Jan 282020
 


A View to a Kilt (Liss MacCrimmon Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
13th in Series
Setting – Maine
Publisher: Kensington (January 28, 2020)
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 149671265X
ISBN-13: 978-1496712653
Kindle ASIN: B07R8QR5FV

A series of blizzards have kept tourists away from Moosetookalook, Maine, and shoppers out of Liss MacCrimmon’s Scottish Emporium. But as warmer weather brings promises of tartan sales and new faces, melting snow reveals cold-blooded murder . . .

Liss has suddenly found herself in charge of the March Madness Mud Season Sale, a town-wide celebration created to boost the local economy during the slushy weeks of early spring. With businesses ailing after a rough winter, the pressure is on to make this year’s effort the can’t-miss-event of the season. But before Liss can get her hands dirty, her husband makes a horrifying discovery. There’s a dead man on their property, and he didn’t die of natural causes . . .

Stunned by the murder mystery developing in her own backyard, Liss receives another shock. The victim is identified as Charlie MacCrimmon, an uncle believed to have died eleven years before Liss was born. No one has seen or heard from Charlie since he went off to fight in Vietnam. What secrets could he have been hiding for so many years, and who would want to kill a man long thought to be dead?

Enlisting the help of her family, Liss uncovers more questions than answers as she delves into her uncle’s murky past. One thing is clear—before he met his end, Uncle Charlie was desperately trying to warn her about something sinister. And unless Liss can soon track down a maniacal criminal as elusive as the Loch Ness Monster, she just might be the next MacCrimmon to disappear . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We arrive in Moosetookalook, Maine just before the March Madness Mud Season Sale. Our protagonist Liss MacCrimmon of MacCrimmon’s Scottish Emporium is in charge of this year’s event. With many details to iron out, she knows she is going to busy. When her husband finds, or I should say Scotties, Dandy, and Dondi find a dead body in the backyard,  a body who is soon identified as Charlie MacCrimmon, an uncle who was thought to have died serving in the Vietnam war, Liss knows she is going to be way beyond busy. Where had he been all these years? Why did he come back to Moosetookalook now? Liss and her family try to answer these questions, plus another, Who killed Charlie MacCrimmon?

I love the idea of a long lost uncle. Sadly Liss never got to meet him but her mother is determined that she will find his killer, in fact, dragging her all the way to Florida to uncover the man’s past. Liss is strong and smart but her mother Vi is a force to be reckoned with. Both in solving the mystery and inserting her own event into the March Madness Mud Season Event. This being only the 3rd book in the series I have read I am still learning the family dynamics but I am glad to see these two women get closer. All the other supporting characters are well-developed too. The dialogues are crisp and realistic. This series would be the same without the pets, Scotties, Dandy and Dondi, and Glenora the cat. They always bring a smile to my face.

I was totally caught up in the mystery and the reason Charlie MacCrimmon came back to Maine when he did. I don’t want to give anything away but I was impressed the issue really involved the entire community. It included several twists and a moment that could have gone totally wrong. The author has laid out a very believable plot that kept me glued to the pages.

As a Wisconsinite, it is easy to identify with the muddy or not so muddy March weather. What a fun idea to celebrate the terrain left after the snow melts away. The events sounded like a lot of fun. Who doesn’t love slipping and sliding around with a group of neighbors and friends?

My one critique is that I am sorry that Liss is not happy running the family store and is thinking about just handling online sales. I hope she reconsiders, as in real life though many shops like this one are closing. I hope she can buck the trend and find joy in running the Scottish Emporium for a long time. I just love the word Emporium 🙂

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Kaitlyn Dunnett


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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 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 February 11, 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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Jan 222020
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am thrilled to feature Careless Whiskers today! 

 


Careless Whiskers (Cat in the Stacks Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
12th in Series
Setting – Mississippi
Publisher: Berkley (January 21, 2020)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0451491157
ISBN-13: 978-0451491152
Kindle ASIN: B07R7M3RJZ

When librarian Charlie Harris’ daughter is falsely accused of murder, he and his faithful feline Diesel must leap forward to crack the case in this all-new installment in the New York Times bestselling series.

Charlie Harris has sworn off investigating murder and mayhem after a recent close call. Instead, he’s delighted to cheer on his daughter, Laura, who’s starring in a production of Careless Whispers. The theater department at Athena College is debuting the play written by a fledgling playwright with local connections and Charlie’s son-in-law, Frank Salisbury, will be calling the directorial shots.

Laura is upset to learn that Luke Lombardi, an overbearing actor she knew from her time in Hollywood will also be taking part in the production as a guest artist. Lombardi arrives with an entourage in tow and promptly proceeds to annoy everyone involved with the production. When he collapses and dies on stage, after drinking from a glass Laura handed him, she becomes the chief suspect in his murder.

Charlie knows his daughter is innocent, and he’s not going to let anyone railroad his little girl. So, despite his intentions to put his amateur sleuthing days behind him, Charlie has to take center stage, and with Diesel’s help, shine a spotlight on the real killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Charlie Harris is enjoying his life and is excited that his daughter, Laura, has a starring role in a local play at Athena College. Careless Whispers is a new play written by a young man with a local connection, Finn Zwake. Laura’s husband, Frank is directing the play. The college has brought in an actor of some fame to boost sales for the event. Laura has worked with Luke Lombardi before and she is not looking forward to playing opposite him in this play. He along with his entourage rub almost everyone involved in the production the wrong way.

Rehearsals have had their up and downs with Laura trying to keep Luke in his place. There have also been some incidents/pranks against the Hollywood actor. With a “show must go on” attitude the show opens to a full house. All the actors hit their marks until Luke drinks from a glass at the beginning of the second act and he collapses and dies. The glass was filled and handed to him by Laura. Charlie rushes to the stage to be sure his daughter is okay. It is then that he realizes she is going to be the prime suspect.

Charlie had a close call recently with a case and vowed to let the police handle any future investigations but that was before his daughter was in the middle of a case. He knows she had nothing to do with Lombardi’s death. So he flips the script and dives right into another murder investigation with his loyal sidekick, Diesel in the quest to catch a killer.

