Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Literary Escapes Reviews 2017 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – Margaritas, Mayhem & Murder – Andi Anna Jones Mystery by Mary Cunningham – Great Escapes Book Tour

Margaritas, Mayhem & Murder – Andi Anna Jones Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Mexico
Imajin Qwickies (November 30, 2017)
Paperback: 188 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1772233452
Kindle ASIN: B076N6KBM3

 

 

Andi’s step-mother is a real piece of work!

But is Ruby a murderer?

Andi Anna Jones, so-so travel agent/amateur sleuth, puts aside her resentment of her father’s widow and books a 60th birthday cruise to Cancun for Ruby and three friends. Never does Andi imagine the cruise will lead to the murder of a has-been lounge singer—or that Ruby will be the main suspect.

Flirting with more than danger after arriving in Mexico, Andi connects with the charming local sheriff, Manual Rodriquez. After an embarrassing night involving the sheriff, too many margaritas, and a Mariachi band, a chance to check out an eyewitness to the murder leads her to Las Vegas.

In Vegas, a mysterious meeting in the Bodies Exhibition, a body preserving in the prep-room, and an evasive owner of a dance studio, give Andi clues to help Ruby. But when Andi is mercilessly drugged and locked in a storage room, she realizes dear old step-mom isn’t the only one in jeopardy.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Imajin Qwickies brings us the first Andi Anna Jones mystery. A quick mystery that packs a punch.

Travel agent Andi Anna Jones has sent her stepmother, Ruby, on a cruise for her 60th birthday hoping for a few quiet days for herself. Instead, she receives a middle of the night phone call telling her the woman is in jail held on suspicion of murder. Andi Anna thinks for a moment of just going back to sleep and letting Ruby fend for herself, but then she remembers her father and books a flight to Cancun. The eye candy, I mean sheriff, that meets her at the airport almost makes her forget what she is there for and a few margaritas leave her wondering what kind of evening the two of them shared. But, getting back to getting her stepmom out of jail, she calls a lawyer and starts her own investigation that puts her on another plane to Vegas. If she survives the trip she just may find the real killer.

A lot happens within the 188 pages. Plenty of action and drama and a fair bit of romance. With the “qwickie” format the story developed quickly and for me, everything happened a bit too fast. The romance between sheriff Manual Rodriquez and Andi was truly “love at first sight”. The mystery has Andi in Cancun, then at the cruise ship, then in Las Vegas. The girl hardly had time to catch her breath. Aside from the rushed pace, this was a good mystery. There were twists and turns and Andi did uncover more suspects. The motive was surprising and made the ending very exciting.

I did enjoy these characters and do want to get to know them better. Ruby is quite a woman, she is enjoying life and driving Andi crazy. Andi also has an assistant at her travel agency and I would like to get to know her better too. She seems to be the brains behind that business.

I had vacationed in Cancun several years ago and I would have liked to spend more time there will Andi. Hopefully, she will be returning there in a future story.

This was a fun, fast read and an enjoyable getaway.

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Author, Mary Cunningham, grew on the northern side of the Ohio River in Corydon, Indiana. Her first memories are of her dad’s original bedtime stories that no doubt inspired her imagination and love of a well-spun “yarn”.

Childhood experiences, and a recurring dream about a mysterious attic, inspired characters, Cynthia and Augusta Lee, for her award-winning middle-grade series, Cynthia’s Attic.

Through the author’s horrifying stint as a travel agent, protagonist, Andi Anna Jones, travel agent/amateur sleuth, sprang to life. This series gives extra meaning to the phrase, “Write what you know.”

Cunningham is a member of The Georgia Reading Association, and the Carrollton Writers Guild.

When she gives her fingers a break from the keyboard, she enjoys golf, swimming and exploring the mountains of West Georgia where she makes her home with her husband. Together they’ve raised three creative children, have 2 granddaughters, a grandson, a great grandson, and an adopted, four-legged, furry daughter, Lucy.

Margaritas, Mayhem, & Murder: Andi Anna Jones Mystery #1 will be released NOV 30, 2017 by Imajin Books. Book # 2 is in process.

Author Links:
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Purchase Links –

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Praise for Margaritas, Mayhem & Murder – Andi Anna Jones Mystery
by Mary Cunningham

. . . an enjoyable escape read and sets things up for potential continuation.
~Laura’s Interests

. . . a comical investigation that introduces us to some crazy characters that really keep the story flowing.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Andi is a charming and delightful character even though she isn’t such a great sleuth or travel agent.
~My Reading Journeys

TOUR PARTICIPANTS– Please visit all the stops!

November 26 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
November 26 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT
November 27 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
November 27 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Reviews 2017

#Review / #Giveaway – The Plot Is Murder (Mystery Bookshop) by V.M. Burns @KensingtonBooks

The Plot Is Murder (Mystery Bookshop)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Michigan
Kensington (November 28, 2017)
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496711816
Kindle ASIN: B06XFBYLHC

 

 

The small town of North Harbor on the shores of Lake Michigan is about to have a new mystery bookstore. But before the first customer can browse its shelves, the store’s owner is suspected of her own murder plot . . . 
 
Samantha Washington has dreamed of owning her own mystery bookstore for as long as she can remember. And as she prepares for the store’s grand opening, she’s also realizing another dream—penning a cozy mystery set in England between the wars. While Samantha hires employees and fills the shelves with the latest mysteries, quick-witted Lady Penelope Marsh, long-overshadowed by her beautiful sister Daphne, refuses to lose the besotted Victor Carlston to her sibling’s charms. When one of Daphne’s suitors is murdered in a maze, Penelope steps in to solve the labyrinthine puzzle and win Victor.

But as Samantha indulges her imagination, the unimaginable happens in real life. A shady realtor turns up dead in her backyard, and the police suspect her—after all, the owner of a mystery bookstore might know a thing or two about murder. Aided by her feisty grandmother and an enthusiastic ensemble of colorful retirees, Samantha is determined to close the case before she opens her store. But will she live to conclude her own story when the killer has a revised ending in mind for her?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Who doesn’t love a mystery within a mystery?

