Nov 182017
 

This is my favorite Challenge!

The Alphabet Soup Challenge means that by December 31, 2018
your bowls must be filled by one book for each letter of the Alphabet.

Each Letter Counts As 1 Spoonful

Details

This challenge will run from January 1st, 2018 until December 31st, 2018.

You can join anytime. You do not have to post a review of the book. Books can come from any genre.

You do not need to link up each spoonful.

Make a page or a post or a GoodReads shelf where you will keep track of your spoonfuls. I keep track of mine on my Challenge Page.

Crossovers to other challenges are allowed and encouraged!

It’s an alphabet challenge!!! The challenge is to read one book that has a title starting with every letter of the alphabet.

You can drop the A’s and The’s from the book titles as shown below.

The First Main Word Needs To Be
The Letter You Are Counting 


Except For those pesky Q, X AND Z titles then the word that starts with the challenge letter can be anywhere in the title.

So there are two different ways you can set up your own A-Z Reading Challenge.

A – How I plan to do it: Make a list on your blog from A-Z. Throughout the year, as you go along, add the books you are reading to the list. Towards the end of the year, you can check and see which letters you are missing and find books to fit.

OR

B – Make a list now of 26 books, picking one for each letter of the alphabet. For example: A – Antiques Wanted by Barbara Allan B – Biscuits and Slashed Browns by Maddie Day C – Class Reunions Are Murder by Libby Klein D- The Diva Cooks Up A Storm by Krista Davis, etc.. 

Books can be read in any order and all formats – print – e-book – audio – are acceptable for this challenge!

Ready to join??

Bloggers grab the image below and make a post about the challenge to encourage others to join!

Non-bloggers you can join too! Just keep track any way you wish. You can even set up a special shelf on Goodreads.com to help you keep track!  It is super easy, Just click the MY BOOKS tab at the top of the page. When that page opens just click – ADD A SHELF in the left hand sidebar. Title it Alphabet Soup Challenge and you are all set. 

Follow Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book as there may be special announcements made about the challenge.

There is also a very active group on Facebook where you can share your books read and converse with others taking part in the challenge. Alphabet Soup Challenge –  You can share your accomplishments throughout year there. Right now they are finishing this year’s challenge but it will switch over to the new year on January 1. 

This year I am asking everyone to sign up using Google Forms. Sign Up Here. This way I have your emails in case I need to contact you about any changes to the challenge or about special events. 

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Sep 222017
 


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 Murder of a Queen Bee
(A Henny Penny Farmette Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – California
Kensington (September 27, 2016)
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1617739132
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1617739156
Kindle ASIN: B01A4APJ9M

 

 

Former police officer Abigail Mackenzie has made a fresh start as a beekeeper and farmer in picturesque Las Flores, California—but she never suspected her new hometown would prove to be abuzz with murder . . .

Only hours after Abby’s free-spirited friend, Fiona Mary Ryan, owner of Ancient Wisdom Botanicals, missed their lunch date, her body is found in a burning car—a tragic accident until the coroner’s report points to murder. Driven by her loyalty to her friend, and her deeply ingrained skills as a trained investigator, Abby sorts through suspects who seem to be sprouting up everywhere. Luckily, Abby isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty to smoke out a killer . . .

Includes farming tips and delicious recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am excited to travel back to Las Flores, California for my second visit to the Henny Penny Farmette owned by Abigail Mackenzie.

After leaving the police force Abby has become a farmer/beekeeper but she still does private investigations on the side.  She is also remodeling her farmhouse as time and money permits. When her friend Fiona fails to show up for lunch at Abby’s farm, first she get a little testy but then she gets worried. Kat, her former partner, was at the farm for lunch too, but she is called away for a car fire, their friend Fiona appears to be the victim. Abby can’t help but get involved. When the investigation leads to a commune outside of town Abby get caught in a very dangerous situation. As if she doesn’t have enough bees in her bonnet her ex boyfriend, Clay has strolled back into town and expects to pick their relationship up right where they off. Bee-leive me she really doesn’t need to deal with this guy especially because she may have feelings for a couple of other men around town.

I have become a huge fan of Abigail Mackenzie. She knows everyone on the police force and they really don’t seem to mind too much when she helps them clear their cases. She is very observant and insightful but she sometimes forgets she no longer has a gun to protect herself. Nothing seems to hold her back. Back in the day, she would have been called a “gutsy broad”. Her love life is a bit of a mess but she really in too busy to evaluate that right now. Her growth throughout the story was a pleasure to see. I also am head over heals crazy about her dog.

All the other characters are very fleshed out and bee-lievable. Good or bad I had a good grasp of who they were and how they fit seamlessly into the story.

Meera Lester writes in a way the makes you almost feel as you are watching the mystery play out on television. Visualization was super easy. I was engaged in the story from the beginning to the end. The mystery was well conceived and there were plenty of suspects. Some of the clues were of the red herring variety but I enjoyed following all the clues very much. The pace was perfect for me.

I appreciated  the farming tips and recipes that started each chapter as well. In the e-book advance review copy they fell into place a bit clumsily, but I am sure they shine in the print editions.

I found  The Murder of a Queen Bee  to “bee” a first-class mystery, full of interesting characters, tempered with humor and just a little romance.

I am really excited to read the next book in this series. A Hive of Homicides hits stores later this month. 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out about Meera Lester and her books on her webpage here.


I am giving away 1 Kindle copy sent directly from Amazon.
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End October 6, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Aug 222017
 

Yews with Caution (Flower Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
19th in Series
Setting – Indiana
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (May 30, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451473455
Kindle ASIN: B01LXHM9PI

Flower shop owner Abby Knight is out to help a friend in need but soon finds herself in the weeds…

The Spring of Abby’s Discontent

It’s April in New Chapel, and Abby and her husband, Marco, are off to buy shrubs for their new house. But the owner of the local landscaping company is nowhere to be found. Abby’s best friend, Nikki, meanwhile, believes she unwittingly helped a group of her hospital coworkers conspire to kill the man.

After the police get involved, Nikki becomes a suspect. Abby digs deeper for clues to save her friend only to discover bushels of folks bearing a deep-rooted hatred for the two-faced business owner. Marco attempts to help Abby with the case but soon falls critically ill. Now Abby must find the real culprit on her own before everything goes to pot…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Things get crazy in this 19th installment of the Flower Shop Mysteries. Abby and Marco are settling in to their new home and it is time to do a little landscaping. While shopping for shrubs Abby makes a strange discovery. They then learn the owner of the nursery is missing and Abby’s BFF Nikki may be involved. Nikki begs Abby to help her but Marco is working another case. She starts to do a little investigating on her own and unearths several reasons the man may be missing or dead. Just when Marco is ready to dig into the case Abby finds him unconscious and has to call 911. Now it is up to Abby to plow through all the clues and save Nikki and Marco too.

This was such a fun read.

Kate Collins always delivers a captivating cozy mystery starring characters that are some of my favorites. I was so glad to see Nikki play a prominent role even though I wanted to climb into the book several times and shake her by the shoulders or kick her in the butt. Abby is much more patient that I am but her frustration was very evident to everyone but Nikki.

Marco and Abby are the perfect match. I love the way their relationship continues to grow and grow. Their love just blooms within these pages.

I always love visiting Bloomers. Lottie, Grace and Rosa are such wonderful women with such positive outlooks. Jillian and Abby’s mom drop by the shop to give us some shake your head moments and a few giggles.

Ms. Collins has written a story that moves along at a good clip. The plot in the story was like riding an emotional roller coaster and full of twists.  The drama at times was intense. I was worried about Abby, Marco and Nikki. I couldn’t put the book down. The final twist took me totally by surprise.

This was one of the first cozy mystery series I found way back when and instantly Kate Collins became one of my favorite authors. The stories are always fresh, fun, and entertaining. A difficult job when you get this deep into a series. You can jump into the series anywhere but you are going to want to go back and read them all. I am so looking forward to my next escape to New Chapel. This visit ended way too soon.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

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


GIVEAWAY

I am giving my review copy away. 
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End September 5, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Aug 112017
 

Murder at Sea of Passenger X
(Georgie Shaw Cozy Mystery Series)

Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Society Islands of French Polynesia
Self Published (March 28, 2017)
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1543005646
Kindle ASIN: B01MYH77FW

 

 

Welcome aboard! Georgie Shaw and her handsome new husband, Detective Jack Wheeler, are living it up on Marvelous Marley World’s luxurious cruise ship when trouble strikes. “The screaming came in bursts followed by shouts of man overboard, just like in a movie.”

Who is passenger X? Did he fall or was he pushed? Does it have anything to do with the rash of jewelry thefts or the murdered man found near the spot where Passenger X went overboard?

