Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Cozy Wednesday Cruisin Thru Cozies Finish The Series Challenge Giveaways Guest Posts It's Monday! What Are You Reading? Reviews 2013

Cozy Wednesday with Author Mary Daheim (Fantastic Giveaway too!)

cozy wednesday

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I know I have been gushing for weeks and the day is finally here. Mary Daheim author of the Alpine Mystery Series and the Bed and Breakfast Mysteries is my guest today. Her stories were some of the first mysteries I read after my accident, before I even knew what a cozy mystery was. I have always been a fan of mysteries and thrillers and a friend thought I would enjoy the calmer tone of a cozy as I recovered. She came to my room with a stack of Mary’s books. One of the first books I held after my left hand started working again was The Alpine Advocate and I was hooked. If you would have told me then I would be able to converse with famous authors on a daily basis like I can today I would have told you that you were crazy! Loving technology!!

Welcome Mary!!

Hi Everyone!!

Mary with her granddaughter Maisy
Mary with her granddaughter Maisy

                              CHARACTERS:

            OUT OF CONTROL & NAMING NAMES

 

Why do characters in books do what they do?

They do as they please. Most writers insist that once characters are created, they take on a life of their own. I’ll vouch for that. Nowhere is it more evident than in my Emma Lord/Alpine series. What makes it even harder to deal with my often perverse protagonist is that I gave her a first person narrative. We see everything that happens through Emma’s eyes and her vision is often impaired, especially when it comes to love.

alpine xanaduWhen I’m writing a book in that series, Emma and everybody else must act in a way that’s true to character. That’s not to say that these people don’t change over time—they do, Emma included. But over the years, she’s often driven me nuts. There’s nothing I can do about it, no more than I can in real life when someone is pigheadedly making a big mistake. I keep my mouth shut in the real world and in fiction I refrain from interfering via the keyboard.

It’s somewhat different with the B&B series. Having based the protagonist and her sidekick on my cousin Judy and me, I know how these two will react. I should clear up one misconception about Judith: She is not me. I’m the not-quite-as-kind Renie. I was named for my grandmothers, Mary and Serena. But Serena was always known as Rene (one syllable, rhymes with mean). Thus, my parents named me Mary Rene. Within the family, I’ve always been called Renie (rhymes with meanie). In more formal situations I was Mary Rene.

When I started grade school, I had a problem being Mary Rene Richardson. We were required to print our full names on one line at the top of the page. I’ve always had big handwriting (or printing, back then). I couldn’t get all those letters on one line. So I dropped the Rene. It’s a good thing I had practical and understanding parents. To this day, I still think of myself as Mary Rene, though most people call me Mary.

Which brings me back to Emma. By coincidence, I have an earlier Civil War historical romance I wrote in 1985 called Pride’s Captive that’s being re-released February first with a new title, Reunion. The heroine is named Serena and her goal is to become a journalist.  I really can’t remember if I thought much about that coincidence when I chose a name for my Alpine protagonist. I’ve always liked my paternal grandmother’s names of Emma Serena, so I decided to go with the other half of her name. In 1991 when I started the Alpine series I didn’t know many Emmas in real life. Now it’s one of the most popular names for baby girls. I take no credit for this, of course, but it does make me smile. The name means “universal or all-containing.” Maybe that suits a journalist–but that isn’t why I chose it.

the wurst is yet to comeAs for the B&Bs, Judith and Renie aren’t exact duplicates of their real-life counterparts. I wouldn’t want Judy suing me and I’m not sure how I could go about suing myself. In fact, many of the characters in the B&B books are based on family members, though some are composites. So far, none of them have threatened to sue me. Yet.

And yes—Gertrude and Aunt Deb are based on Judy’s mother and my mother. Though they were sisters in real life, they’re sisters-in-law in the books. I’m often asked if the real Gertrude is or was as ornery as she appears in the books. My answer is–not quite. My Aunt Kate had a sharp tongue and was very opinionated. She also had a wonderful sense of humor and a good heart.

Aunt Deb displays my mother’s martyr complex, if somewhat exaggerated. But Mom was very protective and demanded a lot of attention from her only child—just as Aunt Kate did with Judy. Mom was very smart and loved to laugh. She and my aunt would get into arguments over the phone, with Aunt Kate usually hanging up on Mom, who would then announce that her sister was an idiot. Judy tells me Aunt Kate would say the same thing about my mother.

For some reason, I’m thinking back to the night Aunt Kate died (well into her 90s) and of a comeback from Judy that will never make it into a book: Her mother had been hospitalized for a fairly minor problem. Around 8:30 one evening, Judy called to tell me her mother had died. Could my husband Dave and I meet her at the hospital? Of course we could. We arrived a few minutes ahead of Judy and we were talking to the nurse. The first question from Judy (a nurse in real life) was why her mother had died so suddenly. The nurse told Judy they Hi Everyone!! know what to put down as cause of death.

Judy looked at the nurse with a straight face and said, “I think we can rule out foul play.”

Sometimes life imitates art. Or is it the other way around?

~Mary

To Find Out More About Mary Visit Her Website Here.

alpine xanadu

The Alpine Xanadu:
An Emma Lord Mystery (Emma Lord Mysteries)

24th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Ballantine Books (January 29, 2013)
An Imprint of The Random House Publishing Group
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0345535313
E-Book File Size: 1085 KB
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0345535316
ASIN: B008TSC10C

The Alpine Xanadu: An Emma Lord Mystery

Things are crazy in Alpine! RestHaven, a new rehab and mental health facility is finally opening and the Advocate staff in on deadline to get the feature out that will introduce it to the community. The town is buzzing about the news that Emma and Sheriff Milo Dodge are engaged. Then that fool Wayne Eriks has climbed an electric pole in the middle of a storm and got himself electrocuted. Or did he? Something is not adding up for the sheriff. Add to that allegations that someone’s trying to kill the richest man in town . . . or whispers of a rash of indecent behavior at the local high school… and Vida Runkel, the Advocate’s stalwart House & Home editor, disappears into thin air. Milo and Emma have no time to even think about a wedding. They have too many mysteries to solve. Their happiness will just have to wait.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Every visit to Alpine is entertaining and fun! This edition is jam packed with action and keeps the reader on their toes. Twists and turns galore. It is hard not to get caught up in the tangled web of these characters lives.

I don’t know if my husband could away with some of the comments the sheriff makes to Emma but for Milo they just fit. Emma and Milo have grown into that comfy couple. They respect each other but at times one of them wants to strangle the other. When you talk about characters evolving over the life of a series Emma and Milo are excellent examples.

Now Vida is the one I want to strangle. She needs to take off one of those huge hats and hit her grandson Roger with it! That kid needs to grow up and get on with his life and she needs to stop coddling him. She is an absolute treasure to Alpine. Who else who keep all these friends, foes and relatives straight? but she is not helping that boy a bit.

My heart aches for Mitch and Brenda and their family. Dealing with a son in prison has to be tough especially when he keeps escaping. 

