Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

In An Instant by Suzanne Redfearn #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @SuzanneRedfearn

In an Instant
by Suzanne Redfearn

About In An Instant

In An Instant
Thriller/Women’s Fiction
Setting – California
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (March 1, 2020)
Paperback: 331 pages
ISBN-10: 1542006589
ISBN-13: 978-1542006583
Digital ASIN: B07NVD1276

A deeply moving story of carrying on even when it seems impossible.

 

Life is over in an instant for sixteen-year-old Finn Miller when a devastating car accident tumbles her and ten others over the side of a mountain. Suspended between worlds, she watches helplessly as those she loves struggle to survive.

 

Impossible choices are made, decisions that leave the survivors tormented with grief and regret. Unable to let go, Finn keeps vigil as they struggle to reclaim their shattered lives. Jack, her father, who seeks vengeance against the one person he can blame other than himself; her best friend, Mo, who bravely searches for the truth as the story of their survival is rewritten; her sister Chloe, who knows Finn lingers and yearns to join her; and her mother, Ann, who saved them all but is haunted by her decisions. Finn needs to move on, but how can she with her family still in pieces?

 

Heartrending yet ultimately redemptive, In an Instant is a story about the power of love, the meaning of family, and carrying on…even when it seems impossible.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

As soon as I read the synopsis for this book I knew I had to read it and OMG I am glad I did.

A long weekend and the Miller family along with neighbors that are like family, Finn’s best friend Mo, Chloe’s boyfriend Vance and Bingo, the family dog all load into the Miller Mobile to go to Big Bear for skiing, snowboarding, and family fun.

They arrive at their cabin to unload and unpack but soon hit the road again to go to Grizzly Manor for dinner. The snow started falling while they were inside and quickly turns into a full-blown blizzard.

Along the way, they stop to pick up Kyle whose car is now stranded in a snowbank. It is slow going but then a buck in the road has Finn’s dad hitting the brakes and the camper starts to slide and tumble over the side of the mountain.

Finn doesn’t survive, but she can see and hear everything. She is trapped between heaven and hell on earth as she watches her family deal with her death and try to save themselves.

_____

The story is told from Finn’s point of view so readers are able to see and feel everything that unfolds. The depth of each character evolves as we see how they react to the horrendous tragedy. It is a very emotional tale and I was completely riveted to the pages. Powerful, gripping and revealing.

I think this story really hit me in the heart because I have lost a child. Different circumstances but I always feel like he is with me every day even after almost 5 years. I will say I dealt with my grief and still deal with my grief differently that the characters in this story but everyone handles loss in their own way.

When I reached the end of the book I wiped the tears from eyes and read the Author’s Note and learned this book is based on a true memory she had. Thankfully no one died then but my tears started flowing all over again. She told this story in such an amazing way. As a reader, I could feel the cold, my heart ached with the pain, and anger flared more than once.

Ms. Redfearn also included a special needs child in this story. Again, my emotions rolled by the way this child was treated. Heartwarming to fierce anger to heartbreaking. His part of the story has stuck with me almost more than Finn’s.

In An Instant is a story that will make you think and may even leave you breathless at times.

This quote is one I want to keep and maybe have it etched permanently somewhere:

“Reach for the stars or the moon or another universe altogether, and shine so bright you blind everyone around you, and though I am gone, carry me with you, but only as lightness and never as weight.”

I look forward to reading more books by this author.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Suzanne Redfearn

Suzanne Redfearn

Suzanne Redfearn is the award-winning author of three novels: Hush Little BabyNo Ordinary Life, and In an Instant. In addition to being an author, she’s also an architect specializing in residential and commercial design. She lives in Laguna Beach, California, where she and her husband own two restaurants: Lumberyard and Slice Pizza and Beer. You can find her at her website, SuzanneRedfearn.com, on Facebook at SuzanneRedfearnAuthor, or on Twitter @SuzanneRedfearn.

Purchase Links – Amazon  B&N 

Also by this Author

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
February 26 – Laura`s interests – SPOTLIGHT
February 27 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  
February 28 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 29 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – REVIEW
March 1 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – SPOTLIGHT
March 2 – eBook addicts – REVIEW
March 3 – This Is My Truth Now – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 4 – A Chick Who Reads  REVIEW
March 5 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
March 6 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
March 6 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 7 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT
March 7 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 8 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW
March 9 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW  
March 10 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!



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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday – featuring – Here Comes the Body (A Catering Hall Mystery) by Maria DiRico #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am excited to share my thoughts with you today about
Here Comes the Body by Maria DiRico!

Note there are several recipes in this book and
you can find a few of them being shared on other tour stops! 

Here Comes the Body (A Catering Hall Mystery)
by Maria DiRico

About Here Comes the Body


Here Comes the Body (A Catering Hall Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher: Kensington (February 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 page
ISBN-10: 1496725344
ISBN-13: 978-1496725349
Digital ASIN: B07R8WYLSC

After her philandering husband’s boat went down, newly single Mia Carina went back to Astoria, the bustling Queens neighborhood of her youth. Living with her Nonna and her oversized cat, Doorstop, she’s got a whole new life—including some amateur sleuthing . . .

 

Mia is starting work at Belle View, her father’s catering hall, a popular spot for weddings, office parties, and more—despite the planes that occasionally roar overhead on their way to LaGuardia and rattle the crystal chandelier. Soon she’s planning a bachelor party for a less-than-gentlemanly groom. But it goes awry when the gigantic cake is wheeled in and a deadly surprise is revealed . . .

 

Since some of her family’s associates are on the shady side, the NYPD wastes no time in casting suspicion on Mia’s father. Now, Mia’s going to have to use all her street smarts to keep him out of Rikers Island . . .

Italian recipes included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Readers are introduced to Mia Carina and her family. She has come home to Queens after her being cleared in her husband’s suspicious death with her cat lovingly named Doorstop. They have moved into her Nonna’s upper apartment. She will be working with her father, former mob enforcer, Ravello Carina, at a business he recently acquired. Belle View is a hot spot for weddings, bachelor parties, and family reunions. Even local support groups meet there.

Mia’s first event is a bachelor party complete with a stripper popping out of a cake. But the woman inside the cake does not “pop” as planned, in fact, the woman inside the cake is not the woman hired for the party but someone who accused Ravello of not paying his debt to her the day before and she won’t be “popping” anywhere. Someone left her dead body along with a check for a million dollars signed by Ravello inside the cake.

The police think the case is a slam-dunk but Mia is determined to prove her dad’s innocence. When a second body is found behind Belle View Mia knows she has to pull out all the stops to keep her dad safe and the business running, even if she needs to reach out to her extended “family”.

______

The underlying theme of this series is the mob and its connections to Mia’s family. I thought this may be too heavy of a topic for a cozy mystery but Maria DiRico makes it work with a light tone and a lot of humor, although some of the innuendo does tip over the line just a bit.

The author brings us an Italian family with connections. Mia, glad to be home but not totally sure if her New York family took care of her creep of a husband, Adam Grosso, or not. She was cleared to leave Florida and she did. Working for her father isn’t going to be easy, not because of the mob, but because of the over the top clients and their loony requests. Mia showed more patience than I ever could. She comes up with some great ideas too.

Moving in with her grandmother Elisabetta feels right even though most of her furniture looks like it came from a bordello. Her dad has spent enough time behind bars and promises the Belle View is a legit business. Mia’s brother Posi, is still behind bars but is able to give her some advice as she investigates. She reconnects with her old friend Jamie and old feelings start to immerge until she learns he has a girlfriend. Jaime’s dad is high up in the “organization” though and she just may need his help.

Being the first book in a new series, we get to know the main characters pretty well, but there is a lot of room for growth. My favorite being Nonna Elisabetta. A true Italian believing food can solve any problem. She makes sure Mia is always well fed. She had me grinning ear to ear.

I was captivated by Mia and Jamie’s relationship and am looking forward to how it develops. Will, there be a real romance or will they commit to the “friend zone”? Jamie does remind me a little bit of my son, same name, different spelling 😉

Mia is a smart sleuth. It was fun to tag along with her as she dealt with twist after twist. Sometimes the debut book in a series has a less complex mystery to solve while taking time to fully introduce the cast of characters. That is not the case here at all. The mystery was complex. Every time I thought I had everything all figured out there was a twist that proved me wrong.

The subplots were blended wonderfully into the story. I really appreciated Mia’s huge heart as she dealt with a real estate predator. Nonna’s neighborhood sounded delightful and close-knit and the realtor was really ticking off both me and Mia. Some of Mia’s comebacks were just priceless.  The author descriptions of the area painted clear pictures of the homes, right down to the sculptures in the yards and their holiday decorations.

Here Comes the Body has this series off to a fine start. The characters are memorable and feel very true to life. The mystery was well-plotted and interesting with a large dose of humor. There are also some yummy sounding Italian recipes at the back of the book. It truly was an enjoyable getaway!


Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Maria DiRico

Maria DiRico

 

Maria DiRico was born in Queens, New York, and raised in Queens and Westchester County. She is a first-generation Italian-American on her mother’s side. On her father’s side, her grandfather was a low-level Jewish mobster who disappeared in 1933 under mysterious circumstances. She also writes the award-winning, bestselling Cajun Country Mystery series under the name Ellen Byron.

Author Links – WebsiteFacebook Twitter

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboGoogle PlayIndieBound

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
February 24 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW, EXCERPT
February 24 – This Is My Truth Now – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 24 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 25 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 25 – Ascroft, eh? – GUEST POST  
February 25 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – REVIEW
February 26 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
February 26 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
February 26 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
February 27 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
February 27 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 27 – Jane Reads– GUEST POST
February 28 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 28 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
February 29 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 29 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW  
March 1 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
March 1 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
March 2 – That’s What She’s Reading – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
March 2 – TBR Book Blog – REVIEW, EXCERPT
March 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, RECIPE
March 3 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
March 4 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
March 4 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

 

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!


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

Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Guest Posts

Bonbon Voyage (Adventures of Gladys) by Katherine H. Brown #GuestPost / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Bonbon Voyage (Adventures of Gladys)
by Katherine H. Brown


I am thrilled to welcome Katherine H. Brown to Escape With Dollycas today!

Hey there! Thanks for letting me come say hi today. My name is Katherine Brown and I live in Texas. I love words and weaving them together to create stories and books. I also love to read. I read fiction the majority of the time, with one or two non-fiction books thrown in every year or so. I read cozy mystery, chick-lit, paranormal, witchy and werewolves, you name it. My Kindle is running out of space and I’m constantly looking for new places to put bookshelves in my home. My husband built me several beautiful ones inset in the wall already.

Besides tons of books, my bedroom is cluttered with a ridiculous number of spiral and composition notebooks, big and small. I’m jotting down story ideas, random bits of dialogue that are witty but have no story to go with yet, poems, and about a million fun titles for books that I haven’t begun to write yet.

To answer the age-old question, yes, I’ve actually always wanted to write. Since childhood. My parents can vouch for that and they are still some of my biggest fans. My sister is only an email away and I bounce ideas off of her frequently. There are so many things I love about writing. I love telling stories that entertain people and keep them guessing. I enjoy the freedom of allowing words to flow onto the page; I don’t plan out my books down to the last detail. I barely plan the beginning, middle, and end. I do brainstorm and jot down a list of things that need to happen but then the characters take over and I am able to simply write, often being as surprised as the readers at what happens next. For example, Chef Fabio started speaking with a French accent in the book and I had no idea he would be French when I added him. It is fun, to make something come to life and rewarding when others tell me they enjoy it or ask when the next book will be completed.

One of the most difficult things about writing, for me, is deciding on the ending. I don’t even like to read blurbs because I want to be totally surprised. When I write, I find it difficult to “know” the end rather than just be surprised. I know. Weird. Still, I’ve found a happy medium of planning enough to create a good storyline while still leaving enough empty space to not know all of the details. I work through the problem with my characters as we go.

Just like reading, when writing I get to be all of the characters. I can make them familiar, or I can use them to vicariously experience new things and that is thrilling. All of the fun and adventure without any of the actual pain and danger to fear. When people tell me that they don’t like to read, it is the one thing I can’t imagine.

When Summer arrives and with it a pretty big disruption to my writing schedule because of all the things we have planned. Let me share a typical workday with you. The alarm for my husband to go to work blares between 4:45 and 5 in the morning. I get up alongside him and turn my laptop on as I head to brush my teeth. For the first hour or two, I check emails and maybe update my mailing list and do business operations. Plus check to see if I’ve earned another thirty-five cents or not. Then after taking our daughter to school, I settle in with water or green tea and a bowl of peanut butter/oats/honey/dark chocolate chips for a good three to a five-hour writing session. Twenty to thirty minutes of TV while I eat some lunch, then maybe mow the yard or do other outside things. I usually push for another hour of writing or editing before it is time to get my daughter from school. With that, I’m able to get around 50,000 words in a month MOST months, though not every time. Things come up. Life happens. For the most part, it is a system that works for me and that I can be productive with. I think that my favorite book to write in my Ooey Gooey Bakery Mystery series might be book 3 Bake, Eat, & Be Buried. One of the most fun scenes that had me laughing out loud was when Gladys shows up to the bakery with a bag of “supplies” for herself, Piper, and Sam. The things that woman found shopping online!

Thanks for letting me share a little about me today. I hope that. if you decide to check out the books, that you enjoy them. I love reader feedback.

~Katherine

About Bonbon Voyage

bonbon voyage
Bonbon Voyage (Adventures of Gladys)
Cozy Mystery Novella
1st in Series
Independently published (December 31, 2019)
Paperback: 213 pages
ISBN-10: 1653633166
ISBN-13: 978-1653633166
Digital Print Length: 129 pages
ASIN: B083BZLF22

Gladys gets more than she bargains for when she climbs aboard her first cruise and witnesses a murder. Armed with wigs and wits alone, she determines to get to the bottom of things.
This cozy mystery is a spinoff from the Ooey Gooey Bakery Mystery series.

About Katherine H. Brown

Katherine H. Brown is from the tiny community of New York, Texas. Booklover (some might say book addict) and weaver of words, Katherine desired to be a writer from childhood, embarked on her first publishing adventure in 2017, and in 2019 said audios to her cozy office job to leap into a career as an author full-time.

When not found between the pages of a book or tapping keys on her laptop, Katherine loves to watch baking shows with her stepdaughter or cuddle up with her husband Patrick. Katherine and family prepare to welcome a new baby girl into the family in March 2020.

Author Links – Facebook Author PageWebsiteInstagramGoodreadsBookBubAmazon Author Page

Purchase Link:  Amazon 
bonbon voyage
Also by this Author

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
February 21 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
February 21 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
February 22 – This Is My Truth Now – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 22 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – GUEST POST
February 23 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 24 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 24 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT
February 25 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
February 25 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 26 – Ascroft, eh? – GUEST POST
February 26 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 27 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 27 – Christa Reads and Writes – SPOTLIGHT
February 28 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW
February 28 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW
February 29 – Laura`s Interests – REVIEW
February 29 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY
March 1 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Under the Radar (A Zoe Chambers Mystery) by Annette Dashofy #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour – @Annette_Dashofy @HeneryPress

Under the Radar (A Zoe Chambers Mystery)
by Annette Dashofy

About Under the Radar


Under the Radar (A Zoe Chambers Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
9th in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Publisher: Henery Press (February 25, 2020)
Trade Paperback – 288 pages
ISBN-13: 9781635115758
ISBN-10: 1635115752
Digital ASIN: B08289PJ97

Paramedic and deputy coroner Zoe Chambers responds to a shooting and discovers her longtime friend, Horace Pavelka, has gunned down a man who’d bullied him mercilessly for decades. Ruled self-defense, no charges are filed. When another of his tormentors turns up dead in Horace’s kitchen, Police Chief Pete Adams questions the man’s innocence in both cases…especially after Horace and his girlfriend go into hiding.

 

While fighting to clear her friend, Zoe is handed the opportunity to finally learn what really happened to her long-lost sibling. What starts out as a quick road trip on a quest for answers leads her to an unfamiliar city in the middle of a November blizzard, where she finds way more trouble than she bargained for.

 

Pete’s own search for his missing fiancée and a missing murderer ultimately traps him in a web of deception. Face-to-face with one of the most cunning and deadly killers of his law enforcement career, Pete realizes too late that this confrontation may well be his last.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have enjoyed this series from the start and each book is better than the last and they are all great.

This time there is a lot happening in Zoe’s life.

Zoe and Pete are now engaged and Zoe’s mother is determined to take over all the wedding plans. She is also not pleased that the farmhouse she gave to her daughter is not further along in its renovations.

The highly contested Coroner’s race is just a few days away. If the current coroner is not reelected Zoe will lose her part-time job.

An old friend has come to town with news about a brother Zoe recently found out she has.

And on top of all that a high school friend, Horace Pavelka, fatally shot a man that had been bullying him for years. That was ruled self-defense but when another bully is found dead in Pavelka’s kitchen authorities including Pete believe they may have ruled on the first death too quickly and Horace is getting revenge taking down both men. The fact that both Horace and his girlfriend are missing sure doesn’t help his case.

So with all that on her plate, some that take her away from Pete, things get interesting. And before the story wraps up both Pete and Zoe find themselves in danger. Could this be the end for both of them?

_____

Twists, twists, and more twists! One that almost gave me whiplash!

These characters continue to evolve and get stronger in every book. Ms. Dashofy has created such wonderful characters and gives them all purpose and believable, realistic events and tasks to handle within each story. In Under the Radar, she really turns things inside out and tests the characters we have come to love.  It is an emotional roller coaster ride for Zoe but another character has a surprising awakening.

The pace of this story is incredibly quick with plenty of action and suspense that takes the characters traveling around Pennsylvania to get answers. Dashofy is an expert at running right up to the line between cozy mystery and thriller. She gives readers an exciting story while keeping the small-town feel and the amateur sleuth Zoe trying to save her friend while keeping the local law in the loop, at least most of the time. Readers are truly kept on their toes from the start to the finish and then wishing the next book in the series was already out so we could stick with the characters we are not ready to leave.

Under the Radar is an excellent addition to this series. Well-written and skillfully plotted. Once I started reading it was impossible to put down.

The author gives new readers plenty of background to read this book on its own, but to experience that vast character development and drama over the series you really need to start from the beginning.

 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Check out my reviews for previous books in this series.
Circle of Influence
Lost Legacy
Bridges Burned
With A Vengeance
No Way Home
Uneasy Prey
Cry Wolf
Fair Game

About Annette Dashofy

Annette Dashofy is the USA Today best-selling author of the Zoe Chambers mystery series about a paramedic and deputy coroner in rural southwestern Pennsylvania. A former EMT and lifelong resident of the area about which she writes, Annette lives with her husband and one very spoiled cat on what was once her grandfather’s dairy farm. UNDER THE RADAR (February 2020) is the ninth in her series.

Author Links

Website – Blog –  Facebook – 

Twitter– @Annette_Dashofy 

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKobo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
February 17 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
February 17 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW
February 17 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
February 18 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
February 18 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  
February 18 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 19 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
February 19 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
February 19 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 20 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 20 – I’m All About Books– SPOTLIGHT
February 20 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
February 21 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
February 21 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
February 21 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHTS
February 22 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW
February 22 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 22 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW  
February 23 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 23 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – REVIEW
February 23 – Christa Reads & Writes – REVIEW

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

 


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

Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Interviews

Murder at the Million Dollar Pier (Three Snowbirds) by Gwen Mayo & Sarah E. Glenn #AuthorInterview / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Murder at the Million Dollar Pier (Three Snowbirds)
by Gwen Mayo & Sarah E. Glenn


I am so happy today to welcome Gwen Mayo to Escape With Dollycas today!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

During the week I’m a mild-mannered geek juggling schedules for a couple of audiologists, and more than a dozen physical, occupational and speech therapists at a children’s clinic. On the weekends and most evenings, I turn into an equally mild-mannered author, publisher, and all-around history junkie. That’s a rather lengthy way of saying I am always busy.

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

That’s a tough one. My skeletons don’t stay in my closet. They’re all out there throwing a carnival in the streets.

Let’s see; Sarah and I love to go out on the weekends to find towns that don’t exist anymore. It is so cool to find a place that has almost disappeared and bring it back to life in our fiction. We learn so many interesting details about the past that way.

I love chocolate. That probably isn’t that surprising. But I took a class in the art of making chocolate at the Greenbrier Hotel. I ran a small specialty candy shop for a few years. My favorite creation was a chocolate Santa complete with sleigh, reindeer, and a bag full of goodies. That was great fun, but I kept eating into my profits.

I’m also kind of unconventional about writing. My Sisters in Crime spent a couple of years talking me into writing a novel. Still, I love really short stories, drabbles, and flash fiction. The kind of stories that appear in quirky places. I once sold a flash fiction story to a coffee company. It was published on the back of a coffee can.

 

What is the first book you remember reading?

Donald Sobol’s Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective

What are you reading now?

Down in Flames, one of the Webb’s Glass Shop mysteries, by Cheryl Hollon.

What books have most inspired you?

Agatha Christie’s books had a huge impact on me. I’ve read everything released in the United States and a few anthologies that never crossed the pond. I think I was about twelve when I started reading her novels. Some of her plots don’t hold up well today, but her work is still being read and sometimes reimagined today. That’s the kind of legacy I aspire to leave to my family.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

I love puzzles. When I plot a book, it is all about the layers of deception and misdirection. That, and the history. Time and place are so important in my books. My Nessa Donnelly mysteries couldn’t have taken placed anywhere but Kentucky or outside of the Decades of Discord. That holds true with the Three Snowbirds series. Florida is usually the first place that comes to mind when snowbirds are mentioned.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

Any place will do as long as it is quiet. My brain doesn’t work well in a noisy environment. I frequently reserve a room at our local library when I most need to be alone with my thoughts. I think I do my best writing there.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Ideas come from everywhere. Story ideas have come from lines of overheard conversation, music that creates a mood, the scent of a garden, even getting stuck in an elevator. When I start wondering “So, what could go awry?” a story idea forms.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Finding the right balance between history and story. I have to think about the historical setting as a character in the story and limit its time on the page to what it can contribute to the story.

What do you think makes a good story?

Interesting characters and a strong plot make a good story. If the characters aren’t interesting, well developed, and worth remembering, the plot falls flat. If you don’t have a strong plot, it isn’t a story at all. Lock the most interesting people you can create in a room with nothing to do, and they stop being interesting. Give them a way to escape or something to talk about and you’ve got a story.

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

Cornelia, not that I go around with a gun in my purse, or spent any time in the service, but we share a strong sense of social justice, a love of traveling, and sense of honor.

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

Our Snowbirds are older, well educated, and somewhat unusual for their time. The setting also changes in each book, since it’s a travel series. The Three Snowbirds books are a clean read with a lot of humor, but not everything about the Roaring Twenties was a headlong rush into modernity. We don’t dwell on the segregation, racism, anti-Semitism, or Klan activity, but we don’t ignore it either. The books are populated with a diverse group of characters that reflect Florida at the time they’re set.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

Like Cornelia, I’m considering retiring from my day job in the coming year. Unlike her, I know what I want to do afterwards. Sarah and I are working on the next Three Snowbirds book, Ybor City Blues. Cornelia is going to be literally dragged into another murder case when a Cuban gangster pal of Teddy’s is arrested for the murder of his lady friend, a blues singer at a Ybor City club.

About Murder at the Million Dollar Pier

Million Dollar Pier
Murder at the Million Dollar Pier (Three Snowbirds)
Historical Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Mystery and Horror, LLC (September 26, 2019)
Paperback: 260 pages
ISBN-10: 1949281078
ISBN-13: 978-1949281071
Digital ASIN: B07WMN9V79

“Never waste good rum on a bad night.” – Teddy Lawless, February 1926.

 

There are many bad nights ahead for Teddy. Shortly after she arrives at the newly opened Vinoy Hotel in Saint Petersburg, she comes face to face with her ex-fiancé, Ansel Stevens, in the dining room. Cue the slap that was thirty years in the making. Unfortunately, her ex-fiancé dies during a yacht race shortly thereafter. Conclusion of the authorities: poison. His family closes ranks, leaving Teddy as the prime suspect. Worse, Teddy’s hair comb is found on the deck of Ansel’s boat, leading to her swift arrest.

 

Can Cornelia Pettijohn and Uncle Percival save fun-loving Teddy before she goes from the grand hotel to the big house?

More About Gwen Mayo 

Gwen Mayo is passionate about blending the colorful history of her native Kentucky with her love for mystery fiction. She currently lives and writes in Safety Harbor, Florida, but grew up in a large Irish family in the hills of Eastern Kentucky.

​Her stories have appeared in anthologies, at online short fiction sites, and in micro-fiction collections. She belongs to Sisters in Crime, SinC Guppies, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and the Independent Book Publishers Association.

Gwen attended the University of Kentucky on a poetry scholarship but has an associate degree in business and a bachelor’s degree in political science. Interesting side note: Gwen was a brakeman and railroad engineer from 1983 – 1987.

About Sarah E. Glenn

Sarah E. Glenn loves mystery and horror stories, often with a sidecar of humor. Several have appeared in mystery and paranormal anthologies, including G.W. Thomas’ Ghostbreakers series, Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazine, and Fish Tales: The Guppy Anthology. She belongs to Sisters in Crime, SinC Guppies, and the Short Mystery Fiction Society.

Her great-great-aunt served as a nurse in WWI and was injured by poison gas during the fighting. After being mustered out, she traveled widely. A hundred years later, ‘Aunt Dess’ would inspire Sarah to write stories she would likely not have approved of.

Author Links – Gwen’s Blog Gwen’s Website Sarah’s Website  Sarah Twitter – 

Purchase Links – Amazon PaperbackAmazon KindleB&N 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
February 5 – I’m All About Books – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 6 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
February 7 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
February 7 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
February 8 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, RECIPE
February 9 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
February 10 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 10 – ebook addicts – SPOTLIGHT
February 11 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
February 12 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 13 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 14 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 15 – TBR Book Blog – SPOTLIGHT
February 16 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 17 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 18 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?
Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!



Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Guest Posts Spotlights

Black Cat and the Secret in Dewey’s Diary: A Tale of History, Mystery, Riddles and Gold. by Elaine Faber #CustomerGuestPost /#Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Black Cat and the Secret in Dewey’s Diary:
A Tale of History, Mystery, Riddles, and Gold.
by Elaine Faber

Today I am pleased to welcome Kimberlee from Black Cat and the Secret in Dewey’s Diary. 

 

Kimberlee Visits Salzburg
by Elaine Faber

My name is Kimberlee. I’m in Germany and Austria with my cousin, here to attend a convention. While we’re here, we plan to follow the clues to a lost treasure I found in a WWII soldier’s diary. Is there any chance it’s still hidden, and I can find it with the clues no one else has seen for over fifty years?

Today I’m in Salzburg. I see painted scenes on the exterior walls of the buildings, cobbled streets, roofs of clay tiles, and churches with steeples and bell towers. Many of the houses have leaded glass windows and flower boxes. An ancient ivy-covered building across the street has a sagging tile roof across the courtyard. A kitty who looks like my Black Cat sits atop a nearby rooftop, meowing, as tourists peer up and try to decide; is he hungry, or just bored and teasing the tourists? Church spires peek out above nearby houses with red tile rooftops. Dates carved into the bricks range from the year 1200-1400. One church is said to be 1000 years old.

The sky darkens with rain clouds over the city, which remains unchanged for hundreds of years. Yes, as modern times came, freeways and electric wires appeared, the merchandise sold in the stores has likely changed, and automobiles replaced the horse carriages, which once clip-clopped along the cobbled streets. The narrow lanes remain the same, the lovely churches, fortresses, palaces, and hillsides are unchanged.

I marvel at the timelessness of this beautiful country. Though there are industrial areas, much of the countryside is still in its wilderness state, as it was at the moment of creation, lush and green and seemingly immune to modern marvels. The city will tolerate progress but it will not give in to it. Here in the town square, on the church steps, a street musician plays Ave Maria on his violin. Pigeons fly from rooftop to rooftop, seeming mesmerized as the music echoes around the courtyard. I let my mind wander and it is easy to imagine people driving horse-drawn carts through the cobbled streets.

Another day, music might have filled this same courtyard, not from the musician’s violin, but from the window down the street where a thin, young boy named Mozart played the harpsichord and wrote melodies that made him famous, even hundreds of years later.

A horse cart clip-clops by, as the last beautiful strains of Ave Maria fade into the sky.

I return to my car, eyes filled with wonder and do not notice the strange man who followed me back to my car.

Tomorrow we will contact Dewey’s relatives. They may be able to explain the peculiar message written in his diary. Touch the feet of the babe who lies beneath the king…In the place where the storm clouds are frightened away by the ring.

What can it mean? What are the chances we can solve the puzzle and locate the treasure?


For the whole story, read Black Cat and the Secret in Dewey’s Diary, a dual story narrated by Black Cat in Fern Lake and Kimberlee in Austria as she follows the clues to a lost treasure.

About Black Cat and the Secret in Dewey’s Diary

Black Cat and the Secret in Dewey’s Diary:
A Tale of History, Mystery, Riddles and Gold.

Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Publisher: Elk Grove Publications (September 6, 2019)
Paperback: 264 pages
ISBN-10: 1940781256
ISBN-13: 978-1940781259
Digital ASIN: B07XSJQ5HF

In this dual tale of mystery, lost treasure, and riddles, while Black Cat narrates the exciting events in Fern Lake, Kimberlee discovers a cryptic clue in a diary about a hidden treasure, and heads to Austria to solve the puzzle.

When Kimberlee and Dorian arrive in Austria, they attract the attention of a stalker determined to steal the diary in hopes the clues will lead him to the treasure first. On a collision course, it is inevitable that Kimberlee and the stalker meet in Hopfgarten.

 

Black Cat and Angel’s lives are endangered with the arrival of Kimberlee’s grandmother in Fern Lake, and the return of a man presumed dead for twenty-five years. With both arrivals, emotional and financial difficulties loom for Kimberlee’s family. Since their return to Fern Lake, Angel seems reluctant or unable to adjust to her new home. Does she regret leaving Texas and Grandmother? And, when the opportunity arises, will she decide to leave Black Cat and Fern Lake?

Praise for Black Cat and the Secret in Dewey’s Diary:
A Tale of History, Mystery, Riddles, and Gold.
by Elaine Faber

The story was a fun puzzle and even contained a treasure hunt. The interplay between the two cats, Black Cat and Angel, was cute.
~Ruff Drafts

These are two unconnected stories, linked only in that Kimberlee, the main character, is in both . . . That said, the present-day murder mystery was a puzzle that kept me guessing, right to the surprise ending . . . The WWII treasure hunt also had an intriguing and satisfying tie-up of facts.
~Here’s How It Happened

About Elaine Faber

Elaine Faber lives in Northern California with her husband and feline companions. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, California Cat Writers, and Northern California Publishers and Artists. She volunteers with the American Cancer Society Discovery Shop. She enjoys speaking at public venues, sharing highlights of her novels. Her short stories have appeared in national magazines and multiple anthologies.

Black Cat’s Legacy, With the aid of his ancestors’ memories, Thumper helps pursue a cold case murder.

Black Cat and the Lethal Lawyer, Thumper accompanies his family to a Texas horse ranch where they confront wild horses, embezzling, false identities and attempted murder.

Black Cat and the Accidental Angel, Black Cat and his companion are left behind following an MVA. Taken in by a family facing personal and financial disaster, Black Cat and Angel encounter danger and a spiritual encounter.

Mrs. Odboddy-Hometown Patriot, Eccentric Mrs. Odboddy believes Nazi spies and conspiracies run amuck through her town.

Mrs. Odboddy-Undercover Courier, Mr. O carries a package by train to President Roosevelt that she presumes are secret war documents. She is equally sure Nazi spies are after her package and will to anything to deliver the package to the president.

Mrs. Odboddy-And Then There was a Tiger, Falsely accused of various crimes, Agnes sets about to restore her reputation and missing war bond money.

Website    Facebook –   Goodreads 
Purchase Links:

Also by Elaine Faber

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
February 10 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, GUEST POST
February 10 – TBR Book Blog – SPOTLIGHT
February 11 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 11 – Ruff Drafts – REVIEW
February 12 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 12 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW
February 13 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 13 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 14 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
February 15 – Laura`s Interests – REVIEW
February 15 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – CHARACTER GUEST POST  
February 16 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
February 17 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
February 17 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
February 18 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
February 19 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Bitter Alpine: An Emma Lord Mystery (Emma Lord Returns) by Mary Daheim – #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @readalibi

Bitter Alpine: An Emma Lord Mystery
(Emma Lord Returns)
by Mary Daheim

About Bitter Alpine 


Bitter Alpine: An Emma Lord Mystery (Emma Lord Returns)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Washington
Publisher: Alibi (February 4, 2020)
~Print Length: 235 pages
ASIN: B01LZU2W7N

New year, new murder . . . Emma Lord is on the case when death finds its way back to the wintry mountain town of Alpine.

After a relatively calm and cozy holiday season, neither Emma Lord, editor and publisher of The Alpine Advocate, nor her husband, Sheriff Milo Dodge, are surprised when their new year gets off to a rocky start. A woman’s body has been found in a squalid motel. Her driver’s license shows that Dawn Purvis was in her late thirties and lived in Weaverville, California—and the only connection between that town and Alpine is their gold-mining and logging origins. When they discover that Dawn’s room reservation was open-ended, Emma, Milo, and the ever-inquisitive Advocate receptionist, Alison Lindahl, are more than mildly curious. And never mind that the youthful Alison is a bit distracted by the new county extension agent’s virile good looks. She can still sleuth while she stalks her newest crush.

But that’s not all the news that’s unfit to print. There’s something strange about the older couple who have moved into the cabin down the road that was once owned by a murder victim. The elderly wife seems anti-social. There’s got to be a reason, which Emma, Milo, and Alison intend to find out—even if it puts them in deadly danger.’

Dollycas’ Thoughts

This series continues as we enter 2007. The Alpine Advocate editor Emma Lord and her new husband Sheriff Milo Dodge ring in the new year only to find themselves embroiled in another investigation. A women’s body is found in a local hotel and they can’t find any connection between her and Alpine. The new Advocate receptionist even does a little sleuthing. All three are also concerned about an older couple the have moved in down the road. Needless to say, all their snooping could be dangerous.

I have enjoyed all the previous 27 books in the series. This time Emma and Milo are even more cantankerous than usual and I felt Emma has lost some of her conviction and that detracted from the joy I usually feel when visiting Alpine. Emma also uses a derogatory term to describe her son that almost had me putting the book down for good. I know the story is set 13 years ago and the author probably used it as a reference for the time, but it is a term I believe was even seldom used even then. I was also taken aback by the way domestic abuse was handled. In fact, that word, that abuse, and some of Emma’s actions ring more from the ’50s instead of the early 2000s. As I kept reading I understood why the author handled the abuse as she did, but it was hard to read in places. Vida also has her share of troubles within these pages.

The mysteries were hit and miss for me. One of the problems with a long-running series is giving new readers background on the town and its inhabitants. It is important to learn the small-town dynamics like everyone is related to Scene Around Town columnist, Vida Runkel and that Ed Bronsky is going to drop by the Advocate office with some new scheme. Ms. Daheim did that almost too much this time. The asides messed with the flow at times. Emma seemed to be off her game with these investigations. I did think it was hilarious near the end of the book when Milo locked Emma in the car and warned her not to try to get any closer. What was sad was that she actually did it.  Not all the loose ends are tied up at the end. Emma’s son Adam has been transferred from Alaska to Michigan and Vida’s replacement as she retires looks to be ad man Leo’s wife Liza.

The author continues to capture the weather and atmosphere of Alpine, Washington. January there can be brutal.

I am hoping the stumbles in this story are just a blip in the life of this series. Writing 28 books featuring the same characters and keeping things new and fresh has to be incredibly hard. I will be looking forward to the next installment because I do want to see what happens next for the residents of Alpine.


Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Mary Daheim

About the Author

Mary Daheim is the author of the Alpine mystery series. A Seattle native with a degree in communication from the University of Washington, she realized at an early age that getting a book published might elude her for years, so she began her writing career working on daily newspapers. The mother of three daughters, she lives in a century-old house in her hometown.
Purchase Links – Amazon  –   B&N   –   Kobo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Praise for Bitter Alpine: An Emma Lord Mystery
(Emma Lord Returns)
by Mary Daheim

I’m not sure how I missed this series, but I am glad to have found it now (and as there is a recap at various points you are not left sidelined for information!)
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

Milo is called out to the apparent murder of a woman at the motel on the fringe of town and sets off the investigation leading to some red herrings which will definitely throw you off track in this cold, heavily snow-laden mountain community.
~Rosepoint Publishing

. . . it was a fun read and I enjoyed the wintry feel of it.
~Gimme The Scoop Reviews

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
February 3 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
February 3 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 4 – Diane Reviews Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 4 – Christa Reads and Writes – SPOTLIGHT
February 5 – The Power of Words – SPOTLIGHT
February 6 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
February 6 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 7 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
February 7 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
February 8 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
February 9 – This Is My Truth Now – SPOTLIGHT
February 9 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 10 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT
February 10 – Reading Authors Network – SPOTLIGHT
February 11 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
February 11 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – REVIEW
February 12 – The Book Decoder – SPOTLIGHT 
February 12 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
February 13 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
February 13 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
February 14 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW
February 14 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

The Great Iowa Caucus Casserole Mystery: A Cozy Potluck Paradise Cafe Mystery by Rae Katherine Eighmey #Review / #Giveaway

The Great Iowa Caucus Casserole Mystery:
A Cozy Potluck Paradise Cafe Mystery
by Rae Katherine Eighmey

About The Great Iowa Caucus Casserole Mystery

The Great Iowa Caucus Casserole Mystery:
A Cozy Potluck Paradise Cafe Mystery

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Iowa
Publisher: Independently published (October 31, 2019)
Paperback: 160 pages
ISBN-10: 170047538X
ISBN-13: 978-1700475381
Digital ASIN: B07ZTSMP5S

The Iowa Presidential Caucus is a casserole of finest ingredients—policy ideas, active candidates, determined local politicians dedicated political activists, and hard-working Iowans. Every four years citizens across the state meet to hash out their differences and make a selection. Seldom is one candidate an overwhelming caucus choice. Instead, several winning candidates combine into a single dish of patriotic participation, ready to share with the rest of the nation.

In Lake Livonia, with holiday season fast approaching and the Iowa Presidential Caucus soon to follow, Susan Stewart’s fledgling Potluck Paradise Cafe is humming with the creation of new and delicious dishes to please the appetites of her community.

But then, a mysterious note included in a Christmas card from her friend and mentor, Hazel Romer, who skipped town in the middle of a July night, raises important questions. What was the skeleton in Hazel’s closet that caused her to run away from the town she loved? And why had she left the restaurant to Susan?

When a blizzard traps strangers in town overnight, the stage is set for a series of life-changing events for Susan, her teenaged children, and her friends, as the Presidential Caucus brings Iowa and Lake Livonia into national prominence.

With 30 Family and Potluck Pleasing recipes for main dishes, vegetables and desserts.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A very timely read and things go much smoother than real life. 🙂

I really loved this book and the way Lake Livonia was educated about the caucus system. The cold winter in Iowa can really get a person down but the people of Potluck Paradise Cafe come up with a great idea for several community events. Meanwhile, we learn why the previous owner of the cafe left town and left her business to Susan Stewart.

The author introduces us to a nice group of characters. We met several residents of Lake Livonia and a few visitors who live elsewhere but spend quite of bit of time in the town. We also meet representatives from both parties who are in town to prepare for the caucus. All the characters have surprising depth for a novella.

Ms. Eighmey delivers up an untraditional cozy mystery, that was interesting and refreshing. The story is only about half of the book so it unfolds at a quick pace and is easy to read in one evening. The rest of the book is filled with 30 recipes for everything from cookies to Polar Vortex Potato Pie.

The Great Iowa Caucus Casserole Mystery addresses a political process in a totally unbiased way. I found it to be entertaining and informative. The characters are some I would be delighted to visit with again. The recipes are great too.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Rae Katherine Eighmey

Rae Katherine Eighmey is an award-winning author and cook with blue ribbons from both the Iowa and Minnesota State Fair cooking contests. She is the author of a dozen books about food and history including Abraham Lincoln in the Kitchen and Stirring the Pot with Benjamin Franklin.

She has written two other novels. Current events inspired this cozy mystery. A north Iowa resident, she is familiar with the Iowa presidential caucus and wanted to tell the tale of the caucus through the friendly story of three strong women who meet challenges in their lives and cook great food.

Purchase Link – Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Praise for The Great Iowa Caucus Casserole Mystery:
A Cozy Potluck Paradise Cafe Mystery
by Rae Katherine Eighmey

The Great Iowa Caucus Casserole Mystery by Rae Katherine Eighmey is a quick and fun read for several reasons. There is a “puzzle” mystery right off; the main characters are likable and real; the whole Iowa Caucus event is very interesting to learn about, and the recipes….
~Here’s How It Happened

TOUR PARTICIPANTS 
February 5 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
February 6 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW
February 6 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
February 7 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 7 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 8 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
February 8 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
February 9 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, GUEST POST
February 9 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
February 10 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW
February 10 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
February 11 – My Journey Back – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!


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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Bonbon with the Wind (Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery) by Dorothy St. James #Review / #Giveaway @dorothywrites


Bonbon with the Wind (Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery)
by Dorothy St. James

About Bonbon With the Wind


Bonbon with the Wind (Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – South Carolina
Publisher: Barking Dog Press (December 9, 2019)
Print Length: 251 pages
ASIN: B082L528GS

Join Penn and Stella on their latest adventure!

There’s a legend in the Sea Islands that before a hurricane hits the Gray Lady can be seen walking down the beach warning of doom. Penn doesn’t believe in such silly stories, but she does believe weather forecasters. A powerful hurricane is heading their way. Everyone on the island of Camellia Beach is busy boarding up windows and securing valuables to upper levels of buildings. Joe Davies, a local treasure hunter with an unquenchable sweet tooth, claims to have seen the Gray Lady walking toward him just that morning and is terrified for his life.

After the storm passes everyone returns to survey the damage. As Penn walks her little dog Stella on the beach, she finds Joe Davies’ body washed up onshore. Not only that, it looks as if an exploding transformer caused Joe’s seaside shack to burn to the ground. Did the Gray Lady claim another victim? Many on the island believe that is exactly what happened.

Penn is sure there’s another explanation. She follows the clues and hints of lost gold to discover that the truth behind the treasure hunter’s death is as much of a maze as the boating channels winding their way through the local marshes.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A hurricane is headed for the island of Camellia Beach and everyone is battening down the hatches and getting ready to evacuate. As Penn looks out over the beach she sees local treasure hunter Joe Davies in the distance talking to a woman. He approaches Penn and tells her he is afraid for his life and hurries away. Everyone, except Penn, thinks the woman was the Gray Lady of legend who is known to walk the beach before a storm. Meeting her could mean tragedy is headed to your life.  Penn doesn’t believe in the legend or the stories people are sharing.

Penn and her papillon Stella return to Camilla Beach after the storm passes to assess the damages. Stella runs off and when Penn catches up with her she sees her dog has made a gruesome discovery. Joe Davies’ body has been washed up on the shore and has been mostly covered with sand. She later learns his seaside home had burned to the ground during the storm. Was it the Gray Lady that crossed his path and delivered all this calamity or is there a human to blame. Penn has been asked to find out. Hopefully, that won’t bring death and destruction to her door.

____

After a short hiatus, the Southern Chocolate Shop Mysteries are back and I am so happy they are!

Charity Penn ‘Penn’, Bertie, Harley, Althea, and Stella return in a rich story with a folklore twist. I really enjoyed the bit a paranormal legend that was twisted throughout this story. Hurricanes are scary enough without ghosts predicted doom. It also brought a slew of ghosthunters to Camellia Beach all in hopes to witness the phenomenon which meant more business for Penn’s shop but a lot more craziness.

Character development was key in this story as well. Penn’s candy-making skills are improving but her interpersonal relationships take a real hit. That opens her eyes in many ways. She is still on the outs with her family but she is getting strong enough to deal with them now.  A friend from Harley’s past makes an appearance and that opens his eyes too. Penn and Harley make a great team but Bertie and Althea definitely add their talents to the mix.

The devastation of the hurricane was described vividly.  I appreciated the resident’s perseverance and the way the town pulled together after the storm. Finding displaced people places to live, sign up sheets for those who needed help and volunteers willing to help, locating material and contactors, and for Penn ingredient supplies to keep her shop filled with goodies.

The mystery was quite complex. Along with the Gray Lady and that drama, there was a buried treasure and a murder to solve. There were hurricane twists and turns and clues that really had to be dug up to find. I was totally captivated by the entire story.

Bonbon with the Wind is an excellent addition to this series.  You can’t go wrong when you combine mystery with chocolate. Oh, I almost forgot, the Pumpkin Seed Bonbons had my mouth watering. It is one of the recipes included at the end of the book.

I can’t wait for my next visit to Camella Beach!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Asking for Truffle here
Playing with Bonbon Fire hereIn Cold Chocolate here.

About Dorothy St. Janes

Dorothy St. James is the author of the White House Gardener mysteries. For the past twenty years she made her home on Folly Beach, an artsy island community in South Carolina with her sculptor husband. Dorothy is a member of Mystery Writers of America (MWA), Sisters in Crime (SiNC), and the International Thriller Writers (ITW). This is her fourth Southern Chocolate Shop mystery.

Author Links – Website Facebook Twitter BookBub

Praise for Bonbon with the Wind (Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery)
by Dorothy St. James

Bonbon with the Wind is a fascinating, character-driven mystery . . . The Southern Chocolate Shop is one of my favorite series and I look forward to my next visit to Camellia Beach.
~The Power of Words

I liked how the characters have grown within this series. The scene is wonderfully described. We feel the emotions and struggles and have to pay close attention to gather all the clues subtly salted on each page.
~Laura’s Interests

Purchase Link – Amazon 

Also by Dorothy St. James

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
February 3 – Nadaness In Motion – SPOTLIGHT
February 3 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
February 3 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
February 4 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 4 – Laura`s Interests – REVIEW
February 4 – I’m All About Books – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 5 – Celticladys Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 5 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
February 5 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
February 5 – Reading Is My SuperPower – SPOTLIGHT
February 6 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  
February 6 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 6 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 7 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
February 7 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
February 7 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
February 7 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT
February 8 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
February 8 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, GUEST POST
February 8 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
February 9 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 9 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 9 – My Journey Back – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

 

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Statue of Limitations (A Goddess of Greene St. Mystery) by Kate Collins #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour – @KensingtonBooks

Statue of Limitations (A Goddess of Greene St. Mystery)
by Kate Collins

About Statue of Limitations


Statue of Limitations (A Goddess of Greene St. Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Michigan
Publisher: Kensington (January 28, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 149672433X
ISBN-13: 978-1496724335
Digital ASIN: B07R8QWPTN

In this delightful new series by the New York Times bestselling author of the Flower Shop Mysteries, Athena Spencer comes back home to work with her crazy big Greek family at their garden center. But she never expected a return to her roots would mean protecting her family from murder . . .

After her divorce, Athena has returned to coastal Michigan to work in her family’s garden center and raise her son, while also caring for a mischievous wild raccoon and fending off her family’s annoying talent for nagging. Working alone at the garden center one night, Athena is startled by a handsome stranger who claims to be the rightful owner of a valuable statue her grandfather purchased at a recent estate sale.

But she has even bigger problems on her plate. The powerful Talbot family from whom her pappoús bought the statue is threatening to raze the shops on Greene Street’s “Little Greece” to make way for a condo. The recent death of the family’s patriarch already seemed suspicious, but now it’s clear that a murderer is in their midst. Athena will have to live up to her warrior goddess namesake to protect her family from a killer and save their community from ruin . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have been so excited about this new series from Kate Collins and she sure doesn’t disappoint.

We meet Athena Spencer who has come home to her big Greek family in Sequoia, Michigan with her son Nicholas after her divorce. Her grandparents have a Greek restaurant and her father owns the local garden center. Athena and her sister work at the garden center with her father. The center also has a resident troublemaker in the form of a raccoon that makes himself quite at home.

The patriarch of a prominent Talbot family has passed away and Athena’s pappoús (grandfather) brought a valuable statue at the estate sale. Because of the statue’s size, it was brought to the garden center until her grandfather finds the perfect place for it.

But a hunky stranger surprises Athena late one night stating his family is the rightful owner of the statue. As if Althena needed another problem to solve. With his dad out of the picture, Sonny Talbot has decided to move forward with a previously dead plan to demolish all the shops know as Little Greece on Greene Street including her grandparent’s restaurant. His decision draws the rath of the whole area and raises suspicions that maybe the senior Talbot’s death was not due to natural causes. When another man linked to the family is killed Althena feels the heat to not only save her family’s restaurant but to bring a killer to justice.

____

Ms. Collins has served up a big cast of Greek characters. They are unique and genuine and we have just scratched the surface at getting to know them. Like all families, especially Greek families, everyone has an opinion about Athena’s love life.

In addition to the Spencer family, we meet Case Donnelly. There is a spark between Athena and Case but her family believes her destiny is with Kevin Coreopsis, a lawyer who has also recently returned home to Sequoia. Athena has a special way of dealing with her overbearing family though, and I love it. She writes a blog “It’s All Greek to Me”  under the name of Goddess Anon. Her family loves the blog not knowing that it is penned by their own Athena.

As is the case in most first books in a series which spends a great bit of time introducing characters, the mystery while well-crafted was pretty easy to solve. That being said I was completely captivated by it. I enjoyed the way Case and Athena worked together. There were twists and tension and plenty of humor too. The pacing was perfect, it was hard to put the book down.

This series is off to a splendid start. Statue of Limitations was a fun and entertaining read filled with characters I can’t wait to visit again.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Kate Collins

Kate Collins is the New York Times bestselling author of the Flower Shop Mystery series. After publishing numerous historical romances, Kate penned the long-running mystery series, three books of which were made into Hallmark movies starring Brooke Shields. An Indiana native, Kate graduated from Purdue University with a master’s degree in education. When not growing roots at her computer, Kate loves to garden. Other passions include yoga, reading, spending time with family and friends, sampling great wines and fine dark chocolate, and enjoying every moment of life. Kate lives in Northwest Indiana and Key West, Florida. Visit her online at KateCollinsBooks.com.

Author Links – Website Facebook

Purchase Links KensingtonAmazonB&N   – Kobo

Also by Kate Collins


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Praise for Statue of Limitations (A Goddess of Greene St. Mystery)
by Kate Collins

The mystery is well crafted and kept me eagerly turning pages . . . I am eager to spend more time with this family.
~The Power of Words

A strong start with characters ripe with potential for growth. I look forward to seeing where this series will take us.
~Laura’s Interests

. . . an enjoyable and captivating read and a series that I am looking forward to continuing on with.
~I Read What You Write

Statue of Limitations kicks off a brand new series from Kate Collins, and cozy mystery fans will love it! It’s full of great characters, humor, and mystery!
~Christy’s Cozy Corners

A fantastically written cozy that will keep your attention all the way to the very end. I totally loved it so I give it 5/5 stars.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
January 28 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
January 28 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
January 28 – Diane Reviews Books – GUEST POST
January 29 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 29 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
January 29 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
January 30 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
January 30 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
January 30 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, EXCERPT
January 31 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
January 31 – TBR Book Blog – REVIEW Coming Soon
January 31 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 1 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – REVIEW
February 1 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
February 1 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
February 2 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
February 2 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 2 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
February 3 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW, EXCERPT
February 3 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 3 – My Reading Journey – SPOTLIGHT
February 4 – Rosepoint Publications – REVIEW
February 4 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 4 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 4 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
February 5 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 5 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 5 – This Is My Truth Now – SPOTLIGHT 
February 6 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
February 6 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 6 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

 

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!


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.”