Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Guest Posts Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Special Guest Vanessa Westermann Author of Cover Art (A Charley Scott Mystery) #GuestPost / #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Cover Art (A Charley Scott Mystery)
by Vanessa Westermann


I am delighted to welcome Vanessa Westermann to Escape With Dollycas today!


On Writing Strong Heroines
Vanessa Westermann

When readers meet Charley Scott in Cover Art, she’s just taken the biggest risk of her life. On the verge of giving up on her art, she quit her marketing job to open a summer pop-up gallery in Canada’s cottage country. But when a man is found dead by chocolate, she has to uncover the killer’s identity before murder spreads its poison through the lakeside village…

My writing process has always been character-based. I’ll know who I want to write about before I know what adventures they’ll have. However, for Cover Art, my character development was more intentional than it had been before.

I started my writing career as a pantser, not a plotter, but over the years I have come to love and appreciate a good outline. In fact, because I teach creative writing, I find that, through the lesson prep and class discussions, I’m constantly learning new ways to improve my own craft.

While planning Cover Art, I tried and loved James N. Frey’s method for character development, described in his book How to Write a D*** Good Mystery. Everybody’s imagination works differently — a resource one writer finds useful may not work for another. Frey’s technique requires a fair amount of pre-writing, but his approach was a more efficient version of what I was already doing and it just clicked.

Based on the qualities of mythic heroes, Frey’s approach uses brainstorming and journaling techniques to create a hero/detective who has a ruling passion and a psychology that develops from her/his background and physiology. His method prompted me to explore my character’s backstory in much more detail than I normally would have, and still gave my imagination free rein.

I chose to make my amateur sleuth a struggling artist who is running a pop-up gallery because both art and mysteries are about perspective. To understand an artwork, you have to pull it apart and figure out how the pieces fit together to make a whole, the same way you do when solving a mystery. When we look at a painting, we’re trying to uncover the artist’s truth. When a sleuth gathers clues, she is trying to uncover the criminal’s truth. All it takes is a shift in perspective, to empathize with a murderer, to understand the motives, the mistakes, that lead someone to take another person’s life.

Charley Scott’s ruling passion is that she wants to be able to earn a living from her art. She has a keen sense of observation and is very perceptive. Her paintings look like pulp fiction covers, featuring female heroines and the everyday acts of kindness and courage that so often go unnoticed.

Charley has courage. She will act in the face of danger to bring a murderer to justice and will venture into the darkness, despite her fear of the dark. I couldn’t resist giving a character, who values her sense of sight so much, nyctophobia. Writers are cruel, aren’t they?

Like most amateur sleuths, Charley is loyal to old friends and lost causes. She’s quick to help those in need and happy to reconnect with her childhood friend, Kayla, when she joins the exhibit.

I tried to weave a sense of yearning and wish fulfillment through the story. Charley and her sister Meghan both inherited the 1950s cottage, with the gabled roof, red shutters, and lake view. But Meghan is the one who has been able to build a life in Oakcrest, as the editor of the local newspaper. Charley desperately wants to call it home, too. All of her best memories are there.

In the heart of the Kawartha countryside, the little village nestles on the shores of Blue Heron Lake, at a crossroads between barns and laneways, ploughed fields, and sugar bush. Oakcrest has the pace of a country village, but the quaint specialty shops and vibrant arts community of a city. Only a two-hour drive from Toronto, the waterfront cottages, Adirondack chairs, and boats cruising by attract weekenders to the peaceful getaway. The constant influx of visitors—arriving with the black flies and staying until the first red leaves fall from the trees—provide locals with fertile ground for gossip.

To top it off, Oakcrest has an artisan chocolate shop, run by a handsome chocolatier. Charley is a self-confessed chocoholic. She believes a car trip isn’t complete without a bag of Hershey’s Kisses, and her chocolate Labrador retriever is called Cocoa. Need I say more?

When Kayla’s husband is found dead, the result of eating boutique chocolates, the homicide investigation threatens to make Charley’s pop-up gallery a failure before it even begins.

In order to prove Kayla’s innocence and save the gallery, it’s up to Charley to see past the obvious and find the killer…

I enjoy every minute I get to spend in Charley’s company, and I hope readers will too!

Thank you Vanessa for visiting today!

Now keep reading for my thoughts about Vanessa’s book Cover Art!

About Cover Art


Cover Art (A Charley Scott Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Kawartha Lakes, Ontario, Canada
Cormorant Books (May 17, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 440 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1770866426
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1770866423
Kindle Cormorant Books (May 28, 2022)
ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0B1H89KC1

Charley Scott is thrilled to be running a summer pop-up gallery in cottage country. Returning to the lakeside village, not on vacation but as an artist, she’s determined to turn her hobby into a career.

But, beneath the surface of this peaceful town, darkness lurks. There’s a history.

Local chocolatier, Matt Thorn, is struggling with his father’s death and his legacy of deception. As Matt plans to expose his father’s secrets, a local is found dead, the result of eating Matt’s chocolates.

