Posted in Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Reviews 2015 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review/ #Giveaway – Rest Ye Murdered Gentleman by Vicki Delany

It has been a rough year and I will admit that when this book came for review I took one look at the cover and decided to wait to read it. I usually watch all he Christmas movies and really get into the Christmas Spirit. This year I am just dreading it without Kris.  Losing a child at any age is hard but losing your oldest child, an adult, who leaves behind a child, to suicide has really shaken me to my core. Last Friday evening I needed a book to read and this one was right there on the shelf and I thought, O.K. let’s try it. I made it through and thank you Vicki Delany for a wonderful story. Read below for my review.

rest ye murdered gentleman 2Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen:
A Year-Round Christmas Mystery

Brand New Series
Setting – New York
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (November 3, 2015)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Cover Illustration by Julia Green
Cover Design by Sarah Oberrender
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425280805
E-Book ASIN: B00SI0B5R6
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In Rudolph, New York, it’s Christmastime all year long. But this December, while the snow-lined streets seem merry and bright, a murder is about to ruin everyone’s holiday cheer…

As the owner of Mrs. Claus’s Treasures, Merry Wilkinson knows how to decorate homes for the holidays. That’s why she thinks her float in the semi-annual Santa Claus parade is a shoe-in for best in show. But when the tractor pulling Merry’s float is sabotaged, she has to face facts: there’s a Scrooge in Christmas Town.

Merry isn’t ready to point fingers, especially with a journalist in town writing a puff piece about Rudolph’s Christmas spirit. But when she stumbles upon the reporter’s body on a late night dog walk—and police suspect he was poisoned by a gingerbread cookie crafted by her best friend, Vicky—Merry will have to put down the jingle bells and figure out who’s really been grinching about town, before Vicky ends up on Santa’s naughty list…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

First things first, look at that gorgeous cover. I like to mention the artist and cover designers because the cozy covers are so incredible. This time Julia Green and Sarah Oberrender have taken my breath away. From the snow lined window to the puppy in the front, I don’t know how anyone could resist buying this paperback even before thinking about the fantastic story inside.

Vicki Delany takes us to Rudolph, New York. A year round Christmas Town that is such a joy to visit. That is until a dead body is found and word gets out. The cancellations to the local hotels, inns and B&B’s start before you can say Jack Frost. A series of troubling events takes place and Merry knows there will be no Merry Christmas in Rudolph until the Grinch is caught.

Merry Wilkerson, who happens to have sisters named Eve and Carol is a marvelous protagonist. Her shop Mrs. Claus’s Treasures is right in the heart of Rudolph so she is right on top of everything happening. Her dad being the former mayor and the local Santa Claus has his connections too. She knows her friend Vicky had nothing to do with the murder, she just has to prove it.  She is strong, smart, and feisty.

What I really like about this story is the way the town pulls together with the exception of whoever is trying to destroy the reputation and credibility of this great tourist attraction. Even Betty than owns the store next to Vicky.  She may not be the nicest person but would she sabotage the whole town? A new resident to Rudolph, Detective Diane Simmonds, is one of my favorite characters. I think and hope that she and Merry will become good friends.  All the residents of Rudolph are very real and engaging, each in their own way, including Merry’s adorable St.Bernard pup named Mattie.

Delaney has given us a story full of holiday cheer, an exciting mystery, wondrous characters all in a place I would love to really visit. It’s charm just lit up my day. This is one mystery you shouldn’t miss this holiday season.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Vicki Delany on her webpage here


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.

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, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Sorry that this contest ends after the holiday but it is on sale on Amazon and can arrive just in time for Christmas. 

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 Reviews 2015

Need A Little Christmas – Part 1 – T’is the Season by Sharon Pape

tis the seasonT’is the Season
Holiday Short Stories
Self Published
Release Date – (November 26, 2015)
Print Length: 48 pages
ASIN: B018MV9HYI
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Four holiday short stories – quick reads for the busiest time of year, including a bit of Christmas magic.

Story 1 – The Rebels

Story 2 – The Perfect Gift

Story 3 – Seems Like Old Times

Story 4 – Luke’s Gift

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The Rebels is a bit of a futuristic tale as friends gather for Thanksgiving. I would love to know how the story continues with these characters.

The Perfect Gift is about changes in family dynamics during the holiday season. This was a beautiful story.

Seems Like Old Times shows what happens when an ex comes to the holiday dinner. I thought the story was going one way and it went another.

Luke’s Gift was my favorite of the bunch. A special visitor changes Christmas. This one brought a tear to my eye.

These were short quick reads for me as I am struggling to get into the Christmas spirit this year. Very enjoyable. Wonderfully written.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Sharon Pape on her webpage here.



Just click on covers for more info or to purchase from Amazon.

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 Reviews 2015

Need A Little Christmas – Part 2 – A Christmas Mourning by Laura Bradford

CHRISTMAS mOURNINGA Christmas Mourning:
An Amish Mystery Short Story

Cozy Mystery
Setting – Pennsylvania
Beyond the Page (November 12, 2015)
Print Length: 63 pages
ASIN: B017Y41LIY
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Claire Weatherly has come to respect how the Amish of Heavenly, Pennsylvania, value tradition. But not all traditions are necessarily quaint. When a decades-old mystery threatens the well-being of local police detective Jakob Fisher, she’ll pit herself against a community rooted in the past so that he can get on with his future.

When Claire decides to visit the one-room schoolhouse Jakob attended as a young Amish boy, she’s puzzled by his refusal to go along too. As Jakob tells his story, Claire is stunned and saddened by the heartbreaking tale of a childhood mistake that led to the mysterious disappearance of a precious family artifact—and signaled the first break between Jakob and his mother, made all the more painful now that he’s been shunned by the family and community he loves.

Knowing there’s only one way to help heal the irreparable wound that continues to haunt Jakob, Claire sets off to follow the trail of the missing heirloom, never suspecting that it will lead her to Jakob’s oldest friend, a long-ago Christmas secret, and an enduring truth about family, love, and the power of forgiveness.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A perfect story for the season even though it takes place in the summer. Scratching your head, well let me explain.

We all have Christmas traditions but way back when a young Jakob Fisher was in school something happened that changed one of his family’s Christmas traditions.  All these years later Claire is trying to heal that hole that was created.

I like this brief little visit to Heavenly. Claire’s love for Jakob just glows. She hates that he is shunned by his family and will do anything to bring them closer.

A heartwarming story that will stick with you. The story may be a short one but my emotions were all over the place.

We only have to wait 2 months for out next visit as A Churn for the Worse releases March 1. I can’t wait!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Laura Bradford and her alter ego Elizabeth Lynn Casey on her webpage here.


New Series Coming June 7, 2016

Click Here for more books by Laura Bradford
Click here for her books as Elizabeth Lynn Casey

*This book is from my personal library.

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2015

Cozy Wednesday with Rebecca Adler – Author of Here Today, Gone Tamale – #Giveaway too!

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!!

I am so delighted to welcome Rebecca to
Escape With Dollycas!!

 

rebecca adler 2

Hi Everyone,

When I sat down to write Here Today, Gone Tamale, the first book in my Taste of Texas series, I pondered the best way to take hold of the story. Would it be the plot? The setting? The mystery? Sure the mystery was important. Who wants to read a book with a predictable plot? And though I loved Far West, Texas and the desert towns near the border, they didn’t reach out and grab me right away.

Head bowed and eyes closed, I prayed like a child, “Dear Lord, how the heck do I write a story that will make readers smile and feel at home?” Now, you may not pray, and the good Lord knows I don’t pray as often as I should; but the answer dropped into my soul.

It was all about the characters. I decided to write lovable, quirky people I wanted to spend time with. I had to start with a heroine with grit and a bit of an attitude. She couldn’t be svelte and perfect either. She had to love her tamales.

Once reporter Josie Callahan came onto the page, I needed a reason for her to leave the cool vibe and big city bustle of Austin—every Texan’s dream—only to land back in postage-sized Broken Boot with her aunt and uncle. Josie was down on her luck. Laid off and jilted at the altar, she had nowhere else to go.

Now that my amateur sleuth was back home where she belonged, working in her family’s Tex-Mex restaurant, who else was there for her to interact with?

HERE TODAY GONE TAMALEAh, a sidekick. That would be a Chihuahua named Lenny. Why Lenny? That’s what his previous owner named him, of course. Why a Chihuahua? The story is set in Far West Texas, right? Now let’s give that stereotype a twist. He’s a long-haired Chi which makes him extra cute and adorable.

Someone else was needed in the family, someone unpredictable and cantankerous—someone who could say all the things the other characters wished they could say. Senora Mari hit the page. This mighty matriarch, standing all of four feet, ten inches, oversaw everything that had to do with the menu at Milagro especially her famous traditional tamales. Much to my surprise, it turned out Senora Mari dreamt of dead people. Those poor souls murdered in Broken Boot came to her with clues about their murders. Unfortunately, Josie couldn’t make hide nor hair out of Senora Mari’s dreams.

Finally where would a smart, sassy amateur sleuth be without a hint of romance in her life? Enter from stage left Josie’s former college sweetheart, Coach Ryan Prentice. He’s not too busy coaching the West Texas University football team to help out at Milagro now and then and lend a sympathetic ear. Sneaking in from stage right is Deputy Quinton Lightfoot. He put the silent in the strong and silent type. Intelligent and skeptical of Josie’s investigative skills, he’s willing to overlook her mistakes as long as she doesn’t interfere with his investigation.

The stage was set. The dusty, artistic town of Broken Boot, Texas was the backdrop. Josie Callahan and the Martinez family were the leads. All I needed was a murder.

I hope you enjoy my first novel in this series, Here Today, Gone Tamale. If you crave your Tex-Mex the way I do, I know you’ll enjoy the recipes in the back as well.

Adiós,

Rebecca Adler

Thank you Rebecca for stopping by today! 

HERE TODAY GONE TAMALEHere Today, Gone Tamale:
A Taste of Texas Mystery

New Series
Setting – Texas
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (December 1, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Design by Judith Lagerman
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425275917
E-Book ASIN: B00SI0B89Q
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

 

In this all-new culinary cozy mystery series, reporter turned Tex-Mex waitress Josie Callahan is about to go from serving queso to solving cases…

After losing her newspaper job in Austin and having her former fiancé unfriend her on Facebook, Josie Callahan scoops up her Chihuahua, Lenny, and slinks back to Broken Boot, Texas. Maybe working as head waitress at Milagro—her aunt and uncle’s Tex-Mex restaurant—isn’t exactly living the dream, but it is a fresh start.

And business is booming as tourists pour into Broken Boot for its famous Wild West Festival. But when a local jewelry designer is found strangled outside Milagro after a tamale-making party, Josie’s reporter instincts kick in. As suspects pile up and alibis crack faster than taco shells, Josie needs to wrap up this case tighter than her tía’s tortillas—before another victim calls for the check…

INCLUDES TEX-MEX RECIPES!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We arrive in Broken Boot just in time for the Wild West Festival and so does Josie Callahan. She has been dumped by her fiancé and lost her newspaper job in Austin. She has come home to regroup. The festival and its preparations should keep her busy and her mind off things. Her family owns Milagro, a Tex-Mex restaurant.  The whole festival committee is coming together there to make the tamales for the tamale eating contest under the watchful of the tamale making queen,  Senora Mari. The night ends with one of the committee members dead and Josie using her investigative skills to catch a murderer.

Adler is off to a great start with this series. There are many unique characters, like Lenny, a lovable long haired chihuahua. Yes, human characters too, but he just stole my heart. We have Josie, a smart woman and a smart sleuth. Her aunt and uncle, the staff at the restaurant, and the head of the family Senora Mari. Note, she is not a woman to mess with for several reasons. There is the whole festival committee and they take unique to a whole new level. We also have Deputy Quinton Lightfoot and Ryan Prentice, Josie’s old boyfriend, added to the mix. There are a lot of characters but they all have a purpose and a place in the plot. They are all very believable characters too with plenty of room for growth.

Speaking of the plot, it is really good, it almost sizzles. I was surprised how everything fell into place. I always say a first book in a series is a heavy lift because we need to meet the characters and we still expect a quality mystery. Rebecca Adler delivers both aptly in this debut. She also mixes in humor and a spark of romance.

I can guarantee you will be hungry when you finish this book, but never fear, Senora Mari’s recipe for tamales is in the back of the book along with some others for you to try.

I am excited about this series, this one was fun to read. Fix yourself a margarita and enjoy this tasty mystery.

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Rebecca Adler is the pen name of author Gina Lee Nelson. Gina grew up on the sugar beaches of the Florida Gulf Coast. Drawn to the Big Apple by the sweet smell of wishful thinking, she studied acting on Broadway until a dark-eyed cowboy flung her over his saddle and high-tailed it to the Southwest.

Prior to writing women’s fiction, Rebecca always found a way to add a touch of the dramatic to her life: dinner theatre in Mississippi, can-can club in Florida, flower shop in Germany, acting school on Broadway, sweatshirt boutique on Madison Avenue, all night dive on the Lower East Side, video series in Jersey, and a giant Furskin at the New York Toy Fair, plus the occasional play and musical.

She’s currently content to pour her melodramatic tendencies into writing cozy mysteries with a hint of romance and a sweet, Southern-fried flavor.

Like her on Facebook.

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.

Leave a comment for Rebecca 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, 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.”

Posted in Reviews 2015

Review – Revenge of the Sea by Jesse Giles Christiansen

revenge of the seaRevenge of the Sea
(The Captain Shelby Trilogy)
(Volume 3)

Sea Story
Imajin Books (November 26, 2015)
Paperback: 286 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1772231601
E-Book ASIN: B017Y41K4Y
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Beware of what the tide may bring…

Ethan Hodges is deeply unsettled when thousands of decomposed starfish inexplicably wash up along the shore of Pelican Bay. As the ominous sea epidemic spreads to other marine life, he continues to see a suspicious-looking man loitering on the beach.

To solve the mystery, Ethan seeks help from longtime friend, Sheriff Dansby, and Reagan Langsley, a beautiful marine biologist from Lighthouse Point. Spurred by curiosity and jealousy, Ethan’s estranged wife, Morgan, joins them in the investigation.

When the elusive outsider is finally arrested, an enigmatic relationship develops between Ethan and the man. With cautious prodding, Ethan learns that the fate of the world appears to rest in the hands of the tall stranger named…Mr. DM.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Pelican Bay was my Favorite Book of 2013, Captain Shelby made my Best Reads of 2014, so I have been waiting impatiently for Revenge of the Sea.

This time we meet Mr. DM and he takes us on one heck of a voyage. He is one evil man. Can Ethan stop the fate he has set for the world?

I do love the way Jesse Giles Christiansen writes. The story just flows with almost melodically. He draws us right in and holds on so tight. But his imagination is scary. The plot is an environmental horror story. What happens when everything in the oceans are literally dying?

As always the characters are rich and deep and well developed. This was a more modern telling and time but I did find myself wishing for a little more Captain Shelby and the old Irish dialect that captivated me in the last book. I was pleased to see Morgan, Ethan, not so estranged wife, play an active role in trying to solve the mystery. They truly do belong together.

This Hemingway inspired author has delivered another suspenseful drama with so much depth. This is not the type of story I usually read but Christiansen has awakened my love of maritime mystery…or maybe it was Captain Shelby.

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About The Author

#1 bestselling author in sea adventures, Jesse Giles Christiansen is an American author whose page-turning fiction weaves the real with the surreal, while also speaking to the human condition. He was hailed by New York Times bestselling author, William R. Forstchen, as “leaving readers so tantalized by the story lines, they think the events actually happened–a demonstration of skill surely to launch this author into the big leagues.”

Jesse was born in Miami, FL, playing on beaches as a boy, the sky bronzing him forever and the sea turning his heart lyrical. After spending a summer in Alaska before graduating from Florida State University with a degree in literature and philosophy, he wrote his first novel, Journey into the Mystic.

He feels he is haunted by Hemingway’s ghost, not just by the poster in his writing studio that stares at him, saying, “What else you got?” but also by having a café called Hemingway’s in the small European city where he writes. Finally, Hemingway became his neighbor on Amazon when his novel, Pelican Bay, outsold Old Man and the Sea.

He currently lives in Lüneburg, Germany, with his wife and their precocious White Siamese cat.

To learn more about this author, visit him at www.jessegileschristiansen.com

Blog          Twitter      Facebook

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 Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Reviews 2015 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review/Giveaway – Engaged in Danger by Barbara Venkataraman

engaged in dangerEngaged in Danger: A Jamie Quinn Mystery
4th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Florida
Self Published September 11, 2015
Print Length: 242 pages
ASIN: B0159LGVHA
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Finally, life is good for reluctant family law attorney, Jamie Quinn–her father may get his visa soon, her boyfriend is the bomb, and her law practice is growing like crazy–but when she agrees to take on a high-profile divorce case, everything falls apart. What looked like an opportunity to work with her friend Grace and make some serious bucks has turned into a deadly game, one that could destroy their friendship and tear their town apart. Why couldn’t Jamie just leave well enough alone?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I reviewed the first 3 books in this series back in July.  Engaged in Danger picks up where we left off and packs another huge punch. The other three were basically novellas that could be read together for 3 mysteries in the length of a regular novel. While we did get to know the characters, this one comes in at 242 pages and gives the author more time to let the plot develop and for us readers to become more wrapped up in the drama.

Nan Glasser wants a divorce and every law office has turned her way stating conflict of interest. Marvin Glasser is a real S.O.B. who has his fingers in way to many pies and that may be deadly. Nan just wants out and begs Jamie to take her case. With Kip in Australia for 3 months, a big case may be just what Jamie needs but she is smart enough to know she can’t do it on her own. After trying to get her friend Grace and her partners to take the case, it is decided that Jamie and Grace with an assist private investigator Duke, with take the case.  Then the mayhem begins as truths are revealed, and clues lead somewhere unexpected, and Jamie finds herself in a bit of hot water.

Barbara Venkataraman has given us another smart story with a very tight plot that just flows so effortlessly.

These characters a interesting and fun. Jamie is the underdog and I wanted to see her win. I just hated Marvin Glasser. He is manipulative and petty. He may have met his match in Jamie Quinn. I was also pretty upset with Kip. The relationship with Jamie is new and was crazy that he took off for 3 months with saying good-bye. He made up for it a little but he is not back in my good graces yet. Both Duke and Grace suffered some pitfalls too. The dialogue between them all was fantastic. Even in stressful situations there was room for a little humor.

Each of these stories is better than the last. Venkataraman just keeps topping herself. I hope she is busy working on #5.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

barbara new pic

About The Author

Award-winning author, Barbara Venkataraman is an attorney and mediator specializing in family law and debt collection.

She is the author of “Teatime with Mrs. Grammar Person”; “The Fight for Magicallus,” a children’s fantasy; a humorous short story entitled, “If You’d Just Listened to Me in the First Place”; and two books of humorous essays: “I’m Not Talking about You, Of Course” and “A Trip to the Hardware Store & Other Calamities,” which are part of the “Quirky Essays for Quirky People” series. Both books of humorous essays won the “Indie Book of the Day” award.

Her latest works are “Death by Didgeridoo,” first in the Jamie Quinn series, “The Case of the Killer Divorce,” the second Jamie Quinn mystery, and, just out, “Peril in the Park,” the latest in the popular Jamie Quinn series. Engaged in Dangerwas released in September.

 Author Links
Blog    GoodReads   Amazon

Purchase from Amazon


Find More Books by Barbara Venkataraman here.

 

 

GIVEAWAY
The Author is giving away an e-copy of Engaged in Danger!

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.

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, 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.”

Posted in Giveaways Reviews 2015

Review/Giveaway – Dorothy Parker Drank Here by Ellen Meister

dorothy parker drank hereDorothy Parker Drank Here
Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Setting – New York
The Berkley Publishing Group – December 1, 2015
An Imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC
Trade Paperback: 384 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425278093
E-Book – ASIN: B00L9AXSUE
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

 

The acid-tongued Dorothy Parker is back and haunting the halls of the Algonquin with her piercing wit, audacious voice, and unexpectedly tender wisdom.

Heavenly peace? No, thank you. Dorothy Parker would rather wander the famous halls of the Algonquin Hotel, drink in hand, searching for someone, anyone, who will keep her company on this side of eternity.

After forty years she thinks she’s found the perfect candidate in Ted Shriver, a brilliant literary voice of the 1970s, silenced early in a promising career by a devastating plagiarism scandal. Now a prickly recluse, he hides away in the old hotel slowly dying of cancer, which he refuses to treat. If she can just convince him to sign the infamous guestbook of Percy Coates, Dorothy Parker might be able to persuade the jaded writer to spurn the white light with her. Ted, however, might be the only person living or dead who’s more stubborn than Parker, and he rejects her proposal outright.

When a young, ambitious TV producer, Norah Wolfe, enters the hotel in search of Ted Shriver, Parker sees another opportunity to get what she wants. Instead, she and Norah manage to uncover such startling secrets about Ted’s past that the future changes for all of them.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

All of Dorothy Parker’s friends and enemies see the white light and follow it quite quickly to the great beyond. Not Dorothy, she plans to stick around as long as she can but she does get lonely. Enter Ted Shriver who has come to the Algonquin Hotel to meet his maker. His writing career ended years ago when he was accused of plagiarism. He has nobody to stick around for, he just wants to be left alone to die, but Dorothy has other ideas.

This is the second book Ellen Meister has wrote featuring the one of a kind Dorothy Parker. Each book stands on its own and are fantastic reads. She has captured the woman to a tee and throw in plenty of Dorothy’s zingers that I just loved.

Dorothy Parker was a formidable woman in her time and the perfect leading lady/ghost. If you happen tosee her across the room or walking down the street you would never know she was a spirit. Her clothes have come around and are back in style. She does have a few limits as to where she can go and when but you have to read the book to find out those details.

As in the first book, Dorothy’s appearance does alter the world around her and the people she meets. Meister fills the story with twists, turns, humor and a lot of heart.  Parker’s fearlessness shines in these pages. The secondary character of Ted Shriver and TV producer, Norah Wolfe are both strong characters too. Dorothy brings everyone together as only she can. Things are not easy but Dorothy doesn’t give up.

Caution – have a tissue handy for the ending.

This was a really quick read for me. I was totally engaged the whole entire way.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out all about Ellen and her books on her webpage here.

Find More Ellen Meister books here.

GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the people at Penguin I have Paperback 1 copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End December 25, 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.”

