Nov 262019
 

The Wipeout Affair (Red Frog Beach Mystery)
by Rachel Neuburger Reynolds

Character Guest Post 

June 2

TO:                  Lexie Milano

FROM:            Lloyd Wilson, Ananke Laboratory

Isla Colon, Bocas del Toro

RE:                   I’ve heard about your relocation

PRIORITY:        High

VIA EMAIL

———————————————-

I was surprised and shockingly pleased to hear that you are relocating from New York to this Panamanian archipelago. Bold, as I thought, maybe you would be one day. After almost dying and solving an almost perfect crime, I can’t tell if your decision is madness or genius. Only time will tell.

I appreciate calculated spontaneity.

Which brings me to why I am getting in touch with you, not just laying out a welcome wagon. As you can see from the above paragraph, I have what one might call a filter missing when talking or corresponding with people.

Since the death of our mutual contact in April, I find the main source of investment in Lloyd Wilson Enterprises shriveled up like a past-its-prime carved pumpkin. I’m currently seeking venture capital for my newest endeavor, Ananke. I’m obviously not looking for investment from you, as I can with probability guess your financial state of affairs.

See? Filter missing. I can now identify it, but I can’t stop my train of thought. It has left the station.

The ladies love me. Lord knows why.

Though initial interest in the company was high, it seems that I am offending the people with the money. I’ve been called condescending, offensive, and often a downright [expletive] [expletive].

With your limited funds and from what I understand of nature of the part-time work you’ve lined up on the island, I’d surmise you’d needing some cash. Working at a surf camp on Bluff Beach won’t exactly keep you in mink bikinis.

I’d like to offer you part-time work at Ananke, working with me on correspondence with the potential investors. First, in written material to take what I’ve written and make it sound. Less. Like. Me. We’ll cross the in-person meeting bridge when we come to it.

One thing I recall is that you had was a way with words. I observed that people found you charming. Too humble for your own good, but likable.

My company is a medical research facility. Bocas del Toro being an almost unknown island chain, there is the potential for amazing exploration of plants and species that don’t exist in the rest of the world. We’ve also come across new and strange poisons in our quest to advance the world of medicine. Up your alley, I’d say.

This offer expires at the end of the month. You’ll find the salary more than generous. There will be a non-disclosure agreement to sign before you start, of course.

Benefits include one of the only places on the island with air conditioning. You don’t know how attractive that will be as summer carries on.

I look forward to working with you.

And as I always say to you, Lexie, you can run, but you can’t hide.

Warm personal regards,

Lloyd Wilson, Ph.D., MD, MBA

About The Wipeout Affair 


The Wipeout Affair (Red Frog Beach Mystery)
Cozy Mystery/ Chick-Lit
2nd in Series
Setting – Bocas del Toro
Jeepers Way Press (October 17, 2019)
Number of Pages: ~300
ASIN: B07TBGQFN4

There’s trouble in paradise, in the hilarious second book of the Red Frog Beach Mystery Series.

Ready to go back to the beach?

Lexie Milano left her heart in Bocas del Toro, and the new and improved New Yorker makes the big choice to move to the laid-back Caribbean island permanently. Piña coladas, white sand beaches, and a little cabin of her own on the edge of the rainforest complete her picture of the perfect tropical future awaiting her. But if it looks too good to be true, it usually is. . . .

When the body of a beautiful wealthy local is found at an isolated surf camp, the owner calls on Lexie to help him figure out who did it in this delicious whodunit. Reluctant sleuth Lexie first turns to the police, but her sudden access to a treasure-trove of island secrets convinces her it’s time to solve another murder on her own.

Favorite characters from Drowning Lessons return to grace the pages of this comedic mystery, including Migs, the handsome photographer; Lloyd, the genius with the cryptic past; and Lexie’s new best friend, Detective LaGuardia. Between old friends, new associates, and the added potential of shark attacks, The Wipeout Affair will leave you laughing and guessing until the very end.

This is the second in the series but can be read as a stand alone novel.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Alexandra ‘Lexie’ Martone’s first visit to Bocas del Toro was as maid of honor for her friend Olivia and let’s just say that wedding didn’t go as planned. She returned to New York but it isn’t long and she is back on the island and this time she is planning to stay. She rents a little cabin and gets not one but two jobs and makes herself at home.

But just like the last time, a murder mucks up her plans. She is shocked to learn her friend Jazz, was found dead at a local surf camp where Lexie works one of her jobs. The owner is pegged as the prime suspect and he begs Lexie to help him find the real killer. She agrees and she tries to keep the local police abreast of everything she learns but they aren’t very receptive until they find they need her to solve the case.

___

I was so excited to get ahold of this book and I was not disappointed. Rachel Neuburger Reynolds takes her readers right to Bocas del Toro. We proceed on a journey with Lexie that at one time or another takes us from one side of the island to the other and almost everywhere in between. Lexie does have a vehicle but there are very few roads and the ones that are marked are rough. There is a bus that Lexie takes occasionally but that ride sounds like a bucking bronco so for the most part, Lexie walks and the author describes everything so well we are able to walk right along with her.

Lexie has become very independent but she is still trying to conquer her fear of water. Jazz was working with her before her death to get past her fear. She was trying to get Lexie in and under the water telling her about all the undersea beauty, she would see if she would just “slide” into the Carribean. While I can swim I still can identify with Lexie. Several years ago I was on vacation in Mexico and we decided to go snorkeling. My husband and our friends all had a great time. I just couldn’t get the hang of it. It was so bad, the guide told me to get back in the boat because I was ruining it for everybody else. 🙂 I would love to try again someday maybe with a patient guide like Jazz.

Lexie’s fear of water doesn’t hold her back from her sleuthing. In fact, she puts herself in some crazy and sometimes dangerous predicaments. Like most amateur sleuths sometimes she leaps before she thinks things through. She has a few suspects on her list and follows the clues wherever they lead. In book one, I said Lexie had the patience of a saint and that helps this time because everyone seems to have a secret or two and things aren’t as they first appear and she doesn’t give up. What makes it hard is that some of the suspects are people she cares about and she realizes she doesn’t know who she can truly trust.

What I really enjoy is the humor the author weaves generously throughout the entire story. As with book one Drowning Lessons, the story is a dramedy, full of drama and comedy. Well-written, well-plotted, and well-developed characters. The Wipeout Affair is A Perfect Escape. Let Rachel Neuburger Reynolds’ story take you to the beach while the snow flies outside.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Drowning Lessons here


Praise for Drowning Lessons, Book One in the Red Frog Beach Mystery Series:

This series is one that I will be watching.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

This story is much more than a cozy mystery. It is a dramedy where literally everything that can go wrong does. Twists, turns, craziness, and good old mayhem fill these pages all on an idyllic chain of islands . . . This was a fun book to read and a great start for this series.
~Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book

Drowning Lessons is filled with humor from beginning to end, not to mention several twists along the way. It’s the perfect beach read.
~Socrates’ Book Reviews

Great debut for this new series: a compelling plot, a spectacular setting, and bizarre characters, nothing is missing.
~LibriAmoriMiei

Praise for The Wipeout Affair, Book Two in the Red Frog Beach Mysteries Series: 

I have to comment that a cozy set in the Carribean is awesome. The islands in this setting are almost a character in themselves with such wonderful detail about the daily life of the locals strewn throughout the story.
~I Read What You Write

The author has a flair for mixing humor with mystery to create a story that kept me intrigued until the very last page. Not to mention that she did a wonderful job of transporting me to this beautiful island.
~Socrates’ Book Reviews…

