising Tides Inn and meet Pete and Zadie. The place sounds so relaxing and the food sounds amazing!!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

BONUS RECIPE FROM LAURA’S DREAM – from Amazon Page
Zadie’s Spicy Salsa
Ingredients
10-12 ripe tomatoes
1 jalapeno or Serrano pepper
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1-2 limes, juiced
¼ tsp ground cumin
Salt to taste
Method
Roughly chop 5-6 tomatoes and blend them using food processor or blender. Transfer to a bowl.
Finely chop the remaining tomatoes and add to the bowl.
Season the tomatoes with salt.
Add minced jalapeno (per taste), cilantro and lime juice to the bowl. Add in the ground cumin and mix well.
Refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.
Serve with chips or as condiment with eggs, burritos, sandwiches, wraps etc.

 
 
 

About The Author
Roma Brooks writes stories featuring real life characters, the kind you would come across in your own family. Her books will make you laugh, cry, love, hate and bite your nails. She dreams of retiring to a seaside town like Cape Harriet where the gentle waves of the ocean lull you into sweet dreams.


Click the covers to order from Amazon.
Laura’s Dream is just 99 cents!

Coming April 18, 2017 – Full Length Novel.

Pre-Order today just 99 cents.

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.”

Nov 222016
 

I reviewed the 2nd book in this series back in September and loved it so I jumped at the chance when the author asked me to review this one.

christmas-morning
Christmas Morning: A Cape Harriet Novel
Women’s Fiction – Romance- Holiday
Setting – Virginia
Self Published
Print Length: 334 pages
ASIN: B01M3U4FBO
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A cozy, heartwarming Christmas Story, full of holiday cheer – Christmas Morning will make you believe in the power of true love

Christmas has come to Cape Harriet, and this year, it’s all about second chances! Christmas Morning is an emotionally gripping novel that will light a fire in your heart and make you want to fall in love again.

James & Sandhya have found unexpected love, but their future will be decided by a tormented child. A newly married couple find their vows tested to the limit. A wounded vet finds himself in a Christmas nightmare.

Zadie’s dishing up special Christmas treats, and the town is decked up for the holidays. As the mercury dips, everyone eagerly awaits Christmas Morning.

Stoke up the fire, have a warm drink at hand, and snuggle up to enjoy this sweet contemporary romance, spiced up with a dash of intrigue.

*includes festive recipes from Zadie’s kitchen

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This story brings back together the couple the met at the Rising Tides Inn in the novella that started the series, Clipper Beach. (A story I intended to read before I jumped into this one but completely forgot to do. I caught up pretty fast.) James & Sandhya return to Cape Harriet to celebrate the holidays with owners Pete and Zadie Strathmore. The Inn has a few other guests too including a young couple with a baby and a man recovering from some injuries. Sandhya’s 12 year old daughter also comes to the cape for the holidays. Zadie and Pete try to give them all the best Christmas they can including them in some Cape Harriet traditions.

This is one of those stories perfect for the Hallmark Network. A new romance with some bumps to endure that can bring a couple even closer. A man with a traumatic event in his past trying to recover not only from his physical injuries but his emotional ones as well. A young family with a secret that could tear them apart or bring them together. Pete and Zadie standing by with comfort, advice and so much delicious food.

Roma Brooks brings her characters to life in such a realistic way. They are all engaging and people I wanted to get to know better. Pete and Zadie seem to be salt of the earth type people who take everything in stride. So warm and welcoming, Pete spends a lot of time with Leena, Sandhya’s daughter who had been living with her grandmother while single mom Sandhya focused on her career. The Strathmore’s know her coming to Virginia is stressful on not only her and her mother but James as he wants them to all be a family. Zadie and Pete also try to get Dylan to open up about his pain and maybe open his heart just a little bit. They don’t butt in to what Trey and Muffy are struggling with but let them proceed at their own pace and be available to them if needed, well maybe just a little push here and there. We get to know these characters on such a personal level thanks to some excellent writing by Ms. Brooks.