Luckily, art is all about perspective and Charley’s always had a keen eye. Can she see past the obvious and find the killer?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Charley and Meghan have inherited their grandparent’s cottage by the lake. Meghan moved in with her cop boyfriend right away but Charley took some time. Now she has made the huge decision to quit her job and try to make a career out of what she loves, being an artist. That means she and her dog Cocoa coming to the cottage and Oakcrest where she and two other artists are setting up a pop-up gallery for the summer. Her life now hinges on the success of that gallery. Can she make a living selling her unique Cover Art?

Matt Thorne has returned to Oakcrest and moved into the house his father left him. His father is still intimidating Matt from the grave, he can feel his presence in the house surrounded by all his father’s things. His father had many secrets, secrets that Matt just has to delve into and reveal along with trying to make his new chocolate business a success.

Andrew Clarkston was a domineering man in business and at home. His wife Kayla is one of the artists working with Charley but she will not be participating in it at all if he has anything to say about it.

Thomas Kelley is the third artist participating in the pop-up gallery. Now retired there is something shady in his past. He definitely has a problem with Andrew.

So when Andrew Clarkson is found dead and some of Matt’s chocolates appear to be the murder weapon almost everyone connected to Charley becomes a suspect and Alex goes into full cop mode. Charley has some unique talents that can help him but some threats lead him to tell her to back off. But that is not happening!


Ms. Westermann has introduced a strong cast of characters in the first Charley Scott mystery. They already have some depth to draw readers in but there is plenty of room for growth as the series continues. I admire Charley for chasing her dreams and giving them a chance. She also has a great bond with her sister that can flourish now that are actually spending some real time together. I did enjoy the way Charley’s relationship with Matt is in constant flux. It keeps things interesting. Alex and Meghan’s relationship has a few growing pains but they know they are strong together.

The mystery that these characters are placed in is very complex with a lot of moving parts. There are many secrets that need to be revealed and some promises that may need to be broken to find the truth. I had a few suspects on my personal list that stayed there for quite a while but all at once the actual killer rose to the top of my list and stayed there. I can’t say one clue put everything into place for me, the author plotted out the story too well for that and there was still plenty of room for more twists. The character was well-liked but he gave me a little twitch that made me know it was them.

The author’s descriptive detailed writing style lends itself well to all the facets of the story. Whether it be the artwork the artists have created, the squirrel on the top floor of the gallery, Charley and Meghan’s cottage by the lake, the chocolate shop and all its wares, or the place where the exciting ending takes place, everything is easily captured and visualized. I was very entertained throughout the whole book by everything she presented.

I did enjoy the small-town setting of the story. Not far from Ontario Oakcrest is trying to find its place as the world changes. I think the residents are all on the right track. I loved the shop names and what they had to offer. I hope to return as soon as Ms. Westermann finishes the next book in this series for another great escape.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Vanessa Westermann

An avid reader of mysteries, Vanessa Westermann is a former Arthur Ellis Awards judge, holds an M.A. in English Literature, as well as a Bachelor of Education, and has taught creative writing. Her debut mystery, An Excuse for Murder, was published in 2019. At the heart of all of Westermann’s stories are strong female protagonists inspired by the heroines in her own life. She currently lives in Ontario.

Social media links:

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Posted in My Reading Itinerary Monday

My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #21 – 2022

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be traveling to California, Virginia, and Michigan!

Here’s what I read and what I have planned for this week.

Escapes Completed


Cover Art
by Vanessa Westermann
Release Date – May 17, 2022
Setting – Kawartha Lakes, Ontario, Canada
The Great Escapes Tour stops here tomorrow!


Murder with Darjeeling Tea (A Daisy’s Tea Garden Mystery)
by Karen Rose Smith
Release Date – May 24, 2022
Setting – Pennsylvania
I will feature this book this week for Cozy Wednesday!


Seven Deadly Sequins (Bonnie & Clyde Mysteries)
by Julie Anne Lindsey
Release Date – October 15, 2021
Setting – Georgia
My Review will be up Thursday!


Two Wicked Desserts (Kitchen Witch Mysteries)
by Lynn Cahoon
Release Date – July 27, 2021
Setting – Idaho
My Flashback Friday Read!

Scheduled Escapes


Lies, Spies, and the Baker’s Surprise
(A Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery)

by Terry Ambrose
Release Date – May 17, 2022
Setting – California
The Great Escapes Book Tour stops here next Tuesday!


The Diva Says Cheesecake! (A Domestic Diva Mystery)
by Krista Davis
Release Date – May 31, 2022
Setting – Virginia
I will feature this book next week for Cozy Wednesday!


Renovated to Death (A Domestic Partners in Crime Mystery)
by Frank Anthony Polito
Release Date – May 31, 2022
Setting – Michigan
For Review

Future Escapes

May 22 – 28, 2022


Click Here to check out my Current Giveaways!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in Sunday Salon / Sunday Post

Sunday Salon / Sunday Post – A Week in the Life of Dollycas – Weekly Rewind – New Arrivals

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The Sunday Salon is a Facebook group that has become an
informal week in review gathering place for bloggers.

It is also a place to share our thoughts about things of a bookish nature.
You can also link up weekly on Readerbuzz.

SUNDAY POST The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by
Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer
~ It’s a chance to share news~
A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received, and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

HAPPY SUNDAY EVERYONE!

A Week in the Life of Dollycas

https://film-book.com/this-is-us-season-6-episode-18-us-tv-show-trailer-nbc/Are you watching This Is Us? I have loved the show from the start but the last few weeks, since Rebecca sat her kids down and expressed her wishes, I have had the tears rolling down my face every time I watch. Last week’s episode was so well done and memorable I don’t know how they are going to top it this week with the series finale but I will be glued to my television without a book in my hand. These final episodes have deserved all my attention. Like with some of the great books I read I quickly became invested in these characters and I am happy viewers have been able to see the family evolve and that we will get the ending we need to let them go.

On Tuesday I was thrilled to learn that my blog again made the list of 45 Best Mystery Blogs and Websites coming in at #8. I also made the list of the 90 Best Mystery Blogs on the Planet ranked at #5. I love what I do and it is great to be recognized for it.

On Thursday Daisy made her first trip of the year to the dog park. I am sure she didn’t get enough exercise over the winter so she tired out pretty quickly but she can’t wait to go again. She has pulled her harness off the shelf several times and carried it to the door. I am sure she will get there again soon, maybe right after I finish writing this post.

Kaden with the principal

Friday was a big day for my grandson Kaden. He graduated from 8th grade. We are all so proud of him. The pandemic with distance learning was hard on him and so many others but since he has been back in school with face-to-face interaction he found his footing again. High School will present new challenges but I believe he has the tools and support to help him excel. This year he was more confident and in addition to football, he participated in wrestling and track and field all while keeping a handle on his schoolwork. He is growing into an exceptional young man and I am excited to see what the next year will bring while wrapping my head around how fast the years have flown by.

Remi’s last day of school was Friday too. He has all kinds of plans for his summer. I hope some include me 🙂

How was your week?


Weekly Rewind – May 16 – 21, 2022

Monday – My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #20 – 2022

Tuesday – Special Guest – Terrie Farley Moran – Author of Murder, She Wrote: Killer on the Court with Jessica Fletcher #AuthorInterview / #Giveaway @BerkleyMystery

Wednesday – Cozy Wednesday featuring Buried in a Good Book (By the Book Mysteries) by Tamara Berry #Review / #Giveaway @PPPress @Tamara_Morgan

Thursday – A Midsummer Night’s Fudge (A Candy-Coated Mystery) by Nancy Coco #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks @nancyjcoco

Friday – #FlashbackFriday – Dead in the Water (A Mattie Winston Mystery) by Annelise Ryan #Review / #Giveaway @ryan_annelise

Saturday – Saturday Giveaway – Garden Girls Cozy Mystery Novels Box Set (The First 10 Books) (Garden Girls Christian Cozy Mystery Series) by Hope Callaghan

Happy Reading Everyone!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in Giveaways Spotlights

Saturday Giveaway – Garden Girls Cozy Mystery Novels Box Set (The First 10 Books) (Garden Girls Christian Cozy Mystery Series) by Hope Callaghan

Garden Girls Cozy Mystery Novels Box Set
(The First 10 Books) (Garden Girls Christian Cozy Mystery Series)


Garden Girls Cozy Mystery Novels Box Set
Publication date ‏ : ‎ December 27, 2021
Print length ‏ : ‎ 1835 pages
ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09PC6G77X

Treat yourself to this deluxe box set featuring the first 10 novels from bestselling author Hope Callaghan’s “Garden Girls Mystery Series.”

Gloria Rutherford, a lonely widow finds new purpose in life when she and her senior friends help solve a murder in their small Midwestern town.

★★★★★ “If you like clean, fun-filled mysteries that keep you guessing until the end, you’ll love the Garden Girls!”

Discover why so many fans love the Garden Girls Mystery Series with thousands of four and five star reviews!

BONUS: RECIPES INCLUDED!

CONTENTS
1-Who Murdered Mr. Malone?
2-Grandkids Gone Wild
3-Smoky Mountain Mystery
4-Death By Dumplings
5-Eye Spy
6-Magnolia Mansion Mystery
7-Missing Milt
8-Bully In The ‘Burbs
9-Fall Girl
10-Home For The Holidays

WHAT READERS ARE SAYING: (Box Set I)

★★★★★ A very enjoyable read
This was my first “Cozy mystery” and I have to say I enjoyed it thoroughly. I was impressed that each mystery wasn’t a “cookie cutter” of the last one, but rather an intriguing new story. The author has a fun sense of humor and I look forward to reading more of her books!!!! – Jane Austen

★★★★★ I Am In Love
My new favorite mystery! Love the women, love their lives, love their relationship and love their adventures! Very good stories! I am in love! – Leslie Watson Wilson

★★★★★ Wonderful
I loved this series and all of Hope Callahan’s books! Wholesome and entertaining. I highly recommend all of her books. – lyndall713

★★★★★ What a fun series!
Hope Callaghan has created a great group of friends that of course has a leader. You will find the stories containing entertaining characters, adventure, drama, intriguing plots, clean romance and faith-based values. Try them you will love them. Can’t wait to get into the next set of books. – Phyl

★★★★★ Love the Christian aspect of these books!
I am in love with the writings of Hope Callaghan! I’ve read all of the Cruise Ship Cozy mysteries with Millie. Now enjoying the Garden Girls mysteries. Each one has its own mystery & yet connected to the previous book. These books are a good clean read with scripture & prayers. My favorite! – Michele (Shelly) Hedinger

★★★★★ You will be cheering for the characters in this book. Love it!
You can’t go wrong with Garden Girls Cozy Mysteries! These stories are well developed, funny in places, suspenseful, and a joy to read. You will be cheering for the characters as they figure out the murder and mayhem that they come across. – Bev

★★★★★ A fun cozy read.
It is so nice to read stories full of fun and intrigue. The characters quickly became friends and left me wanting to read more. – Ruth M. Morgan

★★★★★ Cozy Mysteries
I enjoyed the humor, the mystery story of older ladies and the writing without curse words…just a fun book to read. – Kindle Customer: Tina

★★★★★ Fun Series
A fun and clean cozy mystery series that reflects family, friendship, faith, and fun. You’ll enjoy this series which features a smart and funny group of senior ladies who have several adventures. – Paula

Synopsis: Who Murdered Mr. Malone? – Book 1

Nothing exciting ever happens in the small town of Belhaven. Nothing that is, until a body was found in the woods behind the local elementary school. With the entire town in an uproar, “Garden Girl” Gloria Rutherford makes it her personal mission to find the killer or killers and solve the mystery with some help from her friends.

PLUS GET THE NEXT 9 BESTSELLING MYSTERIES IN THE SERIES!

About the Author

Hope Callaghan is an American author who loves to write clean fiction books, especially Christian Mystery and Cozy Mystery books. She has written more than 70 mystery books (and counting) in six series.

Born and raised in a small town in West Michigan, she now lives in Florida with her husband. She is the proud mother of three wonderful children.

When she’s not doing the thing she loves best…writing books…she enjoys cooking, traveling, and reading books.

Get New Releases, Giveaways, FREE, and Discounted Mystery Books at: hopecallaghan.com/newsletter

Or Text the word: books to 33222 from your mobile phone

—————————————

★ AMAZON BESTSELLING AUTHOR ★

★ Mom’s Choice Award Winner! ★

I am giving away 1 Kindle Box Set! 

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Contest Will End June 4, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For The Entry Form

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways TBR Pile Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Dead in the Water (A Mattie Winston Mystery) by Annelise Ryan #Review / #Giveaway @ryan_annelise

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.


Dead in the Water (A Mattie Winston Mystery)
Hard-Boiled Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington (February 28, 2017)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 149670665X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496706652
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 368 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496706668
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496706669
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B01GBAG70E

As a single mom and deputy coroner of Sorenson, Wisconsin, Mattie Winston is used to her life being a juggling act. But now that she’s moved in with Detective Steve Hurley and his teenaged daughter, and has started planning their wedding, her home life is looking more like a three-ring circus. At least her workload at the Medical Examiner’s office is lightened by the new hire Hal Dawson. But before Hal can even cash his first paycheck, he’s murdered on a fishing trip with his girlfriend, who’s gone missing. To keep her life from going completely under, Mattie will have to dive deep for clues. But a killer is just as determined to keep the truth from ever surfacing . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Mattie and Hurley have moved into together to raise their son, Matthew now that they have his teenage daughter Emily’s approval. A wedding will happen soon if they can squeeze it in around their hectic jobs. Mattie had thought her part-time schedule would free up some time but her new co-worker Hal Dawson was just found dead on his boat and his girlfriend is missing. On top of that her boss, Izzy is having some serious medical issues and a temporary Medical Examiner has stepped in. Mattie finds herself working closely with Hurley to find out why Hal was found Dead in the Water but the killer seems to be quite elusive and the bodies are piling up.


I do love that the series is set very close to where I actually live and that when they say someone is on their way to or from Madison or Milwaukee I can easily visualize the trip. It is fun when other landmarks are mentioned too.

I am so happy that Mattie, Hurley, Emily, and Matthew are all under one roof and they have come up with a plan to try to juggle everything in their complicated lives. They all seem really happy and I am excited about their future. I am concerned about Izzy and Dom. They are still finding their way with a new baby in the house and Izzy’s judgemental mother in the guest house. Izzy has a serious medical episode in this story and it was very scary. As you can see, I have become invested in these realistic genuine characters Ms. Ryan has created. The unique family dynamic is what really drives the books in this series.

This story grabbed me from the start. Mattie is in court testifying about a gruesome discovery she made when called to a scene for a suspicious death. Then as soon as she is done she is set to another scene for another death that has some unusual facets. Then she has to deal with Izzy which is followed quickly by the dead body found Dead in the Water. Are all or some of these cases related? That is up to Mattie and Hurley with a little assistance to figure out all while dealing with the joys of daily family life.

I really enjoyed the way the author plotted out this story. She mixes together mystery, suspense, family, and humor with such a talented hand. The story flows so well that it is almost impossible to put down due to some hair-raising twists and deadly turns. The ending just rocked me to the core. We have definitely moved from the cozy Stiff part of this series to the edgier hard-boiled Dead part of this series and I am more than fine with that.

Dead in the Water is my favorite book in this series so far. I am excited to dive into Dead Calm soon!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Annelise Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of the popular Mattie Winston mystery series and a pseudonym for Beth Amos, who also writes the Mack’s Bar Mystery series under the pseudonym Allyson K. Abbott. Beth is a real-life emergency room RN living in Wisconsin. She believes laughter is the best medicine, and with the Mattie Winston series, she is hoping to “medicate” the masses.

For more Mattie Winston fun and to keep up with the latest news, visit www.mattiewinston.com

New Series Starting September 13, 2022

Also by this Author

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy of Dead in the Water.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End June 3, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For The Entry Form

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

Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Finish The Series Challenge Giveaways New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

A Midsummer Night’s Fudge (A Candy-Coated Mystery) by Nancy Coco #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks @nancyjcoco

This book will be released on Tuesday!


A Midsummer Night’s Fudge (A Candy-Coated Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
10th in Series
Setting – Mackinac Island, Michigan
Kensington Cozies (May 24, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496735536
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496735539
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09FFYSHTJ

After a summer celebration on Michigan’s Mackinac Island ends in murder, hotel and fudge shop owner Allie McMurphy puts on her sleuthing hat . . .
 
THERE’S NO SUGARCOATING A KILLER’S SCHEME
 
During the Midsummer Night’s Festival, Allie decides to take her bichonpoo, Mal, home to spare her furry little ears from the sounds of fireworks. But on her way back, Allie spots a body in the lake. Just minutes ago, Winona Higer was crowning the event’s Queen—could the competition have really been that deadly?

While she ponders the mystery the next morning, Allie prepares her favorite dark chocolate cherry fudge recipe. But she’s soon recruited to sub for the late Winona and serve as parade float judge, among other duties. As she hears rumors and gossip, and learns of mean pranks and threatening notes, her instincts kick in—despite her boyfriend the cop’s disapproval. Now, between managing a new hire and keeping the tourists filled with fudge, she’s dealing with a case that’s boiling over . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We are back on Mackinac Island just in time for the Midsummer Night’s Festival. There is a variety of events including an outside masquerade ball, a beauty pageant, a bonfire on the beach, plenty of food and drink plus a pig roast, with a fireworks finale.

Like most dogs, Mal is not a fan of fireworks so after the queen has been crowned with a bit of drama Allie takes her pup home. On her way back she sees a body floating in the lake, a woman wearing a white dress with rainbow hair. Allie dives in to save her but it is too late. Winona Higer, the woman in charge of the festival is dead.

Allie can’t get the woman’s death off her mind and is very surprised to be asked to fill Winona’s position on several committees. She realizes by taking her place she may get some information on who could have killed Winona so she accepts. Rex is not happy with her decision especially when he learns of some pranks and threatening notes. He doesn’t want Allie fudging up his investigation and he sure doesn’t want her to be a target for the killer.


It is always a pleasure to visit Mackinac Island and all the wonderful characters Nancy Coco has created. They are some of my cozy mystery favorites. Allie is a very strong protagonist, confident, smart, with a huge heart but this time she made took some super risky moves. She just wasn’t listening at all to Rex’s warnings or at least not taking them seriously. It would have been a terrible shame to have her die so close to home because she ventured out when she shouldn’t have. It did make for some exciting moments though.

Ms. Coco gave Allie and readers a nice selection of suspects to sort through with some twists trying to misdirect everyone’s thinking. I found myself focused on one individual quite early in the story. Something just felt off. There were clues that should have pulled me away from the person but I stuck with them and the story played out in a fantastic way that confirmed every element of my theory. That is something that rarely happens but it is so much fun when it does.

Again, the setting of Mackinac Island and all its uniqueness make the story special. The island is a place where the horse is king, and where the streets have been car-free for over 100 years. Sadly, I have never been there but have seen plenty of pictures. Those along with the author’s descriptions bring each shop, hotel, restaurant, pier, and horse-drawn carriage alive in my mind’s eye. A trip there is on my bucket list but until then I have to settle for the virtual trips the books in this series allow me to take.

A Midsummer’s Night Fudge is a delicious cozy mystery set in an idyllic place filled with delightful characters, an interesting mystery, and recipes too. I really enjoyed my visit and can’t wait to return.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Nancy Coco is the byline chosen by popular author Nancy J. Parra for use exclusively with the Candy-Coated Mysteries series. With degrees in engineering, journalism, and a MA in Writing Popular Fiction, Nancy has published in cozy mystery, romantic suspense, and sweet western historical romances.

An Air Force veteran who rose to the rank of sergeant, Nancy is a member of an online group of female veterans who are authors—“Military Women Who Have Turned Sword to Pen.” The group’s website is www.romvets.com.

Nancy is also a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She has given workshops on a number of writing topics and enjoys doing author panels at fan conferences such as Malice Domestic and Bouchercon. She lives in California with her dog—a bichonpoo affectionately known as Little Dog on Nancy’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

WebsiteTwitterFacebook 

Coming May 24, 2022

Written as Nancy J. Parra

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.

Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

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

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

Follow Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End June 2, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in 2022 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Buried in a Good Book (By the Book Mysteries) by Tamara Berry #Review / #Giveaway @PPPress @Tamara_Morgan

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

It is my pleasure to share my thoughts with you 
today about Buried In A Good Book!
It will be released next Tuesday!


Buried in a Good Book (By the Book Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Washington State
Poisoned Pen Press (May 24, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1728248604
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1728248608
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09CLLJN32

Bestselling thriller writer Tess Harrow is almost at the end of her rope when she arrives with her teenage daughter at her grandfather’s rustic cabin in the woods. She hopes this will be a time for them to heal and bond after Tess’s recent divorce, but they’ve barely made it through the door when an explosion shakes the cabin. Suddenly it’s raining fish guts and…is that a human arm?

Tess was hardly convincing Gertie that a summer without Wi-Fi and running water would be an adventure. Now she’s thrust into a murder investigation, neighbors are saying they’ve spotted Bigfoot in the woods near her cabin, and the local sheriff is the spitting image of her character Detective Gabriel Gonzales—something he’s less than thrilled about. With so much more than her daughter’s summer plans at stake, it’s up to Tess to solve this case before anyone else gets hurt.

Put your sleuthing hat on—Buried in a Good Book features:

  • A thriller writer who knows way more than anyone should about death and dismemberment
  • Her young daughter who’s more intrigued by dead bodies than she probably should be
  • An isolated cabin in the woods that’s probably—definitely—hiding something
  • The tiny mountain town that seems less than troubled by a sudden abundance of murders

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

A rustic cabin in the woods of Northern Washington, “they could probably reach out and touch the Canadian border”, with no electricity, phone service, or Wi-Fi, seemed like the perfect place for bestselling author Tess Harrow to bond with her daughter and finish her book following her divorce. Expecting a lot of peace and quiet they are jolted literally when an explosion occurs and then another and another. When Tess and Gertie turn to investigate they see a man running toward them shouting followed by another BOOM! Then came a shower of water, fish guts, and a HUMAN ARM! They hadn’t even gotten unpacked and they already had to call the cops.

Tess writes about murder all the time but solving one in real life could be really exciting especially when she meets the local sheriff who bears a striking resemblance to her lead character Detective Gabriel Gonzales. Of course, the sheriff doesn’t want her help but that is not going to stop her from solving the case before he does. Plus all this drama is going to be perfect for her new book!


Oh, my, this was a hilarious cozy mystery!

Tess was a strong protagonist but could be a bit aggravating at times. She is always thinking about scenes for her next book, basically, she has her mind on murder almost 100% of the time and sometimes drifts off into her own little world, but she pulls it off. Her daughter Gertie, is a typical teenager, dependent on technology, livid that they are out in the boonies with no cell towers. But then she comes around and sometimes is several steps ahead of her mother in figuring things out. She also finds herself lost in a book during this story and I LOVED THAT!

Readers are introduced to several characters including Sheriff Boyd and that man was so patient with Tess. He really surprised me which made him my favorite character. He had to deal with some really crazy things and he didn’t get shook. The supporting cast is rounded out by a bookmobile librarian who becomes fast friends with Tess and Gertie, a couple of deputies including a budding author, the Peabody brothers who own Peabody Timber, and other residents of Winthrop. Tess’s ex also makes an appearance. I felt all the characters were pretty well fleshed out for the first book in the series.

Ms. Berry has written a really unique mystery full of corkscrew twists and gritty turns. Tess’s years of writing thrillers help her envision several different scenarios of what could be happening in the woods by her grandfather’s cabin and she is happy to share all of them with Sheriff Boyd. Some are pretty out there but she soon was on the right track. It was a lot of fun to follow in her footsteps as all the clues started to fall into place but I was totally surprised by the super exciting ending.

As I said, this book is so funny, I had several laugh-out-loud moments. But there were a few scenes that if I were watching it as a movie I may have covered my eyes. That being said those scenes were true to the plot the author was building so it made total sense in this off-the-wall mystery.

Buried in a Good Book will keep readers on their toes while tickling their funny bones. Tess and Gertie’s relationship really evolved into something wonderful by the end of the story and I am anxious to see what the author has in store for them next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Tamara Berry is a part-time author and part-time freelance copywriter/editor. She has a B.A. degree in English Literature from Eastern Washington University. In addition to books, she has mad love for all things TV, movies, and pop culture. Find out more and her website and sign up to be on her mailing list here.


Coming November 29, 2022

Also by Tamara Berry

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

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

 Sign up for the author’s mailing list for 5 Bonus Entries!

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End June 1, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For The Entry Form

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

                                  

 

Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Interviews

Special Guest – Terrie Farley Moran – Author of Murder, She Wrote: Killer on the Court with Jessica Fletcher #AuthorInterview / #Giveaway @BerkleyMystery

Murder, She Wrote: Killer on the Court
by Jessica Fletcher & Terrie Farley Moran


I am excited to welcome Terrie Farley Moran
to Escape With Dollycas today!

Hi Terrie, 

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi Lori, it is great to be here. I am a lifelong New Yorker and very happy to be a grandmother. Writing is my third career and so far it is the most fun of the three.

What is the best thing about taking over writing such a long-running popular series?

Well, I have been a fan of Murder, She Wrote since the first episode of the show appeared on television in September 1984. I also began to read the books when the first one was published in, I think, 1989. So the absolute best thing for me is that I am hanging out with my long time friend Jessica Fletcher and many of her friends as well.

What is the worst thing about taking over the writing of such a long-running popular series?

The television series filmed more than two hundred fifty episodes between 1984 and 1996. And as I mentioned the books began sometime around 1989 and have been written by two previous authors. They were never considered to be a continuation of the television series since, for many years, they were released while the show was still on the air. Naturally, over this length of time there have been character changes. I thought Mayor Sam Booth and his dog Winston were wonderfully entertaining characters in the television show, but by the time I began writing the books, the Mayor is now a man named Jim Shevlin. And somewhere along the line Sheriff Mort Metzger and Adele got divorced and he has remarried a vivacious redhead named Maureen. Keeping up with the changes that came along over nearly forty years remains a challenge.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

I write at a computer in a small home office but I edit in the living room, relaxing in my recliner. Having said that, I also write in doctor’s waiting rooms, airports, hotels, and even in my car. I always have work with me and will write pretty much anywhere if I am required to sit for more than a few minutes.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing or on a deadline?

I generally do some writing related work every day: research, writing, editing, publicity, cleaning my workspace, etc. But as long as a deadline doesn’t loom, I like to spend time with any or all of my grandchildren. As you know, that is the best fun ever!!

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

The Island of Ireland! All of my ancestors came to America from various counties in Ireland. They met and married other Irish immigrants here in New York which led to my grandparents, my parents, and ultimately me. The first time I visited Ireland it felt exactly like coming home so in 2017 I fulfilled my most cherished dream and traveled to Ireland with my children and grandchildren.

What is next on the horizon for you?

Your last question is a great lead-in to my answer to this question.  I am finishing up a book in which Jessica Fletcher travels to Northern Ireland. Jessica spends some time in Belfast City and in the village of Bushmills. In her travels she visits the Titanic Museum, Ballycastle, Fairhead, Giant’s Causeway and other lovely places but, of course, there is a murder!! I am delighted that Murder, She Wrote, Death on the Emerald Isle will be released on January 3, 2023.

Thank you for visiting today and taking the time to answer my questions.

It was totally my pleasure. Dollycas tours are always such fun.

Now everyone, keep reading below to learn about MSW: Killer on the Court!

About MSW: Killer on the Court


Murder, She Wrote: Killer on the Court
Cozy Mystery
55th in Series
Berkley (May 17, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593333659
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593333655
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09CYHPQ54

Jessica Fletcher’s sunny beach vacation with her nephew’s family takes a dark turn in this new installment in the USA Today bestselling series.

Jessica is delighted when her nephew Grady invites her to spend a few days with his family in an oceanside New York bungalow. She packs her bags and heads down to the city, ready to spend some quality time with Grady, his wife, Donna, and their young son, Frank.

But the morning after Jessica’s arrival, Donna finds her boss dead on a tennis court, and Jessica’s dreams of a relaxing visit are quashed. Everyone in the small beachside community is a suspect, and the local authorities—headed by an old colleague of Cabot Cove sheriff Mort Metzger—have asked that no one leave town. Will Jessica be able to find a killer and salvage the rest of her trip?

More About the Authors

Along with Jessica Fletcher, Terrie Farley Moran co-writes the Murder She Wrote mystery series including  Murder, She Wrote: Killer on the Court. She is the author of the Read ‘Em and Eat cozy mystery series and also co-writes the Scrapbooking Mysteries with Laura Childs. Recipient of both the Agatha and the Derringer Awards, Moran has published numerous mystery short stories. The only thing Terrie enjoys more than wrangling mystery plots into submission is hanging out with any or all of her seven grandchildren.

Author Links – Webpage   Facebook 

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboIndieBoundBookshop.orgPenguinRandomHouse – 

Coming January 3, 2023

Find more Murder She Wrote Titles Here.
Also by Terrie Farley Moran

Written with Laura Childs

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
May 16 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
May 16 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
May 17 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW
May 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 18 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
May 18 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 19 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 19 – Nellie’s Book Nook – REVIEW
May 20 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
May 20 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
May 21 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
May 22 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
May 23 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW (may not be able to post)
May 24 – Books Blog – SPOTLIGHT
May 25 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW
May 26 – Reading Is My SuperPower – SPOTLIGHT
May 26 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
May 27 – Just Another Teen Reading Books – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 27 – Books to the Ceiling – REVIEW
May 28 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
May 29 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

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Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in My Reading Itinerary Monday

My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #20 – 2022

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be traveling to Canada, Pennsylvania, and Georgia!

Here’s what I read and what I have planned for this week.

Escapes Completed


Buried in a Good Book (By the Book Mysteries)
by Tamara Berry
Release Date – May 24, 2022
Setting – Washington
I will feature this book this week for Cozy Wednesday!


A Midsummer Night’s Fudge (A Candy-coated Mystery)
by Nancy Coco
Release Date – May 24, 2022
Setting – Michigan
My Review will be up Thursday!


Dead in the Water (A Mattie Winston Mystery)
by Annelise Ryan
Release Date – February 28, 2017
Setting – Wisconsin
My Flashback Friday Read and my book
for the Alphabet Soup May Mini Challenge.
My Review will be up Friday!

Scheduled Escapes


Cover Art
by Vanessa Westermann
Release Date – May 17, 2022
Setting – Kawartha Lakes, Ontario, Canada
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Tuesday!


Murder with Darjeeling Tea (A Daisy’s Tea Garden Mystery)
by Karen Rose Smith
Release Date – May 24, 2022
Setting – Pennsylvania
I will feature this book next week for Cozy Wednesday!


Seven Deadly Sequins (Bonnie & Clyde Mysteries)
by Julie Anne Lindsey
Release Date – October 15, 2021
Setting – Georgia
For Review

Future Escapes

May 15 – 21, 2022


Click Here to check out my Current Giveaways!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in Sunday Salon / Sunday Post

Sunday Salon / Sunday Post – A Week in the Life of Dollycas – Weekly Rewind – New Arrivals

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The Sunday Salon is a Facebook group that has become an
informal week in review gathering place for bloggers.

It is also a place to share our thoughts about things of a bookish nature.
You can also link up weekly on Readerbuzz.

SUNDAY POST The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by
Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer
~ It’s a chance to share news~
A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received, and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

HAPPY SUNDAY EVERYONE!

A Week in the Life of Dollycas

Another quiet week around here. I really enjoyed the warmer temperatures but my body revolted a little on Wednesday. I woke up with a headache that just wouldn’t quit. When Daughter #2 got home from work she quickly put the air conditioners in the windows and I have felt better since then. I have been sneaking outside often though because I really love the sunshine and heat.

I have also been playing with that new profile app everyone is sharing on Facebook and I did check out all the warnings, but have determined it is no more dangerous than any other app we download to our phones. Both of my daughters and Kaden have caught the bug as well.

Yesterday Mr. Dollycas and I celebrated our 39th Wedding Anniversary. Son #2 came over with his family and Kaden arrived Friday night and with their help we got some much needed things done around the house and the lawn mowed for the first time this year. Son #2 also delivered our rider lawn mower to the repair shop. When that gets fixed Mr. Dollycas will be hard to get off it. It will be nice not to depend on the kids help so much with the yard. I also made my list of flowers I want to plant in the beds and some perennials and shrubs to add to the landscape.

 

How was your week? 


Weekly Rewind – May 9 – 14, 2022

Monday – My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #19 – 2022

Tuesday – Smile Beach Murder (Outer Banks Bookshop Mystery) by Alicia Bessette #Review

Wednesday – Cozy Wednesday featuring Bear Witness (An Alaska Untamed Mystery) by Lark O. Jensen #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Thursday – Murder in the Community Garden (A Tory Benning Mystery) by Judith Gonda #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Friday – #FlashbackFriday featuring Here Comes the Fudge (A Candy-Coated Mystery) by Nancy Coco @KensingtonBooks @nancyjcoco

Saturday – Special Guest – Shelly Frome – Author of Shadow of the Gypsy #AuthorInterview / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @shellyFrome

Plus – Margaritas, Mayhem & Murder (An Andi Anna Jones Mystery) by Mary Cunningham #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour



I hope you have a fabulous week!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent