Sep 142019
 

A Tangle in the Vines
(A Calla Lily Mystery)
by Anna Celeste Burke

 

I am excited to welcome Anna Celeste Burke to Escape with Dollycas today!

Hi Anna Celeste, 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a retired professor who lives in the California desert near Palm Springs. That’s where you’ll find me most days, Snooping into life’s mysteries with fun, fiction, & food—California style!

I took the long way around to writing fiction. I worked in the field of behavioral health treatment and research for thirty years. I wrote and published many nerdy academic titles during that period of my life. When they say publish or perish in university settings, they mean it!

The subject matter about how to improve outcomes for people with alcohol, drug, and mental health problems was interesting and meaningful to me. The structure and style used for writing and reporting what I’d learned from the research was excruciatingly stilted and confining.

In the oh so serious world of social and behavioral science, making stuff up is strictly taboo. Writing fiction began as a fun, creative, and liberating activity. When I retired, I was finally free to make stuff up all the time!

When I’m not writing, I enjoy hiking, reading, exploring old haunts and new locales in California, and hanging out with my husband and Siamese cat, Coco.

What are three things most people dont know about you?

*Before I became a professor, I worked as a chef at Walt Disney World after completing their WDW University Chef Training. I have a real “Micky Mouse” diploma!

*I’m also trained as a psychotherapist and worked as a clinician for about five years. I continued to have a role in supervising students in practice settings for the entire time I was a professor. It was a great way to bridge the gap between the classroom and the real world.

*I’m a strong believer in the value of second chances.

What is the first book you remember reading?

I was four years old and read The Little Golden Books over and over. The Little Red Hen was a favorite. I loved fairytales, too.

What are you reading now?

A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman. I also have a recently released David Baldacci book that I hope to find the time to read soon. There are still a couple of Sara Paretsky’s more recent books that I haven’t read—so many books, so little time!

What books have most inspired you?

There are so many! I loved the classics written by women like Louisa May Alcott, Emily and Charlotte Bronte, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Jane Austen. I didn’t know about their struggles, but they made it seem natural for women to write and to be taken seriously. I read scads of biographies that inspired me, too, including those about women pioneers in science like Marie Curie.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

Like so many other girls, I got hooked on mysteries by reading Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, and The Hardy Boys books. As I got older, I moved on to Agatha Christie, Edgar Allen Poe, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories featuring his Sherlock Holmes character. Unique, idiosyncratic, even flawed characters were especially interesting to me. I was captivated by Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Mrs. Pollifax, Jim Qwilleran, VI Warshawski, and so many other well-known sleuths.

When I decided to write fiction, mysteries seemed a natural extension of my fascination with understanding people, their motives, and choice of methods for solving their problems. There’s a lot of detective work in doing research and in working with clients struggling with alcohol, drug, and mental health problems. Sometimes those problems get them into legal trouble, so I had contact with the criminal justice system during my career. In fact, one of the first research projects I worked on was conducted in a women’s prison. Even in prison, the questions about whounit and why don’t always end.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

Yes. I have a big chair—a chair and a half. Coco, my Siamese cat, sometimes sits on the back of it while I write. The chair sits in front of a large window in the great room with a view of sunny blue skies, glittering palm trees, and magenta bougainvillea. The Santa Rosa Mountains are visible in the distance, too.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

It depends. Radical Regatta, my latest book in the Corsario Cove series, draws on a real-life incident—a dog found alone, swimming in the ocean. In that case, the dog had fallen off a cargo carrier and was rescued by workers on an oil rig. The situation seemed to have the makings of a great mystery. It also seemed a perfect way to start a new story for my twenty-something snoops, Kim and Brien, who love each other, surfing, and sleuthing.

The entire Georgie Shaw Cozy Mystery series is inspired by the time I spent “working for the mouse” at the “Mouse Factory.” Some of the circumstances and incidents in the stories are loosely based on those I experienced during the five years I worked for Disney.

When I went to “casting” and joined the Disney family, Walt Disney was no longer alive. I often heard him referred to fondly as a creative genius who also had more than his share of flaws. That description applies as well to “Mad” Max Marley, founder of Marvelous Marley World—a Disneyesque entertainment empire based on the success of a cartoon cat.

In a way, the Georgie Shaw series is an exercise in what ifs. Georgie Shaw, trained as a chef, spends her entire career working for the “Cat,” and eventually moves into upper management at Marvelous Marley World. What if I’d stayed at Disney? How interesting might the “path not taken” have been—with a big dose of murder and mayhem tossed in, of course?

Most often the idea for the next book in a series comes from some incident or character in the previous book. I enjoy writing mysteries with “ensemble” casts and a new mystery in the series creates the opportunity to feature a particular “cast member.” For example, in A Dead Nephew, book 6 in the Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery series to be released later this year, Betsy Stark, a peripheral member of Jessica’s “Cat Pack” will play a larger role. Her Cahuillan ancestry is important in the next mystery where the murder victim and the young man convicted of killing him are both members of a wealthy local tribe here in the Coachella Valley.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Keeping up with all the tasks involved in publishing and marketing my books is very challenging.

What do you think makes a good story?

Apart from introducing readers to interesting characters who change and grow over the course of a series, I want readers to feel as if they’re part of the action, and I like to keep them guessing until the very end. It’s also important to me for each new mystery I write to be fresh and unique.

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

I’ve mentioned that some aspects of Georgie Shaw’s life are like mine. That’s true for most of my lead characters. My twenty-something sleuths, Kim Reed and Brien Williams, are an homage to the young, impulsive couple my husband and I were at their age. My husband and I ran off and married in Tijuana. I was underaged at the time, so I got as far as LA before the police picked me up as a runaway. Still married forty-nine years later, we’ve matured some although I’m still waiting for the “wisdom” that comes with aging to kick in. LOL! The high-school dropout, rock and roll guitar player I married, grew up, and became a professor too. That’s part of why I love second chances and believe in writing about characters who grow and change over time. A long “character arc” is one of the luxuries of writing a series.

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

They all feature romance and humor, which isn’t always the case with books in the cozy mystery genre. Two of the series I write include a bit more suspense than many cozies—The Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery Series and the Call Lily Mystery series. These two series are closer on the continuum to “edgy” cozy mysteries but are less edgy than the Agatha Raisin or Stephanie Plum series.

The other three—Corsario Cove, Georgie Shaw, and Seaview Cottages are much more traditional cozy mysteries. Like most culinary cozies, my characters eat well. That probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise given my job as a chef. I have series that feature both cats and dogs, but most recently, I’ve added a more unusual pet to one of the series.

Another difference in my series might also be that in the Corsario Cove and Georgie Shaw series, married couples solve the mysteries together. I don’t think that happens often, but I find the Thin Man series by Dashiell Hammett so enjoyable I’ve watched the old films starring Myrna Loy, Ronald Coleman, and their dog, Asta, over and over.

Until recently, I didn’t realize it, but all my female leads are “survivors” of one kind or another. That wasn’t a conscious decision on my part, but it isn’t too surprising. There’s more to the story, but I’ll leave that for another time.

Whats next on the horizon for you?

I have two more books planned in the Calla Lily Mystery series for early next year: Falls Killer Vintage, mystery #3, and The Vintners Other Daughter, #4. I have a new book planned for each of the other series, too. A Dead Nephew, Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery #6 will be out in early November.  A Fairway to Arms in Hemingway Hills, Seaview Cottages Cozy Mystery #4 or A Canary in the Canal, Georgie Shaw Cozy Mystery #8 will be available by the end of the year—I’m not sure which one yet. I’d be delighted if I could finish both by then.

Radical Regatta, Corsario Cove Cozy Mystery #4 is only available in our USA Today Bestselling box set, Summer Snoops Unleashed: 14 Furr-ocious Mysteries & Cozy Crimes. That is a limited-edition box set and will be unpublished at the end of October. At that point, I’ll make Radical Regatta available as a standalone book. I have a fifth book in the works for the Corsario Cove series, Bogus Bones, in which two newly introduced rascals in book 4 will be back to cause more mischief.

About A Tangle In The Vines


A Tangle in the Vines (A Calla Lily Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Independently Published (September 10, 2019)
Number of Pages 250 pages with recipes
ASIN: B07T62B16Q

The curtain may fall on the Calla Lily Players’ first season unless Lily and Austin can find a killer on the loose in California’s wine country. Torrential rains threaten to put a damper on The Calla Lily Players’ first outdoor theater production. When the ground suddenly shifts, buried secrets revealed amid the tangled vines put the spotlight on murder. As Lily and Austin dig deeper into the mystery, the drama unfolds onstage and off. The race is on to find a killer before opening night.

