May 302019
 


A Daughter’s Truth
Women’s Fiction/Amish
Setting – Pennsylvania
Kensington (May 28, 2019)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1496716485
ISBN-13: 978-1496716484
Kindle ASIN: B07H1ZQY11

Emma Lapp tries to be the perfect daughter, to earn the loving embrace of her family and her Amish community in Pennsylvania. Yet she can’t quite win her mother’s smile—or her forgiveness for a transgression Emma can’t quite place . . .

Emma knows she’s a reminder of her mother’s greatest sorrow, having been born on the same day Mamm lost her beloved sister. The one bright spot has been the odd trinkets anonymously left at her aunt’s grave each year on Emma’s birthday—gifts Emma secretly hides because they upset her parents. But the day she turns 22, a locket bears a surprise that sends her on an unexpected journey . . .

Searching for answers, Emma travels to the English world and finds a kinship as intriguing as it is forbidden. But is this newfound connection enough to leave behind the future she’d expected? The answers are as mysterious, and as devastating, as the truth that divides Emma from the only family, and the only life, she’s ever known . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Laura Bradford introduces us to Emma Lapp, a 22-year-old Amish woman whose whole life gets turned upside down. The oldest of six children, Emma’s birthday has always had a somber tone. Emma was born the same day her Aunt Ruby died. Emma’s mother mourns her sister’s death heavily. Losing a loved one takes a toll and Emma does her best to be sensitive to her mother’s feelings. But the woman’s attitude toward Emma has never been the same as her attitude toward the other children. Emma works so hard but nothing she does can bring a smile to her mother’s face the way the other children do.

Each year Emma’s birthday begins with a trip to the cemetery. Each year when they arrive there is a small gift left by someone on the grave. It makes her mother sad and her father angry. The gift is quickly tossed in the trash. When Emma turns 7 and every year after she wakes early to go to the cemetery by herself to take the gift and hide it away, both to ease her parent’s pain and because the trinkets bring her a little bit of joy. On the morning of her 22nd birthday, she finds a very special gift, a locket with a picture inside that has her questioning everything about her life. Her need to find answers takes her to forbidden places. The answers she finds are surprising and could come with a very high price. Her life could change in profound ways.

Like her story, A Portrait of a Sister, Ms. Bradford takes her readers and her characters on an emotional roller coaster. Emma’s struggle was real and affected so many people. My emotions clearly mirrored Emma’s. While Emma has led a sheltered life and was only educated through the 8th grade, we see a very determined, strong, and smart woman emerge as the story continues. She learns so much and gets some great advice to help her to make some hard decisions.

Again, you can see that the author has researched the ways of the Amish to paint a very rich detailed story for her readers. The story is so well written. The characters are portrayed realistically and the dialogue flows easily. From the hiding place in a tree to a new litter of kittens in the barn, from Emma’s special rock by the pond to the long country road she travels, I could easily picture everything. A bird’s eye view of Emma’s journey is both heartbreaking and heartwarming.  There is also a poignant lesson taught by the end of this novel. Something everyone should take to heart.

I loved this story and escaped right into it! The author has a way of making her readers truly care about her characters. I was invested in Emma’s Life from beginning to end. She is also a character I wouldn’t mind visiting again. The author leaves us in a great place but Emma has a lot more life ahead of her.

Like the first one, this story is a story that will stick with me. Also, like the one before, the book receives my Paradise Rating earning a spot on my Best Reads List for this year.

Fans of Amish fiction will love this story. If you are a fan of this author’s Amish Mystery series you really need to cross over and read this book and the one before it.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

While spending a rainy afternoon at a friend’s house more than thirty years ago, Laura Bradford (a.k.a. Elizabeth Lynn Casey) fell in love with writing over a stack of blank paper, a box of crayons, and a freshly sharpened number two pencil. From that moment forward, she never wanted to do anything else.

Today, Laura is the national bestselling author of the Amish Mysteries, the Jenkins & Burns Mysteries, the Tobi Tobias Mystery Series, The Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries and the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries (written as Elizabeth Lynn Casey).

In June 2018, Laura debuted her first-ever women’s fiction novel, Portrait of a Sister.  Her second, A Daughter’s Truth was released on May 28, 2019.

Laura is a former Agatha nominee and the recipient of an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award in romance. In her free time, Laura enjoys making memories with her family, traveling, baking, and visiting the sea lions at the Central Park Zoo. For more information and all the latest book news, visit her website at www.laurabradford.com.

Author Links

Website     Facebook     Twitter   Pinterest

 

Also by Laura Bradford



Coming September 24, 2019


 


Click here for more books by Laura Bradford.

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Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
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Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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May 292019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am thrilled to have Dana Dratch stop by for a visit today
as part of her Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour!

Guest Post

Life Lessons from Murder Mysteries
by Dana Dratch

I have to confess a certain weakness for mystery stories.

I blame Nancy Drew. With her cool car, absent but well-heeled father and coterie of willing friends, she was always getting herself in and out of trouble and solving whatever mysteries life threw her way.

Not a bad motto for life.

As I grew up, I added the Sherlock Holmes stories to my bookshelf, along with Agatha Christie, Josephine Tey, and Dorothy Sayers. And they were joined by the likes of Gregory Mcdonald, Robert B. Parker, M.C. Beaton, G.K. Chesterton, and Louise Penny.

Turns out, there’s a lot of very valuable information in mystery stories. And I’m not just talking untraceable poisons and where to hide the body. They also contain, in the words of one of my former editors, “news you can use.”

Here are a few life lessons I’ve picked up after years of reading mysteries — and writing a few along the way:

1. Be open and skeptical. Miss Marple was famous for this. Sure, she’d sit there and enjoy whatever tea and scones were placed in front of her. Along with a nice helping of gossip. But she never took any of it at face value. She watched, listened and learned. Then filed it away for later.She’d have made a great reporter.

2. Societal politeness is highly overrated. Golden Age mystery writers were diabolical. They managed to glamorize polite society and manners, while simultaneously roasting them. Why didn’t the Countess spit out the wine when she noticed it tasted off? Too déclassé. How come Harold didn’t call out for help when the murder suspect followed him into the darkened garden? But he wasn’t certain, you see. It wouldn’t have been quite cricket.

Sometimes, it pays to act on instinct. Scream like a girl, Harold.

3,. Stop for a good meal now and then. Robert B. Parker’s Spenser is no stranger to fine dining. And M.C. Beaton’s Hamish Macbeth may live in a tiny hamlet in the middle of the Scottish Highlands, but the place is wired for great food.

Once in a while you have to stop, take time out and refuel. The villains can wait.

4. Stick with what you love. How many detectives are warned not to pursue the case? Pretty much all of them. Do they listen? Not on your life.

They just keep following those clues (and the trail of dead bodies), until they finally catch the bad guys. Lucky for us.

~Dana

Thank you so much for stopping by today, Dana! 

Keep reading for my thoughts on Dana’s new book, Seeing Red.

 

About the Book


Seeing Red (A Red Herring Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Washington D.C. / Virginia
Kensington (May 28, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN-10: 1496716582
ISBN-13: 978-1496716583
Digital ASIN: B07H1VFL64

If it wasn’t for art thieves, spies and killers, Alex Vlodnachek’s life would be bliss.

Her freelance career is catching fire. Her relationship with B&B owner Ian Sterling is flirty and fun. She’s even attending a glittering cocktail party at his sprawling Victorian inn.

But, to this ex-reporter, something seems “off.” And it’s not the canapés. When Ian’s father vanishes, the enigmatic innkeeper asks for her discretion. And her assistance.

Meanwhile, Alex is having the opposite problem at her tiny bungalow: People keep piling in uninvited. Including a mysterious intruder found sleeping in her kitchen. Her grandmother, Baba, who shows up “to help”—with Alex’s own mother hot on her heels.

When the intrepid redhead discovers a body in the B&B’s basement and a “reproduction” Renoir in the library, she begins to suspect that Ian is more than just a simple hotel owner.

With editor pal Trip, brother Nick, and rescue-pup Lucy riding shotgun, Alex scrambles to stay one step ahead of disaster—and some very nasty characters.

Can she find the missing man before it’s too late? Or will Alex be the next one to disappear?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

OMG, hold on to your funny bones! Dana Dratch has penned another fantastic mystery filled with humor that you will be unable to put down.

First, Ian’s father goes missing in the middle of a party. Then, unusual discovery is made in Alex’s kitchen, followed by an unusual discovery in the inn’s basement freezer, which quickly goes missing. Then while Alex is trying to find a clue about where the innkeeper’s father may have gone she makes yet another unusual discovery and it doesn’t stop there. She arrives home to find that her brother has brought Baba back to help with the kitchen discovery and it isn’t long before there another visitor camped out in her living room. As if her house is already bursting at the seams her mother arrives starting a rant as soon as she walks in the door.

Needing to get out of the house she calls her friend Trip and they along with her dog Lucy embark on a journey to get a whole list of answers. She hopes to find them all before finding any more bodies or someone finding hers.

These characters are fun and created with depth. Again Baba stole my heart. The woman still can’t cook but she whips Alex’s house and everyone in it into shape within minutes. The rest of the characters I came to love in the first book, Confessions of a Red Herring, all return making me love them even more. Alex is a strong protagonist with a huge heart. Nick, Alex’s brother is getting his new business off the ground and a big help to Alex. Ian is hiding something so Alex starts to waiver in her trust of him, especially with all the dead bodies. Trip is the perfect best friend for Alex especially because she truly has her hands full this time.

Ms. Dratch gives readers a perplexing mystery to try to solve. Twists on top of twists had me spinning. I figured out only one very minuscule part before everything was revealed. The pace is quick and the suspense and humor are blended together in a very entertaining way.

Great characters, laugh out loud moments, and a complex mystery make for a wonderful read. Another Perfect Escape from Dana Dratch.

If you haven’t read the first book in the series, don’t miss any of the fun. Read that one first.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

About the Author

Dana Dratch is a personal finance writer and the author of CONFESSIONS OF A RED HERRING and SEEING RED. She’s currently working on the third Alex Vlodnachek mystery adventure, RED HOT. Get updates at ConfessionsofaRedHerring.com.

Purchase Links

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May 27 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
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May 29 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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May 282019
 

This book was released TODAY!!

Southern Sass and Killer Cravings (Marygene Brown Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Georgia
Kensington (May 28, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN-10: 1496721454
ISBN-13: 978-1496721457
Digital ASIN: B07H1VWGBS

Life has always been sweet on Georgia’s Peach Cove Island, but a case of murder has Marygene Brown down in the pits . . .

For generations, the women of the Brown family on Peach Cove Island have been known for their Southern sass and sweet homemade desserts at their beloved Peach Diner. Since their mother’s passing two years ago, Marygene has been stuck in Atlanta while her sister Jena Lynn has been running the family business. Now Marygene has left her husband and returned to her hometown, where she can almost feel Mama’s presence.

But all is not peachy back home. Marygene has barely tied on an apron when a diner regular drops dead at the counter. When it turns out the old man’s been poisoned, Jena Lynn is led away in handcuffs and the family eatery is closed. Now, to save her sister and the diner, Marygene must find the real killer. With some startling assistance from her Mama’s spirit, Marygene will be serving up a special order of just desserts . . .

Includes Seven Recipes from Marygene’s Kitchen!

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Everything is not peachy on Peach Cove Island. Marygene Brown has left her abusive marriage behind and returned home just in time to witness one of the customers at her family’s Peach Diner keel over dead. When it is determined the man was poisoned, Marygene’s sister Jena Lynn is arrested and the diner is closed. Knowing she has no choice, Marygene sets out to find the real killer to save her sister and reopen the family legacy. She gets an unusual assist from her Mama, who just happens to be dead! All while the sheriff tells her to butt out ‘cuz he’s got it covered. Well, he and that detective from Atlanta brought into the case by the victim’s son.

There is so much I loved about this story!

The author introduces us to Marygene, a survivor of domestic violence. I felt she dealt with the issue realistically while keeping within cozy mystery parameters. Marygene makes a huge step, filing for divorce and moving home, while her husband still tries to keep her under his thumb. She arrives back on Peach Cove Island with the process started, knowing it isn’t going to be easy.

I was impressed with the character growth of the core characters over the course of the story, realizing this is the first book in the series, the author has left plenty of room for growth. The family dynamic is unique and fluid. When her mother passed the family home was left to Marygene, and the Peach Diner was left to both daughters. With Marygene stuck in her marriage, Jena Lynn has been running the diner with their brother handling the kitchen. Marygene also just recently found out that Sheriff Eddie Carter is her biological father. Her return means rebuilding and defining relationships.

The murder takes place early in the story giving Marygene something else to focus on. It also gives her a way to reconnect with family and friends and gives her the opportunity to connect with those who had reason to want Mr. Ledbetter six feet under.

The mystery was cleverly plotted and the addition of Mama’s ghost was fantastic!! Friend and waitress Betsy also assists Marygene in her investigation. (Betsy is a hoot and a half!) There were more suspects than I at first imagined and plenty of twists.  A lot is happening on this island. Marygene does her best to piece everything together, even putting herself in the line of fire. More than once she had me holding my breath.

Kate Young has what I would call a comfortable writing style. The dialogue is free flowing full of just the right amount of Southern Sass. I am not a fan of curse words in a cozy mystery but it fits within this dialogue and was rare. Her descriptive style sets the time and the scene without ever going over the top. The characters are easily visualized along with everything that is taking place.

Like a true cozy mystery, this book has its fair share of humor and just a touch of romance. Marygene is just out of a bad relationship and not ready to jump into another, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any men on the horizon. I hope with all the woman has been through the author takes things slowly and gives out protagonist the time she needs to heal and trust. Jena Lynn romantic relationship has a fun milestone.

Full of Southern charm and a grand mystery along with delectable recipes that may give you some Killer Cravings this series is off to a wonderful start! I can’t wait for book two!!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Kate Young writes humorous southern mystery novels. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Guppy Chapter. Kate lives in a small town in Georgia with her husband, three kids, and Shih Tzu. When she is not writing her own books, she’s reading or cooking.

Author Links – Website Facebook – Twitter GoodReads  BookBub

Purchase Links

Amazon  B&N  Kobo Indie Bound  ibooks  BAM 


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

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

Contest Will End June 11, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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May 232019
 

Drowning Lessons
(A Red Frog Beach Mystery)
by Rachel Neuburger Reynolds

About the Book


Drowning Lessons (A Red Frog Beach Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Bocas del Toro, a remote chain of islands off the Caribbean coast of Panama
Self-Published (May 21, 2019)
Number of Pages: ~290
Digital ASIN: B07PZRR8WC

You are cordially invited to a destination wedding to die for…

Welcome to Bocas del Toro, a remote chain of islands off the Caribbean coast of Panama. Five days of glorious sun and lush rainforest await the forty guests celebrating Bridezilla Olivia’s dream wedding—but will a murder sink the catered affair? Before anyone’s got time to start working on a tan, an unfortunate snorkeling accident eliminates a member of the wedding party. Maid of honor Lexie Marino smells trouble, and is thrust into the responsibility of investigating, needing to solve the case before her bestie’s trip down the aisle gets tropically derailed. The show must go on.

Lexie’s a little too tall, a little too awkward, and a little too brokenhearted, but she’s determined to nail the real killer. Can this unlikely sleuth stay afloat as she’s hit by wave after wave of wildly entertaining characters, including an alpha bride, surfing detectives, and a high school flame long forgotten?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We arrive on Bocas del Toro, a remote chain of islands off the Caribbean coast of Panama for the destination wedding of Olivia Fowlers. Alexandra ‘Lexie’ Martone is her maid of honor and is at the bride’s beck and call, as are all of the bridesmaids. Each one has received a binder/dossier with details about all 40 guests and all the activities the bride has planned for the week. Each bridesmaid has been assigned a group of people to watch over and certain events they are each in charge of.

The first event, snorkeling is all fun and games until one of the guests failed to come out of the water on their own. The bride quickly informs Lexie to handle it, a dead body is not going to ruin her big day. When the authorities determine the person was actually murdered the bride’s Zilla claws come out and she tells Lexie to keep everything a secret until her wedding goes off without a hitch. Lexie isn’t sure if the island detectives can solve the case since they seem more focused on surfing instead of the murder, so she starts to do a little snooping on her own. Even she knows this could end badly.

‘Lexie’ Martone has the patience of a saint. She is trying to recover from a bad breakup, doesn’t know how to swim, has put on a few pounds, and has always been the tallest girl in the crowd. She knows nothing about investigating a murder but she is going to give her the old college try. Everyone is a suspect and she doesn’t know who she can trust. Her time on the island is going to be the farthest thing from a delightful vacation. Lexie shows a lot of growth over these pages which makes me excited about this character.

In addition to Lexie, the author introduces us to a mixed bag of characters. New friends, old friends, a few relatives, work colleagues and one very wealthy character who is paying for this extravaganza. One ends up dead and then another and all those remaining land on the suspect list. Truthfully, with the exception of one or two, they weren’t a likable bunch for me or Lexie, so it wasn’t hard to believe that one or more of them could be a murderer.

Our protagonist didn’t do too much actual investigating. She leaned on her observations, overhearing conversations, and making a pest of herself, just being on the scene while trying to keep up with all her wedding chores. In my mind, she put herself in some risky situations for very little knowledge gained, but somehow it all came together by the end in a very enjoyable way.

This story is much more than a cozy mystery. It is a dramedy where literally everything that can go wrong does. Twists, turns, craziness, and good old mayhem fill these pages all on an idyllic chain of islands. A virtual beach escape or grab a copy and head to the beach.  This was a fun book to read and a great start for this series. I am looking forward to the next book.

About the Author

RACHEL NEUBURGER REYNOLDS is the author of The Red Frog Beach Mystery Series. As a playwright, her plays have had been produced in London, Edinburgh and New York. After 25-years in New York City, she now resides with her husband between London and St Leonards-on-Sea in England. For news about Rachel and the upcoming Red Frog Beach Mysteries, check her out at RachelNeuburger.com.

Author Links

Webpage and Blog: RachelNeuburger.com

FaceBook Twitter: @rainyday11

Instagram: @rainydaywrites   Goodreads:    Pinterest

Purchase Links 

Amazon – Kindle


Thanks to the author I have 1 e-copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
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Contest Will End June 4, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
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Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
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May 24 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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May 222019
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled to feature Ellery Adams’ new book today!


Murder in the Reading Room (A Book Retreat Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Virginia – Travels to North Carolina
Kensington (April 30, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496715659
ISBN-13: 978-1496715654
Kindle ASIN: B07G6NJK5W

Storyton Hall, Virginia, is a paradise for book lovers who come from all over for literary getaways. But manager Jane Steward is temporarily leaving for another renowned resort—in hopes of solving a twist-filled mystery . . .

Jane’s boyfriend is missing, and she thinks she may find him at North Carolina’s historic Biltmore Estate. Officially, she’s there to learn about luxury hotel management, but she’s also prowling around the breathtaking buildings and grounds looking for secret passageways and clues. One of the staff gardeners promises to be helpful . . . that is, until his body turns up in the reading room of his cottage, a book on his lap.

When she finally locates the kidnapped Edwin, his captor insists that she lead him back to Storyton Hall, convinced that it houses Ernest Hemingway’s lost suitcase, stolen from a Paris train station in 1922. But before they can turn up the treasure, the bell may toll for another victim . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Storyton Hall’s manager Jane Steward along with Landon Lachlan travel to the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina for a Luxury Lodging Seminar, but they have an ulterior motive, Jane’s boyfriend,  Edwin Alcott is missing and they believe he is being held prisoner on the estate. Landon befriends one of the estate’s gardeners and he believes the man will help in their quest to find Edwin. They were interrupted on their visit, so they arrive at his cottage the next day to continue their conversation and for Jane to give the gardener a gift from Storyton Hall. Sadly, they find the man dead in his reading room with a book on his lap. They are crushed by the man’s death but they can’t give up on finding Edwin. Following certain clues, they do find Edwin but they then learn the find was a setup and are faced with a stunning surprise. They then realize the captor holds the cards and they must take him back to Storyton Hall. Jane just hopes on her home turf she can bring the captor down without anyone else losing their lives.

This book is a wonderful addition to this series and puts in motion some pivotal actions. For that reason, I want to state upfront that you need to read this series from the start in order. If you don’t I don’t think you will feel the full impact of this book.

The setting of the book/series, Storyton and Storyton Hall are things that truly sets this series apart from others. Storyton Hall is an extraordinary place, a book lover’s dream.

Great Gatsby Ballroom
Madame Bovary Dining Room
Isak Dinesen Safari Room
Daphne Du Maurier Morning Room
Jane Austen Parlor
Shakespeare’s Theater
Kipling Cafe
Milton’s Gardens
Lewis Carroll Croquet Lawn
Beatrix Potter Playroom
William Faulker Conference Room
Henry James Library
Ian Fleming Lounge
Robin Hood Archery Range
Green Gables Gazebo
Jules Verne Pool

The author describes each room, its artifacts, furniture, and books so expertly that they come alive and are so easy to visualize. In this story, she takes us to the Biltmore Estate and uses her talents to bring that setting to life as well.

Ms. Adams has crafted spectacular characters. Jane Steward is a strong protagonist. She is smart and can think on her feet. Thanks to Fins, she is also well trained in several ways. The Fins and all the residents and employees are so genuine and each has a role to play. Their relationships and dialogues are believable. They are engaging and memorable.

Within these pages is a complex mystery, one that has not only twists but surprises and secrets revealed.  Certain events really jerked at my heart, others had me thrilled and excited.  Pivotal actions that I mentioned above truly caught me off guard. More than once I thought that things were being wrapped up to end the series, but then I thought that maybe the author is taking the series in a different direction. I have enjoyed this series from the start and I certainly don’t want it to end so my fingers are crossed there will be more visits to Storyton Hall in the future. I think the author has more mysteries and surprises in store for us.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

My reviews of previous books in this series.

Murder in the Mystery Suite 

Murder in the Paperback Parlor

Murder in the Secret Garden

Murder in the Locked Library 

 To find out more about Ellery and all her books visit her webpage here.





GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the people at Kensington I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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Contest Will End June 5, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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May 212019
 

Caught Up in It
(Blu Carraway Mystery)
by David Burnsworth

About the Book


Caught Up in It (Blu Carraway Mystery)
Hard-Boiled Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – South Carolina – Trips to Malaysia, Hollywood, and Las Vegas
Henery Press (April 23, 2019)
Hardcover: 286 pages
ISBN-10: 1635114780
ISBN-13: 978-1635114782
Digital ASIN: B07N7LW9WS

The award-winning diva, C, has got a big problem: someone wants her dead. A team of mercenaries attempts to gun her down in Kuala Lumpur. Lucky for her, Lowcountry Private Investigator, Blu Carraway, is already on the job there for a different client.

Double-lucky for C, they make their move when she’s chit-chatting with him in a bar. Unlucky for the mercenaries, four of them end up dead.

The hunt is on now for the mega-pop star. Where does she go to hide out? The sleepy islands around Charleston, South Carolina—Blu’s backyard. He’s already proven himself once, so C hires the Blu Carraway Investigation Agency to protect her for real.

The job takes Blu halfway around the world and several cities in between. The search for the truth reveals what could drive a person to want someone else dead.

And Blu Carraway ends up right in the way.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Private Investigator Blu Carraway is in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia protecting pop star “C” from an unknown element who wants her dead. Believing she is being watched by another team Blu is taking some downtime in a local bar. Then C walks in and soon the bad guys follow. Blu takes control and leaves four bodies behind.

He returns home to the Lowcountry and is surprised when the diva shows up on his turf begging him to protect her again. He takes her on with some rules of his own. Before long he is using all his resources to keep her safe. Over the course of just a few days, chaos ensues. Blu starts to question who he can trust. He and his team travel hither and yon trying to ascertain who is behind the hit put out on C. Amidst all the action Blu is also dealing with a very sick horse.

When I pick up a David Burnsworth novel I know I am in for non-stop action and more than a few dead bodies. This series was originally was a spin-off of the author’s other series, but by the end of this story the two series are now completely blended together. This made me very happy because Brack from the Heat Series and Blu from this series are both such strong characters working around and out of Charleston, South Carolina and I had no idea how the author could keep both series going. Brack and Blu have worked together and characters from the other series have crossed over to this one. Bringing Blu, Brack, Crome, and the ladies in their lives together makes perfect sense and makes this series so strong and compelling.

These characters are so well written, they are intriguing and we learn more about them throughout the story and in each new book. Readers can see their growth and witness their life’s journeys. The dialogue is fantastic and realistic for people who have known each other for a long time and who have seen what they have seen.  The relationships are strong and understanding.  They are not just teammates, they are friends and they care about each other. The accepted their client into their fold and went to extreme lengths to keep her safe at their own peril and I would expect no less from the characters we have come to know over the course of these stories.

Mr. Burnsworth also knows how to set a scene. His island home, complete with his herd of wild horses and swarms of mosquitos, along with every location his characters travel is vividly described. His words take readers right there on the front lines of the mayhem that seems to follow Blu and his team everywhere they go.

Fast-paced, action, suspense, and drama. Burnsworth keeps the reader’s eyes glued to the pages hardly giving us time to come up for air. I loved it. While the story reached a great ending I was sorry to see the book come to an end. These characters really grab ahold, it’s hard to let them go.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Click on the links below to read my reviews for other books by this author.
IN IT FOR THE MONEY
BAD TIME TO BE IN IT
SOUTHERN HEAT
BURNING HEAT
BIG CITY HEAT

About the Author

David Burnsworth became fascinated with the Deep South at a young age. After a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tennessee and fifteen years in the corporate world, he made the decision to write a novel. He is the author of both the Brack Pelton and the Blu Carraway Mystery Series. Having lived in Charleston on Sullivan’s Island for five years, the setting was a foregone conclusion. He and his wife call South Carolina home.

Author Links

Website   Facebook  Twitter   GoodReads

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKobo


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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
May 20 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 21 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
May 22 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
May 23 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
May 24 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
May 25 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
May 26 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST
May 27 – 4covert2overt ☼ A Place In The Spotlight ☼ – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 28 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
May 28 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
May 29 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 30 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
May 31 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 31 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
June 1 – ❧Defining Ways❧ – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 2 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT

 

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

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May 152019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am happy to feature Peggy Ehrhart’s new book today!


Knit One, Die Two (A Knit & Nibble Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New Jersey
Kensington (April 30, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1496713311
ISBN-13: 978-1496713315
Kindle ASIN: B07G6RYBLH

When Arborville, New Jersey’s snooty theater scene is upstaged by a shocking murder, Pamela Paterson and her Knit and Nibble knitting club must act quickly to stop a killer from making an encore performance . . .

Knit and Nibble’s numbers are growing! In addition to a litter of adorable kittens, the knitting club just welcomed their newest member, Caralee Lorimer, who’s learning to knit for her upcoming role in A Tale of Two Cities. According to the amateur actress, the behind-the-scenes drama at the theater is getting downright catty, and Caralee wants a reckoning for Arborville’s pretentious suburbanites. Her claws are out, and just like her character in the play, Caralee is ready to name names. But before she can finish her snitchy stitches, Caralee is killed in a suspicious theater accident. Someone thinks they’ve staged a perfect murder, but Pamela and her Knit and Nibblers are ready to pounce on the real killer . . . before it’s curtains for anyone else!

Knitting tips and delicious recipe included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

The Knit and Nibble knitting group has another new member. Caralee Lorimer is playing a part in the local theater group’s latest play, A Tale of Two Cities, and her character, knits on stage and she wants to play the part convincingly. She is not afraid to share her opinions of happenings around Arborville along with some things people would like to keep under wraps. She has rubbed several people the wrong way and made a few outright enemies. Pamela had no idea what Caralee was up to, but when the young woman is killed in a theater “accident” Pamela and the rest of the nibblers start to find out what she was really like. She obviously pushed someone too far and Pamela is sure the so-called accident was really a cleverly constructed murder. She just has to prove it and enlists her friend Bettina to help her investigate.

I really love the members of this knitting club. They take their nibbles as serious as their knitting. The group shares mouthwatering treats at a designated time at each of their meetings.  They are an eclectic group and always seem to have a good time when they get together. In this installment Pamela as a kindle of kittens to find homes for and when the group meets at her home, the little ones steal the hearts of more than one member. The kittens are as diverse as the group and I laughed at their antics throughout the book.

I have said in previous reviews that the author has a very descriptive writing style and for the most part, she describes things I am interested in, but this time she went a little over the top and was sometimes repetitive of things we had read just a few pages before. It messed with the flow of the book and took away from the story. A sub-plot mystery was also added that I felt really had no purpose. I really enjoyed the unique clue that set off the real investigation revealing some suspects thanks to Bettina’s husband, Wilfred. I was focused on a certain person early on and as more and more was revealed I knew I was right. I didn’t understand the whole reasoning as to why though until it was all spelled out for me.

I love the theme of this series. The characters in this series are strong and likable. The author needs to tighten up her writing to improve the flow and add more depth to the mystery. I am invested in these characters and need to see what happens to them next.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

You can read my review of Murder, She Knit here and Died in the Wool here.

PEGGY

About the Author

Peggy Ehrhart is a former English professor who writes mysteries and plays blues guitar. She holds a doctorate in Medieval Literature, and her publications include a prize-winning book dealing with classical mythology in the Middle Ages. Her Maxx Maxwell mysteries, Sweet Man Is Gone (2008) and Got No Friend Anyhow (2011), feature a blues-singer sleuth.
Peggy is currently writing the Knit and Nibble mystery series for Kensington Books. Set in the charming (fictional) town of Arborville, New Jersey, it features amateur sleuth Pamela Paterson, founder and mainstay of the town’s knitting club. Peggy is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She plays guitar with the Still Standing Band. (From Amazon)

Find out more about Peggy on her website here.


Coming October 29, 2019

 


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a U.S. Mailing Address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End May 29, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

 

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May 142019
 

Staging is Murder
(A Laura Bishop Mystery)
by Grace Topping

About the Book


Staging is Murder (A Laura Bishop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Henery Press (April 30, 2019)
Hardcover: 268 pages
ISBN-10: 163511490X
ISBN-13: 978-1635114904
Paperback: 268 pages
ISBN-10: 163511487X
ISBN-13: 978-1635114874
Digital ASIN: B07N96J65X

Laura Bishop just nabbed her first decorating commission—staging for sale a 19th-century mansion that hasn’t been updated for decades. But when a body falls from a laundry chute and lands at Laura’s feet, replacing flowered wallpaper becomes the least of her duties.

To clear her young assistant of the murder and save her fledgling business, Laura’s determined to find the killer. Turns out it’s not as easy as renovating a manor home, especially with two handsome men complicating her mission: the police detective assigned to the case and the real estate agent trying to save the manse from foreclosure.

Worse still, the meddling of a horoscope-guided friend, a determined grandmother, and the local funeral director could get them all killed before Laura props the first pillow.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Grace Topping starts this book/series out with a big thump. While curbing the clutter in the huge 19th-century mansion, her protagonist Laura Bishop heads to the cellar with a box only to have her client’s body fall from the laundry chute right at her feet. Victoria Denton was difficult but who would have done such a thing?

The police decide Laura’s assistant, Tyrone is their prime suspect. He accidentally broke a vase sending Ms. Denton into a tizzy. She also is on the committee holding Tyrone’s fate in her hands as he waits to hear if he will be awarded a college scholarship. The woman threatened to basically blackball him everywhere and police assume he retaliated. Laura defends the young man but when his grandmother begs for her help she knows she has to do more. Detective Alex Spangler thinks he has his man so Laura grabs her friend Nita Marino and tries to use all the knowledge she has gleaned from reading cozy mysteries to start investigating.

There are such strong characters in this debut. Laura Bishop has left her IT career behind and opened her own business staging homes to help home sellers get the best price and the quickest sale of their homes. She is also new to investigating and admits it which was a big plus for me. She is a very kind person and for the most part, makes really good decisions. Her best friend Nita is the Watson to Laura’s Holmes and they make a good team. The character I liked best was Tyrone. He’s a college student studying design and clearly has talent. He is a hard worker. He has 3 jobs earning money both for school and to help his grandmother. He has such a positive attitude even when things are going wrong. Even behind bars, he was a breath of fresh air. I also loved meeting Inky, Laura’s rescue kitty.

The story flowed well for me. There are several suspects and some great twists. Tossing the victim down the laundry chute was a bit eerie. I love big old homes that have them. My aunt had one in her newer home but the opening was nowhere near large enough to stuff a body through. I enjoyed following along with Laura and her investigation while she continued to work on the mansion to get it ready for an open house. The mansion needed a lot of help and I was surprised by all Laura did with the help of so few people. The author found a nice balance between solving the mystery and everyday life. Humor was also incorporated in a very thoughtful way.

Each chapter starts with a staging tip and the staging theme was super interesting to me. Not that I’ll ever need to stage a home, but several tips made sense to brighten up the home I have.

This series is off to a great start. The characters have plenty of room to grow. The theme provides endless possibilities. I am really looking forward to book #2.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Grace Topping is a recovering technical writer and IT project manager, accustomed to writing lean, boring documents. Let loose to write fiction, she is now creating murder mysteries and killing off characters who remind her of some of the people she dealt with during her career. Fictional revenge is sweet. She’s using her experience helping friends stage their homes as inspiration for her Laura Bishop mystery series. The first book in the series, Staging is Murder, is about a woman starting a new career midlife as a home stager. Grace is the current vice president of the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime, and a member of the SINC Guppies and Mystery Writers of America. She lives with her husband in Northern Virginia.

 Author Links –  Website – Twitter – Facebook – GoodReads – 

Purchase Links – Amazon  B&N   Kobo  

Praise for Staging is Murder (A Laura Bishop Mystery)
by Grace Topping

The writing flows smoothly in this well-paced story and the characters are well drawn. . . .There’s plenty of suspects and red herrings, and the murderer’s identity wasn’t easy to solve.
~The Power of Words

Staging is Murder was a fun and exciting mystery that was a sheer delight for this reader.
~Moonlight Rendezvous

Wow! The planning and misdirections in this first book remind me of the Golden Age murder/mystery writers!
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

STAGING IS MURDER sets the stage for a solid mystery series. There’s an interesting plot and engaging characters, with just enough zaniness to promote laughs, but keep things real.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

Staging is Murder by Grace Topping is a fun mystery with a reluctant amateur detective. This book is a wonderful start to a new series. I can’t wait to see what Laura and Nita get into next.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

Staging is Murder has a friendly protagonist, a charming town, witty commentary, good friends, a frisky feline, a client who has gone to meet her maker, and one cunning killer.
~The Avid Reader

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
Part One
April 25 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
April 25 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
April 26 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW
April 26 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
April 27 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 28 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 28 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
April 29 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

Part Two
May 6 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
May 6 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT
May 7 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 8 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
May 8 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 9 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
May 9 – Carole’s Book Corner – SPOTLIGHT
May 10 – Teresa Trent Author Site – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 11 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
May 11 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 12 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST
May 13 – That’s What She’s Reading – CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 14 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

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

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May 102019
 


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.

Pineapple Upside Down Murder (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Ohio
MYS ED llc (November 23, 2018)
Print Length: 130 pages
Digital ASIN: B07GXDPPSP

Introducing Jolie Tucker, an introverted yet passionate restaurant co-owner of Cast Iron Creations, who, at her best friend Ava’s request, steps out of her comfort zone which leads her into the shade of a killer in the small, cozy village of Leavensport, Ohio. The victim is the villages beloved Ellie Siler who runs the village sweet spot, Chocolate Capers. Jolie finds her grandma Opal is a prime suspect and goes on a search for answers only to find out that her families secret recipes may not belong to the Tucker family at all. Jolie’s job, family, and livelihood are all on the line. The answers are assuredly lethal.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

When Jolie Tucker finds out her Grandma Opal is the top suspect in the death of her friend and owner of Chocolate Capers, Ellie Siler Jolie jumps from the cast iron frying pan into the fire to prove her innocence. What she learns could bring her very short-lived dream as co-owner of the Cast Iron Creations Restaurant to an end. She could also be the killer’s next victim . . .

A dead body, stolen recipes, and family secrets highlight this delightful cozy novella.

Jolie Tucker and her best friend Ava own Cast Iron Creations that features old family recipes made in cast iron skillets. Something her grandma Opal always wanted to do but was never able to do so. Jolie handles the kitchen because she is a real introvert and readers get a little bit of the backstory as to why. Joining Jolie is this story is a big cast. Her best friend Ava, other friends Lydia, Bradley, and Keith, Ava’s girlfriend Delilah, Grandma Opal and her daughter’s, along with Roxi who works at the restaurant and her brother Rex. We also have Detective Meiser, the investigator in charge of the case. At first, I felt like I needed a scorecard to keep everyone straight. It also felt like too many characters for a story of this length. But the author did a good job of making each unique and soon I had a handle on all the players.

This mystery was really twisted up. I did want to reach into the pages and slap the detective a few times. Jolie had a long list of suspects, essentially anyone that wasn’t her grandmother. She has a lot of good theories but the visiting detective in charge wasn’t interested in anything except maybe Jolie herself. The killer reveal was a surprise for me and a nice twist.

I really enjoyed the cast iron skillet theme and I am looking forward to getting to know these characters better and in more depth in the next book, Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Murder, out June 21.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Moving into her second decade working in education, Jodi Rath has decided to begin a life of crime in her The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series. Her passion for both mysteries and education led her to combine the two to create her business MYS ED, where she splits her time between working as an adjunct for Ohio teachers and creating mischief in her fictional writing. She currently resides in a small, cozy village in Ohio with her husband and her seven cats.

Author Links:  Webpage FB Author Page: Author Jodi Rath

Twitter @jodirathGoodreads   Bookbub    Pinterest
Purchase Links: Amazon    All other e-platforms

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread Murder – Coming June 21, 2019.


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
The book will be sent directly from Amazon.
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End May 24, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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May 082019
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to welcome Annette Dashofy to Escape With Dollycas today!

 


Hi Annette,

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I write the Zoe Chambers Mystery Series about a paramedic/deputy coroner in rural southwestern Pennsylvania, where I’ve lived all my life. Cry Wolf, the seventh in the series, is an Agatha Award nominee for Best Contemporary Novel of 2018 (my fourth nomination). My newest release is Fair Game, the eighth in the series.

What are three things most people don’t know about you? That’s a hard question. I’m largely an open book, which drives my husband crazy because he’s ultra-private. Does that count as one? Okay, two more. I once owned and operated a photo studio, Dashofy Photography, with my husband. And I once shook hands with our local SWAT team’s bomb robot. That’s three.

What is the first book you remember reading? Oh, my. Cat in the Hat, perhaps. Or Green Eggs and Ham. I started young!

What are you reading now? Hank Phillippi Ryan’s Trust Me.

What books have most inspired you? In addition to those by Mary Higgins Clark and Agatha Christie, which I mention below, I deeply admire those by Julia Spencer-Fleming (the Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne series) and Craig Johnson (the Walt Longmire series). I love their use of language and emotion.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries? As a kid, I was writing all genres until I read Where Are the Children by Mary Higgins Clark. From that point on, I was hooked on crime fiction. And I fell in love with Agatha Christie’s mysteries. After a failed attempt at writing romantic suspense, I discovered a passion for creating puzzles for my readers to solve.

Do you have a special place you like to write? I do the bulk of my writing in my home office on my desktop computer, surrounded by forensics books and sticky notes.

Where do the ideas for your books come from? Everywhere! News stories. Overheard conversations. Random thoughts that pop into my head. For instance, the first chapter of Fair Game grew out of a frustrating and sleepless night in a mystery conference hotel room. The walls were paper thin, and our next-door neighbors were having a party. I could quite literally hear every word they said, and some of it was stuff I didn’t think they’d want repeated! I wanted to yell through the wall, “I can hear you!” Instead, I started thinking, what if they were talking about murdering someone? (They weren’t, FYI.) And that’s what inspired the opening to this book!

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging? The beginning. And then the middle. And then the end. It’s all challenging, but that’s what makes it so much fun.

What do you think makes a good story? As a reader, I want interesting, complex characters. They should have flaws, but I want to like them enough to spend time with them. I also want a thought-provoking plot that raises questions and makes me want to turn the page to find the answers. As a writer, I try to create the same things I like as a reader.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you? Zoe, of course. She’s a paramedic. I used to be an EMT. She has a horse. I used to have horses. We’re both farmgirls. However, she’s had a much rougher life than I have. She comes from a troubled family, while my family is quite boring! Oddly enough, although Zoe may be most like me, Pete is the easier character to write.

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre? I believe it’s the paramedic aspect. I don’t know of any other paramedic mysteries out there. If there are, please tell me! I’d love to read them!

What’s next on the horizon for you? I’m finishing up writing the ninth Zoe Chambers Mystery, tentatively titled Under the Radar. It should come out early next year, but I don’t have a release date yet. And I’m noodling with murder possibilities for the tenth in the series.

Thank you, Annette, for taking the time to visit today!

Keep reading for my thoughts on Annette’s new book.

About the Book 


Fair Game (A Zoe Chambers Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Henery Press (May 14, 2019)
Hardcover: 286 pages
ISBN-10: 1635115027
ISBN-13: 978-1635115024
Paperback: 286 pages
ISBN-10: 1635114993
ISBN-13: 978-1635114997
Digital ASIN: B07NSBHMRR

Paramedic Zoe Chambers hoped a week at the Monongahela County Fair, showing her horse and manning the ambulance, would provide a much-needed diversion from recent events that continue to haunt her.

An old friend, a bossy nemesis, and a teenage crush from her 4-H days fail to offer the distraction she had in mind. But ever the caregiver, she soon bonds with a troubled teen and a grieving father.

Back in Vance Township, a missing woman turns up dead, leading Police Chief Pete Adams into a journey through her mysterious final hours. With each new clue, the tragic circumstances of her death grow increasingly muddied.

A cryptic phone call leads Pete to join Zoe for an evening at the fairgrounds where the annual school bus demolition derby concludes with a gruesome discovery and a new case that may or may not be connected to the first.

Pete’s quest for the motive behind two homicides—and Zoe’s stubborn determination to reunite a family—thrust them both onto a collision course with a violent and desperate felon.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

County fairs are so much fun. Zoe Chambers is not only at the Monongahela County Fair as a paramedic, she is also there as a participant, showing her horse, Windstar. She is surprised that someone from her own 4H days is there in the capacity of judge. She also meets the son of another old 4H member. She learns his mother is not the best parent and she tries to take the young man under her wing. Meeting a grieving father also brings out her compassion.

While Zoe is at the fair Police Chief Pete Adams has a case that turns from a missing person to murder after her body is found. The investigation brings Pete to the fair. A fair where a second body is found right after the school bus demolition derby ends. Unsure if the deaths are connected to each other and to other events Zoe and Pete find themselves on a quest to find out and solve all the mysteries.

Annette Dashofy again takes us on a wild ride as she crams all 286 pages full of a mystery the latches on and won’t let go.

Paramedic/Deputy Coroner and Police Chief Pete Adams barely get a moment to breathe. Zoe has her fair activities, an autopsy to view along with all the followup, has been recruited to keep her eyes on a troubled teen, her cousin Patsy Greene, who is also showing her horse, is having man trouble, the farm she inherited still needs a lot of work, and an old crush makes her an offer she may not be able to refuse. Pete is working his case and then another when the second body is found. He is also getting pressure to take a step that could change his life and Zoe’s. He also tries to find time to spend with Zoe at the fair. Oh! and there is an election coming up that could change both their jobs.

Ms. Dashofy has written a complex mystery with many moving parts and many suspects. I always love following these characters on each and every journey. The excitement of the fair was a great setting. Getting to see Zoe in her horsey element was fun along with meeting the people from her past. The people are strong characters but very flawed and some are dealing with heavy issues that affect not only themselves but other people in their lives. While some heavy topics are addressed the author knows just when to add a little bit of necessary humor.

I also enjoyed learning about showing horses and learning about youngsters joining 4H today. I belonged many years ago, but I was a city kid so my fair entries were more of them craft variety instead of the animals. We have enjoyed many fairs with our family over the years. Mostly the music stars for the adults but we always take a trip through the animal barns with the kids and the food and rides are always a hit.

Well-written and well-plotted. The core characters continue to grow and star in this top-notch mystery. I can’t wait for the next book to be released.

These books are best read in order but the author provides enough background to start with any book in the series.

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About The Author

Annette Dashofy is the USA Today best-selling author of the Zoe Chambers mystery series about a paramedic and deputy coroner in rural Pennsylvania’s tight-knit Vance Township. CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE was a finalist for the Agatha Award for Best First Novel of 2014 and BRIDGES BURNED was nominated for the 2015 Agatha for Best Contemporary Novel.

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Praise for Fair Game
(A Zoe Chambers Mystery)
by Annette Dashofy

This is a wonderful series with great, realistic characters. I love Zoe and Pete. They are both intelligent, caring, loyal and somewhat emotional.
~Carla Loves To Read

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

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