In addition to the wonderful people at at inn, the story focuses on the food they are eating. Whether Zadie is cooking up something delicious or they stop by a local eatery, the descriptions had my mouth watering. There are recipes included in the book but like Sandhya cooking is not my strongest talent so I probably wouldn’t do them justice.  Zadie does have some interesting foodie ideas for Christmas too.

It seems the Rising Tides Inn is a wonderful getaway no matter what time of the year. It is a place I would love to visit in reality but these little virtual excursions will have to do. I am ready to pack my things and head there right now. I am sure Thanksgiving is a great time in Cape Harriet, but I am willing to travel there at anytime. I hope the author doesn’t make us wait too long for our next escape to the cape!

Fantastic location, believable characters, and food, glorious food! If you need a story to get you in the holiday spirit this one is absolutely perfect!

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author
Roma Brooks writes stories featuring real life characters, the kind you would come across in your own family. Her books will make you laugh, cry, love, hate and bite your nails. She dreams of retiring to a seaside town like Cape Harriet where the gentle waves of the ocean lull you into sweet dreams.


Click the covers to order from Amazon.
Christmas Morning is just 99 cents!

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.”

Sep 282016
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640

LETHAL LIFESTYLES large banner640
Lethal Lifestyles
by LynDee Walker

I always get excited when a new Headlines in High Heels Mystery is released
and even more excited when LynDee Walker drops by for a visit!

LynDee headshotAnatomy of a fictional murder:
from inspiration to the bookshelf

by LynDee Walker

It all started with a polo mallet.

I think I can speak for most mystery authors when I say inspiration for murder often comes out of nowhere—and sometimes it has less than ideal timing.

In the spring of 2014, my darling and I were at a gorgeous vineyard nestled against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge mountains in central Virginia, excited to celebrate the wedding of our friends Kyle and Mandy. After the ceremony (it was fantastic: so to the point we all stood for the whole thing), we wandered out to the wide porch behind the property’s main building, enjoying a cocktail reception while the photographer had the happy couple (and their golden retriever, how cute is that?) occupied.

I nodded to the stables in the distance. “They have horses?” I asked a friend more familiar with the vineyard.

“They have a polo match every Sunday afternoon. Y’all should come watch tomorrow, it’s a big event,” he said.

My writer brain clicked into high gear.

“Polo? Like Prince William, sport of kings, actual POLO? In Virginia?” I asked.

lethal lifestylesOur friend nodded.

“How great of a murder weapon would a polo mallet be?” I mused (this isn’t a spoiler, because the story ended up taking a different turn. But it was the catalyst for this whole thing), excusing myself to prowl around the property looking for places to hide a body. Which prompted poor darling to begin an hour long refrain of “she’s not crazy, she writes mysteries,” since we didn’t know everyone there and I was laser-focused on the story developing in my head, chattering to myself about decomposition, smells and physical limitations as I roamed.

By the end of the evening, I was pretty darned excited about a quasi-destination wedding for the Telegraph gang.

COVER SHOTSince this whole thing happened before I’d even written 5,000 words of COVER SHOT, I had a mission pretty early on in that one: one way or another, by the end of the book, somebody was getting engaged.

Parker and Mel turned out to be the perfect choice. We’d reached a point in the story where they’d been serious for about a year, and we knew he was completely gone over her. Of course, Nichelle would get to be maid of honor, because she set them up on their first date way back before BURIED LEADS.

buriedOnce I had that pegged, the whole story fell so neatly into place it was a little scary. I was so excited to dig into this wedding, I didn’t even take much of a break between these books.

Nichelle must always have someone to help, and this time she’s helping her friends out of a mess with stakes higher than the peaks in the Blue Ridge. Plus, I got to bring back some favorite characters from earlier books. As a reader, I love few things more in a series than catching up with old friends, and this was a perfect venue for that. Words poured onto the page.

I loved it. And I’m so proud of this book.

midnight-mysteriesNot long after I finished it, I got an invitation from my wonderful friend Ritter Ames to contribute a Nichelle story to a Halloween-themed anthology—what better way to tie COVER SHOT and LETHAL LIFESTYLES together? Frightening Features appears in the collection MIDNIGHT MYSTERIES, and follows Nichelle (trailed by Parker and Mel) on a trip to the Virginia countryside to write a puff piece on a ghost hunting TV show filming in an abandoned renaissance fairground. Things go sideways when a real corpse turns up on set, and Nichelle and her friends find themselves stuck in the woods with a killer.

