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Review/ #Giveaway – BURNING HEAT By David Burnsworth Great Escapes Book Tour

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BURNING HEAT
By David Burnsworth

The villains are bad, the heroes are human, and this book is a keeper!
~Back Porchervations

A quick moving story that is hard to put down. I really liked this storyline and the characters are believable.
~3 Partners in Shopping; Nana, Mommy, &; Sissy too!

This is definitely a series I would recommend. David Burnsworth is a fantastic storyteller and I can’t wait for the next one.
~Tea and A Book

What charms me with both of these books is Brack’s affection for his dog, Shelby. When things get dicey, he has one person he trusts to take care of the dog. And he always finds time to spend with him until it’s safe to bring him home again. Friends say Shelby is his chick magnet. I can see that.
~fuonlyknew

BurningHeatFront
Burning Heat
Suspense/Thriller
Setting – South Caarolina
Publisher: Five Star Publishing (January 20, 2016)
Hardcover: 286 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1432831110
E-Book ASIN: B01ATYI6XO
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Synopsis:

As darkness blankets the holy city of Charleston, South Carolina, Brack Pelton, an Afghanistan War veteran, steps out of a rundown bar after a long night. Before he gets to his truck, he finds himself in the middle of a domestic dispute between a man and a woman on the sidewalk. When a little girl joins the couple and gets hit by the man, Brack intervenes and takes him down. But the abuser isn’t finished. He pulls a gun and shoots the woman. Brack saves the little girl, but his world has just been rocked. Again.

The next day, while sitting on a barstool in the Pirate’s Cove on the Isle of Palms, his own bar, Brack scans the local paper. The news headline reads: Burned Body of Unidentified Hispanic Man Found at Construction Site. Nothing about a dead woman in the poor section of town. Brack feels a tap on his shoulder and turns around to see an eight-year-old girl standing behind him. She’s the little girl he rescued the night before, and she wants him to look into her sister’s shooting.

Violence and danger make up Brack’s not-too-distant past. Part of him craves it–needs it. And that part has just been fed. Things are about to heat up again in the lowcountry. May God have mercy on the souls who get in the way.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
This is a book I have been waiting impatiently for since I finished the author’s first book Southern Heat back in May of last year. Burnsworth set the bar high with that one and the good news is he matched it with this one.

Brack Pelton is a former race car driver and an Afghanistan War veteran who has had a life full of drama, he lost his wife to cancer and anger was taking over so he enlisted with a death wish. He made it back but is emotionally and physically scarred by the experience. He is back just in time to witness his uncle’s death and as his only heir inherits a rundown bar called the Pirate’s Cove. He tracks his uncle’s killer in the first book.

This time the story opens as he sees a man hitting a woman and a little girl watching on and when he intervenes the woman is shot. Brack takes off with the little girl while bullets are flying. When the police arrive on the scene the woman’s body is missing. Brack and all the other characters we met in Southern Heat are again brought together to find the woman or her body and catch the man who shot her.

I learned from the first book, which was amazingly David Bursworth’s first published mystery novel, that when you start reading you are not going to stop reading until you finish it. So I planned accordingly and that is just what happened. The action starts on page 1 and takes us to some dark places, some creepy places and some scary places. The story continues at a very fast pace as Brack investigates and continues to put himself in and others in dangerous situations. He is also on edge because someone is sabotaging his business, a break in and liquor license issues are just the tip of the iceberg.  I should also mention he is quite a “player” with at least 3 women vying for his attention.

The story is full of flawed characters trying to do the right things. It also has a crazy group of villains. And a wonderful 50 pound mixed breed dog named Shelby. All the characters are so well written. Easy to imagine and see clearly. Easy to root for or hate.

Burning Heat has a tight plot that is thrilling and suspenseful and so much fun to read. Brack Pelton is definitely one of the good guys and I loved taking this edge of our seat journey with him. I hope he invites us along again soon.

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

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About This Author

David Burnsworth became fascinated with the Deep South at a young age. After a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tennessee and fifteen years in the corporate world, he made the decision to write a novel. Southern Heat is his first mystery. Having lived in Charleston on Sullivan’s Island for five years, the setting was a foregone conclusion. He and his wife along with their dog call South Carolina home.

 
 
 
 
Author Links:

Webpage  – Facebook – GoodReads – Twitter

 

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Visit all the stops!
Tour Participants
February 10 – Back Porchervations – Review
February 11 – A Blue Million Books – Character Interview
February 12 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Author Interview
February 13 – Lori’s Reading Corner – Author Guest Post
February 14 – 3 Partners in Shopping; Nana, Mommy, &; Sissy too!  – Review
February 15 – Tea and A Book – Review
February 16 – fuonlyknew – Review
February 17 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review
February 17 – Shelley’s Book Case -Review
February 18 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review  
February 19 – Editing Pen – Author Guest Post
February 20 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Character Guest Post

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

Posted in Cozy Wednesday 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 Delia James – Author of A Familiar Tail – #Giveaway too!

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Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am pleased to welcome Delia James to Escape With Dollycas today! 

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Hello. My name is Delia James, and I write mysteries. Specifically, I write mysteries with magic and cats with plenty of attitude. This is no surprise to anybody who knows me.

I grew up on mysteries. Summers at my grandmother’s in the country, I discovered her Agatha Christie books and was immediately fascinated by Hercule Poirot. TV was filled with mysteries and we never missed them, Colombo, MacMillan & Wife, McCloud, The Rockford Files, Quincy…and of course I was in love with the Hardy Boys as played by Shaun Cassidy and Parker Stevenson (for the record, I was a Parker Girl, all the way). Of course I could quote Sherlock Holmes, chapter and verse. In college, I got introduced to, and fell in love all over again with, Lord Peter Whimsey.

a familiar tailDespite this, when I started writing, mysteries were not my first choice. I was (confession time) also a major science fiction nerd and it was science fiction I gravitated to first. I don’t regret it at all. Science fiction is fun, and it teaches you a lot about how to build a fictional world along with the characters that fit into it, or don’t. This can be valuable training for a mystery writer who has to construct solid, interesting puzzles the size of small towns, or big bad cities. And of course, along with science fiction, I was also a fan of its sister genre, fantasy, with its elves and hobbits, and witches, and plenty of magic. I learned to read from The Wizard of Oz and had Alice in Wonderland practically memorized.

With all this swirling around in the background, when I got the chance to write a story featuring a witch and a magical cat in New England, you know I jumped at it. And I am having an absolute blast.

First of all, it’s given me an excuse to spend more time in New England, which is one of my very favorite places. I love the landscape, the coast and the rivers. I even love the weather, especially the autumn. I love the old cities and towns and all the history tucked up in their streets and odd (some of them very odd) corners. Of course there are mysteries here. Lots of them, some of them old, some of them brand new.

Cats were another natural for me. I’ve been owned by one cat or another since I was born. From our grumpy old indoor-outdoor tortoiseshell Buttercup, to Isis the Siamese, to our current long-haired gray Buffy the Vermin Slayer, they all at one time or another shared my home, sat on my lap, or curled up on my shoulders, or gotten in between me and…whatever I was doing at the moment. I swear, some of them have in fact been able to vanish and reappear at will, just like Alistair in A Familiar Tail. Of course they couldn’t be kept out of anyplace they really wanted to get into, including the bedroom, the closet, and once, much to everybody’s surprise and embarrassment, the fridge. Again, just like Alistair.

So, like I said at the beginning, I’m Delia James. Welcome to my world!

~Delia

Thank you Delia for dropping by today!

a familiar tailA Familiar Tail:
A Witch’s Cat Mystery

Brand New Cozy Mystery Series
Setting – New Hampshire
An Obsidian Mystery (February 2, 2016)
Published by New American Library
An Imprint of Penguin Random House
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451476579
E-Book ASIN: B00X593A46
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Magic and meows meet in the first enchanting Witch’s Cat mystery!
 
Unlucky-in-love artist Annabelle Britton decides that a visit to the seaside town of  Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is the perfect way to get over her problems. But when she stumbles upon a smoky gray cat named Alastair, and follows him into a charming cottage, Annabelle finds herself in a whole spell-book full of trouble.

Suddenly saddled with a witch’s wand and a furry familiar, Annabelle soon meets a friendly group of women who use their spells, charms, and potions to keep the people of Portsmouth safe. But despite their gifts, the witches can’t prevent every wicked deed in town….

Soon, the mystery surrounding Alistair’s former owner, who died under unusual circumstances, grows when another local turns up dead. Armed with magic, friends, and the charmed cat who adopted her more than the other way around, Annabelle sets out to paw through the evidence and uncover a killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Annabelle Amelia Blessingsound Britton comes to Portsmouth to visit her friend Martine Devereux. Martine is the chef at the Pale Ale Inn. But a weekend trip turns into a much longer stay as she realizes her family has many more ties to the town than she knew. Of course, meeting a certain cat named Alastair had a bit to do with her sticking around too. This cat is a mystery and how his former person died is a mystery too. Another death makes Annabelle start to stick her nose in other people’s business and that can be pawsitively dangerous.

Annabelle is an artist and a free spirit. From a very early age she would get a “vibe” from her surroundings. Good “vibes”, bad “vibes”, sometimes no “vibes”. She never understood why this happened to her but the picture becomes much clearer now that she is in New Hampshire and meets a very interesting group of woman. Since the synopsis on the back of the book tells you this already, yes, they are witches. A very eclectic group of witches. Yes, we know this before even starting the book but Annabelle didn’t. I really enjoyed her making this discovery and trying to wrap her head about how her life takes a very dramatic turn. I also enjoyed getting to know the supporting cast. I feel we have barely scratched the surface of their depth.

This entire story is very well written with snappy dialogue and curly Q twists. I absolutely fell in love with Alistair as every cat lover will.

Now as for the setting and I don’t mean Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I mean that beautiful cottage shown on the cover. Glorious inside and out, gardens galore and a true home. I would pack my bags and move there in an instant, witches or no witches, I would adapt 🙂

Delia James has given a strong woman protagonist who is comfortable with herself and has an open mind. She is also a pretty good sleuth. The story is told in first person and I like when we read her thoughts or when she is talking to herself. It makes her more real and believable to me.

This was a fine debut and shows much promise for what I hope will be a long running series.

enjoyable 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can Like Delia James on Facebook 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

Leave a comment for Delia 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 2, 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

*Guest Post received from publisher.
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 Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2016 What An Animal Reading Challenge Wisconsin Author You Read How Many Books Challenge

Special Guest – Mary Ellen Hughes – Author of Scene of the Brine #Giveaway too!

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I am so happy Mary Ellen Hughes could stop by for a visit today!
Let’s give her a great welcome!

Mary Ellen Hughes author pic

Hi Everyone,

WHAT’S IN A NAME?
by Mary Ellen Hughes

When I talk to people about my books, there’s one question I can count on being asked, “Where do you get your ideas?” But a question I rarely hear is, “How do you come up with names for your characters?”

I suppose that’s because most people take character names for granted. A reader makes note of them in order to keep everybody in the story straight but mostly doesn’t think much about them. For me, though, and I suspect most authors, character names are very important. Margaret Mitchell, for example, changed Scarlett O’Hara’s first name several times before settling on one, calling her star character Pansy for a while. I think we can all be glad Ms. Mitchell moved on from that one.

pickled piper

When I started putting ideas together for THE PICKLED PIPER, the first book of my Pickled and Preserved mystery series, I had no problem coming up with a name for my main character. Since she was a young woman who would be making and selling all things pickle-related, what could be better than Piper?

But Piper wasn’t the only character in the book. She has an aunt and uncle living nearby, a shop assistant, neighboring store owners and other townspeople, along with, of course, the victim and murderer. All these characters needed names, and ones that fit. I wouldn’t, for example, name Piper’s aunt, who is around sixty years old, Britny. And for Piper’s twenty year-old helper, Gladys would be all wrong but Amy was right.

A novelist has to come with more names than you might realize, sometimes just for walk-on characters who need a name simply to avoid being continually referred to as “elderly gentleman,” or “her.” Where do we get them all? When I first started writing and needed a name for an older person, I’d flip through the obituary section of my newspaper. If the obituaries had photos attached, all the better. Mixing and matching first and last names kept me out of lawsuit territory.

Younger characters were a little tougher. A copy of a baby-naming book helped there—though it did startle my family at first until I explained why I needed it. Then I discovered the Social Security website, which lists baby names that were popular in each decade. That was—and is–so helpful! I also found a few random name generator websites, which come up with combinations of first and last names, sorted by gender or ethnicity, as well as “common” or “rare.” A great time saver!

Until I settle on a character’s name, I often can’t completely picture him or her. Martin will look and act differently from Matt, and, though close, Patsy won’t be quite the same as Patty, at least to my mind. If, farther down the road, I see the need to change a character’s name, I’ll often go back and tweak their description to go with the new moniker.

scene of the brineIn SCENE OF THE BRINE, my latest and third Pickled and Preserved Mystery book, I needed a name for a character new to the series, a forty-something, female caterer. “Sugar” popped into my head, and with it I immediately knew what she looked like: attractive, silver-blond, and with a Rubenesque figure. Her personality grew from that, and I was soon good to go.

Sugar had a college-aged son, and it didn’t take me long to name him Zach, a popular name of his generation. Zach majored in botany and, while bright, also had a bit of a temper. It was that last thing that got him into a pile of trouble in my story. Would that have happened if I’d named him Nigel or Preston? Doubtful. But we’ll never know because a mother called Sugar would never give her son either of those names, would she?

Family names, for me, at least, are off-limits, as are close friends, since the image that comes with them is too strong to shape into the character I want to write. Also in that “don’t touch” category are one-of-a-kind celebrity monikers and names already famous in fiction such as Scarlett, Kinsey, or Reacher.

It tends to narrow the choices, which makes me sometimes envy science fiction and fantasy writers. If they need a name, they can just scramble a few letters or make it vaguely middle-earth-ish. So much simpler. And they don’t have to worry about age, either.

But then, I’d have a hard time picturing a Ruavu Flagmatag.

Wouldn’t you?
~Mary Ellen

Thank you so much for visiting today Mary Ellen! Feel free to add a Lori or a Dolly to your stories anytime 🙂

scene of the brineScene of the Brine:
Pickled and Preserved Mystery

3rd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – New York
Release Date: February 2, 2016
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Chris O’Leary
Cover Design by Karen Oberrender
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425262474
E-Book ASIN: B00W2ZKQ9Q
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The national bestselling author of License to Dill returns with a dilly of a pickle.

Piper Lamb has to take a break from jarring her delicious pickles and preserves to blow the lid off a poisoner….

Business is booming at Piper’s Picklings in Cloverdale, New York. But not all is sweet in the life of Piper’s number one customer and friend, local caterer Sugar Heywood. Sugar is dating wealthy realtor Jeremy Porter, but his family doesn’t approve. After their unscrupulous accountant finds some dirt on Sugar, the family quickly urges Jeremy to throw her out like rotten fruit.

Things are further spoiled after the accountant is found poisoned, and all evidence points to Sugar’s son, Zach. With the Porter family determined to avoid scandal, it won’t be easy for Piper to preserve Zach’s innocence. And after someone falls victim to a poisoned jar of some of her brandied cherries, Piper’s got a peck of trouble to deal with herself…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Check out that cover and the new door to Piper’s Picklings! Handcrafted and a true work of art. Piper has a party to celebrate her new entrance and it seems almost everyone from Cloverdale attends. Thankfully new resident, Jeremy Porter and his right hand man,  Dirk Unger skipped the festivities. Unger has been making life difficult for some people in town, like Piper’s friend, Sugar Heywood. Dirk, the jerk, dug up some dirt and Sugar was terribly hurt. She lost her boyfriend and a huge catering gig. When “the jerk” is murdered, Sugar’s son becomes the prime suspect but before the murder is solved, others are hurt and Piper finds herself in hot water.

Trips to Cloverdale are never dull, that is for sure. Hughes introduces us to the Porter family. I hated the whole snobby bunch and that was just awesome. These characters like all my favorites were wonderfully written and totally believable. I wasn’t surprised when Dirk Unger was killed. He was a nasty man. What surprised me was the twists and turns we took to find the murderer. Just when I thought “I know who it is!”, something happened to prove me wrong. It sure was a fun as I kept trying.

There is a bit of romance as Will remains patient while Scott still tries to worm his way back into Piper’s life. The man has been trouble since he showed up in Cloverdale. I think Piper may be on the verge of making a decision.

Mary Ellen Hughes has written a really smart mystery delightfully flavored with some of the best cozy characters. I have liked each of these stories more than the last. The characters continue to evolve and even the mysteries get better and better and each were great already.

For someone that doesn’t like pickles I sure do love these pickled and preserved mysteries.

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 About This Author

Mary Ellen Hughes may live in Maryland today but she started out right here in Wisconsin!!! Find out more about Mary Ellen and her books here on her webpage.



Just click on book covers for more information or to order.

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 Mary Ellen 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 1, 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 Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Reviews 2016 TBR Pile Challenge What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Flashback Friday – Review – Macaroni and Freeze by Christine Wenger #Giveaway

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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.

MACARONI AND FREEZE
Macaroni and Freeze:
A Comfort Food Mystery

4th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – New York
An Obsidian Mystery (July 7, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451474087
E-Book ASIN: B00PT4J1UW
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When the library roof collapses from the harsh winter weather, diner owner and comfort food chef Trixie Matkowski decides to organize a mac-and-cheese cook-off to raise funds for repairs. Priscilla Finch-Smythe, famous TV chef and former Sandy Harbor resident, is not only available to judge the contest—she’s offering an appearance on her show as the grand prize.

Trixie hopes that winning first place in the cook-off will help boost publicity for her Silver Bullet Diner. But when another winner is announced, and Priscilla is later found frozen in a snowbank, Trixie starts getting attention from the police instead. Now she’ll have to noodle over this mystery before everything really goes to pot….

