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

Short & Tall Tales in Goose Pimple Junction by Amy Metz Great Escapes Book Tour – Review/#Giveaway

SHORT AND TALL TALES large banner640

Short & Tall Tales in Goose Pimple Junction
by Amy Metz

GPJ3Cover
Short & Tall Tales in Goose Pimple Junction
Genre – Cozy Mystery
Setting – Tennessee
Paperback: 128 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0989714068
Publisher: Southern Ink Press
An imprint of Blue Publications
Publication Date: September 4, 2015
E-Book ASIN: B014XIMXOK
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

Synopsis:

This is not your average Southern town. With a hint of mystery, a lot of laughs, and unique charm, you’ll catch a glimpse of everyday life in Goose Pimple Junction in this short story compilation. Short & Tall Tales occurs chronologically between Murder & Mayhem, book 1, and Heroes & Hooligans, book 2, in the Goose Pimple Junction mystery series. Book 1.5 is a fun escape that will answer questions readers may have about the residents of this quirky small town.

How did Johnny Butterfield become police chief?
How did Tess and Jack get engaged?
How did Ima Jean come to live with Louetta?
How do you celebrate an Apple Day?

These questions and more are answered in Short & Tall Tales in Goose Pimple Junction. Five short stories, one novella, and three recipes will give you more of life in Goose Pimple Junction, make you laugh, and have your mouth watering. If you want a feel-good read, you’ve come to the right place. Grab some sweet tea and escape to Goose Pimple Junction.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Amy Metz is answering questions about things in Goose Pimple Junction. Questions I had myself like How did Johnny Butterfield become police chief? and How did Ima Jean come to live with Louetta? and more in this very fast read. Perfect to hold us over until Rogues And Rascals In Goose Pimple Junction is released.

I really liked the “tall tale” where we learn about Johnny Butterfield’s arrival in Goose Pimple Junction.  The quote at the top of chapter one was “I was born at night, but not last night.” attributed to Johnny himself. Each chapter starts with a quote from a GPJ resident,  that made me start each one with a smile on my face. The tale had all the drama of a full length novel. Loved it!

There are 5 “short tales” as well to give readers a little more insight into the some of the people we have met in the other two books. The story about Jack and Tess really touched my heart.

Do you like pie? Goose Pimple Junction celebrates Apple Day! The descriptions of the pies will have your mouth watering. I was so grateful to find the recipes at the end of the stories.

If Amy Metz is a new author to you this little book will introduce to her wonderful characters. Technically the events fall between Murder & Mayhem, and Heroes & Hooligans, but they truly can all read as stand alone. I just know that once you have read one you will want to read all three.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH
Dollycas

AmyMetz

About This Author

 

Amy Metz is the author of the Goose Pimple Junction mystery series. She is a former first grade teacher and the mother of two sons. When not actively engaged in writing, enjoying her family, or surfing Facebook or Pinterest, Amy can usually be found with a mixing spoon, camera, or book in one hand and a glass of sweet tea in the other. Amy lives in Louisville, Kentucky.

Author Links

Website     Blog     Facebook      Twitter    Goodreads

 

GIVEAWAY

The author is giving away 1 e-copy of
Short & Tall Tales in Goose Pimple Junction!

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.

Leave a comment for Amy 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 November 12, 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 Cozy Wednesday Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2015 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Kate Collins – Author of Florist Grump – Review & #Giveaway too!

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am always excited when Kate Collins comes to visit!!
Florist Grump was just released yesterday!

 

kate collins

SO LET IT BE WRITTEN:
WHEN MY MYSTERY GOT REAL

By Kate Collins

Eighteen books ago, I had just finished writing MUM’S THE WORD and was seeking a plot for the second book in the Flower Shop Mystery series. I had a title, SLAY IT WITH FLOWERS, and a general idea, but needed a big plot twist to make it all happen.

In steps my hairdresser and her colleagues, who, while I was having my hair cut, complained about men using their parking lot and then scurrying across to the business next door. The sign out front of this business said KINGS SPA, with the word MASSAGES and a telephone number underneath. There was no other advertising, and the building, an old white wooden house, had butcher paper covering the windows. Suspicious, you say? Oh, it gets better.

florist grumpThe hairdressers’ lament had prompted one of their clients to go next door to make an appointment. She was told by an unfriendly Chinese receptionist that women were not welcome. At a massage parlor? Seriously?

Then there were the masseuses, a group of Chinese women in tight silk dresses, who would come to the beauty salon to buy hair products. They didn’t speak. They would point to a product and toss money onto the counter from a thick wad they carried in their, well, you know.

Being a crusader for justice through my character Abby Knight, I suggested ways to stop the men from using the salon’s parking lot. Snap their photos and license plates and hang them in the big front windows. Call the Chief of Police. Write letters to the Mayor.  I even volunteered to stand across the street with a camera.

And then the proverbial light bulb went off. I had my plot twist! Would my feisty, redheaded sleuth Abby Knight NOT get involved if such a thing were happening in her hometown? Of course not. Her last name isn’t Knight for no reason. So my mantra became: What Would Abby Do? And in my book, she did it, resulting in this shady business, called EMPEROR’S SPA, to be raided. Naturally, this didn’t happen without peril to Abby, but that’s why we all love Marco.

A month after SLAY IT WITH FLOWERS was released, the police in my hometown raided KINGS SPA, rounding up a group that was part of a Chinese prostitution ring working out of Chicago. Naturally, I had to boast that my story had helped bring light to the situation. Whether it really did is something I’ll always wonder.

What would you have done if you’d discovered such a situation in your hometown? Would you shrug your shoulders and hope someone else did something, or are you the type that would do something? In other words, are you an Abby Knight?