Grab your copy of the second book in the Calla Lily Mystery series by USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, Anna Celeste Burke and join the race! Recipes Included. Free to read in Kindle Unlimited.

Praise for A Tangle in the Vines
(A Calla Lily Mystery)
by Anna Celeste Burke

Well developed characters each playing a part makes it even more fun. Makes for a great cozy read making it perfect for fans of the genre. Wine lovers should appreciate it as well since it is set in the middle of wine country.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

 

About Anna Celeste Burke

An award-winning, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, I hope you’ll join me snooping into life’s mysteries with fun, fiction, and food—California style!

Life is an extravaganza! Figuring out how to hang tough and make the most of the wild ride is the challenge. On my way to Oahu, to join the rock musician and high school drop-out I had married in Tijuana, I was nabbed as a runaway. Eventually, the police let me go, but the rock band broke up.

Retired now, I’m still married to the same sweet guy and live with him near Palm Springs, California. I write the Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery series set here in the Coachella Valley, the Corsario Cove Cozy Mystery Series set along California’s Central Coast, The Georgie Shaw Mystery series set in the OC, The Seaview Cottages Cozy Mystery Series set on the so-called American Riviera, just north of Santa Barbara, and The Calla Lily Mystery series where the murder and mayhem take place in California’s Wine Country. Won’t you join me? Sign up at: http://desertcitiesmystery.com.

Author Links –  Website  –  Facebook Author Page  –   Goodreads  – Bookbub

Purchase Link – Amazon 

The First Book in this Series

Also by Anna Celeste Burke





Click on covers for more book information or to order from Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
September 10 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
September 10 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
September 11 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
September 11 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY
September 12 – Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST – Sapphyria’s Books
September 12 – ❧Defining Ways❧ – SPOTLIGHT
September 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 13 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
September 13 – Laura’s Interests – CHARACTER GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
September 13 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT
September 14 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY
September 14 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY
September 14 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY
September 15 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
September 15 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
September 15 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
September 16 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
September 16 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
September 16 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Share
Aug 242019
 

Death by Design: A DIY Diva Mystery
by Paula Darnell

I am so happy to welcome Paula to Escape With Dollycas today! 

Hi Paula, 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a former college instructor, and I also worked for seven years as a contract fashion writer for About.com. Now that I’m retired, I’m still busy writing, but I’m concentrating on fiction, rather than non-fiction.

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

  1. I was a manager for several years at a large newspaper chain, but I wasn’t a writer there; I worked in the advertising department.
  2. I like to binge watch old TV series.
  3. I would love to live in St. Mary Mead, next door to Miss Marple.

What is the first book you remember reading?

Little Golden books were the first books read to me. My parents always read to me when I was a young child. I still have a box of these old children’s books in my garage. I read the same books to my daughters when they were pre-schoolers.

What are you reading now?

I just finished reading Died in the Wool, A Knit and Nibble Mystery, by Peggy Erhart, and I’m currently reading a couple of non-fiction books about millinery.

What books have most inspired you?

All the cozy mystery books I’ve read have helped me in one way or another. I think Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple stories have probably inspired me the most.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

I’m a cozy mystery reader, and I also watch a lot of TV shows and movies in the mystery genre. I like cozies, rather than the hard-boiled detective novels or those with a lot of forensic details because I like the puzzle-solving aspect and dislike graphic violence and gore.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

I write at my PC. It seems like the most convenient way, especially since it’s easy to quickly fact check or do a bit of research online. My printer’s right next to my computer, which is handy when I want to review what I’ve written.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Some of my ideas come from places I’ve lived and experiences I’ve had. For example, in Death by Association: A DIY Diva Mystery, I drew on my own experiences as a homeowner in a guard-gated community governed by an HOA, my own crafting hobbies, and my experience as a pet parent to my two Labrador retrievers.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Just getting it done is the most challenging thing for me.

What do you think makes a good story?

A good story makes the reader want to keep reading to find out what happens.

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

Probably the main character, Laurel McMillan, is most like me because she likes craft projects, she teaches, and she’s a pet parent to a Labrador retriever.

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

In the DIY Diva Mysteries, I have craft project instructions in the back of the book for projects that the DIY Diva has made during the story. In Death by Association, I also include four dog treat recipes in the back because Laurel is writing her new book DIY for Dog Lovers and including dog treats in it. In Death by Design, she’s working on projects for her next book DIY Perfect Pillows, so I include project instructions for pillows.

Thank you, Paula, for visiting today!

About the Book


Death by Design: A DIY Diva Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Cozy Cat Press (June 20, 2019)
Print Length: 184 pages
ASIN: B07T9PFYX3

DIY Diva Laurel McMillan rejoices when her student Jennifer’s peacock pillow wins a design contest; that is, until Jennifer’s husband Matt is smothered with the very same pillow. When the police confiscate her prize-winning pillow, Jennifer freaks out, and Laurel fears that Jennifer may be more upset about losing the pillow than about Matt’s death. But the police arrest disgraced nurse Edna Elkins, not Jennifer. Begging Laurel to find the real killer, Edna insists she’s innocent, but Laurel’s not so sure, and when Laurel encounters Jennifer while walking her lovable Labrador retriever, Bear, she’s left with more questions than answers. Should the crafty DIY Diva play DIY Detective or does Edna really belong in jail?

Includes recipes and pillow project instructions.

More about Paula Darnell

 

An instructor at five colleges over the years, Paula Darnell most often taught the dreaded first-year English composition classes, but she’s also been happy to teach some fun classes, such as fashion design, sewing, and jewelry making. Paula has a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, and a Master’s degree in English from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Like Laurel, the main character in Death by Association, Paula enjoys all kinds of arts and crafts. Some of her memorable projects include making a hat and a cape to wear to Royal Ascot, sewing wedding gowns for both her daughters, exhibiting her textile and mixed-media artwork in juried art shows, and having one of her jewelry projects accepted for inclusion in Leather Jewelry, published by Lark Books. She sells some of her jewelry and hair accessories in her Etsy shop: www.etsy.com/shop/PaulaDJewelry.

Paula’s interest in DIY craft projects and fashion led to her writing hundreds of articles for print and online national publications.

Living in a guard-gated community governed by a homeowners’ association gave Paula the idea for the setting of Death by Association. She finds that residing in an HOA community can be both a blessing and a curse. A Happy-New-Year greeting from her community association called on residents to “start the new year by reviewing your Rules and Regulations booklet,” something unlikely to top anyone’s list of New Year’s resolutions.

Paula lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, with her husband Gary and their 110-pound dog Rocky, whose favorite pastime is lurking in the kitchen, hoping for a handout.

Author Links –  Author’s Website – Twitter Goodreads Pinterest Etsy shop

Purchase Links – Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
August 19 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
August 19 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT
August 20 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
August 20 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
August 21 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
August 21 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 22 – Cozy Up With Kathy – RECIPE
August 22 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
August 23 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
August 23 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 24 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 24 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW  
August 25 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
August 25 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Share
Aug 172019
 

Dreamed It (Dreamwalker Mystery)
by Maggie Toussaint

Hi Maggie, 

Welcome to Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book! 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Growing up in the Deep South, surrounded by oral storytellers extraordinaire and stunning outdoor vistas, I became an observer. I listened to the cadence of lives around me and to the sounds of nature. With so many people telling stories, I turned to journaling and still have some diaries from elementary school. Anyway, all that looking and listening, followed by bouts of writing came in handy for my science career and my second career as a mystery author. Those passions of listening, observing, and writing are ingrained in every aspect of my life.

What are three things most people dont know about you?

1) I am predisposed to love the colors (and all shades) of red and green because those are the colors of my birth month, December.

2) I drank my lifetime supply of coffee by my twenties. After that, it was lights-out (for medical reasons) for coffee.

3) I learned to drive on a stick shift. Yes, I’m that young.

What is the first book you remember reading?

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss

What are you reading now?

Julie Mulhern’s Telephone Line, Cheryl Hollon’s Down in Flames, and Diane A.S. Stuckart’s (writing as Ana Gerard) Peach Clobbered.

What books have most inspired you?

The World Book Encyclopedia Set. Encyclopedias are obsolete now, but when I was a kid, all I had to do was to take down a volume from the shelf, flip through the pages, and be transported worlds away. Coming from a fishing village, it sure seemed like there were wondrous things in the wide blue yonder.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

I am part fixer, part finder. In short, I like to make things better. In life there are so many situations were crimes are unsolved, where things happened that could have been prevented, and where bad guys get away. Writing mysteries is my way to try to right some of un-rightable wrongs.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

Things change, that’s a constant in the universe and for me too. I have the best desk set up in my home office, but now that laptops have become lighter and I do more composing on the laptop, I can plunk down just about anywhere and write. The only thing that hasn’t changed is that I still prefer to write in quiet so I can hear myself think.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Some ideas just won’t let me go. That’s how I know an idea is something I want to pursue. Sometimes I worry that an idea doesn’t make a book, but it doesn’t have to. An idea is a story seed that sprouts and grows in wonderful ways.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Giving in graciously when my character insists on going a different direction than my five-page outline.

What do you think makes a good story?

An engaging, flawed, and believable lead character.

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

Back in the day when Barbie only had Midge as a friend, in the Archie comics, Veronica had Betty, and Nancy Drew had George, I always identified with the sidekicks. Now I think of myself as an armchair sleuth, and I wouldn’t mind being Baxley Powell, my Dreamwalker sleuth. Not sure that I could handle all her psychic abilities but it would be fun to try.

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

The Dreamwalker series is a paranormal cozy with heart.

Whats next on the horizon for you?

There will be another Dreamwalker mystery out next summer, ALL DONE WITH IT. I am also writing a new culinary series, the Seafood Caper Mystery Series, of which book one is SEAS THE DAY and slated for an April 2020 release.

Thank you, Maggie, for visiting today!

Keep reading to find out about the new Dreamwalker Mystery. 

 

About the Book


Dreamed It (Dreamwalker Mystery)
Paranormal Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Camel Press (August 13, 2019)
Paperback: 248 pages
ISBN-10: 1603817824
ISBN-13: 978-1603817820

Justice for the dead and solace for the living is Baxley Powell’s creed, but she faces uncharted territory in this sixth book of the Dreamwalker Mystery Series. The Suitcase Killer has struck again, only this big city menace is now a problem for Baxley’s hometown. As that investigation heats up, a local woman is reported missing. The sheriff orders Baxley to work the missing person’s case.

Listening to the dead is familiar ground for Baxley but finding a missing young lady isn’t in her skill set. Besides, her dreams rarely follow a timeline. With the clock ticking, can this crime consultant discover a way to reach the living?

Her main source of help in the afterlife, a mentor named Rose, is unavailable. Instead, Baxley must rely on her wits and her Native American boyfriend, Deputy Sam Mayes, to find leads. Each shared dreamwalk and energy transfer binds them closer together, creating another issue. Mayes wants to marry Baxley but it isn’t that easy. They’re hampered by their community roles in opposite ends of the state.

Baxley juggles the pressure of two high-profile cases, a determined suitor, and expanding her limits. One thing is certain. Without her extrasensory sleuthing, the missing woman will die.

About Maggie Toussaint

 

Southern author Maggie Toussaint evolved into a mystery author after getting her feet damp in romantic suspense and dystopian fiction, with twenty fiction novels and two nonfiction novels to her credit. Her work won two Silver Falchions, the Readers’ Choice, and the EPIC Awards. She’s a past president of Southeast chapter of Mystery Writers of America and an officer of Lowcountry Sisters In Crime. She lives in coastal Georgia, where secrets, heritage, and ancient oaks cast long shadows. Visit her at https://maggietoussaint.com/

Author Links

Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Goodreads | LinkedIn | Pinterest | Booklover’s BenchAmazon Author Central | Website | Bookbub

Purchase Link – Amazon 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
August 14 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER GUEST POST
August 14 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
August 15 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
August 15 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST
August 16 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
August 17 – Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST
August 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 18 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
August 18 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
August 19 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT
August 19 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
August 20 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
August 20 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 21 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 21 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 22 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT
August 22 –Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT 

 

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Share
Jul 192019
 

Gore in the Garden
(A Washington Whodunit)
by Colleen Shogan

I am very excited to have Colleen Shogan visit today!! 

Hi Colleen, 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a political scientist and senior executive at the Library of Congress. I live outside Washington, D.C. with my husband and beagle mutt, Conan. My favorite pastime is reading by the pool.

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

  1. Most people think I’m an extrovert, but I also like spending time by myself.
  2. I’m a morning person and do my best work then.
  3.  I was the valedictorian of my high school.

What is the first book you remember reading?

An Encyclopedia Brown book.

What are you reading now?

There Will Be No Miracles Here” by Casey Gerald

What books have most inspired you?

Walter Isaacson’s “Steve Jobs” inspired me so much, I read it twice.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

I’ve always read mysteries for leisure and relaxation. One day, I took a walk in my neighborhood and came up with the plot for “Stabbing in the Senate,” the first book in my series. I decided to take a shot at writing my own mystery novel, and I haven’t stopped since.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

In the spring, summer, and fall, I write outside in my backyard on our deck next to our pool.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

I work on Capitol Hill and there’s no shortage of intrigue. I’m observant and I pay attention to conflict, adversity, and behavior. Paying attention ensures that I have an unlimited supply of ideas for future books.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

It can be difficult finding the time to write. Since I have a full-time job that sometimes extends into the evening hours, it’s hard to squeeze in time each day for writing.

What do you think makes a good story?

I start with the characters and the setting. Once I have those ingredients, the plot comes together in support of them.

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

Most people assume that my main character, Kit Marshall, is based on me. She’s really not. There may be similarities, but I would likely never take the risks that Kit does. In some ways, Kit is aspirational for me.

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

Most cozies are set in a small town, and my series takes place in Washington, D.C., an urban setting. My books aren’t about politics, but they do reveal some of the inner workings of our nation’s capital. That affords them a slightly higher level of seriousness than other amateur sleuth mysteries. I also think my characters are more modern in their mannerisms, conduct, and behavior than most other books in the genre.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

I’m currently writing the sixth book in the series, tentatively titled “Larceny at the Library.”  I think it will be a real fan favorite in 2020.

Thank you, Colleen, for dropping by today!

Keep reading for my thoughts about Colleen’s new book, Gore in the Garden.

About Gore in the Garden

Gore in the Garden (A Washington Whodunit)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Camel Press (July 16, 2019)
Paperback: 224 pages
ISBN-10: 1603817239
ISBN-13: 978-1603817233
ASIN: B07S4F8XZZ

After her boss narrowly escaped political defeat, Kit Marshall is settling into life as a busy congressional staffer. While attending an evening reception at the United States Botanic Garden, Kit’s best friend stumbles upon the body of a high-ranking government official. The chairwoman of a congressional committee asks Kit to investigate, and she finds herself once again in the thick of a murder investigation. The complications keep coming with the unexpected arrival of Kit’s younger brother Sebastian, a hippie protestor who seems more concerned about corporate greed than the professional problems he causes for his sister. To make matters even worse, the romantic lives of Kit’s closest friends are driving her crazy, diverting her attention from the mystery she’s been tasked to solve. The search for the killer requires her to tussle with an investigative journalist right out of a noir novel, a congresswoman fixated on getting a statue of James Madison installed on the Capitol grounds and a bossy botanist who would do anything to protect the plants he loves. When the murderer sends a threatening message to Kit via a highly unusual delivery mechanism, Kit knows she must find the killer or risk the lives of her friends and loved ones.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Kit Marshall attends a reception with her boss, Congresswoman Maeve Dixon, best friend Meg, hubby Doug, and her brother Sebastian, at the United States Botanic Garden, just in time to witness the corpse flower bloom. As the group leaves the Garden Meg makes a quick stop to the bathroom. Her screams alert them back into the building where they find the Architect of the Capitol dead. Kit is quickly pegged to be the liaison between the police and Congress and conduct her own investigation. She also has to run interference when her brother becomes part of protests on the hill, reduce conflicts between her staff, and keep on top of her real job as Chief of Staff Dixon. All this plus she has to stay one step ahead of the killer or she will be their next victim.

________________________

This is another fabulous addition to this series. I loved the way the corpse flower played into the story. The University of Wisconsin had one and whenever it bloomed it was big news around here.

All the characters I have come to love return, including Kit’s pepperoni loving pup. We also meet Kit’s brother that was too busy along with her parents to attend Kit and Doug’s wedding. I have to say Kit is more forgiving than I would be but then again there is a murderer on the loose. I enjoyed that Doug is now working close enough that he can assist her in her investigation.

Because of Ms. Shogan’s experience, she gives what feels like a believable picture of life behind the scenes in a Congressperson’s office. With the current climate in Washington politics, a book like this is very current but not as divisive. The murder is Kit’s main focus and other things on her plate are the staff’s summer picnic, their love lives and trying to keep her brother out of trouble and may even stay in D.C. Shogan brings all the subplots together seamlessly and the story maintains a great flow until we get near the end, then the pace spikes as the killer is revealed. I was holding my breath for more than a few moments.