About Rachel Neuburger Reynolds

Rachel Neuburger Reynolds is the author of the Red Frog Beach Mystery Series. Book 1, Drowning Lessons, was released on May 21, 2019, and the second in the series, The Wipeout Affair, was released on October 17, 2019. She’s also working on a separate series, The Evelyn Bay Murder Mystery series, and has written book one The Death Of A Classic. If all goes as planned you’ll be reading this in 2020. This is the first of book of seven in the series. Two of her plays have been produced in recent years. The Silencer, a cautionary tale about the perils of online dating, premiered at the Edinburgh Festival, followed by a run in New York. Nepenthe, a one-woman show about the 1960’s Hollywood-fication of the Holocaust had its premiere in London, and she is currently in talks about a film adaptation in 2021. Previous to her life of putting pen to paper, she produced theatre in New York City for fifteen years. Though she bounces back and forth between London in New York my headquarters is in Crowhurst on the South Coast of the UK. Please check out more at RachelNeuburger.com

Author Links

Webpage and Blog: RachelNeuburger.com

Twitter: @rainyday11 FaceBook

Instagram: @rainydaywrites   Goodreads    Pinterest

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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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Nov 192019
 

Turkey Basted to Death (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)
by Jodi Rath

About Turkey Basted to Death


Turkey Basted to Death (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
2.5 in the Series –  A Holiday Book
Setting – Ohio
MYS ED LLC (November 15, 2019)
Number of Pages 133 pages
Digital ASIN: B07WRJXBLX

Thanksgiving is here, and Jolie Tucker has had quite the year! She is ready to sit back and relax with family and friends. But this is Leavensport, OH—so get ready for intense therapy sessions, dysfunctional family holiday gatherings, uninvited guests, and an inner-city teen advocate found DEAD—stabbed in the ear with the turkey baster!

Welcome to Leavensport, OH, where DEATH takes a DELICIOUS turn!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Leavensport Ohio is planning a Thanksgiving event to celebrate Thanksgiving together. Jolie is working on turkey recipes to serve the masses when she is approached by the mayor about a problem that has come up. He needs to add a group of inner-city teens to the guest list. She handles the additions with ease until the big day arrives. Before dinner is even served the woman, a teen advocate working with the kids is found dead in the kitchen. The sight was gruesome, a turkey baster shoved in her ear.  Jolie is heartbroken as she really believed in what the woman was doing and knows they would have become good friends. She wants to be sure the killer is caught and will only be thankful when they are behind bars.

___

Again, Jodi Rath has packed these pages full of great characters and intrigue. At 133 pages Turkey Basted to Death sets a fast pace full of twists that can be read all in one sitting. She is excellent at working with a large cast of characters. The recurring characters continue to grow and the new characters are diverse and very well written. It is very easy to connect with all of them. The dialogue is believable and rings true.

Ms. Rath’s entire story embodies the theme of Thanksgiving too. Be grateful for what you have and be open to welcoming new people into your life at all times. She brought together people who may have never met if not for this event and the people of Leavensport didn’t disappoint.

I have enjoyed all three books in this series. Don’t be fooled by the novella length, they are all well-written and well-plotted with surprising reveals. They also have some great recipes to try.

The next book in the series, Blueberry Cobbler Blackmail is set to be released February 28, 2020, with Cast Iron Stake Through the Heart to follow at the end of May. I can’t wait!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Author Interview

I am so excited to have Jodi stop by today!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m an odd duck in that I am creative, but I’m also logical as well. So, I work from both my right and left brain. It can get chaotic in there at times—conflict and all! This is why I have a business that incorporates working in higher education as an online adjunct, writing on deadline for educational blogs, affiliations, and publishers, while also writing a culinary cozy mystery series—The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series.

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

  1. I practice Kenpo, which is a combination of kickboxing and martial arts.
  2. I have eight cats now, and over 17-years we’ve had 16 cats. All 16 will be on the cover of my books.
  3. I’ve been in race cars in CA at Laguna Seca.

What is the first book you remember reading?

A Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book.

What are you reading now?

Bailey Cates Cookies and Clairvoyance

What books have most inspired you?

In terms of mystery: Sara Paretsky, Agatha Christie, Amanda Flower, Heather Blake, Bailey Cates, Elaine Viets—these are all authors I love reading any and all their books. They help me in my writing.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

I love puzzles, and I feel all of life is a mystery.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

I write everywhere—on my deck, on my screened-in porch, in my family room, kitchen, bed, office, restaurant, at a family gathering—the oddest place I’ve ever written was one time I went to take recycling and the trucks were there dumping out the bins—so I parked and got my laptop out and wrote while they finished. I take journals and laptops everywhere. One time I wrote in a movie theater during the previews.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Life, I taught high school for twenty years. I take themes from everyday life—I taught that way as well. It’s important to me to create a world that has diversity in it where people struggle and are constantly trying to find ways to be better and find ways to effectively communicate.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

I said earlier I have cats—I use all my cats in my series. The ones that have passed away, remain alive in the series—it is difficult to write about them at times.

What do you think makes a good story?

I think it’s important as an author to be sure what you are writing allows for an escape—while still addressing universal topics that we all go through. As a reader, I read to escape from my life—but I find that part of that means being able to relate to topics and characters as well. It sounds like a contradiction but it’s really not.

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

My protagonist, Jolie Tucker, is based off me. She’s not completely me, but a lot of her history and internal struggles come from my life.

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

There aren’t many cast iron skillet mystery series out there. Also, I do a two-minute mystery a month for those that subscribe to my newsletter for an opportunity to win things—I use my characters in those mysteries. I hit on topics like urban sprawl, gentrification, cultures, transgender, homosexuality, and I incorporate diversity into my series—with the hope that as the series progresses the people in the city/village of the series will continue to find solutions and ways to effectively communicate and make things work within their communities.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

In 2020, I have four more books in this series coming out. February 28th, Jolie and Ava head to Santa Domingo in Blueberry Cobbler Blackmail.

Thank you Jodi for visiting today! 

More 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 @jodirathGoodreads   Bookbub    Pinterest

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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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Nov 132019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to welcome Kate Carlisle back to Escape With Dollycas today!

The Twisty, Turny Research Journey to Kate Carlisle’s New Book

(Guest Post Provided by Publicist)

Kate Carlisle is the New York Times bestselling author of two ongoing series: the Bibliophile Mysteries featuring San Francisco bookbinder Brooklyn Wainwright, whose rare book restoration skills uncover old secrets, treachery and murder; and the Fixer-Upper Mysteries (as seen on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries), featuring Shannon Hammer, a home contractor who discovers not only skeletons in her neighbors’ closets, but murder victims, too.

Kate’s Latest Fixer-Upper Mystery is Shot Through the Hearth, available now.

As a writer, research can be a massive problem for me. Not because I dread it. Quite the opposite, in fact. I love it so much that I can all too easily be drawn down a circuitous path of wonderment that has no end. I’m curious about everything.

Everything.

I do my research in two stages: while plotting the story and while writing it. During the plotting stage I have more freedom to explore because the things I learn could take the story in exciting directions I never anticipated. At that stage, I don’t know what I don’t know, so every discovery has the potential to change the plot.

During the writing stage, my research has to be more focused on finding the answer to a specific question. I must discipline myself not to go off on any tangents, no matter how seductive they may be. Find the answer, get back to work.

My goal is to weave much of what I learn into a smart, funny murder mystery that keeps readers guessing and teaches them something at the same time. I want lots of those “Huh. I didn’t know that” moments.

My readers are insatiably curious, too. I think it’s one of the reasons they love my books.

To show you what a wide variety of research goes into my books, here’s a sampling of topics I studied while plotting and writing Shot Through the Hearth, my latest Fixer-Upper Mystery, and a random fact about each. You’ll have to read the book to see how these facts come together in one whodunit.

HOW MANY POUNDS DOES IT TAKE TO CRUSH A HUMAN CHEST?

Turns out, there’s no definitive answer—it depends on the strength of the person’s chest muscles. Which means, sadly, I’d go quickly, I’m afraid.

TRADITIONAL SCOTTISH STONE MASONRY TECHNIQUES (even though Shot Through the Hearth is set in Lighthouse Cove, California)

Scotland’s official website is gov.scot. The United States’ official website is usa.gov. Huh.

BARN RAISING

Historically, this was also called a raising bee. The only bees I’d heard of before were quilting bees and spelling bees. We need more bees! A cocktail party could be called a boozing bee. A city council meeting could be a sniping bee.

THE RANGE OF A RIFLE BULLET

Not only did I need to know how far the bullet could travel, but also whether it would have enough velocity at the end of its journey to do any damage. Imagine standing on the street and watching a bullet glance harmlessly off your stomach and roll to the ground.

CAN PLANTS BE SENTIENT?

Instead of sharing a fact here, I’ll share a snippet from Shot Through the Hearth. In this scene, contractor Shannon Hammer and her boyfriend Mac Sullivan, a thriller writer, explore the Ecosphere, an indoor vertical garden that’s hiding something that just may be sinister.

We stepped through the doorway and entered the tropical wonderland.

I hadn’t been inside since Julian and his team had installed small spotlights in various parts of the garden. It gave the space a wonderfully ethereal quality that I really loved.

“The air is cool,” Mac marveled. “I thought it would be warm.”

“No, the plants help clean the air and cool it down. And the louvers help.” I pointed to the nearest window and the wide horizontal blinds covering them. “They move with the sun in order to keep the interior from getting too hot at any time during the day.”

He continued to look around, taking in the verdant carpet of ferns that edged the pathway and the thick vines that draped the walls. Aloe vera plants thrived in every corner. Dozens of pothos plants, with the most abnormally large leaves I’d ever seen, cascaded down from the second- floor balcony. Succulent snake plants cast eerie, tongue-like shadows on the walls.

“I could set up a table and write in here.” Mac moved in a circle, studying the greenery all around us. “In fact . . .” He took out his phone and began taking photos. “I can see Jake Slater getting trapped in here.”

I had to smile. “That’s a great idea. And wait until you meet Stephanie.”

He began to walk up the ramp but stopped and turned. “Who’s Stephanie?”

“Let’s keep going up to the next level. I’ll show you.”

As we reached the second floor of the Ecosphere, the tendrils of the Stephanie vine brushed against Mac’s legs.

“What was that?” he demanded, jumping back.

“That’s Stephanie,” I said, laughing. “She’s a fast-growing vine and seems to move toward anything human.”

“That’s freaking weird.”

“Yeah, it’s weird. But it makes sense when Julian explains it. Something about its DNA causes the plant to react to human pheromones. Apparently it’s attracted to our breath, too. There’s a bunch of other details Julian talked about that I couldn’t begin to explain to you, but he’ll be giving Ecosphere tours starting tomorrow.”

“I’ll sign up for that. I want to hear all about Stephanie. And the rest of this place, too.”

I hope you’ll have as much fun reading Shot Through the Hearth as I had writing—and researching—it.  You can read chapter one for free at https://katecarlisle.com/shot-through-the-hearth.php. Please let me know what you think! You can reach me via my website or at www.facebook.com/katecarlislebooks

Thank you Kate for dropping by for a visit.

Keep reading for my thoughts on A Shot Through The Hearth.

Shot Through the Hearth (A Fixer-Upper Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – California
Publisher: Berkley (October 29, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1984804391
ISBN-13: 978-1984804396
Kindle ASIN: B07NCPRQ52

Contractor Shannon Hammer is measuring murder motives in the latest Fixer-Upper Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of A Wrench in the Works and Eaves of Destruction

Shannon’s good friend and retired tech billionaire, Raphael Nash, is loving his new retired life but he can’t stay unoccupied for too long. He’s started the Marigold Foundation that helps fund small companies and individuals who do humanitarian work around the world. It’s an exciting time in Lighthouse Cove as Raphael hosts the first ever global conference inviting big thinkers from every area of industry to give presentations on eco-living.

Raphael’s old business partner arrives in town with a grudge and a plan to steal him away from his important new passion project. Shannon knows her friend has no intention of giving up Marigold and is proud of Raphael for sticking to his guns. But when his former associate winds up dead, all signs point to Raphael.

It’s up to Shannon to hammer out the details of the murder before her friend gets pinned for the crime…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Shannon  Hammer, contractor extraordinaire, knew her job for billionaire Raphael Nash was going to be a huge job but big thinking Rafe has expanded his plans for his project and Hammer’s construction crew and for Lighthouse Cove too. Not only does he want the home on his property renovated he adds a barn-raising and a garden tower all to be completed before a global conference about eco-living. He has a vast schedule of events with many guest speakers, including Mac, Lighthouse Cove’s resident author.  Rafe has also created the Marigold Foundation, named after his lady love, to award money for research and ecologic humanitarian work around the world. He hopes the conference will become an annual event.

While Rafe Nash is over the moon excited about the foundation and conference, his former partner Dillon Charles is not happy. He wants Rafe to come back to the company they built together and to do new projects together. Rafe tries hard to explain he has a new life in Lighthouse Cove and has no plans to leave it but Charles is not backing down.

Then as the barn-raising gets underway Dillion Charles is found dead and Rafe finds himself at the top of the suspect list. Shannon vows to help her friend. She plans to find the real killer before he gets screwed for a crime he didn’t commit

___

I am always excited when a book in this series is released. With a little home construction experience, I am always pulled into Shannon’s new project and all the drama that surrounds it. Because of this series, I look at every Victorian home that crosses my path in a new light. This time the project is huge and takes about 8 months to complete so we don’t get as many details of all the work completed but the author gives us plenty of information to visualize not only the house with its wonderful outside living space, but the grounds, the barn, the tower, and the unique pods Rafe Nash brings in for his conference.

Ms. Carlisle has also constructed a fantastic mystery. The victim was shady and unlikable. As the story continues information comes to light the pries the suspect list wide open. Many people have a motive, the key is the opportunity. A second death gives a little more focus to who did the deed and readers are taken right into the middle of the scary big reveal when all the clues fall into place. That wasn’t the only scary moment, there are a few that added to the suspense of the story. I was captivated by the process and each little twist and I was still totally surprised at the end.

I enjoy that Shannon is a woman in a male-dominated field who knows her job but isn’t afraid to admit when she doesn’t know something. Her field is Victorian restoration, not barn building, and she sent one of her crew to witness and help in an Amish barn raising and bring back what he learned to have their job go off without a hitch. Her crew, many of who worked with her dad, trust her and they work together like a well-oiled machine.

Shannon also has a strong man in her life and he is right there to help when she finds herself dealing with yet another dead body. Of course, Eric Jensen, the chief of police, is on the scene and kept in the loop on everything Shannon uncovers. Her father is not quite as involved this time but it is for a good reason. Her uncle also makes an appearance. All the characters have a purpose and the dialogue flows so well.

Engaging characters and another fine mystery. A great addition to this series. Each one has been A PERFECT ESCAPE foe me and I recommend them all.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my Reviews for the whole series. 

Book 1 – A High End Finish here

Book 2 – This Old Homicide here.

Book 3 – Crowned and Moldering here.

Book 4 – Deck the Hallways here

Book 5 – Eaves of Destruction here

Book 6 – A Wrench in the Works here.

Read more about Kate and the Fixer-Upper Mysteries at www.KateCarlisle.com!


Also by Kate Carlisle



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Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
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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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Nov 052019
 

Cleo Coyle Serves Up a New Coffeehouse Mystery: Brewed Awakening + #Giveaway

I am thrilled to host this guest post from Cleo Coyle today!

Brewed Awakening by Cleo Coyle

BREWED AWAKENING marks the 18th Coffeehouse Mystery that my husband and I have written. Like every entry in our long-running series, this story centers on the life of a divorced single mom in her forties named Clare Cosi.

Clare is a coffeehouse manager by day and a determined sleuth by night. She’s often assisted in her crime-solving adventures by her quirky staff of eager baristas, her beloved octogenarian employer, and her shop’s globetrotting rogue of a coffee hunter.

Our idea for Clare’s latest case began with a conversation over (you guessed it) coffee. As a married couple, Marc and I have been through decades of ups and down. But what if those years were wiped from our memories? Would we still be drawn to each other? If so, how exactly does “like” deepen into something more? When does love happen?

With Clare now on a path to be married to her longtime boyfriend, NYPD Detective Mike Quinn, we decided to explore those questions within the plotline of Brewed Awakening, and we agreed the fulcrum of our tale would be memory loss.

As the mystery opens, Clare awakens on a bench in New York’s Washington Square Park. She has no idea that she’s been missing for the past week, or that her friends and family have been frantic with worry. When she finds her way to the charming, landmark Village Blend coffeehouse, everyone is overjoyed to see her. No one is happier than the handsome NYPD detective who claims to be her fiancé. But to Mike Quinn’s crushing distress, Clare doesn’t remember him, or much of anything about the last fifteen years of her life.

Clare’s missing memory is tied to a crime she witnessed. An acquaintance of Clare’s elegant employer invited Clare to her posh hotel to sample gourmet wedding cakes. After their indulgent tasting, the pair headed to the parking garage, where a camera captured a masked figure confronting the hotel heiress at gunpoint with Clare looking on. Did the kidnapper take Clare, too? The camera went dark, just like Clare’s memory. Soon authorities grow suspicious. Is Clare really a victim? Or merely acting like one? Evidence is mounting that she set the woman up. To clear her name, Clare must find a way to reclaim her memories and rescue the heiress before this high-stakes crime ends in tragedy.

Although Clare’s struggle with her memory is fictional, Marc and I were inspired (through our research) by many true cases of amnesia, including a married woman whose traumatic accident resulted in forgetting her own husband and believing her teenage daughter was still a toddler. In another case, a young teacher disappeared after going for a jog, and then reappeared, floating in New York Harbor, with no memory of how she got there or the weeks she went missing. (We could go on, but you get the idea.)

If you’re a newcomer to our Coffeehouse Mysteries, don’t hesitate to pick up Brewed Awakening. Each of our books can be read as a stand-alone story. And, if you like one, you’ll have seventeen more to enjoy. But don’t miss our latest. We hope you’ll find this mystery about memory to be unforgettable.

Brewed Awakening by Cleo Coyle – Recipe Guide

CLEO’S FREE RECIPE GUIDE

Brewed Awakening is a culinary mystery with an appendix of delicious recipes. To receive Cleo’s illustrated guide to the book’s recipe section, sign up for her Free E-Newsletter and she’ll send you a link to the guide when Brewed Awakening is published December 3rd. To subscribe, send a “Sign me up” email to CoffeehouseMystery@gmail.com and be sure to open the auto-reply with links to some of her most popular bonus recipes, which you can enjoy now.

 

The Coffeehouse Mysteries Book Trailer

FREE CHECKLIST OF TITLES (Books in Order):

Get a title checklist, personally written by Cleo, with mini summaries of all 18 of her Coffeehouse Mysteries plus links to Cleo’s bonus web content and her published recipe guides. To download the list as a PDF document, click here.

Checklist of Cleo Coyle Coffeehouse Mystery Books

Cleo Coyle – Alice Alfonsi and Marc Cerasini

About the author

CLEO COYLE is a pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini. Both are New York Times bestselling authors of the Coffeehouse Mysteries, now celebrating more than fifteen years in print. Alice has worked as a journalist in Washington, D.C., and New York City, and has written popular fiction for adults and children. A former magazine editor, Marc has authored espionage thrillers and nonfiction for adults and children. Alice and Marc are also bestselling media tie-in writers who have penned properties for Lucasfilm, NBC, Fox, Disney, Imagine, and MGM. They live in New York City, where they write independently and together, including the nationally bestselling Haunted Bookshop Mysteries, recently relaunched with the first new entry in nearly ten years, The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller, honored as a Best Book of 2018 by Suspense Magazine.

Visit their website at www.coffeehousemystery.com.

You can also friend or follow Cleo on Facebook as well as Twitter and Pinterest

Click on covers for more book information or to order from Amazon.
CLEO COYLE’S
BREWED AWAKENING
PRIZE PACKAGE

Cleo Coyle Brewed Awakening Prize Package

* An autographed copy of Cleo Coyle’s BREWED AWAKENING

* A sturdy, canvas Coffeehouse Mystery tote bag

* A set of Cleo’s Coffeehouse recipe cards

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Advanced Praise for BREWED AWAKENING

“Amid the delightfully twisty mystery, Coyle poses an intriguing question: if you lost all memory of your beloved, would you fall for him all over again?”

Publishers Weekly

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Oct 172019
 

Serf and Turf: A Silicon Valley Mystery
by Marc Jedel

About Serf and Turf


Serf and Turf: A Silicon Valley Mystery
BGM Press (October 9, 2019)
Paperback: 213 pages
ISBN-10: 1732716420
ISBN-13: 978-1732716421
Digital ASIN: B07YF2CN1B

He’s afraid of losing his girlfriend. But maybe he should be more concerned about the dead body she’s crying over?

Marty Golden can barely string a voicemail message together, let alone keep up with his new love. This quirky uncle’s hectic Silicon Valley lifestyle needs a reboot when a youth league soccer game becomes a murder scene. And nothing can stop him from donning his amateur sleuth uniform when he discovers his sweetheart used to have quite a thing for the dead guy …

With a not-so-helpful paw from Buddy the Labrador,  he does his best to sniff out a long list of possible suspects. But between gossipy soccer moms and the costume-clad members of a Renaissance Faire, Marty’s theories fall harder than a jousted knight.

Can Marty solve the case before the trail and his new flame grow cold?

Serf and Turf is the third book in the zany, Silicon Valley cozy mystery series. If you like laugh-out-loud comedy, dorky sleuths, and a festival of old-world fun, then you’ll love Marc Jedel’s humorous murder mystery.

Buy Serf and Turf to sign in to a great mystery today!

Character Interview 

Character Interview with Giovanni Quince, dead guy discovered at the beginning of Serf and Turf.

Interviewer: If you’re dead, then you’re a ghost, right?

Giovanni: No, the author doesn’t believe in ghosts.

Interviewer: So, what are you?

Giovanni: I’m not really sure what I am right now, but since the characters in Serf and Turf spend so much time trying to figure out how I died, I suppose someone thought it would be interesting for me to do this interview.

Interviewer: Are you in Surf and Turf?

Giovanni: Only in spirit. Heh, heh. Get it? “In spirit”—that’s a ghost joke. Seriously, I don’t make any appearances in the book—astral or otherwise. You’d think the author would have been more clever with this book coming out in October and ghosts and witches so popular these days. But no, he’s not very smart.

Interviewer: I see what you think of the author, what about Marty, the guy who spends most of the book figuring out how you died?

Giovanni: Eh, he’s ok.

Interviewer: Only ok? Why would you say that?

Giovanni: I just think Meghan can do better. After she dated me, I don’t understand how she can find him attractive after leaving me?

Interviewer: Did you hear Marty has his own secret codeword with the police?

Giovanni: Sure, but did you hear what it was?

Interviewer: Let’s not get into that and just focus on the book. Do you know who killed you?

Giovanni: Are you nuts? I can’t answer that. It might ruin the whole book for people. You know that’s really a ridiculous question to ask someone in a mystery book. I mean, do you go around telling people how a movie ends?

Interviewer: Ok, ok. No need to get so worked up. I’m starting to understand the rumor I heard about people disliking you. Was that true?

Giovanni: Well, not the ladies …

Interviewer: Yeah, so I guess the answer is Yes.

Interviewer: It seems like you had lots of different adventures in your life. Were you ever a criminal?

Giovanni: I shouldn’t go into too much detail, but there was a time I was hitchhiking through Columbia on my way to the Amazon basin when …

Interviewer [interrupting]: On second thought, that’s enough of that. Why don’t I ask, “What’s your favorite part of the book?”

Giovanni: It was hard to enjoy it too much since it was all about my death. But, I did laugh at the scenes with Buddy the Labrador and also Marty’s niece, Megan. But, talk about characters who can be hard to like, what’s up with that school secretary, Mrs. Quarles?