Posted in Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2015 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Special Guest – Kate Parker – Author of The Conspiring Woman – #Giveaway too!

special guest blue
I am so excited to have Kate Parker drop by today for a visit to tell us about The Conspiring Woman.

kateparkerHi Everyone,

The Conspiring Woman, Book #4 of the Victorian Bookshop Mystery series, begins a few months after The Royal Assassin ends in the deepest part of winter. Georgia gets a new case from a father about his missing son. The child is only seven. Georgia is terrified for the child until the father adds the boy was last seen with his mother. The father doesn’t want his wife returned.

As Georgia begins to investigate, she learns about other well-to-do women who have vanished into the London fog. How she wishes she had the help of her closest confidants, but Emma is on her honeymoon, Aunt Phyllida is nursing a friend through a serious illness, and the Duke of Blackford is in the States checking out his investments.

Georgia finds the forward thinking daughter of the aristocracy who has been hiding the woman and her son. When the wealthy mother’s body is fished out of the Thames, Georgia returns to take the child to his father, only to discover the boy, her heir, is missing. And then the weather worsens.

As a bonus, the first chapter of the first book in a new series, Deadly Scandal, set in London in the late 1930’s is included.

About The Author

Kate Parker grew up reading her mother’s collection of mystery novels, and now she can’t write a story without someone being murdered in some fiendish way. It’s taken her years to convince her husband she hasn’t poisoned dinner; that funny taste is because she can’t cook. Her children have grown up to be surprisingly normal, but two of them are developing their own love of literary mayhem, so the term “normal” may have to be revised.

Her love of history has led her to write the Victorian Bookshop Mystery series, Regency novellas in Christmas Revels and Christmas Revels II, and a new series next year she’s calling the Deadly series. In all cases, bodies drop, clues are followed, and an intrepid lady sleuth saves the day. She can be reached at www.kateparkerbooks.com and on Facebook.

the conspiring womanThe Conspiring Woman
(Victorian Bookshop Mysteries)

4th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – London – UK
JDP Press (October 4, 2015)
Paperback: 302 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0996483100
E-Book ASIN: B015RZOK30
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The fourth in the Victorian Bookshop Mystery series. Georgia Fenchurch must find a missing boy and his mother. When the mother is found dead, the race is on to find the child. Georgia searches to learn who was behind the mother’s murder and the disappearance of not only this woman, but several more well-to-do women in late Victorian London. Meanwhile, Georgia is counting the days until the Duke of Blackford returns from his business trip to America. As much as she wants to see him, she fears he will return with a rich American bride like so many other British aristocrats. Can she rescue the young boy and win the duke?

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

I am so sorry to see this series ending. It truly is one of my favorites. Kate has wrapped things up with a magnificent bow.

The Archivist Society has a new case. A woman and her son are missing and strangely the husband only wants his son found. This raises many flags for Georgia especially when the mother is murdered. Sir Edward becomes her prime suspect. She travels all over London to find the boy and when she finds him she has huge reservations about reuniting him with his father.

The Duke of Blackford is traveling about America and Georgia can’t wait until he returns. She is afraid he may have found a bride while he was gone. His letters don’t ease her fears.

Kate Parker transports us to Victorian England. The imagery is superb. I don’t think I could ever live in England with all that rain but the cover of the book looks so inviting at this time of year.

The characters in the series are some of the most enjoyable I have known. Georgia seems to have no fear and her inquisitive nature makes her a top-notch sleuth. Blackford is quite a gentleman and needs a woman like Georgia. Sir Broderick deals with a disability on a daily basis but leads The Archivist Society and negotiates the sales of treasured books better than anyone else could. As a disabled person myself it is so good to read about a man like him. All of the characters are wonderfully created and so full of depth.

In addition to the missing boy mystery, the author also wraps up the mystery of Georgia Fenchurch parent’s death and the incident that left Sir Broderick in a wheelchair. I was very surprised with the way this played out. What people would do for a rare book is just astounding.

Things do wrap up quickly because the author did not want to leave her readers hanging. When a publisher ends a series the author often doesn’t know until the last book has been released. I applaud Kate Parker for self publishing this last book. I would love to read more about these characters but am excited to know she has a new series in the works. She shares the first chapter of Deadly Scandal with us and it looks very promising.

I have loved every book in this series. The trips back in time are so captivating. I recommend reading this series in order to follow the progression but they each can be read on their own. Thank you Kate for sharing Georgia and her friends with us.

a perfect escape

5 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.

Leave a comment for Kate 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 22, 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.”

Posted in E-Book Challenge Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes Reviews 2015 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review – The Rise of the Red Queen by Bourne Morris – Great Escapes Book Tour

I really enjoyed the first book in this series, The Red Queen’s Run. I was overjoyed when Bourne asked me to organize a book tour for the next installment, The Rise of the Red Queen. Today is my turn on the wonderful tour. 

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The Rise of the Red Queen
by Bourne Morris

rise of the red queenThe Rise of the Red Queen
(A Red Solaris Mystery Book 2)

Genre – Mystery – Suspense
Setting – Nevada
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Henery Press (December 1, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-1943390298
E-Book ASIN: B014T91TSO
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Synopsis:

A beautiful journalism student is abducted by a man with unusual and frightening expectations. While searching for her missing student, Red Solaris must contend with a university committee quarreling over the rights of the victims and those accused in sexual assault cases. And, in the midst of all this, a journalism professor brings a gun to school and shoots a colleague. Will Red’s ambition to become dean be destroyed by scandal around her? Will she and Detective Joe Morgan ever acknowledge their true feelings for each other?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Meredith “Red” Solaris has been the interim Dean for the School of Journalism at Mountain West University following the death of the previous dean. The university is now ready to permanently fill the position. Most think Red chosen but she isn’t so sure. The interview process has been very different from what she expected.  She has also learned that one her students is missing. The student’s grandfather reported her missing to the police but got nowhere so he is hoping the school will help him find her. Red just happens to be pretty close to a certain detective and she hopes he will look at the case a little closer. On top of all that she has a pair of feuding professors and the tension between them seems to be escalating.

I have to say I was on the edge of my seat through most of this story. The story has three separate plot lines but they end up all eerily connected.

I already appreciated the characters of Red and Detective Joe Morgan. Smart characters who sometimes go a little off track. Joe wants Red to let him handle things and he gets very upset when she goes off on her own. Red acts before she thinks things through and sometimes she puts herself in places she shouldn’t be. But she thinks she is making the right moves and Joe thinks he is, so it makes their relationship difficult. The addition of Wynan Congers, a retired cop from Vegas and the missing students grandfather, added nicely to the mix. Someone else to talk over the case with and his connections come in handy. Morris has created characters wonderful characters that have their flaws but it makes them so much more real.

The college setting makes everything complex. Like a small town they have their own rules. The author gives us a clear vision of the difference between regular life and a college life. For students that are now adults their comings and goings are not monitored so a student not attending class for a day or two doesn’t send up any red flags. For the professors the pressure to publish and participate in conferences is great. Sometimes it causes people to reach their breaking point. For administrators there are many that are out of touch with what is really happening at their school. They are so far removed from the students or they are so focused on the face the schools presents it can be downright dangerous. Ms. Morris wraps it all together into an excellent  story while drawing attention to what is happening at college campuses today.

This is a story with an edge. A slice of life with something always happening. The characters have grown since The Red Queen’s Run and I am sure they will continue to grow in the next installment. I love where this series is heading.

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About TheBourne 2014 Author

After Bennington College, I worked at McCall’s Magazine and then went to Ogilvy&Mather, New York during the “Mad Men “ era. David Ogilvy and his colleagues treated me wonderfully, promoted me several times and then sent me west to become head of their agency in Los Angeles. I had a splendid run in advertising.

In 1983, I joined the University of Nevada Reno as a full professor in Journalism where I taught until 2009. I learned about campus politics when I served as chair of the faculty senate. I retired to write mysteries in 2009 after a wonderful teaching career.

I live with my husband of 34 years in a ranch house with a view of tall trees and mountains. We have four children and eight grandchildren. Life is good.

 

Author Links

Webpage    Twitter    Facebook   Goodreads

Purchase Links

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Tour Participants

December 2 – Mallory Heart Reviews – Review
December 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Guest Post
December 4 – Community Bookstop – Spotlight
December 5 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review
December 6 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review
December 7 – Frankie Bow’s Blog – Guest Post
December 8 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy,  &, Sissy, Too ! – Spotlight
December 9 – A Blue Million Books – Guest Post
December 10 – The Girl with Book Lungs – Review
December 11 – Brooke Blogs – Review

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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 Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Reviews 2015 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review/ #Giveaway – Murder Fir Christmas by Joyce and Jim Lavene – Great Escapes Book Tour

There really are no words to express how much I miss Joyce. Her picture continues to pop up all over the blogosphere with her wonderful smile. Each time I see it I stop and think how blessed I was to call her my friend. Last weekend I had the pleasure of escaping into the pages of Murder Fir Christmas. I am so thrilled that her voice will live on and touch us forever with stories like this. 