~Kate

About The Author

Kate Collins is the author of the national best-selling Flower Shop Mystery series and historical romance novels. For her mystery plots, Kate draws upon her own love of flowers and intrigue, and an intimate knowledge of life in a small college town. She states firmly for the benefit of all who live near her that none of the zany characters that populate the fictional town of New Chapel are based on people she knows. Honest. Find out more about Kate on her webpage here.

Kate’s Historical Romance Novels

Coming APRIL 2016

florisst grumpFlorist Grump:
A Flower Shop Mystery

17th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Indiana
An Obsidian Mystery
New American Library
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451473431
E-Book ASIN: B00S75OKBA
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

From the New York Times bestselling author of A Root Awakening, feisty florist Abby Knight is back with another knotty murder to solve in the next Flower Shop Mystery…

Life in Bloom

Stopping to smell the roses should be a must for flower shop owner Abby Knight, but stress has turned her into a major grump. While their house is under construction, Abby and her new husband, Marco, are living with her parents, who are driving her nuts. Not to mention that everyone has babies on the brain, with her cousin Jillian’s bundle of joy popping up in every conversation, and Marco’s mother dropping hints that she expects a new sprout from Abby and her son—as soon as possible!

But things get even thornier after a flashy former banker pushes up daisies. With a beloved window washer the prime suspect in the murder, other New Chapel shop owners rally around Abby and Marco to prove his innocence. With Abby’s energy wilting, she has to be on high alert—or she and Marco may not live to see their new home…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Abby Knight Salvare is one grumpy florist these days but frankly I can see her point. Moving into your parents house as an adult no matter how temporary can cause some major drama. You’re an adult and have lived on your own and suddenly your parents are treating like a teenager wanting to know what time you will be home and tracking you down when you stay out until what they consider is too late. When you are investigating a murder that can have dire consequences. Jillian is not handling motherhood well and she expects Abby to drop everything and help. Pretty hard to do when Bloomers is so busy they may have to hire more help, Down the Hatch is packed almost every night and Salvare Detective Agency has a new case. Abby’s mom also has a new project that she wants Abby to help her with. If I was Abby I would be grumpy too and probably pulling my hair out.

So much happens in this story and I enjoyed every minute of it. Kate Collins has rolled up her sleeves and has topped herself. This series has always been one of my true favorites. I anxiously await each new story and I am always delighted with the story. This one is my new favorite in the series.

We have watched Abby and Marco’s love blossom and now they are married and will soon have a brand new home. The talk about babies has already begun but not by Abby and Marco but all their friends and family. These characters are some of the best in the cozy mystery world right now. They are all people I wish I could meet in real life.

Ms. Collins also creates fantastic and believable story-lines.  The subplots flow flawlessly amid the main plot. Again she has given readers a book they will not be able to stop reading once they start. The problem is I didn’t want the story to end. It seems my visits to New Chapel are just way too short. Thankfully Moss Hysteria comes out April 5, 2016. That’s not too long to wait 🙂 well it is but that’s the way it has to be.

a perfect escape5 STARFISHDollycas

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 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 November 11, 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 Wisconsin Author You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review/Giveaway – Christmas Bells by Jennifer Chiaverini

christmas bellsChristmas Bells: A Novel
Dutton (October 27, 2015)
Setting – Massachusetts
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0525955245
E-Book ASIN: B00SI02BZ6
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini celebrates Christmas, past and present, with a wondrous novel inspired by the classic poem “Christmas Bells,” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

I heard the bells on Christmas Day/ Their old familiar carols play/ And wild and sweet/ The words repeat/Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

In 1860, the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow family celebrated Christmas at Craigie House, their home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The publication of Longfellow’s classic Revolutionary War poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride,” was less than a month hence, and the country’s grave political unrest weighed heavily on his mind. Yet with his beloved wife, Fanny, and their five adored children at his side, the delights of the season prevailed.

In present-day Boston, a dedicated teacher in the Watertown public school system is stunned by somber holiday tidings. Sophia’s music program has been sacrificed to budget cuts, and she worries not only about her impending unemployment but also about the consequences to her underprivileged students. At the church where she volunteers as music director, Sophia tries to forget her cares as she leads the children’s choir in rehearsal for a Christmas Eve concert. Inspired to honor a local artist, Sophia has chosen a carol set to a poem by Longfellow, moved by the glorious words he penned one Christmas Day long ago, even as he suffered great loss.

Christmas Bells chronicles the events of 1863, when the peace and contentment of Longfellow’s family circle was suddenly, tragically broken, cutting even deeper than the privations of wartime. Through the pain of profound loss and hardship, Longfellow’s patriotism never failed, nor did the power of his language. “Christmas Bells,” the poem he wrote that holiday, lives on, spoken as verse and sung as a hymn.

Jennifer Chiaverini’s resonant and heartfelt novel for the season reminds us why we must continue to hear glad tidings, even as we are tested by strife. Reading Christmas Bells evokes the resplendent joy of a chorus of voices raised in reverent song.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

There are two stories in this book. One set in present time and the other in 1863. They are tied together by Longfellow poem Christmas Bells. The book alternates chapters going back and forth between the two stories.

The main story tells the reader about Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and his family before and through the civil war. As always Jennifer Chiaverini has researched his life and bought us a wonderful story and presented a slice of history in a very enjoyable way. His love for his family and the heartbreak he suffers leaps off the pages. His wonderful poems are given new life. That new life shines in the second story.

The present day story introduces us to Sophia, a schoolteacher whose music program is being slashed by budget cuts. Something that is happening all across the United States. Sophia is also the music director at her church. She is featuring the carol “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” based on Longfellow poem for the church’s Christmas service. This story takes place in a short period of time and each chapter is told from a different person’s point of view. This story was entertaining as well. Because parts of the story overlapped there was quite a bit a repetition. I found myself skimming those parts and wish the author had found another way to present this story. The characters were very engaging and I would have liked a broader story about them.

Chiaverini has added another wonderful book to her repertoire. Perfect for the holiday season.

just you and a friend4 STARFISHDollycas

You can find out more about Jennifer Chiaverini and her books on her webpage 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 November 10, 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 – The Corpse With The Sapphire Eyes by Cathy Ace

SAPPHIREThe Corpse with the Sapphire Eyes
(A Cait Morgan Mystery)

5th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Wales
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: TouchWood Editions (May 5, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-1771511209
E-Book ASIN: B00S5HU4ME
goodreads-badge-add-plus

It’s Cait and Bud’s wedding weekend and for the first time she feels like a bride—or at least, she’s supposed to. But then the rain won’t quit, the supposedly romantic Welsh castle feels creepy, and there’s a dead body on the stairs.

What first appears to have been the untimely, unfortunate, and accidental death of their wedding choirmaster quickly reveals itself to have been a murder. And when a series of mysterious events occur around the castle, Cait, Bud, and Cait’s sister Sian tackle the case of The Corpse with the Sapphire Eyes, attempting to solve the mystery before another sinister event can ruin their destination wedding.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Cathy Ace has a gift for these type of mysteries. The kind where you know someone in the building with you is a murderer. This time we are in a castle in Wales as Cait and Bud get ready for their wedding. The weather is awful and a bridge washes out meaning they and everyone else staying at the castle is stranded there. Cait’s sister, Sian, has flown in from Australia and Bud has plans for a special choir performance. Cait can deal with the weather but not another dead body. When she learns the choirmaster took a tumble down the stairs and broke his neck she knows she can relax because it was an accident the local authorities will take care of. But the bridge is out and the police could not respond and Cait finds herself questioning if the death may have been a murder. She and Bud decide to start an investigation of their own. Hopefully they will have things wrapped up quickly so they can get married as they had planned.

Castell Llwyd is quite a place and its inhabitants are quite the quirky bunch. Matriarch Alice Cadwallader owns the castle. At 92 years of age she is set in her ways and stubborn as a mule. She travels around the place at a pretty brisk clip in her wheelchair. Mrs. Jones is the cook and generally runs the house. Alice’s son. Owain and his daughter, Mair, her grandson, Idris and his wife Eirwen, all reside at the castle. Rhian Davies in the event planner for Castell Llwyd and her husband the choirmaster reside there as well. The choirmaster’s assistant and Alice’s nurse round out the band of suspects. Readers follow Bud and Cait on their investigation where the ruffle a few feathers and Cait uses her eidetic memory to try to put this puzzler of a mystery to rest.

I love going on these adventures with Cait and Bud. Wales sounds beautiful if you can look beyond the rainy weather. The castle is quite delightful with it’s up and down stairs to several floors and wings. You just know a place like this holds many secrets and so much history.

I know right away when I start reading one of these stories from Cathy Ace I will not be able to put them down and that was sure the case with The Corpse with the Sapphire Eyes. I like that my Kindle keeps track of my reading speed because I could see it increasing with each new page. The story builds and builds to a very surprising climax.

If you like you cozies on the traditional side like the great Agatha Christie, you will like this entire series!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

2cathy

About This Author

Originally from Wales, now-Canadian Cathy Ace writes the Cait Morgan Mysteries. In The Corpse with the Silver Tongue her foodie criminologist sleuthed in the south of France. The Corpse with the Golden Nose found Cait sniffing out a killer in BC’s vineyards. The Corpse with the Emerald Thumb met her when she was meddling in murders in Mexico. This time Cait is caught up in a true closed-room mystery in a classy casino restaurant in Las Vegas. When not helping Cait solve traditional, closed-circle mysteries, Cathy’s a keen gardener, ably assisted by her green-pawed chocolate Labradors.

Author Links:

Website 

Facebook

Twitter: @AceCathy

GoodReads 

And Coming in April 2016

Also by Cathy Ace

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 Reviews 2015 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review/Giveaway – Trick or Deadly Treat by Livia J. Washburn

trick or deadly treatTrick or Deadly Treat:
A Fresh-Baked Mystery

Cozy Mystery
Setting – Texas
9th in Series
An Obsidian Mystery (Reprint Edition) (October 6, 2015)
Published by New American Library
An Imprint of Penguin Random House
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451416704
Trade Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451416698
E-Book ASIN: B00INIXQRA
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

It’s Halloween in Weatherford, Texas—which means Phyllis Newsom is baking up a storm of yummy seasonal treats…but she’s about to get even busier unmasking a killer…

While Phyllis and her friend Carolyn are preparing for a baking contest, her housemate Sam adopts Buck, an adorable Dalmatian who was hit by a car. To thank local veterinarian Hank Baxter for helping the dog, Phyllis and Carolyn bake a batch of doggie treats for his other four-legged patients.

But when they arrive at the clinic, the vet is in the process of being arrested—for the murder of his wife! Convinced that the police are barking up the wrong tree and that someone’s been burying evidence, Sam begs Phyllis to help find the real killer. Joined by Buck, the friends engage in a dogged pursuit of the murderer, who will stop at nothing to muzzle them…permanently.

INCLUDES RECIPES!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this 9th Fresh Baked Mystery the tables are turned a bit as Sam is the one leading the investigation.  Sam met Dr. Hank Baxter when he rescued a wonderful dalmatian after it had been hit by a car. The vet takes such good car of the dog, who Sam has named Buck, that when Hank is arrested Sam feels the great need to help him. Sam seems to hit one brick wall after another so Phyllis agrees to help him out. Carolyn and Phyllis are trying to win another cooking contest for a national magazine. They have a personal competition to see who can make the best doggie treats too.   Eve is in the background of this story so all the roommates are accounted for. Let the fun begin!

Okay let’s get it out of the way. Hank Baxter’s wife was a first class snob and I instantly disliked her so when she ended up dead I was not surprised. What truly surprised was the way the mystery played out.  We know the spouse it always the first suspect and the police are usually wrong on that assumption. Ms. Washburn took us through many twists and turns on the highways through Texas and in finding the actual killer as well.

Phyllis, Carolyn, Eve and Sam are a very engaging group of characters. They all live together and muddle through day to day life but trouble just seems to follow them. They appear to be unflappable most of the time. Phyllis and Sam are smart and have a very methodical way of investigating. Sam was on the right track he just needed to be able to talk things through with Phyllis to go forward.  The dialogue between the characters is top-notch. I love that they have added a dog to their little family.

Livia J. Washburn has penned a delightful story. This is a perfect book to curl up on these cool Autumn nights especially with Halloween just a week away.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

This was a reprint of a story released last year. Livia has a brand new story coming November 3. The Candy Cane Cupcake Killer  finds everyone in town is gearing up for the annual holiday parade and tree-lighting ceremony in the town square and you know there will be trouble. You can find out more about Livia and her books on her webpage 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 November 7, 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

Special Guest Leigh Perry – Author of The Skeleton Haunts a House – #Giveaway too!

special guest blue

Leigh Perry’s new book The Skeleton Haunts a House 
was released October 6.

I am so excited she had time to stop by for a visit
just in time for Halloween!

leigh perry

How to Write a Haunted House;
Or How to Haunt a Mystery

By Leigh Perry

 

Early on in the process of writing The Skeleton Haunts a House, I decided it was going to be set in and around a haunted house—meaning the Halloween season kind with fake ghosts and gore, not actual spirits. So I did a fair amount of research into how a haunted house is put together and run. Not only did I want to get the background details and jargon right, I actually wanted to lay out my fictional haunted house so I could bring it to life. (Not quite in a mad scientist bringing the monster to life kind of way, but sort of like that.)

I worked in a haunted house myself back in high school, and my original plan was to have my fictional house set up the same way, with random creepy sets and costumed spooks throughout the house. It turns out that industry standards have evolved a great deal since then. These days a haunted house is very much a carefully designed experience.

The starting point is the venue. Is it an old house, a theater, a cornfield, a amusement park, a hayride, or even an abandoned location like a hospital or prison. You can haunt just about anything. The best haunted house venue I’ve ever heard of is Burg Frankenstein, near Darmstadt in Germany. It’s rumored to have been an inspiration for Mary Shelly’s book Frankenstein, and there’s been a Halloween festival there since 1978.

Since my book was going to be set in Pennycross, a small Massachusetts college town, I couldn’t legitimately plant a set of castle ruins in the middle of town, or even on the outskirts. Instead I decide to sneak in an unused class building onto the grounds of McQuaid University, where my protagonist Georgia Thackery works. To give it some gravitas, I called it McQuaid Hall, but for Halloween, it becomes McHades Hall.

Once the venue is set, I gave my haunted house a theme. You see, the really modern haunted houses have themes that inform the details of the designs. I could have gone with haunted toy store, creepy carnival, post-apocalyptic nightmare, insane asylum, hospital of the damned, and on and on. Since I already had an academic setting, I ran with that: McHades Hall would be college-themed. (The fact that my daughter is starting to look at colleges had no influence in my view of a campus as intensely frightening.)

Even with a creepy college as a starting point, I had plenty of latitude to put together the actual scare areas and to staff them with a wide variety of scare actors. (Scare areas and scare actors are industry terms, but they’re pretty self-explanatory.) This is where I got a little fast-and-loose with the themes. I mean, for history classes I had Countess Bathory, the Black Death, and Jack the Ripper. Technically historical, but not what I studied in college. (Though Harvard used to have a great class about the repercussions of the Black Death.) For English, it was characters from The Exorcist, The Shining and Psycho. Good books to be sure, but probably better known for their movies. And I never had one single  chemistry prof turn into a werewolf. (Of course, I only had daytime chem lab…)

skeleton haunts the houseOf course, scare actors don’t just stand around and look horrifying. They have to be doing horrifying things. The zombie frat boys have to chase you, the cannibalistic cafeteria workers have to threaten you, and if anybody is just standing around, it’s a trick to lull you into a false sense of security until they jump at you. While there’s a certain amount of ad-libbing for the scare actors, in general they do have lines to say and blocking, as in any kind of theater.

Of course, all that stuff is what the customers see. (I was hoping to find an industry-specific name for people-who-come-through-haunted-houses, but customer is all I could find. Couldn’t they at least be scare customers?) Since I wanted some behind-the-scenes plotting, I had to figure out what it looks like behind the scenes. That’s when I found out that most haunts have a host of hidden paths and passages to get around the house. They line the rooms with a fabric called scrim, so they can hide behind and look out, but you can’t see them. Now that is mystery-writing gold!

For the final touch of authenticity, I used some of the wisdom accumulated by hundreds of scare actors.

Watch out for hitters! Apparently some people lash out when they’re frightened.

If you hear somebody’s name, tell the other scare actors so they can use it. It’s scary for anybody in a zombie suit to chase you, but even worse when they make it personal.

Never do a gag with a noose. People have died that way. That is not an urban legend. Scare actors have accidentally strangled themselves.

Nobody can resist a chainsaw. Apparently the bravest of customers is prone to losing it when somebody comes after them with a chainsaw. And if you think the chainsaw is an amazingly realistic prop, think again. It’s probably a real chainsaw. They take the chain off, but I still wouldn’t grab hold of one.

Once I had all my pieces in place, I could start plotting the actual sections of The Skeleton Haunts a House that take place in McHades Hall. And it occurred to me that the process is a lot like designing a haunted house.

  • Venue = Setting. I started out with the town of Pennycross.
  • Theme = Genre. It’s a murder mystery in which Georgia Thackery, an adjunct English professor and single mother, solves crimes with the help of her best friend Sid. Did I mention that Sid is an ambulatory skeleton?
  • Scare actors = Characters. In addition to Georgia and Sid, we have Georgia’s daughter Madison, her sister Deborah, her parents, her friends Brownie and Charles, and plenty of others.
  • Action = Plot. As with most mysteries, we start with the finding the body and then progress through investigation until Georgia and Sid find the killer. And along the way, there’s some romance and secrets and what I hope are surprise twists.
  • Behind-the-Scenes = Red Herrings. I have to walk that tight-walk between not being about to figure out the murderer right away while having it all make sense in the end.
  • Authenticity = Authenticity. Of course, I wanted to make sure the haunted house stuff was realistic, but I also have to make sure the university runs like a real university. The same for the carnival that comes to town, and the police procedures.

I hope that once it all comes together, The Skeleton Haunts a House has some of the same excitement and thrills as a haunted house. That’s the plan, anyway.

Maybe I should have put in a chainsaw.

~Leigh

About The Author

Leigh Perry is a pseudonym for Toni L.P. Kelner, an award-winning mystery author. Under the name Toni L.P. Kelner she has published eleven novels and twenty-something short stories, and have co-edited six urban fantasy anthologies with New York Times best seller Charlaine Harris. She was born in Pensacola, FL and raised in Charlotte, NC, and has been living north of Boston, MA for 26 years or so. She shares the house with her husband, two daughters, two guinea pigs, and a ludicrous selection of books. While the population of people and guinea pigs stays constant, the number of books is on an ever-rising curve.

You can find her on Facebook  and can follow Sid on Twitter. You can find out more about Leigh Perry and her books on her webpage here.


Find more at Toni L. P. Kelner 

skeleton haunts the houseThe Skeleton Haunts a House
(A Family Skeleton Mystery)

3rd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Massachusetts
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (October 6, 2015)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Cover Illustration by Ben Perini
Cover Design by George Long
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425255858
E-Book ASIN: B00SI02E4O
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

Sid the Skeleton bones up on clues to solve a Haunted House homicide in this mystery from the author of The Skeleton Takes a Bow

What holiday could bring more warmth to a skeleton’s chest cavity than Halloween? And when you’re a living skeleton who’s not supposed to be seen outside the house, it’s a welcome chance to get some fresh air and rub bony elbows with people. That’s why Sid doesn’t mind wearing a full-body dog suit and going as Scooby-Doo along with Georgia Thackery’s Velma to the Halloween Howl.

Sid can’t wait to go through the Haunted House—but he gets rattled for real when a genuine dead body is discovered. Trapped inside as the police quickly seal off the crime scene, Sid makes no bones about dropping the dog suit and posing as an actual skeleton. This murder is a skull-scratcher, but as long as Sid is on the inside, he might as well case the joint to figure out who used the cover of darkness to commit the perfect crime…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sid is truly one of my favorite characters. He and his family are getting pretty brave. This time he dresses up like Scooby-Doo to visit a haunted house on campus. Since Georgia is not a fan of these scary places Sid joins another group and enters by himself. What could go wrong? Well there happens to be a real dead body in one of the rooms that jars Sid right out out of his dog suit. When the police lock down the house he has no way to escape. Since there are several fake skeletons hanging around he decides to blend in and see if he can figure out what happened to leave the a young co-ed heading for the great beyond.

This is the 3rd book in this series and I have loved them all. For me Sid is a real as real can be. I can see it coming down the stairs, sitting at his desk on his computer, and hiding in the armoire when people come to visit. He is smart and has a keen sense of humor. He is just a bare bones kind of guy. 🙂 His antics will definitely put a smile on your face.

Leigh Perry has written a fabulous Halloween cozy mystery. One that we can enjoy from our skulls to our distal phalanges.  The whole family gets together to keep Sid safe and get him back home. Then Georgia does most of the legwork while Sid tickles the keys on his keyboard to track down the killer as the investigation continues. Sherlock Bones is an the case.

I appreciate this quirky family. Georgia is a adjunct professor at McQuaid University. Her parents are tenured professors at the university and have just returned from a trip abroad. Georgia and her teenage daughter, Madison, have been living in their home and have been asked to stay since the house has more than enough room and Sid has made himself at home in the attic.

I have not visited a haunted house for many years and they sound like even more fun and so much scarier than I remember. The author gives us plenty of details so we can easily picture both the eerie haunted house when it is in operation and behind the scenes while tracking down a murderer.  So many twists and turns made that murderer was a complete surprise.

This is a unique series and perfect for fall reading.  This one will surely tickle your funny bone too!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAY

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for Leigh 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 November 5, 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 Cozy Wednesday Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2015

Cozy Wednesday with Isabella Alan – Author of Murder, Plainly Read – #Giveaway

cozy wednesday 2013 640
Amanda Flower, I mean Isabella Alan is here today,
well they both are!!

Can you tell I am excited??
Welcome to Cozy Wednesday and WELCOME ISABELLA!!

Amanda Flower photo

October to Remember
Amanda Flower / Isabella Alan

 

October is here! It seems that I have been preparing for this October for a long time. By a complicated turn of events, I have three books releasing this month from three different publishers. Of course, they are all mystery (that’s my thing), but they are all very different books too. I thought it would be fun to tell you why I’m excited about each one and why each book is special to me.

MURDER PLAINLY READThe first of these is Murder, Plainly Read, the fourth novel in the USA Today Bestselling Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series, which I write as Isabella Alan. In this mystery, my protagonist is solving a murder committed on a library bookmobile. In addition to being a mystery author, I’m a librarian. For a long time, I’ve wanted to mix my two occupations into an Amish mystery. The start of this novel really began when I was invited to do a ride along in the Holmes County District Library’s bookmobile a few summers back. The bookmobile services mostly Amish patrons, and as an undercover librarian on the bookmobile, I was able to see how important the library is to the Amish community in the county. I knew the moment that I stepped on the bookmobile I was going to have to set a mystery on one. I even told the library director so.

The second book is Andi Unstoppable, the third middle grade mystery in the Agatha Award-nominated Andi Boggs Series. This book was so much to fun to write because I got the idea from my brother. My 12 year old sleuths, Andi and Colin, solve a ghost story while on a birding assignment for their science class. Yep, you read that right, a birding assignment. My brother is an avid birder. He’s always on the lookout for new birds to see and will travel great distances to see one he’s never spotted before. I wanted to share a little bit of my brother’s birding culture (because it is truly a culture of its own) with the world. I thought it would be most fun in children’s book, and I threw in the ghost story because kids like ghosts, right?

The third and final book is Amish Christmas at North Star. WaterBrook/Multnomah, which is an imprint of Random House, was putting together an Amish Christmas novella collection and asked me if I wanted to join the authors Cindy Woodsmall, Mindy Starns Clark, and Katie Ganshert in writing it. They are all great authors, so I jumped at the chance. However, I wasn’t sure how it would work out since they were all romance authors and I am a mystery author.

On a conference call with the three other authors and my editor for this project most of the talk was about the romance for the four novellas, which made me even more nervous. I enjoy reading romances. Some of my best friends are romance authors, but I wasn’t prepared to try my hand on one with so many big time romance authors in the collection. When there was a lag in the conversation, I interjected, “Can I kill somebody?”

I don’t know what the other authors thought, but the editor responded immediately. “Of course, we want a mystery from you. You can kill someone.”

What a relief that was to hear.

I’m so excited to share all three of these stories with readers, and even though they are different stories set in different worlds with different characters, they still very much my stories. So as usual readers can expect witty dialogue, hijinks, and lots of fun!

***********************

Amanda Flower, a three time Agatha-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland. She also writes as USA Today Bestselling Author Isabella Alan.

Social Media Links

Facebook Twitter Goodreads Pinterest Instagram




MURDER PLAINLY READMurder, Plainly Read:
An Amish Quilt Shop Mystery

Cozy Mystery
4th Book in Series
Setting – Ohio
An Obsidian Mystery (October 6, 2015)
Published by New American Library
An Imprint of Penguin Random House
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451475022
E-Book ASIN: B00S75RYYU
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

In the latest from the author of Murder, Served Simply, an Amish man checks out permanently, but quilt shop owner Angie Braddock’s got this mystery covered…

With so much to do between running her shop and spending time with her new boyfriend, it’s amazing Angie is able to help organize the Rolling Brook library’s annual book sale. Luckily she’s working alongside brash librarian Austina Shaker, a lady who isn’t afraid to make waves to get books to her patrons—even the Amish. Unfortunately, this draws the ire of cranky Bartholomew Beiler, an Old Order Amish bishop, who publicly vows to ruin Austina.

And she certainly might be ruined after Belier is found dead in her bookmobile. Now Angie must employ the help of her loyal quilting circle—as well as her beloved French bulldog, Oliver—if she hopes to prove Austina’s innocence before the real killer books it…

INCLUDES QUILTING TIPS

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have loved this series from the very beginning. Murder, Plainly Read is an excellent addition.

Angie is involved in not only the Rolling Brook library’s annual book sale but the grand opening of The Miller’s Amish Pie factory’s as well. She also needs to run her own quilt shop. Thankfully she has good help there because when Bartholomew Beiler is found dead in the bookmobile and Austina Shaker, the bookmobile librarian, is charged with his murder she has to add FIND THE REAL MURDERER to her long list of Things To Do!

Because Angie’s aunt married an Amish man she is a little more accepted in the Amish community than most Englischers. Not by all but many of them welcome her into their homes and businesses. Bartholomew Beiler is the bishop for an Old Order Amish sect and they are not as open or welcoming even when Angie explains that she is trying to help them.  These characters are so well written and so real. It is so interesting getting to know all of them. I enjoyed the new characters and my favorites were all back too, including a certain goat that has stolen my heart.

Angie jumps into solving the mystery with both feet and we get to tag along right with her. She does raise my blood pressure when she follows the clues and puts herself and her bulldog Oliver in peril. The author has stitched together quite a mystery. She not only keeps the reader guessing until the final reveal but has us in stitches with some delightful humor too.

I read this book at in one sitting. The was no way I could put it down. Now I am excited for Murder, Handcrafted coming this summer.

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for Isabella 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 November 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 Reviews 2015 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review – Heroes & Hooligans in Goose Pimple Junction by Amy Metz

heroes and hooligansHeroes & Hooligans in Goose Pimple Junction
(Goose Pimple Junction Mysteries) (Volume 2)

Cozy Mystery
Setting – Tennessee
Blue Publications  (December 17, 2014)
Paperback: 298 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0989714044
E-Book ASIN: B00R6CWTYU
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

Goose Pimple Junction is just recovering from a kidnapping and a murder, its first major crimes in years, when trouble begins anew. Life is turned upside down in the quirky little southern town with the arrival of several shifty hooligans: A philandering husband intent on getting his wife back, another murderer loose in town, a stalker intent on frightening Martha Maye, and a thief who’s stealing the town blind of their pumpkins, pies, and peace. Together, they’re scaring the living daylights out of the residents and keeping the new police chief busier than a set of jumper cables at a redneck picnic. Suddenly, he has his hands full trying to apprehend a killer, stop a stalker, and fight his feelings for the damsel in distress.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Fall in in the air in Goose Pimple Junction and the residents are getting ready for Oktoberfest. But there is a lot of tomfoolery goin’ on.  Someone is stealing pumpkins, pies, and even stuff from people’s pantries. Martha Maye has come home to Goose Pimple Junction and her no good husband, Lenny, isn’t far behind. She has also started receiving some unusual gifts from a secret admirer. The new police chief, Johnny Butterfield, who is a little sweet on Martha Maye himself, it trying to catch the thief and is doing all he can to keep Lenny away from Martha Maye.  When Lenny is found dead in Martha Maye’s front yard he has to let his officers take over the case but that doesn’t stop him from doing a little investigating on his own.

This is another marvelous story from Amy Metz. Fantastic characters like Martha Maye, Butterbean, Johnny, Ima Jean, Honey, Maddy Mack, Pickle and more.  I loved Pickle’s t-shirts with sayings like “Hard Work Must Have Killed Someone” and Ima Jean’s commercial jingles input like “Gentlemen prefer Hanes” and “Leggo My Eggo“.  Characters from Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction like Jack and Tess are back too. Tess is catching on to more of the Southern dialect. Some of the phasing made me smile and laugh out loud. “Hirey’all tonight?” “We’re hanging in there like loose teeth, Junebug, hireyew.” Each chapter also starts with a Southern Proverb too like “When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.” This book is just overflowing with Southern charm.

We get into the book a bit before Lenny ends up dead so we have plenty of time to get to know the characters before they become suspects. It was hard to really think of any of them as a killer. I really didn’t like Lenny so I wasn’t broken up that he was the victim.  One of the officers is even questioning the chief’s innocence, so I did as well.  Metz plots things out brilliantly with those wonderful twists that we cozy lovers crave.

 A perfect escape for this time of year.  I highly recommend a virtual trip as soon as possible.

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

AmyMetzAbout This Author

Amy Metz is a former first grade teacher and the mother of two grown sons. When not actively engaged in writing, enjoying her family, or surfing Facebook or Pinterest, Amy can usually be found with a mixing spoon, camera, or book in one hand and a glass of sweet tea in the other. Amy lives in Louisville, Kentucky.

Amy is now touring Short & Tall Tales in Goose Pimple Junction with Great Escapes Book Tours.  Short & Tall Tales occurs chronologically between Murder & Mayhem, book 1, and Heroes & Hooligans, book 2, in the Goose Pimple Junction mystery series.  I will be hosting a stop on October 30.

Author Links

Website: http://amymetz.com
Blog: http://abluemillionbooks.blogspot.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorAmyMetz
Twitter: https://twitter.com/authoramymetz
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6436458.Amy_Metz


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 Guest Posts Reviews 2015

Special Guest Frank Hayes – Author of Death on the High Lonesome – Review – #Giveaway

special guest blue

I am thrilled today to welcome Frank Hayes
to Escape With Dollycas!
The new Sheriff Virgil Dalton Mystery was released October 6!

FRANK HAYES

 

It goes without saying but tastes in literature run the gamut. As a writer I have to take this into account.  It informs my writing, not in the sense that I am writing for a specific audience but that I have to decide what I am comfortable with in terms of current appetites.

I am aware that zombies, vampires and other representatives of the un-dead are high on the list of what attracts an audience.  Combine them with myriad explosions and conflagrations, against an apocalyptic landscape and you are on the road to a sure fire winner.  This is fertile ground for many writers.  I am not in their number.  This on my part is probably not a wise commercial decision.

As long as I am going down this road I might as well also state that I am not a huge fan of the anti-hero as the protagonist.  Again I am wdeath on the high lonesomeell aware that there are many who relish this as either writers or readers.  When I read I am looking for someone to root for, someone who has a spark of what is best in a human being.  I am not looking for perfection.  They can be heavily flawed.  These characters intrigue me as a reader and more so as a writer.

For the most part I like to like the characters that people my stories.  In my latest effort after I sent it to my editor he called after reading the first couple of chapters.  “You didn’t kill Jimmy did you?  He is my favorite character.”  It is good to have favorites in novels because it means that on some level a connection has been made with the reader.  Sometimes the positive is hard to find.  I remember years ago seeing a movie called White Heat with a friend.  It starred Jimmy Cagney as a sociopathic killer.  The body count was high, his psychopathic behavior off the charts, but throughout the film he and his mother were always close.  The movie ends with him standing on top of a huge gas tank totally engulfed in flame.  His last words as the world blows up underneath him are,” Look Ma, I’m on top of the world.” – pretty hard to find the positive in his character.  But when the movie ended, my friend turned to me and said,” Well at least he loved his mother.”  He had found the positive in a madman.  I hope it is not as difficult for my readers to find the positive in the characters in Death on the High Lonesome.

~Frank

About Frank Hayes

Frank has spent much of his life as an English teacher with a long a successful career introducing inner city students to the power of language.  For over thirty years he taught grades six through twelve.  Beyond the regular curriculum, Frank taught Mass Media, Film, Debate and Creative Writing.  Outside the formal education system, Frank has worked with the Fresh Air Fund and various non-profit groups for over fifteen years.  He has been involved with outdoor education, teaching wilderness survival, orienteering, pond studies, and group challenge courses.  He’s also directed summer camps and programs specializing in courses for brain injured children and adults.

Frank has lived most of his life on a small farm in New York’s Hudson Valley with his wife of over fifty years, Fran.  Together they have raised eight children and now have a large extended family. Over the years Frank’s love of nature and animals has brought a menagerie to their small farm.  While they specialized in breeding AKC registered English Springer Spaniels, they have also raised horses, cows, cats, chickens, pigs, goats and more.

Frank’s first novel Death at the Black Bull was published under the Berkeley imprint by Penguin Random House in the fall of 2014.  The sequel, Death on the High Lonesome, was published October 6, 2015.

Find out more about Frank Hayes and his books on his webpage here.

 

death on the high lonesomeDeath on the High Lonesome
(A Sheriff Virgil Dalton Mystery)

2nd Book in Series
Mystery
Setting – Unnamed Southwest state
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (October 6, 2015)
Published by Penguin Random House LLC
Cover Design by Jason Gill
Trade Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425274309
ASIN: B00SI02DIQ
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

 

The author of Death at the Black Bull returns to the Southwestern town of Hayward where the onset of winter ushers in a new mystery for Sheriff Virgil Dalton…

Virgil knows that his sleepy hometown is starting to reflect the times, in good ways and bad. It still comes as a shock when his deputy is almost killed by the body of a woman falling from the highway overpass onto his car. A woman who had been fleeing for her life…

Then longtime resident Velma Thompson is found dead on her porch—her husband missing. To search for the man, Virgil saddles up and heads to the High Lonesome, the rugged mountains above their ranch. And on a wind-swept mesa, he’ll find the first clues that point to a killer whose body count has only just begun…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Last year I read and reviewed Frank Hayes first novel, Death at the Black Bull.  I absolutely loved it so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Death at the High Lonesome. Again the author drew me right in and held on tight. The story picks up not far from where we left things at the Black Bull. This time the little town of Hayward is rocked when a deputy is almost killed and Velma Thompson, is found dead. Then we learn Velma’s husband had left his ranch on horseback a few days ago and hasn’t returned.  Virgil has his hands full but knows he need to start searching the High Lonesome for Charlie Thompson. He may also find something to point him in the direction of Velma’s killer.

The location of Haywood is a bit of a mystery. We know it is a southwestern state. I thought is was in New Mexico while reading the first book but now I am leaning toward Arizona. No matter exactly where it is on the map Frank Hayes brings it to life in our minds. I am so impressed with his storytelling.

I really like Virgil Dalton.   He is half Native American and in addition to being the Sheriff of Hayward he is also a rancher and a lawyer. He also has a huge heart. Hayes has surrounded him with a fantastic cast of characters. They are complex and have great depth and are so real and likable.

The story itself is also very complex, twining together the new mystery but still showing us the effects of the one in the previous story. The whole thing plays out at a pretty good clip. It was extremely hard to put this book down for things like meals and sleep. I am still astonished that this is just Hayes second book. His writing reminds me of the Tony Hillerman stories I used to read and devour before I discovered cozies. I love the western feel and the camaraderie of the characters.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for Frank 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 October 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 Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Reviews 2015 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review/Giveaway – Guaranteed to Bleed by Julie Mulhern Great Escapes Book Tour

I am so excited to be part of this tour!!

guaranteed to bleed large banner640

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00023]Guaranteed to Bleed
The Country Club Murders #2
Setting – Missouri
Cozy Mystery
Paperback: 268 pages
Publisher: Henery Press (October 13, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-1943390052
E-Book ASIN: B011PJCKP
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

Synopsis:
With his dying breath, Bobby Lowell begs Ellison Russell, “Tell her I love her.”

Unable to refuse, Ellison struggles to find the girl the murdered boy loved. Too bad an epically bad blind date, a vindictive graffiti artist, and multiple trips to the emergency room keep getting in the way.

Worse, a killer has Ellison in his sights, her newly-rebellious daughter is missing, and there’s yet another body in her hostas. Mother won’t be pleased.

Now Ellison must track down not one but two runaway teenagers, keep her promise to Bobby and elude the killer—all before her next charity gala committee meeting.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Ellison Russell’s day was pretty normal until she drops her fancy lipstick under the bleachers at a football game. After that hold on tight because you won’t be able to put this book down.

Like the first story in the series, The Deep End, it takes place in 1974. Again Ellison’s mom, part of the Country Club set, is not happy with the way her daughter is living her life. I love that Ellison is getting stronger.   It seems the trip to Europe after her husband’s death really helped her. She is not letting her mother totally take over but her mother is hard at work trying to find her a new husband. All of their conversations are wonderful and a few will have you cheering and laughing out loud.

Trying to live a normal life just isn’t in the cards for Ellison after she finds a injured student. His last words before he died, “Tell her I love her.” That is all Ellison wants to do but she keeps finding herself drawn into the investigation. It doesn’t help her daughter has known the young man almost all her life and is now grieving him as well as her father.   Homicide Detective Anarchey Jones isn’t happy about Ellison’s involvement but she seems to be able to reach people he can’t – like Alice Standish, a young girl that is crazy in love and just plain crazy. She gave me shivers.

Julie Mulhern has a gift for creating lifelike 3 dimensional characters that almost leap off the pages. It would be hard to choose a favorite. She has a way of drawing you into their story that makes the real world just fall away. I started reading this late at night thinking I would just read a chapter or two and the next thing I knew I was at the end and the sun would be rising soon. She made me laugh, she made me cry, she made me remember life in the 70’s when I was just a teenager. I would have been a high school freshman when this story took place. While none of my friends were murdered we did lose a few so the words and the actions of the teens were very genuine to me.

There was also a very important story within the story. I was so impressed by the way it was written, the way Ellison handled the situation, and blended into the main plot seamlessly.

An excellent read! I think we have just scratched the surface of Ellison Russell. I am anxious for the next installment.

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

julie

About The Author –

Julie Mulhern is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean–and she’s got an active imagination. Truth is—she’s an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.

Author Links – 

Webpage – www.juliemulhern.com
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8573907.Julie_Mulhern
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/juliekmulhern?ref=hl
Twitter – https://twitter.com/JulieKMulhern

 

You can get The Deep End today for just 99 cents!!

Ga Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

October 12 – Queen of All She Reads – Review, Guest Post
October 12 – LibriAmoriMiei – Review
October 13 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews  – Review, Guest Post
October 14 – A Blue Million Books – Interview
October 15 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review
October 16 – StoreyBook Reviews – Guest Post
October 17 – Griperang’s Bookmarks – Spotlight
October 18 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview
October 19 – Back Porchervations – Review
October 20 – Frankie Bow – Spotlight
October 21 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – Spotlight
October 22 – Jane Reads – Review, Guest Post
October 23 – Lori’s Reading Corner – Guest Post  
October 24 – Brooke Blogs – Spotlight
October 25 – Book Babble – Review
October 26 – Natural Bri – Review
October 27 – Girl with Book Lungs – Review
October 28 – A Fold in the Spine – Review
October 29 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – Review
October 30 – OmnimysteryNews – Guest Post

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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.”