May 152018

About the Book

Dead As A Doornail (A Kenni Lowry Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Henery Press (May 15, 2018)
Paperback: 266 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635113341
Digital ASIN: B079V6DNFW

Beauty is skin deep, but ugly goes clear to the bone. And doesn’t our Sheriff Kenni Lowry know that? Well, she knows a lot of things.

Lucy Lowell takes great pride in writing negative reviews in the local newspaper for anything that does not go her way. When Lucy is found dead, it appears to be from natural causes.

But Sheriff Kenni Lowry knows there is more to it because the ghost of her grandfather, the ex-sheriff, is standing over the body.

His presence can only mean one thing: Murder!

Since Kenni’s relationship with Deputy Finn Vincent has heated up, Kenni is having trouble conducting the investigation without Finn questioning her every move.

Can Kenni unravel the mystery on her own or will she have to tell Finn the real reason she knows it was murder—the ghost of her poppa?

It’s blowin’ up a storm and only Kenni knows how it’ll end.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Her grandfather’s ghost only shows up when a murder has been committed, so when Sheriff Kenni Lowry arrives on the scene of Lucy Ellen Lowell’s death she knows it is murder even though it appears she has passed from natural causes. With Finn nearby, all the time know because they are actually dating, it is hard for Kenni to discuss the case with her grandfather. Finn is suspicious about her behavior, “talking to herself” and why she is putting so much effort into this case. She needs some proof to back up what she already knows, that Lucy being Dead as a Doornail was at the hands of a killer.

We return to Cottonwood just in time for the mayor’s wedding. His bride is having trouble keeping the maid of honor spot filled so Kenni’s mother volunteers her for the spot and all the duties the job entails. Kenni really doesn’t have time for this especially now that she is investigating a murder. If my mother would have done something like this I would have lost my mind, but this story takes place in the south and Kenni knows she just needs to roll with punches, no matter how ugly the dress is.

The story starts out at Tiny Tina’s Salon and Spa where we catch up with Bridezilla Polly and her bridal party. It is also the place to hear all the latest gossip. A very important place in any small town. The way the owner is implicated in Lucy’s murder was very interesting. The author takes us down quite a path to find who did in poor lucy. Twists and turns that lead to a super surprising ending.

Small town politics play a role in the story. Kenni has to watch her P’s and Q’s if she expects to be reelected. The mayor was his bride to be happy so he would like the wedding to be Kenni’s top priority and solve the murder after his bride walks down the aisle. I admire the way Kenni juggles everything going on in her life. She is one busy lady. I absolutely love that her “Poppa” is still watching over her and is there when she needs him. I wish it were possible to continue relationships like that with loved ones we have lost.

I have enjoyed every book in this series. Tonya Kappes is an excellent storyteller. She makes Cottonwood and its residents jump right off the page. Each visit to this place seems to end way too soon.

This was another fun fantastic mystery from this author filled with Southern charm and engaging characters. Well plotted and written and checks all my boxes for a Perfect Escape.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About the Author

For years, USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has been publishing numerous mystery and romance titles with unprecedented success. She is famous not only for her hilarious plot lines and quirky characters but her tremendous marketing efforts that have earned her thousands of followers and a devoted street team of fans.
Sign up for her newsletter on her website at .

Visit Tonya:

Facebook at Author Tonya Kappes    Kappes Krew Street Team

Kappes Krew Recipe Exchange

Website    Goodreads     Twitter     Pinterest

Purchase Links:
Amazon B&N  Kobo  BookBub

Praise for Dead As A Doornail (A Kenni Lowry Mystery)
by Tonya Kappes

If you enjoy well written Southern cozies that feature a strong female lead that has the law backing her then you really have to try this book/series.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Tonya Kappes has a knack for knowing what her fans like—a small-town atmosphere, quirky characters, and light mystery that will keep them guessing until the end. The bottom line is she’s delivered again with this Kenni Lowry mystery.
~Mysteries With Character

Dead as a Doornail is an entertaining cozy mystery full of southern charm, humor, and a few quirky characters along the way.
~The Power of Words

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
May 9 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
May 10 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
May 10 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
May 11 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
May 12 – cherylbbookblog – SPOTLIGHT
May 14 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
May 15 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
May 15 – Readeropolis – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 16 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
May 16 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
May 17 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT
May 17 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
May 19 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
May 20 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 21 – My Reading Journeys – CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 21 – Varietats – REVIEW
May 22 – The Book Diva’s Reads – 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.”

May 102018

Magick Run Amok (An Abracadabra Mystery)
by Sharon Pape


About the Book

Magick Run Amok (An Abracadabra Mystery)
Paranormal Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Lyrical Underground (May 1, 2018)
Print Length: 337 pages
Digital ASIN: B074LTNV8H



The answer to whodunit may lie beyond the veil . . .
November in upstate New York can be chilly, but Kailyn Wilde’s shop, Abracadabra, is a cozy respite where you can find lotions, potions, and plenty of warm, feline company. But what customers don’t know is that the proprietor has some unusual powers—and unusual friends, including the renowned magician Merlin, who’s been transported into the modern world. All of which comes in handy when there’s a murder to be solved . . .

Investigative journalist Ryan Cutler has perished in a car accident in New Camel, and his friend, Travis, suspects foul play—especially when the reporter’s notes reveal a mysterious list of dead men’s names. Kailyn wants to help, but she’s also got her hands full with the curmudgeonly Merlin, who’s not exactly maintaining a low profile. Between keeping the wizard under wraps and mixing up cold remedies that work like magic, she’ll have to tap into her many talents to figure out a killer’s fatal formula . . .

Ever since I saw the title of this book, this scene from Hocus Pocus keeps running through my head.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

There is something brewing in New Camel and Kailyn Wilde had nothing to do with it until her boyfriend Travis pulls her in. Ryan Cutler, an investigative journalist is found dead after a car crash. It is ruled an accident by the police but Travis feels it was murder. Ryan was neck deep into an investigation and Travis believes it got him killed. Travis needs Kailyn’s help to find out all about the story Ryan was working on and knows they may need a little magick to get the information they need.  Kailyn is also dealing with Merlin, the magician. He is getting more curious about this world he has been dropped into and he is on a mission that could affect the whole town. Hang on tight because Magick is running Amok, Amok, Amok!

Kailyn is still missing having mother and grandmother around to help every day at Abracadabra, but they still pop in “visit” in their ghostly form to give her unwanted advice. This time they popped in while Travis was in the shop. Good thing Kailyn had filled him in on her unusual family. Aunt Tilley is still serving tea and scones, doing readings, and helping out in Kailyn’s shop when Kailyn is tracking down a lead. They both try their best to keep the crafty wizard, Merlin, in line, but sometimes he gets away from them. Merlin is always my favorite character. Everything is new to him and he has the best intentions. I also love the way he can be distracted, usually by food. I also love the way Kailyn’s home is full of cats. Sashkatu is the cat that travels to the magick shop every day but the cats at home usually meet her at the door when she gets home. Of course, they expect to be fed immediately 🙂

Sharon Pape takes these wonderful characters and envelopes them in a complicated mystery that is so much fun to read. Kailyn and Travis make a great sleuthing team. I am so happy that he has accepted Kailyn for her as she is, pop up ghostly relatives and all. They proceed to work their investigation in a very logical way, well after a little magickal intervention to get a key piece of evidence. She also fills the story will humor, Merlin’s antics will have you laughing out loud.

Great characters and a great mystery make this story almost too entertaining to put down. I would have read the entire thing the first night if my eyeballs would have cooperated.

I would classify this series as paranormal light. Just the way I like them. Each can be read on their own, but why would you want to miss out on any of these clever stories.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About the Author

Sharon Pape describes her writing career as having two stages. Back in the dark ages, before computers were in every household, she had three paranormal books published. The first one was condensed by Redbook Magazine, the first paperback original they ever condensed. Then life brought her an unexpected challenge, by the name of breast cancer. After treatment, she and her oncologist started a not-for-profit to provide information and peer support to breast cancer patients. With the organization up and running, she returned to her first love – writing. This time around she’s been writing cozy mysteries with a paranormal twist. That Olde White Magick is the second book in her Abracadabra Mysteries.

Author Links

Website – Facebook –  Pinterest – Twitter

Purchase: Amazon  B&N   kobo  BookBub

Praise for Magick Run Amok

We get to follow Kailyn, her aunt, Merlin, and the cats on yet another murder investigation that will have you laughing and gasping along the way.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

I felt this read was full of lighthearted fun with plenty of twists and turns to draw me into the mystery. I like the cross-genre that mixes the mystery with paranormal fun!
~Ms. Cat’s Honest World

With humor and investigative daring, along with some other worldly intervention, this adventure is a welcome addition to a delightful series. You can never predict what will happen next or who will save the day!
~Laura’s Interests

This story not only turns about the mystery but the curious family of Kailyn, with her ghost mother lecturing her when she is not acting correctly, her “mysterious” friend Merlin, that could be coming from the past… or of course the cats she has in her life…! But let me say that it makes the story funny and interesting, of course.

Also by Sharon Pape

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May 1 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 2 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
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May 3 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
May 4 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
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May 6 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
May 7 – Varietats – 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.”

May 092018

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so excited to have Maymee (Tonya)drop by today! 

Death By Edits


I admit that when I started writing I had no idea what I was doing. I had an idea. I wanted ONE reader to escape their life by my one story. That was it. It wasn’t until I had written that book did I know what it really was like to be a writer.

Some people say that writing the novel is the hardest part for them. Ernst Hemingway said, “There is nothing to writing. All you have to do sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.” I agree that writing a novel is far from easy. It takes discipline to sit down every day and knock out five thousand words. Believe it or not, that is the I immerse myself into a book as I’m writing it. I love those characters. I love their homes. I love the small town. I love everything about it. I live in their world for many months as I’m writing their story.

Then comes the part that I downright loathe! I mean it. I can’t stand editing. To make it less painful, after I write the first one-hundred pages of a novel; which is what I call the bones, I go back and add meat to those bones. I will add more descriptions, more dialogue tags, and more of the funny stuff. Then I will do this for the next one-hundred pages with a Diet Coke my side.

That’s not the end of the editing process. This is just the beginning. Once I go back and add the meat on the bones, I print it all out and do it all over again. I try to make the manuscript fat with words and with description all while making sure the timelines in the plot fit and work. After doing this a few times, then and only then do I send it off to the editor. But by this time another character from another series has already taken root in my head and started their story.


A few months later I get an email from the editor that their edits have been added and I have to take a look at them.  I’ve already forgotten the plot and what everyone in the town looks like because I have moved on. I grab a cup of coffee and hunker down.

This is very difficult for me. I’m not the type of writer who can write a couple books at the same time. I can’t. I’m not wired that way. It’s awful. Plumb awful.

Since I have to get the edits back to my editor, I have to stop writing the current work in progress, go back and reread the novel that needs edits and start all over. By this time, I’m so sick of the novel that I just want to move on.

Then I send it back to my editor for a couple more rounds of edits. I don’t hear from the editor for a few months. Then out of nowhere, I get a copy of the ARC of that novel that I’d been so tired of. My eyes swell. My heart dips. I rub the cover. I crack the spine and start to fall in love all over again with those characters and that small town. And it’s just in time for them to move right back in my head for the next novel in the series.


Thank you so much for visiting today! 

Cake and Punishment: A Southern Cake Baker Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Kentucky
Crooked Lane Books (May 8, 2018)
Hardcover 257 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683315711
Digital ASIN: B075QJM2W8



In the first of a delectable new Southern-set baking cozy series, Sophia Cummings, pastry chef extraordinaire, must craft the perfect cake for an old friend’s wedding while sifting through the suspects in a murder.

Bucolic Rumford, Kentucky has glowing fields of bluegrass, a fine selection of bourbons, and now a professional pastry chef. Broken-hearted Sophia Cummings has come home from New York City. She’s not there a minute before she’s charmed into making her high school friend Charlotte’s wedding cake. The kitchen at the Rumford Country Club seems perfect until Chef Emile’s body is discovered, sprawled near the stove, a cast iron skillet on the floor close by.

With one look at the shiny, new frying pan, Sophia knows it’s not Emile’s. She offers her knowledge to Sheriff Carter and her talents to Evelyn, the manager, who needs an interim chef. The mood in the country club is grim: Emile’s peppery personality had burned members and staff alike. Sophia wonders which one of them burned him?

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

When I first saw the cover of this book I didn’t know the author was a pseudonym for Tonya Kappes, but as soon as I read the first page, I knew I was reading a book by Tonya Kappes. She has a distinctive writing style and her characters are so much fun.

This new cozy series introduces us to Sophia Cummings, a pastry chef at a top Manhattan restaurant. That is until she finds her boyfriend, also a chef at the same restaurant, cheating on her. She decides to head home to Rumford, Kentucky to get a break.  She quickly runs into a friend from high school and finds herself making her wedding cake. The reception is being held at the Rumford Country Club where Sophia used to work. She knows she will have everything she needs there to create the wedding cake of her friend’s dreams. Unfortunately, when she arrives she finds the club’s head chef, Emile, dead on the floor with a cast iron skillet nearby. She notices something about the pan and informs Sheriff Carter.  The next thing she knows she has accepted the job as an interim chef for the club. Maybe while working there she can find out who clobbered the chef, but her main concern is that her friend’s wedding goes on without any more interruptions or dead bodies.

This series is off to a divine start. Sophia is a talented chef with a huge heart. She loves creating desserts that make people happy. She couldn’t say “no” to anyone, which is why she ends up committed to baking things even after the date she plans to return to Manhattan.  Her mother, on the other hand, is demanding, bossy, and you know a mom that really loves her daughter. She is also not beyond a little matchmaking. Her father does his best to keep the peace and has a strong bond with his daughter. It was great to meet all of Sophia’s high school friends, even the one she doesn’t recognize. These characters are so well developed already in this first book. I am excited to see the beyond high school relationships grow and evolve. Their Southern charm shines throughout the whole story.

The author has filled these pages with a great whodunit too with plenty of suspects and twists galore. So well-plotted and full of clues and just the perfect amount of humor.

Ms. Bell’s descriptive talents set the scene perfectly. She has created this wonderful little town of Rumford and I escaped away right into it.

Southern charm, mystery, great characters, fantastic dialogue, and a bit of comedy make Cake and Punishment a must read! The talk of sweet treats will also have your mouth watering.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About the Author

Maymee Bell is the pen name of USA Today Bestselling author Tonya Kappes. She lives in Kentucky with her family and her two schnauzers. She likes strong coffee, slow-country days, and fresh-baked cookies – but she like telling stores best of all. This is her first SOUTHERN BAKER MYSTERY.

Visit Tonya:

Facebook at Author Tonya Kappes    Kappes Krew Street Team

Kappes Krew Recipe Exchange

Website    Goodreads     Twitter     Pinterest

Purchase Links:

Amazon  B&N   Kobo 
Click here to find all of Tonya’s books on Amazon.

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Tour Participants

April 25 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 25 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
April 26 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
April 26 – Bibliophile Reviews –  REVIEW
April 27 – The Book Diva’s Reads –  CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 27 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
April 28 – Ms. Cat’s Honest World – REVIEW
April 29 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
April 30 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
April 30 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
May 1 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
May 1 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 2 – Queen of All She Reads – SPOTLIGHT
May 2 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
May 3 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
May 3 – Valerie’s Musings – GUEST POST
May 4 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
May 4 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 5 – Varietats – REVIEW
May 6 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
May 7 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST
May 8 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 8 – Cinnamon, Sugar and a Little Bit of Murder – RECIPE POST
May 9 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GUEST POST
May 10 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW, GUEST POST
May 10 – Bookworm Cafe – REVIEW
May 11 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, RECIPE POST
May 11 – Melina’s Book Blog – 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.”

May 032018

Shadow Girl (An Afton Tangler Thriller)
by Gerry Schmitt

About the Book

Shadow Girl (An Afton Tangler Thriller)

2nd in Series
Setting – Minnesota

Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425281789
Paperback: 320 pages (May 1, 2018)
ISBN-13: 978-0425281796

The brutal murder of a business tycoon leaves Afton Tangler and the Twin Cities reeling, but that’s just the beginning of a gruesome crime spree…

Leland Odin made his fortune launching a home shopping network, but his millions can’t save his life. On the list for a transplant, the ailing businessman sees all hope lost when the helicopter carrying his donor heart is shot out of the sky.

Now with two pilots dead and dozens injured, Afton Tangler, family liaison officer for the Minneapolis Police Department, is drawn into the case. As she and her partner investigate family members and business associates, whoever wants Leland dead strikes again—and succeeds—in a brazen hospital room attack.

The supposedly squeaky clean millionaire has crossed the wrong person—and she’s not finished exacting her revenge. The case explodes into an international conspiracy of unbridled greed and violence. And as Afton gets closer to unearthing the mastermind behind it, she gets closer to becoming collateral damage…

I was privileged to read and review the hardcover edition of this book!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this follow up to Little Girl Gone we find Afton Tangler tangled up in another police investigation. Something she loves as she hopes to become a full-fledged detective instead of a family liaison officer.

A helicopter bringing a donor heart from Madison, Wisconsin is shot down out of the sky crashing down on a college campus. Afton and Detective Max Montgomery were nearby for a neighborhood meeting so they become some of the first responders.  Deputy Chief Gerald Thacker assigns Afton to work with Max on this difficult case.

Mom Chao Cherry ordered the hit on the helicopter. She is out for revenge but the police know nothing about her or even that she and her team plan to keep terrorizing the victims she chooses.

Ms. Schmitt takes us into the story from various characters points of view to drag us deep into the gritty and at times terrifying story.  This story involves many more people than the first book but I had no trouble following. I really enjoyed following the investigation to its conclusion. It grabbed my attention right away and held it to the very end.

I found both Afton and Max to be very engaging in the first book and they have grown to be very comfortable working together in this one. All the officers working on the case and the Deputy Chief realize Afton has talents to bring to the table. She doesn’t always follow Max’s orders but when she doesn’t she seems to have a good reason.

The content of the story was very well written and researched. This series brings a totally different type of story than I have seen from her alter ego Laura Childs. The language and events are raw and rough at times but ring true for these characters in this setting. It is fun to see this author bring us this thrilling story and a darker side of life while still giving us characters to root for.

Warning  – do not start this book late in the day. The author writes in a short chapter format that will have you saying “just one more chapter” several times until you realize you have read the whole darn book.

This book is part of a series but can be read on its own. To really know Afton and Max you should start with Little Girl Gone. I am already looking forward to the next Afton Tangler Thriller.


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


About The Author

Gerry Schmitt is the author of the Afton Tangler Thrillers, and, writing under the pseudonym Laura Childs, the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty-five novels, the Tea Shop, Scrapbooking, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. She is the former CEO of her own marketing firm, has won TV and radio awards, and produced two reality TV shows. She and her professor husband enjoy collecting art, travel, and their two Shar-Pei dogs.

Author Links –
Website – Facebook 

To find books written as Laura Childs click here.


Praise for Shadow Girl

I enjoyed the characters a lot. Max and Afton seem to play off of each other well as far as figuring things out.
~Valerie’s Musings

This is one of those books where the bad men are really bad, and everyone in the case is hiding something to have a money profit…

Afton was a likable character for me. She seemed in tune with some of the other characters. She is good at her job.
~A. Holland Reads

Shadow Girl by Gerry Schmitt is one of the most gripping and chilling books I’ve read this year.
~Back Porchervations

The mystery and suspense aspect of this book was great. This was a definite page-turner.
~Bookworm Cafe

Can I just say Wow! It’s been awhile since I sat and read a book that terrified me with precision action that intrigued me so much it was impossible to put the book down.
~Texas Book-aholic

It starts off with a bang (literally) and the suspense never lets up. I love stories that grip you right from the start and this thriller fits the bill.
~Brooke Blogs

This is a serious thriller with a lot going on. There’s surface to air missiles, conspiracies to kill no matter who gets hurt and what has to be done, and characters with some seriously shady backstories.
~I Wish I Lived In a Library

From page 1 I was engaged in a thrilling and suspenseful ride!
~My Reading Journeys

As the chapters unfold we get a good look at things from both the good guys’ and the bad guys’ perspectives. This gives you a first-hand understanding of the killer’s motives, but in no way takes away from the suspense or the desire to see Afton and Max bring her to justice.
~The Book’s the Thing

A page turner like you never read before, Shadow Girl is a deeply rooted thriller in the art of murder, mystery, and revenge.
~Bibliophile Reviews

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May 1 –

Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

Rosepoint Publishing – SPOTLIGHT

Varietats – SPOTLIGHT 

3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too!– SPOTLIGHT

Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 2 –

Readsalot – SPOTLIGHT          

Community Bookstop – REVIEW           

Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW REPOST  


Mysteries with Character – SPOTLIGHT

May 3 –

Cozy Up With Kathy – SPOTLIGHT       

Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT            

Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW REPOST 

Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW REPOST     

May 4 –

The Montana Bookaholic – SPOTLIGHT  

Books a Plenty Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT

A Holland Reads – REVIEW REPOST

StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

Reading Authors – 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.”

Apr 172018

Murder at the Mushroom Festival (A Kelly Jackson Mystery)
by Janet Finsilver

Murder at the Mushroom Festival (A Kelly Jackson Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – California
Lyrical Underground (April 17, 2018)
Paperback: 176 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1516104239
Digital ASIN: B07465HNVP



There’s a corpse among the chanterelles!

Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast manager Kelly Jackson is hosting a cooking class during the Week of the Mushroom festival to attract guests, not drama. But soon after she finishes foraging for an edible mushroom species on sacred Native American land, a local newspaper reporter gets shot dead at the same site. With suspicions spreading like fungi in the quaint Northern Californian community over the culprit’s identity, Kelly and a savvy gang of sleuthing seniors known as the “Silver Sentinels” must uncover the truth about the secluded property before a tricky killer prepares another lethal surprise . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Mushrooms, Murder and a bit of Mayhem! It’s the Week of the Mushroom and many fun events have been planned. Cooking classes and various mushroom hunting tours. Kelly Jackson, manager of the Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast is participating in everything she can but it is not completely for her pleasure. No, she is tracking a murderer to clear her friend Daniel off the suspect list and the “Silver Sentinels” are helping her. Kelly finds herself in a little cold water but she and her friends are not giving up until they find the killer.

All my favorites were back for this new adventure but there was a new character that absolutely stole my heart. Priscilla, the mushroom/truffle-sniffing pig with a big pink bow. 🙂 Seriously though, Ms. Finsilver has created a wonderful cast of characters. The recurring characters are a tightly knit bunch and the new characters added several dimensions to the story. Several holding high places on the Sentinels suspect list. I really do enjoy the way this active group of senior citizens gets involved in the community and solving murders. I wish I was as active as they are.

The backdrop of the story is the illegal harvesting of Redwood trees and redwood sinker logs that have rested underwater for years. I found the information and description of the sculptures created from the redwood and sinker logs very interesting. The sinker logs are rare and there is a lot of red tape to obtain them legally.  We also see how protective mushroom gatherers are of their foraging sites. In this story, one site is on sacred Indian land.  I love learning new things while reading a cozy mystery. Plus the descriptions of the items and the places they were found created great imagery.

The author has given readers a solid mystery with plenty of twists. The Silver Sentinels had their lists on the board but finding someone with motive, means and opportunity just wasn’t lining up. Kelly was pulling out all the stops to figure it out. Readers like me will figure it out right before Kelly has her “aha moment”. Thankfully the woman can think on her feet.

At the end of Murder at the Fortune Teller’s TableI thought there was a romance budding for Kelly, that part of her story is moving very slowly book wise but in the timeframe of the series is unfolding at the right pace.

I have enjoyed this entire series and excited about where the characters are headed and eager to read about their next story.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About the Author

Janet Finsilver is the USA TODAY bestselling author of the Kelly Jackson mystery series. She worked in education for many years as a teacher, a program administrator, and a workshop presenter. Janet majored in English and earned a Master’s Degree in Education. She loves animals and has two dogs–Kylie and Ellie. Janet has ridden western style since she was a child and was a member of the National Ski Patrol. One of the highlights of her life was touching whales in the San Ignacio Lagoon. MURDER AT REDWOOD COVE, her debut mystery, was released on October 13, 2015. Her second book, MURDER AT THE MANSION, was released on June 7, 2016. Book 3, MURDER AT THE FORTUNE TELLER’S TABLE was released on March 14, 2017.

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Find out more about Janet Finsilver and her books on her webpage here.

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Apr 072018

The Killing at Kaldaire House
by Kate Parker

I hope to read and review this book soon! 

About the Book 

The Killing at Kaldaire House

(The Milliner Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Release Date – April 2, 2018
Paperback: 318 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0997663716
Digital ASIN: B079ZBJ935

A dying man. The painting within her reach. What’s a thief to do?

Talented London milliner Emily Gates creates amazing hats for Society ladies, but to collect from those who don’t pay her bill, she burglarizes their homes. She needs every penny to send her deaf brother to school. Late one night, she sneaks in to find Lord Kaldaire badly injured in his study. Unwilling to abandon him, she calls for help.

When Kaldaire dies without revealing who attacked him, his widow agrees to keep Emily’s secrets ― if Emily will help find her husband’s killer. A bigger danger is a Scotland Yard inspector who threatens to arrest Emily — unless she spies on her father’s family of swindlers and conmen. Worst of all are the attacks from an unknown assailant. What will Emily face first, jail or death?

This cozy mystery is set in the era of My Fair Lady and Mary Poppins, of early automobiles and aeroplanes, and of King Edward VII and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. If you enjoyed the Victorian Bookshop Mysteries, you’ll like Emily Gates and the collection of aristocrats and thieves in her world as they step into the 20th century.

Praise for The Killing at Kaldaire House
by Kate Parker

This cosy mystery is a very enjoyable read, I really liked Emily and her love for her little deaf brother shines through . . .

What a great start a new series. . . If you enjoy cozy mysteries that have a historical flair you should really give this book a shot.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

The plot of The Killing at Kaldaire House is quite entertaining and imaginative. . . I absolutely adored The Killing at Kaldaire House by Kate Parker, and hereby grant it our highest rating of Five Kitties!
~Jane Reads

About the Author


Kate Parker has wanted to travel to 1930s England since she read her mother’s Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers mysteries when she was a schoolgirl. After many years of studying science, she decided a time travel machine was out of the question so she found herself limited to reading about the period and visiting historic sites. Her love of this fascinating and challenging period led her to the research from which the Deadly series grew. Eventually, she found it necessary to spend several days in the British Library reading old newspapers, which meant another trip to England. Near Christmas. A sacrifice she’d gladly make every year.

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Apr 042018

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

Kate Dyer-Seeley is touring with Great Escapes and I am happy to feature her new book today.
Be sure to check out the rest of her tour for guest posts, interviews, and more reviews!

Natural Thorn Killer (A Rose City Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Setting – Oregon
Kensington (March 27, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496705136
Digital ASIN: B073NPHX8Z

Cut down among the flowers . . .

Britta Johnston might be a late bloomer, but after leaving her deadbeat husband and dead-end job, she’s finally pursuing her artistic passion at her aunt Elin’s floral boutique, Blooma, in Portland, Oregon. It’s on the banks of the Willamette, in a quaint district of cobblestone paths and cherry trees. The wine bar featuring Pacific Northwest vintages is a tasty bonus, offering another kind of bouquet to enjoy. But things aren’t as peaceful as they look.

For one thing, someone’s been leaving dead roses around—and a sleazy real estate developer who wants the waterfront property has put a big-money offer on the table. Then, after a contentious meeting of local business owners, he’s found on the floor of the shop, with Elin’s garden shears planted in his chest. And before the police decide to pin the crime on her beloved aunt, Britta will have to find out who arranged this murder . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Blooma, a flower/wine shop in Portland Oregon is where Britta Johnston finds herself after leaving her lazy husband and job behind. Her Aunt Elin’s shop is expanding and she is thrilled Britta is bringing her artistic talents home. Soon after Britta arrives she learns that a real estate developer wants to buy out all the local business owners so he can tear everything down and rebuild a marketplace with housing on the waterfront. Most of the owners are refusing to sell, but the developer gives one last push and that push may have caused his demise. Britta arrives at Blooma and discovers the developer dead surrounded by dead roses and her Aunt Elin’s garden shears pushed right into his chest. When the police decide Elin is their main suspect Britta decides to sow a few seeds of her own to find the real natural thorn killer.

Blooma is a delightful setting for this cozy mystery. Elin’s interest in wearable items made of flowers is unique and fresh as is her whole outlook on her business. Flowers grown locally is what she uses for all her creations. She tunes and really listens to her customer’s wishes to make something original and that is what set her above other florists. Plus she has a wine bar and she is opening up a cottage next to the shop for events and classes. The whole Riverplace Village sounds pretty fantastic.

We meet Britta Johnston in the middle of a cold Minnesota winter when she is fed up with her husband and realizes she will never be happy at her job. She just packs up, gets on the train and heads home to Portland. I myself would probably take the Minnesota weather over the Oregon cold rainy weather but I sure can’t blame her for changing her life and following her dream especially when her aunt’s business is the perfect place for Britta to bloom.

The mystery was well planned and plotted. I formed an instant dislike for the victim, as had almost everyone around him. That means plenty of suspects. It also means Detective Pete Fletcher and Officer Thomas “Tomo” Iwamoto spent a lot of time around the flower shop. I really enjoyed Tomo, he was so friendly and good-natured. Detective Fletcher was great too. The mystery was not easy to solve and kept me guessing right up until the end.

All of the characters we met within this story were pretty fleshed out for the first book in a series. They were very engaging and relatable. They are characters I want to get to know more about and the relationships they build together.

This series is off to an excellent start! I am excited to see what is next for Britta and Elin.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About the Author

Kate Dyer-Seeley aka Ellie Alexander writes multiple mystery series, all with a Pacific Northwest touch. She lives in the PNW with her husband and son, where you can find her hitting the trail, at an artisan coffee shop, or at her favorite pub. Better yet—at all three.

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Also by Kate Dyer-Seeley

Find her books written as Ellie Alexander here.

Thanks to the author I have 1 copy to give away!
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and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

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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.”

Apr 032018

Deadly Reception (Tawnee Mountain Mysteries)
by Karen Randau

Deadly Reception (Tawnee Mountain Mysteries)
Suspense – Thriller – Mystery
Setting – New Jersey
Self Published (April 16, 2018)
Paperback: 138 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1984380807
Digital ASIN: B079DGBW37



Deadly Reception is a part of the Tawnee Mountain Mysteries series, a collection of seven brand new mysteries, from seven award-winning and bestselling authors, taking place at the same final destination, the Tawnee Mountain Resort.

Deadly Reception features characters from Karen Randau’s Rim Country Mysteries series.


A severed head. A philandering husband. A skeleton in the basement. This was not the perfect wedding Rita Avery planned for her daughter Zoe!

Rita Avery and her detective husband Cliff arrive at New Jersey’s Tawnee Mountain Resort prepared to greet Zoe’s wedding guests in just three hours. Who would have expected to find a man’s torso in their closet?

Things explode into high gear when the victim’s head shows up at the golf equipment shack. A good look at his social media makes Rita wonder if a wife murdered her husband as revenge for infidelity. Or did a secret admirer decide to liberate the wife from her scoundrel husband?
Worse, is Zoe in life-threatening danger . . . again?
And will Rita and Cliff escape the trap in which the murderer snares them?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Rita Avery and her husband Cliff have traveled to the Tawnee Mountain Resort for their daughter’s wedding. They get to their room right after a maid makes a gruesome discovery, a man’s torso. That’s right, no arms, no legs, just a torso. It isn’t long before the head is found. The wedding party is moved to other accommodations but body parts continue to be found. Is this murder connected to their family in some way? or have they just become part of a murderer’s macabre plan? Cliff is determined to find out but he may need Rita’s special skills.

The novella is a lightning fast read. Non-stop surprises all as we hope the bride and her groom make it to the altar.

Karen Randau has packed so much in these 138 pages that is impossible to put this book down. I had jumped into this series last year when I read and reviewed the 3rd book in the Rim County Mysteries, Deadly Choices, so I was familiar with the characters and the author’s writing style. She brought all her talents to this novella, descriptions that put the reader right at the scene, characters that you root for with spot-on dialogues, and suspense that grabs your attention.

Rita is a great character that you can get behind and feel sorrow that her daughter’s special day is tainted by a murder.

The major twist to this story was unexpected and social media played a key role to solving the mystery. Rita’s talents are something that would give Mark Zuckerberg nightmares.

I really need to go back and read the two installments to this series.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent



About the Author


Karen Randau is the author of the Rim Country Mystery series. Her fast-paced novels include Deadly DeceitDeadly Inheritance, and Deadly Choices, each with intricate plots and lots of action and told from the point of view of protagonist Rita Avery.

Author Links

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Purchase Link – Amazon

Each book in this multi-author series is a standalone novella, and the series can be read in any order.
The Tawnee Mountain Mysteries series includes:

Leona’s Last Resort by Karen M. Bryson
Dark Side of the Mountain by R.J. Rosatte
Deadly Reception by Karen Randau
Black Diamond Graves by Wendy Fallon
Deadly Misfire by Laurie Fagen
Cassidy’s Deadly Exit by Marla J. Hayes
The Quinnipiac Disappearance by Lee Tidball

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Mar 312018

Prestige, Privilege & Murder (A Stacie Maroni Mystery)
by Christa Nardi

This has been an interesting read, with charming characters and a complex plot.

The pace moves well and clues are subtly included if the reader is open to them.
~Laura’s Interests

This was a delightful first book in the series. I really enjoyed it all.
~Valerie’s Musings


About the Book

Prestige, Privilege & Murder (A Stacie Maroni Mystery)Cozy Mystery
1st in Series 
Self Published (January 10, 2018)
Print Length: 182 pages
ASIN: B078N1M422

Money isn’t worth killing for, or is it?

When her estranged husband is murdered, Stacie Maroni Noth is quickly identified as the main suspect. With divorce papers not yet signed, she may get a substantial inheritance – a clear motive in the eyes of both Noth’s family and the police. His family and law firm strive to keep up the pretense that all is above reproach and idyllic. In her quest to prove her innocence, however, Stacie discovers she’s not the only one with a motive for murder. Could it be a colleague at the prestigious law firm where he worked? Or is it tied to the victim’s stance on domestic violence? Or maybe even his threats to reveal family secrets? Whatever the true motive may be, it soon becomes clear that Stacie might be the next victim.

About the Author

Christa Nardi is and always has been an avid reader.  Her favorite authors have shifted from Carolyn Keene and Earl Stanley Gardner to more contemporary mystery/crime authors over time, but mystery along with romance are her preferred choices for leisure reading.  Christa also has been a long time writer from poetry and short stories to cozy mystery. She is the author of the Cold Creek Series and co-authors a young adult mystery series with Cassidy Salem.

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Mar 242018

Killer Tied (Eve Appel Mystery)
by Lesley A. Diehl

I am so happy that Lesley Diehl is here today for a visit!

Changes in a Cozy Series Character
by Lesley A. Diehl

People often say they don’t like change. Change requires adjustment, and that’s often difficult. On the other hand, sameness in our lives is unexciting. Changes such as marriage, birth of a child, promotion in a job, graduation from high school or college, a vacation, even purchasing the home of our dreams are usually viewed as bringing happiness or joy, but they also involve alterations to our lives. On the surface getting married would appear to be an almost totally happy experience yet it is accompanied by other, less positive issues such as who pays for the wedding, how much, who is invited, will there be a honeymoon, who has the final say in choosing the bridal gown? Those are just a few, yet humans perceive this day as a to be yearned for milestone in life. Any change alters what has gone before. It modifies our lives, and the accumulation of changes makes us into people we weren’t before we began adulthood. Yet change is what we see as the trajectory of living. As much as we would like to avoid negative events and what they demand of us, we must admit that life would be oh so boring without the reworking and revision we engage in to accomplish what we want or what is demanded of us.

Readers expect development and change in a series character. Rarely do we encounter a protagonist who remains unaltered throughout the series. There are exceptions. We like the Jack Reacher character in Lee Child’s books just as he is when we first meet him. We do not expect nor want him to marry, settle down, get a day job or open a charge account. Reacher, however, is an iconic character in his changelessness. It is what defines him and what attracts him to us.

In cozy mysteries, life changes in the main character are expected. The protagonist arrives in the first book with issues that need to be resolved not only for the reader, but these issues are part of what drives the character as she strives to find her true love, deal with her teenage daughter’s crush on the bad boy in school or exit an unhappy relationship. She may find her husband is cheating, her business may encounter financial problems, or her mother dies suddenly. Cozy mystery writers like to throw many roadblocks in her way as she struggles to live her life. Then, of course, the writer also tosses in a murder for her to solve. The murder is probably the only unique problem the protagonist confronts. All the others are common to many readers’ lives and are the stuff that defines who the protagonist is and the reasons why the reader comes to both like and identify with her.

Protagonists in a cozy mystery series take careful development. Not only does the reader expect resolution of the issues presented to the protagonist in an individual book, but the writer must leave something or somethings unresolved to arise in the next book. The murder will be solved, and the love affair might look as if there will be wedding bells, but as to the latter, does the writer want to begin the second book with marriage or should the protagonist be reluctant to marry? Perhaps book 2 might introduce another love interest? There are a variety of issues both internal to the protagonist and external to her life which can be proposed, resolved or left to the next book. Many of the internal roadblocks to change arise from fears or yearnings within the character and may define the evolution of the character through the series.

In the case of Eve Appel, protagonist in the
Eve Appel mysteries, it appears she has found the love of her life, and her husband’s father, after a long absence, has returned to the family. Great, but I decided to create an in-law problem with a twist when he is accused of murdering the man who might be the father of Eve’s half-sister. Even though Eve’s father-in-law doesn’t like her, and she finds him annoying, her husband’s family hires her as the PI to find out the truth about the murder. There’s trouble in Eve’s own family when she has reason to believe her grandmother has lied to her about her parents’ deaths. I also decided to take Eve back to the Northeast to confront issues which she believes were resolved when she was a child.

One enduring issue for Eve, the one she struggles within each book, is her impulsivity. It is one she now is aware of and works to overcome. Less obvious and subtler is that of distrust arising from Eve’s childhood and loss of her parents. Book 6 Killer Tied reveals this concern to be one Eve must acknowledge and come to grips with as it affects her and the people closest to her.

Killer Tied represents a turning point in Eve’s life from the youthful and adventurous Eve to a woman more mature yet still the old sassy gal she has always been. I want to be careful I don’t violate Eve’s true nature; the person readers want to remain constant. Readers will find the Eve they love, but they will see her as more nuanced and complex than before. Eve takes changes in her life in stride. How could she not? She’s taken on alligators, a Cape buffalo and a whole host of baddies. Eve is growing, and the changes in her make her even more intriguing to the cozy mystery reader.


Than you Lesley for visiting today!

Now let me tell you about Killer Tied.

About the Book

Killer Tied (Eve Appel Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Camel Press (March 15, 2018)
Paperback: 264 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1603813198
Digital ASIN: B0789824WQ

Eve Appel Egret is adjusting to married life with Sammy and their three adopted sons in Sabal Bay, Florida. While still running her consignment stores, she is going pro with her sleuthing by becoming an apprentice to a private detective.

Until her marriage, Eve’s only “family” was her grandmother Grandy, who raised her after her parents died in a boating accident. Now, in addition to her husband and sons, she has a father-in-law who clearly dislikes her. Sammy’s father, a full-blooded Miccosukee Indian long presumed dead, has emerged from the swamps where he’s been living like a hermit, and he isn’t happy about Eve’s marriage to his half-Miccosukee, half-white son.

As for Eve’s family, are her parents really dead? A woman named Eleanor claims to be Eve’s half-sister, born after her mother faked a boating accident to escape her abusive husband, Eve’s father. Then Eleanor’s father turns up dead in the swamps, stabbed by a Bowie knife belonging to Sammy’s father, Lionel. Strange as Lionel Egret is, Eve knows he had no motive to kill this stranger. In order to clear him, Eve must investigate Eleanor’s claims, and she might not like what digging around in her family’s past uncovers.

About the Author

Lesley is a country gal through and through, from her childhood on a dairy farm in Illinois to college in a cornfield in Iowa, Lesley creates sassy, snoopy protagonists who embrace chasing killers in country settings. Lesley writes several series: the Big Lake Murder mysteries and the Eve Appel mysteries both set in rural Florida; the Laura Murphy mysteries located on a lake in upstate New York; and short stories, some featuring a few of Lesley’s unique relatives from back on the farm (Aunt Nozzie and the Grandmothers). She is inspired by an odd set of literary muses: a ghost named Fred and a coyote as yet unnamed. Killer Tied is the sixth mystery in the Eve Appel Mysteries. To read more about Lesley’s unusual and humorous cozy mysteries, go to

Author Links

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Nun After The Other (A Giulia Driscoll Mystery) by Alice Loweecey Get Your Copy Now!
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