With a killer on the loose, Georgie and Jack are soon enlisted to help solve the case. It’s a non-stop scramble to unravel the mystery before Georgie’s eccentric boss, “Mad” Max Marley, arrives in Tahiti demanding answers. That won’t be easy since Passenger X isn’t the only one with a dubious identity as the list of suspects grows. That list includes Georgie’s old friend Chef Gerard and his striking blond, blue-eyed Sous Chef, Paolo. Masters of five-star cuisine and wizards with chocolate, are they cooking up more than sumptuous feasts and banquets of desserts? How about the guy in the Perroquet suit or “Monster Marston,” a standout in the fitness center?

It’s all hands on deck to figure out whodunit. Even Georgie’s cats get involved in the action on board this cruise that comes with a boatload of mystery!

RECIPES INCLUDED!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Newlyweds Georgie Shaw and Detective Jack Wheeler have set sail on the high seas thanks to Georgie’s boss, “Mad” Max Marley. Time to relax and enjoy themselves until they hear someone scream “Man Overboard”. When they arrive on the deck they are told someone was now lost under the water but also find a dead body and learn of some jewelry that has been stolen from some passengers.  Within minutes Jack is asked to assist the ship’s security and of course Jack and Georgie are a package deal. Hopefully they can solve the case in time to enjoy a little bit of their honeymoon.

What an entertaining read!

Anne Celeste Burke writes with such detail I felt like I was right aboard the cruise ship. I have never been on a cruise but it is on my bucket list. This virtual cruise was a lot of fun. Jack, Georgie and their two cats have a plush suite with some incredible features. We follow them around the ship to the bars and restaurants and even to the infirmary and the brig. One night the chefs hosted a huge dessert party. I want to climb right into the pages myself. Even murders wouldn’t keep me away from that much chocolate 🙂

The story is very clever as the suspects are limited to those aboard who had access to certain parts of the ship. There is a twist that takes the suspect list to another level too so while there are about a 1000 passengers certain information is obtained to cut that number down drastically. I enjoyed how Georgie and Jack work together. Smart, insightful, trusting each other thoughts and theories. They also have their funny sides too. They are two people who are very comfortable together and like me share a love for old movies.

This is the first book I read in this series. I have wanted to read this author for a long time and I needed a book with an “X” in the title for my Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge so I hopped on this ship headed for Tahiti. I had no trouble at all jumping in at book #5 but now want to go back and get to know Georgie and Jack from the beginning. I also want to learn more about “Mad” Max Marley and his Marvelous Marley World.

This was an absolutely perfect escape!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out all about Anna Celeste Burke on her webpage here.
You can also sign up for her mailing list and receive a free book.

Find more books by this author here.


I am giving away an e-copy of this book.
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.

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

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere
you will receive

5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End August 25, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

*This book was from my private collection. 

Jun 302017
 


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.


Iced to Death
(A Gourmet De-Lite Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Connecticut
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Published by The Penguin Group
Release Date – March 4, 2014
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425252543
Kindle ASIN: B00EOAS0E0

 

 

Gigi Fitzgerald, owner of Gigi’s Gourmet De-Lite, knows how to put her clients’ cravings on ice. But catching a slippery killer is more of a challenge…

Gigi’s business may be hot, but her home life is leaving her cold. Her sister, Pia, has dropped in for an unannounced visit and, much to Gigi’s chagrin, has immediately fallen for handsome bar owner Declan McQuaid. So when Declan asks Gigi to help him prep for a big engagement party, she’s not only dealing with the heat of the kitchen and her own feelings for Declan, but Pia’s jealousy.

However, Gigi’s rising temperature quickly chills when the host of the party is found stabbed to death with an ice pick in back of the pub. Now, as Gigi’s beau, Detective Mertz, hones in on Declan as a possible murderer, Gigi will have to shave down the growing list of suspects quickly, before Pia’s newfound love interest finds himself locked in the cooler…

INCLUDES DELICIOUS—AND HEALTHY—RECIPES!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Gigi’s Gourmet De-Lite has added several new customers but it is helping out Declan McQuaid with an engagement party at his bar that gets Gigi in hot water this time. Leaving the bar after the party and a drink with the hunky Declan, she finds the the father of the groom dead in the parking lot. She has to call her boyfriend Detective Mertz to report the body and when he arrives she is going to have to explain why she was still at the bar. To make matters worse the murder weapon was from the bar and Declan is the police’s prime suspect.

Gigi also has a house guest. Her sister Pia has unexpectedly come to town and has no definite plans on when she is leaving. But Pia met this handsome bar owner (Declan) and thinks he just may be Mr. Right.

Gigi starts investigating to help Declan and her sister’s heart. She has many more suspects than Mertz, she just needs to grill the right one.

I really like these characters. Gigi is all about healthy eating but even she breaks down to share a pizza with her sister (using a paper towel to remove as much of the grease as possible). Declan, the local tavern owner would love to get much closer to Gigi, not Pia, but her heart right now belongs to the good detective. Mertz and Gigi are taking things slow. Even when things start to move a little faster they are always interrupted by something. It was fun seeing how this romantic triangle progresses. Pia is an artist and never stays in one place for long and there is usually a man involved when she decides to hit the road. All these relationships are very believable.  Ms. Cochran’s character building is top-notch, including the new characters brought together for the mystery in this book.

The author has cooked up a way to not only keep readers on our toes but gives us an outcome that made perfect sense.  The plots and subplots in Iced to Death blend together very naturally. Most of the suspects are either Gigi’s clients or connected to one of them. This enables her to conduct her “investigation” through her normal activities. I don’t know how she juggled everything and never missed a meal or a delivery but she did. The woman does have a lot on her plate.

Another tasty mystery from Peg Cochran. I loved it!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

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

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

A former Jersey girl, Peg now resides in Michigan with her husband and Westhighland white terrier, Reg. She is the author of the Sweet Nothings Lingerie series (written as Meg London), the Gourmet De-Lite series, the Lucille series and now the Cranberry Cove series. Her newest series, the Farmer’s Daughter, debuted with No Farm, No Foul in September 2016. Sowed to Death was released July 4, 2017.

Find all of Peg’s books on Amazon here.


I am giving away my review copy.
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.

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End July 14, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

May 112017
 

Jeopardy in July: A Jamie Quinn Mystery
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Florida
Self Published
Print Length: 220 pages
ASIN: B06XWJK9TP

 

 

Old people were dying at an alarming rate at La Vida Boca, a posh assisted living facility in Boca Raton, Florida. With its sterling reputation, dedicated staff, and top-notch medical care, none of the deaths are considered suspicious, but when members of the poker club start to die under strange circumstances, attorney Jamie Quinn finds herself once again embroiled in a mystery. With help from her new friend, Jessie Sandler, and her favorite P.I., Duke Broussard, Jamie uncovers a crime that took place forty years earlier. Can she stop the killer in time? Or is she in danger of becoming the next victim?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Attorney Jamie Quinn is getting burnt out practicing family law and thinking of changing the focus of her law office. The last thing she needs is to be involved in another murder investigation but that is exactly what she finds at La Vida Boca. The elderly are dropping like flies at the ritzy assisted living center. All of the men had one thing in common, they were members of a poker playing club at the facility. Jamie knows there has to be more to the story. She brings in Private Investigator Duke Broussard to help her solve the case. Hew new friend, Jessie Sandler assists as well. They need to figure things out quickly before all of the card sharks are 6 feet under. Maybe family law isn’t so boring after all.

This time she introduced a wonderful batch secondary characters, the residents and staff at the La Vida Boca. The card players reminded me of several older men I have met throughout my life both when my parents ran a small town tavern and later at their nursing homes. Except then the game was euchre but that was secondary to the friendships that are created as was true in this story. Jamie with her soft heart quickly becomes invested in their lives.

Barbara Venkataraman knows how to pack a great mystery into 220 pages. She wraps these characters in a intriguing story. People are being poisoned and the reason may lead to a crime committed 40 years ago. The plot is has a few twists but as we follow Jamie through the story a picture of means, motive and opportunity clearly evolves. I enjoy the way Duke and Jamie work together. Duke brings humor to the situation. In fact there is quite a bit of humor from the first page to the last.

Jamie’s romance with Kip still gives me pause. I do like that she has reconnected with her father too, even if they are just Skyping each other. I absolutely loved the ending. I am anxious for book #6 to continue those subplots.

This is a quick read. A story well balanced with mystery and real life occurrences. Jamie has come a long way from Death by Didgeridoo

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

barbara new pic

About The Author

Award-winning author, Barbara Venkataraman is an attorney and mediator specializing in family law and debt collection.

She is the author of “Teatime with Mrs. Grammar Person”; “The Fight for Magicallus,” a children’s fantasy; a humorous short story entitled, “If You’d Just Listened to Me in the First Place”; and two books of humorous essays: “I’m Not Talking about You, Of Course” and “A Trip to the Hardware Store & Other Calamities,” which are part of the “Quirky Essays for Quirky People” series. Both books of humorous essays won the “Indie Book of the Day” award.

 Author Links
Blog    GoodReads   Amazon

Purchase from Amazon


Find More Books by Barbara Venkataraman here.

GIVEAWAY
The Author is giving away 3 e-copies of Jeopardy in July!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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 May 25, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

May 042017
 

This book is available for pre-order. Release Date – May 30, 2017


About a Dog ( A Bluff Point Romance)
Women’s Fiction/Romance
1st in Series
Setting – Maine
Berkley Sensation (May 30, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0399584718
Kindle ASIN: B01LX3H0Q5

 

 

Fall in love with a little help from man’s best friend in New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay’s contemporary romance debut.

Mackenzie “Mac” Harris fled her hometown of Bluff Point, Maine, after being left at the altar—and seeking solace in the arms of her best friend’s off-limits brother. Now, seven years later, she’s back to attend her best friend’s wedding—safe, or so she thinks, from the mistakes of her youth.

But Gavin Tolliver has never forgotten the woman who has always held his heart. And when Mac rescues a stray puppy named Tulip, only Gavin, the town’s veterinarian, can help. With a little assistance from Tulip, Gavin vows to make Mac realize that their feelings are more than just puppy love…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Back in 2011 I found some romance novels written by Jennifer McKinlay written for Harlequin. I am not sure when they were originally released but they were re released as e-books in 2014. I really enjoyed them so I was very excited when I heard she was starting a new romantic comedy series. I was over the moon to receive an early copy of the first book to review.

We meet Mackenzie “Mac” Harris as she returns to Bluff Point after leaving seven years prior when her groom left her standing at the altar. She returns to be her best friend, Emma’s maid of honor and hopes her past won’t rise up to smack her in the face.  Gavin Tolliver, Emma’s little brother, was there for her when her wedding fell apart and has never gotten over the feelings he had for her. They reconnect because of the wedding but also because of Tulip, a stray puppy Mac rescues. It’s all About A Dog until suddenly it isn’t.

I loved, Loved, LOVED this story!

Mac and Gavin along with all their family and friends are wonderfully written. The friendships both new and old come together so naturally. Mac’s aunts were my favorite characters next to Mac and Gavin. These senior citizens are going through their second phase of being teenagers. Their antics will have you smiling ear to ear.

Being a dog lover I was taken by Tulip the moment Mac found her. As you may imagine by the title she is a key character to the entire story. She is just so darn lovable. If I didn’t have two dogs already I would rush right out to adopt one just like her.

Gavin and Mac have a secret. Something she has tried to forget and one Gavin wants her to remember very clearly. Emma has not had much luck in her relationships and tries to fight her feelings for Gavin but sparks just seem to fly whenever they are near each other. She even enlists her friends to be buffers and help her to never be alone with him. She is only in town for two weeks, there is no way they can be any more than friends. Yeah, right.

Jenn McKinlay has penned quite a romance with several twists. Lighthearted, funny and romantic. A totally entertaining story of life, love, and friendship.  This series is out to a fabulous start.  I can’t wait for Barking Up the Wrong Tree when it releases on September 26 and then Every Dog Has His Day comes out January 2, 2018. 

I highly recommend an escape to Bluff Point soon and often.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

*Adult language and situations as expected for this genre. 

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.”

Apr 282017
 


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 discovered this series last year when looking for a “Z” book for my
Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge.

This book, the 2nd in the series was released in 1995 by Avon Books.
It was released as an e-book in 2010. My copy is an original that I found on PaperbackSwap so it the cover does not match the one shown below.

Miss Zukas and the Island Murders (Miss Zukas Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Washington State / San Juan Islands
Originally published by Avon/HarperCollins in 1995
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0380770311
E-Book ASIN: B003AYF3NC

 

 

The ever-conscientious Miss Helma Zukas of Bellehaven, Washington, is not one to renege on a promise—even one made hastily . . . and too long ago to possibly remember! So when an anonymous note in the morning mail reminds her of her vow to bring her high school classmates together for a twenty-year reunion, Miss Zukas hops to and begins organizing the perfect celebration . . . despite some vague and mysterious warnings about dire consequences.

But when a secret saboteur disrupts her well-planned reunion—stranding Helma and her old classmates on a fogbound island with a murderer in their midst—the intrepid librarian-sleuth takes charge once again. With a dubious assist from her raffish friend Ruth, Miss Zukas is determined to close the books on crimes both current and overdue for solution . . . before the killer takes the alumni out of circulation permanently.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Twenty years ago Helma agreed to organize her high school classmate 20th reunion. She had completely forgotten about it until a strange anonymous note arrives to remind her of that commitment. With her friend Ruth’s help they decide to invite everyone to Washington to celebrate. She does receive another anonymous warning to cancel but they decide to push ahead with their plans. Their guests start to arrive but when they get off the ferry to go to the resort on one of the San Juan Islands they find someone had cancelled their reservation. This added to the warning has both Helma and Ruth a little more than worried. They are able to continue with the party but a death in the past may be connected to the problems they are having today. The ladies commit to do everything they can to just get through the weekend but one of their guests may have a deadlier plan.

Miss Helma Zukas is a bit of a trial to those around her but she was more approachable in this story. She does like to have things done her own way and in her time frame but when there may be a murderer in her midst things are beyond her control. Her critical thinking, keen observations and sense of order do make her an excellent sleuth. With Ruth by her side they do get in some crazy predicaments. Polar opposites they are the perfect team.

I enjoyed this story very much. There were several unique twists. Tying a death in high school that was thought to be an accident to another death and threats 20 years later made for an interesting plot. Like any class reunion, especially one as small as this, there are some secrets to be revealed. From jobs not as exactly as glorious as they seem to people who have completely changed. There are also those who remain exactly the same and would be recognized anywhere. I did enjoy meeting everyone and loved that even a few teachers joined in on the fun.

This book was originally released in 1995 so cell phones are new and very rare. No internet and no social media to find out what people are up to. Being stuck on a foggy island with no police or ambulance service can make a weekend stay like this very interesting.

A nice mystery with bits of humor and very interesting characters. I look forward to the next installment.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

I am giving my used copy of the 1995 mass market paperback edition away.

My copy has this cover.

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.

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

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

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and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

*This book was from my personal collection. 

Apr 142017
 


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 Spotlighted this book back in February.
It finally reached the top of my To-Be-Read stack.

Up North Murder: Up North Michigan Mystery
1st in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Michigan
CT Communications (October 2, 2016)
Paperback: 226 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0998212203
Kindle ASIN: B01LY1XJ42

 
 
 
 
 

A phone call can change your life forever…

Abigail Williams gets that phone call. Gordon Dorsey, Abby’s uncle and last living relative has drowned in the lake on his property, and Abby is his sole heir.

There are a few complications, however.

Abby’s inheritance is a trout farm in Michigan, but she’s a city girl from Phoenix, Arizona. In addition, Abby doesn’t believe the official story of her uncle’s death.

And the biggest complication… the four-legged furry owner of the farm who seems to have her own ideas about how things should be run.

Culture shock is the least of her worries.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Abigail Williams leaves Arizona for Upper Michigan after she receives word that her uncle, Gordon Dorsey, has passed away. She doesn’t get many details, just that her last living relative has drowned. A terrible accident. They had mainly remained in contact by cards and letters and she knows he retired to a farm but she didn’t realize it was a TROUT FARM complete with a young caretaker and a very special canine. Not long after she arrives she starts to think her uncle’s death may not have been an accident. Now she just has to prove it!

I was drawn in by Abigail Williams immediately. She jumped right into her inheritance with both feet, willing to learn everything she could about the farm and the business her uncle had created. Her uncle left her the place not just because she was his only surviving relative but because he believed she was a country girl at heart. Could he be right? Could she be happy in a place with spotty cell service, no Starbucks, miles to a store of any kind? She had time to figure that out but first she needs to know if her uncle really was murdered and who would have killed him. I enjoyed the way she did her investigation. She jumped right into that as well.

The author does an excellent job of setting the scene. It was super easy to picture the lake, the house, the barn, and the land in my mind. I was traipsing right along with Abigail for every step. I learned a bit about trout farming too.

The story was very well written, the characters well drawn and authentic. The dialogue was genuine. The story had a slow build as Abby came up with several suspects and motives. As she worked to eliminate them the pace picked up. While the actual killer was one of my top suspects the climatic ending was surprising and scary.

I am so excited to know this is going to be a series. I just wish the next story was already available because the ending of this book had me rushing to Amazon to see if it was available. I would have purchased it right away.

This is a great start for this series.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 About The Author

Cheryl Taylor was raised in northeastern Michigan and pursued a degree in agriculture communications from Michigan State University. In 1986, Taylor moved to Arizona where she worked in publishing and advertising in the livestock industry, then eventually moving into teaching in 1998 after receiving a masters in education from Northern Arizona University.

Gone to Ground” is Taylor’s first book and explores how an apocalyptic event might look in the Arizona ranch land. “Breaking Free,” a sequel to “Gone to Ground” is currently in the works.

In addition, Taylor is working on several cozy mystery series, including the Up North Michigan series, which takes place on a trout farm in the northeastern part of the state where she was raised, and the Rock Shop mystery series, which takes place in northern Arizona.

Taylor currently resides in northern Arizona with her family of horses, cattle, dogs and birds.


I am giving away 1 e-copy that will be gifted from Amazon!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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

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

Contest Will End April 28, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

 

Apr 042017
 

Tightening the Threads (A Mainely Needlepoint Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Maine
Kensington (March 28, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496706287
Kindle ASIN: B01HWKM6CU

 

 

In the coastal town of Haven Harbor, blood runs thicker than water—and just as freely . . .

Antique dealer Sarah Byrne has never unspooled the truth about her past to anyone—not even friend and fellow Mainely Needlepointer Angie Curtis. But the enigmatic Aussie finally has the one thing she’s searched for all her life—family. And now she and long-lost half-brother, Ted Lawrence, a wealthy old artist and gallery owner in town, are ready to reveal their secret connection . . .

Ted’s adult children are suspicious of their newfound aunt Sarah—especially after Ted, in declining health, announces plans to leave her his museum-worthy heirloom paintings. So when Ted is poisoned to death during a lobster bake, everyone assumes she’s guilty. If Sarah and Angie can’t track down the real murderer in time, Sarah’s bound to learn how delicate—and deadly—family dynamics can truly be . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This fifth installment of the series brings us the story of Angie’s friend Sarah. Sarah is an Aussie that moved to Haven Harbor. She has her antiques business and works with the Mainely Needlepointers but has remained pretty well stitched up about her past and her family. She has grown close to Ted Lawrence, a wealthy man, who runs an art gallery. His father was a famous artist. Ted’s is an artist too but never reached the acclaim of his father. She finally reveals to Angie that she and Ted are related and explains the history is complicated. Ted wants to celebrate his birthday with his children that he rarely sees and introduce them to their Sarah. Things do not go as planned when Ted dies during a family lobster bake. The entire family makes up the suspect list with most the family’s fingers pointing at Sarah. She, Angie, and their friend Patrick start tightening the clues together and following the threads to catch the real killer…but can they find the truth in time…

Lea Wait never disappoints and this time she draws in a piece of history I knew absolutely nothing about. There was a time when number of foster children in Britain was more than the system could handle and children were sent to Australia. Sarah’s search for her family takes her from Australia to Britain and then on to Maine. That doesn’t quite bring all the family dynamics to light but as the story continues and the mystery plays out more secrets are revealed.  The author explains this child migration and the aftermath in such interesting detail all while not taking away from the coziness of the mystery. I love learning something new when reading just for fun.

The new characters she created, Ted’s children, are an eclectic group. His daughter and her husband live in the northern part of the state and have an organic farm. One son has a high pressure job in New York and the other is a frustrated poet and perpetual student. The family hasn’t gotten together for years. There was already plenty of family drama even before their father’s murder. Ted also has an assistant that has helped him in the gallery for years. Together they all bring their own excitement to the story.

As this is Sarah’s story the other Mainely Needlepointers are absent or just have cameo appearances. I was fine with this as Sarah and Ted’s story is a pretty powerful one that I really enjoyed.

This is another solid addition to this series. It flows well, has several twists, diverse characters, and kept me guessing from start to finish.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


Click on cover to order from Amazon.

GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End April 18, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

 

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

Murder on the Toy Town Express: A Vintage Toyshop Mystery by Barbara Early Get Your Copy Today!
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