Jun 052019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am delighted to welcome Leslie Budewitz back to Escape with Dollycas with a new Spice Shop Mystery that will be released next Tuesday!

Researching Fiction
by Leslie Budewitz

 

It’s fiction, readers say. What is there to research?

Plenty. Okay, so writing a novel is like spending all day, every day, with my imaginary friends. I’ve often said I’m a happier, healthier person because I spend much of my time with people who only exist because I made them up.

But what makes these people so interesting is that they bring into my life new experiences. New perspectives. New problems and strange objects, unfamiliar takes on familiar places. Dead bodies and the search for a killer.

In my Spice Shop series, Pepper Reece runs Seattle Spice in the famed Pike Place Market. Founded in 1907, Pike Place is the oldest continuously operating public market in the country. I fell in love with the Market as a college freshman, not long after the city’s voters saved it from urban removal. Later, as a young lawyer working in downtown Seattle, I shopped in the Market regularly and made it my mission to eat my way through. Easy to do, since it’s constantly changing. Research!

When I’m working on a Spice Shop book, I keep a map of the Market and a current list of shops, restaurants, services, and other tenants close. Though I’d long heard tales of hauntings in the old buildings, Market Ghost Stories by Mercedes Yeager, who grew up in the Market where her parents ran an artists’ stall and who now runs a coffee shop and conducts tours of the Market, gave me a new view of the place. Turns out that over time, doors and windows in various buildings were closed off, creating hidden rooms and passageways, which I used in Assault and Pepper, the first in the series.

Both Mr. Right and my best friend from college, who still lives in the area and whom I’ve dubbed my unofficial research assistant, have spent countless hours poking around the Market and environs with me. A friend who works at Seattle Center, site of the 1962 World’s Fair, gave Mr. Right and me a behind-the-scenes tour, which helped enormously in writing a pair of scenes in Guilty as Cinnamon.

On another visit, Mr. Right and I prowled through the Lake Union houseboat district, where Pepper’s good friend Laurel lives. We snapped pictures, ate breakfast, and walked past a tiny antique shop that, years later, gave me the idea for Rainy Day Vintage, featured in Chai Another Day. A book on the “floating home” community, newspaper articles, and blog posts gave me an insider’s view—and even prompted me to give Laurel and her son a white cat who roams the docks. Research!

For Chai Another Day, naturally, I drank lots of tea. Read articles on chai and its fascinating history, and played in the kitchen to come up with a tea blend and a baking blend that Pepper sells; both recipes are included in the book.

Of course, a mystery needs a crime, usually a murder, and a murder needs a weapon. I won’t say much about that—no spoilers—but I will say that for Chai, I got to learn some fun facts about an antique my husband inherited from his mother. And as is often the case in cozies, Pepper fends off the killer with an innovative use of a familiar item, prompting more research.

Mysteries have a serious side, too. I’ve plowed through photos of Seattle crime scene investigations and stared a little too closely at street cops to make sure I know what they wear and drive. The Seattle Police Department’s public information officers have helped me pin down a few details. For Chai, I dug into immigration statistics from the 1950s, pored over blogs written by young women of South Asian (Indian) ancestry, and read about treatment for opioid addiction.

And of course, I cooked and ate. When you read a recipe in one of my books, I want you to know you can make it without much trouble and it will turn out well. Research!

Fiction works when it feels real. That means melding imagination with investigation, putting the facts to work in service of the tale. And it’s so much fun.

~Leslie

Thank you, Leslie, for visiting today! 

Keep reading to for my review of Chai Another Day.

 


Chai Another Day (Spice Shop Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series – First with this Publisher
Setting – Washington State
Seventh Street Books (June 11, 2019)
Paperback: 240 pages
ISBN-10: 1633885364
ISBN-13: 978-1633885363
Kindle ASIN: B07FC1J6ZG

Seattle Spice Shop owner Pepper Reece probes murder while juggling a troubled employee, her mother’s house hunt, and a fisherman who’s set his hook for her.

As owner of the Spice Shop in Seattle’s famed Pike Place Market, Pepper Reece is always on the go. Between conjuring up new spice blends and serving iced spice tea to customers looking to beat the summer heat, she finally takes a break for a massage. But the Zen moment is shattered when she overhears an argument in her friend Aimee’s vintage home decor shop that ends in murder.

Wracked by guilt over her failure to intervene, Pepper investigates, only to discover a web of deadly connections that could ensnare a friend – and Pepper herself.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Again, Pepper has a lot on her plate and the last thing she needs is another murder, but that is exactly what she finds when she tries to take a little time for herself. She heard an argument erupting from the vintage shop as she climbed the steps for a relaxing massage. Before she gets any of the benefits the massage ends when her massage therapist, Seetha is summoned downstairs for a medical emergency. The emergency was murder! Aimee McGillvray, the owner of Rainy Day Vintage, found her employee Joelle bleeding on the floor of the store but she died before help could arrive.

Pepper is distraught, if only she had ventured into the store before going upstairs she may have saved Joelle’s life. Warned by Detective Tracy to stay out of the investigation, she feels responsible and can’t help but to do her own inquiries.

_____

I am so happy this series has new life with a new publisher. If you missed the prior books, no fear, the author provides a cast list at the front of the book and provides plenty of background within these pages.

The author has created a strong protagonist in Pepper Reece. She is smart and caring with a background in human relations. Pepper has learned a lot about spices since this series began. She is a wonderful cook and has developed a great palate which helps her create some fantastic blends with the help of her staff. She has also developed a palate for sleuthing and that could be her downfall as sometimes she leaps into the fray without regard for her own safety.

Thankfully there is a great supporting cast who has saved her bacon time and time again. The supporting cast is her mother, friends, employees, a certain fisherman, and Detectives Tracy, Spencer, and new in this book Armstrong. Also, usually by her side is her lovable dog, Arf, who has great instincts. All are genuine and relatable. They each have a purpose and add to the story as a whole.

I do enjoy that Ms. Budewitz doesn’t back away from social issues. Pepper’s family has always been involved in helping people and doing the right thing and she lives her life the same way.

The story does blend the happenings of real life with the mystery of murder seamlessly. Readers will find a well-written and very well-plotted mystery. There are plenty of suspects and plenty of twists. Surprisingly I honed in on the right guilty party this time but didn’t understand the full motivation until it was spelled out for me. The author did her best to give up on my suspect in favor of another but I held tight to my choice.

The setting of this series, Seattle’s famed Pike Place Market, is such a unique place and a treasure trove for this series. With each visit, we find new shops, nooks, and places I would love to visit.  The author’s descriptive style really brings the place alive. Someday, I hope to see it in person.

This is an excellent addition to this series. The characters are like old friends and they are wrapped up in a fine mystery. There are also mouth-watering recipes and spice notes at the back of the book I can’t wait to try. I will be anxiously awaiting book #5 and another trip to the Seattle Market. I hope we don’t have to wait too long.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

You can read my review of Assault and Pepper here, Guilty as Cinnamon here,
and Killing Thyme here

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Leslie Budewitz blends her passion for food, great mysteries, and the Northwest in two cozy mystery series. CHAI ANOTHER DAY, her fourth Spice Shop Mystery, set in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, will be published on June 11. DEATH AL DENTE, first in the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries, set in Jewel Bay, Montana, won the 2013 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. She also won the 2011 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction. “All God’s Sparrows,” her first historical fiction, won the 2018 Agatha Award for Best Short Story. A past president of Sisters in Crime and a current board member of Mystery Writers of America, she lives and cooks in NW Montana.

Find her online at www.LeslieBudewitz.com and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/LeslieBudewitzAuthor More about CHAI ANOTHER DAY, including an excerpt here: http://www.lesliebudewitz.com/spice-shop-mystery-series/

 

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

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May 292019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am thrilled to have Dana Dratch stop by for a visit today
as part of her Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour!

Guest Post

Life Lessons from Murder Mysteries
by Dana Dratch

I have to confess a certain weakness for mystery stories.

I blame Nancy Drew. With her cool car, absent but well-heeled father and coterie of willing friends, she was always getting herself in and out of trouble and solving whatever mysteries life threw her way.

Not a bad motto for life.

As I grew up, I added the Sherlock Holmes stories to my bookshelf, along with Agatha Christie, Josephine Tey, and Dorothy Sayers. And they were joined by the likes of Gregory Mcdonald, Robert B. Parker, M.C. Beaton, G.K. Chesterton, and Louise Penny.

Turns out, there’s a lot of very valuable information in mystery stories. And I’m not just talking untraceable poisons and where to hide the body. They also contain, in the words of one of my former editors, “news you can use.”

Here are a few life lessons I’ve picked up after years of reading mysteries — and writing a few along the way:

1. Be open and skeptical. Miss Marple was famous for this. Sure, she’d sit there and enjoy whatever tea and scones were placed in front of her. Along with a nice helping of gossip. But she never took any of it at face value. She watched, listened and learned. Then filed it away for later.She’d have made a great reporter.

2. Societal politeness is highly overrated. Golden Age mystery writers were diabolical. They managed to glamorize polite society and manners, while simultaneously roasting them. Why didn’t the Countess spit out the wine when she noticed it tasted off? Too déclassé. How come Harold didn’t call out for help when the murder suspect followed him into the darkened garden? But he wasn’t certain, you see. It wouldn’t have been quite cricket.

Sometimes, it pays to act on instinct. Scream like a girl, Harold.

3,. Stop for a good meal now and then. Robert B. Parker’s Spenser is no stranger to fine dining. And M.C. Beaton’s Hamish Macbeth may live in a tiny hamlet in the middle of the Scottish Highlands, but the place is wired for great food.

Once in a while you have to stop, take time out and refuel. The villains can wait.

4. Stick with what you love. How many detectives are warned not to pursue the case? Pretty much all of them. Do they listen? Not on your life.

They just keep following those clues (and the trail of dead bodies), until they finally catch the bad guys. Lucky for us.

~Dana

Thank you so much for stopping by today, Dana! 

Keep reading for my thoughts on Dana’s new book, Seeing Red.

 

About the Book


Seeing Red (A Red Herring Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Washington D.C. / Virginia
Kensington (May 28, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN-10: 1496716582
ISBN-13: 978-1496716583
Digital ASIN: B07H1VFL64

If it wasn’t for art thieves, spies and killers, Alex Vlodnachek’s life would be bliss.

Her freelance career is catching fire. Her relationship with B&B owner Ian Sterling is flirty and fun. She’s even attending a glittering cocktail party at his sprawling Victorian inn.

But, to this ex-reporter, something seems “off.” And it’s not the canapés. When Ian’s father vanishes, the enigmatic innkeeper asks for her discretion. And her assistance.

Meanwhile, Alex is having the opposite problem at her tiny bungalow: People keep piling in uninvited. Including a mysterious intruder found sleeping in her kitchen. Her grandmother, Baba, who shows up “to help”—with Alex’s own mother hot on her heels.

When the intrepid redhead discovers a body in the B&B’s basement and a “reproduction” Renoir in the library, she begins to suspect that Ian is more than just a simple hotel owner.

With editor pal Trip, brother Nick, and rescue-pup Lucy riding shotgun, Alex scrambles to stay one step ahead of disaster—and some very nasty characters.

Can she find the missing man before it’s too late? Or will Alex be the next one to disappear?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

OMG, hold on to your funny bones! Dana Dratch has penned another fantastic mystery filled with humor that you will be unable to put down.

First, Ian’s father goes missing in the middle of a party. Then, unusual discovery is made in Alex’s kitchen, followed by an unusual discovery in the inn’s basement freezer, which quickly goes missing. Then while Alex is trying to find a clue about where the innkeeper’s father may have gone she makes yet another unusual discovery and it doesn’t stop there. She arrives home to find that her brother has brought Baba back to help with the kitchen discovery and it isn’t long before there another visitor camped out in her living room. As if her house is already bursting at the seams her mother arrives starting a rant as soon as she walks in the door.

Needing to get out of the house she calls her friend Trip and they along with her dog Lucy embark on a journey to get a whole list of answers. She hopes to find them all before finding any more bodies or someone finding hers.

These characters are fun and created with depth. Again Baba stole my heart. The woman still can’t cook but she whips Alex’s house and everyone in it into shape within minutes. The rest of the characters I came to love in the first book, Confessions of a Red Herring, all return making me love them even more. Alex is a strong protagonist with a huge heart. Nick, Alex’s brother is getting his new business off the ground and a big help to Alex. Ian is hiding something so Alex starts to waiver in her trust of him, especially with all the dead bodies. Trip is the perfect best friend for Alex especially because she truly has her hands full this time.

Ms. Dratch gives readers a perplexing mystery to try to solve. Twists on top of twists had me spinning. I figured out only one very minuscule part before everything was revealed. The pace is quick and the suspense and humor are blended together in a very entertaining way.

Great characters, laugh out loud moments, and a complex mystery make for a wonderful read. Another Perfect Escape from Dana Dratch.

If you haven’t read the first book in the series, don’t miss any of the fun. Read that one first.

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About the Author

Dana Dratch is a personal finance writer and the author of CONFESSIONS OF A RED HERRING and SEEING RED. She’s currently working on the third Alex Vlodnachek mystery adventure, RED HOT. Get updates at ConfessionsofaRedHerring.com.

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

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May 012019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy so welcome Dena Haggerty to Escape With Dollycas today with a Character Guest Post!

Things I’ve learned from moving and living in Wisconsin
By Pru from Hide Not Seek

 

Moving is always a daunting task. Moving halfway across the country to a state you’ve never even visited? Downright intimidating. For reasons I won’t go into here, I recently moved to Wisconsin from a place I can’t reveal. No, seriously, I can’t. It’s too dangerous. I’m in my mid-thirties, I thought I’d experienced life, knew lots of things. Well, let me tell you, I knew nothing – nothing! – about living in a cold weather climate. Here are some of the things I’ve “discovered” since moving to Wisconsin:

1. Did someone say snow? And not just a little bit either. Things don’t shut down for a bit of snow in Wisconsin. In fact, it doesn’t seem as if things shut down for snow here – ever. They just deal with it. No matter if it’s two feet of the white stuff on the ground.rong>

2. Windchill is really a thing. Theoretically, I knew what windchill was. I’ve seen those weather station shows where they say it’s twenty degrees out but ‘due to the windchill,’ it feels like zero. I thought those weather forecasters were bonkers. Having spent a few of the winter months in Wisconsin, I can now tell you – windchill is the real deal.

3. Ice storms happen. I thought ice storms were something fantasy writers had made up. A storm made of ice? Where ice literally falls from the sky? Nope, I thought, that’s obviously thought up by a fantasy writer. I was wrong.

Where I’m from (which is not a fantasy location but somewhere I can’t reveal), if there’s even a tiny bit of ice or snow, everything shuts down. Imagine my surprise when the world kept on going in Milwaukee after a foot of snow fell. On top of all that, they drive on the snow! Sure, there are snow plows out there getting rid of piles of snow, but they don’t – can’t – clear the roads entirely. The plow goes through, picks up a bunch of snow, and drops a bunch of sand. Yes, sand. My poor car.

This last one doesn’t have anything to do with the Wisconsin weather, but you can’t mention Wisconsin without talking about cheese. I’ve seen a Packers football game. I know Wisconsinites pride themselves on being cheese heads. I did not know that cheese is sacred and everywhere. Fried cheese curds? Yep, it’s a thing. Good thing I love cheese.

Moving to Wisconsin was a revelation. I just hope I can stay as it seems my troubles have followed me halfway across the continent.

Welcome to Wisconsin Pru! Speaking of weather in Wisconsin – Did you enjoy this past week where we had Spring, Summer, and Winter weather all in the same week? This Cheesehead is so happy you could visit today!! 

 

About the Book


Hide Not Seek (The Not So Reluctant Detectives)
Cozy Mystery/Romance/Humor
3rd in Series
Independently Published (April 18, 2019)
Print Length: 183 pages
ASIN: B07NYSCT6W

I know who you really are.

Pru has a secret, which she has no plans to reveal – ever. But after a woman is murdered and all clues point to her, she has no choice but to disclose her true identity. When her revelations help thwart the killer’s plan to frame Pru for the murder, the killer begins stalking her. With each note he sends, he gets closer. The police are stumped. Pru wants to run away. She really, really wants to run, but Ajax has found the woman of his dreams and he’s not letting her go anywhere. He can be patient. In the meantime, he’ll protect her with his life. Pru isn’t feeling very patient, and her friends, Mel and Terri, are definitely not willing to wait until the police uncover who the stalker is. The three friends take matters into their own hands and jump headfirst into the investigation.

Will Pru and her friends uncover her stalker before he turns his violence on Pru?

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.

Hide Not Seek is my fifteenth novel.

Author Links 

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Apr 172019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am thrilled to welcome Daryl Wood Gerber back to Escape With Dollycas today
as part of her Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour!

In Sifting Through Clues, at the Cookbook Nook, Jenna is featuring all sorts of cookbooks that serve up a great tea. Do you love high tea? I do. I love the pomp and circumstance. The tea, the champagne, the scones with whipped cream. Yum.

At the Nook Café, Katie is whipping up all sorts of great recipes to feature at a tea. In fact, she gives a tea sandwich demonstration at the Cookbook Nook. One of the sandwiches she makes as a sample for the guests to enjoy is a pear and cheese tea sandwich. This is one of my favorites. Many tea sandwiches are savory, but this one is sweet–not too sweet because of the goat cheese. Now, if you’re not a goat cheese fan, switch it out to Brie or cheddar or even cream cheese.  The honey and pears are what makes this sandwich stand out.

Pear and Cheese Tea Sandwich

(Makes 8 sandwiches or 16 – 32 triangles)

4 ounces of goat cheese, softened to room temperature

2 red Barlett pears, sliced thin

½ cup watercress

¼ cup pecans, chopped, *or nut of your choice

4 tablespoons honey

16 slices of white bread

In a small bowl, mix the cheese and pears. Add the watercress, pecans (*or nut of your choice) and honey. Spread on 8 slices of bread. Top the sandwiches with the remaining slices of bread. Carefully remove crusts, and then cut the sandwiches into desired shapes.

Sounds fantastic and easy.

Thank you, Daryl, for visiting today!

Keep reading for my thoughts on Daryl’s book.

 

About the Book

Sifting Through Clues (A Cookbook Nook Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – California
Beyond the Page (April 23, 2019)
Print Length: 235 pages
ASIN: B07NQNFC45

The Agatha Award–winning author of Wreath Between the Lines returns to the Cookbook Nook, where culinary mysteries are giving everyone food for thought . . .

Book clubs from all over have descended on Crystal Cove to celebrate the library’s Book Club Bonanza week, and Jenna Hart has packed the Cookbook Nook with juicy reads and tasty cookbooks. But she’s most excited about spending an evening with the Mystery Mavens and their moveable feast, when they will go from house to house to share different culinary treats and discuss the whodunit they’re all reading. It’s all good food and fun for the savvy armchair detectives, until one of the members of the group is found murdered at the last stop on the tour.

As if that weren’t enough to spoil her appetite, Jenna discovers that all the evidence points to her friend Pepper as being the guilty party. And with Pepper’s chief-of-police daughter too close to the case to be impartial, Jenna knows she’ll have to step in to help clear her friend’s name before a bitter injustice sends her to jail. Sifting through the clues, Jenna unearths any number of possible culprits, but she’ll have to cook up a new way to catch the killer before Pepper’s goose is cooked . . .

Includes tasty sweet and savory recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

We return to Crystal Cove, California just in time for Book Club Bonanza Week sponsored by the library. It is an event that has brought in many tourists and the Cookbook Nook has stocked up and planned a few events. Jenna’s book club, the Mystery Mavens is hosting a progressive dinner while discussing this month’s book, each course being hosted at a different member’s house. The final host seems to have received her “just desserts”. She is found dead as her guests arrive.

The deceased, Ivy Beale owned Dreamcatcher, a crystal shop, focused on their healing properties. All the evidence seems to point at the owner of Beaders of Paradise, Pepper Pritchett, Jenna’s friend and mother of Chief of Police, Cinnamon. Everyone knows Chief Cinnamon is too close to the case but she refuses to step aside, even when an unexpected visitor enters her life. Jenna finds herself Sifting Through Clues to get to the truth to make sure the real killer is booked!

The author brings readers another terrific mystery! This time her focus is on book clubs is a real treat. Because of that, we are introduced to several new characters. We also meet someone from Cinnamon’s past which adds another interesting dimension to the story. These characters all mesh with our returning favorites to create a story I had a hard time putting down.

All the core characters have evolved in this series. Jenna’s friend Bailey is getting so excited for her little bundle to be born and I loved the decor she has planned for the nursery. Bailey always makes me smile. After Jenna, she has become my favorite. The fact that Pepper and Jenna are now friends shows so much growth. They have come a long way. Jenna’s relationship with Cinnamon though is pretty rocky. I know she doesn’t want Jenna involved in her investigation but I would think this time she would be happy for Jenna’s help.

The mystery portions of the story were so intriguing, I mean the chief of police’s mother as the prime suspect!  Twists, turns, red herrings, this story had them all. So well written and well plotted out. A truly exciting email element added to the drama. I urge to plan accordingly because had I been able to keep my eyes open I would have finished the book all in one sitting.

As with all the books in this series, the recipes had my mouth watering and all the references to cozy mysteries and cookbooks are always appreciated.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Agatha Award-winning Daryl Wood Gerber writes the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries as well as the French Bistro Mysteries.  As Avery Aames, she pens the popular Cheese Shop Mysteries. Daryl also writes stand-alone suspense. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to cook, and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!

Author Links

Visit Daryl or Avery at www.darylwoodgerber.com.

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April 19 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST – RECIPE – INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
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Apr 132019
 

The Surprising Reading Habits of Millennials

When teens and young adults are immersed on their smartphone, what do you think they’re doing? Scrolling their Instagram feed? Chatting to friends on Facebook? Watching a video on YouTube?

There’s a good chance they’re actually reading a book.

Forget the stereotypes we often associate with Millennials. They’re voracious readers – it’s just that their reading habits are different from previous generations.

In this infographic, we explore the reading preferences of Millennials and the results may surprise you.

New research suggests that Millennials read more than their parents. In fact, Millennials read more than any other age group. 80% of young adults have read a book in any format over the last year, including 72% having read a print copy.

Other surprising facts about the reading habits of Millennials include:

  • The average Millennial reads 5 books per year.
  • Millennials are more likely than any other age group to visit public libraries.
  • Contrary to popular belief, they will prefer print books to digital ones.

What does this mean? Besides upending a few misconceptions about Millennials, the book industry is also probably in a healthier state than we give it credit for. Demand for new books is actually being driven by younger readers.

Book publishing statistics back this up. Although book sales in traditional bricks and mortar stores have been declining for years, the overall trend industry trend is positive. The worldwide publishing industry was worth around $111 billion in 2018 and has been growing about 1% annually for the last 5 years.

Check out our infographic below for more fun and surprising facts about the reading habits of Millennials.


Shared with permission of Isabel Cabrera
Communications Manager, The Expert Editor

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

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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.

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January 21 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
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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
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January 30 – Books Direct – REVIEW, GUEST POST
January 31 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 1 –Christa Reads and Writes – GUEST POST
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Special Guest – Frances Metzman – Author of The Cha Cha Babes of Pelican Bay – Great Escapes Book Tour

 Giveaways, Great Escapes Book Tours, Guest Posts, Spotlights  Comments Off on Special Guest – Frances Metzman – Author of The Cha Cha Babes of Pelican Bay – Great Escapes Book Tour
Jan 122019
 

I am excited to welcome Frances Metzman to Escape With Dollycas today!

Hi Frances,

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

 I believe I’ve gone the distance to develop my characters as much as the plot. It’s important to reveal my character’s upbringing as well as how they get through the hurdles and conflicts in their particular situation. How do they resolve overwhelming issues? What choices do they make and how does it reflect on their upbringing. How do they handle resolution and look to the future.

  1. What’s next on the horizon for you?

I have a sequel in progress to The Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Way and an outline of a 3rd book.

  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Formally, I was a sculptor and a social worker. I always wanted to write and 30 years – ago set out to do just that. But I knew structure was of the utmost importance. So, my quest included conferences, workshops, writing groups, individual lessons and wherever I could seek out information. They were given in tidbits, slivers or nonexistent. It was frustrating. I then devised my own standards of basic writing structure by piecing it together and lots of reading. I live by that framework and can manipulate the structure now without losing balance in writing. I liken it to the abstract painter who actually knows realistic work prior to experimenting. I teach that structure and occasionally meet resistance. Nonetheless, I will never divert and water it down.

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

I hike/walk a lot, entertain to look like complex but try to use one pot, AND, I wanted to be a furniture maker but it won’t happen in this life.

  1. What is the first book you remember reading?

See Dick and Jane. I remember elements that were shocking to me. The dad going to work in a suit and briefcase, Mom kissing her children goodbye and conversations between parent and children – I came from a family of 5 children.

  1. What are you reading now?

The Gentleman from Moscow, Ian McEwan– Saturday, Alice Munro-Dear Life, Anne Tyler-St. Maybe, (I’m not always up-to-date)

  1. What made you decide you want to write?

I’m pretty sure it started as a healing process to re-arrange history and establish a resolution with my mother which I didn’t do in real life. Writing gave me the opportunity to manage the chaos in life so that conflicts are resolved and inner depths are examined. The process actually did help in my real life. 

  1. Do you have a special place you like to write?

I do. I write in my office.

  1. Do you write at the same day every day?

I try to write from 10 AM till 5 or 6 PM. If I start later in the day I try to work later – that is if my brain hasn’t gone numb.

  1. Where do the ideas for your books come from?

I think much of my ideas come from researching white collar crime. I read those types of crime in newspapers and from those who I have known.

  1. What books have most inspired you?

I think Cynthia Ozick for plotting and characterization early on and I admire Ian McEwan very much for his fastidious researching and characterization.

  1. Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Editing especially cutting my best pages.

  1. What do you think makes a good story?

 I believe in plotting even in literary books where there is a sense of a story. We have had stories – beginning, middle and ending from the earliest times of our lives. It doesn’t have to be obvious. It can be very subtle, even in literary books, but there nonetheless. Call me old-fashioned, it’s okay. Also, character development is equally if not more important.

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

That’s tough. Maybe a bit of them all, but Celia perhaps a tad more than others.

  1. Why did you pick your particular genre?

I’ve mentioned my fascination with white collar crimes committed by people I’ve known who are economically comfortable. Also, my need to bring about order and understand why people behave the way they do.

Thank you, Frances, for visiting today!

_________________________________________________________

About the Book

The Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Way
Cozy Mystery
Wild River Consulting & Publishing, LLC (June 21, 2018)
Paperback: 506 pages
ISBN-10: 9781941948064
ISBN-13: 978-1941948064
Digital ASIN: B07CV2GP9Z

Would you move a dead body for the sake of your best friend? Ask cha-cha babe Celia Ewing, a sixty-five-year-old widow who has just settled into Boca Pelicano Palms, the Florida retirement community of her dreams. When Celia’s best friend Marcy calls her and their friend Deb for help in the middle of the night, they find a naked Marcy trapped under the body of her beau, the community’s board president, Melvin. And he’s dead. The three friends secretly move Melvin back to his apartment setting off a chain of events that will threaten to tear their community apart and send them to jail. Melvin is one of a number of residents who are dying under suspicious circumstances; and soon Celia becomes an amateur sleuth in an attempt to identify what she suspects is a serial murderer.

Filled with humorous, witty observations about retirement communities, the realities of getting older, and the promise of new love, the Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Way celebrates the deep bonds of female friendships, the desire for companionship at any age, and shows us that it’s never too late to learn how to cha-cha through life.

About the Author

 

Frances Metzman, a graduate of Moore College of Art and a Masters degree from the University of Pennsylvania, co-authored a novel, Ugly Cookies, by Pella Press. Her short story collection, The Hungry Heart: Stories, was published by Wilderness House Press, February 1, 2012. In 2009 she won a nomination for a Dzanc Books award, “Best of the Web.” In addition to publishing numerous (25) short stories in various literary journals, she has a novel published by Wild River Books, 2018, The Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Way. Her teaching credits include Adjunct professor at Rosemont College to graduate school, Temple University at OLLI (creative writing and memoir). Other writing workshops, memoir/creative writing, have been given at universities and colleges such as Bryn Mawr, Penn State, Delaware, University of Pennsylvania, Widener, etc. As fiction editor for a literary journal, Schuylkill Valley Journal, she selects and edits the submissions. Many articles, essays, and stories she writes deal with aspects of society that influences relationships for all ages, including the mature set (sometimes tongue in cheek). Many articles are dedicated to improving attitudes toward the mature folks and address myths about “age appropriate” thinking.

Author Links

Twitter Facebook GoodReads – 

FrancesMetzman.com

Purchase Links –

AmazonB&N – Kobo 

Praise for The Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Way
by Frances Metzman

What a page-turner. Honestly once I got into the story it was hard to put down!
~My Reading Journeys

This heartwarming cozy mystery is surprising uplifting; it certainly raised my spirits.
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies

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January 7 – Books, Dreams, Life – SPOTLIGHT
January 7 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
January 8 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 8 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
January 9 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
January 9 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
January 10 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
January 11 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT  
January 12 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 13 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
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Jan 092019
 

I am thrilled to welcome Tracy Weber back to Escape With Dollycas
for the first Cozy Wednesday of 2019! 

She is sharing news and wants our input!

Hi Everyone,

I have to admit, the launch of my sixth Downward Dog Mystery is bittersweet.  I’m delighted in every way possible with Murder Likes It Hot.  The cover is fantastic, I’ve wanted to use the title forever, and Kate finally finds the maturity and contentment I always hoped she would.  Plus, I got to name two characters—rats, no less!—after two of my favorite people, Ed and Lonnie.

But even as I celebrate the birth of my newest written child, I’m preparing to say goodbye to the series, at least for now.

I was about to start the final revisions of Murder Likes It Hot when I received some surprising news: My publisher, Midnight Ink, is closing its doors this summer.  To be honest, I’m luckier than many of my Inker brothers and sisters.  Since I was at the end of my second three-book contract, I was well aware that this might be the final installment of the series. So I closed with an ending meant to satisfy readers. No cliffhangers here! 😉

Readers who have read the entire series know how much Kate has changed since her beard-phobic, commitment-averse, serenity-impaired beginning.  She’s still not a perfect yogi, and she struggles to live up to her ideals every day. But Bella, her German shepherd sidekick, has mellowed her. Michael, her partner, has given her stability. And finding justice for a half-dozen murder victims has helped her discover her life’s purpose. I hope my readers will cheer her on and miss her antics as much as I will.

Many of my readers have asked me, what will happen next, both for my writing career and for Kate?

Answer? I honestly don’t know.

My agent is trying to get the rights back to earlier books in the series. If she’s successful, I’ll self-publish them and—if there’s enough reader interest—get started writing Book 7 in the series.  If not, I have an idea for a new series that I plan to start working on soon.

My life lately has been filled with change. Last year I sold my yoga studio, Whole Life Yoga. This past December, I graduated from the Northwest School of Canine Studies.  I’m a third of the way through a certificate program in applied animal behavior at the University of Washington.  Why wouldn’t my new interests find their way to a new series?

I think it would be a total kick to write a series starring an animal behaviorist, and Rainbow, a new character introduced in Murder Likes It Hot, would be a fabulous sleuth. She’s whispering story ideas in my ear, just like Kate did eight years ago.  The question is, should I write them down?

So, dear readers, what do you think?  Is this an end, or simply a new beginning?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

And don’t forget to give Murder Likes It Hot a read.  I hope you love it!

~Tracy

Thank you, Tracy, for visiting today. I am very excited about where your future may take you. 

Now let me give you my thoughts on Murder Likes It Hot.

Murder Likes It Hot (A Downward Dog Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Washington State
Midnight Ink (January 8, 2019)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 0738750697
ISBN-13: 978-0738750699
Kindle ASIN: B07HL1HPJ5

Yogini and amateur sleuth Kate Davidson will need more than Warrior Pose to solve a murder and help homeless teens

Newly married yoga instructor Kate Davidson feels stuck in low-energy limbo, despite her high-energy life. She’s trying to conceive a child, keep her studio afloat now that the ultra-cheap Some Like It Hot Yoga studio has opened across the street, and start a yoga program at a local resource center for homeless youth.

When a center employee is found dead, Kate sets aside her fertility and financial woes to delve into the world of teenage homelessness. While digging for clues with her German shepherd Bella, Kate discovers that family can be formed by bonds stronger than shared DNA, and she must defend it at all costs.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Kate and Michael’s wedded bliss is facing a tough time. They both want a child so much but have been unable to conceive and fertility treatments are so expensive. Add to that, there is a new yoga studio opening up right across the street from Kate’s studio, so she is worried about keeping her clients and her classes full. She has been asked to teach yoga at a local youth center that gives homeless teens a place to spend their days and to get help and education to get them off the streets. She accepts to add some extra cash to their baby fund.

After only 2 classes the director of the center is killed and one of her teenage students is the prime suspect. Kate has only just met the girl and knows just a snippet of the home life she ran away from, but a killer, there is just no way. With a little bit of help from best friend Rene and hubby Michael, Kate sets out to uncover the real killer.

Deep breaths, this story is more than a cozy mystery. It is an emotional story not only for our amateur sleuth but a teenager who goes by the name of Rainbow.

Tracy Weber really took a hold of my heart with this story just like she did the last. (If you have read Pre-Meditated Murder, you absolutely must.) Her recurring characters were already fleshed out and real, yet with each new installment, I grow to love them even more. They face real everyday problems just like you and me or people we all know, and then they add murder to the mix. German shepherd Bella always is a shining star no matter what her people are dealing with too.

This time Weber also introduces readers to some incredible new characters.  The homeless teens and the staff at the center and even two unusual pets. These characters, flawed and complex, are very well written and easily draw us in.

Kate throws herself into this mystery not only to solve it but to try to take her mind off her personal situations. The author really twists things up to not only drop the clues necessary but also showing us a side of Kate we are not used to seeing. I was totally captured by this story from the first page to the last.

I was reaching for the tissues at the superb ending. An ending not only for this book but probably the series. I feel these characters have been left in a good place, but my fingers are crossed that it will not be the last we see of them.

I have loved this series from the beginning. The books really need to be read in order to see the journey Kate has taken over the entire series. I highly recommend each and every one.

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Read my review of Pre-Meditated Murder here

Tracy Weber is a certified yoga therapist, the director of Whole Life Yoga Teacher Training, and the author of the award-winning Downward Dog Mysteries series.  She loves sharing her passions for yoga and animals in any way possible.

Tracy and her husband Marc live in Seattle with their precocious German shepherd, Ana. When she’s not writing, Tracy spends her time teaching yoga, trying to corral Ana, and sipping Blackthorn cider at her favorite ale house.

For more information on Tracy’s writing, visit her author website: http://TracyWeberAuthor.com/.


Thanks to the author I have 1 copy to give away!

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

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Contest Will End January 23, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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Dec 122018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so excited to have Debra H. Goldstein drop by for a visit!

Writers – Creatures of Habit or Not? by Debra H. Goldstein

Writers often claim to be creatures of habit. Their habits may be tied to the means of writing – on a computer, legal pad with special pens, or via dictation; the location where the writing takes place – at the beach, the mountains, in a dark room, or in a room with wide open windows; and, whether there is absolute silence or blaring music. Some writers, the planners, can’t produce a word until every nuance of a piece is outlined while others, known as pantsters, write strictly from the seat of their pants. I wish I could tell you that I am a creature of habit, but I’m not. I write like I cook. Differently, every time even if I am recreating the same dish.

One would think as a former litigator and judge, my writing habits would be unimaginative. That I would outline every word and idea, much like Jeffrey Deaver does. I outlined the beginning and ending of my first book, 2012 IPPY award-winning Maze in Blue, a mystery set on the University of Michigan in the 1970’s, but the middle flowed, like magic, through my fingers to the keys of a computer sitting on a desk in my home office. I attributed my writing to the character’s voices leading me through their story. The only thing necessary for the words to pour out of me was playing the soundtracks from 1776 and They’re Playing Our Song repetitively in the background.

The same songs and physical location didn’t work for my second book. To write Should Have Played Poker: a Carrie Martin and the Mah Jongg Players Mystery, I took my laptop and sat in an oversized chair in my living room. Century old furniture, which once belonged to my parents or grandparents, interspersed with modern cherry wood floors and an orange, gold, and blue carpet brought me a sense of peace that allowed me to bring new life to the characters from a short story published in 2010. I occasionally played folk songs and soft rock hits from the 60’s and 70’s, but for the most part, I wrote and rewrote in silence. It was the ambiance of the room that enabled me to find and contrast the voices of the Sunshine Village Retirement Home Mah Jongg players with the twenty-nine-year-old corporate attorney protagonist and her former lover, the detective assigned to her murdered mother’s case.

One Taste Too Many represents a hybrid of the habits that produced my first two books. Because the book is set in the present and the protagonist, Sarah Blair, is a twin, I drew on my experience as a mother of twins when I outlined the basic story premise. Unlike Poker, that I wrote and edited only on a laptop, One Taste Too Many was drafted and revised in two locations. For the first version, I sat in an easy chair in my bedroom with my laptop perched on my knees. When I finished the draft, I mailed it to myself and revised it upstairs in my office on my stand-alone computer. In both locations, I kept the score from Frozen playing constantly. Why Frozen for a book set in a small Southern town? I don’t know, but it worked. The music kept me typing at a nice even clip with a sunny disposition.

The other motivational trick I used for One Taste Too Many was keeping a picture of a friend’s Siamese cat where I could always see it. Growing up, we had dogs, but I knew bonding with a cat was different. That’s why I reached out to my friend and she was so helpful, I modeled RahRah after her cat, Suri. As you can see from the cover, RahRah and I successfully bonded.

For some, being a creature of habit is the only means to write. For me, a willingness to try different techniques and practices is what stimulates the muse and helps me avoid stale ruts. What about you? What does it take to prompt you to write effectively?

~Debra

Thank you, Debra, for visiting today!

Now keep reading for my thought about One Taste Too Many.

One Taste Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery)
by Debra H. Goldstein

 

About the Book


One Taste Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Kensington (December 18, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496719476
ISBN-13: 978-1496719478
Digital ASIN: B07CDCZXLP

For culinary challenged Sarah Blair, there’s only one thing scarier than cooking from scratch—murder!

Married at eighteen, divorced at twenty‑eight, Sarah Blair reluctantly swaps her luxury lifestyle for a cramped studio apartment and a law firm receptionist job in the tired hometown she never left. With nothing much to show for the last decade but her feisty Siamese cat, RahRah, and some clumsy domestic skills, she’s the polar opposite of her bubbly twin, Emily—an ambitious chef determined to take her culinary ambitions to the top at a local gourmet restaurant . . .

Sarah knew starting over would be messy. But things fall apart completely when her ex drops dead, seemingly poisoned by Emily’s award-winning rhubarb crisp. Now, with RahRah wanted by the woman who broke up her marriage and Emily wanted by the police for murder, Sarah needs to figure out the right recipe to crack the case before time runs out. Unfortunately, for a gal whose idea of good china is floral paper plates, catching the real killer and living to tell about it could mean facing a fate worse than death—being in the kitchen!

Includes quick and easy recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sarah and Emily Blair are twins and as different as night and day. Emily is a fabulous chef with plans to make it to the top of her field. Sarah married young and divorced 10 years later. She is starting over and has taken a receptionist job at a local law office and lives in a studio apartment with her cat, RahRah.

The restaurant where Emily works has a booth at the Food Expo and the staff will be giving demonstrations and sharing tasty treats. Emily will be making her special rhubarb crisp.

But tragedy strikes when Sarah’s ex is found dead at the convention center before the event even begins. Covered in rhubarb, it is quickly determined he was poisoned, by Emily! Also, with his death, it seems Sarah’s cat RahRah no longer belongs to her. A chef that works with Emily has laid claim to the feline.

As someone that hates to cook, Sarah knows she needs to hang around the expo to try to catch the real killer, even if it means filling in for her talented sister. That is if the killer doesn’t get to her first. She also needs to find a way to keep her cat.

This series is off to a stellar start and I am head over heels with the wonderful cat, RahRah. The cat was rescued during Hurricane Katrina my Sarah’s ex-mother-in-law who loved Sarah, so of course, she took the cat when the woman passed away. Her ex left out some key details about his mother’s will. Now, with him dead the secrets are revealed. Let’s just say he was a first-class a**, and I was happy he was the first victim. Yes, first, because the killing didn’t stop with him.

Ms. Goldstein has created a pair of sisters, twins, that are truly each other’s half. They are smart and fun. Best friends that take care of each other. Sarah is an interesting protagonist. I hope she continues to team up with her sister. I believe we have barely scratched the surface on when the author can take these sisters.

The story has a little bit more of an edge than a typical cozy but doesn’t go too far. It is exciting and fresh with plenty of twists and corkscrew turns. The author drops in the clues with such precision. I was up in the air about the killer right up until the big reveal. Someone on my radar but not at the top of my list. The motives were unclear until all the last clues slid into place.

This was a very entertaining story. A great mystery with characters I want to visit again. I am excited to see where the author takes this series. This one was A Perfect Escape!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

About the Author

 

Judge Debra H. Goldstein’s new Sarah Blair cozy mystery series debuts from Kensington Press with One Taste Too Many. She also is the author of Should Have Played Poker: a Carrie Martin and the Mah Jongg Players Mystery and the 2012 IPPY Award-winning Maze in Blue. Besides novels, Debra writes short stories. Her short story, The Night They Burned Ms. Dixie’s Place, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine (May/June 2017) is an Agatha Award Short Story Nominee. In addition to being the Sisters in Crime Guppy President, Debra serves on the national Sisters in Crime board and is Vice-President of the Southeast Region of Mystery Writers of America.

Website    Blog    Facebook    Twitter @DebraHGoldstein      GoodReads

Purchase Links

Amazon  B&N  Kobo  Google Play 

Praise for One Taste Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery)
by Debra H. Goldstein

ONE TASTE TOO MANY is a “different,” slightly edgy, cozy from an author with extensive knowledge of legal procedure.
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies

This one was a fun ride. A few twists that will keep you turning the pages may be a little slower to keep up.
~My Reading Journeys

What a fun engaging start to a new series!
~Cozy Up With Kathy

I kept changing who I suspected but when the real murderer is revealed, I was shocked! I did not see that one coming at all.
~Storeybook Reviews

The story was well-written and enjoyable to read.

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
December 3 – Book Babble – SPOTLIGHT
December 3 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
December 4 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW, GUEST POST  
December 5 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 6 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
December 6 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
December 7 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
December 7 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 8 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 8 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
December 9 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 9 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 10 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
December 10 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
December 11 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
December 11 –A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 12 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, GUEST POST
December 12 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GUEST POST 
December 13 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 13 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
December 14 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
December 14 – Cinnamon, Sugar and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE
December 15 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW
December 15 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 16 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
December 16 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST

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

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Dec 082018
 

Pineapple Upside Down Murder
(The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)

by Jodi Rath

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Hi Everyone,

I’m so excited to be a part of Escape With Dollycas Into a Good Book blog tour! Writing my first fictional book has been an amazing journey and this is the PERFECT way to end it as I move into writing book two of The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series, Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Murder. I have found that the writing community is one the most gracious and helpful communities out there. I should know as I’ve worked in Advertising, Communications (writing speeches for local city CEO’s), Vice President of a Credit Union, insurance, and now my 21st year in education—which I LOVE with a passion! I have to say all of my years in different fields have all contributed and helped me to be able to run the business I run today. So, even though some of those jobs were jobs I did not enjoy, I learned a lot and was able to take all of those lessons and apply them to what I do today! I wouldn’t change anything at all because I am thrilled with where I am right now!

Writing this series was so much fun, I feel like I’m friends with all my characters. I don’t know if that is normal or not? LOL! There will be fourteen books in this series and I have some overarching themes that will develop as the series continues that I’m very excited about! One of them deals with family and close friends and the paradox that exists with love/hate relationships: how we all navigate through that. My protagonist, Jolie Tucker, always says, “Why is it my family can push my buttons so easily? Oh, yeah, they installed them!” SO TRUE! I love my family to death, but no one can rile me up faster than them. BUT if anyone says one bad thing about them, WATCH OUT!

~Jodi

Thank you, Jodi, for visiting today!

Read on to find out all about Jodi’s book, Pineapple Upside Down Murder!

 

About the Book

Pineapple Upside Down Murder (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
MYS ED llc (November 23, 2018)
Print Length: 130 pages
Digital ASIN: B07GXDPPSP

Introducing Jolie Tucker, an introverted yet passionate restaurant co-owner of Cast Iron Creations, who, at her best friend Ava’s request, steps out of her comfort zone which leads her into the shade of a killer in the small, cozy village of Leavensport, Ohio. The victim is the villages beloved Ellie Siler who runs the village sweet spot, Chocolate Capers. Jolie finds her grandma Opal is a prime suspect and goes on a search for answers only to find out that her families secret recipes may not belong to the Tucker family at all. Jolie’s job, family, and livelihood are all on the line. The answers are assuredly lethal.

Praise for Pineapple Upside Down Murder (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)
by Jodi Rath

With a quirky population of characters who have known each other for many years, this small town cozy is full of surprises.
~Laura’s Interests

 

About the Author

Moving into her second decade working in education, Jodi Rath has decided to begin a life of crime in her The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series. Her passion for both mysteries and education led her to combine the two to create her business MYS ED, where she splits her time between working as an adjunct for Ohio teachers and creating mischief in her fictional writing. She currently resides in a small, cozy village in Ohio with her husband and her seven cats.

Author Links:  Webpage FB Author Page: Author Jodi Rath  Twitter @jodirath

Goodreads   Bookbub    Pinterest

Purchase Links:

Amazon 
   All other e-platforms

Thanks to the author I have 1 e-copy to giveaway! 

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
December 6 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 6 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
December 7 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 7 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY
December 8 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 8 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
December 9 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW, RECIPE
December 10 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 11 –Valerie’s Musings – GUEST POST
December 12 – Handcrafted Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY
December 13 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
December 14 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY
December 14 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
December 15 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
December 16 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 16 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, GUEST POST
December 17 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 18 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 18 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
December 19 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

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