Includes Delicious Home-Style Recipes

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Never a dull moment when Trixie is around. That woman get herself into all kinds of predicaments. This time too much snow collapses the roof of the local library. Everyone got out safe but it is going to take a lot of money to repair the building and replace the damaged books and equipment. Trixie’s mouth gets ahead of her brain and before she knows it she is planning a Macaroni and Cheese cook-off fundraiser. Things snowball and soon famous chef, Priscilla Finch-Smythe is on her way to Sandy Harbor to judge the competition and offering the winner a guest spot on her tv show. Trixie had no idea the woman was from Sandy Harbor. The woman has all kinds of demands and a big motor home. She also has her staff of two, one is her stepson, along for the ride and they sure don’t see eye to eye on anything. Trixie just hopes they can make enough money for the library and get a little bit of publicity for the diner.

The contest brings a slew of cooks to town including a couple of professional chefs looking to win and gain or regain a little fame with the grand prize. Soon after the winner is named, a stiff is found in the parking lot. Priscilla Finch-Smythe’s life has come to a chilly end and there are plenty of suspects. Who killed the tv cook and left her out in the cold? Trixie plans to find out but she may end up getting a deep freeze herself.

Reading this book during a cold snap here in Wisconsin I was literary feeling the “freeze” in this story and it was funny, my hubby had whipped up a batch of his homemade mac and cheese for supper. He saw the cover of the book and we had a little chuckle.

The cover of the book is wonderful but the Sandy Harbor Library sounds like it was a truly beautiful place, complete with some stained glass. I loved the way the town rallied together to make this fundraiser happen even when it was snowing and blowing and travel was a bit treacherous at times.

This time Trixie is one of the suspects, of course, hunky Sheriff Ty Briscoe doesn’t think she had anything to do with it but he basically puts her under house/diner arrest with Antoinette Chloe Brown (ACB) as her gatekeeper. He really just wants to keep Trixie safe and out of his investigation, like that is going to happen.

Christine Wenger has the perfect recipe for an absolutely delightful cozy mystery. The residents of Sandy Harbor are like old friends and the welcome us in with open arms and delicious food. The new characters make a nice offset to the gang we have come to love. The plot is tight and the twists are plentiful. The romantic tension is palpable. I can’t be the only one that wants to see Trixie grab Ty and just kiss him already 🙂 I also want to get ACB a pair of boots with flips flops painted on them. Flip flops in the snow?? Girl you are going to lose some toes!!

This was a fun read from start to finish. I am glad I had some Mac & Cheese to snack because damn, a girl can get hungry when reading these stories!

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
Find out more about Christine and her books on her webpage here.

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.

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 26, 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

Cozy Wednesday with Diane Vallere – Author of A Disguise To Die For – #Giveaway too!

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Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!!

Diane Vallere is my Special Guest today and she has a treat for us. When she offered me this guest post I was absolutely thrilled because I had always wished an author would write a guest post like this.   

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Hi Everyone,

Back in September of 2013, I had the fortunate opportunity to submit a proposal for a possible new cozy mystery series that featured a costume shop owner. Originally I was going to base the protagonist on a character in a shot story that I’d written, but it became too hard for me to stay true to the character traits that I’d established in that story while also building this new world. I changed her name from Mia Thomas to Margo Tamblyn (change is reflected below to keep things from being confusing), but otherwise, this is the series concept and individual book ideas that I submitted to Berkley Prime Crime. MYSTERY PARTY ended up being the basis for A DISGUISE TO DIE FOR, the first in the Costume Shop Mystery Series, that came out Feb 2!

Series Proposal:

A Disguise To Die ForSETTING:
Proper, Nevada. [fictional town] Census-designed town in southern Nevada near California state lines. Population has grown several hundred to several thousand in a decade. Long-time residents have fought the influx of transplants. Close proximity to early settlers of Nevada, lots of ghost stories and rumors of treasures in the caves on the outskirts of town. Residents consist of retired casino employees, 4th generation wealth from gold rush, and new families who have relocated here because of new schools and low cost of living.

The town holds an annual sagebrush festival in the summer, a Beaux Arts ball in the winter, and a mineral-themed festival in the summer. Proper, Nevada has a tight community that immediately takes notice of newcomers. The town prides itself on hosting a creative social calendar of parties and events, keeping the residents in a constant state of one-upmanship when it comes to planning birthdays, engagements, retirement parties, and anything else they can think of.

SHOP NAME: Disguise DeLimit

CHARACTERS:
Margo Tamblyn: owner of costume shop. Margo’s mom died during childbirth, so she was raised by her father. The owner of a costume shop, he fumbled through raising a girl by relying on costumes for Margo’s school clothes, thus instilling in her a lifelong love of playing dress up. Now an adult, Margo dresses in “themes,” incorporating props and toys as accessories to her outfits. When her father has a heart attack and is forced to retire, Margo moves to Proper to care for him and take over the costume shop.

Margo has a small gray cat that she rescued. His name is Jaws 2 (named after her Betta fish Jaws, who suffered an unfortunate fate.)

Margo suffers from feelings of inadequacy, which she is dealing with in therapy. Her psychiatrist has been encouraging her to take more risks and open up to people, metaphorically “dropping the mask” that she hides behind. [this will become a source of conflict for Margo]

Other regular characters:

Ebony Welles [friend/surrogate mother]: Owner of a local party planning business, thirty years older than Margo. She acted as a surrogate mother to Margo in her childhood and remains the most influential woman in Margo’s life. Ebony is a black woman who copies different cinematic icons as her “look” to match the parties that she is planning, but mostly dresses in a 70’s style. At different times she could be Foxy Brown, Grace Jones, Diana Ross, Tina Turner, Dorothy Dandridge.

Other regular characters will include Tak Hoshiyama, local cop/love interest, son of Japanese and American parents, and Margo’s dad, who is recovering from a heart attack.

CONCEPTS:
MYSTERY PARTY
The beginning of spring marks the beginning of outdoor birthday party season in Proper. When spoiled Blitz Manners hires Margo’s friend to plan a mystery-themed birthday party, Margo is brought on board to provide the perfect costume for the birthday boy. Even though Blitz’s Sherlock Holmes costume is spot-on, he’s openly disappointed that she went classic Holmes instead of pop-culture Holmes. He cancels his order, leaving Margo unpaid for her work. When an invitee offers to buy the costume, Margo considers it a stroke of luck, until he is found dead at the party. Did Blitz have second thoughts about the costume, or did someone kill the wrong Sherlock? All detectives on deck for this one!

FESTIVAL FATALITIES
The beginning of summer brings the annual sagebrush festival. Craft vendors, artists, and musicians celebrate Nevada’s state flower with booths where they showcase their talents, live performances by local actors, and a parade. Margo has been hired to outfit the Sagebrush Sallies, a group of retired go-go dancers who perform a modified version of their sixties dances at the festival. But when Margo discovers a pair of abandoned white boots by the Sallies’ dressing quarters days before the festival, she suspects the worst. She follows the heel marks in the dirt and finds the body of one of the dancers. With no suspects and no leads, Margo takes a place in the kick line, hoping to expose the murderer.

TEDDY BEAR TRAGEDY
When a wealthy resident hires Carolyn to plan a birthday party for her daughter’s teddy bear, she uses the book Bear Party as her jumping off point. Suddenly, Margo is booked creating costumes for the plush animals of Proper! But when priceless jewelry goes missing at the party, it seems the only suspects are made of fiberfill—until one of the maids is found murdered in the kitchen. The local police, under pressure to find the valuables, threaten to confiscate all of the children’s teddy bears in a search and seizure. Margo and Carolyn are on a race to find the missing jewels and unmask a murderer before the most innocent of residents are literally turned inside out.

SCI-FI SHOWDOWN
When a sci-fi convention comes to Proper, the whole population gears up to get their Trek on. Margo is hired to design costumes for an alien/intergalactic army opening number performed by Proper’s city council. But when one alien is found dead before the opening act, and the mayor’s toy gun is found to be a carefully disguised pistol with the same bullets that shot the alien/actor, Margo has to find out who substituted her costume props for deadly weapons and why.

BEAUX ARTS BUST
The annual Beaux Arts Ball is upon the city of Proper. The theme is Garden of Earthly Delights, and the city’s wealthiest residents intend to pull out all the stops when it comes to their costumes. Local resident Amelia Hartford, director of the museum where the party will be held, consults with Margo for an elaborate Lady Godiva-type costume guaranteed to put her in the spotlight. But when Amelia is found dead in the Hieronymus Bosch wing of the museum and the police find an empty hidden pocket in the lining of her costume, everyone is a suspect. Was it a board member? An ex-husband? Or a crazy art lover who blurred the lines between art and reality? Margo can’t help wonder if what Amelia had hidden in that pocket had gotten her killed.

MOB MENTALITY
When local homicide detective Tak Noh convinces his precinct to host a Guys and Dolls party as a fundraiser, Margo finds herself knee-deep in pinstripe and fedoras. Her friend the party planner arranges for casino-type rentals in a local party hall and invites the town’s population to join in for a night of fun that will help the boys in blue. When a real mobster on the run hears about the event, he knows it’s the perfect place to hide. He pretends to be part of the force, getting Margo to make him a costume too, but when the event is raided by the very men he’s hiding from, can he continue to lay low, or does he come out of hiding to get a piece of the action.

~Diane

I don’t know about you but I love seeing the way the books we love get started. We all hear the term “pitched” thrown around but to see the pitch is very exciting for me. We also get a preview of stories coming in out future. Thank you so much Diane!!

