Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Reviews 2015 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review/ #Giveaway – Yarned and Dangerous by Sadie Hartwell Great Escapes Book Tour

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Yarned and Dangerous
by Sadie Hartwell

I have been excited about this book since I
first heard about it months ago.

I am beyond thrilled to be part of this tour!

COVER YARNED AND DANGEROUSYarned and Dangerous
(A Tangled Web Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
New Series
Setting – Connecticut
Publisher: Kensington (November 24, 2015)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1617737176
ASIN: B00U7LJOEK
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Time has not been kind to sleepy Dorset Falls, Connecticut, where an erstwhile resident is hoping to bring a tattered yarn shop back to life—but with a murderer on the loose, the whole town is in knots…

Josie Blair left Dorset Falls twelve years ago in hopes of making it big in New York City. But after earning an overpriced master’s degree and getting fired by a temperamental designer, she finds herself heading back to her hometown. Her great-uncle was injured in a car accident, and newly unemployed Josie is the only person available to take care of him. Uncle Eb’s wife didn’t survive the crash, so Josie is also tasked with selling the contents of her Aunt Cora’s yarn shop. But the needling ladies of the Charity Knitters Association pose a far bigger challenge than a shop full of scattered skeins…

Miss Marple Knits is one of the few businesses still open in the dreary downtown. Josie can’t imagine how it stayed open for so long, yet something about the cozy, resilient little shop appeals to her. But when one of the town’s most persnickety knitters turns up dead in a pile of cashmere yarn, Josie realizes there’s something truly twisted lurking beneath the town’s decaying façade…

INCLUDES ORIGINAL KNITTING PATTERNS!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It’s been a long time since Josie Blair has set foot in Dorset Falls but she really wants out of New York City and away from her cantankerous boss. When her mother sends her to help her great uncle Eb she balks a bit but makes the trip. Eb and his wife Cora were in a auto accident and Cora didn’t survive.  Eb is a handful but Josie knows how to deal with him. Josie never met Cora but gets to know her through her friends when she closes up her yarn shop, Miss Marple Knits. She knew she was going to have to inventory everything at the store but never expected a dead body to be added to her list.  She does have some friends in town but she definitely has not been welcomed by the community. Something isn’t right in Dorset Falls and while she really doesn’t want to try to find a killer she just needs find out what is truly going on in a town she used to call home.

The author has set her story in a strange little town. Most of the storefronts are empty. Everyone seems to have a secret or something shady going on.  It truly is an “Tangled Web” of a place.

Josie Blair is quite a leading lady. She arrives in town with a very clear agenda but each day that agenda unravels just a little more.  I liked her Uncle Eb too. He is a man set in his ways and it is hard for him to take help from anyone. He and his neighbor Roy have a bit of feud going on and play nasty tricks on each other. Roy’s grandson, Mitch, tries to keep the peace between them or at least clean up their messes. Mitch and Josie make a great team and I love where that relationship is heading.

The author does a slow build with the mystery part of the story which is very smart. We meet the characters, become engaged and form our opinions and then we follow the clues to the murderer and the other craziness in Dorset Falls.

Josie Blair may not know how to knit one stitch but Sadie Hartwell knows how to knit and purl and yarn over to create a charming story. With the twists, turns, and the control of a master she has written a story that is very hard to put down. It has a very comfortable flow and evolves at a perfect pace. There were a couple laugh out loud moments too.

What a great start for this series! I hope we don’t have to wait too long for another visit to Dorset Falls.

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

11357125_971118012944218_8414614081138047629_oAbout The Author –

Sadie Hartwell grew up near the Canadian border in northern New York State, where it’s cold, dark, and snowy almost half the year—a perfect environment for nurturing a simultaneous love of mystery fiction and needlework. She attended St. Lawrence University, graduating with a degree in history, and has worked as a waitress, handbag designer/manufacturer, paralegal, and copy editor before turning to writing full time. Now she gets to play with yarn and make up stories whenever she wants, and wishes everyone had a job as much fun as hers.

 

Webpage     Twitter – @SadieHartwell    Facebook

Sadie also writes the Greek to Me Mysteries as Susannah Hardy.

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Tour Participants

November 30 – Bab’s Book Bistro – Review
November 30 – Laura’s Interests – Review
December 1 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review
December 2 – Book Babble – Review
December 2 – Moonlight Rendezvous – Review
December 3 – Mallory Heart Reviews – Review
December 3 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review
December 4 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Review, Interview
December 4 – Queen of All She Reads – Review
December 5 – Community Bookstop – Review
December 6 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review, Guest Post
December 7 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – Review
December 8 – The Girl with Book Lungs – Review
December 9 – Musings and Ramblings – Review
December 10 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – Review
December 11 – Booklady’s Booknotes – Review, Guest Post
December 12 – LibriAmoriMiei – Review
December 12 – Brooke Blogs – Interview

 

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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 Cozy Wednesday Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2015 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Joyce Tremel – Author of To Brew or Not To Brew #Giveaway too!

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Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to welcome Joyce Tremel to Escape With Dollycas.
Her first novel, To Brew or Not To Brew, was released yesterday!!

Joyce Tremel 1

First, I’d like to say thank you to Lori for letting me be her guest for today. It’s an honor to be here!

If someone had told me even ten years ago that I’d be writing cozies, I’m not sure I would have believed them. Back then, I was the part-time secretary for my local police department and the book I was writing was more of a police procedural, and my main character was an ex-cop who taught martial arts. It was definitely NOT a cozy in any way, shape, or form. It made sense to me to “write what you know.” I knew cops and I knew martial arts—I had a second degree blackbelt in Taekwondo.

Then in 2008, I was let go from that job and I wondered what to do next. Did I find another part-time job? Or should I take the opportunity to write full time and see what happened? Fortunately we didn’t need the tiny bit of income I’d had so I chose the latter and started a new book. The new story featured a police secretary named Irma Jean. She was a bit of a smart aleck. I let myself write without putting a label of “procedural” or “cozy” or anything else on the book. I just wrote the story. When it was finished I sent out queries and an agent liked it enough to work on revising it with me. She had me restructure the book and soon it was ready to submit to publishers.

