Jan 022015
 

twisted threadsTwisted Threads
(A Mainely Needlepoint Mystery)

New Cozy Mystery Series
Setting: Maine
Kensington Publishing
Release Date: January 6, 2015
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1617730047
E-Book ASIN: B00LCDSPQK
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Returning to the quaint coastal town of Harbor Haven, Maine—a place she once called home—Angie Curtis finds her memories aren’t all quite pleasant ones…

After leaving a decade ago, Angie has been called back to Harbor Haven by her grandmother, Charlotte, who raised her following her mother’s disappearance when she was a child. Her mother has been found, and now the question of her whereabouts has sadly become the mystery of her murder.

The bright spot in Angie’s homecoming is reuniting with Charlotte, who has started her own needlepointing business with a group called Mainely Needlepointers. But when a shady business associate of the stitchers dies suddenly under suspicious circumstances, Charlotte and Angie become suspects. As Angie starts to weave together clues, she discovers that this new murder may have ties to her own mother’s cold case…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This is the first book I have read by Lea Wait. I didn’t know about her other series. I was on Amazon searching for books to add to my Books Coming Soon page and the cover just pulled me right in. The book arrived and story picked up right where the cover left off.

Angie is quite a woman as is her grandmother, Charlotte. To survive having your mother/daughter disappear without a trace is just tragic. Then all these years later her body is found so very close to her home. That is heart wrenching. Angie and Charlotte had moved on with their lives but they had grown apart. Angie ended up in Arizona and didn’t visit very often. When her grandmother call her home her number one mission is to find the person who killed her mother. But her grandmother needed her help with another matter as well. Once she is home the women pick up like they were never apart and Angie starts to feel at home again in Harbor Haven. There have been some changes, some good, some bad, but Angie learns you can go home again.

These are 2 extraordinary characters and I was able to relate to them so easily. The needlepoint thread that pulls the plots together is a strong one. I loved that both men and women were part of the Mainely Needlepointers. Needlepoint can be very relaxing and challenging at the same time. Angie is barely a beginner and her grandmother is the expert and the rest of the group falls everywhere in between.

The murder from the past collides with the murder in the present and Angie is like a dog with bone as tries to untwist all the threads to solve both cases. As she does this she reacquaints herself with the people of Harbor Haven. She gets together with her old friends and meets several new residents.

The town is a hot spot for tourists so it is the perfect setting for a new cozy series.  The author has really grabbed my attention with this first book. I am so excited for the next one. Charlotte has a big day to plan for and Angie has a new job. Threads of Evidence comes out in September.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAY

I am giving away my review copy!

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.

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 15, 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.”

Dec 302014
 

dead deceiverDead Deceiver
(Loon Lake Mystery)

Mystery
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Tyrus Books; Reprint edition (May 30, 2014)
ISBN-13: 978-1440582226
E-Book File Size: 889 KB
ASIN: B005307N5W
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It’s late January in Loon Lake and bodies abound…

While the town of Loon Lake is hosting an International Ice Fishing Festival, Police Chief Lewellyn Ferris and her limited team are busy with the usual headaches and then some. Meanwhile, Doc Osborne is busy studying fly-casting videos in an effort to impress Lew come spring.

But a panicked call from Rob Beltner leads to a sad discovery: his wife, Kathy, is dead of a gunshot wound. Lew barely begins to investigate the shooting before she’s sidetracked by the imposing figure of Patience Schumacher, president of Wheedon Technical College. Patience is certain she’s being stalked, and as Lew investigates, the uncanny coincidences accumulate like snow on the frozen, deadly surface of Loon Lake…

Dollycas’s Thoughts
This has been one of my favorites series but the last one, Dead Renegade was not the author’s best and I left this one on the shelf. When I needed just one more book to complete by Wisconsin Author/Setting I picked it up and I so glad I did. I don’t know much about fly fishing but I sure do like reading about it. My grandfather was quite a fisherman and stories like this bring forth great memories.

I love Lew, Doc Osborne, and Ray Pradt. In this installment they are fighting the elements of a Wisconsin winter to find who killed a woman out snowshoeing. When she fails to return home her husband calls the police and they start a search that ends with the worst possible outcome.

I like the relaxed relationship between Lew and Osbourne. They are comfortable with each other and the lives they are leading. Lew’s daughter returns to Loon Lake to talk things over with her mom. Her marriage is falling apart and she needs advice and a little perspective as she moves toward a divorce.

There is also a fishing tournament taking place and a reality show is casting and Ray hopes he is chosen for the show.

Houston is back and while there is not as much fishing in this installment due to it be set in winter the mystery is more of what I expect from this author. The characters are still growing and the were a few suspenseful moments as the plot and subplot converged and the killer was revealed.

The funny thing is that is now December in Wisconsin and we don’t have any snow. We had a very green Christmas and as I type this it is 45 degrees outside. Reading about the snowy countrysides was great for me and required no shoveling on my part.

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To find out more bout Victoria Houston visit her webpage here.

*This book was from my private collection.

Dec 272014
 


THREE STRIKES AND YOU’RE DEAD
Mystery
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: XLIBRIS (July 24, 2014)
ISBN-13: 978-1499049305
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Baseball goes on strike. and the fans are not happy. A chat room group “Friends against the baseball strike” rants against the astronomical salaries and greed of the players who have ruined the game for the everyday fans. One member, “The Vindicator” decides to take action to end the strike, and soon some of the highest paid baseball players are being murdered. Who will be next? Can the murderer be stopped? The action and suspense build as the FBI and a trio of clever amateur investigators rush around the country trying to predict where the murderer will strike next, and to discover his identity.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Angered fans take to a chat room to complain about the baseball strike and madness ensues.

I didn’t realize this was the 2nd book with these characters but had no trouble following the story. Roseanne has decided that she, her brother, Graham, and Randy all need to become private investigators and somehow convince the powers that be at the baseball league they are perfect to investigate these murders. After that the story takes off on a wild ride.

I am very impressed with the writing. The characters are very developed and engaging. The premise is very wise. It does cost too much to take a family to any professional sport event. Yes these players are entertaining but the salaries are crazy. In  this crazy leads to more crazy as people are getting killed.

You have to let go of reality a bit to think 3 amateurs would be working alongside the FBI and actually figure things out first but it was definitely an entertaining read.  I would definitely read more from this author and may go back and red the first book, Splattered Blood, to see how these three got their start.

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author

Michael A. Draper
Attended St. Michael’s College in Winooski, Vt and served four years in the Air Force, retiring as a captain.

Married to Diana in 1966, one son living, Kevin. Kevin is married to Claire and they have two daughters, Madison and Molly.

Mike spent over 40 years in the financial industry and is also the author of “Splattered Blood,” and the recently be released “Three Strikes and You’re Dead.”Mike enjoyes reading, writing and book reviewing. He is a top Amazon book reviewer.

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.”

Dec 262014
 

NAKED ADDICTIONNaked Addiction
Suspense/Thriller
WildBlue Press (October 7, 2014)
Paperback: 416 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0990557388
E-Book File Size: 1204 KB
ASIN: B00NU6AA92
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Tired of working undercover narcotics, police detective Ken Goode wants a transfer to homicide. After the Camus-reading surfer finds the body of a beautiful woman in an alley, he is assigned to head a team of relief detectives with the hopes of proving he is homicide-worthy.

As Goode explores the underbelly of the affluent coastal enclave of La Jolla, California, and its hipster neighbor, Pacific Beach, he clashes with the patrons and employees of a neighborhood bar: real estate agents and beauty school students who have possible ties to an escort service and a drug ring – and keep turning up dead.

The untimely disappearance of Goode’s sister proves a worrisome distraction as he chases suspects and a dogged cub reporter chases him. But Goode doesn’t give up. He is determined to solve this case and land a full time place in the homicide division.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I was first introduced to Caitlin Rother’s work through her True-Crime stories, Lost Girls, Dead Reckoning and I’ll Take Care of You so I was already a fan. I knew this book was out there and the author was continuing to improve it and get it published. I am so glad things came together. This book started out as a short story and she used the knowledge she gained from writing True-Crime to make this an outstanding fictional story.

What Rother has given us in a complex mystery that brings together sex, drugs and murder. The story has so many layers and more that a few twists. It is so well-written. The authors years as a journalist shine as she draws the reader into the story.

Police Detective Ken Goode is so good! He is juggling several balls in the air and he tries to solve this murder and his police career comes full circle. He is also a man with a tragic past the has shaped the way he looks at life in general.

Norman Klein, the cub reporter has had this murder investigation story dropped into his lap because the regular crime reporter is out sick. He has the editor riding his back continually to get the story first with all the details, even when the police are not releasing much in the way of details. He goes to some very dangerous lengths to deliver what his boss wants. He clearly is not using his head as he goes places he has no business going.

Like most murder investigations there are several leads and not all of them pan out. The reader is taken behind the scenes and into the procedures followed as the investigation takes many different directions and I was totally surprised with the ending. At one point I thought and I knew the who and the why but I was only right on half of my theory and it was a theory I threw out several times as another suspect came to the forefront. So for me this was a perfect read.

I really like these characters and I hope Rother continues their stories in a future novel or series. She is already off to an excellent start.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Links to my reviews for:

Dead Reckoning

Lost Girls

I’ll Take Care Of You

To find out more about Caitlin Rother and her books visit her webpage here.

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.”

Dec 232014
 

special guest bluePlease help me welcome my last special guest of 2014! Toni LoTempio’s Meow If It’s Murder was released this month and it will leave you purring for more!

Toni LoTempio Credit to Clifton Animal Shelter

Why a Cat?

I’ve had quite a few people ask me why I chose to write a mystery series about a cat.

Well, the answer’s simple. I didn’t actually choose to do it…

I’ve been writing for most of my life, but never with an eye for publication until 1997. There followed a flurry of writing books – mostly my favorite genre, horror, where I tried very hard to be the next Stephen King. I ended up getting a few published, but through a small press. I still wasn’t where I wanted to be.

Next I started writing paranormals – mostly paranormal mysteries. Alas, I was informed by many of the agents I approached that the market for paranormals – especially those that featured vampires – was over-saturated. Another dead end.

So I turned to self publishing.

I published a few of my paranormal mysteries via Amazon and Barnes and Noble. They got pretty good reviews, but nothing really stellar. I still hadn’t found my niche. And then….


I was at my day job one morning, sitting in my boss’s office. He knew my hobby was writing and I was telling him about the latest one I’d written that was ‘making the rounds’ at agent offices. He looked me straight in the eye and said, “Why don’t you quit writing about vampires and werewolves and write a book about your damn cat?”

Me: “But I like to write about vampires and werewolves.”

My boss: But it isn’t getting you anywhere. You love that cat and you love to write. I think you should think about it.

I went home that night and thought about it. I’d recently acquired a tuxedo cat, ROCCO, who had a feisty personality – so much so that I’d created a blog entitled cats, books and more cats, and I’d just developed what I though was a creative premise – I’d interview authors as if the cat were the one asking the questions. I’d gotten Janet Evanovich to agree to an interview and I’d just also gotten in touch with a few other authors who all thought the idea was “cute”.

Hm….maybe my boss had something there? But what sort of book could I write that would feature a cat? It had to have something to do with food, I thought. People love books with recipes!

I lay down on my couch and flipped through the channels. Turner classic was running “The Thin Man”. And suddenly the premise came to me…Nora Charles, ex-crime reporter, returns to her hometown of Cruz, California to take over her mother’s sandwich shop and finds a stocky, tuxedo cat on her doorstep, whom she names Nick. As it turns out, the cat’s original owner was a Nick, too, and he was a private eye….and thus were born the Nick and Nora mysteries.

Although the original premise was a LOT different from the book Penguin bought…but that’s a story for another day!

~Toni

Here’s a little snippet from Meow If It’s Murder
by Toni LoTempio

I put the phone down and leaned back, laced my hands behind my head. The key to all this, I felt certain, was finding someone willing to come clean about what really happened on the yacht that night. From my experience, there was no way all those people were telling the truth. One – or maybe more – was lying.

What I needed to do was figure out who and more importantly, why.

I stood up, stretched, and put down the top on the computer. Nick watched me with his unblinking golden eyes.

“My next move should be to question the other three, see what they have to say about that night. That’s going to require some thought. After all, it’s not like we hang out in the same circles, or that they even frequent Hot Bread for lunch. I can’t just run into them you know.”

Nick jumped up on the counter. His plume of a tail swished, knocking over the plastic case containing my catering menus. They scattered to the floor like autumn leaves. I sighed, bent to retrieve them, then suddenly straightened. I hurried over to the old rolltop desk in the corner, jerked open the bottom drawer where my mother’s impeccable catering records were kept. I thumbed through the folders, and a little cry of triumph escaped my lips as I pulled out one marked KMG. Sure enough, inside were two neatly drawn contracts, bearing both my mother’s signature and that of Lola Grainger, for Hot Bread to cater two of their upcoming company events. I glanced over at Nick, sitting calmly on the counter, licking one paw.

“I get it,” I murmured. “Good point. Now that Lola’s dead, what happens with these contracts?”

I shoved the file folder under one arm and patted Nick on the head. I figured now was as good a time as any to find out.

To find out more about Toni LoTempio and her book visit her webpage here and Rocco’s blog here.

9780425270202_medium_Meow_If_It's_MurderMeow If It’s Murder
(Nick and Nora Mysteries Book 1)

New Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (December 2, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Mary Ann Lasher
Cover Design by George Long
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425270202
E-Book File Size: 1260 KB
ASIN: B00JJXV1CA
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Nora Charles doesn’t believe in fate, even if she is a crime reporter who shares a name with a character from The Thin Man. In fact, she’s moving back to Cruz, California, to have a quieter life. But after finding an online magazine eager for material, and a stray cat named Nick with a talent for detection, Nora’s not just reporting crimes again. She’s uncovering them…

Back in her hometown, Nora reconnects with old friends and makes some new ones, like Nick, the charming feline who seems determined to be her cat. But not everything about Cruz is friendly. Writing for a local online magazine, Nora investigates the curious death of socialite Lola Grainger. Though it was deemed an accident, Nora suspects foul play. And it seems that her cat does too.

Apparently, Nick used to belong to a P.I. who disappeared while investigating Lola Grainger’s death. The coincidence is spooky, but not as spooky as the clues Nick spells out for her with Scrabble letters—clues that lead her down an increasingly dangerous path. Whether fate put her on this case or not, solving it will take all of Nora’s wits, and maybe a few of Nick’s nine lives.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I had not thought about The Thin Man movies in ages but I have to say Toni LoTempio has done them proud with her twist to use them as the basis of her new cozy series. In this case Nora isn’t quite so “ditzy” and Nick happens to be a very smart and intuitive cat and together they make a great team.

Nora has come home to Cruz to take over her mother’s sandwich shop but true crime reporting is in her blood and she can’t let it go. Everything about the investigation into Lola Grainger’s death feels wrong to Nora and she just can’t stop herself from doing a little investigating herself. When she finds out her new cat’s previous owner was a P.I. investigating the death and he has since mysteriously disappeared she jumps in with both paws, I mean feet. This is dangerous both for her and her new feline friend.

This story is full of twists and had it not been for Nick (the cat) helping her with the clues I don’t think Nora would have figured it out. It is not blatantly spelled out but I think this cat is more than he appears to be. I think he is a special cat that takes on the spirit of his previous owner. When he belonged to Nick, the private eye, his name was Sherlock. I wonder who his owner was before Nick, maybe Mr. Holmes? I am very interested to see if the author addresses this in future installments. He is definitely a special cat with special powers regular kitty cats do not possess. Daniel Corleone is also a very interesting character that I want to get to know better.

The author has laid a nice foundation for the series going forward. There were many parts that drew directly from the original Thin Man and tested my memory, but you do not have to be familiar with the movies or the original story by Dashiell Hammett to enjoy this story. Nick and Nora are off to a great start. I am excited to see what crime they investigate next.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Note: The Thin Man was on Turner Classic Movies Saturday night. I recorded it to watch at a later date and I see it is on again later this month. After reading this book I am excited to watch this oldie but goodie 🙂

GIVEAWAYThanks 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 Toni 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 3, 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.”

Dec 182014
 

special guest blueI am thrilled to have Krista Davis visit today!

Both her Paws & Claws Mystery Series and
her Domestic Diva Mystery Series are wonderful!

Krista Davis author pic

Training Cats By Krista

There are people who believe that cats cannot be trained. Those of us who love cats tend to believe otherwise. The sad truth is that while we might think we’re training our cats, they’re really training us. It’s true. If you are owned by a cat, or two, or more, you might recognize some of these lessons straight from the Feline Manual of Proper Decorum.

1. Cats should be fed first. Should your person have forgotten to feed you, jump on the table and a) look indignant, or b) eat from your person’s plate. They will soon learn not to eat unless you have been served.

9780425262566_medium_The_Ghost_and_Mrs._Mewer2. When the house is too cold, one of the following maneuvers usually conveys your displeasure with the setting of the thermostat. When your person has nestled down to sleep, drape yourself over the person’s neck. Be sure to purr loudly. An alternative position is on the chest as close to the chin as possible. You will know you are in the correct position when you are raised and lowered each time your person breathes. If said person does not respond quickly, try a few gentle nips on the chin.

3. Closing the bathroom door is a most irritating human habit, and one that is hard to break. Try to open the door by inserting an upside-down paw under the door, extending claws, and pulling. If this technique fails, yowl at the top of your lungs. If that fails, practice shooting ahead of the person when you see him or her heading for the bathroom. Sit quietly to teach your person not to be afraid. With time, he or she may leave the door open a bit for you.

cat54. Getting your person’s attention. By far the easiest method is the sit and stare. In a matter of minutes, your person should take note that you want something. If this fails and the person has any papers in front of him or her, sprawl across the papers. If the person is typing in front of a screen, walk across the keyboard or sit on it. This generally rouses people from their concentration on unimportant matters.

5. Keep your people in shape. Darting around their feet when they walk, especially when they walk down stairs, will keep your people nimble and able to continue to do your bidding.

 

~Krista

About Krista Davis

New York Times Bestselling author Krista Davis writes the Paws & Claws Mysteries for animal lovers that debuted in December with Murder, She Barked. The sequel, The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer, will be in bookstores on December 2nd. She also writes the Domestic Diva Mysteries. Her 8th Domestic Diva Mystery is The Diva Wraps It Up, a Christmas mystery in bookstores now. Like her characters, Krista has a soft spot for cats, dogs, and sweets. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with three dogs and two cats.

Author Links:
kristadavis.com
www.facebook.com/KristaDavisAuthor
pinterest.com/kristadavisbook
mysteryloverskitchen.com
twitter.com/kristadavis
killercharacters.com

9780425262566_medium_The_Ghost_and_Mrs._MewerThe Ghost and Mrs. Mewer
(A Paws and Claws Mystery)

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (December 2, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Mary Ann Lasher
Cover Design by Diana Kolsky
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425262566
E-Book File Size: 2633 KB
ASIN: B00JJXHKZM
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

Wagtail, Virginia, the top pet-friendly getaway in the United States, is gearing up for a howling good Halloween—until a spooky murder shakes the town to its core . . .

Holly Miller doesn’t believe in spirits, but the Sugar Maple Inn is filled with guests who do. The TV series in development, Apparition Apprehenders, has descended on Wagtail’s annual Halloween festivities to investigate supernatural local legends, and Holly has her hands full showing the ghost hunters a scary-fun time.

But the frights turn real when Holly’s Jack Russell, Trixie, and kitten, Twinkletoes, find a young woman drowned in the Wagtail Springs Hotel’s bathhouse—the spot of the town’s most infamous haunting. The crime scene is eerily similar to the creepy legend, convincing Holly that the death wasn’t just accidental. Now she’ll have to race to catch a flesh-and-blood killer—before someone else in town gives up the ghost . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

“Howloween” in Wagtail, so much fun especially with Apparition Apprehenders tracking ghosts all about the town from the old hotel to Holly’s Aunt Birdie’s house. The town has a legend going way back to a murder mystery at the hotel and is a known site for paranormal activity. The haunting at Birdie’s house may be figments of her imagination, wishful thinking or just a way to get a bit of attention.

Holly has her hands full with Aunt Birdie’s antics while trying to take on a more active role at the Sugar Maple Inn so he grandmother can relax a bit. While out after answering one of Birdie’s calls she finds a a dead woman floating in about 2 feet of water. She doesn’t believe it was an accidental drowning for a minute. So now she has to add finding a murderer to her to-do-list and she has to do it quick before another spirit starts haunting Wagtail.

Wagtail is a fabulous, pet friendly destination and I would love to live there. The Sugar Maple Inn has a cat wing and a dog wing and all the rooms have names of things pets love to do like “Hike” and “Swim”. Holly’s own pets Trixie and Twinkletoes are like pet ambassadors for the 4 legged friends staying at the inn. Twinkletoes gets into a bit of mischief and Trixie tries to eat the other dogs food but they are still in training.

The human characters are fun too, even a guest who shows up very unexpectedly and catches Holly off guard. Birdie is something else but does remind of one of my own aunts so I could sympathize with Holly and everyone else that has to deal with the lady. I love Oma, Holly’s grandmother. She had a fantastic idea for her inn and I am thrilled that Holly is there to help her see it through now with its new addition.

There are some strange happenings at the inn and around Wagtail that all tie into the mystery plot. Some are pretty eerie and even gave me a shiver or two. The web the author spun was very interesting and entertaining to follow.

Last but not least I loved the title. I can remember watching The Ghost and Mrs. Muir late nights with my mother back when our television only received 3 or 4 channels. Brought back a nice memory.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

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.

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

Leave a comment for Krista 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 1, 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.”

Dec 162014
 

special guest blueTwo of my favorite authors on this planet are Joyce and Jim Lavene. I have loved their books and organized book tours for them and rarely ever steal a spot for myself. When their publicist offered me a chance at a guest post for this book I jumped at it. I am so excited to have Joyce drop by today!

joyce and jimWriting about witches
By Joyce Lavene

When my husband and I first thought about writing the Retired Witches Mysteries we considered what kind of witches we wanted our ladies to be. Obviously they each needed a distinct personality and lifestyle.

We knew they would be good witches, of course, but a big question was that of magic. What kind of magic would they have? Were we thinking Bewitched or something a little more realistic?

We decided we didn’t want nose-twitching or magic that appeared too stereotypically on TV and in movies. We wanted to stay within certain bounds of witches who took their power from the elements—earth, fire, air and water. Olivia, Elsie, Dorothy, and Molly get their abilities from a natural side of them. They know their magic comes from inside and is then expressed outwardly.

They don’t pop in and out of rooms or snap their fingers to create magic. There are some witches who can do that in these books, but not these ladies. Their spells come from their thoughts and emotions. Dorothy is a little on the emotional side and sometimes indulges in magic that gets out of hand. Elsie’s magic is spontaneous with sometimes laughable ineffectiveness.

Molly is our storyteller through the books. Her voice is the one you hear. She is down-to-earth, careful, and modest. Her magic is the same. She is a water witch in a small area nestled between the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean so her magic is stronger than her friends’ magic. She is influenced by her family and her lifelong friends as well as by the water. The closer she is to water, the stronger she is.

It’s the same with Olivia, an air witch, Dorothy, an earth witch, and Elsie, a fire witch. Each is strongest in their element with the magic tool they possess. Molly’s magic tool is the cauldron. She wears a small replica of one around her neck and has a large cauldron in the basement of their shop, Smuggler’s Arcane.

Olivia’s tool is a runed staff. Elsie’s tool is a sword, and Dorothy’s is an emerald cull. Each tool represents the forces at work in them that they use for good in their lives.

Our witches have had some difficulty getting their magic to work in recent years. As they’ve aged, their magic has too. Sometimes they’re hesitant to use magic at all for fear of what will happen. They are women who lead normal lives with jobs and obligations to their community. They just have a little something extra that has always been there for them since they were born.

It was fun writing this series that begins with Spell Booked. We look forward to writing about our witches in the future!

~Joyce

About Joyce and Jim Lavene

Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family.

Fina Joyce and Jim around the internet:

www.joyceandjimlavene.com 

www.facebook.com/joyceandjimlavene 

http://amazon.com/author/jlavene 

https://twitter.com/AuthorJLavene

sb_final.inddSpell Booked
(Retired Witches Mysteries)

Brand New Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (December 2, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Art by Mary Ann Lasher
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425268254
E-Book File Size: 2640 KB
ASIN: B00JJXV1AM
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Once upon a time in Wilmington, North Carolina, three witches ran a curio shop named Smuggler’s Arcane. But as the years passed, their magical powers started to fade—leaving them no choice but to conjure up a retirement package…  

Before they could blink their eyes or twitch their noses, Molly, Elsie, and Olivia somehow became eligible for AARP. But they can’t fly off to Boca Raton just yet. First they must give up their magic, recruit and train three new witches, and pass on their cherished spellbook.

They’ve barely begun to consider potential practitioners when Olivia winds up dead and their spellbook is stolen. To honor their friend and reclaim their spells, Molly and Elsie are about to go wand-to-wand with a dangerous young witch more powerful than the trio was in their prime. And this time they’re going to need more than magic up their sleeves…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jim and Joyce Lavene have magnificent imaginations! They continue to surprise me. With those imaginations they bring us extraordinary characters and their words paint vivid images in my mind.

In this case the characters are a group of witches whose magic is waning and all they want to do is retire to Boca. Before they can do that the Grand Council of Witches tells them they need to find replacements and to pass along their spell book, since no one in their families has the gift of magic. They barely start their search and one of them is brutality killed and the spell book is stolen. So now  they are not only looking for replacement witches they are hunting down a murderer, a murderer than could be a very powerful witch.

We meet Molly, Elise and Olivia and their first recruit Dorothy, plus Molly’s husband, Joe, a police detective.  Joe has no idea Molly is a witch. We also meet 4 feline characters that are all extra special. These characters are all engaging and fascinating in their own ways. I don’t want to over share and spoil any of their enchanting ways for anyone.

The story takes place in North Carolina and the ladies run a shop, Smuggler’s Arcane, that sells supplies to other witches and those interested in witchcraft. It is quite an amazing place and has some secrets all its own. The town has another group of paranormal residents that I am usually not to fond of but the Lavene’s have written them in a fun and not too scary way that I didn’t mind their presence.

This cozy mystery has everything a good cozy requires and more. The plot really has a spark and I was totally caught off guard as to how the whole mystery played out. That final twist was a doozy!

Spell Booked will keep you Spellbound!!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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.

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 December 30, 2014 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.”

Dec 122014
 

dirty deedsDirty Deeds:
#9 (Savannah Martin Mysteries)

Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Magpie Ink (November 4, 2014)
Paperback: 292 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0989943482
E-Book File Size: 685 KB
ASIN: B00MV6IO18
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Savannah Martin’s frugality blows up in her face when she rents out her apartment for the weekend to a woman ostensibly in town for a job interview. When the stranger turns up strangled, and turns out to have been entertaining clients in Savannah’s bed, MNPD Detective Tamara Grimaldi swoops in to investigate both the murder and the prostitution angle… and it isn’t long before she makes a connection to someone in Savannah’s past. But with both Detective Grimaldi and Savannah’s boyfriend, TBI agent Rafe Collier, certain they know what happened, it’s up to Savannah to prove that the person they think is guilty of murder, isn’t. Unless, of course, they’re right and she’s wrong, and the killer is coming for Savannah next…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have heard about people renting out their homes and apartments when big events come to town. Let’s face it there is always something happening in Nashville and Savannah’s apartment was just sitting empty. Why not make a little money? She she isn’t raking in any bucks from selling houses. The last thing she expected was for one her temporary tenants to end up dead. She also didn’t know they were using her apartment for the world’s oldest profession.

Fun! Fun! Fun! I love these characters and this series! Sadly I have missed a couple in the the middle but Jenna Bennett includes enough background in this story to bring us all up to date. The character continue to grow in each installment and Savannah always finds herself in trouble. Even being pregnant doesn’t keep her out of trouble but it does make her think twice about her actions.

Bennett has written an excellent mystery that takes us back to Sweetwater and ties into Savannah and Rafe’s past. I am so happy the way their relationship is developing. It makes me realize I need to go back to read the books that I missed. Savannah Martin is a very special character and I am sorry that we lost touch. I definitely plan to rectify that in the new year!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Jenna Bennett/Jennie Bentley on her webpage here.

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.”

Dec 112014
 

scorchd eggsScorched Eggs
(A Cackleberry Club Mystery)

6th in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425255599
E-Book File Size: 1468 KB
ASIN: B00INIXFOE
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As Suzanne is getting her hair colored at Root 66, she’s stunned to witness the County Services office next door suddenly go up in flames. Concerned neighbors throng the streets, and the fire department does their best. Unfortunately, their best isn’t enough to save longtime civil service worker—and friend to the Cackleberry Club—Hannah Venable.

Soon enough, it’s discovered that an accelerant was used to fan the flames. Someone set the fire on purpose—was Hannah the intended victim? Suzanne, Petra, and Toni vow to smoke out the culprit.

Unfortunately, the list of suspects is as varied as the Cackleberry Club’s menu. When Suzanne finds a possible connection between the fire and the nearby Prairie Star Casino, she comes to realize that the arsonist wanted something very big and bad kept secret. And if the ladies aren’t careful, they may be the ones gambling with their lives…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Laura Childs has packed this book to the brim. The County Fair is about to start with Suzanne on horseback and Petra baking- both hoping for ribbons, the Cackleberry Club is hosting a dinner theater production, a vintage wedding is taking place in the park and Petra is making the wedding cake and a cute little baby is found out behind the club, not a human baby, but still oh so cute. But the whole story starts with a fire at the County Services Bureau. A fire that leads to explosion and leaves the secretary Hannah Venable dead. It could have been much worse. Several people were in the vicinity when the debris was flying including Suzanne who was at Root 66 and thought she smelled smoke and went outside to find the source.

Suzanne, Petra and Toni are three of my favorite cozy mystery characters. The author makes them come alive on the page. They are friends that are more like sisters. Their lives are all just bound together.  Their dialogue is witty and quick and they really do have huge hearts and open minds about most things. Two of them don’t think much of Junior and his crazy ideas.  He really takes advantage of Toni but she still seems to love the guy. I also like that Suzanne is dating a younger man who seems to really and truly love her.

As always the ladies, especially Suzanne, are poking their noses into the police investigation. The fire was ruled arson and that makes the death murder. Good thing the sheriff has his own permanent stool at the Cackleberry Club counter because you just know that where the clues lead trouble will follow. They make end up a little scorched but we don’t want these ladies getting burned.

With so much happening you would think it would be hard to follow but master storyteller Laura Child just lets it flow. She teases us a bit, diverts our attention, takes a few turns and a corkscrew twirl, and keeps us wanting more. This story was almost enveloping in the way it draws the reader in and holds on tight. A serious crime has been committed but she balances it with daily life, some romance and the perfect amount of laughs and giggles to make this thrilling and entertaining read.

A perfect cozy to cozy up with on a cold winter night.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author 

Laura Childs is the author of the Cackleberry Club Mysteries Tea Shop Mysteries, and Scrapbooking Mysteries.  Her books have been named to the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists and been featured selections of the Mystery Guild’s Mystery Book Club.

Visit Laura at www.laurachilds.com

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.

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 December 25, 2014 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.”

Dec 102014
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

Duffy Brown has a new Cozy Series and she is here to tell us all about it!

duffy brown

Small Town or City Slicker?

In Geared for the Grave Evie Bloomfield wants to boost her chances for a promotion so she agrees to leave Chicago and head off to Mackinac Island to help her boss’ dad with his cycle shop.

GearedMackinac is a reaMackinac 3l island, an eight-mile chunk of land where Lake Michigan meets Lake Huron. It’s truly beautiful, no cars with horses and bikes a twenty-minute ferry ride from the mainland. When the lakes freeze…or as the islanders call it “the ice makes…there is no ferry, very limited plane service and if the ice is think enough snowmobiles are the way off the place.

So could you live here year-round?

lilac 4Without cars it’s so quiet and the whole island is a throwback to the 1800s with vintage baseball, parades for every occasion like the Lilac Festival, Horse Festival, Fudge Festival etc. There’s the town gazebo for live music, dressing for dinner at the Grand Hotel, high tea, horse drawn carriages with men in top hats and formal attire and did I mention the no cars thing?

Mackinac hotelMackinac is waking up to the clip clop of horses’ hooves on cobblestone and often the whole island cocooned in dense fog with the foghorns moaning out in the harbor. You’ll be in the best shape of you life with having to walk everywhere and the sunset over the Mackinaw Bridge will always take your breath away.

Mackinac 6This sound amazing to many of us like and like a death sentence to others. There is no mall! There is no Walmart, big box store of any sort, no free wifi except at Horn’s bar and the library. Often your cell phone won’t work and you’ll be hanging over the end of the pier to get reception for the so important phone call. There are only 500 permanent residents so things get a bit confining in the winter when the way to get around is your snowmobile. Your kids go to a school with sixty other kids…just sixty…and there is no Dollar Store. And it’s reeeeeally cold.

There are bicycles and horses everywhere, festivals galore like the Lilac Festival, Fudge Festival, Jazz, Horse etc. They are all fun and everyone turns out to watch. Brings the whole island together.

So what do you think? Are you a island person or a big city guy or gal? Personally I think I’d fit in perfectly on Mackinac Island. It’s a writer’s heaven and I’ve always wanted my own a snowmobile.

Hugs,
Duffy Brown

Check out Duffy’s webpage for more information about her and her books!

GearedGeared for the Grave
(A Cycle Path Mystery)

New Cozy Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (December 2, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Ben Perini
Cover Design by Diana Kolsky
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425268940
E-Book File Size: 3446 KB
ASIN: B00JJXV47W
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Mackinac Island is a peaceful summer resort town where everyone coasts through the streets on bicycles. But after someone sends a prominent local on her final ride, it’s up to one resourceful visitor to get things running again…

Hoping to shift her chances of a promotion in her favor, Evie Bloomfield heads to Mackinac Island to assist her boss’s father. Rudy Randolph has broken his leg and operating his bike shop, Rudy’s Rides, is too much to handle by himself. But Evie’s good turn only leads to more trouble…

After Evie’s arrival, wealthy resident Bunny Harrington dies in what looks like a freak bike accident. Upon closer inspection, Bunny’s brakes were tampered with, and now the prime suspect in her murder is also Bunny’s number one enemy: Rudy. So if Evie hopes to stay on her boss’s good side, she’ll need to steer Rudy clear of jail. Now she must quickly solve this mystery so she can put the brakes on the real killer’s plan…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I knew Evie was in trouble the minute she got off the ferry and requested a taxi. Seems her boss failed to tell her about all the charm of Mackinac Island, like there are no motor vehicles allowed. From there she gets into every kind of trouble possible including finding Bunny Harrington’s dead body. What looks like a freak bicycle accident is soon ruled a homicide and her boss’s father is the number one suspect.

Evie is a delightful character with her heart in the right place. Yes she came to island to garner favor from her boss in hopes of a promotion but once she meets Rudy and the other residents she is just trying to do the right thing. That isn’t easy because as a “fudgie” she seems to get blamed for everything the goes wrong. I really like the way she used her creativity to breathe new life into Rudy’s Rides all while she is doing her best to keep him out of jail and trying to nudge temporary police chief Nate Sutter in the direction of many other suspects.

Clever characters abound in the new series. In addition to Evie and Rudy we meet Evie’s mother who makes an unexpected trip to Mackinac Island and meets a handsome gentleman with a questionable background. We also meet a man the locals call Jason Bourne because he is a master of disguise and always has briefcase handcuffed to his wrist. Everyone is convinced he is a hit man but I figured out is real occupation quite quickly. You also have Speedy and Huffy, these are people, not pets. They both want Rudy to be guilty so they can add his bike business to their own. They are also high on Evie’s suspect list.

Mackinac Island is a wonderful place to set a mystery series but it is also the setting of another cozy mystery series written by Nancy Coco. Both authors draw on actual events to include in their stories and the Island is a pretty small place. I half expected the protagonist Allie from that series to run into Evie somewhere along the way.

Duffy Brown does give the reader a great mystery to follow and I was totally surprised by the way this one played out. The plot takes some wacky turns and that keeps the pages turning. There is also quite a bit of humor laced throughout the entire story. From Evie’s rash to where they keep the dead body on ice until after the tourists leave and all the little phrases the locals use to keep the “fudgies” in the dark all had me “tee heeing” from the beginning to the end.

This series is off to a wonderful start. -Braking for Bodies  is coming in 2015 and -Tandem Demise will follow in 2016. I predict a lot of fun  and drama for Evie ahead!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

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 Duffy 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 December 24, 2014 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.”

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