Jul 202018
 

On FlashbackFridays 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 so excited to share this book with you, I truly do not know how I got behind on this series.


The Witch and the Dead (Wishcraft Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Berkley (October 4, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1101990139
ISBN-13: 978-1101990131
Kindle ASIN: B01AHKXI2O

When Darcy moved to Salem, Massachusetts, she never expected her life to change as drastically as it did. But within a short time, the Enchanted Village has become her home, its mystical residents have become her family, and As You Wish, the personal concierge business formerly run by her Aunt Ve, has become her calling. Still, the time has come for change—and for Darcy to move out of Aunt Ve’s house.

Darcy’s belongings are stashed in Aunt Ve’s garage, alongside a mess of memories, forgotten possessions, and, to both Ve and Darcy’s horror, a pile of old bones. It turns out they belong to Ve’s long missing second husband. Now Darcy must unpack old secrets to solve a cold case—and make sure her aunt isn’t looking at a spell behind bars.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Darcy is taking a huge step. She is moving out of Aunt Ve’s house. She is moving all the way down the street, honestly just 2 houses down. That makes for an easy move until while getting her stuff out of her aunt’s garage she discovers bones, human bones! Ve knows right away it is husband, the one that disappeared right after they were married. Of course, her aunt becomes the prime suspect. Darcy has been asked by the elder to investigate, which she would have done anyway. She just needs to figure out how to do it! I mean it all happened a long time ago.

I don’t usually read paranormal cozy mysteries, but Heather Blake and the late Joyce Lavene reeled me right into their stories. Ms. Blake’s characters seem like people you would meet anywhere, but they have hidden powers, “crafts” that make them wonderfully unique. Most mortals that visit the Enchanted Village know nothing of the witches secrets. A witch that tells their secret to a mortal would lose their powers. There are “seekers” that try to uncover the mystery of the village. The witches know how to deal with them. But someone is messing with Dark Magic and that may require a higher power to handle.

Heather Blake has written another fantastic sequel for this series. I escaped away to the Enchanted Village and loved traveling around with Darcy as she found that everyone seemed to have a secret they were hiding. This was not an easy case to solve. I also enjoyed the way her relationship with Nick and his daughter moves to a new level. All the familiars are back too!  Pepe and Mrs. P always bring a smile to my face and Archie always catches me with his movie quotes. Is there another familiar in Darcy’s life? You will have to read the book to find out.

Every story in this series is positively enchanting, magical and fun! The characters are unique, the plots flow perfectly, and the setting idyllic. Ms. Blake is a wonderful storyteller. They are best read in order as each story builds from the last, but the author gives you enough backstory for new readers to jump in anywhere.

I really love this series.

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This series has moved to Crooked Lane Books!
Coming August 7, 2018

Also by Heather Blake


I am giving away my review copy!
The 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.

Sign Up for Heather Blake’s newsletter for 5 Bonus Entries.

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Contest Will End August 3, 2018, 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.”

Jul 192018
 

About the Book


Shelved Under Murder: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Virginia
Crooked Lane Books (July 10, 2018)
Hardcover: 300 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683315957
Digital: ASIN: B075QJHPR9

Autumn leaves aren’t the only things falling in the historic Virginia village of Taylorsford—so are some cherished memories, and a few bodies.

October in Taylorsford, Virginia means it’s leaf peeping season, with bright colorful foliage and a delightful fresh crew of tourists attending the annual Heritage Festival which celebrates local history and arts and crafts. Library director Amy Webber, though, is slightly dreading having to spend two days running a yard sale fundraiser for her library. But during these preparations, when she and her assistant Sunny stumble across a dead body, Amy finds a real reason to be worried.

The body belonged to a renowned artist who was murdered with her own pallet knife. A search of the artist’s studio uncovers a cache of forged paintings, and when the sheriff’s chief deputy Brad Tucker realizes Amy is skilled in art history research, she’s recruited to aid the investigation. It doesn’t seem to be an easy task, but when the state’s art expert uncovers a possible connection between Amy’s deceased uncle and the murder case, Amy must champion her Aunt Lydia to clear her late husband’s name.

That’s when another killing shakes the quiet town, and danger sweeps in like an autumn wind. Now, with her swoon-inducing neighbor Richard Muir, Amy must scour their resources to once again close the books on murder.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We are back in Taylorsford just in time for the Heritage Festival. The library is hosting a yard sale fundraiser and a famous local artist has agreed to give some of her work to the sale. When Amy, her assistant Sunny, Richard, now her boyfriend arrive at the artist’s studio they make a horrible discovery. The artist dead on the floor. When police arrived on the scene, their search finds a hidden room filled with what appear to be forged paintings. With Amy’s background in art history research Chief Deputy Brad Tucker asks her to assist him by checking out the paintings. When the state’s art expert arrives Amy assists him too. Until he finds that her uncle, now deceased, may be connected to both the forgeries and the murder. When someone else is killed Amy knows she has to help find the killer, all the while hoping to clear her uncle of any wrongdoing.

