Posted in Great Escapes Book Tours

BOOK BLAST – Sneaky’s Summer Mystery: A Cobble Cove Story by Debbie De Louise


Sneaky’s Summer Mystery: A Cobble Cove Story
by Debbie De Louise

About Sneaky’s Summer Mystery


Sneaky’s Summer Mystery: A Cobble Cove Story
Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Solstice Publishing (August 5, 2020)
Print Length: 42 pages
Digital ASIN: B08FCJCJW7

Cobble Cove is in the midst of an August heatwave. It’s the worst time for the air conditioner at the Cobble Cove library to break down. Alicia has no choice but to close the library and bring Sneaky, the library cat, home with her. After scheduling the air conditioner service with Rudy Gibbs, a technician from Hapnabber’s Repair Shop, she is surprised to learn that John knew Rudy when they were teenagers. When Rudy turns up dead after working on the AC at the library and Alicia learns of it during a barbecue she and John host with Gilly and Ramsay, Sneaky and Kittykai must once again protect their favorite ladies when they conduct their own investigation into the murder.

About Debbie De Louise

Debbie De Louise is an award-winning author and a reference librarian at a public library on Long Island. She is a member of Sisters-in-Crime, International Thriller Writers, Long Island Authors Group, and the Cat Writers’ Association. She’s the author of eight novels including the four books of her Cobble Cove cozy mystery series and two short eBooks based on the books. She lives on Long Island with her husband, daughter, and three cats.

Social Media Links:

Website/Blog/Newsletter Sign-Up – Facebook – Twitter – Goodreads

Amazon Author Page – All Author – InstagramLinkedin

Bookbub –  Pinterest–  Debbie’s Character’s Chat Group – Sneaky the Library Cat’s blog

Purchase Link – Amazon 

Also by Debbie DeLouise

Tour Participants

August 27

Here’s How It Happened

Cozy Up With Kathy

Dee-Scoveries

Mochas, Mysteries and Meows

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Literary Gold

August 28

Baroness’ Book Trove

Socrates Book Reviews

StoreyBook Reviews

Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic

Christa Reads and Writes

Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Author Elena Taylor’s Blog

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Posted in Thoughts

Lori Update

Hi Everyone,

First, a certain little girl turns 1 this week. We had a small family party to celebrate on Saturday.

Second, after a couple of weeks without chemo, I have been less tired and while I still have neuropathy in my hands and feet it is getting better for the most part. The thumb and index finger on my good hand seem to be bearing the brunt of most of it. I have been assured it will get better with time.

The good news is that my surgery has been scheduled for this Friday afternoon. The plan is for a lumpectomy with an examination of some lymph nodes under my arm. This is what I have been praying for while preparing myself for a mastectomy. I won’t believe it until I am out of surgery though. I have great confidence in my surgeon and told her to do whatever she needs to do for the best outcome. Of course, a lumpectomy has a shorter recovery time too.

No matter how much breast tissue I lose I will need radiation after. I meet to discuss those options with the radiation specialist tomorrow. I also have a COVID test tomorrow just to be sure I don’t have it, then I have to quarantine myself with only Mr. Dollycas and Daughter #2, because they live with me, until I go to the hospital on Friday.

Until then I am making sure the Great Escapes Book Tour Bloggers have everything they need while I recover and getting my non-computer life in order. Mr. Dollycas is taking time off from work, Daughter #2 will be working but here in the evenings. Daughter #1 will be here to help after I get home and Son #2 is just a few blocks away to assist as needed.  They have all told me not to worry. I am sure they will get it all figured out.

For now, I am hoping and praying that things go as planned with no complications. Putting faith in my surgeon and in God’s hands. I am sure my family will be posting on Facebook and I will teach one of them to post here too. The support you have been giving me is so appreciated. Your thoughts and prayers have uplifted me and given me strength.

 

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

Dash Away All (A Merry & Bright Handcrafted Mystery) by Christina Freeburn #Review


Dash Away All (A Merry & Bright Handcrafted Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Indiana
Publisher: Henery Press (July 7, 2020)
Hardcover: 264 pages
ISBN-10: 1635116023
ISBN-13: 978-1635116021
Paperback: 264 pages
ISBN-10: 163511599X
ISBN-13: 978-1635115994
Digital ASIN: B086TYK58V

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…Merry Winters is excited for her dream-come-true moment: Being an on-site crafter for a Christmas movie. The tidings of joy are short-lived as she finds herself becoming a referee, dealing with a raging Ebenezer, participating in a bucket brigade, and finding evidence in a “murder.”

