Nov 132019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to welcome Kate Carlisle back to Escape With Dollycas today!

The Twisty, Turny Research Journey to Kate Carlisle’s New Book

(Guest Post Provided by Publicist)

Kate Carlisle is the New York Times bestselling author of two ongoing series: the Bibliophile Mysteries featuring San Francisco bookbinder Brooklyn Wainwright, whose rare book restoration skills uncover old secrets, treachery and murder; and the Fixer-Upper Mysteries (as seen on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries), featuring Shannon Hammer, a home contractor who discovers not only skeletons in her neighbors’ closets, but murder victims, too.

Kate’s Latest Fixer-Upper Mystery is Shot Through the Hearth, available now.

As a writer, research can be a massive problem for me. Not because I dread it. Quite the opposite, in fact. I love it so much that I can all too easily be drawn down a circuitous path of wonderment that has no end. I’m curious about everything.

Everything.

I do my research in two stages: while plotting the story and while writing it. During the plotting stage I have more freedom to explore because the things I learn could take the story in exciting directions I never anticipated. At that stage, I don’t know what I don’t know, so every discovery has the potential to change the plot.

During the writing stage, my research has to be more focused on finding the answer to a specific question. I must discipline myself not to go off on any tangents, no matter how seductive they may be. Find the answer, get back to work.

My goal is to weave much of what I learn into a smart, funny murder mystery that keeps readers guessing and teaches them something at the same time. I want lots of those “Huh. I didn’t know that” moments.

My readers are insatiably curious, too. I think it’s one of the reasons they love my books.

To show you what a wide variety of research goes into my books, here’s a sampling of topics I studied while plotting and writing Shot Through the Hearth, my latest Fixer-Upper Mystery, and a random fact about each. You’ll have to read the book to see how these facts come together in one whodunit.

HOW MANY POUNDS DOES IT TAKE TO CRUSH A HUMAN CHEST?

Turns out, there’s no definitive answer—it depends on the strength of the person’s chest muscles. Which means, sadly, I’d go quickly, I’m afraid.

TRADITIONAL SCOTTISH STONE MASONRY TECHNIQUES (even though Shot Through the Hearth is set in Lighthouse Cove, California)

Scotland’s official website is gov.scot. The United States’ official website is usa.gov. Huh.

BARN RAISING

Historically, this was also called a raising bee. The only bees I’d heard of before were quilting bees and spelling bees. We need more bees! A cocktail party could be called a boozing bee. A city council meeting could be a sniping bee.

THE RANGE OF A RIFLE BULLET

Not only did I need to know how far the bullet could travel, but also whether it would have enough velocity at the end of its journey to do any damage. Imagine standing on the street and watching a bullet glance harmlessly off your stomach and roll to the ground.

CAN PLANTS BE SENTIENT?

Instead of sharing a fact here, I’ll share a snippet from Shot Through the Hearth. In this scene, contractor Shannon Hammer and her boyfriend Mac Sullivan, a thriller writer, explore the Ecosphere, an indoor vertical garden that’s hiding something that just may be sinister.

We stepped through the doorway and entered the tropical wonderland.

I hadn’t been inside since Julian and his team had installed small spotlights in various parts of the garden. It gave the space a wonderfully ethereal quality that I really loved.

“The air is cool,” Mac marveled. “I thought it would be warm.”

“No, the plants help clean the air and cool it down. And the louvers help.” I pointed to the nearest window and the wide horizontal blinds covering them. “They move with the sun in order to keep the interior from getting too hot at any time during the day.”

He continued to look around, taking in the verdant carpet of ferns that edged the pathway and the thick vines that draped the walls. Aloe vera plants thrived in every corner. Dozens of pothos plants, with the most abnormally large leaves I’d ever seen, cascaded down from the second- floor balcony. Succulent snake plants cast eerie, tongue-like shadows on the walls.

“I could set up a table and write in here.” Mac moved in a circle, studying the greenery all around us. “In fact . . .” He took out his phone and began taking photos. “I can see Jake Slater getting trapped in here.”

I had to smile. “That’s a great idea. And wait until you meet Stephanie.”

He began to walk up the ramp but stopped and turned. “Who’s Stephanie?”

“Let’s keep going up to the next level. I’ll show you.”

As we reached the second floor of the Ecosphere, the tendrils of the Stephanie vine brushed against Mac’s legs.

“What was that?” he demanded, jumping back.

“That’s Stephanie,” I said, laughing. “She’s a fast-growing vine and seems to move toward anything human.”

“That’s freaking weird.”

“Yeah, it’s weird. But it makes sense when Julian explains it. Something about its DNA causes the plant to react to human pheromones. Apparently it’s attracted to our breath, too. There’s a bunch of other details Julian talked about that I couldn’t begin to explain to you, but he’ll be giving Ecosphere tours starting tomorrow.”

“I’ll sign up for that. I want to hear all about Stephanie. And the rest of this place, too.”

I hope you’ll have as much fun reading Shot Through the Hearth as I had writing—and researching—it.  You can read chapter one for free at https://katecarlisle.com/shot-through-the-hearth.php. Please let me know what you think! You can reach me via my website or at www.facebook.com/katecarlislebooks

Thank you Kate for dropping by for a visit.

Keep reading for my thoughts on A Shot Through The Hearth.

Shot Through the Hearth (A Fixer-Upper Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – California
Publisher: Berkley (October 29, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1984804391
ISBN-13: 978-1984804396
Kindle ASIN: B07NCPRQ52

Contractor Shannon Hammer is measuring murder motives in the latest Fixer-Upper Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of A Wrench in the Works and Eaves of Destruction

Shannon’s good friend and retired tech billionaire, Raphael Nash, is loving his new retired life but he can’t stay unoccupied for too long. He’s started the Marigold Foundation that helps fund small companies and individuals who do humanitarian work around the world. It’s an exciting time in Lighthouse Cove as Raphael hosts the first ever global conference inviting big thinkers from every area of industry to give presentations on eco-living.

Raphael’s old business partner arrives in town with a grudge and a plan to steal him away from his important new passion project. Shannon knows her friend has no intention of giving up Marigold and is proud of Raphael for sticking to his guns. But when his former associate winds up dead, all signs point to Raphael.

It’s up to Shannon to hammer out the details of the murder before her friend gets pinned for the crime…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Shannon  Hammer, contractor extraordinaire, knew her job for billionaire Raphael Nash was going to be a huge job but big thinking Rafe has expanded his plans for his project and Hammer’s construction crew and for Lighthouse Cove too. Not only does he want the home on his property renovated he adds a barn-raising and a garden tower all to be completed before a global conference about eco-living. He has a vast schedule of events with many guest speakers, including Mac, Lighthouse Cove’s resident author.  Rafe has also created the Marigold Foundation, named after his lady love, to award money for research and ecologic humanitarian work around the world. He hopes the conference will become an annual event.

While Rafe Nash is over the moon excited about the foundation and conference, his former partner Dillon Charles is not happy. He wants Rafe to come back to the company they built together and to do new projects together. Rafe tries hard to explain he has a new life in Lighthouse Cove and has no plans to leave it but Charles is not backing down.

Then as the barn-raising gets underway Dillion Charles is found dead and Rafe finds himself at the top of the suspect list. Shannon vows to help her friend. She plans to find the real killer before he gets screwed for a crime he didn’t commit

___

I am always excited when a book in this series is released. With a little home construction experience, I am always pulled into Shannon’s new project and all the drama that surrounds it. Because of this series, I look at every Victorian home that crosses my path in a new light. This time the project is huge and takes about 8 months to complete so we don’t get as many details of all the work completed but the author gives us plenty of information to visualize not only the house with its wonderful outside living space, but the grounds, the barn, the tower, and the unique pods Rafe Nash brings in for his conference.

Ms. Carlisle has also constructed a fantastic mystery. The victim was shady and unlikable. As the story continues information comes to light the pries the suspect list wide open. Many people have a motive, the key is the opportunity. A second death gives a little more focus to who did the deed and readers are taken right into the middle of the scary big reveal when all the clues fall into place. That wasn’t the only scary moment, there are a few that added to the suspense of the story. I was captivated by the process and each little twist and I was still totally surprised at the end.

I enjoy that Shannon is a woman in a male-dominated field who knows her job but isn’t afraid to admit when she doesn’t know something. Her field is Victorian restoration, not barn building, and she sent one of her crew to witness and help in an Amish barn raising and bring back what he learned to have their job go off without a hitch. Her crew, many of who worked with her dad, trust her and they work together like a well-oiled machine.

Shannon also has a strong man in her life and he is right there to help when she finds herself dealing with yet another dead body. Of course, Eric Jensen, the chief of police, is on the scene and kept in the loop on everything Shannon uncovers. Her father is not quite as involved this time but it is for a good reason. Her uncle also makes an appearance. All the characters have a purpose and the dialogue flows so well.

Engaging characters and another fine mystery. A great addition to this series. Each one has been A PERFECT ESCAPE foe me and I recommend them all.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my Reviews for the whole series. 

Book 1 – A High End Finish here

Book 2 – This Old Homicide here.

Book 3 – Crowned and Moldering here.

Book 4 – Deck the Hallways here

Book 5 – Eaves of Destruction here

Book 6 – A Wrench in the Works here.

Read more about Kate and the Fixer-Upper Mysteries at www.KateCarlisle.com!


Also by Kate Carlisle



GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away. 

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Sign Up For the Author’s Newsletter for 3 Bonus Entries.

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End November 27, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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Nov 062019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

It is my pleasure to feature Three Widows and a Corpse today!

 

About Three Widows and a Corpse


Three Widows and a Corpse (A Food Blogger Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Kensington (October 29, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1496715942
ISBN-13: 978-1496715944
Digital ASIN: B07NCN684X

Food blogger Hope Early finds one item not on her scavenger hunt list—a dead husband . . .

Between developing her food blog, Hope at Home, and choosing low-cal recipes for a feature in Cooking Now! magazine, Hope has a full plate. Still, she’s never too busy to compete in a Jefferson, Connecticut, tradition—the town’s annual scavenger hunt.

But as she races with her team to check off the next item, Hope discovers a grisly surprise—the body of shady real estate developer Lionel Whitcomb, shot in a parking lot. His wife Elaine, who’s also in the hunt, gasps and nearly faints. But two other women on the scene cry out that their husband is dead.

It turns out this louse of a spouse was more than a little lax in legally divorcing his former wives. Did one of them put a bullet in the bigamist? Number one suspect and number three wife Elaine begs Hope to investigate. Now Hope is on a new kind of hunt—for a cold-hearted killer and triple widow-maker . . .

Includes Recipes from Hope’s Kitchen!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Food blogger Hope Early is one busy bee. Her blog, a magazine assignment, and the town’s annual scavenger hunt are all on her plate. Her team has won the scavenger hunt several times but this year when they arrive at a local restaurant to take care of one thing on the scavenger list, Hope finds a bonus item . . . another dead body.

Lionel Whitcomb, a local real estate developer has been shot next to his fancy car, right there in the parking lot in broad daylight. His wife, Elaine, also taking part in the annual event faints as she sees her husband. Then another two women come onto the crime scene and claim Lionel is their husband too. There are Three Widows and a Corpse – seems Mr. Whitcomb was a bigamist and he has left behind three angry wives and three viable suspects. Two of which beg Hope to do what she does and find the actual killer. Her team did lose the scavenger hunt, maybe she will have better luck finding the culprit that saved Lionel from explaining things to the three women in his life.

___

All the characters I have enjoyed in the previous book return. Many are on Hope’s scavenger hunt team and are on hand when Whitcomb’s body is found. Boyfriend/Chief of Police Ethan Cahill wants Hope to leave the investigation to him and Detective Reid and she had every intention of doing so, but soon she is asking one question here and another there and then she finds herself in total investigation mode. The killer rewards her participation with a few warnings but she doesn’t back down. Hope is a strong protagonist and doesn’t shy away from using her culinary talents to get the answers she needs. I do enjoy her relationship with Ethan and the way it is slowly progressing. She also has a strong group of friends to support her. I can’t forget her pet brigade, her dog Bigelow and Poppy the chicken are now joined by Princess the cat. Human and animal characters are all well developed and very entertaining.

The wives are the obvious suspects but there are a few others pulled in too. My heart broke when a second person was killed and I was totally all wound up in the investigation myself. The author cleverly filled the story with twists and red herrings that slowed both this reader and Hope down but I circled back around and honed in on the killer just a bit before Hope. I loved the way this story flowed and was wrapped up.

As a blogger myself I loved following along with all the behind the scenes machinations of creating a successful blog and keeping content fresh and interesting and for Hope profitable. Our fields are totally different but the premise is basically the same for all bloggers. Pictures are always important and Hope has really learned a lot about photographing food and I feel like I have learned a few things too. I also love the recipes that are included.

Debra Sennefelder gives readers a strong mystery in Three Widows and a Corpse. Great characters with perfect amounts of family life, romance, and humor. I was entertaining from beginning to end and can’t wait for my next visit Jefferson, Connecticut.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

More Praise for Three Widows and a Corpse
(A Food Blogger Mystery)
by Debra Sennefelder

Wonderful characters, a great setting, and a story I can’t tear myself away from. I was bummed when I had finished it. My hands are already itching to get ahold of the next book!
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews

Debra Sennefelder has done it again, her small town has a big heart and a bigger murder problem!
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

A great addition to a fantastic cozy series . . . a thrilling culinary-themed cozy that makes for a great read.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

This is a great traditional cozy with a small town, amateur sleuth, likable and some quirky characters and lots of food . . . This is one that I recommend to cozy mystery lovers.
~Carla Loves to Read

Three Widows and a Corpse is the perfect story for those readers who enjoy lighthearted, food-related mysteries . . . an amiable cozy mystery with a troublesome two-timer, warring widows, a scavenger search, a sad sibling, and a repressive reporter.
~The Avid Reader

Emotionally charged and full of shady connections, this is a book about moving forward and dealing with life’s difficult situations head-on . . . You may want to read this book while waiting for a few of the delicious recipes included to bake up.
~Laura’s Interests

Three Widows and a Corpse by Debra Sennefelder is getting five stars. It is a fun, witty read with great characters and outstanding food.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

I liked Hope. I found her to be a strong, intelligent, and capable woman, but still believable.
~The Book’s the Thing

The pace is steady and the intersections of characters across settings and how Hope is able to connect the dots is well done. . . Those who enjoy cozy mysteries will not be disappointed – and you get recipes besides the killer!
~Christa Reads and Writes

 

About Debra Sennefelder

Debra Sennefelder, the author of the Food Blogger Mystery series and the Resale Boutique Mystery series, is an avid reader who reads across a range of genres, but mystery fiction is her obsession. Her interest in people and relationships is channeled into her novels against a backdrop of crime and mystery. When she’s not reading, she enjoys cooking and baking and as a former food blogger, she is constantly taking photographs of her food. Yeah, she’s that person.

Born and raised in New York City, she now lives and writes in Connecticut with her family. She’s worked in pre-hospital care, retail and publishing. Her writing companions are her adorable and slightly spoiled Shih-Tzus, Susie and Billy.

She is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, Women’s Fiction Writers Association and Romance Writers of America.

Author Links:

Website – Facebook – Goodreads 

Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N – Kobo – Google Play – IndieBound

Also by Debra Sennefelder

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October 28 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 29 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
October 29 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
October 30 – Carla Loves To Read -REVIEW
October 30 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 31 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
October 31 – Reading Authors – SPOTLIGHT
November 1 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
November 1 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
November 1 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 2 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
November 2 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
November 3 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
November 3 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
November 4 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
November 5 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 5 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
November 6 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  
November 6 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
November 6 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
November 7 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 7 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
November 7 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
November 8 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
November 8 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 9 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT
November 10 – Diary of a Book Fiend – REVIEW

 

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

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Oct 302019
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am happy to share with you Silent Knit, Deadly Knit today!


Silent Knit, Deadly Knit (A Knit & Nibble Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – New Jersey
Publisher: Kensington (October 29, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496723635
ISBN-13: 978-1496723635
Kindle ASIN: B07NCP8S7W

When murder silences the Christmas cheer in charming Arborville, New Jersey, Pamela and her Knit and Nibble pals must unravel the most bone-chilling mystery this side of the North Pole . . .

Pamela has been in merry spirits since her artsy daughter Penny returned home from college for the holidays. But their mother-daughter bonding time gets cut short when a terrified Penny stumbles upon the dumped body of Millicent Farthingale, a wealthy craft shop owner who was popular for all the wrong reasons. From a scheming business partner to a seedy husband several years her junior, Millicent attracted scammers so in love with her assets, they’d toss her down a chimney to get their paws on them. Now, with only a hand-knit red scarf connecting the killer to the crime, Pamela and the Knit and Nibblers could use some extra creativity as they find out who’s really naughty or nice in Arborville—because going up against a looming culprit is DIY or die!

Knitting tips and delicious recipe included!

Dollycas’a Thoughts

Welcome to Arborville, New Jersey, just in time for the holidays . . . and a . . . MURDER!

When Pamela gets a frantic call from her daughter Penny saying she found a dead body while out hiking and sketching Pamela and the Knit and Nibblers rush to her side. Pamela identifies the body as none other than craft shop owner, Millicent Farthingale. With just a little digging many suspects are found but Pamela believes a scarf recently given to the victim and missing from her body is a key clue to finding the killer. With the Nibblers on the case, they hope to knit all the clues together and wrap up the case before their holiday celebrations.

I really enjoy catching up with these characters. If the Knit and Nibble group was real it would be one I would love to join. The members are diverse, all with their own quirks. They come together to create wonderful knit items, eat delicious snacks and snoop into the latest death that has taken place in their fine town. With each story, the author delves a little further into the lives of this eclectic group.  She also introduces new characters in the form of suspects. She unveils more about them as the clues drop and the investigation continues.

In Silent Knit, Deadly Knit, the murder mystery is pretty straight forward and for me was more of a subplot. The main plot this time was more about the lives of the knitting group and the holidays. While the mystery was interesting I think this time the author’s writing style which is very descriptive took over pushing it into the background. I did enjoy all the baking and cooking, Pamela’s quest to find the perfect tree, and her trying to spend as much time with her daughter as possible. There were some funny and sentimental moments and the story did have a good flow. I just wish the mystery would have had as much depth as the characters I have come to love.

Pamela and Bettina make a great team whether sleuthing, butting into each other’s lives, or taking care of their friends. Following these ladies around through these pages is always entertaining. I do encourage the author to tighten up her writing a bit and put more focus on the mystery. I really liked the premise of a unique scarf as a strong connection. It really grabbed my focus. I also loved the description of the tunic Pamela was making for Penny. It sounds gorgeous!

Silent Knit, Deadly Knit is a nice addition to this series.  To really get to know Pamela and the rest of the Knit and Nibble group you really need to read the series from the beginning.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Murder, She Knit here, Died in the Wool here, and Knit One Die Two here.

PEGGY

About the Author

Peggy Ehrhart is a former English professor who writes mysteries and plays blues guitar. She holds a doctorate in Medieval Literature, and her publications include a prize-winning book dealing with classical mythology in the Middle Ages. Her Maxx Maxwell mysteries, Sweet Man Is Gone (2008) and Got No Friend Anyhow (2011), feature a blues-singer sleuth.
Peggy is currently writing the Knit and Nibble mystery series for Kensington Books. Set in the charming (fictional) town of Arborville, New Jersey, it features amateur sleuth Pamela Paterson, founder and mainstay of the town’s knitting club. Peggy is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She plays guitar with the Still Standing Band. (From Amazon)

Find out more about Peggy on her website here.


Coming March 31, 2020


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

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End November 13, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

 

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Oct 232019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am happy to feature Fudge Bites by Nancy Coco today!


Fudge Bites (A Candy-Coated Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Michigan
Kensington (September 24, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496716086
ISBN-13: 978-1496716088
Kindle ASIN: B07MH9XDNQ

Halloween on Mackinac Island is a season of fun tricks, but finding a corpse is no treat for fudge shop owner Allie McMurphy . . .

NIGHT OF THE REALLY DEAD

It’s late October, off-season for tourists, but locals are up and lurching for the annual zombie walk charity event. Though everyone’s living it up, trouble is just a few pawprints away. Allie follows the bloody tracks of her calico cat, Carmella, to a body in the alley behind the Historic McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop. Unlike the island’s other walking dead, this one’s flatlined for good. It seems that someone is using the zombie fest as the perfect backdrop for murder. Now amateur sleuth Allie and dreamboat officer Rex Manning must use every trick in their treat bag to unmask a killer in disguise.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

What happens on Mackinac Island in the off-season for Halloween? A Zombie Walk! It’s for charity and a lot of fun until one of the “zombies” is found dead. Allie’s calico cat, Carmella appears to have been the first at the scene because she is all bloody when she is found in the alley behind the Historic McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop. Everyone knows Allie McMurphy is on the case but an unexpected visitor has returned to the island with a proposition. Can she stayed focused and catch the killer?

This time Nancy Coco has pulled out all the stops and blown up a mystery everyone will love.

Allie wants to be a year-round resident of the island but with her friend Liz off living in Chicago, she is a little lonely and missing her sleuthing buddy. She has contracted the renovation of one of the floors of the hotel and the addition of a rooftop deck this offseason.  Newlyweds Frances and  Mr. Devaney are there to help her out as she comes up with a few ideas on how to investigate the murder without venturing too far from the hotel. I really enjoyed the way the community came together throughout the story. A little peek into those people the stay on the island the full year or until the snow starts to fly was nice too.

Ms. Coco has filled these pages with action and drama and a huge moment that brought tears to my eyes. The mystery ties into the past in a surprising way. There is even a second body found. A plethora of twists and turns distract and lead both Allie and readers along before the real story comes into focus. A subplot opens a door for Allie and I was cheering as she made her choice.

You will want to take a BIG bite of Fudge Bites! It has fantastic characters, a well-written mystery with suspense, drama, humor, a little bit of romance, and a whole lot of FUDGE. Like Allie, I did miss Liz, With the way to book ends, I think Allie is going to need her friend even more in the next book in the series. I truly can’t wait to see what happens next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Nancy Coco/Nancy J. Parra and her books on her webpage here

Written as Nancy J. Parra

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End November 6, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

 

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Oct 162019
 

Welcome To Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so happy to feature Molded 4 Murder today! 

Molded 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery)
by J.C. Eaton

About Molded 4 Murder


Molded 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Kensington (August 27, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496719905
ISBN-13: 978-1496719904
Digital ASIN: B07L2FJ1PN

A view to a kiln …

Sophie “Phee” Kimball enjoys working as a bookkeeper for a private investigator. If only her mother Harriet could enjoy her retirement at Sun City West in Arizona—instead of constantly getting involved with retirees being prematurely put out to pasture. This time Quentin Dussler, a prominent member of the clay sculpting club, was found dead, clutching a piece of paper scrawled with Phee’s mother’s name.

Terrified she’s been targeted by assassins, Harriet begs Phee to investigate. What Phee uncovers is a complicated scheme that only the most diabolical of murderers would ever devise. And as she chisels away at confusing clues and potential suspects, Phee unearths something far more precious and valuable than she could imagine. Eager for answers, she takes a bold step—placing herself in the crosshairs of a stonefaced killer …

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The Gertrudes return with a hot case for Sophie “Phee” Kimball. Items are going missing from resident’s rooms at The Lillian, a luxury senior residence, and they want her to investigate. After receiving a list of the “stolen” items, Phee decides it is a case she can handle without bothering Marshall or Nate. They are busy with a new case that may involve her mother, Harriet. Harriet has joined the ceramics group at Sun City West and one of the instructors has been murdered and was found holding a slip of paper that bore Harriet’s name. When Harriet finds out she demands Phee join the investigation and find the killer immediately. That is not going to be easy but  Phee goes to great lengths to fulfill her mother’s wishes.

This was a very captivating cozy.

Phee again is pulled away from bookkeeping duties for two investigations that may tie together. She finds herself trekking around in the desert looking for clues with her Aunt Ina as her sidekick along with trips to The Lillian, and always at her mother’s beck and call, all in a quest to find who killed Quentin Dussler and why.

I really enjoy catching up with these characters. The crew at Williams Investigations is really starting to gel. Augusta keeps the office running and adds her own two cents when necessary. Phee handles the books and jumps in to investigate as needed, more often than not, as this series continues. Nate and Marshall, the actual licensed investigators, handle the cases but know they couldn’t do it without the ladies’ help. I love that the relationship between Marshall and Phee is progressing nicely. Then we have Harriet. She is a treasure. She tries to micromanage Phee’s life but Phee and now Marshall have figured out how to handle Harriet. Gertie, Trudy, and the other seniors bring their own shenanigans to the story too. The authors have created characters with depth and unique making it very easy to keep everyone straight.

Speaking of unique, the mystery this time was full of twists and took a very unexpected path as the motivation for the murder was delved into. Our sleuths really had to dig deep to find out what was going on. Red herrings, yes, there are a few. We are also treated to some very exciting moments. I really liked that Aunt Ina played a bigger role. The story was so well-plotted. I never would have solved this one on my own. It was a complete surprise. These authors also know where to add the humor in perfect amounts. Laughter in all the right places to keep things cozy while letting the drama shine to give readers a great mystery.

These characters are relatable, their journey this time was so entertaining. I also loved that we traveled to more places in Arizona. Molded 4 Murder is a terrific addition to this series. Each new book in this series becomes my new favorite.  J.C. Eaton never disappoints.  I am excited by the little cliffhanger – Dressed Up 4 Murder comes out on February 25, 2020.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Authors

Ann I. Goldfarb

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

James E. Clapp

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

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

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboGoogle Play 


Coming in February 25, 2020

Also by J.C. Eaton

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

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Oct 092019
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled to share with you this first book in a new series by Mollie Cox Bryan!


Christmas Cow Bells (A Buttermilk Creek Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Virginia
Kensington (September 24, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496721322
ISBN-13: 978-1496721327
Kindle ASIN: B07MH9XYHY

The first novel in Mollie Cox Bryan’s brand new mystery series, set in the Blue Ridge Mountains, will keep you guessing until the cows come home . . .

Christmas is a time for new beginnings, so after her big breakup, Brynn MacAlister takes the gouda with the bad. With her three Red Devon cows, she settles in bucolic Shenandoah Springs, eager for a new life as an organic micro-dairy farmer and cheese-maker. Then her dear cow Petunia’s bellows set the whole town on edge. But it isn’t until Brynn’s neighbor, Nancy, dies in a mysterious fire that her feelings about small town life begin to curdle . . .

It seems some folks were not happy with Nancy’s plan to renovate the Old Glebe Church. But is a fear of change a motivation for murder? As a newcomer, Brynn can’t ignore the strange events happening just on the other side of her frosty pasture—and soon on her very own farm. Suddenly Christmas doesn’t feel so festive as everyone demands she muzzle sweet Petunia, and Brynn is wondering if someone wants to silence her—for good . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Brynn MacAlister follows her dream on her own leaving her cheating ex behind when she moves to Shenandoah Springs with her three Red Devon cows, Petunia, Buttercup, and Marigold to open an organic micro-dairy and make cheese. Petunia is suffering after a stillborn calf. While trying to soothe her cow a Brynn suffers another loss. Her friend and neighbor, Nancy dies in a fire when the old church she is living in and renovating for her business burns down. It looks like arson, and Nancy had run into some difficulty with a few people not wanting the Old Glebe Church transitioning to something other than a place of worship, but would they burn the church down with her in it because they didn’t like her business plan?

The whole thing puts an even bigger damper on Brynn’s Christmas spirit. After meeting Nancy’s family she feels a push to find the truth, but like Nancy, Brynn is a newcomer. Could her snooping lead to her demise as well?

_______

This series is off to a spectacular start! That cover is just delightful and fun. I had to know more about those holiday attired cows.

Mollie Cox Bryan has created some wonderful characters, two-legged as well as four-legged. I liked Brynn right away and was cheering on her success both in sleuthing and cheesemaking the entire book. She is smart while still realizing her independence and didn’t back down even when threatened. That’s not to say she wasn’t scared, because she was but she persevered. She was surrounded by the requisite cozy quirky characters, diverse in age and beliefs. As a newcomer, Brynn had to learn who to trust and who were truly suspects.

The mystery was very well-plotted with plenty of clues. Brynn did her best to keep the sheriff and fire marshall informed of everything she found or the threats she received even when one of them wasn’t always receptive. I was totally caught by surprise as the story played out and clues continued to fall into place.

I have always enjoyed this author’s writing style. She uses the perfect amount of description to put the reader on the scene without ever going overboard. It is easy to envision time, place, people and even the weather.

As a Wisconsinite, I love the farm and cheesemaking theme, the only thing that would have made it better was for the series to be set here 😀 I loved the connection of Brynn’s cows to her grandmother and how as a chemistry student a course in cheesemaking changed her life. I enjoyed learning about Brynn’s cheesemaking process and why she ended up with the Buttermilk Creek Farm.

Christmas Cow Bells hit all the right notes. Loveable characters and a puzzler of a mystery.  It also leaves readers excited for the next book in the series. Brynn has made some new friends, she is about to get help on the farm and her four-legged family has grown by one. I am really looking forward to the continuation of Brynn’s story.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About Mollie Cox Bryan

Mollie Cox Bryan writes cozy mysteries with edge and romances with slow, sweet burn. The first book in her Cora Crafts Mystery seriesDeath Among the Doilies, was a “Fresh Fiction Not to Miss” selection and was a finalist for the Daphne du Maurier Award. The second book, No Charm Intended, was named a “Summer 2017 Top 10 Beach Read” by Woman’s World. She also wrote the Agatha-award nominated Cumberland Creek Mysteries. She makes her home at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, where she works as a researcher and fact-checker and writes in the early morning hours. Visit her and sign up for her newsletter at molliecoxbryan.com.

Also by Mollie Cox Bryan

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End October 23, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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Oct 022019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

It is my pleasure to feature Stephanie Blackmoore’s new book, Marry Christmas Murder today!


Marry Christmas Murder (A Wedding Planner Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Kensington (September 24, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496717538
ISBN-13: 978-1496717535
Kindle ASIN: B07MR9VLH8

As professional wedding planner Mallory Shepard organizes a Christmas Eve gala for her best friend, Olivia, the obstacles are starting to outnumber Santa’s reindeer . . .

Olivia’s dreaming of a white Christmas—as in a white wedding gown and all the trimmings. But that’s not the only event that’s keeping everyone busy. Olivia’s family are in real estate development, and they’re sponsoring Paws and Poinsettias—a benefit for the Port Quincy animal shelter. Meanwhile, Mallory’s mom wants to use her daughter’s connection to snag a job staging homes for the company . . . and the current stager is not filled with holiday cheer at the news that she might be replaced.

When the endangered employee downs some antifreeze-spiked punch at a party, Mallory has a murder to solve—among other mysteries including a missing cat, a toy-drive heist, and a baby found in a manger thirty years earlier . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Wedding Planner Mallory Shepard is working with the March family on a few events including Olivia March’s wedding and a Paws and Poinsettias fundraiser for the Port Quincy Animal Shelter. Olivia is Mallory’s best friend and her family has recently come to town to do a large real estate development.

Mallory’s mom and step-dad have returned to Port Quincy too and her mom can’t wait to go back to work. She decides she wants to work for the March development group staging their new homes and wants Mallory to help her get the job. The problem is they already have a stager. Carole doesn’t back down, in fact, she works with just one member of the March family and changes all the decorations for the Paws and Poinsettias event without letting Mallory or the rest of the family know. The company’s current stager and Mallory had work hard to create the perfect theme and they are not happy.

When the stager dies suddenly at the party, the punch is suspect and so is Carole.  Again, Mallory’s juggling talents come into play as she tries to solve the murder, put on a wedding, find a missing cat, locate some missing toys, handle unexpected guests, and find how a baby left in a manger 30 years ago ties into everything else happening this holiday season in Port Quincy.

_____

Let me just start by saying I now see Blue Hawaiian Punch and my favorite Blue Hawaiian Cocktail in a completely different way now that I know how easily they can become a weapon of murder!

I continue to be amazed by Mallory Shepard. Within this story, it seems everything is thrown at her but the kitchen sink but she handles it all with just a bit of assistance from her sister Rachel. Mallory is a strong protagonist. Working with family is tough but she and Rachel are pulling it off. It is made difficult this time when their mother and step-dad move into the B&B while they look for a new home. All these characters are well-written and are constantly evolving. The family dynamics are believable and fluid, especially when more unexpected guests need a place to stay.

Ms. Blackmoore fills these pages with drama and excitement. I loved the holiday theme and all the holiday events taking place.  She blends mystery with family, friendship, romance, and humor in an entertaining way.  We get to know the new characters a bit before the murder takes place. Then author serves up twist after twist and assorted clues that are sure to keep all readers guessing. I really thought I was on the right trail only to have another clue explained to show me I was totally wrong. Driven to get the family under one roof for the holidays really drove the key character to solve the case.

Marry Christmas Murder is a fast-paced story that entangles several threads but Blackmoore unites them all by the end and just in time for a Merry Christmas!

The Wedding Planner Mysteries can all be read on their own, but I encourage you to read them all for maximum enjoyment.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Check out my review of Engaged in Death here,
Murder Wears White here,
Murdered Borrowed, Murder Blue here,
and Gown With the Wind here.

About the Author

A native Pittsburgher, Stephanie Blackmoore now lives in Missouri, with her husband, son and two-spirited cats. She was an attorney in Pittsburgh and a librarian in Florida before becoming a writer. Stephanie is a fan of everything black-and-yellow. She is hard at work on her next Wedding Planner mystery. Connect with Stephanie at the links below.

Social Media Links:  Website    Facebook    Twitter

GIVEAWAY

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

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

 Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 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 October 16, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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Sep 252019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

It is my pleasure to welcome Bree Baker to Escape With Dollycas today!

 

A Charming Escape
by Bree Baker

As a fifth-generation Midwesterner, I come from a long line of people who escape annually to the beach. We rent condos, hotel rooms and often entire houses where the clan (or circus depending on perspective) can shake off the confines of life’s daily expectations and live for a week or so on island time. I’ve been all over the East Coast, but find the stretch of barrier islands along the Carolinas, aka the Outer Banks, to be most completely perfect for my crew, with Virginia’s costal islands, Chincoteague and Assateague, as tight seconds. We go off-season and enjoy the quiet. The beaches. Maritime forests. Deep sense of history, museums. Architecture. Lighthouses and wild horses. And don’t even get me started on all the amazing food. It’s heaven, and if you’ve never visited the Outer Banks, I hope you will. It’s a whole other world. I wish I never had to leave.

This is how my Seaside Café Mysteries were born. Eventually, I’d spent one-too-many decades on a rented deck, wondering what it would be like to live in a quaint seaside town, and I decided to write about it. Now, I live vicariously through my main character, Everly Swan, owner, operator and sole proprietor of Sun, Sand and Tea, a seaside iced tea shop and café in her hometown of Charm, North Carolina. (I couldn’t choose a favorite Outer Banks town, so I took all my favorite parts of other area towns and created Charm instead. – That’s a fun perk of writing. Don’t like something? Make up something else instead.)

Now I escape to one version of the islands I love each day while I write about Everly and her fantastic escapades, but, it got me thinking… If I escape to the islands, where do islanders escape? I decided to ask Everly and it turns out she had quite a bit to say on the subject.

As it turns out, Everly is a bit of an escape artist. She often sometimes escapes into nature, walking the boardwalk, digging her toes in the sand or wading through the surf. Other times, especially once she’s in her jammies, she escapes into a book. She frequently borrows novels from the Little Libraries her best friend, Amelia, has set up throughout the town and on the boardwalk. If her great-aunts are home, Everly escapes to the Swan family homestead where they share midnight pancakes and endless glasses of sweet tea around a table that has been in their kitchen for more than a hundred years. But her most common and favorite escape of all is to her café. If not to eat her secret stash of lemon cake, then to create something new and magnificent to share.

Everly grew up at the counter, mixing potions from bags and bowls of homegrown ingredients, chopping produce from the family gardens and sweetening secret recipes with honey from their hives. To Everly, there’s magic in the process of creating or perfecting something spectacular in the kitchen. And there is no better experience than seeing her friends, family, and neighbors truly become enchanted by her spells.

In honor of Everly and her many culinary escapes, I thought it would be fun to share the recipe that got her into trouble (and started all my fun) in book one, LIVE AND LET CHAI. Iced strawberry and peach tea. I hope you will enjoy! And if you’re in the mood for an island escape, but can’t make it over to the Outer Banks just yet, feel free to join Everly on an adventure in Charm. She’d sure love to have you, and spending a few days in her life is certain to make you smile.

 

Summer Strawberry & Peach Tea

Nothing compliments a hot summer day like this
Swan Family Favorite, so dive in and enjoy!

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Yields: 16 servings

Ingredients:

10 cups of cold water divided

1 cup strawberry preserves

8 herbal peach tea bags

12 fresh strawberries, cored and sliced

Ice

Directions:

Add 4 cups of water, strawberry preserves and peach tea bags to a saucepan and bring to a boil

Remove from heat and steep 15 minutes.

Pour in remaining 6 cups of cold water

Remove tea bags and cool completely

Add strawberry slices and stir

Refrigerate until ready to serve

Pour over ice

Enjoy!

Thank you, Bree, for visiting today! 

Keep reading for my thoughts about Tide and Punishment. 


Tide and Punishment (Seaside Café Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – North Carolina
Poisoned Pen Press (September 24, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
ISBN-10: 1492664812
ISBN-13: 978-1492664819
Kindle ASIN: B07T7YSLGT

No one dreams of a killer Christmas…

It’s Christmastime in Charm, North Carolina, and while Everly Swan would prefer to focus on decorating her iced tea shop for its first holiday season, Great-Aunt Fran has decided to run for mayor against her long-time nemesis. But when the other candidate turns up dead just before the first scheduled debate, all eyes turn to Fran as the suspect with the most obvious motive.

Everly knows her sweet, elderly Aunt Fran couldn’t have murdered anyone, but as she struggles to find the real killer, it begins to seem like this may be the last merry Christmas her family may ever have.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Christmas in Charm is plagued by snow, wind, ice, and murder this year. Everly Swan has planned a big holiday party where her sweet Great Aunt Fran plans to announce her run to become the town’s next mayor. When the current mayor steals her thunder with his own announcement she holds it together for a while but then she needs to get some air. When she finds her nemesis dead in the snow with no other witnesses she becomes the top suspect for his murder. Everly knows Fran is innocent and she thinks Detective Grady Hays knows it too. Christmas gnomes Great Aunt Clara has been painting and leaving in front of their shop, Blessed Be becomes debris as the killer is doing their best to frame Fran and Everly just isn’t having it no matter how many gnomes are lost trying to scare her away. Jailing her aunt on Christmas is not an option. Everly is “tea’d” off and will not rest until the real culprit is behind bars.

____

Bree Baker’s stories are much more than mysteries, they are stories of family, friends, and community too. Bree has a strong bond with her aunts, she has a strong bond with best friend Amelia who owns Charmed Reads, and she would like to have a stronger bond with Detective Hays. Having her ex in town and now the good detective’s deceased wife’s mother moving to Charm that may be difficult. The core characters have continued to develop more in each book. Everly’s Sun, Sand and Tea has become a gathering place that really brings residents new and old together. I loved that the town had a holiday progressive dinner. What a fabulous idea for a beach town to stay connected even in the winter. The Giving Tree was also very heartening to read about. We had something in our town similar when our children were young.

The author strikes a quick pace in this well-plotted mystery. Everly really has her hands full but still finds time to do plenty of snooping. But key clues can be found just doing normal activities and keeping her eyes and ears open. Of course, there were those distracting clues that diverted her thinking and my thinking too. The story builds to a very exciting climax with the perfect holiday weapon. I loved it!

The best vacation our family ever experienced was to Caswell Beach, North Carolina many years ago. With a beach that matches our last name, we couldn’t resist. Books like this one take me back to those days. This installment had a rare winter snowfall and unseasonably cold weather but being from Wisconsin I would not be deterred by that at all. Charm is a place I would love to visit, heck it would be a place I would love to live.

A fabulous setting filled with charming characters and a multifaceted story that includes a great mystery, Tide and Punishment was a wonderfully entertaining story. Each book in this series has left me excited for the next. I hope I don’t have to wait too long for my next virtual vacay to Charm! I highly recommend all three of the books that have been released so far!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of No Good Tea Goes Unpunished here and Live and Let Chai here.

Bree Baker is a Midwestern writer, obsessed with small-town high jinks, sweet tea, and the sea. She’s been telling stories to her family, friends, and strangers for as long as she can remember, and more often than not, those stories feature a warm ocean breeze and a recipe she’s sure to ruin. Now, she’s working on those fancy cooking skills and dreaming up adventures for the Seaside Cafe mysteries. Bree is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers and the Romance Writers of America. She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

Find out more on her website here. 


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to giveaway!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

SIGN UP FOR BREE’S NEWSLETTER FOR 5 BONUS ENTRIES!

Leave a comment for the author 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 October 9, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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Sep 182019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am thrilled to welcome Vivian Conroy to Escape With Dollycas! 

Hi Vivian! 

Escape to Tundish, Montana: The Town with a Heart of Gold!

So nice to be on Escape with Dollycas to tell a bit about my brand-new mystery, Last Pen Standing, first in the Stationery Shop Mysteries.

Don’t you just love to explore a new place and discover its historic buildings, great food, and friendly locals? Let me take you to Tundish, my very own wild west town! If there was a leaflet promoting it, it would say something much like this:

In the Bitterroot Valley, home to crystal clear lakes and snowcapped mountains, there’s a little town with a heart of gold, called Tundish.

Famous for its gold-mining history, today it caters to tourists coming to explore the historic buildings and the great outdoors, especially during the leaf-peeping season when the trees turn a stunning golden, orange and red. If you’re dropping by to snap a few shots of the fall glory, don’t miss these four highlights:

1) The former sheriff’s office on Mattock Street, containing many original elements such as old cells, the sheriff’s desk, and hitching posts! Now a stationery shop, aptly called WANTED, it provides wrapping paper, notebooks, calligraphy sets and washi tape for all your crafting needs. You can also take a workshop to develop your hand lettering or paper crafting skills.

2) The restaurant Mine Forever, where everything refers back to Tundish’s history: from the mining equipment on top of the building to the gold-lump shaped doorknob. Their coffee has won lots of prizes and the waitresses are always there for a friendly chat.

3) The Lodge Hotel, located on the edge of a beautiful lake. You can go boating, horse riding, mountain biking, or bird watching with experienced guides. They offer regular live entertainment on weekends and a high tea on Sunday afternoons. Special tip: the annual gold miners’ party in the Golden Age style is famous in the region.

4) The gold mining museum where volunteers dressed up in authentic 19th-century clothing tell-all about the pull of that sparkly metal, cheating with claims and family life on the goldfields. Bring home a cute souvenir in the shape of a tiny mining cart filled with nuggets of what looks a lot like the real thing.

Eager for more detail on these lovely places? Come along with Delta Douglas, her friends from the Paper Posse and retired K9 officer Spud as they navigate new beginnings, smalltown gossip, and murder in Last Pen Standing, the start to an exciting crafting-themed series set against a charming western backdrop.

Thank you, Vivian, for stopping by today and introducing us to Tundish.

Keep reading for my thoughts about Last Pen Standing. 

 

Last Pen Standing (Stationery Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Montana
Poisoned Pen Press (September 24, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1492684031
ISBN-13: 978-1492684039
Kindle ASIN: B07PX3QYC9

Will this paper trail run cold?

As the new co-owner of Tundish Montana’s stationery shop WANTED, Delta Douglas knows how to organize a killer crafting event. Creativity and cardstock are all she needs to move one step closer to her ultimate dream: developing her own line of crafting products. But on the night of the workshop, at the swanky hotel venue, glitter isn’t the only thing found sprawled on the floor. A hotel guest is discovered dead in the bar, and amid the confusion, Delta’s best friend is suspected of the crime.

Enlisting the help of her Paper Posse and Spud, her canine sidekick, Delta dives into the investigation. But with many high-powered suspects on the line, Delta soon realizes her sleuthing may come with deadly consequences.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Delta Douglas has come to Tundish, Montana to follow her dreams. Her grandmother has gifted her inheritance early so she can go into business with her best friend Hazel as co-owner of a stationary store set up in an old sheriff’s office, complete with jail cells. Hazel has fittingly named the store WANTED. Delta’s plans include developing her own line of crafting supplies and products.

Delta arrives in town just in time to help Hazel host a workshop at The Lodge Hotel. The hotel is a busy place with a huge party in the ballroom while the WANTED workshop takes place in a large conference room. The hotel manager is adamant the two groups remain separate clearly favoring the well to do guests attending the party. One of the exclusive guests apparently didn’t get the memo because she wanders into the workshop clearly taken with the crafts especially some very special notebooks. She asks that they are set aside for her until she can return to pay for them.

The workshop ends without the woman returning so Delta and Hazel decide to leave the notebooks at the front desk. Before they can leave the building they learn someone has been murdered. Hazel and Delta find themselves wrapped up in the chaos and the crush of people as the police arrive. The police pay special attention to Hazel and her brother Finn, who is employed by the hotel and involved with the owner’s daughter. In fact, the siblings are quickly loaded into police cars and taken in for questioning.

Not sure what has really happened Delta enlists the help of the ladies from the workshop, also known as the Paper Posse. They are familiar with the town and its residents but she can get away with being the new girl in town to ask some pointed questions too. She knows she is on the right track when she receives her first threat.

___

Welcome to Tundish, Montana. The author introduces readers to a vast number of characters keeping each one unique and memorable. Delta Douglas in a talented artist ready to make her break into the world. She and Hazel were college roommates then quickly became best friends. Hazel was not fully truthful with Delta on a very important topic and that gave me pause. We also meet Jonas Nord, a retired Detective, and his dog Spud also retired from law enforcement. He seems to have a good head on his shoulders, the opposite of the police chief who just wants to arrest someone. There is a large number of supporting characters, mostly the owners, staff, and guests at the hotel. People with secrets make fabulous suspects.

I really didn’t have a favorite character in this story, they are just too new. But I am looking forward to the next book to get to know them better. I especially want to get to know that Paper Posse better, they seem to be a very interesting group.

I love where this story takes place. A wild-west town that tourists love to visit. I am not sure yet if I have a complete picture of the stationery store in my head yet. Hazel has tried to keep the sheriff’s office intact as much as possible while displaying some artifacts to show the town’s history while also displaying all the goods for sale in a way to draw her customer in and entice them to make a purchase. The hotel was easy for me to envision and I would love to visit the gold mining museum.

The mystery had its share of twists and turns to keep those pages turning. The flow dipped a few times though and some of the characters actions were a little out there, but the author pasted everything together for a satisfactory ending.

The first book in a series is always a heavy lift because readers need to meet the characters and learn their place, get to know the setting, and still demand a mystery we can tear apart and wrap back together all within a set number of pages. In my opinion, the author does a great job of that in this debut novel of this series.

Last Pen Standing gives this series a strong start. I am excited to see what Ms. Convoy comes up with next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The Stationery Shop Mysteries are the latest addition to Vivian Conroy’s expanding mystery range. She also writes the contemporary Country Gift Shop Mysteries and the historical Murder Will Follow Mysteries, paying tribute to her favorite mystery author Agatha Christie. Away from the keyboard, Vivian loves to hike, craft, and hang out on Twitter where readers can connect with her via @VivWrites.


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

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Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to feature The House on Hallowed Ground by Nancy Cole Silverman today!

The House on Hallowed Ground (A Misty Dawn Mystery)
by Nancy Cole Silverman

 

About the Book


The House on Hallowed Ground (A Misty Dawn Mystery)
Paranormal Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – California
Henery Press (September 10, 2019)
Hardcover: 260 pages
ISBN-10: 163511554X
ISBN-13: 978-1635115543
Paperback: 260 pages
ISBN-10: 1635115515
ISBN-13: 978-1635115512
Digital ASIN: B07TKNGZ2Z

When Misty Dawn, a former Hollywood Psychic to the Stars, moves into an old craftsman house, she encounters the former owner, the recently deceased Hollywood set designer, Wilson Thorne.

Wilson is unaware of his circumstances, and when Misty explains the particulars of his limbo state, and how he might help himself if he helps her, he’s not at all happy. That is until young actress Zoey Chamberlain comes to Misty’s door for help.

Zoey has recently purchased The Pink Mansion, a historic Hollywood Hills home, and believes it’s haunted. But when Misty arrives to search the house, it’s not a ghost she finds, but a dead body.

The police are quick to suspect Zoey of murdering her best friend. Zoey maintains her innocence and fears her friend’s death may have been a result of the ghost…and a long-time family curse.

Together Misty and Wilson must untangle the secrets of The Pink Mansion or submit to the powers of the family curse.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This new series from Nancy Cole Silverman is off to an excellent start.

Psychic Misty Dawn has foretold many events for the Hollywood elite, but she is now at a crossroads in her life, broke and living in her VW van with her cat. When her client Denise Thorne comes up with a win-win for both of them it is hard to refuse. Misty can move into her deceased brother’s house until she decides what to do with it as long as Denise can receive readings whenever she wants. Misty excepts but quickly realizes she got a little more than she bargained for. Denise’s brother Wilson is still occupying the house, well at least his ghost is.

Unsure as to why he hasn’t moved on, Misty explains his limbo status and tells him if they work together she may be able to help him crossover. His services are needed almost immediately when Zoey Chamberlain, a young actress and a descendent of Hollywood royalty comes knocking on the door. She has purchased “The Pink Mansion” down the street from Wilson’s house. She believes the mansion is haunted and wants Misty’s help. As Misty arrives to check the place out she sees the police coming in and out of the mansion. A dead body has been found in the backyard. The deceased worked as Zoey’s body double and amidst Zoey’s cries of innocence, the police have named her as their top suspect.

Misty decides with Wilson’s help she can solve the case by finding the real killer and saving her new friend Zoey. She also explains his help may curry favor to help him move forward to his quest to get to the great beyond.

___

Over the years I have become more comfortable reading stories like this which I call paranormal light. Thank you, Joyce Lavene! An author, we lost much too soon. What I mean is that for the most part the ghosts are friendly and stay within the cozy mystery norms.

In this story, we encounter more than one ghost, and like the characters still living the author takes the time to develop them so well. I really like Misty. She is comfortable in her own skin and she knows her job and its limits. The relationship that evolves between her and Wilson is genuine, a  friendship really blooms between them. Some of their dialogues are laugh out loud funny and eventually they start work together so well. I have to say the way Wilson evolves over the course of the story was extraordinary and delightful to read. Denise is pushy and she and her brother clearly never saw eye to eye. Zoey is a very interesting character. Her life continues to pull her in different directions and the world’s eyes are watching everything she does.

The settings in this story, both Wilson’s craftsman and Zoey’s Pink Mansion really caught my interest. The Pink Mansion has a history and is what imagine would be perfect for a movie star. Wilson was a set designer and his home fits him and is filled with treasures he has accumulated. It is easy for Misty to move comfortably through both places and even make herself at home at Wilson’s.

The mystery uncovers so much and I don’t want to spoil anything so I am just going to say I loved every little twist the author puts into this story. I was totally consumed by it. The ending was priceless.

Well-written and plotted with great characters. I found the story to be very entertaining and I am anxious to see where Ms. Cole Silverman takes this series and the characters next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Nancy Cole Silverman 

Nancy Cole Silverman’s realization that she and Edgar Allen Poe shared the same birthday sparked her lifelong interest in mystery fiction. After a very successful career in the radio industry, she turned to writing, and her crime-focused novels and short stories have attracted readers throughout America. Her Carol Childs Mysteries series (Henery Press) features a single-mom whose “day job” as a reporter at a busy Los Angeles radio station often leads to long nights as a crime-solver. Silverman lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a thoroughly pampered standard poodle.

Author Links –
Facebook – GoodReads – Twitter: @NancyColeSilve1

Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N – Kobo 

Also by Nancy Cole Silverman

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

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Have Yourself a Beary Little Murder (A Teddy Bear Mystery) by Meg Macy Get Your Copy Today!
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