Apr 172019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am thrilled to welcome Daryl Wood Gerber back to Escape With Dollycas today
as part of her Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour!

In Sifting Through Clues, at the Cookbook Nook, Jenna is featuring all sorts of cookbooks that serve up a great tea. Do you love high tea? I do. I love the pomp and circumstance. The tea, the champagne, the scones with whipped cream. Yum.

At the Nook Café, Katie is whipping up all sorts of great recipes to feature at a tea. In fact, she gives a tea sandwich demonstration at the Cookbook Nook. One of the sandwiches she makes as a sample for the guests to enjoy is a pear and cheese tea sandwich. This is one of my favorites. Many tea sandwiches are savory, but this one is sweet–not too sweet because of the goat cheese. Now, if you’re not a goat cheese fan, switch it out to Brie or cheddar or even cream cheese.  The honey and pears are what makes this sandwich stand out.

Pear and Cheese Tea Sandwich

(Makes 8 sandwiches or 16 – 32 triangles)

4 ounces of goat cheese, softened to room temperature

2 red Barlett pears, sliced thin

½ cup watercress

¼ cup pecans, chopped, *or nut of your choice

4 tablespoons honey

16 slices of white bread

In a small bowl, mix the cheese and pears. Add the watercress, pecans (*or nut of your choice) and honey. Spread on 8 slices of bread. Top the sandwiches with the remaining slices of bread. Carefully remove crusts, and then cut the sandwiches into desired shapes.

Sounds fantastic and easy.

Thank you, Daryl, for visiting today!

Keep reading for my thoughts on Daryl’s book.

 

About the Book

Sifting Through Clues (A Cookbook Nook Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – California
Beyond the Page (April 23, 2019)
Print Length: 235 pages
ASIN: B07NQNFC45

The Agatha Award–winning author of Wreath Between the Lines returns to the Cookbook Nook, where culinary mysteries are giving everyone food for thought . . .

Book clubs from all over have descended on Crystal Cove to celebrate the library’s Book Club Bonanza week, and Jenna Hart has packed the Cookbook Nook with juicy reads and tasty cookbooks. But she’s most excited about spending an evening with the Mystery Mavens and their moveable feast, when they will go from house to house to share different culinary treats and discuss the whodunit they’re all reading. It’s all good food and fun for the savvy armchair detectives, until one of the members of the group is found murdered at the last stop on the tour.

As if that weren’t enough to spoil her appetite, Jenna discovers that all the evidence points to her friend Pepper as being the guilty party. And with Pepper’s chief-of-police daughter too close to the case to be impartial, Jenna knows she’ll have to step in to help clear her friend’s name before a bitter injustice sends her to jail. Sifting through the clues, Jenna unearths any number of possible culprits, but she’ll have to cook up a new way to catch the killer before Pepper’s goose is cooked . . .

Includes tasty sweet and savory recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

We return to Crystal Cove, California just in time for Book Club Bonanza Week sponsored by the library. It is an event that has brought in many tourists and the Cookbook Nook has stocked up and planned a few events. Jenna’s book club, the Mystery Mavens is hosting a progressive dinner while discussing this month’s book, each course being hosted at a different member’s house. The final host seems to have received her “just desserts”. She is found dead as her guests arrive.

The deceased, Ivy Beale owned Dreamcatcher, a crystal shop, focused on their healing properties. All the evidence seems to point at the owner of Beaders of Paradise, Pepper Pritchett, Jenna’s friend and mother of Chief of Police, Cinnamon. Everyone knows Chief Cinnamon is too close to the case but she refuses to step aside, even when an unexpected visitor enters her life. Jenna finds herself Sifting Through Clues to get to the truth to make sure the real killer is booked!

The author brings readers another terrific mystery! This time her focus is on book clubs is a real treat. Because of that, we are introduced to several new characters. We also meet someone from Cinnamon’s past which adds another interesting dimension to the story. These characters all mesh with our returning favorites to create a story I had a hard time putting down.

All the core characters have evolved in this series. Jenna’s friend Bailey is getting so excited for her little bundle to be born and I loved the decor she has planned for the nursery. Bailey always makes me smile. After Jenna, she has become my favorite. The fact that Pepper and Jenna are now friends shows so much growth. They have come a long way. Jenna’s relationship with Cinnamon though is pretty rocky. I know she doesn’t want Jenna involved in her investigation but I would think this time she would be happy for Jenna’s help.

The mystery portions of the story were so intriguing, I mean the chief of police’s mother as the prime suspect!  Twists, turns, red herrings, this story had them all. So well written and well plotted out. A truly exciting email element added to the drama. I urge to plan accordingly because had I been able to keep my eyes open I would have finished the book all in one sitting.

As with all the books in this series, the recipes had my mouth watering and all the references to cozy mysteries and cookbooks are always appreciated.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Agatha Award-winning Daryl Wood Gerber writes the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries as well as the French Bistro Mysteries.  As Avery Aames, she pens the popular Cheese Shop Mysteries. Daryl also writes stand-alone suspense. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to cook, and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!

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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Purchase Links – AmazonB&N  – Kobo Google Play





Click on covers to view details on Amazon.

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 

April 15 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
April 15 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW
April 15 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
April 15 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
April 15 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
April 16 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, GUEST POST – RECIPE – INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
April 16 – Carstairs Considers – REVIEW
April 16 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
April 16 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
April 16 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
April 16 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 17 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
April 17 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
April 17 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT
April 17 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GUEST POST – RECIPE – INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
April 17 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 18 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
April 18 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
April 18 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 18 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
April 18 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
April 19 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST – RECIPE – INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
April 19 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
April 19 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 19 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
April 19 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
April 19 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 20 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
April 20 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
April 20 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
April 20 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 21 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, GUEST POST – RECIPE – INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
April 21 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
April 21 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
April 21 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

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

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Apr 102019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

It is my pleasure to feature this book today as part of J.D. Griffo’s Great Escape Book Tour!

About the Book


Murder in Tranquility Park (A Ferrara Family Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – New Jersey
Kensington (March 26, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496713966
ISBN-13: 978-1496713964
Digital ASIN: B07F5XG3CQ

Alberta Scaglione and her twentysomething granddaughter, Jinx, love to spend time—and solve crime—together . . .

Ever since Alberta Scaglione inherited her spinster aunt’s Cape Cod cottage, she’s been enjoying the good life in Tranquility, New Jersey, with her black cat, Lola. But since things are mostly quiet in this town, she finds other things to do—like joining Jinx for morning jogs in Tranquility Park. She has to do something to stay healthy, as long as it doesn’t involve Jinx’s healthful tofu sausages and gluten-free pasta. But when they stumble across a treehouse hidden in the trees, and a dead body underneath it, they take a detour into solving a murder. Now the Ferrara ladies will have to exercise extreme caution to avoid a permanent decline in their health . . .