The author did an excellent job of describing Kit’s surroundings. It has been a long time since I have been to Washington and she introduced a few new sites I didn’t know existed but her words took me right where I needed to be.

While taking place in a big town, Colleen keeps things pretty cozy. Engaging characters, a captivating story, set in an awesome place, will have readers rapidly flipping the pages. The twists are exquisite and our protag has guts, knows how to think on her feet and doesn’t back down.

I highly recommend this entire series, but each book can be read on its own.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Colleen J. Shogan

Colleen J. Shogan has been reading mysteries since the age of six. She conceived of the plot of her first mystery, “Stabbing in the Senate,” one morning while taking a walk in her suburban Washington, D.C. neighborhood. A political scientist by training, Colleen has taught American politics at Yale, George Mason University, Georgetown, and Penn. She previously worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative staffer in the United States Senate and as the Deputy Director of the Congressional Research Service. She is currently a senior executive at the Library of Congress who works on great initiatives such as the National Book Festival. Colleen lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband Rob and their beagle mutt Conan. Colleen’s first book won the Next Generation Indie Prize for Best Mystery. Her books have been RONE and Killer Nashville finalists in the mystery category.

Author Links – Webpage – Facebook – Twitter –  GoodReads 

Purchase Links
Amazon Paperback     Kindle   B&N         Kobo      Smashwords

More Books In This Series

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
July 16 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT 
July 16 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
July 17 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
July 18 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
July 18 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT
July 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 20 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 21 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW
July 21 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 22 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 23 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 24 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
July 24 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
July 25 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 26 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
July 27 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW
July 28 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST
July 29 – The Book Decoder  REVIEW

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!


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

Share
Jul 132019
 

Deadline with Death
(Time-Slip Mysteries)
by Zara Keane

I am so happy to have Zara Keane drop by for a visit today!

Hi Zara, 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I write Irish-set cozy mysteries. Before I became a full-time writer, I taught English and History. I’m Irish but currently live in Switzerland with my family.

What are three things most people dont know about you?

  1. When I was a kid, I loved Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin’ and decided I wanted to become a nun. I think it’s safe to say I didn’t quite “get” the lyrics!
  2. I’m afraid of flames. I’ll go out of my way to avoid having to light a match.
  3. I took Norwegian as a minor in college.

What is the first book you remember reading?

I can’t recall the title but it was about a little girl and her alpaca.

What are you reading now?

Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding
by Rhys Bowen. It’s the twelfth book in the Her Royal Spyness series.

What books have most inspired you?

So many! Several Agatha Christie mysteries. Mary Stewart’s romantic suspenses. Julia Spencer-Fleming’s Clare Fergusson series.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

It’s my favourite genre to read. I love books with a puzzle to solve, interesting characters, and a dash of romance.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

My red armchair.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Everywhere. I get ideas from books (fiction and non-fiction), TV, overheard snippets of conversation, newspaper articles, real-life stories people tell me. When an idea won’t go away, I brainstorm possibilities and see where that takes me.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

The first draft. I find it hard to switch off my inner editor and just get the words on the page.

What do you think makes a good story?

Characters readers love (or love to hate), and a plot that’s driven by the characters’ actions, reactions, needs, and wants.

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

I’d say all my main female characters share some of my interests and character traits, but they’re definitely not me.

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

The Irish setting for both my mystery series and the time travel angle in the Time-Slip Mysteries.

Whats next on the horizon for you?

I’m working on Some Like It Shot, the sixth book in the Movie Club Mysteries. Once that’s finished, I’ll write Fatal Front Page, the second story in the Time-Slip Mysteries. I also have an international spy idea percolating, but I’m not sure when I’ll have the time to write it!

Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Lori!

Thank you, Zara!

Keep reading to learn about Zara’s new book/series! 

About the Book


Deadline with Death (Time-Slip Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Beaverstone Press (June 21, 2019)
Number of Pages: ~ 394
ASIN: B07T1MYR9R

Dee Flanagan loves Irish history, bad rom-coms, and red lipstick. Dead clowns, injured time travelers, and shootouts don’t make it onto the small town reporter’s Top Ten list. After the bullets stop flying in Dunleagh Castle’s courtyard, it’s up to Dee to convince people she didn’t imagine a gunfight played out between two centuries. With the body count rising, and no one willing to believe Dee’s time travel theory, she’s forced to team up with a man who’s either a bona fide fruit cake or a police officer from the year 1919. Using her expert knowledge of the Irish War of Independence, Dee sets out to solve a century-old crime, plus a modern-day murder.

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Zara Keane grew up in Dublin, Ireland, but spent her summers in a small town very similar to the fictional Ballybeg and Smuggler’s Cove.

She currently lives in Switzerland with her family. When she’s not writing or wrestling small people, she drinks far too much coffee, and tries – with occasional success – to resist the siren call of Swiss chocolate.

Author Links – My Website – My Newsletter  –  Reader Group  – Facebook – Instagram  – Goodreads

Praise for Deadline with Death
(Time-Slip Mysteries)
by Zara Keane

This to me is a comedic tale of a crazy and dysfunctional family with a soupcon of paranormal mystery added in for additional fun!
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

Deadline with Death by Zara Keane is a stellar story, with fabulous characters, a marvelous mystery or two, and a setting that I adored.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

Purchase Links:   Amazon

Also by Zara Keane

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
July 10 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 10 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
July 11 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 11 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 12 – Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST
July 13 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 14 – off
July 15 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
July 16 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
July 17 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 18 – I’m All About Books – REVIEW
July 18 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 19 – Eskimo Princess Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 19 – ebook addicts – REVIEW
July 20 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
July 21 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
July 21 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
July 22 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 22 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 23 – Books Direct – GUEST POST

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Share
Jul 112019
 

Murder’s No Votive Confidence
(Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery)
by Christin Brecher

I am pleased to welcome Christin Brecher to Escape With Dollycas Today!

Hi Christin,

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I’m a stay-at-home mom who is about to send her kids off to college over the next couple of years.  I’m excited for them, they’re ready to fly the coop.  On the other hand, a friend said she’s going to start a wine-fueled support group for those of us saying good-bye, and I plan to be the first to join.

Murder’s No Votive Confidence, the first of the Nantucket Candle Maker Mysteries, is my debut novel.

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

  • I conquered my fear of heights by learning how to belay down a cliff with a good friend from college during a spontaneous trip we took to Maine.
  • Years later, I had a relapse atop Mont St-Michel in France, and my kids had to walk me down from the medieval town’s peak. Both experiences were quite humbling.
  • I’m allergic to cats, but I do have a spunky dog named Bandit.

What is the first book you remember reading?

The first book that caused me to lose myself entirely to another world was Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott.  I was about ten or eleven, and I vividly remember feeling heartbroken when I realized I only had fifty pages to go before I’d have to say good-bye to the characters.  I actually cried when I finished the book.

What are you reading now?

The Nantucket Book Festival, in mid-June, was filled with many fantastic authors and panels.  My favorite was a mystery panel featuring Nantucket authors Blue Balliett, Steven Axelrod, and Cherie Burns – hosted by Nancy Thayer.  They were all so interesting and I enjoyed speaking with them briefly afterward.  I walked home with these four author’s latest books, which I’m enjoying immensely.

What books have most inspired you?

  • Agatha Christie’s Curtain – because of the plot twist
  • Rex Stout’s Fer-de-lance – because of the voice
  • Carolyn Keene’s The Hidden Staircase – because it was so liberating
  • Goscinny Sempe’s Nicolas – because of its subtle but spot-on wit
  • Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women – because I made four friends
  • Dante’s Inferno – because it left me with ideas I’d never had before
  • Jane Austin’s Pride & Prejudice – because I was seventeen and fell in love with Mr. Darcy
  • Shakespeare’s As You Like It – because I saw it performed in Stratford-Upon-Avon and my understanding of words changed forever.

Oh, boy.  This is an unfair question.  This list is a betrayal of so many others which have inspired me, each for different reasons and at different points of my life.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

From the moment I put pen to paper, I was writing a mystery, without really thinking about it consciously.  I think it might be because I love puzzles, and puzzling out motives, psychology, secrets.  There’s also something very satisfying about seeing the world put back to order at the end of a mystery.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

I’m in Nantucket right now, and I have a couple of favorite places to write when I’m here.  One, of course, is the island’s library, the Athenaeum.  There’s a quiet room on the second floor with tables and a nice view of the garden below.  I also frequent the Corner Table down the street from the library.  They are very generous about allowing people to work in their space, which is really great when I need to be around the energy of others.

Where do the ideas from your books come from?

