Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – X Marks the Spot: We’re All Going to Die! So… What’s for Lunch? (Happy Accidents) by David Boyne #Review / #Giveaway

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

This is the book I decided to use to get the “X” slot filled in my
Alphabet Soup Challenge.


X Marks the Spot: We’re All Going to Die! So… What’s for Lunch?
Humorous Short Reads
3rd in Series
Green Flash Publishing; 1st edition (April 15, 2011)
Print length ‏ : ‎ 75 pages
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B004WTASGG

Hilarious, deceptively meaningful essays of ordinary, everyday events, in which the author sets out to prove his startling, radical, highly controversial assertion that we are all going to die.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

This book has been out for years but some of these essays harken back to the late 1990s and early 2000s. David Boyne. With an attitude of “When I’ve been in one place long enough to make a mess requiring vast expenditures of energy to clean up, I move” is not the way to go through life but that is exactly what he does taking him all over the country.

The essays were funny but I wouldn’t call them hilarious. Some were a little sad that he lived life the way he did. With titles like “It’s All Good”, “Grudge Holding Letter Bombing Sh*t Listers” “We’re All Going to Die” and “Just Passing Through”. we get the author’s insight and life experience. The author does say he has failed at everything in his life except being a writer or a rewriter.

It is a quick read at just 75 pages and a satisfactory way to spend an evening especially if you need an “X” for a reading challenge.

Note: Some of the essays contain explicit language.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About David Boyne

David Boyne has failed at everything he has tried. Including parenting, marriage, college, gainful employment, algebra, buying low and selling high, riding a bicycle across America, mixing red wine with tequila, and staying perpendicularly tangential to the gutter. At one time he considered becoming a better person, but when told identity theft was illegal he abandoned the idea. When not writing about his failures he boldly stares into Space, schemes for Total World Domination, and exposes himself in public.

It looks like he hasn’t published any books since 2012 but he does have a website where he posts his essays now.

Since this isn’t the type of book I usually feature
I am giving away an Amazon Gift Card for $3.50 which is
close to the price of the book including tax.

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 Following My Facebook Fan Page.

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

Contest Will End September 9, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Handbook for Homicide (A Booktown Mystery) by Lorna Barrett #Review / #Giveaway @BerkleyMystery @LornaBarrett

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.


Handbook for Homicide (A Booktown Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
14th in Series
Setting – New Hampshire
Berkley (July 21, 2020)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1984802755
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1984802750
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Berkley (June 1, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1984802763
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1984802767
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B081M7J5FF

Tricia Miles must swim against the tide to catch a killer when Haven’t Got A Clue’s assistant manager is accused of murder in the latest entry to Lorna Barrett’s New York Times bestselling Booktown series.

Haven’t Got A Clue bookshop owner Tricia Miles’s relationship is on the rocks. After a not-so-fun vacation with her on-again-off-again lover, Marshall Cambridge, Tricia’s hoping for smooth sailing back in Stoneham. Unfortunately, Booktown greets her not with blue skies but with another body.

When Tricia’s assistant manager, Pixie, finds homeless vet Susan Morris’s body behind Haven’t Got A Clue, Pixie’s checkered past makes her the prime suspect. Tricia sets out to clear Pixie’s name armed with only an anchor insignia earring found at the scene of the crime.

As Tricia digs deeper she discovers Susan was involved in a scandal right before retiring from the Navy—but since nobody in the village knows Susan, even Tricia’s one lead is in danger of drying up. With family drama brewing in the background and all of Stoneham convinced her manager is a murderer, Tricia knows she has to get to the bottom of the case soon before Pixie’s life is sunk.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Haven’t Got A Clue bookshop owner Tricia Miles was excited to travel to Ireland with Marshal Cambridge but the entire trip was a bust. Her return home to Stoneham was also far from perfect. She learns that while she was gone someone tried to break into her bookshop and that her sister had bunion surgery while she was gone. But the thing that tops the list is the dead body Pixie found in the dumpster. Tricia barely had time to catch her breath before police chief Grant Baker was flinging questions at both her and Pixie. The deceased, Susan Morris was living in her car, and Pixie had tried to help her in the past. Knowing the deceased, the location of where the body was found, and Pixie’s criminal record makes her a prime suspect. Tricia knows Pixie had nothing to do with Susan’s death. She just has to prove it. That is not easy when hardly anyone knew the victim.


Ms. Barrett takes on a hot topic within the pages of this book, homeless vets. When Tricia found out the victim was homeless it opened her eyes. She visits a nearby encampment and meets several other homeless vets. She talks to the leader of the group, Hank Curtis about Susan and learns why he is living the way he is. She has an idea that may help him into a better situation. Angelica may be sidelined from her surgery but that doesn’t mean she can’t make things happen. Mr. Everett and his wife Grace are also doing good things around the town too. I love Pixie and her energy even when she is a murder suspect. She and Mr. Everett can keep the bookshop completely under control while Tricia does some investigating.

Again, the author has packed the pages of the book with all kinds of drama. Tricia’s romantic life really outshined the murder mystery. Almost every page had Tricia ruminating about the direction of her life. That being said the murder mystery was easy to solve. The clues were all there early in the story. Tricia didn’t give up and had her a-ha moment at an inopportune time. I did enjoy how the entire story panned out. The pace to be a little slow in places and some of the actions felt forced but we are at the 14th book of this series so the characters pulled us through.

I love the Stoneham setting. A classic small town with a mission to make it the best place it can be to draw in tourists. I do wish there was more diversity in the business owners. Angelica or her alter ego Nigela Ricita owns almost everything in town and sometimes it gets a little boring that she can just throw money at a problem or an issue and fix it right up.

Handbook for Homicide is an interesting cozy mystery with characters that continue to grow in a place that can be chaotic or idyllic depending on the day.

There was a bit of a cliffhanger at the end of this book so I was really looking forward to reading A Deadly Deletion but after reading the synopsis I am going to put it off for a while. Tricia has been unhappy in her life throughout the last few books and I was hoping she would find happiness in the next book but that is not in the cards for her anytime soon.


Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
Find out more about Lorna and her books on her webpage here.


I am giving away 1 Kindle copy!
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.

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 Ends September 2, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For the Entry Form

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

 

Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – The Guest is a Goner (Sedona Spirit Cozy Mysteries) by Carly Winter #Review / #FreeBook

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.


The Guest is a Goner:
A Humorous Paranormal Cozy Mystery
(Sedona Spirit Cozy Mysteries)

Paranormal Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Arizona
Westward Publishing (January 24, 2021)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 208 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1393070000
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1393070009
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08MYCRNTV

She’s never believed in ghosts… until now.

As the owner of Sedona Bed and Breakfast, Bernadette Maxwell has always played up the rumors that her business was haunted. She’s never believed it herself, even though she can’t explain the odd odors that sometimes permeate the room or why a blast of cold air comes out of nowhere… until she has an accident and can suddenly see her resident ghost—her crazy, fun-loving, hippie grandmother, Ruby.

When a guest is found dead, the police rule it a homicide. It becomes apparent Bernadette is not only a suspect but also in the crosshairs of the murderer. With no one to turn to for help, she relies on Ruby to assist her in a search for clues to bring the killer to justice.

Will Bernadette and Ruby find the murderer before Bernadette becomes the next victim?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Bernadette Maxwell owns the Sedona Bed and Breakfast in a large home she inherited when her Grandma Ruth passed away. There have been rumors of the house being haunted and there are some things that could point to a ghostly presence but Bernie doesn’t believe in ghosts.

Bernie took a few days off to attend a wedding that was filled with strange occurrences, one that has changed Bernie’s life. She now knows the house truly is haunted because she can now see and hear the house’s resident ghost. Her fun-loving Grandma Ruth is trapped in this plane, unable to move on. She has been trying to communicate with Bernie and doing a little haunted hijinks for the guests of the B&B since the day she died.

There was only one guest when Bernie got home checked in by her best friend Darla who was managing the place.in Bernie’s absence, but by morning that guest is a goner. Found dead in his room, the police rule it a homicide. Bernie is their prime suspect but she hadn’t even met the man. With her grandmother’s help, Bernie decides to do a little amateur sleuthing. But she is already getting warnings to leave everything alone or she will be the next ghost haunting her B&B.


This was such a fun read!

Bernadette could not be more different than her Grandma Ruth. Bernie is low-key, a little OCD, and a straight-laced by-the-book person. Ruth has loved life and all it had to offer right up to her death. She’s cool and crazy, and a total hoot and a half. Good thing only Bernie can hear her because you never know what is going to come out of her mouth.  I fell for both characters pretty quickly. Bernie starts to loosen up to have some fun with her grandmother but she also has murder on her mind which has her questioning just who she can trust. Darla really irritated me with her attitude but Deputy Adam Gallagher turned out to be an excellent friend and that relationship looks to be headed to more than just friendship. These characters developed nicely over the course of the story and I am interested to see where life takes them next.

The murder mystery was much more complicated than I first imagined. Some crazy ideas were thrown out as possibilities for the guest’s death but as the story continued a couple were not as far-fetched as I thought. There were some comical scenes including one wild ATV ride as Ruth and Bernie sought to get answers. I enjoyed the way Ruth and Bernie found a way to work together and the way the killer was revealed. Ruth’s snarky little comments that Bernie repeated for the killer’s benefit gave me a good giggle.

The Guest is a Goner is a strong lighthearted paranormal mystery filled with humor. I found this granddaughter and ghostly grandmother sleuthing team completely engaging. I am looking forward to reading more of this series to see what they get into next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author 

Carly Winter is the pen name for a USA Today best-selling and award-winning romance author. When not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and enjoying the fantastic Arizona weather (except summer – she doesn’t like summer). She does like dogs, wine, and chocolate and wishes Christmas happened twice a year.

Website 

At time of this posting The Guest is a Goner is FREE on Amazon!

Find More Books By Carly Winter 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.”

Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes You Read How Many Books Challenge

Death Crashes the Party (A Liv and Di in Dixie Mystery) by Vickie Fee #Review / #Giveaway @vickiefeeauthor @KensingtonBooks

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.


Death Crashes the Party (A Liv and Di in Dixie Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Tennessee
Kensington (December 29, 2015)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496700627
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496700629
Kindle B00VQFKGKW

In the quirky, close-knit town of Dixie, Tennessee, party planner Liv McKay has a knack for throwing Southern-style soirées, from diamonds-and-denim to black tie affairs, and her best friend Di Souther mixes a mean daiquiri. While planning a Moonshine and Magnolias bash for high maintenance clients, Liv inconveniently discovers a corpse in the freezer and turns her attention from fabulous fêtes to finding a murderer. Together, Liv and Di follow a trail of sinister secrets in their sweet little town that leads them from drug smugglers to a Civil War battlefield, and just when they think they’re whistling Dixie, Liv and Di will find themselves squarely in the crosshairs of the least likely killer of all…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Liv McKay and her best friend Di Souther live in Dixie, Tennessee. Liv is a party planner and Di is a mail carrier. Together they can get into all sorts of trouble.

Liv has been planning a Moonshine and Magnolias bash for the Erdman’s 40th wedding anniversary. Mrs. Erdman has a firm plan in mind complete with costumes and fancy food. Mr. Erdman would like a very relaxed party and to just drink whiskey with his friends. Liv needs to find the perfect balance to keep both the husband and wife happy.

While making the final preparations Liv goes to check out the big freezer in the garage that will hold the ice sculptures until the day of the party. Opening the lid she finds a very dead and frozen corpse. If that isn’t bad enough she backs up into a big green garbage can only to have another dead body roll out onto the floor. The Erdmans are stunned and upset. Liv tries to pull herself as she calls 911.

The bodies are quickly identified and Liv and Dave know they both work for her husband’s trucking company. When the police investigate it looks like the men were smuggling something in the trucks and that quickly brings in the FBI and Larry and his dad become suspects.

Working together Liv and Di try to find the killer. A task that takes them on quite a journey as they flush out secrets about the residents of Dixie. Their investgation also has them questioning some very shady individuals. Soon they find themselves in a serious situation that they may not be able to get out of. Party planning and the U.S. Postal Service had not prepared either of them to take down a killer.


I am late to the party on this series full of parties but let me tell you when I read this paragraph I knew I was in the right place.

“I hope there’s liquor in one of those bags,” I said, dropping the bag on the counter and plopping myself into a faux-suede recliner. “This day’s been one long turd.”

I have had days like that and I am sure you have too!

Liv is a great protagonist. Smart, genuine, and happily married. Her husband, Larry Joe works in the family trucking business with his dad. His dad is a workaholic and his mother is totally devoted to her husband. Di is a hoot and she just happens to be dating Sheriff “Dave” Davidson. Dave is also one of Liv’s friends too. I felt all these characters were very well-developed for this first book in the series. I quickly became invested in their lives.

Ms. Fee plotted out quite a mystery. Liv and Di were on a mission and if they borrowed a little evidence would it really matter. The sheriff knew these two were not going to back off so he filled them in on some things about the case and even accepted their help in certain areas. There were many laugh-out-loud moments throughout this story along with some dicey situations. The story kept a quick pace the whole way. I loved the twists at the end and was pretty surprised when the killer was revealed. The unexpected assist was pretty epic as the killer was brought down. I loved it.

Death Crashes the Party was a terrific start for this series. I totally enjoyed my first trip to Dixie, Tennessee and I am looking forward to three more trips as I finish up this series!

Funny and entertaining! A Perfect Escape!


Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
About the Author 

Vickie Fee pens cozy mysteries featuring fun, feisty sleuths. She grew up on a steady diet of Nancy Drew, daydreams and sweet iced tea. A decade ago, Vickie moved from Memphis on the banks of the muddy Mississippi River to Marquette on the shores of chilly Lake Superior, taking her accent, her sense of humor, and her recipe for Jack Daniels whiskey balls with her. When she’s not dawdling on social media and swilling coffee, you can find Vickie in the coop at chicksonthecase.com.

Her novels include the Café Cinema Mysteries from Henery Press and the Liv and Di in Dixie Mysteries from Kensington.


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
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 Following My Facebook Fan Page.

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

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

Follow Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 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 July 22, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

                                  

Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – The Rocky Road to Ruin: An Ice Cream Shop Mystery by Meri Allen #Review / #Giveaway @StMartinsPress

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.


The Rocky Road to Ruin: An Ice Cream Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Connecticut
St. Martin’s Paperbacks (July 27, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1250267064
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1250267061
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08FZ8M8X3

Justice will be swirled by amateur sleuth Riley Rhodes in the first in Meri Allen’s brand-new mystery series, The Rocky Road to Ruin!

Riley Rhodes, travel food blogger, and librarian at the CIA, makes a bittersweet return to her childhood home of Penniman, Connecticut – land of dairy farms and covered bridges – for a funeral. Despite the circumstances, Riley’s trip home is sprinkled with reunions with old friends, visits to her father’s cozy bookshop on the town green, and joyful hours behind the counter at the beloved Udderly Delicious Ice Cream Shop. It feels like a time to help her friend Caroline rebuild after her mother’s death, and for Riley to do a bit of her own reflecting after a botched undercover mission in Italy. After all, it’s always good to be home.

But Caroline and her brother Mike have to decide what to do with the assets they’ve inherited – the ice cream shop as well as the farm they grew up on – and they’ve never seen eye to eye. Trouble begins to swirl as Riley is spooked by reports of a stranger camping behind the farm and by the odd behavior of the shop’s mascot, Caroline’s snooty Persian, Sprinkles. When Mike turns up dead in the barn the morning after the funeral, the peace and quiet of Penniman seems upended for good. Can Riley find the killer before another body gets scooped?

