Jan 072015

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to the 1st Cozy Wednesday of 2015!!

Joyce Lavene, half of J.J. COOK, is back

I just love this picture of Joyce and Jim

I just love this picture of Joyce and Jim!

and I am hitting her with

20 quick questions1. Favorite Color – blue

2. Favorite Candy – chocolate

3. Favorite Snack – hush puppies

4. Favorite Soft Drink – root beer

5. Favorite Hard Drink – rum


6. Favorite Ice Cream Flavor – chocolatechocolate-ice-cream-scoop

7. Favorite Movie – The Avengers

8. Favorite TV Show – Game of Thrones

9. Favorite Book – The Dark Hand of Magic by Barbara Hambly

10. Favorite Fictional Character – Dr. Strange

11. Favorite Super Hero – Dr. Strange

12. Favorite Singer/Group/Band – Enya

13. Favorite Carnival Ride – tilt-a-whirl

14. Favorite Spring Activity – gardening

15. Favorite Summer Activity – swimming

16. Favorite Fall Activity – hiking

17. Favorite Winter Activity – reading

18. Favorite Place to Read – the library

19. Favorite Place to Write – our office

2o. Dream Vacation Destination – Scotland

Find out more about Joyce and Jim and their books on their webpage here.

Like them on Facebook too!

hot waterIn Hot Water (A Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade)
3rd Book in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting: Tennessee
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (January 6, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Mary Ann Lasher
Cover Design by George Long
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425252628


Sweet Pepper, Tennessee, has the world’s hottest and sweetest peppers—as well as a ghost that cooks and a fire chief who fights crime…


Stella Griffin should be bubbling over with joy now that she’s the full-time fire chief of Sweet Pepper, except trouble is brewing on her doorstep. An angry resident has purchased her cabin, and—with a bulldozer in tow—is ready to tear it down. But as Stella worries over the fate of her home and Eric, her ghostly roommate, there’s soon an even greater cause for alarm.

A suspicious house fire in the pricey Sunset Beach community at Sweet Pepper Lake claims the life of ex-state representative Barney Falk. The nature of the death has Stella feeling out of her depth, so she teams up with the state’s arson investigator. Moving full steam ahead with the case, they must smoke out a killer before the firebug strikes again…


Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have to start out by saying that Joyce and Jim Lavene are some of my absolute favorite storytellers but they did it again!! This story ends with another cliffhanger!! That last page was a killer!! Oh my stars!!

Okay well let’s talk about In Hot Water. Stella has decided to make Sweet Pepper her home but her actual home, Chief Eric Gamlyn’s cabin, has been purchased out from under her and the new owner plans to demolish the place. What will happen to Eric’s ghost if his home disappears? The bulldozer has been temporarily stopped but Stella has her hands full with a house fire that looks like arson and the ex-politician owner that was killed. The investigation goes awry and Stella finds herself “in hot water” as she tries to catch the killer before it’s too late.

These characters are fantastic. Eric reminds me so much of my dad, who was also a fire chief. I would have loved to follow in his footsteps but that just wasn’t meant to be. Eric’s and Stella’s relationship is complicated and the biggest obstacle is that he is a ghost. They have grown quite dependent on each other. I think it is so funny that he loves to cook but he can’t eat. Circumstances in the story create a huge change for Eric and it adds a whole new dimension to their relationship.

In addition to the two main characters there are several supporting characters and as the arson investigation starts and halts abruptly Stella starts to wonder who in the town she can actually trust. The fire brigade gets some new members too. I was thrilled to see another female, Nancy Bradford join the team. There are also a few members returning after leaving for family reasons and that causes a little dust up within the brigade as the people that filled in have grown comfortable with their assignments. All these little subplots fire up the story as the main plot becomes the combustible backdraft leading to the extrication of the arsonist/killer.

Each A Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mystery tops the last one. I can’t wait to don my virtual turnout gear and jump on the truck for the next fire and whatever else Stella gets herself into. All I can tell you is that that cliffhanger has me burning hot to get my hands on the installment.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

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

Leave a comment for Joyce for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End January 21, 2015 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.”


  50 Responses to “Cozy Wednesday with J.J. Cook – Author of In Hot Water (Giveaway too!)”

  1. Sounds like a fun read

  2. Looking forward to reading this one.

  3. I love this series and just started reading a couple of your other series.

  4. Thanks for having us here today, Lori! we always enjoy your blog.

  5. I read the first in this series and thoroughly enjoyed it. I need to catch up!

  6. I need to get to book #2. I read #1 and loved it and now it’s #3. Times flies. Love this series.

  7. I have this series on my wishlist – sounds terrific!

  8. This book sounds awesome.

  9. Not familiar with these writers, but they sure are cute! I’d love to read this book. Sounds like my kind of book!

  10. I’ve never read a J.J. Cook novel, but really like the ghost twist. Please add me in your giveaway.

  11. FANTASTIC! Thank you!

  12. Loved the book description. I am not familiar with these authors but the story line looks great !

  13. I am LOVING this series! It is definitely “addictive”. 🙂

  14. Joyce and Jim Lavene always write a great read. I love the way they incorporate a strong woman main character in their Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade series.

  15. What a fun way to get to know the mind behind the books.

  16. Love all your books you do together—can’t get enough!

  17. I am reading the first book in this series and love it. I guess I need to catch up.

  18. Your books are enjoyable and unique.

  19. Sounds like a great read.

  20. I read the 1st one, this sounds great!

  21. I absolutely love a husband and wife writing duo … cheers!

  22. I am impressed and amazed when books have dual authors.
    Do you do a Vulcan mind-meld?

  23. I haven’t read this series yet but I have it on my to read list. I have read several of the other book series and they are absolutely fabulous. I can’t wait to start reading this one.

  24. Loving this book so far, just started chapter 22. Please keep them coming.
    So happy to have found this blog!

  25. Poor Eric, I hope he doesn’t lose his home!. This sounds like a fun read.

  26. How nice to be able to have a successful writing partnership together. I can’t hang wallpaper with mine.

  27. I have really enjoyed this series so far and look forward to reading this installment – have to admit that I’m curious about the changing dynamic in Eric and Stella’s relationship plus I really like Eric’s cabin and hope that Stella is somehow able to stay in it….nice to know that Joyce also likes rootbeer (one of my fave drinks) and chocolate ice cream (anyone who likes chocolate is okay in my book!). Thanks for the giveaway too!

  28. I love the cover and it sounds like a great read. Thanks for the chance to win.

  29. Sounds awesome! Can’t wait to read this! Thanks for the chance!

  30. I loved the other books in this series. Thanks for the contest.

  31. I definitely need to start reading the Levene’s books. They all sound great.

  32. I loved this interview and I love this series!

  33. Sounds like a good book

  34. Congrats on the new release! Can’t wait to visit Sweet Pepper in this new title!


  36. I’ve loved this team of writers since their ‘Ren Faire’ series!

  37. I love this series!

  38. Congratulations on the new release! It sounds like a fascinating book.

  39. The Lavenes are one of my favorite cozy authors. I had a Levene cozy summer a couple of years ago when I got caught up on all their series. I really like the variety of settings and heroines (and a couple of heroes).

  40. I’m so glad you loved this one! I can’t resist that cover art and I’ve now read three reviews all 5 stars! Must read this.

  41. sounds like its going to be good.cute cover

  42. More ghosts! Always wanted to be a fireman when I was young, but I never realized it could be so mysterious and fun. This is a must read for me!

  43. I like mysteries with ghosts involved.

  44. Love this series – really looking forward to reading this one.

  45. we have a lot of the same favorites! Thanks for the chance to win.

  46. Congrats to Joyce!!
    I cannot wait to read this book!!

  47. I always love a good cozy to read. I looks forward to finding new authors. This looks like an excellent book.

  48. It sounds like another book the add to my wish list. If I’m lucky enough to win, this book would have to wait for me to back track and read the first two books in the series. I have to read series books in order!

  49. New follower of the Lavenes, but I’m definitely in for the long run.

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