Posted in Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2016 What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Linda Reilly – Author of Out of the Dying Pan – #Giveaway too!

cozy wednesday 2013 640
Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am excited to have Linda Reilly visit today!

linda reillyGuest Post by Linda Reilly
(Provided by publicist)

One of the things I love to do is to poke around at a crafts fair. Whether it’s to snag a hand-made gift for the holiday, buy a whimsical pin, or pick up an herb packet from which to make a tasty dip, I find that spending an hour or so at a local crafts event really sparks my creative side.

out of the dying panOut of the Dying Pan, the second book in the Deep Fried mystery series, gave me the perfect opportunity to feature a crafts fair of sorts. Talia Marby, the newly-minted owner of Fry Me a Sliver, has volunteered to sell squares of deep-fried marble cake drizzled with raspberry sauce at the Town of Wrensdale’s annual fundraiser. Armed with a portable deep fryer, she sets up shop in a corner of the community center’s gymnasium, right next to a vintage accessories booth. While the delectable scent of Talia’s deep-fried cakes fills the air, unfriendly vibes drift over from the adjoining booth. Talia can’t imagine why Ria, the woman selling the vintage items, keeps throwing hateful looks at her. Talia doesn’t even know the woman! Then Talia spies a familiar scarf on one of Ria’s displays—it was the very scarf Talia had knitted for her nana eons ago. But how did Ria get her nana’s scarf? Talia tries to buy it, but is soundly snubbed. When Talia later stumbles upon Ria’s body, the scarf knotted around Ria’s slender neck, she catapults to the top of the suspect list. She later learns that the scarf was stained with telltale raspberry sauce . . .

I’m happy to report that I’ve never tripped over a body at a crafts fair. This past December I attended a huge crafts event that had all my favorites – glassware, pottery, baked goods (can’t go without those), and yes . . . knitted scarves. At one booth, a woman was selling gorgeous greeting cards. One set of cards in particular depicted forest animals lining up to visit an adorable Santa figure. It gave me an idea. I purchased the cards, which were blank inside. On my computer, I typed my own holiday greeting in red ink and printed out a bunch of them. Using a tiny paper cutter, I trimmed my holiday message to fit inside each card. A swipe across the top with a glue stick ensured that it would stay in place. What I loved about creating my own holiday message was that I could change the greeting, or even the font, to suit the recipient. Not only was this a fun project, but it gave me a way to personalize each of my cards.

So tell me, are you crafty? Have you ever set up a table at a crafts fair? I love hearing about readers’ creative pursuits!

~Linda

Thank you so much for stopping by today Linda!! 

You can find out all about Linda Reilly on her Webpage here. Find her on Facebook and GoodReads too!  


out of the dying pan

Out of the Dying Pan: A Deep Fried Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (March 1, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Cover Illustration by Dan Craig
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425274149
ASIN: B00Z8VT87W
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

 

For Talia Marby, the sweet smell of success is a lot like the pungent aroma of fried fish and vinegar. Her new business, Fry Me a Sliver, is rapidly expanding beyond fish and chips to become one of the best eateries in the Berkshires. But the nasty owner of a neighboring boutique is making a stink, baiting Talia in a very public fight at a community center fundraiser and nursing an inexplicable grudge.

When the boutique owner is found strangled with Talia’s scarf knotted around her neck, our favorite fish fryer finds herself in hot oil. Needing to clear her name, and fast, Talia’s investigation soon yields some shocking surprises as well as a sizzling suspicion: someone had good reason to want the victim dead—and it’s frying Talia’s nerves…

Includes delicious recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I read and reviewed the first book in this series, Fillet of Murder earlier this month, and loved it. This one grabbed me that same way.

Taila Marby now owns the restaurant and it has a new name, Fry Me a Sliver. She also has a new, employee, Martha Hoelscher, and she is a bit prickly to be around, but she is a good worker.  Lucas is still there as part time help and his skateboard goes almost everywhere he does.  Talia is working to make the place her own and adding some new items to the menu. She takes part in a fundraiser for the community center and debuts something new. It is a hit with almost everyone. Everyone except the vendor in the next booth. She owns a new boutique in the Wrensdale Arcade and she doesn’t like Talia or her food. By the time Talia starts to figure out why, the woman is dead and Talia is the primary suspect. How is she going to get herself out of this mess?

I liked that this time the murder takes place away from the Wrensdale Arcade and that meant we met several new people. Some nice, some a little weird, and a some that could be trouble. We do spend plenty of time at the Arcade with the cobblestone walks, unique shops and Talia’s eatery. Reilly really describes the scene well. I had a firm picture in my mind.

She also creates full bodied characters with a lot of depth. Some of the back stories are sad and my heart really felt bad for them. But not everyone is who they seem and those twists were so great. I would probably say one really shocked me. Totally surprised.

I was missing Bea, the previous owner of the restaurant. I was thrilled when she made a cameo appearance!

I have to mention that kitty on the cover, his name is Bojangles, Bo for short and he has not only captured Talia’s heart but mine too.

You will be craving fish and other fried goodies throughout this entire story so prepare according, We had fish for dinner. 🙂

Another delectable delight from this author. I am ready to place my order for the next installment today. FRY ME!!!

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

This year I am trying to build my Twitter following so for this giveaway 4 Bonus Entries will be awarded by following me on Twitter. @dollycas

Leave a comment for Linda 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 April 13, 2016 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.”

Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Reviews 2016 What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review/ #Giveaway – Crime and Poetry by Amanda Flower

crime and poetry
Crime and Poetry:
A Magical Bookshop Mystery
New Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – New York
An Obsidian Mystery (April 5, 2016)
Published by New American Library
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451477446
E-Book – ASIN: B011IVP9SM
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

From Amanda Flower—who writes the national bestselling Amish Quilt Shop Mysteries as Isabella Alan—comes the first in the new Magical Bookshop Mystery series.

Rushing home to sit by her ailing grandmother’s bedside, Violet Waverly is shocked to find Grandma Daisy the picture of perfect health. Violet doesn’t need to read between the lines: her grandma wants Violet back home and working in her magical store, Charming Books. It’s where the perfect book tends to fly off the shelf and pick you…

Violet has every intention to hightail it back to Chicago, but then a dead man is discovered clutching a volume of Emily Dickinson’s poems from Grandma Daisy’s shop. The victim is Benedict Raisin, who recently put Grandma Daisy in his will, making her a prime suspect. Now, with the help of a tuxedo cat named Emerson, Violet will have to find a killer to keep Grandma from getting booked for good…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

As a fan of Amanda Flower’s other series I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book. As she didn’t disappoint! I devoured this book!

Violet Waverly is working on her doctorate in literature in Chicago when her Grandma Daisy asks her to come back to Cascade Springs, near Niagara Falls. She tells her the doctor said she didn’t have much time. Violet rushes home but her grandmother wasn’t sick. She has another secret she has to tell. Violet isn’t happy but before she can get out of town a man is found dead on Grandma Daisy’s property and the police think her grandmother may have killed him. Violet will do anything to keep her grandmother out of jail so she has to stick around to find the real killer..

Amanda Flower has written a fantastic story set in a beautiful place. I enjoyed the way she brings history into this story. The town of Cascade Springs has a history, so does Violet’s family and so does Violet.

I liked that the story never seemed rushed or got bogged down at all. There was the perfect amount of cozy suspense and the story unfolded very comfortably.

Yes, as implied, the bookstore is magical and it and its contents become a character all their own. Of course, we have several human characters, in addition to Violet and her grandmother, there is a writing group that meets at the bookstore, Violet’s high school boyfriend, now the mayor, and his brother. We also meet two non-human characters – a wonderful tuxedo cat named Emerson and a talking crow named Faulkner.   The author does a fantastic job introducing us to these and other area residents.

The magical part of this mystery was subtle at first and grew just the right about. We learn about it right along with Violet and she is not only smart but skeptical about how it works and has a lot to learn. So do we, I think there is so much more to come.

Her grandmother has a unique idea on how to solve the crime but Violet uses old fashioned footwork and questioning suspects in her investigation much to the dismay of a certain very handsome sheriff. I must say here, handsome men are not in short supply in Cascade Springs.

The little mini trip to see the falls was great. I hope someday I get to see them up close in personal.

This is an excellent start to this series. I want the next book book right now! December, seriously….o.k… I will make do 🙂

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can check out Amanda Flower’s webpage for more information about her and her books here.

Prose and Cons: A Magical Bookshop Mystery – Coming in December.




Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series (writing as Isabella Alan)

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

This year I am trying to build my Twitter following so for this giveaway 4 Bonus Entries will be awarded by following me on Twitter. @dollycas

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 April 12, 2016 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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Posted in Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2016 What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Kristi Abbott – Author of Kernel of Truth – #Giveaway too!

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so happy to have Kristi Abbott visit with us today!

kristi abbott from FBGuest Post by Kristi Abbott
(Post provided by publicist)

When my editor at Berkley first talked to me about writing the Popcorn Shop Mystery series, I was thrilled. I developed a thing for Garrett’s Caramel Cashew Popcorn when I lived in Chicago about a bazillion years ago. That stuff was like crack. One taste and I could not stop. Writing about a gourmet popcorn shop felt like a totally natural fit. Besides, who doesn’t like popcorn?

kernel of truthSome books are just easier to write than others. They flow easier. The words bring you more joy. The plot naturally evolves in a way that’s both inevitable and surprising. It’s kind of like having an easy baby. You’re never sure what special alchemy occurred to have a book that is a joy to sit down to every day any more than you really know what made that kid sleep through the night at six months. Kernel of Truth was one of those good-sleeping babies.

So far so great. Delicious popcorn. A book that’s flowing from my fingers into my laptop via my keyboard (an external one since I sort of accidentally poured ice water on my computer, but that’s another story). My editor sent the back cover copy. It was, in a word, adorable. Things were bursting. Problems were being resolved in a jiffy. Suspects were popping up. And recipes were included!

I wrote to my editor telling her how much I loved the copy and asking who worked up the recipes. She wrote back that she was pretty sure we’d talked about that way back when we were discussing the contract and I was supposed to be coming up with recipes. Once she said that, it did ring a bell. Thanks tons, middle-aged brain.

Cue panic mode. In the book, Rebecca had developed all kinds of special popcorn products like popcorn breakfast bars and popcorn fudge. Everyone loves them. Now I had to make them a reality. Really?

To say my first attempts were less than stellar is a bit of an understatement. My breakfast bars were more oozy breakfast lumps. The popcorn fudge wasn’t bad. I mean, how far wrong can you go with sweet and salty together? Not far in my book or in my life. Still, the chocolate was a little too stiff and the popcorn got a tiny bit soggy.

Enter my good friend and amazing author, the lovely Spring Warren who is not only a good cook, but understands the science of how food works. There was a bad moment when she asked me what I was using to hold the breakfast bars together and nearly choked when I told her marshmallow crème. Apparently, marshmallow crème is not considered to be a healthy part of a balanced breakfast. Who knew?

Spring, being the fabulous friend that she is, spent about four hours in my kitchen one afternoon and by the end of it, I had the recipes for Kernel of Truth. They were edible and replicable. I even shipped some off to my kids in care packages. Of course, twenty-year-old boys will eat pretty much anything, but they were still well-received.

I have at least two more popcorn books to write. That means I need somewhere between six and ten new recipes. Anybody have any favorite popcorn recipes they want to share? You’ll totally get a shout out in the acknowledgments of the next book if I use them!

~Kristi

You can find out more about Kristi on her webpage here. Like her on Facebook.  Follow her on Twitter.  Contact her here with recipes 🙂

kernel of truth

Kernel of Truth:
A Popcorn Shop Mystery
Brand New Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Ohio
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (March 1, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Cover Illustration by Catherine Deeter
Cover Design by Sarah Oberrender
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425280911
E-Book ASIN: B00Z8VTL7O
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

 

An all-new Popcorn Shop Mystery bursts on the scene, featuring gourmet popcorn entrepreneur Rebecca Anderson and her poodle Sprocket.

Opening a gourmet popcorn shop was never on Rebecca Anderson’s bucket list. But after a failed marriage to a celebrity chef, she’s ready for her life to open up and expand. She has returned to her hometown of Grand Lake, Ohio, with her popcorn-loving poodle Sprocket to start a new business—naturally called POPS. As a delicious bonus, Cordelia “Coco” Bittles, a close family friend who has always been like a grandmother to Rebecca, owns the chocolate shop next door, and the two are thinking of combining their businesses.

But when Coco’s niece, Alice, discovers her on the floor of her chocolate shop, those dreams go up in smoke. The local sheriff thinks Coco was the victim of a robbery gone wrong, but Rebecca isn’t so sure. As suspects start popping up all over, Rebecca is determined to turn up the heat and bring the killer to justice in a jiffy!
 
INCLUDES POPCORN RELATED RECIPES!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Warning – pop some popcorn before you start reading this story. You are going to want to be munching as you read.

POPS is the newest shop in Grand Lake, right next to Coco’s Cocoas. In fact Coco and Rebecca have found they work pretty well together and are planning a new venture. That is until Coco is found dead in her shop. Robbery gone wrong, Rebecca doesn’t think so. She starts popping up all over town trying to prove it was murder and will bag the killer herself if she has to.

What a great idea for a mystery series. A Popcorn Shop with a peppy protagonist and a poodle named Sprocket, yes a poodle.

Kristi Abbott is off to a fantastic start. I was sad that our victim was Coco though, she seemed like a grand lady. Everyone loved her and her fudge, who would want her dead? Surprisingly there are plenty of suspects if Sheriff Cooper would open his eyes. He is Rebecca’s best friend and he is married to her sister, he can’t seriously think she had anything to do with the murder?

I liked all of these characters, Rebecca really pops off the page. She has escaped a bad marriage and is putting herself first for a change. I love the way she stands up to her ex. She has been friends with Dan forever and is thrilled he married her sister.  She lives on their property and they have dinner together often. It is hard when he has to keep the case confidential and Rebecca keeps butting in where she shouldn’t. This family dynamic pulls us right into the story.

The mystery is very believable too and well written. A little predictable but the “why” was something that was not what I thought at all. There were several twists that made me think maybe I was wrong along the way. There is a surprising secret revealed when Rebecca rushes into a situation that was so not what she thought at all that put me back on the main track.

The story has just the start of a romance and I was happy that it is starting slow. I think Rebecca needs some time for just herself.

Bottom line, this is a charming start to what I hope becomes a long running series. The theme is unique and the characters are fresh and I hope to pop in for another visit very soon.

enjoyable 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

This year I am trying to build my Twitter following so for this giveaway 4 Bonus Entries will be awarded by following me on Twitter. @dollycas

Leave a comment for Kristi 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 March 30, 2016 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.”

Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Reviews 2016 What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review/ #Giveaway – And Then There Were Nuns by Kylie Logan

and then there were nuns
And Then There Were Nuns: League of Literary Ladies
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Ohio
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (March 1, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Cover Illustration by Dan Craig
Cover Design by George Long
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425282953
E-Book ASIN: B00Z8VTAIO
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

The national bestselling author of The Legend of Sleepy Harlow returns to South Bass Island, where the League of Literary Ladies has to find out who’s killing off nuns.

B and B owner Bea Cartwright has taken on the responsibility of taking meals to ten visiting nuns, who are on retreat at the Water’s Edge Center for Spirit and Renewal on picturesque South Bass Island on Lake Erie. But the peace of the retreat is shattered when one of the nuns is found at the water’s edge—murdered. And when a second nun is killed, Bea and the other members of the League of Literary Ladies—Chandra, Kate, and Luella—start to wonder about eerie parallels with the Agatha Christie mystery classic, And Then There Were None.
 
Since Bea has the trust of the sisters, the local chief of police asks her and the other Literary Ladies to interview each of them. Expecting a confession may be asking for a miracle, but Bea hopes she can at least find the killer before another nun gets crossed off the guest list…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It has been almost a year since the Ladies were court ordered to form a book club. The League of Literary Ladies quickly turned into more than a book club and even with all their differences these women have managed to become good friends. In this installment Bea has been asked to provide meals for 10 nuns who have come to South Bass Island for a retreat.  Chandra, Kate, and Luella are pitching in to help. They also want to get inside the Water’s Edge Center and see what is behind the gates of a place the used to be off limits. When one of the nuns is murdered shortly after the retreat starts and another dies in quick succession the place becomes anything but restful. Now with only eight nuns the Ladies start to think about the similarities to Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. They are hoping the similarities have ended but they again “assist” the police is catching the killer just to be sure.

This is my favorite book in the series so far. I love the ladies and they sure do land themselves in the middle of one murder after another. Don’t think the other residents of South Bass haven’t noticed. This time the author adds a very diverse group of nuns to the mix and brought us a super mystery. That may seem like a lot of characters but they are each unique and easy to keep track of We also lose two of them in the early chapters.

The story really does parallel the Christie classic in so many ways, but whether a Christie fan or not, you will totally enjoy this book. Logan liberally spreads the twists and turns throughout and truthfully I figured it out at the same time as Bea. Excellent writing!

I also loved the setting. A grand place with several suites overlooking the water. All the renovations have not yet been completed but will be soon. It would be a lovely place to spend a week or two.

The subplot with Chandra’s major plans for her yard, swimming pool and a huge lamppost added a whole element I didn’t expect but totally understood as this part of the story played out. She really was pushing the other’s buttons and I was surprised by how long it took for one of them to let her have it.

Fun, entertaining, a great way to spend an afternoon. I hope this is not our last visit to South Bass Island. I really want to solve another mystery with the League of Literary Ladies Book Club.

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Kylie Logan and her books on her webpage here.
Be sure to Click the AKA Tab at the top right hand side of the page.

Coming May 3, 2016


GIVEAWAY

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

This year I am trying to build my Twitter following so for this giveaway 4 Bonus Entries will be awarded by following me on Twitter. @dollycas

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 March 24, 2016 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.”

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2016 What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Laura Bradford – Author of A Churn for the Worse – #Giveaway too!

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy when Laura Bradford stops by for a visit! 

laura_new_400x400

 

Magic Beans
By Laura Bradford
(Post provided by Publicist)

When I was a little girl, I was mesmerized by the power of the magic beans in Jack and the Beanstalk. I even remember imagining what it would be like to have magic beans in my pocket.

a churn for the worseSo it’s kind of ironic that not too many years later, I’d be bitten by the writing bug. You see for me, writing books is a lot like having a pocketful of magic beans. When you pull them out and look at them, they look like regular ordinary beans. But when you plant them in the ground, they become so much more.

Looking back at the twenty plus novels I’ve written, each one has been born from a single bean—something that I heard or saw or learned that perked up my ears. Sometimes, that bean is really small—a quick fact gleamed on a tour, or a character quirk observed while out and about in everyday life. But small or not, it always sets my plotting wheels in motion.

That’s what happened when, in the fall of 2014, I headed to Lancaster County, PA for my annual research trip. I was exploring the Amish countryside as I always do—taking tours, visiting Amish-owned shops, and chatting with the Amish, when I stumbled across a new-to-me fact I’d not learned during my previous trips…

When it comes time for the Amish to purchases a horse, more times than not they look to retired Standardbred racehorses. Trotters are particularly appealing to the Amish because of the horse’s experience pulling a sulky. These horses are disciplined and can transition well to pulling the family’s buggy.

Suddenly, I had a bean that I wanted in my pocket. I didn’t yet know if it would prove to be magic or not, but I knew it was worth exploring.

Armed with that single bean, I reached out to a reader I know who also happens to own racehorses. Over the next week or so, I fired countless racehorse-related questions at this woman. I didn’t know what I was looking for, specifically, but I knew that as I broadened my knowledge, there was potential to add to that original bean.

The next thing I knew, I had a grieving racehorse owner, a dead farmer, missing money, and an unknown person preying on Heavenly, Pennsylvania’s Amish community for the latest installment in my Amish Mysteries, A CHURN FOR THE WORSE.

Trust me when I say this is a “beanstalk” worth climbing!

~Laura
***
About This Author

Laura Bradford (aka Elizabeth Lynn Casey) is the author of several mystery series and a handful of romance novels. She is a former Agatha Award nominee and the recipient of an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award. In her free time, Laura enjoys making memories with her family, baking, playing games, and catching up with friends. In addition to the Amish Mysteries, Laura also writes the Jenkins & Burns mysteries, the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries (as Elizabeth Lynn Casey), and the upcoming Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries (Éclair and Present Danger, Book # 1, will debut in June).

For more information, visit Laura’s website: www.laurabradford.com or get to know her even better on Facebook, and on Twitter: @bradfordauthor

***

a churn for the worseA Churn for the Worse:
An Amish Mystery

Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Berkley Prime Crime (March 1, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Cover Illustration by Mary Anne Lasher
Cover Design by Sarah Oberrender
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425273036
E-Book ASIN: B00Z8VTJ8U
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

The national bestselling author of Suspendered Sentence returns to Heavenly, Pennsylvania, where shop owner Claire Weatherly and Detective Jakob Fisher must put on their thinking kapps to solve a string of robberies and a murder in the Amish community…

When an Amish farmer is found dead in his barn, his family accepts his death as God’s will. But Detective Jakob Fisher knows the farmer didn’t hit himself in the head with the shovel lying beside his body. And when it comes to light that a stranger appeared at the farmer’s home and now money is missing from their milk can, Fisher suspects robbery as the motive—especially when another Amish family is victimized.

Getting to the truth proves difficult, however, since Fisher has two strikes against him in the eyes of the Amish—his chosen career, and the Amish roots he left behind. Desperate to stop a murderous thief, Fisher turns to Heavenly Treasures shop owner Claire Weatherly for help. The trust she’s earned from the Amish community enables her to go where the detective cannot—straight into the path of a killer…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Another Heavenly trip to Heavenly! Laura Bradford continues to give us wonderful stories starring some of the most engaging cozy characters. When I pick up one of her mysteries it is like wrapping myself in a warm cozy blanket.

Claire Weatherly is in love and not only with Jakob Fisher. She loves this town, her work, and all the heartwarming people of Heavenly. Her greatest wish is to bring Jakob and his family together again after they have shunned him when he decided to become a law enforcement officer after he had been baptized.  She pushes the boundaries to help him have contact with them while trying not break the rules of the Amish.

This time an Amish farmer has been killed and no one calls the authorities. “God’s Will”. Money goes missing, no one reports it. The man seemed “kind”. Well word gets back to Claire and she is sure to let Jakob knows what is going on. But will he be able to help if none of the Amish will talk to him? Claire does her best to keep her ears open and Jakob tries to get the Amish to understand he just wants to help. There is also a strong subplot that ties together a missing racehorse and the horses the Amish purchase to pull their buggies.

I love the way Claire and Jakob’s relationship is evolving. The pace has been perfect. They have built a trust working together, become friends and have now moved to courting. The author continues to nurture these characters in a delightful way.

I enjoyed learning about the horses too. I never really thought about the horses pulling the buggies and now it makes perfect sense.  It is easy to see Ms. Bradford thoroughly researched this aspect to her story.

They main mystery in the story has someone preying on the local Amish community.  It has to be someone familiar with their ways and traditions. We are given several suspects and a lot of different diversions as we try to solve the mystery right along with Jakob and Claire. I was totally wrong and surprised.

I loved this story and I love this series. Laura Bradford has churned up another captivating cozy for us to enjoy. Don’t hold your horses, race right out to get this one today.

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

This year I am trying to build my Twitter following so for this giveaway 4 Bonus Entries will be awarded by following me on Twitter. @dollycas

Leave a comment for Laura 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 March 23, 2016 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.”

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Crafty Cozy Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Guest Posts Literary Escapes Reviews 2016 What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Denise Swanson – Author of Between A Book And A Hard Place – #Giveaway too!

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am conflicted over this post. I strive to share with you original content on my blog, especially when it comes to guest posts from authors. It was recently came to my attention that some posts from authors, that I was given, were also being posted on other blogs. One person even emailed me to ask why I had stolen the post from another blogger. I had not stolen the post; it was the post sent to me by the publicist for me to, what I thought was, solely use. I didn’t realize the same post was sent to several other bloggers.

In the future I am going to make sure I personally contact the authors myself, to guarantee the content is new, fresh, and solely for my use.  Since I have committed to the posts for this month already and I do what to share the books with you, as well as to help the authors promote their books, I will use the content sent to me already. So from now on if I receive a post from a publicist the post will be prominently labeled as such, so that you will be alert to the fact that it may not have only been sent to me. If I review the book, that of course is original from me.

Lori

I am thrilled to have Denise visit today! 
This post was provided by the publicist.

Denise Swanson Author PhotoThe Top Five Reasons I Love Libraries

As a writer, I know the importance of libraries. But before I ever dreamed of becoming a published author, I was a little girl living in a small town. An only child, living on a farm with no neighbors within walking distance, I suffered panic attacks if I didn’t have a pile of books waiting for me to read.

Which was why, when I heard about all the libraries being closed due to lack of funding, I decided to focus the plot of my next Devereaux’s Dime Store mystery on the offer of a philanthropist to reopen the Shadow Bend Library.

Like me, my sleuth Dev, grew up on a farm outside of town, so she too would have depended on the library for entertainment, knowledge, and companionship. Knowing that it was important to the story that she feels conflicted about the library re-opening, I decided that the philanthropist would turn out to be her stepfather. A man she’d never met, married to the woman who had abandoned Dev and run off seeking greener pastures.

BETWEEN A BOOK AND A HARD PLACENext, I took a good hard look at what libraries meant to their towns in the twenty-first century versus what they had been when I was growing up in the late sixties and early seventies. I found out that in this ever increasing digital world, the role of libraries are undervalued. Many public officials have no idea that libraries are community and cultural centers and when there’s a shortfall in the budgets, libraries are among the first institutions to suffer.

With this in mind, I came up with the Top Five Reasons I Love Libraries

1. Libraries can strengthen a community’s bond. Libraries, especially in small towns, are one of the few remaining places where folks from diverse backgrounds can gather to interact.

2. Libraries are centers for the arts. In rural communities there are few places where creative souls can freely express themselves.

3. Libraries are safe places for children and adolescents to socialize and learn how to interact. Unlike Dev’s dime store, most businesses don’t like kids or teens hanging out. The library does.

4. Libraries are quiet. In today’s busy world with people shouting into cell phones or screaming at each other, a library provides a refuge from all the noise pollution.

5. Libraries are where the librarians hang out and librarians are special people sweet, who are knowledgeable, and great at coming up with suggestions for new books and authors to check out.

With that in mind, I wrote Between a Book and a Hard Place. It saddened me that because of the way the plot developed, I was going to have to deprive Dev’s hometown of the library they were counting on regaining. But rest assured, sometime in the near future, like the next book, Shadow Bend will get its library and it will be bigger and better than ever. Because as we all know every town needs a good library.

~Denise

Thanks you Denise for visiting today! 

Find Denise at www.DeniseSwanson.com
Facebook at www.facebook.com/#!/DeniseSwansonAuthor
Twitter at DeniseSwansonAu


Denise Swanson also writes the Scumble River Mysteries. You can find them all here.

 BETWEEN A BOOK AND A HARD PLACEBetween a Book and a Hard Place:
A Devereaux’s Dime Store Mystery

Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Missouri
An Obsidian Mystery (March 1, 2016)
Published by New American Library
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451477767
E-Book ASIN: B00Z8VTQT2
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

Five-and-dime store owner Devereaux “Dev” Sinclair moved to Shadow Bend for her family. But when her long-lost mother shows up in town, she realizes too much kin can be killer…

Shadow Bend’s library closed years ago because of budgetary problems, so when a wealthy benefactor offers to reopen it, everyone, including Dev, is thrilled. But Dev’s excitement wanes when she realizes the mysterious donor is actually her runaway mother Yvette’s latest husband, Jett Benedict.

Dev suspects that Yvette and Jett’s intentions aren’t as noble as they appear, but before she can discover what they’re really up to, Jett turns up dead—and all clues point to Yvette as the prime suspect.

Even though Dev has no loyalty to Yvette, she’s in a bind. Setting the record straight could prove her mother is a killer. But doing nothing might get her mother booked for a crime she didn’t commit…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A tangled web, Dev’s mom returns to Shadow Bend and it is a complete surprise to Dev but not a surprise to everyone. Her mother, Yvette, moved on years ago leaving Dev behind. Why come back now? and with another new husband? Dev is on high alert, her mother is up to something. Her husband Jett has offered a huge amount of money to reopen and refurbish the town’s library. He says he is a history buff and all he asks is that he be able to do a little research in the library’s archives. Before he can delve too deeply someone kills him and Yvette is the prime suspect but Dev and her dad could be on the suspect list as well. Dev doesn’t really want to help her mom but she would do anything for her dad so she is going to track down the real killer and be sure he is booked for murder.

I whipped right through this story. Unlike the the last  installment Noah and Jake are both back in town vying for Dev’s affection. Things get a little steamy with both of them but they both have their share of excess baggage. She is going to have to choose one or set them both free soon, but I certainly don’t know what I would do in her situation. It does make for fascinating reading.

The author gives us a fun mystery to solve too. One that takes us visiting all over Shadow Bend and searching back in history too. You know Missouri was kind of split during the Civil War and Shadow Bend families were also affected. I loved tagging along following the clues and putting the pieces together.

Denise Swanson writes a fantastic story with characters I have grown to care about. She fills the story with mystery, mayhem, suspense, and a liberal dose of romance and romantic tension. Seriously, those guys are going to come to blows one day 🙂

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

This year I am trying to build my Twitter following so for this giveaway 4 Bonus Entries will be awarded by following me on Twitter. @dollycas

Leave a comment for Denise 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 March 16, 2016 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.”

Posted in Crafty Cozy Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes Reviews 2016 TBR Pile Challenge What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Flashback Friday – Review – A Fright to the Death by Dawn Eastman – #Giveaway

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

A FRIGHT TO THE DEATHA Fright to the Death:
A Family Fortune Mystery

Cozy Mystery
3rd in the Series
Setting – Michigan
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (April 7, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Daniel Craig
Cover Design by Judith Lagerman
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425264485
E-Book ASIN: B00LMGK3WG
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

 

 

After their flight to Mexico is cancelled, Clyde and her detective boyfriend, Mac, end up snowed in with their families at a supposedly haunted hotel. Clyde’s tarot card reading mother, Rose, is making dire predictions for the weekend, and self-proclaimed pet psychic Aunt Vi is enchanted by the legend of the hotel’s ghost—until the power goes out and a body turns up.

With a hotel full of stranded suspects, Clyde will have to draw on all her skills—both the police ones she’d rather forget and the psychic ones she’d rather ignore—to solve the bone-chilling mystery before someone else gets iced…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

All Clyde and Mac wanted was to get away from the Michigan cold and their overwhelming families. Time alone catching rays on a beach in Mexico is delightful, it was for me and Mr. Dollycas but Clyde and Mac don’t even make it to the airport before it starts snowing and I mean really snowing. Mac tries to save the day by taking Clyde to a wonderful castle/hotel to wait out the storm but as soon as the arrive who do they find? Their mothers and Aunt Vi and a bunch of knitters on a weekend retreat. To make matter worse there are no vacancies and Clyde ends up sharing a room with her aunt and her mother and Mac joins his mother in her room. I definitely would have set things up a little differently, sent Mac’s mom to bunk with Rose and Vi and let Mac and Clyde have a room to themselves, but with this family that was not happening. The blizzard seems to camp right over the hotel so everyone is stuck there and the power and phones go out. Oh and one of the owners is murdered shortly thereafter. Now Clyde and Mac have a hotel full of suspects and Aunt Vi wanting to help them investigate. Can their relationship endure this much family togetherness?

Eastman has given us quite a closed room (building) mystery. One of the guests or the staff is a murderer and surprisingly almost anyone could have done it. Vi is even accused at one point. I liked the way Mac and Clyde took charge and interviewed almost everyone. Someone called them on their authority but it didn’t stop them.

Sitting here in the Wisconsin cold with the snow blowing outside I snuggled under a blanket with a cup of hot chocolate and escaped right into this book. As you can see from the cover the dogs even show up at the hotel (their arrival is pretty funny) and I had my Nerabelle curled right up at my feet too.

These characters are a lot of fun. The Fortunes are a unique bunch with their tarot cards and such, but lovable in their own overbearing way.  Clyde is getting close to the one-year mark when she needs to decide whether or not she is going to stay in Crystal Haven and her family can’t help but share their opinions. The men in this family are truly outnumbered and outmatched. Eastman has poured her all into these characters.

Carlisle Castle is a wonderful place. The home has been turned into a hotel and the place is full of antiques. Their are rooms in the turrets and hidden stairways and big fireplaces. It is rumored to have a resident ghost too! I wonder if this is based on a real place in Michigan. I would love to visit.

The paranormal aspect in this story was pretty light. Vi and Rose’s attempts to use their “powers” to help wasn’t too successful and Clyde is still learning her capabilities. Seth has some keen insights.

The knitter’s retreat really added some entertaining moments. I learned about yarn bombing and was in awe at some of the items. It would have been a perfect event without the dead body. Snowed in with all the yarn you could imagine with plenty of time to just knit and purl and create.

This is just the 3rd book in this series so I do recommend you start at the beginning so you meet this Fortune – ate family from the start. They have been called “kooky” by several reviewers but I don’t think they are on the same plane as the kooky Adam’s Family, but they are special. You deserve to enjoy them from the beginning. If you are already a fan you know just what I mean.

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author

Dawn Eastman is the national bestselling author of Pall in the Family, the first book in the Family Fortune Mystery Series. She lived in Michigan for many years in a house full of animals, unusual people, and laughter. She now lives in Iowa with her husband, son, daughter, and one extremely bossy small dog.

Author Links

Webpage – Facebook – Goodreads

Twitter – @DawnAEastman


And Coming In April

GIVEAWAY
I am giving away my copy!
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.

This year I am trying to build my Twitter following so for this giveaway 4 Bonus Entries will be awarded by following me on Twitter. @dollycas

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 March 11, 2016 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.”

Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Literary Escapes Reviews 2016 What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday – No Cats Allowed by Miranda James – Review/ #Giveaway

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

This is one of my very favorite series and I am so happy to feature it today! 

no cats allowed
No Cats Allowed:
A Cat in the Stacks Mystery

Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Mississippi
Release Date: February 23, 2016
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Dan Craig
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425277744
E-Book ASIN: B00X593CO4
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

Springtime in Mississippi is abloom with beauty, but the library’s employees are too busy worrying to stop and smell the flowers. The new library director, Oscar Reilly, is a brash, unfriendly Yankee who’s on a mission to cut costs—and his first targets are the archive and the rare book collection.

As annoying as a long-overdue book, Reilly quickly raises the hackles of everyone on staff, including Charlie’s fiery friend Melba—whom Dillard wants to replace with someone younger. But his biggest offense is declaring all four-legged creatures banned from the stacks.

With enemies aplenty, the suspect list is long when Reilly’s body is discovered in the library. But things take a turn for the worse when a threatening e-mail throws suspicion on Melba.

Charlie is convinced that his friend is no murderer, especially when he catches sight of a menacing stranger lurking around the library. Now he and Diesel will have to read between the lines, before Melba is shelved under “G” for guilty…

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Every time these books arrive I look at the cover and see my cat, Wiley. He is now living with my daughter because we can’t have cats here and I miss him so much. He is just a little bit smaller than Diesel but not by much.

In this installment Charlie’s new boss, Oscar Reilly has decided he is allergic to cats and wants to ban Diesel from coming to the library. He also has the rest of the staff ticked off by some of his other actions. He is a human resources nightmare.  I was not surprised to find someone had put him out of everyone’s misery, but when the police arrested Melba I knew the had they wrong person. Charlie knows it too, and he is going to get her out of jail and get the right person booked as soon as possible.

James continues to impress me with this series. This time the method of murder was something off the wall and totally unexpected and I had to read it twice to fully grasp the situation. One big ouch let me tell you. But before the crime he takes his time introducing us to Mr. Oscar Reilly, and I disliked him immediately and praise the employees for their restraint. I may not have killed him but probably would have been fired for telling him off and probably slapping him across the face and stomping out. What a first class jerk! The mystery has quite a few twists and turns and several suspects, I would guess anyone the man ever met could be a suspect.

In addition to the murder there are a couple of little subplots that fans of this series will enjoy. I hesitate to say more because I do not want to spoil anything.

I love this series has a male protagonist. A fine Southern gentleman who stays calm but takes action. He opens his home and his heart and draws us right into to these stories. All the characters are wonderfully developed and so real.

 The pages pass quickly and as always my visit to Athena comes to an end much too soon. This was a delightful way to spend an afternoon but I need a few more warbles from Diesel and more time with Charlie and his friends and family. Next year…

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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



GIVEAWAY

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

This year I am trying to build my Twitter following so for this giveaway 4 Bonus Entries will be awarded by following me on Twitter. @dollycas

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 March 9, 2016 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.”

Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Literary Escapes Reviews 2016 What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review/ #Giveaway – Fogged Inn by Barbara Ross

fogged inn
Fogged Inn (A Maine Clambake Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Maine
Kensington (February 23, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496700377
E-Book ASIN: B00Y6RB372
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

 

An autumn chill has settled over Busman’s Harbor, Maine, but Julia Snowden is warming up the town by offering lobster stew at the local diner. When her landlord discovers a dead body in the walk-in refrigerator, Julia must figure out who ordered up a side of murder.

Nothing’s colder than a corpse–especially one stashed inside a sub-zero fridge. The victim spent his last night on earth dining at the restaurant bar, so naturally Julia finds herself at the center of the ensuing investigation. Lost in the November fog, however, is who’d want to kill the unidentified stranger–and why. It might have something to do with a suspicious group of retirees and a decades-old tragedy to which they’re all connected. One thing’s for sure: Julia’s going to make solving this mystery her early bird special…

Includes Traditional Maine Clambake Recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Back to Busman’s Harbor, Maine, and this time it is snowy and icy and there are no clambakes. Instead Julia and Chris have opened Gus’s Too. They take over Gus’s restaurant in the evenings to give locals one place to dine during the off season. They are still finding their way, running the business by themselves, but they are off to a great start. That is until a dead body is found in the walk-in frig. Julie and Chris recognize the man as a customer from the night before. This leads them to take a closer look at all their customers from that night. Since it was foggy, rainy and cold there weren’t many. Some relatives of mine Caroline and Henry Caswell were among the guests. They certainly couldn’t have anything to do with that dead man, could they??

