Feb 132019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

V.M. Burns has become one of my favorite authors.
I am so excited to share with you this second Dog Club Mystery today
as part of her Great Escapes Tour!

 

About the Book


The Puppy Who Knew Too Much (A Dog Club Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Lyrical Underground (February 12, 2019)
Paperback: 190 pages
ISBN-10: 1516107918
ISBN-13: 978-1516107919
Digital ASIN: B07D233MVK

Lilly Echosby and her toy poodle Aggie find a fresh start in Chattanooga, Tennessee, spoiled by the scent of murder . . .

Having solved the shooting death of her cheating husband, Lilly’s left behind the drama of Lighthouse Dunes, Indiana, to start over in the hometown of her best friend, Scarlett “Dixie” Jefferson. As she gets settled in her new rented house, Lilly gives Aggie, short for Agatha Christie, her own fresh start by enrolling her in the Eastern Tennessee Dog Club, where Dixie is a trainer.

But drama seems to hound Lilly like a persistent stray. Her cranky new neighbor appears unfamiliar with Southern hospitality and complains that Aggie barks too much and digs up his prized tulips. But what the poodle actually unearths is the buried body of a mysterious man who claimed ownership of the lost golden retriever Lilly recently rescued. Now it’s up to Lilly and Dixie to try to muzzle another murderer . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Lilly Echosby has left Indiana behind and followed her best friend Scarlett “Dixie” Jefferson to Tennessee. It took a while but a chance encounter helped Lilly finds not only a job but a house to rent that was in her budget and allowed her adorable toy poodle, Aggie. She is excited her daughter Stephanie is coming to visit to help her get settled. Lilly finds it refreshing how friendly everyone is until she meets her new neighbor. He is not happy about having another dog in the neighborhood. Her daughter also falls hard for a golden retriever found under Lilly’s deck. After rushing it to the vet and getting its injuries cared for she declares she won’t be giving it up without a fight.

When dear sweet Aggie digs up a body instead of a bone the neighbor is apoplectic and Lilly finds herself back on a suspect list. Stephanie calls in the cavalry, aka Joe, her new boyfriend, the one that helped clear her mom in Lighthouse Dunes. He, in turn, calls in a friend and they along with Dixie are all determined to find the real killer, especially after another body is found.

First, the cover is a little deceiving. The two standard poodles owned by Dixie and Lilly’s Aggie return in this story where they all make a new friend. Aggie does start obedience classes with Dixie where a variety of dogs come together.

Lilly can’t catch a break but she has the perseverance to keep moving forward. New house, new job, new people in her life, and another murderer on the loose. She quickly finds new friends at her job and they are so supportive. I loved her new boss, Linda Kay, and love that we have something in common. The author does such an excellent job with all the characters. They have depth and something about them that draws the reader in and pushes us to want to know them better. Even the cantankerous neighbor and the man that used to have Lilly’s job.

Moving Lilly to Tennessee adds a very interesting twist. She was used to the flatlands of Indiana and Dixie lives on a mountain top with a fantastic view. The road to get there was winding and narrow and made Lily very nervous with its huge dropoffs. She is also very unfamiliar with the area and dependent on her GPS. Each place was nicely described as we readers saw it through Lilly’s eyes for the first time right along with her.

The mystery was not easy to solve with the requisite twists and turns. What I love and what makes this story unique in the part the canines play in solving it all. The motives were very unclear and the clues weren’t falling into place either until the wonderful, surprising, and exciting ending.

Well-plotted and written this story was hard to put down. A complex mystery with its share of Southern charm and humor. Right in Chapter 1 Lilly experiences her first “Bless Your Heart” which she learned was “Southern-speak for “You’re an idiot.” I really enjoy the way V.M. Burns tells a story. The care she takes with her characters is commendable and her love of dogs glows within the pages.

I highly recommend this series. I can’t wait for book #3!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Check out my review of In The Dog House here.

 

About the Author

V.M. Burns was born in Northwestern Indiana and spent many years in Southwestern Michigan on the Lake Michigan shoreline. She is a lover of dogs, British historic cozies, and scones with clotted cream. After many years in the Midwest, she went in search of milder winters and currently lives in Eastern Tennessee with her poodles. Her debut novel, The Plot is Murder was nominated for a 2017 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Valerie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and a lifetime member of  Sisters in Crime. Readers can learn more by visiting her website at vmburns.com

Author Links:  Website   Facebook  Twitter:  @vmburns

Purchase Links – Amazon –  Barnes & Noble – IndieBound:  – Books-A-Million – Kobo


Also by V.M. Burns

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
February 11 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
February 11 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
February 12 – Mythical Books – GUEST POST
February 13 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
February 13 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
February 14 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
February 15 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
February 15 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – GUEST POST
February 16 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 17 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 18 – Carla Loves to Read – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 19 – FUONLYKNEW – REVIEW
February 19 – Reading Is My SuperPower – GUEST POST
February 20 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
February 20 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT  
February 21 – RUFF DRAFTS – GUEST POST  
February 21 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
February 22 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 22 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
February 23 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 24 – 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.”

Feb 122019
 


Past Due for Murder:
A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
by Victoria Gilbert

About the Book 


Past Due for Murder: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Virginia
Crooked Lane Books (February 12, 2019)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1683318749
ISBN-13: 978-1683318743
Digital ASIN: B07D2GYM25

Has a curse fallen on the small town of Taylorsford, Virginia? After a young woman goes missing during a spring bonfire, library director Amy Webber must wade through the web of lies only to find a truth that she may not want to untangle.

Spring has sprung in quaint Taylorsford, Virginia, and the mayor has revived the town’s long-defunct May Day celebration to boost tourism. As part of the festivities, library director Amy Webber is helping to organize a research project and presentation by a local folklore expert. All seems well at first—but spring takes on a sudden chill when a university student inexplicably vanishes during a bonfire.

The local police cast a wide net to find the missing woman, but in a shocking turn of events, Amy’s swoon-worthy neighbor Richard Muir becomes a person of interest in the case. Not only is Richard the woman’s dance instructor, he also doesn’t have an alibi for the night the student vanished—or at least not one he’ll divulge, even to Amy.

When the missing student is finally discovered lost in the mountains, with no memory of recent events—and a dead body lying nearby—an already disturbing mystery takes on a sinister new hue. Blessed with her innate curiosity and a librarian’s gift for research, Amy may be the only one who can learn the truth.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Past Due for Murder takes us to Taylorsford, Virginia just in time for Spring and the town’s May Day celebration. Our protagonist Amy Webber has opened up the library archives for a professor and her students to research the local folklore. The will be making a presentation at the celebration. One of these students disappears during a bonfire event and police have organized a search. They also question the man in Amy’s life, Richard Muir. He was the woman’s dance instructor and may have been the last person to see her before she went missing. The student is later found, next to a dead body. She is dazed and confused. Amy has been trying to use her talents first to find the student and now the murderer. She meets an elderly woman with stories to tell of the area that just may point her in the direction of the killer. It also could make her their next victim.

Ms. Gilbert has written a story that links the present to the past in a very interesting way. The area folklore includes a story of two missing women, but what parts of the story are true and which are pure fabrication and how does it pertain to the current event of a missing woman and a murder? It is a twisted journey that captivated me right away.

I loved the way the author brought in a woman who is basically a hermit now. I found this woman to be genuine and heartwarming. Having Amy visit to record her stories for the library’s archives was a brilliant idea. Many towns and libraries are doing this now. It makes me wish I had done the same with my parents and grandparents. Our history, our stories, fade due to poor memories and these records would be priceless. If these options are available to you jump on them while you can.

The author also brings a man into the story, a neighbor to the woman, also someone who shuns society for his own reasons. He has a wonderful gift that he has mostly kept to himself but could he be a murderer?

Sticking with new characters, Richard’s parents come to visit and it was quite the experience. No spoiler here, but answers to some of the questions I had about the man are answered.

With great characters and plenty of twists and turns, this story takes us on quite a ride. The blend of folklore with a smidgen of fairies and magic was a delight. The ending was an ultimate surprise. This story is a wonderful addition to this series!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of Murder for the Books here.

Read my review of Shelved Under Murder here.

About  the Author

Raised in a historic small town in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Victoria Gilbert turned her early obsession with books into a dual career as an author and librarian.

Victoria’s first cozy mystery series, the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series, garnered her a three-book deal with Crooked Lane Books, which has since been expanded to five books. The first two books in the series have been optioned by Sony Pictures Television, and the first three were or will be produced in audiobook by Tantor Media.

Victoria also just inked a 2-book deal with Crooked Lane for a new cozy series, the Booklovers B & B series, set in historic Beaufort, NC.

A member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and Sisters in Crime, Victoria is represented by Frances Black at Literary Counsel.

Author Links:

Website/blog   Facebook author page    Twitter   Goodreads   Instagram 

Purchase Links:

Amazon     B&N    Kobo    Indie Bound   GooglePlay

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
February 11 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
February 11 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
February 11 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT  
February 12 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
February 12 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
February 12 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
February 13 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
February 13 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
February 13 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 14 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
February 14 – Rae’s Books and Recipes – SPOTLIGHT
February 14 – The Montana Bookaholic – SPOTLIGHT
February 15 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 15 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
February 15 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
February 16 – Laura`s Interests – REVIEW
February 16 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 16 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW
February 17 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 17 – Curling Up by the Fire – REVIEW
February 18 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – REVIEW, GUEST POST
February 18 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 19 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 19 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 20 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 20 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
February 21 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
February 21 – The Book Diva’s Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 22 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
February 22 – A Holland 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.”

Feb 092019
 


Running from Arrows
(A Running Store Mystery)
by T.C. Wescott

I am excited to shine the spotlight on this new book from
T.C. Wescott today!

 

About the Book


Running from Arrows (A Running Store Mystery)
Cozy Mystery/Romance/Humor
2nd in Series
Better Mousetrap Books (January 7, 2019)
Print Length: 192 pages
Digital ASIN: B07KDYFYKB

One of Lacy’s beaus has a bow. Unlike Cupid, his arrows kill. There’s more than romance in the air this Valentine’s Day!

Running from Arrows is the fun, twist-filled, romantic cozy mystery romp you’ve been waiting for!

Valentine’s Day is coming up and Lacy is single. If that’s not bad enough, she has a secret admirer. Is it the compassionate, haunted detective, the ruggedly handsome businessman, the suave maître de, the guy in her running group who likes to stare, or maybe someone who’s not on her radar? She’ll find out soon enough because he’s invited her to dinner. Now the question isn’t how long Lacy will remain single but how long she’ll remain alive.

During the Sweetheart Run through the town of Cedar Mill a fellow runner is murdered and a notorious burglar called the Black Cat is found dead with an arrow sticking out of him. Somehow these strange murders are connected to the ladies of Run For It – Lacy the divorcee, Stax the quirky bookseller, and Ruby the old-time mystery novelist. They’re back in a race against time to catch an invisible killer and exonerate an innocent man!

If you love a delicious mystery dripping with romance, humor, and chills – and a Valentine’s Day dinner no reader will ever forget – then buy Running from Arrows now and run it right to the top of your TBR pile!

You’ll want to tell all your friends about Running from Arrows, but whatever you do, DON’T TELL THE SECRET OF THE SECRET ADMIRER.

Running from Arrows is part two in a series but can be read as a stand-alone.

Praise for Running from Arrows
(A Running Store Mystery)
by T.C. Wescott

This book had several different components. Of course, the mystery…However, there was romance in the air too. The two balanced each other out perfectly. I also loved that it was a very modern mystery, yet had shades of Agatha Christie, with Ruby taking the lead. This was a great read perfect for Valentine’s Day!
~Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews

About the Author

T.C. Wescott was born in Missouri but has lived in Oklahoma most of his life. Like pretty much every author who has ever breathed, he is an avid reader. His favorites are classic mysteries from the Golden Age, as well as just before or just after that period (which is widely considered the period between the two World Wars). His first mystery novel, Running from Scissors, was published in July 2018 and will be the first of at least three books in the Running Store Mystery series.

The Christmas Village Mystery series was launched in November with the debut title Slay Bells. The formula for his books is simple – mixing the classic, traditional detective fiction standards with all the trappings of the modern cozy mystery.

Wescott is also (under another name) the author of two award-winning non-fiction books as well as a slew of essays and articles.

Purchase Link – Amazon

Also by this author:

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
February 6 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 6 – Mythical Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 7 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 8 – Readeropolis – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 9 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
February 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
February 10 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 11 – Laura`s Interests – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 12 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – GUEST POST
February 13 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
February 13 – The Book Decoder – SPOTLIGHT
February 14 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST
February 14 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
February 15 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
February 15 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
February 16 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 17 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 18 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW  
February 19 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

 

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Feb 072019
 


Death by Committee (An Abby McCree Mystery)
by Alexis Morgan

 

About the Book


Death by Committee (An Abby McCree Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Kensington (January 29, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496719530
ISBN-13: 978-1496719539
Digital ASIN: B07CWF6QBL

When Abby McCree suddenly inherits her favorite relative’s property in small town Snowberry Creek, Washington, she soon realizes that the ramshackle home comes with strings attached—one of which is tied to a dead body!

After a rough divorce, Abby McCree only wants to stitch up her life and move on. But other loose ends appear after her elderly Aunt Sybil passes away, leaving Abby to tend to a rundown estate, complete with a slobbery Mastiff of questionable pedigree and a sexy tenant who growls more than the dog. As Abby gets drawn into a tight-knit quilting guild, she makes a twisted discovery—Aunt Sybil’s only known rival is buried in her backyard!

Despite what local detectives say, Abby refuses to accept that her beloved aunt had anything to do with the murder. While navigating a busy social calendar and rediscovering the art of quilting, she launches an investigation of her own to clear Aunt Sybil’s name and catch the true culprit. The incriminating clues roll in, yet Abby can’t help but wonder—can she survive her new responsibilities in Snowberry Creek and still manage to patch together a killer’s deadly pattern without becoming the next victim?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Abby McCree hasn’t spent much time in Snowberry Creek, Washington of late but she remembers all the good times she had with her Aunt Sybil as a child. She especially remembers a quilt they were working on. Aunt Sybil finished it by herself as Abby’s visits became shorter and less frequent. Now her aunt has passed away and left her home to Abby and her aunt’s friends have already volunteered her to take over some of the committees Sybil was leading including the quilting guild.

Her aunt also left her a couple of other surprises. a bull mastiff named Zeke and a cantankerous but very easy on the eyes tenant named Tripp Blackston. Abby also uncovers another surprise among the blueberries, Dolly Cayhill’s body. Dolly was a snowbird who usually takes flight during the winter months, so sadly no one even knew the woman was unaccounted for. Dolly and Sybil were rivals in almost everything they did. Finding her body in Sybil’s yard wrapped in one of Sybil’s quilts lands Sybil square at the top of the suspect list. Abby believes there is no way her aunt could have committed such a heinous crime but the rumors are flying and evidence is stacking up. Is there any way to clear her aunt’s good name? There may be if she can live long enough to stitch all the clues together.

I like Abby McCree, but she needs to learn to say no! Those elderly ladies really ran roughshod over her. By the end of the story, she was getting her bearings and getting stronger, which I was very happy to see. Those ladies reminded me so much of some of the older ladies I have known in my life. A little pushy, but with huge hearts and kind souls. Tripp Blackstone, on the other hand, was a tough nut to crack, ex-military tough, and a little closed off. He starts to soften as he finds himself in the role of protector to Abby as digs into Dolly’s death and right into the line of fire. Tripp and Abby grow a lot for this being the first book in the series. I liked the way the author has started them on their journey. My favorite character of all was Zeke. A big dog who is a gentle giant, at least most of the time. The only time he leaves Abby’s side is when he is with Tripp. He is truly my kind of canine, even with all the drool 🙂

The plot was complex with two real mysteries. The first, the murder, had its share of suspects, but one after another are eliminated and Abby becomes a target. The second deals with 13 missing quilts the quilt had hoped to use for a calendar fundraiser. Given to a new member to photograph who then abruptly leaves town without returning the quilts or the pictures to the guild. As the new president of the guild, Abby tries her best to locate them. I used to love to quilt so this subplot really interested me.  The two mysteries mesh together so well. The story had some really exciting events and I was on the edge of my seat for the nail-biting ending.

Ms. Morgan has taken the time to fully describe each person and place so clearly that I could picture every element of the story. The people came alive. Abby’s home, the yard, the garage, and all the places around town were easily pictured in my mind. I was in each moment right along with Abby.

What I love most about this story was that it is written for the long haul of a series. The main characters evolved a great deal in this book but there is still so much to know about them. I am definitely invested in their lives and want to know more about them. The secondary characters are fun and entertaining too and have plenty of room to grow.

Ms. Morgan has sewn together a wonderful treat for her readers. Death by Committee was a perfect escape for me and I know fans of this genre will enjoy it too!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

USA Today Best-selling author Alexis Morgan has always loved reading and now spends her days imagining worlds filled with strong alpha heroes and gutsy heroines. She is the author of over forty-five novels, novellas, and short stories that span a variety of genres: American West historicals (as Pat Pritchard); paranormal and fantasy romances; and contemporary romances. She is excited to say that next year will also see the release of her first cozy mystery series. Alexis has been nominated for several industry awards, including the RITA, the top award in the romance genre.

Author Links –

Website     Facebook Twitter    Blog  

Purchase Links –

AmazonB&N –  KoboGooglePlay  –  IndieBound 

Praise for Death by Committee (An Abby McCree Mystery)
by Alexis Morgan

Death by Committee was a charming debut and I absolutely adored Abby and her trusty sidekick, Zeke,
~Moonlight Rendezvous

Death by Committee is a light-hearted cozy mystery with a charming Victorian home, a cute mastiff mix, beautifully crafted quilts, three busy older ladies and killer on the loose.
~The Avid Reader

With likable protagonist and support characters both, gentle humor, a precious dog, and even a little romance, this story has all that I look for in a tradition cozy and I enjoyed it very much.
~The Power of Words

I enjoyed Abby’s reflections on who might have wanted to kill Dolly. Her interactions are realistic and humourous.
~Nadaness In Motion

Wow, just wow! What an amazing start to a new series!
~The Montana Bookaholic

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops.
February 1 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, GUEST POST
February 1 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
February 2 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
February 2 – The Power of Words – REVIEW *
February 3 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 4 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW
February 4 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT  
February 5 – Jody’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 5 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 6 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 6 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 7 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
February 7 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST
February 8 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 8 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT
February 9 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
February 9 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 10 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW
February 11 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 12 – That’s What She’s Reading – GUEST POST
February 13 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 13 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 14 – 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.”

Feb 052019
 


The Novel Art of Murder
(Mystery Bookshop)
by V.M. Burns

 

About the Book


The Novel Art of Murder (Mystery Bookshop)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Michigan
Kensington (November 27, 2018)
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-10: 1496711858
ISBN-13: 978-1496711854
Digital ASIN: B07B7B4C8Q

Mystery bookstore owner Samantha Washington is trying to keep her grandmother from spending her golden years in an orange jumpsuit . . .

The small town of North Harbor, Michigan, is just not big enough for the two of them: flamboyant phony Maria Romanov and feisty Nana Jo. The insufferable Maria claims she’s descended from Russian royalty and even had a fling with King Edward VIII back in the day. She’s not just a lousy liar, she’s a bad actress, so when she nabs the lead in the Shady Acres Senior Follies—a part Nana Jo plays every year in their retirement village production—Nana Jo blows a gasket and reads her the riot act in front of everyone.

Of course, when Maria is silenced with a bullet to the head, Nana Jo lands the leading role on the suspects list. Sam’s been writing her newest mystery, set in England between the wars, with her intrepid heroine Lady Daphne drawn into murder and scandal in the household of Winston Churchill. But now she has to prove that Nana Jo’s been framed. With help from her grandmother’s posse of rambunctious retirees, Sam shines a spotlight on Maria’s secrets, hoping to draw the real killer out of the shadow.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We are back in North Harbor, Michigan just in time for Samantha Washington’s Nana Jo to become a murder suspect. It seems her usual part in the Shady Acres Senior Follies has been given to Maria Romanov, a woman of questionable character. Said to be descended from Russian Royalty and a great actress, Nana Jo knows the woman is a phony. As soon as others hear her sing, they know it too. Nana Jo tries to take the woman to task publically so when Maria ends up dead, Nana Jo’s fate as a murder suspect is sealed.

Not so fast, Sam is on the case. Using her current work in progress where Lady Daphne is in the middle of a murder in the home of Winston Churchill to settle her mind and draw parallels, she is sure to find who has framed her Nana. The crew from Shady Acres steps in to help too and soon real suspects are uncovered and clues start to fall into place.

That’s Oreo and Snickers on the cover, Oreo looks nothing like my Oreo but I love the author’s choice of pet names. The expression of the dog in the back cracks me up every time I look at the cover.

Okay, the cover is great, but the story/stories within are excellent. Ms. Burns gives us a present-day cozy mystery and her character Samantha Washington is an author and we get to read her latest work too. I love that we get two stories in each novel. It took some getting used to with the first book, but now with book 3, I hit the rhythm right away. I really enjoy how they work together.

Full of colorful characters the story sets a nice pace. Intrigue with a big dose of humor keeps the pages turning and both stories had wonderful surprise endings. Some parts are truly laugh out loud funny.

I loved this book and can’t wait for more! This is the first book of 2019 to receive my top Paradise rating and a place on my Best Reads of 2019 list. While the story can stand on its own I recommend starting at the beginning of the series for maximum enjoyment.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

V.M. Burns was born in Northwestern Indiana and spent many years in Southwestern Michigan on the Lake Michigan shoreline. She is a lover of dogs, British historic cozies, and scones with clotted cream. After many years in the Midwest, she went in search of milder winters and currently lives in Eastern Tennessee with her poodles. Her debut novel, The Plot is Murder was nominated for a 2017 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Valerie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and a lifetime member of  Sisters in Crime. Readers can learn more by visiting her website at vmburns.com

Author Links:     Website  Facebook   Twitter:  @vmburns

Purchase Links – Amazon –  Barnes & Noble – IndieBound
Books-A-Million –  Hudson Booksellers 


Coming April 30, 2019

Also by V.M. Burns

Praise for The Novel Art of Murder
(Mystery Bookshop)
by V.M. Burns

A well-written cozy mystery with charm and heart, The Novel Art of Murder is a truly enjoyable read from start to finish.
~Reading Is My SuperPower

I had a lot of fun reading this book . . . the wild characters keep Sam`s life interesting . . .
~Laura’s Interests

Lots of little twists and turns to keep you guessing wrapped around enough charm to really draw the reader in.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

V.M. Burns has taken the traditional, contemporary cozy mystery and added a twist . . . It had to be the funniest killer takedown I have seen! I highly recommend this one.
~Author, Teresa Trent

 

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS Please visit all the stops. 🙂
January 30 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
January 30 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
January 31 – Laura`s Interests – REVIEW, GUEST POST
January 31 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 1 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 1 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
February 1 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – REVIEW
February 2 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
February 2 – Mythical Books – SPOTLIGHT
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February 5 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW  
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February 7 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
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February 8 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
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February 8 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
February 9 – 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.”

Feb 022019
 


I am pleased to shine the spotlight on the latest A Lady and Lady’s Maid Mystery today!


A Murderous Marriage (A Lady and Lady’s Maid Mystery)
by Alyssa Maxwell

 

About the Book


A Murderous Marriage (A Lady and Lady’s Maid Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Kensington (January 29, 2019)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496717392
ISBN-13: 978-1496717399
Kindle ASIN: B07CWDMR33

Lady Phoebe Renshaw and her lady’s maid, Eva Huntford, are preparing for a wedding, but it may not be the happy occasion everyone hopes for . . .

Since the Great War, some family fortunes have suffered, including those of the Renshaws. Despite being the granddaughter of an earl, Julia Renshaw is under pressure to marry for money—and has settled for Gilbert Townsend, a viscount and a wealthy industrialist. He is decades older than Julia, and it’s clear to her sister Phoebe—and to Eva, who has been like a surrogate mother to the girls—that this is not a love match. Nevertheless, the wedding takes place—and in a hurry.

At the reception aboard the groom’s yacht, there appears to be tension between Gil and several guests: his best man, a fellow veteran of the Boer War; his grouchy spinster sister; and his current heir, a nervous young cousin named Ernest. The bride is also less than pleased when she discovers that her honeymoon will be more crowded than expected—with Gil’s pretty secretary, among others, coming along.

That very night, Julia pounds on her sister’s door, brandishing a bandaged hand and reporting a hot-tempered outburst on her new husband’s part. Julia is feeling doubt and regret about her hasty decision, but returns to the boat. Then the next morning, before the yacht can depart the harbor, Gil’s body is found in the water below—and Phoebe and Eva must discover who pushed him over . . . before the Renshaws’ social standing is irreparably stained by Julia’s arrest for his murder . . .

Praise for A Murderous Marriage (A Lady and Lady’s Maid Mystery)
by Alyssa Maxwell

The atmospheric Isle of Wright setting, lords and ladies galore, impoverished estates, arranged marriages … these elements and more combine in a murder mystery by Alyssa Maxwell that I thoroughly enjoyed.
~The Power of Words

A MURDEROUS MARRIAGE is an engaging historical mystery that illustrates the importance of family and duty by both the upper and working classes in 1920 England.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

I am always inspired to read more historical mysteries after reading a Maxwell mystery. She has the talent to create lively characters, charming settings, and the mystery that takes the wedding cake.
~Bibliophile Reviews

I was pleasantly surprised to be immersed in the post World War I era. From the customs and clothing to the attitudes and actions, the story felt authentic and true.
~Mysteries With Character

About the Author

Alyssa Maxwell knew from an early age that she wanted to be a novelist. Growing up in New England and traveling to Great Britain fueled a passion for history, while a love of puzzles of all kinds drew her to the mystery genre. She and her husband reside in Florida, where she loves to watch BBC productions, sip tea in the afternoons, and delve into the past. You can learn more about Alyssa and her books at www.alyssamaxwell.com.

Author Links

Twitter  Facebook – Webpage – GoodReads – Mailing List

Purchase Links – AmazonB&N  – KoboGooglePlay 

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
January 28 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
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January 30 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
January 31 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT  
January 31 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
February 1 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
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February 2 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
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February 3 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER GUEST POST

 

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Jan 312019
 

Murder Wears a Little Black Dress (A Resale Boutique Mystery)
by Debra Sennefelder

 

About the Book 

 

Murder Wears a Little Black Dress (A Resale Boutique Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New York
Lyrical Underground (January 22, 2019)
Paperback: 200 pages
ISBN-10: 1516108965
ISBN-13: 978-1516108961
Digital ASIN: B07CR2CG63

Manhattan fashionista Kelly Quinn thought she’d left her upstate New York town far behind . . . until the Seventh Avenue expat returns home to revamp her grandmother’s consignment shop into an upscale boutique—and unwittingly sets a trend for murder . . .

After her rising career as a Manhattan buyer is derailed, Kelly has mixed feelings about relocating back to Lucky Cove, in spite of her big plans for the soon-to-be-renamed Curated by Kelly Resale Boutique. What’s left of her luck starts running out when a customer puts on a black lace dress that triggers visions of someone being murdered. As if the haunted “Murder Dress” isn’t enough to kill business, the psychic’s doppelganger cousin has just been found bludgeoned to death.

Was Maxine LeMoyne the real target or was it a case of mistaken murder? With some creepy pre-Halloween bargain hunters walking the night and Kelly suddenly a person of interest, a second murder rocks the close-knit town. Now Kelly could be the one who ends up talking to dead people when she’s stalked by a killer determined to take her out in high style . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Kelly Quinn has returned to Lucky Cove to take over the consignment store left to her by her grandmother. She hopes with her fashion education and experience she can take the shop in another direction. She is holding a 3-day sale to get rid of the old so she can reopen with her new ideas. Everything starts to fall apart when a customer claims to have a vision of a murder when she tries on a little black dress. Faster than you can say “consignment” the public assumes Kelly’s shop and merchandise is haunted.

When the cousin of the vision seeing customer is murdered, Kelly is ready to pack her bags and head back to the city. But she has so many questions. Questions that could end up with her being the next person knocking on the pearly gates. Is her shop doomed before she even starts or will catching the killer give her another chance at making her dreams come true?

What a great debut for this new series!

Debra Sennfelder has created some wonderful characters to kick off this series. Kelly Quinn has big ideas for her grandmother’s shop, but Pepper, her grandmother’s and now her employee, and also her grandmother’s best friend, isn’t on board with all the changes. Her uncle is just waiting for her to fail so he can sell the property and line his own pockets. Her friend, Liv, is behind her all the way. She even brings baked goods to the store from her family’s bakery every day and stays to help Kelly in any way she can. We meet for friend Ariel. Their relationship has been rocky due to a past event. Bernadette Rydel is a local psychic, the woman that tries on the LBD and starts all the commotion. Her life becomes entangled with Kelly’s when her cousin and doppelganger Maxine Lemoyne is killed.

The author has written a complex mystery with a lot of moving parts. The paranormal elements of the story are very light but play a big part. The character’s interactions drive the story with several twists and a surprising reveal. Humor is liberally sprinkled throughout making the story very entertaining.

I enjoyed the Ariel/Kelly subplot a lot. It hit me in a personal way. I love reading about characters I truly can identify with. I was so happy with the way the author presented their story and that is was not kept secret and dragged out over a number of books. Ariel surprised me, she gave me hope and warmed my heart.

The story ends with a  happy ending and me with a smile on my face. I am looking forward to many books in this series and getting to know the characters in depth.  This was a very enjoyable read.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Debra Sennefelder, the author of the Food Blogger Mystery series and the Resale Boutique Mystery series, is an avid reader who reads across a range of genres, but mystery fiction is her obsession. Her interest in people and relationships is channeled into her novels against a backdrop of crime and mystery. When she’s not reading, she enjoys cooking and baking and as a former food blogger, she is constantly taking photographs of her food. Yeah, she’s that person.

Born and raised in New York City, she now lives and writes in Connecticut with her family. She’s worked in pre-hospital care, retail and publishing. Her writing companions are her adorable and slightly spoiled Shih-Tzus, Susie and Billy.

She is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, Women’s Fiction Writers Association and Romance Writers of America.

Author Links:

Website – Facebook – Goodreads 

Purchase Links

Amazon   B&N   Kobo    Google Play
Also by this Author

Praise For Murder Wears a Little Black Dress (A Resale Boutique Mystery)
by Debra Sennefelder

Murder Wears a Little Black Dress is a lively cozy mystery with fashionable clothes, personable characters, murder, mystical forces, and mayhem.
~The Avid Reader

I enjoyed everything about the story. It was well-written, and the author threw in twists and turns that kept me guessing.
~Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews

All the characters are fun and bring their own style to this series.
~My Reading Journeys

I liked Sennefelder’s writing style. I loved the sense of humor that she’s brought about in the story.
~The Book Decoder

MURDER WEARS A LITTLE BLACK DRESS is about growing up, finding your place, and fighting for what’s right . . . The mystery here was interesting, with many angles . . .
~Cozy Up With Kathy

This very delightful and intriguing cozy mystery is the first in a brand-new series, with likable characters (even the villains are comprehensible) and a puzzling mystery, plus accusations of the paranormal.
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies

Fantastic storytelling, wonderfully written characters, and a first-class mystery with a reveal that left me totally surprised, there wasn’t a thing I didn’t enjoy about this book.
~ Lisa Ks Book Reviews

I enjoyed this book, the characters, the plot and the various side stories. The setting is different from any of the other cozy series that I read, so that was also very appealing.
~Carla Loves To Read

The first book in a new series and it was very enjoyable! … this one checked off all the boxes of what I expect – a protagonist that inserts themselves into an investigation while not being a detective/police officer, red herrings, twists in the plot and with the characters, multiple suspects…
~Storeybook Reviews

Ah, I love actually getting in on Book 1 of a new series and one that promises a hint of paranormal with the cozy, girly stuff, even better.
~Rosepoint Publishing

Thanks to the author I am giving away an Enthrill Code to download a copy of this book!

Click Here To Enter

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
January 21 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
January 21 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
January 22 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 22 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW
January 23 – My Reading Journey – REVIEW  
January 23 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 24 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
January 24 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 25 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW  
January 25 – Readeropolis – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
January 26 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
January 26 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW
January 27 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 27 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW
January 28 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
January 28 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
January 29 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
January 29 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
January 30 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
January 31 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 31 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
February 1 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 1 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 2 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 3 – Laura`s Interests – REVIEW
February 3 – Brooke Blogs – 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.”

Jan 302019
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so happy to Welcome Sherry Harris to Escape With Dollycas today!

Hi Sherry,

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I write the Agatha Award nominated Sarah Winston Garage Sale mysteries and the upcoming Chloe Jackson Redneck Riviera mysteries set on the beautiful beaches of the panhandle of Florida. The sixth book in the series, The Gun Also Rises, that was released yesterday.

What are three things most people don’t know about you? I was on Romper Room when I was four – yep I’m that old. I’ve lived in ten different cities/towns. I was the editor in chief of my high school year book.

What is the first book you remember reading? Betsy Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace

What are you reading now? I just finished Dear Mrs. Bird by A. J. Pearce. A wonderful story that made me cry.

What made you decide you want to write? I’ve always loved reading and writing stories. One of my early influences were the books by Maud Hart Lovelace. Her protagonist Betsy wanted to be a writer. I wanted to be Betsy so I too wanted to write.

Do you have a special place you like to write? I usually write in my office on the second story of our house. One window looks out at my neighbor’s house and the other at a patch of woods.

Do you write at the same day every day? I usually write in the afternoon because I’m not a morning person. However, the closer I am to a deadline the more you’ll find me writing in the morning too.

Where do the ideas for your books come from? All different places. The plot for the second book, The Longest Yard Sale, is based on a crime that was committed when we were stationed at F.E.Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

What books have most inspired you? As I mentioned above the books by Maud Hart Lovelace, Jackdaws by Ken Follett, and anything by Julia Spencer Fleming.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging? Getting over the fear that someday I’m going to sit at my computer and no words will come out. It’s never happened, but the possibility makes me shudder.

What do you think makes a good story? It starts with the characters—writing interesting people who readers will want to root for and against. Then comes the plot and finding a fresh creative way to write a mystery.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you? It has to be my protagonist Sarah Winston. We both love garage sales and were both military spouses. Fortunately, unlike Sarah, I’ve never stumbled across a dead body.

Why did you pick your particular genre? Growing up my house was filled with mysteries, thrillers, and romantic suspense. Now that I think about it my house is still filled with all three!

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre? Sarah Winston has ties to the military base which is right next to the town of Ellington, Massachusetts. Part of the action of each book takes place on the military base. It’s a way to give a bit of insight on what it’s like to be a military spouse and also life on a base.

What’s next on the horizon for you? I’m currently writing the first book in a new series—the Chloe Jackson Redneck Riviera mysteries which are set on the beautiful, sandy beaches along the Gulf coast of Florida. Then it is back to writing the ninth book in the Sarah Winston series.

Thank you so much for visiting today, Sherry. I really appreciate it. I am looking forward to your new series and more Sarah! 

Keep reading for my thoughts on The Gun Also Rises.


The Gun Also Rises
(A Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery)
by Sherry Harris

 

About the Book

 

The Gun Also Rises (A Sarah W. Garage Sale Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Kensington (January 29, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1496716965
ISBN-13: 978-1496716965
Digital ASIN: B07CWF942Q

TO RECOVER A PRICELESS MANUSCRIPT . . .

A wealthy widow has asked Sarah Winston to sell her massive collection of mysteries through her garage sale business. While sorting through piles of books stashed in the woman’s attic, Sarah is amazed to discover a case of lost Hemingway stories, stolen from a train in Paris back in 1922. How did they end up in Belle Winthrop Granville’s attic in Ellington, Massachusetts, almost one hundred years later?

WILL SARAH HAVE TO PAY WITH HER LIFE?

Before Sarah can get any answers, Belle is assaulted, the case is stolen, a maid is killed, and Sarah herself is dodging bullets. And when rumors spread that Belle has a limited edition of The Sun Also Rises in her house, Sarah is soon mixed up with a mobster, the fanatical League of Literary Treasure Hunters, and a hard-to-read rare book dealer. With someone willing to kill for the Hemingway, Sarah has to race to catch the culprit—or the bell may toll for her . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

History and mystery collide as Sherry Harris gives her spin on the missing papers of Ernest Hemingway lost in 1922. Garage Sale pro Sarah Winston is hired to help get Belle Winthrop Granville book collection ready for sale. As she is cataloging the vast collection she makes a shocking discovery. A case filled with what appears to be Hemingway’s lost manuscripts. Before the papers can be verified they are stolen and Granville’s maid is killed and shots are fired at Sarah.

The events lead to rumors that a rare edition of The Sun Also Rises is also hidden on the premises bringing the League of Literary Treasure Hunters, a rare book dealer, and the press to Ellington, Massachusetts. Sarah is forced out of her home and knows the only way for things to get back to normal is to find the killer before more bodies fall including hers.

This has become one of my favorite cozy mystery series. I love spending time with Sarah as she chases all around town for her garage sales and murder investigations. Her life has been in flux with her divorce, moving off the base, getting her business off the ground and trying to start life over as a single woman. He ex has now left the state so her personal life can move forward with Seth and that made me very happy.

In addition to her huge project for Belle Winthrop Granville and finding a thief and a killer, Sarah is organizing a fundraiser to help a soldier bring a dog he adopted in Afghanistan to the states. He has been suffering PTSD since his last deployment and his friends and family feel bringing this dog home may make things easier. The connection of Sarah to the Air Force Base and the awareness the author brings to military life and strife is a treasured part of all the books in this series. As a military wife herself her depictions are believable.

The characters Ms. Harris brings to life leap off the pages. She gives us people to root for along with the questionable suspects. Sarah and her friends are all engaging and relatable. They have a camaraderie that is refreshing. They always have her back.

I loved the way the author brought Hemingway history into the story. The League of Literary Treasure Hunters were an interesting crew that didn’t give up. They truly took over the town and made Sarah’s life miserable. I really felt bad for her. I loved her unstoppable energy though in her quest to find the papers and the killer. Her perseverance had no bounds.

Sarah Winston is a fantastic protagonist. This story is a wonderful addition to the series. I can’t wait for the next installment. Let’s Fake A Deal will be released July 30.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

 

Agatha Award-nominated author, Sherry Harris, started bargain hunting in second grade at her best friend’s yard sale. She honed her bartering skills as she moved around the country while her husband served in the Air Force. Sherry uses her love of garage sales, her life as a military spouse, and her time living in Massachusetts as inspiration for the Sarah Winston Garage Sale series.

Author Links

Webpage – Facebook – Twitter – GoodReads  – Pinterest 

Purchase Links – Amazon    B&NKoboGoogle Play IndieBound


Praise for The Gun Also Rises
(A Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery)
by Sherry Harris

Buckle your seatbelt for a humorous and fast-paced romp with Sarah in The Gun Also Rises.
~The Avid Reader

The Gun Also Rises is a fantastic cozy mystery that is full of twists, turns, distractions, and red herrings. There are suspenseful, humorous, and heartbreaking moments that are sure to keep the reader engaged.
~Sapphyria’s Books

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please Visit All The Stops.
January 28 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
January 28 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
January 28 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW
January 29 – Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST
January 29 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
January 30 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 30 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 30 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
January 31 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
January 31 – Celticlady’s Reviews  – SPOTLIGHT 
January 31 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 1 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST
February 1 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
February 1 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
February 2 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 2 – Laura`s Interests – REVIEW
February 2 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 3 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW
February 3 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
February 3 – Readeropolis – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 3 – Rosepoint Publishing – 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.”

Jan 292019
 

Not a Creature Was Stirring
(Merry & Bright Handcrafted Mystery)
by Christina Freeburn

About the Book

Not a Creature Was Stirring (Merry & Bright Handcrafted Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – West Virginia
Henery Press (January 22, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1635114373
ISBN-13: 978-1635114379
Digital ASIN: B07K1MFQ7T

Empty nester Merry Winters loves three things: Christmas, crafting and her family. To regain purpose and joy, Merry hits the road to a Christmas vendor event with her furry sidekick Ebenezer in her new mobile crafting sleigh, aka an RV.

But it soon turns into the nightmare before Christmas when Merry unwraps her Scrooge of an ex-husband’s body in one of the RV’s compartments. Add to that his missing winning lottery ticket believed to be stashed somewhere in the RV, leading the homicide detective and Merry’s stepdaughter to believe Merry is the one whodunit.

With visions of prison dancing in her head, will Merry be able to solve this Christmas calamity before she’s locked away?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

With a name like Merry Winters, you just know she is going to love Christmas. She also loves crafting and her family. Merry is going through a rough time adjusting to her kids moving out on their own and a recent divorce, so she decides to throw herself into her crafts. When she gets the opportunity to purchase on RV she jumps at it because she believes it is the perfect way to take her crafts on the road, traveling to craft shows far and wide. She even buys a pet to take with her, Ebenezer, a guinea pig.

Her first trip in her new RV is to the Christmas Holiday Bazaar in Morgantown, not too far from her home in Season’s Greetings, West Virginia. When she arrives she notices an odd smell. Thinking the former owner, her ex-stepdaughter left something in one of the compartments that had now spoiled she starts to look around. But it isn’t rotting food she finds, it’s her ex-husband, very dead and stinking to high heaven. When the police arrive Merry becomes their #1 suspect. She can’t believe they actually think she killed him and hid him in the RV she is driving around. She knows she has to find the real killer or Santa will be delivering her presents to her in jail. Behind bars is not how she imagined celebrating her favorite time of year.

I loved this story. Merry Winters has had a wonderful life after a precarious start. She has a huge heart and believes the best in everyone which at times can be her downfall. We do share a love of crafting and I miss doing the crafts I love. That is why I enjoy cozy mysteries like this one. I can live vicariously through the characters.

I don’t share her love of guinea pigs though. Ebenezer runs free through her house and does add some humorous moments. My guinea pig experience was not good. Our older children each had one and soon their care fell to me and cleaning their cages daily is an experience I would love to forget. They did enjoy their playtime, inside and out, but that was limited. I was glad their time with us was short.

Fittingly set in the holiday season, complete with a blizzard was great. Made me feel right at home as similar weather was happening here in Wisconsin as I was reading. I could relate to Merry’s worries about driving the RV on snowy slippery roads and her concern that the RV may not be the best choice for cold weather without some major renovations.

The mystery was fast paced with several surprising twists including unexpected suspects. The author has crafted a unique mystery and I really enjoyed the way she told this story. I was engaged the entire way and captivated by the way everything came together in the end.

Great characters, (I loved their names), an excellent plot, and a fun setting gave me everything I look for in a quality cozy mystery. I am excited to see where Ms. Freeburn takes us in book two.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Christina Freeburn has always loved books. There was nothing better than picking up a story and being transported to another place. The love of reading evolved into the love of writing and she’s been writing since her teenage years. Her first novel was a 2003 Library of Virginia Literary Award nominee. Her mysteries series, Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery and Merry & Bright Handcrafted Mysteries, are a mix of crafty and crime and feature heroines whose crafting time is interrupted by crime solving.

Christina served in the US Army and has also worked as a paralegal, librarian, church secretary, and golf shop pro. She lives in West Virginia with her husband, dog, and a rarely seen cat except by those who are afraid and allergic to felines.

Author Links – Webpage     Blog     Facebook     Twitter     Goodreads 

Purchase Links –

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Praise for Not a Creature Was Stirring
(Merry & Bright Handcrafted Mystery)
by Christina Freeburn

This book was the right mix of Christmas cheer, family relationships, mystery, and community.
~Carla Loves to Read

If you love Christmas, you really do need to read this book. Christmas oozes from every page. Whether it’s talk of Christmas carols, Christmas decorations, Christmas crafts, or comparing people to characters from Christmas stories, you can’t help but get into the Christmas spirit.
~Carstairs Considers….

What made this cozy mystery delightful for me was the settings, of course (all that snow!) but mainly the character of Merry Winters. Here is an individual we ought to all admire: a genuinely GOOD person, ready to think the best of everybody and to exert the effort to help and comfort anyone in need.
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies

Not A Creature Was Stirring is fast-paced, funny, and filled with a quirky cast of characters. I devoured this book in a couple of days.
~Socrates’ Book Reviews…

This is a story about new possibilities and old insecurities, some relationships and choices revisited, some regret . . . The characters are complicated and have “interesting“ relationships.
~Laura’s Interests

An intriguing mystery and themes of Christmas and crafting make NOT A CREATURE WAS STIRRING a fun holiday read.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

Also by Christina Freeburn

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Bonus Giveaway!!

The author is giving away 2 Print Copies!

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Be sure to visit all the stops. 
January 21 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW
January 22 – Carstairs Considers – REVIEW
January 22 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
January 23 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
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January 24 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
January 24 – Readeropolis – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 25 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
January 25 –  Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
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January 27 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 28 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
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January 29 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
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January 30 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
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January 31 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
January 31 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 1 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
February 1 – MJB Reviews – REVIEW
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Jan 262019
 

Picture Not Perfect (The Not So Reluctant Detectives)
by D.E. Haggerty

I am excited to welcome Dena Haggerty back to Escape With Dollycas today!

How the cover for Picture Not Perfect Was Born

by D.E. Haggerty

 

As Picture Not Perfect is book 2 of the Not So Reluctant Detectives series, I thought the cover would be a snap to develop. In order to ensure readers recognize individual books in a series, the covers for each book in the series should be consistent. Sounds easy, right? Not so much. The development started out well enough. We kept the background the same as the previous book Finders, Not Keepers. We also re-used the library card in the corner, which features my name and the series name. Unfortunately, that’s not enough for a cover.

The style for the title itself was easy. Well, at least it was easy after I finally figured out what to name the book. Naming novels is not easy, let me tell you. But that’s a story for a different day. I wanted to use a font that hinted towards the premise of the book and was reminiscent of the title – namely that a picture isn’t always correctly (aka perfectly) telling a story. I started researching fonts that resemble shattering. Within a few moments, I found the shattering glass font used on the cover. Luckily, my designer liked it as well.

So now I had the title, the background, and my name with the series name. Those elements a cover does not make. Unfortunately. At this point you’re probably wondering why I’m this deeply involved in designing the cover. Isn’t that what cover designers are for? Yeah, sure, if you can afford one. My husband, who has self-taught himself graphic design, is the one who actually puts my thoughts into an actual cover. And while he’s awesome at putting my ideas onto paper …er… computer file, coming up with a conceptual design is not his area of expertise. Although to be completely honest, he’s willing to take a stab at it. I’m the one who may be a tiny bit hesitant.

I went back to the actual novel itself as I feel it’s important for the cover to hint at what the book is about (not just some hot guy to drool over). The heroine of Picture Not Perfect is harassed by the police as they believe she was stalked by the murder victim. The theme of stalking comes back again and again in the novel. A-ha, I thought, I can incorporate something about stalking in the cover. My excitement lagged after spending hours going through stock photos of stalking pictures. I couldn’t find what I wanted, but my idea was now firmly developed. I wanted a picture of my heroine, Melanie, being stalked. This is when my designed really shined. He took my idea and developed it into a cover, which was a relief as I was about to tear my hair out!

And that’s how the cover for Picture Not Perfect came to life.

~D. E. Haggerty

Thank you Dena for visiting today. 

Keep reading to find out more about Picture Not Perfect.

 

About the Book

 

Picture Not Perfect (The Not So Reluctant Detectives)
Cozy Mystery/Romance/Humor
2nd in Series
Self Published (January 21, 2019)
Print Length: 230 pages
ASIN: B07KG6ZH33

A picture tells a story. But is it the truth?

When the police find pictures of Melanie hanging up at her murdered colleague’s house, they’re convinced he was stalking her. Maybe she even killed him. Melanie was not being stalked! And she certainly didn’t kill her supposed stalker – as if. But Mel – always up for a bit of drama – jumps at the chance to go search for the real killer. When Mel’s ex-boyfriend, Owen, discovers her plans, he pulls out all the stops to ensure she’s safe and to win her back. No matter what happens with the murder investigation, he’s not letting her go. With the police setting their sights on Mel, he may need to jeopardize his own career on the police force to protect her.

Will Mel find the real killer before the detectives arrest her for murder?

Praise for Picture Not Perfect (The Not So Reluctant Detectives)
by D.E. Haggerty

Picture Not Perfect was a page-turner. I couldn’t help but enjoy the second chance at love
~My Reading Journeys

About the Author

I grew up reading everything I could get my grubby hands on, from my mom’s Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew, to Little Women. When I wasn’t flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic before returning to the law. But practicing law really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out running a B&B wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following the husband to Istanbul where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from my adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where, in between tennis matches and failing to save the world, I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.

Picture Not Perfect is my fourteenth novel.

Author Links 

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Purchase Links

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Also by this Author


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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
January 21 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
January 22 – Mythical Books – GUEST POST
January 23 – Babs Book Bistro – CHARACTER GUEST POST
January 24 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 25 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
January 26 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT  
January 27 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
January 28 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – CHARACTER GUEST POST
January 29 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 29 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
January 30 – Books Direct – REVIEW, GUEST POST
January 31 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 1 –Christa Reads and Writes – GUEST POST
February 2 – Readeropolis – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 3 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
February 3 – Laura`s Interests – SPOTLIGHT

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