Nov 282018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled to share my thoughts with you about Slay In Character today!


Slay in Character (A Cat Latimer Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Colorado
Kensington (November 27, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1496716817
ISBN-13: 978-1496716811
Digital ASIN: B07B7C9LNS

Staying in character can be murder when Cat Latimer and the members of her writers’ retreat head for a ghost town . . .

Cat and the members of her writers’ retreat have just arrived in Outlaw, Colorado, an “Old West” tourist town complete with inhabitants dressed up as famous figures from history. But this authentic slice of Americana takes a murderous turn when a college student masquerading as a 19th-century saloon girl becomes history herself.

Was she the intended target? Or did she take a hit meant for someone else? With a cast of suspects to choose from—including some notorious gunslingers and the sleazy town founders—Cat must unhorse the real culprit before a real-life ghost story is given a killer twist . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Who knew a little trip to a ghost town would lead to murder? The latest group of writers have arrived for their week-long retreat and a day out to Outlaw, Colorado, a tourist attraction dedicated to the Old West is the destination for a day trip. One of the writers, Jessi, a college student, works there along with her roommate for extra cash.

The next day the roommate is missing. She is later found dead in one of the rooms at the ghost town saloon. She went missing while working one of Jessi’s shifts – so was the killer after Jessi? or her friend? Cat tries to stay out of the investigation but her guests have other ideas and lie to her about where they are going. Twice she gets them out of hot water with police. She soon finds herself trying to solve the case to help Jessi, but also to keep her guests out of trouble. What she uncovers changes the course of the investigation and reveals a shady side of certain individuals.

Cat actually had a few months go well, no murders or police investigations, so this book takes place in the following summer after the last book. Shauna is still getting over Kevin’s death but is doing better, Cat and Seth’s relationship is moving along nicely. Uncle Pete and Shirley are handling a long distance relationship. Dante is still popping up unexpectedly. The writers for this retreat all belong to the same writing group and are historical romance writers with the exception of college student Jessi, but they quickly pull her into the group. If it wasn’t for that doggone murder things would be great.

One of the things I like about this series is that for each story we add a new group of characters to the core cast we have come to know so well over these four books. Ms. Cahoon does an excellent job at introducing this new group with great detail so readers can quickly grasp who they are, how they fit together, their similarities and differences. The character development of both the old characters and new is stellar. I appreciate the dialogues too, whether a quick quip or a full conversation. I also loved the writing drills, a little behind the scenes look at how writers get the word count in every day.

The mystery plot line was full of twists and I found it to be very interesting the way old cases that were similar were brought to light. Having Cat stay out of the investigation at first was a fun twist. Seeing her tell her guests how dangerous it is to get involved in police matters almost made me laugh out loud. This group of retreaters was absolutely delightful. I loved the way the wanted to snoop to help their new friend.

A subplot throughout the story was a project Seth was working on. A secret project. Almost every day he went out the back door and through the woods to the back of the property. He asked Cat and Shauna to not venture back there until he was finished. Both women were curious and had their own ideas what he what doing out there but stayed away until the big reveal. What a reveal it was, special, moving, heartwarming and perfect. I will not give any more details, it is a surprise you need to read about all on your own. Seth truly is a great friend and boyfriend.

Until this story, I would have said each of the books in this series could be read as stand-alone, but I believe I enjoyed this one so much because I had read the others first and got to experience the characters growth in quick succession. The things they dealt with, the way the handled the previous murders, the relationships that grew stronger. Because I was behind on this series I read the last three books in this series almost back-to-back. I remembered little details without having to tax my memory. The character’s progression was vivid in my mind. It is not often I am able to do that with a series.  I am usually a stickler about reading series in order so I was so happy I could catch up before jumping into this book. That being said don’t be afraid to grab this book and start reading. You can always go back and catch up too, just like I did, and be ready for Sconed to Death coming in May 2019.  😀

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of A Story to Kill here and my review of Fatality by Firelight here
and my review for Of Murder and Men here.

About The Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lynn Cahoon is an Idaho expat. She grew up living the small town life she now loves to write about. Currently, she’s living with her husband and two fur babies in a small historic town on the banks of the Mississippi River where her imagination tends to wander. Guidebook to Murder, Book 1 of the Tourist Trap series, won the 2015 Reader’s Crown award for Mystery Fiction. Visit her at www.lynncahoon.com.Sign up for her newsletter at www.lynncahoon.com

Also by Lynn Cahoon


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

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End December 12, 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.”

Nov 212018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so happy to have Terry Ambrose stop by today as part of his Great Escapes Book Tour! 


Photos and Writing
by Terry Ambrose

If you’re “of a certain age,” you probably remember your family having friends over on a Saturday night to share photos of the most recent family vacation. In our house, I was the one who took hundreds of 35mm slides and then proudly showed off an endless array of shots from wherever we’d been. In the age of digital photography, we’ve moved those Saturday night get-togethers online. The nice thing about social media for a viewer is you only have to actually look at as many (or few) photos as you want.

Some photographers seem to have a knack for creating the wow factor. Whether their subject is as mind-boggling as the Milky Way or as basic as a slice of apple pie, I’m always amazed at how they get those wow-factor shots.

I love the blue hour — that point where the sky is still blue and the stars are just starting to come out. None in this photo, but not bad for a first attempt at a long exposure.

One of the things I love about photography is how it forces you to look differently at the world. Whether the photo is of food, people, or a sunset, composition is critical to ensuring that particular creation isn’t just another ho-hum series of bit and bytes.

When we visited San Clemente in January, we were lucky enough to catch the sunset.

I’ve spent three decades practicing the craft of writing, and during that time I let my photography skills lie dormant. Two years ago I decided to fix that, so I bought a new camera and began taking photos of many different things. Only recently did I realize my main interest was light, not necessarily any type of subject. It probably should have been more obvious to me that I was a light junkie, because I always seem to be on a quest to find new and different ways to paint the picture of light for readers.

What I’ve come to realize recently is that the common thread in my favorite photos is how the light plays in the scene. Describing this in words may not make tremendous sense, but perhaps a few examples will make it clear. I still consider myself a newbie at night and light photography, but I hope you enjoy these photos (and don’t fall asleep on the couch watching them!).

~Terry

Thank you, Terry, for visiting today!

The Killer Christmas Sweater Club (A Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery)
by Terry Ambrose

About the Book

The Killer Christmas Sweater Club (A Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – California
Publisher: Satori
Print Length: 342 pages
Digital ASIN: B07H27NCP4

All ten-year-old Alexandra Atwood wants for Christmas is to get her dad and the B&B’s cook Marquetta under the mistletoe. After all, how can they get married if they don’t kiss first?

When murder strikes in Seaside Cove, bed-and-breakfast owner Rick Atwood is asked to help find the killer. But this will not be an easy case to crack. Not only did the killer contaminate the crime scene, but there are suspects all over town. And they all received the same Christmas sweater from the victim.

Alex hears rumors about the murder and decides that since she’s on Christmas break, she has time for a little multitasking. She launches her own investigation even as she continues her efforts to get her dad and Marquetta together.

Just when Rick thinks he’s identified all the suspects, he discovers a new one—his estranged wife. With the days until Christmas ticking down, Rick feels pressured from all sides. He needs to solve the case. He needs to send his wife back to New York. But the one thing he doesn’t need is for his daughter to be one step ahead of him and the cops.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

First I must say, that cover is gorgeous!! Every cover in this series has been beautiful and inviting.

We arrive back at the Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast right before Christmas. Rick and Marquetta discover boxes of decorations in the attic including a Christmas train, Captain Jack and her father had a lot of fun with. Ten-year-old Alex is focused on moving her dad’s relationship along. She enlists a little help to hang some mistletoe, now she just needs to get them under it at the same time.

Rick’s focus is on the latest murder. While at The Crooked Mast for an Ugly Sweater Contest, Deputy Cunningham arrives sans ugly sweater to ask for Rick’s help. Local lawyer, Thorne Waldorf has been murdered. He just happened to send out a bunch of ugly sweaters to certain people he has wronged. The sweaters included an apology of sorts but Rick thinks the killer is among those who received Thorne’s gifts. Word around the party shows people were not happy with the man for several reasons. Even Alex hears some interesting stories. The one thing Rick never expected was for Alex’s mother to be in town, involved with Thorne Waldorf, and on the suspect list.

Christmas is right around the corner so this case needs to be wrapped up as fast as possible. He knows Alex wants to help and maybe with guidance from Marquetta that is possible. He just hopes he figures out whodunit before she does.

These characters quickly found their way into my heart right away in book 1, A Treasure To Die For. It is a joy to visit them for the holidays. I am almost as invested in Rick and Marquetta’s relationship as Alex.  Alex is a phenomenal character, she is smart and thinks well are her feet for someone so young. Rick struggles to be sure he is giving her the best life he can and with Marquetta’s help, he truly is. Having her mother arrive back on the scene in this story could have gone many ways but the way it plays out shows just how good of job he is doing.

If you haven’t read previous books in this series, Marguetta gave Alex a journal as soon as she arrived at the B&B. The story goes back and forth between Rick’s point of view and Alex’s along with her journal. Seeing a 10-year-olds perspective to the crime and her theories is so much fun. Her efforts to bring the two most important people in her life together had me smiling ear to ear.

Mr. Ambrose delivers another extraordinary mystery. Multifaceted with plenty of suspects made this a hard one to solve. It was all twisted up until a key clue was solved and all the pieces fell into place. I was totally surprised when all was revealed.

The author sets a wonderful scene too. I can imagine the B&B in all its finery right down to the train village, the lights on the stairway, the wreath, the mistletoe, and all of the ugly sweaters too. A real treasure of a story to get you into the Christmas spirit.

I loved this story and I just can’t get enough of these characters. I can’t wait for my next visit!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Check out my review of A Treasure To Die For here and Clues in the Sand here.

 

About the Author

Terry Ambrose is a former skip tracer who tracked down deadbeats for a living. He’s long since turned his talents to writing mysteries and thrillers. Several of his books have been award finalists and in 2014 his thriller, “Con Game,” won the San Diego Book Awards for Best Action-Thriller. He likes cool photography, funny mysteries, and finding the oddest things while walking on the beach.

Author Links:   Website   Facebook   Goodreads

Praise for The Killer Christmas Sweater Club (A Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery)
by Terry Ambrose

Another 5 stars for Terry Ambrose and the Seaside Cove B&B Mystery Series. I am really enjoying this series and all the characters.
~My Reading Journeys

The Killer Christmas Sweater Club is a fun cozy mystery with a great Christmas theme.
~The Power of Words

The Killer Christmas Sweater Club is a charming story. There are engaging characters, a quaint setting and Christmas merriment . . . (it) can easily be read by a younger audience . . . (and it) has a heartwarming ending that will have you smiling.
~The Avid Reader

I am completely smitten with everything about this mystery book, and if Hallmark is looking for a cozy mystery to turn into their next best-selling series of films, look no further!
~My Devotional Thoughts

What an adorable Christmas cozy mystery . . .Great for cozy fans.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Purchase Link – Amazon




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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.”

Nov 142018
 

I am keeping everyone in California devastated by the tragic wildfires in my thoughts and prayers.

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am pleased to welcome Kate Carlisle back to Escape With Dollycas! 

Distorted Reality by Kate Carlisle

Say Cheese!

There’s no such thing as reality TV.

Let me repeat that: There is no such thing as reality TV.

The camera, by its very nature, distorts reality. It starts when we’re very young when our parents tell us to smile for the camera. We manipulate our muscles obediently, even if the sparkle doesn’t quite reach our eyes. We “say cheese” to get our mouth into proper position.

Look back at the fauxtographs from your childhood, and you’ll see what I mean. There’s something both engaging and heartwarming about the genuine smile of a child. And something disturbing when it’s evident that the smile is forced.

Before becoming a writer, I worked for many years in TV production on so-called reality shows. Time and again, I witnessed a change come over the on-camera talent the moment that filming began. The changes were subtle sometimes, but there. Almost everyone instinctively stands a little bit straighter, tries to sound a bit more intelligent/less casual—and frequently less profane.

We clean up our language and clean up our acts because we’re aware of being watched. . . and judged.

I thought it would be really interesting to play with this concept in my latest Fixer-Upper Mystery, A Wrench in the Works. Contractor Shannon Hammer is known around Lighthouse Cove as an expert on home renovation—but her little sister Chloe’s skills are famous all across the nation. Chloe is one of the stars of Makeover Madness, a home renovation show. She and her crew have descended on Lighthouse Cove to film a few episodes.

And to stir up some trouble.

When you’re reading A Wrench in the Works, pay attention to how characters change when the cameras start rolling. No one acts like a murderer while the klieg lights are on. Behind-the-scenes is another story altogether.

A WRENCH IN THE WORKS

Lights! Camera! Homicide! Contractor Shannon Hammer must sift through the suspects when a popular TV show comes to Lighthouse Cove and brings murder with it…

Shannon Hammer’s younger sister Chloe left Lighthouse Cove after high school to make it big in Hollywood. And she did it! Chloe is the co-host of a popular home repair show on the Home Builders Network. Now, after ten years, she has returned to their quaint, coastal hometown to film several shows featuring her sister Shannon, along with some special mini-segments on Victorian style and design.

But Shannon quickly realizes that things are not exactly blissful in TV land. Bree, the executive producer of the show, has a knack for stirring up sticky situations and when she’s found dead, Chloe and the entire crew are under suspicion. During the investigation, Shannon, her thriller-writer boyfriend Mac, and their crime-solving friends unearth the real reason Chloe left home. Is that ten-year-old secret connected to Bree’s death? And can Shannon track down the real killer before her beloved sister becomes the next victim?

Do you agree that most people behave differently when they know they’re on camera? Why or why not? Do you have any fun examples to support your position?

~Kate

Thank you, Kate, for stopping by! 

Keep reading for my review of A Wrench In The Works. 


A Wrench in the Works (A Fixer-Upper Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – California
Berkley (November 6, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0399586482
ISBN-13: 978-0399586484
Kindle ASIN: B079R3XMKZ

The synopsis is included in the guest post above.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The television cameras have arrived in Lighthouse Cove along with Shannon’s sister Chloe. She is the co-host of a home renovating show, Makeover Madness, and is thrilled to be taping back in her hometown. Shannon also gets in on the fun by making some guest appearances. The hammer comes down on all the fun though before they even start filming. Executive producer Bree is found dead in the house chosen for the big makeover and the whole crew including Chloe are now suspects. Even Shannon saw with her own eyes the way Bree always through a major wrench in the productions. But then a real estate agent from Lighthouse Cove is found dead, again at the makeover house and the suspect pool widens. What is really scary is that Chloe could be the next victim. Shannon, Mac, and their friends are nailing down every clue to keep her safe and catch the killer.

The author has created characters that are very likable and realistic. Both Shannon and Chloe grew up working construction with their dad and know their way around a job site and every tool in the box. Determined women but Chloe hasn’t been back to Lighthouse Cove since she left for Hollywood. We learn along with Shannon the secret that has kept Chloe away all these years. I really enjoyed this subplot woven throughout the mystery as we see so much evolve for Chloe.  Shannon is so proud of her sister and her accomplishments. Their strong bond is heartwarming. The relationship between Mac and Shannon is getting more comfortable too. He really is a great boyfriend. He understands Shannon and her need to jump into these murder mysteries and is happy to help her in any way he can. The supporting cast is captivating too and made me feel like I was visiting old friends.

The backdrop of Lighthouse Cove, oceanside and all the old Victorian homes is a perfect setting for this series. Big enough to handle all the dead bodies, small enough to allow our amateur sleuth to nose her way into the investigation. I truly enjoy all the descriptions of the homes. The makeover house had so much wrong with it, novices would think the only answer would be to tear it down, but in the hands of Shannon, Chloe, and their teams you know they are going to turn it into a real jewel.

The mystery is well plotted and written. All the drama brought by the television people along with the added drama of some current Lighthouse Cove residents flows together to bring a story that sets a very nimble pace. There is always something happening, a twist, a turn, a curve, that diverts attention or sends everything in another direction. It is impossible not to totally be pulled into this story. I did solve the mystery just a little bit before Shannon but the entire story was totally entertaining.

This story does read well on its own. I always recommend reading the series in order for maximum enjoyment. The movies are great too but could never replace these wonderful stories.

Picturesque setting, terrific characters, and a delightful mystery. A Perfect Escape for all cozy lovers.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

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


You can read my reviews of previous books in this series by clicking the links below.
A High End Finish
This Old Homicide
Crowned and Moldering
Deck the Hallways
Eaves of Destruction
Also by Kate Carlisle


Coming June 4, 2019

GIVEAWAY

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

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.
Do you agree that most people behave differently when they know they’re on camera?
Why or why not? Do you have any fun examples to support your position?

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
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Contest Will End November 28, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Nov 072018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so happy to feature Thread Herrings today! 

Thread Herrings (A Mainely Needlepoint Mystery)
by Lea Wait

About the Book

Thread Herrings (A Mainely Needlepoint Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Maine
Kensington (October 30, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 149671671X
ISBN-13: 978-1496716712
Digital ASIN: B079KSZ92D

Angie’s first auction may turn out to be her last—when she bids on a coat of arms that someone would literally kill to possess . . .

Tagging along to an estate sale with her fellow Needlepointer, antique shop owner Sarah Byrne, Angie Curtis impulsively bids on a tattered embroidery of a coat of arms. When she gets her prize back home to Haven Harbor, she discovers a document from 1757 behind the framed needlework—a claim for a child from a foundling hospital. Intrigued, Angie is determined to find the common thread between the child and the coat of arms.

Accepting her reporter friend Clem Walker’s invitation to talk about her find on the local TV news, Angie makes an appeal to anyone who might have information. Instead, both women receive death threats. When Clem is found shot to death in a parking lot, Angie fears her own life may be in jeopardy. She has to unravel this historical mystery—or she may be the next one going, going . . . gone . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Finding treasures at auctions and estate sales is part of the fun, but for Angie Curtis it means MURDER! Her friend, a television reporter is dead and Angie is getting threatened that she will be next.

Antique shop owner Sarah Byrne takes Angie to her first auction and she is drawn to a needlework coat of arms. When no one else bids she raises her paddle and takes it home. She takes it out of the frame to see if it can be restored but she finds a real mystery instead, a claim from 1757 for a child from a foundling hospital. While researching to see if the child is connected to the family from the auction she runs into Clem Walker who suggests they do a piece on the local news to see if one of the viewers may have information. Angie agrees and even hosts a party so her family and friends can watch her on television.

Clem plans a trip to visit Angie in Haven Harbor to discuss the calls the station received. But Clem doesn’t make the meeting, instead, her body is found. Angie knows to find Clem’s killer she has to find who is connected to the coat of arms. The trouble is to keep her safe she is hiding out and it’s hard to investigate anything stuck in a house.

There is so much I enjoyed about this story. It had a totally different feel. The Mainely Needlepointers didn’t do hardly any needle pointing but one member of the group, Ruth, is a key player in solving this mystery. Also, Angie accepts that her life is truly in danger after a hairraising event and actually listens to the police and moves to Patrick’s secure home until the killer is caught. As long as she has her cell phone and laptop she can keep investigating and pass along what she finds to the police.

At the core of the story are two prominent Maine families. I love the way 79-year-old erotica author Ruth Hopkins knows her way around the genealogy sites. She delves in and finds as much as she can about the families giving Angie plenty of clues and red herrings to sort through.

All of Ms. Wait’s characters are interesting, fleshed out and realistic. Most of the recurring characters are very engaging. Patrick is starting to mesh with the rest but still has some work to do. The closer he and Angie get the more he becomes more real to me.

The story is pretty fast-paced and filled with suspense. Key characters are truly in danger and I found myself actually holding my breath waiting to read the actual outcome. I know I was reading much faster from about the midpoint on. The author’s descriptions of each person, place, and even the weather were fantastic. She pulls readers right into this story and holds them tight until the final page. OMG, my heart was racing at the ending!

Before my accident auctions and needlepoint were two of my favorite things. Finding samplers and other needlework treasures at auctions always made for a great day. I love that both meshed together in this book.

This book reads very well all in its own but I always recommend reading series in order to really get to know the characters.

This is a wonderful addition to this series.  The next book in the series, Thread on Arrival, will be released April 30, 2019.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Links to my reviews for other books in this series:
Twisted Threads
Threads of Evidence
Thread and Gone
Dangling by a Thread
Tightening the Threads
Thread the Halls

 

About the Author

Lea Wait lives on the coast of Maine. A fourth-generation antique dealer and the author of the Agatha-nominated Antique Print Mystery series, she loves all things antiques and Maine. She also writes historical novels for young people set in (where else?) nineteenth-century Maine. Visit her at leawait.com.

Follow Lea on Facebook and GoodReads

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKobo




Click on a cover to order from Amazon.

Praise for Thread Herrings (A Mainely Needlepoint Mystery)
by Lea Wait

As the action heats up in Thread Herrings, you will find yourself riveted. You cannot help but keep reading to discover how the story plays out.
~The Avid Reader

Ms. Wait has crafted a tale of Murder and History that keeps you turning the pages until you sigh and put the book down when you have finished!
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

The narrative is well written, filled with fascinating historical detail, and flows at a steady pace. There’s no fluff or filler; every word is important.
~The Power of Words

I admit I was expecting a quick mystery with some fun dialogue and a bit of romance. The author surprised me and took this a step further. There’s a mystery in a mystery, danger around every corner and she really tested the boundaries of her characters.
~FUONLYKNEW

THREAD HERRINGS was a story I couldn’t tear myself away from. A true page-turner of a mystery, with questions stemming from past to present, I just became more and more engrossed.
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews

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November 11 – Readeropolis – 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.”

Oct 312018
 

Back Stabbers (The Country Club Murders)
by Julie Mulhern

About the Book

Back Stabbers (The Country Club Murders)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – Missouri
Henery Press (October 23, 2018)
Kindle Edition, 253 pages
ASIN: B07G5KX6Y4

All Ellison Russell wanted was an update on her stock portfolio. Instead, she found her broker dead.

With an unexpected out-of-town guest at her house, Ellison is too busy for a murder investigation. Only this time, Detective Anarchy Jones wants her help, and she can’t deny the handsome detective. Can Mr. Coffee supply her with enough caffeine to keep her brain sharp and everyone else happy?

Juggling bodies (one, two, three, four), two-faced friends, her social calendar, and a cat (yes, a cat) is taxing but Mother might be the biggest challenge of all.

With a killer drawing closer, can Ellison put together the pieces or will she be the one getting stabbed in the back?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

First, another great title/music tie-in, from the O’Jays. Really gets you into that 70’s feeling. No cell phones, no internet, no cable tv, but some really fine music!

One of my favorite amateur sleuths is back with her knack of finding dead bodies and her love affair with Mr. Coffee. This time she finds her stockbroker dead and in a way, she will never be able to wipe from her memory. After that bodies quickly start to pile up and Detective Anarchy Jones actually wants her help with the case. This does not make her mother happy at all.  Can Ellison catch a killer or will she be the next victim of the backstabber?

Ellison may be part of the country club set but she never comes off the way. It is her mother that cares about all the social standing. But her parents have been keeping a huge secret. Ellison’s father was in a relationship before marrying her mother. This union produced a child. Karma runs a brokerage firm in San Francisco and has never met the rest of her family. After almost 40 years she makes a trip to Kansas City and stays with Ellison as a favor to her dad. Also, Ellison and Anarchy are moving forward with their relationship to everyone’s delight except her mother. Dead bodies, secrets exposed and Ellison’s dating a detective has sent mom Francis into quite a tizzy.

These characters are so genuine and believable. The dialogues are cleverly written and will have you laughing out loud. Interactions between the characters but especially between Ellison and her mother are pure gems. This author has a unique style and she knows how to pepper the story with humor in all the right places even when taking on serious issues.

This story takes place way before the #metoo movement and clearly shines a light on sexual harassment that was commonplace back then and widespread until recently. Ms. Mulhern fictional take on the subject and involving the murders was very well done. Ellison’s quest to narrow the suspect pool was very intriguing. Who had the most credible motive? Finding out was not an easy task. I loved following along for each and every step.

I have learned that when I start reading anything by this author not to have anything else planned for the rest of the day because I know when I start reading I will not be able to stop. My family has also learned to expect giggles and full out laughter from me during that reading.

This is an excellent addition to this fantastic series. All the characters have evolved so much since the series began, even Francis has grown a little. I do recommend new readers start at the beginning of this series but you can really start anywhere in this series for classic cozy entertainment.

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Praise for Back Stabbers (The Country Club Murders)

by Julie Mulhern

Fast paced and with wonderfully descriptive details of the era, the multiple plotlines weave together smoothly and in such an enjoyable way.
~Laura’s Interests

I love the series. Ellison is a precious personality; although born into wealth and married into wealth and raised by a very “upper-class disdainful” mother, she is very much an “at-home,” loving, compassionate and generous individual, an artist, and a devoted mother and dog lover.
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies

Back Stabbers is well-written, well-paced, and includes an occasional touch of humor.
~Christa Reads and Writes

With life getting crazy outside of the mystery hunting, Ellison reminds me of why I love moms that are strong and smart in novels. This latest mystery brings out the best thus far in Ellison and I wouldn’t miss reading this one for the world.
~Bibliophile Reviews

Narrated from Ellison’s first person perspective, the novel is quick-paced and enjoyable, with lots of sleuthing and jumping around.
~Nadaness In Motion

About the Author

– Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders. She is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean–and she’s got an active imagination. Truth is–she’s an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.

Author Links

Website – FB – Twitter – Goodreads 

Purchase Links

Amazon   B&N    Kobo  BookBub

Books in the Country Club Murders Humorous Mystery Series:


Also by Julie Mulhern

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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.”

Oct 242018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am excited to feature Barbara Early’s new book, Death of a Russian Doll today! 

Death of a Russian Doll: A Vintage Toy Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New York
Crooked Lane Books (October 9, 2018)
ISBN-10: 9781683317029
ISBN-13: 978-1683317029
Kindle ASIN: B078M3KG1Q

It’s all fun and games with toyshop owner Liz McCall until deadly secrets are unwrapped upon the eve of the holidays.

Who knew? Liz McCall is not thrilled when her boyfriend Police Chief Ken Young introduces her to his estranged wife Marya. The model-quality Russian immigrant, back in East Aurora to rekindle their romance, will be working as a hairstylist at the barber shop next door to Well Played, the toyshop Liz manages for her dad. When Marya offers to help with the shop’s doll rehab project, Liz can’t help but offer up only a weak smile, but her secret hesitations are for naught when Marya’s body is discovered in the barber shop with a hair dryer cord wrapped around her neck.

Liz’s dad, retired from the police force, is asked to investigate since Ken is the prime suspect.The whole town is abuzz with the scandal and Liz has a few questions of her own, wanting nothing more than to forget the loud argument she overheard between Marya and Ken the night before. There could have been other motives… Was Marya going to cut into a competing hairstylist business? Who is the bumbling private investigator hanging around and why won’t he explain himself?

All eyes are on Liz, including those of an odd matryoshka doll in the shop which seems to move of its own accord, to unravel this entertaining riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma that is Death of a Russian Doll.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

So Liz McCalls’ and Ken Young’s romance hit the skids when his estranged wife Marya arrived in town. Liz has been dealing with the complete shock and the fact Ken lied to her. Then the Russian immigrant Marya starts working at the barbershop right next to Well Played and she even volunteers to help on a new project the shop has started repairing used dolls and sharing them with needy kids. Liz puts on a happy face and is on her best behavior during the meetings.

The Marya is found dead – in the barbershop – strangled with the cord from a hair dryer . . . and Police Chief Ken Young finds himself at the top of the suspect list. Removed from his position pending completion of the investigation Liz’s dad comes out of retirement to take his place. Liz did hear Ken and Marya arguing but she can’t see him killing her. There must be other suspects.  Liz decides that she needs to find out more about the woman she didn’t even know existed until about a year ago. She needs to get this case wrapped up so her dad can get back to his retirement and the toy shop before the holidays.

Barbara Early has penned a captivating cozy in this 3rd installment of this delightful series.

I really like Liz. She is a smart protagonist that thinks things through before she leaps into action. She works so well with her dad and he values her input. She also gets some assistance from a certain FBI accountant that would really like to move their relationship out of the friend zone. All the characters are realistic and I love the dialogue.

The toy shop Liz manages for her dad, Well Played, is more than a place to buy the toys of yesteryear. It is a gathering place with its weekly game nights and now with the restore doll project. You get a real sense of community from the people who enter the shop, especially during the holiday season. East Aurora has a real small town feel.

Ken’s wife being a Russian immigrant brings a current hot topic into play and it is hard not to feel for the woman. It also brings Ken’s sisters to town and they are two formidable women with the brother’s best interests at heart but their overbearing nature is a bit much for even Ken. Liz finally gets them to open up and gets information to move the investigation along.

The story is full of twists and some real surprises. At one point I think I screamed out at the exact time Liz did. It takes an extraordinary author to have a reader get that deep into a story. The plot came together with another surprise, I was totally wrong in my pick of the killer. The story finishes with another little twist that leaves me very excited about the next book in this series.

Drama, humor, a touch of romance come together with great characters to make this an excellent read. A perfect escape as we head into the holiday season!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of Murder of the Toy Town Express here.

Read my review of Death of a Toy Soldier here.

About The Author

Barbara Early earned an engineering degree, but after four years of doing nothing but math, developed a sudden allergy to the subject and decided to choose another occupation. Before she settled on murdering fictional people, she was a secretary, a school teacher, a pastor’s wife, and an amateur puppeteer. After several years living elsewhere, she and her husband moved back to her native Western New York State, where she enjoys cooking, crafts, classic movies, and campy seventies television, board games, and posting pictures of her four cats on Facebook. She writes the Vintage Toyshop series and the Bridal Bouquet Shop Mysteries (as Beverly Allen).


Written as Beverly Allen

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.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End November 7, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Oct 172018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

It is my pleasure to share with you today my thoughts on Sara Rosett’s Murder at Archly Manor, the first book in her High Society Detective Series!

About the Book



Murder at Archly Manor (High Society Lady Detective Series)

Historical Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Self Published (October 15, 2018)
Paperback: 252 pages
ISBN-10: 0998843164
ISBN-13: 978-0998843162
Digital ASIN: B07H2P8J3H

A high-society murder. A spirited lady detective. Can she out-class the killer before an innocent person takes the fall?

London, 1923. Olive Belgrave needs a job. Despite her aristocratic upbringing, she’s penniless. Determined to support herself, she jumps at an unconventional job—looking into the background of her cousin’s fiancé, Alfred. He burst into the upper crust world of London’s high society, but his answers to questions about his past are decidedly vague.

Before Olive can gather more than the basics, a murder occurs at a posh party. Suddenly, every Bright Young Person in attendance is a suspect, and Olive must race to find the culprit because a sly murderer is determined to make sure Olive’s first case is her last.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Olive Belgrave didn’t plan to become a detective, but she needed a job and when asked to look in the background of her cousin’s fiancé, Alfred, she can’t refuse. Before she can really delve into his history the man falls to his death at a party right before her eyes. There was someone else on the balcony so now her investigation is expanded into looking for a killer. Everyone the party is now a suspect and the murderer is determined to get away scot-free.

