Apr 192019
 


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.


Lucky Stiff (Mattie Winston Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington (March 5, 2013)
Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
ISBN-10: 9780758272751
ISBN-13: 978-0758272751
Kindle ASIN: B009L93H7Y

It’s Christmas Day in the sleepy town of Sorenson, Wisconsin, but instead of unwrapping presents, deputy coroner Mattie Winston is at the burnt remains of a house, where a charred body has been found. The victim is none other than Jack Allen–a paraplegic who recently won a huge casino jackpot. Upon closer inspection, Mattie and detective Steve Hurley are convinced Jack was murdered to steal his winnings, giving the phrase Black Jack a whole new meaning. . .

But as Mattie investigates, even her cutting-edge forensic skills keep coming up short in a case with as many suspects as twists. After her odds-on-favorite turns up dead, Mattie and Hurley must race to find a killer before another victim cashes in his chips.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Deputy Coroner Mattie Winston catches a case on Christmas Day. Firemen called to a fire have found a body among the ashes. They are able to identify the man as Jack Allen, a paraplegic who was said to keep the fortune he recently won at the nearby casino in his home. Evidence shows the fire was deliberately set and not an accident as the killer had hoped. They also find Allen’s hiding spot empty. Working with detective Steve Hurley Mattie chases down clues while trying to ignore the romantic electricity that is running between them. They are also drawn into another case involving a missing man that was found floating in the river. Again, the evidence shows foul play.

I loved the first 3 books in this series for many reasons.

  1. It is set in my home state of Wisconsin.
  2. The text is full of Wisconsin references and the dialogue sounds just like the way I talk.
  3. The story is usually well-written and plotted.
  4. The humor flows from beginning to end.

But the thing I liked the best was protagonist Mattie Winston. She is a curvy woman, 6 feet tall, with size 12 feet, and she never fails to find herself the butt of a joke of her own making. This time mud and fire ants lead to two of her misadventures. The woman and the situations she gets herself into are flat out hilarious.

But this time she does some really stupid things that almost had me throwing the book at the wall and not finishing it. I also wish she stood up for herself better with her ex. She is a smart woman but when David is around she turns to mush. He cheated on her! He is the one who got at work with his pants down literally! Yet, she just lets him get away with everything. It is a good thing I was wrapped up in the main mystery and needed to know who killed a man in a wheelchair or this would have been a DNF.

Like Jack Allen, I deal with paralysis, I am a hemiplegic where my right side is mostly paralyzed while he is a paraplegic, paralyzed from the waist down. I identified with this character and was sad he was the victim. It really got my dander up that someone took advantage of him and then killed him all out of greed. So I was totally focused on his killer being brought to justice. There is a long list of probable suspects and I was “in the right church, wrong pew, with my thinking when it came down to nailing the killer.

The second case was easier for me to solve and really broke my heart. It hit a little close to home for me and sadly was a sign of our time.

There was also a trip to Florida for a forensic convention during the holidays, that really made no sense and could have been completely left out.

The romantic issues were like a roller coaster ride and I was excited about it until the first curveball hit, but it was the final pitch that again had me wanting to throw the book at the wall and because the mysteries were solved I DID!

So, No! this was not a Perfect Escape but it wasn’t A Dreadful Detour either. There were things I really enjoyed about the story but there many I didn’t.  I really want to know what happens next with these characters. So after a little break, I will venture into book 5, Board Stiff in hopes this book just had a couple of missteps.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Annelise Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of the popular Mattie Winston mystery series and a pseudonym for Beth Amos, who also writes the Mack’s Bar Mystery series under the pseudonym Allyson K. Abbott. Beth is a real-life emergency room RN living in Wisconsin. She believes laughter is the best medicine, and with the Mattie Winston series, she is hoping to “medicate” the masses.

For more Mattie Winston fun and to keep up with the latest news, visit www.mattiewinston.com


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy.

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.

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Click Here For Entry Form

*This was from my personal collection.

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Apr 182019
 


The Egyptian Antiquities Murder (High Society Lady Detective)
Historical Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – England
McGuffin Ink (April 12, 2019)
Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-10: 0998843180
ISBN-13: 978-0998843186
Kindle ASIN: B07MTTXRYC

An opulent London townhouse, a mummy curse . . .

. . . and a plucky lady detective. It’s October, 1923, and Olive Belgrave has a new case. Her client, Lady Agnes doesn’t believe in curses, and she hires Olive to prove her Egyptologist uncle wasn’t the victim of a malevolent mummy. Olive investigates and discovers the truth is much worse—it’s murder.

Can Olive debunk the curse and reveal the true culprit before the supposed curse claims another victim?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The 3rd book in this series takes us to Mulvern House where Olive Belgrave meets with Lady Agnes about her uncle’s death. A death that has been ruled a suicide. Lady Agnes is sure her uncle would never take his own life. This is where I need to encase my heart in virtual steel to keep reading because as the mother of a suicide victim, families rarely think our loved ones would take their own lives. Knowing stories like this I know that Lord Mulvern death was not by his own hand, I can keep reading. Many think an old curse struck Lord Mulvern down but Olive starts to investigate and believes Lady Agnes is right, the old boy was murdered. Now Olive just needs to figure out whodunit and why.

I loved the setting for this story. Lord Mulvern was an eminent Egyptologist with a vast collection and his niece shared his passion. There was a major renovation to the building, a grand gallery, in order to store and showcase the collection. Ms. Rosett vividly describes the places and several of the magnificent pieces. I was never really been interested in Egyptian antiquities or mummies and the like until my kids got me to watch The Mummy movies with Brendan Fraser a few years ago. It was fun to read about this collection.

The author again introduces us to several new characters. Lady Agnes wants to keep her uncles vision alive, unlike the other heirs. Her brother Gilbert and his wife Nora care mainly about the money and themselves making them suspects on Olive’s list. The Lord’s valet/butler received a generous bequest and retired so he too lands on her list. There are several others interested in obtaining the collection and the digging location that comes with it. There is also a collection manager and a new butler. Olive must speak to them all. All these characters take center stage with Olive but Jasper and Essie do pop into the picture now and again.

I knew from the start this would be a hard mystery for Olive to solve. So much time has passed, no real evidence was left behind. She found one piece of evidence and really ran with it and all the clues that subsequently followed. I enjoyed following along with Olive and her process. With all the twists I didn’t solve this one at all.

Another Perfect Escape from Sara Rosett. An engaging protagonist and a great mystery. I anxiously await Olive’s next case.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Murder at Archly Manor here.

 

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Sara Rosett writes light-hearted escapes for readers who enjoy puzzling mysteries, interesting settings, and quirky characters.

She is the author of the Murder on Location series, the Ellie Avery series, the On the Run series, and the High Society Lady Detective series. Sara also teaches an online course, How to Outline A Cozy Mystery.

Publishers Weekly called Sara’s books, “satisfying,” “well-executed,” and “sparkling.” Sara loves to get new stamps in her passport and considers dark chocolate a daily requirement. Find out more at SaraRosett.com.

Author Links:

Website     Patreon     Instagram      Facebook     Twitter: @SaraRosett    Pinterest  GoodReads  LibraryThing

Amazon Author Page Bookbub Author Page    Newsletter sign-up

Also by Sara Rosett


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

 

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

 

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Contest Will End May 2, 2019, 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.”

 

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Apr 172019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am thrilled to welcome Daryl Wood Gerber back to Escape With Dollycas today
as part of her Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour!

In Sifting Through Clues, at the Cookbook Nook, Jenna is featuring all sorts of cookbooks that serve up a great tea. Do you love high tea? I do. I love the pomp and circumstance. The tea, the champagne, the scones with whipped cream. Yum.

At the Nook Café, Katie is whipping up all sorts of great recipes to feature at a tea. In fact, she gives a tea sandwich demonstration at the Cookbook Nook. One of the sandwiches she makes as a sample for the guests to enjoy is a pear and cheese tea sandwich. This is one of my favorites. Many tea sandwiches are savory, but this one is sweet–not too sweet because of the goat cheese. Now, if you’re not a goat cheese fan, switch it out to Brie or cheddar or even cream cheese.  The honey and pears are what makes this sandwich stand out.

Pear and Cheese Tea Sandwich

(Makes 8 sandwiches or 16 – 32 triangles)

4 ounces of goat cheese, softened to room temperature

2 red Barlett pears, sliced thin

½ cup watercress

¼ cup pecans, chopped, *or nut of your choice

4 tablespoons honey

16 slices of white bread

In a small bowl, mix the cheese and pears. Add the watercress, pecans (*or nut of your choice) and honey. Spread on 8 slices of bread. Top the sandwiches with the remaining slices of bread. Carefully remove crusts, and then cut the sandwiches into desired shapes.

Sounds fantastic and easy.

Thank you, Daryl, for visiting today!

Keep reading for my thoughts on Daryl’s book.

 

About the Book

Sifting Through Clues (A Cookbook Nook Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – California
Beyond the Page (April 23, 2019)
Print Length: 235 pages
ASIN: B07NQNFC45

The Agatha Award–winning author of Wreath Between the Lines returns to the Cookbook Nook, where culinary mysteries are giving everyone food for thought . . .

Book clubs from all over have descended on Crystal Cove to celebrate the library’s Book Club Bonanza week, and Jenna Hart has packed the Cookbook Nook with juicy reads and tasty cookbooks. But she’s most excited about spending an evening with the Mystery Mavens and their moveable feast, when they will go from house to house to share different culinary treats and discuss the whodunit they’re all reading. It’s all good food and fun for the savvy armchair detectives, until one of the members of the group is found murdered at the last stop on the tour.

As if that weren’t enough to spoil her appetite, Jenna discovers that all the evidence points to her friend Pepper as being the guilty party. And with Pepper’s chief-of-police daughter too close to the case to be impartial, Jenna knows she’ll have to step in to help clear her friend’s name before a bitter injustice sends her to jail. Sifting through the clues, Jenna unearths any number of possible culprits, but she’ll have to cook up a new way to catch the killer before Pepper’s goose is cooked . . .

Includes tasty sweet and savory recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

We return to Crystal Cove, California just in time for Book Club Bonanza Week sponsored by the library. It is an event that has brought in many tourists and the Cookbook Nook has stocked up and planned a few events. Jenna’s book club, the Mystery Mavens is hosting a progressive dinner while discussing this month’s book, each course being hosted at a different member’s house. The final host seems to have received her “just desserts”. She is found dead as her guests arrive.

The deceased, Ivy Beale owned Dreamcatcher, a crystal shop, focused on their healing properties. All the evidence seems to point at the owner of Beaders of Paradise, Pepper Pritchett, Jenna’s friend and mother of Chief of Police, Cinnamon. Everyone knows Chief Cinnamon is too close to the case but she refuses to step aside, even when an unexpected visitor enters her life. Jenna finds herself Sifting Through Clues to get to the truth to make sure the real killer is booked!

The author brings readers another terrific mystery! This time her focus is on book clubs is a real treat. Because of that, we are introduced to several new characters. We also meet someone from Cinnamon’s past which adds another interesting dimension to the story. These characters all mesh with our returning favorites to create a story I had a hard time putting down.

All the core characters have evolved in this series. Jenna’s friend Bailey is getting so excited for her little bundle to be born and I loved the decor she has planned for the nursery. Bailey always makes me smile. After Jenna, she has become my favorite. The fact that Pepper and Jenna are now friends shows so much growth. They have come a long way. Jenna’s relationship with Cinnamon though is pretty rocky. I know she doesn’t want Jenna involved in her investigation but I would think this time she would be happy for Jenna’s help.

The mystery portions of the story were so intriguing, I mean the chief of police’s mother as the prime suspect!  Twists, turns, red herrings, this story had them all. So well written and well plotted out. A truly exciting email element added to the drama. I urge to plan accordingly because had I been able to keep my eyes open I would have finished the book all in one sitting.

As with all the books in this series, the recipes had my mouth watering and all the references to cozy mysteries and cookbooks are always appreciated.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Agatha Award-winning Daryl Wood Gerber writes the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries as well as the French Bistro Mysteries.  As Avery Aames, she pens the popular Cheese Shop Mysteries. Daryl also writes stand-alone suspense. 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

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Purchase Links – AmazonB&N  – Kobo Google Play





Click on covers to view details on Amazon.

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In addition to the Rafflecopter Giveaway above the author is giving away

Winner’s choice of Cookbook Nook Mystery, Paperback or Digital.
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
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Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 

April 15 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
April 15 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW
April 15 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
April 15 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
April 15 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
April 16 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, GUEST POST – RECIPE – INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
April 16 – Carstairs Considers – REVIEW
April 16 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
April 16 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
April 16 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
April 16 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 17 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
April 17 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
April 17 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT
April 17 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GUEST POST – RECIPE – INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
April 17 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 18 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
April 18 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
April 18 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 18 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
April 18 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
April 19 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST – RECIPE – INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
April 19 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
April 19 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 19 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
April 19 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
April 19 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 20 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
April 20 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
April 20 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
April 20 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 21 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, GUEST POST – RECIPE – INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
April 21 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
April 21 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
April 21 – 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.”

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Apr 162019
 

Night Beach
(The Seaside Saga)
Contemporary Women’s Fiction
8th in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Self Published (February 24, 2019)
Paperback: 273 pages
ISBN-10: 1790577071
ISBN-13: 978-1790577071
Kindle ASIN: B07MGB31QL

From the New York Times bestselling author of Castaway Cottage comes a novel as captivating as the moonlit sea.

Everything was in place for the perfect beachside gathering. Lace-wrapped jars hung from white chairs on the sand. Paper lanterns and tiki torches glimmered in the twilight evening. A rowboat draped with roses and vines waited in the wings. Love floated on the salt air.

Until the arrival of a mysterious guest named Shane Bradford, a lobsterman with a tangled past in this little New England beach town.

Like a sudden sea breeze, the special evening quickly turns. And the residents of Stony Point must tread the darker water Shane brings to their Night Beach.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This story picks up immediately after the last story, Castaway Cottage ends when an unexpected guest arrives for Kyle and Lauren Bradford vow renewal and stops the event dead in its tracks. Kyle’s brother Shane has not been to Stony Point in years. He and Kyle had a huge fight and Shane left and the rest of the group vowed to have nothing to do with Shane ever again. And they didn’t until Lauren reached out to her brother-in-law and invited him to the upcoming ceremony. His arrival sent the entire group into a tizzy.

The author uses flashback moments to give us some history of these beloved characters and introduces us to Shane and his story. The story also shows the current times as Kyle and Lauren try to move forward after the turmoil left after their vow renewal falls apart. Their friends, especially Jason, do everything they can to get the couple back on track.

I have enjoyed every book by this author. These characters are like old friends and I am invested in seeing their journeys.

Ms. Demaio paints wonderful pictures with her words and they draw her readers in. I always feel like I am right there in Stony Point, on the beach getting a bird’s eye view of all the happenings. This time I could really feel Kyle’s pain but I see Shane’s side as well, I hope we get to know him better. It was heartwarming to see the lengths that Jason went to in trying to get Lauren and Kyle together. He exhaustion resonated with me at the end.

Readers again are left with a cliffhanger, so I am assuming The Little Beach Bungalow, out May 14 will start right where this one leaves off. I can’t wait for my next trip to the beach!

These books should be read in order for maximum enjoyment.

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.”
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Apr 122019
 


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.


Guilty as Cinnamon (A Spice Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Washington State
Berkley (December 1, 2015)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 042527179X
ISBN-13: 978-0425271797
Kindle ASIN: B00U5L7UDY

Murder heats up Seattle’s Pike Place Market in the next Spice Shop mystery from the national bestselling author of Assault and Pepper.

Springtime in Seattle’s Pike Place Market means tasty foods and wide-eyed tourists, and Pepper’s Spice Shop is ready for the crowds. With flavorful combinations and a fresh approach, she’s sure to win over the public. Even better, she’s working with several local restaurants as their chief herb and spice supplier. Business is cooking, until one of Pepper’s potential clients, a young chef named Tamara Langston, is found dead, her life extinguished by the dangerously hot ghost chili—a spice Pepper carries in her shop.

Now stuck in the middle of a heated police investigation, Pepper must use all her senses to find out who wanted to keep Tamara’s new café from opening—before someone else gets burned…

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Overdose by a ghost pepper? Say it isn’t so!  Oh! But it more than an overdose, It’s MURDER!

Someone really turned up the heat on Chef Tamara Langston. She was currently working for Pepper’s ex, but he fires her when he learns she is close to opening a restaurant of her own. He also blows up at Pepper too because she knew and didn’t tell him. When Pepper discovers Tamara dead in her new restaurant space Alex quickly lands at the top of the suspect list and behind bars. He asks Pepper to find the real killer. She agrees but not only to help him, she realizes the pepper/murder weapon may have come from her shop and she wants to be sure for herself.

Meanwhile, there are some strange things happening at the Pike Place Market. Rumors of ghosts surface as strange electrical outages seem to be the main complaint. Pepper even loses a prized possession and almost loses her shop as the weird happenings continue. Adding to her stress are one employee that needs to go and one that is sadly leaving.

I was delighted to be back in Seattle at the Pike Place Market. I love all the author’s descriptions, they truly bring the place to life. It is a perfect setting for a cozy mystery series.

All the characters I enjoyed in the first book return. Pepper is super busy trying to expand the shop and its client base, get approval for a new sign for the front of the shop, dealing with her staff and all the other things involved in owning a spice shop. She really didn’t need another murder to solve but I enjoyed the way she takes in on even knowing she is going to have to listen to her policeman ex-husband telling her daily to back off. Pepper came across stronger in this story but she hasn’t lost her huge heart. Most of her staff totally have her back too and are willing to hold down the shop while she is off investigating. These characters really play well off each other and as the cast list grows they each are memorable and people I want to get to know better and see if future stories.

The plot of this story has a lot of moving parts and the murder mystery part is very complex. The victim has a secret that is not revealed until late in the book and that gives the case a unique turn. Certain clues were delivered in unexpected ways. A very interesting individual helps move things along and Pepper gets an amazing assist as everything fell into place. I was kept guessing right to the end.

This story was a marvelous mystery to read and try to solve.  Great characters tangled in a captivating story set in a place I would love to visit. I am excited that book #3, Killing Thyme is waiting for me on my To-Be-Read shelf.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Assault and Pepper here.

 

About the Author

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. She lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician, and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model, and avid bird-watcher.

Connect with her on her website, http://www.LeslieBudewitz.com, on Facebook, or on Twitter.


Also by this Author


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.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End March 26, 2019, 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.”

 

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Apr 112019
 


The Don Con
Fiction Satire/Lawyers & Criminals Humor
Setting – Various
Pace Press (April 1, 2019)
Paperback: 250 pages
ISBN-10: 1610353366
ISBN-13: 978-1610353366
Kindle ASIN: B07NY8R8VC

Joey Volpe’s life sucks. As an actor, he hit the peak of his career when he played a bit part as a mobster on The Sopranos. If you blinked, you missed it.

But now, at age 40, he’s unemployed, broke, and forced to make a living by signing autographs at pop-culture fan conventions. His lack of income, along with his chronic womanizing, has put his marriage at risk, too.

Joey’s life gets even worse when a real mobster shows up in his autograph line and makes him an offer he can’t refuse:

He forces Joey to rob all the celebrities of their cash at the next fan convention. When the heist goes bad, the mobster frames Joey to take the fall.

With two long years in prison to plot his revenge–plus a cellmate who’s an expert at running con jobs–Joey comes up with a plan to get back at the mobster, make millions of dollars for himself, and rescue his marriage in the bargain.

But if the plan fails, Joey could find himself fitted for a pair of cement overshoes.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

When I was approached to read and review this book I read the synopsis, thought I would pass but didn’t delete the email. When I went back later in the day when I wasn’t so rushed, I found myself thinking about how I watched The Sopranos every week with my husband. We were “fans” but not “FANS”, we would never go to a convention center to pay for the actor’s autographs, but I thought both my husband and I may enjoy this story, so I said yes to a copy.

Joey Volpe was a bit actor hoping for his big break, finally realizing the small parts he played on The Sopranos were as big of a break as he was going to get. His career now amounted to going to fan conventions and signing autographs for people who didn’t really know who he was but thought if he was signing autographs he must be somebody. Unfortunately, he had no problem cheating on his wife at these conventions either.

When a real-live mobster corners him at a convention making him “an offer he can’t refuse” he finds himself getting that big break. A break right into the Federal Penn after the scheme he was forced to participate in leaves him holding the bag. He makes some friends at Club Fed and learns some new tricks that could help him to get the revenge he seeks when he gets out. He could also wind up “swimming with the fishes”.

A tongue in cheek look at organized crime featuring a not too savvy crime boss and an out of work actor down on his luck. They are believable characters but not the cream of the crop. The con artist Joey meets in prison was much more up to speed on the art of the con. His lawyer, on the other hand, was the bottom of the barrel, an online degree? more like he clipped off the back of a box of Wheaties. The dialogues had me and the situations Joey got himself into had me laughing out loud from beginning to the end.

The author sets a smooth pace and it was hard to put this book down. There is a slow build to the actual “Don Con” but then things wrap up rather quickly, almost too fast. The title foretells the basic conclusion the story is leading to and that took away some of the excitement of the ending. Don’t get me wrong, this was a fun and entertaining read. Fans of The Sopranos, Goodfellas and the like will enjoy this foray in craziness.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Mr. Dollycas hasn’t done much reading since our son died but this book may get him out of the rut. 

 

About the Author: Richard Armstrong has been a freelance advertising copywriter for more than forty years. His previous books include Leaving the Nest: The Complete Guide to Living on Your Own; The Next Hurrah: The Communications Revolution in American Politics; and the world’s only novel about direct mail, God Doesn’t Shoot Craps. Armstrong’s articles have appeared in National Review, Washingtonian Magazine, Advertising Age and many other publications. He lives with his wife Sharon and his dachshund Stardust in Washington, DC.

 

 
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.

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

Contest Will End April 25, 2019, 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.”

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Apr 102019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

It is my pleasure to feature this book today as part of J.D. Griffo’s Great Escape Book Tour!

About the Book


Murder in Tranquility Park (A Ferrara Family Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – New Jersey
Kensington (March 26, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496713966
ISBN-13: 978-1496713964
Digital ASIN: B07F5XG3CQ

Alberta Scaglione and her twentysomething granddaughter, Jinx, love to spend time—and solve crime—together . . .

Ever since Alberta Scaglione inherited her spinster aunt’s Cape Cod cottage, she’s been enjoying the good life in Tranquility, New Jersey, with her black cat, Lola. But since things are mostly quiet in this town, she finds other things to do—like joining Jinx for morning jogs in Tranquility Park. She has to do something to stay healthy, as long as it doesn’t involve Jinx’s healthful tofu sausages and gluten-free pasta. But when they stumble across a treehouse hidden in the trees, and a dead body underneath it, they take a detour into solving a murder. Now the Ferrara ladies will have to exercise extreme caution to avoid a permanent decline in their health . . .

Includes Italian recipes from Alberta’s kitchen!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The Ferrara Family Detective Agency has stumbled quite literally onto another case. Jinx has convinced her grandmother, Alberta Scaglione to exercise, in the form of jogging a few mornings a week. Their path leads them through scenic Tranquility Park. On the way into the park, Alberta notices a treehouse in one of the trees. On the way out of the park, she notices a body under the treehouse. They quickly determine the man is dead, but assume he has fallen to his death from the treehouse. Just in case they check out the scene thoroughly and call in the rest of their family before calling the police to inform them that, yes, there has been indeed another murder.

Chief Vinny D’Angelo is an old friend and will admit the ladies helped solve the last murder case but he orders them to stay out of this one. Seriously, he knows that is never going to happen because his friend “Alfie” is never going to back away from anything she has set her mind on doing. He just hopes and prays none of them gets hurt.

Mr. Griffo has created such wonderful characters. The Ferrara Family Detective Agency is made up of Alberta Marie Teresa Ferrara Scaglione, 64, a secret millionaire who inherited her home and her wealth from her Aunt Carmela. She is joined by her granddaughter Jinx, who has returned to the area to take a job at the local newspaper, her sister, the former nun, and her sister-in-law who has retired after working years on Wall Street. Together they love their Italian food unless cooked by Jinx, who tries to make their favorites no-carb and gluten-free, several flavors of vodka, and solving murders. These characters are likable, engaging, funny, and at times absolutely crazy. They all go to great lengths to get answers. The dialogue between these characters is priceless. Alberta’s Sicilian Catholic roots play heavily throughout the book. Each chapter starts with an Italian phrase and Italian runs through the dialogue but is always translated in a way that never slows the flow of the story.

The mystery turned out much more complex than I ever imagined. Jinx’s roommate is the police’s prime suspect but the evidence is just too tidy.  There were many twists and turns that brought other suspects to light. It was when the second body is discovered that a few little tingles for my suspect cemented themselves in my mind. I just had to keep reading to see if I was right.  The ending is very dramatic and scary but one part of it felt a little off to me. I think what happened was much more dangerous than even was portrayed.

Murder in Tranquility Park is a great addition to this series. The characters are fun and entertaining. I really enjoyed this story.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Italian by birth, Jersey by upbringing, J. D. Griffo is an award-winning playwright and author who has written ten novels, over twenty plays, and a handful of screenplays that have yet to see the light of day.

Griffo studied Journalism and Marketing at New York University, graduating magna cum laude many, many years ago, as well as Creative Writing at the New School and Gotham Writer’s Workshop.  

And the J. D. stands for the author’s mother – Jean Dolores – who absolutely loved to read and tell stories.

Praise forMurder in Tranquility Park
(A Ferrara Family Mystery) by J.D. Griffo

Phew! what a whirlwind of a book! I came to this series with this book and I am going to jump right back and read the first one as this was so good!
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

It’s a fun, fast character-driven cozy mystery where the mystery is not forgotten and the family value theme recurs often.
~Rosepoint Publishing

Author Links – Twitter – Instagram

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboGoogle PlayIndieBound 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS — Please visit all the stops. 
April 1 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 1 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
April 2 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
April 2 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
April 3 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, RECIPE
April 3 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
April 4 – I’m all About Books – SPOTLIGHT
April 4 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 5 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
April 5 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 6 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
April 7 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
April 7 – 4covert2overt ☼ A Place In The Spotlight ☼ – GUEST POST
April 8 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
April 8 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 8 – Books Direct – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 9 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 9 – Reading Is My SuperPower – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
April 10 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST
April 10 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

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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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Apr 092019
 


An Artless Demise (A Lady Darby Mystery)
Historical Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – England
Berkley (April 2, 2019)
Paperback: 384 pages
ISBN-10: 045149136X
ISBN-13: 978-0451491367
Kindle ASIN: B07FC7Y6GT

November 1831. After fleeing London in infamy more than two years prior, Lady Kiera Darby’s return to the city is anything but mundane, though not for the reasons she expected. A gang of body snatchers is arrested on suspicion of imitating the notorious misdeeds of Edinburgh criminals, Burke and Hare–killing people from the streets and selling their bodies to medical schools. Then Kiera’s past–a past she thought she’d finally made peace with–rises up to haunt her.

All of London is horrified by the evidence that “burkers” are, indeed, at work in their city. The terrified populace hovers on a knife’s edge, ready to take their enmity out on any likely suspect. And when Kiera receives a letter of blackmail, threatening to divulge details about her late anatomist husband’s involvement with the body snatchers and wrongfully implicate her, she begins to apprehend just how precarious her situation is. Not only for herself, but also her new husband and investigative partner, Sebastian Gage, and their unborn child.

Meanwhile, the young scion of a noble family has been found murdered a block from his home, and the man’s family wants Kiera and Gage to investigate. Is it a failed attempt by the London burkers, having left the body behind, or the crime of someone much closer to home? Someone who stalks the privileged, using the uproar over the burkers to cover his own dark deeds?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Lady Kiera Darby just can’t escape the taint her late husband put upon her. The latest crime wave involves a group killing people and selling the bodies to medical schools and anatomists like Lord Darby. They are calling the killers “Burkers” because they seem to be copying Burke and Hare, Edinburgh criminals, in the way the people are killed. They are preying on young men, “Italian Boys” that were said to be sold by their parents and in hopes, they would have a better life, but that was never meant to be. The boys were abused, many living on the streets. Lady Darby soon finds that people have long memories and some are sure she is involved with these bodysnatchers or at the very least knows who they are.

The newlyweds have also been asked to investigate the murder of the eldest son of Lord Redditch. He was killed close to his home and Kiera and Sabastian were the first on the scene. The killing had similarities with the “burker” death but Kiera and Sabastian believe that is what the killer just wants them to think. Will this murder be pinned on the burkers while the real killer goes free?

I anxiously await each new book in this series because Anna Lee Huber is such a talented storyteller. Her words transport the reader back in time so effortlessly. The scenes come alive from the gritty streets on foggy nights to the amazing homes in all their grandeur.

Ms. Huber also creates wonderful characters. Lady Darby was grown so much over the course of the story. After the death of the husband that kept her captured to illustrate the intricate parts of the body for his textbooks to the strong woman, she is today. Married to the man she truly loves, his partner in many sordid investigations, soon to be the mother of his child. She is intelligent and an independent thinker and his true equal. Very uncommon for the time and place. Sebastian Gage has grown too. He went against his father’s wishes by getting involved with Kiera and then marrying her. Their union has made him a stronger man and she truly brings out the best in him.

They are surrounded by a wonderful supporting cast. Their servants Bree and Anderley, who are much more than servants, they are trusted by Gage and Kiera and step up to take part in the investigation. They can go places and talk to those below floors in ways Gage and Kiera can’t. Add to this the vast cast of the noble realm, the families, the staffs, the Bow Street Runners, The New Police, and more. There are a lot of characters but Ms. Huber gives them great definition making each unique and memorable.

The mystery is very complex encompassing many situations. A true puzzler as clues are revealed and pieced together in many different ways until they all align and fall into place. I enjoyed following along each step of the way. I did have the killer on my radar but was still guessing right up to the final reveal.

These books can each be read on their own but I believe they should be read in order to realize all the character development. Plus they are all excellent stories that shouldn’t be missed by fans of this genre.

Until next year Lady Darby. I am excited for our next adventure!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To Find out more about Anna Lee Huber visit her website here.


Also by this Author

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.

Follow Berkley Mystery on Twitter for 2 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 April 23, 2019, 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.”

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Apr 052019
 


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 thought I would have to skip Flashback Friday this week because I couldn’t wait to read Heather Blake’s new book, but I had a little extra time so I decided to squeeze this book in to take care of North Dakota for my Literary Escapes Challenge.


Dakota Dream (Dakota Series)
Christian Historical Fiction
2nd in Series
Setting – North Dakota
Story Architect (November 26, 2018)*
Print Length: 125 pages
Kindle ASIN: B07KX8PHJ2

*This book was originally released in 1993 by Barbour Publishing, Inc. It has been re-released a few times. The links within this post are for the latest release that is available now on Amazon. I read a paperback copy from 1998.

“I came to American expecting to be married.”

Clara Johanson has a ticket to America and a photograph of a blond, curly-haired, blue-eyed man to prove her point. But when she arrives in Soldahl, North Dakota, the man who meets her at the train station, Dag Weinlander, is definitely not blond and, to make matters worse, he obviously hasn’t bathed in days.

At least she knows she will see joy in her sister’s face when she surprises her by arriving at her Soldahl home. As Clara begins her unexpected life as a single, Norwegian immigrant, she experiences the truth of God’s Word that “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Along the way she helps others, even Dag Weinlander, experience that truth too, as she steps into a new Dakota Dream far different than the one that brought her all the way from Bergen, Norway.

Dakota Dream is the second book of the Dakota Series that features the intertwining lives of five inspiring women who live in the early 1900s in the farming community of Soldahl, North Dakota.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We met Nora Johanson in Dakota Dawn, the first book in this series. Now we meet her sister Clara who received a plane ticket to bring her from Norway to Soldahl, North Dakota along with an unreadable letter and a photo of a man with blond hair and blue eyes. After days of travel and then hours waiting at the train station, she is disappointed when a man that looks nothing like the man in the picture shows up to take her to her sister’s home. Concentrating on seeing her sister and meeting the man she is going to marry, she gets in the boarish man’s buggy while trying to escape his smell. She knows got has a plan for her.

In Dakota Dream, Clara’s new life begins by helping others including Dag Weinlander, the man who met her at the station. With perfect amounts of drama and romance, we travel back to a very exciting time in American history.

I felt so bad for both Clara and Dag at first but in the end, they turned the tables. Hard work and perseverance along with their faith made a new life for them both.

The author is an expert at catching moments in time with stories everyone can enjoy and I sure did.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Find more books by Lauraine Snelling here.


Unfortunately, my copy is not in giveaway condition
so I will giveaway 1 Kindle Copy.

Book will be sent directly from Amazon. 

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End April 19, 2019, 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 from my private collection.

 

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Apr 052019
 


A Witch to Remember: A Wishcraft Mystery
Cozy Mystery
9th in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Crooked Lane Books (April 9, 2019)
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1683319788
ISBN-13: 978-1683319788
Kindle ASIN: B07H7QRV4R

Wishcrafter Darcy Merriweather’s enchanted wedding plans are put to the test when murder invites itself to her bridal luncheon…

The Enchanted Village always has a touch of magic about it, but the buzz of excitement over the wedding between wish-granting witch Darcy and Police Chief Nick Sawyer is positively electric. With every spellbinding detail planned to perfection all that’s left is to sit back and let wishes come true. But Darcy’s dream wedding is threatened when the Divinitea Cottage, the tea room hosting her bridal luncheon, goes up in flames, revealing the strangled body of the owner, Leyna Noble.

Making vows to solve the crime without delaying the nuptials, Darcy focuses on her prime suspect, and number one nemesis, wicked witch Dorothy Hansel Dewitt, a notorious firebug. But when a psychic vanishes without a trace, Darcy’s investigation shifts to Leyna’s mysteriously bewitching past. Darcy must sort through mystical claims and old, vengeful grudges to find a killer before she is forced to forever hold her peace.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Wedding bells will soon be ringing for wishcrafter Darcy Merriweather and Police Chief Nick Sawyer and almost everyone in the Enchanted Village is excited about it. Someone set fire to the Divinitea Cottage Tea Room minutes before Darcy arrived for her bridal luncheon. Sadly, the owner Leyna Noble did not make it out alive, but it wasn’t the smoke or fire that did her in. She was strangled!

Darcy’s prime suspect is Dorothy Hansel Dewitt, a truly wicked witch and fire is her modus operandi. Of course, Leyna is new to the village, so there may be other suspects. When a psychic who was part of Leyna’s past vanishes Darcy decides to broaden the investigation even though Dorothy’s behavior is not doing her any favors.

Secrets! That is the theme of this story. Secrets that will truly change lives.

Reading this story was truly bittersweet as it is the last book in the series. Author Heather Blake’s very memorable characters take readers on an enchanted final journey. All the characters we have come to love come together to celebrate Darcy and Nick’s wedding, solve a scary mystery, and share a magical moment.

I have enjoyed every book in this series but this one my favorite. The Wishcrafter theme is unique and fun and seeing Darcy’s wishes come true was so heartwarming. We are also treated to a fantastic whodunit. A suspicious death and fire, a missing person, along with what could be some world-ending mayhem.

Knowing this was the last time I would be visiting these characters I had allotted extra reading time so I could savor the time with them. But there was so much happening and the pace was so quick, I was shocked how fast I finished this book. There was a true edge of my seat moment too where the pages moved even faster. I am glad I was reading on my kindle, a paperback copy may have burst into flames 🙂

I am so happy with the way this series has ended and I want to thank Heather Blake for many hours of escaping into these GREAT books! I will never forget these magical characters or their wonderful village.

It is only fitting that this book will be on my Best Reads List for 2019.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author
Heather Blake is a pseudonym of Heather Webber, the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels, including the Nina Quinn Mysteries and the Lucy Valentine books. Blake has been nominated twice for an Agatha Award. She currently lives in the Cincinnati area with her family.

Follow Heather – www.heatherblakebooks.com
On Facebook
On Twitter


Also by Heather Blake

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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