Apr 182018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 
I am thrilled to welcome Cynthia Baxter to Escape With Dollycas!

Confessions of an Ice Cream Addict
By Cynthia Baxter

In some ways, I’m a shining example of self-control.  When it comes to what I call “real food,” I’ve pretty much got it down.

Breakfast is coffee sweetened with chemicals and lightened with milk that has apparently undergone liposuction.  I check off the boxes on a few important food groups with cottage cheese smeared on whole-grain organic crackers made with chia seeds, pomegranate seeds, acai berries, and a few other foods I never even knew existed until a few years ago.  I know they’re healthy because they have the texture of roofing shingles.

Lunch is similarly wholesome, hitting the most admirable of the food groups: fruits and vegetables.

But then comes three o’clock.

Ever since elementary school, three o’clock has been synonymous with Afternoon Snack.  The idea of being rewarded with a treat at that hour is as ingrained in me as the necessity of pushing in my chair and walking, not running, in the hall.

In adult life, the Afternoon Snack takes on the form of a coffee break.  And no one appreciates the value of a mid-day hit of caffeine as much as I do.

Yet as wonderful as coffee is, it’s not actually food.  You need something to go with it.  And there are plenty of choices.  Cookies, cake, pie, scones, biscotti . . . if it’s made with butter and sugar, I’m all for it.

But none of those possibilities compare with ice cream.  Not only is ice cream as an Afternoon Snack fabulous on its own, which is good news for anyone who isn’t a caffeine addict like me; it also goes great with coffee.

To me, ice cream is the perfect food.  It’s a little bit sweet, a whole lot creamy, and has enough flavor to keep your taste buds humming without overwhelming them.

And the varieties are endless.  Gone is the time that chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry monopolized supermarkets’ ice cream freezers, along with coffee and butter pecan for more adventurous types.  These days, there are more flavors available to us than there are cable channels.  Flavors that until recently were as unknown to us as chia seeds are now sold at ice cream shops everywhere.  Ingredients like lavender, olive oil, salt, and honey have pushed aside more commonplace competitors like cocoa beans and strawberries.

And just think about all the positive associations that we developed in childhood!  Birthday celebrations?  That means cake and ice cream, right?  When I was growing up, that was the whole point of birthdays, even more important than new roller skates or a trip to Six Flags.  Fourth of July and summer vacations?  Ice cream cones melting in the hot summer sun are as much a part of them as fireworks and sand in your underpants.

Then there’s ice cream’s healing properties.  Every woman knows that the cure for a bad breakup is a pint of ice cream, ideally eaten straight out of the container.

Given ice cream’s importance, I’ve decided that there’s no reason not to eat some every day.  It’s just too tasty and too satisfying to do without.

In fact, I think of enjoying ice cream every day as a way of holding a private little celebration.  I consider it as much a part of everyday life as brushing my teeth and checking my phone at least a thousand times a day.  Samuel Johnson once said, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.”  Substitute “ice cream” for the name of that fine city and you’ve got my personal philosophy in a nutshell.  Or a cone.

~Cynthia

Thank you, Cynthia, for visiting today! Your book is a real treat!


Murder with a Cherry on Top (A Lickety Splits Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New York
Kensington (March 27, 2018)
Hardcover: 256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496714121
Kindle ASIN: B073NN1PMQ

 

 

Kate McKay had doubts about swapping her high-powered life in Manhattan for Wolfert’s Roost, the quaint Hudson Valley village where she grew up. But when she moves back to care for her ailing grandmother, Kate decides to start fresh and indulge her dream of running an ice cream shop. All goes smoothly—until she’s reunited with old acquaintances nuttier than a vat of rocky road . . .

Kate should be thrilled about opening Lickety Splits Ice Cream Shoppe in the heart of town. Instead her spirits melt like soft serve in the summer when she learns that her childhood frenemy, Ashley Winthrop, has started selling frozen treats in the bakery across the street. Turns out, Ashley hasn’t sweetened since high school. And, once again, she’s game for some very unfriendly competition . . .

But before Ashley can kill Kate’s new business, someone kills Ashley—stabbing her to death inside the bakery. Worse, the murder occurs right after the two rivals drew crowds with a heated argument, leaving half of Wolfert’s Roost speculating that Kate was finally pushed over the edge . . .

With rumors swirling and her reputation in serious trouble, Kate is determined to get the real scoop on the crime—even if it means joining forces with a former flame. As she pieces together clues to a chilling scandal, Kate soon realizes that she’ll need way more than a sprinkle of wit if she wants to expose the killer and live to see another sundae . . .

Includes mouthwatering ice cream recipes from the Lickety Splits Ice Cream Shoppe!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream and Cynthia Baxter has scooped up a tasty mystery for us readers to enjoy!!

Kate McKay has returned to Wolfert’s Roost to take care of her grandmother and to follow her dream of opening an ice cream shoppe. Lickety Splits has a prime location but it is directly across the street from a bakery owned by Ashley Winthrop, a woman Kate knew in school and wishes she could just avoid. When Ashley becomes her competition by selling ice cream Kate has no choice but to confront her. Their argument was loud and very public with no clear resolution until Ashley is found stabbed to death in her bakery. Katy wishes she could have frozen time, back before the war of words. Things really start to melt she becomes the prime suspect. To make things even chillier, her old high school boyfriend comes to her rescue. Maybe together they can clear her name before her dream is crushed and her ice cream shoppe is just a memory.

This series is off to a delicious start!

Kate McKay is so dedicated to getting her business up and running. She has created unique ice cream combinations that will keep her customers coming back for more. I wish the book came with free samples. Her friend Willow has been helping out but she really needs a full-time person. Her niece, Emma, arrives looking for a job at the perfect time. Plus she can move in to help with grams. We also meet others from Kate’s past including her high school boyfriend, Jake Pratt. They haven’t seen each other since he failed to pick her up on prom night. Their reunion is pretty icy. These characters are all very interesting and we are just getting to know them.

The author’s descriptive writing style really drew me into the store. Descriptions of Grams Victorian home and Kate shop made me feel like I was right on the scene. The descriptions of the ice cream flavors, sundaes, and other treats had me practically drooling. It also lent well as Kate went around asking questions, trying to find the real killer. It was very easy to visualize everyone she talked to and where they were. The mystery portion of the story wrapped up in a way I was not expecting and was surprised by who the real criminal turned out to be.

I love ice cream so this theme is one I am excited about. Cynthia Baxter has peaked my curiosity with this first installment. I can’t wait for the next Lickety Splits Mystery! 

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About the Author

Cynthia Baxter is the author of fifty-three novels. Her books have been translated into German, Swedish, and Danish. Born and raised on Long Island, she currently resides there. Her favorite ice-cream flavors are peach, coconut, and chocolate hazelnut. For more information, visit www.cynthiabaxter.com.


Thanks to the publisher I have 3 Advance Review Copies to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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 May 2, 2018, 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.”

Apr 112018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am excited to welcome Nell Hampton today!

London, British TV, and the Royals

London

I’ve been to London and it’s every bit as interesting as a Midwesterner could imagine. I found it fun and amazingly old. The museums and the parks and the bridges, I felt like I was breathing in the history. The neighborhoods with the Victorian mansions were as interesting as the palaces with their guards and glorious gardens. I went over Christmas which is not a busy time of year for the city. So many people leave to go spend the holidays with their families. The weather was supposed to be in the 50’s the entire time. So I thought I’ll bring a nice leather jacket and be okay. I’m from the Midwest, right? Well, it’s more damp there than I had imagined and that 50 degrees had me shivering.

I walked everywhere from Kensington Palace to Buckingham Palace to the Millennium Bridge which stretches across the river Thames. St. Paul’s cathedral is awesome. You can climb a staircase to the very top and look out over the city.

I can tell you if you don’t like crowds stay away from the Underground at rush hour. I squeezed inside a train so full that you could wear the shirt sleeves of the guy next to you. Then I went to Harrods’s Department store on Christmas eve when the people were four deep to any counter so there was no getting to see anything you might want to buy.

I wouldn’t want it any other way. It took a while to figure out if you wanted to eat at a pub you had to order food from the bar. They bring it around to the table, but they don’t come to the table and take your orders. I think I sat for an hour before figuring that out.

British TV

When you’re in London, there is so much to see that there is no time to watch British television. Then of course when you do catch a program it’s so different from US live television. It feels almost small town. But I love the programs. I watch Dr. Who, Father Brown, Downton Abbey, Midsomer Murders, Sherlock and so many more. The humor and mystery are wonderful and I’ve always been passionate about history and all that goes into the care of keeping of a manor home or palace so those stories are fun.

The Royals

I’ve been following the Royal family most of my life. My father was a huge reader and fan of monarchies. I studied the Royal histories in college as an elective. The idea of protocol and intrigue that followed the royals for centuries. Now they are a favorite soap opera. Who doesn’t love a royal wedding or pictures of the children? When I had this opportunity to write a cozy mystery set in a palace, I had to pick the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their growing family.

So I put all that knowledge and research and respect and imagination into Kale to the Queen followed by Lord of the Pies. I think where you set a cozy is as important as what the sleuth does for a living. Since we can’t all live in London, it’s fun to go there in the pages of a book.

Where is your dream place to visit? Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Lord of the Pies.

Thank you, Nell, for visiting today!

Lord of the Pies: A Kensington Palace Chef Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Kensington, England
Crooked Lane Books (April 10, 2018)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683315599
Kindle ASIN: B074MCJB5D

When Carrie Ann Cole bakes a lemon meringue pie to die for that actually kills someone, she must find out who the real killer is before her time at the Kensington Palace expires.

The elegant Orangery at Kensington Palace is the perfect setting for the bridal shower of Carrie Ann Cole’s best friend’s sister. Personal chef to the royal family, Carrie Ann’s pie theme is naturally winning. But a waiter later keels over dead into the lemon meringue pie she leaves as a thank-you to the staff and Carrie Ann realizes that somebody slipped a mickey into that meringue.

Her floury fingerprints are all over that pie and the authorities suspect her distress is a cover-up for murder. Carrie Ann must set out to clear her name if she wants to stay at her dream job any longer. But all too soon, another body drops in the Orangery. This time, it’s the Orangery chef.

Murder won’t crimp her style, and as bodies pile up, Carrie Ann uncovers palace intrigue, London nightlife, and British pies scouring for the killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Pies! Pies! Pies! Carrie Ann Cole is baking pies for a bridal shower to be held in the Orangery at the palace. She has one pie left over and leaves it for the chef usually in charge of the Orangery. When a waiter is found dead with his face in her pie she knows someone tampered with it. All the evidence points to Carrie Anne and when another chef is murdered she realizes it is up to her to find the real killer before she loses her dream of being the chef for the Duke and Duchess and their wonderful family.

Carrie Ann Cole is an American chef in charge of one of the palace’s four kitchens. Her kitchen prepares meals and teas for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. She also is asked to do the food for events her royals host like the bridal shower in this story. In addition to her normal duties, she has been asked to participate in a televised cooking competition for charity. After that event concludes several people on one of the other teams get sick and again Carrie Ann is a suspect. She does have two men watching out of her, the kitchen gardener and the palace’s chief of security. She also has a new assistant that is determined to help her clear her name.

All of Ms. Hampton’s characters leap off the pages. Carrie Ann is getting comfortable in her new position but is worried about being terminated with all these dead bodies that just seem to pile up around her. She is starting a romantic relationship with Jasper, the gardener but there is also romantic vibes between Carrie and Ian, the security chief. I also liked the way she and her new assistant got along and her friend that tries to show Carrie Ann some of the area’s nightlife.

There is never a dull moment at the palace or in Carrie Ann’s life. The story has a fast pace, the pages on my Kindle where flying. Twists and turns, peeping Tom’s, a cheating chef, a cranky chef, murders, secrets and lies and or so many pies held my attention from word one. Cleverly written, Nell Hampton gives readers a mystery we can sink our teeth into. An inside look at palace life is just the meringue on the top of the pie.

Readers of Julie Hyzy’s White House Chef Mysteries will love these characters and their story. I recommend this book/series to all cozy mystery fans!

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About the Author

An avid foodie and writer, Nell Hampton decided to finally combine her two loves. She lives in Richmond, VA. This is her first mystery. But you may also know her as Nancy J. Parra or Nancy Coco. Check out her webpage here. 


Written as Nancy Coco

Written as Nancy J. Parra

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.

Where is your dream place to visit? Leave a comment 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 April 25, 2018, 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.”

Apr 042018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

Kate Dyer-Seeley is touring with Great Escapes and I am happy to feature her new book today.
Be sure to check out the rest of her tour for guest posts, interviews, and more reviews!


Natural Thorn Killer (A Rose City Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Setting – Oregon
Kensington (March 27, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496705136
Digital ASIN: B073NPHX8Z

Cut down among the flowers . . .

Britta Johnston might be a late bloomer, but after leaving her deadbeat husband and dead-end job, she’s finally pursuing her artistic passion at her aunt Elin’s floral boutique, Blooma, in Portland, Oregon. It’s on the banks of the Willamette, in a quaint district of cobblestone paths and cherry trees. The wine bar featuring Pacific Northwest vintages is a tasty bonus, offering another kind of bouquet to enjoy. But things aren’t as peaceful as they look.

For one thing, someone’s been leaving dead roses around—and a sleazy real estate developer who wants the waterfront property has put a big-money offer on the table. Then, after a contentious meeting of local business owners, he’s found on the floor of the shop, with Elin’s garden shears planted in his chest. And before the police decide to pin the crime on her beloved aunt, Britta will have to find out who arranged this murder . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Blooma, a flower/wine shop in Portland Oregon is where Britta Johnston finds herself after leaving her lazy husband and job behind. Her Aunt Elin’s shop is expanding and she is thrilled Britta is bringing her artistic talents home. Soon after Britta arrives she learns that a real estate developer wants to buy out all the local business owners so he can tear everything down and rebuild a marketplace with housing on the waterfront. Most of the owners are refusing to sell, but the developer gives one last push and that push may have caused his demise. Britta arrives at Blooma and discovers the developer dead surrounded by dead roses and her Aunt Elin’s garden shears pushed right into his chest. When the police decide Elin is their main suspect Britta decides to sow a few seeds of her own to find the real natural thorn killer.

Blooma is a delightful setting for this cozy mystery. Elin’s interest in wearable items made of flowers is unique and fresh as is her whole outlook on her business. Flowers grown locally is what she uses for all her creations. She tunes and really listens to her customer’s wishes to make something original and that is what set her above other florists. Plus she has a wine bar and she is opening up a cottage next to the shop for events and classes. The whole Riverplace Village sounds pretty fantastic.

We meet Britta Johnston in the middle of a cold Minnesota winter when she is fed up with her husband and realizes she will never be happy at her job. She just packs up, gets on the train and heads home to Portland. I myself would probably take the Minnesota weather over the Oregon cold rainy weather but I sure can’t blame her for changing her life and following her dream especially when her aunt’s business is the perfect place for Britta to bloom.

The mystery was well planned and plotted. I formed an instant dislike for the victim, as had almost everyone around him. That means plenty of suspects. It also means Detective Pete Fletcher and Officer Thomas “Tomo” Iwamoto spent a lot of time around the flower shop. I really enjoyed Tomo, he was so friendly and good-natured. Detective Fletcher was great too. The mystery was not easy to solve and kept me guessing right up until the end.

All of the characters we met within this story were pretty fleshed out for the first book in a series. They were very engaging and relatable. They are characters I want to get to know more about and the relationships they build together.

This series is off to an excellent start! I am excited to see what is next for Britta and Elin.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About the Author

Kate Dyer-Seeley aka Ellie Alexander writes multiple mystery series, all with a Pacific Northwest touch. She lives in the PNW with her husband and son, where you can find her hitting the trail, at an artisan coffee shop, or at her favorite pub. Better yet—at all three.

Author Links

Facebook Twitter  Instagram GoodReads

Purchase Links

Amazon   B&N   Hudson Booksellers    IndieBound    BAM 

Also by Kate Dyer-Seeley

Find her books written as Ellie Alexander here.


Thanks to the author I have 1 copy to give away!
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 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 April 11, 2018, 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

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
March 26 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
March 27 – Writing Pearls – REVIEW
March 27 – Valerie’s Musings – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 28 – The Power of Words – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
March 28 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
March 29 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
March 30 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
March 31 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
March 31 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
April 1 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
April 1 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY
April 2 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
April 3 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, GUEST POST
April 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 4 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW
April 4 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
April 5 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
April 5 – A Blue Million Books –  AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 6 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT
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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.”

Mar 282018
 

 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so excited to welcome Krista Davis to Escape With Dollycas today to
tell us about her new book/series!

I love starting a new series. There’s nothing that’s more fun than imagining the location and bringing new characters to life.

When I started working on Color Me Murder, I knew that Florrie Fox would be an adult coloring book artist. I borrowed the name Florrie, which I heard recently and loved immediately. Doesn’t a Florrie sound like a kind and quiet person? But also someone who is fun! Then I gave her the day job of managing a bookstore. Originally, I thought she might own it with her grandfather, but when I started writing, that was just plain wrong. I scrapped the first thirty pages and started over!

Once I had a handle on her boss, the owner of the bookstore, things fell into place. John Maxwell is the ultimate absent-minded professor. He loathes confrontation and is a lousy manager but a great guy. He’s always searching for answers to historic mysteries. And he’s a well-known adventurer with an office full of interesting artifacts from his exotic travels.

Of course, Florrie had to have a boyfriend. But wait, maybe she wasn’t crazy about him. Maybe he would be a pain in the neck. As it turned out, he got her into some hot water with her mom. Not to worry, though, someone much more interesting would turn up soon.

But where to set this story? I seriously considered a small university town. Those still exist, don’t they? But the more I thought about it, the more I saw the bookstore in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC. It’s quaint, it’s very cool and chic, and the streets have that lovely neighborly feeling. Plus it’s full of diplomats and intellectuals who would provide fodder for future books.

The character of Mr. DuBois popped up out of nowhere. He’s a wizened old fellow and very proper. As John Maxwell’s butler, he takes care of the mansion and keeps track of the details that John forgets—like breakfast. Mr. DuBois is a bit agoraphobic, and he watches entirely too many true crime programs on TV. He’s an armchair amateur sleuth. Once in a while, he does something that is completely out of character and delights in it.

One of the things I love about the Pen & Ink Mysteries is that some of the clues are on the cover. If you look at the center of the cover, you’ll notice a cat, a plume, martini glasses, a stunning necklace, and more in an oval around the title. Every one of those is a clue to the mystery!

Oh! Did I mention that the front and back covers can be colored? I can’t wait to see how readers color the covers. In fact, I’m having a contest with prizes for the top three colored covers, to be chosen by a panel of your favorite authors! Stay tuned to my Facebook page and website for more information on the contest.

~Krista

Thank you, Krista, for being my guest today! This book is fantastic! 

Now, let me tell you all about it.


Color Me Murder (Pen & Ink)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Washington
Kensington (February 27, 2018)
Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496716408
Kindle ASIN: B0719VDGJ6

 

 

Includes A Front and Back Cover for You to Color!
 
By day, Florrie Fox manages Color Me Read bookstore in Georgetown, Washington D.C. By night, she creates her own intricately detailed coloring books for adults, filling the pages with objects that catch her eye. There’s plenty of inspiration in her new apartment—a beautiful carriage house belonging to Professor John Maxwell, Florrie’s boss. He offers the property to Florrie rent-free with one condition—she must move in immediately to prevent his covetous sister and nephew from trying to claim it.

When the professor’s nephew, Delbert, arrives, he proves just as sketchy as Florrie feared. But the following morning, Delbert has vanished. It’s not until she visits the third floor of the store that Florrie makes a tragic discovery—there’s a trap door in the landing, and a dead Delbert inside. The esteemed Professor Maxwell is an obvious suspect, but Florrie is certain this case isn’t so black and white. Doodling clues, she begins to consider other colorful characters on the scene, all with a motive for murder. With a killer drawing closer, Florrie will need to think outside the lines . . . before death makes his mark again.

Digital edition contains a link to the downloadable color-it-yourself cover art!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

What a unique cover idea. Adult coloring books are huge right now. I gave away quite a few to my family for Christmas with sets of colored pencils. This book brings two favorite things together, a fantastic cozy mystery and color-it-yourself cover art.

When you venture beyond the cover you do find a fantastic mystery. We meet Florrie Fox, manager of the Color Me Read bookstore in Georgetown, Washington D.C. The cool thing, she doesn’t just sell adult coloring books in the store, she has also published several herself. Florrie is quite a doodler and the pictures she creates are truly art. Professor John Maxwell owns the store. He is a traveler, his adventures take him all around the world. His office is full of treasures from his travels. He lives on a huge estate with a butler, Mr. DuBois, who runs the household and keep his friend Maxwell on track. There is a guest house on the estate and Professor Maxwell offers the place to Florrie. She is unhappy in her small apartment and Maxwell would rather have her for a tenant than his unsavory nephew Delbert.

Delbert shows up at the bookstore and Florrie dislikes him instantly. She understands why his uncle doesn’t want him around. When she arrives that next day a wrinkle in the carpet catches her attention, she discovers the carpeting in covering a trap door, but when she lifts it she is shocked to find a very dead Delbert. There is no way to color this picture any other way but tragic and gruesome.

I want to shout about this book from the rooftops!

Krista Davis is a great writer, but she has topped herself with this series debut!

The characters are so smart, engaging, witty, charming, interesting and fun. I love them already and want to know them better. Heck, I want to move into Professor Maxwell’s guest house so I can be a part of their lives every day.

I have only visited Washington D.C. once, but with the author’s descriptions of the area and the bookstore, I could transport myself so easily. All the little details were wonderful. I would love to get lost in all the Color Me Read bookstore has to offer.

The plot was rich and flowed at the perfect pace. I found myself so immersed in the story that I realized I didn’t highlight any parts or make any little notes like I do with most books to help me solve the mystery and write my reviews. I sat down and started reading and didn’t put it down until I reached the final word. Well written and well plotted this book has everything I look for in a story and more.

A charming and compelling read with an ending that surprised me. A perfect escape, no this one was a trip to Paradise. It deserves more than 5 stars!

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About The Author 

New York Times Bestselling author Krista Davis writes the Paws and Claws Mysteries set on fictional Wagtail Mountain, a resort where people vacation with their pets. Her 4th Paws and Claws Mystery is MISSION IMPAWSIBLE, which releases on February 7th. Krista also writes the Domestic Diva Mysteries. Like her characters, Krista has a soft spot for cats, dogs, and sweets. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with three dogs and two cats.

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Coming November 27

Coming May 29, 2018

GIVEAWAY
 Thanks to the people at Kensington I have 4 ARC copies to give away!
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.

Leave a comment for Krista for 5 Bonus Entries!

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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.”

Mar 212018
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am happy to welcome Terry Ambrose back to Escapes With Dollycas!

The Trouble with Treasure

When I first began writing the Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery series, I felt I needed “a hook.” Problem was, I had no idea what that should be. When my wife made a comment about people loving a good treasure story, I decided to take on the writer’s favorite pastime—research. What I uncovered opened my eyes to a fascinating world I’d forgotten after history class let out.

The game begins

I have to admit, when I started, the stories of the Spanish treasure fleet captured my interest. Those ships sailed for months to bring enormous wealth from the New World back to Spain, but other countries saw these riches as an irresistible target. Why not? The Spanish had done the hard work—they’d conquered the Incan empire, mined the gold, and sailed thousands of miles to return home. The French, British, and Dutch were eager to reap the benefits of those efforts.

With easy money as the lure, the age of privateers began. In 1537, French privateers captured nine treasure ships, prompting Spain to send protection in the form of royal warships. This first treasure fleet became the standard for hundreds of years.

Swashbuckling pirates were just the beginning

Sixteenth Century treasure raiders relied on the strength and speed of their ships. Cannon, sword, and cunning ruled the sea. In 1708, the San Jose fell victim to this type of raid by a British warship. Those British privateers sank the San Jose, thus losing their bounty to the bottom of the sea where it lay for centuries.

When treasure hunters discovered the San Jose off the coast of Cartagena, its bounty was estimated at $17 billion. Treasure hunters, museums, and even governments salivated. Everyone wanted a piece of this pie. None wanted to give up their slice without a fight. This same spirit of lust—the desire to be the primary beneficiary of a 300-year-old bounty—was one element of the story behind Clues in the Sand.

Today, modern privateers no longer attack with cannon and sword. These treasure raiders are experienced divers who operate with highly specialized equipment. Professional divers conduct snatch-and-grab treasure raids and operate at depths that could kill a recreational scuba diver.

The lure of riches beyond belief

The voyage of the Manilla galleons took months to complete and was one of the most dangerous in the world. If privateers didn’t attack, violent storms could push a ship off course. If there were no storms, the winds might die and leave a ship to languish until its crew was too weak or too few to operate safely.

The Manilla galleons sailed for nearly 350 years. During that time Spain lost over forty ships at sea. The British and Dutch captured or destroyed many others. These were some of the richest cargos to sail the seas. Is it any wonder the promise of such instant wealth brought out the worst in everyone?

It was for all these reasons that when Kathy said, “You need a good hook,” I thought I’d found one. The lure of treasure hunting captured my interest. It wasn’t enough to risk everything on a gamble for instant celebrity, but it was enough for me to delve deeper and explore that world vicariously. I hope readers will enjoy the blending of snippets of treasure hunting with the small town atmosphere of Seaside Cove—where murder meets the sea.

* * *

~Terry

Thank you so much for visiting today, Terry! Kathy is right, people love a treasure story! Especially when there is a murder involved. 

 

Clues in the Sand (A Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – California
Satori (March 15, 2018)
Print Length: 191 pages
ASIN: B078ZMZQ48

To Rick Atwood’s dismay, the police find a body on the beach near his Seaside Cove B&B. The dead woman held a pottery shard from an ancient rice bowl, which the cops believe is a clue to her murder.

The chief suspect is Flynn O’Connor, a female archaeologist known for her hatred of treasure thieves. Trouble is, Rick’s daughter Alex sees Flynn as a role model and will not believe her friend is a killer.

Alex pressures her dad as only a ten-year-old can to prove Flynn is innocent. The mayor is also making demands—for Rick to stay out of the investigation. With his daughter and the mayor at odds, Rick sees trouble brewing. He knows too well how much Alex loves sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong. Especially when there’s murder involved.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Rick Atwood was hoping that murder was a rare occurrence in Seaside Cove, but another body has been found on the beach. Because of the pottery shard, she was holding in her hand and a witness archaeologist Flynn O’Connor is deemed the main suspect. His 10-year-old daughter Alex has become friends with Flynn and knows she didn’t do it. Rick tries to stay out of the police’s way but Alex takes some steps of her own that lands him right in the middle again.

I really fell for these characters in book 1, especially young Miss Alex. She is smart, generous, friendly, and knows how to get her way with both her dad and Marquetta. In addition to helping her dad around the B&B and organizing help to solve the murder, she is doing her darndest to bring Rick and  Marquetta together. She is a girl on a mission or two, and I absolutely love it.

The author has written a very clever mystery. The mayor was very prickly this time and Rick knew she was up to something, but did it have anything to do with the murder? I really enjoyed the way Rick pursued his theories and wasn’t afraid to ask the hard questions. I also learned a key piece of information about the murder weapon and more about sunken treasures. I always like it when I learn something new while reading my mysteries. There were plenty of suspects and clues in the sand and elsewhere that kept me guessing until the very end.

Again, the cover calls to me, as did the descriptions of the B&B, especially the attic this time, and the town of Seaside Cove.

Mr. Ambrose has a fun, easy, writing style. It is very comfortable with ebbs and flows. A perfect mystery for a lazy afternoon. I enjoyed the setting, the mystery, and the characters. I am excited for the next book in this series!

About the Author

Terry Ambrose is a former skip tracer who only stole cars when it was legal. He’s long since turned his talents to writing mysteries and thrillers. Several of his books have been award finalists and in 2014 his thriller, “Con Game,” won the San Diego Book Awards for Best Action-Thriller. He’s currently working on the Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery series.

Author Links:

Website    Facebook   Goodreads



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Terry’s Great Escapes Tour starts tomorrow!!

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.”

 

Mar 142018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

This week I am featuring Sherry Harris’ latest Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery!

I Know What You Bid Last Summer
(A Sarah W. Garage Sale Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Kensington (February 27, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496707536
Kindle ASIN: B0719VD7GS

 

 

FOUL PLAY IN THE GYM
When it comes to running a successful garage sale, Sarah Winston believes in doing her homework. She also believes in giving back. But when she agrees to manage an athletic equipment swap, she doesn’t bargain on an uncharitable killer. The day of the event, the school superintendent is found dead in the gymnasium.
 
HAS SARAH PLAYING DEFENSE
Suddenly the murder suspects are the school board members—including the husband of a very difficult client who’s hired Sarah to run a high-end sale and demands she do her bidding. In between tagging and haggling, Sarah studies the clues to see who wanted to teach the superintendent a lesson. But as she closes in on the truth, the killer intends to give her a crash course on minding her own business . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Happy Dance! I am all caught up on this series!

Sarah has taken on the schools athletic swap meet. Who knew arranging bats, balls, and hockey sticks could be such a huge undertaking and dangerous too. The night before the event Sarah is working late when she is attacked and several items, including the expensive silent auction items, are stolen. The following day is even worse when Sarah finds the school superintendent has been killed. The murder has to be someone involved at the school, maybe even someone on the school board. Can Sarah find the killer before the police? Maybe she can ask a few questions while organizing and running a garage sale for a wife of one of the board members. Or maybe she should just stay out of it . . . like that would ever happen 🙂

Sarah Winston is a such a great character. She has become an expert at garage sales, thrift stores, swap meets, and online buy and sell sites. I wish I had half her knowledge and energy. She has also become quite adept at solving murder mysteries. People open up to her in a way they never open up to police. She also has no problem asking for help from Mike ‘the Big Cheese’ Titone, but she just may be pushing him a little too far. Her romantic life has had been in flux since this series started and I still have hope that she will end up with the man I have been rooted for.

Solving the murder and the thefts has Sarah running all over the place and not thinking about the danger she is putting herself in. She is warned several times, but her independence makes her act without thinking the situation through. The author takes us on a journey as Sarah uncovers more secrets and lies. A couple of corkscrew twists really has my eyes glued to the pages.

In addition to the main mystery, there is a subplot that had me almost rolling on the floor laughing. All I can say is lasagna! The lengths Sarah goes to for her friends was not only funny but heartwarming and made me very hungry. Guess what we had for supper the night after I finished this book.

I love the way Sherry Harris writes. She describes everything in such a way that it is like watching a movie. Her characters feel like old friends, you want to get involved in their lives. She plots the story so well with perfect amounts of suspense and humor. She draws us in and holds our attention making it almost impossible to take a break from the story for food or sleep. Her worldbuilding is excellent.

I have enjoyed this entire series and highly recommend them all.

 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Agatha Award-nominated author, Sherry Harris, started bargain hunting in second grade at her best friend’s yard sale. She honed her bartering skills as she moved around the country while her husband served in the Air Force. Sherry uses her love of garage sales, her life as a military spouse, and her time living in Massachusetts as inspiration for the Sarah Winston Garage Sale series.

Find out more about Sherry on her webpage here.


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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.”

Mar 072018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

Please help me welcome Daryl Wood Gerber back to Escape With Dollycas! 

Hi Everyone,

I’m often asked if I do research for my books.

Yes!!! Sometimes I do it by reading books. Sometimes I go online to travel the world for ideas. Sometimes I review photographs on Pinterest and similar sites for visual ideas. And sometimes I go in person to a store, a town, or an event.

For Pressing the Issue, I attended the Renaissance Fair in Los Angeles. I’ve been to many over the years, but I decided to attend a current one to see if they’d changed much. They hadn’t. The vendors were all delightful. I particularly loved the candle display and the knives display. The costumes were fabulous. I dressed up, but I wished I’d purchased a wench costume for next time. They were so colorful and there was such an array. I took in the birds of prey show and watched the merry dancers.

And then I ventured to the food court. Yum. The aromas from all the delicious goodies were heavenly. Turkey legs, meat on a stick, pasties, mead!

One of the foods I’d never seen at a fair before was Hawker’s Mush. Hawker, of course, means vendor or seller. As for the word mush? Don’t let the name fool you. This is NOT porridge. It’s like a very large potato pancake but made with spinach and onions and wild rice, and then drizzled with hollandaise sauce. Divine.

Enjoy.