***

I liked Olive right away. A strong woman for the 1920’s, wanting to be independent. She is smart, inquisitive and well educated, although no real work skills, she just needs to find the perfect job. Her cousin’s Gwen’s telegram arrives when she is almost out of money. Her other cousin Violet has taken up with a man they know nothing about and he is very evasive about the details of his upbringing. Violet is in love and doesn’t care, but her mother and sister sure do, They decide to pay Olive to investigate Alfred Eton and that puts Olive one step closer to the independence she seeks. These characters and the rest in the story are very cleverly written. I worry about Olive’s father because of her overbearing stepmother. The group that attends the party thrown by Sebastian Blakely, Alfred’s godfather and noted photographer, are a hodgepodge group of aristocrats and hangers-on, and any of them could be guilty of the murder.

The mystery turns out to be much more that it seems at first. Twists and turns take us the reader and Olive in many different directions. While complex, the author has a very comfortable writing style that allows the reader to really take the journey with these characters. At times I forgot the story is set in the 1920’s even though the author hit all the right notes for the time period. I found myself totally immersed in the tale. I did enjoy all the descriptions of fashion and hairstyles of the era.

This series is off to a roaring start. A delightful look at high society London in the ’20’s. Fun characters, an extraordinary setting and a well-plotted mystery made for a truly entertaining read. I am looking forward to more High Society Lady Detective stories.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Sara Rosett writes light-hearted escapes for readers who enjoy puzzling mysteries, interesting settings, and quirky characters.

She is the author of the Murder on Location series, the Ellie Avery series, the On the Run series, and the High Society Lady Detective series. Sara also teaches an online course, How to Outline A Cozy Mystery.

Publishers Weekly called Sara’s books, “satisfying,” “well-executed,” and “sparkling.” Sara loves to get new stamps in her passport and considers dark chocolate a daily requirement. Find out more at SaraRosett.com.

Author Links:

Website:     Patreon:     Instagram:      Facebook:     Twitter: @SaraRosett    Pinterest GoodReads:  LibraryThing: Amazon Author Page: Bookbub Author Page:     Newsletter sign-up:

Purchase Links

Amazon     Barnes & Noble      iBooks     Kobo    Google Play

Praise for Murder at Archly Manor (High Society Lady Detective Series)
by Sara Rosett

I really felt captivated to the story wanting to find out where the story would lead and can’t wait to see what is the next in this fabulous series!
~Community Bookstop

Murder At Archly Manor had a steady pace and was an easy read. I enjoyed turning the pages and racing to the end to see what happens and who dun it.
~My Reading Journeys

Murder at Archly Manor is a light, humorous historical cozy mystery that will transport you back to the roaring 20s.
~The Avid Reader

With red herrings, plenty of suspects, and disreputable characters MURDER AT ARCHLY MANOR is a solid start to a new series.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

Quirky and mysterious characters, secrets that must be kept at all costs, and an interesting, somewhat unpredictable plot made for a very enjoyable read.
~Cassidy’s Bookshelves

The characters and the setting are well described to provide the feel and ambiance of 1923 London. If you enjoy British cozy mystery – or cozy mystery at all, you’ll enjoy Murder at Archly Manor.
~Christa Reads and Writes

If you enjoy books with a Great Gatsby vibe then this book will be a perfect fit for you. It not only has a strong female character and 1920’s time period but also a strong mystery that will keep readers following the clues.
~Bibliophile Reviews

Also by Sara Rosett



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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.”

Oct 102018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am always thrilled to have Kathleen Ernst drop by for a visit.

Immigrant Stories
by Kathleen Ernst

People sometimes ask why I so often write about 19th-century immigrants.  My fascination began in the 1980s when I worked at an outdoor ethnic museum called Old World Wisconsin. The museum features over 50 historic structures which have been moved to the site and restored.  Working as an interpreter and curator there provided tantalizing glimpses into the lives of some of the state’s first Yankee and European immigrants.

An even stronger motivation is simply my ever-growing admiration for the everyday people who made the monumental decision to leave everything familiar and gamble on a new life in Wisconsin.  I created the Chloe Ellefson Mysteries to give myself the opportunity to share some of what I’ve discovered.  Chloe is a curator at Old World Wisconsin, and as the series progresses, she visits other special historic sites and museums.  Different books have featured different ethnic groups.

In the ninth book, The Lacemaker’s Secret, Chloe travels to northeast Wisconsin. She’s been hired to create a furnishings plan for a Belgian-American farm being restored at Heritage Hill State Historical Park in Green Bay.  She’s on the hunt for insight into the lives of Belgian immigrants (and after discovering a body in an old brick bake oven, she’s soon on the hunt for a killer as well).

I knew little about the Belgians’ experience before beginning research for this book.  The immigrants, most of whom arrived in the 1850s, faced a brutal struggle to turn old-growth forest into farmland.  A devastating cholera epidemic swept through the settlements.  And in 1871, what is remembered locally as The Great Fire (which burned simultaneously with the Peshtigo Fire across the bay) blazed through many of the Belgian communities.  Over two hundred people died; over five thousand lost everything they owned.

But the Belgian immigrants’ story is not defined by tragedy.  It’s defined by strength and persistence, by faith and courage.  Today many of their descendants still live in northeast Wisconsin because their ancestors did not give up or give in.  I find that inspiring.

So does Chloe Ellefson in The Lacemaker’s Secret.  I hope that readers do as well.

~Kathleen

Thank you, Kathleen, for being my guest today! 

Now let me give you my thoughts on The Lace Maker’s Secret.

The Lace Maker’s Secret (A Chloe Ellefson Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
9th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin/Belguim
Midnight Ink (October 8, 2018)
Paperback: 408 pages
ISBN-10: 0738753548
ISBN-13: 978-0738753546
Kindle ASIN: B0795R5H4C

Greed, Uncertainty, and Death Get Tangled in the Mystery of a Rare Piece of Belgian Lace

Curator Chloe Ellefson needs distraction from the unsettling family secret she’s just learned. It doesn’t help that her boyfriend, Roelke McKenna, has been troubled for weeks and won’t say why. Chloe hopes a consulting job at Green Bay’s Heritage Hill Historical Park, where an old Belgian-American farmhouse is being restored, will be a relaxing escape.

Instead she discovers a body in a century-old bake oven.

Chloe’s research suggests that a rare and valuable piece of lace made its way to nearby Door County, Wisconsin, with the earliest Belgian settlers. More importantly, someone is desperate to find it. Inspired by a courageous Belgian woman who survived cholera, famine, and the Great Fire, Chloe must untangle clues to reveal secrets old and new . . . before the killer strikes again.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This installment of this wonderful series takes Chloe Ellefson on the road to Green Bay’s Heritage Hill Historical Park. They are restoring a historic Belgian-American farmhouse and have asked her to consult on its furnishings. She recently learned some upsetting news about her family and something is definitely bothering her boyfriend. Roelke McKenna, so maybe a week away, doing the thing she loves will do them both some good. She is meeting a woman there who she has worked with in the past. The woman is a lace expert and she has been told a valuable piece of lace is part of Heritage Hill’s collection. Both women are excited to learn about the lace and its origins.

It is winter in Wisconsin and driving north Chloe encounters some slippery conditions. Just before she reaches the B&B where she will be staying she notices a summer kitchen building right off the road.  She pulls over quickly to check the place out, but she makes a grisly discovery. A dead body has been stuffed into the old bake oven. This is not the way she planned to start her week. The death has nothing to do with her. Maybe she can leave everything to the police and just do what she came to Green Bay to do. But she knows that is not going to happen, she is going to find herself right in the middle of another investigation and her favorite police officer is many miles away.

I know when I pick up a book by Kathleen Ernst I am in for a delightful read. This book was no exception. I have spent my whole life in Wisconsin and every time I read a book by this wonderful author I still learn something new. I knew the basics of the historical events that take place in this story but her fictional telling of the time period resonates and makes the time, place, and people come alive.

The historical part of the story begins in Belguim in 1848 when 12-year-old Seraphine Moreau’s father dies and she and her twin sister, Octavie are taken by their uncle to a convent school in Bruges.  She leaves her friend Jean-Paul Lejeune behind but he doesn’t forget her, he visits her and the convent often and they pledge their love to each other. While at the convent both Seraphine and Octavie learn to make the beautiful bobbin Belgian lace. In 1854, Jean-Paul returns to ask Seraphine to be his wife and travel with him to America where there are new opportunities for farmers. The story then follows their lives in Wisconsin and joins together with the current story which is set in the 1980’s.

Again, Ernst really shows her storytelling chops by marrying these two time periods together seamlessly. Both time periods feature strong women in Chloe and Seraphine and even Octavie who remains in Belguim. We see through the letters to her sister what is happening across the Atlantic. Seraphine and the immigrants struggle to just survive at times was both heartbreaking and inspirational, the perseverance shown throughout their lives was remarkable. Chloe shows her strength time and time again and she strives the find the truth even while putting herself in danger.

In Chloe’s timeframe, I always need to remind myself, 1980’s, no cell phones, no easy access to the internet, no text messages. I love the nightly phone calls between Chloe and Roelke, the calling collect, and reversing the charges. Something the current generation of kids and young adults will never know. For them, both parts of this story would be historical. I know Ms. Ernst’s books would be a great way for them to learn about history. She makes it personal and her stories stick with her readers. Her stories are well-researched but fictional so she does juggle the dates sometimes to fit her narrative while still giving an accurate picture of the things her characters endure.

I do love that the stories in this series take place in actual destinations near where I live. As my grandchildren get older these are places I would love to take them. According to their website, “Heritage Hill has earned a reputation as a jewel of the Midwest for guests from within the area and those visiting the community.” I really thank the author for bringing this treasure to my attention.

The Lacemaker’s Secret is a fantastic story filled with characters that are truly believable. They will draw readers deep into their lives. The theme of Belgian lace and the setting in Wisconsin really shows the author’s love of the history of our state. This was an amazing read!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

The last book in this series also received a Paradise Rating.
Check out my review of Mining for Justice here.

About the Author

Kathleen Ernst is a social historian, educator, and author. Her Chloe Ellefson mysteries reflect the decade she spent as a curator at a large outdoor museum, and feature historic sites in the Upper Midwest.  Library Journal says, “Ernst keeps getting better with each entry in this fascinating series.” Kathleen has also written many mysteries for young readers.  Honors for her work include a LOVEY Award and Agatha and Edgar nominations.  Kathleen lives and writes in Wisconsin.
Webpage Facebook – Blog 

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 Kathleen’s Mailing List 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 October 24, 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.”

Oct 032018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am thrilled to be today’s stop on the Assault and Beadery Great Escapes Tour! 

Assault and Beadery (A Cora Crafts Mystery)
by Mollie Cox Bryan

 

About the Book

Assault and Beadery (A Cora Crafts Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – North Carolina
Kensington (September 25, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496716442
ISBN-13: 978-1496716446
Digital ASIN: B078QM4V66

All of Cora Chevalier’s dreams are coming true. Since moving to Indigo Gap, North Carolina, the busy crafting maven has been blessed with a great boyfriend, a lovely home, and a booming craft retreat business. But on the eve of her first Crafty Mom’s Escape Weekend, tragedy strikes again in Indigo Gap. This time, it’s curtains for Stan Herald, the disagreeable director of the local theater group, who’s murdered on the opening night of their new production. Worse, Cora’s friend Zee is accused of the crime.

Cora is determined to prove her friend’s innocence, but Zee’s mysterious past is making that difficult. And with a list of suspects longer than a double spool of satin cording, getting a bead on the real culprit won’t be easy. With her friends Jane and Ruby at her side, Cora must string together the clues and solve Stan’s murder before the killer gives an encore performance.

Includes crafting tips!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We return back to Indigo Gap just in time for the Crafty Mom’s Escape Weekend. In addition to getting ready for the event, Cora is helping with scenery for the upcoming play at the local theater. But before the curtain goes up for the production, the curtain comes down on its director, Stan Herald. Cora’s friend Zee is found near his body and becomes the prime murder suspect. Cora, Jane, and Ruby know their friend is innocent. They commit to finding the real killer to free their friend all while handling the Mom’s who have escaped for a fun and crafty weekend. Hopefully, the weekend will be a beading success on both counts.

A strong group of friends shines within these pages. Cora, Ruby, Jane, Cashel, come together to help their friend Zee. Cashel handles the legal stuff. Cora and Jane do the sleuthing. Ruby does whatever is needed so the others can do their thing. In this story, that means keeping the moms entertained and she does is well. These characters are a lively group and people I would love to be friends with, tagging along crafting and sleuthing would be a blast.

It does take a group of people to handle everything happening within these pages. Mollie Cox Bryan has crafted a clever mystery to go along with the crafting theme. Twists and turns really kept me guessing. Even after a confession, the case is not solved. This was a good one that kept me guessing right up until the end.

It is stories like these that make me love cozy mysteries. Before an accident left my right side paralyzed I was quite the crafter. Books in this series have not only brought back great memories but allowed me to vicariously do some arts and crafts. In fact, I think I could make some of the beads described with one hand and just a little bit of help with the cutting.

Wonderful characters, a great mystery, and fun crafts make this story A Perfect Escape! I am ready to book my next trip to Indigo Gap!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Mollie Cox Bryan is the author of the Cumberland Creek Scrapbooking mystery series and the Cora Crafts mystery series. She is also author of two cookbooks, the regional bestseller Mrs. Rowe’s Little Book of Southern Pies and Mrs. Rowe’s Restaurant Cookbook: A Lifetime of Recipes from the Shenandoah Valley. An award-winning journalist and poet, she currently blogs, cooks, and scrapbooks in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with her husband and two daughters. Scrapbook of Secrets was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Visit her on the web at molliecoxbryan.com.

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Praise for Assault and Beadery (A Cora Crafts Mystery)
by Mollie Cox Bryan

Assault and Beadery is packed with all that makes an excellent cozy mystery – character depth, well-plotted mystery, and an appealing small-town setting that you’d love to visit.
~The Power of Words

The crafty fun is described with delightful details. If not for the pesky murder, I would love to be a guest at this retreat.
~The Avid Reader

As much as this is a cozy mystery, it is so much more! Underneath the storyline is the theme of overcoming obstacles and how you move forward…basically reinventing yourself. That really struck a chord for me and sets this book somewhat apart from other books in the genre.
~Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews

ASSAULT AND BEADERY is an engaging mystery that empowers women while comforting them.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

I really was educated while reading this Cozy Mystery novel: educated in certain types of Crafts (beadmaking, paper crafts, and Artistic playing cards), but equally so in the art of friendship, and the procedures of small business, and the foibles of small town living.
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies

If you love cozy mysteries than this is a book for you.
~cherylbbookblog

I just love this series! Cora is just so sweet that it seems against her nature to get involved in a murder yet she does so time and time again with success and danger.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

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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.”

Sep 262018
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so happy to share with you my thoughts on this new book from Anna Lee Huber!

Treacherous Is the Night (A Verity Kent Mystery)
Historical Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – England but Verity travels to Belgium. 
Kensington (September 25, 2018)
Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496713176
ISBN-13: 978-1496713179
Kindle ASIN: B078QSYZ3H

In 1919 England, in the shadow of The Great War, many look to the spirit world for answers. But it will take an all too earthbound intrigue to draw in the discerning heroine of Anna Lee Huber’s latest mystery . . .

It’s not that Verity Kent doesn’t sympathize with those eager to make contact with lost loved ones. After all, she once believed herself a war widow. But now that she’s discovered Sidney is very much alive, Verity is having enough trouble connecting with her estranged husband, never mind the dead. Still, at a friend’s behest, Verity attends a séance, where she encounters the man who still looms between her and Sidney—and a medium who channels a woman Verity once worked with in the Secret Service. Refusing to believe her former fellow spy is dead, Verity is determined to uncover the source of the spiritualist’s top secret revelation.

Then the medium is murdered—and Verity’s investigation is suddenly thwarted. Even Secret Service agents she once trusted turn their backs on her. Undaunted, Verity heads to war-torn Belgium, with Sidney by her side. But as they draw ever closer to the danger, Verity wonders if she’s about to learn the true meaning of till death do us part . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this follow up to This Side of Murder, Ex-Secret Service Agent Verity Kent is doing her best to reconnect with the husband she believed was killed in the war. His surprising return happened in the last book just as she started to have feelings for another man. It is difficult to curb those new feelings when the man seems to pop up everywhere as he did to a séance her friend had dragged her too.

In This Side of Murder a Quija board upset Verity greatly and this time a séance sends her into a tizzy when the medium singles her out and reveals secret information about one of the other agents Verity has worked with. Before Verity has a chance to question the medium is suspiciously killed. Unsure who she can trust Verity starts her own investigation and she and her husband Sidney travel to Belgium. They know they have been followed but she needs to find the truth no matter how dangerous her mission seems.

Verity Kent is a complex woman who has had quite a life for her young years. Working as a Secret Service Agent during the war took her to dangerous places and put her in dangerous situations. Her husband quickly sees this is not the same woman he left behind when he went into battle. She has become confident and almost fearless. It makes him see his own service in a different light too. Their relationship had become stunted because they both held everything in. While he wants to escape to the country she can’t back away from the search for her compatriot. This could be the final straw that breaks their marriage.

In addition to the relationship struggles of our protagonist, the author delivers an excellent mystery. Verity’s quest to find her cohort takes us deeply into La Dame Blanche (Belgian underground intelligence). She knows her friend needs her help and the path we follow with her is absolutely captivating and at times scary. Each twist, each turn, a breadcrumb here, a breadcrumb there, she doesn’t give up. As a reader, I enjoyed following this strong, smart. woman wherever she went.

Anna Lee Huber gives us a look at England and beyond after World War I in rich detail. She describes the places and the people so vividly. This author knows how to build a story that is full of intrigue. She has done her research and I always feel like I learn something while reading her books. The detail while great did slow down the pace just a bit in places, but when the pace picked up I was glued to the pages to the very end.

The book leaves me with a bit of a conundrum. I really like Max, the other man in Verity’s life, but I should want her to be with her husband, right. Sidney may have had his reasons for what he did, but it just toasts me that he just thinks Verity should welcome him with open arms. I am very interested to see what the author has planned for Verity.

This book can be read all on its own, but I recommend reading them in order to fully understand Verity and the situations that occur within this story.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review for This Side of Murder here.

About the Author

Anna Lee Huber is the author of historical mystery series. She received the Daphne du Maurier Award for her national bestselling Lady Darby Mysteries. She is a summa cum laude graduate from Lipscomb University in Nashville. To find out more about Anna Lee Huber visit her website 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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