They can come from anywhere.  The other day, for example, a friend told me about candle clocks.  I knew nothing about these ancient devices, which were candles with spaced markings to indicate timed intervals.  The moment I learned about them, however, I’ve been hell-bent on figuring out a way to use one in my Nantucket Candle Maker series.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Chapter One!  There’s always so much I want to say.  And, at the same time, I’ve started a journey that I know will take me in directions I haven’t yet imagined.  It’s both a daunting and exciting moment.

What do you think makes a good story?

I’m really drawn to characters.  When I cried over Little Women, it was because I felt I had come to know Meg, Joe, Beth, and Amy as real people.  Each reached some part of me.

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

This is a fun question.  I suppose there’s a little of me in all of my characters, but none of them is really “me.” As for my heroine, Stella, I relate to someone who has both a business and artistic brain since I worked for years in the corporate world before raising my kids and starting to write.  I connect with her appreciation of being a local girl, since I’ve lived in the same neighborhood in NYC for most of my life, and have always come back to Nantucket.  Like Stella, many of my friends have been in my life for decades, and I am close to and value family.

Unlike Stella, however, I like a map.  I need to make to-do lists to get through the day, rather than throw myself into the unknown and worry about the plan after.  I certainly don’t have her stamina, either.  That girl does more in a day than I sometimes do in a week!  I also envy her ability to eat so much cheese.

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

The Nantucket Candle Maker Mysteries supply all of the fun of a cozy mystery:  An amateur sleuth, a small town, a clever cat, and a cast of supporting characters with whom it’s fun to spend time.  Plus, of course, a puzzle to solve at its core.  Somewhat different from others, however, the books are about a candle-maker and the many ways she’s developed her trade as a craftsman, business owner, and teacher.  The books also embrace the history of Nantucket, which is rich and vibrant and comes with many of its own mysteries.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

I’ve been collecting ideas for new characters.  Whether they will end up in Stella’s adventures or as stars of their own stories, I have yet to figure out.  We’re still at the “nice to meet you” stage.

Thank you, Christin, for stopping by today!

Keep reading for my thoughts on Murder’s No Votive Confidence.

 

About the Book 


Murder’s No Votive Confidence (Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Kensington (June 25, 2019)
ISBN-10: 149672139X
ISBN-13: 978-1496721396
Digital ASIN: B07HVYJNRD

Nantucket candle store owner Stella Wright specializes in creating unique candles for every occasion. But someone sets the stage for murder when a Memorial Day celebration becomes a wedding to die for . . .

Jessica Sterling’s candlelight-themed nuptials promises to be the perfect kick-off to the summer’s first official holiday weekend. Stella’s thrilled to have been chosen to provide the decorative centerpiece for the wedding ceremony: a two-foot-tall scented unity candle—a symbol of the happy couple’s love. But it looks like the bride-to-be’s uncle won’t be walking his niece down the aisle after he’s found dead. The murder weapon is Stella’s seemingly indestructible candle, now split in two.

When a beloved local bartender is arrested, Stella’s sure a visiting police captain running the case made a rush to justice. With superstitious brides-to-be canceling orders and sales waxing and waning at her store, the Wick & Flame owner decides to do some sleuthing of her own. Abetted by a charming reporter and challenged by the town’s sexiest cop, Stella’s determined to shine a light on the truth and uncover a killer who’s snuffing out her own flame.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Stella Wright owns Wick & Flame and has become the go-to person for wedding unity candles. She has created a two-foot-tall unity candle for Jessica Sterling and Joe Handler’s wedding, along with candles for the church, reception, and for the guests to take home all with an original scent approved by the bride. The family and bridal party have checked into the hotel including Simon Sterling, the bride’s uncle who has been asked to walk her down the aisle. New plans must be made when Simon body is found next to the broken unity candle.

A visiting police captain known for quickly solving cases makes a fast arrest. A bartender Stella has known for years. Also, brides are tying her to the murder and starting to cancel their orders. Deciding the only way to catch the real killer is by doing her own investigation. She is soon burning the candle at both ends when she searches out a murderer and works to replace the broken candle. She just needs to do it all without becoming the killer’s next target.

_______

I love the candlemaking theme of this series and am in awe of Stella Wright’s talent. Setting it on Nantucket is a wonderful bonus!

The author introduces us to a wonderful group of core characters. Stella, candlemaker extraordinaire, her female best friend wedding planner and very pregnant Emily, Nantucket Police Officer Andy, male best friend, which may turn into something more. . . or not, and Peter, a journalist who has come to town to report on the wedding. He could also be interested in Stella and wants to help her solve the murder, especially if he gets the scoop.  The author does an excellent job developing these characters, making them real and engaging. There is still much to learn but for the first book in a series, it was very well done.

Ms. Brecher also introduces a vast number of suspects, some with more motive than others and many with opportunity. The victim’s cat, Tinker also played a major role.

This cozy mystery is full of twists, turns, and surprises. I read this entire book in one day. I could not put it down. The pages just kept turning, raising new questions, bringing different suspects to the forefront. I enjoyed the way the story was laid out and the author’s clear descriptions. A romance is hinted at but the relationships are complicated. The mystery came to a very satisfying conclusion. A wedding has its own kind of drama, a dead body takes things to a whole new level.

The first book in a new cozy mystery series is hard to write. The author needs to find a balance between introducing the characters and giving readers an entertaining mystery. Christin Brecher excelled at both. She also left me wanting more. I can’t wait for my next trip to Nantucket and Wick & Flame. Murder Makes Scents is scheduled to release on February 25, 2020.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

More About Christin Brecher

Christin Brecher was born and raised in NYC, where her family and many childhood friends still reside. As such, she feels she is as much of a small-town girl as any. The idea to write the Nantucket Candle Maker series sprang from her life-long connection to the small island off the coast of Massachusetts. Spending summers there as a child, Christin read from her family’s library of mystery novels, after which she began to imagine stories inspired by the island’s whaling heyday, its notoriously foggy nights, and during long bike rides to the beach. After many years in marketing for the publishing industry, followed by years raising her children, Murder’s No Votive Confidence is Christin’s debut novel. Visit her at www.christinbrecher.com.
Author Links
Website FacebookInstagram GoodReads BookBub 
Purchase Links

AmazonB&NKoboBAM – 
IndieBoundHudson BooksellersGoogle Play 
Coming February 25, 2020

Praise for Murder’s No Votive Confidence
(Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery)
by Christin Brecher

What a hoot! Seriously! I absolutely adored the main character, Stella.
~The Book Decoder

Christin Brecher has created an entertaining and clean cozy mystery, steeped in small-island atmosphere. This is a fun traditional cozy read, a story that I can easily recommend.
~The Power of Words

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
July 8 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
July 8 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 8 – Books Direct – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
July 8 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
July 9 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
July 9 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
July 9 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST
July 9 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW  
July 10 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
July 10 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 10 – The Avid Reader  REVIEW
July 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 11 – Babs Book Bistro – Candle Making 101 Notes Post
July 12 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW  
July 12 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW
July 12 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
July 13 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
July 13 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 14 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
July 14 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 15 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW
July 15 – The Book Diva’s Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 15 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
July 16 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 16 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
July 16 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
July 17 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
July 17 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, GUEST POST  

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

 

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

Share
Jul 102019
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am happy to welcome Anna Gerard to Escape With Dollycas today! 

Peach Clobbered:
A Georgia B&B Mystery
by Anna Gerard

Hi Anna, 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.  

I’m the NYT bestselling author of the Black Cat Bookshop Mystery series (written as Ali Brandon) and have published two other series…the Tarot Cats Mystery series from Midnight Ink and the Leonardo da Vinci Mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime. I’ve also published five historical romances under the names Alexa Smart and Anna Gerard. PEACH CLOBBERED, first book in my upcoming Georgia B&B Mystery series (written as Anna Gerard) will be my 16th published novel. I live in South Florida, though I was born and raised in Texas.

What are three things most people dont know about you?

I’ve never snow-skied, I’m allergic to apples (and peaches!), and I have three tattoos.

What is the first book you remember reading?

I know I read books long before this, but the first title I remember is THE BOBBSEY TWINS IN VOLCANO LAND.

What are you reading now?  I have a huge TBR stack that I need to delve into once I’m off deadline. But I most recently finished reading an ARC for Maggie Toussaint’s DREAMED IT paranormal mystery, which should be published later this year (go pre-order it!).

What books have most inspired you?  Throughout high school, I read nothing but romantic suspense and gothic romances, which I’m sure have a bearing on my writing style today.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries? Because, although I started out publishing historical romances, all my books had dead bodies lying around. It seemed a natural progression to move into the mystery genre.

Do you have a special place you like to write? Nothing fancy. Either my desk in my home office; or, if I need a change, I move my laptop onto my back screened-in porch and let the cats help me write.

Where do the ideas for your books come from? Anywhere and everywhere – it’s rare I can pinpoint an actual inspiration.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging? Giving it priority over the 999 other things I need to do (especially when I’m on deadline).

What do you think makes a good story? I want to see a distinct beginning/middle/end to the tale. And, the main characters (even if not entirely likable) must be fully developed and relatable. And at the end of the book, I want to see a goal reached, a lesson learned…basically, a payoff for having spent those hours reading. It never hurts to have a cute dog or cat as part of the story, either.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?  Probably Nina Fleet, the B&B owner and amateur sleuth of my current Georgia B&B Mystery series. Although there is a lot of me in Darla Pettistone from my Black Cat Bookshop Mystery series.

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?  Since there are so many great cozy mystery authors out there, I can’t claim to be a better writer or have more clever plots than anyone else. But I think my stories have heart as well as suspense and a bit of humor, plus I include felines and canines that aren’t just cozy window dressing but are fully realized characters. If you don’t cry at least once and laugh out loud at least twice when you read my books, then I’ve fallen down on the job.

Whats next on the horizon for you? I’m finishing up the manuscript for my next Georgia B&B Mystery, PEACHY SCREAM, and am waiting on word on hopefully reselling my Tarot Cats Mystery series to a new publisher.

Thank you, Anna, for visiting today!

Keep reading for my thoughts about Anna’s Peach Clobbered.

 

About the Book 


Peach Clobbered: A Georgia B&B Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Crooked Lane Books (July 9, 2019)
Hardcover
ISBN-10: 1643850067
ISBN-13: 978-1643850061
Digital ASIN: B07JMK2JRD

What’s black and white and dead all over? Georgia bed and breakfast proprietor Nina Fleet finds out when she comes across a corpse in a penguin costume.

Nina Fleet’s life ought to be as sweet as a Georgia peach. Awarded a tidy sum in her divorce, Nina retired at 41 to a historic Queen Anne house in quaint Cymbeline, GA. But Nina’s barely settled into her new B&B-to-be when a penguin shows up on her porch. Or, at least, a man wearing a penguin suit.

Harry Westcott is making ends meet as an ice cream shop’s mascot and has a letter from his great-aunt, pledging to leave him the house. Too bad that’s not what her will says. Meanwhile, the Sisters of Perpetual Poverty have lost their lease. Real estate developer Gregory Bainbridge intends to turn the convent into a golfing community, so Cymbeline’s mayor persuades Nina to take in the elderly nuns. And then Nina finds the “penguin” again, this time lying in an alley with a kitchen knife in his chest.

A peek under the beak tells Nina it’s not Harry inside the costume, but Bainbridge. What was he doing in Harry’s penguin suit? Was the developer really the intended victim, or did the culprit mean to kill Harry? Whoever is out to stop Harry from contesting the sale of his great-aunt’s house may also be after Nina, so she teams up with him to cage the killer before someone clips her wings in Peach Clobbered.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Welcome to Cymbeline Georgia. A place Nina Fleet and her Australian Sheepdog, Mattie now call home. She bought a historic Queen Anne house therwat the spur of the moment following her divorce and loves it.  Harry Wescott the great nephew of the previous owner believes the house should be his and shows up at her door to tell her so, dressed in a penguin suit. Seems he is working as a mascot for the local ice cream shop to make ends meet.

Nina had big hopes of opening it as a B&B but zoning regulations have held up her plans. That is until the Sisters of Perpetual Poverty were evicted from their convent when the landlord refused to renew their lease. The mayor came to Nina personally promising to cut through all the government’s red tape if she allows the sisters to stay with her until their new orders come through.

After the nuns are all settled they tell Nina of their plan to protest their former landlord’s business. Nina goes along hoping to keep the nuns out of trouble, but during a lunch break, she hears a scream. She rushes into an alley to find a man in a penguin suit has been stabbed. But it isn’t Harry Wescott in the suit this time, it is the sister’s landlord, Gregory Bainbridge! Could one of the nuns have done the deed or did the killer think it was Harry in the suit? Nina finds herself right in the middle of The Murder of the Man in the Penguin Suit! What a way to start her new life.

______________

Penguins, Nuns, and Murder, Oh My!

What a great start for this series! I loved Nina (Nine-ah) immediately. She is smart and savvy, ready to live life on her own terms. The nuns were fantastic, feisty, mostly elderly women who have been together for over 50 years. They become fast friends with Nina and enjoy checking out all the take-out meal options now available to them. Nina does her best to keep these vital and active women busy as they await to see what the future hold for them. Harry is a conundrum, an out of work actor who wants to take her house away who is not the most likable person. Nina’s dog Maddie is precious. She is empathetic when needed and a wonderful watch dog too.

Ms. Gerard has twisted together a terrific mystery plotline with very interesting subplots as we get to know our protagonist and the residents of Cymbeline. The pacing was perfect and each chapter drew me right into the next. I was engaged by the characters completely and was anxious to see how everything in this novel panned out. She brought in a surprise item that turned my thinking totally around but I was still taken aback by the big reveal.

The setting of the story was just peachy. A Georgia B&B is absolutely ripe for many more mysteries too. I am excited to see who checks in next!

This was a marvelous mystery and I highly recommend it for all cozy mystery fans!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

More About Anna Gerard

DIANE A.S. STUCKART is the New York Times bestselling author of the Black Cat Bookshop Mystery series (writing as Ali Brandon). She’s also the author of the award-winning Leonardo da Vinci historical mysteries, as well as several historical romances and numerous mystery, fantasy, and romance short stories. The first book in her Tarot Cats Mystery series is FOOL’S MOON, available in trade, large print, and Kindle versions. Her Georgia B&B Mystery series from Crooked Lane Books launched July 2019 with PEACH CLOBBERED, written as Anna Gerard.

Diane is a member of Mystery Writers of America and has served as the 2018 and 2019 Chapter President of the MWA Florida chapter. In addition to her mystery writing affiliations, she’s a member of the Cat Writers’ Association and belongs to the Palm Beach County Beekeepers Association. She’s a native Texan with a degree in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma, but has been living in the West Palm Beach FL area since 2006. She shares her “almost in the Everglades” home with her husband, dogs, cats, and a few beehives. Learn more about her books at www.dianestuckart.com

Author Links
Website – Facebook 

Purchase Links

AMAZON     BARNES & NOBLE

Written as Ali Brandon

Written as Diane A.S. Stuckart

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please Visit All The Stops.
July 8 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
July 8 – 4covert2overt ☼ A Place In The Spotlight ☼ – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 9 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
July 9 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 10 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT
July 10 – Island Confidential – GUEST POST
July 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 11 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
July 11 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 11 – Reading Reality – REVIEW
July 12 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
July 12 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 12 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 13 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
July 13 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
July 14 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 14 – Eskimo Princess Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 15 – Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST
July 15 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 16 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
July 17 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW
July 17 – Books Direct – SPOTLIGHT
July 17 – I’m All About Books – REVIEW
July 18 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
July 18 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 19 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
July 19 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!


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

Share
Jun 262019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 
I am so excited to have Jodi Rath visit today!

Hi Jodi,

Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

I’m a wife, cat lover with nine cats in our home, educator, writer, artist, and kickboxer who is obsessed with Tom Waits.

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

I have a brown belt in kickboxing;

I have curly hair that I perm in my kitchen every three months;

I would never leave the house if I could realistically make that happen—and I very rarely leave my house.

What is the first book you remember reading?

Any of the Choose Your Own Adventure books—those were my favorites!

What are you reading now?

Death Al Dente by Leslie Budewitz

What books have most inspired you?

Anything Agatha Christie, Sweet Valley High Series when I was a teen, Judy Blume books as a pre-teen, poetry of all sorts—I used to check out as many poetry books as the librarian allowed me too in 5th through 9th grade.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

I believe it all began with the Choose Your Own Adventure books. I liked picking an ending then trying them all and guessing what the other endings would be.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

Any room in my house, on my screened-in porch or on my deck overlooking our woods.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

From my community, my family, the news, songs, movies, TV shows, art, people I don’t like—LOL.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

I really do love all parts of the writing process. I was a HS English teacher and taught the process regularly. For me as a writer, the first draft is fun—the revision can be cruel at times—especially when I think I got something right and my editor is like, “Um, wow, that really sucks!” LOL—she doesn’t say that—but you get the drift!

What do you think makes a good story?

It has to be universal—things everyone can relate too. There needs to be someone to root for and someone to hate and someone to feel sorry for and someone who we love to hate—characters are important.

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

The protagonist, Jolie Tucker.

