Special Guest – Maureen Howard – Author of Sunny Side Up – Giveaway too!

special guest blue
I am so happy to welcome Maureen to Escape With Dollycas today!
I am so glad we connected thanks to GoodReads!



Hello from sunny Lake Erie! (at least from mid-April until late October). I, Maureen Kovach, along with my daughter, Brigette Howard, make up the author entity known as Maureen K. Howard. Together we have penned Sunny Side Up, book one in the Lake Erie Mysteries series. We continue our collaboration as we work to complete book two, Deviled, which will be published later this year. All of the books in this series are set either on the shores or islands of beautiful Lake Erie.

Why Ohio? Why Lake Erie? My love affair with this region of the country began over twenty-five years ago, in 1988, when my husband decided we should become boat owners. I had no idea at the time how this decision would shape my life and the lives of everyone in my family. We lived in Michigan then, and our first experiences boating on the great lakes took place in the Saginaw Bay region, but after enjoying Lake Huron and its pristine, natural beauty for two years, we decided to explore the shores of Lake Erie in search of a new home port that would offer more leisure activities suited to our young children. After a weekend spent driving the shoreline and stopping at every port we encountered along the way, we found an ideal marina located in Marblehead, Ohio. The travel distance to our new summer getaway spot was, to our surprise, no farther than driving north to Caseville, Michigan. The kids are all grown up now, with spouses and children of their own, but we are still members of the same marina and have no desire to move on. In fact, we enjoy the park, the beaches, and the close friends we’ve made over the years even more now that we have grandchildren to entertain. One of the best perks of our location is its proximity to some of the best vacation destinations in the country. Come with me now and visit a few of my favorite places to kick back, relax, and enjoy all that summer at the lake has to offer.

KelleysIslandLet’s start our tour at Kelleys Island, a quaint vacation spot in the heart of the Lake Erie islands.

The village of Kelleys Island covers the entire area of the 4.41-square-mile island. There are just over three-hundred residents living in the village year-round, so neighbors all know one-another in all the cozy ways we are familiar with as readers of our favorite genre.

Vi'sIslandTreasuresThe first stop on the tour is Vi’s Island Treasures. Vi (short for Violet) is the proprietor of this unique gift shop located right next to the historic Kelleys Island Mansion. Behind the signature purple door, you will discover unique, nautical-themed gifts, a fine line of clothing, and beautiful sterling silver and 14kt. gold jewelry. Vi will make sure you leave with a little purple bag engraved in gold script containing just the right gift for someone special. You will recognize many similarities between my friend, Vi, and Ruby Burns, a central character in Sunny Side Up, proprietor of the fictitious Ruby’s Treasure Chest. One similarity that you cannot ignore is the fact that both boutiques, the real and the fictional, are destroyed by fire.

Inside Vi’s

On August 19, 2010, Vi’s original shop on Division Street was destroyed after a fire started in the attic of a neighboring store. The fire quickly spread and destroyed the entire strip of attached businesses. Ohio state fire marshal later ruled the blaze had started after a work lamp was left on in the attic of one of the buildings. Thankfully, no one was injured as a result of the fire.

sunny side up

Sunny Side Up is set on Kelleys Island, but unlike the true story, there is a victim in the fire. The book’s mystery revolves around a charred corpse discovered in the attic of Ruby’s Treasure Chest after it is destroyed in a suspicious fire. The main characters, best friends Francie and June, visit many of the real-life mainstay attractions of the island such as Sea Way Marina and The Caddyshack bar and restaurant as they try to figure out the identity of the mystery corpse, and clear the name of Francie’s husband, Hammond, who seems to have disappeared while circumstantial evidence piles up against him, pointing the finger of guilt in his direction.

The next stop on our jaunt around the lake is the world-renown Cedar Point Amusement Park and Resort. If you like roller coasters, live entertainment, five-star restaurants, water parks and beaches, you should make it a priority to plan a weekend trip to this stellar theme park. The term, amusement park, does not do justice to this destination. You will be far more than amused by everything the resort has to offer. Book a room at the newly-renovated Breakers Hotel which sits at the edge of the water, its soft sandy beach beckoning you to spread out a blanket, unpack your favorite cozy mystery, and rejuvenate your spirit in the sunshine. If you’re in the mood for more adventurous fun, you can book a parasailing lesson or rent a jet-ski and zip around the lake. Whether you want a gourmet meal and a fancy cocktail, or a snow cone and a ride on a state-of- the art roller coaster, you won’t be disappointed by the decision to spend a few days at Cedar Point.

I just noticed that I’m sounding more like a travel agent than an author, but on second thought, as an author, my job is to take you somewhere enjoyable or out-of-the-ordinary so you can forget the details of your everyday life for a few hours and live vicariously through your favorite characters. I would love for you to meet some of the characters in my novels and hope you all enjoy the ride!


Find out more about the authors on their webpage here.

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sunny side upSunny Side Up (Lake Erie Mysteries Book 1)
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: Silver Phoenix Publishing (November 21, 2014)
Paperback: 260 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1634432887
E-Book ASIN: B00Q79DB90


“Drink in one hand, credit card in the other, and everything else will sort itself out.”

The school year is over and the article deadlines have been met, so best friends, Francie and June, ditch their business attire, grab their flip flops, and head to the lake for some fun in the sun.

Instead of enjoying a relaxing Memorial Day weekend at Kelleys Island on Lake Erie, this dynamic duo finds themselves in the middle of a murder investigation. They need to find out who burned down their friend’s store, discover the identity of the charred corpse found in the wreckage, and clear Francie’s husband, Hamm, before he is charged with the crime.

Fueled up with their favorite snacks of wine and cheese, these adventure-loving ladies manage to keep their eyes open for a bargain, come up with a plan, and even indulge in a bit of romance, all while dodging increasingly dangerous attempts to silence them for good.

Grab your sunglasses, your favorite cocktail, a copy of Sunny Side Up, and head to the lake with them for an unforgettable weekend adventure.


The authors are giving away 2 Print Copies!
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.
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will earn you 3 Bonus Entries.

Leave a comment for Maureen 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 June 13, 2015 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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24 thoughts on “Special Guest – Maureen Howard – Author of Sunny Side Up – Giveaway too!

  1. This sounds so good and I love starting anew series at the beginning. Being from the midwest, I can’t wait to read about this part of Ohio.

  2. I’m from Toledo and Cedar Point was my first amusement park. I left Ohio at 10 for Disneyland and reside about 3 miles from the Happiest place. Love a mother-daughter collaboration and this setting.

  3. A wonderful feature and great giveaway. I enjoyed the tour and love this area. Lake Huron is my favorite spot for the summer. Many thanks.

  4. Great pictures, I want to go there. And this sounds like the start of a fun series. Thanks for the giveaway.

  5. I thought i had commented here, but nothing is appearing. i’m from Toledo but left for California as a child. i would love to read more about this part i never knew. We lived down the street from the Maumee River and then in Point Place. The older I get, the more i wish i had more experiences in the area. I went to summer camp in Lima, however, but don’t remember it fondly. i think because there were icky things in the water. Judy D.

  6. I use to hang out on the Saginaw Bay too. Like you through I’ve moved on to more pristine waters.

  7. Oh, can’t get this one added to my TBR quick enough! I live in Ohio and would really enjoy reading this. Thank you so much!


  9. I grew up in PA and we would go to Lake Erie on weekends to swim. I can’t wait to try this series, adding it to my ever growing tbr list. Thanks for the chance to win.

  10. Lori, I’m so happy that you ran into Maureen on Goodreads! Thank you Maureen for the tour. I’ve never been to the Great Lakes area so I really enjoyed the pictures and descriptions of some of the sites there. Thanks for a chance to win your debut in this series. Congratulations on its release!

  11. I’m still chuckling:) I grew up in Michigan but I never visited here. I’m charmed by the title and cover and the tag line cracked me up. Would love to win your book and spend an afternoon reading it by the pool.

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