Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Guest Posts Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Maggie King Author of Laughing Can Kill You: A Hazel Rose Book Group Mystery #Guest Post / #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @MaggieKingAuthr


Laughing Can Kill You: A Hazel Rose Book Group Mystery
by Maggie King

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am excited to have Maggie stop by today!!

Hi Maggie, 

The blog is yours!

This One’s for the Writers
By Maggie King

When Laughing Can Kill You opens, romance author Hazel Rose has been dropped by her publisher. Good thing she signed up for a mystery-writing class—perhaps writing crime fiction will jumpstart her career. But what’s a mystery-writing class without a mystery? So when Randy Zimmerman, an obnoxious classmate given to laughing at others’ expense, is murdered, Hazel recruits her book group pals to help with the investigation. Trouble is, there are more suspects than they bargained for. And they unearth secrets that a killer would go to any lengths to keep hidden.

Besides being a murder mystery, Laughing Can Kill You is a story about writers, where they are on their writing paths, and the ups and downs they experience throughout their careers. How do writers cope with the vagaries of the publishing industry? How do some writers stay on top, continuing to publish bestsellers year after year? Do writers really need to spend copious amounts of time on social media?

Hazel Rose has published eight bestselling baby boomer romances. Sales for the ninth were disappointing and her publisher dropped her. To make matters worse, her agent planned to retire soon.

Hazel may have seen the proverbial writing on the wall, as she had already signed up for a mystery-writing class. She was a founding member of the Murder on Tour book group, so transitioning into crime writing seemed like a natural next step in her writing career. Her cousin Lucy quips, “You could always kill off a publisher.”

But Hazel already has an idea: she will pen romantic mysteries, a la The Thin Man.

Hazel understands that publishing’s a tough business with no room for slack. Still, she’s crushed by this setback. The next day she meets fellow classmate Randy Zimmerman at a book signing. Randy thoroughly enjoys giving Hazel his thumbs-way-down review of her writing. Needless to say, her altercation with him didn’t lift her spirits.

When Randy is murdered, a number of motives drive Hazel’s decision to investigate his murder—one being that solving a real-life murder will surely lend authenticity to her creative writing.

Claudia Marlowe is a best-selling author of twenty-three police procedurals and continues to enjoy success. Her fans happily stand in line for hours at her book signings. She teaches the mystery-writing class Hazel takes (and that the victim planned to take).

Lorraine Popp is also signed up for the mystery-writing class. She has published one mystery, Murder at the Quilting Bee. It hasn’t done well, partly due to Lorraine’s lack of enthusiasm, ignorance of promotion, and reluctance to embrace social media. She won’t write any more quilting mysteries (she knows nothing about the craft, anyway), and no one is asking her to do so. She also has to endure Randy Zimmerman’s ribbing about her writing.

Hazel Rose fancies herself as Lorraine’s mentor and tries coaxing her to take a pro-active role in her own career. It’s tough-going, but Hazel persists. Lorraine has helped her mother with their family tree, and they found criminals on a couple of the branches. Her great, great uncle was a bank robber, and her great aunt embezzled a fortune from her employer. Her response to Hazel’s encouragement to work these findings into a murder mystery: “I’ll think about it.”

Apparently, she did. At the next mystery-writing class, Lorraine enthuses about the genealogy idea and thanks Hazel for encouraging her. And she tells another student that she’s going to use genealogy to hunt down Randy’s killer.

How will that work out for her?

Randy Zimmerman has finished his first manuscript. When he meets Hazel and Lorraine at the book signing, he immediately boasts about his legal thriller, predicting that he’ll give John Grisham a run for his money.

Matt Rowan, Randy’s long-time friend, also has a completed manuscript for a legal thriller, his set in the 19th century. Unlike Randy, Matt is modest about his writing.

Lucy Hooper and Eileen Thompson complete the small writing class. They are starting on their writing paths. Brings back memories of my first writing efforts at a class I took at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. No dead bodies, though.

***

Considering a writing career? Wonderful choice. Just keep your eyes wide open and be prepared for ANYTHING!

Thank you Maggie for being my guest today.

Now keep reading for my thoughts about Laughing Can Kill You

 

About Laughing Can Kill You

Laughing Can Kill You: A Hazel Rose Book Group Mystery
Edgy Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Virginia
Olive Lane Press (December 6, 2021)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8985231816
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09MMHLSSJ

He who laughs last, laughs longest.

Unless he’s dead.

When romance author Hazel Rose is dropped by her publisher, she sees herself heading down a path strewn with has-been authors. While disappointed, Hazel won’t give up without a fight—she signs up for a mystery-writing class, thinking that crime fiction will jumpstart her career.

But what’s a mystery-writing class without a mystery? So when Randy Zimmerman, an obnoxious classmate given to laughing at others’ expense, is murdered, Hazel tackles the case. Solving a real-life murder will surely lend authenticity to her creative writing.

She recruits her book group pals to help with the investigation. Trouble is, there are more suspects than they bargained for—even Hazel herself, who endured Randy’s thumbs-way-down review of her writing, had a motive.

A second body drives the stakes higher, and Hazel doubles her efforts to find who’s behind the murders, unearthing secrets that a killer would go to any lengths to keep hidden.

Will Hazel succeed? Or will this be “The End” for her?

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Hazel Rose is back and her writing career is in peril. Dropped by her publisher she decides combining mystery with her usual romance themes may just save her from being a has-been. She signs up for a class being taught by successful best-selling mystery author Claudia Marlowe. Prior to the class, the authors meet at a book signing where future classmate and author hopeful Randy Zimmerman brags his book will rival the works of John Grisham. He also seems to find humor in everything and spews some hurtful words. Shortly thereafter the man is found dead, by Hazel no less, and she and her book club have another murder to solve. One where she and other authors find themselves prominent on the suspect list.

Can Hazel find the killer or has she written her last word?


While part of a series this book easily stands on its own. The author provides plenty of background information so readers new to the series will not feel lost at all.

Hazel Rose is an excellent protagonist. She is a genuinely nice person. Her natural curiosity suits her well both in her storytelling and sleuthing. I love that she is an author dealing with all the hurdles in the publishing world and gives readers a look behind the scenes. She is surrounded by the required set of quirky characters that are unique and each intriguing in their own ways.  Randy Zimmerman was a real piece of work who left a lot of enemies in his wake. The suspect pool is large but manageable.

The story is very well-written with Hazel meeting with the suspects one by one trying to determine who could have done Randy in. There is plenty of humor layered throughout and the dialogues are top-notch. The story moves along at a very comfortable pace. I was very entertained by Hazel’s process and the final confrontation was very exciting when things almost went horribly wrong.

I did enjoy the way Ms. King sets a scene. I can tell how much she loves where she lives. Her descriptions gave a great vision of the time and place.

Laughing Can Kill You has an interesting amateur sleuth, a nice cast of supporting characters, a wonderful setting, and a captivating mystery. I hope to visit Hazel Rose again soon, I want to know how her writing career is faring. I am sure a dead body or two will give her plenty of ideas.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Maggie King

 

Maggie King is the author of the Hazel Rose Book Group mysteries. Her short stories appear in various anthologies, including the Virginia is for Mysteries series, 50 Shades of Cabernet, Deadly Southern Charm, Murder by the Glass, and Death by Cupcake.

She is a member of James River Writers, International Thriller Writers, Short Mystery Fiction Society, and is a founding member of Sisters in Crime Central Virginia, where she manages the chapter’s Instagram account.

Maggie graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a degree in Business Administration and has worked as a software developer and a retail sales manager. She has called New Jersey, Massachusetts, and California home. These days she lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband and two indulged cats. When Maggie isn’t writing she enjoys reading, walking, cooking, traveling, movies, British TV shows, and the theatre. Visit Maggie at www.maggieking.com

Author Links:

Website     Facebook     Twitter     Instagram    Goodreads

 Purchase Links:

Amazon    Universal Book Link (ebook)    Barnes & Noble (print)     Bookshop.org (print)    GoodReads Link       Kobo

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
January 17 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
January 18 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
January 18 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 19 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT WITH RECIPE
January 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GUEST POST
January 20 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST
January 21 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 22 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
January 23 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
January 24 – Here’s How It Happened – GUEST POST
January 25 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
January 26 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
January 27 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
January 27 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 28 – Nellie’s Book Nook – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
January 29 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
January 30 – BookishKelly2020 – 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

Enter a Wizard, Stage Left (A Zodiac Mystery) by Connie di Marco #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @Connie di Marco


I am pleased to shine my spotlights on Enter a Wizard, Stage Left
(A Zodiac Mystery)

by Connie di Marco today

About Enter a Wizard, Stage Left 


Enter a Wizard, Stage Left (A Zodiac Mystery)
Traditional Mystery
Prequel Novella
Suspense Publishing (October 26, 2021)
Print length ‏ : ‎ 111 pages
ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09JGV526H

Julia Bonatti wasn’t always a crime-solving San Francisco astrologer. She was a young woman, engaged to the love of her life, preparing for a teaching career when tragedy struck. Her fiancé was killed in a hit and run accident. As Julia struggles with her loss and attempts to find meaning in her life again, she takes refuge with her grandmother Gloria. But there’s little time for grief or rest because Gloria, a retired seamstress, needs Julia’s help. Gloria’s been hired to create costumes for a production of Agatha Christie’s Appointment with Death at the newly opened Theatre Mars in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood.

 

Theatre Mars is a stunning jewel, the cast is supremely talented and the script is brilliant. What could go wrong? Julia gets the first hint of trouble when her new friend, the owner of The Mystic Eye bookshop, warns that all might not go well. Opening night will take place during the dark of the moon, the last three days before the new moon, a time that bodes disaster for any new project. The dire prediction comes true when the lead actress is murdered before the final curtain, echoing the play itself. Julia discovers a vital clue to the murder, but a clue that puts Gloria’s life in grave danger. Can Julia rescue her grandmother before it’s too late? And will a black cat play a leading role?

 

About Connie di Marco

With the Zodiac Mysteries, featuring Julia Bonatti, a crime-solving San Francisco astrologer, Connie di Marco has combined her fascination with astrology and her love of writing mysteries.  Writing as Connie Archer, she’s the national bestselling author of the Soup Lover’s Mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime.  You can find her excerpts and recipes in The Cozy Cookbook and The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook.  She is a member of International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime.  She lives in Los Angeles but dreams constantly of the San Francisco fog.

Author Links

Website    Blog    Facebook     Amazon  
Purchase Link – Amazon 
Great Escapes Praise for Enter a Wizard, Stage Left (A Zodiac Mystery)
by Connie di Marco

Come and journey as the reason for the crime fall, and soon you will want to read this series!
~Maureen’s Musings

Great characters, well to the series…ed clues and an adrenaline-fueled search create a dynamic and enthralling read.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

I enjoyed meeting Gale and discovering how she decided to set up a mystic shop. I find that whole world very fascinating. If you haven’t read any of this series, or even if you have, definitely check out this prequel to learn a bit more about Julie; Gale; Julie’s grandmother, Gloria; and Kuan, her grandmother’s tenant.
~Storeybook Reviews

Enter a Wizard, Stage Left in fast-paced and you can easily finish it in a sitting or a couple of hours.
~Nadaness In Motion

Enter a Wizard, Stage Left was a nice addition to the series. It answered some questions about the characters that readers of this series have come to love. This story can be read before you get into the series or whenever you want a lite, cozy read. I’m looking forward to the next full-length novel in this series
~Read Your Writes Book Reviews

Fun, fast little mystery
~Rosepoint Publishing

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops.
January 5 – Maureen’s Musings – REVIEW
January 5 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
January 6 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
January 6 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 7 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, GUEST POST
January 7 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
January 8 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
January 8 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
January 9 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 10 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
January 10 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW
January 11 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 12 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 13 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 14 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
January 15 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
January 16 – Nellie’s Book Nook – REVIEW, GUEST POST
January 17 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 18 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book -SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Great Escapes Book Tours Spotlights

Book Blast – The Cape May Cozy Mysteries by Jane Gorman


The Cape May Cozy Mysteries
by Jane Gorman

Check out this fun series from Jane Gorman!

Scones and Scofflaws: Cape May Cozy Mysteries with a Twist
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Cape May, New Jersey
Blue Eagle Press (December 19, 2020)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 278 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0999110047
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0999110041
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08PW7M9JC

When a gorgeous man dressed as Bridgette Bardot buys her a Scofflaw and asks her out on a date, Anna McGregor begins to suspect her murder investigation has taken a wrong turn. Her previous work as a medical anthropologist exposed her to a variety of unexpected situations, but none quite like this.

 

“The story does a great job of setting up the mystery and then anthropologist turned B&B hostess, Anna McGregor leads us through a merry chase and I thought I had it partially figured out but then realized…red herring. I would suggest you skip to the back of the book to find the scofflaw recipe and make one to enjoy while you armchair sleuth your way through this charming and cozy mystery.” — Tracy’s Tidbits

 

It all seemed so simple: fix up the Cape May Victorian mansion she’d inherited from Great Aunt Louise and re-open it as the exceptional B&B it used to be. Everything’s going great, until her very first guest turns up dead at the breakfast table, crumbs from Anna’s blueberry scones scattered on the lace tablecloth.

 

As the town’s gossip mill goes into overdrive, Anna leaps into the fray to save her reputation, her business and Great Aunt Louise’s legacy.

 

With help from a handsome handyman eager to solve all of Anna’s problems and a young police officer new to murder investigations, Anna does her best to convince the town — and her future guests — that while her scones may be killer, someone else was responsible for this murder.

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NAlibrisIndieBoundKobo –  Books2Read

Boats, Bodies and the Bee’s Knees: Cape May Cozy Mysteries with a Twist
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Blue Eagle Press (April 9, 2021)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 270 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0999110063
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0999110065
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08TV5Y2Y9

When her friend’s uncle is accused of murder, Anna McGregor dives into the boating life to prove his innocence. She soon learns that while lounging on a luxury yacht might be fun, matching wits with a killer can be deadly.

Life has finally settled down for Anna. The Cape May B & B she inherited from her Great Aunt Louise is fully booked and Anna is looking forward to a successful summer. Her peace is shattered when a body washes up in Spicer Creek and the police focus their investigation on her friend’s uncle. Determined to find the truth, Anna turns to skills she developed in her previous career in medical anthropology.

Once again, Anna teams up with her best friend Sammy, her young cousin Eoin and the local librarian to use their knowledge of the town and its people to solve this crime. But the disappearance of two local teenagers reminds Anna this is the wrong time for free fishing trips or relaxing on a yacht enjoying a Bee’s Knees cocktail. She needs to find the missing teenagers and identify the killer before anyone else gets hurt.

Purchase Link – AmazonB&NAlibrisIndieBoundKoboBooks2Read – 


Killers and Kir Royale: Cape May Cozy Mysteries with a Twist
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Blue Eagle Press (December 17, 2021)
Print Length 241 Pages
ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09MV26RSS

When a love of wine becomes lethal, local B&B owner Anna McGregor discovers she’s the town’s connoisseur at defending the innocent and unmasking murderers. But if she goes after the killer, will the people she cares about most get crushed in the process?

Anna loves the new life she’s built for herself in Cape May, a town known for its historic beauty, picturesque beaches, developing wine culture and … murder? Thanks to some previous successes – and a close relationship with a local patrolman – Anna finds herself pressured into accepting the task of proving a new friend’s innocence in a tragic death at a local winery.

Her investigation reveals an embarrassment of suspects, not to mention one too many potential victims. As always, Anna relies on help from her friends to find the truth. This time, though, offering help means breaking the rules.

Now she must not only catch a killer but also save the reputation of one of her closest friends, all while getting ready to send her young cousin, Eoin, back to Ireland, trying to solve the riddle of her love life, and figuring out her future as a medical anthropologist.

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NAlibris  – KoboBooks2Read – 

About Jane Gorman

Formerly an anthropologist, then a diplomat, then a park ranger, Jane Gorman now writes murder mysteries. Building on her knowledge of Philadelphia (her home for many years) and her varied experiences, her Adam Kaminski mystery series features a Philly cop who manages to solve complicated murders in far-flung locales, both in the U.S. and overseas. Her Cape May cozy mysteries paint a light-hearted, fun picture of the Cape May life of a former anthropologist who just happens to be good at solving murders – and trying out new cocktails!

Author Links

Website       Facebook       Twitter        BookBub      GoodReads 

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Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Spotlights

Daunting Darkness & Freaky Familiars (Paige Papillon Paranormal Mysteries) by Lily Luchesi #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


It is my pleasure to shine my spotlight on Daunting Darkness & Freaky Familiars
(Paige Papillon Paranormal Mysteries)

by Lily Luchesi today!

About Daunting Darkness


Daunting Darkness (Paige Papillon Paranormal Mysteries)
Paranormal Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Partners in Crime Book Services (January 7, 2022)
Print length ‏ : ‎ 289 pages
ASIN ‏ : ‎ B095NHY2LR

Following your dreams can become a nightmare.

 

Paige Papillon has always loved mysteries. So much so, she enlists in the Police Academy to one day become a detective.

 

But when she washes out of training, her Sergeant inspires her to go another route: become a private investigator.

 

After a few boring cases, she receives an envelope full of cash and mysterious clues that lead to the discovery of a cover up of paranormal proportions.

Worse, the Sergeant’s wife is at the center of it. Can Paige solve the mystery and stay alive, or will she become a midnight snack for a monster?

 

About Freaky Familiars

Freaky Familiars (Paige Papillon Paranormal Mysteries)
Paranormal Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Partners in Crime Book Services (January 7, 2022)
Print Length ~140 Pages
ASIN ‏ : ‎ B095NHSG5L

No time for a catnap for this paranormal detective!

 

Now aware that things that go bump in the night exist, private investigator Paige Papillon has expanded her business to include clients of all species.

 

Assisted by a former detective and his mystery writer wife with a checkered past, she begins to settle into her new job as Chicago’s premier paranormal PI.

 

But when her best friend’s cat goes missing, Paige realizes how much she still doesn’t know about the supernatural world. It’s a race against the clock to save a shapeshifter and prevent a witch’s familiar from being sold to the highest bidder.

About Lily Luchesi

Lily Luchesi is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of the Paranormal Detectives Series.

Her young adult Coven Series has successfully topped Amazon’s Hot New Releases list consecutively.

She is also the co-owner of Partners in Crime Book Services, where she offers a myriad of services alongside her business partner Annie Smith, including editing.

She was born in Chicago, Illinois, where many of her stories are set. Ever since she was a toddler, her mother noticed her tendency for being interested in all things “dark”. At two she became infatuated with vampires and ghosts, and that infatuation turned into a lifestyle. She is also an out member of the LGBT+ community. When she’s not writing, she’s going to rock concerts, getting tattooed, watching the CW, or reading comics. And drinking copious amounts of coffee.

She also writes contemporary books for adults as Samantha Calcott.

You can also keep up with Lily via her newsletter … and receive a free e-book as well!

Author Links

Website Newsletter Instagram Twitter Facebook Amazon BookBub

Purchase Links – Daunting Darkness – Amazon Freaky Familiars – Amazon

Great Escapes Praise for Daunting Darkness

All in all, the story is entertaining and it’s a pleasant quick read with lots of unique twists. If you like paranormal mysteries, give this a try!
~Nellie’s Book Nook

This is a fun start to a new paranormal cozy series. We meet Paige who always dreamed of being a cop but cannot make it to the force. Instead, she jumps at the chance to be a P.I. finding herself wrapped up in a murder case anyways. Full of intriguing twists, a wide range of characters, and a sweet FMC we get a fun read that makes for an enjoyable time. I really liked it so I give it 4/5 stars.
~Books A Plenty Book Reviews

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
January 7 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 8 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
January 9 – Nellie’s Book Nook – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 10 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
January 11 – Ascroft, eh? – GUEST POST
January 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 13 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
January 14 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
January 15 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
January 15 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
January 16 – Baroness’ Book Trove – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
January 17 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 18 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT
January 18 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 19 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST
January 19 – Christa Reads and Writes – SPOTLIGHT
January 20 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  
January 20 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

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Posted in Cozy Wednesday Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Guest Posts

Cozy Wednesday with Author Lori Robbins – Author of Murder in Second Position – #GuestPost / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @lorirobbins99

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am thrilled to welcome Lori Robbins to
Escape With Dollycas today!


Hi Lori,
Welcome to Escape With Dollycas! 

Hi Lori,
I hope your readers enjoy this guest post.

Fiction That’s True to Life
by Lori Robbins

 

People often ask how I come up with my plots. It’s a reasonable question since my life would appear to offer little in the way of crime-related inspiration. Nonetheless, commonplace events, past and present, fuel my stories. Everything that happens on a typical day, from standing in line for a Covid test to struggling with a difficult coworker, is fodder for my crime fiction. In other words, everything I write is true, but none of it is real.

On the other hand, writing amateur sleuth mysteries poses a creative challenge of no small proportion. The only way to credibly place a teacher, a dancer, a bookseller, or a baker at the heart of a murder investigation is to somehow make the impossible seem inevitable. For me, the best way to solve the problem is to imagine myself in the protagonist’s place. That’s why both my mystery series are inspired by my lived experience.

My first career was as a dancer. It’s a world I know intimately, and because it’s filled with inherent conflict it works well as a dramatic framework for a murder mystery. A ballerina’s professional life is brutally short, even without a fictional crime thrown into the mix, and this vulnerability makes dancers extremely susceptible to all kinds of pressure.  An added element of tension is embedded in the fact that dancers aren’t simply in competition with each other. They’re also in competition with themselves: their own bodies and their own frailties. The stresses dancers face on an everyday basis didn’t need much in the way of exaggeration to provide plenty of motivation for murder. The emotions are real, even if the situation is fiction.

Leah, the protagonist of the On Pointe Mystery series, is a thirty-something ballerina who is battling the limitations of her own body when she is thrust into a murder investigation. Her fraught relationships with food, with her own body, and with her fellow dancers are all grounded in reality. I’ve read and watched many fictionalized accounts of life in a professional dance company, and it really bothers me when the details aren’t true to life. Those elements are something I very much wanted to get right in my books.

The narrative arc of Murder in Second Position doesn’t simply rest upon the murder investigation. It also follows Leah’s growth as a human being as she navigates a perilous path in an unforgiving environment. In the end, she learns there’s more to life, and to her, than being onstage. That’s a lesson, and a challenge, many people face, now more than ever. Others have found themselves outsourced and out of work and have to rebuild their lives in ways they never imagined they could do. Leah’s story is pure invention. Leah’s life is real.

After my dance career ended I became an English teacher. Working in a public high school provided enough material for a library’s worth of murder mysteries.  This is fortunate, for my first novel, Lesson Plan for Murder will be rereleased in June 2022 as the first in a three-part Master Class Mystery series. The mundane events of life as a teacher were fertile ground for life as a writer.

My biggest problem in crafting a realistic backdrop for the story was that the craziest parts of being a teacher seemed too farfetched. I once wrote a passage my editor thought was unrealistic. Except it was toned-down version of an email one of my colleagues actually received from an irate parent. In that case, truth was too strange for fiction.

Within that context, a crime-fighting English teacher feels a lot more reasonable. Liz Hopewell, like ballerina Leah Siderova, is a most unlikely choice as a sleuth. But, not unlike the rest of us, they have to use their wit, their intelligence, and their determination to survive.

I’ll admit that a story about an ex-cop, who has a tortured past and a Glock pistol, may seem more credible. And there’s undeniable appeal in books and movies that follow the adventures of detectives who possess tech skills an MIT grad would envy. It’s thrilling to watch these pros successfully thwart a global conspiracy.

But that’s just not me, or anyone I know. I’ve never been tempted to get into a high-speed car chase. I still get nervous every time I’m stuck in New York City traffic. But the urge to take bold action is within us all.

Really.

Thank you Lori so much for visiting today. 

About Murder in Second Position 


Murder in Second Position: An On Pointe Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Level Best Books (November 23, 2021)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 258 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1685120210
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1685120214
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09FM1JTFL

Ballerina Leah Siderova belongs onstage. Not in an interrogation room at Manhattan’s Twentieth Precinct. And yet, for the second time in less than a year, that’s where she has a starring role. It wasn’t her fault someone killed the autocratic new director of the American Ballet Company. And it wasn’t her job to find the killer.

 

Leah is determined to stay as far away as possible from the murder investigation. After all, if she were going to kill someone, it would have been the woman who’s been relentlessly trolling her on social media. And that’s where things get complicated. Because when dancers say “ballet can be murder” they don’t mean it literally.

 

Most of the time.

About Lori Robbins

Brooklyn-born Lori Robbins began dancing at age 16 and launched her professional career three years later. She studied modern dance at the Martha Graham School and ballet at the New York Conservatory of Dance. Robbins performed with a number of dance companies, including Ballet Hispanico, the Des Moines Ballet, and the St. Louis Concert Ballet. After ten very lean years as a dancer she attended Hunter College, graduating summa cum laude with a major in British Literature and a minor in Classics.

The opening book in her On Pointe Mystery Series, Murder in First Position, won the Indie Book Award for Best Mystery, was a finalist for a Silver Falchion, and is currently on the short list for a Mystery & Mayhem Book Award. Murder in Second Position will be released November 23, 2021. Her debut mystery, Lesson Plan for Murder, won the Silver Falchion for Best Cozy Mystery and was a finalist in the Readers’ Choice and Indie Book Awards. It will be re-released in June 2022. She authored two short stories in 2021: “Accidents Happen” in Mystery Most Diabolical, and “Leading Ladies” in Justice for All. She is an expert in the homicidal impulses everyday life inspires.

Author Links

Webpage      Facebook      Twitter        Instagram       BookBub        Amazon Author Link          Goodreads Link 

Purchase Link – Amazon 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
January 5 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
January 5 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 6 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST
January 6 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 7 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 7 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
January 8 – Nellie’s Book Nook – REVIEW, GUEST POST
January 9 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
January 9 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – CHARACTER GUEST POST
January 10 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
January 10 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
January 11 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 12 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  
January 12 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – GUEST POST

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Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cold Brew Corpse: A Coffee Lover’s Mystery by Tara Lush #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @crookedlanebks #AlphabetSoupChallenge


Cold Brew Corpse: A Coffee Lover’s Mystery
by Tara Lush

About Cold Brew Corpse

Cold Brew Corpse: A Coffee Lover’s Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Florida
Crooked Lane Books (December 7, 2021)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1643857886
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1643857886
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08Y8DJVGJ
Other Digital ISBN-13: 9781643857893

Espresso bar owner Lana Lewis returns in Tara Lush’s second Coffee Lover’s mystery, a stimulating read that fans of Cleo Coyle and Laura Childs will savor to the last drop.

It’s a steamy September, and business is brisk at Perkatory, the hottest coffee shop in Devil’s Beach, FL. Much of the clientele pours in from Dante’s Inferno, the hot yoga studio next door. But the bright, sunny Gulf Coast days turn decidedly dark-roast when the body of the studio’s owner turns up in a nearby swamp.

Between running Perkatory and training Stanley, her golden Shih Tzu puppy, reporter-turned-barista Lana Lewis is too busy to go sleuthing. But when the editor of the local paper asks her to write about the murder, Lana’s dreams of getting back into journalism start to percolate.

Lana discovers that the yogi has a nefarious past and her share of mug shots, so grinding her way through the suspect list is a large task. She learns that the victim was fatally beaned by an SUV before she was dumped in the swamp. But was the killer one of her students? An envious yoga teacher? Or a local photographer who seems to know too much?

But no one tells Lana Lewis what to do. Hunting the caf-fiend who killed the yogi puts Lana and Chief Noah’s relationship–and Lana’s life–in very hot coffee.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

While Lana Lewis serves up her Cold Brew her neighbor at Dante’s Inferno takes her clients through the movements of Hot Yoga. That is until the yogi goes missing and is later found dead floating in a nearby swamp.

Lana is swamped herself with managing Perkatory and training her new puppy Stanley but when the editor of the local paper asks her to get the scoop on the woman’s murder and write about it for the paper Lana can’t say no. This story could be the big break she needs to get her journalism career back on track.

With her connection to the police chief, she is right on the scene when the body is removed from its watery grave. Then with a little bit of old-fashioned legwork and her trusty investigation skills, she learns Raina Rose had quite a checkered past. This opens up the suspect pool she will have to brew through as she tries to steam out the killer while not becoming a victim herself or ruining her relationship with Chief Noah.


I was very happy to visit these characters again. Lana has grown more comfortable in her barista skills but does have an issue with her new Cold Brew that she can’t seem to remedy. She doesn’t lose her cool though, and she doesn’t give up, even when another murder investigation takes over a majority of her time. Thankfully she has Erika and her dad to take up the slack at Perkatory. She and Erika are much more comfortable with each other and make a great team. Her dad is great too, stepping in when needed. I really love the calm he can bring to a situation. I wish he played a larger role in this story. He is a definite fave for me.

I was thrilled to see the relationship between Noah and Lana growing but there are a couple of obstacles in their way. Lana does make a mistake that could blow them miles apart and I enjoyed the way this played out quickly without being drawn out for pages and pages or even into the next book. All the characters have noticeable growth and continue to pull me into their lives very easily.

The mystery was a real conundrum. Following each clue along with Lana was very captivating. The suspects were pretty clear until WHAM! Twist! Turn! I was totally flabbergasted! Oh, Miss Lush, you got me good! Lana too!

There was a subplot that I felt was important that was left open from Lana’s past. I hope that it will develop and Lana is allowed to get to the bottom of it in a future story.

I just have to share that little Stanley is so adorable even when his training has a hiccup or two or three. Also, there is a hilarious moment between Lana and Noah. I almost snorted soda all over my Kindle.

Cold Brew Corpse was a Perfect Escape. It tested me, surprised me, and tickled my funny bone. I am looking forward to my next visit to Devil’s Beach and catching up for a coffee or two with everyone at Perkatory.


Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Tara Lush

Tara Lush is a Florida-based author and journalist. She’s an RWA Rita finalist, an Amtrak writing fellow, and the winner of the George C. Polk award for environmental journalism.

She was a reporter with The Associated Press in Florida, covering crime, alligators, natural disasters, and politics. She also writes contemporary romance set in tropical locations under the name Tamara Lush.

Tara is a fan of vintage pulp fiction book covers, Sinatra-era jazz, 1980s fashion, tropical chill, kombucha, gin, tonic, seashells, iPhones, Art Deco, telenovelas, street art, coconut anything, strong coffee, and newspapers. She lives on the Gulf Coast with her husband and two dogs.

Author Links

WEBSITE    FACEBOOK    INSTAGRAM     GOODREADS    TWITTER

Purchase Links

Amazon  Apple     Barnes&Noble      Kobo     Penguin Random House

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
January 4 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE
January 4 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST
January 5 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
January 5 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
January 6 – The Mystery Section – RECIPE
January 6 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
January 7 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 7 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
January 8 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 8 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
January 9 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
January 10 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 10 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
January 11 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
January 12 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW  
January 12 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
January 13 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
January 14 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
January 15 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
January 16 – ebook addicts – SPOTLIGHT
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January 17 – My Journey Back – RECIPE

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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 Spotlights

Murder in the Badlands – Ghost & the Camper Kooky Mystery by Rita Moreau #Spotlight


Murder in the Badlands – Ghost & the Camper Kooky Mystery
by Rita Moreau++

It is my honor to shine my spotlights on Murder in the Badlands today.
Rita was supposed to drop by for a visit today but sadly she lost her husband earlier this month to cancer.
Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

About Murder in the Badlands


Murder in the Badlands – Ghost & the Camper Kooky Mystery
Paranormal Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Independently Published (December 1, 2021)
Print length ‏ : ‎ 216 pages
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8487548573
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09B2PF7CP

Rita Moreau’s 3rd book in this hilarious series…

 

More antics as Mabel Gold and her friend — spirit — ghost – whatever you want to call Irma, gets Mabel into yet another mystery. Things can go bad quickly in the Badlands…

 

Everything about Mabel’s golden years has been a surprise. The divorce, Irma the ghost haunting her vintage camper, dead guys whose murders Mabel must help Irma solve every stop of the way.

 

Mabel and her ghostly roommate Irma, along with friend Lili and her retired homicide detective husband Bob, have made it to the Badlands. From the get-go, they were smack dab in the middle of another murder.

 

Ralph, an old Marine buddy asks Bob, to investigate the death of his son Danny. His death has been ruled an accident. Ralph didn’t agree. He’s sure his son was pushed off top of Mount Rushmore. Right near the Hall of Records, or as it’s called in the movies and YouTube, the Secret Chamber. But why?

 

Did Danny, a skilled rock climber and much sought-after guide, find long-lost gold?

 

Were Danny’s last words–those of Crazy Horse–Hokahey–it’s a good day to die–leave a clue as to his demise?

 

Will Irma run out of costumes from her ghostly cyberspace closet before they solve the murder?

 

Will Irma’s new friend Poker Alice–the wild west’s famous gambler and brothel owner help Mabel and Irma figure out what happened to Danny?

 

And what about Cindy Lou and her side-kick Top Gun Colonel Clark–did they have a secret that Danny uncovered that fatal night outside the Secret Chamber?

Can Mabel and Irma catch the killer before Mabel joins Irma crashing through the Pearly Gates?

 

Murder in the Badlands is the high spirited third book in the hilarious Ghost & the Camper Kooky Mystery series. If you like golden girl sleuths, zany characters, and sardonic humor, then you’ll love this kooky mystery. Hoping you like camping!

 

About Rita Moreau

Rita Moreau is the author of the Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery series and the Ghost & Camper Kooky Mystery series.

A workaholic by nature, upon retirement, Rita Moreau began work on her bucket list, writing a book. Traveling the national parks with her husband George in a vintage Bluebird motor home, (on George’s list), Rita completed her first novel Bribing Saint Anthony. Back home she completed Nuns! Psychics! & Gypsies! OH! NO, Feisty Nuns and The Russian & Aunt Sophia and The House on Xenia. Last year when we entered the Twilight Zone Rita wrote the first two new novels in the Ghost & the Camper series. Rita and her husband live in a postcard called Florida where he has fun telling everyone he is the author’s husband. When not writing she joins PatZi Gil on the Joy on Paper radio program with Book Buzz Mysteries, or you can find her teaching SilverSneakers fitness classes and doing her best to keep busy. She loves connecting with readers. Visit her at www.RitaMoreau.com or find her on Facebook at facebook.com/RitaMoreauAuthor. She would love to hear from you.

Author Links

Website – Facebook – Twitter – Instagram – Radio – GoodReads –

Purchase Link – Amazon

Great Escapes Praise for Murder in the Badlands – Ghost & the Camper Kooky Mystery
by Rita Moreau

A wonderful cast of characters and interesting living and sleeping arrangements populate this hilarious series. There may be some other sort of paranormal activity developing.
I don’t want to give too much away, but even as they figure out pieces of the puzzle, overall things become more complicated and entangled.
It has my attention captured and I can’t wait to see in what new directions this “summer trip” takes us.
~Laura’s Interests

This is the first book I’ve read in the series, but the author includes a short intro at the start so you can dive right in. There is a large cast of characters that are sometimes hard to keep straight. All in all, I found the book to be a good read!
~Nellie’s Book Nook

A fabulously fun series full of quirky witty characters, new locations every time, and plenty of humor mixed in with their adventures. A must-read. I totally loved it so I give it 5/5 stars.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Well-written and the pace is steady. There’s enough description to get a feel for the Badlands without slowing down the pace. Although part of a series, this can be read as a stand-alone. I’m looking forward to Mabel’s next adventure.
~Crista Reads and Writes

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
December 6 – Angel’s Guilty Pleasures – SPOTLIGHT
December 7 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
December 8 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
December 9 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT
December 9 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 10 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
December 10 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
December 11 – Nellie’s Book Nook – REVIEW
December 12 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 12 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
December 13 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
December 13 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
December 14 – Ascroft, eh? – SPOTLIGHT 
December 14 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 15 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
December 16 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT
December 17 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 18 – Diane Reviews Books – SPOTLIGHT
December 18 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT 
December 19 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT

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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 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring How to Book a Murder (A Starlit Bookshop Mystery) by Cynthia Kuhn #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @cynthiakuhn @crookedlanebks


How to Book a Murder (A Starlit Bookshop Mystery)
by Cynthia Kuhn

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

It is my pleasure to share my thoughts today about
How to Book A Murder by Cynthia Kuhn!

About How to Book a Murder

How to Book a Murder (A Starlit Bookshop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Colorado
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Crooked Lane Books (December 7, 2021)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1643858599
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1643858593
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08QVJFZZK

Perfect for fans of Jenn McKinlay and Kate Carlisle, in award-winning author Cynthia Kuhn’s series debut, small-town bookseller and literary event planner Emma Starrs is out to close the book on a killer intent on crashing the party.

To help save her family’s floundering Colorado bookstore, Starlit Bookshop, newly minted Ph.D. Emma Starrs agrees to plan a mystery-themed dinner party for her wealthy, well-connected high school classmate Tabitha Baxter. It’s a delightful evening of cocktails and conjecture until Tabitha’s husband, Tip—hosting the affair in the guise of Edgar Allan Poe’s detective C. Auguste Dupin—winds up murdered.

In a heartbeat, Emma and her aunt Nora, a famous mystery writer, become suspects. Emma is sure the party’s over for Starlit events, until celebrated author Calliope Nightfall, whose gothic sensibilities are intrigued by the circumstances, implores the bookseller to create a Poe-themed launch event for her latest tome. Throwing a bash to die for while searching for additional clues is already enough to drive Emma stark raven mad, but another shocking crime soon reveals that Silvercrest has not yet reached the final chapter of the puzzling case.

Someone in this charming artistic community has murder on the mind, and if Emma cannot outwit the killer, she and her beloved aunt will land behind bars, to walk free nevermore.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Colorado’s Starlit Bookshop may be on its last legs so Emma Starrs comes home hoping to save the family store. To help line the store’s coffers Emma agrees to step in to plan a mystery-themed party for one of her high school classmates when the original planner quits. Tabitha Baxter has the kind of friends and acquaintances that may want to host similar events and that would be good for the shop’s bottom line. The hostess’s husband is really into the works of Edwin Allan Poe, so he will be playing Detective C. Auguste Dupin in the game. But he soon finds himself playing the role of the deceased when he is found dead and the murder in the game goes unsolved,  This is definitely not good for the host, it could also mean the end of the Starlit Bookshop when Tabitha accuses both Emma and her aunt, a famous author and college professor, of the murder to anyone who will listen. Of course, everyone at the event is on the suspect list including Tabitha Baxter.

While trying to book the real killer, gothic author and colleague of Emma’s aunt, Calliope Nightfall requests a book signing at the Starlit Bookshop to launch her new book that also has a Poe connection. Knowing this may be her chance to pin down a few suspects Emma can’t refuse. But will she push someone too far in her quest to book the murderer? Will the killer have the last word?


In How To Book A Murder we meet Emma Starrs, her sister Lucy and their aunt Nora. All three are trying to save the bookshop but Nora also teaches at the local college. I found all three to be likable and genuine.

Beyond the main characters, readers will find a large supporting cast. What I came to think of Tabitha and her posse – Her 3 BFFs and their husbands. Tabitha calls the shots and they fall in line. We also meet Nora’s college colleagues. They were all at the party when their host was killed so they are suspects. Even the catering team is called into question.

The author has basically written a closed room mystery unless someone snuck onto the patio to do the deed and Emma has to take that into account. She does have a hard time getting anyone to talk. because Tabitha and her friends just keep accusing Emma and Nora even going so far as saying since Nora wrote a cozy mystery with a similar crime she must be guilty. This theory had me giggling. Look out, my cozy author friends!!

I did enjoy the way Ms. Kuhn plotted out this mystery. I had a lot of fun following the clues right along with Emma. My original theory was found false early and I found myself caught up in the whole story and was totally surprised when all was revealed.

I have to tell you that I have come across a few bookstores in my cozy mystery reading history that I would love to visit in real life if that was actually possible. Well, I have added the Starlit Bookshop to that list. The way the place was transformed for Calliope Nightfall’s reading and signing as well as the wonderful shopkeepers really piqued my interest.

There is so much to entertain readers in How To Book A Murder. Unique characters, a marvelous setting and a really stirring mystery all come together for a very intriguing read. I am excited to see where the author takes these characters next after this enjoyable debut.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Cynthia Kuhn

Cynthia Kuhn is an English professor and author of the Starlit Bookshop Mysteries and the Lila Maclean Academic Mysteries. Her work has also appeared in Mystery Most Edible, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Copper Nickel, Prick of the Spindle, Mama PhD, and other publications. Honors include an Agatha Award, a William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grant, and Lefty Award nominations. Originally from upstate New York, she lives in Colorado with her family. For more information, please visit cynthiakuhn.net.

Author Links

Website      Twitter    Facebook    Bookbub    Goodreads    Blog    Newsletter 

Purchase Links –

AmazonB&NKoboGoogle PlayIndieBoundBookshop – 

Also by Cynthia Kuhn

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Great Escapes Praise for How to Book a Murder (A Starlit Bookshop Mystery)
by Cynthia Kuhn

This was a very promising start to a new series – great characters, interesting writing, and a wonderful setting. I wasn’t a big fan of Tabitha, but I do think that was the point! I really enjoyed this mystery and can’t wait for more of this series.
~The Book’s the Thing

HOW TO BOOK A MURDER is written in true cozy mystery fashion, which means it’s perfect for fans of all ages. I’m highly looking forward to the next book in this series!
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews

How to Book a Murder is a blithe cozy mystery with a bewitching bookstore, office obstruction, multiple murders, a Poe party, malicious mean females, exquisite culinary cuisine, academic afflictions, and a raven reveal.
~The Avid Reader

HOW TO BOOK A MURDER takes on mean girls and murder in a solid start to a new series.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

Set in an adorable small town we get a wide variety of characters to keep your interest while also falling in love with Emma and her bookshop. Sure to delight cozy fans. I really liked it so I give it 4/5 stars.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

The book is full of twists, turns, double-crosses, and deceit. I was surprised at the reveal of the murderer, but not at all surprised about who the person hung around with. There was a lot going on and sorting out what was part of the murder plot and what wasn’t, kept me on my toes. I look forward to the next book in the series.
~Sapphyria’s Books

This first book in the Starlit Bookshop mystery series is a delightful read. It nicely plants the seeds for future developments between characters and the reader’s interest in upcoming installments. The next book can’t come soon enough.
~Book Club Librarian

 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please Visit All The Stops. 
December 6 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT
December 6 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
December 7 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 7 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 8 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 9 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 10 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
December 10 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
December 11 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
December 11 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
December 12 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT
December 13 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 13 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 14 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 14 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW
December 15 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT
December 15 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
December 16 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST
December 16 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW  
December 17 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
December 17 – Diane Reviews Books – GUEST POST
December 18 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – REVIEW
December 19 – BookishKelly2020 – 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 Great Escapes Book Tours Spotlights

Where the Light Shines Through: An Olivia Penn Mystery by Kathleen Bailey #GuestPost


Where the Light Shines Through: An Olivia Penn Mystery
by Kathleen Bailey

I am delighted to welcome Kathleen Bailey to Escape to Dollycas today!

Embracing the Seasons

Greetings from a seasonably cool, autumnal day in beautiful Virginia! Where I live, fall is in full swing. The vibrantly colored leaves that once fluttered high now lie low, waiting to be raked, stomped through, and scattered about by spirited kiddos. Fireplaces are being prepped for chilly days ahead, and there’s anticipation of winter’s arrival with warming thoughts of sipping cocoa, wearing cozy fleece, and curling up on the couch with a book in hand. As seasons change, the old gives way to the new. We take what is best from the past, leaving the rest behind.

Where the Light Shines Through is a contemporary, cozy mystery that takes place in late spring in Olivia Penn’s hometown of Apple Station, Virginia. Olivia is a syndicated advice columnist living and working in Washington, D.C. She is moving to New York to accept a promotion and pursue her publishing dreams. Before doing so, though, she makes a trip back home to visit her dad and spend a week of rest and relaxation, catching up with her friends and enjoying the town’s spring festival.

Changes are in the air. Refreshing breezes are about to give way to oppressive humidity. Pleasant bluebird, cloudless skies soon will be replaced by summer haze. Spring showers have given rise to the growing season, and now, Olivia has come home to help plant her dad’s vegetable garden as the conditions are just right for their tomato, cucumber, and sweet potato seedlings to flourish.

Changes are in store for Olivia as well. A new season is about to begin for her, but not in the way she expects. Her visit home will leave her with difficult decisions. She’ll have to look to the past, taking from it what’s needed to bring a murderer to justice. She’ll have to leave behind what she thought she knew about those close to her if she is to save both herself and an unlikely ally.

As the temperature continues to dip here in Virginia, and I eye my fleece casually draped over the sofa’s arm, I think of the many changing seasons in my life. I remember being in first grade, sitting on our classroom’s oval, braided rug during story time, and musing to myself, “I want to be a writer.” Oddly, I didn’t have a publishable manuscript by second or even third grade. In fact, as life goes, the decades that followed were full of seasons with many plot twists and red herrings along the way, some seemingly leading me very far from that intention.

I settled along a path of working with children with special needs as a pediatric physical therapist for over twenty years, and I thoroughly loved what I did, quite content to remain in that season. But then I was injured, and the season changed, regardless of if I was ready or wanted it to do so. As sure, though, as the cool, wintry days ahead will eventually give way to the warming, spring sun, that first grade season of my life came back around, and I once again said, “I want to be a writer.”

May we all accept the changing seasons in our lives, embracing what is best from the past and leaving the rest behind.

Happy reading!

About Where the Lights Shines Through


Where the Light Shines Through: An Olivia Penn Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Rhino Publishing LLC (November 30, 2021)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 330 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1956270027
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1956270020
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 330 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1956270019
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1956270013
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09H9G1ZWF

Castle meets Clue in this fun, fast-paced, fresh take on the cozy mystery.

Olivia’s syndicated advice column is about solving problems … not murders. But when she returns to her hometown of Apple Station in Virginia to visit her dad, she has five days to expose a killer or fall prey as the next victim.

Olivia had planned for a week of rest and relaxation before her move to New York for a promotion and a chance to pursue her publishing dreams. Within hours of arriving home, her world changes forever with the death of someone dear. A promise to a grieving mother leads her to uncover secrets from the past that put her life in danger, leaving her at a crossroads. Does she risk investigating further or settle for the security of the life that awaits? Will she chase after what she thinks she wants or listen to what her heart needs?

With the support of friends and family, a tenuous alliance with the lead police detective, and the bravery of an intrepid beagle, she races to protect her dad, rescue an unlikely ally, and bring a murderer to justice.

When all seems lost, will Olivia summon the strength and courage she needs to see where the light shines through?

Join the journey in the first novel of The Olivia Penn Mystery Series. If you grew up reading Nancy Drew, you’ll love this cozy mystery that entertains with heart and humor amid a charming cast of characters set in a small Southern town.

Escape to enjoy a captivating, heartwarming story that will inspire you to be the hero of your own life.

 

About Kathleen Bailey 

Kathleen Bailey is the author of Where the Light Shines Through, the first novel in The Olivia Penn Mystery Series. She writes mysteries with heart and humor that keep to the traditional and cozy sides of crime. Kathleen has degrees in English, psychology, and physical therapy. She previously worked as a pediatric physical therapist for over twenty years with children who have special needs. She now spends her days obsessively plotting and sleuthing in Virginia. When she is not incognito, she is a member of Sisters in Crime and the James River Writers.

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Great Escapes Praise for Where the Light Shines Through: An Olivia Penn Mystery
by Kathleen Bailey

Where the Light Shines Through is a cozy mystery with genuine characters and a small-town setting. However, it really shines as a mystery. Despite having clues seen in hindsight, I did not suspect the killer at all. Any other armchair detectives will also enjoy this invigorating challenge. 4 stars!
~Diane Reviews Books

Bottom Line: Where the Light Shines Through by Kathleen Bailey is charming from beginning to end. Make sure this one is on your TBR list!
~Reading Is My Super Power

Though all in all, I didn’t mind it enough to stop reading. This is a series starter and I’m not sure I’d feel compelled to continue along with the characters, but I found this book entertaining and would tell most people to give it a try!
~Nellie’s Book Nook

Where the Light Shines Through is an amazing cozy mystery. The first in a new series, this novel pulled me in with excellently written characters and continued development. The book kept me engaged with a wonderful plot, fitting side stories, and world-building that had me visualizing everything. The small-town setting, petty rivalries, and secrecy bring realism to the story.
~Sapphyria’s Books

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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

Bear a Wee Grudge (A Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Mystery) by Meg Macy #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @KensingtonBooks


Bear a Wee Grudge (A Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Mystery)
by Meg Macy

About Bear A Wee Grudge


Bear a Wee Grudge (A Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Kensington (November 30, 2021)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 149672917X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496729170
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08Y69JKKM

Teddy bear shop manager Sasha Silverman must step fast to find a murderer before an upcoming Scottish festival . . .

It’s springtime in Silver Hollow, Michigan, and Sasha is looking forward to the village’s inaugural Highland Fling weekend. Plans are underway for a Kilted 5K, athletic competitions, dancing, live music, and even a Hurl-the-Haggis contest. Meanwhile, Sasha’s staff is busy crafting custom teddy bears in kilts for the Silver Bear Shop’s vendor booth. But trouble’s brewing behind the scenes, as the obnoxious Teddy Hartman, former owner of a rival teddy bear company, sows seeds of discord about town, targeting Sasha’s family and their business.

Things go from plaid to worse when—just a week before the festival kicks-off—the disgruntled gossip is found murdered with an ax buried in his back. Sasha’s dad is arrested since he’s a champion ax-thrower. But she doesn’t give a dram what it looks like—Sasha knows that despite the old business rivalry with Hartman, her father is innocent. So with a spot of help from her friends, Sasha must bag the real killer before her first Fling also becomes her last.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Such a happy place! Spring in Silver Hollow, Michigan with a visit to the Silver Bear Shop. A Highland Fling Weekend makes the visit even better. Men in kilts throwing axes, poles, and hammers, along with music, dancing, food, and vendor booths including a Silver Bear booth featuring bears all decked out in the tartan finery.

Most of the men in Sasha’s life are taking part in the athletic events and are in the park practicing when Teddy Hartman arrives on the scene. He has a bad history with the Silverman family and sure has an ax to grind. His wife is even more obnoxious than he is. Don’t even get me started their evil demon dog. It seems their purpose in life is to make the Silverman’s life as un-bear-able as possible. It is not surprising that the man ends up dead – found with an ax in his back. An ax just like Sasha’s dad was throwing at targets earlier.  Because of the drama between the two men, the inept Detective Hunter arrests her dad without an iota of real evidence.

Sasha is not going to sit still for one minute and come mud or high water she with a wee bit of help from her friends is going to clear her father’s name and fling the real killer behind bars as quickly as possible.


I really enjoy catching up with the Silverman family. Ms. Macy has created such a wonderful family. One can be cantankerous at times, another can be a wee bit pushy, a few are very creative, but they are all hard workers and strive to make trips to their teddy bear shop as awesome as possible. Their interactions feel pretty typical for a family the works together, that is until a murder is thrown into the mix.

I will admit my inner voice was cheering when I found out who the victim was, he was an awful man. His wife is a piece of work too and sadly their dog was poorly trained and seemed to always be in attack mode. These unlikable characters were cleverly written too. They drew no sympathy from me or any of the other characters in the book.

The bumbling Detective Hunter really irritated me this time so I was happy when Sasha drew another detective into the web of the investigation. There were more suspects than I first imagined and I should have known better because when he was first introduced in this series I wanted to knock the stuffing out of Teddy Hartman a time or two myself. I thought Sasha did a great job sorting out clues until she didn’t. That little misstep led up to a very exciting ending.

While Bear A Wee Grudge had a little more family fluff than previous books in this series I didn’t think it took anything away from the mystery. I do love the teddy bear theme of the series and was excited by the Scottish theme in this book. The springtime setting was delightful too as the days turn frigid here in the midwest. As always, Meg Macy has written a very entertaining story for readers to escape right into. I had a great time in Silver Hollow!

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About Meg Macy

Award-winning mystery author Meg Macy lives in Southeast Michigan, close enough to Ann Arbor, Chelsea, and Dexter — the setting of her “Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear” cozy mysteries for Kensington. She is also one-half of the writing team of D.E. Ireland for the Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins mysteries; two books, Wouldn’t It Be Deadly and Get Me to the Grave On Time were Agatha Award finalists for Best Historical. Meg’s first published book, Double Crossing, won the 2012 Best First Novel Spur Award from Western Writers of America. Meg loves reading historical and cozy mysteries, gardening, crafts, and watercolor painting.

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Great Escapes Praise for Bear a Wee Grudge (A Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Mystery)
by Meg Macy

Bear a Wee Grudge is a craicing good time with Highland Fling fun, tartan teddy bears, an axed antagonist, an indolent detective, a frustrated family, cruel chatter, a mean Morkie, and a sleuthing Sasha.
~The Avid Reader

I enjoyed Bear a Wee Grudge, found the mystery interesting, the characters likable, and the story’s pacing to be on target. I love the Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Mystery series by Meg Macy and I look forward to the next book!
~Sapphyria’s Books

BEAR A WEE GRUDGE is an anxiety-laced mystery with a sweet little surprise at the end. I wish I could actually visit Silver Hollow, take a tour of the factory, get myself a wee bear in a kilt, some mead, and more of Bonnie’s chocolate-covered shortbread.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

I enjoyed the story and mystery. It was nice seeing Sasha’s character grow. Her relationship with Jay is adorable, and I love the way that he proposes to her. My rating for Bear a Wee Grudge by Meg Macy is four stars. If you love teddy bears and mysteries, you will like this book.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

I recommend this series and this installment was GOOD. It would help if you read the series from the beginning, but it’s not absolutely necessary. You can read this book as a stand-alone.
~Valerie’s Musings

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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.”