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Murder Fir Christmas
by Joyce and Jim Lavene

MURDER FIR CHRISTMASMurder Fir Christmas
(Christmas Tree Valley Mysteries)

Cozy Mystery
New Series
Setting – Tennessee
Print Length: 208 pages
Publisher: J. Lavene (December 1, 2015)
ASIN: B016APS2PI
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Synopsis:

Down the mountain from Sweet Pepper, Tennessee is Christmas Tree Valley, a place filled with hundreds of Christmas tree farms where generations of growers have made people’s lives brighter. Yet even here in this quiet, postcard-perfect corner of the world, darkness and murder can still stalk the night.

Federal Wildlife Agent Bonnie Tuttle has always had a special gift with wild animals. It was one of the reasons she decided to train with the wildlife agency. She’s spent the last ten years in Alabama working, but her mother needs her home and she’s back despite all the bad parts of her life she hoped to leave behind.

Her first day home begins with a fire on the island in Sweet Pepper Lake and the death of Harvey Shelton, the wildlife agent she’s supposed to replace. Bonnie manages to rescue dozens of animals from the fire – including a wolf pup that was shot with the same bullet that killed Harvey.

Now she’s hot on the trail of Harvey’s killer and trying to reintegrate the wolf back into the wild even though he seems to want to stay with her. Yet old memories persist in the small community where she grew up, and the killer now seems to believe that she has what he killed Harvey for. All she has to do is figure out what that is before it’s too late.

Christmas Recipes included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am a huge fan of the Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mysteries by J.J. Cook, aka Joyce and Jim Lavene, so when I heard they were spinning off another series set nearby in Christmas Tree Valley I was over the moon!

We first met Bonnie Tuttle in the Biscuit Bowl Mystery Series. Now the Federal Wildlife Agent comes home to the valley after being away in Alabama for years. Her mother is starting to show signs of Alzheimers and her brother has taken a new job in Germany. Bonnie is taking Harvey Shelton’s place as wildlife agent and will also be running the family’s Christmas tree farm. Maybe everyone has forgotten why she left or she will be too busy to care if they do remember.

She is thrust right into her new job when there is a fire and several animals need to be rescued. She heads to the scene with Harvey. Shorty after they arrive gunshots ring out and Harvey is hit and killed. A wolf pup is also shot and Bonnie finds herself with a new friend as she takes care of him. Who would want to kill Harvey? Bonnie tries to see the forest through the trees to catch the killer before she or anyone else is fired upon.

What an amazing story!

All our favorite characters from Sweet Pepper welcome Bonnie to the area.  Fire Chief, Stella Griffin, the ghost of former Fire Chief Eric Gamlyn and Police Chief Don Rogers throw out the welcome mat and then chaos erupts as the fire call comes in and the mayhem continues. These characters are already near and dear to my heart. They are wonderfully written and spring right from the pages.

Winter in Christmas Tree Valley is dangerous because the road can snow shut or be covered with ice or both. The road was closed before Bonnie could even get home the first day. The Lavene’s paint pictures of the scenery so clear with their words. The blustery wind, the frigid cold, I was almost shivering myself. They also brought the valley to life. I could envision the tree farms, Harvey’s cabin office, and all the beautiful sites as we traveled down the hill from Sweet Pepper.

The mystery itself played out in a way I never suspected. Such good twists and turns. I can’t say more because I am afraid I will say too much.

An awesome cozy story! Mystery with just a flake of folklore and a touch of paranormal and a little romance too. These authors have imaginations that are truly off the charts. They have blended these series together is a wondrous way yet given them the footings to stand on their own. I really like Bonnie and I truly hope Jim and the family keep this series going. I want to visit this area as often as possible.

Note – You do not need to read any of the other books to enjoy this story. It stands alone perfectly.paradise

5 STARFISH5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
I just love this picture of Joyce and Jim
I just love this picture of Joyce and Jim

 

About The Authors –

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.

 

Author Links

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Tour Participants

December 2 – Back Porchervations – Review 
December 3 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – Review
December 3 – readalot – Review
December 4 – Community Bookstop – Review
December 4 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review
December 5 – Babs Book Bistro – Review
December 6 – Moonlight Rendezvous – Review
December 7 – Bubble Bath Books – Review
December 8 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Review
December 8 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – Review
December 9 – fuonlyknew – Review
December 10 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy,  &, Sissy, Too ! – Review
December 10 – fundinmental – Review
December 11 – Mallory Heart Reviews – Review
December 12 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review
December 13 – Laura’s Interests – Review
December 14 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review
December 14 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – Review
December 15 – View from the Birdhouse – Review
December 15 – Book Babble – Review

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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.”