 

Is someone trying to stop the production or is it tied to a secret someone has on Luna Carmichael, the star of the movie and the queen of Christmas?

 

When Marie, Luna’s assistant, stumbles away from a car accident and dies, Merry believes the accident wasn’t quite so accidental. Was Luna or Marie the target? Merry finds more questions than answers, but one thing is certain: Everyone has an ulterior motive for being part of the production—including Marie.

 

After another murder, Merry wonders if the deaths are tied to a baby born long ago and abandoned. And more importantly, will Merry live long enough to find out?

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Merry Winters has landed a great job, crafting decorations for a Christmas movie, think Hallmark. But she finds the movie’s leading lady, the Queen of Christmas movies, may have ulterior motives in a few hiring decisions for the film, including Merry. Soon after she arrives many of the movie props are destroyed in a fire. She learns there have been many pranks played already, was the fire a prank that went too far or a real crime. Then the star’s assistant dies in a car accident that Merry believes was more murder than accidental. Merry finds herself putting on her sleuthing cap again and finds much more than she ever could have wished for.


I love Christmas movies, both the new Hallmark variety and the classic ones like White Christmas and Miracle on 34th Street so this series is a wonderful gift.

Ms. Freeburn takes our protagonist on the road in Dash Away All. Merry Winters and her guinea pig, Ebenezer, go to Indiana for a dream job that quickly turns into a nightmare. These characters are so well-crafted. I love that Ebenezer got to make his acting debut.

The author also has to introduce several new characters with the movie’s cast and crew along with a few locals who have to evolve over the course of the book. Some are pretty over the top but most are true to real life.

The mystery was very well-plotted with more than one mystery to solve. For me, the second mystery would have had a greater impact if it hadn’t been mentioned in the synopsis. I like to be surprised by twists like the one in this story. Many characters looked like they could be the guilty party and I changed my mind a couple of times. Merry took some real risks to get to the truth. It was fun to tag along with her.

Dash Away All is an entertaining story with captivating characters.  Great for fans of cozy mysteries and Christmas movies.



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About Christina Freeburn

Christina Freeburn has always loved books. There was nothing better than picking up a story and being transported to another place. The love of reading evolved into the love of writing and she’s been writing since her teenage years. Her first novel was a 2003 Library of Virginia Literary Award nominee. Her mysteries series, Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery and Merry & Bright Handcrafted Mysteries, are a mix of crafty and crime and feature heroines whose crafting time is interrupted by crime solving.

Christina served in the US Army and has also worked as a paralegal, librarian, church secretary, and golf shop pro. She lives in West Virginia with her husband, dog, and a rarely seen cat except by those who are afraid and allergic to felines.

Author Links – Webpage     Blog     Facebook     Twitter     Goodreads 

Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N – Kobo



Also by Christina Freeburn

 

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 Thoughts

Change in Plans

CHANGE IN PLANS

The last time I checked in with you I was feeling good and looking forward to my last 3 chemo treatments. The following Thursday while walking to the bedroom I fainted. It happened again on Saturday. I thought maybe my blood sugar was low so I started drinking a lot of juices. But it happened again late Sunday afternoon and my family decided I was going to the ER. It turned out my potassium and magnesium levels were bottoming out and because I naturally have low blood pressure it dropped to levels that made me pass out. They admitted me to give me fluids with potassium and magnesium and kept me for observation until about 11 o’clock on Tuesday. I was scheduled for chemo at noon and didn’t want to miss it. However, when we got to the cancer center my appointment had been canceled because my insurance wouldn’t pay two different facilities on the same day. I was heartbroken and mad at the same time when my oncologist didn’t reschedule me for the next day but said to come in the next week at my usual time.

Fast forward to the following week. I met with my primary doctor on Monday and he said my numbers looked good and he cleared me for chemo. Tuesday I felt great and arrived for my appointment at the cancer center. The nurse told me my oncologist wanted to see me right after they drew blood for my lab work. Usually, he waits until he has the results. I knew immediately he was going to stop my chemo, but the nurse told me she didn’t think so. But that is exactly what he did. He said the risks outweighed the rewards. I begged him to let me finish. My potassium had been low before and I was now taking tablets so that wouldn’t happen. I knew the chemo was shrinking the tumor and that 3 more weeks may shrink it even more, but he wouldn’t change his mind. He took me over to the treatment area to wait to be sure my lab work was good and I had tears rolling down my face. I felt that my body had yet again let me down. My nurse and the social worker were amazing. They helped me accept there was a change in my plans and this was how it was meant to be even though my labs came back with numbers better than I had weeks before. The potassium was at normal levels, the magnesium was almost normal but I hadn’t been taking any meds for that yet. The tears started again when they gave me a Certificate of Achievement signed by all the nurses that took such excellent care of me. I felt I didn’t deserve it. I hate not finishing something I start.

I still wish I could have had those 3 treatments but instead, I am meeting with the surgeon about a month sooner than I had planned. My appointment is this Wednesday. I am not sure what to expect because I haven’t yet had a scan to see how much the tumor has shrunk. The last scan, at the end of May, showed it a shrunk 33%. Because the tumor is so close to the skin I can feel it and it seems much smaller than that to me. I am anxious to hear her plan for surgery while hoping and praying that my body will be cleared for whatever that plan is.

The following week I meet with a radiation specialist to learn what is ahead for me after the surgery.

You may have noticed I have posted a few reviews but I am still way behind. I apologize to authors waiting for my reviews, I plan to post them and share them everywhere as soon as I can.

I continue to appreciate your thoughts and prayers. I will keep you posted about what’s ahead.

Lori 

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

The Key Lime Crime: A Key West Food Critic Mystery by Lucy Burdette #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour – Paradise Rating

The Key Lime Crime: A Key West Food Critic Mystery
by Lucy Burdette

About The Key Lime Crime


The Key Lime Crime: A Key West Food Critic Mystery
Cozy Mystery
10th in Series
Setting – Florida
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (August 11, 2020)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1643853082
ISBN-13: 978-1643853086
ASIN: B07Z2TR2Z2

National bestselling author Lucy Burdette’s tenth Key West Food Critic mystery is piping hot with pie-enthusiasts and murder suspects.

 

When a fierce rivalry between key lime pie bakers leads to a pastry chef’s murder, food critic Hayley Snow is fit to be pied.

 

During the week between Christmas and New Year’s, the year-round population of Key West, Florida, faces a tsunami of tourists and snowbirds. It doesn’t help that outrageously wealthy key lime pie aficionado David Sloan has persuaded the city to host his pie-baking contest. Every pie purveyor on the island is out to win the coveted Key Lime Key to the City and Key Zest food critic Hayley Snow is on the scene to report it.

 

Meanwhile, Hayley’s home life is turning more tart than sweet. Hayley’s new hubby, police detective Nathan Bransford, announces that her intimidating mother-in-law is bearing down on the island for a surprise visit. Hayley offers to escort Nathan’s crusty mom on the iconic Conch Train Tour of the island’s holiday lights, but it becomes a recipe for disaster when they find a corpse among the glittering palm trees and fantastic flamingos. The victim–Au Citron Vert’s controversial new pastry chef–was a frontrunner in Sloan’s contest.

 

It’s bad enough that Hayley’s too-curious mother-in-law is cooking up trouble. Now, the murderer is out to take a slice out of Hayley. Can she handle the heat of a killer’s kitchen?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The week between Christmas and New Year’s is crazy in  Key West, Florida when tourists take over the area. One enterprising chef thought it was the perfect time to hold a contest to find the place serving the best Key Lime Pie. The first event to introduce the chefs participating ends with tempers flaring and pies flying. Key Zest food critic Hayley Snow was there to witness it all.

Hayley and Nathan are starting their life together. They are living with Miss Gloria waiting for their houseboat renovation to happen, Nathan is working overtime with the influx of people on the island, while Hayley is working on several articles for Key Zest. Then Nathan announces his mother is coming for a visit. With every hotel and B&B booked solid, they need to find a place for her to stay because there is no way she will appreciate sleeping on the houseboat. Nathan also explains that he is not going to have time to entertain her and apologies for putting something else on Hayley’s plate. She decides to take the woman on the Conch Train Tour to see the houses all decorated on the island and Gloria goes along for the ride. Eagle-eyed Gloria is sure she saw something at one of the houses and they went to check it out but they found much more than they bargained for . . . a dead pastry chef in a Santa suit.  Her mother-in-law is intrigued and has her own ideas for investigating the death. Hayley is worried because Nathan is not going to be happy and she is afraid they may be the killer’s next victims.


I loved this story! Christmastime in Key West! What could be better?

Lucy Burdette has created such wonderful characters for this series and now she has added Helen Bransford, Nathan’s mother, and she is more than first meets the eye. She is a force no matter what character she is interacting with. I hope to see more of her in future installments because she is unique and savvy. Hayley is one busy lady but she finds time to entertain a woman she had never met, Helen didn’t attend the wedding, and who really loved Nathan’s first wife. Hayley was eager to impress and she did all she could. Miss Gloria never fails to crack me up throughout the story. Her relationship with Hayley continues to grow. They depend on each other. Thankfully, Hayley and Nathan’s houseboat is right next to Gloria. All the characters in this story are well developed and their dialogues are crisp and true to life.

Ms.  Burdette was cooked up a fabulous mystery too. Plenty of suspects, plenty of twists, and plenty of turns, all leading to some great surprises. I was already totally captivated by the story when a very suspenseful part had me truly on the edge of my seat. I was also totally wrong on the guilty party too.

The setting for this series is a delight, I have loved each and every visit. I understand why snowbirds leave the cold weather as we have in Wisconsin behind to spend time at such a happening place. Hopefully without the dead bodies.

I can’t leave without the food mentioned. This time Key Lime Pie was the star and I quickly found out I didn’t know the different ways Key Lime Pie can be made. Learning something new is always a bonus.

Lucy Burdette is a fantastic storyteller who seems to keep topping herself with each book in this series. I highly recommend all 10 books. In fact, this book is one of the best cozies I have read this year earning my Paradise Rating!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About Lucy Burdette

Courtesy Carol Tedesco

Clinical psychologist Lucy Burdette (aka Roberta Isleib) has published 16 mysteries, including the latest in the Key West food critic series, DEATH ON THE MENU (Crooked Lane Books, August 2018.) Her books and stories have been short-listed for Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards. She’s a member of Mystery Writers of America and a past president of Sisters in Crime. She blogs at Jungle Red Writersand shares her love for food with the culinary writers at Mystery Lovers Kitchen She lives in Madison CT and Key West FL. Read more at www.lucyburdette.com.

Author Links:
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Pinterest     Website    Instagram

 

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboIndieBound

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
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August 11 – Jungle Red Writers 
August 12 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  
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August 14 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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

Fowl Murder: A Cozy Mystery with a Determined Female Amateur Sleuth (A Kenya Kanga Mystery) by Victoria Tait #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

REVIEW NOW ADDED!

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Fowl Murder: A Cozy Mystery with a Determined Female Amateur Sleuth
(A Kenya Kanga Mystery) by Victoria Tait

About Fowl Murder

Fowl Murder: A Cozy Mystery with a Determined Female Amateur Sleuth (A Kenya Kanga Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Kenya
Publisher: Kanga Press (July 21, 2020)
ebook, 190 pages
Digital ASIN: B089RRXBC1

 

A shooting on the savannah. A tragedy she’d rather forget. When past and present collide, will she survive to see her future?
Kenya, 2016. Semi-retired vet Rose Hardie just wants to enjoy her golden years and care for her disabled husband. But her peace of mind shatters when a forgotten confidant returns and reopens a case where Rose pulled the trigger. With her memories of the poacher’s shocking death flooding back, she barely catches her breath before her childhood friend is brutally murdered.

 

Braving blackmail and entrenched corruption, the tireless woman dives headfirst into helping the victim’s son solve the crime. But when the lead suspect is killed, Rose’s plans for a peaceful life end up dead and buried…

 

As her own traumatic history unravels, can Rose catch a killer before she becomes the next victim?

 

Foul Murder is the first book in the compelling Kenya Kanga Mystery series. If you like determined heroines, unpredictable twists and turns, and vivid African settings, then you’ll love Victoria Tait’s pulse-pounding tale.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Note: Take a moment to read the Glossary of words before starting to read the books because the author uses many words local to the region. I love that she did this. 

We meet Rose Hardie, known as “Mama Rose,” and her invalid husband, Craig, in Nanyuki, Kenya.    Rose works as a volunteer vet. She also helps anyone with a need the best she can. They are happily married but do clash when Rose is away and not tending to Craig.

When a childhood friend, Aisha, suddenly moves nearby talking about an event that happened decades ago, an event Rose would like to forget, she gets nervous. Soon after the friend is murdered. True to her nature Rose jumps in to help the victim’s son find her killer. She is also being blackmailed by someone connected to the event Aisha reopened. Unfortunately, Aisha was killed before Rose could get any details from her.  Now with Aisha’s son and a little help from Craig, Rose is doing her best to catch a killer and find the truth, but she could end up the killer’s next victim.


Ms. Tait has taken us to Kenya and creates wonderful imagery with her words. I could easily envision every place the characters went. The dryness of the land, the weather that comes in, Mount Kenya, the homes of the characters. I will never travel to Africa but enjoyed this virtual trip immensely.

(Mama) Rose is such a strong character. She is smart and, in some ways, methodical as she ventures into her investigation. She sees things others don’t. She knows everyone and they open up and tell her things they wouldn’t share with others. Husband Craig makes a great sounding board even though his disability keeps him from going everywhere Rose goes. Aisha’s son Thabiti steps in as her sidekick but his youth sometimes gets in the way. Other characters weigh in with information. All these characters develop over the course of the book. They come across as believable and real.

The mystery is full of twists and turns. The subplots blend in easily and the flow is great. The story has many layers to hold readers’ attention from beginning to end.  I did figure out part of the whodunit before Rose but was totally surprised when all was explained. Rose also gets some unexpected news that really evokes a change.

Fowl Murder is an exceptional start for the Kenya Kanga Mystery Series. Rose and Craig are definitely characters I want to visit again. Victoria Tait is an author to watch.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Victoria Tait

Victoria Tait is an exciting new author launching her Kenya Kanga Mystery series.  She’s drawn on 8 years living in rural Kenya with her family to transport her readers to a world of curiosity, community and conspiracy.  The Kenya Kanga Mystery series brings to life the beauty of the Kenyan landscape, the magic of its wildlife and the warmth of its people.

Author Links

Website  –  Facebook  – Blog/News  – GoodReads – Pinterest

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

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

Vangie Vale and the Larcenous Lava Cake (The Matchbaker Mysteries) by R.L. Syme #Review

Vangie Vale and the Larcenous Lava Cake (The Matchbaker Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Montana
Publisher: Hummingbird Books (June 16, 2020)
Number of Pages: 240
Digital ASIN: B0878RT482

I never thought Edward would come back…

 

When the court case against my ex was finished, I thought we were finished, too. But it turns out, it was only the beginning.

 

The Larcenous Lava Cake is book four in The Matchbaker Mysteries, a new cozy culinary mystery series from USA Today Bestselling Author, R.L. Syme.

 

RECIPE INCLUDED: The Larcenous Lava Cake

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

The past comes back to bite Vangie when Edward returns. She lost everything because of him and she hoped he was out of her life forever. How did he get out of jail? She is sure he is running another scheme and wrapped her up in it again, but she isn’t going down. Vangie is going to protect herself but getting to the bottom of everything before she finds herself behind bars.

____

This was an emotional book for Vangie. So many things are thrown at her within these pages in addition to figuring out the mystery. I felt we really got to know her in this story. She is a strong woman but anyone would feel overwhelmed by what she had to deal with. I liked the character before and love her now. She has real-life problems with real-life consequences just like us regular people and it is all not tied up with a nice bow at the end of the book. She did have a few moments that had me shaking my head when she did something she shouldn’t but those evened out the further you get into the story.

This book had a different feel than previous books in the series. Ms. Syme has baked up a complicated mystery with several characters involved. With plenty of twists and red herrings, I was kept guessing right up until the end. The author knows how to draw the reader in and hold our attention. She shook some things up which was a nice change.

I have enjoyed this whole series. This is my new favorite. While the mystery is wrapped up Vangie’s life is in flux at the end. I am anxious to see where the author takes her next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About R. L. Syme

She is a writer of sleuths worth loving and villains worth hating. Lover of fancy cheese, binge-watching, strawberries, and hope. A foodie and baker of yummy delights, Becca grew up reading Nancy Drew mysteries passed on by her grandmother. A Tweeter and Pinner of things.

Click on covers to purchase.

Purchase Link

Amazon 

 

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

Posted in 2020 Reviews E-Book Challenge Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Little Tea by Claire Fullerton #Review – Great Escapes Book Tour

Little Tea
by Claire Fullerton

About Little Tea


Little Tea
Southern Fiction
Setting – Arkansas
Publisher: Firefly Southern Fiction (April 28, 2020)
Paperback: 252 pages
ISBN-10: 1645262596
ISBN-13: 978-1645262596
Digital ASIN: B0817J667Y

Southern Culture … Old Friendships … Family Tragedy

 

One phone call from Renny to come home and “see about” the capricious Ava and Celia Wakefield decides to overlook her distressful past in the name of friendship.

 

For three reflective days at Renny’s lake house in Heber Springs, Arkansas, the three childhood friends reunite and examine life, love, marriage, and the ties that bind, even though Celia’s personal story has yet to be healed. When the past arrives at the lake house door in the form of her old boyfriend, Celia must revisit the life she’d tried to outrun.

 

As her idyllic coming of age alongside her best friend, Little Tea, on her family’s ancestral grounds in bucolic Como, Mississippi unfolds, Celia realizes there is no better place to accept her own story than in this circle of friends who have remained beside her throughout the years. Theirs is a friendship that can talk any life sorrow into a comic tragedy, and now that the racial divide in the Deep South has evolved, Celia wonders if friendship can triumph over history.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Now with the passing of Congressman John Lewis, acclaimed civil rights leader, was the perfect time for me to read this book. Celia and Little Tea grew up as close as sisters in a time, the 1980s, when some people still believe in segregation, including some in Celia’s family. But these girls had such a strong bond that couldn’t be broken.

In present time, Celia gets together with her other childhood friends Ava and Renny at Renny’s lake house because Ava is having a personal crisis. What evolves Is 3 days discussing life, marriage, choices made, regrets, and triumphs. Celia realizes she still has many things in her life she has avoided and needs to deal with before she can move on.

Ms. Fullerton has written a beautiful, compelling Southern story that grabbed me from the start. The book moves back and forth between the ’80s and present-day with ease. The author has a wonderfully descriptive writing style that brings not only the characters to life but the setting. The characters are strong and develop more within the pages. The settings at times are haunting and other times soothing. This book tells a story rich in history and friendship. It is an emotional story filled with family drama, addiction, depression, love, hate, and more that has stuck with me since I read the final word.

The journey Celia, Ava, and Renny take over the course of the weekend goes beyond what I first imagined was going to happen.  Little Tea is a treasure to be savored. This is the first Claire Fullerton novel I have read but it definitely will not be my last.

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About Claire Fullerton

Claire Fullerton hails from Memphis, TN. and now lives in Malibu, CA. with her husband and 3 German shepherds. She is the author of Mourning Dove, a coming of age, Southern family saga set in 1970’s Memphis. Mourning Dove is a five-time award winner, including the Literary Classics Words on Wings for Book of the Year, and the Ippy Award silver medal in regional fiction ( Southeast.) Claire is also the author of Dancing to an Irish Reel, a Kindle Book Review and Readers’ Favorite award winner that is set on the west coast of Ireland, where she once lived. Claire’s first novel is a paranormal mystery set in two time periods titled, A Portal in Time, set in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. She is a contributor to the book, A Southern Season with her novella, Through an Autumn Window, set at a Memphis funeral ( because something always goes wrong at a Southern funeral.) Little Tea is Claire’s 4th novel and is set in the Deep South. It is the story of the bonds of female friendship, healing the past, and outdated racial relations. Little Tea is the August selection of the Pulpwood Queens, a Faulkner Society finalist in the William Wisdom international competition, and on the short list of the Chanticleer Review’s Somerset award. She is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Literary.

Author Links

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Purchase Link – Amazon 

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

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

Quiche of Death (A Sugar & Spice Mystery) by Mary Lee Ashford #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

REVIEW NOW ADDED

Quiche of Death (A Sugar & Spice Mystery)
by Mary Lee Ashford

About Quiche of Death


Quiche of Death (A Sugar & Spice Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Iowa
Publisher: Lyrical Press (July 21, 2020)
Print Length: ~254 pages
ASIN: B0855Q9JFW

When editor Sugar Calloway and baker Dixie Spicer went into business creating cookbooks, they found a sideline as amateur sleuths. Now a bitter family grudge could leave a fatal aftertaste…

 

At Sugar & Spice Community Cookbooks, the friends and business partners have secured a tasty new commission: producing a cookbook for the Arbor family. The Arbors have made their fortune in quiches, and Sugar and Spice have been invited to a weekend gathering where all the siblings, along with crusty matriarch Marta, will be in attendance. But it’s soon clear that this trip will come with a hefty slice of drama.

 

Theo, the only grandson, arrives with his flaky fiancée, Collette, who quickly stirs up trouble . . . and is found dead the next day. As the investigation unfolds, secrets—and recipes—are shared, and Sugar and Spice realize just how messy and murderous the situation may be. As another family member falls ill, can they solve the case without getting egg on their faces . . .and a target on their backs?

* Includes delicious recipes! *

Excerpt 

 “Quiche me, you fool.”

The demand was followed by hoots of laughter as the sister—Jezzie, I think her name was—leaned into her spouse for a smooch. He hesitated but obliged.

I smiled at the boisterous group who clearly shared some inside joke about quiche and kissing. The warmth of the table and the sibling love melted my heart like butter on a biscuit. Taking a sip of water, I glanced over at Dixie, who sat across from me at the huge oak table.

She rolled her eyes.

“What?” I mouthed.

Dixie shrugged. Jezzie had perhaps a teensy bit too much wine, but still: When did my best friend and business partner get so darn stuffy? Maybe it was the inside-joke part that she found off-putting.

But we did know quiche was the family’s stock-in-trade, so it wasn’t that much of a stretch to figure out the expression had something to do with the Arbor family’s food business. After all, that was why we were here.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sugar and Spice Publishing usually compiles fundraiser cookbooks but when the well to do Arbor family, who made their money with their quiche recipe, ask them to create a family cookbook they just can’t refuse. The family is all getting together for the weekend and has invited Sugar and Dixie to join them to meet the family, go over recipes and get some background stories to use alongside the recipes in the cookbook.

Instead, they see the family is pretty high maintenance and that was before the grandson arrives with his new fiancée. A fiancée who is killed her first night with the family. Accident or murder?? Amateur sleuths Sugar Calloway and baker Dixie Spicer can’t help themselves; they start doing their own investigation which could end up being a recipe for disaster.

____

Again, we are introduced to a large cast of characters, the Arbor family. The author does a great job of giving the reader time to learn the family dynamics before we got too deep into the mystery while leaving much to be revealed over the course of the story.

The core characters continue to grow. Sugar is obsessed with getting in her steps every day and enjoying her new relationship with photographer Max. Dixie is still baking up a storm and a certain sheriff stops by often to do a little tasting.

The mystery is well done with Sugar taking the lead trying to get information out of the family. Everyone seems to have a secret but she is a smart woman and even when things get dicey she doesn’t give up. I was totally caught up in the story and pegged almost every family member to be the guilty party at one time or another. After more than a few twists and a fair share of humor, I was pleased with the way things wrapped up.

As someone who has taken part in making fundraising cookbooks in the past, this theme always brings back memories, some good, some frustrating. I would have loved working Sugar and Dixie to keep our committees on track and make key decisions. I have always wanted to make a family cookbook too, so I found the Arbor family ideas pretty appealing, sans all the drama and dead body.

Of course, the food descriptions had my mouth drooling. The Arbor family did have quite a few delectable recipes and some are included in the back of the book.

Quiche of Death is an entertaining addition to this series. I am looking forward to their next cookbook adventure.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

About Mary Lee Ashford 

Mary Lee Ashford is a lifelong bibliophile, and avid reader, and supporter of public libraries.

In addition to writing the Sugar and Spice series for Kensington Books, she also writes as half of the writing team of Sparkle Abbey, author of the national bestselling Pampered Pets mystery series from Bell Bridge Books.

Prior to publishing Mary Lee won first place in the Daphne du Maurier contest, sponsored by the Kiss of Death chapter of RWA, and was a finalist in Murder in the Grove’s mystery contest, as well as Killer Nashville’s Claymore Dagger contest.

She is the founding president of Sisters in Crime – Iowa and a past board member of the Mystery Writers of America Midwest chapter, as well as a member of Novelists, Inc., Romance Writers of AmericaKiss of Death the RWA Mystery Suspense chapter, Sisters in Crime, and the SinC internet group Guppies. She loves encouraging other writers and is a frequent presenter for writers’ groups.

Mary Lee has a passionate interest in creativity and teaches a university-level course in Creative Management to MPA candidates, as well as presenting workshops and blogging about creativity.

She currently resides in the midwest with her husband, Tim, and cat, Zoey. Her delights are reading and enjoying her two sons and daughters-in-law, and six grandchildren.

For more information, visit her website at www.MaryLeeAshford.com

Find her on  –  Facebook – Twitter – Instagram – Pinterest – GoodReads 

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

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

From Beer to Eternity (A Chloe Jackson, Sea Glass Saloon Mystery) by Sherry Harris – #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

REVIEW HAS BEEN ADDED!

From Beer to Eternity (A Chloe Jackson, Sea Glass Saloon Mystery)
by Sherry Harris

About from Beer to Eternity 

From Beer to Eternity (A Chloe Jackson, Sea Glass Saloon Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Publisher: Kensington (July 28, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496723031
ISBN-13: 978-1496723031
Digital ASIN: B07ZPKTWCZ

A whip smart librarian’s fresh start comes with a tart twist in this perfect cocktail of murder and mystery—with a romance chaser.

 

MURDER ON TAP

 

With Chicago winters in the rearview mirror, Chloe Jackson is making good on a promise: help her late friend’s grandmother run the Sea Glass Saloon in the Florida Panhandle. To Chloe’s surprise, feisty Vivi Slidell isn’t the frail retiree Chloe expects. Nor is Emerald Cove. It’s less a sleepy fishing village than a panhandle hotspot overrun with land developers and tourists. But it’s a Sea Glass regular who’s mysteriously crossed the cranky Vivi. When their bitter argument comes to a head and he’s found dead behind the bar, guess who’s the number one suspect?

 

In trying to clear Vivi’s name, Chloe discovers the old woman isn’t the only one in Emerald Cove with secrets. Under the laidback attitude, sparkling white beaches, and small town ways something terrible is brewing. And the sure way a killer can keep those secrets bottled up is to finish off one murder with a double shot: aimed at Chloe and Vivi.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am so excited about Sherry Harris’s new series. Don’t worry, there is a new Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery coming in December.

In From Beer to Eternity, we meet Chloe Jackson, a children’s librarian in Chicago who has taken a leave of absence to fulfill a promise she made to her best friend Boone who was killed in Afghanistan. She promised that if anything happened to him to go help his grandmother in the Florida Panhandle with her business, the Sea Glass Saloon. Short on details, Chloe uses a few white lies to get Vivi Slidell to hire her as a cocktail waitress so she can find out just what help this seemingly very competent woman may need. Chloe never expected she would be working to keep the woman out of jail after one of her regulars is found dead behind the bar. Chloe soon finds that something is clearly brewing in the town of Emerald Cove and her questions could land both her and Vivi in the line of fire.


Ms. Harris has introduced some very strong characters in this story and fleshed them out nicely in this first book while leaving them plenty of room to grow in future installments. I loved that Chloe found common ground with the sometimes cranky young children she usually works with and the overindulging patrons at the Sea Glass Saloon. Handling both in the same way successfully. She is smart and can think on her feet. Dealing with Boone’s death is hard especially when she finds out his true feelings. Vivi is a strong, independent woman, and nothing like Chloe expected. She has run her business successfully for years. Bartender Joaquin befriends Chloe quickly and is a great buffer between Chloe and Vivi. These main characters are surrounded by a great supporting cast.

The setting for this series is positively divine. A place I would go to and probably never leave. As in her other series it is set near military bases, Elgin Air Force Base and the nearby Hurlburt Field and there are Navy bases nearby too. Her descriptions of the area were fantastic and created wonderful imagery. She took us to several places and I really felt like I was right there with her.

The mystery was well done, complex, and intriguing with plenty of suspects. I couldn’t really hone in on any person fully because they all seemed a bit shady with secrets or hiding something.    The mystery reveal was a bit rushed for me although very exciting. I was on the edge of my seat.

As the book came to a close the ending wasn’t much of a surprise but this series is off to a fine start.

From Brew to Eternity feels like more than a cozy mystery. While it has all the cozy elements, amateur sleuth, small-town setting, humor in all the right places, etc. Chloe deals with the loss of Boone and that adds an extra serious element. I am eager to see where the author takes this series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Sherry Harris

Sherry Harris is the Agatha Award-nominated author of the Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery series and the upcoming Chloe Jackson Sea Glass Saloon mysteries. She is a past president of Sisters in Crime, and a member of the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime, the New England Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers.

In her spare time, Sherry loves reading and is a patent-holding inventor. Sherry, her husband, and guard dog Lily are living in northern Virginia until they figure out where they want to move to next.

Author Links – Kensington –  Website  – Facebook 

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboGoogle BooksIndieBound 

Also by Sherry Harris

Coming December 2020

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