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

In this first book from Meri Allen’s Ice Cream Shop Mystery Series, we meet Riley Rhodes. Riley has a cool job working as a CIA librarian using being a travel food blogger as her cover. Her last undercover mission was in Italy and it ended badly. She now has two reasons to return home to Penniman, Connecticut. She needs to regroup after what happened in Italy but also her friend Caroline’s mother has passed away. She has so many great memories of spending time with Caroline on her family’s farm and working at the Udderly Delicious Ice Cream Shop. She always ate her share of ice cream too.

Now she wants to help Caroline in any way she can as she and her brother Mike make plans regarding the farm’s and ice cream shop’s future. Those two rarely agree on anything so Riley is not surprised they have totally different ideas about what to do with their newly inherited assets. After a bit of a blow-up Mike takes off to a cabin on the property with his girlfriend vowing the hash things out with his sister another day.

But that day doesn’t come. Instead, the next day, Riley finds Mike’s dead body in the barn and his girlfriend is missing. Knowing the argument between the siblings is going to have Caroline on the hot seat with the police Riley delves into her own investigation. She hopes to get the scoop on the killer before someone else gets creamed.


Riley is a very likable protagonist. I love that she has a CIA connection and that she is a librarian. Librarians are so knowledgeable and know how to ask the right questions. I am sure her CIA training has built upon those skills. Skills a great amateur sleuth needs. I admire her dedication to her friend Caroline who has to deal with so much. First her mother’s passing and then her brother’s. She also has a regular job she just can’t drop to handle the farm and ice cream shop. Riley doesn’t think twice, she jumps right in and volunteers to help with no time limits.

Caroline’s mother was beloved by so many and revered for all she had accomplished. We learn this from a variety of supporting characters who work and volunteer on the farm and at Udderly Delicious. Riley’s dad and stepmom are also introduced. Her dad owns a bookstore. That is just so perfect. It is a large group but the characters are clearly defined and easy to keep straight. That being said the author has left plenty of room for growth. There are also a couple of feline characters. One who thinks her royal highness rules the roost and everything around her. The other is a little ragged but cute and is given a great name.

Ms. Allen has done a fine job of world-building. It’s almost time for the Sunflower Festival and all the fields around the farm are filled with sunflowers setting up some great photo ops. The ice cream shop even has sunflower ice cream. As the characters travel up and down Farm Lane there are two farmhouses face to face across the lane. One is the family home behind the ice cream shop where Caroline’s mother lived. The other is teamed up with a large barn where the farm manager and his family live.  Down the road, there is a cabin that was sometimes rented out called the Love Nest. Keep going and there are more sunflower fields, apple orchards, other neighbors’ homes, a cemetery, and a winery. I could picture everything so easily. I could almost taste the ice cream too.

The author has crafted a very intriguing mystery. I had a grand time following along with Riley as she split her time making ice cream and trying to put a killer on ice. She found herself in some heated and scary situations but she kept pressing on. With some marvelous twists, I was drawn deeper and deeper into the story. The final twist was perfect. I was so absorbed in the story I know I missed a clue or two but at least I was in the ballpark with my guess.

The Rock Road to Ruin is a twisty mystery with a leading character that I want to know better and follow wherever she goes. The ice cream theme is just plain sweet and the sunflower backdrop at the farm has me longing for all the sunflower fields close around me that will be blooming and picture-perfect soon.

I am looking forward to reading Mint Chocolate Murder next month! Mint Chocolate Chip! YES!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

https://us.macmillan.com/author/sharirandall/

About the Author

MERI ALLEN/ SHARI RANDALL lives in a quiet corner of Connecticut, where she haunts libraries, used book stores, and vintage shops.


Coming July 26, 2022


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy of Rocky Road to Ruin!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Book will be sent directly from Amazon.

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 July 1, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For the Entry Form

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

Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways TBR Pile Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Dead in the Water (A Mattie Winston Mystery) by Annelise Ryan #Review / #Giveaway @ryan_annelise

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.


Dead in the Water (A Mattie Winston Mystery)
Hard-Boiled Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington (February 28, 2017)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 149670665X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496706652
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 368 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496706668
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496706669
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B01GBAG70E

As a single mom and deputy coroner of Sorenson, Wisconsin, Mattie Winston is used to her life being a juggling act. But now that she’s moved in with Detective Steve Hurley and his teenaged daughter, and has started planning their wedding, her home life is looking more like a three-ring circus. At least her workload at the Medical Examiner’s office is lightened by the new hire Hal Dawson. But before Hal can even cash his first paycheck, he’s murdered on a fishing trip with his girlfriend, who’s gone missing. To keep her life from going completely under, Mattie will have to dive deep for clues. But a killer is just as determined to keep the truth from ever surfacing . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Mattie and Hurley have moved into together to raise their son, Matthew now that they have his teenage daughter Emily’s approval. A wedding will happen soon if they can squeeze it in around their hectic jobs. Mattie had thought her part-time schedule would free up some time but her new co-worker Hal Dawson was just found dead on his boat and his girlfriend is missing. On top of that her boss, Izzy is having some serious medical issues and a temporary Medical Examiner has stepped in. Mattie finds herself working closely with Hurley to find out why Hal was found Dead in the Water but the killer seems to be quite elusive and the bodies are piling up.


I do love that the series is set very close to where I actually live and that when they say someone is on their way to or from Madison or Milwaukee I can easily visualize the trip. It is fun when other landmarks are mentioned too.

I am so happy that Mattie, Hurley, Emily, and Matthew are all under one roof and they have come up with a plan to try to juggle everything in their complicated lives. They all seem really happy and I am excited about their future. I am concerned about Izzy and Dom. They are still finding their way with a new baby in the house and Izzy’s judgemental mother in the guest house. Izzy has a serious medical episode in this story and it was very scary. As you can see, I have become invested in these realistic genuine characters Ms. Ryan has created. The unique family dynamic is what really drives the books in this series.

This story grabbed me from the start. Mattie is in court testifying about a gruesome discovery she made when called to a scene for a suspicious death. Then as soon as she is done she is set to another scene for another death that has some unusual facets. Then she has to deal with Izzy which is followed quickly by the dead body found Dead in the Water. Are all or some of these cases related? That is up to Mattie and Hurley with a little assistance to figure out all while dealing with the joys of daily family life.

I really enjoyed the way the author plotted out this story. She mixes together mystery, suspense, family, and humor with such a talented hand. The story flows so well that it is almost impossible to put down due to some hair-raising twists and deadly turns. The ending just rocked me to the core. We have definitely moved from the cozy Stiff part of this series to the edgier hard-boiled Dead part of this series and I am more than fine with that.

Dead in the Water is my favorite book in this series so far. I am excited to dive into Dead Calm soon!

Your Escape Into 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

New Series Starting September 13, 2022

Also by this Author

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy of Dead in the Water.

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

Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Giveaways New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

The Vanishing Type: A Charming Bookish Cozy Mystery (A Secret, Book and Scone Society Novel) by Ellery Adams #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks @ElleryAdams

Coming April 26, 2022

The Vanishing Type: A Charming Bookish Cozy Mystery
(A Secret, Book and Scone Society Novel)

Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – North Carolina
Kensington Cozies (April 26, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496726448
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496726445
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09BKB191Y

While January snow falls outside in Miracle Springs, North Carolina, Nora Pennington is encouraging customers to cozy up indoors with a good book. Even though the shop and her bibliotherapy sessions keep Nora busy during the day, her nights are a little too quiet—until Deputy Andrews pulls Nora into the sci-fi section and asks her to help him plan a wedding proposal.

His bride-to-be, Hester, loves Little Women, and Nora sets to work arranging a special screening at the town’s new movie theater. But right before the deputy pops the question, Nora makes an unsettling discovery—someone has mutilated all her store’s copies of The Scarlet Letter, slicing angrily into the pages wherever Hester Prynne’s name is mentioned.

The coincidence disturbs Nora, who’s one of the few in Miracle Springs who knows that Hester gave up a baby for adoption many years ago. Her family heaped shame on her, and Hester still feels so guilty that she hasn’t even told her future husband. But when a dead man is found on a hiking trail just outside town, carrying a rare book, the members of the Secret, Book, and Scone Society unearth a connection to Hester’s past. Someone is intent on bringing the past to light, and it’s not just Hester’s relationship at stake, but her life. . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Secret, Book, and Scone Society Members

Nora, the owner of Miracle Books, tries to heal people’s woes with a unique set of books she personally selects for them.

Hester runs the Gingerbread House bakery. Customers tell her a little bit about their lives and what brought them to Miracle Springs. Then she bakes them up a “comfort scone”.

June works at the hot springs spa where people come to rejuvenate themselves.

Estella is a beautician who tries to help her clients find their true selves.

Nora Pennington is busy with her employee and friend Shelton Vega planning ways to entice readers into the store and buy books they can escape into while it is chilly outside. They have some great ideas including a Blind Date with a Book event for Valentine’s Day.

Deputy Andrews has also confided in Nora and asked for her help to come up with the perfect evening for him to pop the question and ask Hester to marry him. Knowing how much Hester loves the book Little Women and knowing the movie theater in town will be screening old movies she comes up with a way to combine the two for the proposal.

Before they can get together for the big event Nora discovers that several copies of The Scarlet Letter at her store have been damaged. Some had angrily removed the name of Hester from all of the copies. It gives her pause because she knows her friend Hester has a secret she hasn’t even shared with the man who is going to propose to her very soon.

Then a man is found dead outside of town off a hiking trail. They find no identification on the body but he had a rare book in the pocket of his jacket. This piques the attention of all the members of the Secret, Book, and Scone Society. But what they find could rock Hester’s world. Her secret is going to come out and it could cost her her life.


I love this series so much. The friendships these women have built are so strong and their gifts to help people are so heartwarming. This time they have a mystery to solve to help one of their own and they won’t give up until every clue falls into place and the mystery is solved. I have to say this was an emotional read, my heart was tugged in several directions for various reasons. The story touched me personally and my heart broke when a child was bullied at school for the same problem I had. All these years later kids can still be so mean. I was thrilled when Nora had the perfect book to comfort the child.

Again Ms. Adams takes on another social issue with teen pregnancy and the following adoption. Hester is carrying a heavy load of guilt and trauma due to the way her family forced her to deal with a pregnancy. The author gives the story a huge twist using a set of rare books that carry clues to help solve a very complex mystery and to help Hester. This story was so well-plotted and interesting on many levels. It truly had a puzzle that needed to be solved to push the story further and I was captivated by each new piece and where it all would lead. I had a really hard time putting it down when it was time for bed.

I continue to be in awe of the author’s knowledge of books across so many genres. Nora’s gift is to find a perfect book for each customer, from children to adults of all ages and interests. She seems to have read every book in her store and can remember the tiniest detail in all of them. I am green with envy and thankful for the list provided of them all at the end of the book. My book wish list grows every time I read one of the books in this series.

Ellery Adams has created such a wonderful set of core characters. They all have their faults and traumatic things they have dealt with and are still dealing with every day. They are engaging and welcoming. They are all strong, kind, and genuine. I would love to meet people just like them in real life. A place like Miracle Books would truly be my happy place.

The Vanishing Type is an excellent addition to this series! I loved every minute of it and was sad to reach the final page. You will definitely find this book on my Best Reads of 2022. I can’t wait for the next book!!

I recommend this entire series! They are best read in order for maximum enjoyment.


Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
Read my review of The Secret, Book & Scone Society here, The Whispered Word here. The Book of Candlelight here, and Ink and Shadows here.

About the Author

Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Ruby Red Herring: An Avery Ayers Antique Mystery by Tracy Gardner #Review / #Giveaway

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


Ruby Red Herring: An Avery Ayers Antique Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New York
Crooked Lane Books (June 8, 2021)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1643856596
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1643856599
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08F4GJ2DP

A 2022 MARY HIGGINS CLARK AWARD Nominee

In this Avery Ayers Antique Mystery series debut, perfect for fans of Ellery Adams and Jane K. Cleland, an antiques appraiser hunts a missing gem while probing her parents’ deaths.

After her parents’ deaths, Avery Ayers takes over the family business, Antiquities & Artifacts Appraised, from the home office in Lilac Grove and a branch in Manhattan. Now living back at home with her younger sister Tilly and their newly moved-in, eccentric Aunt Midge and her Afghan hound, Avery’s life is filled with jewels, tapestries, paintings, and rare finds. But their world is rocked when Avery learns that the theft of a priceless ruby may be connected to her parent’s demise.

The trouble starts when the Museum of Antiquities hires Avery to appraise a rare, resplendent ruby. It bears a striking similarity to a solitary stone in the museum’s prized Xiang Dynasty bejeweled dragon medallion exhibit, which has long been missing one of its ruby eyes. Now, Avery and her colleagues–ostentatious Sir Robert Lane and fatherly Micah Abbott–suspect they may have the missing gem. But facets of the case remain cloudy. Security guard Art Smith is always underfoot but is not what he appears. Another body turns up connected to the appraisal. And Avery receives mysterious notes that begin to put her life in danger.

Avery enlists possible ally Art’s help in cutting the list of suspects who might have polished off her parents and swiped the jewel. Was it art collector Oliver Renell? Curator Nate Brennan? Acquisitions Liaison Francesca Giolitti? Actor Tyler Chadwick? Was the crime impersonal or perpetrated by someone all too close to Avery? If she can’t find the culprit, lovely Lilac Grove may be the setting for Avery’s own death.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Avery and Tillie Ayers were in the car when it crashed killing both their parents. Their Aunt Midge and her dog Halsten immediately moved from Manhatten to Lilac Grove where they all dealt with their grief and tried to move on. For Avery that meant stepping into her parent’s shoes in the family business, Antiquities & Artifacts Appraised. The business has been hired to appraise and authenticate a large rare ruby. A ruby that may be the missing piece from a dragon medallion from the Xiang Dynasty currently being exhibited by the museum. A piece her parents appraised right before their deaths. Avery with assistance from her employee and friend Micah Abbott must first determine if the ruby is real and if it is, analyze if it is indeed the jewel missing from the dragon medallion.

While Avery is trying to concentrate on the jewel she receives a threatening note followed by other strange events including the murder of an art collector. Realizing the danger she faces she knows they must complete the appraisal as quickly as possible but then someone else is attacked. She finds help from an unusual source to keep her safe. They also work together to try to uncover the killer but their luck just may run out before they do . . .


Oh, this was an exciting story.

I am very appreciative that the author took the time to really introduce these characters and give us readers their back story. Avery is a complex protagonist because she is not only dealing with the deaths of her parents on a personal level but on a business level as well. She has some big shoes to fill and she knows it. It is a lot for a twenty-five-year-old to handle so I was happy to see that her mental health was addressed and that she is seeing a therapist. Tilly has a big audition coming up and it could mean a huge step as she starts her college life. She too is in therapy to help deal with her loss. Their Aunt Midge is their rock. She does anything she can for the girls and keeps the grief of losing her brother under wraps. They are a close family unit and for the most part, they are getting on with their lives. These characters all have a genuine feel and I felt it was very easy to care about what was happening in their lives.

The supporting cast features Micah, Sir Robert, and Art Smith. Micah and Sir Robert work for Antiquities & Artifacts Appraised and have known Avery and Tilly their whole lives. Micah comes across as caring and competent. He has suffered his own loss that turned his life upside down before losing his friends, Anne and William Ayers. Sir Robert seems to be very art smart but lacking in life knowledge. He just isn’t really tuned in to what is happening around him at all times.  Art Smith is a fantastic character. He is working as a security guard at the museum but he is so much more. Ms. Gardner did of nice job of letting these characters develop over the course of the story.

I love that this mystery was different from most of the cozy mysteries I read. The focus was truly on the ruby with a variety of tentacles building off of it. The mystery was truly challenging and riveting, The museum was a busy place, open for its regular exhibits plus there was a movie being shot in one wing. That added to the intrigue as more people came into play. It also adds to the suspect list. Ms. Gardner had me taking notes about all the connections and interactions as I tried my best to solve the mystery before all was revealed. I was still kept guessing right up until the very end and was thrilled by that.

A wonderfully entertaining mystery full of truly interesting characters inhabits the pages of Ruby Red Herring. I love Tracy Gardner’s writing style and was delighted by the precise way she added humor and romance in all the right places. This book is a real gem! It checks all my cozy boxes!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Tracy Gardner is a Detroit native who writes mystery and romance novels. A daughter of two teachers, she has been writing since she could hold a pen. She grew up on Nancy Drew mysteries and rock and roll. When not writing, she works as a visiting nurse in a rural community, where she lives with her husband, two fun-loving teens, and a menagerie of spoiled rescue dogs and cats. She is a strong believer in the power of baked goods, live music, and girlfriend therapy as staples to a happy life.


Coming June 7, 2022

Also by Tracy Gardner


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
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.
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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 on April 29, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
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The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For the Entry Form

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

Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Jellies, Jams, and Bodies (The Jelly Shop Mysteries) by Donna Walo Clancy #Review / #Giveaway

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


Jellies, Jams, and Bodies (The Jelly Shop Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Maine
Independently published (March 15, 2019)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 176 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1798940612
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1798940617
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07PM95ZJ6

Whipper Will Junction, a small coastal town in Maine, offers beautiful beaches and views of mountains in one destination. Small shops line Main Street, the hub of the town. The residents all know each other and each other’s business. Tourist season brings the place to life when the locals are outnumbered by visitors, fifty to one.

There hasn’t been a murder in Whipper Will Junction for over forty years. It has been a safe, quiet place to live. Now, bodies are popping up everywhere. To make matters worse, Richard Wells, the beloved town elder has disappeared.

While opening her new shop, Jellies, Jams, and Weddings, Tabitha Moon is thrust into her first real-life mystery to solve. Will she be able to find the murderer and rescue Mr. Wells in time?

Teaming up with her best friend, Jen Jones, and her new love interest, Greg Stone, they work together to make their town the safe place that it used to be.

With its cast of lovable locals like Gladys Twittle, Samantha Moon, and Sheriff Puckett, you will fall in love with Whipper Will Junction. Come visit!

WHERE THE GOSSIP IS PLENTIFUL AND SO ARE THE BODIES.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Tabitha Moon is preparing to open her new shop. Jellies, Jams, and Weddings soon in Whipper Will Junction, Maine. She just has to wait a couple of months for the current resident to vacate her shop. While she is waiting she is making plenty of jellies and jams, using her grandmother’s secret recipes,  and getting all of her wedding contacts lined up. There was one thing messing with her bliss, her lazy boyfriend whom she has now kicked to the curb. But then her apartment gets vandalized, her friend, landlord, and beloved community leader Richard Wells goes missing, and after not having a murder in 40 years bodies are piling up in Whipper Will.

Tabby does meet a really nice man though. Greg Stone owes the local flower shop and they seem to have an instant connection. He along with Tabby’s best friend Jen team up with Tabby to try to find Richard and put an end to a killer’s reign. As Greg and Tabby continue to jell she does her best to evade the killer but she may have put herself right in their path.  Is she going to be able to find her friend and survive? or is she going to find herself in a murderous jam?


With the exception of a few, I love the people of Whipper Will. Tabitha Moon is a great protagonist who is well-liked by everyone she meets. She is such a genuine person and I love that she is rekindling her grandmother’s jelly business. She and her friend Jen Jones are always up for an adventure and they love to solve mysteries. “When a mystery presented itself, Jenny was the brains and Tabby was the brawn”. I am sure they never dreamed they would be trying to solve a real-life murder mystery or trying to find a real missing person. Greg Stone is a wonderful man with a huge heart and he falls quickly for Tabby. She’s a little gun-shy due to her past relationships but I am excited about this relationship. Whipper Will is full of people with good hearts as they come together to help Tabby in her time of need but they all support each other so well too. The author has created truly wonderful characters and left them plenty of room to grow.

The mystery really revolves around Richard Wells and his properties. He is a very generous man and that was his downfall. I enjoyed the way the author plotted out the mystery. Tabby just could let anything go. Her observations didn’t always pay off but she did find a big clue that moved her thinking along. I enjoyed following along with her the entire way.

Ms. Clancy captured small-town life so well. From the gossip flowing to the closeness of the residents and the way they cared about each other. I loved Richard Stone, every town needs a man or woman like him. Gladys Twinkle aka The Mouth is hilarious! The little trick Tabby and Greg played on her was incredibly funny and so deserved. I giggled through the whole exchange.

Jellies, Jams, and Bodies is more than a mystery. It is a feel-good story. The small town of Whipper Will sounds pretty idyllic sans the murders and its people are unique in this day and age. Donna Walo Clancy’s first book in the Jelly Shop Mysteries series was a pure delight and I can’t wait to read the next book Jam Up and Jelly Fright to see what Tabby and her friends get into next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Donna Walo Clancy (Donna Clancy) lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts in the U.S.A. She is a single mom of three grown children and happily divorced.

Her first passion is writing. She also loves to read and all kinds of crafting. Flea markets and yard sales can hold her attention for hours.

In her down time, she loves to walk the beach with her dog, Zumiez, and her metal detector searching for lost treasures.

Not holding herself to a single genre, she writes whatever story she feels needs to be worked on at the time. Her favorite genre is cozy mysteries and she has several series on Amazon at the present time; The Jelly Shop Mysteries, The Shipwreck Café Mysteries, and Thelma and June’s Great Adventures.


Also by this Author


 


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.

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 8, 2022 at 11:59 PM CST
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The 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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Casino Queen (Night Hawk Casino Series) by Cara Bertoia #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @CaraBertoia

Casino Queen (Night Hawk Casino Series)
by Cara Bertoia

About Casino Queen


Casino Queen (Night Hawk Casino Series)
Cozy Mystery/Romantic Suspense
1st in Series
Setting – California
Wild Rose Press (March 16, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 260 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1509240918
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1509240913
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09PJWMG9Z

Caroline Popov, alone, heartbroken, and deeply in debt ends up in glamorous Palm Springs, California where Native casinos have just opened, offering employment to thousands. She lands a job at the Palm Oasis Casino where she is mentored by the charismatic tribal chairman, John Tovar.

Embraced by casino culture, Caroline works her way up to casino manager of the Night Hawk, in the High Desert of Southern California. There, she is responsible for managing multicultural team members, satisfying the demands of often unique guests, and growing revenue while rooting out corruption.

In the process of rediscovering her inner strength, she learns, you have to gamble like your life depends on it. Because it often does.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

After traveling to Russia with her husband Andrei, Caroline’s life implodes when he tells her their real estate business in Palm Springs is underwater in debt. He begs her to stay with him in Russia but she returns to California to face the creditors and deal with the fallout. To handle to immense tax debt her friend, John Tovar hires her to work at his tribe’s casinos. She soon finds herself promoted to casino manager at the Night Hawk Casino with the direction to update the place and grow it to be all it can be. But she also has to watch over the staff. Being around the amounts of money her employees see can quickly lead to corruption.


I started reading Casino Queen and could not put the book down. I stayed up late because the story had a slow build that grabbed a hold of me and wouldn’t let go. Soon the story became so surprising and suspenseful the pages were flying so fast there should have been steam coming out of my Kindle.

Caroline Popov is a character with depth. She uses her keen observations skills to keep the guests of the casino happy and her employees honest. Sadly she does make a few enemies when she needs to ban some guests and fire a few employees. She has a huge heart so those actions weren’t easy but she can’t turn her back on out of control behavior or illegal acts. She also loves her husband dearly but couldn’t abide his actions. She fights hard to always do the right thing and at times that takes a lot of courage. The more I read the more I loved this character and became invested in everything about her and what she faced.

The author draws on her vast knowledge of casinos to give her readers a real beyond-the-scenes look at a place full of bells and whistles. From the slot machines, blackjack tables, money counters, and dealers, to the restaurants and security offices and personnel she goes into depth on it all. We also get to travel the desert to Caroline’s cozy home. The desert setting was great for this story. The desolate area was eerie at the right times and beautiful in others. I really enjoyed Ms. Bertoia’s descriptions. I felt like I was following right in Caroline’s footsteps.

Casino Queen was not what I expected from reading the synopsis, it was so much more. The casino culture was both interesting and intriguing. Add to that some mystery, suspense, and romance and you have an absolutely Perfect Escape. In the end, everything in this story appears to be wrapped up nicely. I am really excited to see where the author takes Caroline next.



Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Cara Bertoia

Growing up in a strait-laced Southern family, I was always fascinated with casinos. In my twenties on a summer hiatus from teaching in North Carolina, I drove to California and became a dealer at Caesars in Lake Tahoe. Well, I can tell you that after teaching high school, handling an unruly gambler was a piece of cake. My mother highly disapproved of my working in a casino, “a place so bad it has ‘sin’ in the middle.”

Eventually, I succumbed to pressure from the family and returned east to take a high-tech job in Boston. I also began working on my MFA in writing at Emerson. I wanted to write the first realistic novel about casino life from the perspective of an experienced table games dealer. I am always amazed that normal and sometimes quite intelligent players become absolutely clueless in the casino. They repeat superstitious nonsense and no amount of logic can change their position, maybe my novel will.

While in Boston I was offered the opportunity to join Princess Cruises as a croupier. Jumping at the chance, I spent the next five years circling the globe. Sometimes life exceeds your dreams. I was awed by the wonders of Venice, the fjords of Norway, and the Northern Lights in Leningrad.

I returned from ships with a very special souvenir, my Scottish husband Ray. We went to work at the Spa Casino in Palm Springs. We now live in Hollywood, Florida, where I write about my casino years while wistfully gazing out at the ocean.

I love to see any of you out there reading Casino Queen. Send me a picture to carabertoia@yahoom.com and I will post it on social media. 

Thank you, Cara B

Author Links

Cara Bertoia’s Blog    Twitter     Cara Bertoia – Author (godaddysites.com) Cara Bertoia (@carabertoia) • Instagram photos and videos     Facebook   TikTok:  tiktok.com/@carabertoia

GoodReads Cara Bertoia      BookBub Cara Bertoia 

Purchase Links

Amazon – Barnes and Noble

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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.”