Dec 282019
 

I have gotten way behind on this series.
I always try to read at least one at the end of the year when I have fewer reviewing commitments.
Hopefully, I will catch up soon.


Wedding Cake Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
19th in Series
Setting – Minneapolis
Publisher: Kensington (February 23, 2016)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1617732168
ISBN-13: 978-1617732164
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1617732184
ISBN-13: 978-1617732188
Kindle ASIN: B00Y6RB46W

Everyone in Lake Eden, Minnesota, may have had their doubts, but at long last, Hannah Swensen is getting married!

Hannah is thrilled to be marrying Ross Barton, her college crush. And her excitement only grows when she learns he’ll be able to join her on her trip to New York City for the Food Channel’s dessert chef contest. They get a taste of the Big Apple before Hannah wins the Hometown Challenge and the producers bring all the contestants to Lake Eden to tape the remainder of the show. It’s nerve-wracking enough being judged by Alain Duquesne, a celebrity chef with a nasty reputation. But it’s even more chilling to find him stabbed to death in the Lake Eden Inn’s walk-in cooler—before he’s even had a chance to taste Hannah’s Butterscotch Sugar Cookies! Now Hannah has not only lost her advantage, she’ll have to solve a mystery with more layers than a five-tiered wedding cake…

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

The last book in this series, Double Fudge Brownie Murder, was a little off for me, so I was a little nervous about reading this one, but I love these characters so I dove right in. Sadly, Hannah has cast both Mike and Norman aside and it really going to marry Ross. Shockingly, both her past loves vow to remain friends and even become part of the wedding party. I have always been Team Mike so I was heartbroken. Truthfully, Ross seems shady, I was hoping he was the victim or the killer.

Aside from the wedding, Hannah and Michelle are participating in the Food Channel’s Dessert Chef Contest and Ross is going along to New York to film interviews and background for the hometown station. He uses his clout to upgrade the group’s flights and hotel rooms. When Hannah wins the first round, the contest moves back to Lake Eden, a big event for the entire town. That is until one of the judges is found dead in the walk-in cooler at the Lake Eden Inn. With the other judges and contestants on the suspect list, Hannah is sleuthing out a killer, while trying to win the biggest cooking contest of her life and still be standing to take her vows.

__________

The first half of the book is introducing the chefs and the judges, prep through the first round of the contest, and Hannah’s mother and grandmother taking over the wedding planning. All Hannah had to do was pick out her dress and show up for the wedding. Of course, she did have her hands full with other things. I did enjoy several of the new characters. The judges were not as realistic as on the actual cooking shows we see on television but they fit in well with the plot as did the other contestants. The cast regulars continue to gather to go over evidence and theories, but there still seems to be a strong connection between Hannah and her former loves.

The mystery portion is well-plotted with several twists have and after this many cases, everyone knows Hannah is investigating. She does continue to leap into situations without a clear plan, which brings some tense moments. I did not sleuth out the killer myself until Hannah did, and it was kinds a surprise for both of us. 🙂

About a third of the book is yummy recipes for cookies and desserts that are featured in the story. The author includes them at the end of chapters and I sometimes feel they should all be at the end to not mess with the flow of the story but I have become accustomed after this many books to skipping them over and reviewing them when I complete the book when I can scan the ones I want to try into my recipe folder on my computer.

This series continues to be one of my faves. I am anxious to get caught up and see what Hannah gets herself mixed up in next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

JOANNE FLUKE is the New York Times bestselling author of the Hannah Swensen mysteries, which include Double Fudge Brownie Murder, Blackberry Pie MurderCinnamon Roll Murder, and the book that started it all, Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder. That first installment in the series premiered as Murder, She Baked:  A Chocolate Chip Cookie Mystery on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel. Like Hannah Swensen, Joanne Fluke was born and raised in a small town in rural Minnesota but now lives in Southern California. Please visit her online at www.JoanneFluke.com.
*This book was from my private collection.
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Dec 272019
 


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.


Fiction Can Be Murder (A Mystery Writer’s Mystery)
Cozy Mystery/Women Sleuths
1st in Series
Setting – Colorado
Publisher: Midnight Ink (April 8, 2018)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 0738753327
ISBN-13: 978-0738753324
Kindle ASIN: B0714HL2VC

Life Becomes Stranger than Fiction when Charlee’s Latest Novel Inspires a Real Murder

Mystery author Charlemagne “Charlee” Russo thinks the twisty plots and peculiar murders in her books are only the product of her imagination—until her agent is found dead exactly as described in Charlee’s new, unpublished manuscript. Suspicion now swirls around her and her critique group, making her confidence drop as severely and unexpectedly as her royalty payments.

The police care more about Charlee’s feeble alibi and financial problems than they do her panicky claims of innocence. To clear her name and revive her career, she must figure out which of her friends is a murderer. Easier said than done, even for an author who’s skilled at creating tidy endings for her mysteries. And as her sleuthing grows dangerous, Charlee’s imagination starts working overtime. Is she being targeted, too?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Fiction easily becomes murder when literary agent, Melinda Walter is killed in exactly the same way as the victim in author, Charlemagne “Charlee” Russo’s latest manuscript. Charlee had problems with the woman but never plotted to kill her. So who else had access to the manuscript? Could someone in her critique group have done the deed and used her book to frame her? Stranger than fiction she puts on her sleuthing cap to bring this murder mystery to an end. Hopefully, she’ll survive to tell the tale.

I would call this a cozy-ish mystery. Charlee Russo is a cleverly written imperfect amateur sleuth, very clutzy with a wild imagination, a good thing when you write mysteries for a living, not so much when you are on the trail of a killer. She is protective of her friends but still needs to question and verify everyone’s alibi as much for her peace of mind as to solving the case. Let’s just say her investigating techniques need a little refinement as I was a little frightened by the positions she found herself in at times.

The pacing was mixed. The story starts out briskly but slowed a bit in the middle but then the ending felt a bit rushed. With plenty of twists and a few red herrings, I was completely confused until everything was laid out for me. It was a fun tagging along with Charlee. I always enjoy a challenging mystery. The dialogue is very realistic and I liked the humor interspersed throughout. “I’d tell you to go to hell, but I never want to see you again.”

This series is off to a fine start and I am looking forward to the next book in this series. I do love the Mystery Writer’s theme. The author has left plenty of room for the secondary characters and Charlee to grow. She also left an open question in this story that I hope will be wrapped up in the next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

A highly functioning chocoholic, Becky Clark (Denver, CO) is the seventh of eight kids, which explains both her insatiable need for attention and her atrocious table manners. She likes to read funny books so it felt natural to write them, too. She published her first novel in 2001 and is a sought-after speaker. Find out more about Becky on her website – https://beckyclarkbooks.com/



I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
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.

Sign Up for Becky Clark’s Newsletter for 5 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 January 10, 2020, 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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Dec 242019
 


Naughty But Nice: A Hamilton Christmas Novella
Holiday Romance
3rd in Series
Setting – Virginia
Publisher: Zebra Books (November 1, 2018)
Print Length: 102 pages
Kindle ASIN: B079R3JHTH

‘Tis the season for sweet surprises . . .

Businessman Griffin’s never believed in luck . . . until sassy-sweet small-town baker Melody turns his world around. Except there’s a catch: There’s no way he’ll be able to build his empire and hold on to her. This new love could destroy all his dreams—or make this Christmas better than he ever imagined possible . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

The third and final book in this series introduces bakery owner, Melody Duncastle, and businessman, Thomas Griffin Gallagher. Griffin has arrived in town to confirm he is the new heir to the Hamilton fortune and he has big plans to reenergize and update the good town of Hamilton. Melody voices her displeasure with his ideas loudly but he is determined to change her mind. He also realizes he has strong romantic feelings for her so he hopes to win her favor in more ways than one.

Of the three stories in this novella series, this was my least favorite one. I disliked Thomas Griffin Gallagher immediately. He was very pushy and had a superior air about him. He does have a backstory that formed the man he had become but I just couldn’t warm to him even after Melody shaved away some of his hard edges. Melody is such a caring individual. She came home to Hamilton to help a sick friend and it totally changed her life. Their first meeting was humorous but I think for two strangers the relationship that was quickly built just didn’t feel right to me, even with a heartwarming moment at the end.

I think as with book two, Lock, Stock, and Jingle Bells, the book was hurt by the novella length. Griffin and Melody are both very strong people with differing points of view and then suddenly they are in love. Where was the conflict? She stood up to him once and then after spending a few hours together, he gets everything he wants. I just wanted more development and some give and take, a little bit of a chase. I really enjoyed the first book in this series but after that, the books went downhill in my opinion. I do believe if the last two stories had been full-length novels it would have allowed for better character development and romantic tension to evolve I would have really enjoyed them.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Donna Kauffman is the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of over 70 novels, translated and sold in more than 26 countries around the world. The recipient of multiple RT Book Awards, she is also a National Readers Choice Award and PRISM Award winner and a RITA finalist. Born into the maelstrom of Washington, D.C., politics, she now lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, where she is surrounded by a completely different kind of wildlife. A contributing blogger for USAToday.com, she is also a DIYer, a baker, a gardener and a volunteer transporter for the Wildlife Center of Virginia and Rockfish Sanctuary. Please visit her online at www.DonnaKauffman.com.

The Hamilton Christmas Novella Series

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

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Dec 212019
 

I have already posted about the Reading Challenges I am hosting.

2020 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge

2020 Alphabet Soup – Author Edition Reading Challenge

2020 LITERARY ESCAPES CHALLENGE

2020 Craving For Cozies Reading Challenge

2020 Reading Challenge Time – Part One Post

2020 Reading Challenge Time – Part Two Post

So now it is time to start traveling around the blogosphere and find the challenges hosted by others that I want to participate in. Note that all information is copied from the hosting blogs and you must go to their blogs to sign up.

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The Backlist Reader Challenge 2020
Hosted by The Bookwyrm’s Hoard

This is a little different than the Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2020 Hosted by My Reader’s Block I have already signed up for. This one you get to set your own goals.

Since I have already signed up for the Mount TBR with 36 Books, the same books will cross over to this challenge too. 

You can Sign Up Here.

The Backlist Reader Challenge (#BacklistReader) encourages you to read all those older books that have been piling up on your TBR pile or list — not just the books you already own, but also the books you’ve wanted to read for a long time but haven’t gotten around to yet.

The challenge runs from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. It ends at midnight in whatever timezone you’re in. You can still post reviews, and link them, up until January 5, 2020. (That’s 2 days more than last year. I realize people need a little more time to review and post the books they finished reading on Dec. 31.)


The Rules

The rules are simple. Only (1) and (2) are mandatory. 

Rule #1: To count for the challenge, books have to be published before 2018 AND already be on your TBR list or pile. In other words, you don’t have to own the book. If it was on your want-to-read list when you signed up for the challenge, and it came out in 2018 or earlier, it counts… regardless of format (ebook, print book, audiobook) and how you acquired it.

What about rereads? I love rereading old favorites! But my goal when I first created this challenge was to encourage myself to read older books I had been wanting or intending to read, not to reread a lot of old favorites. On the other hand, there are some books I read a long time ago on my TBR list. So here’s the compromise I came up with: you can count a book you have read before IF (a) you haven’t read the book in the last 10 years, and (b) you can’t remember a lot of the details.

Rule #2: Create a goals or sign-up post on your blogor wherever you usually post your reviews (e.g., Goodreads, LibraryThing, Instagram.) Please link back to this post! Then link your sign-up post below, where you see the “Add your link” button. (Please link your actual goals/sign-up post, not your home page.)  You can set your own goal, and you can list the books you want to read this year, or leave it up to your mood at the time—as long as they are already on your TBR list when you sign up! You can sign up through December 1, 2020; after that, the sign-up link will be closed.

Rule #3 (optional.) Review the books you read, and post the links on the review linky (reachable through the top menu bar.) You can certainly do the challenge without writing reviews, but the review links are your entries for the year-end giveaway. Reviews don’t have to be long; a few sentences is fine. You can post them on Goodreads or LibraryThing if you don’t have a blog. Please link to your review itself (not to your blog;s main page, your profile, or the book’s Goodreads or LibraryThing page.)

Rule #4: On or just after the end of the year, post a wrap-up post to let us know how you did! I’ll create a link-up post for the wrap-up posts, too. Again, this part isn’t absolutely necessary, but I hope you’ll do it anyway, just for the fun of looking back and seeing your accomplishment!


There will be at least one giveaway: a $15 Amazon gift certificate, or up to that amount in books from Book Depository (as long as they deliver to your country.)  The winner will be chosen from the review links at the end of the year, using a random number generator.

You can find the review linky on the top menu bar, with a link from the sidebar as well. The review linky will stay open through 11 p.m. EST on January 5, 2021, to give you a couple of days to review any books you finished on December 31.

Social media: Please use #BacklistReader on Twitter, Facebook, and anywhere else hashtags are useful!

Go find those older titles you still haven’t gotten around to, and make 2020 the year you finally read them!

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NetGalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge
Hosted by Reading Between the Pages

I am signing up at the Bronze Level – 10 Books. 

You can Sign Up Here.

Welcome to the seventh annual
NetGalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge!
What the challenge is all about…

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the number of NetGalley/Edelweiss books sitting on your shelf to be read?
Have you lost your 80% rating and would love to get it back?
Do you want to challenge yourself to read more NetGalley/Edelweiss books?
Do you need extra inspiration to achieve that next badge?

If the answer is “YES” to any of these questions then this is the challenge for you!

Challenge guidelines… 

  • The challenge runs from January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020. There is no deadline to sign up.
  • Everyone is welcome to participate – you do not need to have a blog.
  • Any genre, release date, length, etc. counts – it just needs to be a book from NetGalley or Edelweiss.
  • Books can count for more than one challenge that you are participating in.
  • The first day of each month I will post a monthly “link-up” for you to link your reviews. If you forget one month, no worries, just catch up the next month.
  • Questions: Feel free to leave a comment below or use the contact page at the top of this post.
  • Help spread the book love and use the hashtag: #NGEW2020

The Levels…

Bronze – 10 Books

Silver – 25 Books

Gold – 50 Books

Platinum – 75 Books

Diamond – 100 Books

To sign-up…

  • Make a blog post stating the level you intend to read in 2020 and link that blog post to Inlinkz (blue box below) when you sign up.
  • If you do not have a blog then state your reading level in the comments below and how you will be sharing your book reviews.
  • Last but not least, be sure to come back every month and link in those reviews. This is really the hardest part – remember to do the monthly “link-ups”! Be sure to follow me via WordPress or email for my monthly link-up reminders.

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The 2020 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge
Hosted by Take a walk down Gregory Road

This is a new challenge for me but looks like fun. I am signing up at the Baker’s Dozen Level with hopes of more. 

You can SIGN UP HERE

Since the image above may be hard to read here are the

LEVELS

Baker’s Dozen | 13 books Choose one category from any 13 of the topics provided except for the wildcard books

Fortnightly | 26 books One category from each topic–you can choose one wildcard

52 Pickup | 52 books Two categories from each topic–you can choose one wildcard

Goin’ for the Burn | 78 books Three categories from each topic–you can choose two wildcards

Freaky Reader | 104 books Two books a week–must complete all the topics–you can choose two wildcards 

CATEGORIES

Making Stuff Up

A book with the word “maker” in the title

A book featuring a fictional language

A book about crafts or handiwork

A book about lies 

Dark Genres

A cult classic book

A dark fantasy book

A gothic horror book

A speculative fiction book 

Seconds

A book you find in a second hand store

The second book by an author

A book with a clock or stopwatch on the cover

A book about eating 

Quick Decisions

A book based solely on the title or cover

A book you buy on impulse

A book by an author you always read

A book about living with consequences 

Where We Live

A book about an apartment building

A book with a mansion on the cover

A book about nomads

A book about moving to the country 

Careers

A book written by a current/former journalist

A book about doctors/nurses/health care professionals

A book about a teacher

A book about blue collar workers 

Body Parts

A book with feet on the cover

A book with “hand” in the title

A book about heads

A book with a nose on the cover 

Reading Cliches

A book someone called a “page turner”

A “beach read”

A book by an author “everyone has read”

A “best seller” you’ve never heard of 

Music Genres

A book whose title could be a Country song

A book with “opera” in the title

A book whose cover makes you think about Heavy Metal

A book you think should have a Jazz soundtrack 

Recovery

A book about recovering from an accident or illness

A book about dealing with death

A book about a missing person

A book that has been re-issued with a new cover 

Next Door

A book with the word “neighbor” in the title

A book with binoculars on the cover

A book by a local author

A book about the creepy old house in the neighborhood 

Birds Of A Feather

A book with a feather or wings on the cover

A book about differences

A book about community

A book about twins 

Brought To You By The Letter N

A book with the word “novice” in the title

A book that takes place in a country that begins with N

A book with the word “name” in the title

A book by an author whose name starts with N 

Inspirations

A book that inspires you to go for a walk

A book about improving self image

A book about a place you hope to visit this year

A book by or about a person you admire 

Diversity

A book by an author from a different culture

A book about gender identity

A folk/fairy tale retelling in a non-western setting

A book about a character with a disability 

Check Out Those Lists

A book from NPRs Top 100 Books list

A book from the NY Times Best Sellers list

A book inspired by your shopping list this week

A book from a recommended list you find on the internet 

Singles

A story about a widow or widower

A book with a single word title

A standalone book

A book with a single figure on the cover 

Animal Kingdom

An author whose name includes an animal (ie: CATherine)

A non-fiction book about animals

A book with a talking animal

A book with an animal on the cover 

Hidden

A book with a mask on the cover

A book written by an author who uses a pseudonym

A book with the word “hidden” in the title

A book about a treasure hunt 

TBR Crushers

A book from your bookshelves you have to dust off

A book you’ve been meaning to read forever

Anything you want

The first book you see on your bookshelf 

Shorts

A book less than 100 pages

A book by an author with fewer than 10 letters in their name

A book with character being “towered over” on the cover

A book of short stories 

Movie Quotes

I see dead people. – a ghost story I coulda been a contender. –

a book about sports There’s no place like home. –

a book about going home I’m not bad. I’m just drawn that way. –

a graphic novel 

Places

A book with a place name in the title

A book with a map on the cover

A book set in the mountains

A book about traveling 

Selfies

A memoir A book written in the first person

A book with a narcissistic character

A self-improvement book 

How Old?

A book with obsolete technology on the cover

A contemporary book written by an author older than you

A book about your parents’ generation

A book written before you were born 

Reading Women A non-fiction book about a famous woman

A book by a woman of color

A book with a kick-ass woman on the cover

A children’s book with a strong female lead 

*** Wildcards ***

A manga book A book that includes an ocean journey

A book about geeks A book about Zodiac signs or astrology

A book that centers around a group of friends 

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The Purrfect Reading Challenge 2020
Hosted by Socrates’ Book Reviews…

I am signing up at the Kneading – Read 11-20 cat mysteries 

You can SIGN UP HERE. 

I’m back again with the Purrfect Reading Challenge. Two of my favorite things are cats and mysteries. So, I combined them for the *purrfect* reading challenge. It’s very simple, this challenge is all about reading mysteries that have cats as the main characters. Here are a few examples…

Joe Grey Mysteries by Shirley Rousseau Murphy
Midnight Louie Mysteries by Carole Nelson Douglas
A Cats In Trouble Mysteries by Leann Sweeney
A Klepto Cat Mysteries by Patricia Fry
Black Cat Bookshop Mysteries by Ali Brandon
Cat Who Mysteries by Lilian Jackson Braun
Cat in the Stacks Mysteries by Miranda James
Bookmobile Cat Mysteries by Laurie Cass
Theda Krakow Mysteries by Clea Simon
Black Cat Mysteries by Elaine Faber

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are dozens more. You can find a list here, but you aren’t limited to just these choices. If you find others, that’s great.

Here are the levels you can choose from:

Purring – Read 1-10 cat mysteries
Kneading – Read 11-20 cat mysteries
Meowing – Read 21-30 cat mysteries
Catnip – Go crazy and read at least 31 and go as high as you’d like – the sky is the limit!

The challenge will begin on January 1, 2020 and end on December 31, 2020.

The rules are really simple.

  1. Any book read for this challenge has to be a mystery and have a cat that plays a major role in the book.
  2. You may make a list of books at the beginning of the challenge or you can just list them as you find them.

  3. Book titles may be swapped out at anytime for those who make a list in advance.

  4. Crossovers with other challenges are permitted and encouraged.

  5. You don’t have to have a blog or write a review, but you can if you want to.  If you don’t have a blog, just post in the comment section that you’d like to join. You can post your books in there. I also have a Cat Mystery group on Goodreads and you can join over there. The link is https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/188179-cat-mystery-readers

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

  7. To sign up, choose one of the levels from the above list and use the Mister Linky below. There will be links for reviews and wrap posts later.

Enjoy and have fun!

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Reading Challenge Addict

I am still looking for a Pages Read Challenge.
I also challenge myself to read 10 books set in my home state of Wisconsin
or written by Wisconsin Author. 

So as you can see I am definitely a READING CHALLENGE ADDICT. 

I will add the final count at the end of the year. 

Are you a Reading Challenge Addict? 

You can SIGN UP HERE. 

About

Some of us have a bit of a problem.

Some of us have a huge problem.

Cheryl from CMash Loves to Read and Gina from Hott Books are two such people. And they are the founding mothers of the Reading Challenge Addict Blog.  Bev from My Reader’s Block is one with a HUGE problem and the current author and caretaker of the Blog.  We each can stand proudly and say,

I am a Reading Challenge Addict.

So we are challenging each of you who can also say that you also are a Reading Challenge Addict.

How addicted are you?

  • Easy as Pie: 1-5 Challenges (Entered & Completed)
  • On the Roof: 6-10 Challenges (Entered & Completed)
  • In Flight: 11-15 Challenges (Entered & Completed)
  • Out of This World: 16+ Challenges (Entered & Completed)
Rules:
We’re not making this a difficult challenge, actually, it’s going to be very simple!
  1. Each edition of the challenge will begin on January 1 and end on December 31.
  2. Write a starting post joining the challenge and outlining your challenges.
  3. Track all of your challenge accomplishments – good & bad.
  4. Comment like crazy and offer support for your fellow addicts.
  5. Have FUN!
Easy, right? Who wants to be in on the fun? Are you ready? As soon as it shows up in the tabs across the top, sign up on the latest “Reading Challenge Addicts” page.

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You can go to the Sleep Less – Read More Facebook page to find many more challenges. 

A Novel Challenge is also a great resource.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

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Dec 202019
 


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.

LOCK STOCK AND JINGLE BELLS
Lock, Stock & Jingle Bells: A Hamilton Christmas Novella
Holiday Romance
2nd in Series
Setting – Virginia
Publisher: Zebra Books (October 1, 2018)
Print Length: 109 pages
Kindle ASIN: B079R6JNTT

The best holiday gifts aren’t always under the tree …

Holly hates the yuletide season more than ever since she received her very early inheritance: her mother’s Christmas novelty store. Now she has to put her life on hold to deal with the shop, while her parents settle into their busy sunny Florida retirement. But Holly’s childhood pal, Sean, is determined to warm her up—to Christmas and to him. When they uncover a diary concealing secrets involving both their families, this could be the Christmas that changes their lives forever …

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Holly Berry Bennett left her small Virginia town to travel across the pond for college and except for a few short visits home has made a life for herself there. Now her parents have other ideas. They have decided to sell their home and retire to Florida. They have also left her mother’s Christmas shop to Holly for her to take over or dispose of as she sees fit. So again she is home trying to figure out with the mess she had been left with.

Sean Gallagher runs the family restaurant right across the street from the Christmas store. He sees Holly arrive by taxi with just one suitcase and he rushes right out to welcome her back. Childhood friends who had secret crushes on each other, Sean hopes that this will be their time. He just needs to convince her to give him a chance.

While Holly is sorting through inventory at the shop she finds an old diary. After reading it she does a little investigating and learns the secrets revealed in the diary could mean changes for both the Gallagher’s and the Bennett’s.

____

Like the first book in this series, Ms. Kauffman gives readers characters we can fall for quickly which is good due to the novella length. She does an excellent job filling us in on their backstories and writes a romance that takes place quickly but realistically. I enjoyed that a little mystery theme was continued.

I was disappointed in Holly’s parents though. Dropping their decision on her and leaving town did not sit well with me.  I realize her mother would have a hard time dealing with her shop’s future but it was totally unfair to put everything on Holly’s shoulders. They could have had her come home and worked things out together instead of just expecting her to drop her life while they just moved along with theirs. This is where the novella-length took away from the story, there just wasn’t space to have two more key characters to be present to make their decision less jarring.

That being said I finished this book and immediately started the third book in this series, Naughty But Nice.

Lock, Stock, and Jingle Bells is an entertaining romance with just a touch of mystery set in a little Virginia town. A nice mini escape to curl up with on a snowy afternoon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Donna Kauffman is the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of over 70 novels, translated and sold in more than 26 countries around the world. The recipient of multiple RT Book Awards, she is also a National Readers Choice Award and PRISM Award winner and a RITA finalist. Born into the maelstrom of Washington, D.C., politics, she now lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, where she is surrounded by a completely different kind of wildlife. A contributing blogger for USAToday.com, she is also a DIYer, a baker, a gardener and a volunteer transporter for the Wildlife Center of Virginia and Rockfish Sanctuary. Please visit her online at www.DonnaKauffman.com.

The Hamilton Christmas Novella Series
LOCK STOCK AND JINGLE BELLS
Find more books by Donna Kaufman here.

You can read my review of Unleashed here


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
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Contest Will End January 3, 2020, 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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Oct 252019
 


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.


Unleashed (A Hamilton Christmas Novella)
Holiday Romance
1st in Series
Setting – Virginia
Publisher: Zebra Books (October 1, 2018)
Print Length: 118 pages
ASIN: B079R7PZ94

A raging winter storm and a holiday spent pet-sitting reveals there’s more than one kind of animal in the house …

When Emma Lafferty is hired by a billionaire CEO to watch his pets over the holidays, she expects to enjoy a quiet Christmas in opulent surroundings. What she doesn’t expect is to spend the week trapped in the mansion with Trevor Hamilton, the CEO’s sexy great-nephew—and heir—whose motives are as shady as his desire is crystal clear …

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In need of a little pick me up with a holiday theme? This novella may be just what you need to read!

Emma Lafferty meets Trevor Hamilton amidst a blizzard. With no power and zero visibility, they make the best of their situation while watching the lovable pets of Trevor’s billionaire uncle.

Emma has opened a pet care business and she couldn’t down this job even with it being over the holidays. Trevor knows his uncle is away for the holidays and sneaks into his house to try to uncover a family secret not knowing that a pet sitter has been hired.

I really liked these characters. The novella-length suits this situation as readers get to know the characters as they get to know each other. I loved the pets, especially the parrot but the dogs were great too. The best thing for me was that Emma was a strong, independent woman. She asked questions and expected answers. Even with her attraction to Trevor, she was never a damsel in distress.

The setting was ideal. A huge mansion with plenty of rooms to get lost in. While the snowstorm made it hard for the dogs to do their business I bet it was beautiful. Losing power was handled with fireplaces and candles which plays right into the romantic theme.

I was intrigued by the important family mystery Trevor was trying to reveal. Mysteries are just my thing. While Trevor’s sleuthing brought some funny moments to the story I was a little disappointed with the way his investigation wrapped up.

This is my first experience with this author and it definitely won’t be my last.

Unleashed is a fast-paced romantic romp.  Heartwarming and entertaining. A great romance to escape into on a wintry afternoon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Donna Kauffman is the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of over 70 novels, translated and sold in more than 26 countries around the world. The recipient of multiple RT Book Awards, she is also a National Readers Choice Award and PRISM Award winner and a RITA finalist. Born into the maelstrom of Washington, D.C., politics, she now lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, where she is surrounded by a completely different kind of wildlife. A contributing blogger for USAToday.com, she is also a DIYer, a baker, a gardener and a volunteer transporter for the Wildlife Center of Virginia and Rockfish Sanctuary. Please visit her online at www.DonnaKauffman.com.

The Hamilton Christmas Novella Series

Find more books by Donna Kaufman here.


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 November 8, 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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Jun 142019
 


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.

Game of Scones (A Sugar & Spice Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Iowa
Lyrical Underground (December 4, 2018)
Paperback: 194 pages
ISBN-10: 1516105052
ISBN-13: 978-1516105052
Kindle ASIN: B07BD1XJ8V

As co-owner of Sugar and Spice Cookbooks, Sugar Calloway has seen simple confections bring friends together and spark fiery feuds. Except this time, the recipe truly is to die for . . .

After losing her job as food editor at a glossy magazine, Rosetta Sugarbaker Calloway—aka “Sugar” to friends—isn’t sweet on accepting defeat and crawling back to her gossipy southern hometown. So when she has an opportunity to launch a community cookbook business with blue-ribbon baker Dixie Spicer in peaceful St. Ignatius, Iowa, she jumps at the chance to start over from scratch . . .

But as Sugar assembles recipes for the local centennial celebration, it’s not long before she’s up to her oven mitts in explosive threats, too-hot-to-handle scandals, and a dead body belonging to the moody matriarch of the town’s first family. With suspicions running wild, Sugar and Spice must solve the murder before someone innocent takes the heat—and the real culprit gathers enough ingredients to strike again . . .

* Includes delicious recipes! *

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Rosetta Sugarbaker Calloway and Dixie Spicer aka “Sugar” and “Spice” have teamed up and opened a community cookbook business, Sugar & Spice Publishing. Former food editor Sugar handles the logistics and blue-ribbon baker Spice tests the recipes.

Their first client is the committee for the local Founder’s Day Centennial Celebration. Sugar meets with the committee to discuss a duplicate scone recipe. Working with adult women, Dixie’s Aunt Bertie and Ellie Farmer, she is sure they can work it out. What happens is a shouting match that almost comes to blows. The meeting ends with no resolution. Hoping individual meetings with the bakers will solve the issue Sugar sets up a meeting with Ellie. But she finds the woman dead clutching a scone.  With the ladies’ ongoing feud Bertie quickly becomes the prime suspect. When Bertie leaves town telling no one of her plans Sheriff Terrance Griffin turns up the heat while Sugar and Dixie worry if someone has hurt Bertie too.

___

This was a delightful cozy mystery. I have been on a few fundraiser cookbook committees so this story excited me from the start. Thankfully our cookbooks were completed without any dead bodies but there were some heated conversations. People take their recipes seriously! The author includes 3 recipes at the end of the book.

Sugar and Dixie have their work cut out for them in making a business like this flourish, especially if this one is any indication. Both women have the expertise needed except they need to bring in a photographer. Enter Max Windsor, a friend of Dixie’s brother. We also meet Sugar’s pain-in-the-butt neighbor and her landlord who recently moved to a senior living community. There is a palpable tension between Dixie and the sheriff, which plays out throughout the story. These characters have a real small-town feel with gossip running rampant and a bit of Southern charm from Dixie. The dialogue is strong. While we have been given a great introduction to these characters, the author has left a lot of room for them to grow.

A little cooperation from Bertie would have removed her from the suspect list but in lieu of that Sugar and Dixie find themselves right in the middle of the investigation. It was easy to find additional suspects because the victim rubbed several people the wrong way. I enjoyed tagging along for each clue, twist, and turn. The pace had a couple of dips but quickly got back on track. The ending was exciting.

I love that this series is set in Iowa. Not too far from home for me and not a common setting for cozy mysteries even though it is full of small towns that could host this genre.

I found Game of Scones to be a very entertaining story. I am excited to see where Ms. Ashford takes her character next. Risky Biscuits will be out July 9.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About Mary Lee Ashford

Mary Lee Ashford is a lifelong bibliophile, an avid reader, and a supporter of public libraries. In addition to writing the Sugar and Spice series for Kensington Books, she also writes as half of the writing team of Sparkle Abbey, author of the national bestselling Pampered Pets mystery series from Bell Bridge Books.

Prior to publishing Mary Lee won first place in the Daphne du Maurier contest, sponsored by the Kiss of Death chapter of RWA, and was a finalist in Murder in the Grove’s mystery contest, as well as Killer Nashville’s Claymore Dagger contest.

She is the founding president of Sisters in Crime – Iowa and a board member of the Mystery Writers of America Midwest chapter, as well as a member of Novelists, Inc., Romance Writers of America, Kiss of Death the RWA Mystery Suspense chapter, Sisters in Crime, and the SinC internet group Guppies.

She loves encouraging writers and is a frequent lecturer and workshop presenter for writers’ groups. Mary Lee has a passionate interest in creativity and teaches a university level course in Creative Management to MPA candidates, as well as presenting workshops and blogging about creativity.

She currently resides in the midwest with her husband, Tim, and Sparkle, the rescue cat namesake of the Sparkle Abbey pseudonym. Her delights are reading and enjoying her two sons and daughters-in-law, and six grandchildren.

For more information, visit her website at www.MaryLeeAshford.com

Find her on  –  FacebookTwitterInstagramPinterestGoodReads 


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
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 June 28, 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.”

Share
May 032019
 


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.

DIED IN THE WOOL
Died in the Wool (A Knit & Nibble Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – New Jersey
Kensington (August 28, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 149671329X
ISBN-13: 978-1496713292
Kindle ASIN: B077WZHJFY

When a murder shocks picturesque Arborville, New Jersey, Pamela Paterson and her Knit and Nibble knitting club suddenly find themselves at the center of the investigation—as suspects . . .

Pamela is ready to kick back and relax after a busy day selling stuffed aardvarks to benefit Arborville High School’s sports program at the annual town festival. But just as she’s packing up, she makes a terrible discovery—someone’s stashed a body under the Knit and Nibble’s table. The victim is Randall Jefferson, a decidedly unpopular history teacher after his recent op-ed criticizing the school’s sports program. But the primary suspect has an alibi, and the only clue is a stuffed aardvark found on the victim’s chest . . . Now the Knit and Nibblers must unravel the case quickly—before a crafty killer repeats a deadly pattern.

Knitting tips and delicious recipe included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We’re back in Arborville just in time for a fundraiser for the sports program at the high school. GO VARKS! The Knit and Nibblers have created 25 stuffed aardvarks to sell in their booth. When the day is winding down Bettina and Pamela realize 2 knit aardvarks have gone missing. Frustrated they start to pack up. When they start to remove the canvas around their table they find one of the missing aardvarks . . . on the chest of a very dead Randall Jefferson, a history teacher at the school. He had been quite vocal in his criticism of the sports program most recently in an op-ed in the paper.

Because of where the body was found and the presence of the fuzzy turquoise aardvark the community blames the group of knitters for the death even though they have no motive. To clear the group the knitters are going to have to knit together all the clues. Will finding the 2nd missing aardvark lead them in the right direction? or will they need a new pattern to follow? Will their snooping lead someone to needle them . . . fatally?

The Knit and Nibbler’s knitting group is an eclectic group. All with their own strengths and weaknesses. A new enthusiastic member has joined the group. Holly Perkins is about the age of Pamela’s daughter, Penny. A tiny woman with purple streaks in her hair and an unusual knitting project in the works using needles as “thick as drumsticks”. One member has a big announcement. Pamela is struggling on a decision for a new project after knitting so many aardvarks. I love the characters in this group. They are people I can identify with and would love to be their friend and part of their knitting group. I remember many years ago I pulled out my broomstick thick needles to work on a quick knit sweater pattern and my mother thought I was crazy. Until I finished it and made her one too.

This author has a super descriptive writing style which sometimes can turn me off or goes too far, but everything she describes are things I wanted to be described. The knitting projects, the food, the flower gardens, Penny’s vintage clothing finds, and the scenes needed to help solve the murder. It is said the “devil is in the details”. Peggy Ehrhart is excellent in giving us the necessary details along with dropping the clues judiciously to keep readers and her characters on the trail or divert us to another way of thinking. She also knows how to knit in humor in all the right places. OMG, Pamela’s cat, Catrina’s antics had me in stitches.

I found the mystery to be well-plotted and entertaining but I hated the people’s reactions and actions regarding the knitters. Sad at how judgemental the residents of Arborville were with no real evidence. While I would love to be around the Knit and Nibble group, I am not sure about the rest of the town’s residents. Of course, you have this type of people in any town, and I did like that the group took the high road in dealing with the rath.

Strong characters, a captivating mystery, and a great theme are found within these pages. A very enjoyable read. A Cozy Cat pattern and Strawberry Shortcake recipe can be found at the end of the book for all knitters and nibblers.  I look forward to book 3, Knit One, Die Two.

AN ENJOYABLE GETAWAY

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Murder, She Knit 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.

 


I AM GIVING AWAY 1 KINDLE COPY!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
Book will be sent directly from Amazon.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End May 17, 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.”

 

Share
Mar 012019
 


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.


Chardonnayed to Rest (The Wine Trail Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – New York
Lyrical Underground (September 25, 2018)
Paperback: 220 pages
ISBN-10: 1516108027
ISBN-13: 978-1516108022
Kindle ASIN: B078QSQXBF

Finding a murderer requires 100% proof.

In Seneca Lake, New York, Norrie Ellington’s Two Witches Winery has been selected by the local vintner community to host the annual Federweisser, a celebration of the season’s first fermentation of white Chardonnay grapes. But the festivities are spoiled when Norrie learns that landowner Roy Wilkes has raised her neighbor Rosalee Marbleton’s rent so high, she may have to close her vineyard.

Before the rent hike could go into effect, Wilkes is found dead on Roslaee’s property—stabbed by a flowerpot stake—and she becomes the police’s number one suspect. To clear her friend’s name, Norrie conducts her own investigation. But as she gathers clues, Norrie finds herself targeted by a killer, and if she’s not careful, her desire to see justice done may die on the vine . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We are back at the Two Witches Winery just in time for the annual Federweisser celebration. Norrie tries to juggle the preparation for the event along with meeting here screenwriter deadlines. Thankfully the staff of Two Witches has things well in hand because Norrie receives a frantic call from Rosalee Marbleton telling her she has found a dead body on her property. The dead man turns out to Roy Wilkes, the man owns access to the water needed for Rosalee’s winery. He had recently raised the rent so high that it could put her out of business. It’s not bad enough that she found the body but the murder weapon also belongs to her. Rosalee knows it looks bad and begs Norrie to find the real killer. A task Norrie doesn’t take lightly. Neither does the killer as he sets his sights on her.

I really like Norrie. She takes on everything thrown at her. She has become to go to person called to investigate anything shady or nefarious in the Seneca Lake wine community. Heck, they call her before calling the authorities, something that really upsets Deputy Sheriff Gary Hickman. Norrie has a great group of people to support her. These characters are diverse and very well crafted. They have their gifts and idiosyncrasies, but they will do anything for Norrie and the Two Witches Winery. The author has done a great job of making these characters genuine.

J. C. Eaton has fermented a fun mystery for readers to enjoy. A victim no one knows much about except for the fact that he didn’t have any friends and that no one is upset he is gone. A little digging brings more suspects to light but the author also serves up a good share of red herrings to divert and confuse. I enjoyed following along with Norrie, Theo, and Don as they not only did the legwork but online searches too. Even following along I was surprised by the way the big reveal took place. It was exciting and loved that some assistance came from someone truly unexpected.

I was captivated from beginning to end. A real character-driven mystery with just a blossom of romance and glass or two of humor. This Wine Trail Mystery gives us a peek at winemaking and running a successful winery along with an entertaining story. Pinot Red or Dead? will be out March 26 and I am impatiently waiting 🙂

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of A Riesling to Diejust click here.

About the Authors

Ann I. Goldfarb

New York native Ann I. Goldfarb spent most of her life in education, first as a classroom teacher and later as a middle school principal and professional staff developer. Writing as J. C. Eaton, along with her husband, James Clapp, she has authored the Sophie Kimball Mysteries (Kensington) set for release in June 2017. In addition, Ann has nine published YA time travel mysteries under her own name. Visit the websites at www.jceatonauthor.com and www.timetravelmysteries.com

James E. Clapp

When James E. Clapp retired as the tasting room manager for a large upstate New York winery, he never imagined he’d be co-authoring cozy mysteries with his wife, Ann I. Goldfarb. His first novel, Booked 4 Murder (Kensington) is set for release in June 2017. Non-fiction in the form of informational brochures and workshop materials treating the winery industry were his forte along with an extensive background and experience in construction that started with his service in the U.S. Navy and included vocational school classroom teaching.

Visit their website at www.jceatonauthor.com and Like and Follow on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JCEatonauthor/


Coming March 26, 2019

Also by J.C. Eaton

Coming August 27, 2019


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy of Chardonneyed To Rest.
It will be sent directly from Amazon.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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 March 15, 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.”

Share
Feb 222019
 


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.


A Riesling to Die (The Wine Trail Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New York
Lyrical Underground (March 27, 2018)
Paperback: 220 pages
ISBN-10: 1516108019
ISBN-13: 978-1516108015
Kindle ASIN: B073NP1VDY

A deadly search for sour grapes . . .

Norrie Ellington is a successful screenwriter living in New York City. She’s also been a silent partner for her family’s winery upstate—until her sister and brother-in-law take a year-long sabbatical. With an experienced staff doing the work, Norrie figures Two Witches Winery will run itself while she enjoys the countryside and writes in peace and quiet.

Unfortunately, there’s a sour grape in the town of Penn Yan who doesn’t care for vineyards. Bed and breakfast owner Elsbeth Waters complains to everyone who’ll listen that the local wineries are bad for her business. But when Elsbeth’s body is found on Norrie’s property, the victim of foul play, the screenwriter-turned-vintner dons a sleuthing cap to uncover the identity of a killer who told the B&B proprietress to put a cork in it—permanently . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We arrive at the Two Witches Winery in upstate New York with Norrie Ellington. A family-owned winery that her sister, Francine, and brother-in-law, Jason, run as she is a very silent partner. Her brother-in-law has been given a research grant that will take the couple out of the country for a year and they have asked Norrie to take over while they are gone. Norrie has a job, a full-time job, as a screenwriter and really doesn’t want to step in, but her sister assures her the staff handles most everything. She just needs Norrie to oversee things, attend a few meetings, and handle any emergencies that arise. There will be plenty of time to work on her screenplays and make her deadlines.

Before Francine and Jason even arrive at their, no cell signal, out in the sticks, Costa Rican destination one of those rare emergencies arises in the form of a dead body among the Riesling vines. A woman Norrie had the displeasure of meeting upon her arrival. Elsbeth Waters was the owner of the nearby bed & breakfast and constant complainer of almost everything that happened in the town of Penn Yan and all the surrounding wineries. Let’s just say there is no shortage of suspects.  There is also a couple of businessmen trying to buy up all the Penn Yan wineries so that they can open their own mega-winery business. Not really an emergency, because there is no way they are selling, unless they have something to do with Elsbeth’s death.

Norrie feels like she is in the middle of one her drama filled movies. With the body found on her land, and the police are eyeing her as a suspect, she has a vested interest in seeing the killer brought to justice and she doesn’t have a lot of faith in the local law enforcement. She hasn’t been around in a long time so as she gets to know everyone she decides to do a little snooping too.

I am late to the party on this series and am upset with myself. I have been enjoying the author’s Sophie Kimball Mysteries while this one was screaming from my Kindle. I am determined to get Chardonnayed to Rest read too before Pinot Red or Dead? hits stores.

I liked Norrie immediately and Francine too for the short time we got to spend with her. We are also introduced to a large cast of characters that make up the staff at Two Witches Winery, the other local winery owners, the victim, and her niece, and the businessmen that could crush not only grapes but the dreams of everyone in the area. The author’s do a great job of making each character unique so it is very easy to keep everyone straight. Cammy runs the tasting room and she and Norrie become fast friends, as do the men that own the nearby winery. Theo and Don are good friends with Francine and Jason and Norrie knows she can trust them. They really have her back and help her in many ways. I truly enjoyed the way so many rallied around to help Norrie get her feet under herself with the winery and in her mission to catch a murderer.

Two characters I can’t fail to mention and they need their own paragraph is the dog and the goat on the cover. Charlie is a Brindle Plott Hound and Alvin is a Nigerian Dwarf goat. Charlie stole my heart, even if he does need a bath almost every day. Alvin and Norrie don’t get off to a good start but he played a major part when he needed to.

The mystery itself was a real treat. Plenty of suspects and some crazy theories kept me guessing the entire story. I was kinda on the right trail, but some red herrings diverted my attention more than once. Norrie took some huge risks and while scary, the authors added some comic relief at the perfect times and in the perfect amounts.

I probably will never travel to Finger Lakes Wine Country in upstate New York and their 3 Wine Trails, but I sure had fun on my first literary trip there. J.C. Eaton gave us a bird’s eye view and I am excited about my next visit. Chardonnayed to Rest is queued up as one of the next books on my Kindle, just waiting for me to get started. Stay tuned for my review.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Authors

Ann I. Goldfarb

New York native Ann I. Goldfarb spent most of her life in education, first as a classroom teacher and later as a middle school principal and professional staff developer. Writing as J. C. Eaton, along with her husband, James Clapp, she has authored the Sophie Kimball Mysteries (Kensington) set for release in June 2017. In addition, Ann has nine published YA time travel mysteries under her own name. Visit the websites at www.jceatonauthor.com and www.timetravelmysteries.com

James E. Clapp

When James E. Clapp retired as the tasting room manager for a large upstate New York winery, he never imagined he’d be co-authoring cozy mysteries with his wife, Ann I. Goldfarb. His first novel, Booked 4 Murder (Kensington) is set for release in June 2017. Non-fiction in the form of informational brochures and workshop materials treating the winery industry were his forte along with an extensive background and experience in construction that started with his service in the U.S. Navy and included vocational school classroom teaching.

Visit their website at www.jceatonauthor.com and Like and Follow on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JCEatonauthor/


Coming March 26, 2019

Also by J.C. Eaton

Coming August 27, 2019


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