Interviewer: I find her funny. Well, thanks Giovanni for the time today. Of course, I suppose you have nothing but time now …

Giovanni: Sure, make fun of the dead guy.

My books, Serf and Turf, Chutes and Ladder and Uncle and Ants, are humorous murder mysteries. Silicon Valley is not your typical cozy mystery locale and Marty Golden doesn’t fit the normal profile of a mystery protagonist. Despite finding himself thrust into challenging situations, Marty isn’t exactly hero material. He combines wit, irreverent humor and sarcasm mixed in with nerdy insecurities, absent-mindedness, and fumbling but effective amateur sleuthing skills. With an active inner voice and not a lot of advanced planning, he throws himself into solving problems. Sometimes, he even succeeds.

 

About Marc Jedel 

For most of my life, I’ve been inventing stories. Some, especially when I was young, involved my sister as the villain. As my sister’s brother for her entire life, I’m highly qualified to tell the tale of this evolving, quirky sibling relationship.

My writing skills were honed in years of marketing leadership positions in Silicon Valley. While my high tech marketing roles involved crafting plenty of fiction, we called these marketing collateral, emails and ads.

The publication of my first novel, Uncle and Ants, gave me permission to claim “author” as my job. And achieving Amazon Best Seller status gave me even better adjectives to use in front of “author.” This has led to way more interesting discussions than answering “marketing.”

My family would tell you that Marty’s character isn’t much of a stretch of the imagination for me, but I’m comfortable with that situation.

Like Marty, I live in Silicon Valley and can’t believe that otherwise normal people would willingly jump out of an airplane and call it fun. Unlike Marty, I have a wonderful wife and a neurotic but sweet, small dog, who is often the first to weigh in on the humor in my writing.

Author Links –   Website  FaceBook   LinkedIn   GoodReads   BookBub 

Purchase Link – Amazon

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
October 14 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
October 14 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW
October 15 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
October 15 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
October 16 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT – Reading Is My SuperPower
October 16 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – CHARACTER GUEST POST
October 18 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 19 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 20 – Literary Gold – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
October 21 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
October 21 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
October 22 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
October 22 – I Read What You Write  – CHARACTER GUEST POST
October 23 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
October 24 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW
October 24 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
October 25 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
October 26 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 27 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW, GUEST POST

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Oct 042019
 

Coastal Corpse
(A Cass Peake Cozy Mystery)
by Rena Leith

Character Guest Post

Cass Peake’s Musings on Ghosts and the Supernatural

Who believes in ghosts? I didn’t…until I met one. I thought my ex-college sweetheart George Ho was superstitious for his belief in the supernatural. I mean, who carries green onions around to ward off ghosts? But then I met Doris in the flesh…or lack thereof…you know what I mean! Before I met Doris, if you’d asked me what I thought a ghost would be like, I’d’ve said scary, spooky, evil, and hiding in dark corners waiting to pounce. Doris is about as far from that as chocolate is from kale. Although when she came through the bathroom door… But I don’t know what I would have done without her. I was so lost and angry when Phil and I divorced. All I could think about was being homeless and jobless. Finding a place to live was foremost in my mind. My anger was born of the pressure of my fear. Now I can’t imagine things turning out any other way. Sometimes fear still nibbles around the edges of my life, and I worry about losing all these new friends and the cottage that’s the symbol of my new freedom.

And then there’s George—still gorgeous after all these years. I used to think his belief in ghosts was mere superstition. Now I know better, but I can’t tell him that. He might not want to hang out with me in a haunted house. What was I thinking when I let him go all those years ago? But fate brought us back together again. What are the odds that we’d end up in the same small town? Now I have a second chance. Do I dare take it? I don’t know. Do I want to take it? Without a doubt. Small problem. Suppose he feels the same way. Suppose he wants to move in. I can picture the conversation now. Me: “Uh, George? I’m sorry I didn’t mention it before, but we have a roommate. I hope you don’t mind living with two women…one of whom is dead… George?” Yeah, maybe not. On the upside, Doris likes George.

While I’m thinking about it, it could be my imagination, but this town seems a bit unusual. When I walk along the shore at night, I listen to the susurration of the waves. But there are times when I hear other sounds like tiny whisperings in shadows in the trees. And what about that other black cat I saw in the mist as I climbed the hill? It was a short-haired black cat, slim and sleek, unlike Thor. It seemed to vanish in the mist. I’m telling you, there are strange things going on here. Las Lunas is a far cry from Pleasanton. There was the night I saw all the tiny lights on the hill, but the fireflies in California aren’t the variety that light up. What were the lights? They went out when I started talking about them. Coincidence? I’m telling you, there’s something strange going on here.

About Coastal Corpse


Coastal Corpse (A Cass Peake Cozy Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
The Wild Rose Press, Inc (September 30, 2019)
Print Length: 183 pages
ASIN: B07W3YR7VH

Happily settled in her cozy cottage with its resident ghost, Cass Peake looks forward to Halloween. Then another corpse is found on her beachfront. With the support of family and her ghostly roommate, Cass investigates. To her dismay, she finds the murder victim handled her goofy neighbor’s trust fund and he was in dire need of money. The suspect list grows with a former husband, another needy relative, and a maybe shady accountant who suddenly disappears. To top it all off, rumors circulate about treasure hidden in Cass’s cottage.

Detective George Ho doesn’t like his ex-girlfriend snooping around. Despite that, sparks still fly between him and Cass. But superstitious George has no idea Cass’s home is haunted. Can Cass solve the mystery and renew the romance with her ghost-adverse ex?

About Rena Leith

I currently live in Cape May County in New Jersey after spending years in the San Francisco Bay Area with my Maine Coon cats Sierra and Ginger. I attended Clarion Writers Workshop for Science Fiction and Fantasy at Michigan State University and sold a story I wrote there to Damon Knight for The Clarion Awards anthology. I wrote technical manuals in Silicon Valley and also published several poems and science articles as well as a couple of chapters in Research & Professional Resources in Children’s Literature: “Piecing a Patchwork Quilt.” I’ve also taught English in high school and community colleges.

Author Links 

Website Twitter Instagram – Facebook Good Reads  Linked In 

Purchase Link – Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
October 1 – Laura’s Interests – GUEST POST
October 1 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
October 2 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
October 2 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
October 3 – Mysteries with Character  GUEST POST
October 3 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
October 4 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – CHARACTER GUEST POST 
October 5 – Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST – Sapphyria’s Books   
October 6 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 6 – Nadaness In Motion – CHARACTER GUEST POST
October 7 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 7 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
October 8 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
October 8 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW
October 9 – Kelley’s Konundrum – REVIEW
October 9 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
October 10 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 10 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
October 10 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW

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Oct 032019
 

Two Bites Too Many
(A Sarah Blair Mystery)
by Debra H. Goldstein

I am so excited to welcome Debra Goldstein to Escape With Dollycas today!

My Favorite Shirt Has a Tear
by Debra H. Goldstein

 

My favorite shirt has a tear.

The minute the dryer buzzed, I stopped what I was doing and went to retrieve my shirt, so it wouldn’t wrinkle. I pulled it out, shook it, hung it, and saw the pinprick sized hole at the edge of the pocket. Perhaps it was a spot? No, a hole going all the way through the fabric at a location that makes patching or simply wearing it again in public impossible.

What will I do?

I wear that shirt when I don’t feel up to par, when I think the weather is going to be cold, when I write and things aren’t working, or when it is one of those days. It is my comfort shirt. Oversized, blue-green and white plaid, with sleeves that stay rolled up because it has little buttons and tabs to keep them in place, it would never be mistaken as high fashion. My shirt serves only two purposes:  it keeps me covered and makes me feel secure.

My writing is like my shirt. I write comfort books and short stories. Hopefully, readers feel embraced by the wealth of my words and for a moment forget whatever troubles them in the real world. Whether my tale is dark or light, the goal is for the plot, setting, and characters to wrap the reader in a manner that shuts out any other thoughts.

In One Taste Too Many and Two Bites Too Many, the first books in my new Sarah Blair cozy mystery series from Kensington, I address one of my biggest fears – being in the kitchen. As Sarah struggles to avoid making anything from scratch, I express her fears and actions in a fun way that readers can either identify with or laugh at. Whether a reader goes the extra step of making one of the recipes, like Jell-O in a Can, or is engaged by the charms of RahRah, Sarah’s Siamese cat, there should be a momentary sense of enjoyment. The language I use may not be highfaluting, but it always is understandable. Consequently, like my shirt, the purpose of this series is to provide comfort to readers.

Time changes everything. Hopefully, each of my written works has improved. It is an inevitable evolution, comparable to life. Tomorrow, I’ll mourn the loss of my shirt, but I’ll buy another. It will be different, but I bet in the long run it will be just as comfortable. My series won’t be the same as other ones you’ve tried and liked, but I’m hoping you discover, as I will with my new shirt, that different can entertain you and cover you with the security of joy.

Have you ever found giving up something old has led you to something you liked even better?

 

Thank you, Debra, for visiting today!

Okay folks, keep reading for my thoughts about Two Bites Too Many. 

About Two Bites Too Many


Two Bites Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Alabama
Kensington (September 24, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1496719484
ISBN-13: 978-1496719485
Digital ASIN: B07MB4779P

Far from a domestic goddess, Sarah Blair would rather catch bad guys than slave over a hot stove. But when a dangerous murder boils over in Wheaton, Alabama, catching the killer means leaving her comfort zone . . .

Things are finally looking up for Sarah Blair following her unsavory divorce. Settled into a cozy carriage house with her sassy Siamese cat, RahRah, she has somehow managed to hang on to her modest law firm receptionist job and—if befriending flea-bitten strays at the local animal shelter counts—lead a thriving social life. For once, Sarah almost has it together more than her enterprising twin, Emily, a professional chef whose efforts to open a gourmet restaurant have hit a real dead end.

When the president of the town bank and city council is murdered after icing Emily’s business plans, all eyes are on the one person who left the scene with blood on her hands—the twins sharp-tongued mother, Maybelle. Determined to get her mom off the hook ASAP, Sarah must collect the ingredients of a deadly crime to bring the true culprit to justice. But as neighbors turn against her family, can she pare down the suspects before another victim lands on the chopping block?

Includes quick and easy recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sarah Blair doesn’t have to work but she enjoys her job at the law firm and is happy living in the carriage house with her cat RahRah. Her sister Emily along with Marcus have big plans for not just one restaurant but two! The one lost to a fire and one in the “big house” that Sarah inherited. When the bank turns down their loan request her the girl’s mother Maybelle drags Sarah to the bank to hash it out with the president of the bank. Apparently Sarah’s healthy bank account will remind the man who is dealing with.  Promising he’ll look over the paperwork, Sarah heads to a meeting but Maybelle has other plans. She waits a short time and then returns to the president’s office where instead of getting the answer she wanted she finds the man dead. She then finds herself the police’s prime suspect.

Sarah is surprised by how quickly people believe her mother is a murderer. Emily has her hands full working at a local hotel until she can get her restaurants open. Sarah is busy with a fundraiser too but knows she needs to help lawyer Harlan do everything she can to keep Maybelle out of jail.

___________

There is a lot happening in Wheaton, Alabama and Sarah Blair seems to be caught up in all of it. She can do many things now that she has received her inheritance but for right now she is content working for Harlan, helping her sister and staying involved with things around town, like the fundraiser. She and Emily are best friends, the yin to the other’s yang. Maybelle knows just how to push their buttons, but we see a different side of her this time. Emily is very driven and Sarah is still finding her way. The core characters are evolving at a realistic pace.  We learn more about Sarah’s neighbor George this time and because of that, we meet some new characters. Employees of the bank are also introduced. The author does an excellent job giving us characters to root for and those that could be villains/suspects. RahRah again stole my heart.

I did enjoy the way Ms. Goldstein sets the scene. The bank, the hotel, the carriage house and everything in between were all described so well. I could easily envision each place.

The mystery was murky for me but I latched onto the killer pretty early on. I just didn’t know the details of their motive until it was all laid out for me. There were several red herrings though that could have diverted my thinking but I held strong. Mini mysteries that eventually tied together to the murder were very interesting and pressed me to realize I was on the right track. The ending was pretty exciting.

Debra H. Goldstein has again given readers a fun and entertaining mystery filled with characters I wish I could know in person. Comfortable cozies, both books in this series so far have been Perfect Escapes. Once I started reading they were virtually impossible to put down.  Two Bites Too Many has whet my appetite for book #3. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of One Taste Too Many here.

About Debra H. Goldstein 

Judge Debra H. Goldstein is the author of Two Bites Too Many, as well as One Taste Too Many, the first of Kensington’s new Sarah Blair cozy mystery series. She also wrote Should Have Played Poker and IPPY Award-winning Maze in Blue. Her short stories, including Anthony and Agatha nominated “The Night They Burned Ms. Dixie’s Place,” have appeared in numerous periodicals and anthologies including Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Black Cat Mystery Magazine, and Mystery Weekly. Debra serves on the national boards of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America and is president of the Southeast Chapter of MWA and past president of SinC’s Guppy Chapter.

Author Links

Website    Blog    Facebook    Linked In

Twitter @DebraHGoldstein    GoodReads

Purchase Links

Amazon  B&N  Kobo  Google Play 

Praise for Two Bites Too Many
(A Sarah Blair Mystery)
by Debra H. Goldstein

This was a good cozy mystery with all the things I enjoy about this genre: small town, great atmosphere, good food, animals, multi-age characters, a bit of romance, an interesting crime, and a great sleuth.
~Carla Loves To Read

Two Bites Too Many allows its readers to fall into a completely different, tightly-bound family for a few hours. And who doesn’t want to do that? Highly recommended for cozy fans.
~Diane Reviews Books

I have enjoyed this cozy series that is set in a small town and around the catering/restaurant that Sarah’s twin sister owns and operates.
~My Reading Journeys

What an adorable cozy this is! . . . Full of characters you can both hate and love mixed with surprises and good times. Makes for a great read that you won’t want to put down.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews


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.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End October 7, 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

 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops! 

September 23 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
September 24 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT – Reading Is My SuperPower
September 24 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
September 25 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
September 25 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
September 26 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
September 26 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 27 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
September 27 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
September 28 – Laura’s Interests – CHARACTER GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
September 29 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 30 – My Journey Back-The Journey Back – CHARACTER GUEST POST
October 1 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 1 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 2 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW, RECIPE
October 2 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
October 3 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
October 3 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY  
October 4 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
October 5 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
October 6 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

 

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

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Sep 212019
 

Murder: Double or Nothing:
A Southern California Mystery
by Lida Sideris

I am very excited to have Lida Sideris visit Escape With Dollycas today!

Welcome, Lida!

When Writing Turns Clunky
by Lida Sideris

Sometimes, especially when beginning a story, my fingers weigh about forty pounds. Each. Sweat trickles down my forehead and I’m suddenly famished, even though I just downed a big breakfast ten minutes ago. The thoughts that pour through my head don’t help:

“This is terrible.”
“Where are you going with this?” – I get this one even after planning the plot beforehand.
“Can’t you do any better?”

“Will anyone want to read this?”

And my writing feels terrible. My words are dull, plain, lacking pizazz. I get up from my seat behind the computer and, there are times, I don’t come back. But I’ve come to realize the way I feel when I don’t return makes me feel worse than writing clunky. So I plod on, heavy fingered and creativity-free. Why did I ever become a writer in the first place? That’s the pivotal question. The one that can change things for the better.

I remind myself that I write because I love the feeling of completing a story, bringing characters to life and, hopefully, entertaining readers. I love the sense of adventure I feel when my head’s inside a fictional world. Anything can happen. My characters have the power to overcome or get sucked into terrifying situations if they make the right…or wrong decisions.

That’s when I start to ask myself different sorts of questions. Better ones. Would my heroine say, “Let’s go”? And walk away? Or would she say, “Chop, chop” and clap her hands to show she means business before marching up the staircase? Forcing myself to continue jumpstarts the snoozing creative buttons inside of me into operation. Not always as quickly as I’d like, but it does happen.

How else to overcome the clunkiness? By pressing onward and pushing negative thoughts away. Far away. If we don’t move forward…oh, I can’t even contemplate that possibility. So I continue and switch direction. I consider what the heroine is wearing, smelling, feeling. What does she see on her right? Does her head hurt? Are her shoes too tight? I distract myself this way from the negative thoughts, and then return my fingers to the keyboard. As I continue typing, I notice the fat dripping away. It’s like my own personal finger treadmill.

To get the juices flowing, we have to keep on. When I persist, I find I’m soon typing a little faster. My characters speak a little louder. Words come easier. And…progress happens. Isn’t that what we all want?

Thank you!
Lida Sideris
Thank you, Lida, for visiting today!

About Murder Double or Nothing

Murder: Double or Nothing: A Southern California Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Level Best Books (July 22, 2019)
Print Length: 285 pages
Digital ASIN: B07VMB2DSN

Corrie Locke, newbie lawyer and daughter of a late, great PI, is learning the ropes at the Hollywood movie studio where she works—and where things are never what they seem. Life imitates art when a fictional murder attempt turns real—right before her very eyes. With more than a little help from friends and a crazy movie legend, Corrie trips down a trail littered with wisecracks, mysterious messages, and marginally legal maneuvers to track down the killer. Meanwhile, clues keep disappearing and Corrie makes an enemy whose deadly tactics keep escalating. Will her impromptu sleuthing skills be enough to catch the mysterious assailant before he takes her down?

Praise for Murder: Double or Nothing:
A Southern California Mystery
by Lida Sideris

Murder Double or Nothing is a clever, twisty, and entertaining read that keeps your attention till the end.
~Diary of a Book Fiend

Murder Double or Nothing by Lida Sideris is fast-paced, funny, full of family and friends who just want to help Corrie find the killer before she gets herself in too deep.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

About the Author

Lida Sideris is an author, lawyer, and all-around book enthusiast. She writes soft-boiled mysteries and was a recipient of the Helen McCloy Mystery Writers of America scholarship award. Murder: Double or Nothing is #3 in her Southern California Mystery series, published by Level Best Books. Lida is also the author of The Cookie Eating Fire Dog, a picture book for ages 4-8. She lives in the northern tip of SoCal with her family, rescue dogs and a flock of uppity chickens.  To learn more, please visit: www.LidaSideris.com

Author Links

WEBSITE:  BLOG:     FACEBOOK: TWITTER: @lidasideris  GoodReads:

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Sep 182019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am thrilled to welcome Vivian Conroy to Escape With Dollycas! 

Hi Vivian! 

Escape to Tundish, Montana: The Town with a Heart of Gold!

So nice to be on Escape with Dollycas to tell a bit about my brand-new mystery, Last Pen Standing, first in the Stationery Shop Mysteries.

Don’t you just love to explore a new place and discover its historic buildings, great food, and friendly locals? Let me take you to Tundish, my very own wild west town! If there was a leaflet promoting it, it would say something much like this:

In the Bitterroot Valley, home to crystal clear lakes and snowcapped mountains, there’s a little town with a heart of gold, called Tundish.

Famous for its gold-mining history, today it caters to tourists coming to explore the historic buildings and the great outdoors, especially during the leaf-peeping season when the trees turn a stunning golden, orange and red. If you’re dropping by to snap a few shots of the fall glory, don’t miss these four highlights:

1) The former sheriff’s office on Mattock Street, containing many original elements such as old cells, the sheriff’s desk, and hitching posts! Now a stationery shop, aptly called WANTED, it provides wrapping paper, notebooks, calligraphy sets and washi tape for all your crafting needs. You can also take a workshop to develop your hand lettering or paper crafting skills.

2) The restaurant Mine Forever, where everything refers back to Tundish’s history: from the mining equipment on top of the building to the gold-lump shaped doorknob. Their coffee has won lots of prizes and the waitresses are always there for a friendly chat.

3) The Lodge Hotel, located on the edge of a beautiful lake. You can go boating, horse riding, mountain biking, or bird watching with experienced guides. They offer regular live entertainment on weekends and a high tea on Sunday afternoons. Special tip: the annual gold miners’ party in the Golden Age style is famous in the region.

4) The gold mining museum where volunteers dressed up in authentic 19th-century clothing tell-all about the pull of that sparkly metal, cheating with claims and family life on the goldfields. Bring home a cute souvenir in the shape of a tiny mining cart filled with nuggets of what looks a lot like the real thing.

Eager for more detail on these lovely places? Come along with Delta Douglas, her friends from the Paper Posse and retired K9 officer Spud as they navigate new beginnings, smalltown gossip, and murder in Last Pen Standing, the start to an exciting crafting-themed series set against a charming western backdrop.

Thank you, Vivian, for stopping by today and introducing us to Tundish.

Keep reading for my thoughts about Last Pen Standing. 

 

Last Pen Standing (Stationery Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Montana
Poisoned Pen Press (September 24, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1492684031
ISBN-13: 978-1492684039
Kindle ASIN: B07PX3QYC9

Will this paper trail run cold?

As the new co-owner of Tundish Montana’s stationery shop WANTED, Delta Douglas knows how to organize a killer crafting event. Creativity and cardstock are all she needs to move one step closer to her ultimate dream: developing her own line of crafting products. But on the night of the workshop, at the swanky hotel venue, glitter isn’t the only thing found sprawled on the floor. A hotel guest is discovered dead in the bar, and amid the confusion, Delta’s best friend is suspected of the crime.

Enlisting the help of her Paper Posse and Spud, her canine sidekick, Delta dives into the investigation. But with many high-powered suspects on the line, Delta soon realizes her sleuthing may come with deadly consequences.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Delta Douglas has come to Tundish, Montana to follow her dreams. Her grandmother has gifted her inheritance early so she can go into business with her best friend Hazel as co-owner of a stationary store set up in an old sheriff’s office, complete with jail cells. Hazel has fittingly named the store WANTED. Delta’s plans include developing her own line of crafting supplies and products.

Delta arrives in town just in time to help Hazel host a workshop at The Lodge Hotel. The hotel is a busy place with a huge party in the ballroom while the WANTED workshop takes place in a large conference room. The hotel manager is adamant the two groups remain separate clearly favoring the well to do guests attending the party. One of the exclusive guests apparently didn’t get the memo because she wanders into the workshop clearly taken with the crafts especially some very special notebooks. She asks that they are set aside for her until she can return to pay for them.

The workshop ends without the woman returning so Delta and Hazel decide to leave the notebooks at the front desk. Before they can leave the building they learn someone has been murdered. Hazel and Delta find themselves wrapped up in the chaos and the crush of people as the police arrive. The police pay special attention to Hazel and her brother Finn, who is employed by the hotel and involved with the owner’s daughter. In fact, the siblings are quickly loaded into police cars and taken in for questioning.

Not sure what has really happened Delta enlists the help of the ladies from the workshop, also known as the Paper Posse. They are familiar with the town and its residents but she can get away with being the new girl in town to ask some pointed questions too. She knows she is on the right track when she receives her first threat.

___

Welcome to Tundish, Montana. The author introduces readers to a vast number of characters keeping each one unique and memorable. Delta Douglas in a talented artist ready to make her break into the world. She and Hazel were college roommates then quickly became best friends. Hazel was not fully truthful with Delta on a very important topic and that gave me pause. We also meet Jonas Nord, a retired Detective, and his dog Spud also retired from law enforcement. He seems to have a good head on his shoulders, the opposite of the police chief who just wants to arrest someone. There is a large number of supporting characters, mostly the owners, staff, and guests at the hotel. People with secrets make fabulous suspects.

I really didn’t have a favorite character in this story, they are just too new. But I am looking forward to the next book to get to know them better. I especially want to get to know that Paper Posse better, they seem to be a very interesting group.