Emma’s family takes a smaller role in this installment but Milo’s ex-wife and daughter are right on the scene. After 24 stories there are several characters the make minor appearances in these stories but Daheim does her best to keep us in the loop with as many families as possible. Each book is like a mini vacation to Alpine, Washington.

Mary Daheim writes intelligent and complex mysteries full of humor, intrigue and a bit of romance. In a previous review I called her a beacon on the cozy mystery horizon. She has created two longing running series and keeps them engaging and fresh.  I look forward to each and every one.

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Mary has sponsored a FANTASTIC GIVEAWAY!!!!

6! YES 6! HARDCOVERS BOOKS ARE ON THEIR WAY TO ME TO SHARE WITH YOU!!!
You can enter to win as many as you like.
There Will Be 6 Winners!!!

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

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

Leave a comment for Mary for 5 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 February 13, 2013 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners 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.”

FTSRCreadalattechallenge_zps01d248d0Cruisin 2013

Posted in Cruisin Thru Cozies Literary Escapes Reviews 2013

Review: Playing With Poison by Cindy Blackburn

playing with poison

Playing With Poison
A Cue Ball Mystery
First in Series
Cozy Mystery
Self Published (October 31, 2012)
Paperback: 250 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1480092686
E-Book File Size: 428 KB
ASIN: B009D99R0I

Playing With Poison

Jessie Hewitt is a pool shark that usually can run the table and knows where the balls will fall. She had no idea that a body would fall on her couch or that a cop would show up in her kitchen and accuse her of murder. How is she going to get out of this mess?

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Best first line ever: “Going bra shopping at age fifty-two gives new meaning to the phrase fallen woman,” I announced as I gazed at my reflection.

I knew I was going to like Jessie right away! She is smart and fun and I would love to hang out with her and shoot a little pool. She is also a romance novelist and her work as Adelé Nightingale is steamy but told to us readers in the most hilarious way. Her agent Louise is “fantastical”! These characters are a hoot!! and their dialogue is at times side splitting.

A good plot, a fun setting and engaging characters come together to make the a lighthearted cozy that will put a smile on your face. A very entertaining debut! I am looking forward to Double Shot and Three Odd Balls.

just you and a friend

4 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author
Cindy Blackburn has a confession to make-she does not play pool. It’s that whole eye-hand coordination thing. What Cindy does do well is school. So when she’s not writing silly stories she’s teaching serious history. European history is her favorite subject, and the ancient stuff is best of all. The deader the better! A native Vermonter who hates cold weather, Cindy divides her time between the south and the north. During the school year you’ll find her in South Carolina, but come summer she’ll be on the porch of her lakeside shack in Vermont. Cindy has a fat cat named Betty and a cute husband named John. Both are extremely lovable. When Cindy isn’t writing or grading papers, she likes to take long walks or paddle her kayak around the lake. Her favorite travel destinations are all in Europe, her favorite TV show is NCIS, her favorite color is orange, and her favorite authors (if she must choose) are Joan Hess and Spencer Quinn. Cindy dislikes vacuuming, traffic, and lima beans.

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

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Literary Escapes Reviews 2013

Special Thursday Edition of Cozy Wednesday with Author Josie Belle (Super Giveaway too!)

cozy wednesday

This month has been crazy for incredible cozies!!

Let’s find out a little bit about Josie Bell!

Head shot - Jan 2012

1. What was your inspiration for the Good Buy Girls Mysteries?

The Good Buy Girls series is actually a writer-for-hire series, which means that Berkley Prime Crime had an idea for a bargain hunter series and was looking for a writer to write it. When I heard the premise, being a thrifty soul, I knew I had to write it. I changed pretty much everything about their original idea but they were happy with the changes and so a partnership was formed.

2. Are you a Good Buy Girl? (Coupon Clipper, Discount Diva)

OMG! The Hub says I can only buy something if I can say, “I scored it for 75% off, can you believe it?” It used to drive him nuts, but now, I think he understands that bargains are like a contact sport for me. How can you not feel the rush when you find a pair of designer shoes in your size for 90% off. I live for that, truly.

3. You have written under a couple of different pseudonyms, is this your choice or the publishers?

I have three series that were my original ideas under the name Jenn McKinlay, but I broke into the mystery world by taking a writer-for-hire project about a decoupage artist and that series is under the name Lucy Lawrence. Because the publisher owns the copyright for the writer-for-hire books, I had to use a different name. Both of my pen names come from mixing my grandmother’s names and my pets’ names, so they are still in the family.

4. What are you reading for fun right now?

In my day job, I work part-time in Youth Services at the Phoenix Public Library. This works out wonderfully as I don’t read mysteries when I’m writing them for fear that I might begin to sound like the author I am reading. So, I read young adult novels and I have a weakness for fanstasy/paranormal series books. My latest reads are Cinder by Marissa Meyer and Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. I highly recommend both books. My library teens have been bugging me to write a YA paranormal, so that is underway. It’s been fun to try something new!

Eiffel Tower Picture at Night5. If money was no object and you could escape to anywhere in the world to write where would you go and what do you think the book would be about?

WOW! That is an excellent question. When my hooligans are completely driving me mental (like the time I caught them hoarding water balloons to sneak attack the mailman – Oy!) I always picture myself on a balcony in Paris with my laptop open, a glass of wine to my right, and a view of the Eiffel Tower as evening leads the city into night. Sadly, I have no idea what I’m writing, but I bet I get more than a paragraph done without hearing , “Mooooooom!” Honestly, the Hub and the hooligans inspire me so much, I doubt I’d get much done in a quiet room, but the idea is a nice meditation when the burping, farting, yelling and wrestling get to be too much.

Thanks so much for inviting me to chat! Happy New Year, Lori!
Jenn/Josie

I am so thrilled when you stop by!! Thank you so much Jenn!!!

Now let me tell you about this wonderful story!!

a deal to die for

A Deal to Die For
(Good Buy Girls)

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (December 31, 2012)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425251850
E-Book File Size: 551 KB
ASIN: B0095ZPS4Y
Cover Illustration by Mary Ann Lasher
Cover Design by Sarah Oberrender

A Deal to Die For (Good Buy Girls, #2)

Maggie Gerber needs just the right merchandise to give her secondhand shop, My Sister’s Closet, the edge over her vindictive rival Summer Phillips’ new store that has opened right across the street. The Good Buy Girls have heard that Vera Madison will be selling off her vintage clothing at the St. Stanley flea market and they plan to be first in line.

And that’s right where there are when all hell breaks loose. Vera has left her daughter in charge of her booth while she runs a quick errand. But Vera will not be returning. She was just found dead and it has been ruled a murder.  The Good Buy Girls learn Vera had more than a few skeletons in her closet and more enemies than shoes. If Maggie wants to get her store open they are going to have to bag a killer before they bag any bargains.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am loving these Good Buy Girls and the Good Guys are not bad either. Summer Phillips is just plain mean and joined with the evil Courtney sets the reader up for a very entertaining ride. 

The mystery was complex and the secrets are revealed in such a way that keeps the reader guessing right up to the very special moment where everything falls into place. 

I like the romantic tension/triangle very much. Do you go back to the heartthrob of your youth or try something mature and new? Maggie is cautious and unsure and I hope the author takes her time experimenting with the couples a bit before Maggie falls hard for one or the other.  We are left guessing at the end and I refused to read ahead in the teaser chapter for Buried In Bargain because I just don’t want to know yet. Plus you know how these stories work, there has to be twists and turns, so I will not so patiently wait to read the entire thing when book #3 is released. 

A Deal to Die For should be at the top of your shopping list!

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To Find Out More About Josie Bell/Jenn McKinlay Visit Her Webpage Here.

Thanks to the author I have a Super Giveaway!!!
She has sent me 5 Autographed Copies of

and
Some Bookish Swag To Give Away!!!

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

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

Leave a comment for Josie for 5 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 February 7, 2013 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners 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 Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Cozy Wednesday Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Guest Posts Literary Escapes Reviews 2013

Cozy Wednesday with Author J.J. Murphy (Giveaway too!)

cozy wednesday

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled to have J.J. Murphy drop by!!

Thanks, Lori, for allowing me to ESCAPE with you again.

JJMurphy-ac

Q&A with J.J. Murphy

 

Q. Tell us a little bit about Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table.young dorothy parker_flipped

A. Dorothy Parker was a real-life writer and poet. She joined a group of other writers and theater people who just happed to have lunch every day at the Algonquin Hotel in New York City in the 1920s. Soon, this group—called the Algonquin Round Table—became well known for their quotable quips and comments. I’m sure you’ve heard a few of Dorothy Parker’s most famous lines, such as “Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses,” and “That woman speaks eighteen languages and can’t say ‘No’ in any of them.” When asked to use the word “horticulture” in a sentence, Parker fired back, “You can lead a whore to culture, but you can’t make her think.”

In the Algonquin Round Table Mysteries, Dorothy Parker becomes a very amateur sleuth—with a quip on her lip and a martini in hand—and her close friend Robert Benchley acts as her sidekick.

Algonquin2

Q. What is the game of Murder? What makes it “friendly”?

A. The members of the Algonquin Round Table loved to play games. In addition to their daily wordplay at lunches, one of their favorite games was called Murder. In this game, one player acted as the Detective, one player was the Murderer (unknown to all the other players), and everybody else was a potential Victim or Suspect. It was the Murderer’s job to get another player alone, and then announce, “You are dead.” At this, the Victim would fall to the floor and not make a sound until discovered.

Upon discovery of the Victim, the Detective was summoned. The Detective’s job was to question each player to determine “whodunit.” Although they were good friends, the Algonquins loved “one-upping” each other. So this was the ideal game for them.

557571_10151029904013281_429367907_nIn my book, A Friendly Game of Murder,the group begins a game of Murder during a New Year’s Eve party. The hotel is both snowed in and quarantined due to a smallpox scare.

It’s the perfect setting for things to turn deadly—but with some thrilling and hilarious results!

~J.J.

About This Author

J.J. Murphy is an award-winning health care writer in Pennsylvania, and has been a long-time fan of Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table.

Follow the mystery at www.roundtablemysteries.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RoundTableMysteries.

557571_10151029904013281_429367907_n

A Friendly Game of Murder:
An Algonquin Round Table Mystery

3rd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Obsidian (December 31, 2012)
Published by New American Library
A Division of The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451238993
E-Book File Size: 939 KB
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0451238990

A Friendly Game of Murder (An Algonquin Round Table Mystery #3)

How about a little friendly game of murder?

Dorothy and her friends gather at the Algonquin Hotel on New Year’s Eve for a swanky soiree hosted by movie stars Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford. Mary’s nose gets a little out of joint when young Broadway starlet Bibi Bibelot becomes the star of her party with her antics. But when Bibi is found later dead in the bathtub Mary is not the only suspect. No one knows who the killer is, but one thing everyone is sure of — they won’t be making any gin in that bathtub.

When even the Round Table members end up in peril, it is clear the game is afoot. Dorothy enlists the help of surprise guest Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to join the group and help track down the killer. It should be Elementary right!!

Dollycas’s Thoughts
I love, Love, LOVE this series and this one is my favorite so far!!! The Algonquin under quarantine!  The cat and mouse chase around the hotel was priceless! Benchley running the switchboard had me in tears with laughter! The nuns at the party, oh my word!!

J.J. Murphy has gift of getting into these characters heads and coming up with these absolutely wonderful stories. Adding Sir Artie to mix this time was brilliant. The man behind Sherlock Holmes who really hates it when people think he can solve mysteries.

The Roaring 20’s, the hotel, the flapper dresses, the waiters, the movie stars. Reading this story was just like watching on old talkie! The author puts us there so easily. I rode up and down that elevator right along with Dorothy, ducked the flying objects in the kitchen, got chills in that icebox.  J.J. Murphy I love the way you write! Don’t ever stop!!!

This story is not only fun and entertaining it is like a time machine taking us back in time!! and it is a marvelous trip!!! 10 starfish!!!

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Would you like to win a copy of this wonderful book?

Thanks to the people at Penguin
I have 2 copies to giveaway!!

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

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

Leave a comment for J.J. for 5 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 February 6, 2013 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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

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Posted in Cruisin Thru Cozies Finish The Series Challenge Reviews 2013

The Alpine Uproar – The Alpine Vengeance – The Alpine Winter by Mary Daheim

I absolutely love reading, reviewing and blogging but there is one problem. You just can’t read every book you want to.  I would say my reading speed is average and I am striving to increase my speed because there are so many books and so little time. 🙂 I have been hooked on several series for years like The Alpine Series by Mary Daheim. At the end of last year I put a post on Facebook for authors to visit in the new year for Cozy Wednesdays. One of the first authors to reply was Mary Daheim. I was so excited I tripped all over myself setting up her visit for January 30. I still have a hard time with how accessible authors are because of the internet. If you are a bookaholic like me you understand what I mean. It’s meeting famous people! Seriously talented famous people!!!

The great thing about her visit was that I had to prepare. The last 3 books in The Alpine Series were screaming at me from my To-Be-Read Shelf. I had to read those before I could read the review copy of the 24th book in this wonderful series, The Alpine Zanadu!  I was able to reconnect with Emma Lord, Editor of The Alpine Advocate – Sheriff Milo Dodge –  House & Home Editor and radio personality Vida Runkel  – and all the other residents of the beautiful town in Washington’s Cascade Mountains. This series has been around since 1992 and is still going strong! Let me tell you a bit about these latest titles:

alpine uproar

The Alpine Uproar:
An Emma Lord Mystery (Emma Lord Mysteries)

21st in Series
Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Ballantine Books (June 23, 2009)
Hardcover: 384 pages
ISBN-10: 0345502558
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0345502568
E-Book File Size: 1968 KB
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0345502558

Emma and Sheriff Dodge have their hands full with a fatal barroom brawl, a heartbreaking highway accident that leaves 2 people dead and a young local on life support and holy smokes is Milo getting back together with “Mulehide”???

*********

apline vengeance

The Alpine Vengeance:
An Emma Lord Mystery (Emma Lord Mysteries)

22nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Ballantine Books (March 29, 2011)
Hardcover: 336 pages ISBN-13: 978-0345502575
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0345502582 E-Book File Size: 1951 KB
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0345502582

Thanksgiving comes to Alpine and Emma is all by herself. Her son is stuck at his parish in Alaska and her brother is filling in for another priest and even Milo was with his ex-wife and daughter after a really rough time for the whole family. Frankly the last person Emma wanted to talk to was Milo the Monday after the holiday but he has received some alarming unsigned letters. The letters said the wrong person went to prison for murder 10 years ago. Neither Emma nor Milo recognizes the repentant killer’s name. Even Vida who knows everything about everyone is stumped. A 4th letter arrives threatening that unless swift action is taken to right this wrong there will be another death. Never a dull moment in Alpine!

***********

the alpine winter hardcover

The Alpine Winter:
An Emma Lord Mystery

23rd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Ballantine Books (November 29, 2011)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0345502599
E-Book File Size: 1938 KB
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0345502590
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages (January 29, 2013)
ISBN-13: 978-0345502605

Christmas in Alpine. The priests are coming home for the holiday and Emma is so nervous. How will they react to her relationship with Milo? But that’s not all that’s happening in Alpine. Emma’s star reporter goes AWOL after learning his son has escaped from prison. Some bones turn up and Roy Everson is positive they belong to his mother who has been missing for 16 years. But the most disturbing is the body found in the cave on Mount Sawyer.

************

Dollycas’s Thoughts
There are so many reasons why I love this series.

The characters and their dialogue rings real and true. Emma is a klutz and sometimes an accident looking for a place to happen. Emma and Milo bicker, yes bicker, just like my parents did. They can be calling each other names and acting childish one minute and hugging the next. There is so much love between them and it is finally starting to shine. She is always in his business and he is always in hers.

Every small town has at least one Vida Runkel.  She is the resident related to almost everyone in Alpine or is friends that someone that is.  All gossip makes a pit stop at her desk.

The reception desk at the paper has been manned by a couple different women as Ginny has taken time out for the birth of another child. Ed Bronsky still drops in or falls in occasionally but Leo has the paper’s advertising under control. Kip has the website and the paper’s production well in hand.

I love stopping by The Advocate for a cup of coffee and a danish and a visit with these wonderful fictional friends.

The other recurring characters are just as well crafted.

Each book has a main plot and at least 1 other subplot, sometimes more,  and the mysteries extend from one book right into another. These 3 books were written to take place right in succession, at the end of 2004, so I was thrilled to read them one right after the other. Each story also has that “hang on to your seats” moments when you just can’t turn the pages fast enough.

Daheim is a beacon on the cozy mystery horizon. She has written this long running series with a middle aged protagonist who is fun and charming and witty and allowed her to fall for the cantankerous Sheriff after a life full of strife. Mystery, humor, romance, and intrigue.  Knowing that the letter Z in just 3 books away makes me especially sad. I will not be ready to leave Alpine behind, but until then The Alpine Xanadu hits shelves on January 29 and Mary will be here for Cozy Wednesday on the 30th. Oh and don’t forget about her Bed & Breakfast Series!!

a perfect escape
5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

These books were from my private collection.

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Posted in Cozy Wednesday Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Guest Posts Literary Escapes Reviews 2013 What's In A Name Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Author Kylie Logan (Giveaway too!)

cozy wednesday

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to welcome back Kylie Logan for Cozy Wednesday!

Casey for Library

 

A Charming Old Custom

At the risk of sounding old-fashioned, I have a confession to make. I think charm strings are simply . . .
image0-1[1]kyliewell, charming!

What’s a charm string? Ah, settle back and get ready to hear the story of these delightful antiques.

Creating charm strings was a fad in the late 1800s and early 1900s. That’s when young girls collected buttons and put them on long strings. There were rules to the game:

1. No two buttons should be the same

2. The buttons should come as gifts from friends or be traded with other stringers, they should never be bought

3. The more brilliant and beautiful each button, the better

4. Buttons with shanks are best because they nest together well

panic buttonA young girl would begin her string with what was called a “touch button,” one button that was usually a little bigger than the rest. From there, she would collect for years, always in pursuit of one more button, until the charm string reached 1000 buttons. Then, legend took over. Some stories said that 1000th button would be presented by the man who would become the girl’s husband. Another story said that after she strung that last button, a girl would meet her Prince Charming. In a total turn-around from those legends, some stories said that if a girl collected all 1000 buttons, she’d end up being a spinster.

Charm strings are also called memory strings, and it’s no wonder why. Each button came with a story, and families would gather with the charm string and trade memories. “This is a button from the coat I was wearing when I met your father,” a mother might say. “And here’s one from Grandpa’s Army uniform.” In the days before the distractions of TV, internet and cell phones, charm strings sparked conversation and help pass along family traditions and tales. In fact, an unfinished charm string was always left out in full view so visitors could contribute buttons (and stories) to it. It was also common to find non-button items on charm strings, things like religious amulets, coins and charms.

Charm strings of any size are nearly impossible to find these days. Most have been scooped up by collectors or broken apart by family members who each wanted a keepsake of the memories. But that doesn’t mean we couldn’t revive the tradition. Stringing buttons is a great way to encourage fine motor skills in young children, and sorting the buttons, too, helps them learn analytical skills. As for adults, there is endless delight in old buttons, and I’ve seen charm strings (of less than 1000 buttons, of course) used as one-of-a-kind bracelets and necklaces.

So get started. All it takes it a little string…and a few buttons!

Kylie Logan is the author of the Button Box mystery series. Book #3 in the series, “Panic Button,” is on store shelves now. It features Josie Giancola who owns the Button Box, an antique and vintage button shop, and a charm string brought to her by a customer who insists that the buttons on it are cursed. Impossible, Josie thinks. That is, until the customer is found murdered, strangled with the charm string. You can reach Kylie at: kylielogan@rocketmail.com

Thank you so much Kylie for dropping by. My grandma left behind several strings of buttons. I believe that was how she sorted them and then hung them on hooks on the door of her sewing room. She never told me anything about a charm string but I could definitely see her as a young girl making one of her own.

panic button

Panic Button
(Button Box Mystery)

3rd Book in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (December 31, 2012)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Jennifer Taylor
Cover Design by Annette Fiore Defex
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425251836
E-Book File Size: 610 KB
ASIN: B0095ZMQG2

Panic Button (Button Box Mystery, #3)

Josie Giancola, owner of the Button Box shop, knows her buttons. But when she comes into contact with a rare charm string, she never imagines it will lead to murder…

In Victorian times, girls would string buttons, no two alike, in long chains to make charms. When the string reached 1000 buttons the legend was that the owner would meet the love of her life. A customer of Josie’s is not looking for love. She inherited a charm string and she will do anything to get rid of it. She believes the string is cursed. She has decided to donate it to a local museum as soon as Josie can appraise its value. Unfortunately before she can deliver it to the museum the owner is found strangled with the charming string of buttons. Josie doesn’t know if the curse is real but there is a real killer on the loose.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

My favorite in this series so far!!! I have to be careful because I don’t want to give anything away but the history of the small town Ardent Lake was so interesting and plays a major role in this story. I really enjoy books that take us a few steps back into the past even for fictional places.  As a reader I become more engaged in the setting and characters. The charm string history was intriguing as well. Manna for button lovers.

Josie’s ex Kaz was mostly absent in this installment. I did miss his antics a bit, but the character that stole my heart this time was Stan. He has helped out Josie is the store before but after Josie is almost mugged outside her store Nev and Stan feel she needs a little protection and Stan steps up to stay with her at the store. While Josie is a little miffed that they think she needs a babysitter she realizes it’s nice to have someone around. They are very comfortable around each other and have each other’s back. A wonderful friendship.

Nev and Josie’s relationship continues to grow. Some of the residents of Ardent Lake are a little more than peculiar and by the end of the story LaSalle makes a new friend.

Kylie Logan strings words together to create a masterful mystery that is a pure pleasure to read.

a perfect escape 5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the people at Penguin
I have 2 copies to giveaway!!

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

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

Leave a comment for Kylie for 5 Bonus Entries !

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

Contest Will End January 30, 2013 at 11:59 PM CST

Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners 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.”

85941Cruisin 2013readalattechallenge_zps01d248d02013where are you readingWhat's In A Name 6 Challenge

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2013

Special Thursday Edition – Cozy Wednesday with Author Liz Lipperman (Giveaway too!)

cozy wednesday

Welcome to a Special Thursday Edition of Cozy Wednesday!

Liz is one of the busiest authors I know so I am delighted that she can
still squeeze in a visit to Escape With Dollycas.

At deskWow! It seems like only yesterday I was a guest with Dollycas to promote book two of my Clueless Cook series from Berkley. How time flies! Here I am, again hocking another book – – or two – – or three.

Yep, you heard me right. Now that I have your attention I wanted to tell you a funny story about my research for Murder for the Halibut, the latest in the series that released last week. When I decided to send my heroine, Jordan, on a cruise to judge a culinary contest, I knew I needed to do some investigating to get it right. Sure, I’ve been on cruises before – – love them, in fact – – but I’ve never paid enough attention to detail to write about them. (BTW, you can get a seven-day cruise out of Galveston for a little over 300 bucks in February or March.murder for the halibut

Anyway, the first thing I had to do was get the crazy characters from the Empire Apartments on the ship with her – – orders from my editor! With that figured out, I started the actual research.

You guessed it. Hubby and I took the seven-day cruise from Miami to the Western Caribbean islands. On the day we boarded the ship, I marched right down to the main desk and announced that I was a writer and that I needed to interview the head chef and the head of security. The lady looked at me as if I had three heads. It seems you have to schedule stuff like that months in advance, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get to talk to someone.

Well, anyone who knows me already suspects I didn’t take no for an answer. On our first day at sea, there was a cooking demonstration in the main lobby, and several of the chefs were there. When it was over, I made my way to the head honcho, introduced myself, and basically asked if he wanted to help me write a book. Of course, that drew a crowd of interested chefs, all foreigners, mind you, and it was decided we would all meet the next morning in the coffee shop.

Cruise (27)

When I rounded the corner and saw four of them, all in their white starched uniforms and gigantic hats waiting for me, I nearly died. I introduced myself again, told them the name of my book and the basic plot, and voila!  Before long I had all four of them chiming in with ways to kill someone using food on a cruise ship. I can’t even begin to describe the faces of the other passengers who couldn’t help overhearing as they sipped their cappuccinos. With enough material to get me started, I thanked the chefs profusely and left with a lot of great ideas to work with.

I never thought any more about it and concentrated on taking notes about the islands so I could include them in my story. On Friday night, our last night at sea, there was another huge cooking demonstration in the main theater, and hubby and I went. When it was over, one of the chefs came up to me and asked if I would meet him in an hour at the coffee shop. I figured he’d thought of another angle for my plot. Imagine my surprise when he was waiting for me with the typed recipe for Grilled Halibut Caribbean Style with the killer ingredient added. I nearly kissed the man.

Although he gave me his e-mail address, I haven’t received an answer back from him yet. I don’t know whether the e-mail is wrong or he’s ignoring me. I would like him to know that I acknowledged him in the front of the book and would love to send him a copy so he could see his own personal recipe included in the back.

All in all, we had a great time and I would do it again in a New York minute. Oh, what we sometimes have to do in the name of research!

And those other books I mentioned earlier—I have a romantic suspense titled SHATTERED DREAMS releasing in March and the first book of A Dead Sister Talking Mystery titled Heard it Through the Grapevine debuts in May from Midnight Ink. Pardon this shameless plug.

So tell me, have you ever been on a cruise, and if not, where would your dream cruise take you?

~Liz

So jealous, I have never been on a cruise but hope to someday! 

About This Author

Liz Lipperman started writing many years ago, even before she retired from the medical field. Wasting many years thinking she was a romance writer but always having to deal with the pesky villains who kept popping up in all her stories, she finally gave up and decided since she read mysteries and obviously wrote them, why fight it? She now calls what she writes Romantic Mystery (RM) since there is always a hunky hero and a lot of flirting. In October of 2011, the first book of her Clueless Cook cozy mystery series, Liver Let Die, debuted from Berkley Prime Crime. Since then she has published two more. The latest, Murder for the Halibut, released this month. The first book of her new series from Midnight Ink will debut in May. She writes her cozies under her real name and her mainstream mysteries as Lizbeth Lipperman so that her cozy readers will know the books written under this name are not G rated.

She lives north of Dallas with her HS sweetheart hubby. When she’s not writing, she spends her time doting on her four wonderful grandchildren. She loves hearing from readers.

murder for the halibut

Murder for the Halibut
(A Clueless Cook Mystery)

3rd in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (December 31, 2012)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425251829
E-Book File Size: 624 KB
ASIN: B0095ZMK1I
Cover Illustration by Ben Perini
Cover Design by Laura K. Corless

Murder for the Halibut (A Clueless Cook Mystery, #3)

A sports writing job would have been the perfect catch for Jordan McAllister, but in Ranchero, Texas, all she could reel in was the food column. Though she may not know her way around a kitchen, she has no trouble finding herself in a kettle of fish…

Tempted by the offer of a free Caribbean cruise, Jordan accepts a spot as a judge in a week-long big-time cooking competition aboard the Carnation Queen. She just better hope no one finds out that her famous palate is far from refined.

But there are bigger fish to fry when arrogant chef Stefano Mancini falls face first into his signature halibut dish during the first event. While evidence suggests that the handsome Italian chef’s death was an accident, Jordan thinks otherwise. But she’ll have to keep her wits about her—and the sea sickness pills handy—if she’s going to solve this one…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This third installment of the Clueless Cooks Mystery is the best one yet. We escape to the Caribbean on a cruise with fantastic food, the characters we have grown to love, and culinary mystery that will keep you entertained from the first page to the last. This story is absolutely hilarious. Caution: Do not eat or drink anything while you are reading about the appetizer portion of the competition.  I will be sending my laundry bill to the author 🙂

As one of the worst cooks ever and a very picky eater I identify with Jordan very easily. Of course I am extremely jealous because I have never been on a cruise but hopefully someday I will be able to cross that off my bucket list.

Famous chef George Christakis, on the cruise to judge the cooking competition, quickly became by favorite character. Classy guy. Down to earth. Maybe he’ll visit Jordan in Texas someday.

Liz Lipperman has served up cozy worthy of 3 Michelin Stars or 5 Dollycas Starfish!!! Get ready to board the Carnation Queen and set off on an exciting adventure with Murder for the Halibut. Bon Voyage!!!

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the people at Penguin
I have 2 copies to giveaway!!

U.S. and CANADIAN RESIDENTS
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 The Escape With Dollycas Facebook Fan Page.

Leave a comment for Liz for 5 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 January 24, 2013 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Guest Posts Literary Escapes

Cozy Wednesday with Author Ada Madison (Spectacular Giveaway too!)

cozy wednesdayWelcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled to welcome Ada Madison (Camille Minichino) to Escape With Dollycas today!!

slideruleLG

I love Dollycas’s idea of ESCAPE! So many meanings, so many twists to discuss.

Last time I visited here, I talked about 2 things that keep me from escaping into a book: when authors give Wikipedia-type descriptions of places, signaling that they’ve never been to the location; and when they name characters after their relatives or friends, taking the reader out of the story to note, “How cute, she’s giving a nod to her cousin Chucky.”

For me as an author, the best way to escape is to break the rules. I’m such a wimp, an utter rule-keeper in real life, that writing a character who breaks the rules is true escape. Here are a couple of real-life instances that have inspired me to have my characters break a rule or two, including Sophie Knowles in A Function of Murder.

Case #1. Trespass!

One time I showed up to teach a writing class that was to be held on the property of a county park. The class was scheduled for ten o’clock. I showed up about 15 minutes early and found a couple of students waiting outside an impressive fence with a chain, a serious padlock, and a large, forbidding No Trespassing sign.notrespass

No problem; we were early. We chatted on; more students came. Minutes passed. No one showed up to let us in. A couple of delivery people came by in trucks and left when they realized there was no entry. We made a few calls with our cells—first to my contact at the school, who suggested I call the park police, who suggested I call the city police, who suggested I call my contact at the school, and so on.

The boring part of the story is that eventually someone came to let us in.

The interesting part happened while we were waiting.

A young woman pulled up in a low red sports car. She got out and addressed us. “I have to get in there,” she said. “I was at a wedding in the park last night and I left my purse.”

We shrugged and explained that there was nothing we could do until someone came with a key for the padlock.

She grunted, and thought a minute. The next thing we knew, she was scaling the fence, her long hair flying in the breeze. She plopped down on the other side and walked into the park. About 5 minutes later, she approached the fence again, from the inside, and climbed out.

In her hands were a purse, a pair of glittery sling backs, and a bra.

She gave us a wink, got in her car and drove off.

My writing students and I got a lot of mileage of the incident, creating many colorful back stories. We all agreed, however, that the most impressive thing was the young woman’s willingness to disregard the No Trespassing sign and its warning of a heavy fine.

For me, the physical difficulty of scaling a fence pales in comparison to the mental and psychological difficulty of disobeying a sign.

Maybe that’s why I write fiction—to break laws vicariously!

Would you have climbed that fence?

Case #2. Disregard This Announcement!Function of Murder

Waiting for a train in an underground San Francisco transit station, I sat next to two 20-something women slurping cold coffee drinks from a Starbucks cup. Between them was a bag of Mrs. Field’s cookie bites. They were happy snackers, chatting away, in English (you’ll see why that’s important in a minute).

Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and say there were first-timers on BART and didn’t know the rules: NO food or drink allowed in BART stations or on trains.

Then it’s a good thing there are signs with the information repeated in a scrolling message overhead.

Let’s give them another chance and say they didn’t lift their heads to read the message.

Then it’s a good thing a loud warning announcement came over the PA system, every 2 minutes or so, interrupting their conversation: Eating or drinking in a BART station can result in a fine of up to $250.

Wow! $250. I started to get nervous for the girls. I looked over and one caught my eye and gave me a friendly, relaxed smile. In other words, fully aware of the rules they were breaking, what the girls weren’t breaking was a sweat.

I scooted away from them, lest the BART police think I was with these lawbreakers.

I’ll jump ahead to the end of the story: Nothing bad happened to the young women, who carried their food and drink onto a train. As far as I know they reached their destination, escaping any punishment.

I’m not sure how hungry or thirsty I’d have to be to take food or drink down to the BART station. Starving? Dehydrated? Even at an age when I could easily claim exigent senior citizen circumstances, I couldn’t do it.

I’m envious. It’s not about the BART rule, or the No Trespassing rule in Case #1; it’s about any rule. I just can’t break them. (Note that I’m holding a slide RULE in the photo.)

Criticism is levied against cozy mysteries because their amateur sleuths often do foolish things, unlawful even, while investigating murders.

But isn’t that what fiction is for? Someone has to live an exciting rule-breaking life for us.

Do you follow even the smallest rule, or would you make a good amateur sleuth?

Excellent post! I am just like you! Thank you so much for visiting today!!

 

About This Author

Camille Minichino, a retired physicist turned writer, has published 17 mysteries in three series: The Periodic Table Mysteries, The Miniature Mysteries (as Margaret Grace) and The Professor Sophie Knowles Mysteries  (as Ada Madison). Soon, every aspect of her life will be a mystery series. She’s also written short stories and articles for popular magazines and teaches writing and science in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Function of Murder

A Function of Murder
(Professor Sophie Knowles Mystery)

3rd in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (December 31, 2012)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425251751
E-Book File Size: 613 KB
ASIN: B0095ZMIEM
Cover Illustration by Lisa French
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell

A Function of Murder

Math Professor Sophie Knowles is looking forward to some time off as this year’s class graduates, but things do not go as planned. The graduates are complaining about the mayor who gave the commencement address, one student is upset about her grade and vents on social media, and just when she is about to escape all of the drama to take a stroll with her helicopter pilot boyfriend things go horribly wrong.  They are interrupted by the mayor himself as he falls into the fountain with a knife in his back.  Sophie is shocked to find out the mayor was seeking her out for help before he was killed. Solving this murder in’t going to be easy but Sophie is ready to show her work as she tries delve into all the scandal and corruption that seems to connect to the mayor and find out how she fits into this criminal equation.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sophie is such a fun protagonist. She really doesn’t want to get all wrapped up in a murder investigation but she just can’t help herself.  Her boyfriend does his best to keep her safe but they can’t be together 24/7. Thankfully she has a great relationship with Detective Virgil Mitchell. The killer really surprised me. I figured it out at the same time Sophie did.  It was a puzzler with quite a suspenseful ending.

The subplot of the student that is unhappy with her grades was wonderful. I am sure teachers near and far deal with this problem. With social media the student can take their issue to the masses making resolution difficult especially when “friends” take the problem to a whole new level. 

Ada Madison has written three marvelous main characters, surrounded them with a group of very interesting individuals in a setting ripe for mystery. Add it all together and A Function of Murder equals an absolutely impressive whodunit. 

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


Camille has made the giveaway today SPECTACULAR!!

In addition to the 2 books I am giving away
thanks to the wonderful people at Berkley Prime Crime – 

She is giving away 3 additional copies with bookmarks and rulers!!!

THAT’S A TOTAL OF 5 COPIES!!!

U.S. AND CANADA ONLY

To enter you must leave a comment below
answering Camille’s question:

Do you follow even the smallest rule, or would you make a good amateur sleuth?

Plus fill out the entry form found here!

Winners will be chosen by Random.org
Winners will be notified by email and
will be posted in the sidebar of this blog.
Entries without a comment will be disqualified!
Contest Will End January 23 at 11:59 p.m. CST

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.”

85941Cruisin 20132013where are you readingreadalattechallenge_zps01d248d0

Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Just For Fun Challenge Literary Escapes Sunday Salon / Sunday Post What An Animal Reading Challenge What's In A Name Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting

Sunday Salon – Weekly Recap – 2012 Challenge Wrap Up – Mail Call

The Sunday Salon.com

The Sunday Salon used to be a meme but was getting so huge it became unmanageable, so it is now a Facebook group that has become an informal week in review
gathering place for bloggers.

It is also a place to share our thoughts about things of a bookish nature.

So Happy Sunday Everyone!

I can’t believe how quickly 2012 flew by. The biggest events for me happened in April and December when my new grandchildren were born. I known their parents won’t agree but the months went pretty fast. I am looking forward to spending as much time with them and 5 year old Kaden and the rest of my family as I can in 2013. I am also excited about 2013 in my blog world. I think it is going to be an awesome year for books and sharing my thoughts with all of you. What are you looking forward to in 2013??

Weekly Recap December 24 – 29

MondayIt’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
TuesdayJust For Fun 2012 Challenge Wrap Up
WednesdayCozy Wednesday Special Cozy Giveaway
ThursdayMe Before You by Jojo Moyes Spotlight With Giveaway Me Before You: A Novel hits stores tomorrow and I highly recommend it. It is a powerful story that hit me on a personal level but I feel everyone will be touched by this story and it would be an excellent book club selection for the discussions it will start.
FridayMy Best Reads of 2012 This was a hard list to put together because I read so many wonderful books this year.
SaturdaySaturday Surfin’ – Recipes – Romance Challenge and Favorite Reads.

December Wrap Up

Reading Challenge 2012


I finished 2012 reading 222 books. So I completed this challenge and the Outdo Yourself Challenge with some to spare even with going 48 hours this week without reading a word.

I have not seen anyone running a Total Number of Books Reading Challenge for 2013. Please let me know if you know of one.

December Totals
16 Books – 4808 Pages – 2460 KB
2012 Totals – 222 Books – 65744 Pages – 28682 KB

More 2012 Challenges Completed
Reading Challenge Addict

 

 

 

 

 

17 / 19 Challenges. 89% done!

197 / 197 books. 100% done!

Photobucket

20 / 20 books. 100% done!

8 / 12 free e-books. 67% done!

Fell Short on this one 🙁

25 / 25 e-books. 100% done!

51 / 51 States. 100% done!

18 / 18 Outside the U.S.A. 100% done!

12 / 12 cozies. 100% done!

13 / 13 cozies. 100% done!

6 / 6 cozies. 100% done!

6 / 6 books. 100% done!

1st in a Series Challenge 2012

6 / 6 books. 100% done!

2 / 2 series. 100% done!

26 / 26 books. 100% done!

5 / 5 books. 100% done!

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12 / 12 books. 100% done!

6 / 6 books. 100% done!

8 / 8 books. 100% done!

 

 

 

 

24 / 24 books. 100% done!

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12 / 10 books. 120% done!

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0 / 3 books. 0% done!
This was a personal challenge to read 3 books from the year I was born.
I failed miserably. I am not going to try in 2013.

So I was successful at all but 2 challenges. Not a bad year.

 mail call314

Due to the New Years Holiday January Cozies have a release date of 12/31/2012.
I was getting worried because the review copies had not arrived yet last week.
They finally arrived Thursday.


These books also arrived for review:

and

Mary Daheim will be here January 30 for Cozy Wednesday!

This was a huge  post!

Looking forward to an awesome 2013 full of great reads!!

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
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Posted in Cruisin Thru Cozies Finish The Series Challenge Literary Escapes Saturday Surfin' What An Animal Reading Challenge

Saturday Surfin’ – Week 10 – Cozy Christmas Countdown Giveaway – More 2013 Challenges

One of the things I have been trying to improve on is visiting more blogs each week.

Doing this has led me to some very interesting blog posts so I am going to use
Saturday Surfin” to bring some of these posts to your attention.

HAVE A COZY CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN!

Join Killer Characters at the Have a Cozy Christmas Countdown!

In celebration of the holidays, KillerCharacters.com is giving away a book a day. From November 26 to December 25, visit their site and leave a comment, and you’ll be entered for that day’s giveaway. Return the next day to see if you won. You have thirty chances to win! Be sure to come back each day and leave a new comment to enter the drawing for that day. Good luck. From all the Killer Characters and their authors, Have a very Cozy Christmas!

Head over there every day to enter the giveaways!!

2013 WHERE Are You Reading Challenge Sign Up!!!

Sheila at Book Journey is hosting this challenge for the 3rd year.

What is the point of this challenge?
It is to try to read in each of the 50 States
between January 1 2013 – December 31, 2013.

Today I am just 1 book away from completing the challenge for 2012.
It was much easier than I thought it would be.
I only had to search out books for a few states.
My regular reading took care of most of them
plus I visited 18 places outside the U.S. too!
CLICK HERE for all the details!

*****

This is also the third year for this challenge.
To find out exactly what a cozy mystery is, check out Cozy-Mystery.com. This site is dedicated to cozy mysteries and does a great job of defining them as well as giving a list of cozy mysteries. This challenge is NOT restricted to what is on their list, it’s just to be used as a guideline in case you need some hints on what to read.

So, here are the rules…

1. Choose the level you wish to participate:
Level 1 – Snoop – Read at least 6 books
Level 2 – Investigator – Read 7-12 books
Level 3 – Super Sleuth – Read 13 or more books

2. The challenge runs from January 1, 2013 and ends December 31, 2013.

3. You don’t have to choose your books in advance. If you do, you can change your list at any time during the year. Books can overlap with other challenges.

4. Books can be in any format – paper, audio, ebooks…it all counts!

5. You don’t have to post a review, but I’m sure others would love to know about the books you are reading and may even want to add it to their reading lists.

NOTE: If you don’t have a blog and want to participate, that’s fine. You don’t have to have a blog, just post in the comments section as you finish books. If you belong to a site like Goodreads and review the books there, that’s fine too. Just leave us the link.

6. Take the button above, put it on your blog and post about the challenge. Then add your name to Mr. Linky at Yvonne’s blog. Please use the link of your challenge post, not the link to your home page.

7. She’s going to have one link for signing up, one link for completed reviews and one link for your wrap up posts.

I am signing up at the Super Sleuth level of 13 or more books!!!

CLICK HERE to join this challenge!

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Yvonne at Socrates Book Review Blog is hosting this one too!

Here are the rules guidelines.

1) All books that are part of a continuing series qualify (i.e. Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove, Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum, James Patterson’s Alex Cross, etc. etc.)

2) It doesn’t matter if you have 1 or 10 books in a series to complete it, it qualifies (i.e. if you only need to read one more Sookie Stackhouse book to complete the goal, that’s fine) The goal is to complete a series from wherever you are up to until the last published book.

3) The qualification period is January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013. Books must be read during this time frame to count.

4) Take the button above and post about it. Use the Mr. Linky to sign up and make sure you link it directly to your post about this challenge. (Note: She’s not going to be using the Finishing the Series Blog she created last year. She’s going to keep everything  right on her blog.)

5) If you don’t have a blog, that’s fine. Just leave a comment to sign up and tell us what you are reading.

IF YOU WANT TO LINK UP YOUR REVIEWS OR, FOR THOSE WITHOUT A BLOG, LEAVE A COMMENT ON YVONNE’S BLOG

6) Any format of book counts – audio, ebook, etc.

7) You should choose the series you want to finish before the challenge begins, but it isn’t necessary. It’s fine to change series during the year – as long as you complete whichever series it is.

8) Choose a level….

Level 1 – Complete 1 series.
Level 2 – Complete 2 series.
Level 3 – Complete 3 or more series.

I have several series I want to catch up on so I am signing up for Level 3.

Right now the ones I hope to catch up are Janet Evanovich Plum Series, J.B. Stanley’s Supper Club Series and one other series after I tidy up my To-Be-Read stacks.

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One more from Yvonne!

What An Animal Reading Challenge VI will begin on January 1st.

The rules are really simple…

1. Read at least 6 books that have any of the following requirements:

a. there is an animal in the title of the book
b. there is an animal on the cover of the book
c. an animal plays a major role in the book
d. a main character is (or turns into) an animal (define that however you’d like).

2. The animal can be any type of animal (real or fictitious)–
dog, cat, monkey, wolf, snake, insect, hedgehog, aardvark…dragon, mermaid, centaur, vampire, werewolf…you get the idea…

3. Challenge runs from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013.
That’s a full year to read at least 6 books (you can read more if you’d like).

4. Books can be fiction or nonfiction.

5. You may make a list of books at the beginning of the challenge or you can just list them as you find them.

6. Book titles may be swapped out at anytime (assuming you made a list to begin with).

7. Crossovers with other challenges are permitted and encouraged.

8. You don’t have to have a blog or write a review, but you can if you want to.
 If you don’t have a blog, just post in the comment section that you’d like to join. You can post your books in there.

9. Books can be in any format of your choice (print, audio, ebooks)

CLICK HERE to head over to Yvonne’s blog to sign up!! I sure am!

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off-the-shelf-2013-badge

BA’s 2013 Off the Shelf Reading Challenge

About: The Off the Shelf Reading Challenge is probably the most popular challenge there is on BA. The goal? To read books on your shelves that have gone unread for far too long. Selecting books from the year before (in this case, 2012 and before), read as many of the unread ones as you can. It’s up to you if you want to keep them or give them away afterwards, the main goal is to turn those unread books into read ones.

The Finer Deets

  • The Main Rule: Do not include books acquired during 2013, it defeats the purpose, read those books from before 2013 started.
  • Running dates for all 2013 challenges: 1st of January – 31st of December 2013
  • Sign-Ups are accepted until the 16th of December 2013.
  • Formats: All BA Challenges are eBook, audio, short story, and graphic novel friendly.
  • Crossovers: You’re welcome to crossover with BA’s challenges. Include as many books across all the challenges as you can, I always say.

How To Sign-Up and Join In

  1. Choose Your Level: Choose a challenge level listed below.
  2. Sign Up Post: Create a post on your blog, in a group, or on a forum (where possible) to let others see what you’re aiming for (a predefined list of books is optional).
  3. Grab The Badge: Download or grab the badge and place it in your sign up post. Then link back to BA's Off the Shelf Reading Challenge. Grab me!Bookish Ardour.
  4. Link Up: Grab the direct URL to your sign up post, not your blog, click the Mr Linky graphic and enter your link.
  5. Blogless? Don’t worry, you can sign up with your social network profile (YouTube, Twitter, GoodReads, Shelfari included), just make sure you link to your review list, shelf, tweet, or category. If you don’t have any of those feel free to comment.
  6. Your Reviews: Reviewing is optional! But if you do review it would be great for you to share them by submitting them on the review page.
  7. Finished: When you’re done it’s completion post time and you can share these on the completion/wrap-up page.

Challenge Levels

  1. Tempted– Choose 5 books to read
  2. Trying – Choose 15 books to read
  3. Making A Dint – Choose 30 books to read
  4. On A Roll – Choose 50 books to read
  5. Flying Off – Choose 75 books to read
  6. Hoarder – Choose between 76-135 books to read
  7. Buried – Choose between 136-200 books to read

Extra Challenges

If you feel like that extra kick to your reading challenges here’s a couple you can choose from.

  • World: Choose a country as your theme, reading only books from that country or where it’s the setting. For how high you go you can choose more than one country;
    • Level Tempted and Trying: Choose one country
    • Level Making a Dint and On A Roll: Choose two countries
    • Level Flying Off to end of Hoarder: Choose three countries
    • Level Buried: Choose four countries.
  • Gender Battle: Read books only by female or male authors. Another alternative is to read equal amounts of both.

Sign Up Here

I am signing up to read 5 books!

If you like Reading Challenges as much as I do, you have to subscribe or follow this blog!

A Novel Challenge
There is a team of bloggers at work there to keep us up to date on all the latest challenges. I will post the ones here that I am participating in but there will be tons of challenges out there for 2013 and some start at different times of the year. I subscribe to the blog via email so news of new challenges land right in my Inbox.

That’s it for week 10 of Saturday Surfin’. If you see some posts you feel should be shared please leave the links in the comments section for people to visit. The weeks are too short to travel to all the wonderful blogs in the blogosphere but together we can help find and direct each other to at least a few.

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
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