Except…she dropped a bombshell on me. She was leaving to take her dream job with a publishing company. Eventually I found another agent who started submitting the book. Then she left agenting to go back to school, but the good news was another agent at the same agency took me on. Whew.

to brew or not to brewTo make this long story a little shorter, In Spite of Murder ended up on the desk of an editor at Berkley. She liked the story but the book wasn’t cozy enough for their line. She liked my voice and wanted to know if I’d be interested in writing a cozy.

Well, YES.

I’d been reading a lot of cozies and I realized deep down that was what I wanted to write. That was the genre I had the voice for. I just had to figure out what my book would be about. I didn’t do crafts. I did help hubby with some home improvement type things, but there were already cozies that covered that topic. I tried to think up unusual occupations, but it seemed like most had been done. It finally dawned on me ( I may have been drinking a beer at the time) that there were no cozies with a craft brew theme.

Max O’Hara, my protagonist would be a female brewmaster and I’d set it in my hometown of Pittsburgh. She’d have five older brothers and her dad would be a homicide detective. Her romantic interest would be her childhood crush—the best friend of one of her brothers. I wrote a proposal for what I was calling the Brewing Trouble Series. The proposal included a synopsis of the first book, To Brew Or Not To Brew, plus ideas for following books. I sent the proposal along with the first three chapters to my agent.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

I am so thrilled to be able to finally share this book with readers. I can’t wait for you to meet and spend some time with all my characters. I hope you’ll love them as much as I do. Someone recently asked me if I had a favorite character and I think they were surprised it wasn’t the hunky ex-hockey player-chef, Jake. (An early reader said she needed more Jake in her life, lol.) I happen to adore Elmer, the ninety-two year old World War II vet. He says anything and everything that’s on his mind and doesn’t care who hears it!

I feel very comfortable in the world of writing cozies. Right now, I can’t imagine doing anything else!

~Joyce

to brew or not to brewTo Brew or Not to Brew:
A Brewing Trouble Mystery

Brand New Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Pennsylvania
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (December 1, 2015)
In Imprint of Penguin Ransom House LLC
Cover Illustration by Bruce Emmett
Cover Design by Jason Gill
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425277690
E-Book ASIN: B00U5KNT3K
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An all-new mystery series set in a Pittsburgh craft brew pub, featuring a brewmaster with a head for sleuthing.

The Allegheny Brew House is a dream come true for Maxine “Max” O’Hara, who went all the way to Germany for her brewmaster certification, and is now preparing to open her own craft brew pub in a newly revitalized section of Pittsburgh. But before she can start pouring stouts and lagers to thirsty throngs, there’s trouble on tap. Suspicious acts of sabotage culminate in Max finding her assistant brewmaster and chef Kurt Schmidt strangled in one of the vats.

Between rescuing a stray gray tabby she names Hops and considering a handsome ex-hockey player as her new chef, Max doesn’t have a lot of time to solve a murder. But with a homicide detective for a dad, she comes to criminal investigation naturally. And if someone is desperate enough to kill to stop her from opening, Max needs to act fast—before her brand-new brew biz totally tanks…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This series is off to an exceptional start. This author has a strong cozy voice and she has written quite a mystery.

Hometown girl, Maxine “Max” O’Hara, comes back from Germany ready to open The Allegheny Brew House. But clearly someone is doing everything they can to prevent her from opening. The acts of vandalism were troublesome but finding her chef Kurt Schmidt dead in one of her precious vats made her wonder if her dream was ever going to come true. Her dad, a police detective, thinks Kurt’s death may have been an accident. Max knows it was murder and she is going to prove it.

I like these characters. We only meet Kurt briefly but I really liked him too and was sad he was the victim. But as Kurt exits, Jake enters. He is a friend of Max’s brothers and she had a huge crush on him. Max comes from a big family, 5 older brothers. We are also introduced to a kitten Max rescues and quickly names Hops.

Brew pubs are popping up all over and I am overjoyed that they have entered the cozy scene. The author educates us just enough without getting too technical about a how craft brews are made. We also learn a little brewing history as the building housing the The Allegheny Brew House was once a part of a large commercial brewery.

I did figure out the guilty party a bit before Max but that did not take away from my enjoyment. I wanted to see what happened with Jake and Max and see Max realize her dream. I think the two of them make a great team. She also needs someone to have her back because she does speak her mind even when she could be talking to a killer. I guess it is good she not only has Jake but her family and friends there when she needs them.

We are given a couple recipes at the end of the book and just a taste of Tangled Up In Brew, the next book in the series. I will be ready to belly up to the bar as soon as it is released.

just you and a friend

4 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author
Joyce Tremel was a police secretary for ten years and more than once envisioned the demise of certain co-workers, but settled on writing as a way to keep herself out of jail. Her flash fiction has appeared in Mysterical-e, and her non-fiction has been published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police magazine. She lives in a suburb of Pittsburgh with her husband and a spoiled cat. Her novel, TO BREW OR NOT TO BREW is the first in the Brewing Trouble mystery series. The second book in the series, tentatively titled TANGLED UP IN BREW, will be released late next year.

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
1 copy goes to the Fan of The Month

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
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Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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Leave a comment for Joyce for 5 Bonus Entries.

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Contest Will End December 16, 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 E-Book Challenge Great Escapes Book Tours Guest Posts Reviews 2015 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Special Guest – Karoline Barrett – Author of Bun For Your Life – Great Escapes Book Tour

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I am so happy to welcome Karoline Barrett to Escape With Dollycas as part of her Great Escapes Tour today.

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Making Characters Interesting
by Karoline Barrett

Hi everyone! Excited to be here today to talk about writing. Recently, on a Facebook author event I participated in, I was asked how I keep the characters in my Bread & Batter cozy mystery series interesting and unique. That’s a good question, because writers want their characters to be interesting. If they aren’t, then chances are readers aren’t going to stick with your books, no matter how riveting the mystery part is. For me, the charactes are at least as important as the mystery. That’s especially true in a series where you have many of the same people coming back.

I’ll share with you a few ways that I try and make my characters people you’d want as your best friends, not to mention people you’d want beside you if a dead body popped up!

1. I don’t read other cozy mystery writers’ books (despite how much I love them) while I’m writing. I don’t want my writing voice, or my characters voices, suddenly sounding like someone else’s! I also don’t want my plot sounding like someoneone else’s. I know there are only so many ideas out there, but why tempt fate. One of my favorite quotes, and I wish I remembered where I heard this, is, “The only person who had an original idea was Adam.” So, while I do love reading, I wait until I’m between books to do so, that way I can give my brain a chance to clear before I resume writing.

BUN FOR YOUR LIFE2. I get to know my characters before I begin writing. By the time I start writing Chapter One, I’m familiar with them. I don’t need to wonder what their favorite color might be, or what their hobbies are, of whether or not they’re shy, or afraid of spiders, or commitment, etcetera. This includes secondary characters, too. If it’s a character who is only appearing in one book, I may not do an in-depth character analysis, but I do have some idea who they are, and why they act they way they do.

3. I throw problems at them. They’re in the book for a reason, so they need to do something other than stand around looking pretty.

4. I write subplots involving my secondary characters. I find subplots add an extra layer to the story.

5. I let my characters change their minds. Just because my protagonist, Molly Tyler, is a vegetarian doesn’t meant that someday she won’t nibble on a drumstick.

6. I make sure my characters grow and change. One of my favorite authors writes a wonderful series (I won’t name names, but think numbers) and her main character (again, no names, but her last name rhymes with thumb), has been trying to decide between the two men in her life for I don’t know how long. Very frustrating not to have this character grow and change in some way re. these men. (Personally, I vote for Morelli). By the way, if you’re wondering who he is you don’t know what you’re missing, contact me, and I’ll tell you all about it!

7. Nothing more boring than perfect characters. I like quirks and imperfections readers can identify with.

And that’s how I try and make my characters interesting and unique!

~Karoline

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BUN FOR YOUR LIFEBun for Your Life
(A Bread and Batter Mystery)

Publisher: InterMix (November 17, 2015)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Cozy Mystery
Setting – New York
Print Length: 245 pages
ASIN: B00PHV81DK
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Two bakery owners get mixed up with murder in the first adventure in the all-new Bread and Batter Mystery series…
 
As the co-owners of Bread and Batter Bakery in Destiny, New York, Molly Tyler and Olivia Williams have plenty on their plates. Molly is recently divorced and looking for a place to live, but they’re also both preparing for Destiny’s annual Apple Harvest Fair. The bakery has a booth where they’ll be selling not only delicious cupcakes and cider doughnuts, but also tote bags and t-shirts emblazoned with the bakery’s logo.

Tensions rise at the fair when local orchard owner Calista Danforth discovers organizers have assigned her usual booth to Bread and Batter. Although a heated argument ensues between her and Molly, the bakery manages to rake in lots of dough. But when Calista is found strangled to death with one of their t-shirts, Molly is named the prime suspect. Now these two friends must whip up some answers quickly before the future of their business crumbles…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This series is off to a spectacular start!

Molly Tyler and Olivia Williams own and operate the Bread and Batter Bakery. It is time for Destiny, New York’s, Apple Harvest Fair and the girls are excited to have a prime spot for their booth. They had no idea the spot had always belonged to Calista Danforth. Calista was in quite a tizzy when she learned she would not be premiering her new Calista Sugar Pink apple in her usual space. She and Molly have quite an argument that happens to be witnessed by the wrong person. It isn’t until after Calista’s body is found strangled by a Bread and Batter t-shirt that Molly learns he is Detective Sean Corsino and he has just been hired by the Destiny Police Department, She also learns she is his prime  suspect.

The characters are fleshed out and real. Molly and her ex are still friends, in fact they have moments when they still love each other except not at the same time, and he already has a new girlfriend. Molly is still close with his family. Olivia holds things together at the Bakery while Molly blazes a trail to find the killer. Detective Sean Corsino knows she’s investigating and tries to keep her out of trouble but when he needs to leave town for a few days things go to hell in a hand basket and a very unsuspected person saves the day.  Sean also has an adorable basset hound named Beau.

This story was action from start to finish. I easily read it all in one sitting. There were many suspects, not just Molly, which the good detective soon realized. The final twist was so great. Love, Love, Loved it! A perfect recipe for a cozy mystery –  picturesque small town, entertaining characters, and doughnuts!

Bun for Your Life was truly a fun read.  A “dramedy” with just a little romantic tension. I can’t wait for book #2.

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About The Author –

After having several short stories published, I decided to tackle novel writing a few years ago. My first book, The Art of Being Rebekkah, is women’s fiction. Since the genre I love is mystery, my agent suggested I write one. I’m so glad she did! I recently signed with Penguin/Intermix for my Bread and Batter cozy mystery series. The first two books, Bun For Your Life and Raisin The Dead, coming soon!

I’ve live in lots of different places during my life. At the moment, I’m in a small Connecticut town with my husband. When I’m not writing, I’m either reading, spending time by the water, traveling, indulging in social media, accompanying above-mentioned husband to New York Yankees games, or doing anything that does not involve math.

Author Links

Webpage      Blog       Facebook      Twitter      Goodreads   

Purchase Links

Amazon     Barnes & Noble   KOBO   iTunes     Google Play Store

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 – Smart, But Dead b y Nancy G. West Great Escapes Book Tour

My turn on this wonderful tour today!

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Smart, But Dead
by Nancy G. West

SMART BUT DEADSmart, But Dead
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Publisher: Henery Press (November 17, 2015)
Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1943390250
E-Book ASIN: B0147MW9RS
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Synopsis:

Skirting forty and appalled by the prospect of descending into middle-age decrepitude, Aggie Mundeen blasts off to the local university to study the genetics of aging. In addition to providing youthful hints for readers of her column, “Stay Young with Aggie,” Aggie is doggedly determined to stay young.

Despite conflicts with her professor, she learns about the Human Genome Project and DNA. When she discovers a dead body, Detective Sam reminds her not to “help” with the investigation. But dangerously curious and programmed to prod, she races to solve the crime, winds up the prime suspect and is on target to become next campus corpse.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

 Set in 1997 – Aggie is excessively preoccupied with the idea of getting old. She writes a column  “Stay Young with Aggie,” where her fans write her letters like Dear Abby. She finds out about a class about the genetics of aging at the nearby university and quickly signs up.  The professor teaching it and Aggie have a past, she was kicked out of his last class, but she promises to behave herself this time. Unfortunately the professor dies shortly after the course begins.

Now the professor was a very intelligent man but he ends up dead. Aggie is a smart woman, but she sets herself on a brainless path and she may end up dead as well.

Aggie is an interesting character with what I think is a huge secret that has been batted about since the first book. She is also in love with a man that she hopes will fall in love with her. But this obsession of staying young is a bit over the top. If the man doesn’t love her for who she is inside and out the man is not worth her time.  Thankfully Sam is an extremely patient man and readers know he loves her as is, it is time Aggie knows it too.

Aggie goes off on quite a tangent trying to figure out who killed the professor and doing her lands her in even more hot water. I remember my mother telling me that sometimes the smart people have book sense but no common sense. That is Aggie. The rushes into things without thinking. This time she get just what she needs, a little time behind bars. Will that wake her up? Time will only tell.

I enjoyed the story but there were parts where it got a little bogged down with the technical aspect of DNA and aging. The mystery itself was very good. The story does have a message about jails and prisons that opened Aggie’s eyes to something tragic and true. I wish the reveal of Aggie’s secret would have played out a little differently but hopefully it will be talked about more in the next installment. I do like Aggie but being the woman’s friend would be absolutely exhausting. 🙂

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Nancy West

About This Author

I’ve been writing since age seven: poems back and forth with my mom. I had a real poem published in the Library Journal, Pegasus, at age fifteen. At eighteen, I wanted to study journalism and English literature, but friends who chose that college route were making minimum wage or selling lingerie. Being practical, I earned a business degree. After marriage and two children, I decided I HAD to study literature and write. I wrote non-fiction articles, a biography, and a suspense novel in 2004. That’s when whimsical Aggie Mundeen cut through the suspense, popped into my head and demanded her own series. The Aggie Mundeen mystery capers were born. Aggie must have been right:
FIT TO BE DEAD is a LEFTY FINALIST 2013 for best humorous mystery, nominated by Left Coast Crime.

 

Chat with Aggie and Nancy on their blog here.

Author’s Webpage         Author Page at Henery Press           Author GoodReads

Purchase

GIVEAWAY
I have one e-book copy to give away!!
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.

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

Contest Will End December 4, 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

Be sure to check out the rest of the tour!

Tour Participants

November 17 – CLUB HEN HOUSE – Guest Post
November 18 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Spotlight
November 19 – Killer Hobbies – Guest Post   
November 20 – THE SELF-TAUGHT COOK – Spotlight
November 21 – Community Bookstop – Review
November 22 – Book Babble – Review
November 23 – Back Porchervations – Review
November 24- Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – Review
November 25 – Cassidy Salem Reads & Writes – Review
November 26 – U.S. THANKSGIVING
November 27 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review
November 28 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy,  &, Sissy, Too ! – Spotlight
November 29 – A Blue Million Books – Interview
November 30 – Girl with Book Lungs – Review

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Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

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 Reviews 2015

Review – Snow Deer and Cocoa Cheer by Joanne DeMaio

snow deerSnow Deer and Cocoa Cheer
Woman’s Fiction
Setting – Connecticut
Self Published
Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1515120773
ASIN: B012DFPNYW
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New York Times bestselling author Joanne DeMaio delivers a delightful novel about following your heart on the snow-dusted journey home.

Jane March’s greeting cards have lost their jingle. While worried about her job at New England’s Cobblestone Cards, she stumbles upon a forgotten box of her mother’s nostalgic paintings. They depict small-town Addison’s covered bridge and red barns and picket-fenced colonials. If only Jane’s designs could capture the same heart. When her mother shows her how with a Christmas to-do list of memories in the making, Jane gets checking.

Wes Davis has come home again, jilted and a little bitter. His autumn wedding’s off, and so is his holiday spirit. Even seeing the rustic wooden deer his father whittles by lantern light doesn’t help as he settles back into the shabby Victorian home of his childhood. It is only when Wes encounters the sparkling Jane March on his winding mail route that his cold winter heart begins to thaw.

As the fall months turn wintry, and the season merry, a funny thing happens in this charming Connecticut town: Jane and Wes check off items on that Christmas itinerary, together. But falling in love wasn’t included on the list. Or was it?

Snow Deer and Cocoa Cheer is a treasured keepsake, reminding us that like winter’s first snow, life brings a beautiful flurry of its own unexpected moments.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Another extraordinary story from Joanne DeMaio. If this story doesn’t get you in the holiday spirit nothing will.

Jane March and Wes Davis are both at crossroads in their lives when the reconnect in Addison Cove. She is recouping after an physical injury and he is recouping from an emotional one. Their journey over the next few weeks is almost magical.

Jane is an artist but it is the author that breathes life into her watercolors and the beautiful places around Addison Cove. Oh my, I was able to envision them so clearly in my mind. The extra little touches Jane added to her card covers positively sparkled in the author’s words. Just joyful to read.

This is going to be a hard holiday season for me, the first since my son’s death. It is stories like this one that are going to help me endure the days. I was able to escape to Connecticut for an afternoon. I did shed a few tears because Kris is never out of my thoughts but Wes and Jane’s story made me smile. All the characters were wonderful and the way the town rallies together just made me feel warm all over.

I am posting this on Thanksgiving because it was the only day I had open when I was offered this book for review and there was no way I was going to miss it. I have loved everything this author writes and her books always seem to arrive when my life needs a bit of a lift and I thank Joanne DeMaio so much for that. So my recommendation is this,  click on the book cover and buy it and download it now, then  go enjoy the day with your family. Then on Saturday evening when you have had enough of all the Black Friday and the Saturday sales, make yourself a nice cup of cocoa and head to your favorite reading spot and enjoy Snow Deer and Cocoa Cheer. Come back when you finish and tell me all what you thought! I hope you think it was a perfect escape too!

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About This Author

Joanne DeMaio is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary fiction. She enjoys writing about friendship, family, love and choices, while setting her stories in New England towns or by the sea. Her novels include the New York Times bestseller Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans; Whole Latte Life, a Kirkus Reviews Critics’ Pick; Snowflakes and Coffee Cakes, a USA Today bestseller; True Blend; and The Denim Blue Sea. Her sixth novel, Snow Deer and Cocoa Cheer, has just been published. Joanne lives with her family in Connecticut and is currently at work on her next book.

Find out more at her webpage here.

Connect with her on: 25 (2)

Other Books by Joanne DeMaio

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 Cozy Wednesday Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2015

Cozy Wednesday with Krista Davis – Author of Murder Most Howl – #Giveaway too!

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 
Murder Most Howl was just released and Krista Davis has a fun way to tell us all about it! 

Have you ever participated in a murder mystery weekend? I think it would be so much fun. So when I wrote MURDER MOST HOWL, I brought a murder mystery weekend to Wagtail Mountain.

Holly Miller’s grandmother, Oma, has finally entrusted her with running the Sugar Maple Inn while she takes a much-deserved vacation. Even though they have a full house, it seems like everything should go smoothly.

When an employee unexpectedly quits, and a blizzard blows into town, Holly is determined to make the best of a bad situation. She will prove her competence by handling everything with aplomb. But when an unexpected corpse shows up, no one is sure if it’s part of the game or if someone has really been murdered!

Come spend the weekend at the Sugar Maple Inn with Holly, her Jack Russell, Trixie, and her calico kitty, Twinkletoes, as they unravel the mystery of MURDER MOST HOWL!

~Krista

murder most howlMurder Most Howl: A Paws & Claws Mystery
3rd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Virginia
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (November 24, 2015)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Cover Illustration by Mary Ann Lasher
Cover Design by Diana Kolsky
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425262573
E-Book ASIN: B00U5KNSI6
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This January, Wagtail, Virginia, the top pet-friendly destination in the country, is throwing a fun murder mystery weekend—but no one expected the real thing…

Holly Miller is delighted her grandmother has finally left the Sugar Maple Inn to take a well-deserved vacation. It means Holly’s in charge, but running the inn might be more challenging than she realized. Wagtail’s throwing a weekend-long murder mystery game to draw in tourists during the slow season, the inn has a full house, and a blizzard is on the way.

Trouble is unleashed the night the game begins, when the storm blows in and the lights go out. It gets worse the following morning when Holly’s Jack Russell terrier, Trixie, discovers a body—one that’s actually dead. Now Holly, her calico kitten Twinkletoes, and Trixie must play by the rules and find one dirty dog…

Delicious recipes for owners and pets included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

If Wagtail Mountain was a real place I would bundle up in my warm winter clothes and head there today! I would check right in at the Sugar Maple Inn with my dogs Oreo and NeraBelle and let the fun begin.

Krista Davis has created an ideal place for pet lovers. A town the welcomes their dogs and cats and caters to them. The restaurants have both pet and people selections on their menus. Stores offer items for animals and the people that love them. Hotels and places like the Sugar Maple Inn have cat and dog wings and allow the 4 legged family members roam and make themselves right at home.

In this 3rd installment the town is hosting the Murder Most Howl Mystery Game where guests try to solve the mystery, like a huge game of Clue. There is a blizzard headed toward Wagtail that could put a little damper on the festivities. Of course, a body found outside the Inn could be a huge game changer too. Holly and her friends know the event is important for the town so they do all the can to keep things running smoothly while they try to solve the real murder mystery too.

The regular characters are joined by some very interesting characters in town for the weekend, including The Thursday Night Cloak and Dagger Book Club and couple wanting to adopt a dog. The Sugar Maple Inn has a program called If The Dog Fits where guests can get to know dogs from the humane society. All the characters, human, canine, and feline, all come to life and leap from the pages.

I really enjoyed this story. The mysteries, real and in the game, were very well thought out and plotted. Both had their share of red herrings, the game more than originally planned. 🙂 I ended up reading the book all in one sitting and was sorry my virtual visit to Wagtail ended so soon. I look forward to returning there soon.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Krista_Buttercup4 small

New York Times Bestselling author Krista Davis writes the Paws & Claws Mysteries for animal lovers that debuted with MURDER, SHE BARKED. She also writes the Domestic Diva Mysteries. Her 9th Domestic Diva Mystery was THE DIVA STEALS A CHOCOLATE KISS, which was a New York Times bestseller and is 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.

 

Visit Krista at her webpage here.

Like her on Facebook

Follow her on Pinterest and on Twitter 

She posts on Mystery Lovers Kitchen and on Killer Characters  too.

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 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 December 9, 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 E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Reviews 2015 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review/ #Giveaway – Cover Shot by LynDee Walker – Great Escapes Book Tour

cover shot large banner640

Cover Shot
by LynDee Walker

COVER SHOTCover Shot
A Headline in High Heels Mystery
5th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Henery Press (November 10, 2015)
Paperback: 312 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1943390212
E-Book ASIN: B0147MGU2S
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AGATHA NOMINATED SERIES

It’s been a slow news month in Richmond, and crime reporter Nichelle Clarke is enjoying the downtime when ominous messages and a dead body kick things into high gear. And that’s before the guy with the rifle takes a hospital full of people hostage.

Up to the top of her knee-high Prada boots in leads, Nichelle finds her favorite detectives under pressure to make an arrest, but it doesn’t add up—and ignoring the “why” of this story could cost Nichelle the most important person in her life.

With too much to lose, a shot at the story of a lifetime, and a missing bullet that might be the key, landing this headline could save the day, but can Nichelle dig up the truth before the killer buries her with it?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Book #5 in this series starts out with Nicey lamenting about no news to her rushing in her high heels to a hospital on lock down because a man has a gun. It makes the strange text messages she has been receiving pretty mundane. She knows she needs to investigate them but they will have to wait because a gun trumps a text every time. LynDee Walker has us on the edge of seats with this one.

It’s all about the “WHY”. Why would a man bring a loaded rifle into a hospital? Nichelle Clarke needs to find the “Why” to this story and in doing so investigates the medical treatments and research, the test trials, and the money. The money made by drug companies, insurance companies, and health professionals. The scary question  – Would cures be held back because more money is made treating the disease instead of  curing it? Walker puts a personal face to this and puts her protagonist in danger as she tries find the truth.

I love this series. Nicey is a top-notch reporter that gets to the heart of the matter. She also cares about the people she works with including her editor who is trying to be forced into retirement. There is no way she is going to let that happen. She also loves Joey even though she knows nothing of his past and isn’t sure she wants to. Her ex, Kyle, thinks Joey is trouble and does all he can to shake Nicey’s confidence.

This is such a good story. The characters continue to impress me and the plot has a true ripped from the headlines feel. So well written.

Each of the stories in this series has been fantastic but this is the best one yet. I hope we are chasing down another story in our virtual high heels with Nicey soon. Oh and a little more Joey would be awfully nice too!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

LynDee headshot

About This Author

LynDee Walker’s award-winning journalistic work has appeared in newspapers and magazines across the nation.

Her debut novel, FRONT PAGE FATALITY, is an amazon and Barnes & Noble #1 bestseller, and was nominated for the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. DEVIL IN THE DEADLINE is the fourth in LynDee’s Headlines in High Heels mystery series. The fifth COVER SHOT is available now.

LynDee adores her family, her readers, and enchiladas. She often works out tricky plot points while walking off the enchiladas. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, where she is either playing with her children, working on her next novel, or admiring beautiful shoes she can’t wear.

 

Author Links

Webpage    Facebook      @LynDeeWalker

Books in the Headlines in High Heels Mystery Series:

front page fatalityburied leadsheartbeat hotel
small town spindevil in the deadlinecover shot

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Tour Participants

November 20 – Community Bookstop – Review
November 21 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy,  &, Sissy, Too ! – Spotlight 
November 22 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review 
November 23 – Omnimystery News – Interview
November 24-  Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review 
November 25 – Mallory Heart Reviews – Review
November 25 – Musings and Ramblings – Review
November 26 – Thanksgiving – U.S.
November 27 – Bab’s Book Bistro – Spotlight
November 28 – StoreyBook Reviews – Spotlight
November 29 – Frankie Bow – Interview
November 30 – Jane Reads – Review
December 1 – Girl with Book Lungs – Review
December 2 – LibriAmoriMiei – Review
December 3 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – Review
December 4 – Tea and A Book – Review, Interview

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

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 Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Reviews 2015 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review/ #Giveaway – Writing All Wrongs by Ellery Adams

WRITING ALL WRONGSWriting All Wrongs
(A Books by the Bay Mystery)

7th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – North Carolina
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (November 3, 2015)
An Imprint of Penguin Ransom House LLC
Cover Illustration by Kimberly Schamber
Cover Design by Rita Frangie
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425270844
E-Book ASIN: B00SI026LU
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The New York Times bestselling author of Lethal Letters returns to the North Carolina Coast, where aspiring novelist and amateur sleuth Olivia Limoges discovers crime doesn’t take a vacation . . 
 
After Olivia and Chief Rawlings enjoy a brief honeymoon on Palmetto Island, they’re joined by the rest of the Bayside Book Writers for the Coastal Carolina Crime Festival. The festival’s highlight is Silas Black, celebrity screenwriter and television producer, who is currently working on a popular television show in North Carolina.

As the festival gets under way, a trickster seems to be bringing famous local ghost stories to life. But when the body of a woman close to Black is found on the beach, Olivia and her friends must deduce who on the island could resort to murder—before the sands of time run out for someone else…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Olivia and Chief Rawlings are finding the way in the marriage department. They were both used to their alone time and solitary space. Hard to learn how to live with a person day in and day out when you are pretty set in your ways, but I have faith they will work everything out. Taking a honeymoon on Palmetto Island seems like a good start. They are joined after a couple of days by their friends, the Bayside Book Writers, as the Coastal Carolina Crime Festival starts. Celebrity, Silas Black, is the main draw to the festival but when local ghost stories start to come to life and a woman is found dead on the beach the fun the group was having comes to an end. When the main suspect is someone they know it’s all hands on deck to find the real killer.

Ellery Adams takes her characters on a bit of vacation and where they go trouble seems to follow. Palmetto Island sounds like a beautiful place. I can understand the residents wanting to keep part of the island in its original state and the anger as another developer comes in to put up another hotel. The character of Jan is not afraid to protest or rile people up to protect the habitat. We also meet a man who lived his whole life, 90 years, on Palmetto Island. He is quite a storyteller too. Adams draws such dynamic characters, new and old and even dogs. They are all so engaging.

The mystery itself has many moving parts. The ghost stories being reenacted, the sale of a large piece of land, the festival, a book release, and more. They are all blended together with a very fine hand. The words and the images they formed were so captivating. It was quite an adventure.

Adams is an extraordinary storyteller. In this series she writes the main story but also because the cast are writers themselves she has to write pieces of their stories too. In this installment one of them actually has had a book published and while it probably isn’t my cup of tea I almost expect it to pop up on my Amazon feed. She adds even more stories this time as we hear the Palmetto Island ghost stories.

I have loved this series from the start and I want more, more, more!!

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 To find out more about Ellery and all her books visit her webpage here.


Follow Ellery Adams on Amazon and find more of her books here.

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.

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 4, 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 E-Book Challenge Literary Escapes Reviews 2015

Review – Sweetheart Deal by Linda Joffe Hull

sweetheart dealSweetheart Deal
(A Mrs. Frugalicious Shopping Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Mexico
Midnight Ink (November 8, 2015)
Paperback: 312 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738734910
E-Book ASIN: B016NABPUE
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Now the star of her own reality show, The Family Frugalicious, Maddie Michaels heads south of the border with her family to cover bargain destination weddings at a swank, but budget friendly, Mexican resort. Things get a little too real when timeshare sales manager Alejandro Espinoza makes a play for Maddie one evening and ends up floating dead in the pool the next. Was it an accident or a preplanned part of the Mrs. Frugalicious storyline?

When the show’s producers extend the trip so she, her all-but-ex Frank, and the kids can investigate—not to mention get enough footage for a two-part, Emmy-worthy episode—Maddie fears she’s in way more agua caliente than she ever bargained for.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This is a hard review for me to write. I really enjoyed the first 2 books in this story, Eternally 21 and Black Thursday. This one just really missed the mark for me.

Mrs. Frugalicious, Maddie, and her family now have their own reality show. The episode they are filming in Mexico is of the producer’s destination wedding, basically one big commercial for the resort and it’s timeshares. After Maddie meets with the timeshare manager they start to exchange secret messages. They set up a time to meet and when Maddie arrives she finds the man doing the dead man’s float in the pool, but he’s really dead. Maddie and the kids extend their stay to investigate the accident which Maddie thinks may have been set up my the show’s director. Of course the reality show continues to accumulate footage for a special episode. Would they really murder someone for ratings?

Again this story is probably better in print and hopefully fixed digitally. (I read an Advance Reader Copy from NetGalley.) It was a very frustrating read because the shopping hints and tips fell right in the middle of the paragraphs. That and the cue cards Maddie and others have to read while filming really slowed the flow of action throughout the story. It seemed the tips were more important than the mystery.

I really didn’t like the characters this time either. They seemed to be all over the place and didn’t engage me as a reader.  By the time the actual murder took place I was already disconnected and it was hard to stay tuned into the story. I truly didn’t like that Maddie didn’t even seem tuned in herself. Things were happened behind her back that just felt wrong. I found myself almost skimming the text rather than fully reading it. I just wanted it to be over.

I did finish the book but it was a chore. There are some helpful hints throughout the story. I would recommend that maybe in future installments this information be at the end of the book so the author focuses on the story content first and make is easier for the reader to enjoy.

should have stayed home  2 STARFISHDollycas

Links to my reviews from other books in this series:

Eternally 21   Black Thursday

To find out more about Linda and her books visit her webpage here. You can also be her Fan on GoodReads. Follow her on Twitter and Follow her on 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 Cozy Wednesday Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2015 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Cleo Coyle – Author of Dead to the Last Drop #Giveaway too!

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so excited to have Cleo here today to tel you all about her new book!
Escape to Washington with Cleo Coyle and
Coffeehouse Mystery sleuth Clare Cosi #Giveaway, too!

 

Cleo-Coyle_Dead-to-The-Last-Drop-CoverWhat would you do if a handsome federal agent burst into your shop, offered you his hand, and told you: “Your life is in danger, and you must come away with me now, no questions asked.”

If you’re coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi, and the agent is decorated Detective Mike Quinn, on special assignment with the US Justice Department, you would take his hand and go.

A divorced, single mom in her forties, Clare Cosi is a coffeehouse manager by day, a relentless snoop by night. Dead to the Last Drop marks her 15th adventure, and Marc and I are excited about taking her to our nation’s capital to solve a capital case—one that involves the disappearance of the President’s college-age daughter and the death of a suspicious State Department employee.

Alice-Alfonsi-and-Marc-Cerasini-Cleo-Coyle-Central-Park-NYC
Alice Alfonsi and her husband, Marc Cerasini, who write as Cleo Coyle. Photo by Alice Alfonsi

If you’re a newcomer to our series, you should have no trouble reading our latest mystery as a stand-alone book. Mike’s story and Clare’s intertwine, putting them both on the run as they attempt to find the President’s daughter, solve a puzzling murder, and remove themselves from two most-wanted lists.

The plot is an exciting escape in itself, but so is the setting. Many of the twists and turns were inspired by my own past experiences while living, studying, and working in Washington.

Now Marc and I invite you to escape with Clare to…

White-House
White House photo courtesy HiraV, Wiki Commons

THE WHITE HOUSE

Clare makes two trips to this grand destination, one at the request of the First Lady, who shares a private lunch with her in the Diplomatic Reception Room, a magnificent oval-shaped space famously redecorated by Jacqueline Kennedy and historically used by President Franklin D. Roosevelt for his fireside chats.

Cox's-Row-LC
Cox’s Row of Georgetown courtesy Library of Congress

GEORGETOWN

This picturesque Washington neighborhood boasts some of the finest examples of Federal period architecture in the country. Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Graham Bell, and John F. Kennedy are among the neighborhood’s past residents. As for our amateur sleuth, Clare lands a posh housesitting gig on “Cox’s Row” in a charming Georgetown mansion rumored to be part of the Underground Railroad.

Ruby-Slippers
Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers courtesy Wiki Commons

THE SMITHSONIAN

A glittering black-tie party brings Clare to “America’s Attic,” the beloved nickname of our favorite Smithsonian museum, The National Museum of American History. That’s the scene depicted on the cover of Dead to the Last Drop, where Clare witnesses a fateful meeting in front of Dorothy’s famous ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz, one of many fascinating exhibits that celebrate American culture, creativity, and cuisine. Yes, cuisine! As a master roaster and expert on the bean, Clare is even asked to contribute her ideas to one of the museum’s temporary exhibits, Coffee and the Presidency.

The-Jazz-SpaceTHE JAZZ SPACE

Cleo-Coyle-Black-Magic-Cake
Photo by Alice Alfonsi

While this location in our mystery may be fictional, it’s based on an actual, legendary jazz club in DC called Blues Alley. The delectable menu of our fictional Jazz Space becomes an important plot point in Dead to the Last Drop. Check out the book’s appendix for more than 25 delicious recipes, including an outstanding version of Black Magic Cake with a chocolate frosting to die for. And watch for the opening of our virtual Jazz Space on the web.

There are many more fascinating locations in Dead to the Last Drop. Marc and I sincerely hope you will pick up the book for a great escape!

Thanks for dropping by today and thanks especially to Dollycas for being such a kind hostess. May you read (and eat) with joy!

 ~Cleo

 

Cleo-Coyle_Dead-to-The-Last-Drop-CoverDead to the Last Drop:
A Coffeehouse Mystery

15th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Washington DC
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (December 1, 2015)
In Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Hardcover: 432 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425276099
E-Book ASIN: B00U5LC1EM
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

 

After the White House asks coffeehouse manager and master roaster Clare Cosi to consult on the coffee service for a Rose Garden Wedding, she discovers a historic pot was used as a CIA “dead drop” decades before. Now long-simmering secrets boil over, scalding Clare and the people around her…

Clare’s visit to the nation’s capital is off to a graceful start. Her octogenarian employer is bunking with her in a charming Georgetown mansion, and she’s invited to work with a respected curator on the Smithsonian’s culinary salute to coffee in America.

Unfortunately, Clare’s new Village Blend DC is struggling to earn a profit–until its second floor jazz club attracts a high-profile fan, the college-age daughter of the U.S. President. Clare’s stock rises as the First Lady befriends her, but she soon learns a stark lesson: Washington can be murder.

First a stylish State Department employee suspiciously collapses in her coffeehouse. Then the President’s daughter goes missing. Is she a runaway bride or is something more sinister in play? After another deadly twist, Clare is on the run with her NYPD detective boyfriend. Branded an enemy of the state, she must piece together clues and uncover the truth before her life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness come to a bitter end.

Includes great American recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This book is amazing to the last word!

Clare Cosi, Master Roaster Extraordinaire, has come to Washington D.C. to get Village Blend DC up on it’s feet. She struggles to get control of the kitchen from a chef with a very high opinion of himself and tries to find a way for the jazz club portion to make a profit. Enter a college student who plays like a dream. When Clare finds out the young lady is the daughter of the President she knows there may be an issue with her continuing to play at Village Blend but she never imagined the way things would spiral out of her control.

Brew a full pot of coffee and be prepared for an all-nighter when you start reading Dead to the Last Drop. Cleo Coyle has written her best book yet and that is saying a lot because every story in this series is excellent.

Clare takes us all over DC, The White House, The Smithsonian, a beautiful mansion in Georgetown. She also travels around some less noteworthy parts of the area as she tries to solve the mysteries that have surrounded her.

This story is jam-packed with drama, action, and mayhem. It all happens at a pretty fast pace too. Intermixed with all the havoc is wonderful food and music. I could almost hear the band, smell the coffee and taste the glorious food.

Clare’s boyfriend, Detective Mike Quinn, is still working with the FBI in Washington. This is a good thing because they both need each other as things start to get crazy. Employees from New York come down to help with a major event and that includes Clare’s ex, Matt. We also meet some Washington elite, the First Family, and some of the White House staff. Again these characters leap off the pages.

If you are new to the series it is not too late to jump in, each story contains enough detail that will get you up to speed in no time. If you are already a fan you are probably waiting very impatiently for your pre-ordered copy to arrive. December 1 will be here soon. I will also add a book is a great holiday gift idea, coffee/cozy mystery buffs will love this story.

This story has earned my Paradise rating. Its contents are truly off the charts!

paradise5 STARFISH5 STARFISHDollycas

Cleo Coyle is a pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini. Both are New York Times bestselling authors of the Coffeehouse Mysteries, now celebrating over ten years in print. Alice has worked as a journalist in Washington, DC, and New York, and has written young adult and children’s books. A former magazine editor, Marc has authored espionage thrillers and nonfiction for adults and children. Alice and Marc are also bestselling media tie-in writers who have penned properties for Lucasfilm, NBC, Fox, Disney, Imagine, and MGM. They live and work in New York City, where they write independently and together, including the national bestselling Haunted Bookshop Mysteries.

CLEO’S NEWSLETTER: Contests, recipes, news, fun facts and videos. To sign up, simply write an e-mail that says “sign me up” and send it to CoffeehouseMystery@gmail(dot)com You will receive a reply with links to past newsletters that include free recipes.

www.CoffeehouseMystery.com

www.Twitter.com/CleoCoyle

www.Pinterest.com/CleoCoyle

TITLE CHECKLIST: Get a free title checklist with mini summaries of all 15 Coffeehouse Mysteries. To download the list as a free PDF, click here.

Cleo-Coyle-Title-Checklist

 GIVEAWAY

Coffeehouse-Tote-BagCLEO COYLE GIVEAWAY!

* One autographed edition of Dead to the Last Drop

* 5 autographed Glossy Recipe Cards, and

* A large, two-toned, canvas Coffeehouse Mystery Tote Bag

I also have 2 Hardcover copies to give away thanks to the people at Penguin! 
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 Cleo 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 2, 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.”