Aug 152018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to welcome Cate Conte to Escape With Dollycas today! 

Hi Everyone,

One of the best things about my journey as a writer is my friendship with the Wickeds. For those of you who know about our Wicked Cozy Author blog, you know that the six of us—Jessie Crockett, Sherry Harris, Julie Hennrikus, Edith Maxwell, Barb Ross, and me—are way more than blogmates. We are friends, confidants, a support system. Family, actually. We are very blessed to be on this crazy writing journey together. And once a year, we “escape” on an annual retreat—a long weekend that never seems to be long enough.

 

The retreat is usually held somewhere in Maine, although next year our location could change. We like to do it either in late spring or early summer, because that just seems like a great time to be doing anything in New England, especially on the coast.

The first few years we spent at Old Orchard Beach, which is so lovely. (Well, anywhere there’s a beach is a lovely location, in my view!) But a weekend of working, coupled with long walks on the beach, plotting conversations on the patio breathing in the smell of salt air is incredibly energizing and inspiring. The past two years we’ve spent in Boothbay Harbor, another treat with its charming downtown, different restaurants, and water views.

But honestly, no matter where we are, it’s perfect. I can honestly say I wait all year for this weekend, which always passes much too quickly. It is one of very few non-negotiable trips each year. We have group time, one-on-one time, and alone time. Although in recent years we’ve eschewed a lot of the alone time in favor of taking full advantage of being together, which doesn’t happen often (sadly).

When we first started these retreats, we were hyper-focused on getting writing done. Back then, we were all getting used to having contracts and deadlines, and desperately trying to get into a rhythm. As our blog and our careers evolved, we adjusted to spending more time talking about blog business, and also about the future of our careers. Sharing our dreams, ambitions and supporting each other through them is a huge part of who we are, and having people to do that with is invaluable.

And we do fun things too. One year, we made vision boards. We have plotting workshops for whoever is currently brainstorming a new project or is stuck in a plot. We have a tradition of fondue on Friday night. My little dog, Shaggy, is an honorary member of the Wickeds and has been included in the past couple years’ festivities. (She’s very good at plotting.)

Some people prefer Christmas – I like to say this weekend is my most wonderful time of the year. I always leave our annual retreat weekends feeling like I’ve been hugged. Although every year I’m left wondering exactly how it got to be Sunday afternoon so quickly, and we’re all hitting the road home until we can be together again at the next conference.

~Cate

Thank you, Cate, so much for visiting today!

Now let me tell you about Purrder She Wrote

Purrder She Wrote: A Cat Cafe Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Minotaur Books (July 31, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1250072077
ISBN-13: 978-1250072078
Kindle ASIN: B078X2FHFW

Purrder She Wrote is second in the pawsitively charming new feline mystery series from Cate Conte set off the New England coast, where curiosity leads to some killer small-town secrets….

It’s the grand opening of Daybreak Island’s cat café, where customers can get cozy with an assortment of friendly felines—and maybe even take one or a few home. Co-owner Maddie James is purring with excitement over her new warm-and-fuzzy venture. . .until she becomes entangled in a petty drama between one of her volunteers, an ardent animal-rights activist, and a wealthy woman who insists on adopting a calico kitty—right this instant. The catfight that ensues is bad enough for business. But when the snubbed socialite is found dead with a tell-tale catnip toy on the scene, suspicion lands squarely on Maddie’s staffer. Now, with her reputation and her career prospects on the line (to say nothing of her budding romance with a handsome pet groomer) Maddie must do whatever it takes to solve the crime—before her nine lives are up.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The Daybreak Island cat café is open and the response is fantastic. People can come in by appointment to play with a cat and can even offer it a furever home. Plus they can have a cup of coffee and a delicious baked treat themselves as well. Except one guest wants to take home a cat today, as in right now. One of Maddie’s volunteers knows the woman and her history with cats and they get into an argument about her fitness as a pet owner. The woman leaves but is later found dead with a catnip toy, handmade by the volunteer, stuffed in her mouth. Maddie’s volunteer becomes the prime suspect, but Maddie can’t believe she’s guilty and decides to do some investigating on her own.

The theme for this series is such a wonderful idea and the setting of Daybreak Island sounds like a great place to visit.

What I really love about this series though is the characters and their relationships. Maddie Day is a strong protagonist and I love the relationship she has with her grandfather. He is still trying to find his way after losing his wife and the cat cafe is a great project where he and Maddie can work together. She has also inherited his love of investigations and finding the truth. Maddie’s partner Ethan handles the kitchen and the food and he has great ideas for expanding on what they have started together. He also gets a surprising romantic interest in this installment. A certain pet groomer is interested in Maddie too, so there is love in the air on Daybreak Island.

The mystery is in a “cat”egory all it’s own. Thr victim was not a nice person and many suspects come to light. Twists and turns keep the pace moving right along, but you could have knocked me over with a feather as the real killer was being revealed. It was so cleverly written, total surprise.

These characters are fun, the mystery is tight, and all the subplots work. Drama, romance, cats, and comedy come together in all the right amounts to make this book “A Perfect Escape”.

 

Cate Conte is the alter ego of Liz Mugavero. Liz is the author of the Pawsitively Organic Mystery series from Kensington Books, the first of which was an Agatha nominee for Best First Novel. As you can imagine, her canine and feline rescues demand the best organic food and treats around. She is a member of Sisters in Crime National, Sisters in Crime New England, Mystery Writers of America, and the Cat Writers’ Association. She currently lives in Connecticut.

Author Links
Webpage  Twitter  GoodReads  Facebook

Check out my review of Cat About Town here.

 


Thanks to the author 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.

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

Sign up for Cate/Liz’s Newsletter 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 August 29, 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.”

Aug 082018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am over the moon excited to welcome Heather Blake to Escape With Dollycas!


Visiting the Enchanted Village

A travel guide by Heather Blake

The village square was aglow in fairy lights and sparkling lanterns hanging from tree branches. Gaslights cast circles of light onto the stone sidewalks and threw shadows along the connected storefronts and individual shops that lined the main square.

Awnings shaded large plate-glass shop windows, and ivy trailed from flower boxes bursting with bold-hued annuals. A few tourists remained, walking hand in hand along the sidewalk, window-shopping—most of the shops closed at nine on weeknights. Windows glowed in the apartments above the storefronts, and specks of lights twinkled from the streetlamps along the lanes of the neighborhoods beyond the square.

Neighborhoods where magic lived.

It Takes a Witch

Destination: The Enchanted Village

  • A witch-themed neighborhood of Salem, Massachusetts, popular with tourists.

Best time to visit:

  • When there hasn’t been a murder.
  • But seriously, any time. Every season is enjoyable in this charming neighborhood.

Good eats and drinks:

  • The Gingerbread Shack

This bakery specializes in miniature treats that fill you with contentment. Literally, some say.

  • The Sorcerer’s Stove*

This family restaurant has had its ups and downs, but on the whole, the food is a delight—when it’s not hexed. Eat at your own risk.

  • The Cauldron pub*

One of the few establishments in the village opens after 9 pm.

  • The Witch’s Brew coffee shop

Grab a cup of coffee, a scone, and the day’s local news.

Where to stay:

  • The Pixie Cottage, a B&B

Be sure to visit with Cookie, a pygmy goat, and Scalawag, a miniature donkey, who are two of the most popular attractions in the village. In the spring and summer, enjoy the vast flower gardens on the property.

Shopping:

  • Spellbound bookshop*, The Bewitching Boutique clothiers, The Trimmed Wick candle shop, Lotions, and Potions* bath and body shop, The Black Thorn* florist, All that Glitters jewelry store, the Furry Toadstool pet shop, The Crone’s Cupboard market, The Snuggery furnishings and décor, Ye Olde Gift Shoppe, and Balefire Sports to name a few.

To do:

  • Enjoy the village green*

The green is the heart of the village and home to many festivals, fairs, and traveling shows, including the Firelight Psychic festival, the Roving Stones rock and mineral show, the Midsummer Ball, and the Harvest festival*.

  • Explore the Enchanted Woods*

Hiking trails twist through the dense, reportedly mystical, forest that surrounds the village.

  • In the spring, check out the Pawsitively Enchanting Pet Extravaganza*.
  • In the fall, look for the Shakespearian festival set up behind the Wickedly Creative Art Studio*.
  • In the winter, cheer for the Wicked Mad Dash adventure runners.
  • Enjoy shows year-round at the grand playhouse.

Transportation:

  • Bring good walking shoes, the more stylish the better or they could potentially be replaced by Godfrey Baleaux, owner of the Bewitching Boutique. He has a discerning eye, little regard for comfort, and persuasive powers.
  • Limited parking available along the main village square. Overflow lots located near the village playhouse and the Sorcerer’s Stove.

Weather:

  • Typical New England weather, except for the hint of magic in the air—that’s a climate characteristic native to only this village.
  • Occasionally, the weather will change in the blink of an eye, especially if that wink is from someone in the Merriweather family.

Language:

  • English
  • French, mostly within the walls of the Bewitching Boutique, an oddity no tourist questions.

Currency:

  • US dollars
  • Gossip

Highlights:

  • As You Wish*

If you find yourself in need of a helping hand while in the village, check out As You Wish, a personal concierge service run by Darcy Merriweather. There’s not a witch person around who’s more capable of handling a crisis. She’s been known to plan last-minute parties, obtain hard-to-find gifts, dress as the Tooth Fairy to charm a five-year-old, tidy the house of a hoarder, and on many occasions, help solve crimes. Appointments upon request…or upon discovery of a dead body.

*Denotes that a murder or attempted murder has taken place within this establishment or on its grounds. Despite the high crime rate per capita, the village is full of magic and endless charm. A visit is always memorable and is highly recommended.

Thank you, Heather, so much for this wonderful travel guide! 

Now let me tell you about the newest book in this amazing series! 

To Catch a Witch: A Wishcraft Mystery
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
1st with this Publisher
Setting – Massachusetts
Crooked Lane Books (August 7, 2018)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1683317084
ISBN-13: 978-1683317081
Kindle ASIN: B078M3J5D1

Wishcrafter Darcy Merriweather might be a witch with the ability to grant wishes for others, but wishing isn’t going to help her catch a killer…

When wishcrafter Darcy Merriweather’s personal concierge company is hired by elite runner Abby Stillwell to organize the Wicked Mad Dash, a competition that takes place in the Enchanted Village, Darcy is more than willing to help her friend. As blizzard conditions rage on the morning of the race, Darcy’s main concern is the terrible weather—until Abby goes missing…and is later found dead, buried in the snow.

As Darcy investigates her friend’s untimely death, she learns that she didn’t really know Abby well at all. And those closest to the woman—her secret fiancé, her roommate, her ex-boyfriend, and her co-workers at Balefire Sports—seem to have plenty to hide too. As Darcy digs deeper, she uncovers complicated relationships, a possible embezzlement scheme, and allegations of cheating against a top athlete.

Just when Darcy is convinced she’s hit a dead end in the case, a startling burglary and the hunt for Abby’s elusive ex send Darcy down a dark, dangerous trail. It will take the help from friends, family, and a little bit of magic for Darcy to stop a stone-cold killer from striking again.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We arrive in the Enchanted Village just in time for the annual Wicked Mad Dash and a few pranks from new crafter Vince Paxton. He is still finding his place in the village but Darcy Merriweather organizer of the event and wishcrafter wishes he would just cut it out. Of course, she can’t grant her own wishes but she still wants Vince to use his powers for good instead of the chaos he loves to create. It’d bad enough that a blizzard has created whiteout conditions and the person that hired Darci has gone missing.

A huge search finds the young woman dead, buried under a pile of snow. Since the death happened in the village the elder has asked Darcy to investigate and all she finds is that everyone connected to the woman is hiding something. Darcy is going to need more than wishes to solve the crime. In fact, she is going to need the help of all her friends and family to catch the witch and bring the killer to justice.

Every time I visit the Enchanted Village and these characters I am taken aback by the wonderful world Heather Blake has designed. From the village to the forest to the meadow I fully escape right into the realm this author has created. Her descriptions create wonderful imagery in full color and bring the world so alive. So easy to believe and picture each place we visit.

The characters are so full of life too. Whether it be the witches, their familiars or the visitors to the village they are so genuine. You never question the conversations with Archie, the macaw or with mice, Pepe and Mrs. P. You don’t question the physician’s healing powers or all the different magical abilities the people of the village have. This time the focus on Vincicrafters, witches with innate athleticism, fantastic runners. The Bryant family are Vincicrafters and own the local sporting goods store. The place where the victim worked.

There is also drama around Darcy’s sister Harper, who had broken up with her boyfriend, fell into a dark depression and has dedicated every waking moment to her business.  On a related note, Dorothy Hansel Dewitt is brewing up plans to overthrow the elder. And Darcy’s her fiancé, Nick Sawyer, police chief for Enchanted Village and his daughter Mimi have moved into her house and have but his on the market.

The author has packed these pages with such a delightful story and a mystery to solve. It is so well written. Twists, turns, and tense moments all lead to a very surprising ending. It flows at a perfect pace. I love the way Nick and Darcy work together. Mutual respect and sharing. They truly are a perfect match.

The Wishcraft Mysteries are a unique series and each book builds from the last one. I am thrilled that it lives on with a new publisher. The author has included some backstory for new readers but you truly need to read the series from the start in order to enjoy the series to the fullest and really get to know the characters and their place in the village. There is a bit of a cliffhanger to this story too. I am honestly tapping my foot, very impatient for book #9. 🙂

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author
Heather Blake is a pseudonym of Heather Webber, the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels, including the Nina Quinn Mysteries and the Lucy Valentine books. Blake has been nominated twice for an Agatha Award. She currently lives in the Cincinnati area with her family.

Follow Heather – www.heatherblakebooks.com
On Facebook
On Twitter



Also by Heather Blake

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.

Leave A Comment for Heather Blake for 5 Bonus Entries!

Sign Up for Heather Blake’s newsletter 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 August 22, 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.”

 

Aug 012018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am happy to feature this book today!
I am still under the weather. I will add my review to this post as soon as I am feeling better.

Death Over Easy (A Country Store Mystery)
by Maddie Day

About the Book

Death Over Easy (A Country Store Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Indiana
Kensington (July 31, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496711236
Digital ASIN: B0776H5T7B

Restaurateur Robbie Jordan is ready for the boost in business a local music festival brings to South Lick, Indiana, but the beloved event strikes a sour note when one of the musicians is murdered . . .

June’s annual Brown County Bluegrass Festival at the Bill Monroe Music Park in neighboring Beanblossom is always a hit for Robbie’s country store and café, Pans ‘N Pancakes. This year, Robbie is even more excited, because she’s launching a new bed and breakfast above her shop. A few festival musicians will be among Robbie’s first guests, along with her father, Roberto, and his wife, Maria. But the celebration is cut short when a performer is found choked to death by a banjo string. Now all the banjo players are featured in a different kind of lineup. To clear their names, Robbie must pair up with an unexpected partner to pick at the clues and find the plucky killer before he can conduct an encore performance . . .

Includes Recipes for You to Try!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It’s time for the Brown County Bluegrass Festival and Robbie bed and breakfast has its first guests, including her father Roberto and his wife Maria. She is excited about all the business that the festival is bringing to her country store and café, Pans ‘N Pancakes too. But when one of the musicians is murdered things turn grim.  The murder weapon is a common thing for this crowd, a banjo string. Who choked the life out of the performer and is anyone else in danger? Robbie is going to do all she can to find out.

I have been almost as excited as Robbie to have her father come for a visit. His and his wife’s tiny connection to the victim has them playing more of a role in the mystery than just a subplot to the main story. I enjoyed the way they traveled the area a bit on their own but still were able to spend quality time with Robbie. Robbie was busy with the cafe and her snooping too, but all the plots and subplots worked very well together. The pace is brisk and the pages seemed to fly.

Again, the character development was excellent. Readers get to see the main characters move forward and get a clear picture of the new characters as well. This is something Maddie Day does so well. It is so easy to get involved in everything the characters are experiencing.

I really enjoyed the music festival theme. It was a great way to introduce Robbie’s new B&B. She did learn she still has a few bugs to work out before her next guests arrive, but it is a fun way to bring new characters to the series. It also gave a great backdrop for the surprising dangerous reveal of the killer. I was happy to see Robbie used some common sense instead of rushing in on her own, but there were still those nail-biting moments and the visions of the horror movie type eyes through the fingers thinking, “don’t go in there”.

I have enjoyed this series from the start. The author always gives readers a wonderful who-dun-it and I can’t wait to see what she has up her sleeve next.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Maddie Day is a talented amateur chef and holds a Ph.D. in linguistics from Indiana University. An Agatha Award-nominated author, she is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America and also writes award-winning short crime fiction. She lives with her beau and three cats in Massachusetts.

As Edith Maxwell, she writes the Local Foods Mysteries (Kensington Publishing) and the Quaker Midwife Mysteries (Midnight Ink).

You can find all Maddie’s/Edith’s identities at www.edithmaxwell.com. She blogs every weekday with the other Wicked Cozy Authors at wickedcozyauthors.com. Look for her as Edith M. Maxwell and Maddie Day on Facebook and @edithmaxwell and @maddiedayauthor on Twitter.

Purchase Links

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
August 1 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  
August 1 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
August 2 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
August 2 – Babs Book Bistro – REVIEW
August 3 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW
August 3 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
August 4 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
August 5 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 6 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
August 7 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
August 8 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW
August 9 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
August 10 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW
August 10 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT
August 11 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
August 12 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 13 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW  
August 14 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW

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Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Jul 252018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so excited to be part of the Cat and Dog Cozy Mystery Tour!

Hello from the cat and dog cozy mystery series authors, and thank you, Lori, for hosting us on the last day of our tour! These past three weeks have flown by, haven’t they? But while our tour may be coming to an end, our characters have a lot more crime-fighting adventures planned. So today we’re going to let our main human characters answer the question “What adventures do you have planned next?”

Beatrice Young, human heroine in Alannah Rogers’s Beatrice Young Cozy Cat Mysteries: I’m just about to get married to my best friend and ex-husband, Matthew! He’s a total dreamboat. We were married 40 years ago and botched the job but now we’re both in our 60’s and much more ready for the whole matrimony thing! So that’s happening in July but I’m pretty sure nothing will run smoothly. There’s always some sort of Bad Guy getting on my case. For example, when I had my wedding shower someone sent me a human body part in a box! So, of course, I ended up having to plan a wedding and chase down a murderer at the same time. That was no small feat!

Biscuit the ginger tabby, head cat in Alison Golden’s Reverend Annabelle Dixon Cozy Mystery series: Annabelle, my human, is back from a trip away. I’ll be helping her solve a couple of mysteries that occur once she gets home. I know most of what goes on in the village and if she’d listen to me, she’d solve them a lot quicker! But she doesn’t seem too bright. She doesn’t seem to understand what I’m trying to say. Sigh. I just have to keep trying.

Brandy Alexander, human heroine in Colleen Mooney’s New Orleans Go Cup Chronicles: All our adventures take place in New Orleans by going to festivals, parades, or yappy hours. Everywhere is a new adventure since I take Meaux with me. Sometimes he rides in a stroller when I know he won’t want to walk that far. He is a canine of leisure and self-indulgence! Since he rides as the Captain of the Schnauzer Oktoberfest Parade in his Beer Wagon, we might have to sniff out something wurst or sauer among the twisted pretzels!

Kat Harper, human heroine in Paige Sleuth’s Cozy Cat Caper Mystery series: I never really “plan” my adventures. Somehow they always find me. What I’d really like is to go a couple weeks without discovering any dead bodies. I’m not sure that’s in my future though. I’ve been back in Cherry Hills, Washington for almost a full year now, and if things continue the way they are I’m fearful all of my friends will be dead by the time I turn forty. But I have no plans to move, so I guess I’ll just have to keep fighting crime as best I can.

Clarissa Hayes, human heroine in Sandra Baublitz’s Dog Detective series: Our newest adventures take place at a local bed and breakfast and a fall fundraising event in our local park. At the B&B, we’re playing a murder mystery game. All will be fun and games until one of the guests falls down the stairs. Accident or murder? It’ll be up to Paw and me to track the clues. And, in our next book, I’m sure someone will die at the fundraiser to raise money for the park’s old gazebo. Will we be able to solve it?

Harlow Reese, human heroine in Claire Kane’s Siamese Sleuth Mystery series: The next book up is Shampoo and a Murder, about a hairstylist found murdered at the local salon.

Sabrina Daley, human heroine in Meredith Potts’s Daley Buzz series: I would love to take a nice Hawaiian vacation, but there always seems to be some kind of trouble brewing in Treasure Cove. If trouble does find its way into my life, I’ll do everything in my power to make sure that justice is served.

Tess Thomas, human heroine in Kathi Daley’s Tess and Tilly Cozy Mystery series: I keep pretty busy delivering the mail, solving murders, and volunteering at the local animal shelter. My friend Tony is helping me to investigate the mystery surrounding my father’s death, and there is a good chance we may need to take our investigation on the road at some point in the near future.

Ashley Adams, human heroine in Sandi Scott’s Seagrass Sweets Cozy Mysteries: We’re off to cater a big wedding out west and I get to take Dizzy! I can’t wait to see the exclusive ranch of a billionaire who also operates an animal rescue and insisted all wedding staff bring their fur babies. We’ll see what Dizzy thinks of the wild wild west.

Cooper Harrington, human hero in Tammy L. Grace’s Cooper Harrington Detective novels: My dad came for a stay, and I need to get him back home. He refuses to fly, so our plan is to travel from Nashville to Nevada in a big motorhome. We’ll be staying at RV parks along the way and exploring a few areas. I know Gus would enjoy the trip, so I’m trying to figure out the logistics. I have no plans to work during our trip, but if you’ve read any of the Cooper Harrington Detective Novels, you know a murder case can fall into my lap at any time.

Readers, now it’s your turn to tell us about your upcoming adventures! Do you have any travel plans, or are you focusing on catching up on that ever-growing pile of books to be read? GIVEAWAY: Each author is giving away one ebook during the blog tour, and every blog you comment on earns you another chance to win (only one comment per person per blog will be counted for giveaway purposes). Ten ebooks = ten different winners! Please include your email address with your comment so we can reach you if you win.

Learn more about us, our books, and our characters by visiting all of our blog tour stops. If you missed any stops, feel free to catch up now. We’d still love to hear from you! And remember, each tour post you comment on by July 27, 2018, earns you another chance to win one of our ebooks.

July 5, 2018: Bibliophile Reviews
July 6, 2018: Chicks on the Case
July 9, 2018: Melissa’s Mochas, Mysteries, and Meows
July 12, 2018: Dru’s Book Musings
July 14, 2018: Lisa Ks Book Reviews
July 16, 2018: Brooke Blogs
July 18, 2018: A Cup of Tea and a Cozy Mystery
July 20, 2018: MJB Reviewers
July 23, 2018: Thoughts in Progress
July 25, 2018: Escape With Dollycas

About the Authors

Alannah Rogers writes the Beatrice Young Cozy Cat Mysteries. The heroine of her stories is Beatrice Young, a 64-year-old amateur sleuth, and Cozy Cat Cafe owner who lives in the small town of Ashbrook, New Hampshire with her 4 cats: Hamish, Lucky, Petunia, and Simon. The first book in her series is only 99 cents, and fans can stay connected through her Readers Group.

Alison Golden is a writer, blogger, and mother of two. To get a free copy of Death at the Café, the prequel to the Reverend Annabelle Dixon cozy mystery series featuring Biscuit, the church cat, plus two more books, updates about new releases, exclusive promotions, and other insider information, please sign up for the Cozy Mysteries Insider mailing list.

Colleen Mooney writes the New Orleans Go Cup Chronicles humorous mysteries and loves to travel. An avid animal lover, she also directs and manages a New Orleans Schnauzer rescue.

Paige Sleuth writes the Cozy Cat Caper Mystery series. She plots murder during the day and fights for mattress space with her two rescue cats at night. When not attending to her cats’ demands, she writes.

Sandra Baublitz loves writing mysteries with furry detective crime-solvers. Her first Dog Detective short story, The Mystery of the Blue Dolphins, featuring Paw and Clarissa, is always free to download.

Claire Kane is a connoisseur of classic fashion statements, craves a good root beer float, and always chews with her mouth closed. Of course, she also has a weak spot for murder mysteries.

Meredith Potts writes the Daley Buzz Cozy Mystery series. She loves corgis, cozies, and cupcakes. Sign up for her mailing list and be the first to know about her new books.

Kathi Daley is the USA Today bestselling author of eight mystery series, including the Tj Jensen Paradise Lake Mystery series and the Tess and Tilly Cozy Mystery series. She writes cozy mysteries that warm your heart and feed your soul.

Sandi Scott spent a lifetime reading cozy mysteries before finding the courage to write them. She writes about the women she wants to be and the pets she wants to meet! To get the first book in both of her series free, join the readers’ group Sandi’s Sleuths.

Tammy L. Grace is the award-winning author of the Cooper Harrington Detective Novels and the Hometown Harbor Series. Join Tammy’s exclusive reader group, and she’ll send you a fun interview with the dogs from her books as a FREE thank-you gift.

Don’t miss out on the fantastic giveaway!
This is the final stop of the tour!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jul 182018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

When I saw this book go up on Amazon I knew I wanted to read it right away, but my Reading Calendar was packed full so I slotted it in for the first available day and that was today! 

Berried at Sea (A Cranberry Cove Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Michigan
Beyond the Page Publishing (March 29, 2018)
Paperback: 184 pages
ISBN-10: 1946069612
ISBN-13: 978-1946069610
Kindle ASIN: B07BSK2QL7

Berried at Sea – The long-awaited wedding of Monica and Greg is the highlight of the harvest season in Cranberry Cove, drawing friends from far and wide to help them celebrate. Among the guests are an old college friend of Monica’s and the woman’s boisterous new husband, a man with many enemies and more than a few bitter women in his past. When he turns up dead on a boat, the victim of a fatal stabbing, Monica steps in once again to unravel the mystery.

As she dredges up clues and wades through a long list of suspects, Monica’s sleuthing becomes all the more pressing when the local police are convinced that her friend did the deed. Monica will have to clear her name fast and track down the real culprit as the killer threatens to bring her sweet wedded bliss to a bitter end.

Includes tasty recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am so happy to return to Cranberry Cove and just in time to celebrate Monica and Greg’s wedding. It was quite a gathering. Unfortunately, the honeymoon gets off to a rocky start when they discover a dead body. When the man is flipped over they see it was one of the guests from the wedding, the husband of Monica’s friend from college. Bruce seemed to have more than a few enemies including some ticked off women he has left in his wake. But the police seem to be concentrating on his wife, Andrea. Monica has a hard time believing her friend is a killer and Monica has begged for her help. She has promised Greg her sleuthing days are over, so she makes her reasons clear to him. promises to be careful, and sets her sights on catching the killer or at least point the police in another direction.

I have really enjoyed this series and am so glad it lives on with a new publisher.

Typically cozy mysteries are 280 – 300 pages. This one rings in with just 184 pages but this author packed them full. All the characters I had grown to love are back and Monica has hired a new assistant to work with her in the farm kitchen. Kit works well on his own, he has even created a new recipe. This gives Monica more time to chase down clues, while still having enough tasty treats baked up to sell in the farm store. I wish the book included free samples, but we have the next best thing, recipes at the end of the book.

The pace was quick and the story is very well-written. There are plenty of suspects but I was tracking the culprit much sooner than Monica. The subplots of Gina and her man troubles, Jeff and Lauren’s wedding plans, and the cranberry harvest twist into the main plot nicely.

I love this author’s very descriptive writing style. She doesn’t just tell us a story, she takes you there. It is so easy to escape to Cranberry Cove and catch up with all the town happenings.

Fun characters, a well-plotted mystery, romance, and cranberries. You just can’t go wrong with a book by this author. I have been delighted with everything I have read by her.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Mystery writing lets Peg indulge her curiosity under the guise of “work” (aka research). As a kid, she read the entire set of children’s encyclopedias her parents gave her and has been known to read the dictionary. She put pen to paper at age seven when she wrote plays and forced her cousins to perform them at Christmas dinner. She switched to mysteries when she discovered the perfect hiding place for a body down the street from her house.

When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading, cooking, spoiling her granddaughter and checking her book’s stats on Amazon.

A former Jersey girl, Peg now resides in Michigan with her husband and Westhighland white terrier, Reg. She is the author of the Sweet Nothings Lingerie series (written as Meg London), the Gourmet De-Lite series, the Lucille series, and now the Cranberry Cove series. Her newest series, the Farmer’s Daughter, debuted with No Farm, No Foul in September 2016. Sowed to Death followed in July 2017. Bought the Farm is available now.





Coming July 31, 2018

Written as Meg London

Just Click on Covers to order from Amazon. 

 


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
Sent directly from Amazon.

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.

Sign Up for Peg’s Newsletter to be alerted about new books and other news.

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 August 1, 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

This book was purchsed by me and is part of my personal collection.

Jul 112018
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am delighted to welcome Kylie Logan back to Escape with Dollycas!

Guest Post | ITALIAN ICED by Kylie Logan
(Provided by Publicist)

 

Writing cozy mysteries is a funny thing.

After all, I’ve been told by numerous readers that they come back to a mystery series book after book because they love the world the author creates.  Whether it’s a sweet little button shop in Chicago (like in my Button Box mysteries) or the idyllic island in Lake Erie where my League of Literary Ladies live, there is something about the people and the setting and the atmosphere an author creates that often appeals to readers even more than the mystery.

But, aha!  That last word in the above sentence is the key.

Mystery.

It’s tricky.  We create these great characters and often, they’re friends or family of our main character, people she loves and people she deals with every day.   And as authors, we grow to love these people, too.

And then we have to make bad things happen to them.

Sigh.

It’s true, every single time and with every single book.  If it wasn’t, there would be no story.

In my Ethnic Eats mysteries, it takes a bit for my heroine, Laurel Inwood, to warm up to her cozy family.  Laurel grew up in the foster system and she doesn’t trust easily.  When she finds herself out of a job (she was the private chef of a Hollywood super-star) and in Hubbard, Ohio with her foster’s mother’s sister, Sophie, she’s got a whole new world to get used to.  Trust me, she settles in eventually, even after she meets handsome, maddening, enticing Declan Fury and his huge Irish family.

And then I make terrible things happen to these really nice people.

In book #1 of the series, “Irish Stewed,” a local investigative TV reporter is killed at the restaurant Sophie owns.  In book #2, “French Fried,” the victim is a beloved neighbor.  And now in book #3, “Italian Iced,” Laurel’s old Hollywood crowd shows up.  Obviously, one of them is bound to end up dead!

Through it all–the egotistical Italian race car driver, the twit of an assistant, the teen with a chip on his shoulder–Laurel knows she’s got friends to stand by her side.

And that, I think, is the real appeal of the cozy.  These characters we know and love will come through it all, and there’s always a happily ever after waiting for them on the other side.

~Kylie

Thank you so much, Kylie, for visiting today! 

Now let me tell you more about Italian Iced!


Italian Iced (An Ethnic Eats Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Ohio
Berkley (June 26, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 042527490X
ISBN-13: 978-0425274903
Kindle ASIN: B07693J4WL

 

 

Hot pasta and a cold corpse make for quite a combination in the latest book in the Ethnic Eats mystery series.

When Laurel Inwood features Italian cuisine on the Terminal at the Tracks menu, she knows she’ll need to stock the shelves, the fridge, and the freezer with plenty of wonderful delicacies. She just never expected one of them to be her former employer, Hollywood superstar Meghan Cohan.

And one day, when Laurel is at the restaurant early to get ready for the regular rush of customers, that’s exactly what she finds–Meghan dead in the Terminal freezer.

What’s a Hollywood A-lister doing in Hubbard, Ohio?

For Laurel, that’s the real question, because the first question she’d ask in any other murder investigation–who would want the victim dead?–seems pretty much a no-brainer in this case.

Who would want Meghan dead?

Just about anybody who had ever met her.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I really love this series. Growing up in a family that owned and operated a restaurant much like the Terminal at the Tracks before Laurel arrived I know the author’s depiction of how hard it is to keep an eatery open with enough customers to turn a profit is true. My mother sold the restaurant not long after my father passed and no one else has been able to take it over and replicate the success she had. I love Laurel’s idea of a different type of cuisine every month while still keeping customer favorite’s on the menu. It keeps the menu fresh and fun both for the customers and the cooks.

By this third book in the series, Laurel has decided to stay in Hubbard and Sophia is back to work. A new waitress adds a bit of drama, but the staff works together like a well-oiled machine. The characters this author has created are so realistic. I feel like I could take a little trip to Ohio and walk right into the Terminal at the Tracks. The dialogue rings true. The relationships have developed naturally. This cast has worked their way right into my heart.

The idea of Hollywood superstar Meghan Cohan, Laurel’s former employer showing up in Hubbard would never have crossed my mind. I was totally surprised at how she made her appearance. To have her be the victim brought a wonderful new group of characters to the story. Her assistant, her son, her ex-husband and more. So many likely suspects all with the motive to cause her icy demise.

Ms. Logan plotted this story out with knife-like precision. Twists and turns with a real mystery not only of “whodunit” but why they “dunit”. Laurel has a heck of a time figuring this one out even after she ends up out cold and headed to the hospital. I was totally in the dark until the very end. I love the way all the suspects were brought together for the grand reveal.

I did enjoy how the events in the story allowed Laurel to look back at her life in California and even back to being a foster child. This made it possible to really open herself up to opportunities that were staring her right in the face.

This is an excellent addition to this series. The way the final pages are written I am sad to say I think this is the last book in this series which really upsets me. These are characters I am not ready to say goodbye to and there are so many more countries to visit for ethnic eats. I really hope I am wrong.

I highly recommend all three books in this series!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Check out my review of Irish Stewed here and French Fried here.

You can find out about Kylie Logan and her books on her website here.

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 print 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.

Leave a comment for Kylie 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 July 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.”

 

Jun 272018
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so excited to have Laurien Berenson visit today!

What a Bright Idea
by Laurien Berenson

The question I’m asked most frequently is, where do you get your ideas? The short answer to that: everywhere. Ideas come from news segments and conversations, and from things that happen all around me. Something as small as a single phrase or a fragment of a description will often cause me to pause and think, But what if…?

Occasionally a great idea will present itself fully formed and demand to be written about. That was the case with my first cozy mystery. A PEDIGREE TO DIE FOR, the debut book in the Melanie Travis series, was published in the 1990’s. But long before I sat down to write it, I already had the germ of a plot in mind.

In those days I was breeding and showing Miniature Poodles. I was also writing occasional articles for The New York Times. So when a Toy Poodle breeder in Michigan announced that her top stud dog had been stolen–and that the FBI and her local police had laughed when she’d asked for their assistance in finding him–that certainly caught my attention. Jane Winne offered a $10,000 reward for any information leading to her dog’s return. I queried my editor, then called to interview her about the theft.

Champion Syntifny’s Piece of the Rock was an ice white Toy Poodle who stood just ten inches tall. He had been a star in the show ring and he was proving to be a standout sire as well. Rocky was producing offspring who possessed the conformation, the temperament, and the charisma to become champions like their sire.

Jane had been offered a large sum of money for her dog. When she turned it down, she was offered a blank check. A week after she declined the second offer, Rocky was stolen from her kennel in the middle of the night.

I wrote the story for The New York Times and subsequently, both the FBI and the Michigan police opened their own investigations. I followed all the developments avidly. Unfortunately, Jane Winne’s story did not have a happy ending. Rocky–who was believed to have been taken out of the country–was never found.

Although that tragic event served as the genesis for A PEDIGREE TO DIE FOR, my book was a work of fiction. It had a very different cast of characters. My plot veered off in a totally new direction. And I got to make sure that justice was served in the end.

Since then, there have been twenty-one new Melanie Travis mysteries including the just-released book, RUFF JUSTICE. This time the plot revolves around the death of a canine portrait artist and, once again, Melanie finds herself on the trail of a murderer. I love writing cozy mysteries because it’s important to me that all the animals in my books remain safe. And that my characters—both human and canine–find the happy ending that Jane and Rocky never did.

~Laurien

Thank you, Laurien, so much for being my guest today! My heart just breaks over the loss of that poodle. 

Now let me tell you what I thought of Ruff Justice!

Ruff Justice (Melanie Travis Canine Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
22nd in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Kensington (June 26, 2018)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496703464
ISBN-13: 978-1496703460
Kindle ASIN: B07638WZN2

 

 

As the owner of prize-winning Poodles, Melanie Travis knows how to handle fierce competition. But when a conformation show turns deadly, it’ll take every trick in the book to outsmart a murderer who refuses to lose . . .

With the excitement of the spring dog show season sweeping Connecticut, Melanie is determined to help her son finally lead his Standard Poodle toward a championship title. Aunt Peg even skips the judging panel to exhibit a pup of her own, and she’s set on standing out from the pack with a handmade leash from Jasmine Crane, a talented canine portrait artist who also crafts stunning accessories for discriminating show-goers. Jasmine’s handiwork is to die for—but Aunt Peg didn’t expect to discover the woman murdered behind the concession booth, strangled by one of her dazzling custom creations . . .

Another shockwave ripples through the close-knit show community when Amanda, Aunt Peg’s longtime dog sitter and a renter on Jasmine’s property, ominously vanishes that same day. While nosing around for clues, Melanie suspects a dangerous connection between Amanda’s disappearance and the homicide case—a hunch that grows as her investigation reveals sketchy secrets about the late artist. Juggling a demanding teaching job, the pressures of the show ring, and a daunting suspect list, Melanie finds herself entangled in a mind-boggling murder mystery . . . and hot on the trail of a desperate killer . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Dog show competitions are a big part of Melanie Travis’ and her family’s life. Her Aunt Peg got the ball rolling and now their house is filled with 5 Standard Poodles and one spotted mutt. Four of the poodles are retired show champions and the poodle that belongs to her 13-year-old son Davey is just a few points away from his championship. Dog shows also include a lot of vendors who sell the wares to the attendees. Over time a close-knit community is formed. Aunt Peg had taken an interest in an artist, Jasmine Crane,  who had added accessories like collars and leashes to her custom canine portrait business. Peg had ordered a new leash for her new puppy. When she arrived at Jasmine’s booth to pick it up she found something most disturbing.  The artist was dead, a custom leash was around her neck, another murder.

Peg gets Melanie involved immediately. Then Peg learns her dog sitter and tenant of Jasmine Crane is missing. Is she missing because she killed her landlord? Or has the killer taken her life too? Or is she hiding because she is in danger? Melanie is searching for answers and is ready to deal out some Ruff Justice, that is even the killer doesn’t set their eyes on her first!

I first have to say that I absolutely envy Melanie Travis and her husband Sam and how they handle a household full of 2 sons, 13-year-old Davey and 4-year-old Kevin, the 5 poodles and a wonderful mutt named Bud, all while holding down jobs, weekends full of dog shows, and everything Aunt Peg throws at them. Even when you add a murder and missing person, they still manage to stay on top of everything. Their lives are far from easy can be full of drama, but there are so many moments that had me laughing out loud. Ms. Berenson has created a cast of loveable characters, both human and canine. Over the course of these series, they have become old friends.

She has also created a spectacular mystery. Everyone at the dog show is a suspect. The police seem to be stumped, but because Melanie knows the dog show world inside and out and Aunt Peg knows everybody in the dog show world, Melanie is quick to sort out who actually would have wanted Jasmine Crane dead. She also gets a good handle on why the dog sitter is missing. Now she just has to go through the paces and ask the right questions to collar the real culprit. It was so much fun to follow Melanie with each twist and each turn until the whole mystery comes together.

I found the subplot of the new student in Melanie’s school very interesting. She takes her Standard Poodle, Faith, to school with her every day. Faith has a way of getting the kids relaxed and ready to learn as Melanie tutors them. A new student opens up to Melanie about a problem she was having after just a couple of sessions. I loved the way she handled the issue head-on. and gave some really good advice.

My dogs are a little more low maintenance in the grooming department being Border Collie/Blue Heeler mixes, they had no dog shows to worry about. But their temperament reminds me a lot of Melanie’s dog Faith. They are my canine companions and read my emotions pretty easily. At almost 15 years old we have a lot of history, but they are slowing down a bit. Our vet told us to prepare ourselves because they are getting up there in age. I don’t even want to think about life without them. Like the dogs in this story and like dogs in most families they are an integral part of our lives. Laurien Berenson brings what I feel every day to life in her stories.

I always recommend reading a series from the start but this author’s writing style really makes each book stand on its own. Fans of this series are going to love this book, but cozy lovers and dog lovers, don’t hesitate to jump in here for a little Ruff Justice. Ms. Berenson has written a terrific story!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author

Laurien Berenson is an Agatha and Macavity Nominee, winner of the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, and four-time winner of the Maxwell Award, presented by the Dog Writers Association of America. She and her husband live on a farm in Kentucky surrounded by dogs and horses.

Find out more about her and her books on her webpage here. Find her on Facebook here and on Twitter here.


Thanks to the author 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.

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

Sign Up for Laurien’s Newsletter 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 July 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

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.”

Jun 202018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to welcome Peg Cochran to Escape With Dollycas today! 

Guest Post
By Peg Cochran
(Provided by the publicist)

There is a certain irony in the fact that I am writing the Farmer’s Daughter series which takes place on Love Blossom Farm in the fictional Michigan town of Lovett.  I didn’t grow up on a farm and my gardening skills can best be described as “limited.”

The suburb where I grew up is much more built up now but back then there was actually a very small farm about two miles away from where they grew corn and sold it at a roadside stand.  The highlight of the summer was those first ears of fresh Jersey corn.

My grandparents had a fair amount of property behind their house and grew lots of vegetables (tomatoes, tomatoes, and more tomatoes!), fruits and herbs.  The air around their house always smelled of basil and now when I smell the herb I’m immediately transported back to their home.  My grandfather even grew grapes for the wine he made himself.

Sadly the green thumb wasn’t passed to me.  I had good luck with tomatoes one year and the next year…not so much.  I think I harvested three tomatoes from two plants.  I did manage some herbs and my small lavender “starter” plant actually grew into a bush.

And mint!  Note to self: next time plant mint in a container not in the ground!  I had enough mint to make mint juleps for the entire county! And lemon balm, too.  But I must say our yard smelled heavenly when the breeze blew over my herb garden!

So a lot of research went into this series—I spent a fair amount of time looking up growing seasons and what might be planted/growing/reaped in which month in the Mitten State.  I learned about canning, storing root vegetables for the winter and even cheese making.

It was tons of fun, and I hope you’ll have as much fun reading Bought the Farm!

~Peg

Thank you, Peg, so much for visiting today!

Now let me give you my thoughts on Bought the Farm.


Bought the Farm (Farmer’s Daughter Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Michigan
Berkley (June 5, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 042528204X
ISBN-13: 978-0425282045
Kindle ASIN: B075HYXZ45

 

 

Wedding preparations are in full swing at Love Blossom Farm as food-and-lifestyle blogger Shelby McDonald transforms the property for her friend Kelly’s down-home country-style reception. But when the lead singer of the wedding band turns up dead–drowned in a trough full of rainwater and strung up like a scarecrow–the police round themselves up a barnful of suspects.

It seems that Travis sowed the seeds of discord wherever he went, and when it becomes clear that everyone from the groom to Shelby’s own staff has motive, tracking down Travis’ killer is going to be more difficult than finding a needle in a haystack. As Shelby finds herself drawn deeper into the investigation, she’ll have to move quickly before the killer decides to put her out to pasture…

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Love is in the air at Love Blossom Farm. Shelby McDonald is hosting her friends, Seth and Kelly’s barn wedding. The mother of the groom wanted an entirely different venue, but Shelby’s barn does look really pretty. The bride’s cousin and his band are on hand for the music and food is being barbecued for the dinner. After the wedding and the reception has ended and everything is back to “normal”, Shelby makes a frightening discovery. The lead singer from the band strung up like a scarecrow. Dead, yes, he is very dead, but Shelby has no idea what could have killed him. There is no blood, so obvious cause. Could one of her guests have killed him? or someone in the bridal party? or someone Shelby had hired? Maybe it was another member of the band? Everyone at the wedding is a suspect. Detective Frank McDonald may need Shelby’s help to solve this one. At least that is what she thinks.

These characters are very down to earth. Shelby is a food and lifestyle blogger who has a huge garden. She sells some of her harvests at Jake’s store. She posts recipes and gardening tips on her blog. I love that her blog posts are part of the book.

She is also raising 2 children, Billy and Amelia. Amelia is dealing with a bully issue at school. A current and relevant topic and I appreciated the insight shown by the author in a fictional way that really resonates. Shelby is also worried about Bert who is not feeling well.  Also, a member of the church has asked her to check out the pastor’s girlfriend. The member is sure she has a shady past.

The murder mystery itself is full of twists and turns and even includes another murder that changes not only Shelby’s thinking but this reader’s as well. The singer’s past is pretty dark and his actions could lead to a few people that would have the motive to kill. So many suspects are holding things back or outright lying. That makes the case hard to solve. There are some suspenseful moments as the killer is revealed. I may have solved it just a little bit before.

The setting in Michigan, Love Blossom Farm sounds like a perfect place. A great place to raise children. A place I would have loved to live when our family was just starting out. I think leasing out the barn for weddings is a great source for extra income. If no one else gets murdered, of course.

I do enjoy the way Ms. Cochran writes. Her “Hello Reader” blog posts and tidbits make me feel right at home. Her descriptive style brings everything into focus. She builds up her characters lives in a very realistic way. I found myself invested in what was happening with all the characters. Shelby does make a decision about her romantic life. It was hard, but I feel she made the right decision.

The entire story is very entertaining. A great installment to this series. I hope we get to visit Love Blossom Farm again soon.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Mystery writing lets Peg indulge her curiosity under the guise of “work” (aka research). As a kid, she read the entire set of children’s encyclopedias her parents gave her and has been known to read the dictionary. She put pen to paper at age seven when she wrote plays and forced her cousins to perform them at Christmas dinner. She switched to mysteries when she discovered the perfect hiding place for a body down the street from her house.

When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading, cooking, spoiling her granddaughter and checking her book’s stats on Amazon.

A former Jersey girl, Peg now resides in Michigan with her husband and Westhighland white terrier, Reg. She is the author of the Sweet Nothings Lingerie series (written as Meg London), the Gourmet De-Lite series, the Lucille series, and now the Cranberry Cove series. Her newest series, the Farmer’s Daughter, debuted with No Farm, No Foul in September 2016. Sowed to Death followed in July 2017. Bought the Farm is available now.





Coming July 31, 2018

Written as Meg London

Just Click on Covers to order from Amazon. 

 


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.

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 July 4, 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.”

Jun 132018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am excited to tell you all about Karen Rose Smith’s new book!


Murder with Cinnamon Scones (A Daisy’s Tea Garden Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Kensington (May 29, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 344 pages
ISBN-10: 1617739626
ISBN-13: 978-1617739620
Kindle ASIN: B075C95LG8

Daisy Swanson and her Aunt Iris run a delightful shop in Pennsylvania’s Amish country with an emphasis on tasty teas and treats—but murder is not so sweet . . .

As local merchants unite to attract tourists for a much anticipated weekend quilting event, business is sure to spill over into eateries like Daisy’s Tea Garden. Gorgeous craftwork is hanging everywhere—but among the quilts, potholders, and placemats, one gallery owner is wrapped up in some dangerous affairs . . .

Reese Masemer had been dating one of Daisy’s employees, Tessa, an artist, though their last interaction was as strained as a cup of loose leaf tea. Now Reese has been found dead near a covered bridge where Tessa’s been practicing her sketches. She’s the obvious suspect, but Daisy’s learning that there were some major secrets in Reese’s background, and several of his relationships were infused with resentment. To save Tessa, she’ll have to find out who’s tainted this quaint little town with murder . . .

Includes delicious recipes!


Dollycas’s Thoughts

Willow Creek has a big event planned. A Quilt Lover’s Weekend that they hope will bring plenty of tourists to town. Reese Masemer owns the local art gallery and he will be displaying some beautiful antique quilts. Tessa, an artist and Daisy’s BFF has been dating him and helping him set up for the big event. There will be a tea at Daisy’s Tea Garden to wrap up the event and announce the raffle winners.

After their last meeting, Tessa feels there is something off about Reese but he has been busy and she has been working on a project herself too. She spends her early morning sketching the covered bridge just outside of town. She is hoping that after the weekend and things settle down she will be able to find out what is going on with Reese. But before she has the chance, Reese is found dead, right by the covered bridge and Tessa is the police’s prime suspect. Knowing her friend is innocent she is going to do her best to find the real killer. Daisy has a way with tea and cinnamon scones but catching the real culprit will take more than 5 minutes to steep the clues all together and pour out her findings for the police.

The characters in this story have a strong bond whether related by blood or friendship. The group looks out for each other. That is clear not only by the way they try to save Tessa but also when Daisy’s helps out one of her employees. A young man on a different path that his father thinks he should be on. I loved the way they all come together several times in this story to handle normal daily life, business, the murder investigation and its aftermath. The word compassion comes to mind when I think of these characters. All the relationships feel true to life.

Karen Rose Smith has written a complex mystery with some corkscrew twists. More suspects are uncovered as the story reveals more of the victim’s past. Detective Morris Rappaport really started rubbing me the wrong way but a few exciting moments finally put him in his place. I liked that Daisy had help from a retired police detective, Jonas Groft and a high school friend, Cade Bankert but I am not entirely sold yet on a romantic relationship between Jonah and Daisy.

This story is well written and plotted. The characters are well developed as well with plenty of backstory if you missed the first book in this series. I am not a tea drinker but I love the theme of this series. As a former quilter, I also loved the theme of this story. Willow Creek is a wonderful place to virtually visit. I could almost taste the cinnamon scones.

This is another perfect escape from this author. A delightful cozy mystery. I am excited to see what happens next!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Karen Rose Smith likes to chat with her readers on social media.  You can find her on Facebook at KarenRoseSmithBooks and on Twitter @karenrosemith.  Find out more about her mysteries at https://www.karenrosesmithmysteries.com.

 
 
 



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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.”

Jun 062018
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am happy to share an excerpt from Leslie’s new book and to kick off her Great Escapes Book Tour!

 

The Great Christmas Cookie Debate
By Leslie Budewitz

Excerpt from As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles (June 8, 2018, Midnight Ink)

In the dining room, we oohed and ahhed over the offerings. Date pinwheels, spritz cookies, bourbon balls. Candy cane cookies studded with crushed peppermint. Big, soft coconut macaroons dipped in chocolate. Jam thumbprints. Fudge ecstasies—crackle-topped cookies that make me ecstatic.

“No biscotti?” Heidi said. “Isn’t it a law that every Italian must make biscotti?”

“Everyone makes biscotti,” I said, “Italian or not. So what’s the point?”

“You brought peanut butter cookies?” Chiara asked Molly, who is not half Italian.

“They’re my favorite,” Molly answered. “Everyone loves peanut butter cookies. These are simple—six ingredients.”
“But they’re not Christmas cookies.”

When it comes to cookies, my sister and I were on the same page. Certain traditions must be followed.

As you might imagine, in anticipation of a book with cookies in the title and all over the cover, I’ve been talking cookies a lot lately. Christmas cookies. And I’ve been as surprised as Erin Murphy, my main character, to discover that not everyone agrees with her about Christmas cookies.

Don’t get us wrong. We both love peanut butter cookies, and the flourless version her young cousin Molly brings to the Murphys’ annual friends-and-family cookie exchange is both yummy and easy. We bow to no one in our love of a good chocolate chip cookie. And snickerdoodles? Joy, rolled in cinnamon sugar.

But they aren’t Christmas cookies.

What, to Erin, me, and both our mothers, makes a cookie a Christmas cookie? Some are clearly seasonal—only an author testing a recipe is likely to color dough red and twist it into candy canes in June. Christmas cookies feature an ingredient not used in an everyday cookie. Fruitcake has long been relegated to December—or in some households, to the trash bin, but I don’t hold with that either—so that’s when fruitcake cookies or bars surface. Candied fruit, dates, and nuts are holiday staples.
A gingerbread boy or girl served any other time of year? Just plain wrong. A sugar cookie in the shape of a star or a bell, trimmed with frosting or sprinkles? You know I’m right. And spritz? Case closed.

Quite a few readers mentioned jam thumbprints as holiday faves, and I can’t recall eating one any other time of year. Other cookies are holiday stars in certain European traditions—pfeffernusse, Berlinkranzer, lebkuchen, pizzelles.

Then there’s the snowball with its pseudonyms—Russian tea cakes or cookies, Mexican wedding cakes, and pecan sandies. So important to the holiday that they even play a role in the mystery. I can hardly wait to try the “Dirty Snowball” one reader created by adding cocoa powder added to the powdered sugar. But I will wait, until December 1.

And we haven’t even talked about fudge, divinity, or peppermint bark.

Now it has been brought to my attention that some cookbooks call the snickerdoodle a Christmas cookie. If it meets your criteria for special, and you only make it in December, then by all means, go ahead and give it that label. After all, traditions do vary. Frankly, I think you’d be unnecessarily depriving yourself the joy of those little balls of crackly dough wrapped in sugar and spice and everything nice the rest of the year.

Or maybe that just leaves more for me. And Erin. And you, if you stop by. Because no matter what the cookie, no matter what the season, cookies taste better when they’re shared.

As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles (A Food Lovers’ Village Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Montana
Midnight Ink (June 8, 2018)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738752419
Digital ASIN: B075W25FNF

 

 

Erin is one smart cookie, but can she keep the holiday spirit—and herself—alive till Christmas?

In Jewel Bay, all is merry and bright. At Murphy’s Mercantile, AKA the Merc, manager Erin Murphy is ringing in the holiday season with food, drink, and a new friend: Merrily Thornton. A local girl gone wrong, Merrily has turned her life around. But her parents have publicly shunned her, and they nurse a bitterness that chills Erin.

When Merrily goes missing and her boss discovers he’s been robbed, fingers point to Merrily—until she’s found dead, a string of lights around her neck. The clues and danger snowball from there. Can Erin nab the killer—and keep herself in one piece—in time for a special Christmas Eve?

Includes delicious recipes!

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Time to celebrate Christmas and a wedding in Jewel Bay. Adam and Erin are getting married on Christmas Eve! That is after she gets Murphy’s Mercantile all ready for the holidays. The community has turned out for Decoration Day and Erin is surprised to see Merrily Thornton has returned to town. She is even more surprised about how Merrily’s family is treating her. She immediately invites Merrily to her cookie swap the following Sunday,

Merrily fails to show up at Erin’s house or at work the next day. Then her boss notices his bank deposit was short the cash Merrily was supposed to take to the bank. The woman is reported missing and sadly her boss is the one to find her dead eerily with a string of lights wrapped around her neck. Erin is rocked by her new friend’s death and decides she must find her killer. Hopefully, she doesn’t cross the killer or Adam may be left standing at the altar all by himself.

It was a lot of fun to read a story set at Christmas when the temperatures outside were climbing way past 90 degrees.  Decorating Day is Jewel Bay sounds like the perfect way to get in the Christmas Spirit.

The characters in this series are some of the most realistic I have ever read. It is very easy to get invested in their lives. Even though Merrily’s family wasn’t the nicest they still come across as real. I don’t agree with the way the handled things in their family, but we have all met people we don’t agree with.

The mystery this time really keep me guessing. Truthfully at one time or another, I suspected everyone the victim had come into contact with. Red herrings, there were a bunch. Several twists too. I was right about one part of it and totally surprised about everything else. I enjoyed how Erin jumped right into her investigation even with the holidays and her wedding coming up quick. I loved her method for keeping all the facts and suspects straight.

The story has an excellent pace. Many events take place within the 288 pages, but nothing is rushed or missed. The author describes people and places so clearly that pictures formed quickly in my mind. The dialogue was wonderfully written too.

A loving family and a family pulled apart come together in this terrific cozy mystery.

The author also includes recipes in the back of the book. The one I am excited to try is the Classic Italian Lasagna. Several differences from ours but without the Murphy’s sauce, it will probably be hard to duplicate.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. She lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician, and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model, and avid bird-watcher.

Connect with her on her website, http://www.LeslieBudewitz.com, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

Purchase Links

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

June 6 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – COZY WEDNESDAY
June 7 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
June 7 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
June 7 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 8 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
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June 11 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
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June 14 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT
June 15 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
June 15 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW
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June 17 –   Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 18 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
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June 19 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT
June 20 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
June 20 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

 

 

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