Being a librarian means more that shelving and checking out books. That is why degree, usually a master’s in Library Science is required for head librarians. The ability to navigate and manage information is a huge part of the job. With Amy’s minor in Art History, she is the perfect person to assist the police in find provenance for these found paintings and any other information to help the police solve the case. The author has written a very complex mystery and Amy plays a key role in solving it. Not knowing much about paintings like those in the story it was so much fun following along with Amy and all the revelations that were found throughout the story. I always enjoy learning something new when reading. This time I highlighted quite a few items I plan to research further.

The main characters are continuing to develop nicely. The supporting cast, Zelda, Walt and Aunt Lydia are great too and have many humorous moments. There is one character that is hiding something. We got some major hints in this story and I am sure we will learn more in the next.

The romance between Amy and Richard played a big part in this story. She is still recovering from her break-up and her confidence is a little shaky. Richard is the perfect man for her. He understands her insecurities and he really loves her. They have quite a moment near the end of the story that was so heart-warming and genuine.

Again, Ms. Gilbert has written a mystery with great substance and allowed her characters to shine. She also brings the setting to life with her words. I enjoyed this book from the first page to the last.

Shelved Under Murder is a fantastic addition to this series. I think I loved it more than the first book in the series, A Murder for the Books. Book #3 Past Due for Murder comes out on February 12, 2019. I can hardly wait.

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You can read my review of A Murder for the Books here

About the Author

Victoria Gilbert, raised in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, turned her early obsession with reading into a dual career as an author and librarian. She has worked as a reference librarian, research librarian, and library director.

When not writing or reading, Victoria likes to spend her time watching films, gardening, or traveling. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers, and is represented by Frances Black at Literary Council, NY, NY.

Victoria lives in North Carolina with her husband and some very spoiled cats. This is her first Blue Ridge Library mystery.

Author Links:

Website/blog     Facebook Author Page        Twitter     Goodreads       Instagram

Praise for Shelved Under Murder: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
by Victoria Gilbert

This is a mystery with lots of twists, turns, and secrets. It isn’t just a cut and dry mystery. . .
~Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews

The author does have a way of making you feel like you are right there in the midst of things and making you feel empathy for the characters . . .
~Curling Up By The Fire

Shelved Under Murder is an inviting cozy mystery with congenial characters, lovely setting and a stimulating whodunit.
~The Avid Reader

I really enjoyed this book and was so impressed with the details the author uses about art.
~Texas Book-aholic

SHELVED UNDER MURDER is a delightful mystery that held my interest and didn’t let go.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

This book is truly incredible at creating an elaborate mystery for us to follow.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

I really enjoy reading about Amy’s time at the library (I think I am in the wrong profession!), and there’s a great cast of supporting characters in this series.
~The Book’s the Thing

Some great characters make Shelved Under Murder a really good read that kept me turning the pages.
~My Reading Journeys

Victoria Gilbert has done it again and I want more and more (please Ms. Gilbert!), the way local people and local history are combined to make a cohesive whole is wonderful.
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

A charming setting in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. A cast of delightful (and layered) characters. An intriguing mystery and a taste of art. A swoony romance. All of these elements make up the entertaining Shelved Under Murder!
~Reading Is My SuperPower

The mystery was quite elaborate, while the additional storylines and well-developed characters added those subtle red herrings and remarkable twists necessary to keep readers guessing.
~That’s What She’s Reading

Purchase Links:

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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.”

Jul 182018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

When I saw this book go up on Amazon I knew I wanted to read it right away, but my Reading Calendar was packed full so I slotted it in for the first available day and that was today! 

Berried at Sea (A Cranberry Cove Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Michigan
Beyond the Page Publishing (March 29, 2018)
Paperback: 184 pages
ISBN-10: 1946069612
ISBN-13: 978-1946069610
Kindle ASIN: B07BSK2QL7

Berried at Sea – The long-awaited wedding of Monica and Greg is the highlight of the harvest season in Cranberry Cove, drawing friends from far and wide to help them celebrate. Among the guests are an old college friend of Monica’s and the woman’s boisterous new husband, a man with many enemies and more than a few bitter women in his past. When he turns up dead on a boat, the victim of a fatal stabbing, Monica steps in once again to unravel the mystery.

As she dredges up clues and wades through a long list of suspects, Monica’s sleuthing becomes all the more pressing when the local police are convinced that her friend did the deed. Monica will have to clear her name fast and track down the real culprit as the killer threatens to bring her sweet wedded bliss to a bitter end.

Includes tasty recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am so happy to return to Cranberry Cove and just in time to celebrate Monica and Greg’s wedding. It was quite a gathering. Unfortunately, the honeymoon gets off to a rocky start when they discover a dead body. When the man is flipped over they see it was one of the guests from the wedding, the husband of Monica’s friend from college. Bruce seemed to have more than a few enemies including some ticked off women he has left in his wake. But the police seem to be concentrating on his wife, Andrea. Monica has a hard time believing her friend is a killer and Monica has begged for her help. She has promised Greg her sleuthing days are over, so she makes her reasons clear to him. promises to be careful, and sets her sights on catching the killer or at least point the police in another direction.

I have really enjoyed this series and am so glad it lives on with a new publisher.

Typically cozy mysteries are 280 – 300 pages. This one rings in with just 184 pages but this author packed them full. All the characters I had grown to love are back and Monica has hired a new assistant to work with her in the farm kitchen. Kit works well on his own, he has even created a new recipe. This gives Monica more time to chase down clues, while still having enough tasty treats baked up to sell in the farm store. I wish the book included free samples, but we have the next best thing, recipes at the end of the book.

The pace was quick and the story is very well-written. There are plenty of suspects but I was tracking the culprit much sooner than Monica. The subplots of Gina and her man troubles, Jeff and Lauren’s wedding plans, and the cranberry harvest twist into the main plot nicely.

I love this author’s very descriptive writing style. She doesn’t just tell us a story, she takes you there. It is so easy to escape to Cranberry Cove and catch up with all the town happenings.

Fun characters, a well-plotted mystery, romance, and cranberries. You just can’t go wrong with a book by this author. I have been delighted with everything I have read by her.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Mystery writing lets Peg indulge her curiosity under the guise of “work” (aka research). As a kid, she read the entire set of children’s encyclopedias her parents gave her and has been known to read the dictionary. She put pen to paper at age seven when she wrote plays and forced her cousins to perform them at Christmas dinner. She switched to mysteries when she discovered the perfect hiding place for a body down the street from her house.

When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading, cooking, spoiling her granddaughter and checking her book’s stats on Amazon.

A former Jersey girl, Peg now resides in Michigan with her husband and Westhighland white terrier, Reg. She is the author of the Sweet Nothings Lingerie series (written as Meg London), the Gourmet De-Lite series, the Lucille series, and now the Cranberry Cove series. Her newest series, the Farmer’s Daughter, debuted with No Farm, No Foul in September 2016. Sowed to Death followed in July 2017. Bought the Farm is available now.





Coming July 31, 2018

Written as Meg London

Just Click on Covers to order from Amazon. 

 


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
Sent directly from Amazon.

The 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.

Sign Up for Peg’s Newsletter to be alerted about new books and other news.

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

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5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End August 1, 2018, 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

This book was purchsed by me and is part of my personal collection.

Jul 172018
 

Poisoned Pages (A Booktown Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
12th in Series
Setting – New Hampshire
Berkley (July 10, 2018)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 0451489837
ISBN-13: 978-0451489838
Kindle ASIN: B076GNBNG9

Poisoned Pages – Tricia Miles, mystery bookstore owner and amateur sleuth, throws a housewarming cocktail party in her new apartment and has cooked all the food by herself–quite a feat for someone who previously couldn’t boil water. Then one of her guests is poisoned and dies. Tricia’s left to wonder if her cooking is to blame or if there’s something much more sinister at play. Either way, Tricia’s once again in hot water with her ex-lover, Chief Baker.

Meanwhile the charming town of Stoneham is being disrupted by a vandalism crime wave. It’s the hot topic in the race for Chamber of Commerce president which sees Tricia pitted against two bitter rivals. With all that’s going on can she find the killer before she’s the next item on the menu?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Tricia Miles just has a way of finding dead bodies. Many in town call her a jinx, some straight to her face. Well, this time she doesn’t even need to leave her newly redone apartment to add another dead body to her list. While hosting a housewarming party one of her guests keels over dead. Tricia isn’t much of a cook but she never imagined someone dying after eating her food. The guy must have had an allergic reaction, she can’t be held responsible for that. She didn’t even know the guy, he was the date of one of her other guests. Chief Bakes soon finds out what the toxin was and it is not something commonly found in food, especially Tricia’s kitchen. Which means the man was murdered!

While all this is going on Tricia is running for Chamber of Commerce president. A position her sister has decided to give up to dedicate more time to her businesses. Unfortunately, she has two opponents and they are discrediting her all over town and using that whole jinx thing against her. Can she win an election and catch a killer? She sure is going to try.

There is never a dull moment in Booktown, something is always happening. Tricia’s party, the chamber election, Tricia’s sister Angelica is worried about something, Stoneham as a vandal causing damage and then, of course, there is the dead guy on Tricia’s floor. Ms. Barrett packs Poisoned Pages with a very captivating cozy mystery. In fact, there is more than one mystery to solve and they may or may not be connected.

The staff at Haven’t Got A Clue always has Tricia’s back. This allows her plenty of time to tool around town trying to get the answers she needs to book the person that used her party for their crime. She also spends plenty of time with her sister hoping to find answers there too. Mr. Everett and Pixie Poe are the perfect employees. Pixie has really come into her own. Her creativity shines this time as she pulls out all the stops to help Tricia become the next Chamber of Commerce President. Mr. Everett has other things on his mind. He and his wife are adopting an elderly cat. He is so excited and has plenty of pictures of the feline to share.

The plot of this story tangles all the mystery elements together. With only a week to campaign before the election, Tricia has the perfect opportunity to question many of the suspects. She also got her sister to reveal what was bothering her and that gave her another mystery to solve. She plans to leave the vandal to the police but she thinks she knows their identity too. It was so much fun to traipse around town each step of the way with Tricia.  I was completely gobsmacked when all was revealed.

This truly is one of my favorite series. I love these characters. I am excited about where Tricia may be heading in her personal life. Angelica unleashes a surprise in this story that will change her life in a really good way. These sisters worked hard to get their relationship where it is today and I have enjoyed following along. So much has happened over the course of this series but the author keeps her characters and their stories fresh and relevant. You can read this book as a stand-alone but this is a series the really should be read from the start, in order, to fully appreciate how far these characters have come.

I am so excited for the next installment of this series.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Lorna and her books on her webpage here.

GIVEAWAY

I am giving away my review copy!
The 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.

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

Sign up for Lorna’s Newsletter 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 Ends July 31, 2018, 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

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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.”

Jul 132018
 

Castaway Cottage
Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Continuing Series
Setting – Connecticut
Self Published (May 12, 2018)
Paperback: 408 pages
ISBN-10: 1717066216
ISBN-13: 978-1717066213
Kindle ASIN: B07C726YJC

Every cottage tells a story. It’s a saying Jason Barlow returns to as an architect designing New England beach homes. The latest cottage story he hopes to tell rises from the Stony Point sand: the last-standing cottage on the beach. It’s the sole survivor–something Jason can relate to–as surrounding cottages washed out to sea in long-ago hurricanes.

The owners aren’t budging, though, keeping Jason’s proposed renovation at bay. But with some help from the beach friends, the tide turns for Jason’s new venture. Problem is, that weathered cottage on the beach? It holds secrets darker than its gray seaworn shingles. And secrets don’t stay buried in this little Connecticut beach town; they wash ashore or get dug up from the sand.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We are back in Stony Point and Jason Barlow is trying to nail down his next project for his new cable show. The cottage he has picked out has quite a history, much more than he knew about the place. Now he just needs to get the owners to agree to his plans. Also, a typo on a marriage certificate turns one marriage topsy-turvy. Would a vow renewal ceremony get things back to normal?

This saga continues to draw me in with each new installment. We follow these characters through good times and bad. Through laughter and tears, their lives continue, at times jarring their friendships, and sometimes strengthening them. So much has happened over the course of these stories.

Again Elsa shines as she tries to mother the whole crew through everything. With her inn not yet open she has time to take on another event all while doing her best to help everyone and keep their lives on an even keel. I am anxious for the inn to open, but I don’t know how she is going to be able to handle it all even with Celia’s help.

This cast of characters has to live in one of the most beautiful locations I could ever imagine. I am so envious of the view they see each and every day when they wake up, go through their days and then settle in for the night. Joanne DeMaio’s words have painted every part of this place so clearly, my imagination doesn’t even have to work to virtually take me there.  The sea, the sky, the cottages, the diner, the flowers, just everything is crystal clear.

So much is left up in the air as this installment concludes I can hardly wait for the next book to be released. It will be pure joy to return to Stony Point. My virtual bags are already packed.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

joanne demaio

About the Author

Joanne DeMaio is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary fiction. She enjoys writing about friendship, family, love, and choices while setting her stories in New England towns or by the sea. Currently, at work on her next book, Joanne lives with her family in Connecticut.

To learn more about the author, visit Joannedemaio.com. She also enjoys hearing from readers on her Facebook Page.


Check out my reviews of the previous books here.

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

 

 

Jul 132018
 

On FlashbackFridays 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.

This book was released back in December but has only been on my Kindle a short time.

About the Book

Tied Up with Strings (A Serebral Seniors Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – United Kingdom
Imajin Qwickies, An imprint of Imajin Books (December 11, 2017)
Print Length: 85 pages
ASIN: B077PLNWY9

An Imajin Qwickies® Mystery/Crime Novella

Big mysteries often come in small packages…

When curmudgeonly private detective Betty Grape visits a young friend, who is housesitting in a remote village in England for Christmas vacation, something seems out of place. Her friend, Catia, is visibly nervous. Is she worried about the young men in the decrepit caravan in next door’s back garden? Or is Catia involved in the disappearance of the homeowner’s invalid wife?

As an American, Betty discovers the locals are full of friendly gossip but taciturn about solid facts. Though they are determined to keep Betty from butting in on their territory, she blunders through the social morass of narrow-minded foreigners and their broad Dorset accents. Can she unravel the tight knots of this mystery? Will she find the perpetrator under thickly thatched rooves or behind floral chintz curtains?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Imajin Books has launched an imprint, Imajin Qwickies – “Qwickies” Are Novellas Ranging From 20,000-30,000 Words. In my opinion that while this story was very good it could have been great as a full-length novel.

The story opens with Betty Grape arriving in England to spend the holidays with the daughter of one of her friends. She had not seen the daughter in years. Apparently, Betty is a “part-time private investigator”.  Here is one of the places a longer story would have helped me as a reader immensely. Background on Betty was almost non-existent. Betty is supposedly part of a firm with 2 other “investigators”. They are all senior citizens. Anyway, something seems off to her almost immediately.  Catia, her friend’s daughter is housesitting for a professor and his invalid wife. They are two young men staying in a caravan next door.  There is also a missing cat. Betty overhears some things, listens to the gossip and starts to realize things are not what they seem.

I really like Betty and want to know her better. She seems to have much life experience and is very intuitive. But this novel reads like the 2nd or 3rd book in the series, assuming I know these things already, rather than it being the first book and readers meeting her for the first time. I enjoyed her subtle way of investigating. Sometimes she is just in the right place at the right time. She makes some keen observations and starts to pull the clues together.  She also has a low key way of passing on what she learns. I really enjoyed her as an American learning British ways, food, and slang.

There is a young man in the story that Betty quickly realizes is autistic. He plays a key part in the mysteries. His character was very well written, but until Betty pointed out he was autistic I had not reached the conclusion by what I had read. Because she is close to someone at home that has autism she recognized what others like me may not have tuned into right away.

The mysteries themselves were very interesting. It really reminded me of an old-time British cozy. Again with only 85 pages things had to unfold quickly. I was surprised by one part but figured out some of the other elements before Betty.  The book does have a few nice twists. I did feel the ending was a bit abrupt. I would have liked one thing verified before everything was all tied up.

I would like to visit with Betty again and maybe get to know her friends in San Jose, California at the Serebral Senior Home. Like I said for a “Qwickie” this is a very good story. I hope future installments are longer so we can get to know the characters better.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Madeline McEwen is an ex-pat from the UK, bi-focaled and technically challenged. She and her Significant Other manage their four offspring, one major and three minors, two autistic, two neurotypical, plus a time-share with Alzheimer’s. In her free time, she walks the canines and chases the felines with her nose in a book and her fingers on a keyboard.

Author Links

Website     Amazon      Pinterest     Twitter     Facebook    GoodReads    Blog 

 

Purchase Link

Praise for Tied Up with Strings (A Serebral Seniors Mystery)
by Madeline McEwen

A heartwarming British cosy by a British ex-pat in America, TIED UP WITH STRING recalls adorable Village Mysteries with amateur–usually female senior citizens–sleuths.
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies

The story unfolds layer by layer. We meet interesting characters and get a bit of a comparison between American and British mannerisms.
~Laura’s Interests

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July 9 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
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July 10 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
July 11 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
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Jul 122018
 

Somebody’s Daughter
Suspense/Thriller
Setting – Kentucky
Berkley (July 10, 2018)
Hardcover: 432 pages
ISBN-10: 0399584463
ISBN-13: 978-0399584466
Kindle ASIN: B076YXZT56

Somebody’s Daughter – When Michael Frazier’s ex-wife, Erica, unexpectedly shows up on his doorstep, she drops a bombshell that threatens to rip his family apart: Her ten-year-old daughter is missing–and Michael is the father. Unsure whether this is the truth but unwilling to leave the girl’s fate to chance, Michael has no choice but to follow the elusive trail of the child he has always wanted but never knew he had.

After Michael departs, his wife, Angela, learns shocking news about Erica and fears for the safety of both her husband and the endangered girl. When a stranger, a man who claims a connection to Erica and her missing daughter, knocks on the door, Angela is drawn out into the night–and deep into the tangled web of Michael’s past….

Over the course of one night, lies that span a decade come bubbling to the surface, putting Michael, his wife, and his whole family in jeopardy. And as the window for a little girl’s safe return closes, Michael will have to decide who can be trusted and who is hiding the truth….

Dollycas’s Thoughts

David Bell has yet to disappoint me. There is a reason he has become one of my favorite authors.

This story introduces us to Michael Frazier and his wife Angela. They have been trying desperately to have a child. Just as they are about to go to bed there is a knock on the door. Michael’s ex-wife Erica has come to beg his help in finding her daughter. Claiming the police are not doing enough, that she has no one else to turn to and then claiming that the girl is his daughter, he doesn’t know if he believes her but feels he has no choice but to go with her and search.

Angela is beside herself with worry and that only escalates when a strange man arrives at her door telling her his connection to Erica and her daughter. He convinces her to go with him to find her husband, his ex, and the lost 10-year-old.

Everyone’s life could change within the next few hours. Micheal knows he needs to find the truth but first, he needs to find that little girl. She IS Somebody’s Daughter.

Secrets, secrets, secrets! So many people keeping secrets and as each one is revealed the story takes another twist.  Michael life has not been easy. A tragic event from his past has truly shaped the life he has lived since. In just one night he learns so many things he didn’t know.  His quest to find the truth and this girl puts his life at risk as well as others, people he loves and people trying to help him.

Mr. Bell has a writing style that makes it virtually impossible to put the book down. The story is told from various points of view, which for me was very enjoyable.  His short chapters that leave you hanging  at each ending set a very brisk pace and an urgency to keep reading. I made the mistake of beginning this book on July 3. I read until I couldn’t hold my eyes open any longer. I took it with me to a family get together on the 4th hoping I would be able to keep reading, but that didn’t happen. As soon as we got home, I dashed to the bedroom to read and stayed up until I finished in the early morning hours on July 5. I had a heck of a book hangover when I got up, but it was so worth it. (This seems to happen to me a lot when reading books by this author.)

Bell also knows how to deliver that last final twist that caught me totally by surprise. Then he tied everything up nicely for me too. He even gives us a glimpse into the character’s future.

Another fantastic story by this author. Well-written, well-plotted, great characters – A “Perfect Escape”.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out more about David and his books visit his webpage here



GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
The 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.

Sign Up for David Bell’s Newsletter for 5 Bonus Entries.

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Contest Will End July 26, 2018, 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.”

Jul 112018
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am delighted to welcome Kylie Logan back to Escape with Dollycas!

Guest Post | ITALIAN ICED by Kylie Logan
(Provided by Publicist)

 

Writing cozy mysteries is a funny thing.

After all, I’ve been told by numerous readers that they come back to a mystery series book after book because they love the world the author creates.  Whether it’s a sweet little button shop in Chicago (like in my Button Box mysteries) or the idyllic island in Lake Erie where my League of Literary Ladies live, there is something about the people and the setting and the atmosphere an author creates that often appeals to readers even more than the mystery.

But, aha!  That last word in the above sentence is the key.

Mystery.

It’s tricky.  We create these great characters and often, they’re friends or family of our main character, people she loves and people she deals with every day.   And as authors, we grow to love these people, too.

And then we have to make bad things happen to them.

Sigh.

It’s true, every single time and with every single book.  If it wasn’t, there would be no story.

In my Ethnic Eats mysteries, it takes a bit for my heroine, Laurel Inwood, to warm up to her cozy family.  Laurel grew up in the foster system and she doesn’t trust easily.  When she finds herself out of a job (she was the private chef of a Hollywood super-star) and in Hubbard, Ohio with her foster’s mother’s sister, Sophie, she’s got a whole new world to get used to.  Trust me, she settles in eventually, even after she meets handsome, maddening, enticing Declan Fury and his huge Irish family.

And then I make terrible things happen to these really nice people.

In book #1 of the series, “Irish Stewed,” a local investigative TV reporter is killed at the restaurant Sophie owns.  In book #2, “French Fried,” the victim is a beloved neighbor.  And now in book #3, “Italian Iced,” Laurel’s old Hollywood crowd shows up.  Obviously, one of them is bound to end up dead!

Through it all–the egotistical Italian race car driver, the twit of an assistant, the teen with a chip on his shoulder–Laurel knows she’s got friends to stand by her side.

And that, I think, is the real appeal of the cozy.  These characters we know and love will come through it all, and there’s always a happily ever after waiting for them on the other side.

~Kylie

Thank you so much, Kylie, for visiting today! 

Now let me tell you more about Italian Iced!


Italian Iced (An Ethnic Eats Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Ohio
Berkley (June 26, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 042527490X
ISBN-13: 978-0425274903
Kindle ASIN: B07693J4WL

 

 

Hot pasta and a cold corpse make for quite a combination in the latest book in the Ethnic Eats mystery series.

When Laurel Inwood features Italian cuisine on the Terminal at the Tracks menu, she knows she’ll need to stock the shelves, the fridge, and the freezer with plenty of wonderful delicacies. She just never expected one of them to be her former employer, Hollywood superstar Meghan Cohan.

And one day, when Laurel is at the restaurant early to get ready for the regular rush of customers, that’s exactly what she finds–Meghan dead in the Terminal freezer.

What’s a Hollywood A-lister doing in Hubbard, Ohio?

For Laurel, that’s the real question, because the first question she’d ask in any other murder investigation–who would want the victim dead?–seems pretty much a no-brainer in this case.

Who would want Meghan dead?

Just about anybody who had ever met her.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I really love this series. Growing up in a family that owned and operated a restaurant much like the Terminal at the Tracks before Laurel arrived I know the author’s depiction of how hard it is to keep an eatery open with enough customers to turn a profit is true. My mother sold the restaurant not long after my father passed and no one else has been able to take it over and replicate the success she had. I love Laurel’s idea of a different type of cuisine every month while still keeping customer favorite’s on the menu. It keeps the menu fresh and fun both for the customers and the cooks.

By this third book in the series, Laurel has decided to stay in Hubbard and Sophia is back to work. A new waitress adds a bit of drama, but the staff works together like a well-oiled machine. The characters this author has created are so realistic. I feel like I could take a little trip to Ohio and walk right into the Terminal at the Tracks. The dialogue rings true. The relationships have developed naturally. This cast has worked their way right into my heart.

The idea of Hollywood superstar Meghan Cohan, Laurel’s former employer showing up in Hubbard would never have crossed my mind. I was totally surprised at how she made her appearance. To have her be the victim brought a wonderful new group of characters to the story. Her assistant, her son, her ex-husband and more. So many likely suspects all with the motive to cause her icy demise.

Ms. Logan plotted this story out with knife-like precision. Twists and turns with a real mystery not only of “whodunit” but why they “dunit”. Laurel has a heck of a time figuring this one out even after she ends up out cold and headed to the hospital. I was totally in the dark until the very end. I love the way all the suspects were brought together for the grand reveal.

I did enjoy how the events in the story allowed Laurel to look back at her life in California and even back to being a foster child. This made it possible to really open herself up to opportunities that were staring her right in the face.

This is an excellent addition to this series. The way the final pages are written I am sad to say I think this is the last book in this series which really upsets me. These are characters I am not ready to say goodbye to and there are so many more countries to visit for ethnic eats. I really hope I am wrong.

I highly recommend all three books in this series!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Check out my review of Irish Stewed here and French Fried here.

You can find out about Kylie Logan and her books on her website here.

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 print copy to giveaway!
The 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.

Leave a comment for Kylie for 5 Bonus Entries.

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 July 25, 2018, 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.”

 

Jul 102018
 

About the Book


A Soufflé of Suspicion: A French Bistro Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (July 10, 2018)
Hardcover 296 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683315865
Digital ASIN: B075QMR44B

The buoyant mood at Bistro Rousseau deflates when Chef Camille’s sister, Renee, turns up dead in the chef’s kitchen, and Mimi Rousseau must tease the real killer out of a mélange of menacing characters.

Crush Week in Nouvelle Vie is a madhouse—in a good way. Tourists pour into town for the pressing of the Napa Valley’s world-renowned grapes and all the town’s businesses get a nice lift, including Bistro and Maison Rousseau. Mimi is raising the ante this year with a Sweet Treats Festival, a wonderland of croissants, cakes, tarts, and soufflés crafted with expert care by the area’s top talents.

Chef Camille’s sister Renee is managing the festival with a cast-iron fist, upsetting everyone, including her sister. Which is bad for Camille when Renee turns up dead in the chef’s kitchen. Mimi is still building her business, so her first course of action is to whip up answers and catch the unsavory perpetrator before Camille takes a dusting and gets burned.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

What a SWEET cozy! Daryl Wood Gerber has served up her readers a delectable mystery with fine characters and full-bodied story.

We arrive just in time for Crush Week and the brand new Sweet Treats Festival. Chef C’s sister, Renee is in charge of the festival and the chef is at Bistro Rousseau preparing meals and menus for all the tourists coming into town.  Mimi is running between her bistro and her inn, where the festival is taking place trying her best to help out everywhere. That is until her chef arrives home to find Renee dead on her kitchen floor. Mimi can’t believe the police are actually looking at her chef as the prime suspect.

Chef Camille is taking some time off to mourn the loss of her sister and deal with the police, so Mimi steps in to manage the kitchen all the while trying to find the real killer. She realizes she is getting close to the truth when she seems to be the target of some unusual “accidents”. She needs to wrap things up quickly before something more than the grapes get crushed.

In this second book of the series, the author again sets a brisk pace. Readers are drawn into the story through two big events taking place. These events introduce us to some new characters like Chef Camille’s sister Renee and her husband Rusty. Renee tired quickly of Rusty’s new chicken farmer lifestyle and has purchased an event business. She has thrown herself into making the first event, the Sweet Treats Festival a huge success. The former business owner, Allie O’Malley, confronts Renee about their agreement and it doesn’t go well. Mimi considers them both suspects but she finds they are not the only ones that would have the motivation to bash the woman over the head.

I was very entertained following Mimi’s footsteps as she did her best to capture the killer. Especially because her footsteps went through the kitchen of the bistro and the grounds of the Sweet Treats Festival. We were treated to descriptions of the most scrumptious savory and sweet foods, my mouth was watering. I really appreciate the author for including several recipes at the end of the book.

This author is an amazing storyteller. She sets the scene, nurtures her characters and gives them dynamic dialogue, all while wrapping them in a masterful mystery. I have enjoyed every book she has written. I believe this new French Bistro Mystery is my new favorite. Like a perfect soufflé would impress your guests this story reached great heights to impress me and make it both a great and perfect escape.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Agatha Award-winning Daryl Wood Gerber is best known for her nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries and CHEESE SHOP MYSTERIES, which she pens as Avery Aames. She will soon debut the new French Bistro Mysteries. Daryl also writes stand-alone suspense: DAYS OF SECRETS and GIRL ON THE RUN. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to cook, and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!

Author Links

Visit Daryl or Avery at www.darylwoodgerber.com.

Daryl’s Blog – Avery’s Blog – Mystery Lover’s Kitchen – Killer Characters –

Facebook:   Daryl      Avery 

Twitter: @AveryAames @DarylWoodGerber

Goodreads:    Daryl Wood Gerber     Avery Aames

Purchase Links


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Also by this Author



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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

July 6 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT
July 6 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
July 6 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
July 7 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
July 7 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
July 8 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
July 8 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST
July 9 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
July 9 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
July 10 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
July 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
July 11 – cherylbbookblog  – REVIEW
July 12 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW, GUEST POST
July 12 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST
July 13 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
July 13 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
July 14 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW
July 14 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
July 15 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW
July 15 – Lisa Ks Book Review – REVIEW, GUEST POST
July 16 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
July 16 – That’s What She’s Reading – GUEST POST
July 17 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
July 17 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
July 18 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW*
July 18 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 19 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
July 19 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW, GUEST POST

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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.”

Jul 062018
 

On FlashbackFridays 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.
Murder at Chateau sur Mer is now available in Paperback!

Murder at Chateau sur Mer (A Gilded Newport Mystery)
Historical Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Rhode Island
Kensington (July 25, 2017)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496703324
ISBN-13: 978-1496703323
Paperback: 304 pages (June 26, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1496703308
ISBN-13: 978-1496703309
Kindle ASIN: B01M7W948P

A Gilded Newport Mystery – Late nineteenth-century Newport, Rhode Island, is home to some of America’s wealthiest citizens. For society reporter Emma Cross, a less well-heeled cousin to the illustrious Vanderbilts, trailing gossip and glamour will lead her straight into murder . . .

Covering a polo match for the Observer, Emma’s job is to take note of the real players off the field—Newport’s well-bred elite. But the fashionable façade is breached when a woman in gaudy clothing creates a scene demanding to speak to the wife of Senator George Wetmore—until she is escorted off the grounds by the police.

The next morning, police detective Jesse Whyte asks Emma to meet him at the Wetmores’ Bellevue Avenue home, Chateau sur Mer, where the senator’s wife, Edith, has mysteriously asked to see her. Upon entering the mansion, Emma is confronted with a crime scene—the intruder from the polo match lies dead at the foot of a grand staircase.

To avoid scandal, Edith Wetmore implores Emma to use her reporter skills and her discretion to investigate. When Emma learns the victim was a prostitute—and pregnant—she wonders if the senator was being blackmailed. As Emma peels back layers of deception and family secrets, she may have met her match in a desperate killer who will trample anyone who gets in the way . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Step back in time with Emma Cross in Newport, Rhode Island as a day reporting on a polo match leads to murder. A woman tried to make her way into the stands where the elite are watching the match to speak to Edith Wetmore, the wife of Senator George Wetmore. Security was escorted her off the grounds but it is not the last the Westmores will see of her. No, the good senator’s wife finds the woman dead in their home at the bottom of their grand stairway. Police detective Jess Whyte has summoned Emma to Chateau sur Mer. He knows Emma’s help on previous cases has been fruitful, but this time Edith Wetmore has requested her presence. She wants Emma to use her skills to investigate while at the same time keep any rising scandal out of the press. Trying to find a connection between the Wetmores and the dead woman Emma uncovers a web of secrets and lies that puts her own life in peril and others too. It could also cost her her job meaning she could lose her home.

Alyssa Maxwell knows Newport history and she uses that knowledge to create fictional stories that have enough real facts that readers may think the story is real and events may have actually happened. She does include some facts at the end of the story to keep the record straight.

Strong characters and a captivating mystery make it very easy to escape right into this story. Emma Cross is part of the not very well to do side of the Vanderbilt family. She has inherited her home with enough money to pay for basic upkeep but needs to work for necessities like food and clothing. She is the fashion and food reporter for the Observer newspaper but always keeps her ears open for information to get her byline on or close to the front page. She is a strong woman, unafraid to travel unaccompanied to the seedier areas of town, no matter how many times she is told how dangerous it is. Thankfully sometimes she listens. Other times she is just plain lucky.

Emma’s investigation this time to her down to the docks more than once, to a brothel more than once, and even to the scene of a fire. Ms. Maxwell puts our heroine in some precarious situations. I enjoy following Emma everywhere she goes. The author fully describes each place so perfectly, putting us readers right there on the scene.

The mystery is very complex. Suspects are unclear until Emma realizes an event from the past is affecting people’s lives in the present. Even then the suspects remain fluid until the final reveal. Usually when I read a mystery like this one my brain is always trying to be one step ahead of the story’s amateur sleuth. This time I was immersed into the culture and all the happenings that I just kept pace with her. I so enjoyed our tandem journey.

Like the other mansions in this series, Chateau Sur Mer is now owned by the Preservation Society of Newport County and is open to the public as a museum.

I have loved each book in this series. I do recommend they be read in order to understand the settings and the character development. I am so happy to catch on the series with this story because the next book in the series, Murder at Ochre Court is being released July 31, 2018. 

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Alyssa outside (2)

About the Author

Alyssa Maxwell is the author of the Gilded Newport Mysteries and A Lady and Lady’s Maid Mysteries. She lives in South Florida in the current year but confesses to spending most of her time in the Victorian and post WWI eras, as well as other periods of history. In addition to fantasizing about wearing Worth gowns and strolling the gardens of her manor house, she loves to watch BBC and other period productions and sip tea in the afternoons. And each year, she and her husband take a trip up to Newport to visit family, and so Alyssa can “shop” for the next mansion to be featured in her Newport series.

Author Links

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Also by Alyssa Maxwell

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 paperback copy to give away!
The 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.

Subscribe to Allyssa Maxwell’s newsletter for 5 Bonus Entries.

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 July 20, 2018, 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.

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.”

The Uninvited Corpse (A Food Blogger Mystery)by Debra Sennefelder Order Your Copy Today!
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