Hawker’s Mush

4 tablespoons or more, butter

1 large onion, chopped (about 1 ½ cups)

4 cups raw spinach, shredded (becomes about 2 cups)

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons sherry

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 cups cooked brown rice and wild rice mix

3 eggs, beaten

Hollandaise sauce *recipe below

In a medium frying pan, melt butter over medium heat. Sauté onions until soft and beginning to turn golden brown, about 8 -10 minutes. If the onions seem dry, add another tablespoon of butter. Then add raw spinach.

Sauté until all the moisture from the spinach is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Turn heat down and add the thyme, crushed garlic, and sherry. Add salt and pepper. Simmer until all liquid is absorbed, about 2-4 minutes more. Cool 5 minutes.

In a large bowl mix the wild rice, the onion-spinach mixture, and the beaten eggs.

This step you’ll have to do in batches: in a medium frying pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add rice-onion-spinach in 1/2 cup portions. Flatten each down so you have rounds about ½ ” in thickness. Cook over medium heat until set. Flip over and cook until golden.

Slide onto a plate and put in a warm oven. Repeat until all are cooked.

When ready, serve with hollandaise sauce.

Hollandaise sauce

3 egg yolks

1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 cup butter (one stick)

In the blender, combine the egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice, and white pepper. Blend for about 5-10 seconds.

Put the butter into a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup and melt completely about 30-45 seconds.

Set the blender on high speed and add the melted butter to the egg mixture in a thin stream. It will thicken up, fast.

NEAT TRICK:  You can keep the sauce warm until serving by placing the blender itself in a pan of hot water.

~Daryl

Pressing the Issue (A Cookbook Nook Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – California
Beyond the Page (February 20, 2018)
Paperback: 242 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1946069528
Kindle ASIN: B07955HXRS

 

 

As the annual Renaissance Fair comes to Crystal Cove, Jenna Hart’s Cookbook Nook is packed with tasty treats and all things medieval, while her pal Bailey is ready to swoon over her upcoming nuptials at a local vineyard. But when the two friends discover the body of the vineyard’s owner bludgeoned by a winepress, all their merriment fades, along with their hopes for a vintage year.

Which churlish varlet did the deed? Was it the victim’s errant brother, who stood to inherit the vineyards? Or the owner’s crestfallen ex-girlfriend? Mayhap it was the newly arrived comely wench or her jealous husband. Fie on them all! Verily, Jenna can’t rest until justice is served, and she vows to track down the killer. But can she sniff out the truth before the villainous culprit strikes again?

Includes tantalizing recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We arrive in Crystal Cove just in time for the Renaissance Fair and Bailey’s wedding. Everyone was having a great time until the Nick, the king of the faire and owner of the venue for Bailey’s wedding is found dead. With a booth at the fair, the Cookbook Nook, and all the wedding plans the last thing Jenna Hart needs in a murder to solve. Nick was a very popular resident of Crystal Cove, who would want him dead? Jenna starts talking to everyone she can, maybe she can find the killer before all the people in town for the faire clear out and maybe Bailey’s dream wedding can take place as planned. Let the sleuthing begin.

The last book in this series had me struggling with many emotions. I was so glad to pick up this book and reconnect with all the characters and their lives at a happy time with the wedding and Ren Faire. The author does an excellent job of getting us up to date and back into the groove with Jenna and her friends and family. We also meet some new characters in town for the faire. Daryl Wood Gerber creates such delightful characters that have grown in each new installment of this series.

I was very taken with the vineyard setting Bailey and Tito had chosen for their nuptials. It was described so nicely and sounded like a beautiful place. I have never been to a Ren Faire but I had in my mind a set-up similar to the setting in Joyce and Jim Lavene’s Renaissance Faire Mysteries, but this being only a pop-up type event it wasn’t as elaborate as the faire in those stories, but it sure appeared to be a lot of fun. 

The mystery is so well-written, plenty of suspects and plenty of twists. I do have a problem when I read books by this author. I tend to get all wrapped up in happening to the regular characters and the great books Jenna has a the CookBook Nook that I usually miss some very important clue. This time I made myself pay attention, even highlighting lines from the book on my Kindle. This time when we reached the reveal of the killer I was so happy to see my diligence paid off and I was right.

Another great story from Daryl Wood Gerber.

This series is best read in order for maximum enjoyment.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About the Author

DARYL WOOD GERBER writes the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mystery series featuring a cookbook store owner who is an avid reader and admitted foodie, set on the coast of California.  As AVERY AAMES, she pens the Agatha Award-winning, nationally bestselling Cheese Shop Mystery series featuring a cheese shop owner amateur sleuth, set in the fictional town of Providence, Ohio. Daryl’s short stories have been nominated for the Agatha, Anthony, and other awards. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl has appeared in “Murder, She Wrote” and more.

Author Links

Visit Daryl or Avery at www.darylwoodgerber.com.

Daryl’s Blog – Avery’s Blog – Mystery Lover’s Kitchen – Killer Characters –

Facebook:   Daryl      Avery 

Twitter: @AveryAames @DarylWoodGerber

Goodreads:    Daryl Wood Gerber     Avery Aames

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Thanks to the author I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
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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.”

Feb 282018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

Today I am featuring Bethany Blake’s Pawprints and Predicaments.
She is currently touring with Great Escapes Book Tours.
Check out all the stops for Guest Posts, Interviews, Spotlights, and Reviews!

Pawprints & Predicaments (Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Kensington (February 27, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496707420
Digital ASIN: B071SK3VF9

 

 

The Tail Waggin’ Winterfest is the highlight of the season in the famously pet-friendly Pocono Mountains town of Sylvan Creek. But despite attractions like an ice sculpture display, a dogsled race, and gourmet hot chocolate, Daphne Templeton finds herself annoyed by TV producer Lauren Savidge, who’s filming the festivities. She’s critical, controlling, and as chilly as the January air. Daphne would like to tell her to go jump in a lake—and as a matter of fact, that’s exactly what they’re both going to do . . .

It’s the first-ever polar bear plunge in Lake Wallapawakee, and Daphne and Lauren are among the eighty or so people who charge into the frigid water to raise funds for animals in need. Daphne makes it back to shore—with the help of a mysterious St. Bernard—but Lauren is dragged out stone cold dead. Now, with her trusty basset hound Socrates at her side, Daphne intends to assist Detective Jonathan Black in his investigation—whether he wants her to or not . . .

Includes recipes for homemade pet treats!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sylvan Creek is being touted as a pet-friendly destination and there is television crew in town to film their Tail Waggin’ Winterfest. Locals are hoping the exposure will bring more tourists to the town. Petsitter Daphne Templeton is trying to get her new pet bakery open and included in the production but contractors are hard to come by due to another huge home renovation. So right now she is concentrating on Winterfest and all it entails including a polar bear plunge. Turns out this part of the festival was a bit unorganized and with over 80 people rushing into the frigid water and trying to hurry back out was a little chaotic. Especially when Daphne takes a little fall and winds up underwater tangled with another body. Daphne is rescued by industrious St. Bernard but the other person, the television producer, Lauren Savidge, was not so lucky, Her body is ice cold and she is dead. Daphne knows Detective Jonathan Black isn’t going to like it but she and her sleuthing assistant basset hound, Socrates are plunging into their own investigation.

I so enjoyed this story. Daphne has quickly become one of my favorite protagonists. I am excited about her new pet bakery even though she needed a little shove and a little push to set up her grand opening. Her mind was clearly on everything else happening that the store hit the backburner for awhile. Her friend Moxie always makes me smile, great attitude and her love for the great film actresses of yesterday. Daphne’s mother is quite a woman, pushy and demanding, but she truly loves her daughter and Daphne gets to know how to handle her better every day.

The pets again add so much to the story. They are unique and mostly lovable. One new pet addition made me squirm, definitely not my idea for a pet, but to each his own 🙂 Of course, basset hound Socrates is still my favorite. Laugh out loud funny and able to turn even the worst day around.

The murder mystery is quite a tangled up mess when Detective Black’s ex-wife becomes a suspect and another detective takes over the investigation. There are plenty of suspects to weed through and eliminate as we follow each and every piece of the puzzle that gets locked into place. I love the way the author takes a reader right into the story. She makes it so easy to see everything like we are right on her character’s shoulders.

Bethany Blake has written a fun story with engaging characters, human, and animal, that captivated this reader from beginning to end. Small town life converged with an excellent mystery was so entertaining. I can’t wait to visit Sylvan Creek again soon!

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About the Author

Bethany Blake lives in a small, quaint town in Pennsylvania with her husband and three daughters. When she’s not writing or riding horses, she’s wrangling a menagerie of furry family members that includes a nervous pit bull, a fearsome feline, a blind goldfish, and an attack cardinal named Robert. Like Daphne Templeton, the heroine of her Lucky Paws Mysteries, Bethany holds a Ph.D. and operates a pet sitting business called Barkley’s Premium Pet Care.

Author Links 

Webpage  BookBub    Twitter    Facebook

Purchase Links

Amazon B&N  Kobo   Google Play 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Participants

February 21 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
February 21 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 21 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
February 21 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT 
February 22 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW, GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
February 22 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
February 23 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 23 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
February 24 – The Montana Bookaholic – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 24 – Readeropolis – INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY
February 25 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 25 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
February 26 – Varietats – REVIEW
February 26 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 26 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
February 27 – The Power of Words – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
February 27 – Cinnamon, Sugar and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW
February 28 – Mysteries with Character – INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY
February 28 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
February 28 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
March 1 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
March 1 – La libreria di Beppe – SPOTLIGHT
March 1 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
March 2 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW
March 2 – A Cozy Experience – GUEST POST
March 3 – Book Babble – REVIEW
March 3 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY
March 4 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
March 4 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW
March 5 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY
March 5 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
March 6 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST
March 6 – Bibliophile Reviews –  REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
March 6 – Reading Authors – 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.”

Feb 212018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so happy to welcome Miranda James to Escape With Dollycas!

Old Sins

By Miranda James
(Post provided by publicist.)

I don’t really know where my nearly lifelong interest in history started. I do remember that, when I got my first library card at the age of eight, the first book I checked out was a juvenile biography of Abraham Lincoln. I went on to read many, many more of those juvenile biographies, and then I moved on to Greek and Roman mythology. Later on, as a teenager, I began reading historical fiction of various flavors – everything from historical romances to romantic suspense and straight historical fiction. If it was set in the past – and particularly if it was set in England – I would give it a try. In college, I majored in history and even went on to get both a master’s degree and a Ph.D., emphasis on medieval history.

I think one of the main reasons I’m so fascinated by history is knowing that there are connections from the past to the present. Some are more clear-cut than others, but the connections are always there. There are connections on a grand scale as well as connections on a more intimate, definitely personal scale, like tracing one’s ancestors to see from whence you came.

These same connections are, for me, what makes a mystery plot interesting. What actions in the past are connected to events in the present? Did one event, an action by a single person, set the course that ended in a murder? Or perhaps several murders?

These are the questions at the root of every story in the “Cat in the Stacks” series. In the latest book, Claws for Concern, those actions lie twenty years in the past. Four people, two adults, and two children were killed on a farm. The murderer was never brought to justice. Will Charlie and Diesel be able to identify the killer after all these years?

~Miranda

Thank you, Miranda, for visiting today! 


Claws for Concern (Cat in the Stacks Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
9th in Series
Setting – Mississippi
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (February 20, 2018)
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425277782
Kindle ASIN: B072LT1Y7L

 

 

Charlie Harris is busy enjoying his new grandson when a mysterious man with a connection to Charlie’s family starts visiting the library, bringing with him troubling questions about an unsolved murder…

Charlie may be a proud new grandfather, but he and Diesel still have work to do at Athena College and the small Mississippi town’s public library. He’s too busy to deal with true-crime writer Jack Pemberton, who wants Charlie as the subject of his latest book–and who won’t take no for an answer.

A more appealing proposition for Charlie is spending time helping a kind, elderly man navigates the library’s genealogical database. But he’s shocked when he learns that the visitor’s search is focused on a member of his own family: his late aunt’s husband.

Charlie befriends the man and considers inviting him to stay in his home, but he’s soon given reason to question that notion. Jack is certain that Charlie’s new houseguest was involved in a shocking homicide that took place years ago in a small town near Athena. As this cold case heats up, Charlie and Diesel have to uncover a killer who may already be too close to home…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This is one of my favorite cozy series. That cat on the cover, Diesel, always makes me smile and now remember my own big kitty Wiley who passed away January 17. Diesel is a little bit more intuitive than Wiley was but he comes darn close.

This time Diesel and his person, Charlie Harris, take on a cold case when a man at the library asks for help just after telling Charlie he is the son of his late aunt’s husband. Charlie and Diesel are enjoying a new baby and fielding inquiries from a man that wants to write about all the mysteries Charlie has solved. While not interested in being the feature of a book, Charlie and the author team up to solve one together, even if it means putting his newly found relative behind bars.

I loved everything about this story. The mystery really didn’t take hold until about halfway through the book, but this reader was drawn in and entertained from page one. James’ writing style makes it feel like you are having a conversation with Charlie or watching everything right over his shoulder. When the mystery is revealed Charlie takes us along as he visits everyone that could have the answers he needs to solve it. When his daughter and son-in-law observe a crucial “accident” it gives Charlie what he needs to press for even more answers.

Miranda James is a fantastic storyteller. Her characters are engaging and feel like friends or neighbors you like to spend a lot of time with. Charlie relationship with Helen Louise is moving along nicely now that she is getting more help at her restaurant. His daughter recently gave birth to his first grandchild and his son’s wife is due soon. Diesel is already a good baby minder, he feels it is his job to watch over that child and alert everyone if the baby barely makes a sound. Charlie’s housemates are also top-notch and of course his housekeeper Azalea is the one who keeps everyone in line.

This is a wonderful addition to this series. I do recommend you start at the beginning but this story does stand on its own.

If you are looking for a comfortable, cozy mystery to curl up with, look no further than Claws for Concern, or any other Miranda James story.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

 

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

GIVEAWAY

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

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Contest Will End March 7, 2018, 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.”

 

Feb 142018
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so happy to welcome back Jeanne Quigley to Escapes With Dollycas!

Thank you, Lori, for inviting me to introduce the new Veronica Walsh mystery to your readers. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

One of the joys of writing is the opportunity it gives me to weave my interests into a story. Years of watching soap operas inspired the creation of Veronica Walsh, the star of my cozy mystery series, and my childhood vacations in the Adirondacks led me to set the series in a fictional town in that beautiful region of New York.

The theater, particularly the work behind-the-scenes, is another longtime fascination of mine. I marvel at how a group of talented people, from the playwright, director, and choreographer to the set designers, musicians, and actors, can transform a bare stage into whatever world the playwright imagined and transport an audience to a 1905 Paris opera house, a bachelor pad in 1960s New York, or the eighteenth century for a fresh take on the life of a Founding Father.

Since I’m not “in” the theater, I incorporated its appeal into the plot of my new mystery, Cast for Murder. In the third cozy starring Veronica Walsh, I staged a production of Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit at the Barton Community Theater, the amateur playhouse in Veronica’s hometown. I assembled a diverse cast of actors, appointed a production manager and stage manager, and handed the directorial reins to the theater’s founder, Gigi Swanson. I even built the actual theater and it took just one paragraph to do it.

Veronica, a retired soap opera actress, slides easily into the part of Coward’s wacky medium, Madame Arcati. Veronica doesn’t care that she’s performing alongside amateurs and won’t be paid (not even scale) for her part, or that she has to venture into the frigid winter nights of Barton to attend rehearsals. She’s out of retirement and acting again!

It’s all fabulous until the backstage drama begins after Veronica finds Gigi shot dead behind the theater. It doesn’t take long for Veronica to assume a second role she’s not as excited to play: amateur sleuth. She’s developed a skill for solving murders and has earned a fame for it she’d rather not have.

Gigi’s murder introduces Veronica to a whole new cast of characters, a lineup of murder suspects who don’t follow a script. Whitney, Gigi’s business partner, assumes the role of diva and plays it to the hilt. There’s Kenny, a former volunteer at the theater who would fit well in the cast of Twelve Angry Men. Julia is the perfect ingénue, all wide eyes, and batting eyelashes. But is it all an act, a guise put on to cover a little case of guilt? Finally, Gigi’s husband, Zach Townsend, is the perfect leading man: tall, dark, and handsome. Is he also a murderer?

Plus there’s a cameo by a real-life Madame Arcati. Does she have the psychic ability to help Veronica solve the murder, or is she only a good reference for Veronica to method act her way through her starring role?

The stage is set for a comic play turned into a murder mystery. Grab a front row seat and enjoy the show!

~Jeanne

Thank you, Jeanne, for stopping by today! 

Now here is my review of Cast for Murder. 

 

Cast for Murder (Veronica Walsh Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New York
Self Published (February 5, 2018)
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1975911867
Kindle ASIN: B079MBKDDN

 

 

Former soap opera actress Veronica Walsh is recovering from her first holiday season in the retail world when she is pulled from retirement to star in a community production of Blithe Spirit. Delighted to play the part of a medium, Veronica must soon also assume the role of amateur sleuth when she finds the play’s director shot dead behind the theater.

Teaming with stage manager Sophie Morrissey, Veronica’s hunt for clues to the murder of Gigi Swanson leads her to a cast of colorful behind-the-scenes characters and a stunning Act Three finale. Will it be a triumph for Veronica, or will the curtain close on more than her career?

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Veronica Walsh has been asked to come out of retirement to play the medium in a local community theater production. It sounds like fun so she accepts only to find the director has been murdered soon after rehearsals begin. She and Sophie, the stage manager, find the body and soon are cast in their own investigation. Will they make it to the final act or will they and the play close early?

Working in community theater the cast and crew get close. This group has been fortunate to find a family so interested in their productions that they have turned an old barn and a nearby building into a theater and office for the group. Of course, it helps that a member of the family is the director. That is until she ends up dead.

Ms. Quigley has created quite a cast of characters for this story. The Townsend family owns the Gold and Country Club. A converted barn on the property is used for not only theatre productions, but weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs and other large parties. It sounds like a beautiful building. Gigi Swanson’s in-laws own the place and when she is murdered, her husband and his parents become murder suspects and so does Veronica and other members of the cast. These characters continue to evolve throughout the story as Veronica digs into them and their backgrounds as she tries to find the killer.

The mystery was so well plotted, it left me guessing right up to the end. I did like that Veronica reported back to the police anything she found out. This doesn’t happen often in this genre. Clues led them both on a very surprising path but Veronica found herself right in the line of fire.

The flow of the story had a slow build as suspects were eliminated but the tension took hold as the real killer was revealed. Someone I had ruled out earlier. Nicely played, Ms. Quigley.

The author has penned an excellent mystery with just a touch of romance. Her relationship with Mark is moving at a nice pace.

For me, a “perfect escape”.

This book can be read on its own but it’s more fun if you get to know Veronica from the beginning.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

About the Author

Jeanne Quigley grew up reading mysteries, watching soap operas, and vacationing in the Adirondacks, never imagining these pleasures would be the inspiration for her Veronica Walsh cozy mysteries (All Things Murder; Murder, by George; Cast for Murder). Unlike the fictional Veronica, Jeanne has never been a soap opera star, but she has worked in the music industry and for an education publisher. She lives in Rockland County, New York and is a member of the Sisters in Crime. Readers can visit Jeanne at jeannequigley.wordpress.com.


Thanks to the author I have 1 copy to give away!
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 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 February 28, 2018, 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.”

Prestige, Privilege and Murder (A Stacie Maroni Mystery) by Christa Nardi 1st in Series! Buy Today!
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