Includes Italian recipes from Alberta’s kitchen!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The Ferrara Family Detective Agency has stumbled quite literally onto another case. Jinx has convinced her grandmother, Alberta Scaglione to exercise, in the form of jogging a few mornings a week. Their path leads them through scenic Tranquility Park. On the way into the park, Alberta notices a treehouse in one of the trees. On the way out of the park, she notices a body under the treehouse. They quickly determine the man is dead, but assume he has fallen to his death from the treehouse. Just in case they check out the scene thoroughly and call in the rest of their family before calling the police to inform them that, yes, there has been indeed another murder.

Chief Vinny D’Angelo is an old friend and will admit the ladies helped solve the last murder case but he orders them to stay out of this one. Seriously, he knows that is never going to happen because his friend “Alfie” is never going to back away from anything she has set her mind on doing. He just hopes and prays none of them gets hurt.

Mr. Griffo has created such wonderful characters. The Ferrara Family Detective Agency is made up of Alberta Marie Teresa Ferrara Scaglione, 64, a secret millionaire who inherited her home and her wealth from her Aunt Carmela. She is joined by her granddaughter Jinx, who has returned to the area to take a job at the local newspaper, her sister, the former nun, and her sister-in-law who has retired after working years on Wall Street. Together they love their Italian food unless cooked by Jinx, who tries to make their favorites no-carb and gluten-free, several flavors of vodka, and solving murders. These characters are likable, engaging, funny, and at times absolutely crazy. They all go to great lengths to get answers. The dialogue between these characters is priceless. Alberta’s Sicilian Catholic roots play heavily throughout the book. Each chapter starts with an Italian phrase and Italian runs through the dialogue but is always translated in a way that never slows the flow of the story.

The mystery turned out much more complex than I ever imagined. Jinx’s roommate is the police’s prime suspect but the evidence is just too tidy.  There were many twists and turns that brought other suspects to light. It was when the second body is discovered that a few little tingles for my suspect cemented themselves in my mind. I just had to keep reading to see if I was right.  The ending is very dramatic and scary but one part of it felt a little off to me. I think what happened was much more dangerous than even was portrayed.

Murder in Tranquility Park is a great addition to this series. The characters are fun and entertaining. I really enjoyed this story.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Italian by birth, Jersey by upbringing, J. D. Griffo is an award-winning playwright and author who has written ten novels, over twenty plays, and a handful of screenplays that have yet to see the light of day.

Griffo studied Journalism and Marketing at New York University, graduating magna cum laude many, many years ago, as well as Creative Writing at the New School and Gotham Writer’s Workshop.  

And the J. D. stands for the author’s mother – Jean Dolores – who absolutely loved to read and tell stories.

Praise forMurder in Tranquility Park
(A Ferrara Family Mystery) by J.D. Griffo

Phew! what a whirlwind of a book! I came to this series with this book and I am going to jump right back and read the first one as this was so good!
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

It’s a fun, fast character-driven cozy mystery where the mystery is not forgotten and the family value theme recurs often.
~Rosepoint Publishing

Author Links – Twitter – Instagram

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboGoogle PlayIndieBound 

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS — Please visit all the stops. 
April 1 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 1 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
April 2 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
April 2 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
April 3 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, RECIPE
April 3 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
April 4 – I’m all About Books – SPOTLIGHT
April 4 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 5 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
April 5 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 6 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
April 7 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
April 7 – 4covert2overt ☼ A Place In The Spotlight ☼ – GUEST POST
April 8 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
April 8 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 8 – Books Direct – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 9 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 9 – Reading Is My SuperPower – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
April 10 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST
April 10 – Island Confidential – 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.”

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Apr 032019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to feature Debra Sennefelder’s new book today! 

 

About the Book


The Hidden Corpse (A Food Blogger Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Kensington (March 26, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496715934
ISBN-13: 978-1496715937
Digital ASIN: B07F5YS5XR

Former reality TV baking show contestant and recent divorcée Hope Early is trying to find her recipe for success as a food blogger—but murder keeps getting in the mix . . .

When Hope’s elderly neighbor perishes in a home fire, she can’t help but feel somewhat responsible. Only the day before, Peggy Olson had called her over, having burned a pot on the stove while she was sleeping and filling the house with smoke. In fact, she couldn’t even remember cooking. Clearly, it was dangerous for the woman to live alone.

But it turns out she wasn’t alone. When a second body is discovered in the basement of the burned house, suddenly what appeared to be a tragic accident is beginning to look like premeditated murder. As rumors spread like wildfire, Hope is determined to sort out the facts and smoke out a killer, but she might be jumping from the frying pan straight into the fire . . .

Includes Recipes from Hope’s Kitchen!

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Photos make up a huge part of every blog and food blogger Hope Early has enrolled in a class to up her photo game with Cal Barnhart. She was afraid the class would be canceled since Cal’s wife has gone missing and the police have all but arrested him while their investigation is pending. But the class is on and everyone can see the man is barely functioning without his wife.

Hope is also worried about her elderly neighbor, Peggy Olsen. After Peggy rushed to Hope’s home for help with a kitchen fire caused by food burning on the stove, food Peggy cannot even remember starting, she feels it is not safe for Peggy to live alone.

Before Hope can contact Peggy’s family there is another fire and Hope can’t save Peggy this time. A second body is found in the house and it appears they were dead before the fire even started. Was Peggy collateral damage of a killer trying to cover his tracks? Hope feels responsible for not getting Peggy out of that house. She decides she needs to focus and get a clear picture of the killer and get justice for her friend. That is unless she is the next one going up in flames.

___

Our protagonist Hope Early is juggling a lot of things in the air before she even adds this new murder mystery to her list. Her sister Claire is running for mayor while trying to keep the Planning and Zoning committee filled with people of her choosing. She ropes Hope into hosting a tea to garner support for Maretta Kingston to become its newest member. She also is trying to decide on 5 recipes she contractually has to submit for a cookbook after being on that baking show. Plus she is trying to train her lovable pup Bigelow, remodel her new home, keep her blog up to date and oh yeah, the photography class, which may be taught by a murderer.

Author Debra Sennefelder has put her lead character to the test but she has surrounded her with a fantastic supporting cast that helps her keeps all those balls in the air. Those characters include Ethan Cahill, longtime friend, and chief of police. They make a great team and it drives “just the facts” Detective Reid crazy and I absolutely loved it! Her best friend Drew is feeling the heat as he is up against a new hot-shot reporter at the finally struggling newspaper. He hopes Hope can help him get a scoop so he doesn’t lose his job. The characters are all very realistic. The interactions and dialogue are spot on, good for the occasional chuckle or serious when necessary.

Readers are treated to a wonderfully written mystery with a variety of suspects. After a plethora of twists and turns, a red herring or two, I was completely surprised by the killer reveal. I found the story to be very fast-paced with something always drawing my mind a little sideways away from my original task of sleuthing out the killer before Hope. I really enjoy when that happens because that means I did “escape” into the book.

A perfect escape, this story held me tight and I was entertained the whole way. I can’t wait to visit these characters again.

Three Widows and A Corpse will be out October 29, 2019.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

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

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

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

Author Links:

Website – Facebook – Goodreads 

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboGoogle PlayIndieBound

Also by Debra Sennefelder

Praise forThe Hidden Corpse (A Food Blogger Mystery)
by Debra Sennefelder

I love the great cast of characters the author Sennefelder has created. She once again takes my emotions on a ride.
~Laura’s Interests

The Hidden Corpse is a humorous cozy mystery with an intriguing premise, a simmering whodunit, delectable recipes, political intrigue, and one adorable canine.
~The Avid Reader

It was fun to read as Hope cooked up possibilities to what happened.
~Community Bookstop

THE HIDDEN CORPSE was an incredibly well-done mystery.
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews

I found the story to be rather delightful, and it kept me guessing all along.
~Literary Gold

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops.
March 26 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW
March 26 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
March 27 – Off
March 28 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
March 29 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
March 30 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
March 31 – Community Books – REVIEW
March 31 – Lisa Ks Book Review – REVIEW
April 1 – Literary Gold – REVIEW
April 2 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
April 2 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT
April 3 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
April 4 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
April 5 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
April 6 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW
April 6 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
April 7 – Elle G. Reads – REVIEW
April 7 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
April 8 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
April 8 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
April 9 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
April 9 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 9 – Ruff Drafts – 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.”

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Mar 272019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

Husband James E. Clapp and wife Ann I. Goldfarb make up the writing team of
J.C. Eaton and I am so happy to have them visit today as part of their Great Escapes Book Tour!

Tell us a little bit about yourselves.

We’re both from upstate New York in the Finger Lakes but now call the Valley of the Sun (Phoenix) our home. Ann is a retired teacher and school principal, Jim worked most of his life in construction before taking a position as tasting room manager for a major winery on Seneca Lake and enjoying it for over a decade before retiring.

Rescuing cats and dogs has been a passion for us and we happily admit we are foster failures. We now have five kitties and one very spoiled Chiweenie, who became the inspiration for Streetman in our Sophie Kimball Mysteries. As for the goat and the Plott Hound in the Wine Trail Mysteries, they were inspired by Ann’s brother’s pets!

What are three things most people don’t know about you?

We collect rocks and minerals and have them stashed everywhere. We make up silly songs and sing them to our dog. (Seriously!) We bought our first slow cooker this year and have had enough pot roast to last a century. Also, Jim has had Parkinson’s Disease for a number of years but it hasn’t slowed him down. He exercises all the time and has a terrific sense of humor. When he tried the Dragon Speak software for writing and it kept mixing up his words, he couldn’t stop laughing. Finally, he went back to legal pads and pencils!

What is the first book you remember reading?

Ann remembers the Bobbsy Twins and Nancy Drew. Jim remembers the Hardy Boys and Mark Twain stories.

What are you reading now?

Ann – Rosemary Simpson’s Gilded Age Mysteries – What the Dead Leave Behind,   Jim – C. J. Box’s The Disappeared

What made you decide you want to write?

Ann cannot remember a time when she wasn’t writing and somehow, Jim caught that bug, too!

Do you have a special place you like to write?

Ann is very particular. It must be in our office/spare bedroom and must be absolutely quiet. Jim can write anywhere and does – the living room, the kitchen table, and anyplace he can find. He is oblivious to noise, too!

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

The Wine Trail Mysteries were easy. We lived in NY’s wine country most of our lives. When we moved to Arizona and settled in a senior community, we couldn’t resist poking fun at all the goings on. That started the Sophie Kimball Mysteries. Both of us have always wanted to spend time in Minnesota, but since we never did, we created a mystery series there. (Marcie Raynor Mysteries). Our ideas come from everyday life  – news, chit-chats with friends, and our daily routines.

What books have most inspired you?

Ann – One Hundred Years of Solitude and anything by Charles Dickens. Jim is a Mark Twain aficionado and that’s where his inspiration came from.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Yes – the constant grammatical changes from the Chicago Manual of Style. Just when we think we’ve gotten it right, we find out we didn’t!

What do you think makes a good story?

Believable characters, a solid plot, a setting that draws the reader in, and a flow that keeps things moving.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

There’s a little bit of Ann in Norrie Ellington, Sophie Kimball, and Marcie Raynor. As for Jim…guess, we’ll still have to keep writing.

Why did you pick your particular genre?

Life is tough enough and handling human angst is not something we wanted to tackle. We want to entertain. We want to put a smile on our readers’ faces and make them guess whodunit while we’re at it. Cozy mysteries offer all the suspense without the blood, guts, and gore.

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

We take full advantage of hyperbole and must infuse our mysteries with humor. We offer sleuths of all ages in our series – 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 70 plus if you consider the book club ladies in our Sophie Kimball Mysteries.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

We’ll continue juggling our series and hoping someone decides to put something on the big screen!

Ann and Jim, thank you so much for stopping by today! It is so much fun to learn about authors who write the books we love! 

Now let me give you my thoughts on J.C. Eaton’s latest, Pinot Red or Dead?

 

About the Book


Pinot Red or Dead? (The Wine Trail Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New York
Lyrical Underground (March 26, 2019)
Paperback: 206 pages
ISBN-10: 1516108035
ISBN-13: 978-1516108039
Digital ASIN: B07F5XDH41

There’s a lot of noir surrounding this rare pinot.

As the vineyards in Seneca Lake, New York, prepare for the seasonal “Deck the Halls Around the Lake” festivities, someone is determined to keep pinot noir off the wine list. Hijacked trucks and sabotaged ingredients have made it a hard-to-acquire vintage for the six local wineries—including Norrie Ellington’s Two Witches Winery.

The case of the stolen and spoiled wines gets stranger when Arnold Mowen, owner of the company distributing the wine, is found dead, the apparent victim of a hunting accident. As Norrie tries to find the connections between the pinot’s problems and Arnold’s death, she uncovers a conspiracy among many locals whose hatred for the wine distributor was bottled up for far too long . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We return to Two Witches Winery in Seneca Lake, New York, right before the big holiday event Deck the Halls Around the Lake. This time pinot noir is the featured wine and someone wants to be sure there is a shortage of this fine vintage. Sabotaged barrels and stolen bottles are making local vintners amp up security and press for answers. Then their wine distributor in murdered. His body is found between Norrie’s winery and Don and Theo’s winery by her dog. The police try to play it off as a weird hunting accident but Norrie knows that isn’t the case. She again teams up with Don and Theo to save their wine and catch the killer.

Book 3 has Norrie’s sister and brother-in-law still in Costa Rica hunting down the rare insect but she is in contact with the head of their program in New York much more this time as he can get her into the places she needs to investigate. You see Mr. Arnold Mowen seems to have promised a lot of people he would bequeath all his worldly possessions to them upon his death. It seems someone couldn’t wait for that event to happen naturally. Some of those people reside in a place that is having a pest control problem and have called in an expert, Norrie’s new friend. Now she needs to find the evidence to tie either these individuals or one of her other suspects to not only the murder but the tampering and stealing of the pricey rare pinot noir.

Norrie continues to impress me, especially when she, Theo and Don mix themselves up in a police investigation. They dig into everything, no matter how far-fetched.  Norrie puts herself out there too, where she could get in a lot of trouble. It is so much fun following her around, sometimes in circles to get to the truth.

J. C. Eaton had offset our regular characters this time with some really quirky characters. Lavettia Lawrence, the deceased girlfriend seems to think she has become Norrie’s new best friend and Norrie handles it with grace and uses it to her advantage too. But Lavettia is just one in a rather long list of suspects. The mystery had many components and twists too. Arnold’s will was crazy, not the craziest I have ever heard of but it was out there.  It all leads up to a great reveal.

I have enjoyed all three escapes to the Two Witches Winery. The characters are well rounded and engaging, the location is somewhere I would love to actually visit and as a wine novice, I love learning something in every story. Pinot Red or Dead? was a cleverly written mystery with the perfect amounts intrigue and humor. I loved it and am looking forward to more books in this series.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of A Riesling to Die – just click here.

Read my review of Chardonnayed to Rest just click here.

About the Authors

Ann I. Goldfarb

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

James E. Clapp

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

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


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March 25 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Mar 202019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am happy to welcome Cheryl F. Taylor back to Escape With Dollycas today!

The Brain of the Writer
by Cheryl Taylor

Writers have sponges in place of their brains. We absorb everything we’re around and then squeeze it out over the page. At least that’s the way it feels to me at times, and probably to many of the people who have wound up the target of my constant questioning.

It has been pointed out to me that I can ask more questions than the average 3-year-old… and just like a toddler, my questions usually start with “why.” In some areas of my life that habit has benefitted me. For many years I worked with students with severe emotional disabilities, autism or behavioral issues. My students always liked that I listened to their side of the story, even when I didn’t approve of their actions. My parapros, not so much, as they at times wanted me to see their sides and none other.

The long term effects of this habit, however, has been to fill my brain with all these snippets of human behavior and thinking. Not necessarily “normal” human behavior and thinking, but still human. I’m not really into trivia, although I know some writers who are. When it comes to the actions of people, however, I can’t seem to get enough, and it’s been that way as long as I can remember. I want to know why. Why did you choose to treat your friend that way? Why did you choose to shred your paper into a million pieces? Why did you react in a certain way? Why? Why? Why?

I unconsciously seek out random bits of information, like a sponge being wiped over a dirty counter, and once those gobbets of data fall into my brain, they never leave. They might be covered up, obscured or hidden for a period of time, but then I’m writing, and those bits and pieces float back out again to color my characters.

Just yesterday the ongoing presence of this strange habit was brought home. I was visiting a friend of mine, Suzanne Morrison, at a local rock show where she was a vendor. (She’s actually mentioned in the new book.) We were discussing the change in a nearby river due to a fire a few years ago. I’d finished explaining why I thought I’d seen the changes I had, then finished with, “Well, you were a firefighter, you know this.” She looked at me in shock and asked how I knew she’d been a firefighter, that almost no one these days knew that. All I could say was that at some point she’d mentioned she’d been a wildland firefighter, among other things. It stuck and has been floating in there for years. Who knows when it might get squeezed back out again.

The great thing about cozy mysteries is that I’ve got time to learn all the whys behind their actions. As the series develops, we all learn more about the characters, and what motivates them to make the choices they do. I learn about the characters in the same way that the readers do… in other words, the characters tell me about themselves. I’m not the type of writer who plots out a character beforehand. Instead, I put those characters into situations, and they then “tell” me who they are.

For example, in Murder on the Wind, the second in the Rock Shop Cozy Mystery series, we start to learn more about “why Jackson is as caring as he is of others.” The answer is because he has been taking care of his sister since their parents were killed. (I really admire that guy). In my “cozy apocalyptic” I had to learn the whys a bit faster. Still, I couldn’t stand to write something without knowing the whys.

I have no doubt that every writer who creates characters who live, breath and jump off the page has a similar raging curiosity to know the whys behind their characters. Other writers must have sponge brains, which absorb the spirits of people they know and then leak out into their characters. It’s part of our anatomy, but it sometimes gets crowded in here.

Thank you, Cheryl, for visiting today!

Keep reading for my thoughts of Murder on the Wind.


Murder on the Wind (Rock Shop Cozy Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Arizona
CT Communications (February 3, 2019)
Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-10: 0998212245
ISBN-13: 978-0998212241
Kindle ASIN: B07NCNZ688

Amy Stone has recently returned to Copper Springs, a small town on Historic Route 66 in Arizona, in order to run her family’s rock shop, Stone’s Gems and Minerals. In a horrific welcome home, however, she was faced with the murder of the shop’s employee, and forced to defend herself against the actual murder, with the help of the shop’s new assistant, Jackson Wolf.

Now that things have settled into a more peaceful way of life, Amy and Jackson are looking forward to things returning to normal.

Unfortunately, a fun field trip to a local mine, organized by the local rock club and the Copper Springs Historical Society, throws their new found peace into turmoil as one member of the field trip is assaulted and the body of a miner who disappeared over thirty years ago is discovered.

Amy and Jackson are determined to clear their friend Pete Martin’s name. That proves to be a difficult task, as Pete has been witnessed arguing violently with the assault victim not long before he was pushed into a mine shaft and left to die. Along the way, the duo find themselves faced with the older mystery… why was the miner killed, and who will he kill next?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It has been a while since we visited with Amy (Amethyst) Stone but the story picks up shortly after the end of the first book. Amy is managing the family’s rock shop while her father recovers from a broken leg. She and Jackson Wolf, the shop’s assistant, had recently solved a murder and are about to be tied up in another one.

Traveling with a group of people from the rock club and the local historical society they visit a nearby mine that is now run by two sisters. While searching for some prizes among the spoils a scream rings out. People rush to find one person has fallen down a shaft. His wife is claiming he was pushed by Amy and Jackson’s friend Pete Martin. Pete claims he was nowhere near the man. To get to the bottom of the story the first must get injured man out of the mine. While doing so they make an eerie discovery, a skeleton of a man thought to have left the area over 30 years ago. Now Amy and Jackson have two mysteries to solve.

What really drew me into the first mystery was the Stone family,  Nick, his wife Crystal, Amy, who also has a brother named Jasper Onyx Stone and a sister named Opal Jewel Stone Amethyst’s middle name is Gem. They along with Jackson Wolf were all characters I wanted to know better. This time Amy and Jackson take center stage as the family remains in the background. They again make an excellent team of amateur sleuths. I love their relaxed and easy dialogue.

I really enjoyed the way the author blended an old murder in with a new mystery. She surprised me with a twist that sent the story in a whole new direction. It was very well-plotted and there were plenty of clues to mine before the real jewel is revealed.

Ms. Taylor’s descriptions of the tunnels in the mine really took me there. So much that my slight case of claustrophobia reared its ugly head. Darkness, water, bullets, and more. I was worried for those characters so much it had my heart racing. Closed in places have always been a problem I tackle one issue at a time. I don’t think mines will ever be a place I will conquer.

Cleverly written with very engaging characters. I found this book to be very entertaining and hope to visit the characters again. I just hope we don’t have to wait as long.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of Book #1 Stone’s Gems and Murder here.

About the Author

Cheryl Taylor was raised in northeastern Michigan and pursued a degree in agriculture communications from Michigan State University. In 1986, Taylor moved to Arizona where she worked in publishing and advertising in the livestock industry, then eventually moving into teaching in 1998 after receiving a masters in education from Northern Arizona University.

In addition to her publishing endeavors, Taylor also creates wire tree sculptures and sun catchers under the business name, Ugly Rock Beautification Project, and loves to create locker hooked projects.

Taylor currently resides in northern Arizona with her family of horses, cattle, dogs, and birds.

Visit her Amazon Author Page 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.”

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Mar 132019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am very happy to feature Eva Gates’ new book today!! 


Something Read, Something Dead: A Lighthouse Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – North Carolina
Crooked Lane Books (March 13, 2019)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1683319508
ISBN-13: 978-1683319504
Kindle ASIN: B07H7Q5L1C

Dark deeds in the Lighthouse Library threaten to send Lucy Richardson’s soon-to-be-wed cousin Josie to an early ‘til-death-do-us-part.

Winter falls on North Carolina’s Outer Banks as Lucy Richardson and her friends joyfully help her favorite cousin, Josie O’Malley, plan her wedding. The owner and head baker of Josie’s Cozy Bakery and her fiancé, chef Jake Greenblatt, want a small, simple wedding.

But to their horror, Josie’s imperious grandmother, Gloria, descends with the “Louisiana Mafia”: a gaggle of aunts and cousins who intend to take control of the wedding plans. Gloria doesn’t do small and simple, and cousin Mirabelle has her own ideas for Josie’s wedding, something grand and lavish—and paid for by Josie’s parents, of course—that will kickstart her fledgling event planning business and get her work shown on the covers of wedding magazines. To make matters worse, Mirabelle focuses her full Southern charm on the prospective groom…and Jake doesn’t seem entirely adverse to her attentions.

To smooth the waters, Lucy hosts a bridal shower at the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library. But it turns deadly when Mirabelle collapses—soon after eating the gluten-free treats Josie prepared specifically for her. Now, to save her favorite cousin from prison, Lucy will have to bring a crook to book in this fifth festive Lighthouse Library mystery from national bestselling author Eva Gates.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We are back in North Carolina just in time for Josie and Jake’s wedding. Jake and Josie have plenty of love but very little time. Josie owns the local bakery and Jakes owns a restaurant. All they want is a simple wedding with no big fuss and one that is within their budget. As the date draws near Josie’s grandmother has real concerns about this wedding. Email invitations and people left off the guest list have her in a real tizzy. She will not stand for small and simple. Like a hurricane, she blows into town with the “Louisiana Mafia” (aunts and cousins). She has tasked cousins Florence Fanshaw and Mirabelle Henkel with planning the most over the top wedding possible. She also decides the simple shower at the lighthouse library and reception at Jake’s restaurant will never do and Gloria takes over those plans too. Unfortunately, Mirabelle is also searching for a new husband herself and she seems to have set her sights on JAKE!

Things kick off with Lucy’s shower with a few Louisiana adjustments. But it doesn’t end well. Mirabelle dies shortly after eating the gluten-free goodies Jodie had made just for her. The police decide Josie had the motive, means, and opportunity to pull it off. Lucy knows she didn’t do it. Seriously, first Josie would never kill anyone. And second, Josie would not be stupid enough to kill her cousin and have all the evidence pointed right at her. Clearly a set up, Lucy is on the case and she intends to catch the real killer and throw the book at them so that Josie and Jake can start the next chapter of their lives without Josie behind bars.

I absolutely love the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library on the Outer Banks. The author takes poetic license with the place for it to house all the wonderful things it does. Readers imaginations are easily stretched to believe it too. All the books and rooms and Lucy Aerie apartment on the 4th floor reached by climbing all those steps. I can envision it all perfectly. The structure itself has a little trouble in this installment and I was drawn right into the process and cost of handling the issue.

The characters Ms. Gates has created have become old friends. I was taken aback by the way Grandma Gloria took over everything, not caring at all about Josie’s wishes, but I had to deal with something similar when I was married 36 years ago. Instead of a grandmother, it was my mother driving me crazy for opposite reasons though. Gloria wanted things grander, my mother was very budget oriented. Both were determined to have their way.  My mother didn’t like the colors I had chosen for the bridesmaid’s dresses or the style. She thought they were too expensive and our trip to buy dresses turned into a trip to buy fabric and not in peach but lilac. The pattern silhouette chosen was nowhere near what I wanted either and they ended up costing more because we had to pay a seamstress to make them. Both she and I loved to sew and she really thought we could make the six dresses ourselves.  And that was just the bridesmaid dresses, I won’t go into my dress or the food or the other things she tried to take over. Thankfully like Josie, I had great friends, family, and a wonderful man that help me pick my battles. Can you tell I really identified with this part of the story? Of course, no one died at my shower 🙂 but there were a few stressful moments.

All the subplots flowed into the main plot very nicely. I truly enjoyed the way the mystery unfolded and the way the library’s monthly book club selection Busman’s Honeymoon by Dorothy Sayers played into the story. Several more suspects were noted and I had a delightful time following all the clues and detours right along with Lucy. The killer was on my radar but I couldn’t fully commit until the very end.

This is a wonderful addition to this series. The characters are genuine, the setting ideal, and the mystery kept me guessing. This book can be read on its own but I recommend them all.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than twenty-five books:  clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. She is currently writing three cozy mystery series: the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series for Crooked Lane, the Year Round Christmas mysteries for Penguin Random House and, under the pen name of Eva Gates, the Lighthouse Library series, for Crooked Lane Books.

Vicki lives and writes in bucolic Prince Edward County, Ontario. She is the past president of the Crime Writers of Canada.  Her work has been nominated for the Derringer, the Bony Blithe, the Ontario Library Association Golden Oak, and the Arthur Ellis Awards.

Visit Vicki at www.vickidelany.com. On Facebook at www.facebook.com/evagatesauthor. Twitter @vickidelany@evagatesauthor

Written as Vicki Delany

GIVEAWAYThanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Mar 062019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am excited to feature Pie Hard by Kirsten Weiss this week!


Pie Hard (A Pie Town Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – California
Kensington (February 26, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1496708989
ISBN-13: 978-1496708984
Kindle ASIN: B07DBR4SRF

Will Val pie hard on national TV?

Business at the bakery may have slowed down, but Val Harris isn’t about to eat humble pie—not until a reality cooking show decides to whip the struggling Pie Town into shape. If Val can tolerate criticism from an abrasive pastry chef during filming, the free publicity might turn the unusual opportunity into the sweetest deal she didn’t know she needed.

Except no one in San Nicholas has an appetite for dessert once murder steals the spotlight. When the show’s bossy producer gets pushed to her death, Val and her flaky, septuagenarian pie crust expert, Charlene, follow crumbs in hopes of finding the killer. But with cameras still rolling and the shocking identity of the victim’s replacement a guaranteed recipe for disaster, Val needs to stay cool long enough to solve the crime and keep Pie Town from falling apart—or else she just might go up in smoke before she ever graces the small screen.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Pie Hard, a reality cooking show has come to Pie Town courtesy of Charlene and as a complete surprise to Val. The camera and crew arrive along with Regina Katz, the show’s producer. Val is nervous because she knows what type of show this is. They will bash her shop and everything she does to get the high ratings. The show’s pastry chef, Ilsa Fueder, is already muttering “don’t like” about every pie she looks at.

After the first day of taping Val gets a call from Ray, one of the gaming regulars telling her that show’s producer has died in an “accident” he sees more like murder. Soon the Baker Street Bakers are into a full-blown investigation with Ray as an associate member, (he is not a baker). Shocked that show is continuing Val uses the opportunity to get to know all the suspects on her list. She also has a connection to the show’s new producer. The death has again slowed Pie Town’s business to a crawl. Hard to be a success when Val keeps finding dead bodies. She just knows she needs to find the killer before she is bankrupt and baked to a crisp.

This is a fun series and this is a great addition. Murder with a lot of mayhem fills these pages. Charlene is quite the instigator and to start with Val just has to go with the flow. Right from the beginning when a yurt is dropped within feet of Val’s tiny storage container house and the “goddesses” arrive for their yearly retreat. Something Charlene forgot to mention to Val. Then continuing when Val arrives at Pie Town to see her shop filled with strangers, holding cameras and tacking a microphone to her shirt. And on to Charlene’s several unbelievable and impossible theories about who killed the producer and why. It takes a little time, but Val gets her bearings and juggles all these balls in the air while trying to find out more about a certain new member of the crew. The author has done so well developing the recurring characters and introducing the new batch as well. Charlene’s cat, Frederick continues to make his appearances and is always good for a giggle.

I really enjoyed all the facets of the mysteries within this story. Val has plenty of clues to sift through along with plenty of suspects. The story is expertly plotted in a way that had me guessing right up until the big reveal. The family dynamic that was woven into the murder part of the story really added depth. It will be interesting to see how it impacts future stories. I was intrigued about how the goddesses were going to evolve into the story. I will say I was surprised at the role one of them played, but it was absolutely perfect.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of The Quiche and the Dead here and Bleeding Tarts here.

About the Author

Based in San Mateo, California, Kirsten Weiss writes genre-blending novels: urban fantasy/mystery, steampunk/suspense, and cozy mysteries. Kirsten has never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer reruns and drinking red wine.
Visit her at kirstenweiss.com.


Also by this Author


Find more books by Kirsten Weiss here.

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to giveaway

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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Feb 272019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am excited to share my thoughts with you today about the latest Poppy McAllister Mystery!

 

About the Book


Restaurant Weeks Are Murder (A Poppy McAllister Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New Jersey
Kensington (February 26, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496713079
ISBN-13: 978-1496713070
Digital ASIN: B07DBQBVYJ

Cape May, New Jersey, is the site of a big culinary competition—and the knives are out . . .

Poppy McAllister is happy about opening a Jersey Shore B&B—but working in a professional kitchen has always been her real dream. Now it’s coming true, at least briefly, as she teams up with her former fiancée, Tim—and his condescending partner, Gigi—during the high-profile Restaurant Week challenge. Poppy’s specialty is pastries, despite her devotion to a Paleo diet. But if anyone can make glorious gluten-free goodies, it’s Poppy.

Things get heated quickly—especially when some ingredients get switched and Tim’s accused of sabotage. Relatively harmless pranks soon escalate into real hazards, including an exploding deep fryer. And now one of the judges has died after taking a bite of Poppy’s cannoli—making her the chef suspect . . .

Includes Seven Recipes from Poppy’s Kitchen!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Poppy McAllister is so excited. Her ex, Tim and his partner Gigi are representing his restaurant in the upcoming Restaurant Week Challenge for a local television station, think Chopped, but crazier :), and Tim as asked her to be their pastry chef. It will be tough spending that much time with Gigi, but cooking in a professional kitchen and showing her talents with desserts has been her dream, so she quickly accepts.

The “Challenge” is not creating awesome appetizers, entrees, and desserts from the crazy basket ingredients, it is making it through the week. Less Chopped – More Survivor. Pranks like the labels being switched on ingredients escalates to machinery malfunctions including an exploding deep fryer, to one of the judges being poisoned. The chaos in the kitchen is getting out of control so Poppy does it again. She starts her own investigation. If she isn’t careful she may find herself cooking her very last dessert and chopped down before any of her dreams come true.

I have loved these characters since book 1, Class Reunions are Murder. Aunt Ginny always has me laughing out loud. This time her antics were a little tamer but they still cracked me up. Poppy is growing stronger. Her confidence is shaky at first but she gets some nice feedback that by the end helps her to really move forward. I am excited about the opening of her B&B because I think she will really shine, depending of course what kind of obstacles Aunt Ginny throws in her path. I loved every scene when Poppy and Gia were together. I could feel the heat right through the pages. Don’t worry the author keeps it cozy and G-rated. I can’t forget Figaro, that naughty, naughty, kitty. A cat with a mission and he was hilarious.

As a huge fan of Chopped, I really enjoy the Restaurant Week challenge with its own little twist of a points system. The themed baskets and what the chefs did with them was fun even with all the struggles they had along the way. The author shares some of the recipes at the end of the story.

The mystery was very developed. Secrets, grudges, innuendo, revenge, all play into this captivating whodunit. With plenty of suspects, the author set a blazing pace with the twists. The last one almost gave me whiplash. The ending was edge of my seat exciting. I was totally surprised.

Ms. Klein has found the perfect recipe for a marvelous cozy mystery. Wonderful characters mixed in a sensational story with a dash a romance and sprinkled liberally with humor. A delectable treat for every cozy lover.

This is an extraordinary series and while each can stand on its own, they are best read in order for maximum enjoyment.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Class Reunions are Murder here.

You can read my review of Midnight Snacks Are Murder here. 

Praise for Restaurant Weeks Are Murder
(A Poppy McAllister Mystery)
by Libby Klein

There is a cast of quirky characters that liven up the storyline and of course, we can’t forget Aunt Ginny and her antics along with the rest of her Senior friends. She knows how to liven up this book with her shenanigans.
~Storeybook Reviews

About the Author

Libby Klein dabbles in the position of Vice President of a technology company which mostly involves bossing other people around, making spreadsheets, and taking out the trash. She writes culinary cozy mysteries from her Northern Virginia office while trying to keep her cat Figaro off her keyboard.
Author Links – Webpage – Facebook – Twitter – Pinterest  – Cozy Mystery Crew  – GoodReads –  BookBub – Instagram –  Amazon 

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March 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST
March 4 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 5 – FUONLYKNEW – REVIEW
March 5 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
March 6 – Laura`s Interests – REVIEW
March 6 – Sapphyria’s Books – SPOTLIGHT
March 7 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
March 7 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 8 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, RECIPE
March 8 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 9 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
March 9 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 10 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEWHave you signed up to be a Tour Host?Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

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

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Feb 202019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so thankful this series has found a new home at Crooked Lane Books!

Murders and Metaphors: A Magical Bookshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New York
Crooked Lane Books (February 12, 2019)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1683318994
ISBN-13: 978-1683318996
Kindle ASIN: B07D2H5M28

Niagara region booksellers Violet Waverly and Grandma Daisy sleuth the slaying of a sommelier whose book signing turned into her sayonara.

January means ice wine season in the Niagara Falls region, but the festivities leave Charming Books owner Violet Waverly cold, still reeling from a past heartbreak. A past heartbreak who will be present at the annual midnight grape-harvest festival, and no magic in the world or incantation powerful enough could get Violet to attend. But Grandma Daisy, an omniscient force all on her own, informs Violet that she’s already arranged for the mystical Charming Books to host celebrity sommelier Belinda Perkins’s book signing at the party. Little do either Waverly women know, the ice wine festival will turn colder still when Violet finds Belinda in the middle of the frozen vineyard—with a grape harvest knife protruding from her chest.

Belinda grew up in Cascade Springs, but she left town years ago after a huge falling-out with her three sisters. One of those sisters, Violet’s high school friend Lacey Dupont, attends the book signing in the hope of making amends with her sister, but Belinda and Lacey end up disrupting the signing with a very public shouting match and Lacey quickly becomes the prime suspect in the sommelier’s murder.

Violet is sure Lacey is innocent, and to keep her friend out of prison, Violet asks for guidance from her magical bookshop. The shop’s ethereal essence points her to Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, but what have the four March sisters to do with the four Perkins sisters? If she can’t figure it out, Violet, herself, may turn as cold as ice. Violet, Grandma Daisy, Emerson the tuxedo cat, and resident crow Faulkner are back on the case in Murders and Metaphors, USA Today bestselling author Amanda Flower’s enchanting third Magical Bookshop mystery.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I was very upset when this unique series ended after just 2 stories. I am so happy that the people at Crooked Lane Books saw its promise and gave the series new life.

This 3rd story takes place in January and Violet and her Grandma Daisy will be selling books at a book signing for Belinda Perkins, a well-known sommelier, and author. The event is taking place at Morton Vineyard right before their midnight ice grape harvest. That means Violet will not be able to avoid her ex and the mayor of Cascade Springs, Nathan Morton or his mother.

The author’s estranged sister and Violet’s best friend Lacey is also present for the party, helping her husband with the catering. But Lacey can’t just stay in the kitchen. She badly wants to reconnect with her sister, but her sister creates a scene and demands Lacey be removed from the premises. From there the event quickly goes downhill when the upset author leaves the event.

But Violet makes a chilling discovery outside the winery. Belinda Perkins’ dead body at the edge of the vineyard and the standoff with her sister and evidence at the scene make Lacey the number one suspect. Violet knows her friend is innocent and plans to find the real killer and her magical bookshop is going to help her.

If you are new to this series I do recommend starting at the beginning with Crime and Poetry and Prose and Cons but the author does give some background in this book so new readers won’t feel lost. The series revolves around a wonderful, magical bookshop, where the right book will find you. There is a magical live tree in the middle of the shop and the female members of Violet’s family have always been the caretakers of the shop and the tree. Violet has recently replaced her Grandma Daisy as the caretaker. The shop and its “essence” is truly one of the starring characters.

This time to solve the murder, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women plays a key role. Violet just has to figure out which part of the tome will help her get the answers she needs.

________

The characters the author has created are excellent. Violet, Grandma Daisy, Emerson the tuxedo cat, and the very verbal crow Faulkner all return to draw us into a story that is both enchanting and intriguing. Violet is growing into her job as caretaker and Grandma Daisy is at a bit of loose ends. Violet does need to fine tune her sleuthing skills a bit and Daisy needs to find new ways to fill her time. The relationship between the two women is getting stronger as they find their way in their new roles. I love sneaky little Emerson and who wouldn’t love an intellectual crow. The supporting cast all have a purpose and have grown right along with the main characters.

I found the ice wine and winter midnight harvest to be very interesting even though I was no fan of the entitled Morton family.

Charming Books is my favorite bookstore out of all the cozy bookstores I have fictionally visited. It is unique, magical and memorable. I love everything about it. To avoid spoiling anything for new readers I can say more but it is a true treasure.

The story is very well-plotted with the main plots and subplots falling easily together. There were several suspects and I was on the trail of the correct person but the climatic finish still surprised me. I enjoy the book group that meets at Charming Books too. It really adds to the story.

I call this series “paranormal light” due to its magical setting. Ms. Flowers has taken a very imaginative idea and run with it all while making readers believe what happens within the pages real and believable.

What a marvelous mystery! I am so excited for the next book in this series after the little cliffhanger at the end. Looks like Grandma Daisy is going to shake things up.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author

Amanda Flower, a two-time Agatha Award-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth-grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. She also writes mysteries as national bestselling author Isabella Alan. In addition to being an author, Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland.

Author Links:

Website            Pen Name Website    Facebook     Twitter   Goodreads     Pinterest




Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series (writing as Isabella Alan)

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.

Subscribe to Amanda’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 March 6, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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Feb 132019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

V.M. Burns has become one of my favorite authors.
I am so excited to share with you this second Dog Club Mystery today
as part of her Great Escapes Tour!

 

About the Book


The Puppy Who Knew Too Much (A Dog Club Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Lyrical Underground (February 12, 2019)
Paperback: 190 pages
ISBN-10: 1516107918
ISBN-13: 978-1516107919
Digital ASIN: B07D233MVK

Lilly Echosby and her toy poodle Aggie find a fresh start in Chattanooga, Tennessee, spoiled by the scent of murder . . .

Having solved the shooting death of her cheating husband, Lilly’s left behind the drama of Lighthouse Dunes, Indiana, to start over in the hometown of her best friend, Scarlett “Dixie” Jefferson. As she gets settled in her new rented house, Lilly gives Aggie, short for Agatha Christie, her own fresh start by enrolling her in the Eastern Tennessee Dog Club, where Dixie is a trainer.

But drama seems to hound Lilly like a persistent stray. Her cranky new neighbor appears unfamiliar with Southern hospitality and complains that Aggie barks too much and digs up his prized tulips. But what the poodle actually unearths is the buried body of a mysterious man who claimed ownership of the lost golden retriever Lilly recently rescued. Now it’s up to Lilly and Dixie to try to muzzle another murderer . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Lilly Echosby has left Indiana behind and followed her best friend Scarlett “Dixie” Jefferson to Tennessee. It took a while but a chance encounter helped Lilly finds not only a job but a house to rent that was in her budget and allowed her adorable toy poodle, Aggie. She is excited her daughter Stephanie is coming to visit to help her get settled. Lilly finds it refreshing how friendly everyone is until she meets her new neighbor. He is not happy about having another dog in the neighborhood. Her daughter also falls hard for a golden retriever found under Lilly’s deck. After rushing it to the vet and getting its injuries cared for she declares she won’t be giving it up without a fight.

When dear sweet Aggie digs up a body instead of a bone the neighbor is apoplectic and Lilly finds herself back on a suspect list. Stephanie calls in the cavalry, aka Joe, her new boyfriend, the one that helped clear her mom in Lighthouse Dunes. He, in turn, calls in a friend and they along with Dixie are all determined to find the real killer, especially after another body is found.

First, the cover is a little deceiving. The two standard poodles owned by Dixie and Lilly’s Aggie return in this story where they all make a new friend. Aggie does start obedience classes with Dixie where a variety of dogs come together.

Lilly can’t catch a break but she has the perseverance to keep moving forward. New house, new job, new people in her life, and another murderer on the loose. She quickly finds new friends at her job and they are so supportive. I loved her new boss, Linda Kay, and love that we have something in common. The author does such an excellent job with all the characters. They have depth and something about them that draws the reader in and pushes us to want to know them better. Even the cantankerous neighbor and the man that used to have Lilly’s job.

Moving Lilly to Tennessee adds a very interesting twist. She was used to the flatlands of Indiana and Dixie lives on a mountain top with a fantastic view. The road to get there was winding and narrow and made Lily very nervous with its huge dropoffs. She is also very unfamiliar with the area and dependent on her GPS. Each place was nicely described as we readers saw it through Lilly’s eyes for the first time right along with her.

The mystery was not easy to solve with the requisite twists and turns. What I love and what makes this story unique in the part the canines play in solving it all. The motives were very unclear and the clues weren’t falling into place either until the wonderful, surprising, and exciting ending.

Well-plotted and written this story was hard to put down. A complex mystery with its share of Southern charm and humor. Right in Chapter 1 Lilly experiences her first “Bless Your Heart” which she learned was “Southern-speak for “You’re an idiot.” I really enjoy the way V.M. Burns tells a story. The care she takes with her characters is commendable and her love of dogs glows within the pages.

I highly recommend this series. I can’t wait for book #3!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Check out my review of In The Dog House here.

 

About the Author

V.M. Burns was born in Northwestern Indiana and spent many years in Southwestern Michigan on the Lake Michigan shoreline. She is a lover of dogs, British historic cozies, and scones with clotted cream. After many years in the Midwest, she went in search of milder winters and currently lives in Eastern Tennessee with her poodles. Her debut novel, The Plot is Murder was nominated for a 2017 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Valerie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and a lifetime member of  Sisters in Crime. Readers can learn more by visiting her website at vmburns.com

Author Links:  Website   Facebook  Twitter:  @vmburns

Purchase Links – Amazon –  Barnes & Noble – IndieBound:  – Books-A-Million – Kobo


Also by V.M. Burns

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
February 11 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
February 11 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
February 12 – Mythical Books – GUEST POST
February 13 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
February 13 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
February 14 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
February 15 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
February 15 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – GUEST POST
February 16 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 17 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 18 – Carla Loves to Read – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 19 – FUONLYKNEW – REVIEW
February 19 – Reading Is My SuperPower – GUEST POST
February 20 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
February 20 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT  
February 21 – RUFF DRAFTS – GUEST POST  
February 21 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
February 22 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 22 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
February 23 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 24 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

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

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