_______

One of the best things about this series is the genuine characters. They are strong in their values, have huge hearts, and are full of southern charm. I could easily imagine sharing a glass of sweet tea and catching up on all that is happening in their lives. Having Diesel and his new buddy Ramses chirping right along is just icing on the cake. Ms. James’s characters continue to grow and evolve. Their dialogues are realistic and crisp. I love the way Azalea keeps everyone in line and their stomachs filled. As always Diesel is my fave. I just can’t get enough of that Main Coon Cat!

I really enjoyed that Laura and Frank were featured in this story. It gave the perfect excuse for Charlie to jump into another investigation. It was a twisted investigation too. Mr. Lombardi’s entourage, his dresser, and his lover, formerly husband and wife, really made things very interesting. A playwright conundrum also adds to the mystery.

With a perfect pace, this story unfolds with the mysteries entangled with everyday life. The family dinners, Charlie spending time with his grandchildren every week to give their moms a little break, Helen Louise and Charlie’s late-night calls as they try to keep their romance going while she devotes so much time to her bistro, all give the story definition and keep it based in reality. While the number of murders and mysteries pushes the reality the Harris family and friends are always up to the task of solving them. This time Melba, Miss An’gel and Miss Dickce are along for the ride.

Careless Whisker is an excellent addition to this series. The author takes the time to add background so new readers can jump into the series at any time. It is one of my favorite series and I highly recommend all 12 books.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Miranda James is the New York Times bestselling author of the Cat in the Stacks Mysteries, including The Pawful Truth, Six Cats a Slayin’, and Claws for Concern, as well as the Southern Ladies Mysteries, including Fixing to Die, Digging Up the Dirt, and Dead with the Wind. James lives in Mississippi.

Find out more about Miranda James and her books on her webpage here.

Use the search feature to find my reviews for all of the Cats in the Stacks Mysteries.



GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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 February 5, 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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Jan 152020
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am happy to feature Murder Ink by Lorraine Bartlett & Gayle Leeson today! 


Murder Ink (Victoria Square Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher: Berkley (December 31, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 042526601X
ISBN-13: 978-0425266014
Kindle ASIN: B07QDK2DL8

The charm of Victoria Square may prove to be only skin deep when murder follows the arrival of a tattoo parlor in town in this latest installment of the New York Times bestselling series.

A tattoo parlor on Victoria Square? Some of the merchants get hot under the collar at the proposal, but could they be driven to kill to stop it? That’s what the sheriff’s office and Katie Bonner want to know when the building’s owner is electrocuted with his own saw.

Meanwhile, tensions rise when a hot chef takes over the square’s tea shop. Will Katie have three men vying for her affections, or will her rival take the tea cake?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Many members of the Victoria Square Merchants Association are up in arms when they learn a tattoo parlor is opening on the square. They try to convince the proprietor that his business would do better at another location but when that fails they approach the owner of the building to try to have him rescind the rental contract. When Katie, now the president of the association goes to make another plea, she witnessed the building owner’s electrocution and she is injured as well.   After that, many members of the association find themselves on the suspect list.

Katie is also juggling a little vendor drama at Artisan’s Alley and dealing with employee turnover at her new tea shop. The young manager quits and is replaced by a hunky and truly overqualified chef. Andy is having a staff issue as well. All this starts to cause a little chaos in Katie’s romantic life.

___

Katie Bonner really has her hands full in the 6th installment of this very popular series. She manages the Artisan’s Alley and is responsible for staffing and vendors. She recently opened her tea shop Teaolicious where she and enjoys doing the baking each morning. And she is President of the Victoria Square Merchants Association and all that entails. She is also trying to have a relationship with pizza parlor owner Andy Rust and is now in the middle of another murder investigation. Sometimes her activities just exhaust me and I think she is finally starting to realize she is reaching her limit. However,  she is a great protagonist with a huge heart and motivated to stay on top of everything on her plate. She does make a big decision that I am really enthused about because it is a change that I felt was needed.  I hope it opens her life up in new and exciting ways.

All the other characters we have come to love over the course of the series return and are involved in little subplots that mesh well with the main plot and theme. The new characters bring some freshness to the story as they interact with our faves, both in good and bad ways.

As I have come to expect from these authors they pack a lot of drama within these pages. There is always something happening which for me sets a brisk pace. This time I had to slow down a little bit and reread a couple of things to try to catch all the clues and follow all the twists. It was fun to follow along with Katie as all the clues fell into place.

These characters are very well-crafted and are featured in an entertaining story with strong mysteries. My only criticism was the snarkiness of the square shopkeepers had with the new business prospect although I realize it was needed to set up the story that followed.

Murder Ink is a great addition to the series. I am excited about the next book, I am very interested to see what Ms. Bartlett and Ms. Leeson have in store for Katie.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of Yule Be Dead here

 

About The Authors

Lorraine Bartlett

The immensely popular Booktown Mystery series is what put Lorraine Bartlett‘s pen name Lorna Barrett on the New York Times Bestseller list, but it’s her talent — whether writing as Lorna, or L.L. Bartlett, or Lorraine Bartlett — that keeps her there. This multi-published, Agatha-nominated author pens the exciting Jeff Resnick Mysteries as well as the acclaimed Victoria Square Mystery series and has many short stories and novellas to her name(s). Check out the links to all her works here: http://www.lorrainebartlett.com

Gayle Leeson

Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. Gayle has also written as Amanda Lee. She is currently writing the Kinsey Falls chick-lit/women’s fiction series, the Down South Cafe cozy mystery series, and the Ghostly Fashionista cozy mystery series. Her book KILLER WEDDING CAKE won the Bronze Medal in the 20th Anniversary IPPY Awards. Gayle lives in Southwest Virginia with her family and enjoys hearing from readers. Find her books on Amazon here.    Website     Facebook    Twitter    Pinterest     Instagram

I am giving away my review copy of Murder Ink!

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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 January 29, 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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Jan 102020
 


Come Homicide or High Water (Welcome Back to Scumble River)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Illinois
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (December 31, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1492685976
ISBN-13: 978-1492685975
Kindle ASIN: B07Y5NJ48Z

There’s something fishy just below the surface of Scumble River…

School psychologist Skye Denison-Boyd is getting ready to return to work from her maternity leave and hoping for a peaceful year in her job as a school psychologist. But when an elderly woman disappears on her first day back and a disgruntled parent threatens to sue the school, Skye realizes that her return will be anything but quiet.

When the parent suing Skye’s school is found dead and with the missing woman’s case is still unsolved, Skye suspects the crimes are somehow linked. With her chief of police husband, Wally, at her side, Skye dives into the investigations. But as tensions rise and Skye and Wally’s suspect list lengthens, they start to wonder whether a member of their own tight-knit community could be behind it all…

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

We return to Scumble River as work is almost complete on Wally and Skye’s new home. They are both looking forward to moving out of the RV and having plenty of room to spread out. Skye is also nearing the end of her maternity leave which means they have to hire a new nanny soon.  During her leave, she has been going into the school when her intern replacement needs help dealing with school staff or parents. Right now she is trying to explain to a mother than her child is not as gifted as she thinks. The meeting takes a huge left turn that results in the mother threatening to sue the school. Oh boy, does Skye really want to return to all this drama?

Later the woman threatening to sue is found dead and Skye learns she was her contractor’s wife. Skye gets nervous that someone from the school could be responsible. She also worries that the death will halt construction on her home.

Wally has also asked Skye to assist him in the case of a missing woman. Could the two cases be connected? Could the killer be someone they know? Skye and Wally are determined to find out.

______

Denise Swanson is a remarkable storyteller. Her characters have become old friends and I couldn’t wait to get into the pages to see what they were up to this time.

I love the way Skye and Wally really compliment each other. They are excelling at parenting and working together too. Wally asks for Skye’s help and trusts her theories and opinions. They make a great team and I love that we get to see things from both Skye and Wally’s point of review. It is very refreshing to have a cozy mystery written in this way.

The main characters are surrounded by a great supporting cast as well. There is family to pitch in to help with the babies and to give their opinions on just about everything. Oh, May, you are such a treasure but there are times I want to reach in the book and tape your mouth shut 🙂

We have some quirky characters too. The Dooziers are doozies but always make me smile and sometimes laugh out loud. Friends, school staff and town residents round out the wonderful cast. The dialogues are crisp with a lot of humor. Very realistic for the midwest setting.

The main and subplots are very well-written and have a comfortable flow. The author packed the pages full of daily life and drama along with a nice bit of humor too. Twists, turns, red herrings, this story has them all. Ms. Swanson has given us quite an intriguing story. One of the mysteries wraps up in a delightful way. The other kept me guessing to the very end.

Come Homicide or High Water is a marvelous addition to this series. Entertaining characters wrapped in a delightful story that includes mysteries that are interesting and fun to try to solve. I can’t wait for my next trip to Scumble River.

This is the third book in the continuation of Denise Swanson’s Scumble Murder Mysteries. The change happened when the series was picked up by the new publisher. I had gotten behind on the series but was thrilled to jump back in with this new start. I love these characters and do plan to go back with the books I missed. Ms. Swanson has done an excellent job providing background so readers like me with a few books in arrears can pick up books in the continuation without feeling lost. I recommend new readers start with the first book in the continuation, Dead in the Water for maximum enjoyment. You will probably want to go back and read them all.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Dead in the Water here.
You can read my review of Die Me A River here.

About the Author

Denise Swanson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Scumble River Mysteries, the Devereaux’s Dime Store Mysteries, the Change of Heart romances, and the Delicious romances She worked as a school psychologist for twenty-two years before quitting to write full-time. She lives in Illinois with her husband, classical music composer David Stybr.

Check out the publisher’s book page with a list of characters and a Scumble River map here.

 






I am giving away my review copy!

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.
Duplicate entries will be deleted.
Void where prohibited.
You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.
Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.

Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

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 January 24, 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 192019
 

Thanks to the What’s In A Name Challenge I was able to pull this book off my TBR shelf
where it has been almost since the book was released.

The Friday Night Knitting Club

The Friday Night Knitting Club
(Friday Night Knitting Club Novels)

Contemporary Women’s Fiction
1st in Series
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons (January 18, 2007)
Hardcover: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 0399154094
ISBN-13: 978-0399154096
Kindle ASIN: B001269F9I

THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Once a week, an eclectic group of women comes together at a New York City yarn shop to work on their latest projects—and share the stories of their lives…

At the center of Walker and Daughter is the shop’s owner, Georgia, who is overwhelmed with juggling the store and single-handedly raising her teenage daughter. Happy to escape the demands of her life, she looks forward to her Friday Night Knitting Club, where she and her friends—Anita, Peri, Darwin, Lucie, and KC—exchange knitting tips, jokes, and their deepest secrets. But when the man who once broke Georgia’s heart suddenly shows up, demanding a role in their daughter’s life, her world is shattered.

Luckily, Georgia’s friends are there for encouragement, sharing their own tales of intimacy, heartbreak, and miracle-making. And when the unthinkable happens, these women will discover that what they’ve created isn’t just a knitting club: it’s a sisterhood.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A diverse group of New York women gathers on Friday nights at Walker and Daughter to learn to knit, work on current projects, and share their life stories around a table with a little snack provider by the daughter part of Walker and Daughter.

Single mom Georgia Walker owns the 2nd-floor yarn shop. She lives with her 12-year-old daughter on the 3rd floor. Anita Lowenstein encouraged Georgia to open the business even helping with the money needed. She is like a mother to Georgia and grandmother to her daughter. They work side by side every day. Peri Gayle works part-time while taking classes at FIT. Darwin Chiu is working on her thesis, K.C. Silverman is Georgia’s friend from when she worked in publishing, Lucie makes an abrupt appearance at the shop and is welcomed right into the fold. Cat, a childhood friend of Georgia’s becomes a defacto member of the group when they reconnect.

Georgia is happy with her life until the man she thought loved her but left her and broke her heart returns and wants to get to know his daughter. In support of her and offering support to each other, the Friday Night Knitting Club becomes much more than knitting sweaters and scarves, it becomes their lifeline.

___

I have been waiting to read this book for a long time and I knew it wouldn’t be a book I could rush through so I finally allowed myself the time I needed. I am so glad I did.

These characters are rich with backstories, diverse in age and experience and genuine in their feelings. Georgia and Anita’s relationship has stood the test of time. They found each other when they needed someone to lean on and support and their friendship never wavered. The other core members of the Friday Night Knitting Group each needed support too in different ways and the sistership that unfolded as the story continued was heartwarming. The ties they built would be vital especially as life takes a turn.

I really enjoyed that Georgia took her daughter to Scotland to meet her great grandmother and to find her roots. I loved Gran, a smart woman, full of wisdom. She and Georgia had a strong bond that survived even with an ocean between them and infrequent visits.

The Friday Night Knitting Club is a story filled with the realistic journey of each person who has found their way into Georgia’s life.  The fun times, the sad times, the painful times, life is complicated. My emotions were struggling as we got closer to the end when an event shook me as well as the characters to their core.

I know over the years this book has received mixed reviews and like I said it is not a quick read. Depending on your age you may relate differently to each of the characters. I believe I read this book at the right time for me. It touched me and made me think about my own life. It is a book that will stick with me. I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Kate Jacobs is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Friday Night Knitting Club, Knit Two, Knit the Season, and Comfort Food. She telephones hundreds of book clubs each year to discuss her novels with readers and can be reached via her website at http://www.katejacobs.com.  Born in Canada, Kate now lives in Southern California with her husband Jon and their dog Baxter.



I am giving away my hardcover copy! 
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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 January 2, 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 182019
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so excited to welcome Krista Davis
back to Escape With Dollycas today!

Krista DavisIs Your Dog Training You?
by Krista Davis
(Provided by Publicist)

 

There’s so much emphasis on training our dogs. And for good reason. We need their cooperation for their own safety. So I was fascinated when I heard that speech pathologist Christina Hunger flipped things around and set up a talking-board for her dog to speak with her!  He steps on buttons to communicate with her.

That started me thinking about how much our cats and dogs train us. While we’re busy teaching them “sit” and “stay,” our dogs are giving us cues, too. My dog, Baron, leads me to the location of the treat he wants. He knows they’re in different cupboards. If I follow him, he will stop and stare at the cabinet or drawer where the desired treats are stashed. He doesn’t let me forget, either. He knows he gets to clean his teeth after dinner. He doesn’t care how comfy I might have gotten on the couch. He must have his brushing chew!

And my cat, Sunny, learned to bang her empty food dish on the counter when she’s hungry.  Naturally, the sound gets an immediate reaction from me because I don’t want anything to crash to the floor. She’s feeling pretty good about teaching me that little trick.

The animals in Wagtail, where the Paws & Claws Mysteries are set, aren’t always perfectly behaved by human standards. When Jack Russell Terrier, Trixie, gets a whiff of a corpse, there’s no stopping her. She’s off to locate it. I read once that Bassett Hounds often get lost because they follow scents with their noses and when they finally look up, they’re not sure where they are! Trixie is like that when she’s on the trail of a deadly smell. No amount of calling or coaxing can drag her away from tracking down a corpse.

In The Dog Who Knew Too Much Trixie has company. America’s favorite dog is taking a much-deserved vacation in Wagtail. He’s thrilled to be hanging out with other dogs instead of making commercials and quickly becomes friends with Trixie. There’s trouble afoot, though, as dogs go missing. Only one dog knows too much and is able to put the right scents together, exposing the killer.

What has your dog or cat trained you to do?

~Krista

Thank you, Krista, for visiting today!

Keep reading for my thoughts about The Dog Who Knew Too Much

 


The Dog Who Knew Too Much (A Paws & Claws Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Virginia
Publisher: Berkley (November 26, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0451491688
ISBN-13: 978-0451491688
Kindle ASIN: B07GD32C7T

When a famous pooch comes to Wagtail for some downtime, inn owner Holly Miller learns that murder never rests in this all-new Paws & Claws mystery in the New York Times bestselling series.

America’s favorite dog comes to pet-friendly Wagtail for some rest and relaxation, but Holly quickly discovers that this perfect pup is a total scamp who takes every opportunity to run off and misbehave. During an outdoor treasure-hunting game, the star dog and Trixie, Holly’s beloved Jack Russell terrier, stumble across a dead body.

Holly has more than murder to worry about, though, when a man shows up after reading an article featuring Trixie in a magazine and claims that he is the dog’s rightful owner. Holly will need to prove that she is her pup’s only parent and catch a killer to restore peace to her pet-loving happy place.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

After a brief hiatus Holly, Oma Liesel, Zelda, Mr. Huckle, Gingersnap, Twinkletoes, and Trixie are back and I am thrilled!

Wagtail welcomes America’s favorite dog, Pippin, his co-stars, and entourage for a bit of a vacation before they start filming. The community has set up a treasure hunting game as an event for people to meet the star of the show but Trixie’s nose has other ideas. Yup, she has found another dead body and the death may be linked to the town’s newest visitors.

The town is also up in arms as dogs disappearing, two so far. Plus a man claiming to be Trixie’s rightful owner tries to take the dog away from Holly.

It is all paws on deck as Holly tries to find the missing pups and a killer before Wagtail is no longer safe for man, woman, or their lovable beasts.

The entire concept of Wagtail is absolutely delightful. Imagine an entire town dedicated to serving pets and their people. When you go on vacation leaving your pets in a kennel or with friends checking in on them can be heartbreaking for everyone. Wagtail is the perfect locale for all.

Krista Davis has created such wonderful characters, both humans and their pets. They are all well-developed and practically leap off the page. I have to say all of the dogs quickly worked their way into my heart. Twinkletoes too in her own standoffish way.  The core set of characters continues to grow and we learn a few secrets along the way. The new characters this time were a quirky group with some secrets of their own.

One dog, Stella loses her person and everyone looks out for her. Even the dogs. I loved the way the author dealt with her feelings throughout the entire story. At first, it brought a tear to my eye, but soon my heart was warmed by all the love and care Stella received.

In addition to the great world-building of Wagtail and its residents and visitors, Ms. Davis gives readers a marvelous mystery to sink our teeth into. All the subplots blend in seamlessly with the mystery plot. The author sets a fast but comfortable pace.  Clues are dropped amongst several twists to keep our tails wagging as we are in hot pursuit to solve the mystery. The murder’s weapon of choice was interesting and scary, something you would never think would be found in the small town of Wagtail, but it shines a light on a real problem in the world today. So much happens within the pages of this book I was impressed with the way everything came together in the end.

I really didn’t want this story to end though. I love hanging out with these characters and I truly wish Wagtail was a real place to visit. I would pack my bags and move there as soon as possible. I hope we get to visit again soon.

The Dog Who Knew Too Much is an entertaining and heartwarming story full of wonderful characters set in an idyllic place for pet lovers far and wide. I highly recommend the entire Paws & Claws Mystery Series! Check out all the covers, they are adorable.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About The Author 

New York Times Bestselling author Krista Davis writes the Paws and Claws Mysteries set on fictional Wagtail Mountain, a resort where people vacation with their pets. The first book in the series is the New York Times Bestselling Murder, She Barked. Krista also writes the Domestic Diva Mysteries and the Pen & Ink Mysteries. Like her characters, Krista has a soft spot for cats, dogs, and sweets. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with dogs, cats, and a hidden stash of chocolate.

You can read more about Trixie in THE DOG WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, the sixth book in the “Paws and Claws” mystery series, published by Berkley.

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Mystery Lovers Kitchen    Twitter    Killer Characters



Coming April 28, 2020

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

Sign Up for Krista’s Newsletter for 5 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 January 2, 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 092019
 

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

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.


PRINT ONLY 2020 READING CHALLENGE
Hosted by As Told By Tina

It seems I am reading less and less print books each year so I am signing up at the 40-49 – Expert Status level.

You can sign up here. 

Guidelines

  • The Challenge begins January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020
  • All Books read for this challenge MUST BE PHYSICAL BOOKS (paperbacks, hardbacks, picture books)
  • All genres count and re-reading and crossovers are encouraged!
  • Books can be any length.

How To Join

  • Post your intention to join the challenge! A blog post, an instagram picture, a tweet, youtube video, or goodreads shelf will do. It’s whatever works for you.
  • You do not need to be a blogger to join. But I’d love for you to help me spread the word about the challenge.
  • If you are a blogger, I’d love for you to make a sign up post (it doesn’t have to be one whole post dedicated to the challenge, you can include other challenges you are joining) just make sure to link back to the sign up.

Official Challenge Tags #PrintOnly2020

Dates To Remember

In 2019, I had posted monthly link ups for Print Only, however, I found that was way too time consuming. So this year, I decided to do quarterly updates. The link ups will open on the first and close on the last day of the month.

January – March Quarterly Link Up
April – June Quarterly Link Up
July – September Quarterly Link Up
October – December Quarterly Link Up
Readathon News

This year, I decided to add a readathon to For The Love Of Ebooks! The first For The Love of Ebooks readathon will be July 26- August 1. You can follow us on twitter here for all announcements.

Details for the readathon will be released on June 1st.

I decided to add a bingo card to the challenge. THIS IS OPTIONAL! But I divided it up by the four quarters to go with the quarterly link ups. So you have from the first of the month till the last day of the quarter to complete the card, if you decide to do the bingo option.

First Quarter Bingo
Second Quarter Bingo
Third Quarter Bingo
Fourth Quarter Bingo
Levels

The goal of Print Only is to challenge yourself, so I’d love for you to pick a level. You are NOT locked into the goal, you can move up and down as you need. I totally understand that life happens and sometimes you just need to scale back.


1-9 – Rookie Status
10-19 – Semi Pro Status
20-29 – Pro Status
30-39 – Veteran Status
40-49 – Expert Status
50-59 – Master Status
60+ Legend Status
Announce Your Intentions

If you’d like to use the following tweets or images to announce that you are joining the challenge, please feel free to do so.


2020 FINISHING THE SERIES READING CHALLENGE
Hosted by Celebrity Readers

This series gives me the push I need and help me clear my TBR stacks. I am again signing up at the B-LIST SERIES FINISHER ⇒ COMPLETE 5-8 SERIES. 

Sign Up Here!

We’re back for another year!!  This challenge is focused on finally finishing those series that you’ve started but not yet completed.  It was previously hosted by Bea’s Book Nook, but we’ve been hosting it since 2018.

January to March Link-Up
April to June Link-Up
July to September Link-Up
October to December Link-Up

Guidelines:

While we’re pretty lax about how you wish to set up this challenge for yourself, we do have a few guidelines to follow.

  • The challenge will run from January 1st, 2020 to December 31st, 2020.  Books must be read during this time frame to count.  Sign up is open from now until December 1st, 2020, so you may join even just for the last month of the year.
  • Series can be already completed as well as still ongoing.  For ongoing series, the goal is to catch up to the most recent book published by the end of 2020.
  • We don’t care if you have only 1 book or 10 books to read in order to finish your series, as long as you’ve started the series before 2020 (ie read at least one book in the series), it counts.  Re-reads are not required.
  • Any format and length of book counts – print, ebook, audio, ARC, etc.
  • Series can be any length (even if it’s just a Duet).
  • Crossovers from other challenges are totally acceptable!
  • Reviews are not required but highly encouraged.

How to Play:

  • Declare your intentions to participate in this challenge somewhere on the internet!!  You do not need to be a blogger to participate, there are many ways to declare.  You could write a blog post, create a reading challenge page, create a Goodreads shelf containing series you hope to finish, post about it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
  • Some things you could include (but that aren’t required):
    • A link to this page so that others may find us and join the fun as well (feel free to download the button at the top to use in your posts).
    • A list of series you hope to read for this challenge.  You could even get fancy and list the length of the series, or the books you’ve already read, etc.
    • The level you are aiming for.
  • Sign up for the challenge using the link up below, and link directly to where you’ve declared your intentions (ie to the specific blog post, the goodreads shelf, the facebook post, etc).
  • We will be posting quarterly link ups for you to add links to your reviews or any wrap-up/overview posts you wish to share.
  • Go forth and READ!!  And have fun!!
  • Use the hashtag #FinishingTheSeries2020 on any social media to keep up with other participants!

The Reward:

Uh…your own sense of pride in achieving a goal?  Sorry folks, we’re not actually that motivated by prizes ourselves, so we’re just offering bragging rights.  But we can offer you some pretty graphics to either declare your goal or to use as a badge once achieved!

The Levels:

We offer you 3 different “Celebrity” levels of achievement for this reading challenge:

C-LIST SERIES FINISHER ⇒ COMPLETE 1-4 SERIES.

B-LIST SERIES FINISHER ⇒ COMPLETE 5-8 SERIES.

A-LIST SERIES FINISHER ⇒ COMPLETE 9+ SERIES.

Sign Up!

Cruisin’ Thru The Cozies Reading Challenge 2020
Hosted by Socrates’ Book Reviews…

Since I read a lot of Cozies I am signing up at the Level four (Sleuth Extraordinaire) Level.
You can Sign Up Here. 

Welcome to the tenth annual Cruisin’ thru the Cozies Reading Challenge! Once again, I’m giving challengers two options – one is to read only sub-genres and the other is to read cozy mysteries of your choice.

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

This year’s cozy mystery reading challenge has two ways to participate and you can choose whichever suits you the best:

A) Read only cozy mysteries of your choice.

Or

B) Read one book from these sub-genres:

  • One from culinary (anything dealing with food: restaurants, baked goods, etc.)
  • One from animal related (cats, dogs, birds, etc.)
  • One from craft related (any kind of hobbies – knitting, crocheting, scrapbooking, etc.)
  • One from paranormal (witches, vampires, etc.)
  • One from cozy mysteries based outside the US (example: Belinda Lawrence series (British))
  • One career-based cozy mystery (housekeeping, wedding planner, etc.)
  • One holiday based (set during any holiday – Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentines, etc.)
  • One travel mystery (character could be on a cruise, touring another area, etc.)
  • One historical mystery (any mystery not set in the present)
  • One is your choice! (freebie!)

Here are the levels you can join for either A or B…

Level one (Snoop) –
A) Read 10 cozy mysteries of your choice.
B) Read one book in each of the above cozy sub-genres (total of 10 books)

Level two (Investigator) –
A) Read 20 cozy mysteries of your choice.
B) Read all the books in level one plus an additional 10 cozy books of your choice (total of 20)

Level three (Super Sleuth) –
A) Read 30 cozy mysteries of your choice.
B) Read two books from each sub-genre in level one plus an additional 10 cozy books of your choice (total of 30 books)

Level four (Sleuth Extraordinaire) –
A)Read 40 cozy mysteries of your choice.
B)Read two books from each sub-genre in level one plus an additional 20 cozy books of your choice (total of 40 books)

Here are the rules…

  1. The challenge runs from January 1, 2020 and ends December 31, 2020.
  2. You don’t have to choose your books in advance. If you do, you can change your list at any time during the year. Books can overlap with other challenges.

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

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

NOTE: If you don’t have a blog and want to participate, that’s fine. You don’t have to have a blog, just post in the comments section as you finish books. If you belong to a site like Goodreads and review the books there, that’s fine too. Just leave us the link. I also have a group for this challenge on Goodreads and you can sign up here.

  1. If you do have a blog, take the button above, put it on your blog and post about the challenge. Then add your name to Mr. Linky. Please use the link of your challenge post, not the link to your home page.
  • I’m going to have one link for signing up, one link for completed reviews and one link for your wrap up posts. I won’t be having a monthly link, just one for all reviews read for this challenge.


  • What’s in a Name 2020 Challenge
    Hosted by Carolina Book Nook

    This is a challenge that always tests me.
    You can sign up here.

    Welcome to the 13th annual What’s in a Name challenge! In years past, this challenge was hosted by Charlie at The Worm Hole. I took over for 2019 and I’m excited to host again this year!

    The challenge runs from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020. You can sign up any time, but only count books that you read between those dates.

    Read a book in any format (hard copy, ebook, audio) with a title that fits into each category.

    Don’t use the same book for more than one category.

    Creativity for matching the categories is not only allowed, it’s encouraged!

    You can choose your books as you go or make a list ahead of time.

    Sign up using the Mr Linky with a link to your WIAN challenge page/post, not your main blog URL. Feel free to save and use the graphic at the top of the page! Also, link back to this sign up page in your challenge post so others can join too.

    The categories below are links to each category sign up link.  Add your book review for each category so we can see what you’ve read and discover ideas as needed.

    Here are the categories for 2020:

    Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions!  Thanks and happy reading!

    This is just part two of my planned challenges. I will post more soon. 

    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 062019
     


    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 Batter of Life and Death: A Bakeshop Mystery
    Cozy Mystery
    2nd in Series
    Setting – Oregon
    Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (June 30, 2015)
    Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
    ISBN-10: 1250054249
    ISBN-13: 978-1250054241
    Kindle ASIN: B00QQ1GKRE

    Welcome to Torte-a small-town family bakeshop where the coffee is hot, the muffins are fresh, and the cakes are definitely to die for…

    It’s autumn in Ashland, Oregon-’tis the season for a spiced hot apple cider with a serving (or two) of Torte’s famous peach cobbler. It’s also the perfect time for Jules Capshaw to promote her family’s beloved bake shop by competing in The Pastry Channel’s reality show, Take the Cake. The prize is $25,000. But as Jules quickly learns, some people would kill for that kind of dough. Literally.

    Then, just as Jules dusts off her Bavarian Chocolate Cake recipe and cinches up her apron, the corpse of a fellow contestant is discovered-death by buttercream. What began as a fun, tasteful televised adventure has morphed into something of a true-crime detective show for Jules and everybody else on set. Who could have killed Chef Marco, and why? Can Jules sift out the killer before someone else gets burned?

    Dollycas’s Thoughts 

    Can Jules Capshaw Take the Cake? The Pastry Channel’s show has come to Ashland, Oregon and she is representing the family’s bakeshop, Torte, as a contestant against four other pastry chefs. Her family sure could use the $25000 prize to continue their improvements to their business.

    Jules has baked a Bavarian Chocolate Cake for the day’s challenge but when she arrives on the set she finds one of the competing chefs dead. The powers that be commit to continuing the show as soon as the police release the set, but Jules wants to know – Who killed the chef? Are the rest of the chefs in danger? and most importantly – Is one of the chefs the killer? She starts doing a little snooping on her own to find answers before another chef gets frosted.

    ___

    Ms. Alexander’s characters are so likable. Jules, her mom, their employees, Thomas, the Professor, and more all make me wish I could visit Torte and meet them all. All are genuine and believable. They are joined this time by a group of pastry chefs that are diverse in their specialties along with the small crew from The Pastry Channel who each have something to prove. All these new visitors are viable suspects and seem to have secrets. I liked that some of the chefs ended using Torte’s kitchen to create their show entries. It allowed both Jules and us readers to get to know them better. It also made clear how patient  Jules and mom, Helen could be with strangers in their kitchen. They also handled a little strife between two employees with time and patience.

    Readers are treated to a little romance too, as relationships evolve through normal everyday life. Jules is still trying to sort things through will Carlos as the clock ticks down on their break.

    I love watching shows like Take the Cake so I was thrilled with this theme. The author created a marvelous whodunit around that theme giving Jules plenty of opportunity to sift through the clues and follow them as need be. Several twists spin to keep everyone guessing. With Helen and Jules’ tight connection to the chief of police, aka, The Professor and Detective-In-Training, Thomas, they keep them informed in everything they find and don’t hesitate to call for help when needed. I like that.

    I can’t forget to mention the food. Most of the luscious pastries and desserts. I say most because there are a couple that clearly were not baked by the chef that presented them. Daily life at the bakeshop also adds more delightful treats and morning breakfast ideas. The schedule and the workings of the shop are also interesting. The realistic fact it is a hard business on a tight budget is also appreciated and grounds the whole series in reality.

    Awesome characters, a fantastic setting, and a wonderful mystery all make A Batter of Life and Death a delectable cozy mystery and A Perfect Escape. The sample taste of On Thin Icing included at the end of the story has whet my appetite to read more of this series soon.

    Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

    You can read my review of Meet Your Baker here. 

    About the Author

    Ellie Alexander (aka Kate Dyer-Seeley), author of the Bakeshop Mystery Series (St. Martin’s Press), is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research.

    Author Links –  Facebook     Twitter      Instagram    GoodReads

    Written as Kate Dyer-Seeley

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

    Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

    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 December 20, 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

    *This book was from my personal collection. 

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    Dec 042019
     

    Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

    The new Coffeehouse Mystery is out and I am thrilled to give you my thoughts!

    Brewed Awakening (A Coffeehouse Mystery)
    by Cleo Coyle

    About Brewed Awakening


    Brewed Awakening (A Coffeehouse Mystery)
    Cozy Mystery
    18th in Series
    Berkley (December 3, 2019)
    Hardcover: 368 pages
    ISBN-10: 0451488873
    ISBN-13: 978-0451488879
    Digital ASIN: B07GQHK51D

    From Cleo Coyle, the New York Times bestselling author of Shot in the Dark and Dead Cold Brew, comes a delicious new entry in the “fun and gripping” (The Huffington Post) Coffeehouse Mysteries.

    When coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi awakens on a bench in Washington Square Park, she has no idea she’s been missing for the past week, or that her friends and family have been frantic with worry. Now that she’s back, everyone is overjoyed, including a handsome NYPD detective who claims to be her fiancé. But to Mike Quinn’s crushing distress, Clare doesn’t remember him, or much of anything about the last decade of her life.

    Clare’s missing memory is tied to a crime she witnessed. An acquaintance of Clare’s elegant employer–and fellow member of an exclusive Gotham circle known as “The Ladies Who Brunch”–invited Clare to her posh hotel to sample gourmet wedding cakes. The pair took a stroll after their indulgent tasting and, according to security camera footage, a masked figure snatched the hotel heiress at gunpoint with Clare looking on. Did the kidnapper take Clare, too? The camera went dark, just like Clare’s memory. Soon authorities grow suspicious. Is Clare really a victim? Or merely acting like one? Evidence is mounting that she set the woman up.

    To clear her name, Clare must find a way to reclaim her memories and rescue the heiress before this high-stakes crime ends in tragedy. Otherwise, instead of walking down the aisle, Clare may find herself perp-walking to prison as an accomplice to kidnapping and murder.

    Dollycas’s Thoughts 

    This time Cleo Coyle turns things inside out when our protagonist becomes the victim. Clare Cosi has been missing for a week when she wakes up on a bench in Washington Square Park, disoriented and scared, she wanders the area finally finding the Village Blend coffeehouse. Her friends, family, and employees are all thrilled to have her back but realize she has no memory of several years. She thinks her daughter is still a youngster waiting for her to come home. That her divorce was recent and the anger at her ex, Matt, is still vivid. But worst of all she has no memory of Mike Quinn, the man who loves her so much. A man she was ready to marry.

    Everyone believes her memory loss is due to a tragic event. She had been meeting with hotel heiress/owner, Annette Brewster, to taste wedding cakes. After the tasting, both women disappeared. While now Clare has been found, Annette is still missing. Evidence shows Clare may have been in on a kidnapping. Without her memory, she has no way to clear her name. She is willing to do anything to get her memory and her life back even working with her ex, who she really hates at the moment.

    ___

    Never deny the power of coffee!

    Cleo Coyle has brewed up a truly stellar story. Over the course of this series, fans have come to love these characters. Putting the star in peril really perks up all of our antennas. We are rooting for her more than we ever have.

    What I loved is that she hasn’t lost her love of coffee and her talent of discerning every bit of its flavor profile. She also hasn’t lost her sleuthing ability and the need to find the truth.   Not sure who she can really trust she is tentative at first. But she knows she not only needs to recover her memory for herself but there is another woman out there that needs to be found.

    The author has given readers a mystery that is impossible to put down. There is action and suspense with the requisite humor required by the genre. I was totally captivated by Clare’s memory loss and the treatment it received within these pages. There are plenty of twists and surprises as the clues started to fall into place, including an old case that is not what it seemed to be.

    While the Village Blend is an excellent backdrop for a mystery I liked that this time the mystery and keeping Clare safe took us on quite a journey, New York, New Jersey, and for one character farther up the coast. We also get to visit a grand home. Oh my word, it sounded like quite a place.

    I absolutely love this series and these characters. Each new book becomes my new favorite. This time Cleo Coyle has really topped herself. This story is derived from the research of true amnesia cases. It felt fresh and new and was explored in a caring way while twisting it into a fascinating mystery. All the cozy touches expected were there including all the coffee and food descriptions fans of the series have come to expect.

    Well-plotted, well-written, with wonderful characters, Brewed Awakening is truly one of the best books I have read this year. I started it late on Thanksgiving Eve and was only able to read a few chapters. Thankfully 🙂 with Thanksgiving the next day and Mr. Dollycas in charge of the meal, I was able to get right back to it and finish it up before our dinner was served.

    Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

    About Cleo Coyle

    CLEO COYLE is the pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini.  CLEO COYLE grew up in a small town near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After earning scholarships to study writing at Carnegie Mellon and American Universities, she began her career as a cub reporter for The New York Times. Now an author of popular fiction and New York Times bestselling media tie-in writer, Cleo lives and works in New York City, where she collaborates with her husband (also a bestselling author) to pen the Coffeehouse Mysteries for Penguin. Together Cleo and her husband also write the Haunted Bookshop Mysteries under the name Alice Kimberly. When not haunting coffeehouses, hunting ghosts, or rescuing stray cats, Cleo and Marc are bestselling media tie-in writers who have penned properties for NBC, Lucasfilm, Disney, Fox, Imagine, and MGM. In their spare time, they cook like crazy and drink a lot of java. You can learn more about Cleo, her husband, and the books they write by visiting www.CoffeehouseMystery.com.

    You can also friend or follow Cleo on Facebook as well as Twitter and Pinterest

    Purchase Links

    Amazon     B&N     Kobo   Google Play  IndieBound

    Click on covers for more book information or to order from Amazon.

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    TOUR PARTICIPANTS
    December 2 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
    December 2 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT 
    December 3 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
    December 3 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
    December 4 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
    December 4 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
    December 5 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT
    December 5 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW  
    December 6 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW  
    December 7 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT
    December 8 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
    December 8 – This Is My Truth Now – SPOTLIGHT
    December 9 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT
    December 10 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
    December 10 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
    December 11 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
    December 11 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW
    December 12 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
    December 12 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
    December 13 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
    December 14 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
    December 15 – Ruff Drafts – REVIEW

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

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    Nov 272019
     

    Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

    I am excited to feature Potions are for Pushovers today!


    Potions Are for Pushovers (An Eleanor Wilde Mystery)
    Paranormal Cozy Mystery
    2nd in Series
    Setting – England
    Publisher: Kensington (November 26, 2019)
    Hardcover: 288 pages
    ISBN-10: 1496719638
    ISBN-13: 978-1496719638
    Kindle ASIN: B07PCHV2KP

    It may have been a ghost that led Eleanor Wilde to set up shop in a quaint English village. But now that she’s established herself as the town witch, Ellie’s contentedly casting spells on anyone desperate enough—or gullible enough—to request her mysterious potions…

    Selling mystical elixirs and tantalizing tonics is a pretty good way for a fake medium to earn a living. Or at least it’s Ellie’s main source of income—until a villager turns up dead. The cause? Murder by poisoning. And though Ellie’s concoctions don’t include anything worthy of a skull and crossbones, suddenly she’s the prime suspect. Her only recourse is to find the culprit who did do away with Sarah Blackthorne. No one liked the mean old battle-axe. But did anyone hate her enough to kill her?

    It’s enough of a mystery to make Ellie hang up her witch’s hat and take millionaire beau Nicholas Hartford up on his offer to keep her afloat. Except Ellie is not the kind of woman to lean on a man—least of all a man she adores but whose place in her life is uncertain. Besides, Ellie’s taken on two young witches-in-training—apprentices if you will—and both of them are convinced a werewolf is the murderer.

    Just as Ellie’s wondering if there really is something otherworldly going on, animals suddenly begin to disappear—including her beloved cat, Beast. Now Ellie’s on the warpath to uncover the wicked truth about the people and the place she’s only just begun to call home…

    Dollycas’s Thoughts

    Werewolves aren’t my thing at all, in fact I have turned down books for review as soon as I saw them mentioned in the synopsis or stopped reading books where they have appeared unannounced but after reading the first book in this series Seances Are For Suckers and loving it I trusted author Tamara Berry to keep things cozy and intriguing without ruffling my feathers. I can report that while I did learn some werewolf lore I was right.

    Eleanor Wilde has set up her business in a mistress cottage on the Hartford family estate and become quite close with Nicholas Hartford III after using her “powers” to clear “ghosts” out of the Hartford castle. He knows she is a fake and is fine with that. She has clients who believe in her and buy her potions and elixirs, but when Sarah Blackthorne is poisoned she loses what clientele she did have and also becomes the number one suspect.

    New in town she didn’t know that basically everyone hated the woman that was killed which eases her mind as far as the authorities but overwhelms her as her suspect list includes almost everyone she knows. She also finds herself with two young apprentices who due to another death and some missing animals including Ellie’s cat, Beast, believe a werewolf is responsible for the deaths. Ellie even starts to buy into their theory.

    ____

    I really like Ellie and the way she finds her way in this community of characters as the story continues. She has her issues like a leaky roof and the responsibility for her apprentices all while she tries to investigate a murder. I really appreciated that Ellie’s sister Winnie is still a very important part of her life. I also enjoyed the way her relationship with Nichols is progressing. We have learned quite a bit about our protagonist but Nicholas is still mostly a mystery himself.

    The plot of this mystery is complex and filled with twists and turns and a very hairy individual. The death of a neighbor’s animal was a little gory but was critical to the progression of the story. I enjoyed that the young girls played key roles in solving part of the mystery and that she got a little help from an unusual source.  I was caught off guard when the actual killer was revealed. A person completely off my radar. I should have realized after reading the first book to expect the unexpected. Ms. Berry has proven to be excellent at keeping this reader captivated by the story and totally surprising me at the end.

    Potions Are for Pushovers is a great addition to what I hope is a long-running series. It is very well-written and the cast of characters continues to grow and evolve. The drama is balanced by humor in all the right places and the romance is still a minor point at this point. I am really excited to see what the author has in store next. Please, no vampires 🙂

    This story can be read on its own but recommend reading both books in order for maximum enjoyment.

    Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

    You can read my review of Seances are for Suckers here.

     

    About the Author
    Tamara Berry is a part-time author and part-time freelance writer/editor. She has a B.A. in English Literature from Eastern Washington University. In addition to books, she has mad love for all things TV, movies, and pop culture. Visit her at www.tamaraberry.comFacebook – Twitter

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

    Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

    Click Here For Entry Form

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

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