A Disguise To Die For A Disguise to Die For:
A Costume Shop Mystery

New Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Nevada
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (February 2, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House, LLLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425278284
E-Book ASIN: B00X5936W2
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

Someone is dressed to kill in the debut Costume Shop Mystery from the national bestselling author of the Material Witness mysteries.

No sooner does former magician’s assistant Margo Tamblyn return home to Proper City, Nevada, to run Disguise DeLimit, her family’s costume shop, than she gets her first big order. Wealthy nuisance Blitz Manners needs forty costumes for a detective-themed birthday bash. As for Blitz himself, his Sherlock Holmes is to die for—literally—when, in the middle of the festivities, Margo’s friend and party planner Ebony Welles is caught brandishing a carving knife over a very dead Blitz.

For Margo, clearing Ebony’s name is anything but elementary, especially after Ebony flees town. Now Margo is left to play real-life detective in a town full of masked motives, cloaked secrets, and veiled vendettas. But as she soon learns, even a killer disguise can’t hide a murderer in plain sight for long.

INCLUDES RECIPES AND COSTUME IDEAS!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Disguise is the limit!! This is a soaring debut!

Margo Tamblyn had a very interesting upbringing. She lost her mother at birth and grew up with her father running their costume shop, Disguise DeLimit. From an early age and still today Margo wears costumes or parts of costumes as her everyday attire. She marches to her own drummer and is stronger than she knows. She has been working in Las Vegas as a magician’s assistant, but after her father suffers a heart attack she quickly finds a replacement and comes home. She wants to look after her father but knows she has to keep the store open. She is unsure about her father’s finances but is sure his recent trip to the hospital left him with some bills to pay. When Blitz Manners enters the store demanding she pull together 40 costumes for his birthday party as soon as possible she is thrilled to do so. It is a detective-themed party so she starts putting costumes together for Sherlock Holmes, Kojak, Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew and more. What she wasn’t expecting was the birthday boy to end up dead before the end of the party and her party planning friend Ebony to be accused of his murder. Margo decides she needs to actually become a detective, not just look like she plays one on t.v. Her friend needs her help and she is going to find the real killer.

What a great story!! I have been looking forward to this book since I first saw the cover. Disguise DeLimit is quite a store with every costume imaginable and if they don’t have what you want they will custom make it for you.  I really like Margo but her father is great person too. He has kept this shop going through thick and thin. His favorite part is traveling to find new costumes for the store. That part has taken a back seat since Margo moved away but he does take a very interesting trip in this book. Ebony, who has a dog named Ivory, that is him on the cover, helped raise Margo and is a mother figure to her. She is a very unique individual with a huge heart. We also meet Tak Hoshiyama but you have to read about him yourself, he starts out as a bit of a mystery and I don’t want to spoil that.

The plot and subplots are excellent. The mystery is kind of a closed room mystery but there are so many suspects and they are all in costume so figuring out the real culprit is no easy task. It came together for me after Margo figured it out. There were so many twists and diversions but it all came together perfectly. I was just not puzzling things out well at all 🙂

There is a Special Preview of the next book in the series, Masking For Trouble, coming in October and great costume ideas and recipes in the back of the book too!

If you are looking for something fun to read this is a perfect choice!

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

I’m a former fashion buyer turned mystery writer, trading fashion accessories for accessories to murder. I was bit by the mystery bug as a kid reading Trixie Belden, Connie Blair, and The Three Investigators. Now I’m writing three series: the Style & Error Mysteries, the Mad for Mod Mysteries, and the Material Witness Mysteries. Coming in Feb 2016: The new Costume Shop Cozy Mysteries!

The Material Witness mysteries feature Polyester Monroe, who inherits the fabric shop where she was born. Books include SUEDE TO REST and CRUSHED VELVET. The third, SILK STALKINGS, will be out in August 2016.

The Style & Error Series features former fashion buyer turned amateur sleuth Samantha Kidd. Books in that series include DESIGNER DIRTY LAUNDRY; BUYER, BEWARE; THE BRIM REAPER; and SOME LIKE IT HAUTE. (A short story, “Just Kidding,” tells the story of how Samantha first met shoe designer Nick Taylor). Book 5, GRAND THEFT RETRO, will be out in 2016.

The Madison Night Mysteries feature a modern day interior decorator who specializes in midcentury design (studying Doris Day movies to get the look right). Books are PILLOW STALK, THAT TOUCH OF INK, and WITH VICS YOU GET EGGROLL. A prequel novella, “Midnight Ice,” can be found in OTHER PEOPLE’S BAGGAGE.

Author Links

 Webpage           Facebook      Twitter          GoodReads

Purchase Links

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 Diane 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 February 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 Great Escapes Book Tours Guest Posts Literary Escapes Reviews 2016 What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Avery Aames – Author of For Cheddar or Worse – #Giveaways too!

cozy wednesday 2013 640
Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am always excited when Avery Aames stops by for a visit!

Daryl Wood Gerber 0218 100dpi

I adore Mac ‘n Cheese
By Avery Aames aka Daryl Wood Gerber

My author pal Krista Davis tells me that everything tastes better with bacon. I believe her. I believe everything Krista says.

When I’m writing, I need mental support. And mac ‘n cheese is, quite simply, comfort food to the MAX. Each bite packs a punch. Each bite melts in your mouth. Add bacon and wow!

By the way, according to Wikipedia, which happens to be my go-to source for absolutely truthful information (LOL), I discovered the following.

Did you know that pasta and cheese casseroles have been recorded in cookbooks as early as the Liber de Coquina (which is one of the oldest medieval cookbooks)? Also, a pasta and cheese casserole known as makerouns was recorded in an English cookbook in the 14th century. The casserole was made with hand-cut pasta and sandwiched between a mixture of melted butter and cheese. Oh, yum!!! AND it was considered an upper class meal in Italy until around the 18th century.

So there. Raise a pinky and eat mac and cheese!

What’s your favorite guilty-pleasure food?

Mac & Bacon & Cheddar Cheese
(Gluten-free or regular)

4Ingredients:

2 cups dried macaroni, cooked to tender (about 4-5 cups cooked) (gluten-free or regular macaroni – I like the Bionatura brand of gluten-free elbow pasta)
4 tablespoons butter [1/2 cube]
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1 teaspoon garlic salt
2 tablespoons rice or potato flour (for regular, you may use regular white flour)
1 cup milk
1 cup grated cheese (equal parts white and orange Cheddar)
4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and broken into bites
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (for garnish)
Paprika (for garnish)

Directions:

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside. This may be made a day ahead. NOTE: Do not forget to drain and set aside. You do not want the pasta to be “wet.”

In a large sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic salt & pepper and cook about 2 minutes. Add flour (gluten-free, if necessary) and stir. Cook 1 minute more, letting boil. It will thicken into a roux. Stir constantly.

Add milk, stir and let boil to thicken. About 1 minute.

Remove from heat and add white and orange Cheddars. Add bacon. Stir.

Pour sauce over drained macaroni. Toss well. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Dash with paprika.

cheddar or worse
For Cheddar or Worse:
A Cheese Shop Mystery

7th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Ohio
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Berkley (February 2, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-0425273326
E-Book ASIN: B00X593CK8
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In the new Cheese Shop Mystery from the Agatha Award-winning author of As Gouda as Dead, an extra-sharp tongued cheese critic is cut down during a summer cheese festival.

It’s time for the annual Cheese Festival in Providence, Ohio, and Charlotte Bessette’s cheese shop is packed with homemade specialties. Meanwhile, her friend Erin is prepping her dairy farm and inn for cheese makers, marketers, journalists, and one surprise guest—Lara Berry, pretentious cheese whiz, pompous bestselling author, and pungent critic whose extra sharp tongue can crumble a reputation.

Even though any love for Lara by her friends curdled long ago, Charlotte is surprised when the foodie is smothered to death in her room at Erin’s inn. Accusations start flying, but the one laying blame on Erin strikes Charlotte as a crock. Now, to clear her friend’s name, Charlotte has to sift through Lara’s ex-lovers, former business partners, and unforgiving enemies to find a killer before Lara’s past casts a tainted pall on the festival’s future.

RECIPES INCLUDED

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Say Cheese for one last time. Seriously, I had tears in my eyes when I learned that this would be our last visit to Fromagerie Bessette. I absolutely love these characters and I will miss them dearly. Avery Aames pulls out all the stops and gives us a fabulous mystery to bring the series to a close.

Providence, Ohio is hosting their annual cheese festival. Food, music, plays and a “brain trust” for cheese makers, distributors, and journalists. The “brain trust” is being held at the Emerald Pastures Farm owned by Erin Emerald. She also has an inn where several of the participants are staying. One special surprise guest has been added to the group, Lara Berry, best selling author and food critic. She is not well liked by those who know her, her reviews have done damage throughout the industry. When she is found murdered there is no shortage of suspects but the prime one is Charlotte’s friend, Erin Emerald. Charlotte butts right into the investigation to prove her friend’s innocence.

All our favorite characters are back.  Charlotte and Jordan are settling in to their married life and doing their best to mesh their very busy schedules. Charlotte’s grandmother, the mayor, is involved in almost every aspect of the festival. Her grandfather is helping out at the cheese shop while Charlotte attends the brain trust with her new hubby. Matthew and Meredith are expecting and she has been put on complete bed rest.  Not an easy task for an active woman with 2 young girls in the house or the man trying to keep everything as normal as possible. Delilah and the police chief, Urso, have rekindled their relationship.  And then we have all the crazy characters in town for the festival and the brain trust.

A fantastic plot full of surprises carries these characters through the pages. Interspersed between the main plots and subplots there is plenty of cheese, both tasting and food created with cheese. You will find yourself drooling. I found myself so entranced by the story I felt like I was searching out clues along with Charlotte and could almost taste the delectable treats sprinkled throughout the entire story.

I didn’t want the story to end. I slowed down my reading and tried to savor each and every interaction and step the characters took.  I knew when I reached the final page there would be no more. No more Charlotte and Rebecca working together at the shop, no more Matthew picking out the perfect wine, no more Pépère sneaking pieces of cheese, no more Grand-mère and her magnificent plans for the city or the playhouse, no more Charlotte trying to get Urso to tell her things he shouldn’t, no more cheese and those amazing recipes, no more of so many things I am going to miss. I am greedy. I wanted more! The only good thing is that I will still be able to read what Avery Aames writes because she does have another series written as herself, Daryl Wood Gerber. The Cookbook Nook Mysteries are fun and fabulous too! So if like me and are saying good-bye to Charlotte and her family and friends, I hope you are saying hello to Jenna and everyone in Crystal Cove. Of course, if both series are new to you I highly recommend them all.

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Avery Aames is the Agatha Award–winning author of The Long Quiche Goodbye and six other titles in the Cheese Shop Mystery series. As Daryl Wood Gerber, she is the nationally bestselling author of  the Cookbook Nook Mysteries, including Fudging the Books, Stirring the Plot, Inherit the Word, and Final Sentence. Like her protagonist, Avery is an admitted foodie. Prior to writing, Avery (aka Daryl) acted on stage and television, including on Murder, She Wrote. Don’t forget to sign up for her fan club so you can be entered in all her contests! You’ll find that fan club on her website! Visit her website at www.darylwoodgerber.com.

Author Links

Blog: www.mysteryloverskitchen.com (Blog Wednesdays)

www.facebook.com/darylwoodgerber     www.pinterest/darylwoodgerber

www.twitter.com/darylwoodgerber     www.twitter.com/averyaames

www.goodreads/darylwoodgerber     www.goodreads/averyaames



GIVEAWAY

Penguin is giving away a copy of For Cheddar or Worse
and Avery is giving away copy of winner’s choice of CHEESE SHOP MYSTERY!!
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.

Leave a comment for Avery 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 February 10, 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

Avery is also touring with
Great Escapes Book Tours this week!
Visit every stop for more reviews, recipes and giveaways

for cheddar or worse large banner640

Tour Participants
January 25 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review, Giveaway
January 26 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
January 27 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
January 28 – Mallory Heart Reviews – Review
January 29 – Griperang’s Bookmarks – Review, Giveaway
January 30 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
January 31 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway

Including this Great Grand Prize!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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 Literary Escapes Reviews 2016 What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review/ #Giveaway – Sweet Pepper Hero by J.J. Cook

sweet peppet heroSweet Pepper Hero: A Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mystery
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Tennessee
4th in Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Published by Penguin Random House, LLC.
Release Date: January 5, 2016
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425279236
E-Book ASIN: B00W2ZKNZ8
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

Old rivalries heat up in the fourth Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade mystery from the national bestselling author of In Hot Water.

Fire chief Stella Griffin has been put in charge of judging the annual recipe contest, but Eric—her resident ghost and true culinary genius—has vanished. Before she can track down his latest haunt, she’s called in to investigate a local moonshine distillery that was set ablaze, making her realize there’s more than pies and cakes cooking in Sweet Pepper.

As rumors of a revived whiskey war ignite, Stella turns to the town’s elders to help her find answers. The past might have some clues as to what has sparked the present fires. But when following a lead lands her in buried rubble, Stella realizes she must extinguish this case fast or she might be going down in flames.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Is that a beautiful cover or what? Kudos to Mary Ann Lasher and George Long!

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book. The authors left us with a cliffhanger at the end of In Hot Water and these characters are some of my all-time favorites. Chief Eric or his ghost is near and dear to my heart because he reminds me so much of my dad. The cliffhanger was resolved but not in a way I ever expected. Pretty dramatic but it had me laughing too.

Aside from the cliffhanger, in this installment, the police have orders from the ATF to investigate stills in the area. It seems that even today people are brewing moonshine illegally. When a still explodes and a man dies it is time for Stella to step in. Then when another still starts on fire along with the house it is hidden in, Stella starts to think it is not a coincidence so she starts her on investigation. But before she can even sort through the evidence she finds herself in peril.

I love the way Stella and Eric work together to solve the mystery. This story is filled with fires, explosions, whiskey wars and other drama. We also meet a few more ghosts that are nothing like Chief Eric. They have their own issues. More members of the community are joining the fire department and the fires and training sessions are quite interesting as all the personnel kinks are worked out.  But in my opinion fire dog Hero, lives up to his name and is the star of the story as the title implies. He is such a smart dog. with keen instincts. The people of Sweet Pepper are fortunate to have him as part of the brigade.

These authors continue to give us absolutely awesome stories time and time again. They can have us on the edge of our seat one moment, laughing out loud the next and even occasionally reaching for a tissue. So much happens in these pages that it truly boggles my mind and everything just flows right together perfectly. The ending was a real surprise and the teaser for the next book has me so anxious that waiting a year is just plain mean 🙂

Sweet Pepper, Tennessee is know for its peppers so of course there are recipes in the back of the book.

This is a great addition to this wonderful series! Start a fire (in your fireplace) and curl up with it as soon as you can.

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Authors

J. J. Cook is a pseudonym for a married couple who writes mysteries, mostly set in the South, with a touch of paranormal and romance.

Author Links:

Webpage       Facebook      Twitter

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 February 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 Cozy Wednesday Crafty Cozy Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Reviews 2016 What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Bailey Cattrell – Author of Daisies For Innocence – #Giveaway too!

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am pleased to welcome Bailey Cattrell to Escape With Dollycas today!

McRae_Cricket pic

 

Daisies For Innocence is first in the Enchanted Garden Mystery series and features Elliana Allbright, aromatherapist extraordinaire and owner of Scents & Nonsense. A thirty-something recent divorcee, Ellie has lived in Poppyville, California her entire life.

In fact, her great, great grandfather was one of the founders of the town – along with Pauline “Poppy” Thierry, the local madam in 1849. Originally settled in order to cater to the miners headed into the Sierra Nevada Mountains during the California Gold Rush, modern-day Poppyville is a tourist town chock full of Old West flavor and offering nearby hot springs, mountain biking, horseback riding, and fly fishing.

Ellie lives with Dash, her Pembroke Welsh corgi, in a super-efficient Tiny House at the back of the Scents & Nonsense property. The shop is guarded day and night by a Russian blue shorthair named Nabokov who regularly attracts clusters of blue butterflies when he ventures out to sun himself in the garden. By the end of the book, Ellie’s growing menagerie is joined by a beta fish named Leonard.

daisies for innocenceThe space between Ellie’s home and work is packed with garden beds connected by winding stone paths. There are seating areas and cozy alcoves interspersed with fairy houses, gnome doors and miniature tableaus tucked in surprising nooks and crannies. An etched boulder in the center of the space declares it The Enchanted Garden, and over time it has gained a reputation as a place for children to come explore the tiny “fairy” worlds while their parents have a cup of tea and nibble on the cookies Ellie’s best friend, Astrid Moneypenny, brings into the shop each morning.

However, the Enchanted Garden also provides the flowers and plants Ellie distills down into custom “perfumes” that do more than just smell good. She learned about plants and their essences from her gamma, who left behind a dog-eared but beautifully illustrated garden journal and an ancient, copper alembic. An alembic is a kind of still (think moonshine), but much smaller and used for distilling essential oils.

Her whole life, Ellie always had a fine-tuned sense of smell, which, combined with a natural ability to know how scents can help other people, uniquely qualifies her to create her special perfumes. When Astrid calls it a superpower, Ellie just laughs, but it turns out Astrid might be more right than Ellie realizes!

In Daisies For Innocence, Ellie’s part-time employee, Josie Overland, confesses that she has been dating Ellie’s ex-husband for a month or so. Ellie is surprised and worried at this news, as she doesn’t want Josie to get hurt the same way she did. But when she finds Josie dead on the boardwalk in front of Scents & Nonsense the next morning, she is unable to convince Detective Max Lang that she had no motive to kill Josie. After all, Max and Ellie’s ex, Harris, are best friends, and Harris has painted Ellie to be a jealous shrew.

Fortunately, Max’s partner, Detective Lupe Garcia is open to looking for other suspects. Unfortunately, Garcia’s new to town, and so it’s up to Ellie and Astrid to ferret out the real killer. Ellie also gets help from members of the Greenstockings, her women’s business group, and Ritter Nelson, an old high-school crush who is back in town visiting his sister.

