Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Reviews 2016 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Flashback Friday – #Review / #Giveaway – The Bark Before Christmas by Laurien Berenson

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I was not able to review when they were first released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.


The Bark Before Christmas
(A Melanie Travis Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
18th in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Kensington (September 29, 2015)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0758284587
Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0758284594
E-Book ASIN: B00RRT30B8

 

 

 

The Bark Before Christmas by Laurien Berenson – Melanie Travis has her hands full with her two young sons, a part-time job, and a half dozen Poodles to her name. But even with the busy holiday season approaching, she still has time to sniff out a Christmastime killer…

There’s nothing lovelier than Christmas in Connecticut, but Melanie can scarcely find a moment to enjoy the festivities. With her youngest son approaching toddler-hood, she’s decided to return to her old job at Howard Academy, a posh private school attended by the children of Greenwich’s well-heeled gentry. Balancing work, motherhood, and the hectic dog show circuit takes some fancy footwork, especially when the headmaster taps her to be the chairman of the school’s Christmas Bazaar.

The Christmas Bazaar is Howard Academy’s biggest and most important fundraiser, so Melanie feels the pressure to make it a huge success. She even enlists her long-suffering sister-in-law Bertie to help with the Santa Claus and Pets Photo Booth. But everything goes awry when a prize show dog goes missing and Santa turns up dead. The dog’s owner is one of the school’s most perfectly pedigreed alums, and she enlists Melanie to help find the purloined pooch. But just as Melanie starts pawing at the truth, she digs up a sleighful of sinister secrets that leaves everyone feeling less than merry…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I jumped into this series late, reviewing Live and Let Growl in July. Since then I found this book on my TBR shelf and have been looking forward to reading it during the holidays. Again the author gives us plenty of information about the characters to make this book easily read all on its own.

Christmas for Melanie Travis also includes stepping in to chair the Christmas Bazaar fundraiser at Howard Academy. The main event at the bazaar is the Santa Claus and Pets Photo Booth. With her family’s ties to the dog show community they are able to spread the word and she hopes many will bring their show dogs and pets for a picture with Santa making the whole event a huge success. But when Santa is found dead and a pricey show dog goes missing things get out of control. The dog’s owner and her Aunt Peg hold Melanie responsible for the lost dog and demand she find it immediately. The school also hopes she finds out why and how the Santa ended up dead. This whole thing could tarnish the school’s reputation. If she expects to be able to celebrate the holidays with her family she needs to solve both parts of this case faster than Santa travels on Christmas Eve.

What a story but I have mixed emotions about the story as a whole! First I was drawn in my Melanie’s dedication to the school and her students. She is the teacher that helps the kids that get behind and need a little help or that have learning disabilities and need to learn differently. She also brings her large Standard Poodle, Faith, to class with her everyday. The dog helps her reach students in a delightful way. One of these student’s parents are splitting up and dealing with that has made things difficult for her at school. Her mother is the owner of the dog that goes missing at the bazaar. This girl’s story just ripped open my heart.

Berenson took this girl’s story at tipped it on its ear and wove a very creative mystery around it with plenty of turns. I started to figure out the clues just a bit before Melanie.

Maybe because I am new to this series Aunt Peg really made me pause. Overbearing, yes, but to me she did come off as rude and uncaring a few times. Thankfully Melanie has much more patience than I. Had my mother or aunt shown up in my home uninvited at 7 a.m. on a Sunday morning, complaining that I and my children were still in our pajamas I would have exploded. SUNDAY AT 7 A.M.! Then another time she took Melanie to task for her plans to go pick out a Christmas tree with her family instead of looking for the missing dog.

Truthfully I still don’t see how Melanie is responsible for the missing dog or the dead Santa. She was not the person that hired the Santa and it was the owner’s choice to keep the dog in a crate while she worked at the bazaar. I do admire the way Melanie handled the whole situation and the way she figured out the truth and solves the mystery.

I enjoyed reading about Melanie, Sam, Davey, Kevin, and even Aunt Peg when she isn’t ripping Melanie apart. Plus I really love reading about the dogs and the dog shows. I hope to be able to start this series from the beginning and she how they got where they are now.

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About Laurien Berenson

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

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

GIVEAWAY
I am giving away an Advance Review Copy!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads 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 January 6, 2017 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.”

Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Reviews 2016 TBR Pile Challenge Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

Flashback Friday – Poison at the PTA by Laura Alden – #Review / #Giveaway @BerkleyMystery

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I was not able to review when they were first released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.


Poison at the PTA
5th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Wisconsin
An Obsidian Mystery (February 4, 2014)
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451415073
E-Book ASIN: B00DYX9K8I

 

 

Poison at the PTA by Laura Alden – As the Tarver Elementary School PTA president, Beth Kennedy is always on the go—especially when someone puts murder on the agenda.

Beth has been running nonstop to be the best PTA president, bookstore owner, and single parent ever, which is why her friend Marina is staging an intervention. Beth needs to take a break—and that means letting someone else organize the PTA’s upcoming eightieth-anniversary event.

But when Cookie Van Doorne, one of the event speakers, dies of suspicious causes, Beth decides to make an intervention of her own to find out what happened. When she discovers that Cookie was poisoned, the next order of business is catching a killer whose break is almost over.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Beth finds it hard to say no to anything. Running her bookstore, being a single parent,  and PTA president fills most of her time but now she has added organizing the anniversary event for the PTA. Her friends see she has taken on too much and stage an intervention. From taking over meals to organizing the PTA event, they are taking over to give her a much needed break. She has a hard time accepting it but finally agrees to their plans. She has a little extra time for herself until one of the event speakers dies a few days after the program. Beth then finds herself intervening in the suspicious death investigation. Poison is found to be the murder weapon and Beth hopes to break the case before her little break from her full life ends.

I knew when I started this book it was the final book in the series, something the author didn’t know when writing it. It is set in Wisconsin and I really enjoyed the other books in  the series and for the life of me I don’t know why I didn’t read it right when it came out. A recent To-Be-Read Shelf reorganization unearthed it along with a few others I will need to read soon.

In this installment the author uses a poison each of us probably has in our homes right now, Acetaminophen. I had no idea how easy it would be to overdose on this over the counter drug. In fact because the drug is so common, suicide is even debated before the death was classified as a murder. Yes, that trigger for me again, but I knew there had to be more to the story so I plunged right on. I was not disappointed and the prospect of using something so common meant anyone could be a suspect.

I love these characters because they are so real, they remind me of people I know. They have families and common struggles and shared joys. They don’t always get along. They have their ups and their downs. And they come together to help when a friend needs them most, like they did for Beth. True friendships, a real small town feeling. The story is set in Rynwood, Wisconsin, a small town outside the capital of Madison, very much like my hometown. Beth has two children and they both have typical things happening in their lives and Beth handles both in a very common sense way eventually. Parenting is hard work and the answers are not always glaring you write in the face. I knew exactly what she was feeling after raising 4 kids of my own with very similar issues.

I think the reason I loved this series so much as it reminded me of my own life, without the murders, of course. Until my accident, I worked full time, my husband had a job where his work hours shifted every two weeks, so I felt like a single parent much of the time. I was involved with everything going on at the school, again 4 kids, each doing their own thing, all in a town of about 1000 people.

It is sad that this is my last escape to Rynwood and it is hard to say goodbye to Beth, Marina, Jenna, Oliver, Lois, Flossie and Paoze, but I know the author has moved on to other stories. Stories that I have and will enjoy in the future. She did finish the series out with a PERFECT ESCAPE!

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Laura Alden is also Laurie Cass. She co-wrote Dead, Bath, and Beyond with Lorraine Bartlett.  It was just released this month. She also writes the Bookmobile Cat Mysteries. Check out her webpage here for more info. 

I am giving away my copy of Poison at the PTA!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End December 30, 2016 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.”

Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Flashback Friday Reviews 2016 TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Flashback Friday – The Yellow Rose Beauty Shop by Carolyn Brown – #Review

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I was not able to review when they were first released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
I grabbed this book at the end of last year on Amazon and reading it helps me finally finish this year’s Alphabet Soup Challenge.

The Yellow Rose Beauty Shop
The Cadillac Series

Romantic Comedy/Women’s Fiction
3rd in Series
Setting – Texas
Montlake Romance (July 14, 2015)
Paperback: 313 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1477830604
E-Book ASIN: B00S6Z3S8C

 

 

Stella’s mama never should’ve put Stella on the church prayer list. With Stella’s twenty-seventh birthday coming up fast, Nancy desperately wants to see her daughter married and giving her grandbabies. Petitioning heaven seems like a surefire way to get it done. But in Cadillac, Texas, where the gossip’s hotter than the city’s famous jalapeño peppers, it isn’t long before all hell breaks loose.

Heather, the bossy leader of the church’s Prayer Angels, thinks a summer ball will get Stella and the town’s other single gals paired off. But nobody can tell redheaded spitfire Stella what to do—not her mama, not Heather, and not even the sexy beau Stella’s been seeing in secret. Together, Stella, her best friends Charlotte and Piper, and the loyal customers of the Yellow Rose Beauty Shop hatch a good old-fashioned scheme to sabotage the ball. But will it wreck Stella’s relationship with her mama forever? And what will the church folk think when Stella reveals the identity of her mystery man?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I did not know this was a series when I purchased it but I had no trouble following the characters or the story.

Welcome to Cadillac Texas, where everyone knows your business and gossip runs rampant. Nancy wants her daughter to get married and start giving her grandchildren. So at the weekly meeting of the “prayer angels” at her church she asks them to “prayer for my daughter, she needs a husband”. No one was more surprised that Stella when her mother’s request was posted for all the world to see on a the sign in front of the church.  Add the that, the head of the group thinks the way to help Stella is to have a gala ball and maybe she can help other singles as well. Stella and her friends Charlotte and Piper run The Yellow Rose Beauty Shop so Stella has to face the public every day. Why in the world did her mother put in this predicament? There is no way she is going along with this. She already has a man in her life, but she is not ready to make her relationship public just yet. So, she and her friends are going to do anything they can to sabotage this ball/barn dance.

This story is a HILARIOUS HOOT!

Set in a small southern town all the characters are very realistic. They could be in a small town anywhere with the exception of the dialogue that I read hearing a bit of southern twang. There is a bit of swearing, the sh*t word is used frequently but it fits with the characters and the story.

Heather, the head of the “prayer angels” really doesn’t like Nancy or Stella. She has dreams way beyond Cadillac and she will use just about anyone and anything to make her dream come true. Stella and  Nancy are the typical mother and daughter, but Stella is not ready to forgive and forget the position her mother has put her in. Agnes Flynn, is a redhead like Stella, and at 80 years old she still likes to be right in the mix of all the drama especially if she is the one creating it. Some of her one-liners had me laughing out loud. Stella, Charlotte, Piper, Nancy and Agnes compare themselves to the characters in Steel Magnolias and that hits the nail right on the head.

At the heart this is a story of friendship and the friend’s romances and family life. A funny and heartwarming story with some fun and sassy characters set in the hotter than hot Cadillac Texas right in the middle of the summer. With the temp getting lower and lower here in Wisconsin, I enjoyed the virtual heat and always love a happy ending.

This is my first Carolyn Brown story but it definitely will not be my last. I have already ordered The Blue-Ribbon Jalapeño Society Jubilee, book 1 in this series. 

 

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

You can find out more about Carolyn Brown and her books on her webpage here.

You can find more of Carolyn Brown’s books on Amazon here.

I had planned to offer a giveaway of this book, but the paperback copy I ordered has not yet arrived. I will try to give a copy away at the end of the month during my Blogoversary Celebration.

This book was from my private collection.

Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Reviews 2016 TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Flashback Friday – Claws For Alarm by T. C. LoTempio – #Review / #Giveaway

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I was not able to review when they were first released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

claws-for-alarm
Claws for Alarm:
A Nick and Nora Mystery

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – California
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (November 3, 2015)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425270219
E-Book ASIN: B00TY3ZKGI
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 
 
 
 
 
 

“The purrfect sleuthy duo”* is back, and this time murder hits close to home for Nora Charles and her partner Nick, a stealthy little feline gumshoe groomed to solve a shocking crime.

Since inheriting her mother’s sandwich shop, Nora Charles is more about hot grilled paninis than cold-blooded murder—until her sister Lacey is arrested. The victim, an esteemed art collector and Lacey’s bullying professor, was stabbed in the heart. Apparently, all over a lousy grade.

Off campus, things were just as dicey. The prof had an ex with secrets, a trophy wife set to inherit a fortune in masterworks, and a scorned student mistress. Going undercover, Nora realizes that investigating this crime is the biggest test of her sleuthing career. Because if she fails, even Nick’s animal instinct won’t be enough to rescue Lacey from a perfectly executed framing.

INCLUDES DELICIOUS SANDWICH RECIPES

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I thoroughly enjoy this author’s twist on The Thin Man as the theme for her mysteries.  In this case Nora is joined by a lovable cat named Nick and I believe there is more to this cat than just being lovable, he is a very special cat. A cat very savvy in figuring out clues and presenting them in very clear ways for Nora to understand.

In this 2nd installment of the series, Nora receives a call from her aunt telling her that her sister Lacey is in big trouble. One of her professors has been killed and Lacey was seen standing over his body with the murder weapon in her hand right before she fled the scene. The man wasn’t well liked and there have to be many more suspects. Nora and Nick set out to get their claws into the real killer and get her sister out of jail.

The author has given her readers another strong mystery to solve and thankfully Nick is there to move both the reader and Nora down the right path because there are twists that had us scratching our heads but later made perfect sense. She is also still trying to find out what happened to Nick the cat’s former owner Nick the private investigator. There are a couple of interesting developments.

All the characters are well developed including a man from Nora’s past and a very handsome FBI agent.  They do their best to keep Nora at her sandwich shop and out of their investigations but she is a pretty stubborn woman when she sets her mind on something, especially when it comes to trying to save her sister.

Speaking of the sandwich shop, there are recipes at the end of the story. You may want to start there and make yourself a sandwich before you begin reading. Sandwiches are described within the pages with their clever and catchy names. They will have your stomach growling and your mouth watching so it is better too be prepared than having to put the book down for a grocery run or a trip to the kitchen.

Great characters and a great plot means this book is a perfect escape!

I need to mention that you do not need to know anything about the movies or the original story by Dashiell Hammett to enjoy this story, but if you do this story is a must read. I used to watch the movies with my mom way back when. This story and the one before always bring up those fond memories. You can probably catch them somewhere on television if you want to check them out.  Also the next book in this series, Crime and Catnip hits store shelves December 6.

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

fred-profile

About the Author…..

While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic. She (and ROCCO, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime – and in Spring 2017, the new CAT RESCUE mysteries from Crooked Lane! She, Rocco and company make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York. Catch up with them at www.tclotempio.com and www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com

 

New Series coming in March 2017

GIVEAWAY
I am giving away my review copy!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End December 16, 2016 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.”

Posted in Cloak and Dagger Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Reviews 2016 TBR Pile Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

Flashback Friday – Dead Insider by Victoria Houston – #Review / #Giveaway

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
Did a little rearranging on my bookshelves last week and was so excited I found this book I read it before I read the book for yesterday’s post. 🙂

dead-insider
Dead Insider (Loon Lake Mystery)
13th in Series
Mystery
Setting – Wisconsin
Tyrus Books (June 18, 2013)
Paperback: 208 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1440533563
E-Book ASIN: B00CA9DKE2
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

In the midst of a catastrophic August rainstorm, a grisly discovery shatters the serenity of a summer evening in northern Wisconsin. Moving quickly to prevent a panic among tourists, Loon Lake Police Chief Lewellyn Ferris enlists the forensic and interrogation skills of her close friend and fellow fly fisherman, the retired dentist “Doc” Osborne. Within hours of launching their investigation, they find themselves faced with a national media circus as Loon Lake becomes the focus of a murderous scenario that links the murder to the race for the U.S. Senate by a woman who is heir to a Northwoods fortune and other, less savory, family traditions.

In the meantime, Doc Osborne’s eldest daughter, Mallory, enters into a relationship that may put her life at risk–unless her father and Chief Ferris can find the killer stalking the residents of Loon Lake.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Reading this after the crazy political season we just experienced seemed fitting.

It is raining cats and dogs in Look Lake. Roads and fields are flooding and while blocking vehicles from traveling through the water something awful is found floating now a new rainfall river. The findings lead to a woman running for the U.S. Senate. Loon Lake Police Chief Lewellyn Ferris has her hands full. Thankfully her friends and officers are there to help her pull all the pieces of this terrible murder investigation together.

Fly fisherwoman Lew Ferris has caught a huge case and relies on the resources available to her to solve it. I had my main suspect but the twisted plot made the conclusion and the motive totally surprising.  What followed was a tragic tale that left me almost visibly shaking. The pain felt by the killer’s mother just broke my heart.

Ms. Houston dug deep for this one. The laid back community of Loon Lake was not only rocked by the flooding but a terrible murder. People came together to help with the case and handle the media because tourism in the bread and butter of this community. I felt a plethora of emotions as the story continued. How could something so awful happen in this little town?

I enjoy these characters and admire the soothing calm they find standing in a lake or river casting their line time and time again. Sometimes never catching a thing. It’s in those places Lew and Doc can order their thoughts and break away from the stress and trauma of the case. I can see their faces so clearly. My grandfather was a fisherman and his perfect place to relax was in his little boat out on the water with a fishing pole in his hands. He never had the stress of a murder to solve but his life wasn’t easy. I loved going out in his boat with him. Some days we caught a lot of fish and some days we just caught some sun and had good conversation, me the youngster not even in my teens and him sharing his life’s stories with me. The look on his face was just peaceful out on the water. Times I will never forget. The stories in this series touch my heart because of my relationship with him. Doc Osbourne’s thinking and temperament remind me so much of the wonderful fisherman in my life. Lew is a strong woman in a top position and she takes her job seriously. Together they make a great team.

Sadly, these little vacations north to Loon Lake are way too short. I hope to return again soon. Not so much for the mysteries, although those are good, but for the serenity outside of the drama. Both grab a hold and don’t let go.

perfect 2016

 

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

To find out more bout Victoria Houston visit her webpage here.

GIVEAWAY
I am giving away my signed copy!
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End December 2, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

This book was from my private collection.

Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Reviews 2016 TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Flashback Friday – Crowned and Moldering by Kate Carlisle – #Review / #Giveaway – @BerkleyMystery

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

When I say “screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf” the one actually fell right off the shelf and into my hand last weekend. I am glad it did.

crowned-and-moldering
Crowned and Moldering: A Fixer-Upper Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting- California
An Obsidian Mystery (November 3, 2015)
Published by New American Library
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451469212

E-Book – ASIN: B00S75OLAA
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

In the New York Times bestselling Fixer-Upper mysteries, contractor Shannon Hammer can repair even the most distressed building. But clearing out the cobwebs from her current project may distress her… to death.

When Mac Sullivan—famous thriller writer and Shannon’s new beau—first moved to Lighthouse Cove, California, he bought the historic lighthouse mansion that the town is named after. Mac needs help cleaning up the place, and Shannon is more than happy to get her handywoman hands on the run-down Victorian.

But during demolition, a grisly discovery is made among the debris—the bones of a teenage girl who went missing fifteen years ago. Locals had always assumed Lily Brogan ran away from her difficult life, but it seems her troubles followed her to the grave. If Shannon has any chance of getting her renovation back on track, she’ll need to tackle the cold case. But with new suspects coming out of the woodwork every day, she’ll have to be careful to pry the right secrets and clues from the poor girl’s problematic past…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Kate Carlisle has laid out the blueprint for another perfect escape.

Mac Sullivan has purchased what I would call my dream home. The many rooms, the hiding holes, the staircase, and the view. I would love to own a home like that. I would even take finding the dead body as long as it was someone I didn’t know 🙂 The author’s attention to detail is just amazing. She knows how to set the scene with words so we can see everything so clearly.

The plot is very clever, a teenage girl who everyone thought had run away, found in a house so nearby. Her brother never gave up trying to find her and it was heartbreaking to read his feelings and thoughts when she is found. Shannon, our fantastic protag really wants to get at her renovation but first she needs to know what happened in this house 15 years age. There seems to be suspects galore.

Mac and Shannon are growing closer but she still is holding back. A visitor to Lighthouse Cove sheds new light on Mac’s life and his family. Another former resident returns to drum up trouble and Shannon is blessed to have Mac, her friends and family to lean on.

Ms. Carlisle has built a wonderful series, in her Fixer-Upper Mysteries. I have loved everyone and look forward to reading Deck the Hallways as I get ready for the holiday season.

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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


Also by Kate Carlisle

GIVEAWAY
I am giving away my review copy!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End November 25, 2016 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.”

Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Reviews 2016 What's In A Name Challenge Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

Flashback Friday – Five Alarm Fudge by Christine DeSmet – #Review / #Giveaway – @BerkleyMystery

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
Set in Wisconsin, so close I wish I could visit today!!

five-alarm-fudge
Five-Alarm Fudge: A Fudge Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
An Obsidian Mystery (April 7, 2015)
Published by New American Library
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451416490
E-Book ASIN: B00MNN7GEK
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

In the newest Fudge Shop Mystery from the national bestselling author of Hot Fudge Frame-Up, Ava Oosterling is after a recipe to kill for…

It’s autumn in Fishers’ Harbor, Wisconsin, and fudge shop owner Ava Oosterling is busy preparing for the harvest festival and a visit from some royal relatives who live in Belgium. According to Ava’s grandpa, a famous divinity fudge recipe from the 1860s is hidden somewhere in a local historical church—a treat fit for a prince.

But when a fire in the church reveals the body of a murdered man, it looks like someone is willing to go to any length to possess the valuable secret to the divinity fudge. As Ava searches for the killer—and the recipe—she could use a little divine intervention, because she may have bitten off more than she can chew…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

There is something to do in Door County, Wisconsin year round but the fall when the leaves are changing is one of my favorite times.

In the fictional Fishers’ Harbor everyone is getting  ready for the Harvest Festival and this year is extra special because some royal relatives are coming to town. Ava’S grandfather has promised the special guestS some Divinity Fudge made from a very old recipe. The problem is no one has the recipe but he believes it is hidden in an old church, so Ava and her friends are frantically searching every nook and cranny.  There search is thwarted when a dead body is found and the church becomes a crime scene.

This was another fun mystery from this author. As she describes places I have actually visited it just warms my heart. If you haven’t visited Door County, don’t worry her descriptions will paint vivid pictures in your mind. From Ava’s roadside stand to Oosterlings’ Live Bait, Bobbers & Belgian Fudge & Beer  to the restaurant in Sister’s Bay where goats graze on the roof from May through October you will be taken there and maybe will want to plan a vacation to really visit not only the places but the fudge and the cherries and all the other good things the area has to offer.

The fictional place has had several murders of late. The victim this time is a scientist doing research about chemicals being used in the fields that may be migrating to organic fields, gardens and into the water. He is found dead in a church and there are plenty of suspects. Was it someone searching for the recipe? or did someone else decide this man had to die? The author gives us a plethora of twists and turns that kept me guessing right up until the end. She also packed in some very scary scenes, including a fire that almost brought tears to my eyes.

I love the characters Ms. DeSmet has created. A family that pulls together not only in good times but in stressful times. Ava is a great protagonist, her grandparents help her run the fudge and bait shop with 1 other employee. Of course the ladies from the church are always ready to step in at a moment’s notice. Ava’s parents have a dairy farm so she has fresh ingredients for her fudge. The entire cast of characters are all unique and very engaging.

Just a word of warning, you will be craving fudge, fudge and more fudge while you are reading this story. Thankfully there are recipes in the back of the book including the newest Fairy Tale Fudge, Red Riding Hood Fairy Tale Fudge to be exact.

Christine DeSmet packs her mysteries full of wonderful characters, perfect amounts of humor and romance, all set in a fantastic place. The plot moves quickly and the end comes much too soon. These virtual escapes just make me want more. I hope there is another Fudge Shop Mystery headed my way soon, because you can never have too much fudge… and fudge is even more delectable wrapped with mystery and intrigue.

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Christine DeSmet author picAbout The Author
Christine DeSmet writes the Fudge Shop Mystery Series (Penguin Random House/NAL/Obsidian). She’s also an award-winning scriptwriter and teaches writing at University of Wisconsin-Madison Continuing Studies where she directs the annual June Write-by-the-Lake Writer’s Workshop & Retreat. You can find her on Facebook or at her website, www.ChristineDeSmet.com.

GIVEAWAY
I am giving away my review copy!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End November 18, 2016 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.”

Posted in Crafty Cozy Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Reviews 2016 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Flashback Friday – A Likely Story by Jenn McKinlay – #Review / #Giveaway

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

This book has been on my shelf waiting all year.
In fact the paperback edition comes out next week.

a-likely-story

A Likely Story (A Library Lover’s Mystery)
6th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Connecticut
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (November 3, 2015)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425260746
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages – (November 1, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-1101986837
E-Book ASIN: B00SI026IS
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

 

NOT HIS BROTHER’S KEEPER

Delivering books to the housebound residents of the Thumb Islands, just a short boat ride from the town of Briar Creek, library director Lindsey Norris has befriended two elderly brothers, Stewart and Peter Rosen. She enjoys visiting them in their treasure-filled, ramshackle Victorian on Star Island until she discovers that Peter has been killed and Stewart is missing. Now she’s determined to solve a murder and find Stewart before he suffers his brother’s fate.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

An excellent story.

This time Jenn McKinlay takes us to a little island off the coast to meet 2 elderly brothers, one like me spends his days in a wheelchair. Sully takes Lindsey there in his water taxi to deliver books. Stewart, the older brother, always meets them on the dock. She has never ventured beyond there to the house until now. She and Sully approach the old house carefully because they have been warned the place is booby-trapped to keep away unwanted visitors. They immediately know something is wrong when they reach the porch and Stewart has still not appeared. What they find into addition to the traps deterring their entrance is a house full of everything you can think of, the brothers are major hoarders. They make their way through the small open paths to find Peter, the younger brother dead. Stewart is nowhere to be found. They call the police but Lindsey knows she needs to find Stewart and find the killer.

This was a bendy twisty mystery that could have gone several ways and included more suspects than I at first imagined. It was very well plotted and written and kept this reader very engaged.

In addition to the mystery we have the love triangle of Lindsey, Sully and Robbie. I was feeling this was going the way I wanted and would be wrapping up, but then, on the last page of the story, just one word through a monkey wrench into the saga which will now continue on.

I did enjoy children’s librarian Beth stepping beyond her comfort zone and meeting someone new. I also enjoyed Ms. Cole’s relationship with town historian Milton Duffy as well. It had a few tense moments. Stewart Rosen is also a very interesting character. His family, one of the first in the area, gave some history to the story. Of course, the crafternooners were back sticking their noses into everything.

Jenn McKinlay is an expert of blending a suspenseful mystery with the proper amounts of humor and romance. She always leaves us wanting more, ready to jump into the next Library Lover’s Mystery. She didn’t make us wait long this time as there is a short story, A Unlikely Meeting, at the end of this book. No, the romantic cliffhanger was not addressed but she does introduce us to a new Briar Creek resident and the lovable Heathcliff plays a major role.

Because I was late reading this installment, my wait to read the next is quite short.  Better Late Than Never comes out November 1! 

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Find out all about Jenn McKinlay and her books on her webpage here.

Library Lover’s Mysteries

Cupcake Bakery Mysteries


Hat Shop Mysteries

GIVEAWAY
I am giving away my hardcover review copy and
the publisher is giving away 1 paperback copy!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End November 11, 2016 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.”

Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Reviews 2016 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Flashback Friday – X-Dames by J.J. Henderson – #Review / #Giveaway

x-dames
X Dames: A Lucy Ripken Mystery
International Mystery & Crime
*2nd in Series
Self Published
Setting – California/Mexico/New York
Paperback: 148 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1533562982
E-Book ASIN: B015YOQZUA
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An old friend calls Lucy Ripken out of the blue to offer her a job writing for a new reality TV show: The X-Dames, an all-female extreme sports competition, starting with a surfing contest. Lucy jumps at the chance—the pay is great and means she gets to travel down to the colorful little beach town of Sayulita and get out on the waves again.

While scouting the talent, Lucy makes a friend, an impulsively charismatic young surfer with a gift for both painting and self-destruction named Marcia. Winning the competition means she might be able to pay for art school… or rehab. Either way, it’s a win.

But things take a sudden, nasty turn, when one of the contestants turns up dead. It looks like an accident, but Lucy’s seen that movie before and suspects it was only made to look that way. One drugged drink later, and Lucy’s not only sure it was murder, she’s pretty sure she’s gonna be next.

With her reality show suddenly skewing less X-Games and more X-Files, Lucy and Marcia hit the beach to save lives, stop bad guys, and maybe work on a tan.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

While Lucy is an amateur sleuth, this is not a cozy mystery. The book has explicit language and adult themes.

Lucy Ripken heads back to Mexico after a brief stop in California with the crew of a new television reality show featuring female extreme sports competitors. The first episode covers some extreme surfing, and when one contestants dies the first day of filming Lucy knows it wasn’t any accident. With a little help from her friends she is going to prove that. While she is in Mexico, her landlord is trying to get her booted from her rent control apartment and her boyfriend is in Florida on his own adventure.

I know some sites show this as the 3rd book in the series and others show it as the 2nd. The first book was not available so I jumped in with Mexican Booty last week and this one this week. They do read well as stand alone but in this installment there were more references to things I assume happened in book 1 but the author gives us plenty of background to keep us in the loop, but it does make me wish I could read book 1.

Again J.J. Henderson pack a lot into these 150 pages. We are getting to know Lucy Ripken a little better but I think we have just scratched the surface. I love that she gets a call and goes where the job is and this time it sounds like a great opportunity and very well paying.  I also liked the reality show aspect, you know when you bring a group of people together vying for a prize there is going to be drama. Unfortunately this time the drama included murder and the more Lucy digs the more suspects come to light. I was totally caught by surprise how everything connected.

I have started to get invested in these characters and the author surrounds them in a good mystery. I like that we meet new characters too in each installment. I also enjoy the way he describes the setting and action. Excellent for the reader to visualize without getting too wordy.

 I originally grabbed this book when it was free and I needed n “X” book for my Alphabet Soup Challenge. I am glad I decided to read the one before this one because now I want to read them all. I have added the rest of the series to my wish list.

enjoyable 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out more about author J.J. Henderson on his webpage here.

*The book was from my private collection.

GIVEAWAY

I am giving away 1 e-copy of your choice in this series,
delivered directly from Amazon! 

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End November 4, 2016 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

Posted in Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Literary Escapes Reviews 2016 TBR Pile Challenge

Flashback Friday – Mexican Booty by J.J. Henderson – #Review

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

I had purchased the 2nd book in this series X-Dames, for my Alphabet Soup Challenge. Since I recently read a series starting with the 2nd book and regretted it I decided to purchase this one to read first. There was another book listed as 1st in the series on Amazon and GoodReads from several years ago but that title has been taken down.

mexican-booty

Mexican Booty: A Lucy Ripken Mystery
1st in Series
International Mystery & Crime
Explicit Language
Setting – New York/New Mexico/Mexico
Self Published (September 10, 2015)
Paperback: 156 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1533562760
E-Book ASIN: B0157QLY06
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

Lucy Ripken is 30-something, single, and struggling to make it as a photographer in New York City.

Desperate to keep the roof over her head and caffeine in her cup, she takes a job on the Upper East Side, photographing some mind-bogglingly expensive pre-Colombian sculptures. But something is off about the woman she’s working for, and something is off with the pieces she’s photographing.

Overpaid and under stimulated, Lucy decides to bite the suspicious hand that feeds, travelling first to Santa Fe, and then to Mexico to unravel the mystery. Her part time paramour Harold Ipswich might have been able to help, but he’s fallen off the wagon and into a bottle, and much like his drink of choice, he and Lucy are on the rocks.

No man, no problem, though, as Lucy relies on her best friend, the recently engaged (but always up for adventure) Rosa. They’ve got spunk, and they’ve got style, but spunk and style only take you so far when you’re neck deep in shark infested waters, metaphorically… and literally, too. Can Lucy and Rosa make it through the choppy seas of conspiracy, betrayal, and apex aquatic predators?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I like Lucy Ripken, she is down but she is not out when she gets the call to photograph some Pre-Colombian pieces for a gallery catalog. When a friend she brings along to the shoot tells her the pieces are fake and the gallery owner assures her they are not she feels there is a story there. She pitches the story and gets funding to research the pieces. She jets off to Santa Fe and Mexico to find the truth never realizing the danger she has put herself in.

The author gives in depth and colorful descriptions of every place Lucy travels. It was so easy to picture them vividly. From beauty to ruins, each was crystal clear.

Lucy does have a friend in Santa Fe, Rosa, in fact Rosa’s fiancee recommended Lucy for the job at the gallery. Rosa along with a pre-Columbian collector go with Lucy to Mexico where we are introduced to more interesting characters. All these characters seem to be portrayed realistically, or at least realistic enough for fiction or television. The dialog between the characters is very well written.

This is a novella at 156 pages and an extremely fast read. The plot is intense but but there is a bit of humor in places too. The pages were turning very rapidly and I was surprised at how quickly we reached the end. I am ready for another Lucy Ripken adventure and I already have the next book ready to go on my Kindle.

enjoyable 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out more about author J.J. Henderson on his webpage here.

Watch for a giveaway next week when I review book #2.

*The book was from my private collection.