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, so this added to what’s been a fun writing year for me—I so hope it translates into a fun reading getaway for y’all.

Thanks so much for having me, Lori!

~Lyndee

LynDee Walker’s award-winning journalistic work has appeared in newspapers and magazines across the nation.

Her debut novel, FRONT PAGE FATALITY, is an amazon and Barnes & Noble #1 bestseller, and was nominated for the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. DEVIL IN THE DEADLINE is the fourth in LynDee’s Headlines in High Heels mystery series. The fifth COVER SHOT is available now.

LynDee adores her family, her readers, and enchiladas. She often works out tricky plot points while walking off the enchiladas. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, where she is either playing with her children, working on her next novel, or admiring beautiful shoes she can’t wear.

 

Author Links

Webpage    Facebook      @LynDeeWalker

Books in the Headlines in High Heels Mystery Series:

front page fatalityburied leadsheartbeat hotel
small town spindevil in the deadlinecover shot

lethal lifestyles

Lethal Lifestyles (A Headlines in High Heels Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Virginia

Henery Press (September 27, 2016)
Paperback: 262 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635110654
E-Book ASIN: B01HOS85XE
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Synopsis

Wedding bells are ringing at the Richmond Telegraph, and maid of honor Nichelle Clarke is determined to give her friends the perfect fairytale beginning to their happily ever after. So when a corpse crashes rehearsal weekend, Nichelle ditches her wedding coordinator shoes for her crime reporter ones, and a little poking around turns up a big problem: the victim and the groom have a history, and it’s not a pretty one.

Evidence against groom Grant Parker piles up, leaving Nichelle wishing a hostile bridesmaid was still her biggest worry as she tries to fend off Richmond’s favorite TV reporter—and her own scheming publisher. At odds with the cops, her beloved editor, and the ticking clock, Nichelle races to uncover the truth and save the day before this perfect wedding turns into a funeral.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Our star reporter has been bustin’ her tail to give Grant and Mel the wedding of their dreams. We are just one week from the big day when a dead guy in found at the wedding venue right before the rehearsal festivities are about to start, and the dead guy has a connection to the groom. HOLY MANOLOS!! Nicey’s heels hit the ground running as she tries save the wedding, keep Charlie, her arch nemesis, off the trail, keep her and her boss employed and pull off this wedding on time. Hold on tight, this is one story that will knock your high heels right off.

Why do I love this series so much? The author writes a fantastic mystery filled with drama but filled with humor too. She always tops herself and leaves me wanting more.

Nicey is an unforgettable heroine not only because she is independent, smart, and wears some of the best footwear in the world but because she is a true friend. She will fight for her friends until she gets to the whole truth and she refuses to publish anything sketchy even when the publisher is holding her beautiful feet to the fire. She also tries to hold her temper in the toughest of times. She has integrity and in today’s world it is sometimes hard to find reporters like her. She has the right connections and because of the woman she is they will step up to help her whenever they can. Even her ex. She also is learning to listen to her heart just a bit more in this installment too and they made this reader very happy.

LynDee Walker gives us a story the flows quickly with plenty of twists to keep us on our heels. The mystery is complex, the characters continue to evolve and the new characters are memorable and all seem to be hiding something.

This series is best if you start with Front Page Fatality and read the series in order to understand the characters and their history. Also for me each one is better than the last and becomes my new favorite in the series.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAY
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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.”

Sep 132016
 

 

wicked-summer

Wicked Summer: A Cape Harriet Novel by Roma Brooks
Women’s Fiction
Setting – Virginia
Self Published
Print Length: 307 pages
ASIN: B01I962GVM
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

Wicked Summer follows the Bloom family as they spend a once in a lifetime vacation at Cape Harriet, a charming seaside town on Virginia’s scenic Eastern Shore.

All Mary Bloom ever wanted was to celebrate her 60th birthday at the beach. The extended Bloom family converges at the Rising Tides Inn, where their slightest whim is catered to.

