Posted in 2022 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Heather Day Gilbert – Author of Roast Date (Barks & Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery) #Review / #Giveaway @heatherdgilbert #GreatEscapesBookTour


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!


It is my pleasure to welcome Heather Day Gilbert
to Escape With Dollycas today!

Hi Heather.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a West Virginia born-and-bred author, and I set my Barks & Beans Cafe series in the nearby city of Lewisburg. I’ve been married for 25 years to a handsome redhead, which is why you’ll see redheads popping up in all of my books. 😉

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

-I’m one of those scary Enneagram 8s. (We’re not as bad as we seem–just protective!)

-Besides mysteries, I also write Viking historical novels, since I’m allegedly related to Eirik the Red. I was actually interviewed about my main Viking character (based on a real Viking woman) on the upcoming Templars show (Episode 4) that will be streaming next year on Amazon Prime. This is so cool!

-One of my fave foods is Jimmy John’s subs, and I can put them away, let me tell you.

What books/authors have most inspired you?

Hands down, it would have to be Agatha Christie. I named my dog Agatha. 😉 She’s my fave comfort-read author, and I love her wit.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I spend 1-2 days plotting my entire mystery in a synopsis format, but that doesn’t mean I’ll strictly stick to it. I look up terminology and details as I go along, since I write contemporary mysteries (trust me, you do NOT want to see my Google search bar!)

Do you ever suffer from Writer’s Block?

I feel like I don’t have time for it, because I’m always on a deadline. I’m the kind of person who just sits down and writes while I watch the story come to life in my head.

What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?

I’ve been published since 2013, and I’ve had 5 agents along the way. It takes a lot of resilience and the ability to get back to your feet even when you feel your dreams have been repeatedly smashed to the ground. Being strong-willed certainly doesn’t hurt, but you also have to know your goals and pursue them relentlessly.

I always tell new writers they have to believe in their writing more than anyone else, enough to wholeheartedly pursue it and promote it, because sometimes even the people who are supposed to be in your corner will let you down (and you’ll have to say no to projects that don’t line up with your values). You have to believe your writing will bring value into the world.

When you are not writing what do you like to do?

I enjoy playing video games, speed walking, reading twisty books, and hanging out with my husband and four children.

If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

Norway and Iceland, to see the Viking museums

What is next on the horizon for you?

Editing book 2 in my co-written Christian Viking historical series (releasing in June 2023), writing a secret project under a pen name, and working on a Christian YA novel later this year. Then I’ll return to my Barks & Beans Cafe series, and book 8 will likely release by the end of 2023. For those wondering, I have ten books planned in the series (unless sales skyrocket, at which point I’d consider more. LOL!). I bolded that, not Heather 🙂 

Thank you Heather for visiting today. 

Now keep reading for my thoughts about Roast Date.

 

About Roast Date


Roast Date (Barks & Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – West Virginia
WoodHaven Press (December 20, 2022)
Number of Pages ~250
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09Z8NYHX9

BOOK SEVEN in the bestselling BARKS & BEANS CAFE cozy mystery series!!

Welcome to the Barks & Beans Cafe, a quaint place where folks pet shelter dogs while enjoying a cup of java…and where murder sometimes pays a visit.

After much cajoling, Macy gives in to her neighbor, Vera, and agrees to come to her book club’s Christmas party so she can share about the cafe. While public speaking isn’t Macy’s thing, she wants to brighten Vera’s lonely holiday season…and she can sell a little house blend on the side.

When a lively book discussion spirals into a public roast of the mayor—who happens to be sitting in their midst—things get uncomfortable. Soon afterward, the mayor shows up dead in Vera’s bathroom, and no amount of gingerbread cookies or eggnog can restore Vera to the club’s good graces. ‘Tis the season for Macy to find the murderer, or else Vera might be taking a long winter’s nap in a jail cell.

Join siblings Macy and Bo Hatfield as they sniff out crimes in their hometown…with plenty of dogs along for the ride! The Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series features a small town, an amateur sleuth, and no swearing or graphic scenes.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Macy and her brother Bo Hatfield own and operate the Barks & Beans Cafe and are decking it out for the holidays. It is a place where you can stop in for a cup of coffee and fall in love with a dog from the local shelter and have a new pet just in time for Christmas. You may also catch a glimpse of Macy’s lovable Great Dane, Coal.

Vera has wanted to have Macy speak at her book club for a while and Macy has finally agreed to attend the club’s Christmas party. A little nervous Macy knows it is important to Vera that she be there and Bo will be happy if she sells some of their house blend.

Macy’s part of the evening goes well but the book discussion gets out of hand with people turning it into a roast of the mayor. Mayor Goldie Keaton was leading the discussion but left the room rather than engage with the group’s innuendos. Sadly she is later found dead in the bathroom. The police arrive and Macy is shocked that Vera is at the top of their list of suspects.  She is not going to let her go down for someone else’s crime. She intends to find the merry murderer before Santa Claus comes to town.


I really enjoy the relationship Macy has built with her neighbor Vera. Bo is right there to help her out too which is good because she is going to need both of them in her corner to get her out of this mess. We learn a lot more about Vera in this story. I liked that she became the central character but not that she was the prime suspect. I was unsure about one thing Macy was doing but was so happy when it worked out.

Bo and Summer’s relationship is moving along nicely as is the relationship between Macy and Titan. These core characters are so well-crafted and continue to develop in each new installment of this series. They are surrounded by great secondary characters like Vera, baristas Milo and Bristol, and Bristol’s mom Della. We meet some quirky new characters as well. And I can’t forget Macy’s Great Dane Coal, Bo’s kitty, Stormy, and Vera’s dog Waffles.

The murder investigation had epic twists and the story had a very rapid pace. I started reading and just couldn’t stop. I always enjoy tagging along with Macy as she follows each clue and tries to make all the clues fit together. A second death turned things a little inside out but Macy stuck with it until she literally faced the killer. I was startled at this reveal and lost my breath for a moment as the exciting saga played out.

What brings me the most joy when reading books in this series is the relationship between Macy and Bo. Working with family doesn’t always work out but Macy and Bo make it work and it seems almost effortless. They have family traditions that I love. They share secrets and have each other’s back at all times. They have a strong bond that can’t be broken. I really appreciate the way the author has written these characters and the situations she puts them in and am excited to see what she has in store for them next.

Roast Date is the seventh book in this wonderful series. We are left with a bit of a cliffhanger at the end and there are some exciting things set to happen too. I really wish the next book was right around the corner but it, Shade Grown, won’t be released until next December. I have trust and faith in Heather Day Gilbert that the wait will be worth it. But I am going to miss these characters, human, canine, and feline.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Heather Day Gilbert

Award-winning novelist Heather Day Gilbert enjoys writing mysteries and Viking historicals. She brings authentic family relationships to the page, and she particularly delights in heroines who take a stand to protect those they love. Avid readers say Heather’s realistic characters—no matter what century—feel like best friends. When she’s not plotting stories, this native West Virginian can often be found hanging out with her husband and four children, playing video games, or reading Agatha Christie novels.

Author Links – Website – Facebook Author Page  – Bookbub  – Goodreads

Twitter@heatherdgilbert    Instagram: @heatherdaygilbert

Purchase Link –

Amazon 

The Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series in order:
Book 1: No Filter
Book 2: Iced Over
Book 3: Fair Trade
Book 4: Spilled Milk
Book 5: Trouble Brewing
Book 6: Cold Drip
Book 7: Roast Date



Coming December 11, 2023

 

 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
December 19 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 19 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
December 19 – Reading Is My SuperPower – SPOTLIGHT
December 20 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 20 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
December 20 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 20 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
December 21 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
December 21 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 21 – Lady Hawkeye – AUTHOR GUEST POST
December 21 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 22 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 22 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 22 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
December 22 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT
December 23 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
December 23 – The Book Diva’s Reads – AUTHOR GUEST POST
December 23 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT
December 23 – MJB Reviewers – 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.”

Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Spotlights

The Case of the Parrot Loving Professor by Debbie De Louise #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @Deblibrarian


The Case of the Parrot Loving Professor
by Debbie De Louise

About The Case of the Parrot Loving Professor


The Case of the Parrot Loving Professor
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Buttercup Bend, a fictional town in the Catskills, New York
Next Chapter Publishing (November 6, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 290 pages
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8362515294
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0BLMZ5XG9

Cathy Carter knew that returning to college would be tough, but she never expected it would involve finding her anthropology professor’s dead body.

There are no shortages of suspects in Dr. Bodkin’s murder. Besides his three ex-wives and estranged son and daughter, there are also the members of the Talking Parrots Club, a group of four parrot enthusiasts, of which he was the president and founder.

As Cathy delves into Bodkin’s murder, she discovers a relationship between her teacher and the Mennonite family from whom she purchased the farmland for her new pet rescue center. She and her friend Nancy, now employed at a detective agency, work together to help Detective Hunt and Sheriff Miller solve the crime.

Great Escapes Praise for The Case of the Parrot Loving Professor
by Debbie De Louise

I recommend THE CASE OF THE PARROT LOVING PROFESSOR to cozy mystery readers, especially those that enjoy stories featuring pets or settings in upstate New York.
~Guatemala Paula Loves to Read

If you’re a fan of cozy mysteries set in a small town with an amateur sleuth or two, as clues are scattered throughout to figure out whodunnit, give the Buttercup Bend Mysteries a try.
~Novels Alive

 

About Debbie De Louise

Debbie De Louise is a reference librarian at a public library. She’s the author of 14 novels including the six books of the Cobble Cove cozy mystery series featuring Alicia the librarian and Sneaky, the library cat, and the new Buttercup Bend cozy mysteries featuring Cathy Carter, the owner of a pet cemetery and rescue center. Debbie’s other books include standalone mysteries, a paranormal romance, a time-travel novel, and a collection of cat poems. She also writes articles for Catster.com and has published dozens of short stories and poems in anthologies. She’s a member of the Cat Writers’ Association, Sisters-in-Crime, International Thriller Writers, and the Long Island Authors Group. She lives on Long Island with her husband, daughter, and two cats. Learn more about her and her books by visiting https://debbiedelouise.com.

Author Links
Website/Blog/Newsletter Sign-Up    Facebook    Twitter     Goodreads   Amazon Author Page   All Author    Instagram   Linkedin    Bookbub    Pinterest    
Debbie’s Character’s Chat Group
    
Sneaky the Library Cat’s blog

Purchase Links

AmazonBooks2Read

Also by Debbie De Louise



Find more books by Debbie here.

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
December 12 – Guatemala Paula Loves to Read – REVIEW
December 12 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 13 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
December 13 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST 
December 13 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 14 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 14 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT
December 14 – Bootsie’s Book Nook – SPOTLIGHT
December 15 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
December 15 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
December 16 – Novels Alive – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT
December 16 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT
December 17 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 17 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
December 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
December 18 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 18 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT

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Click Here to Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Dead Even (A Mattie Winston Mystery) by Annelise Ryan #Review / #Giveaway @ryan_annelise

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.

Dead Even (A Mattie Winston Mystery)
Cozy/Hard-Boiled Mystery
11th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington; First Edition (March 30, 2021)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496722574
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496722577
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08CBMX13V

In Sorenson, Wisconsin, a local bigshot is found with a pool cue through the heart—and Mattie Winston must untangle a web of lies to sink a killer . . .
 
In her previous career as a nurse, Mattie Winston’s job was to keep death at bay. Now, as a medicolegal investigator, she’s required to study death intimately—to figure out causes and timing, and help deduce whether it was natural or suspicious.

In the case of Montgomery “Monty” Dixon, a well-to-do Realtor, there can be little doubt: Broken pool cues do not embed themselves. Monty’s body is found in the game room of his lavish house, the walls adorned with photos of Monty and various celebrities. But as Mattie and husband Steve Hurley, a homicide detective, both know, money and connections can’t protect anyone from a killer.

The first suspect is Monty’s wife, Summer, who claims to have been at a cooking class at the time. When that alibi is served up as a fake, Summer moves to the top of the suspects list, but is soon joined by Monty’s ne’er-do-well son, Sawyer, who has racked up gambling debts he hoped his dad would pay off. Monty’s twin brother is engaging in shady financial deals. An affair, a Ponzi scheme, a disputed inheritance . . . there are as many motives as suspects, and soon Mattie and Hurley have turned up other, possibly related deaths.

Balancing a high-profile case with the demands of their increasingly stressful household isn’t easy. It’ll take all of Mattie’s skill—along with a lucky break or two—to stop a killer from racking up another victim . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Death by Pool Cue! You don’t see that every day. But that is the case medicolegal investigator, Mattie Winston and her husband Detective Steve Hurley are tasked with. Prominent Realtor, Montgomery “Monty” Dixon has been taken down by someone he had to have known. Was it his wife, Summer? His son, Sawyer? His twin brother? A disgruntled employee? A client not happy with their real estate deal? Or was someone else trying to get Dead Even? Hurley and Mattie are hot on the case as they juggle their hectic home life. Will Mattie catch the killer? Or will she be the next victim?


I love this series and these characters.

The author has created such fantastic genuine characters. Mattie has grown leaps and bounds over these 12 books. She is still the same clutzy self she has been since Book 1 and I love that. She has always made me laugh out loud and is truly my favorite fictional character of all time. Hurley is her perfect man. They have worked through so much over the years and always come out stronger. Their son Matthew is such a cool kid. He immediately stole my heart. His big sister Emily has been through some tough things but has emerged as such a strong young woman. Dom and Iggy are the best supporting characters. They always have Mattie’s back. Her sister, Desi, and her husband Lucien keep things interesting, especially with the girl’s Dad back in town and Lucien representing the suspects in Mattie’s cases.

Again, Ms. Ryan has wrapped her characters in a complicated mystery with a lot of moving parts. Mattie knows all the suspects are lying and she just keeps tugging one thread after another while Hurley works the case on his end. I love the trust they have in each other. They come up with theories and dig some more. They have no problem bringing suspects into “The Hole” to try to get to the truth. It is so much fun to follow all the breadcrumbs with them right up to the big reveal. I truly was at the edge of my seat. I was so impressed with Mattie. I was cheering and crying. Knowing this is probably the last book in the series, I was afraid about how the book was going to end.

The author uses the final chapter to put a lid on the mystery answering all the questions and presenting the motives and how they snowballed. She also leaves the characters in a very good place. The one thing she doesn’t do is slam the door completely shut on future stories. I hope someday down the road Mattie jumps into Annelise’s brain and pokes at her a lot to pick up the saga of Mattie and Hurley again. As I said, I love these characters, they are like old friends that I could make a short trip up the highway and visit again and again.

Thank you, Ms. Ryan. I found this series late in the game but once I started I was hooked. I really enjoy the humor you infuse into each story while giving us a fabulous mystery to escape into. I have now read everything you have written as Annelise Ryan and Allyson K. Abbott and am anxiously awaiting the release of Death in the Dark Woods, the second Monster Hunter Mystery. As long as you keep writing I will keep reading!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent


About the Author

Annelise Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of the popular Mattie Winston mystery series and a pseudonym for Beth Amos, who also writes the Mack’s Bar Mystery series under the pseudonym Allyson K. Abbott. Beth is a real-life emergency room RN living in Wisconsin. She believes laughter is the best medicine, and with the Mattie Winston series, she is hoping to “medicate” the masses.

For more Mattie Winston fun and to keep up with the latest news, visit www.mattiewinston.com

Also by this Author

Coming September 12, 2023

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

I am giving away 1 HARDCOVER Copy of Dead of Winter.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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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.

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

The contest Will End on December 30, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
The winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For The 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 2022 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Death Checked Out: A Larkspur Library Mystery by Leah Dobrinska #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am happy to feature Death Checked Out: A Larkspur Library Mystery
by Leah Dobrinska today! 

About Death Checked Out

Death Checked Out: A Larkspur Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Level Best Books (December 6, 2022)
Number of Pages ~300
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0BHJJ1QRT

She’s used to checking out books. A death? Not so much.

Greta Plank, resident librarian in the small, lakeside town of Larkspur, Wisconsin, prefers her rose-tinted glasses extra rosy, thank you very much. Ever since a family tragedy landed her in Larkspur, she’s kept a happy-or-bust outlook. But Greta’s cheery resolve takes a hit when she finds the town recluse dead at the base of the stairs leading from his deck to the lake. What she assumes is a terrible accident Greta soon learns is something more sinister, and to make matters worse, new-to-town Detective Mark McHenry cites her as not only his primary source for the case, but his top suspect.

To clear her name and return to life as she knew it before the murder, Greta decides to do some clue cataloging of her own. After all, she’s got her master’s degree in library science with an emphasis in research methodology…how hard could a criminal investigation be? With the help of her fellow librarians and her lawyer mom, Greta begins checking out the pages of the murder, uncovering details about the recluse’s rare book collection and Larkspur’s real estate market as she tries to understand why anyone would have authored his death.

But with friends and neighbors stacking up as both victims and suspects, Greta must cross-reference the facts and put a hold on her idyllic worldview if she wants to get the full story without paying the fine of her life.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this first Larkspur Library Mystery, we meet Greta Plank. She has come to Larkspur and taken the job as Library Director to restart her life after a family loss. She feels that the little town is a safe place until she finds one of her new friends, her neighbor, and town recluse dead at the foot of his deck stairs.  She thinks the wheelchair-bound man’s fall was an accident but as the evidence is collected the death is classified as a homicide and Detective Mark McHenry has decided Greta is his prime suspect.

Greta is shocked but decides to quickly prove him wrong by starting her own investigation. She definitely has the education to follow the clues wherever they lead. Unfortunately, the killer is not happy that she is on their trail and makes an effort to stop her permanently. Larkspur sure isn’t the town she hoped for and she may have to rethink her options. That is if she lives long enough to have options.


While Greta is the main character in this story and we have just scratched the surface of getting to know her I was drawn right away to her neighbor Franklin Halloway because we have things in common. He is a disabled man who has become a bit of a recluse. It had taken Greta some time to get on the man’s good side and become his friend. They both love books, in fact, he has a wonderful rare book collection. Greta visits him often, bringing books he requests from the library, and always takes time to visit with him and his golden Siberian tabby cat Biff. I could identify with him so easily because due to my disability I spend a lot of time in a wheelchair. We also both love books and have no problem being left alone to read and enjoy them. I was really sad that he was the victim in this story because he was a man I would have enjoyed spending a lot more time with.

We also meet Greta’s friends and fellow librarians Josie and Iris, her parents, a snooty library board member, and of course Detective Mark McHenry along with several others that come into Greta’s life. I really enjoyed meeting Greta’s mom Louisa and her friend Lori. Strong Wisconsin woman that I would easily be friends with in real life. The author has left plenty of room for growth and I am excited to see them get more fleshed out as the series continues.

The mystery was well-plotted but I focused on one character really early and came up with a theory that was surprisingly right. Each clue revealed firmed up my thinking. There was another secret reveal that was apparent to me early as well. I did like it when Greta and Detective McHenry started working together. Their meetings gave me a good chuckle. The final reveal was very exciting. It played out in a different and much better way than I thought it would.

I love that this series is set in my home state of Wisconsin. It is easy to see that Ms. Dobrinska also calls this state home because she captures the essence of this fine state and its small towns so well.

Death Checked Out has given this series a fine start. Writing the first book in a cozy mystery series is hard. You have to introduce all the characters and make them characters readers what to know better while wrapping them in a mystery that will those pages turning. I think the author did a great job. I do want to know more about Greta and the residents of Larkspur. I am intrigued to see what she has in store for her characters next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Leah Dobrinska

Leah Dobrinska is the author of the Larkspur Library Mysteries, a cozy mystery series set in the Wisconsin Northwoods, and the Mapleton novels, a series of standalone small town romances. She earned her degree in English Literature from UW-Madison and has since worked as a freelance writer, editor, and content marketer. As a kid, she hoped to grow up to be either Nancy Drew or Elizabeth Bennet. Now, she fulfills that dream by writing mysteries and love stories. Death Checked Out is her debut cozy mystery.

A sucker for a good sentence, a happy ending, and the smell of books—both old and new—Leah lives out her very own happily ever after in a small Wisconsin town with her husband and their gaggle of kids. When she’s not writing, handing out snacks, or visiting local parks, Leah enjoys reading and running. Find out more about Leah, join her newsletter community, and connect with her through her website, leahdobrinska.com.

Author Links

Website    Newsletter    Amazon Author Page     Facebook      Instagram    TikTok     BookBub     Goodreads

Purchase Links

AmazonB&N

 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
December 12 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW, EXCERPT
December 12 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 12 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
December 13 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
December 13 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 14 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW  
December 14 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 15 – Baroness Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
December 15 – Elza Reads – REVIEW
December 16 – Novels Alive – REVIEW
December 16 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
December 17 – FUONLYKNEW – CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 17 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT
December 18 – Guatemala Paula Loves to Read – REVIEW
December 18 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT
December 19 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
December 19 – Jane Reads – AUTHOR GUEST POST
December 20 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR GUEST POST
December 20 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
December 21 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
December 21 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
December 22 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 22 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 23 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 23 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – 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.”

Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Finish The Series Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours You Read How Many Books Challenge

Sleuthing in Stilettos (A Resale Boutique Mystery) by Debra Sennefelder #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Sleuthing in Stilettos (A Resale Boutique Mystery)
by Debra Sennefelder

About Sleuthing in Stilettos


Sleuthing in Stilettos (A Resale Boutique Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Lucky Cove, NY
Lyrical Underground (December 6, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 256 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1516111044
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1516111046
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09VCWFVRQ

Kelly Quinn, owner of a high-end consignment shop, is a booster for her Long Island town’s small businesses—but now a store owner’s murder has brought big trouble . . .

Locals in Lucky Cove seem to harbor hostility toward Miranda Farrell, proprietor of a new shoe store. Nevertheless, Kelly invites her along to a Chamber of Commerce meeting. But soon afterward, Miranda’s body is found in her shop, with Kelly’s uncle—who’s had multiple public arguments with her—standing nearby. Could her uncle really have committed murder over a business dispute? Or is Miranda’s death related to her late husband’s long-ago embezzlement case?

Kelly feels compelled to investigate, despite her detective boyfriend’s objections—not to mention her commitment to promoting Small Business Saturday. But her effort to pump up sales may fall flat. After her presentation to the committee is sabotaged, the Chamber gives her the boot—and tongues start wagging. Now she has to do some fancy footwork to find the killer . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Kelly is still reeling from her cousin’s death and thinks keeping herself as busy as possible will help her deal with it. So she takes on some vast responsibilities at the Chamber of Commerce including personally inviting the new shoe store owner, Miranda Farrell, to the next meeting. She finds out too late that Miranda has a history in Lucky Cove, so she wasn’t well-received at the meeting. Kelly is also trying to find a way to reconcile her friendship with Ariel after a long-held secret was revealed.  Unfortunately, her presentation at the chamber meeting for the Small Business Saturday makes matters worse. It also gets her removed from the chamber.

Soon after Kelly finds herself in the middle of another murder when Miranda’s dead body is found in her shoe shop with Kelly’s uncle standing over her body. Miranda and her uncle have had several arguments witnessed by others but Kelly can’t believe he would kill her over business-related squabbles. With her chamber obligations removed she has plenty of time to investigate the murder. Now if she could just find her computer mouse and her keys. Blast it! Nate is going to be upset with her butting into his case again.


I love Kelly and her fashion sense, I really do, but the girl really needs to work on her sleuthing techniques. She just can’t ask basic questions without accusing the person of murder and then wonders why they get mad. I know her heart is in the right place but seriously one of these days there won’t be anyone left to rescue her when she gets herself in trouble. Every time she started to question someone I wanted to jump into the book and try to protect her from herself.  I will say that a lot of character development occurs with Kelly as the book continues and for that, I was very delighted.

Kelly is surrounded by an excellent supporting cast.  She has been through a lot and she needs her friends. I am happy to see Breena starting something new. I like the way Nate and Kelly’s relationship is developing and that he is opening himself up more to her. She needs a strong man in her life.

Miranda Farrell had a slew of people that could have wanted her dead so there really is a nice suspect pool. A friend getting seriously injured shakes things up but Kelly doesn’t give up. The author throws in some excellent twists and interesting connections to keep everyone guessing. I was completely surprised when the killer was revealed. The showdown was exciting and I loved the person who showed up just in time!

Sleuthing in Stiletto’s lead character may have frustrated me at times, but the story grabbed my attention from the start and didn’t let go. I stayed up late to finish because I knew I wasn’t going to go to sleep until I knew whodunit!

Another Perfect Escape from Debra Sennefelder, that is not a surprise. She is a fantastic storyteller.



Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Debra Sennefelder

Debra Sennefelder is an avid reader who reads across a range of genres, but mystery fiction is her obsession. Her interest in people and relationships is channeled into her novels against a backdrop of crime and mystery.

Her first novel, THE UNINVITED CORPSE (A Food Blogger mystery) was published in 2018. When she’s not reading, she enjoys cooking and baking and as a former food blogger, she is constantly taking photographs of her food. Yeah, she’s that person.

Born and raised in New York City, where she majored in her hobby of fashion buying, she now lives and writes in Connecticut with her family. She worked in retail and publishing before becoming a full-time author. Her writing companion is her adorable and slightly spoiled Shih Tzu, Connie.


Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKobo – 
The Rest of the Series

Also by Debra Sennefelder

 

Great Escapes Praise for Sleuthing in Stilettos
(A Resale Boutique Mystery)

by Debra Sennefelder

Sleuthing in Stilettos by Debra Sennefelder is a must-read for all cozy mystery fans. Entertaining, engrossing, and a whole lotta fun!
~The Book Decoder

A solid addition to an enjoyable cozy series. Well-rounded characters, plenty of action, and lots of clues are sure to delight fans of the genre.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
December 5 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
December 5 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT
December 6 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 6 – Jane Reads – AUTHOR GUEST POST
December 7 – StoreyBook Reviews – AUTHOR GUEST POST
December 7 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT
December 8 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 8 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
December 9 – Baroness Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
December 9 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
December 10 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
December 11 –The Book Decoder – REVIEW
December 12 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR GUEST POST
December 12 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 13 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
December 13 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
December 14 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
December 14 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
December 15 – Novels Alive – REVIEW
December 15 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 16 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 17 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 18 – The Mystery of Writing – AUTHOR INTERVIEWa Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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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.”

Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Guest Posts

Special Guest – Michelle Bennington – Author of Dumpster Dying: A Hazardous Hoarder Mystery #GuestPost / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Dumpster Dying: A Hazardous Hoarder Mystery
by Michelle Bennington

I am delighted to welcome Michelle Bennington to
Escape With Dollycas today!

How Do You Come Up with These Things?
by Michelle Bennington

How do you come up with these things? Was a question my mother had asked me when I told her about my latest book, Dumpster Dying. She liked the idea, but she laughed and shook her head as I told her about Birdie Harper, a hoarder who lives with her husband’s ghost and solves mysteries.

The idea for Dumpster Dying, like many of my ideas, came from something in my life. In this instance, a television show. I had been binge-watching a show called Hoarders. It’s a show I love, though at times it can be quite unsettling because sometimes people collect disturbing items or because of the deep emotional trauma, disorders, and dysfunctional homes that often trigger and accompany hoarding.

Yet, Hoarders is one of those programs that no matter how unsettling the subject, I find it hard to look away. There’s something about the psychology behind hoarding, the inability of the hoarder to stop their behavior, and the fact that hoarding is both comforting and destructive that I find compelling and intriguing. I was inspired by an amalgamation of the people on that show. The hoarders I found most interesting were the ones who were charming and fun to be around–until someone messed with their treasures. In an instant, their dark side leapt up and took over, turning a pleasant person into a scary one; it was like seeing Jekly and Hyde come to life.

On the show, inevitably, clean up begins and the hoarder becomes distressed. Though a psychologist tries to reason with them, the emotional and mental obstacles are initially insurmmountable. Each hoarder has his or her unique way of dealing with the stress of clean up: some cry, some break down, some withdraw and dig the items out of the trash when no one is watching or run away, some get angry, and some get downright mean. But at the core of it all is not only a fear of loss, but an actual lifetime of loss, pain, grief, suffering, and trauma. Hoarders often have no other coping mechanisms in place, so when faced with a traumatic event, they spend years or a lifetime, clinging to material possessions and building a literal wall of defense around themselves to protect themselves from onslaughts of the world.

Once I had unpacked that complex psychological makeup, I knew I needed a character who was a hoarder. It was a mind and spirit I wanted to work with, wanted to understand. And I recall there was one lady on Hoarders who flitted around, fidgeted and blinked a lot. She reminded me of someone I knew and both women reminded me of little birds, chittery and chipper and fluttery. So that’s where Birdie’s name came from because she, too, is chittery and fluttery.

However, one thing I didn’t want to do was make the reader pity Birdie and feel sorry for her because that’s a position of weakness. Granted, I wanted readers to sympathize with her, understand the losses and grief that underlie her hoarding condition, but I wanted them to see that she was also a woman of strength, determination, resilience, and backbone. I wanted readers to come away thinking that there was hope for Birdie’s recovery. I wanted people to understand that though Birdie is flawed in many ways, and struggling with something that has the potential to completely destroy her, she has the strength and power to reclaim her life when the time comes. Ultimately, and I hope this comes through in the story, despite her struggles, she is a character of fortitude, resilience, and hope.

So, I hope you’ll stop by to visit with Birdie. She’s a bit quirky, but a lot of fun and has a heart of gold. If you read Dumpster Dying, don’t forget to stop by www.michellebennington.com, say “Hi!” and follow me on the links there so you can stay informed of the next Hazardous Hoarder Mystery release and releases for my other series!

Thank you Michelle for visiting today.


Keep reading to learn more about Dumpster Dying.

 

About Dumpster Dying 


Dumpster Dying: A Hazardous Hoarder Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Kentucky
Independently Published (September 7, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 270 pages
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8986775203
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0BD2PWW61

Birdie Harper is a widowed hoarder who lives with her husband’s ghost. The only thing she enjoys more than a good yard sale is a good dumpster dive. When she finds her latest treasure—a ceramic angel— she knows just who to bring it to.

Jenna Lawson is a cashier at the Blue Market convenience store where Birdie often shops. The two women have formed a strong bond to assuage the losses in their lives, and Birdie thinks of Jenna like the daughter she lost long ago. So, when Jenna goes missing, Birdie is determined to find out what happened to her.

As she works to unravel the mystery, a man at church, Neville Miller, shows interest in Birdie, leading her to wonder if the lonely days are finally coming to an end. But her ghostly husband, Walter, sure isn’t going to like it.

Birdie is on a hunt that may claim the ultimate price—her own life.

Great Escapes Praise for Dumpster Dying: A Hazardous Hoarder Mystery
by Michelle Bennington

A fun yet thought-provoking cozy mystery that tackles some serious life issues, such as the loss of a spouse, loneliness, and hoarding. I recommend DUMPSTER DYING to cozy mystery readers who enjoy yard sales and more mature sleuths.
~Guatemala Paula Loves to Read

If you like cozy mysteries with a ghost to boot, Dumpster Dying could be the start of a new series you may enjoy. I definitely can’t wait to be back to see what Birdie and Oda Dean are up to next.
~Novels Alive

About Michelle Bennington

Born and raised in the beautiful Bluegrass state of Kentucky, Michelle Bennington developed a passion for books early on that has progressed into a mild hoarding situation and an ever-growing to-read pile. She delights in spinning mysteries and histories. Find out more on her website: www.michellebennington.com

Author Links
Facebook    Instagram     Goodreads     Webpage    Twitter 

Purchase Link

Amazon 

Also by Michelle Bennington

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
December 5 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT
December 5 – Lady Hawkeye – CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 5 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT
December 6 – Baroness Book Trove – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
December 6 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 6 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT
December 7 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
December 7 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 7 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
December 8 – Guatemala Paula Loves to Read – REVIEW
December 8 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 8 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
December 9 – Novels Alive – REVIEW – SPOTLIGHT
December 9 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
December 10 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR GUEST POST
December 11 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW*
December 11 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 12 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR GUEST POST
December 12 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
December 12 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Death by Chocolate Snickerdoodle (A Death by Chocolate Mystery) by Sarah Graves #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks @SarahGraves2011

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.


Death by Chocolate Snickerdoodle (A Death by Chocolate Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Maine
Kensington Cozies (February 23, 2021)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496729196
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496729194
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B089N4S1WF

Jake Tiptree and Ellie White are fired up for Eastport, Maine’s Maine’s annual cookie-baking contest, but when a cunning killer and a devastating fire threaten to ravage the quaint island town, Jake and Ellie must dip into another homemade homicide investigation before all they love goes up in smoke . . .

As co-owners of Eastport’s beloved waterfront bakery, the Chocolate Moose, Jake and Ellie know their customers expect them to cream the competition. But they’re really just in it for fun, hoping to get Jake’s daughter-in-law baking again. Those plans collapse when fearsome local curmudgeon Alvin Carter is murdered, and every crumb of evidence points to Tiptree family friend—and all-around sweet guy—Billy Breyer.

Billy’s sisters beg Jake and Ellie to prove his innocence. After all, lots of folks had gone sour on Alvin, whose popularity ranked somewhere between a toothache and the plague. But just as the ladies begin sifting through the suspects, a series of grass fires blaze across the island, threatening catastrophe. Could someone be trying to hide the truth about Alvin’s murder?

Now, Jake and Ellie will need all their courage—and an extra dash of that downeast Maine stubbornness—to sniff out the real killer before anyone else gets burned . . .

Includes a Recipe!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jake and Ellie really have their hands full in this Death by Chocolate Mystery. The town’s annual cookie-baking contest is right around the corner and they are hoping that putting Mika in charge of the entry will cure her baby blues. Her husband Sam has some blues of his own. His employee Billy Breyer found one of their client’s dead body when he arrived for work and sadly all the evidence points to him as the killer. The victim was not a nice man and had made his share of enemies. So with a long suspect list, Jake and Ellie agree to do their best to get Billy out of jail and the real guilty party there in his place.


Wildfires, wild wills, and wild rides! Sarah Graves takes us readers on a wild trip to find out who killed cranky old Alvin Carter and why.

Jake and Ellie are great characters with their fingers in everything that happens in Eastport, Maine. They are smart and creative but have a real tendency to leap into action without thinking through all the consequences that can occur as they try to get to the truth and a killer.

I really enjoyed that Sam and Mika had a bigger part in this story. So many women deal with baby blues, postpartum depression, baby brain, etc. following the birth of a baby. I appreciated the way Ellie and Jake helped her see her way through a tough time.

Jake’s stepmother is also having issues and the whole family knows it but it is hard to get through to a woman as independent as Bella. The author did an excellent job with this situation.

I also like meeting Billy’s sisters, Anna and Helen. These are young women with hopes and dreams with plans to make them come true. Their Aunt Prunia, such an appropriate name, has totally different ideas for their future. The girls and their brother Billy have had tragedy in their lives and I was thrilled to see such positive attitudes from all of them.

Pinning down a killer this time was really tough especially with grass fires popping up everywhere. Ellie and Jake took some crazy risks. I wanted to jump into the book and reel them in but that being impossible I scooched up to the edge of my seat a few times as the pages flew. I was 82% into the book when a bird hit a window and from there I was sitting up straight and everything in the room around me disappeared. I was caught spellbound by what was happening on the pages. Things settled down by 93% and things were explained and cookie-baking winners were revealed but it took me a couple of minutes to catch my breath.

Death by Chocolate Snickerdoodle was a blast to read. I think Ms. Graves hit it out of the park with this story. I loved it!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Sarah Graves lives in Eastport, Maine, in a 200-year-old house much like Jake Tiptree’s. After 20 years of home repair – and yes, it really does make you think about murder! – she has handed in her toolbox and returned to her first love: chocolate. When she’s not cooking or baking something delectable, or writing about it, she tends a huge garden or shovels snow, depending upon the season.

Also by Sarah Graves

I am giving away 1 Kindle copy!
The 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 Following My Facebook Fan Page.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads
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If you share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive 5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

The contest Will End on December 23, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
The winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For The 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 Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Guest Posts

Special Guest – S. K. Golden – Author of The Socialite’s Guide to Murder (A Pinnacle Hotel Mystery) #GuestPost / #Giveaway


The Socialite’s Guide to Murder (A Pinnacle Hotel Mystery)
by S. K. Golden


It is my pleasure to welcome S.K. Golden to Escape With Dollycas today!

How I (and my sleuth) Deal with Anxiety

By SK Golden

 

TW: Panic attacks

Hello, my name is Sarah, and I’ve struggled with panic attacks since childhood. I’d be lying in my bed, trying to go to sleep, and convince myself the end of the world was going to happen any second. Or, that my heart would stop beating, and then I’d be uncomfortably aware of my beating heart. Also, that prayer that we use to have children say? “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, and if I die before I wake, I hope the Lord my soul will take,” is just a terrible thing to have kids say before they go to sleep. Or ever! My goodness. I was convinced me dying at night was a very real possibility.

As I’ve gotten older and had therapy and consulted with doctors, I’ve found several things that have helped me deal with my anxiety so that it rarely spikes into a full-blown panic attack. The last, bad panic attack I can remember was after my twins were born and I got the stomach flu. The pain of the illness messed with the part of me that was recovering from the trauma of labor (because it was traumatic, even if was worth it) and I was convinced I was dying. Appendicitis or something bad. It was the middle of the night and I was lying on the bathroom floor crying to my husband to call an ambulance. Instead, he sat down next to me and started talking. What he’d done at work that day, what his plans were for tomorrow, funny stories he remembered from his teenage years.

I thought, is this man trying to kill me? But I let myself get distracted and the pain subsided because it had been my panic that was making my heart race like that, that had made it hard to breathe. I still had the stomach flu, unfortunately. But we had some medicine that helped and he put me to bed and spent the rest of the night taking care of our little infant twins whenever they’d need a feeding or a diaper change even though he had to go to work early the next morning.

Since that panic attack, I’ve learned that what helps me the most is giving my anxiety a name. Calling it for what it is. I’m anxious. This stirring in my gut, this racing in my chest, this buzzing in my ears: its anxiety. Giving it a name takes its power away, as silly as that sounds. It’s the biggest thing that has helped me. I don’t have to be scared of the unknown, of what’s happening to me, because I know what’s happening.

Evelyn, the main character and the sleuth in my debut historical cozy mystery, THE SOCIALITE’S GUIDE TO MURDER, learns how to do this during the book. She is different from me in a lot of ways, but one way that my main character and I are similar is in our struggles with panic. Evelyn, too, has dealt with anxiety for most of her life. It’s set in the 1950s, so their label for what she’s going through is a bit different. Evelyn gets diagnosed with agoraphobia and shell shock. She has attacks of anxiety that leave her breathless. Fortunately for me, I’m not agoraphobic. Just because I prefer to be home doesn’t mean that I have to be home, you know what I mean?

The first thing she learns in the book is a breathing exercise. Deep breath in, hold, release. Three times, four times, five times in a row. Get that oxygen in your body. The next thing Evelyn is taught to do is close her eyes and focuses inward. What is going on inside her body? Her stomach is in knots. Okay. Give that sensation a name. Fear. Good. Good job.

This last part is the important part for her, and maybe for you, too, if this is something you struggle with. Picture yourself as a child, in a moment where you were experiencing the same feeling. What would you say to that fearful, anxious child? It’s okay. You are not alone. You will get through this. You are okay. You are safe. You are loved. 

Now, tell that to yourself.

Other things I’ve found to help me with my anxiety are doodling, bullet journaling, zoning out to a podcast, and taking colored pencils to a grown-up coloring book. Isn’t it wonderful they have those now? Snuggling with my dog helps. I have a Corgi named Goku and I adore him. Evelyn has a dog she snuggles with for support, too. He’s a Pomeranian mix named Presley and he spends a lot of time in her purse, ala Elle Woods and Bruiser. My cats – two black cats we adopted from the shelter at the same time so they’re a bonded pair now, Lady and Lion – are great comforts when they choose to be, too.

There’s always journaling your feelings (especially if it’s nighttime and you can’t sleep, I find that writing down the anxious thoughts gets them out of my head) or calling up someone you trust who will listen with sympathy. The sympathy part is key. My mom is great at that. My dad is good for calling when I need more of a kick in the butt. He’s someone who will tell me, “Walk it off.” Lovingly, of course! And, I can always count on my husband to regale me with fishing stories to help me focus on something other than the panicky feelings inside of my body.

Another trick Evelyn uses is focusing on solving murders in her father’s hotel. I have less chance to do this. But, I can focus on writing the fake ones for my sleuth to puzzle out.

Thank you Sarah for visiting today with such a great topic! 


Now keep reading for more info about Sarah and her book! Be sure to enter the giveaway! 

 

About The Socialite’s Guide to Murder


The Socialite’s Guide to Murder (A Pinnacle Hotel Mystery)
Historical Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New York City, 1958
Crooked Lane Books (October 11, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1639101764
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1639101764
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09Q7XM28Y

The hotel was her refuge, but scandal is afoot—and a killer stalks the halls in this charming series debut perfect for fans of Rhys Bowen and Ashley Weaver.

It’s 1958 and Evelyn Elizabeth Grace Murphy has not left the Pinnacle Hotel in fourteen months. She suffers from agoraphobia, and what’s more, it’s her father’s hotel, and everything she needs is there. Evelyn’s always been good at finding things, she discovered her mother dead in a Manhattan alleyway fifteen years earlier. Now she’s finding trouble inside her sanctuary. At a party for artist Billie Bell, his newest work is stolen, and Evelyn’s fake boyfriend (and real best friend), movie star Henry Fox, is accused of the theft. But just as Evelyn sets out to prove Henry’s innocence, she finds Billie Bell dead.

The murder weapon links the crime to the hotel’s chief of security. But why would he use a knife with his initials on the handle? With her beloved home in disarray, Evelyn joins up with hotel employee (and her secret crush) Mac Cooper to get to the bottom of the case.

As Mac picks locks and Evelyn snoops around the hotel, they discover the walls around them contain more secrets than they previously knew. Now, Evelyn must force herself to leave the hotel to follow the clues—but when she and Mac set off to chase a lead, their car crashes and they barely escape with their lives. Someone snipped Evelyn’s brake lines, and now the stakes have become dangerously high.

Evelyn’s knack for sleuthing—and her playful imagination—are always hard at work, and she throws an elaborate party at the hotel where every guest is a suspect. But will the killer emerge from the glamorous lineup? If not, Evelyn just might find herself…next in line for murder.

About S. K. Golden

Sarah K Golden is the author of the cozy mystery Murder at the Pinnacle Hotel. Born and raised in the Florida Keys, she married a commercial fisherman. The two of them still live on the islands with their five kids (one boy, four girls — including identical twins!), two cats, and a corgi named Goku. She graduated from Saint Leo University with a bachelor’s degree in Human Services and Administration and has put it to good use approximately zero times. She’s worked as a bank teller, a pharmacy technician, and an executive assistant at her father’s church. Sarah is delighted to be doing none of those things now. She is currently working on book two in the Evelyn Murphy series.

Author Links

Webpage    Facebook     Twitter     Instagram

Purchase Links: 

PenguinRandomHouseAmazonB&NKoboIndieBound – 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
December 5 – Reading Reality – REVIEW
December 5 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 5 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR GUEST POST
December 6 – Cozy Up WIth Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 6 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
December 6 – Bootsie’s Book Nook – SPOTLIGHT
December 7 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
December 7 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 8 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR GUEST POST
December 8 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 8 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
December 8 – Novels Alive – REVIEW – SPOTLIGHT
December 9 – Guatemala Paula Loves to Read – REVIEW
December 9 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT
December 9 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
December 9 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW
December 10 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 10 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
December 10 – Elza Reads – REVIEW
December 11 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT
December 11 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in 2022 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Finish The Series Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Death by Puffin: A Bachelorette Party Murder in Reykjavik (Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery) by Jennifer S. Alderson #Review / #Giveaway


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am pleased to feature Death by Puffin: A Bachelorette Party Murder in Reykjavik
(Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery)
by Jennifer S. Alderson today!

About Death By Puffin


Death by Puffin: A Bachelorette Party Murder in Reykjavik (Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
9th in Series
Setting – Iceland
Traveling Life Press (November 24, 2022)
Number of Pages: 180
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09WX2D57V

Iceland—land of fire, ice … and murder?

After a nasty fight with her boyfriend, tour guide Lana Hansen takes a week off work to get her head straight. Fate brings her to Iceland and the Hotel Puffin where she hopes the magnificent natural surroundings will help heal her heart and point the way forward.

Instead of the rest and relaxation she wishes to find, Lana ends up neighbors with a group of rowdy Americans in town for a bachelorette party and wedding. Their joyous frivolity is a painful reminder of her own relationship problems, and Lana does her best to steer clear of the group.

Yet when someone in the wedding party dies under mysterious circumstances, she gets pulled into the investigation. Can Lana help unmask the killer before they strike again—or will this trip be her last?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Tour guide Lana Hansen’s entire life is in flux and it was just too much to handle so she grabbed the first flight going anywhere out of Venice. That is how she ended up in Iceland at the Hotel Puffin all by herself. Hoping to sort through her feelings and find direction she tucks herself away in her room but instead of direction, she finds herself even more miserable as a bunch of Americans in the room next door are partying day and night in a week-long bachelorette party.

A special person comes to visit and actually gets Lana to leave her room but she still can’t get away from the bridesmaids as they show up for the same excursion.

Later when one of the bachelorettes dies just a day before the wedding without a clear cause Lana finds herself drawn into yet another murder investigation. Putting her own needs aside she is determined to find the killer. Then she will hopefully be able to sort out her own life. That is unless she is the killer’s next victim.


When I finished Death by Gondola my heart was breaking for Lana. Death by Puffin takes place immediately where that previous book left off. She was not in good shape. She had such a heavy weight on her shoulders. Was her relationship with Alex over? Was Dotty going to let her keep doing the job she loved? Was she a murder magnet? The author did such an excellent job with Lana’s situation. Her actions and reactions were true to real life, especially for Lana. She also had the perfect person come to her rescue. They both needed each other and the time away.

The bachelorettes were deliciously catty. Most felt entitled to everything and acted like spoiled brats. They are a pretty shallow group. One didn’t really fit in with the group and that was refreshing.

There was a slow build to the murder so we did get to know all the new characters well by the time it happened. The entire bridal party was suspect. Who had the motive and opportunity to set up such a crime? There were plenty of twists and turns. I always enjoy the way Lana puts clues together and she was able to do it again even with all she was going through.

I loved that the story was set in Iceland. It feels like the appropriate place to try to get your life together while climbing a glacier or two and freezing your butt off. I was thrilled that right after finishing this book I was watching the latest episode of The Amazing Race and it took place in Iceland and one of the events was climbing a glacier. Ms. Alderson’s detailed descriptions always make the places Lana visits easy to imagine but this time it was great to see actual pictures of the wonderful scenery and it also showed me how accurate her descriptions are. She really knows how to set a scene.

Death by Puffin kept me engaged and entertained. Every virtual vacay I have taken with Lana has been a Perfect Escape, but the last two books are my favorites. I loved the journey Ms. Alderson took Lana through. Things may be changing a bit for this fun protagonist but I know her new adventures are some that I will be very excited to read.

I happily recommend this entire series. Read them from the start and enjoy every tour.

P.S. Puffins are too cute to eat!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Jennifer S. Alderson

Jennifer S. Alderson was born in San Francisco, raised in Seattle, and currently lives in Amsterdam. After traveling extensively around Asia, Oceania, and Central America, she moved to Darwin, Australia, before settling in the Netherlands. Her background in journalism, multimedia development, and art history enriches her novels. When not writing, she can be found in a museum, biking around Amsterdam, or enjoying a coffee along the canal while planning her next research trip.

Author Links

Website     Facebook     Twitter     Instagram     BookBub    Goodreads 

Purchase Links

Amazon( (US)    Amazon Worldwide 

The Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mysteries are heartwarming stories about making friends, traveling, and celebrating new experiences. Join tour guide, Lana Hansen, as she leads tourists and readers to fascinating cities around the globe on intriguing adventures that often turn deadly.

Books in the Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery series:
Book 1 – Death on the Danube: A New Year’s Murder in Budapest
Book 2 – Death by Baguette: A Valentine’s Day Murder in Paris
Book 3 – Death by Windmill: A Mother’s Day Murder in Amsterdam
Book 4 – Death by Bagpipes: A Summer Murder in Edinburgh
Book 5 – Death by Fountain: A Christmas Murder in Rome
Book 6 – Death by Leprechaun: A Saint Patrick’s Day Murder in Dublin
Book 7 – Death by Flamenco: An Easter Murder in Seville
Book 8 – Death by Gondola: A Springtime Murder in Venice
Book 9 – Death by Puffin: A Bachelorette Party Murder in Reykjavik
Books 10-12 – More adventures are coming soon!!

Great Escapes Praise for Death by Puffin: A Bachelorette Party Murder in Reykjavik
(Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery)
by Jennifer S. Alderson

With exceedingly likable amateur sleuths and equally heinous suspects who you’ll love to hate, I recommend DEATH BY PUFFIN to cozy mystery readers who enjoy stories where the characters travel to exciting and exotic locations.
~Guatamala Paula Loves to Read

Death by Puffin is entertaining from start to finish, and the murder will keep you engaged in the investigation. Honestly, I could read this series indefinitely – as long as she keeps writing them, I’ll keep reading them!
~Reading is my Superpower

Ms. Alderson tells a beautiful tale. I love reading her books. They flow nicely, and occasionally I figure the culprit out before the sleuth. I highly recommend the book Death by Puffin by Jennifer S. Alderson!
~Baroness’ Book Trove

Mysteries located in places I have visited or hope to visit someday are always fun to read, especially if I can picture the locale. Amateur sleuths often add a layer of fun even when solving a crime.
~Novels Alive

I am an avid fan of the series, and truly look forward to every adventure and destination to come.
~Book Club Librarian

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
November 28 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT
November 28 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT  
November 29 – Cozy Up WIth Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
November 29 – Guatemala Paula Loves to Read – REVIEW
November 30 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 30 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
December 1 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR GUEST POST
December 1 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
December 2 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
December 2 – Bootsie’s Book Nook – SPOTLIGHT
December 3 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
December 3 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
December 4 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 4 – Baroness Book Trove – REVIEW  
December 5 – Novels Alive – REVIEW – SPOTLIGHT
December 5 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
December 6 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW  
December 6 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 7 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW  
December 7 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW

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

Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Interviews

Special Guest – Winnie Archer Author of Bread Over Troubled Water (A Bread Shop Mystery) #Author Interview / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Bread Over Troubled Water (A Bread Shop Mystery)
by Winnie Archer

I am thrilled to welcome Winnie Archer to Escape With Dollycas today!

Hi Winnie, 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m the mother of five. My oldest turns 30 this month, and my youngest just turned 20. It is sometimes so hard to believe that my kids are getting so old!

Bread Over Troubled Water is my 29th novel! That is also hard to believe. It has been quite an amazing career.

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

  1. Most people in my personal life know me as Misa. The nickname came from the Taiwanese cooks at a restaurant where I worked in college. They couldn’t say my name well, so it always came out closer to Misa. That is how my husband met me, and the name stuck.
  2. I have lived in four states: California, Texas, Colorado, and North Carolina.
  3. A day is not complete unless I read before bed. It’s essential!

What books/authors have most inspired you?

As a mystery writer, I have to say Agatha Christie. I grew up loving them and I have read all of her books. Her longevity and skill as a writer has always been inspiring.

East of Eden, by John Steinbeck, Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card, are two of my favorites. Different elements in each have been inspiring. More recently, Lessons in Chemistry, by Bonnie Garmus, is inspiring. Garmus created a compelling character in Elizabeth Zatt with deftness and skill.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

The amount of research I do differs from book to book. It is completely dependent upon elements of the story. My Book Magic series has a ton of Irish history about the Tuatha dé Danann, the ancient Irish deities. That series required a lot of research. Most happened during the writing process, and I had a lot of aha! moments along the way.

Bread Over Troubled Water required less research.

Do you ever suffer from Writer’s Block?

Not usually. I write my novels out of order, so if I am stuck in some way, first, I know I’ve gone off track somewhere along the way, which means I need to give myself time to work through it. And second, I take that opportunity to dive into a different scene.

What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?

I am very much a pay it forward kind of person. Because of that, I created WriterSpark Academy (http://writersparkacademy.com), a blog, podcast, and online learning platform where I offer content to help aspiring and all authors. I want to provide for aspiring authors, in particular, what I didn’t have access to when I was first starting out. My advice, then, is to keep learning and keep growing as a writer, whether it is through courses, craft articles, community, or in some other way.

When you are not writing what do you like to do?

WriterSpark Academy is a labor of love. It takes a lot of time! When I’m not writing, I work on craft articles, I interview authors for the podcast, I create content for the online course I offer. A better question might be: What do you do when you’re not working on WriterSpark Academy? I write!

If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

Wow, that is a tough question. I haven’t had the opportunity to travel very much in my life (yet!), so there are many places I’d love to go. If I have to choose one place right now, I think I’d choose Europe as a whole, so I could really dig into the history and culture of all the countries that make up the EU.

What is next on the horizon for you?

I have a brand new project that is a blend of women’s fiction/magical realism with some mystery elements. I’m very excited about it! I’m also continuing my Magical Dressmaking Mystery series, and have new installments coming out in 2023 of that series, along with the Trouble in Tumbleweed, Book Magic, and Foxy Ladies series.

Thank you Misa/Winnie for visiting today!


Keep reading for info about Winnie’s new book!

About Bread Over Troubled Water 

Bread Over Troubled Water (A Bread Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – California
Kensington Cozies (November 29, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496733568
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496733566
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09TX2QMZY

Rising cozy mystery author Winnie Archer cooks up her latest installment in her delightful and delicious Bread Shop Mystery series.

Photographer Ivy Culpepper is soon to make a home with her husband-to-be in the California beach town of Santa Sofia—but the Yeast of Eden bakery remains her second home. It’s not just a place to work, but a community. And now one member of the community has been murdered . . .

A regular who used Yeast of Eden as a workspace, Josh Prentiss always turned heads with his startlingly good looks and thousand-watt smile. But Ivy can’t help noticing one morning that he seems distracted and off his game. Later, during a visit to the park where she and Miguel plan to hold their engagement party—with plenty of baked goods on the menu—her rescue pug, Agatha, sniffs out Josh lying in a bed of poppies…scone cold dead.

There’s no reason for Ivy to get involved. She’s busy enough holding down the fort as the shop’s owner, Olaya, cares for her recently orphaned niece, not to mention the stress when a new employee is fired and storms out in a rage. Then a band of rabble-rousers starts picketing the bakery, claiming that Olaya’s sourdough roll is what killed Josh—and Ivy hears some salacious gossip about her beloved boss. She doesn’t think there’s a grain of truth to the seedy rumors—but to prove it, she’ll have to start sleuthing . . .

More About Winnie Archer

Winnie Archer is the nationally bestselling author of the Bread Shop Mystery series, as well as the Lola Cruz Mysteries and the Magical Dressmaking Mystery series written as Melissa Bourbon. A former middle school English teacher, lives in North Carolina with her educator husband, Carlos, and the youngest of their five children. Visit Winnie Archer online at www.MelissaBourbon.com!

Author Links

Purchase Links: KensingtonAmazonB&NKoboIndieBound


Written as Melissa Bourbon


Great Escapes Praise for Bread Over Troubled Water (A Bread Shop Mystery)
by Winnie Archer

BREAD OVER TROUBLED WATER skillfully blends misdirection, red herrings, and surprising twists into a cleverly written character-driven mystery.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

If you are looking for an interesting cozy mystery, with a great story and characters, I recommend you pick up Bread Over Troubled Water, or better yet, start with Kneaded With Death, the first book in this great series.
~Carla Loves To Read

This series just keeps getting better and better with each new installment we get. Makes for a satisfying read that is sure to delight cozy fans. I really liked it so I give it 4/5 stars.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
November 29 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR GUEST POST
November 29 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
November 30 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT
November 30 – Mythical Books – AUTHOR GUEST POST
December 1 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
December 1 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT
December 2 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, RECIPE
December 2 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
December 3 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
December 3 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 4 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 5 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT
December 5 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 6 – Guatemala Paula Loves to Read – CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 6 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 7 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
December 8 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
December 8 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

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