Posted in 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Sand Trapped: Cara Mia Delgatto Mystery Series by Joanna Campbell Slan #Review / #Giveaway @joannaslan Great Escapes Book Tour


Sand Trapped: Cara Mia Delgatto Mystery Series
by Joanna Campbell Slan

About Sand Trapped


Sand Trapped: Cara Mia Delgatto Mystery Series
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Florida
Publisher: Spot On Publishing (May 16, 2021)
Paperback: 292 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8503202564
Digital ASIN: B091S4S2MW

A Cozy Mystery That’s a Real Hit!

 

First they warned Jocelyn Johnson.

 

Then they ticketed Jocelyn Johnson.

 

Then someone murdered Jocelyn Johnson.

 

And Cara Mia Delgatto was looking for a lost ball when found Jocelyn “JJ” Johnson face down in a sand trap. Gave a whole new meaning to “take a drop.”

 

It wasn’t a surprise. The neighbors hated JJ for the reckless way she drove her golf cart. Sure, she lived on the grounds of a swanky golf club, and yes, she had tons of money, but JJ ruined flowerbeds, terrorized grandkids, and made a nuisance of herself.

 

Except…except…she’s quiet now. Lying there in the dirt at Hole #6. Someone bashed in JJ’s head. (Who would risk ruining an expensive Homna golf club like that?)

 

Cara doesn’t want to get involved. But when Gerta Hunsickler is named the prime suspect, and Gerta’s husband is so angry at his wife that he’s starting divorce proceedings, Cara can’t sit on her hands. She knows what it’s like to be unfairly accused. So she promises to take a swing at it and see if she can hit a long drive down the fairway of justice!

 

Meanwhile, back at The Treasure Chest, Cara’s friends are busy creating fabulous and fun Mother’s Day gifts. There are two brides-to-be working for Cara, and their two mothers-in-law-to-be have decided not to play nice. Can you say, “Mama’s boy” ten times really fast? I thought you could.

 

If you love warm-hearted, clean books, that feature female amateur sleuths, fur babies, family, and friends, you’ll love this charming DIY/recycling/upcycling series set on the Southeast Coast of Florida.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jocelyn Johnson wasn’t a good neighbor. She pushed people’s limits and she broke rule after rule. So when she is found dead in a sandtrap on the sixth hole not a lot of tears were shed. Cara is sorry she agreed to be her friend’s teammate in a golf tournament because again she finds herself knee-deep in another murder investigation. Just what she didn’t need as her store, The Treasure Chest is gearing up for Mother’s Day and the merchandise is flying off the shelves. She also has two brides to be on pins and needles as their future mothers-in-law are coming to town. She has done it before, she will just have to multitask and putt the murderer right into a jail cell while not shanking all her other duties.


Cara Mia Delgatto owns The Treasure Chest,  specializing in upcycled, recycled, and repurposed goods. She has a great group of friends working for her. It appears that over the course of the series they have become more like family. They support each other in everything they do, even helping Cara catch a killer. I enjoyed getting to know all the characters. They are well developed but still have room to grow as the series continues.

The Treasure Chest is a very interesting shop. It is well stocked with a variety of items but I was pleasantly surprised that they have pet memory items and Cara is working to increase the products she has to offer. I also enjoyed the descriptions of all the places Cara traveled, her home, her store, the Sandy Ridge Golf Club, and more. This area of Florida sounds like a wonderful place to live sans the crazy neighbors and the murder.

The murder mystery was very well done. Joanna Campbell Slan weaves the main plot together with the subplots very nicely. There is always something happening and the murder mystery has some really great twists. The big reveal was done in a fantastic way and I was surprised by whodunit.

I have read other books by this author but this is the first book in the series I have read but it won’t be my last. I am so happy that the author wrote the story so I new readers won’t feel lost or pressure to read the previous books in the series prior to reading Sand Trapped. I do hope to read the rest of this series and more books by this author.

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About Joanna Campbell Slan

“Our best friend, our next-door neighbor, and ourselves with just a touch of the outrageous.” That’s how RT Book Review describes Joanna’s protagonist, Kiki Lowenstein. The truth is that’s a pretty good description of Joanna Campbell Slan as well.

Joanna is a New York Times Bestselling, USA Today Bestselling, and Amazon Bestselling author as well as a woman prone to frequent bursts of crafting frenzy, leaving her with burns from her hot glue gun and paint on her clothes. And the mess? Let’s not even go there.

Otherwise, Joanna’s a productive author with more than 80 written projects to her credit. Her non-fiction work includes how to books, a college textbook for public speakers, and books of personal essays (think Chicken Soup for the Soul).

Currently, she writes five fiction series: The Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series (Agatha Award Finalist, contemporary, St. Louis setting, crafting), the Cara Mia Delgatto Mystery Series (contemporary, Florida setting, DIY, and recycling), the Jane Eyre Chronicles (Daphne du Maurier Award Winner, 1830s England, based on Charlotte Brontë’s classic), the Sherlock Holmes Fantasy Thrillers (late 1800s, based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s books), and the Zen Cozy Mystery Series (launch 2021).

A former TV talk show host, college teacher, and public relations specialist, Joanna was one of the early Chicken Soup for the Soul contributors. She won a Silver Anvil for her work on the original FarmAid concert to benefit farmers.

In her ongoing quest never to see snow again, Joanna lives with her husband and their Havanese puppy, Jax, on an island off the coast of Florida. You can email her at jcslan@joannaslan.com or visit her website at https://linktr.ee/jcslan

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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

Music is Murder: A Musical Murder Mystery by B.J. Bowen #GuestPost / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Music is Murder: A Musical Murder Mystery
by B.J. Bowen

 


I am delighted to welcome Barbara Bowen to Escape to Dollycas today!

Many Musings, Mostly Musical: The Origin Story

By B.J. Bowen

My cozy series, Musical Murder Mysteries, began twenty-five years ago. I was a professional musician and had loved cozy mysteries for years. A symphony orchestra seemed a perfect setting for a mystery, with its intrigue, and air of elegance. At that time, I wasn’t expecting to write seriously, but wanted to let off steam and escape to a different world. I once saw a list of a hundred professions, ranked by the most satisfaction experienced by its employees. Symphony musicians were number seventy-six, just above prison guards at seventy-seven; writers were above that, but I don’t remember exactly where.

When I had the opportunity, I joined a writer’s group. I was awed by the other writers! They were imaginative problem solvers, able to think up twists and turns, while teaching the basics of writing by example. They also taught diligence. You had to have a certain number of pages written, or you couldn’t participate.

When that group disbanded, missing my fellow writers, I put Music is Murder in a drawer and forgot it.

Then the symphony folded, and I had to find another job. The manuscript, when I thought of it, seemed to belong to another life.

It wasn’t until twenty years later, when I quit work to take care of my mother, who had dementia, that I took up writing again. I figured I’d sell the novel and write more to make my living. No problem, right?

After a few rejections, I began to study professional writing. First off, at 25,000 words, my “opus” was way too short. Secondly, writing wouldn’t pay unless you had a following, a publisher or the willingness to self-publish, and were very prolific. And, most importantly, marketing had changed in the era of Facebook, Twitter, and ebooks.

But writing kept me sane. I could go into a world of my own creation and escape monitoring medications, dodging mail scams, and changing the diapers of the woman who had changed mine. So I kept going, expanding the novel: developing the characters, giving them life and backstories, escalating suspense.

Then I found my current writing group. Recommended by a friend and consisting of published writers led by a former English teacher, they encouraged me, nurtured me, and were my friends. I kept at it. They helped me shape up the manuscript, begin to understand modern marketing, and find an agent, who helped me find a publisher.

So, how did the series develop? Playing in the symphony was a place to start. Working out the problems I wrote my characters into forced me to find solutions and gave me an alternate reality. Encouragement from others kept me going and contributed in no small way.

How do your accomplishments find life? Answer in the comments. I’m curious about your responses and look forward to reading your answers.

Thank you, Barbara, for visiting today! 

Keep reading to learn more about Music is Murder!

 

More About Music Is Murder


Music is Murder: A Musical Murder Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Camel Press (June 8, 2021)
Paperback: 242 pages
ISBN-10: 1942078161
ISBN-13: 978-1942078166
Digital ASIN : B08WTLNXJP

When a symphony musician is murdered—bashed with her own bassoon—flute player Emily Wilson becomes the prime suspect. To save herself and secure justice for her murdered friend, she must find the killer.

 

In the close-knit, unforgiving environment of the symphony orchestra Emily makes her way through the tender egos and warped relationships of her fellow musicians to find tantalizing clues. Blackmail, the victim’s abusive ex-boyfriend, an angry neighbor, and a shifty Symphony Board member all lead her to feel she is on the right track.

 

With the dogged Lieutenant Gordon on her trail, she must flee from the police so she can continue her search. She unexpectedly finds a loyal female friend and the possibility of a new man in her life. But she must learn to trust again after her failed and abusive marriage. With time running out, will she be able to evade the lieutenant, face her personal demons, and clear her name?

 

About B.J. Bowen

Barbara Bowen is a freelance writer. She was a finalist and Honorable Mention in the 2018 Focus: Eddy Awards for her article, “Letting Go with Grace,” published in Unity Magazine. Ms. Bowen is also an accomplished professional oboist who played with the Colorado Springs Symphony for nineteen years.

Drawing on her quirky fellow musicians and orchestral experiences, she created the mystery series, “Musical Murders.” The first is “Music is Murder” (Release date, 6-9-21). The second is “Ballistics at the Ballet” (Release date TBA) The third is “Fireworks on the Fourth” (Release date TBA).

She is a member of Sisters in Crime, lives in Colorado with two canine friends, and has a stock of musical puns and a song for any occasion. Contact Barbara at: www.barbarabowenauthor.com or www.bookbub.com/authors/b-j-bowen

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Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Interviews

70% Dark Intentions (Bean to Bar Mysteries) by Amber Royer #AuthorInterview / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


70% Dark Intentions (Bean to Bar Mysteries)
by Amber Royer

I am very happy to welcome Amber Royer back to Escape With Dollycas!

Hi Amber,

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi!   I live in McKinney, Texas.(Just north of Dallas).  My husband and I are coming up on our 25th anniversary.  I grew up in Southeast Texas, a ferry ride away from Galveston, where my bean to bar mysteries are set.   I have been teaching creative writing for over a decade now.  I love working with new students because I love getting to know new story worlds and characters, and see how these change as they are refined.  I was a librarian before I became an author coach, so books have always played a part in my life.

I am a nut when it comes to linguistics, and have built grammatical rules for several of the languages in my science fiction.  I am a language learner in both Spanish and Japanese.  I read/write enough Japanese to pass the practice test for the JLPT 5 (easiest level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test), though I’ve not taken the official exam.

I am an avid herb gardener, and I love to cook.  I even have a cookbook that combines these two passions – There are Herbs in My Chocolate.  I gave the cooking style developed in that cookbook to Carmen, the employee Felicity just promoted to official pastry chef at the beginning of 70% Dark Intentions.  Now that we are beginning to be able to entertain again, I am looking forward to the opportunity to make cupcakes for people again.

What are three things most people dont know about you?

I’m adopted.  I’m working on the manuscript for the Bean to Bar Mysteries NO. 3, and I’ve uncovered that one of my characters is also adopted.  You will get to know a bit about that character in 70% Dark Intentions – though he has no idea yet that he’s adopted.

I’m left-handed.  They say people who are left-handed are supposed to have talent with visual arts and beautiful handwriting.  Well . . . my handwriting is awful.  It was so bad in high school that my teachers asked me to type instead (which explains why I type basically as fast as I can think).  I can read cursive, but I never completely learned how to write it.

I am surprisingly good at Beat Sabre (a VR game where you have Star-Wars style light sabers that you use to hit floating squares to the beat of music.  Kind of a cross between slashing at the squares and banging on the drums.)  I took years of dance classes when I was a kid.  So I guess now they’re not going to waste. LOL.

What is the first book you remember reading?

The first thing I can remember reading is Where the Wild Things Are.  It was probably read TO me, as opposed to me reading it myself, but it was the first one that made an impression.  This book exemplifies the Hero’s Journey – could there be any stronger call to adventure?  Or a character more changed by the experience?  Is it any wonder I fell in love with books?

What are you reading now?

I am just finishing up Assault and Pepper by Leslie Budewitz.  I was hooked when I found out it was about a spice shop.  And when I saw it was set in Seattle, I knew there would be coffee.  And coffee is one of my favorite things.  (Bonus: I was interviewed last year by Erin Andrews of Indi Chocolate, who has a shop in Pike’s Place Market, where Pepper has her fictional shop.  It has been cool seeing that space brought to life in the story.  You can catch the Virtual Chocolate Salon re-watch at: https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=252215839559244&ref=watch_permalink ).

Next up on my TBR list is The Plot is Murder by VM Burns.  I am a total sucker for anything that feels like it is going to be a bit meta, and from the blurb, it feels like this book is going to have a UHF-esque imagination dovetailing into reality kind of vibe.

As far as nonfiction, I’m just getting into Salt Fat Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat.  I want to get through the book before I watch the Netflix docuseries.  I love cookbooks that explore principles (my favorite cookbook ever is Ratio by Michael Ruhlman) and this one promises to take the concept in-depth.

What books have most inspired you?

I still think Treasure Island is a beautiful example of how to tell a story without wasting anything.  It is a big influence on how I think about putting together the different elements of storytelling.

But this time I want to talk a bit about Jane Austen.  (Felicity, my protagonist in the Bean to Bar Mysteries, is an Austen fan.  Go figure.  In Book 2, Felicity forms a friendship with another character in part because they both appreciate Austen.)  It is often said that story is character, and I believe that this is true.  Austen is a master of psychologically examining her characters, which is why these stories endure and get adapted in different formats.  Trends in structure have changed since Austen’s day (compare the book version of Emma, where the big climactic scene with Knightley takes place over 100 pages from the end, versus the more recent movie versions, where that scene comes at the end) but the way the characters are drawn as people – and the characteristics inside those psychological profiles that make us viscerally feel the romantic chemistry between her leads – doesn’t change.  Austin is probably more of an influence on my writing than I realize, since no matter what kind of story I try to tell, my characters all wind up with awkward/complex friendships and compelling love interests.

Mysteries that have inspired me include:

Agatha Christie’s Poirot novels.

Dorothy Gilman’s Mrs. Pollifax series

Lillian Jackson Braun’s The Cat Who series.

Dorothy Cannell’s Ellie Haskell series.

Diane Mott Davidson’s Goldie Bear series.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

I’ve always loved reading them.  I feel like all fiction has an element of puzzle to it, as we figure out the plot along with the characters.  Mysteries to me are the most direct expression of this, which is why I think as a reader, it is so easy to get caught up in them.  But they are anything but direct to write.  You have to get to know the characters so well that you can see how each one of the possible suspects COULD have an element of darkness inside that would allow that individual to be a murderer – while at the same time making all the innocent ones likable enough that readers are okay with them showing back up in the next book.  The plot has to be logical, and yet surprising.  When I was a teenager, one of my first attempts at writing a novel was about half of a mystery manuscript.  I just didn’t have the writing skill at the time to pull it off.  But that convinced me for a long time that I COULDN’T write a mystery.

It wasn’t until I’d written a lot of other things that I took another stab at writing a mystery. (Pun mostly intended.)   Felicity was a character who demanded to be written.  She’s inspired in part by a number of different chocolate makers I’d met while researching and marketing the Chocoverse books.  But a lot of her is also me, getting to talk about a fictionalized version of the area where I grew up and food that I love.  The mysteries she finds herself involved in serve as a vehicle for Felicity moving towards understanding herself and what she wants in life.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

I write on my laptop, so I’m more of a will-travel-for-inspiration kind of writer than having any one set place.  (I’ll write in the back seat of a moving car, since the glare of a laptop   Over the past year, I’ve been more or less grounded, so most of my writing has taken place in my living room.  I LOVE writing in coffee shops, though.  (And I hope to get to start doing that again soon!)  I used to meet up with some other writers at this little boba tea and ramen place, and I miss that vibe. I’m one of those people who has to have a bit of noise in the background to get anything done.  I have a desk in our home office, but it faces a blank wall.  Basically, I only use it if I am working on a project where I can bounce ideas off my husband, or if I’m doing something via Zoom, so there are other people virtually hanging out with me.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Writers are observers.  We take in elements of the world, and sometimes these memories can rattle around for years before they show up in a project.  I love the ocean and the beach, so writing about this setting is a no-brainer.  Galveston wildlife shows up in 70% Dark Intentions, and growing up, I visited Sea Rim State Park (on the mainland, not far from Galveston) and Galveston State Park a number of times.  There are alligator observation stations in both, and this inspires part of the story.  Sometimes you see something and it sparks an idea immediately.  But sometimes it’s a combination of both.  Another wildlife element that shows up in this book is the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle.  When we visited Galveston to film some clips for the Book 1 trailer, we came across a number of the Turtles About Town sculptures – which highlight these endangered turtles, and their nesting on the island.  This came together in my mind with a visit Jake and I took about a decade and a half ago to a turtle sanctuary in Acapulco, where we got to see baby turtles awaiting release back into the ocean.  This sparked another way wildlife shows up in the plot of this story.

When I build characters, I usually start with a name and a few details, and I write a little from that person’s point of view.  Once I feel like I know a character well enough, I do a character interview and find out what they want out of the story, what they’re afraid of and what they value.  I don’t intentionally model characters on real people, although I’m sure traits from people I know show up in my fictional people.  I have had friends assume they are certain people in my stories, and I can sometimes see why they might think that, even though this was not intentional.  When I envision a project, I usually do picture one of my friends who would particularly enjoy it.   I’ve borrowed those friends’ names – with permission, of course – for the protagonists of some of my stories.

Writers are often told to write what they know, or to write what they want to understand.  Ind that’s true.  My story ideas are a mix, really, of things I know, things I want to know, things I’d love to tell my friends and cool things I uncover while living life.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

My biggest challenge is still narrowing the story down to a reasonable word count.  There are so many aspects to any story, and particularly to cozy mysteries – which have tons of support characters and suspects and a whole community to explore, not to mention possible love interests.  It’s hard to narrow it down to just the characters who are relevant to the current installment of the story, and to focus subplots so that they don’t overtake the main plot.

What do you think makes a good story?

Story is about people and conflict.  Most often that means people in conflict with each other.  And there has to be something at stake in the conflict that both characters want desperately – and that is weighty enough to be worth a reader’s time.  That what draws us in and keeps us reading.  A GREAT story changes the characters along the way, so that the events of the story shakes them to their core and changes who they are and how they look at life.

There also needs to be an element of uncertainty.  If we can easily guess the outcome of a story early on, there’s no puzzles to figure out.  If it’s obvious who wins and how, we can’t worry for the characters – or with them.

For a cozy mystery, the character also needs a reason to solve the particular murder at the heart of your story.  Maybe she cares about the person suspected, or is suspected herself, or somehow her reputation or her business is at stake.  In most cozies, the protagonist isn’t solving the mystery as part of her job.  So you need to manufacture a reason.  If the sleuth has nothing at risk, we won’t believe that she cares so much about solving a murder, when there are other people on hand with catching killers in their job descriptions.  This time, I dealt with this by attaching the disappearance of one of Felicity’s employees to the events surrounding the murder.  And I’m having Felicity try to resist getting involved – even though the people in her life assume that having solved one murder that happened on her premises, she’s bound to investigate this second one.

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

I think all my characters have a little of me in them – even the bad guys.  Demographically, Felicity is most like me.  I gave her a Cajun side to her background, because I wanted to get to pepper the series with food references and flavors of my childhood.  Felicity has a good heart, and she genuinely feels bad when she makes mistakes while investigating.  And like me, she loves books and reading and a good cup of coffee.  But unlike me, she’s good at chemistry, and has a medical background, while I was too squeamish to even do my own experiments in high school biology.  Which makes her strong and cool in a crisis, whereas I tend to go into panic mode.

Psychologically, I’m more like Autumn Ellis, Felicity’s best friend.  Autumn is a former mystery writer, who wanted to be a poet since she was a little girl.  She and Felicity met in eighth grade, when they were both doing UIL Poetry competitions.  She’s more intuitive than logical.  She speaks her mind – sometimes without regard for the consequences.  And like me, she’s an extrovert who works from home, which means she needs routines for social interaction – and she gets terribly excited when she gets invited to a party.

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

My protagonist is a bean to bar craft chocolate maker, with ties to the chocolate making world.  Between books, she travels to work with farmers growing cacao in different countries – and elements of that wanderlust come home with her and show up in the books.

The Bean to Bar Mysteries boarder on the more actiony side of cozy, with one of Felicity’s love interests being a former bodyguard.  And in this one, one of Felicity’s employees goes missing at the same time as the murder.  70% Dark Intentions deals directly with the fallout of the first book in the series, where after being threatened by the murderer, someone in Felicity’s life has developed issues with self-confidence.

There is also a focus on character development for Felicity herself, as she continues to cope with the grief in her backstory that brought her home in the first place – and the fact that her friends’ lives keep changing around her.

Whats next on the horizon for you?

I’m already drafting Bean to Bar Mysteries No. 3: Out of Temper.  Book 1 dealt with the Gulf Coast’s tempestuous weather, and Book 2 deals with Galveston’s wildlife.  Book 3 is going to bring in elements from Galveston’s cruise ship terminals.  Which means a lot of the characters from the first two books are going to get to go on a little boat ride, when Felicity gets invited to do chocolate making demos and tastings on board a cruise.

I’m also working on a manuscript involving time travel and Impressionist art.

Thank you Amber for visiting today!

Keep reading to learn about Amber’s new book! 

About 70% Dark Intentions


70% Dark Intentions (Bean to Bar Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher – Golden Tip Press (July 20, 2021)
Paperback: 266 pages
ISBN-10: 1952854105
ISBN-13: 978-1952854101
Digital ASIN : B091KMVY8P

Felicity Koerber’s bean to bar chocolate shop on Galveston’s historic Strand is bringing in plenty of customers – in part due to the notoriety of the recent murder of one of her assistants, which she managed to solve. Things seem to be taking a turn for the better. Her new assistant, Mateo, even gets along with Carmen, the shop’s barista turned pastry chef. Felicity thinks she’s learning to cope with change – right up until one of her friends gets engaged. Everyone’s expecting her to ask Logan, her former bodyguard, to be her plus one. But even the thought of asking out someone else still makes her feel disloyal to her late husband’s memory — so maybe she hasn’t moved on from her husband’s death as much as she thought.

 

Felicity isn’t planning to contact Logan any time soon. Only, Felicity finds ANOTHER body right outside her shop – making it two murders at Greetings and Felicitations in as many months. That night, Mateo disappears, leaving Felicity to take care of his pet octopus. The police believe that Mateo committed the murder, but Felicity is convinced that, despite the mounting evidence, something more is going on, and Mateo may actually be in trouble.

 

When Logan assumes that he’s going to help Felicity investigate, she realizes she’s going to have to spend time with him – whether she’s ready to really talk to him or not. Can Felicity find out what happened to Mateo, unmask a killer, and throw an engagement party all at the same time?

 

More About Amber Royer

Amber Royer writes the CHOCOVERSE comic telenovela-style foodie-inspired space opera series, and the BEAN TO BAR MYSTERIES. She is also the author of STORY LIKE A JOURNALIST: A WORKBOOK FOR NOVELISTS, which boils down her writing knowledge into an actionable plan involving over 100 worksheets to build a comprehensive story plan for your novel. She blogs about creative writing techniques and all things chocolate at www.amberroyer.com. She also teaches creative writing for both UT Arlington Continuing Education and Writing Workshops Dallas. If you are very nice to her, she might make you cupcakes.

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July 13 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
July 13 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 14 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
July 14 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
July 15 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, EXCERPT  
July 15 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 16 – CelticLady Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
July 17 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 18 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 19 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
July 20 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
July 20 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 21 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
July 22 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST
July 22 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
July 23 – ebook addicts – REVIEW
July 24 – My Journey Back – CHARACTER GUEST POST  
July 25 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Spotlights

A Spirit Seeks Asylum (A Bay Island Psychic Mystery) by Lena Gregory #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @LenaGregory03


I am so happy to shine the spotlight on A Spirit Seeks Asylum
by Lena Gregory today!


A Spirit Seeks Asylum (A Bay Island Psychic Mystery)
by Lena Gregory

About A Spirit Seeks Asylum


A Spirit Seeks Asylum (A Bay Island Psychic Mystery)
Paranormal Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Publisher: Beyond the Page (July 13, 2021)
Print length ‏ : ‎ 190 pages
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B097S55JFY

Cass Donovan is confronted by ghoulish crimes both old and new when a defunct asylum is the site of a fresh murder and a long-hidden injustice . . .

 

The old abandoned buildings of the Twin Forks Lunatic Asylum have always fascinated and frightened clairvoyant Cass Donovan, but she never dreamed her psychic abilities would be put to the test there. Then the new owner of the site tells her he plans to renovate it and turn it into a boarding school, and he’ll pay Cass handsomely to determine whether the place is haunted! Cass accepts his offer, but her search for hints of old ghosts soon has her looking for clues among the living when the man who hired her turns up dead.

 

Returning to the shuttered asylum looking for evidence of who may have wanted her client out of the way, Cass stumbles upon signs of yet another murder, even as she’s besieged by an onslaught of haunting voices from the past. When it comes to light that rival real estate developers have been hatching plans of their own for the property, Cass sees no shortage of motives for the murders, but she’ll have to find a way to quiet the disturbing voices from long ago and focus on the here and now, because whoever’s behind the killings has targeted Cass as their next victim . . .

 

About Lena Gregory

Lena Gregory is the author of the Bay Island Psychic Mysteries, which take place on a small island between the north and south forks of Long Island, New York, and the All-Day Breakfast Café Mysteries, which are set on the outskirts of Florida’s Ocala National Forest.

Lena grew up in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island. She recently relocated to Clermont, Florida with her husband, three kids, son-in-law, and four dogs. Her hobbies include spending time with family, reading, jigsaw puzzles, and walking. Her love for writing developed when her youngest son was born and didn’t sleep through the night. She works full time as a writer and a freelance editor and is a member of Sisters in Crime.

Author Links – Newsletter – Website  –  Facebook – Facebook Page  – Twitter  –  Goodreads  – Pinterest

Purchase Links – Amazon     B & N     Kobo      Smashwords    Google Play 

 

Also by Lena Gregory

Great Escapes Praise for A Spirit Seeks Asylum (A Bay Island Psychic Mystery)
by Lena Gregory

With a perfect blending of chills, humor, friendship, and mystery A SPIRIT SEEKS ASYLUM shows us that the past never truly dies.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

Plenty of “woo~woo” to keep psychic fans interested, but also a good, solid plot and old-fashioned research goes into solving a present murder and related crimes . . . Another 5 star read, satisfying solution and promise of more good things to come!
~Laura’s Interests

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July 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
July 13 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
July 14 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
July 15 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 16 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
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July 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
July 18 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
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July 20 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
July 21 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
July 21 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT
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Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Spotlights

Black Jade: A Daiyu Wu Mystery by Gloria Oliver #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @GloriaOliver

It is my pleasure to shine the spotlight on Black Jade today!


Black Jade: A Daiyu Wu Mystery

About Black Jade


Black Jade: A Daiyu Wu Mystery
Historical Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Dimension Palace Publishing (May 11, 2021)
Paperback: 246 pages
ISBN-10: 1733951164
ISBN-13: 978-1733951166
Digital (June 20, 2021) ASIN: B094PXSNPS

Could an old-fashioned ballgown be used to commit murder?

 

Daiyu Wu is aware that fear of the Yellow Terror has made her nationality a rare breed in the Lone Star State. Being Chinese and blind makes her doubly unique in 1930: Dallas. Despite these impediments, anyone who dismisses her for either fact does so at their peril.

 

One day, at her family-owned laundry business, Dai detects the scent of burned garlic. With the help of her companion, Jacques, the source is soon discovered. It is a green ballgown. The gown has money pinned inside it to pay for the cleaning, but oddly, it came with no address label to identify its owner. Her extensive knowledge leads Dai to believe someone has committed murder using arsenic. The perpetrator is trying to use White Laundry to hide the evidence. But no mention of foul play turns up in the newspapers, and there’s not enough proof to convince the police there’s been a crime.

 

Her curiosity and intellect stimulated like never before; Dai ignores the possible consequences and sets out to solve the mystery with the help of her canine companion, Prince Razor, and her confidant, Jacques Haskins. It’s either that or let the killer get away with it — assuming a spoiled popinjay, his jealous self-appointed girlfriend, and Dai’s overprotective parents don’t get in her way.

 

About Gloria Oliver 

Gloria Oliver lives in Texas, staying away from rolling tumbleweeds while bowing to the never-ending wishes of her feline and canine masters. Her previous works have been fantasy, urban fantasy, and young adult fantasy novels. Several contain romantic and mystery elements. Her short stories of speculative fiction can be found in many anthologies, covering things from the fantastic and strange to a Bubba Apocalypse.

Her latest release, “Black Jade – A Daiyu Wu Mystery” is Gloria’s first cozy historical mystery novel. This is her ninth published novel.

 Gloria is a member in good standing of BroadUniverse though she has yet to make the list for Cat Slaves R Us. In her spare time (what’s that?), she watches TV shows, movies, anime, plays PC games, and reads books.

 For some free reads, novel related short stories, sample chapters, appearance schedule and more information on her and her works, please drop by and visit her at  www.gloriaoliver.com

Author Links 

Webpage Amazon Goodreads LibraryThing Smashwords Blog Newsletter Facebook Twitter Pinterest Instagram

Purchase Links:

Amazon –  B&N – KoboApple

Smashwords – Black Jade – A Daiyu Wu Mystery, an Ebook by Gloria Oliver
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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
July 12 – Novels Alive – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 12 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
July 13 – Baroness’ Book Trove – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 13 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 14 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
July 14 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 15 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 15 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
July 16 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
July 16 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
July 17 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW
July 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
July 18 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 18 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT

 

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Posted in 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

The Mountain View Murder (A Wintergreen Mystery) by Patrick Kelly #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @pkfiction


The Mountain View Murder (A Wintergreen Mystery)
by Patrick Kelly

About The Mountain View Murder

The Mountain View Murder (A Wintergreen Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Virginia
Publisher: Chaparral Press LLC
Paperback: 270 pages
ISBN-10: 1734239220
ISBN-13: 978-1734239225
Digital – ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0977C7WVL

Guess who cried at Lou Thorpe’s funeral

 

No one. His wife, grown children, and best friends all attended the service, but no one shed a single tear. Poor Lou. He was out for his morning walk when a crazed driver knocked him out of life. Crazed? With no car, no driver, and no witnesses, it’s difficult to say. Was it an accident or intentional?

 

Until that morning, Bill O’Shea was living the dream. After a career of fighting crime in the big city, Bill bought a condo in the beautiful mountain resort community of Wintergreen, Virginia. When he met his attractive new neighbor, Bill knew his retirement was off to a great start. But then the short-staffed police department asked Bill to help them investigate Thorpe’s death.

 

Soon, Bill fell into an old routine. Interviewing suspects. Checking alibis. Everyone had a secret to hide, but Bill lacked evidence to tie any of the suspects to the crime. He was missing something–like he had an itch he couldn’t reach to scratch.

 

Will Bill and his new friends solve the case, or will the murder of Lou Thorpe remain a mystery forever?

 

If you love beautiful mountain settings, a charming cast, and intriguing plot twists, you’re going to love this new series!

 

Clean read: no graphic violence, sex, or strong language.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

“In the dead of the summer night, harsh winds blow from the north into the Shenandoah Valley.” Plagued by insomnia Lou Thorpe heads out for his usual early morning walk never to return home again. The apparent victim of a hit and run the police have no witnesses to say if it was an accident or intentional. The local force is short-handed and the temporary man in charge has no clue where to start his investigation. Enter Bill O’Shea, a retired cop from the big city who has recently moved to the resort community of Wintergreen. He quickly starts checking alibis and talking to suspects but there is nothing to pin anyone with the crime. Frustrated that he is missing an important piece of the puzzle. Maybe his new neighbor can help him uncover something to get the investigation moving again but no one really seems distraught that the man is dead. Bill could be looking at a case he just may not be able to solve.


I really enjoyed Mr. Kelly’s descriptive writing style. From the first line, he whisked me away to the beautiful area of Wintergreen, Virginia. The mountains and their trails are traversed throughout the story and I could easily picture every step along the way. This added so much to the story.

The victim, Lou Thorpe was a longtime resident of the community and he had a clear routine that everyone was aware of, but he wasn’t a nice man. I was a little shocked by the number of suspects that were revealed as the retired Bill O’Shea digs into Thorpe’s life. Bill is an excellent protagonist. He is a smart man and his heart is in the right place. He was asked to assist on this case and he truly gave it his all. He interacts with a wide variety of people and at times he truly had the patience of a saint. Everyone seems to have a secret and some are pretty big. He does have an instant connection with his new neighbor Cindy but she worries me a bit after some of her reactions. I am interested to see how this relationship plays out. All the other characters we meet have issues that make them unique and memorable. It is a very interesting community.

The mystery is very well-plotted with a lot of moving parts. I really enjoyed following along with Bill and witnessing his thought process. The ending did surprise me and played out in an unusual way. The characters were believable for the most part the ending was not. I was not left with that satisfied feeling I usually have when finishing books in this genre. I can only assume the author had a very good reason for writing it the way he did.

While the ending felt off I found The Mountain View Murder to be an entertaining read. I really like Bill O’Shea and would definitely read more stories featuring him. I also really like the Shenandoah Valley and the Appalachian Trail setting and the way the author brought the area to life. I am curious to see where the author takes these characters.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Patrick Kelly

Pat Kelly was raised in the idyllic suburb of Yorktown, Virginia, where children ran barefoot through the grass and fished in the York River. After graduating from UVA, he left the state to pursue a career in finance. He settled in Texas, married a wonderful woman (Susie), and together they raised two daughters in Austin.

With the girls now grown and gone, Pat has pursued a lifelong love of writing stories. Countless hours at the keyboard have produced the Joe Robbins Thriller Series, two book awards, and four standalone novels.

A few years ago, Pat and Susie bought a summer home in the bucolic mountaintop resort of Wintergreen, Virginia. The beautiful vistas there inspired Pat to write a cozy mystery series featuring the reluctant detective Bill O’Shea. Join Pat’s newsletter to follow Bill’s adventures as he dodges irrepressible bears, pursues romance, and solves mysteries.

Author Links

Webpage     Blog    Facebook    Twitter     Goodreads   Instagram

Purchase Links

Amazon Paperback  – Amazon Kindle – Books2Read   –  Barnes & Noble –   Kobo 

Also by Patrick Kelly


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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
July 5 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
July 5 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
July 6 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
July 6 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 7 – Thoughts in Progress – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT
July 7 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
July 8 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 8 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT
July 9 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 9 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 10 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 11 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
July 11 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
July 12 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
July 12 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 13 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
July 13 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
July 14 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

 

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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 2021 Reviews E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Choir Loft Murder: Frankie Shep Suspense Novellas by Karen Randau #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @klrandau


Choir Loft Murder: Frankie Shep Suspense Novellas
by Karen Randau

About Choir Loft Murder


Choir Loft Murder: Frankie Shep Suspense Novellas
Mystery/Thriller
3rd in Series
Setting – Wyoming
Independently Published – June 22 (print) and August 24 (ebook)
Print Length – 134 Pages
Digital ASIN: B08XY8HW26

Her fiance a murderer? As she digs for the truth, she must fight to survive a plot to frame the man she loves.

 

Frankie Shep has endured too many tragedies in her life. When she finally dares to love again, a revengeful plot threatens to cancel her wedding plans and send her fiance to death row. But this feisty modern-day rancher won’t stand for it.

 

A member of the church choir dies from a blowgun dart to a vital artery, and the murder weapon implicates Quint. Frankie is shocked to discover Quint was a champion blowgun competitor but quit the sport after a family disaster. And now he’s refusing to talk about his fate.

 

So she takes it on herself to track down the killer before Quint accepts a life-altering plea deal. She’s devastated when she unearths his motive for the crime. But someone else lurks in the shadows, and that’s who she’s determined to find. Little does she know the killer follows her every move, ready to strike her down when she gets too close.

Can she unravel the vindictive plot before she becomes a crazed killer’s next victim?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This third book in the series has Frankie and Pastor Quint planning their life together when a choir rehearsal goes horribly wrong. A new member of the choir with an angelic voice that can hit those amazing high notes is struck down by a dart from a blowgun. The murderer opens the door just wide enough to do the deed and disappears as the resulting chaos ensues.

Frankie is stunned when her fiance is arrested for the crime. She had no idea the man had mad skills with a blowgun and could have easily made the precise shot. He seems to accept his fate but Frankie knows the man she loves is no killer and she is going to prove it. She knows he is being set up but she learns he did have a viable motive.

The trouble is the real killer is watching her every move and is never going to let her find the truth and if she does what’s one more body. Can Frankie free her fiance? Or will she be the next person the kills blows away?


I was on the edge of my seat for most of this story. At just 134 pages the pace is brisk and revenge is on the songchart.

Frankie works tirelessly to follow every clue even if it means traveling miles before she sleeps. She does not give up even when things she uncovers do not make sense. She battled on through each twist and turn. I admired the way she kept investigating even when Quint was about to give up and take a plea. I was a little disappointed in Quint’s behavior but don’t want to say too much and ruin the book for anyone.

Ms. Randau plotted an excellent mystery which led up to a very suspenseful reveal. I was totally blindsided when the killer was revealed. I am embarrassed because I fell into a trap I shouldn’t have and that led me astray.

The author knows how to pack the pages full of intrigue and excitement. I read this story incredibly fast and I never had a moment when I wanted to put it down.

Choir Loft Murder was a true Perfect Escape. I am looking forward to visiting these characters again soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Karen Randau

Karen Randau authors fast-paced mystery, suspense, and thriller books featuring intricate plots, told from the point of view of strong female protagonists. In addition to the Frankie Shep Suspense series set on a fictional ranch in Wyoming, her Rim Country Mystery Series are set in the quaint fictional mountain town of Rim Vista, Arizona. She is also one of seven authors of novellas in the Tawnee Mountain Mystery Series. She lives in the mountains of Arizona with her multigenerational family.

Author Links

Website    Facebook     Twitter     GoodReads     BookBub

Purchase Links

Choir Loft Murder
Also by Karen Randau

Entire Series Page

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
July 7 – Novels Alive – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 7 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
July 8 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
July 8 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
July 9 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
July 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
July 10 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 10 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
July 11 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 11 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 12 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
July 13 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW
July 13 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

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

Posted in Great Escapes Book Tours Interviews

#Author Interview – Charlotte Stuart – Author of Who, Me? Fog Bows, Fraud and Aphrodite #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Who, Me? Fog Bows, Fraud and Aphrodite
by Charlotte Stuart

I am so happy to have Charlotte Stuart drop by today!

Hi Charlotte,

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’ve done a variety of things to make a living, from being a flight attendant to commercial salmon fishing. The job I enjoyed the most was as a management consultant. I did individual and group assessments, leadership training, and strategic planning. I like to analyze and categorize and solve problems. That’s why I recently put together a matrix on the five sub-genres of humorous mysteries. You can check out the two-part sessions on YouTube: A Reader’s Guide to Choosing Humorous Mysteries.

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

I enjoy research. How much time I spend depends on the theme related to the motivation for murder. For Why Me? Chimeras, Conundrums and Dead Goldfish, the first book in the Macavity & Me Mysteries, I did a lot of reading about illegal trafficking in human organs, chimera research, and laws governing chimera research in different countries. It was both fascinating and a bit scary. I already had a lot of background about fraud in nonprofits, but I still did a fair amount of reading for Who Me? Also, I just completed a Police Academy course for civilians and have been attending webinars on all things sinister, like poison and weaponry and blood splatter patterns. I like to be as accurate as possible.

Do you ever suffer from Writer’s Block?

There are times when the ideas flow better than others. But I’ve always liked the process of writing. I even enjoyed working on my PhD dissertation. And I survived several years writing a column on leadership for a business journal. If I’m suffering from brain fog, I take a break, preferably going for a walk in the woods.

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

I know this sounds cliché, but don’t let rejection get you down. One of the things I’ve researched is authors writing about getting rejected. Some authors are blessed with quick and easy success, but most suffer from a string of rejections along the way. If you aren’t having luck finding an agent or a publisher, consider self-publishing. I self-published a book to use in my consulting business before self-publishing was popular. Currently, I know a number of successful authors who wouldn’t do it any other way. Just go for it.

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

I walk every day for exercise and pleasure, mostly on trails, sometimes on the beach. I also like kayaking and swimming. I’m a water and woods person. And I enjoy meeting with friends over coffee.

How has the COVID pandemic affected you and your writing?

I feel guilty for enjoying myself while others were going through difficult times. I was pleased to have plenty of time to write, places to walk, and a husband I like being with. And for me, Zooming was a good option, both professionally and personally. In some ways, it’s going to be hard to go back to dealing with ferry schedules, traffic and crowds.

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

If I could be teleported to places instead of having to take public transportation, I would begin by visiting the ruins at Machu Picchu, stopping in the Australian outback for a quick look around, going for a hike in the Canary Islands, and having dinner in an Italian hill village with a view of a valley filled with olive trees. Seeing new places in person engages all five senses. You can touch the stone walls, smell the foliage, feel the ground underfoot. But sometimes returning to a place you’ve already been is worthwhile. I can almost taste the antipasto and smell the fettuccine con Carciofi we had in a tiny family restaurant in Italy—

What is next on the horizon for you?

I’ve started three series, so it’s mainly a question of which book to work on next. The third in my Discount Detective series will be coming out on November 2nd, so I’ll definitely be spending some time getting the word out about Shopping Can Be Deadly (A Discount Detective Mystery).

Thank you, Charlotte for visiting today!

Keep reading to find out about Charlotte’s new book. 

About Who, Me?
Fog Bows, Fraud and Aphrodite 


Who, Me? Fog Bows, Fraud and Aphrodite
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Taylor & Seale Publishing
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 236 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1950613704
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1950613700
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B097D67XKS

A heated argument on a nearby boat followed by a loud splash . . .

 

Who, Me? Fog Bows, Fraud and Aphrodite is a mystery set in an urban boating community in Seattle. Bryn Baczek lives on a sailboat in a small marina with her cat, Macavity, and a series of short-lived goldfish. When a neighbor she doesn’t like becomes the prime suspect in a murder investigation, she reluctantly seeks evidence to prove him innocent. She ends up being threatened by the victim’s abusive boyfriend, betrayed by a close friend, and can’t resist using subterfuge to enter a secured building to search the victim’s office. Although she shares what she learns with a charming detective, she is one step ahead of the police in identifying the murderer . . . a step that puts her in a dangerous face-to-face confrontation.

 

More About Charlotte Stuart

 

In a world filled with uncertainty and too little chocolate, Charlotte Stuart, PhD, has taught college courses in speech communication, was a management consultant and a VP of HR, and has enjoyed time spent sailing and commercial salmon fishing in Alaska. Her current passion is for writing mysteries with a dollop of adventure and a smattering of humor. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys watching herons, eagles, seals and other sea life from her Vashon Island home office.

Author Links

Website   Twitter   Facebook   Goodreads   Instagram  

Purchase Links – Amazon

Also by Charlotte Stuart

Coming November 2, 2021

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please check out every stop. 
June 28 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
June 29 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 30 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 1 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST
July 2 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
July 3 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 4 – OFF
July 5 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 6 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 7 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW, GUEST POST
July 8 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 9 – Literary Gold – REVIEW
July 10 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 11 – Ebook addicts – REVIEW

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Posted in 2021 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring The Moonshine Shack Murder (A Southern Homebrew Mystery) by Diane Kelly #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @BerkleyMystery @DianeKellyBooks


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so happy to feature The Moonshine Shack Murder today!

The Moonshine Shack Murder (A Southern Homebrew Mystery)
by Diane Kelly

About The Moonshine Shack Murder


The Moonshine Shack Murder (A Southern Homebrew Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Tennessee
Publisher: Berkley (July 6, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0593333225
ISBN-13: 978-0593333228
Digital ASIN : B08KPKD22T

In this intoxicating new cozy mystery series, the future for modern-day moonshiner Hattie Hayes looks bright–until death darkens the doorstep of her Moonshine Shack.

 

The Hayes family has made moonshine in Chattanooga since the days of Prohibition, and Hattie is happy to continue the tradition, serving up fun, fruity flavors in mason jars for locals and tourists alike. All signs indicate her new ‘shine shop will be a smashing success. What’s more, mounted police officer Marlon Landers has taken a shine to Hattie. For the first time ever, the stars seemed to have aligned in both her work and romantic life. But when a body ends up on her store’s doorstep alongside a broken jar of her Firefly Moonshine, it just might be lights out for her fledgling business.

 

The homicide detective can’t seem to identify the person who killed the owner of a nearby bar. The only witness is Hattie’s longhaired gray cat, and Smoky isn’t talking. When the detective learns that the victim and Hattie had a heated exchange shortly before his murder, she becomes her prime suspect.

 

Lest Hattie end up behind bars like her bootlegging great-grandfather a century before, she must distill the evidence herself and serve the killer a swift shot of justice.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Hattie (love that name, it was my grandma’s) Hayes comes from a long line of moonshiners and now she is keeping the tradition alive with The Moonshine Shack where she will sell her grandfather’s shine along with her own brand with fruity flavors. She hopes her “Shack” and her “Shine” will be a hit with tourists and locals.

Hattie holds a grand opening party where she meets the tavern owner from across the street. She thought she had him convinced to carry her “shine” but when she goes to deliver his first order he backs out of the deal. Then a few nights later he is found dead on the Shack’s porch with a smashed jar of her moonshine nearby. She was upset by his deceit but she would never have killed the man. The only witness appears to be Hattie’s cat but he isn’t talking so she becomes the homicide detective’s #1 suspect. Officer Landers is on her side and tries to help her distill the evidence to clear her name and put the real killer behind bars.


Ms. Kelly has given her new Southern Homebrew Mystery a fantastic start. I liked these characters immediately, okay I loved her grandfather. He leaves the senior home every day to help her out at the store. When the customers are scarce he sits in the rocker on the front porch and whittles the cutest little animals. He also takes a nap here and there and there is a scene that had me giggling and you will too. I love the close relationship he has with his granddaughter. He is so proud of her for carrying on the family tradition. She is smart and savvy and knows how to market her product. Those characteristics come in handy when trying to sleuth out a killer.

Hattie has her two besties helping her out too but one is due to have a baby any day so that means she will have less time to help out. Officer Landers is such a nice man and good at his job. He takes a special interest in keeping Hattie safe and his horse is adorable. I love that this relationship is taking a romantic turn. Marlon and Hattie’s families have a history but I don’t think some old feud will come between them. I also approve highly of Hattie bringing her kitty Smoky to the shop each day. Seeing him lying in the window in the sunshine each day gives the place a real homey feel.

The mystery is very well-plotted and it quickly becomes apparent that the former barkeep has his fair share of enemies which really opened up the suspect pool. Some of his employees/girlfriends rank high on Hattie’s list but a local lawyer and other shopkeepers and a certain restaurant owner all had motives to kill the man. Hattie works hard to pare down the suspects and catch the killer because when the case wraps she has a special event she is looking forward to. I did enjoy the way she did her investigating but I took a shine to one person early on and never eliminated them. Sure I missed something I was surprised by how the ending played out and that I actually picked the right character.

As I said this series is off to a fantastic start. The location is ideal and the characters are interesting. I am excited because the author has just scratched the surface and can take this series in so many directions. I want to get to know all the characters better. I can’t wait to return to Chattanooga and The Moonshine Shack for a sample or two and whatever trouble Hattie gets herself wrapped up in.

The Moonshine Shack Murder was a pure pleasure to read and I enjoyed it very much.

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About Diane Kelly

Diane Kelly writes stories that feature feisty female lead characters and their furry, four-footed friends. Diane is the author of over 30 novels and novellas, including the Death & Taxes, Paw Enforcement, and House Flipper mystery series. In 2021, she’ll launch two new series, the Southern Homebrew moonshine series and the Mountain Lodge Mysteries.

Author Links: 

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Also by Diane Kelly

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

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Cozy Wednesday with Miranda Trent – Owner of Paint and Shine from Draw and Order by Cheryl Hollon @CherylHollon #Giveaway


Draw and Order (A Paint & Shine Mystery)
by Cheryl Hollon

I am excited to welcome Miranda to Escape With Dollycas today!

It’s almost Independence Day! I’m Miranda Trent, owner of Paint & Shine, a brand new business. It’s a newfangled type of cultural touring business set in Eastern Kentucky right smack dab in the middle of the Daniel Boone National Forest. It’s only been about a few months ago now that I inherited my uncle’s farmhouse along with forty acres, some outbuildings, a spring-fed well, and a weathered tobacco barn.

The barn represents my dream vision for a moonshine distillery. Of course, that barn has been a problem since my first day at the farmhouse. It’s old and needs a lot of work to upgrade it to support the heavy equipment, water flow, and sanitary conditions required.

The plan for my business is to take clients up into the Natural Bridge State Park on a hiking trail so they can paint one of the spectacular sandstone cliffs overlooks as a group activity. Then, we’ll all have a traditional southern meal in the farmhouse dining room, with each course paired with a moonshine cocktail. Thus the inspiration for the name of my business: Paint & Shine.

Eventually, I will serve those cocktails from the secret moonshine recipes that my uncle hid in his underground brewing cave next to the creek out back of the barn on my property. That shine has a legendary reputation for being the best in these here hills.

You can read more about Miranda in the new Paint and Shine Mystery, Draw and Order.

 

About Draw and Order


Draw and Order (A Paint & Shine Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Kensington (June 29, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496725263
ISBN-13: 978-1496725264
Digital ASIN: B08KKMYPCT

Appalachian artist and local guide Miranda Trent opens a new murder investigation after her Paint & Shine tour group discovers the remains of a missing hiker along an ancient trail . . .

 

For her latest excursion, Miranda is thrilled to take a close-knit group of rock climbers, the Risky Business Adventurers, up the challenging Battleship Rock Trail to paint and sample moonshine. But the outing is cut short when they discover a skeleton near the trailhead. Even more startling, the bones belong to Howard Cable, Miranda’s cousin…and a former classmate of the Risky Business group.

 

The sheriff chalks it up to a hiking accident, but Miranda isn’t convinced that Howard, an experienced woodsman, died within sight of a well-marked trail. So, with the help of Ranger Austin Morgan, Miranda sets out on her own investigation and discovers that the Risky Business group is keeping plenty of secrets. But is one of them hiding the truth about Howard’s death?

 

About Cheryl Hollon

Cheryl Hollon now writes full-time after she left an engineering career of designing and building military flight simulators in amazing countries such as England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, and India. Fulfilling the dream of a lifetime, she combines her love of writing with a passion for creating glass art. In the small glass studio behind her house in St. Petersburg, Florida, Cheryl and her husband design, create, and produce fused glass, stained glass, and painted glass artworks. Visit her online at http://cherylhollon.com, on Facebook or on Twitter @CherylHollon.

Purchase Links: Amazon    B&N    Kobo     Google Play  IndieBound 

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
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