Forty something Iris is the perfect suburban mom, holding her four kids and husband on a tight leash. 36 year old Hyacinth is single, successful and the self-proclaimed brains of the family. At 26, Poppy is a top travel blogger, wandering across countries most people only dream of visiting.

The rivalry among the sisters is as strong as ever, and each sister is dealing with it in her own way. So while Iris taunts and needles, Hyacinth takes the high road and shows disdain. Poppy suffers silently, lost in her own inner turmoil. None of them has an inkling of the storm that is about to break loose in their lives.

Soft shell crabs and salt marshes will be forgotten as shocking secrets are revealed. Everyone seems to be guilty of hiding something.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I really needed a great beach read for the end of the summer and this book filled the bill nicely. While it is Women’s Fiction there is a little bit of mystery and secrets too and that made me like the story even more.

The Rising Tides Inn sounds like a fabulous place to spend a week. The owners become extended family to Mary Bloom and her daughters, Iris, Hyacinth, and Poppy. They cater to every whim imaginable and always with a smile on their faces.

The Bloom sisters are each so different, it is hard to imagine they all had the same parents. Their father has passed on so it is just Mary and her girls. She always wanted to spend her 60th birthday at the beach and Poppy seems to have found the perfect place. Iris and her family join her mother and her sisters but it not the week Mary had longed for, the girls just really don’t get along with each other. Mary hopes after spending their time at the beach together the sisters will grow closer. That won’t be easy as everyone seems to have their own issues/secrets to deal with.

After I started reading I realized that this is the author’s second book set at the Rising Tides Inn, but the owners seem to be the only overlap so it did read easily on its own. I did enjoy meeting Zadie and Pete so I may have to read the first story, a novella, Clipper Beach, to see if they treat their previous guests as greatly as the blooms. 

The story had a great flow as we delved deeper and deeper into each of the characters. There was also a great deal of description of the wonderful fresh seafood found on the Eastern Shore. In the Midwest we miss out on those fresh catch of the day fish, but I did have a yearning to head to the nearest Red Lobster several times while I was reading or a vacation anywhere along the shore would work too. One is in my price range, the other not so much.

As I stated above their were a few surprises in this story but the last one was a real twist, totally unexpected, taking this story beyond my expectations.

I am excited to learn that this will be a continuing series because I loved this escape to Cape Harriet and want to return soon and often. This was a “wicked” great way to end the summer!

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAY

I enjoyed this story so much I want to share
so I am giving away 1 set of the Cape Harriet Books!

One winner will receive a copy of both books,
delivered directly to them from Amazon.

Easy Entry!
Click on the Like button at the top of this post.
Leave a comment below about something fun you did this summer.
Share the giveaway with your friends.
And Click Here For Entry Form

Winner will be chosen using Random.org on September 27, 2016

I hope you will follow my blog too but that is not a requirement for this giveaway!
Note if the book prices rise you will receive a $4 Amazon gift card instead.

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 062016
 
murder in the secret garden
Murder in the Secret Garden (A Book Retreat Mystery)
3rd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Virginia
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (August 2, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425265611
E-Book – ASIN: B01839Q2M4
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

 

Things really go to seed in the newest novel in the New York Times bestselling Book Retreat mysteries…

There is a hidden garden bordering the grounds of Jane Steward’s book-themed resort—a garden filled with beautiful but deadly plants such as mandrake and nightshade. Tucked away behind ivy-covered walls and accessible only through a single locked door, as described in the pages of Frances Hodges Burnett’s classic novel, the garden is of special interest to Jane’s current group of guests, The Medieval Herbalists. But when one of them turns up dead, Jane must discover whether a member of the group has come to Storyton Hall to celebrate their passion for plant lore or to implement a particularly cruel means for murder.

With thousands of books at her disposal, Jane believes she has the proper materials to solve this deadly problem. If she’s wrong, however, she may lose something far more precious than the contents of Storyton’s secret library…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am so excited to be back in Storyton and to wander the beautiful gardens. No cell phones, no computers, no deadlines, a vacation from the rat race surrounded by books, books and more books.

The Medieval Herbalists are guests at Storyton Hall and when one their bodies is found floating down the river Jane and the Finns are on the case. The suspects are many but they are up to weeding out the murderer.

Ellery Adams continues to create stories that surpass the last. The mysteries of the secret garden at Storyton bring us straight back to the classic The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It makes me want to find my old copy and reread it yet again because I am sure there are more correlations the author referenced that I have since forgotten.

We already know what an amazing place Storyton Hall is from the first two books in this series that now we travel the gardens and a very special garden makes the place even more idyllic. I particularly enjoyed the way Jane’s sons, Hemi and Fitz start out hating helping their mother weed the garden but soon become totally invested when a little cash is offered and they start to learn about the plants and get excited about the bounty the gardens produce. Being covered in dirt from head to toe and having so much fun.

In addition to the Steward family’s life at such a wonderful place Adams gives us a fantastic mystery to sink our teeth into. The suspect pool is pretty full but as each one is eliminated Jane feels she is missing something. The motive just doesn’t seem to be what it appears. She keeps digging until all the clues and secrets are revealed and even then she has a couple of loose ends. This was a tough one to figure out. I also still think there is more to the overall Book Retreat Mystery story. I can’t put my finger on it yet, but there is something there.

It is also interesting that Storyton Hall has its own set of investigators, The Finns, staff members who are more than who they appear to be to the guests. They “work” with the police in their own way but they always seek out answers most times before even alerting the authorities. This time part of the crimes happen out of the local jurisdiction and I was a bit surprised there was more fallout from their actions.

This is a series that needs to be read in order to fully enjoy each story. They are also stories to savor and not rush through because this author knows her stuff and drops hints than can appear to be insignificant at first but can be very important as the mystery continues.

I loved my latest retreat to Storyton. I anticipate some excellent visits in the future. I recommend you book your retreat to Storyton as soon as possible and enjoy your little break from the stress of every day life.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 To find out more about Ellery and all her books visit her webpage here.




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.

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 August 20, 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.”

Jun 232016
 

secret lives large banner640

secret lives private eyes cover

Secret Lives and Private Eyes
Mystery/Suspense
Setting – Virginia
Paperback
Publisher: Koehler Books (June 20, 2016)
Paperback
ISBN-13: 978-1633932562
E-Book – ASIN: B01FGRFI1C
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Synopsis

Business has been slow for Private Investigator Delanie Fitzgerald, but her luck seems to change when a tell-all author hires her to find rock star Johnny Velvet. Could the singer—whose career purportedly ended in a fiery crash almost thirty years ago—still be alive?

As if sifting through dead ends in a cold case isn’t bad enough, Delanie is hired by loud-mouth strip club owner Chaz Wellington Smith, III, to uncover information about the mayor’s secret life. When the mayor is murdered, Chaz becomes the key suspect, and Delanie must clear his name. She also has to figure out why a landscaper keeps popping up in her other investigation. Can the private investigator find the connection between the two cases before another murder—possibly her own—takes place?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Private Investigator Delanie Fitzgerald goes to great lengths to get her clients what they need. She puts herself out there even wearing several different disguises, changing her voice as needed. Her partner, Duncan Reynolds handles any needed computer research. He is quite an internet master. Duncan’s bulldog, Margaret, is the office mascot/rug, unless treats are involved. Delanie’s current cases involve a strip club owner and a rock star that supposedly died years ago.  For one case she jumps in with her whole heart and the other investigation could end up costing her her life.

I loved this story. Delanie is a fabulous protagonist. She reminded me a little bit of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum, but even better. A fiery redhead focused on her cases.  She is smart but she puts herself in harm’s way to get the answers she needs. She was awfully lucky on several occasions.  Duncan reminded me of my son. He is into video games and even has game nights. Delanie knows she must be in dire straits to interrupt one of those. Unlike my son at least that I know of, Duncan is also quite the internet hacker and can usually find things to move their cases forward. Which may be the reason he disappears when the police show up.