Samantha Washington has lost her husband and she is a little apprehensive about following her dreams on her own. She has purchased an old warehouse and turned it not only into her home but the lower level is now her mystery bookstore. That was her first dream, the second is to become a cozy mystery author. She not sure if she will let anyone read it, but she has started a story set in England about two sisters, their suitors, and a murder. She can escape into her writing when the real world gets to be a little too much. That’s exactly what happens when her realtor is found dead in her backyard. She had hoped the only murders she would uncover would be within the pages of the books on her shelves or those she wrote about in her own mysteries. Now the police believe she killed someone in real life, especially after reading her manuscript. She now needs to solve both a fictional murder and a real murder? If she doesn’t, all her dreams could go up in smoke.

I really like Samantha. She is courageous enough to follow her dreams while still grieving for her husband. She has a warm and helpful attitude, both in the way she treats her customers but even more so by who she hires to work with her at the bookstore. She has a clever imagination that shines in her writing. And she is a strong woman, who I believe takes after her grandmother. She also has two lovable dogs.

Her grandmother, Nana Joe, moves right in when she fears Samantha may be in danger. She is a spunky woman and comes with a group of friends that will have you laughing out loud. Don’t take these Senior Sleuths for granted.  They have connections all over town and they try to help Samantha figure out who killed the wayward realtor. I wish I had half their energy.

Ms. Burns has created a very eclectic group of characters. I enjoyed getting to know all of them and their dialogue was top notch. She also created an interesting group of characters for Samantha’s cozy mystery.

Both mysteries are very well written and nicely plotted. At first, I was a little unsure about the second story interrupting the first, but it then hit a nice rhythm of back and forth and flowed naturally. I suppose each story could be called a novella by their length, but neither felt rushed or like anything was missing. I hope they both become long-running series.

Both the setting in Michigan and England were well presented. From the floor to the ceiling in the Market Street Mysteries Bookstore to the gardens outside Marsh estate, all were easily envisioned in my mind.

This is V.M. Burns first cozy mystery and she is off to a fantastic start. It is hard enough to write one story full of twists and turns but she gives us two. I want to get to know all these characters better and am excited to see what kind of trouble they get into next. Read Herring Hunt will be released April 24, 2018.

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

V.M. Burns was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana. She currently resides in Tennessee with her two poodles, Coco and Cash. Valerie is a member of Mystery Writers of America and a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime. Readers can visit her website at vmburns.com.

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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Contest Will End December 14, 2017, at 11:59 PM CST
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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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2017 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Vicki Delany – Author of Hark the Herald Angels Slay #GuestPost / #Review / #Giveaway @BerkleyMystery

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled to have Vicki Delany stop by for a visit today! 

The Fun of Creating a Whole New Town

By Vicki Delany
(Post provided by Publicist)

What power we writers have. We can create whole towns, populate them with only the people we want, we can play with their minds, and think: What’s the worst thing that could happen to this person at this time.

And then do it!

Case in point: my Year Round Christmas Series from Berkley. When I was tossing around the idea of a Christmas-theme-shop book, the first thing I had to consider was if it would be a shop in a nice, typical town. Or in a town totally dedicated to Christmas.

It didn’t take long to decide on the latter, and Rudolph, New York was born. In Rudolph, they love Christmas so much they celebrate it all year round.

Now, I had my town, so I had to fill it with something.  Mrs. Claus’s Treasures sells everything you need for decorating your home, as well as toys and jewelry, and many of the goods are locally made.  Victoria’s Bake Shoppe is famous for its gingerbread.  There’s Candy Cane Sweets, the North Pole Ice Cream Parlour, The Elves Lunchbox, Cranberries Coffee Bar, Touch of Holly Restaurant, The Yuletide Inn, the Carolers Motel. The possibilities are endless.  (Looking at this list it seems as though the residents and visitors to Rudolph like to eat a lot.)

Then we need people.  Merry Wilkinson is the owner of Mrs. Claus’s Treasures.  Merry’s father, Noel, is the town’s, Santa Claus. Merry knows her dad isn’t really Santa, but sometimes she does wonder how he knows what people want before they so much as say so.  Merry’s best friend, Vicky, owns the bakery.

The fondest wish of the residents of Rudolph is to be known officially as America’s Christmas Town. But they have tough competition from the likes of Snowflake, Arizona or North Pole, Alaska.  In the first book of the series, Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen, they’re delighted when a reporter from an international travel magazine arrives to do a feature he is going to title “America’s Christmas Town”.

Delight changes to something else when the reporter dies from eating a poisoned gingerbread cookie baked at Victoria’s Bake Shoppe. And rivals from a nearby town begin to whisper the worst: Christmas Town or Horrorville?

Can Merry Wilkinson and the residents of Rudolph solve the murder and save the reputation of their town as the place to find that real Christmas magic?

In the third book, Hark the Herald Angels Slay, it’s July and time for Santa’s annual vacation at the lake, and the town organizes a boat parade to greet him. But Merry Wilkinson, playing Mrs. Claus, has forgotten the basket of candy canes at the shop and hurries back to get them. Where she finds that someone has used a Christmas tree decoration with evil intent.

I’ve had great fun creating Rudolph and it’s inhabitants, and I hope you enjoy reading about their adventures.

~Vicki

Thank you so much for being my guest today, Vicki! 

 

 


Hark the Herald Angels Slay (A Year-Round Christmas Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New York
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (November 28, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425280829
Kindle ASIN: B06XFFNS2M

 

The town of Rudolph, New York, has the Christmas spirit all year long—but when homicide heats up a summer holiday, it’s up to shop owner Merry Wilkinson to wrap up the case.

In Rudolph, Christmas in July heralds Santa’s arrival by boat to begin his summer vacation at the lake, and Merry Wilkinson, the owner of Mrs. Claus’s Treasures, is looking forward to a busy weekend. But she’s caught off guard when her ex-fiancé, Max Folger, unexpectedly arrives with a team from a lifestyle magazine wanting to do a feature on the July festivities.

It’s clear that Max’s visit has less to do with business and more to do with winning back Merry’s heart. Merry has too much on her plate to deal with an old flame, but when Max is found strangled to death in Mrs. Claus’s Treasures, she must find out who wanted him dead—and stop a killer from ruining the summer holiday cheer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I love this series sooooo much!

This time Santa is on his summer holiday at the beach in Rudolph. It’s Christmas in July and the town celebrates it up big. A magazine has even sent a crew to cover the event, the publication Merry used to work for, meaning her ex Max Folger is in Rudolph. She quickly sees he is there to try to win her back and using the promotion of the celebration to do it. When his current fiancé arrives in Rudolph she is not happy. Her mind should be on finalizing their wedding plans not him on a date with Merry.

Merry has too much on her plate to worry about the sparing couple. Santa is due to arrive by boat soon and she is his Mrs.Claus. She never expected the scene she found back at Mrs. Claus’s Treasures after the parade. Max dead and her assistant missing. The last thing Rudolph needs is another murder! Could Jackie have killed Max and gone into hiding? Things will not be merry until the killer is caught.

Rudolph is full of Christmas spirit in December, in July, and all the other months of the year too. It is also the perfect setting for this cozy mystery series. The author takes us on a real journey around town with her words. There may not be any snow this time but the town is decked out in all it’s holiday trimmings. Just stepping into Mrs. Claus’s Treasures is so much fun. I enjoy the way Merry’s dad, Noel, rearranges the stock every time he comes into the store. I had a vivid picture in my mind as he moves the table settings from a focal point in the store to showcase more Christmas ornaments instead. Merry tries to get him to leave things alone but lets him do whatever he wants. He is Santa after all.

As you can see the setting feeds right in me telling you about these extraordinary characters. The relationship Merry has with her father is absolutely joyous, and they both know how to handle her mother. Jackie is unique in that she is so good with the customers but she has what I would call a strained relationship with her boss, Merry. Woodworker Alan Anderson is back too, working as Santa’s elf and trying to find time to actually go on a real date with Merry. All the characters we meet in Rudolph are entertaining but some are not entirely likable. The crew from the magazine brings all the drama to the story. It starts and ends with them.

I think the mystery in this story was the best one in this series. A murder and a missing person and a bunch of out of towners that had their own agendas. It was complex and Merry seemed to be drawn right into it no matter how hard she tried to leave it to the police. The pace of the story had a slow build that leads to a surprising conclusion that did make sense but the actual killer was never on my radar.

This is a fabulous series, book 1, Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen, was a perfect escape, and book 2, We Wish You a Murderous Christmas, made my Best Reads List in 2016, This one will find a place on my Best Rests of 2017. For maximum enjoyment, I suggest to start at the beginning, but if you are feeling ready for some warmer temps this Christmas season, escape to Christmas in July in Rudolph. It will warm you right up!

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most varied and prolific crime writers. Most recently, she is the author of the Year Round Christmas cozy mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime and (writing under the pen name of Eva Gates) the Lighthouse Library mysteries also from Berkley and the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mysteries for Crooked Lane Books. Find out more about Vicki Delany on her webpage here.

 

From Crooked Lane Books
Written as Eva Gates

GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the publisher 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.
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Contest Will End December 13, 2017, at 11:59 PM CST
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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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaway Winners - Now Appear In The Sidebar Reviews 2017

#Review / #Giveaway – Not a Creature Was Purring (A Paws & Claws Mystery) by Krista Davis @BerkleyMystery


Not a Creature Was Purring
(A Paws & Claws Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Virginia
Release Date – November 7, 2017
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1101988589
Kindle ASIN: B06W2J8BCT

 

 

Inn owner Holly Miller finds it ruff staying cheerful over the holidays when the dead body of a beloved businessman turns up in the pet-friendly town of Wagtail, Virginia.
 
Inspired by her German heritage, Holly’s grandmother has arranged for Wagtail to have a Christkindl Market packed with goodies and decorations for the howliday tourists. But Holly’s mood takes an unseasonable turn when she learns that her old flame and childhood friend Holmes Richardson has brought his fiancée home—and she’ll be staying at the Sugar Maple Inn…

A love triangle becomes the last thing on Holly’s mind when her Jack Russell Trixie’s nose for trouble leads her to the corpse of a pet clothing tycoon. Now Holly and her dedicated detectives—Trixie and Twinkletoes the cat—must sniff out the killer to keep Christmas from going to the dogs…

Delicious recipes for owners and pets included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Welcome to Wagtail, Virginia! The perfect escape for dogs, cats, and their persons! That is until one of the Sugar Maple Inn’s guests ends up dead.

The town is celebrating the holidays with a Christkindl Market. Food and gifts can be found in several kiosks around the green. The homes are all decorated too. Some with the usual holiday fare but there is one who has taken the decorations to new heights, including some holiday music.

Christmas has also brought a pet clothing business owner to the inn with his whole family. This also brings Holmes Richardson to town with his fiancée. Holly still has feelings for Holmes but she knows she has to remember the woman is a guest at the inn, so she tries to put a smile on her face and attend to the woman’s needs, no matter how outlandish they are.

To say that the Thackleberry family tree is full of crazy may be putting it mildly. They are a couple of good souls in the bunch but most feel quite entitled due to the family’s wealth. Holmes’ bride to be is by far the worse. When their patriarch is killed it is easy to put them all high on the suspect list.

All my favorite characters have returned including Gingersnap, Twinkletoes, and Trixie. Krista Davis does such a great job of character development, pet or person. They come alive in these pages. The series characters continue to evolve and the guest characters fit into the mix so well. They are all lifelike and easy to like or dislike as the case may be.

Visiting Wagtail at Christmas would be spectacular. They do know how to throw a holiday, even with a dead body. The town tries to not let a murder investigation slow them down. The author has described every setting in such detail that is very easy to imagine you are there.

The plot weaves together a fantastic mystery and an interesting romantic triangle. There are plenty of suspects with a motive that singling out one is very difficult. It was fun chasing down the clues in a little winter wonderland. Holly treads lightly into Holmes relationship with Norma Jean. As his friend, she wants him to be happy, as a woman falling in love with him she wants him to be with her.

If I had a tail it would be wagging. This is an excellent mystery and perfect to curl up with on those wintery, blustery days ahead.

If you are new to the series, start at the beginning and enjoy. The book/series would also make a great gift for the pet-loving reader on your list.

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author 

New York Times Bestselling author Krista Davis writes the Paws and Claws Mysteries set on fictional Wagtail Mountain, a resort where people vacation with their pets. Her 4th Paws and Claws Mystery is MISSION IMPAWSIBLE, which releases on February 7th. Krista also writes the Domestic Diva Mysteries. 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.

Webpage  Facebook   Pinterest

Mystery Lovers Kitchen    Twitter    Killer Characters

Coming May 29, 2018

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.
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If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
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Contest Will End December 12, 2017, 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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Reviews 2017 Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting

#FlashbackFriday – Dead Loudmouth (A Loon Lake Mystery) by Victoria Houston – #Review / #Giveaway

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

I am really trying to get caught up on this series.


Dead Loudmouth (A Loon Lake Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
16th in the Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Gallery Books (June 1, 2016)
Paperback: 206 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1440568442
Kindle ASIN: B01ENYMB64

 

 

It’s a bright summer morning in Loon Lake when Police Chief Lewellyn Ferris is called to the scene of a horrific accident that occurred in the dead of night at a local gentleman’s club. The club is owned by one of the victims, a member of the private Deer Creek Fishing and Hunting Preserve and the scion of a wealthy Wisconsin family. When the county coroner is unavailable due to a car accident, Chief Ferris deputizes her close friend and fellow fly-fisherman, retired dentist “Doc” Osborne, to step in.

Osborne’s discovery of mysterious footprints confirms Chief Ferris’s suspicions: this is no accident; it’s murder. Leaning on Doc Osborne for his forensic and interrogation skills, Lew also hopes to enlist the help of Ray Pradt, fishing guide and expert tracker. But Ray’s time is limited as he is coaching the University of Wisconsin’s fishing team in a muskie fishing tournament. Things get complicated when Doc Osborne’s granddaughter disappears on the first day of the tournament. Sunny June days turn dark as a desperate search ensues.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have enjoyed this series from the beginning.

This time Police Chief Lewellyn Ferris is called to a gentleman’s club for two dead bodies. With the regular coroner is involved in a car accident on the way to the scene, Lew calls in “Doc” Osborne to look over the situation to determine if it was a freak accident or murder that left two people dead. She also calls in expert tracker, Ray Pradt, to advise on the case. Ray only has about an hour to scan the scene as he is coaching a team from the University of Wisconsin in a fishing tournament. He has even enlisted “Doc”‘s 11 year-old granddaughter to help with the tackle and food.

Lew is busy investigating the two deaths when she gets a frantic call that “Doc”‘s granddaughter is missing and so is one of Ray’s kayaks. Never a dull moment in Loon Lake which leaves very little time for fly fishing.

Ms. Houston’s love for fishing and the great outdoors again sings throughout story. The details unfold effortlessly and bring the rivers and forests to life. It would be so relaxing and calm if it wasn’t for those darn dead people. 🙂 She described the scene in the gentleman’s club as well, painting a picture of death I don’t think I will soon forget. A truly crazy way to die.

The main characters have become like friends over the series. For some reason I had in my head that Ray was older but that is neither here nor there. The are wonderfully real with every day issues in addition to the main plot. I liked getting to know Mason, Dr. Osborne’s granddaughter and that at just 11 years old she loves to fish with her grandpa, just like I did when I was that age. It was so easy to picture her in those waders. She has a harrowing experience that could change the way she feels but with the family she has to support her she seems to be alright.

The plot was crisp, with many suspects, due to some illegal shenanigans happening at the club. I was kept guessing right up until the end. Time passes quickly and so does the turning of the pages. It clearly portrays a small town that needs to call in a crime lab from a larger town to help them work the case. Of course the guy loves to fly fish so he is happy to help them out.

Another terrific escape from this author, just a few actual hours from home.

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

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

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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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This book was from my private collection.

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2017 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Sheila Connolly – Author of A Late Frost (An Orchard Mystery) – #GuestPost / #Review / #Giveaway @BerkleyMystery

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I love this series and am so excited to have Sheila drop by for a visit today!

A Late Frost
(Orchard Mystery #11, Berkley)
(Guest post provided by publicist)

It is truly surprising how many murders seem to take place in small towns, as Meg Corey finds out when she moves to rural western Massachusetts. Downsized out of her Boston banking job, she thinks she’s going to renovate and sell a colonial house her mother inherited, then get back to her “real” life as a financial analyst.

A couple of years later she finds herself married to neighbor Seth Chapin and managing her own orchard. And getting involved in too many murder investigations.

In A Late Frost, it’s winter in Granford, and there’s not much to do in the orchard. Monica Whitman has recently retired to town with her husband, and she’s eager to get involved in her new community, so she suggests that the town create a new festival called Winterfare in the slow season. The event is everything she had hoped, but unfortunately she doesn’t live long enough to enjoy her success: she dies that night. Was it a suspicious death, or simply bad luck?

Meg hardly knew the woman, but when police find no obvious cause for Monica’s death, suspicions flare. The only way Meg can find to help is to learn more about Monica and her past from Monica’s husband, and the results are surprising.

~Sheila

Thank you Sheila for visiting today!


A Late Frost (An Orchard Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
11th in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (November 7, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425275832
Kindle ASIN: B06WGNPM43

 

 

The usually quiet town of Granford, Massachusetts, is even drowsier during the colder months. But this year it’s in for a jolt when Monica Whitman moves into town. She’s a dynamo who wants to make friends fast in her new home, and she throws herself into community activities. Meg Corey, now Chapin after her marriage to Seth Chapin, is intrigued by the new arrival, who has already sold the town board on a new, fun way to bring in visitors during the off-season: WinterFare, which will feature local foods (such as Meg’s apples) and crafts, as well as entertainment.

Tragically, Monica falls ill and dies after the event in what looks like a case of food poisoning. When all the food served at WinterFare has been tested, including Meg’s apples, it becomes clear that there’s a more sinister explanation to the older woman’s sudden demise.

Meg’s investigation uncovers a bushel of potential suspects, one of whom is rotten to the core.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Winter in Granford leaves Meg Corey with a lot of time on her hands. Seth doesn’t have a major job at the moment either.  You would be able to think these newlyweds would be able to enjoy an extended honeymoon, especially after all the chaos they went through with her parents and the dead handyman. Instead a new resident, Monica Whitman, has moved to Granford and has a fun idea to bring tourists to town during the colder months, WinterFare. With Seth on the town council, he plays a major role and Meg has a booth selling apples. This first year it is more about bringing the community together. But it may be the last year because Monica is rushed to the hospital and later dies. It looks like a case of food poisoning, meaning Meg could be a suspect. Anyone who sold/served food at the event is in the same boat. Meg is working closely with Art Preston, the chief of police, to pare down the list and try to figure out who killed this enthusiastic newcomer.

Sheila Connolly brings almost all the old characters back. Bree has taken a new job in Australia, so Meg needs to hire a new manager. Her mentor, Christopher has someone he thinks is perfect for the job. At their first meeting, Meg isn’t too sure. Larry is not a people person, but he knows his apples. Speaking of a people person, Monica Whitman is one, she talks a mile a minute, and has all sorts of ideas but she doesn’t live long enough for us to really get to know her better. After her death we meet her husband, Douglas, a quiet man with monumental challenges. These new characters are as well written as the regulars.

I really enjoy the normal daily life of Seth and Meg. Their relationship is so comfortable. Figuring out about how to handle taxes now that they are married and both with successful businesses. Deciding what to do with Seth’s family home now that he has moved in with Meg. Children in the future. . . maybe? I enjoyed the friendship that they have with Art. He wasn’t in charge of the investigation but he trusted their thoughts and theories, even going beyond his authority to get answers.

The mystery was top-notch and could have played out several ways. Ms. Connolly shocked me with the ending. It made perfect sense but my thinking was never drawn to the person for one instant.

This is a marvelous mystery series. I have enjoyed every visit to Granford and can’t wait to return. This next apple season is going to be very interesting.

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

About the Author

Sheila Connolly, Anthony and Agatha Award–nominated and New York Times bestselling author, writes mystery series set in Philadelphia (the Museum Mysteries), rural Massachusetts (the Orchard Mysteries), and Ireland (the County Cork Mysteries), as well as a paranormal romance series (the Relatively Dead series). She will introduce a new Victorian Village series set in Maryland in 2018. In addition, her short stories have appeared in multiple anthologies. Formerly a professional genealogist, she lives in Massachusetts, surrounded by many, many departed ancestors, with her husband and three cats, and owns a cottage in West Cork in Ireland, where her father’s family came from.

Author Links

Website Facebook Twitter

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 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.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

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5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End December 6, 2017 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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes Reviews 2017 Wisconsin Author You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – A Fatal Collection (A Keepsake Cove Mystery) by Mary Ellen Hughes – Great Escapes Book Tour @midnightinkbook

A Fatal Collection (A Keepsake Cove Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Maryland
Midnight Ink (November 8, 2017)
Paperback: 264 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738752198
E-Book ASIN: B01MR8L4IS

 

 

Callie Reed makes a long overdue visit to her aunt Melodie, who lives in a fairy-tale cottage in quaint Keepsake Cove, home to a bevy of unique collectible shops on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Just as they’re beginning to reconnect, Callie discovers her aunt’s body on the floor of her music box shop. Grief-stricken, Callie finds she can’t accept Melodie’s death being called accidental. How could her strong and healthy aunt take such a fatal fall? And why was she there in the middle of the night?

As Callie searches for the truth, signs seem to come from her late aunt through a favorite music box, urging Callie on. Or are they warnings? If Callie isn’t careful, she could meet a similar deadly fate amid Melodie’s collection.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This is an excellent start to what I hope will be a long-running series.

The story takes place in Keepsake Cove on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Callie Reed’s Aunt Melodie owns a music box shop and a cute little cottage there. Callie arrives for a short visit that turns into so much more after her aunt suffers a tragic fall. Melodie’s death is ruled accidental, but something just seems off. Her aunt was healthy and vital. She knew the layout of her store even in the dark, and why was she there in the middle of the night? Driven by a music box that mysteriously plays without being wound and just a need to find the truth, Callie keeps her eyes and ears open, asks some careful questions, and tries to not end up joining her aunt in the great beyond, before she can truly be at home in Keepsake Cove.

What an amazing setting for a story/series. Mary Ellen Hughes creates mind-blowing imagery with her words. Each shop and cottage, the paths between, the music boxes and other keepsakes, come alive through her words. She takes us there and immerses the reader in everything that is happening.

The characters come alive too. They already have great depth. I feel we will get to know them even better as the series continues.  I do wish Callie would have had more time with her aunt, but we know that she was a genuine and caring person with many friends that now will take Callie under their wing. All the shopkeepers are unique in personality and their wares. A tight-knit community, most working to continue on the cove’s success. You always have a few dust-ups, maybe even murder, in a place like this, that keep life interesting.

The plot of the story is unique in that there are no police scurrying around trying to catch a killer. They believe is was a terrible accident. Callie does investigate quietly and has several suspects, but she keeps them to herself, until the exciting climax where all is revealed. I found this to be delightful and refreshing.

As a collector myself you could take me away to Keepsake Cove any day of the week. This visit ended much too soon. They are still shops to explore and people to meet. You just know Callie’s going to get herself into something. I am excited about this series to continue. Mary Ellen, my virtual bags are packed and I am ready to escape to the cove whenever you are. Please don’t make me wait too long.

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


About The Author

Mary Ellen Hughes is the bestselling author of the Pickled and Preserved Mysteries (Penguin), the Craft Corner Mysteries, and the Maggie Olenski Mysteries, along with several short stories. A Fatal Collection is her debut with Midnight Ink. A Wisconsin native, she has lived most of her adult life in Maryland, where she’s set many of her stories. Visit her at www.MaryEllenHughes.com.

Author Links
Facebook – Pinterest – Twitter

 



Praise for A Fatal Collection (A Keepsake Cove Mystery)
by Mary Ellen Hughes

This one has so many elements that I love including a community of shop keepers with specialty items, making them a small town to themselves. The shops have personalities as do the shopkeepers.
~Laura’s Interests

Keepsakes can have great emotional value and connection to an event or person. And some collectors are downright… obsessed! A Fatal Collection is downright enjoyable and holds great promise for the future.
~Back Porchervations

The mystery solving has a different route to it with no police involved at all which was a refreshing change. I highly recommend this to fans of cozy mysteries.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

This first book in the Keepsake Cove mystery series is off to a promising start. This was my first book by this author and I enjoyed her writing style.
~Bookworm Cafe

A Fatal Collection is my kind of comfortable cozy mystery. . .
~The Power of Words

A FATAL COLLECTION will be a keepsake of mine for a very long time to come!
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews

“A Fatal Collection” was enjoyable and engaging with a wonderful setting and cast of characters.
~Bea’s Book Nook

Overall, Callie and Keepsake Cove are going to become instant hits with cozy readers. . . It was a delight to read this book.
~Bibliophile Reviews

I was immediately enchanted with the town of Keepsake Cove and the inhabitants. I loved all of the specialty shops with their cutesy names and their even cuter shop owners.
~The Montana Bookaholic

This was a delightful cozy that was really enhanced by how charming the community of Keepsake Cove was.
~That’s What She’s Reading

I’m totally in love with the characters from Keepsake Cove. They’re well-rounded, developed characters that seem to have a complexity that we barely scratched the surface of in this book.
~Valerie’s Musings

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Tour Participants

November 8 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
November 8 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
November 9 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW
November 9 – Books,Dreams, Life – SPOTLIGHT
November 10 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
November 10 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
November 11 – A Blue Million Books  – GUEST POST
November 11 – Bookworm Cafe – REVIEW
November 12 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
November 12 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
November 13 – Bea’s Book Nook – REVIEW
November 13 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW
November 14 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 15 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 15 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
November 16 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW  
November 16 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW
November 17 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW
November 17 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
November 17 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, INTERVIEW – REVIEW COMING SOON
November 18 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
November 18 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT
November 19 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
November 20 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
November 20 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 21 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
November 21 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Posted in Cloak and Dagger Challenge Giveaways Reviews 2017 Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – The Mayor’s Son by Susan L. Pare’

The Mayor’s Son
Mystery/Crime/Suspense
Setting – Wisconsin
Self Published (August 29, 2017)
Paperback: 254 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0996619578
Kindle ASIN: B0758JN3FT

 

 

 

It’s summer time, 1957. Early on a Sunday morning, a young woman is found dead in the street. She’s been murdered and thrown away like a sack of garbage. Hours later, a second woman is pulled out of the Crawfish River, another victim of a brutal killing.

Chief Augie Austin, Columbus’ top cop, suspects that he may be dealing with a serial killer. But, when the clues send him in two different directions, he realizes that is dealing with two murderers, not one.

Austin’s peaceful world is turned upside down, as he realizes that Columbus is not the unspoiled, perfect little town he thought it was. As he interviews witnesses and friends of the deceased, he finds himself up against one road block after another. People aren’t talking and he wants to know why.

As the evidence builds, Austin recognizes that it is pointing to one of his own officers. Already suspicious that this cop has been bending the rules for personal gain, Austin realizes that he may have a murderer patrolling his streets.

Knowing he must tread carefully, Austin sets out to build a rock solid case against Officer Drollstrom – the Mayor’s son.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A mystery set in your small home town can be unnerving. This story takes place almost exactly 4 years before I was born. With all the real places, businesses, streets, homes and character names similar to their real ones or descriptions clear enough to recognize who they were based on had me thinking parts of the story could come from actual events, I mean I wasn’t around . . . but the real mayor’s son at the time has assured everyone it is purely fiction.

When a young woman is found dead near the town’s only set of stop and go lights “the four corners” and a second woman is pulled from the river Police Chief Augie Austin fears Columbus may have a serial killer. Trying to find a link between the women is tough because no one will answer his questions. Like him, most residents of this small Columbia County town can’t believe this happened in their close knit community. The investigation starts to move forward when the results on evidence from the crime lab start to come in and they are pointing to one of his own officers. The guy is lazy as they come and doesn’t respect Austin’s authority, but a murderer. . .

This is my first book by this author and clearly it will not be the last. She knows how to set a scene and has created unique characters. I love that in 1957 she has a capable and well trained woman on the police force. All the characters are realistic and their dialogues are believable. Her descriptions make it so easy to picture everything clearly even if you have never set foot in the city.

Murder, prostitution, and small town politics, all come together in a suspenseful mystery with amazing twists and an ending you will never see coming. There is also a fair amount of humor woven throughout the story.

I love my home town.  Taking a step back in time was a pleasure. From the city hall, to Earl’s Cafe (where both my mother and sister worked), to the Fireman’s Tavern, the Stokely canning factory, the popcorn wagon, the Crawfish River and more brought back so many memories. I grew up there and still don’t live too far away. My dad was a milkman, a school bus driver and later the Fire Chief. My mom worked not only at Earl’s Cafe but at the garment factory and later owned a tavern with my dad. Heck, I was runner up to Miss Columbus in 1979. Life there wasn’t perfect but I wouldn’t change a thing.

I admire the author’s imagination and the drama she brought to life in her book. The characters are well crafted and the story really flowed well. I look forward to reading another of her books that hopefully don’t hit quite so close to home 🙂

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out about Susan and her webpage here.