I love where this story takes place. A wild-west town that tourists love to visit. I am not sure yet if I have a complete picture of the stationery store in my head yet. Hazel has tried to keep the sheriff’s office intact as much as possible while displaying some artifacts to show the town’s history while also displaying all the goods for sale in a way to draw her customer in and entice them to make a purchase. The hotel was easy for me to envision and I would love to visit the gold mining museum.

The mystery had its share of twists and turns to keep those pages turning. The flow dipped a few times though and some of the characters actions were a little out there, but the author pasted everything together for a satisfactory ending.

The first book in a series is always a heavy lift because readers need to meet the characters and learn their place, get to know the setting, and still demand a mystery we can tear apart and wrap back together all within a set number of pages. In my opinion, the author does a great job of that in this debut novel of this series.

Last Pen Standing gives this series a strong start. I am excited to see what Ms. Convoy comes up with next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The Stationery Shop Mysteries are the latest addition to Vivian Conroy’s expanding mystery range. She also writes the contemporary Country Gift Shop Mysteries and the historical Murder Will Follow Mysteries, paying tribute to her favorite mystery author Agatha Christie. Away from the keyboard, Vivian loves to hike, craft, and hang out on Twitter where readers can connect with her via @VivWrites.


Also by this Author





Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
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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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Sep 042019
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am delighted to welcome Kathleen Ernst back to Escape with Dollycas!

Reaching a Milestone

By Kathleen Ernst

 

As Chloe Ellefson walked from 1982 into 1870s Wisconsin, a white frame church emerged from the trees, prettily framed against a cloud-studded blue sky. The view alone was enough to make most visitors pause, appreciate the simple elegance of the restored church, perhaps even wonder about the lives of those women and men and children who had first worshiped within its walls. For Chloe, the historic site’s newest employee, the scene represented a fresh start.

I wrote those words seventeen years ago, hoping they might one day become the beginning of an adult mystery novel.

At the time I was busy writing historical fiction for young readers and working as a project director and scriptwriter for instructional videos broadcast on Wisconsin Public Television. I had little spare time.

Still, writing a series about an outdoor museum curator was something I truly wanted to do. I had once worked for a large historic site myself, and I missed that world. Writing “on spec,” with no promise of publication, I began work on the first Chloe Ellefson mystery, Old World Murder.

Because I had to fit writing Chloe’s story around contract work, it took me seven years to finish that first book. The delays actually served me well, I think, for they gave me lots of time to think about not only the first mystery, but my goals for the series.

Old World Murder was published by Midnight Ink in 2010. Astonishingly, I’m now celebrating publication of the 10th book in the series, Fiddling With Fate.

My goals for the series haven’t changed. First, I strive to give readers a satisfying armchair adventure and complex characters to root for. In addition, I want to feature real historic sites and museums in Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest. I want to celebrate this region’s diverse ethnic heritage by focusing on different groups. And I want to spotlight the stories that artifacts and old buildings can tell.

I’m writing about stories and places I feel passionately about, and I hope it shows. I love hearing that the mysteries have inspired readers to visit a museum, try a traditional craft, or delve deeper into their own family history.

The very best part of writing ten Chloe Ellefson mysteries? Making so many friends along the way—sites staff and volunteers, folk artists, reenactors, bloggers, and other authors, and most especially the many readers who care about Chloe (and her fiancé, Roelke McKenna) as much as I do.

To celebrate this milestone, Chloe and Roelke travel a bit farther afield in Fiddling With Fate. Chloe accepts a grant that sends them to Norway to research folk dance and fiddle music. While there, she hopes to unravel the mystery of her own ancestry. Of course, all does not go smoothly! Nonetheless, Chloe and Roelke manage to celebrate a milestone of their own.

Heartfelt thanks to Dollycas for her years of support, and to the wonderful readers who have made it possible for me to hold the 10th Chloe Ellefson Mystery in my hand. Happy reading!

Thank you, Kathleen, for visiting and writing such wonderful stories!

Keep reading for my thoughts on Fiddling with Fate.


Fiddling with Fate (A Chloe Ellefson Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
10th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin/Norway
Midnight Ink (September 8, 2019)
Paperback: 360 pages
ISBN-10: 0738760900
ISBN-13: 978-0738760902
Kindle ASIN: B07KN76WMH

Chloe has a devil of a time unraveling the mysteries of Norway’s fiddle and dance traditions

After her mother’s unexpected death, curator Chloe Ellefson discovers hidden antiques that hint at family secrets. Determined to find answers, Chloe accepts a consultant job in Norway, her ancestors’ homeland. She’s thrilled with the opportunity to explore Hardanger fiddle and dance traditions . . . and her own heritage.

Once their plane lands, however, Chloe and her fiancé, cop Roelke McKenna, encounter only disharmony. Chloe’s research reveals strong women and the importance of fiddle music in their lives. But folklore warns against “the devil’s instrument” and old evils may yet linger among the fjords and mountains. As Chloe fine-tunes her search for the truth, a killer’s desire to stop her builds to a deadly crescendo.

 Dollycas’s Thoughts

Chloe was dealing with some information she found out about her mother when her mother unexpectedly passed away. While going through her mother’s belongings she finds some unique heirlooms hidden away. These objects raise more questions than providing answers. Her mother was getting ready to travel to Norway to study Hardanger fiddle and dance traditions. With her death, Chloe is given the opportunity to take her place and her fiancé Roelke McKenna agrees to go along.

Their trip gets off to a rocky start when someone tries to steal the backpack Chloe is carrying at the airport soon after they landed. Able to hang on to her belongs, they try to concentrate on Chloe’s research with the added opportunity to research her mother’s background. The fiddle has a rich heritage, both good and bad and Chloe is anxious to learn all she can. But when a young woman is murdered Chloe enlists Roelke police instincts to help her solve all the mysteries. When they realize Chloe is the killer’s target things get really intense.

___

What I have loved about every book in this series is the way Kathleen Ernst melds her character’s lives with an extraordinary mystery while tying in a historic story too. This time she takes us to Norway to learn about immigrants that had migrated to Wisconsin in the 1920s. She takes her readers along with lead character Chloe on an adventure to learn about Norwegian history and the many facets like music and fiddling played in that history. The author’s research shines but it is all fictionalized in a way that is a pure joy to read.

Her words also permit readers to visualize clearly every place her characters travel. The outside museum, the trails, the hotel, the waterfalls, and to a spectacular place where Chloe learns so much. All the people they meet too are richly described and developed.

Chloe’s life takes place in the 1980s, no cell phones, no GPS, no Wikipedia, no internet, but she does have what I call “spidey sense”, certain places and things affect her physically. She learns much through her travels and experiences. I found myself fully immersed in this story wanting the learn right along with her. Both the present time and historic period had its own suspenseful mystery and some terrifying moments building to an unexpected ending.

Ms. Ernst is an amazing storyteller. Her imagination weaves a story filled with real history to take her readers on a delightful literary trip. The main characters are genuine, real and very engaging. It seems each book in this series becomes my new favorite because the author continues to top herself.

Fiddling with Fate takes two characters I care about on quite a journey. I loved every minute of it! Look for this book on my Best Reads List of 2019.

Each story is written to stand on its own but for maximum enjoyment, you should read them all.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Kathleen Ernst is a social historian, educator, and author. Her Chloe Ellefson mysteries reflect the decade she spent as a curator at a large outdoor museum, and feature historic sites in the Upper Midwest. Library Journal says, “Ernst keeps getting better with each entry in this fascinating series.” Kathleen has also written many mysteries for young readers. Honors for her work include a LOVEY Award and Agatha and Edgar nominations. Kathleen lives and writes in Wisconsin.

 Author Links – Website    Blog       Facebook

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.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

Sign up for Kathleen’s Mailing List for 5 Bonus Entries.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End September 18, 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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Remembering the Dead: A Penny Brannigan Mystery by Elizabeth J. DuncanGet Your Copy Today!
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