Our Private Eye really digs into many Secret Lives making the entire story is very fast paced. We travel around with Delanie as she follows clues to several cases at the same time. We meet several interesting characters in addition to the strip club owner and the man that may be Johnny Velvet. The mayor, a bouncer, a landscaper, Delanie’s brothers, 2 alpacas, assorted dogs and more.   Woven within this suspenseful story in plenty of humor and the expected Southern charm too.

This was a story I started and just couldn’t put down. I tried the just one more chapter thing several times, but ended up reading it all in one sitting.

A strong plot with impressive characters set in Richmond, Virginia. I call this one a perfect escape!

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

heather

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Heather’s short stories appear in Virginia is for Mysteries and Virginia is for Mysteries Volume II. Her debut novel, Secret Lives and Private Eyes, will be published on June 20, 2016.

Originally from Virginia Beach, Heather has been a mystery fan since Scooby Doo and Nancy Drew. She currently lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers. She is a member of Sisters in Crime International, Guppies, and Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia. She is currently President of Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia.

 

Author Links

Website & Blog

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Amazon  B&N

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Tour Participants

June 16 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
June 16 – Author Spotlight – SPOTLIGHT
June 17 – My Funny View of Life – REVIEW
June 18 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
June 19 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW
June 20 – Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST
June 21 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
June 22 – Lori’s Reading Corner – GUEST POST
June 23 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
June 24 – Omnimystery News – INTERVIEW
June 24 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – SPOTLIGHT
June 25 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, 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.”

Jun 022016
 
The Calamity Cafe
The Calamity Café (A Down South Café Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Setting – Virginia
An Obsidian Mystery (June 7, 2016)
Published by New American Library
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1101990780
E-Book ASIN: B015DLUS8E
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First in a new cozy mystery series featuring Southern cooking that is to die for.

Aspiring chef and small-town Virginia native Amy Flowers is ready to open her own café offering old-fashioned Southern food. But her dream may go up in smoke when someone kills the competition…

Tired of waiting tables at Lou’s Joint, Amy Flowers doesn’t just quit—she offers to buy the place from her bully of a boss, so she can finally open the café of her dreams. Amy can’t wait to serve the kind of Southern, down-home treats and dishes that her grandmother always loved to the kooky cast of regulars at the restaurant. She knows her comfort food will be the talk of the sweet, small town of Winter Garden, Virginia.

At first Lou Lou refuses to sell, but when she seems ready to make a deal, she tells Amy to come see her.  Showing up at the eatery ready to negotiate, Amy is shocked to find her former employer murdered. As the prime suspect, Amy will have to clear her name by serving up the real killer—and with Lou Lou’s stack of enemies, that’s a tall order.

Includes delicious Southern recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I started reading and just couldn’t stop. Love, love, LOVE this story!!

There is a lot of history at Lou’s Joint, it has been in the family forever. After working there just a short time Amy Flowers knows it is the perfect place for her restaurant but if Lou Lou won’t sell she is ready to start from scratch with a brand new building. Lou Lou does turn her down and it totally surprised when her son calls to say sure has changed her mind and wants to meet with Amy as soon as possible. But when Amy arrives she finds Lou Lou had a previous visitor, one that killed her and left her for Amy to find. While Lou Lou had lived in Winter Garden her whole life she wasn’t the friendliest of entrepreneurs and there are quite a few people that may have wanted her dead. Because Amy is the one that found her, opportunity. And she wanted the joint and was turned down, motive. And the murder weapon is still to be determined, means. She is one of the prime suspects.

Gayle Leeson is off to a fantastic start with this series. I liked Amy right away and enjoyed meeting all the people that pull together to make her dream come true while she tries to clear her name and find a killer. I really enjoyed that friendships that grew throughout the story. The way Amy knew people needed her to keep up with their daily routine was touching.

The plot had some very clever twists. and some suspenseful moments. The real world around me just drifted away and I was right there in Winter Garden. I was not only following the clues, but enjoying the food, and supervising the changes taking place to Amy’s new restaurant. I loved the dashes of humor and the smidgen of romance. Note – I would love a Down South Cafe t-shirt or apron 🙂 Great idea Jackie!

This novel is so well written and didn’t seem to be fast paced but I did read it very quickly. The pages were flying. I couldn’t wait to see what happened next.  The final reveal was totally unexpected. I hated for the story to end but then we had made it to the recipes! I want to try them all.

A fun read that was an absolutely perfect escape.  I am looking forward to returning to the Down South Cafe. I hope it is soon!

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Gayle&CooperAbout The Author –

Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. I also write as Amanda Lee. As Gayle Trent, she writes the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, she writes the Embroidery Mystery series. I live in Virginia with my family, which includes her own “Angus” who is not an Irish wolfhound but a Great Pyrenees who provides plenty of inspiration for the character of Mr. O’Ruff. I’m having a blast writing this new series!

Authors Links:

Webpage – Gayle Trent Webpage – FacebookTwitter – GoodReads 

 

 

Purchase Links

Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Books-a-Million – Kobo  

Writing as Gayle Trent



Writing as Amanda Lee



Just click on covers for more book information or to order from Amazon.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.
Sign up for Gayle’s Newsletter for 5 Bonus Entries.
http://www.gayleleeson.com/

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

 

Contest Will End JUNE 16, 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.”

Spotlight – Skiing is Murder by Carolyn Arnold

 Great Escapes Book Tours, Spotlights  Comments Off on Spotlight – Skiing is Murder by Carolyn Arnold
Jan 162016
 

So happy to share this book with you today!
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Skiing is Murder
by Carolyn Arnold

…a fast read, and endearing…
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies

Another great installment with Sean & Sara.
~Storeybook Reviews

I liked that we only knew what the McKinley’s knew as they discovered information. I enjoyed putting the puzzle together along side them.
~Laura’s Interests

I could not wait to read a new book of this series, these cozy mystery are short but very exciting with two great private investigators. The plot kept me on edge from start to finish. I was excited each time I got to turn the page.
~LibriAmoriMiei

There are a number of ‘out of the ordinary’ aspects to this cozy mystery – and that’s a good thing, as it helps keep the genre ‘fresh’.
~Back Porchervations

I like Sean and Sara. Their characters are easy to get along with and I love their relationship. They’re both intelligent and work well together.
~Brooke Blogs

Filled with colorful characters and an intriguing mystery which takes advantage of its winter wonderland type setting, Skiing is Murder is a fine addition to an established series and can be enjoyed on its own.
~Queen of All She Reads

Skiing is Murder 2inch

Skiing is Murder
(McKinley Mysteries Series)

Cozy Mystery
10th in Series
Print Length: 116 pages
Hibbert & Stiles Publishing Inc. (January 28, 2016)
ASIN: B017UIZQAS

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Synopsis

They’re ready to hit the slopes when things go downhill…

Sean and Sara were supposed to have a relaxing vacation in Vail, but it all goes up in a puff of powder when there’s a suspicious death on the mountain. And the deceased is not just anyone; it’s Adrian Blackwell, a two-time Olympic skiing gold medalist.

Rumor has it that Adrian died in a skiing accident, but he was too skilled for Sara to accept it as fact. Though she’s convinced Adrian was murdered and she’s itching to find the killer, she doesn’t want to disappoint Sean by ruining his ski trip.

Sean has never had the ability to say no to Sara before, but this time he comes close. It takes a call from their PI firm back in Albany to change his mind. A job’s come in to investigate Adrian’s death, and his agent is the one footing the bill, leaving Sean with more questions than answers.

Yet one major problem remains: their New York State PI licenses hold no legal authority in Colorado. But they still can’t help but look into Adrian’s death on the sly. This case will definitely involve some underhanded tactics, all while trying to dodge the local police during the course of the investigation.

Carolyn Author Photo 2013 Color

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

CAROLYN ARNOLD is the international bestselling and award-winning author of the Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher, and McKinley Mystery series. She is the only author with POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town, but that never kept her from dreaming big. On par with her large dreams is her overactive imagination that conjures up killers and cases to solve. She currently lives outside Toronto with her husband and two beagles, Max and Chelsea. She is also a member of Crime Writers of Canada.

Author Links:

Website            Blog           Facebook                 Twitter

Purchase Links:

Skiing is Murder –

Amazon US     Amazon UK        Barnes & Noble      Apple iBooks          Kobo

 
 



Just click on covers to order from Amazon.

Tour ParticipantsJanuary 4 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – Review
January 5 – Babs Book Bistro – Spotlight
January 6 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review
January 7 – Laura’s Interests – Review
January 8 – LibriAmoriMiei – Review
January 9 – Christa Reads and Writes – Spotlight
January 10 – Back Porchervations – Review
January 11 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy,  &, Sissy, Too ! – Spotlight
January 12 – Brooke Blogs – Review
January 13 – Community Bookstop – Spotlight
January 14 – Queen of All She Reads – Review
January 15 – deal sharing aunt – Spotlight
January 16 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Spotlight
January 17 – A Blue Million Books – Spotlight
January 18 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review
January 19 – Island Confidential – Spotlight 

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Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jan 092016
 

My January Reading Schedule was full when I was invited to review this book but I hope I can squeeze it in somewhere soon.

the view from prince street
The View from Prince Street:
(Alexandria Series)

2nd in Series
Contemporary Woman’s Fiction
The Berkley Publishing Group (January 5, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425278260
E-Book ASIN: B00W2ZKJWA
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The author of The Union Street Bakery and At the Corner of King Street returns to Alexandria, Virginia, with a heartfelt tale of reconnection.

Rae McDonald was fifteen when a car accident took her sister’s life and threw her own into reckless turmoil. When she got pregnant a year later, she found a loving couple to adopt the child. Since then, she’s buried her grief and guilt under a heart of stone.

Lisa Smyth survived the fateful crash, but never told the truth about what happened. And when a family obligation draws her back to Alexandria, the weight of Lisa’s guilt grows heavier by the day.
As both women confront a past refusing to be forgotten, long-buried artifacts are discovered by the Shire Architectural Salvage Company that point to a shared history between families. Now, Rae and Lisa must finally ask themselves if denying the past is worth sacrificing the future.

“Taylor’s complex tale spans three families over two centuries and includes a dose of ancient magic, but the story remains grounded in fascinating history and emotional turmoil that is intense yet subtle. An intelligent, heartwarming exploration of the powers of forgiveness, compassion, and new beginnings.”—Kirkus Reviews

“The second book in Taylor’s Alexandria series completes the story started in the first novel, and everything wraps up beautifully. Continuing characters from the Union Street Bakery series provides richer depth to the narrative. Themes of family, letting go of the past, and owning up to mistakes breathes life and emotion into the tale.”—RT Book Reviews

Image and bio from Amazon

Image and Bio from Amazon

About The Author

A southerner by birth, Mary Ellen Taylor’s love of her home state, Virginia, and its history is evident in the first of her contemporary women’s fiction, The Union Street Bakery. Its protagonists, the McCrae family, own the establishment, part of Alexandria’s Old Town for more than 150 years. They returned in Sweet Expectations. In both instances their stories intertwine with those of the city and the nation and with mysteries rooted in the past. While the McCraes are not the focus of Mary Ellen’s latest books, The View from Prince Street and At the Corner of King Street, she once again pulls past events into the present, sharing their impact on her characters and their lives.

Mary Ellen was born in Richmond and has spent most of her life there, but also lived in Alexandria for four years, which is when she fell in love with Old Town,the setting for all four of her novels. She grew up in a family that embraces stories of all kinds, from a well-told anecdote to a good yarn or a tall tale. It may have been inevitable that Mary Ellen would embrace her storytelling heritage, walk away from her job and challenge herself to become a published author.

In addition to writing, cooking and baking are important creative outlets for Mary Ellen and she’s been known to name recipes in honor of her characters. She recently earned her Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate at the University of Richmond’s Culinary Arts Program. Her two passions –writing and baking–merged for the first time in The Union Street Bakery.

Another interest–issues related to adoption–also informs Mary Ellen’s work. Her daughter and grandmother are both adopted, and the families in all four of her books are touched in some way by the rewards, joys, challenges and questions accompanying the dynamics of being or having adopted a child.


Just click on book covers to order from Amazon.

GIVEAWAY

The Publisher is allowing me to give away 1 Print Copy!!

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.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End January 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

 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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