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

There aren’t many Cast Iron Skillet culinary cozies out there. I only know of one other cast iron mystery series.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

Currently working on book 2.5 a Thanksgiving holiday book called Turkey Basted to Death that comes out 11/18/19. In 2020, I will begin two spin-off series to The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series—one is Peggy’s Purse Boutique series set in Tri-City (which comes up a lot in The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)—the second series is Gemma’s Bohemian Gems Series that is a spin-off as well.

Thank you, Jodi, so much for dropping by today!

Keep reading for my thoughts about Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Murder.

About the Book 


Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Murder (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in the Series
Setting – Ohio
MYS ED LLC (June 21, 2019)
Print Length – 185 Pages
Digital ASIN: B07Q1K4DN3

Financial fraud of elderly villagers in Leavensport, an urban sprawl threat to the community, disastrous dates, cross-sell marketing gone wrong, and another murder? Jolie Tucker is ready to try dating again. Well, she has no choice—since her family auctioned her off to the highest bidder. Her best friend, Ava, has agreed to a double date, but both friends find out hidden secrets about their partners as well as deception by one of the village’s own, who will soon be found dead. This plot is sure to be spicy!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We are back in Ohio at Cast Iron Creations where things are getting jalapeno hot!! A new restaurant has opened and Jolie hopes to work a cross-promotion deal as she has with other businesses, she also is finally going to go on her auction date with Detective Meiser, (her family auctioned off at a fundraiser in the last book), residents are worried about urban sprawl, oh, and there is another dead body.

Ms. Rath’s characters are fun and entertaining. Again, there is a large cast but I was very comfortable after getting to know most of them in the first book. I enjoyed the continued character development.  The new characters were all key to the new mystery. The interactions were all realistic and the dialogue was crisp.

I continue to be amazed by how much drama and action this author brings a reader in less than 200 pages. She does a fabulous job of blending intrigue and everyday life. The daily grind plus secrets, twists, turns, and a surprising ending are all baked together wonderfully by the time we reach the last page. It is a quick read and impossible to put down.

I am not a fan of peppers especially jalapenos but I loved the way that ingredient was incorporated into the story. I also appreciate that cast iron skillet recipes are included for readers to try.

Together Pineapple Upside Down Murder and Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Murder equal the length of 1 standard cozy mystery, so I do recommend reading both in order so you can really get to know the characters. I am really looking forward to more books in this series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

More About Jodi Rath

 

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
Purchase Links: Amazon    All other e-platforms

  • Monthly Newsletter Link: http://eepurl.com/dIfXdb   Subscribe to my newsletter to receive free flash fiction, A Mystery a Month, serial scenes from series, and deleted scenes).

Purchase Links – Amazon – All other e-platforms: https://books2read.com/u/bOAYyK

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
June 21 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 21 – ❧Defining Ways❧ – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 22 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
June 22 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
June 23 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 23 – Eskimo Princess Book Review – SPOTLIGHT
June 24 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 24 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 25 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT WITH RECIPE
June 25 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
June 26 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW  
June 26 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – GUEST POST
June 27 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW
June 27 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 28 – I’m All About Books – GUEST POST
June 28 – Author Teresa Watson – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 29 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 29 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 30 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
July 1 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
July 1 – 4covert2overt ☼ A Place In The Spotlight ☼ – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 2 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
July 2 – Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting – REVIEW
July 3 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

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

Share
May 202019
 

Better Than Nun
(A Giulia Driscoll Mystery)
by Alice Loweecey

Hi Alice, 

Welcome back to Escape With Dollycas. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

—I’m your typical Italian mom: I cook almost everything from scratch, feed my sons with their favorite goodies when they visit, and yes, I make sauce. I will share any recipe with anyone who asks. I don’t understand people who won’t share recipes. Good food is better when shared!

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

—I like dogs only when they belong to other people.

—I once gave 5 dozen slugs a happy death when I set out 3 pie plates of beer in my garden. They were drowned in beer the next morning. (I have a large veg garden. Slugs are the enemy.)

—I once crocheted amigurumi of the entire cast of Firefly as a wedding present for a friend.

What is the first book you remember reading?

Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag. I still love this book.

What are you reading now?

The Elder Sister-Like One vols. 1-3, by Pochi Iida. It’s one of the best mangas I’ve read in years by one of the few authors who took a god from Lovecraft’s pantheon and made it their own. So much fun.

What books have most inspired you?

The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet, by Eleanor Cameron

Patricia Wentworth’s Miss Silver series

Lord of the Rings

—“The Colour out of Space,” by HP Lovecraft

All for both the same reason and different reasons. The same: all the MCs moved me deeply and the plots made me reread the books more than once. The different: Mushroom Planet was written when male MCs had the exciting adventures in kids’ books, and I had to get my adventure where I could. LotR for much the same reason. “Colour” because it scared me in broad daylight and still gives me shivers when I reread it. Miss Silver: Wentworth writes light mysteries with a touch of romance. When I started to write mysteries, her style was my inspiration.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

Back when I was querying my first book (The Redeemers, published in 2015 under my pen name Kate Morgan with Dark Recesses Press), part of my query letter mentioned I used to be a nun. The agent rejected Redeemers but mentioned how he’d like to see a book with a crime-fighting ex-nun. I dismissed the idea because “I’m a horror writer.” But the idea kept nagging me, and within the year I’d written Force of Habit. I sent the first 3 chapters to that agent—and he rejected it. You have to laugh. I eventually found an agent who sold the book as a 3-book deal in 2010 to Midnight Ink.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

—Outside on our deck by our koi pond. The waterfall is soothing, the frogs and birds carry on conversations. It’s an escape. Of course, since I live in Buffalo, I have to grab every moment I can out there before the snow hits.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

—Everywhere. Everything is fodder for a story. The idea for the MacGuffin in Better than Nun came from a morning conversation at the Malice Domestic conference a few years ago. The ideas for others came from dreams (and nightmares). My brain is a strange place.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

—Carving out time. I work full-time and take care of my house. Sometimes it’s difficult to get creative after a long day. But deadlines aren’t forgiving, so I power through.

What do you think makes a good story?

—A compelling main character. I’ll read almost any genre if the writer makes me root for the MC. Worldbuilding, research, plot, secondary characters—they’re all important, but a main character who grabs me is essential.

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

—Ana, the narrator of a book I haven’t yet found a home for. She’s strong-willed, likes to knit, and is all about family. Naturally, I throw her into a sink-or-swim situation completely outside anything she’s experienced. Writers are evil.

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

—Perhaps it’s how Giulia handles sleuthing with ghosts. She’s always practical, so when she discovered ghosts were real, and they wanted her to help them solve their murders, she chose to create a new dimension to her detective agency. Kids need college funds. Giulia is all about justice—and paying the bills—so any ghost wanting her help has to have humans who can meet her fee schedule.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

—I’m writing the book I’ve been wanting to write for years. Now that I’ve had a dozen books published I figure I have the chops. It’s a retelling of the Oresteia set in a modern-day traveling carnival. Some people think ancient Greek drama is boring. Not on your life! This book has drugs, sex, murder, backstabbing business deals, and possibly the most dysfunctional family in the literary world. I’m having a ball writing it. I also get to go to carnivals again in the name of research. Whee!

Thank you, Alice, for visiting today!

Keep reading to learn about Alice’s new book!

Better Than Nun (A Giulia Driscoll Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Henery Press (May 21, 2019)
Hardcover: 284 pages
ISBN-10: 1635114829
ISBN-13: 978-1635114829
Paperback: 284 pages
ISBN-10: 1635114799
ISBN-13: 978-1635114799
Digital ASIN: B07P687GDG

Ghosts for Mardi Gras!

Giulia Driscoll used to say running a detective agency was the busiest job she’d ever had. Then the ghosts showed up, and she figured now she’s the busiest ever. This of course challenged the Universe to say, “Hold my beer.”

Today she’s running the agency, sleuthing on behalf of the ghosts, and being the mother of a two-month-old. At last she understands those 5-Hour Energy commercials.

The Universe then dropped two clients in her lap for Mardi Gras: a family greedy to find hidden money and the son of her least-favorite person, Ken Kanning of The Scoop. The positive: a date night! The not-so-positive: it’s a working date night. Driscoll Investigations is joining the big Mardi Gras costume charity gala to search for potential thieves. Kanning Junior will be at the party showing off his tame ghost.

The Scoop, a few hundred drunk revelers, a mercenary family, and a ghost who isn’t as tame as the kid thinks. What could possibly go wrong?

Did someone just hear the Universe say, “Hold my beer”?