And then there’s the mysterious plant that sprouted under the birdbath the same day Josie was killed – a plant that grows faster than anything Ellie has ever seen and that she can’t identify anywhere except in her gamma’s journal. As she looks into the life of a woman she thought she knew while hunting for her murderer, Ellie waits for the chance to distill the strange plant’s heady essence – and whatever memories it might bring – for herself.

The book includes a recipe for Astrid’s Chewy Double Chocolate Chunk Hazelnut Cookies, aromatherapy tips, and essential oil blends for things like relaxations and concentration. There’s also the first chapter of Brownies and Broomsticks, the first of the NYT bestselling Magical Bakery Mysteries that I write as Bailey Cates.

Next up? Spells and Scones, the sixth Magical Bakery mystery, will release in July, 2016, and I’m currently working on the second Enchanted Garden Mystery, Nightshade for Warning.
For more information about all my books, please visit www.baileycates.com, Like my page on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter.

~Bailey

daisies for innocenceDaisies For Innocence:
An Enchanted Garden Mystery

New Cozy Mystery Series
Setting – California
An Obsidian Mystery
Published by New American Library (January 5, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451476883
E-Book ASIN: B00W2ZKKM4
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Shop Indie Bookstores

From Bailey Cattrell—who writes the New York Times bestselling Magical Bakery Mysteries as Bailey Cates—comes the first Enchanted Garden Mystery featuring custom perfume maker Elliana Allbright…

The Enchanted Garden behind Elliana Allbright’s perfume shop draws people of all ages with its fragrant flowers and lush greenery. But when the magical serenity is interrupted, it’s up to Ellie to sniff out a killer.

Ellie’s life has blossomed in Poppyville, California, since she opened Scents & Nonsense, a custom-made-perfume store. Her skills with aromas and botanical essences—some from her very own garden—seem almost…supernatural. Her perfumes can evoke emotions,  bring about change, or simply make people happy. Customers are flocking to the store to buy her wares or just to sit in her beautiful garden, sip tea and enjoy homemade cookies.

But she smells trouble when she learns that her part-time assistant Josie is dating her ex. And before she can tell the young woman to beware of his charms, she finds Josie dead in the Enchanted Garden. Now the prime suspect in Josie’s murder, Ellie must search for the real culprit in Josie’s past—because it’ll take a miracle to nip this problem in the bud….

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Elliana Allbright has a fantastic place in Poppyville, California. At the front of her lot is Scents & Nonsense, her store, where she sells items scented from the flowers in her very own garden. The Enchanted Garden fills the side and back yards right up to the front of her tiny house. I can picture it so clearly in my mind with her bird bath and other whimsical touches surrounded by flowers that bloom all year. Even a few extra special varieties.

Ellie has a gift of matching the right scent to each person for any occasion and her Gamma’s journal is the guidebook to everything growing in the garden.  Everything is coming up roses until her friend and employee, Josie Overland, is pushing up daisies, dead in the garden. Not so enchanting.

The was a fun read. Because of the location of the body, Elliana is the prime suspect. One of the officers on the case is best friends with her ex so she knows she isn’t going to get much help there but his partner, Detective Lupe Garcia, has a more open mind and actually investigates. I liked that Ellie didn’t just jump into the investigation. She stayed in touch with Garcia and they shared infomation. We meet several unique characters throughout the book. Friends from her high school days, friends that Ellie made before her divorce and new friends since opening her store. Ellie shop also has a resident feline and she has a Welsh Corgi named Dash too.

The book started a little slow for me but soon I was fully engaged and stayed up until early in the morning  to finish. The mystery has its share of plot twists to keep readers guessing and I was surprised to learn I had picked the right culprit from the bunch.

I loved the aromatherapy theme and was thrilled to see the blends at the end of the story.

Bailey Cattrell has planted all the seeds to get this series off to a blooming start.

enjoyable 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Writing as Bailey Cates


Writing as Cricket McRae


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 Bailey 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 February 3, 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 Challenges Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Just For Fun Challenge Literary Escapes What An Animal Reading Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

2015 – It’s A Wrap!

g-gif-update (2)
AND GOOD RIDDANCE!

We all know personally 2015 was the worst year of my whole life, but I threw myself into this blog and the book tours.

In 2015, I read 196 books, 54165 pages, gave away 282 books, organized 168 book tours, and completed all but 1 of my challenges. It was a fantastic year in my virtual world.

Since I need this to qualify as my Challenge Wrap Up Post, this is how I did:

 

2015 Challenges

2015RC HowManyBooks-hostingI signed up at Level 2 – 150 books

My list is on GoodReads shelf here.

my read-2015 shelf:
LORI CASWELL's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read-2015 shelf)

alphabet 2015A. All The President’s Menus by Julie Hyzy
B. BIG MOJO by Jack Getze
C. Crash & Burn by Lisa Gardner
D. Devil in the Deadline by LynDee Walker
E. An Early Wake by Sheila Connolly
F. Feta Attraction by Susannah Hardy
G. Garden of Death by Chrystle Fiedler
H. How to Catch A Cat by Rebecca M. Hale
I. In Hot Water by J.J. Cook
J. The Jesus Cow by Michael Perry
K. A Killer Retreat by Tracy Weber
L. Lie of the Needle by Cate Price
M. Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule by Jennifr Chiaverini
N. New Uses For Old Boyfriends by Beth Kendrick
O. One Garish Ghost & Blueberry Peach Jam by Jennifer Fischetto
P. Passing Through Perfect by Bette Lee Crosby
Q. To Quiet in Brooklyn by Susan Russo Anderson
R. A Root Awakening by Kate Collins
S. A Seamless Murder by Melissa Bourbon
T. Tales From Suburbia by Brandi Haas
U. Under the Cajun Moon by Mindy Starns Clark
V. Visions of Sugarplums by Jennifer Blake
W. Wedding Duress by Elizabeth Lynn Casey
X. X Out of Wonderland by David Allan Cates
Y. Yarned and Dangerous by Sadie Hartwell
Z. The Alpine Zen by Mary Daheim

just for fun 2015JanuaryApple Turnover Murder by Joanne Fluke
February – Book Fair and Foul by Erika Chase
March – The Body in the Boudoir by Katherine Page Hall
April – Almost Always by Bobbi Reed
May – The Body in the Piazza
June – Devil’s Food Cake Murder by Joanna Fluke
July – Death is Like A Box of Chocolates by Kathy Aarons
August – The Corpse With the Platinum Hair by Cathy Ace
September – For Whom The Blue Bell Tolls by Beverly Allen
October – Farewell, Dorothy Parker by Ellen Meister
November – Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death by Mark Reutlinger
December – Snow Way Out by Christine Husom

ANIMAL READING CHALLENGE

 1. A Killer Retreat by Tracy Weber
2. Kill ’em With Cayenne by Gail Oust
3. Kelly’s Koffee Shop by Dianne Harman
4. Fry Another Day by J.J. Cook
5. Romeow and Juliet by Kathi Daley
6. Lie of the Needle by Cate Price
7. Arsenic and Old Books by Miranda James
8. License to Dill by Mary Ellen Hughes
9. The Mad Catter by Kathi Daley
10. How to Catch A Cat by Rebecca M. Hale
11. Denim in Demise by Duffy Brown
12. Hot Fudge Frame Up by Christine DeSmet
13. Seven Threadly Sins by Janet Bolin
or more.

Challenge Completed April 22, 2015

Cruisinchatting cozies
1. In Hot Water by J.J. Cook
2. Feta Attraction by Susannah Hardy
3. All The President’s Menus by Julie Hyzy
4. A Killer Retreat by Tracy Weber
5. Devil in the Deadline by LynDee Walker
6. Kill ’em With Cayenne by Gail Oust
7. One Garish Ghost & Blueberry Peach Jam by Jennifer Fischetto
8. A Seamless Murder by Melissa Bourban
9. As Gouda As Dead by Avery Aames
10. Kelly’s Koffee Shop by Dianne Harman
11. Cunning Cruise Ship Caper by Sally Carpenter
12. Fry Another Day by J.J. Cook
13. Dead Man Walker by Duffy Brown
14. A Root Awakening by Kate Collins
15. Criminal Confections by Colette London
16. Death and The Redheaded Woman by Loretta Ross
17. This Old Homicide by Kate Carlisle
18. Romeow and Juliet by Kathi Daley
19. Lie of the Needle by Cate Price
20. Arsenic and Old Books by Miranda James

21. Drawing Conclusions by Deirdre Verne
22. The Deep End By Julie Mulhern
23. License to Dill by Mary Ellen Hughes
24. Dang Near Dead by Nancy G. West
25. An Early Wake by Sheila Connolly
26. A Suspendered Sentence by Laura Bradford
27. Murder with Fried Chicken and Waffles by A.L. Herbert
28. Flamenco, Flan, and Fatalities by Mary McHugh
29. Deadlines by E. Hepner
30. The Mad Catter by Kathi Daley
31. Too Cute To Kill by Linda Crowder
32. Main Street Murder by Linda Crowder
33. How to Catch A Cat by Rebecca M. Hale
34. Garden of Death by Chrystle Fiedler
35. Denim in Demise by Duffy Brown
36. Wedding Duress by Elizabeth Lynn Casey
37. Ladle to the Grave by Connie Archer
38. Bridges Burned By Annette Dashofy
39. Hot Fudge Frame Up by Christine DeSmet
40. Dark Chocolate Demise by Jenn McKinlay
41. Seven Threadly Sins by Janet Bolin
42. Lemon Pies and Little White Lies by Ellery Adams
43. Slayed on the Slopes by Kate Dyer Seeley
44. Musseled Out by Barbara Ross
45. Oh Say You Can Your Fudge by Nancy Coco
46. The Final Reveille by Annette Dashofy
47. Deadly Desires at Homey Church Hall by Hannah Dennison
48. The Body in the Birches by Katherine Hall Page
49. Bite the Biscuit by Linda O. Johnston
50.  The Alpine Zen by Mary Daheim
51. The Diva Steals a Chocolate Kiss by Krista Davis

52. Bubba Done It by Maggie Toussaint
53. A Wee Murder in my Shop by Fran Stewart
54. The Book Stops Here by Kate Carisle
55. Purl Up and Die by Maggie Sefton
56. Death at Timberly by Maithili Pradhan
57. Smothered, Covered and Dead by Liz Lipperman
58. A Fatal Chapter by Lorna Barrett
59. A Bushel Full of Murder by Paige Shelton
60. A Finely Knit Murder by Sally Goldenbaum
61. Dressed to Kill by Lynn Cahoon
62. Justice For Katie by Linda Crowder
63. A Season for Killing Blondes by Joanne Guidoccio
64. Murder at Beechwood by Alyssa Maxwell
65. Fatal Reservations by Lucy Burdette
66. Grace Cries Uncle by Julie Hyzy
67. Butter Off Dead by Leslie Budewitz
68. Fatal Fairies by Joyce and Jim Lavene
69. The Royal Assassin by Kate Parker
70. Peaches and Screams by Susan Furlong
72. Hooked on Ewe by Hannah Reed
73. Death by Didgeridoo by Barbara Venkataraman
74. The Case of the Killer Divorce by Barbara Venkataraman
75. Peril in the Park by Barbara Venkataraman
76. Caught Read-Handed by Terrie Farley Moran
77. Trawling For Trouble by Shelley Freydont
78. The Karma of King Harald by Richard Audry
79. King Harald’s Heist by Richard Audry
80. Fudging the Books by Daryl Wood Gerber
81. The Musubi Murder by Frankie Bow
82. Give Em Pumpkin To Talk About by Joyce and Jim Lavene
83. Fool Me Once by Steven Hockensmith
85. Seniors Sleuth by J.J. Chow
86. Dream A Little Scram by Mary Kennedy
87. Murder in the Paperback Parlor by Ellery Adams
88. Under the Cajun Moon by Mindy Starns Clark
89. Better Homes and Corpses by Kathleen Bridge
90. A Desperate Homecoming by Anna Loan Wilsey
91. Under the Cajun Moon by Mindy Starns Clark
92. Better Homes and Corpses by Kathleen Bridge
93. A Deceptive Homecoming By Anna Loan Wilsey
94. Revenge of the Chili Queens by Kylie Logan
95. Murder on the Horizon by M.L. Rowland
96. If Onions Could Spring Leeks by Paige Shelton
97. Basket Case by Nancy Haddock
98. Truffled to Death by Kathy Aarons
99. Black Cat Crossing by Kay Finch
100. Cancans, Croissants and Caskets by Mary McHugh
Challenge Completed 9/16/2015
101. Law and Author by Erika Chase
102. Threads of Evidence by Lea Wait
103. Move Your Blooming Corpse by D.E. Ireland
104. – The Cracked Spine by Paige Shelton
105. Mission to Kill by Lizbeth Lipperman
106. Looking for Mr. Good Witch by Joyce and Jim Lavene
107. Plantation Shudders by Ellen Bryon
108. Floral Depravity by Beverly Allen
109. Mission Impastable by Sharon Arthur Moore
110. Guaranteed to Bleed by Julie Mulhern
111. Heroes and Hooligans by Amy Metz
112. Murder Plainly Read by Isabella Alan
113. The Skeleton Haunts the House by Leigh Perry
114. Trick or Deadly Treat by Livia J. Washburn
115. The Corpse with the Sapphire Eyes by Cathy Ace
116. Florist Grump by Kate Collins
117. Short and Tall Tales in Goose Pimple Junction by Amy Metz
118. Flipped for Murder by Maddie Day
119. Olive and Let Die by Sussanah Hardy
120. Death Changes Everything by Linda Crowder
121. Trimmed for Murder by Sally Goldenbaum
122. Miss Ruffles Inherits Everything by Nancy Martin
123. Stabbing in the Senate by Colleen J. Shogun
124. Dead Tease by Victoria Houston
125. Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death by Mark Reutlinger
126. A Pain in the Tuchis by Mark Reutlinger
127. Dead to the Last Drop by Cleo Coyle
128. Sweetheart Deal by Linda Joffe Hull
129. Writing All Wrongs by Ellery Adams
130. Cover Shot by LynDee Walker
131. Murder Most Howl by Krista Davis
132. Smart, But Dead by Nancy G. West
133. Bun For Your Life by Karoline Barrett
134. To Brew or Not To Brew by Joyce Tremel
135. Yarned and Dangerous by Sadie Hartwell
136. Murder Fir Christmas by Joyce and Jim Lavene
137. The Conspiring Woman by Kate Parker
138. Dorothy Parker Drank Here by Ellen Meister
139. Engaged in Murder by Barbara Venkataraman
140. Here Today, Gone Tamale by Rebecca Adler
141. A Christmas Mourning by Laura Bradford
142. Rest Ye Murdered Gentkeman by Vicki Delany
Finishing the Series
1. The Body in the Boudior  – The Body in the PiazzaThe Body in the Birches by Katherine Hall Page
2. Too Cute to Kill and Main Street Murder – Justice for Katie – Death Changes Everything by Linda Crowder

where are you reading

1. Tennessee
2. New York
3. Alabama
4. District of Columbia
5. New Jersey
6. Washington
7. New Hampshire
8. Virginia
9. Georgia
10. Minnesota
11. Texas
12. Ohio
13. Oregon
14. Missouri
15. Delaware
16. Indiana
17. Mississippi
18. Pennsylvania
19. Maryland
20. California
21. Wyoming
22. South Carolina
23. Vermont
24. Wisconsin
25. Arizona
26. Connecticut
27. Maine
28. Michigan
29. Iowa
30. Colorado
31. Montana
32. Kentucky
33. Massachusetts
34. Rhode Island
35. Florida
36. Hawaii
37. Louisiana
38. North Carolina
39. Nevada
40. Arkansas
41. South Dakota

Abroad
1. Ireland
2. Spain
3. Italy
4. Amazon Rainforest
5. England
6. Ontario, Canada
7. France
8. Scotland
9. Wales
10. Mexico

literary road trip 2012
1. Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule by Jennifer Chiaverini (Wisconsin Author)
2. License to Dill by Mary Ellen Hughes  (Wisconsin Author)
3. Hot Fudge Frame Up by Christine DeSmet (Wisconsin Author & Setting)
4. The Jesus Cow by Michael Perry (Wisconsin Author & Setting)
5. Hooked on Ewe by Hannah Reed (Wisconsin Author)
6. Lost in America by Laura Fitzferald (Wisconsin Author)
7. Death on the Prairie by Kathleen Ernst (Wisconsin Author)
8. Christmas Bells by Jennifer Chiaverini (Wisconsin Author) 
9. Trimmed for Murder by Sally Goldenbaum (Wisconsin Author)
10. Dead Tease by Victoria Houston (Wisconsin Author) (Wisconsin Setting)

ebookreadingchallenge
1. Tales From Suburbia by Brandi Haas
2. BIG MOJO by Jack Getze
3. A Killer Retreat by Tracy Weber
4. Crash & Burn by Lisa Gardner
5. Devil in the Deadline by LynDee Walker
6. One Garish Ghost & Blueberry Peach Jam by Jennifer Fischetto
7. Kelly’s Koffee Shop by Dianne Harman
8. Cunning Cruise Ship Caper by Sally Carpenter
9. Dead Man Walker by Duffy Brown
10. Criminal Confections by Colette London
11. Death and The Redheaded Woman by Loretta Ross
12. Drawing Conclusions by Deirdre Verne
13. The Deep End By Julie Mulhern
14. Dang Near Dead by Nancy G. West
15. Flamenco, Flan, and Fatalities by Mary McHugh
16. Too Cute To Kill by Linda Crowder
17. Main Street Murder by Linda Crowder
18. The Glassblower’s Wife by Joanna Campbell Slan
19. Bridges Burned By Annette Dashofy
20. The Denim Blue Sea by Joanne DeMaio
21. The Body in the Birches by Katherine Hall Page
22. Deadly Desires at Homey Church Hall by Hannah Dennison
23. A Far Gone Night by John Carnen
24. Dying Brand by Wendy Tyson
25. Bite the Biscuit by Linda O. Johnston
Challenge Complete May 13, 2015 but going to try for the next level of 50.
26. To Quiet in Brooklyn by Susan Russo Anderson  
27. Southern Heat by David Burnsworth
28. When the Balls Drop by Brad Garrett
29. Death at Timberly by Maithili Pradhan
30. Let Me Die In His Footsteps by Lori Roy
31. Smothered, Covered and Dead by Liz Lipperman
32. Dressed to Kill by Lynn Cahoon
33. Justice For Katie by Linda Crowder
34. A Season for Killing Blondes by Joanne Guidoccio
35. Somebody I Used to Know by David Bell
36. Fatal Fairies by Joyce and Jim Lavene
37. Death by Didgeridoo by Barbara Venkataraman
38. The Case of the Killer Divorce by Barbara Venkataraman
39. Peril in the Park by Barbara Venkataraman
40. Trawling For Trouble by Shelley Freydont
41. The Musubi Murder by Frankie Bow
42. Give Em Pumpkin To Talk About by Joyce and Jim Lavene
43. Fool Me Once by Steven Hockensmith
44. Zachary’s Choice by Susie Labonte
45. The Paris Key by Juliet Blackwell
46. The Reckoning Stones by Laura DiSilverio
47. Cancans, Croissants and Caskets by Mary McHugh
48. Lost in America by Laura Fitzferald
49. The Brooklyn Drop by Susan Russo Anderson
50. Move Your Blooming Corpse by D.E. Ireland
Challenge Completed 9/24/2015
51. Mission to Kill by Lizbeth Lipperman
52. Death on the Prairie by Kathleen Ernst
53. Guaranteed to Bleed by Julie Mulhern
54. Heroes and Hooligans by Amy Metz
55. The Corpse with the Sapphire Eyes by Cathy Ace
56. Short and Tall Tales in Goose Pimple Junction by Amy Metz
57. Death Changes Everything by Linda Crowder
58. Dead Tease by Victoria Houston
59. Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death by Mark Reutlinger
60. A Pain in the Tuchis by Mark Reutlinger
61. Sweetheart Deal by Linda Joffe Hull
62. Cover Shot by LynDee Walker
63. Snow Deer and Cocoa Cheer by Joanne DeMaio
64. Smart, But Dead by Nancy G. West
65. Bun For Your Life by Karoline Barrett
66. Yarned and Dangerous by Sadie Hartwell
67. Murder Fir Christmas by Joyce and Jim Lavene
68. The Rise of The Red Queen by Borne Morris
69. Dorothy Parker Drank Here by Ellen Meister70. Engaged in Murder by Barbara Venkataraman
70. Revenge of the Sea by Jesse Giles Christiansen
71. A Christmas Mourning by Laura Bradford
72. Tis the Season by Sharon Pape
72. Visions of Sugarplums by Jennifer Blake

Wow, that is a lot of books! Most are linked to my reviews. I completed all but the Where Are You Reading? Challenge. 41 states, not too bad, maybe in 2016 I will visit them all.

How did you do this year? Books read? Challenges completed? Please share!!

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Challenges Cloak and Dagger Challenge Crafty Cozy Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge TBR Pile Challenge What An Animal Reading Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

Are You Up For A Challenge? Maybe 2, 3 or 12…

challenges
It’s that time of year, wrapping up this year’s Reading Challenges and planning for next year’s Reading Challenges.

I keep track of all my challenges on the Reading Challenges Page here on my blog but most challenges do not require a blog. You can keep track on spreadsheet or word document. You can also set up separate bookshelves for each challenge on GoodReads. The important thing is to read books you enjoy and sometimes challenges give us the push we need. This post is about the new 2016 Challenges. I will post a wrap up of my 2015 in early January.

I have already posted about the Challenges I am hosting.

Craving For Cozies Challenge 2016 and the 2016 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge.

472 goodreadsSince 2011 I have participated in and completed the GoodReads Reading Challenge. The link for signing up with be posted on GoodReads soon, usually January 1.

You Read How Many Books

The 2016 You Read How Many Books Challenge is now being hosted by The Crafty Engineer’s Bookshelf, It is for people who read more than 100 books a year.

Choose a Level
Level 1: 100 minimum
Level 2: 150
Level 3: 200
Level 4: 250 or more

I almost made it to 200 books this year which really surprised me, so I am signing up for Level 3 for 2016.

Just click here for more details and to sign up.

 

pages read

The Crafty Engineer’s Bookshelf is also hosting 2016 Pages Read Challenge.  This is a new challenge for me.

Choose a Level
Level 1: 13,000 pages read
Level 2: 26,000 pages read
Level 3: 52,000 pages read
Level 4: 78,000 pages read
Level 5: 104,000 pages read

I am going to strive for Level 3.

Just click here for more details and to sign up.

ebook16

Annette’s Book Spot is again hosting the E-Book Reading Challenge.

Levels:

1. Bits – 5 ebooks
2. Bytes – 10 ebooks
3. Megabytes – 25 ebooks
4. Gigabytes – 50 ebooks
5. Terabytes – 75 ebooks
6. Empty the Cloud – 100 ebooks

I signed up for Level 4 – Gigabytes this year and am amazed that I almost reached Level 5 – Terabytes. So I can going to attempt the Terabytes level in 2016.

Click here for more details and to sign up.

cozychallenge2016

Even though I am hosting my own Cozy reading challenge I will still be taking part in the Cruisin’ Thru The Cozies Reading Challenge 2016 hosted by Yvonne at Socrates Book Reviews. I have taken part in this one since she started it back in 2010.

Choose the level you wish to participate:

Level 1 – Snoop – Read at least 6 books
Level 2 – Investigator – Read 7-12 books
Level 3 – Super Sleuth – Read 13-20 books
Level 4 – Sleuth Extraordinaire – Read 21 or more books

I will be signing up at the Sleuth Extraordinaire level.

Click here for more details and to sign up.

What an animal ixSocrates Book Reviews also hosts the What An Animal IX Reading Challenge. Animals and cozy mysteries seem to go hand in hand.

Level 1 – Read at least 6 books
Level 2 – Read 7-12
Level 3 – Read 13-20
Level 4 – Read 21 or more

I am signing up for Level 4 this year.

Click here for more details and to sign up.

craftycozychallenge1

This is a new challenge. The Crafty Cozy Challenge is hosted by Books Are Life – Vita Libri.

There are no levels for this tour. I can’t wait to see how many I read that fit the category. I am starting out with a goal of 25.

Click here for more details and to sign up.

cloak and dagger

It has been a few years since I have participated in a general mystery/thriller challenge. This challenge is hosted by Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my! and Booker T’s Farm. I have plenty of books on my shelf to choose from. For me this will be a non-cozy challenge.

Levels:

1-10 books – Amateur Sleuth
11-20 books – Detective
21-30 books – Inspector
31+ books – Special agent

I am signing up at the Detective Level.

Click here for more details and to sign up.

Final 2 Large

Bea’s Book Nook has taken over hosting this challenge. The Finishing the Series Challenge pushes me to catch up on my favorite series but I set some extra rules for myself. I have to be 2 or more books behind in the series. That is why I only commit to finishing just 2 series each year.

Level 1 (Novice series reader) – Complete 1 series.
Level 2 (Testing the waters) – Complete 2 -4 series.
Level 3 (Experienced) – Complete 3 – 6 series.
Level 4 (Expert series reader) – Complete 7 or more series.

Click here for more details and to sign up.

TBR CHALLENGE

This year I will not be hosting the Just For Fun Reading Challenge but I want to try to read more books from my huge TBR (To Be Read) stacks. This is a perfect challenge to help me. The 2016 TBR Pile Reading Challenge is hosted by Bookish Lifestyle. They also have a book club as an optional add to this challenge.

How many books are you planning to read for this challenge?
1-10 A Firm Handshake
11-20 A Friendly Hug
21-30 First Kiss
31-40 Sweet Summer Fling
41-50 Could This Be Love?
50+ Married with Children

I am going to try to reach First Kiss level.

Click here for more details and to sign up.

literary road trip 2012

I challenge myself personally each year to read 10 books written by or books set in my home state of Wisconsin. You can do your own personal challenge to read books from your home state too.
Reading Challenge Addict
By my count that is 13 Challenges when you add the 2 I am hosting. So yes I am a Reading Challenge Addict. This year Bev from My Reader’s Block is one with a HUGE problem and the current author and caretaker of the challenge that was previously hosted by Cheryl at CMash Loves to Read and then Gina at Hott Books.  We each can stand proudly and say,

I am a Reading Challenge Addict.

How addicted are you?

  • Easy as Pie: 1-5 Challenges (Entered & Completed)
  • On the Roof: 6-10 Challenges (Entered & Completed)
  • In Flight: 11-15 Challenges (Entered & Completed)
  • Out of This World: 16+ Challenges (Entered & Completed)

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There is still one challenge I hope to add and that is the Where Are Reading Challenge hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. Sheila lost her son in a car accident not long after my Kris took his life. I am not sure if she is going to host in 2016. If she doesn’t it will be a personal challenge for me. That would keep me still in the In-Flight level.

Looks like I will have a very busy year ahead with so many great books to read.

Remember you do NOT need a blog to enter these challenges. Just sign up and read and have fun. Start with just 1. Be careful, as you can see they are quite addicting!!

Come back and tell me about the ones you join and let me know of others you find. If the ones above aren’t for you, head over to A Novel Challenge. They are featuring many more.

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent