Jan 172018
 

 
Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so happy to have Winnie Archer drop by for a visit!

Guest Post
by Winnie Archer

 

I think the absolute best part about being a writer is knowing that your characters have connected with someone. I get “fan” email (for lack of a better term) fairly consistently relating to the different series I write. Every once in a while, they say something like:

I love your books. Keep writing them! I do want to point out that there is an inconsistency between X and Y, and you really should consider XYZ…

The first time I received such an email, I was taken aback, but then I thought about it. Even if this person was being critical, she had liked my book enough to care. And that was pretty amazing to me–a teacher, a mom, a wife, a daughter… just an ordinary person-turned-writer.

The very best moments are when I receive emails asking when the next book is coming out in one of my series, or telling me that reading one of my books is like being with old friends. I never realized just how much that would mean to me until I received the first such message. I began writing because I had a character (Lola Cruz) that was in my head. I wrote that very first book for me. That was fifteen years ago. Just a few days ago, I opened an email from someone who’d read the three Lola Cruz books. She wondered if/when there would be another one in the series. She just loved Lola! The happy byproduct of my writing was understanding that the books I’d written for myself connected with other people in a way I’d never anticipated.

Lola Cruz; Harlow Cassidy; Ivy Culpepper. These three heroines in my respective series are so alive in my head. Their families; their communities; their friends: they are all part of me. They all come from me. And they resonate with readers, which is truly amazing.

Although I miss the people and the series I’m not currently working on (Lola Cruz and Harlow Cassidy), the deeper I get into Ivy Culpepper and the seaside community of Santa Sofia (the Bread Shop Mysteries), the happier I am. Being in Yeast of Eden with Olaya Solis and Penelope Branford, rekindling romance with Miguel Baptista, and being part of a family again with her father, brother, and old friend, Emmaline Davis…it’s like pot roast. Warm and comforting and…home.

Finding a connection to what you read is incredible. I hope it happens for each of you!

Happy reading.

Winnie Archer

 

Thank you so much, Winnie, for stopping by today!


Crust No One (A Bread Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
2nd in Series
Kensington (December 26, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496707741
Kindle ASIN: B06XZ7TQXR

 

 

Business is booming at Yeast of Eden. But with a deadly mystery taking over the seaside town of Santa Sofia, the Mexican bread shop can’t possibly leaven a killer’s appetite . . .

For once, Ivy Culpepper feels fulfilled. An apprenticeship at Yeast of Eden has opened her world to time-honored baking techniques under owner Olaya Solis’s guidance—as well as the freshest small-town gossip, courtesy of chatty regulars known as the Blackbird Ladies. Ivy even begins accepting that she and restaurateur Miguel Baptista may never again rekindle their romance—despite the undeniable tension between them . . .

But she’s tied to Miguel again when his trusted produce supplier goes missing. Old Hank Riviera’s financial troubles would make anyone consider running away forever. And with his relationship woes, there are plenty of people who might want to see Hank disappear. As Ivy, with the help of her octogenarian sidekick, turns to the loose-lipped Blackbird Ladies for leads, she soon finds herself caught in a web of lies stickier than a batch of Olaya’s popular pastries . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts
We return to Santa Sofia for the Winter Wonderland Festival. Ivy is getting set to help Olaya do all the baking but before she can she learns a man has gone missing. Hank Riviera delivers his produce to several local businesses including Miguel Baptista’s family restaurant. Ivy was there to talk about a photography opportunity but that is forgotten as soon as they get the news that Hank has missed deliveries and can’t be found. She and Miguel along with a group of customers from Yeast of Eden, who Ivy lovingly named the Blackbird Ladies, start an investigation to find the missing vendor. Where their investigation leads them surprises everyone.

Ms. Archer has written another fantastic mystery. Ivy grew so much in the first book in this series and she really seems very comfortable now in her life even though the tension between she and Miguel continues.  The supporting characters are very well developed too. I felt like I was reconnecting with old friends. The new characters introduced were unique and interesting.

The mystery itself developed and at a nice pace throughout the book. Twists galore took the story in a very unexpected direction. The author does an excellent job of dropping clues like breadcrumbs until we have not one but two “aha” moments.  Even Deputy Sheriff Emmaline Davis was surprised.

Winter in Santa Sofia, not quite winter in Wisconsin, but no matter where you live it is the perfect time to visit Yeast of Eden for a tasty treat. Doesn’t that cover just make you crave bread, rolls, and every other doughy product you can think of?

I enjoyed every minute of this story. I don’t want to spoil anything, but this mystery unfolds a little differently than most cozy mysteries. I was engaged from page 1. The real-life moments, Em moving in with Billy, Ivy trying to find more photography work, customers in the bread shop, the baking, all tied into the plot seamlessly.  I loved it!

I can’t wait for the next book in this series! The Walking Bread comes out September 25, 2018.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

The indefatigable Winnie Archer is a middle school teacher by day and a writer by night. Born in a beach town in California, she now lives in an inspiring century-old house in North Texas and loves being surrounded by real-life history. She fantasizes about spending summers writing in quaint, cozy locales, has a love/hate relationship with both yoga and chocolate, adores pumpkin spice lattes, is devoted to her five kids and husband, and can’t believe she’s lucky enough to be living the life of her dreams. Visit her online at WinnieArcher.com.

Written as Melissa Bourbon

Written as Misa Ramirez


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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.”

Jan 122018
 

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

This is a series I am going to try to catch up on before the next book in the series, I Know What You Bid Last Summer comes out at the end of February.


The Longest Yard Sale (A Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Kensington (June 30, 2015)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1617730191
Kindle ASIN: B00ONTS4UM

 

 

ONE MAN’S CLUTTER

When Sarah Winston turns Ellington, Massachusetts, into New England’s largest garage sale for a day, it’s the small town’s biggest event since the start of the Revolutionary War—but without the bloodshed. That is, until a valuable painting goes missing…and the lifeless body of an Air Force officer is found in Carol Carson’s painting studio, his face perfectly framed with the murder weapon—a metal picture frame.

IS ANOTHER MAN’S CLOVER

Sarah is mad as heck that someone used her town-wide garage sale to commit a crime—and frame her good friend Carol. She is definitely on this case…but it’s not easy rummaging through increasingly strange clues that point to cheating spouses, downright dirty investment schemes—even the mob. And Sarah will have to be very careful if she wants to live to bargain another day…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Book #2 of this series has Sarah Winston organizing a huge garage sale, the largest in New England. The day arrives with crowds of people, traffic jams, happy customers, and a very happy town manager. The tourists would come for the sale and spend money and then she hoped would come back again and again. But then, a man is found murdered at the Paint and Wine studio and a painting is missing. Then another valuable painting is stolen from the library.  Sarah’s ex, C. J. Hooker is ready to pin the crimes on Carol Carson, the owner of the studio and Sarah’s friend. With the town’s garage sale over Sarah has some time on her hands and she is going to use it bag the real culprit. The clues have her chasing all over town and the Air Force base. She may solve more than one mystery before she wraps up her investigation.

I love Sarah Winston. Between her garage sale business, dating two men, her ex, and Seth, the local district attorney, and volunteering a the base thrift store, she is one busy woman. But she uses all of it to try to catch a killer. People open up to her very easily and she can do a little snooping under the guise of garage sale business. Her friends are great sources too. She also has no problem asking C.J. and Seth for information either. Every character that the author has created comes off realistically. They have grown since the first book. I enjoyed getting to know all of them a little better.

The mystery this time has several tangents with twists galore. The story starts a little slow but then the pace picks up as more clues are revealed and the motive becomes more clear. There is a lot of ground covered in this story, but by the end, the plot and subplots come together nicely with just a little romantic cliffhanger that has me excited to read book #3.

I love the author’s writing style, the way she shares life on an Air Force Base and it’s neighboring town. The way she picks up that Boston accent and the way real people talk. The dialogue in this story is excellent. Her descriptions of time and place clearly enabled me to picture everything that was happening. The mystery was well plotted and real life was portrayed honestly. The romance was depicted well and made me laugh more than a few times.

I am late to the party for this series but hope to catch up before I Know What You Bid Last Summer comes out at the end of February.

 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Agatha award-nominated author, Sherry Harris, started bargain hunting in second grade at her best friend’s yard sale. She honed her bartering skills as she moved around the country while her husband served in the Air Force. Sherry uses her love of garage sales, her life as a military spouse, and her time living in Massachusetts as inspiration for the Sarah Winston Garage Sale series.

Find out more about Sherry on her webpage here.


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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.”

 

Jan 112018
 

Every Dog Has His Day (A Bluff Point Romance)
Romantic Comedy
3rd in Series
Setting – Maine
Berkley (January 2, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0399584763
Kindle ASIN: B06Y4W2JGF

 

 

A stray kitten and a rambunctious poodle bring together a small-town bachelor and a single mother in the latest romance set in Bluff Point, Maine.

Bluff Point brewery owner Zachary Caine wants nothing to do with commitment. His wild bachelor lifestyle suits him perfectly—until a foster kitten named Chaos makes him a reluctant hero. Now he’s BFFs with the kitten’s two little girls and finds himself falling for their gorgeous mother, who couldn’t think less of him.

Divorced mother Jessie Connelly wants nothing to do with men like Zach. He’s sexy and charismatic and bad news, just like her ex. But her girls adore him, and he’s doing a good job filling in for their deadbeat dad. Then a snowstorm brings out the best in both neighbors, who, it turns out, have more in common than their mutual attraction…

So when Jessie’s past threatens her and her girls, Zach is determined to do whatever it takes to protect them—and live happily ever after with this family he has made his own.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Every once in a while I like to take a break from mysteries and enjoy a little romance. Thanks to Jenn McKinlay, last few months I have fallen in love with the residents of Bluff Point, Maine. This third book in the series is the story of Zach Caine, local brewery owner, and his neighbor, Jessie Connelly. He doesn’t do commitment and she is getting over a rocky divorce.

Zach meets Jessie’s daughters when he answers the pounding on his front door. They beg him to help rescue their kitten from a very precarious situation. He soon finds himself wanting to not only spend more time with the girls but their mother as well. When a snowstorm hits and the city loses power Zach decides to take his dog and ride out the storm with Jessie and the girls. They all get very close, like a real family, but will the sparks remain when the power comes back on and daily life, jobs, friends, and ex-inlaws enter the picture?

Both Zach and Jessie have been hurt in the past and have put up walls. Their relationship happens very quickly but they do learn a lot about each other while snowed in. It was Zach’s relationship with Maddie and Gracie that warmed my heart right up. Their father is not involved in their lives at all and Zach sees a huge void that needs to be filled. He pitches right in, reading bedtime stories, having snowball fights and even nurtures their new musical talents. He also steps up to protect the girls and Jessie when someone makes some very unreasonable demands. A minor character plays a huge part in this drama that didn’t have to happen. I wanted to reach into the pages and give the woman a high five and a hug.

Jenn McKinlay continues to create strong characters that I have quickly come to love, including some adorable pets. Their dialogues are perfect, dramatic when need be, and funny when appropriate. The romantic moments were passionate and vivid. The chemistry was apparent from the beginning and continued to grow as the characters evolved in their realization that they could really be happy together for more than just a fling. I was very impressed at how fleshed all of the characters were. We really got to know Maddie and Gracie too. They are a huge part of the story, not background characters. They are both seen and heard. Jessie is an excellent mother and it shows in her girl’s thoughts and actions.

The friend dynamic drives the story in some critical moments. Jessie has not really had a group of friends supporting her before but she is easily accepted into the group of Zach’s friends. She has a huge secret and is brave enough to share it with her new girlfriends in the group. Zach needs a little help understanding that yes, he is falling in love, and his friends make him aware as only true friends can.

I have loved each book in this series. They are stories life, love, and friendship. Heartwarming, every one. I cannot pick a favorite, I recommend all three. Every Dog Has His Day is a perfect book to curl up and read in front of a fire on a cold winter’s night. This romance will warm you right up and the happy ending will leave a huge smile on your face. I am beyond excited for the next book in this series.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

*Adult language and situations as expected for this genre. 

About the Author

Former librarian and New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jenn McKinlay is the author of the Bluff Point Romances, including Barking Up the Wrong Tree and About a Dog, as well as the Library Lover’s Mysteries, the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries, and the Hat Shop Mysteries. Jenn lives in sunny Arizona in a house that is overrun with kids, pets, and her husband’s guitars. Find out more about Jenn and her books on her webpage here.



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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.

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Contest Will End January 25, 2018, 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

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.”

Jan 102018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am always happy when Laura Bradford drops by for a visit! 

First Suspend, Then Fun

By Laura Bradford

Author of Dial M For Mousse,
an Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery

When you write a cozy mystery you have certain aspects you must adhere to, not the least of which is the whole small-town/amateur sleuth backdrop. In and of itself, basing a story in a small town provides lots of background fodder—gossip, connections, fights, secrets, etc.  But when it comes to the mystery component and the fact that murder must happen in this small town again and again (and again), you need your readers to be willing to suspend reality to an extent. Still, just as they need to accept the fact that ten murders have happened in quaint little Nowheresville, Ohio in as many (or less) years, you, as the writer, must make your sleuth’s reason for getting involved believable. Because really, why is the average-Joe bookseller going to keep putting herself in harm’s way to solve yet another murder?

It’s that challenge that I find particularly fun about writing a cozy mystery. I like seeing how the main murder plot can draw my main character toward it, rather than away from it like most normal people would go.

Just by the very nature of my Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries, my main character, Winnie Johnson, is on the go—delivering her emergency themed desserts to college dorm rooms, businesses, personal residences, and even local politicians. So the potential for her to stumble across something out of the ordinary is higher than, say, a bookseller who stays in one place. But even if she comes across a body, there has to be a reason she’d want to get involved rather than just go home, detox with a hunk of chocolate, and let the local cops do their job.

In Éclair and Present Danger, the debut book in the series, grief propels Winnie to get involved when her elderly neighbor is murdered.

In The Silence of the Flans, book #2 in the series, desperation propels Winnie to get involved when the victim dies while eating one of her desserts.

And in Dial M for Mousse, the latest book in the series, anger propels Winnie to get involved when a routine delivery is manipulated into an alibi for murder.

So while it may be hard to fathom stumbling across dead bodies on a routine basis, everyone, on some level, knows grief…and desperation…and anger. And as long as we can identify on some level, suspending reality for our small town backdrop isn’t all that difficult. In fact, it’s actually kind of fun…

~Laura

Thank you for visiting today, Laura!


Dial M for Mousse (An Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Ohio
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (January 2, 2018)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425281253
Kindle ASIN: B06Y573L55

 

 

Murder takes the cake in an irresistible Emergency Dessert Squad mystery from the national bestselling author of The Silence of the Flans.

The Emergency Dessert Squad business is booming, with owner and baker Winnie Johnson working overtime to satisfy the emergency cravings of Silver Lake, Ohio. Her latest order, a plate of motivational desserts for an artists’ retreat, is just what she needs to keep her mind off her own relationship woes.

But Winnie’s problems seem like trifles when she discovers the body of retreat owner Sally Dearfield mere inches away from five oh-so-eccentric and viable suspects. Now, this baking detective must uncover the inspiration behind Sally’s murder before another creative genius is iced.

RECIPES INCLUDED

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Winnie’s business continues to grow. With all her friend’s help, she creates delectable desserts to rescue her customers from things like a bad breakup, loss of a job, and anything else you can imagine. In this story, she has been asked to bake up motivational treats for a group of artists with different talents at a local retreat. After she delivers the goodies she goes to tell the owner and finds her dead on the floor with all the artists standing nearby. The police immediately suspect foul play and Winnie has a dessert connection with all the viable suspects which lands her right in the middle of another murder investigation.

The author has created a very unique theme for this series. After the expenses of having a bakery in a storefront became beyond what Winnie could afford she started a home-based business and uses an old ambulance she inherited to deliver her desserts to her customers. The treats even arrive on a stretcher complete with icing IV’s. She also inherited a cat that goes along for each delivery.

The characters are all very well developed. Most of Winnie’s friends are senior citizens and she has a real bond with them. They along with her best friend Renee are her taste testers and her confidants. Renee is also Winnie’s only employee.  Her romantic relationship with a local college professor, who she met when making a delivery to him, is a little murky. His teenage daughter does not like her father giving anyone else attention and she has done everything she can to break them up.

I thought solving the murder this time would be easy as we knew from the start there were only five suspects, but it turned out to be very complex. None were very forthcoming and all appeared to be hiding something. Winnie didn’t give up though and I really enjoyed following each little hint and clue right along with her.

The clever theme of this series, interesting characters, and a very imaginative plot kept this reader very entertained. All the dessert talk and descriptions made my mouth water. I loved the names Winnie gave her goodies.

A fun read that stands on its own but the series is better served if you start at the beginning.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Laura Bradford is the national bestselling author of many mystery series, including the Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries, the Amish Mysteries, and the brand new Tobi Tobias Mysteries. Her first women’s fiction novel, Portrait of a Sister, will release in June 2018. When she’s not writing, Laura enjoys making memories with her family, baking, and being an advocate for those living with Multiple Sclerosis.

To learn more, visit her website: www.laurabradford.com, or hang out with her on Facebook. She can also be found occasionally tweeting at @Bradfordauthor.

 

Also by Laura Bradford

Click here for more books by Laura Bradford.

Click Here for books written as Elizabeth Lynn Casey.


Thanks to the publisher I have 2 copies to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

Sign Up for Laura Bradford’s newsletter for 3 Bonus Entries.

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Contest Will End January 24, 2018, 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

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.”

Jan 092018
 

Pre-Meditated Murder (A Downward Dog Mystery)
by Tracy Weber


Pre-Meditated Murder (A Downward Dog Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Washington/Oregon
Midnight Ink (January 8, 2018)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738750682
E-Book ASIN: B0711WY9ST

 

 

Yoga instructor Kate Davidson is ready to marry her boyfriend Michael, so she’s disappointed when a special dinner doesn’t end with a proposal. But disappointment turns to dismay and outrage as she learns the real problem: Michael is already married and his green card-seeking wife is blackmailing him.

When his wife’s body is found—by Kate and her dog, no less—Michael is strangely unable to remember where he was the night she died. Since Michael has no alibi, Kate steps up to uncover what happened. What she walks into is a tangled web of deceit, obsession, and immigration fraud . . . with Michael trapped in the middle.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this fifth Downward Dog Mystery, Kate, Michael, Bella along with Rene and her entire family including twin babies and twin dogs hit the road and travel to Oregon. Kate was expecting a proposal but then Michael drops the bomb that he is already married and that his wife is blackmailing him. Furious with Michael she shuts him out but when he decides to go talk to his wife the whole gang goes along. After one chilly meeting with the woman, Kate is unsure what to think. But then Bella later finds the woman dead on the beach, Kate panics, she knows Michael is going to the prime suspect. After a few deep cleansing breaths Kate and Rene team up to find out what really happened much to the despair of Michael’s lawyer, her friend, and her mother’s significant other.

I have been waiting for this book since I finished the last one, so I fixed myself a beverage and a little snack and settled in to read. A few hours later I reached the end and reentered society 🙂 feeling that time must have flown by. From the moment Michael told Kate he was already married I was sucked right into the pages. I was livid for her, how could he have kept that kind of thing secret?

The author took us on quite a journey to first track down the wife and then find her murderer, all while taking care of two infants and 3 dogs. I was kept extremely entertained. These characters are realistic, fun, smart, determined and very centered most of the time. I love the role Bella plays in each mystery. He is is a very special, caring dog that has a nose for dead bodies while being a true canine companion for Kate. Even this time when he meets a polydactyl cat named Mouse he adjusts and comes to love the kitty.  Kate and Bella are so good for each other.

This story really hit me on an emotional level. I am not sure I would have been able to be as strong as Kate. She put her hurt feelings aside to save a man who didn’t trust her enough to be truthful and his first words after he told her were like a stake in the heart. This added to the mystery of who killed his wife made this just a compelling read. There were several suspects, a cop that refused to look beyond Michael, and a whole bunch of twists and turns until the truth is revealed. The author also weaves the yoga theme throughout the whole complex mystery. This story is so well written.

I believe to get the full experience of this story you need to read Kate’s story from the beginning, but with that said Tracy Weber has written this story in a way that it can stand on its own.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Tracy Weber is the author of the award-winning Downward Dog Mysteries series featuring yoga teacher Kate Davidson and her feisty German shepherd, Bella. Tracy loves sharing her passion for yoga and animals in any form possible. Her first book, Murder Strikes a Pose won the Maxwell Award for Fiction and is a 2015 Agatha award nominee for Best First Novel.

Tracy and her husband live in Seattle with their challenging yet amazing German shepherd Tasha. When she’s not writing, Tracy spends her time teaching yoga, walking Tasha, and sipping Blackthorn cider at her favorite ale house.

 Author Links 

Website    Blog    Facebook    GoodReads  Twitter

Purchase Links

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

January 8 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – INTERVIEW
January 8 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
January 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
January 10 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW
January 10 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT – unable to post
January 11 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
January 12 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
January 13 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
January 14 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
January 15 – Island Confidential – GUEST POST
January 16 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT
January 17 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
January 18 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews REVIEW
January 19 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
January 20 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
January 21 – Varietats – 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.”

Jan 052018
 

My first Read of 2018!

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.


Bones To Pick (A Brie Hooker Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – South Carolina
Henery Press (October 24, 2017)
Paperback: 286 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635112597
Kindle ASIN: B0748LL8V8

 

 

Living on a farm with four hundred goats and a cantankerous carnivore isn’t among vegan chef Brie Hooker’s list of lifetime ambitions. But she can’t walk away from her Aunt Eva, who needs help operating her dairy.

Once she calls her aunt’s goat farm home, grisly discoveries offer ample inducements for Brie to employ her entire vocabulary of cheese-and-meat curses. The troubles begin when the farm’s pot-bellied pig unearths the skull of Eva’s husband, who disappeared years back. The sheriff, kin to the deceased, sets out to pin the murder on Eva. He doesn’t reckon on Brie’s resolve to prove her aunt’s innocence. Death threats, ruinous pedicures, psychic shenanigans, and biker bar fisticuffs won’t stop Brie from unmasking the killer, even when romantic befuddlement throws her a curve.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this new cozy mystery series, we meet Brie Hooker when she arrives to help her Aunt Eva with her farm after her Aunt Lilly passes away. Brie, a chef, and a vegan is sure her diet choices are going to be fodder for many jokes and make meals very interesting, but that is the least of her worries when her aunt’s pig, Tammy, digs up a human skull right in the middle of Aunt Lilly’s wake.

It is soon determined that the bones belong to Aunt Eva’s husband that had been declared dead after he went missing many years ago.  The sheriff is quick to try to pick Eva as his prime suspect. But Brie is going to prove him wrong even if she may get killed in the process. Thankfully she has a couple handsome men ready to stay by her side to protect her, even if she knows she can take care of herself.

I liked main character Brie right away. Her relationship with her aunt and her parents was very caring and loving. While being a vegan is very important to her she understands that lifestyle is not for everyone. She can cook anything and makes delicious meals but always has a vegan dish for herself and others to try. She gets that she is working on a goat farm and they sell goat milk items. She also realizes she needs to learn a lot more about goats if she is going stay on the farm.

We also meet Andy and Paint, two young men, friends of Aunt Eva, and very interested in a romantic relationship with Brie. For the first book in a new series, I found all the characters very well developed. The dialogue was spot on and Brie’s meat and cheese curse words cracked me up. Her aunt holds her weight in the comedic department too but her minimal cursing in a little stronger than Brie.

The murder was a real cold case happening so long ago. It turned out there were quite a few suspects and took a lot of more digging after Tammy’s discovery to wrap this mystery up. There were several exciting moments as Brie got closer to the truth.

I really enjoyed all the “pet’s” names. The author explains some of them at the beginning of the book. I also enjoyed Ms. Lovely’s writing style. It is very descriptive.  I felt right in the middle of all the drama, but especially at the end when Brie and her friend were in so much danger. I was on the edge of my seat.

This book was a perfect escape for me. Great characters, a strong plot, Southern charm and a wheelbarrow full of humor.  I am not sure when the next book will be released but it can’t be soon enough for me.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out about Linda Lovely and her books on her website here.

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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.”

Dec 132017
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled to have Nancy Haddock back for another visit today! 

Inspector Gadget?
by Nancy Haddock
(Guest Post Provided by Publicist)

 

Hello, Readers! Thank you for stopping by, and many thanks to my hostess for having me here!

Last year I came out of the closet. The office supply closet to be exact. The one filled with more sticky notes, colored paper clips, and file folders than I’ll use in my lifetime. Yes, I have a fatal attraction to office supplies.

Now I’m ready to admit I also have a gadget fixation, and it’s the mountain of catalogues I still get at this time of year that reminded me of my little addiction.

Sigh.

I imagine most of us have bought our fair share of gadgets. After all, they’re everywhere! Does the phrase “as see on TV” ring a bell? Perhaps a cute owl kitchen timer bell?

A gadget is “a small mechanical or electronic device or tool, especially an ingenious or novel one.” Synonyms include appliance, implement, tool, utensil, contraption, machine, device, and gismo. By this definition, gismos come in every size—small, medium, large and humongous!

I’ve purchased gadgets to assist in-house cleaning from floors to ceilings. Wet and dry mops, a baseboard duster, hand dusters with some sort of static-cling technology in the pads. Pet hair removers, vacuums, bathroom scrubbers, extendable dusters to reach ceiling fans and whisk away ceiling cobwebs those itty-bitty “corner” spiders make. Ack! Stop the cleaning gadget madness!

Other gadgets make mealtime preparations easy … and even fun! Pause to remember those commercials in which the excited announcer’s voice touts the latest and greatest way to slice, dice and make Julienne fries! What the announcer doesn’t tell you is that the leverage and sheer force needed to slice, dice and julienne is equivalent to 500 pounds per square inch. Your average giant bodybuilder might pull off this kind of kitchen magic, but I can’t.

Naturally, the gadgets I especially love our office and computer gadgets. Storage units for the aforementioned office supplies, and USB hubs. A small external hard drive suitable for travel, and the ever-popular flash drives. Power surge protectors, one with battery backup power. The only gizmo I’ve yet to find is someone thing or system that will truly organize and hide the jumbled jungle of power cords for my desktop computer, printer, etc.

Whether for indoors or out, whether for spring, summer, autumn, or winter, we have gadgets for every season and every reason.

But wait? Do we really have all the tools, gizmos, and gadgets we need? I don’t, and I have a list of what I’d like to see invented. Here are my top contenders.

  1. A whole-house dust and vacuum system. I’m not talking about the robotic vacuums on the market. I want to flip a switch and magically have all the dust and pet hair sucked out of the house. All that stuff tucks into your wall spaces to further insulate your home!
  2. A Jetsons-type Rosie the Robot maid to wipe up hubby’s kitchen spills as soon as they happen. Which is, coincidentally, every time he goes to the kitchen. If Rosie is a no-go, how about a battalion of housekeeping brownies or faeries who’d keep my home immaculate?
  3. A doodad that will draw the words straight out of my brain when I’m writing and transfer them to the monitor. Of course, seeing as my thoughts tend to bounce all over the place at times, I’d be editing for months on end, but, hey, at least the story would be out there. In the raw, but in black on white.

There you have it. My secret love-hate of all things gadgetry. Do you have a favorite gismo that makes life easier? A do-hickey that was a dud and didn’t work for you at all? A gadget you wish you had? I’d love to hear your best, your worst, and your wished-for, so let me have them!

~Nancy

Thank you, Nancy, so much for stopping by today! 

 

A Crime of Poison (A Silver Six Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Arkansas
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (December 5, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425275740
Kindle ASIN: B06XK2YCWP

 

 

The Silver Six are known for their arts and crafts—but they’re about to be tested in the art of catching a crafty killer.

It’s early October, time for the Fall Folk Art Festival and Bake Sale in Lilyvale, Arkansas. Every business along the town square will benefit from the event, including the craft store run by Leslee Stanton Nix—aka Nixy—and the Silver Six, a group of retirees. In charge of making the festival go smoothly, Nixy is confident that it will be a success.

But things become knotty when local troublemaker Cornell Lewis is found dead with a plate of Snickerdoodles from the bake sale. Two members of the Silver Six are accused of cooking up a murder plot, but Nixy knows that the cookies weren’t literally to die for. With time running out, Nixy and company must catch the actual killer…before the Silver Six find their number permanently reduced to four.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We arrive in Lilyvale, Arkansas, just in time for the Fall Folk Art Festival and Bake Sale and for Cornell Lewis’ return. The man left town several years ago and many were happy about his departure. Those same people are upset about his return especially when he stops by The Handcraft Emporium. He leaves after a little fracas with the Silver Six. When the man is later found dead in his car in what looks like a case of anaphylactic shock. With Detective Eric Shoar sidelined because of his close relationship with Nixy and the Silver Six, Detective Charleen Vogelmen takes over the case and she quickly zeros in on Maisie and Aster, and their bake sale cookies found in the victim’s car.  Nixy with some assistance from Eleanor starts her own investigation keeping Eric in the loop hoping he’ll pass whatever she discovers on to Charleen. Maybe she can find other suspects for the detective to focus on and prevent her friends from baking in the big house.

I have loved the Silver Six since we met them in the first book of this series, Basket Case. They are an interesting group brought all together under one roof for a variety of reasons. I wish I had half their energy. They are always on the go and when someone messes with one of them or two as in this story, look out, because, they will not take it lying down. They are a family and they all care about Nixy. The author has created a wonderful cast of characters. I would love to meet them in real life and maybe become one of the group.

The plot was very interesting as we found how many people he was actually connected to in Lilyvale. Eleanor was a real asset as she and Nixy reached out to new people every day that could have the motive to kill the man. I enjoyed the process they took to narrow down the suspects and the way all of the Silver Six was involved in one way or another. I loved their meeting complete with a “murder board”. The story flowed so well and the mystery was nicely plotted The final reveal and the manner of poisoning was surprising. I was so happy because I had the person still on my own suspect list.

Nancy Haddock has written a fun series, they have all been “perfect escapes” for me. I recommend starting at the beginning for maximum enjoyment but this book read well all its own too.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Nancy Haddock is an award-winning and national bestselling cozy mystery author. Basket Case is her first book in the Silver Six Crafting Mystery series with Berkley Prime Crime, and the second book, Paint the Town Dead, is a Sept. 2016 release. Nancy draws on historic wealth, southern culture, and the plain old quirkiness of places and people for her books. She lives with her husband and rescue dog Baron.

Visit Nancy on her Webpage, Facebook and GoodReads.

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Dec 022017
 

Blood and Belonging: A Ray Robertson Mystery
Mystery/Crime
3rd in Series
Setting – Turks and Caicos Islands
Orca Book Publishers (April 11, 2017)
Paperback: 128 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1459812840
Kindle ASIN: B06Y6HM6D4

 

 

RCMP Sergeant Ray Robertson is in the Turks and Caicos Islands, enjoying two weeks of leave from his job training police in Haiti with the UN. On an early-morning jog along famed Grace Bay Beach, he discovers a dead man in the surf. Ray is shocked to recognize the body as that of one of his Haitian police recruits. To his wife’s increasing dismay, Ray is compelled to follow the dead man’s trail and finds himself plunged into the world of human trafficking and the problems of a tiny country struggling to cope with a desperate wave washing up on its shores.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I was in the mood for a quick adventure and this book fits the bill perfectly.

RCMP Sergeant Ray Robertson tries to take a long overdue vacation with his wife at one of the beautiful places in the world when his morning jog is interrupted by a dead body. He can’t believe it is one of his own Haitian police recruits. All vacation plans for Ray go on hold as he finds himself embroiled in a murder investigation that turns to be much more than one dead body on a beach.

I didn’t realize this was the third book in the series until I started to write this review and it stood solidly on its own.

I was worried about character and plot development, this being a “Rapid Read”, but RCMP Sergeant Ray Robertson is a strong character who I felt I knew pretty well when the story ended. His relationship with his wife may be in dire straights due to his dedication to his job. Not only does he spend so much time away from her but it is a dangerous job and she could lose him at any minute.

As for the plot, the author’s writing style was concise and direct and moved the story with an expert hand. The story deals with a hot issue the world is facing right now in real life. It is not a subject that can be dealt with lightly and the story becomes very complex.

I was truly impressed with this story and want to go back and read the first two books. I applaud Vicky Delaney for bringing us a complete suspenseful mystery in this very short format.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most varied and prolific crime writers. Most recently, she is the author of the Year Round Christmas cozy mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime and (writing under the pen name of Eva Gates) the Lighthouse Library mysteries also from Berkley and the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mysteries for Crooked Lane Books. Find out more about Vicki Delany on her webpage here.

From Crooked Lane Books
Written as Eva Gates

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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.”

Dec 012017
 

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.


Laced With Poison (Sweet Nothings)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Tennessee
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (July 2, 2013)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425252147
Kindle ASIN: B009NY45P0

 

 

You’re invited to the Sweet Nothings trunk show. See what the shop has to offer, taste some wonderful food, catch up with friends, and solve a murder…

Emma Taylor is happy to be drawing in customers at her aunt Arabella’s lingerie shop, Sweet Nothings, but replacing the store’s broken window is going to cost a small fortune. Hoping to hoist up their sagging profits, Arabella arranges to have a trunk show at the home of a local socialite who will invite all of her friends and take care of the catering. All Emma and Arabella have to do is show up and show off their wares. Seems simple enough…

A gorgeous spread is prepared for the event, including delicious cupcakes topped with edible flowers. But after one of the partygoers takes a bite and winds up dead, the guest list becomes a suspect list. Now Emma must separate facts from idle gossip before the killer gives the cops the slip…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Looking for ways to increase their revenue stream Arabella suggests holding a trunk show at the home of one her well to do friends. The party is a wonderful success until one of the guests becomes sick after eating a cupcake. She later dies at the hospital and the baker and the woman who provides the edible flowers she decorates with both end up suspects in her murder. Emma and Arabella are close friends with both women and know there is no way they would kill anyone. With a room full of suspects Emma is going to do her best to uncover the real killer.

I love the three main characters in this story.  The bond Emma has with her aunt Arabella is strong and they make a terrific team running Sweet Nothings, but the character that grabbed me this time, just like in the first book was Sylvia. In this story, she is forced by her children to move to Sunny Days, the nearby senior living facility. She doesn’t let it slow her down, she still comes to work to do her bra fittings every day at Sweet Nothings, dragging her oxygen tank behind. She is a spitfire and to know her is to love her, just ask Emma or Arabella. She doesn’t like the welcome she has been receiving at Sunny Days, so Emma signs up to be a volunteer. It is also a great place for gossip, so she just may hear something to solve the murder too.

Ms. London has penned a funny mystery. She has Emma all over the place following one clue after another and I really enjoyed following along. I thought I had it all figured out but one twist after another had me completely stumped until Emma had everything fall into place.

Great characters, great mystery, great setting – A Perfect Escape!

It took me way too long to read this second book in the series.  The third and last book in the series is screaming at me from the shelf so I will be grabbing that one soon.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author
Meg London is the alter ego of author Peg Cochran.
Check out her webpage here.

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Winner Will Be Notified By Email
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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.”

Dec 012017
 

Margaritas, Mayhem & Murder – Andi Anna Jones Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Mexico
Imajin Qwickies (November 30, 2017)
Paperback: 188 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1772233452
Kindle ASIN: B076N6KBM3

 

 

Andi’s step-mother is a real piece of work!

But is Ruby a murderer?

Andi Anna Jones, so-so travel agent/amateur sleuth, puts aside her resentment of her father’s widow and books a 60th birthday cruise to Cancun for Ruby and three friends. Never does Andi imagine the cruise will lead to the murder of a has-been lounge singer—or that Ruby will be the main suspect.

Flirting with more than danger after arriving in Mexico, Andi connects with the charming local sheriff, Manual Rodriquez. After an embarrassing night involving the sheriff, too many margaritas, and a Mariachi band, a chance to check out an eyewitness to the murder leads her to Las Vegas.

In Vegas, a mysterious meeting in the Bodies Exhibition, a body preserving in the prep-room, and an evasive owner of a dance studio, give Andi clues to help Ruby. But when Andi is mercilessly drugged and locked in a storage room, she realizes dear old step-mom isn’t the only one in jeopardy.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Imajin Qwickies brings us the first Andi Anna Jones mystery. A quick mystery that packs a punch.

Travel agent Andi Anna Jones has sent her stepmother, Ruby, on a cruise for her 60th birthday hoping for a few quiet days for herself. Instead, she receives a middle of the night phone call telling her the woman is in jail held on suspicion of murder. Andi Anna thinks for a moment of just going back to sleep and letting Ruby fend for herself, but then she remembers her father and books a flight to Cancun. The eye candy, I mean sheriff, that meets her at the airport almost makes her forget what she is there for and a few margaritas leave her wondering what kind of evening the two of them shared. But, getting back to getting her stepmom out of jail, she calls a lawyer and starts her own investigation that puts her on another plane to Vegas. If she survives the trip she just may find the real killer.

A lot happens within the 188 pages. Plenty of action and drama and a fair bit of romance. With the “qwickie” format the story developed quickly and for me, everything happened a bit too fast. The romance between sheriff Manual Rodriquez and Andi was truly “love at first sight”. The mystery has Andi in Cancun, then at the cruise ship, then in Las Vegas. The girl hardly had time to catch her breath. Aside from the rushed pace, this was a good mystery. There were twists and turns and Andi did uncover more suspects. The motive was surprising and made the ending very exciting.

I did enjoy these characters and do want to get to know them better. Ruby is quite a woman, she is enjoying life and driving Andi crazy. Andi also has an assistant at her travel agency and I would like to get to know her better too. She seems to be the brains behind that business.

I had vacationed in Cancun several years ago and I would have liked to spend more time there will Andi. Hopefully, she will be returning there in a future story.

This was a fun, fast read and an enjoyable getaway.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Author, Mary Cunningham, grew on the northern side of the Ohio River in Corydon, Indiana. Her first memories are of her dad’s original bedtime stories that no doubt inspired her imagination and love of a well-spun “yarn”.

Childhood experiences, and a recurring dream about a mysterious attic, inspired characters, Cynthia and Augusta Lee, for her award-winning middle-grade series, Cynthia’s Attic.

Through the author’s horrifying stint as a travel agent, protagonist, Andi Anna Jones, travel agent/amateur sleuth, sprang to life. This series gives extra meaning to the phrase, “Write what you know.”

Cunningham is a member of The Georgia Reading Association, and the Carrollton Writers Guild.

When she gives her fingers a break from the keyboard, she enjoys golf, swimming and exploring the mountains of West Georgia where she makes her home with her husband. Together they’ve raised three creative children, have 2 granddaughters, a grandson, a great grandson, and an adopted, four-legged, furry daughter, Lucy.

Margaritas, Mayhem, & Murder: Andi Anna Jones Mystery #1 will be released NOV 30, 2017 by Imajin Books. Book # 2 is in process.

Author Links:
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Purchase Links –

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Praise for Margaritas, Mayhem & Murder – Andi Anna Jones Mystery
by Mary Cunningham

. . . an enjoyable escape read and sets things up for potential continuation.
~Laura’s Interests

. . . a comical investigation that introduces us to some crazy characters that really keep the story flowing.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Andi is a charming and delightful character even though she isn’t such a great sleuth or travel agent.
~My Reading Journeys

TOUR PARTICIPANTS– Please visit all the stops!

November 26 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
November 26 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT
November 27 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
November 27 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
November 28 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW
November 29 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
November 30 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST, SPOTLIGHT
November 30 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 1 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
December 1 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
December 2 – Queen of All She Reads –  SPOTLIGHT
December 2 – Valerie’s Musings – GUEST POST

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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.”

Another Man's Poison (A Jersey Girl Cozy Mystery) by Jo-Ann Lamon Reccoppa Buy Today!
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