I started reading and I just couldn’t stop. I was excited not only about Chris and Julia’s new venture, but I desperately wanted to know how that guy ended up in a cooler in a restaurant that was locked up tight and why? Ross has plotted a marvelous mystery and I loved the way everything came together with a very unexpected ending, very different than a typical cozy mystery. At first I was sure I liked it but after thinking about it, I was totally on board with it.

We meet several new characters this time, couples that come to eat at Gus’s Too. When Julia does her investigation we get to know them all quite well and their connection to the town. She visits with each of them several times as she tries to figure out if they had anything to do with the man’s death even when they claim they didn’t know him at all. I found the dialogues interesting and I really tuned in to catch any clues.

Julia has moved into the apartment above Gus’s and Chris spends most night there. He still has his cabin which he is remodeling so he can rent it out during tourist season. They are starting to get more comfortable in their relationship but they have a lot of things to work out. Julia is a little too sure of herself after helping solve previous cases and Chris just wants her to leave the investigating to the police. Well, we all know that is not going to happen.

The fog plays a huge part in this story and I just don’t mean the weather outside. I really felt Julia and the police were working in a fog and through the fog to identify the victim and catch the killer. At times it was as thick as pea soup and I truly didn’t know how it was all going to come together in the dwindling amount of pages left, especially because I knew there were recipes back there too.

This is another strong story from Barbara Ross and I commend her for coming up with a great story in the off season when the town is really moving at a much slower pace with less people around. It was nice to get to know some of the other residents of Busman’s Harbor. They were a unique bunch. I hope they pop in for visits in future stories, especially those Caswells!

perfect 2016

 

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

Find out all about Barbara Ross and her books on her webpage here.

Be sure to check out Barbara and the other Wicked Cozy Authors on their blog and Facebook too! 

GIVEAWAY

I am giving away my review copy!
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.

This year I am trying to build my Twitter following so for this giveaway 4 Bonus Entries will be awarded by following me on Twitter. @dollycas

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 March 8, 2016 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.”

Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Reviews 2016 TBR Pile Challenge What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Flashback Friday – Review – One Foot in the Grape by Carlene O’Neil – #Giveaway

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

one foot in the grapeOne Foot in the Grape
(A Cypress Cove Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
1st Book in Series
Setting – California
Release Date – May 5, 2015
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Robert Crawford
Cover Design by Danielle Abbiate
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425274019
E-Book ASIN: B00O2BS55U
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

In California wine country, the town of Cypress Cove may seem peaceful. But someone’s about to pop their cork…

After losing her job as a photojournalist, Penny Lively is trying to get her life back in focus. Inheriting the family winery from her late aunt may be the fresh start she needs. Thankfully she’s got her niece Hayley and her handsome winery manager Connor to help. But the person in need of more urgent assistance is Antonia Martinelli, the owner of the neighboring winery, who has her own barrel full of problems. Someone’s spoiling her wine, and with the upcoming Autumn Festival, she needs Penny’s nose for clues to sniff out the culprit.

But Penny’s search for answers sours after the body of a staff member is found in a grape crusher. Since Hayley was the last to see him alive, she’s the prime suspect in the case. Now Penny must hurry to find the real killer before Hayley withers on the vine…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Penelope (Penny) Lively has inherited the family winery and after a little dust-up at her last job it is perfect timing. Her cousin Hayley has the degree in Viticulture and Connor manages the day to day tasks of the vineyard. Penny focuses on the business side of things. As a photojournalist she has a keen eye and takes some wonderful pictures that she sells as prints as postcards. Her keen eye is just what is needed to help Antonia Martinelli. The Martinelli winery and Penny’s winery border each other. Antonia asks Penny to help her find out who is sabotaging their wine. With the Autumn Festival just days away, she desperately needs to cork up that issue right way.  Penny agrees to help but before she has a chance to do anything one of the Martineeli staff is literally crushed and her cousin Hayley is the prime suspect.

This was an impressive debut for this series. I would have thought competing wineries would be more cutthroat but in this story the neighboring wineries work closely together. Not only does Penny try to help Antonia, they work together planning the festival and even seem to share temporary help. The victim was someone very well liked with a bright future. Penny was not only investigating to save her cousin but to find the killer of someone she respected.

The characters in this story were very interesting. Penny, Hayley and Connor are solid, relatable characters that will allow the series to succeed. The Martinelli family is quite a bunch. Antonia is ready to pass the winery on to her family, specifically to her son, but she isn’t sure he is ready. Her oldest daughter, a lawyer, has a huge chip on her shoulder and thinks the winery should be hers. The youngest daughter has a set of problems all her own. This was a great supporting cast. I hope we see them again in future stories.

The plot of the story is a unique one with some clever and surprising twists, although it did go a little bit awry at that start. It was the little clues that I almost wrote off that pulled this whole mystery together.  I was on the right track but it turned out to be much more than I ever imagined.

The author has left Penny holding back a very important tidbit and I wonder how long it will be before it is revealed to everyone.  This has me anxious to read the next installment, Ripe For Murder, out on March 1. I was late to the party for this book. That won’t be the case with the next one.

enjoyable 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Find out more about Carlene O’Neil on her webpage here.  Like her on Facebook. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.


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