More About the Author

Alice Loweecey is a baker of brownies and tormenter of characters, Alice Loweecey recently celebrated her thirtieth year outside the convent. She grew up watching Hammer horror films and Scooby-Doo mysteries, which explains a whole lot. When she’s not creating trouble for her sleuth Giulia Driscoll or inspiring nightmares as her alter-ego Kate Morgan, she can be found growing her own vegetables (in summer) and cooking with them (the rest of the year).

Website: aliceloweecey.net

Facebook: facebook.com/GiuliaDriscoll

Twitter: @AliceLoweecey

Goodreads: Alice Loweecey

Purchase Links

Amazon  B&N 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
May 20 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
May 20 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 20 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
May 21 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
May 21 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
May 21 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW, GUEST POST
May 22 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
May 22 – Readeropolis – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 22 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
May 23 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 23 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
May 24 – Author Teresa Watson – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
May 24 – I’m All About Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Share
May 082019
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to welcome Annette Dashofy to Escape With Dollycas today!

 


Hi Annette,

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I write the Zoe Chambers Mystery Series about a paramedic/deputy coroner in rural southwestern Pennsylvania, where I’ve lived all my life. Cry Wolf, the seventh in the series, is an Agatha Award nominee for Best Contemporary Novel of 2018 (my fourth nomination). My newest release is Fair Game, the eighth in the series.

What are three things most people don’t know about you? That’s a hard question. I’m largely an open book, which drives my husband crazy because he’s ultra-private. Does that count as one? Okay, two more. I once owned and operated a photo studio, Dashofy Photography, with my husband. And I once shook hands with our local SWAT team’s bomb robot. That’s three.

What is the first book you remember reading? Oh, my. Cat in the Hat, perhaps. Or Green Eggs and Ham. I started young!

What are you reading now? Hank Phillippi Ryan’s Trust Me.

What books have most inspired you? In addition to those by Mary Higgins Clark and Agatha Christie, which I mention below, I deeply admire those by Julia Spencer-Fleming (the Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne series) and Craig Johnson (the Walt Longmire series). I love their use of language and emotion.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries? As a kid, I was writing all genres until I read Where Are the Children by Mary Higgins Clark. From that point on, I was hooked on crime fiction. And I fell in love with Agatha Christie’s mysteries. After a failed attempt at writing romantic suspense, I discovered a passion for creating puzzles for my readers to solve.

Do you have a special place you like to write? I do the bulk of my writing in my home office on my desktop computer, surrounded by forensics books and sticky notes.

Where do the ideas for your books come from? Everywhere! News stories. Overheard conversations. Random thoughts that pop into my head. For instance, the first chapter of Fair Game grew out of a frustrating and sleepless night in a mystery conference hotel room. The walls were paper thin, and our next-door neighbors were having a party. I could quite literally hear every word they said, and some of it was stuff I didn’t think they’d want repeated! I wanted to yell through the wall, “I can hear you!” Instead, I started thinking, what if they were talking about murdering someone? (They weren’t, FYI.) And that’s what inspired the opening to this book!

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging? The beginning. And then the middle. And then the end. It’s all challenging, but that’s what makes it so much fun.

What do you think makes a good story? As a reader, I want interesting, complex characters. They should have flaws, but I want to like them enough to spend time with them. I also want a thought-provoking plot that raises questions and makes me want to turn the page to find the answers. As a writer, I try to create the same things I like as a reader.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you? Zoe, of course. She’s a paramedic. I used to be an EMT. She has a horse. I used to have horses. We’re both farmgirls. However, she’s had a much rougher life than I have. She comes from a troubled family, while my family is quite boring! Oddly enough, although Zoe may be most like me, Pete is the easier character to write.

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre? I believe it’s the paramedic aspect. I don’t know of any other paramedic mysteries out there. If there are, please tell me! I’d love to read them!

What’s next on the horizon for you? I’m finishing up writing the ninth Zoe Chambers Mystery, tentatively titled Under the Radar. It should come out early next year, but I don’t have a release date yet. And I’m noodling with murder possibilities for the tenth in the series.

Thank you, Annette, for taking the time to visit today!

Keep reading for my thoughts on Annette’s new book.

About the Book 


Fair Game (A Zoe Chambers Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Henery Press (May 14, 2019)
Hardcover: 286 pages
ISBN-10: 1635115027
ISBN-13: 978-1635115024
Paperback: 286 pages
ISBN-10: 1635114993
ISBN-13: 978-1635114997
Digital ASIN: B07NSBHMRR

Paramedic Zoe Chambers hoped a week at the Monongahela County Fair, showing her horse and manning the ambulance, would provide a much-needed diversion from recent events that continue to haunt her.

An old friend, a bossy nemesis, and a teenage crush from her 4-H days fail to offer the distraction she had in mind. But ever the caregiver, she soon bonds with a troubled teen and a grieving father.

Back in Vance Township, a missing woman turns up dead, leading Police Chief Pete Adams into a journey through her mysterious final hours. With each new clue, the tragic circumstances of her death grow increasingly muddied.

A cryptic phone call leads Pete to join Zoe for an evening at the fairgrounds where the annual school bus demolition derby concludes with a gruesome discovery and a new case that may or may not be connected to the first.

Pete’s quest for the motive behind two homicides—and Zoe’s stubborn determination to reunite a family—thrust them both onto a collision course with a violent and desperate felon.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

County fairs are so much fun. Zoe Chambers is not only at the Monongahela County Fair as a paramedic, she is also there as a participant, showing her horse, Windstar. She is surprised that someone from her own 4H days is there in the capacity of judge. She also meets the son of another old 4H member. She learns his mother is not the best parent and she tries to take the young man under her wing. Meeting a grieving father also brings out her compassion.

While Zoe is at the fair Police Chief Pete Adams has a case that turns from a missing person to murder after her body is found. The investigation brings Pete to the fair. A fair where a second body is found right after the school bus demolition derby ends. Unsure if the deaths are connected to each other and to other events Zoe and Pete find themselves on a quest to find out and solve all the mysteries.

Annette Dashofy again takes us on a wild ride as she crams all 286 pages full of a mystery the latches on and won’t let go.

Paramedic/Deputy Coroner and Police Chief Pete Adams barely get a moment to breathe. Zoe has her fair activities, an autopsy to view along with all the followup, has been recruited to keep her eyes on a troubled teen, her cousin Patsy Greene, who is also showing her horse, is having man trouble, the farm she inherited still needs a lot of work, and an old crush makes her an offer she may not be able to refuse. Pete is working his case and then another when the second body is found. He is also getting pressure to take a step that could change his life and Zoe’s. He also tries to find time to spend with Zoe at the fair. Oh! and there is an election coming up that could change both their jobs.

Ms. Dashofy has written a complex mystery with many moving parts and many suspects. I always love following these characters on each and every journey. The excitement of the fair was a great setting. Getting to see Zoe in her horsey element was fun along with meeting the people from her past. The people are strong characters but very flawed and some are dealing with heavy issues that affect not only themselves but other people in their lives. While some heavy topics are addressed the author knows just when to add a little bit of necessary humor.

I also enjoyed learning about showing horses and learning about youngsters joining 4H today. I belonged many years ago, but I was a city kid so my fair entries were more of them craft variety instead of the animals. We have enjoyed many fairs with our family over the years. Mostly the music stars for the adults but we always take a trip through the animal barns with the kids and the food and rides are always a hit.

Well-written and well-plotted. The core characters continue to grow and star in this top-notch mystery. I can’t wait for the next book to be released.

These books are best read in order but the author provides enough background to start with any book in the series.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Annette Dashofy is the USA Today best-selling author of the Zoe Chambers mystery series about a paramedic and deputy coroner in rural Pennsylvania’s tight-knit Vance Township. CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE was a finalist for the Agatha Award for Best First Novel of 2014 and BRIDGES BURNED was nominated for the 2015 Agatha for Best Contemporary Novel.

Author Links

Website–    Blog–  Facebook–  Twitter–  

Purchase Links – AmazonAmazon Hardcover/PaperbackB&NKoboIndieBound

Praise for Fair Game
(A Zoe Chambers Mystery)
by Annette Dashofy

This is a wonderful series with great, realistic characters. I love Zoe and Pete. They are both intelligent, caring, loyal and somewhat emotional.
~Carla Loves To Read

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
May 6 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW
May 6 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
May 7 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
May 7 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
May 8 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 8 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
May 9 – I’m All About Books – CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 9 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
May 10 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
May 10 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
May 11 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
May 11 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
May 12 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
May 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 13 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT
May 13 – Elizabeth McKenna Romance Author – SPOTLIGHT
May 14 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 14 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

 


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

Share
Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Murder (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series) by Jodi Rath Get Your Copy Today!
+ +
%d bloggers like this: