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Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Murder in the Bayou Boneyard: A Cajun Country Mystery by Ellen Byron #Review / #Giveaway Great Escapes Book Tour

Murder in the Bayou Boneyard: A Cajun Country Mystery
by Ellen Byron

About Murder in the Bayou Boneyard 


Murder in the Bayou Boneyard: A Cajun Country Mystery
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Louisiana
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (September 8, 2020)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1643854607
ISBN-13: 978-1643854601
Digital ASIN: B082H3BT6F

Maggie Crozat has the Halloween heebie-jeebies in USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning author Ellen Byron’s howlingly funny sixth Cajun Country mystery.

 

Maggie Crozat, proprietor of a historic Cajun Country B&B, prefers to let the good times roll. But hard times rock her hostelry when a new cell phone app makes it easy for locals to rent their spare rooms to tourists. With October–and Halloween–approaching, she conjures up a witch-crafty marketing scheme to draw visitors to Pelican, Louisiana.

 

Five local plantation B&Bs host “Pelican’s Spooky Past” packages, featuring regional crafts, unique menus, and a pet costume parade. Topping it off, the derelict Dupois cemetery is the suitably sepulchral setting for the spine-chilling play Resurrection of a Spirit. But all the witchcraft has inevitably conjured something: her B&B guests are being terrified out of town by sightings of the legendary rougarou, a cross between a werewolf and vampire.

 

When, in the Dupois cemetery, someone costumed as a rougarou stumbles onstage during the play–and promptly gives up the ghost, the rougarou mask having been poisoned with strychnine, Maggie is on the case. But as more murders stack up, Maggie fears that Pelican’s spooky past has nothing on its bloodcurdling present.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Halloween in Pelican, Louisiana can be interesting but this year business at the local B&B’s in taking a hit due to a new enterprise for regular folks can rent out rooms to tourists. So a few local B&B’s band together to host weekends featuring “Pelican’s Spooky Past” packages complete with spa treatments, crafting classes, special menus, and a play Resurrection of a Spirit performed in a cemetery. Visitors may also be treated to seeing a rougarou, which is a cross between a vampire and a werewolf, and scary.

The Crozat’s have added a spa to the property and a Canadian cousin has agreed to come to town as their massage therapist. Maggie quickly learns her dear cousin and her husband have ulterior motives for their visit. Then one night the masseuse crashes the play and dies, the Crozat’s become prime suspects. When there is another murder Maggie plunges herself into the investigation.


These characters continue to be some of my faves. Maggie is a smart amateur sleuth who doesn’t give up. Her relationship with her sassy grandmother is fun and heartwarming. Her mom and dad have a ton of energy and go to great lengths to meet their guests’ needs while still being there for their family and friends. This story takes family to a new level when the Canadian cousins come to town with their outlandish plans.

Ms. Byron has crafted a mystery filled with twists, turns, and a bit of folklore. I am fine with the rougarou as long as I don’t have to meet one in the middle of the night, better yet as long as they stay within the pages of this book. The author also includes a variety of Cajun dishes, some of the recipes are at the back of the book.

What I really enjoy is that the Crozat’s daily life endeavors blend seamlessly with the mystery. Wedding plans are ongoing and Maggie gets a big surprise at the end of the story with a big message for everyone, especially in the world we are living in today.

Murder in the Bayou Boneyard is a totally entertaining Halloween mystery and a fantastic addition to this series. I am so excited for the next book in this series.

 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About Ellen Byron

Maria DiRico

Ellen’s Cajun Country Mysteries have won the Agatha award for Best Contemporary Novel and multiple Lefty awards for Best Humorous Mystery. Her Catering Hall Mystery series, written as Maria DiRico, launched with Here Comes the Body and was inspired by her real life. She’s an award-winning playwright and non-award-winning TV writer of comedies like WINGS, JUST SHOOT ME, and FAIRLY ODD PARENTS, but she considers her most impressive credit working as a cater-waiter for Martha Stewart. A native New Yorker who attended New Orleans’ Tulane University, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband, daughter, and rescue furbaby. Sign up for her newsletter at https://www.ellenbyron.com/

Author Links – Webpage – Facebook – Twitter – GoodReads – Instagram – BookBub

Purchase Links –


Penguin Random HouseAmazonB&NKoboIndieBound

Read my review of Plantation Shudders here.

Read my review of Body on the Bayou here.

Read my review of A Cajun’ Christmas Killing here.

Read my review of Mardi Gras Murder here.

Read my review of Fatal Cajun Festival here.
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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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Giveaways Literary Escapes Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Fatal Cajun Festival: A Cajun Country Mystery by Ellen Byron #Review / #Giveaway @crookedlanebks


Fatal Cajun Festival: A Cajun Country Mystery
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Louisiana
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (September 10, 2019)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1643851292
ISBN-13: 978-1643851297
Kindle ASIN: B07NKW8WMY

Louisiana B&B owner Maggie Crozat kicks up her heels at a country music festival–but she’ll have one foot in the grave if she can’t bring the killer of a diva’s hanger-on to heel.

 

Grab your tickets for Cajun Country Live!, the pickers’ and crooners’ answer to the legendary New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Maggie Crozat, proprietor of the Crozat Plantation B&B, plans to be in the cheering section when her friend Gaynell Bourgeois takes the stage with her band, Gaynell and the Gator Girls.

 

The festival’s headliner, native daughter Tammy Barker, rocketed to stardom on a TV singing competition. She has the voice of an angel…and the personality of a devilish diva. But Maggie learns that this tiny terror carries a grudge against Gaynell. She’s already sabotaged the Gator Girls’ JazzFest audition. When a member of Tammy’s entourage is murdered at the festival, Tammy makes sure Gaynell is number one on the suspect list.

 

Gaynell has plenty of company on that list–including every one of Tammy’s musicians. Posing as a groupie, Maggie infiltrates Tammy’s band and will have to hit all the right notes to clear her friend’s name.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We arrive in Pelican, Louisiana just in time for Cajun Country Live! the brainchild of Maggie’s grandmere. The event has lured hometown favorite, Tammy Barker, back as the headliner for the first time since she won that singing competition on television. Maggie’s friend Gaynell will also be performing with her band the Gator Girls in hopes of making it big like Tammy. It isn’t until after Tammy checks into Crozat Plantation B&B that Maggie learns that Tammy is holding an old grudge against Gaynell.

Tammy seems to be trying to help Gaynell when in truth she is trying to sabotage her any way she can and when one of Tammy’s crew is freakishly killed in front of a crowd at the festival, she makes sure Gaynell is the police’s prime suspect. Maggie knows her friend is innocent and will pull out all the stops to prove it.

____

This series has some of the most well-developed characters out there. Their lives are interesting and entertaining even before adding the murder mystery. These daily life subplots never fail to draw me in. This time Maggie’s grandmother is doing the Swedish tradition of döstädning, which translates to death cleaning. Through this process, she makes a surprising discovery.

The main mystery did have a variety of suspects with opportunity and the author really tangled up all the possibilities. A twist confirmed a little inkling I had and the ending of the murder mystery came together nicely. But that wasn’t the end of the story. There were more surprises to come.

Music, mystery, and mayhem make Fatal Cajun Festival a must-read. I was so excited to have the next book, Murder in the Bayou Boneyard waiting on my Kindle that I dove right in as soon as I finished this book.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of Plantation Shudders here.

Read my review of Body on the Bayou here.

Read my review of A Cajun’ Christmas Killing here.

Read my review of Mardi Gras Murder here.

About the Author

Ellen Byron authors the Cajun Country Mystery series. A Cajun Christmas Killing and Body on the Bayou both won the Lefty Award for Best Humorous Mystery and were nominated for Agatha awards in the category of Best Contemporary Novel. Plantation Shudders was nominated for Agatha, Lefty, and Daphne awards. Mardi Gras Murder launches October 9th. Ellen’s TV credits include WingsJust Shoot Me, and Fairly OddParents. She’s written over 200 national magazine articles, and her published plays include the award-winning Graceland. She also worked as a cater-waiter for the legendary Martha Stewart, a credit she never tires of sharing.

Author Links – Webpage – Facebook – Twitter – GoodReads – Instagram – BookBub

I am giving away 1 Kindle copy!

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

.Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
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Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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Contest Will End October 8, 2020, 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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Giveaways TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

A Crime of Passion Fruit (A Bakeshop Mystery) by Ellie Alexander #Review / #Giveaway @StMartinsPress


A Crime of Passion Fruit (A Bakeshop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Oregon/Cruise Ship
Publisher : St. Martin’s Paperbacks (June 27, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback : 288 pages
ISBN-10 : 1250088070
ISBN-13 : 978-1250088079
Kindle ASIN : B01MRU56AS

Torte–everybody’s favorite small-town family bakeshop–is headed for the high seas, where murder is about to make a splash. . .

 

Jules Capshaw is trying to keep her cool as Torte gets set to make its transformation from quaint, local confectionary café to royal pastry palace. Meanwhile, Jules’s estranged husband Carlos is making a desperate plea for her to come aboard his cruise ship and dazzle everyone with her signature sweets. She may be skeptical about returning to her former nautical life with Carlos but Jules can’t resist an all-expense-paid trip, either. If only she knew that a dead body would find its way onto the itinerary…

 

Now, instead of enjoying tropical drinks on deck between whipping up batches of sea-salted chocolates and flambéing fresh pineapple slices in the kitchen, Jules is plunged into dangerous waters. Her investigation leaves her with more questions than answers: Why can’t anyone on board identify the young woman? And how can she help Carlos keep passengers at ease with a killer in their midst? Jules feels like she’s ready to jump ship. Can she solve this case without getting in too deep?

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jules has an offer she would like to refuse, going back to work on the cruise ship Amour of the Seas for a week to help out her husband Carlos, but then he sweetens the pot by offering to let her mom, Helen, and her beau the Professor come along. There is a lot happening at Torte but the staff says they can take care of everything and encourages them all to go and enjoy their time a sea.

Excited for the trip they board the ship for a relaxing week but just like at home a dead body mucks up their plans. The Captain quickly pulls the Professor into the investigation and Jules starts to do some snooping too. She is also questioning her relationship with Carlos. She is so happy working at Torte with her mom, but should she stand by her man and return to baking on the ship? With a killer on board, she needs to keep her wits about her and try to keep those she loves and the passengers safe. She can worry about her love life later.

______

With every book in this series, I love the characters more. I was afraid with Helen and Jules away from the bakery the Oregon characters wouldn’t have much presence in this story, but the ship has computers and there is email. With Lance, Director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, “in charge” of Torte there is never a dull moment. 🙂

Ms. Alexander as written a great whodunit. The victim is an apparent stowaway that no one knows. Who would want her dead? They have the added drama of catching the killer before they get to the next port where the killer could get off and be lost forever. Taking place on the ship does mean a limited number of suspects too. I set my sights on the killer early on but that sure didn’t take away my enjoyment of this story. I was totally caught up all the things happening within these pages.

I loved that the story was set on a cruise ship. Going on a cruise has been on my bucket list forever. The author describes the scenes and people vividly. I tuned in to my days of watching Loveboat and let the author just take me away.

As the story ends Jules’s relationship with Carlos is still up in the air and I am still on the fence about who I want for her love interest. While the murder is solved there is so much going on in Jules life and Helen’s too. I am so excited about this series. Another One Bites The Crust is next up. Watch for my review of that one soon.

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About the Author

Ellie Alexander (aka Kate Dyer-Seeley), author of the Bakeshop Mystery Series (St. Martin’s Press), is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research.

Author Links –  Facebook     Twitter      Instagram    GoodReads

Written as Kate Dyer-Seeley

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
Book will be sent directly frpm Amazon.

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

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.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End October 7, 2020, 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

*This book was from my personal collection. 

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Paw and Order (A Dog Club Mystery) by V.M. Burns #Review

Several months ago V.M. Burns asked for help on Facebook to come up with a title for this book.
I was chair dancing for days when she and
the publisher picked one of my suggestions.

hen a short time ago I downloaded the book from NetGalley and saw my name with credit for the title.
I was going through a rough stretch with my cancer treatments and seeing my name on the screen just made my day.
I do have to apologize to Ms. Burns for my delay in posting this review.
Chemo brain made it hard to write reviews but I am slowly getting back on track.

Paw and Order (A Dog Club Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Tennessee
Publisher: Lyrical Underground (August 11, 2020)
Paperback: 168 pages
ISBN-10: 1516109945
ISBN-13: 978-1516109944
Kindle ASIN : B07ZPK3DCJ

Dog-loving divorcée and amateur sleuth Lilly Echosby is not the only one who wants her new foster poodle. Some are willing to kill to have him . . .

 

Lilly’s best pal Scarlett “Dixie” Jefferson has done it again! She’s convinced eccentric poodle-loving billionaire Archibald Lowry to sponsor a grand fundraiser for the Eastern Tennessee Poodle Rescue. Tragically, it’s too late to rescue Lowry, who is murdered at the event. His pet poodle is now orphaned, so Dixie begs Lilly to foster the adorable pup. Of course, she already has a poodle—her beloved Aggie, named after Agatha Christie. Fortunately, Aggie seems to like the new addition to the family, whom Lilly renames Rex, after her second favorite mystery author, Rex Stout.

 

But she’s barely welcomed Rex into her home when there’s an attempted poodle-nabbing, foiled with Aggie’s help. As desperate characters try to get their hands on the canine cutie, Lilly turns to Dixie’s dog training class to help her sort through a litter of suspects. Ultimately, she may have to unleash Rex as bait to collar the killer . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

When poodle-loving billionaire Archibald lowry is murdered at an event he is sponsoring for the Eastern Tennessee Poodle Rescue at Scarlett “Dixie” Jefferson’s request Lily Echosby finds herself fostering the billionaire’s pooch while trying to catch his killer.


Friendship blooms within these pages, Lily and Dixie are women I would love to hang out with in real life. They always have each other’s back and their love for their canine companions is heartwarming. Lily and Red’s relationship is evolving nicely. Lily’s daughter Stephanie comes for a visit, there is a little tension in her relationship with Joe and she needs a little TLC from mom. Her mom may need her for some advice as well. I enjoyed the way Dixie’s training group gets involved in all the chaos. All the characters are well-developed with plenty of room left to grow.

The story has an excellent flow with action ratcheting up in all the right places. There are several suspects and different events for them to be observed and questioned. Well-crafted twists kept me guessing right up until the very end. I continue to be amazed by Ms. Burns tells such a great story in less than 200 pages, especially with her wonderfully descriptive writing style.

Paw and Order is a delightful cozy mystery that I enjoyed start to finish. Engaging characters, precious poodles, a great mystery, with a touch of romance and a nice amount of humor make this story a perfect escape.

While this book can be read on its own for maximum enjoyment I recommend reading them all in order.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About V.M. Burns

V.M. Burns was born in Northwestern Indiana and spent many years in Southwestern Michigan on the Lake Michigan shoreline. She is a lover of dogs, British historic cozies, and scones with clotted cream. After many years in the Midwest, she went in search of milder winters and currently lives in Eastern Tennessee with her poodles. Her debut novel, The Plot is Murder was nominated for a 2017 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Valerie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and a lifetime member of  Sisters in Crime. Readers can learn more by visiting her website at vmburns.com

Author Links:  Website   Facebook  Twitter:  @vmburns


Also by V.M. Burns

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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

15 Minutes of Flame (Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery) by Christin Brecher #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @KensingtonBooks

I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get this book read
with my cancer treatments so I didn’t sign up for this tour.

i am thrilled I was able to read it so I am barging my way onto this tour 🙂 

15 Minutes of Flame (Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery)
by Christin Brecher

About 15 Minutes of Flame


15 Minutes of Flame (Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Publisher: Kensington (August 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496721438
ISBN-13: 978-1496721433
Digital ASIN: B082WR2LH6

As Stella Wright’s Nantucket candle store thrives, her knack for solving mysteries burns equally bright—especially when a Halloween haunted house uncovers evidence of a centuries-old murder . . .

 

When Stella’s friend inherits a creaky, abandoned home in Nantucket, she knows it’s the perfect setting for the town’s annual Halloween fundraiser. A deserted, boarded-up building on the property—once used as a candle-making shop—adds to the creepy ambiance. But as Stella explores the shack’s dilapidated walls, she discovers a terrible secret: the skeleton of a Quaker woman, wrapped in blood-soaked clothing and hidden deep within a stone hearth . . .

 

While police investigate, Stella wastes no time asking for help from friends with long ties to Nantucket’s intricate history. The key to the murder may lie within a scorching 18th century love triangle that pit two best friends against one another over a dubious man. But before the case is solved, another life will be claimed—leaving Stella to wonder who in Nantucket is friend, and who is foe . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We arrive in Nantucket just before Halloween and Wick and Flame owner Stella Wright is helping the Girl Scouts set up a haunted house for a fundraiser. When Stella checks out a shack on the property she finds it used to be a candlemaking shop. With the owner’s approval, she is taking down a sign from the mantle to display in her shop. But she finds more than she bargained for. She finds a skeleton. From the clothing, it looks to be a Quaker woman and she has been there a while. It is not long before this skeleton leads to another and then a dead body.

To calm fears, Stella moves into the house while the police investigate, but Stella just can’t stop herself from doing her own sleuthing. When she starts to uncover some key facts she knows she is on the right track. A track that could get her life to be snuffed out next.


In this third installment, the author brings some of Nantucket’s history to light. With a 100-year-old skeleton entombed in the shack you know, there has to be a dark story.

I love the way Stella continues to develop over the course of this series. She is smart and truly has her friend and local cop, Andy’s number. She works her way into the police investigation and persuades him to fill her in on what they have and what they are working on.  Reporter and boyfriend, Peter was a little distracted this time but by the end, we know why. Emily was under the weather but helped Stella as much as she could. All of Brecher’s characters are well developed and have a purpose in the story. The dialogues were also very well-written

Ms. Brecher unraveled the old story alongside the current one seamlessly with plenty of twists and turns. There is also quite a treasure hunt that ends up being very important to the story.  The pacing was perfect. The ending was so well-played out. Finishing this book on Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie’s birthday was very apropos.

I do love the candlemaking theme. This time readers learn about candle clocks. I was totally captivated by them and loved that Stella was teaching a class on how to make them.

15 Minutes of Flame has it all, great characters, mystery, murder, betrayal, and secrets. There is a fair amount of humor too. I really enjoyed this story!  I am looking forward to the next book in this series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Christin Brecher

Christin Brecher was born and raised in NYC, where her family and many childhood friends still reside. As such, she feels she is as much of a small-town girl as any. The idea to write the Nantucket Candle Maker series sprang from her life-long connection to the small island off the coast of Massachusetts. Spending summers there as a child, Christin read from her family’s library of mystery novels, after which she began to imagine stories inspired by the island’s whaling heyday, its notoriously foggy nights, and during long bike rides to the beach. After many years in marketing for the publishing industry, followed by years raising her children, Murder’s No Votive Confidence is Christin’s debut novel. Visit her at www.christinbrecher.com.
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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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Literary Escapes Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Eddy and Julia by William Zink #Review

Eddy and Julia
Women’s Literature & Fiction
Setting – Belgium
Publisher: Sugar Loaf Press (July 1, 2020)
Paperback: 228 pages
ISBN-10: 0578624516
ISBN-13: 978-0578624518
Kindle Publication Date: August 20, 2020
ASIN: B08GG9W787

A young American with a faulty heart, tired of endless operations, travels to Belgium to live out the last few months of his life. At peace with his fate, his plans are derailed when he meets Julia, a student from Italy. They fall in love, forcing him to reevaluate his decision, but he soon discovers a dark secret she’s been keeping, crushing their budding romance. Ultimately, a cycling race through the Ardennes Forest will determine not only their fate, but that of Julia’s mother.

 

Set among the bucolic hills and vibrant cafes of Belgium, Eddy and Julia is a poignant drama filled with complex, colorful characters, celebrating the unpredictable and timeless facets of love.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A man decides to live his last days doing things he enjoys. Then a woman enters his life shaking up everything.


I have been struggling with this review for a few weeks I even read parts of the book again when I saw some 5 star reviews but this just wasn’t the book for me. I didn’t feel engaged by any of the characters and believe me there were plenty.

The cycling theme was interesting as was the Belguim area setting. The author is definitely familiar with both.

Mr, Zink has written a complicated story of romance and relationships. It meanders round and round but the ending left me cold.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

William Zink is the author of several novels and poetry collections, including The Hole, Ballad of the Confessor, Ohio River Dialogues, Pieta, and Wild Grapes. His books have been praised by Booklist, Andrei Codrescu, David Giffels, Donald Ray Pollock, Dagoberto Gilb, The Main Street Rag, and others. His novel, Ohio River Dialogues, was a finalist for the Ohioana Fiction Award. –This text refers to the paperback edition.

Author Links – WebsiteFacebookInstagram


Also by William Zink

 

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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Posted in Thoughts

Lori – Post Op Update

It has been two weeks since my lumpectomy. I met with both the surgeon and my oncologist this past week. The surgery turned out to be more extensive than originally planned.  Due to my ample supply of tissue, 🙂 the tumor/s in the breast were easily removed. The dye that was injected prior to surgery to outline the cancerous lymph nodes did not work properly so the surgeon removed all 14 lymph nodes from under my arm. Because of this, a drain needed to be put in and I had to spend the night in the hospital. I still have the drain. It will remain in until I expel less than 30 cc’s of fluid over a 24 hour period. I am getting close. It is a good thing she removed them all because 6 of the 14 had evidence of cancer. She is confident she got all cancer out and left good clear margins. I left her office feeling pretty good.

Then a couple of days later we went to followup with my oncologist. He said he usually waits until patients are midway through radiation before meeting with them to discuss the next steps but he had something important to discuss with me. He learned a lot from my pathology report. He went on to explain that while Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC), is the most common kind of breast cancer, my personal form of this cancer is very “aggressive” and did not respond well to the second type of chemo. The tumors shrank the most during the 1st regimen of chemo, the 1st 8 weeks, but that progress basically ground to a halt when we switched over to the different drug (Taxol) week 9. He said this also puts me at a high risk for recurrence. Because of that, he would like to try to get me into an upcoming clinical trial. He kept stating that I was “young” 😆 and with my other physical limitations, he thought I would be a great candidate. It would mean taking an additional pill when I start the maintenance pills after radiation for the first 2 years. It could be the actual medication or a placebo as it is a blind study. He needed my permission to proceed when he meets with a committee at the end of the month. I told him I was on board, how could I not be? I also kept a brave face throughout our meeting but later that evening I started to freak out a bit.

I have tried to stay positive throughout this process but I sure don’t want to go through this again. I started second-guessing myself, should I have had a total mastectomy of that breast? Why didn’t the scans show more? I know that had a heck of a time getting images of the lymph nodes. COVID 19 was a blessing and a curse. Because of it, my treatment was started quickly because so many other procedures were put on hold, but it also meant I was in most of the doctor meetings alone and maybe I missed something. The doctors I had were highly recommended and I trusted them and still do. I know they have my best interests at heart as do all the others on my team, from the patient advocates, the nurses, and everyone else involved in my care.

Now I wait to start radiation next month and wait to see if I am accepted into the clinical trial. I also put myself in God’s hands and hope I will be able to put cancer behind me once and for all.

~Lori/ Dollycas

Posted in Thoughts

September is Suicide Awareness Month

We lost my son Kris on March 15, 2015, and he is never out of my thoughts. The pain he must have felt to make that choice is just heartbreaking.

 

We saw the signs, he was getting treatment, we thought he was doing better. I should have done more.

 

 

If you know of anyone having suicidal thoughts be there for them, don’t let them down, do things with them, stay in touch, and if you know they are having a bad day don’t leave them alone. Put them first!

 

 

On October 3 Kris’s Krusaders will walk in a nearby Out of Darkness Walk in his memory and raise funds for Suicide Prevention. His daughter Natalie, now 8 years old,  is our captain this year.

 

 

If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.

 

Thank you for your support.

 

~Lori/Dollycas

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Designed to Death (A Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery) by Christina Freeburn #Review / #Giveaway @HeneryPress


Designed to Death (A Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Henery Press; 1st Edition (September 3, 2013)
Paperback: 292 pages
ISBN-10: 1938383524
ISBN-13: 978-1938383526
Kindle ASIN: B00F1IFYJ8

Faith Hunter planned the perfect event at her grandmother’s shop, Scrap This, featuring local scrapbooker and Life Artist Diva, Belinda Watson. But the extravaganza goes up in a cloud of glitter when Belinda and her cousin, Darlene, brawl over scraplifted designs. Faith attempts to break it up, but only makes things worse. Then when Belinda turns up dead behind the Scrap This store, Faith’s involvement goes viral.

 

As accusations against her turn vicious, Faith sets out to prove her nemesis, Darlene, committed the crime, only to realize they are both innocent. Now they must team up or the murderer’s plan will come together seamlessly with the frenemies sharing a jail cell—or worse, a funeral.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Scrapbookers take their creations seriously and heaven forbid some steals someone else’s designs and submits them to a magazine. That is just what local scrapbooker and Life Artist Diva, Belinda Watson is accused of. The accusation by Belinda’s cousin Darlene happened in front of a full class at Scrap This. Faith does her best to gain control when the glitter starts to fly. But later Belinda is found dead behind the scrapbooking shop and Faith finds herself cropped into another murder investigation and working with DARLENE!

Faith Hunter is a smart protagonist that has returned home to manage her grandmother’s scrapbook store. When she receives a call from the security company about a possible break-in she tells them to call the police and she heads to her neighbor and assistant prosecutor, Steve’s home to get him to go with her to find out what is happening at the store. Her grandmothers think Faith and Steve would make the perfect couple. Homicide detective Ted Roget also has eyes for Faith but he has a murder to solve while trying to keep Faith out of his investigation. The murder could upend everything her grandmothers’ have worked so hard for that Faith just can’t back off.


The scrapbook theme is a wonderful venue for a cozy mystery series. The author uses her descriptive talents to set the scene and the projects making it easy to visualize everything.

Ms. Freeburn has created strong core characters with strong relationships for this series. They are engaging and true to life. Faith’s grandmothers, Hope and Cheryl, are just amazing. They just want Faith to be happy. Her devotion to them is heartwarming. Her love triangle with Ted and Steve is still fresh and new. Due to her past, she is taking things slow, and her actions and reactions clearly show this is a wise choice.

The mystery was very interesting. Pairing Faith with Darlene was unexpected and at times their antics had me shaking my head. Plenty of twists kept this reader on her toes.

Designed to Death has a strong family dynamic along with an entertaining mystery and a nice dose of humor.  I was late to the party for this series but hope to remedy that soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Christina Freeburn

Christina Freeburn has always loved books. There was nothing better than picking up a story and being transported to another place. The love of reading evolved into the love of writing and she’s been writing since her teenage years. Her first novel was a 2003 Library of Virginia Literary Award nominee. Her mysteries series, Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery and Merry & Bright Handcrafted Mysteries, are a mix of crafty and crime and feature heroines whose crafting time is interrupted by crime-solving.

Christina served in the US Army and has also worked as a paralegal, librarian, church secretary, and golf shop pro. She lives in West Virginia with her husband, dog, and a rarely seen cat except by those who are afraid and allergic to felines.

Author Links – Webpage     Blog     Facebook     Twitter     Goodreads 

Also by Christina Freeburn

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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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Killer Queen (The Country Club Murders) by Julie Mulhern #Review


Killer Queen (The Country Club Murders)
Cozy Mystery
11th in Series
Setting – Missouri
Publisher: J & M Press (June 30, 2020)
Paperback: 228 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1732755949
ISBN-10: 1732755949
Kindle Page Numbers Source ISBN: B08BRH2QVP

Another day, another dead woman in Ellison Russell’s study.

 

Only this one claimed to be Mrs. Anarchy Jones.

 

As Ellison juggles mothers, daughter, unhappy wives, and near-miss murder attempts, one thing is clear—someone will go to any lengths to hide the truth.

 

Can Ellison and Anarchy catch a killer before the body count rises? Or will Ellison be the next corpse in the study?

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

 

She keeps Moët et Chandon
In her pretty cabinet
‘Let them eat cake,’ she says
Just like Marie Antoinette
A built-in remedy
For Khrushchev and Kennedy
At anytime an invitation
You can’t decline

Caviar and cigarettes
Well versed in etiquette
Extraordinarily nice

She’s a Killer Queen
Gunpowder, gelatine
Dynamite with a laser beam
Guaranteed to blow your mind
Anytime

Ellison Russell comes home to find a dead woman in her study. She has been through this drill before, but this one identified herself to Aggie as Mrs. Anarchy Jones about 20 minutes ago and now she was dead. Worse her mother arrives before she can even call Anarchy. “Now strangers are coming to your house to die?”


Julie Mulhern is one of my favorite authors and her imagination continues to amaze me. She effortlessly takes readers back to the 1970s with no cell phones, avocado green appliances, and Ellison’s love affair with her Mr. Coffee.

The characters were strong in book 1, The Deep End, and they are still fresh and engaging in this 11th installment. The great thing is they continue to evolve and have plenty of room to grow.

Ms. Mulhern also knows how to serve up humor generously. The scene where Ellison’s and Anarchy’s mothers meet is absolutely priceless. I read most of this book during one of my chemo treatments and really tried to hold the laughter in but couldn’t help myself.

The author brings more than wonderful characters and fabulous humor, she also gives her readers an interesting and complex mystery with plenty of twists and turns. Killer Queen is no exception. Pop the cork on a bottle of Moët et Chandon or get your Mr. Coffee out and brew up a cup then sit back and enjoy Killer Queen.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Read my Reviews for:
The Deep End
Guaranteed to Bleed
Clouds In My Coffee
Send In The Clowns
Watching The Detectives
Cold As Ice
Back Stabbers
Shadow Dancing
Telephone Line
Stayin’ Alive
The Rest of the Books in the Country Club Murders Humorous Mystery Series:


Also by Julie Mulhern

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.”