More Books by Susan Pare’


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy.
Book will be sent directly from Amazon
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.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

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Contest Will End December 1, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
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Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Photo of a painting by Columbus resident Susan Stare

*This book was from my private collection.

Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Reviews 2017 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – Cremains of the Day (A Tallie Graver Mystery) by Misty Simon @KensingtonBooks


Cremains of the Day (A Tallie Graver Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Kensington (October 31, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 293 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496712219
Kindle ASIN: B01N4VUGWR

 

 

There’s no reverse on the hearse . . .

For Tallulah Graver, marrying wealthy Waldo Phillips seemed like the best way out of the family business, the Graver Funeral Home. But when her marriage falls apart and Tallie is left with next to nothing, she turns to cleaning houses to make ends meet. As humbling as it is to tidy the mansions of the snobby socialites she used to call friends, at least she doesn’t have to be around dead bodies. Until . . .

She discovers one of her employers lying in a closet with a knife sticking out of her chest. This unpleasant shock seems to be part of a web of weird experiences: Tallie’s friend Gina’s shop is broken into, her ex is stun-gunned where it hurts the most, and now she’s receiving flowers from the dead woman. Granted the deliveryman is handsome, but seriously, that’s enough to cast a pall over anyone’s day. Now Tallie needs to dig deep to clean up this mess—before she finds herself in a grave situation.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The Graver family business is funerals, how appropriate, but Tallulah Graver wanted out so she married Waldo Phillips III. While staying married to him kept her in a nice lifestyle and away from dead people she could stand Waldo one more minute and left him with almost everything and moved into the apartment over her family’s funeral home. To survive on her own she works there part time and now cleans houses like the one she used to live in. That is until she finds one of her clients stabbed to death. Add to that she finds her ex tasered behind her friend Gina’s shop and there is a flower delivery man following her everywhere. Tallie has not had a good week. The bumbling police have her at the top of their suspect list for both Waldo’s attack and the murder. The only way to prove them wrong is sweep the clues together herself and hand them to the police on a silver platter or in an open casket, whichever works best.

Misty Simon has given readers a great mystery to start off this series. Tallulah Graver (Tallie) is a strong protagonist. She does her best to shake off her old life and get on with her new one. How she ever stayed with that jerk of a husband as long as she did is beyond me. He deserved to be tasered or worse. His actions put Tallie in a very precarious situation. A first class jackass! Yes, there is a bit of course language in the book and considering where Waldo was tasered an adult theme. It didn’t bother me a bit because the language fits the situations and the other added some timeless humor.

The primary and secondary characters were well written and there is plenty of room for growth in the main characters. The dialogue was realistic and engaging. The flower delivery man was such a clever twist to the story and I will not say more because I do not want to ruin the story for you. I really liked it.

The book sets a nice pace and the mystery unfolds very nicely with some exciting twists. There were several suspects and some very interesting discoveries. I was very entertained by the way it all played out.

For the first book in the series I was very impressed. I could easily picture the funeral home and Tallie’s apartment as well as the mansion where the murder took place. I hope to see more development in the setting, getting to know the town and more of its residents better in future installments. The ending left me very happy and looking forward to the next book in the series. Grounds of Remorse is “coming soon” according to the final page of my e-copy.

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Laughter and Love are two main components of any story I write. Laughter really is the best medicine and my heroines always figure that out at some point, though perhaps some later than others. I live in Central Pennsylvania with my family and two rambunctious dogs in a house that is about to celebrate its two hundredth birthday. You can find Misty Simon on Facebook here.

 


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.
Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End November 30, 2017 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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2017 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Wendy Tyson – Author of Seeds of Revenge – #GuestPost / #Review / #Giveaway

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am excited to have Wendy Tyson here to visit today!
Her latest book Seeds of Revenge was released yesterday!

Escape with Dollycas

By Wendy Tyson

 

One of my earliest memories as a child involved a trip to the Pennsylvania countryside. I was about three or four years old, and my parents took me and my brother to visit friends in the mountains. We drove to their farmhouse in the evening, and when we arrived it was late. I remember a collage of sensations: cold air against my skin, an endless sky, a cozy bedroom, the soft fur of their cat, and a warm bed with a thick quilt and coverlet. I can’t tell you much else about that visit beyond how it made me feel, but for some reason the experience stayed with me.

It was only recently that I realized I’d recreated some of that feeling in our new home, a chalet in Vermont’s Green Mountains. The house is tiny by today’s standards, but cozy, and the living room looks out on a deck and the mountains beyond. We keep the house cool, but I’ve dressed the beds with heavy quilts—the weight of the blankets is somehow a comfort. At night when I walk the dogs, my senses are assaulted by the scents and sounds of the surrounding woods.

In the spring, the peeper frogs chirp in an amphibian chorus, and coyotes, owls, turkeys, and bullfrogs are often heard in the summer and fall through our open windows. Winter is dead quiet, except for the wind and occasional freezing rain/sleet pelting the metal roof—but the view of the snow carpeting the countryside? Breathtaking. The biggest delight of all may be the night sky. We’re treated to a blanket of stars on clear nights, and sometimes my family and I will spend hours outside, identifying constellations and enjoying the peace.

The house is a favorite place to write. When it’s cold outside (or buggy), I pull the table in front of the window and write on my laptop, but in the summer (once the black flies are gone), I write outside, either on the deck or at a table under a tree in the woods. I prefer a view when I write. Maybe it’s the series I’m working on, but the connection to nature helps me think.

In some way I’ve created a similar retreat with my Greenhouse mysteries—Washington Acres Farm. Megan and her grandmother Bibi—along with two dogs, two goats, a barn cat, and a brood of chickens—live in the Pennsylvania countryside, in an old farmhouse, surrounded by woods. The kitchen is an amalgamation of the kitchens I grew up in, especially those of my grandmothers. It’s not modern or flashy. The cabinets are old, built by Megan’s grandfather in his workshop. There’s no island or high-end appliances. Instead, a beat-up farm table functions as workspace and an eating area. The gas stove is old but reliable, and the double farmhouse sink is often filled with fresh vegetables from the farm waiting to be simmered or stewed or steamed.

The Washington Acres farm kitchen is a place to congregate and talk. Tough discussions are had there. And often it’s the place the pieces of a mystery come together.

Megan, a military widow and former Chicago environmental lawyer, returns to the fictional town of Winsome and her grandmother’s farm when in her early thirties, at the behest of her father, who needed Megan to stay with her grandmother. But as with many homecomings, Megan’s return to Winsome is as much a salve to her own emotional wounds as it is a help to Bibi. Megan finds healing in that kitchen, in the drafty bedrooms, within the walls of the old barn, and along the forest trails.

My mother and I discussed my early childhood memory recently. She was surprised the trip made such an impression. We only stayed at the farmhouse for one night, and by the time we arrived it was late, so she and my father put my baby brother and me to bed. It was cold outside, she said, and the house was drafty and large. She didn’t recall a cat. I slept in a room with a handmade quilt, and the next morning we had pancakes in the big working kitchen.

“You may be transferring some of your experiences from your grandmothers’ houses onto that trip,” my mom suggested. “You always like to spend time with your grandparents.”

Maybe she’s right. Maybe it was the elusive nature of such an early memory that had an indelible effect on me. Or maybe it was reinforced by the trips I would take later in life. Regardless of the why, now that I’m older and have lost so many people who were dear to me, I’m grateful I could recreate that sense of cozy in my Vermont home, and equally grateful to spend time in Washington Acres with Megan and Bibi.

I hope readers enjoy it there, too.

~Wendy

Thanks for visiting Wendy, I love this post! 

Now let me tell you what I think of her new book. It is a Fantastic Escape!


Seeds of Revenge (A Greenhouse Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Henery Press (November 14, 2017)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635112757
Kindle ASIN: B07519T827

 

 

 

It’s time to cuddle up with a holiday whodunit. Smell the crisp pines and baking cranberries as you sip your hot apple cider. It may be the season, but the mood in Winsome is anything but jolly.

Megan Sawyer is determined to farm year-round. So much so that she braves a December snowstorm to pitch her fresh greenhouse greens to Philadelphia chefs.

And then she sees a stranger stranded on the side of the road.

But this woman is no stranger to Winsome. It’s Becca Fox. A love chemist (you read that right). She’s headed to her aunt’s house to sell her love potions at holiday events.

Or so Becca thinks.

Her sneaky aunt only invited Becca home to reunite her with her estranged father. It sounds noble and kind-hearted, until the man ends up dead.

Megan soon finds herself in the middle. She realizes Becca’s not the only one getting iced over. Megan’s own aunt, the famous mystery author, is dragged into the drama. Her novels implicate her and she’s in trouble.

Now it’s personal. Our Megan must follow a cryptic trail of literary clues, all while sifting through the victim’s sordid past. She gets closer to the truth as the murderer gets closer to her.

How’s that for a ho ho ho? Don’t let your fresh apple crisp burn in the oven because you’re lost in this holiday homicide.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The “seeds of revenge” are planted deep within this mystery. Megan Sawyer, being the good person she is rescues a stranded motorist in the middle of a blizzard. She delivers Becca Fox right to her aunt’s door. Becca plans to sell her “love potions” at her aunt’s nursery over the holidays. Things are frosty upon her arrival as she meets her father, the man she holds responsible for her mother’s death, on her aunt’s front porch. Becca is upset about the collusion between the two. Megan finds herself in icy straights when the man is found dead. Not only is Becca a suspect but in a remarkable twist so is her own aunt, the famous mystery author. Megan has no choice but the dig in to the investigation putting herself on the killer’s hit list. It doesn’t matter if she has been naughty or nice, this could be her last Christmas in Winsome.

I have heard of love potions including the famous Love Potion #9, but I had never heard of a Love Chemist. Becca Fox has an interesting little business but she has hasn’t had it easy since her mother died. She believes her father killed her mother and she has not had anything to do with him since. She has a brother but he does not hold the same beliefs about their father. Megan is drawn to her and so was I. Becca is a complicated character and Ms. Tyson has really brought her to life in this story.

Bibi, Megan’s grandmother, reminds me so much of my own grandmother and mother. A hard working woman determined to get to the truth no matter what. She is also one to not hold her tongue. She will tell you her opinions and thoughts on virtually any subject as woman of that generation tends to do. She warms my heart.

I also love Scottish vet, Daniel “Denver” Finn and the direction of his relationship with Megan. It is fun to see this relationship grow.

The pacing of this book is different. I felt the story was unfolding at a comfortable pace, the clues were being uncovered and I was right there with Megan the entire way, engaged and captivated. The ending was a total surprise. Then I looked up and realized I had read the entire book in one sitting and faster than I had read a book in a very long time. Truly is was a fast pace story but not once did anything feel rushed or glossed over. The author delivered a truly fantastic read.  I never once looked for a stopping place or even thought about putting the book down.

The characters are well defined and the mystery was exceptional. A cozy mystery with a bit of an edge and I loved it!! It was a trip to Paradise, a chilly escape in the winter but Paradise nonetheless.

You will want to start this series from the beginning and get to know the characters from the start. I am anxiously awaiting and excited for my next trip to Winsome.

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

wendy

About The Author

Wendy Tyson is an author, lawyer and former therapist whose background has inspired her mysteries and thrillers. Wendy’s latest novel, DYING BRAND, the third Allison Campbell mystery, was released in May 2015. The first Campbell novel, KILLER IMAGE, was named a best mystery for book clubs in 2014 by Examiner.com. Wendy is also the author of The Greenhouse Mystery Series, the first, A MUDDIED MURDER, was released last year, Bitter Harvest was released today. Wendy and her husband are passionate organic gardeners. They live with their three boys and three dogs on a micro-farm just outside of Philadelphia.

 

Author Links

Author website    Facebook     Goodreads 

Twitter: @WendyTyson    Pinterest: Greenhouse Mystery Series


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