Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Reviews 2019 Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

The Great Jewel Robbery (A Front Page Mystery) by Elizabeth McKenna #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @ElizaMcKenna

The Great Jewel Robbery (A Front Page Mystery)
by Elizabeth McKenna

About the Book 


The Great Jewel Robbery (A Front Page Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Independently Published (June 3, 2019)
Paperback: 204 pages
ISBN-10: 0578503018
ISBN-13: 978-0578503011
Digital ASIN: B07SKB5YX7

Mystery with a splash of romance…

Chicago Tribune reporters Emma and Grace have been best friends since college despite coming from different worlds. When Grace is assigned to cover an annual charity ball and auction being held at a lakeside mansion and her boyfriend bails on her, she brings Emma as her plus one. The night is going smoothly until Emma finds the host’s brother unconscious in the study. Though at first it is thought he was tipsy and stumbled, it soon becomes clear more is afoot, as the wall safe is empty and a three-million-dollar diamond necklace is missing. With visions of becoming ace investigative journalists, Emma and Grace set out to solve the mystery, much to the chagrin of the handsome local detective.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Tribune Lifestyle reporter Grace Warner is assigned to cover a charity ball at a Lake Geneva mansion owned by Ivy and Edward Braun and she drags along best friend Emma Moore who also works for the Trib as a sports reporter.  Grace is friends with the Brauns so she feels right at home. But it is Emma who finds a man knocked out in the study. More investigation finds the wall safe empty. A three-million-dollar necklace that was there before the event started is now missing.

Grace has dreams of becoming an investigative reporter and knows solving this case could be her big break. Enter Detective Ryan O’Mara who may have chemistry with Emma, but doesn’t like her and her friend butting into his case.

First, I have to mention the setting.  Lake Geneva is a beautiful place for a vacation and it sounds like Ivy and Edward Braun live in one of the palatial estates complete with a pool on the roof. Most of the summer residents have Chicago ties but Wisconsinites love to visit and know it’s rich history. It is the perfect place to set a mystery series.

Ms. McKenna has crafted strong and engaging characters. Emma and Grace’s friendship shines in this story. They couldn’t be more different but over the years they have grown so close those differences don’t matter. They make a great investigative team too. The author also introduces us to Detective Ryan O’Mara. He is a cop’s cop. An Irish Jamaican who is attracted to Emma almost immediately. They all feel genuine and the dialogue is spot-on.

It was refreshing to not have a dead body to start off the story. Instead, we have a thief and a mansion full of suspects. Detective O’Mara is on the case but Emma and Grace seem to have the inside advantage. This, of course, puts them in danger. The author lays things out in a logical way but she throws in twists that really sent by deliberations of the guilty party in several different directions.

Well plotted, paced and written, this series is off to a grand start I want to delve into these characters deeper and get to know them better. For her first foray into the cozy mystery genre, Elizabeth McKenna done herself proud.

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About the Author

Elizabeth McKenna’s love of books reaches back to her childhood, where her tastes ranged from Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys to Stephen King’s horror stories. She had never read a romance novel until one Christmas when her sister gave her the latest bestseller by Nora Roberts. She was hooked from page one (actually, she admits it was the first love scene). She combined her love of history, romance, and a happy ending to write Cera’s Place and Venice in the Moonlight. Her contemporary romance novel, First Crush Last Love, is loosely based on her life during her teens and twenties. The Great Jewel Robbery is her debut cozy mystery, and she hopes readers will like it as much as they have enjoyed her romances.

Elizabeth lives in Wisconsin with her understanding husband, two beautiful daughters, and a sassy Labrador. When she isn’t writing, working, or being a mom, she’s sleeping.

Author Links     Website     Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads     Instagram

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Praise for The Great Jewel Robbery (A Front Page Mystery)
by Elizabeth McKenna

The Great Jewel Robbery by Elizabeth McKenna is a fantastic book. I loved it from the first page of the book until the end.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

A fun friendship book with an interesting cozy mystery and a hint of romance.
~Laura’s Interests

I liked this book. Emma and Grace are likable, well-developed characters . . . A great start to a new mystery series.
~Cassidy’s Bookshelves

I enjoyed this cozy mystery. It was a quick read and once I started the book, I didn’t want to stop until I figured out who the thief was. I definitely recommend this story to cozy mystery lovers . . .
~Carla Loves To Read

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

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#FlashbackFriday – Under My Skin by Lisa Unger #Review / #Giveaway @lisaunger @parkrowbooks


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.
Checking off the “U” this week to complete my Alphabet Soup Challenge.


Under My Skin
Psychological Thrillers
Setting – New York
Park Row (October 2, 2018)
Hardcover: 368 pages
ISBN-10: 9780778308409
ISBN-13: 978-0778308409
Mass Market Paperback – August 20, 2019
ISBN-10: 0778309568
ISBN-13: 978-0778309567
Kindle ASIN: B0777JZ62P

What if the nightmares are actually memories?

It’s been a year since Poppy’s husband, Jack, was brutally murdered during his morning run through Manhattan’s Riverside Park. In the immediate aftermath, Poppy spiraled into an oblivion of grief, disappearing for several days only to turn up ragged and confused wearing a tight red dress she didn’t recognize. What happened to Poppy during those lost days? And more importantly, what happened to Jack?

The case was never solved, and Poppy has finally begun to move on. But those lost days have never stopped haunting her. Poppy starts having nightmares and blackouts—there are periods of time she can’t remember, and she’s unable to tell the difference between what is real and what she’s imagining. When she begins to sense that someone is following her, Poppy is plunged into a game of cat and mouse, determined to unravel the mystery around her husband’s death. But can she handle the truth about what really happened?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Living in opulence or squalor, under the skin people are just the same. Everyone suffers. Everyone struggles. It just looks different from the outside.

Grief can be all-consuming and no one knows that better than Poppy Lang. Her husband, Jack was murdered in Manhattan’s Riverside Park a year ago. His death sent Poppy over the edge, she can’t account for several days after she received the shocking news. When she comes back to the land of the living she is wearing clothes she has never seen with very little memory of what happened. She is also devastated that Jack’s killer was never caught, the case is still open but stagnant.

Then she starts to have nightmares and blackouts. She feels like she is being followed and she is missing vast periods of time.  She needs to remember what happened to her because she thinks it will lead straight to Jack’s killer.  The question is – Can she survive her quest and handle what she finds?

___

The synopsis and prologue captured my interest. I wanted to know what happened to both Jack and Poppy, but there were a lot of confusing moments. I think that is just what the author intended. Poppy’s path certainly wasn’t a straight one so much so it was sometimes hard to know what was really real and what was not. There is also quite a bit of repetition that was oft putting at first until I noticed a minuscule change in the event.  Poppy’s fears are palpable and continued to pull me further into the story.

I really didn’t care for her therapist who seemed to be missing the big picture. Her goal seemed to be getting Poppy “a good night’s sleep” while not realizing her client was mixing pills with alcohol, mixing sleeping pills of different dosages with alcohol, mixing sleeping pills with other pills and alcohol, making her hallucinate, have nightmares and blackouts.

Poppy’s best friend Layla was a mother hen over her. She was so traumatized when her friend went missing she wants to be sure it doesn’t happen again. She comes across a very controlling person. The lead detective on her husband’s case is also very involved following up each little clue that is uncovered.

Ms. Unger takes us an emotional roller coaster with almost everyone Poppy interacts with a suspect. Through her words, we see what Poppy sees, and most of it is downright frightening. I am glad I don’t live in New York, I would probably never leave the house again. I was so engrossed in my reading that when a child entered the room and surprised me I actually jumped and my Kindle went flying into the air. This book has exciting twists and some terrifying turns. I did have a very hard time putting it down and stayed up late in the night to finish. Then I was too keyed up to sleep.

The story is so well written and immersed in this psychological mystery there is some food for thought regarding death and losing a loved one. I may have only caught this because I continue to grieve for a loved one myself.

This is the first book I have read by Lisa Unger but it won’t be my last.

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About the Author

Lisa Unger is a NYT and international bestselling, award-winning author. Her books are published in 26 languages worldwide, have sold millions of copies, and have been named “Best of the Year” or top picks by the Today show, Good Morning America, Entertainment Weekly, and the Sun-Sentinel, among others. Her essays have appeared in the NYT, the Wall Street Journal, NPR and Travel + Leisuremagazine. Lisa lives in the Tampa Bay area of Florida with her husband, daughter, and labradoodle.


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The Time for Murder is Meow (A Purr N Bark Pet Shop Mystery) by T. C. LoTempio #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @RoccoBlogger @midnightinkbook

The Time for Murder is Meow
(A Purr N Bark Pet Shop Mystery)
by T. C. LoTempio

 

About the Book


The Time for Murder is Meow (A Purr N Bark Pet Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Midnight Ink (August 8, 2019
Paperback: 312 pages
ISBN-10: 0738760366
ISBN-13: 978-0738760360
Digital ASIN: B07HL4F1Z6

Shell and her two furry sidekicks must cat-ch a killer to save their pet shop

Crishell “Shell” McMillan sees the cancellation of her TV series as a blessing in disguise. The former actress can now take over her late aunt’s pet shop, the Purr N’ Bark, and do something she loves.

While getting the shop ready for re-opening, Shell is asked to loan her aunt’s Cary Grant posters to the local museum for an exhibit. She finds the prospect exciting—until a museum board member, who had a long-standing feud with Shell’s aunt, votes against it. When she discovers the board member dead in the museum, Shell becomes suspect number one. Can she, her Siamese cat Kahlua, and her new sidekick—her aunt’s Persian Purrday—find the real culprit, or will her latest career go up in kitty litter?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Cat lovers rejoice! T. C. LoTempio is penning a new series!

The Time for Murder is Meow introduces readers to Crishell “Shell” McMillan who has retired from acting to move to Fox Hollow, Connecticut to reopen the pet shop her aunt left her when she passed away. Not everyone is happy or understands how she could leave Hollywood behind but she knows this is where she is meant to be.

Aunt Tillie was a true old movie buff with a vast collection of memorabilia. With a Cary Grant festival coming up Shell is asked by the local museum to loan them her aunt’s Cary Grant movie posters, some them signed by the actor! But one member of the board rallies her cronies to vote against the display. Shell learns that member had been in a feud with her aunt for years.

When the woman calls Shell to set up a meeting she is surprised but agrees to meet if it gets her aunt’s posters displayed. When she arrives at the museum she finds her aunt’s nemesis dead and finds herself at the top of the suspect list almost as soon as the police arrive.

Putting the reopening of Purr N’ Bark, on the back burner, she delves into an investigation of her own to cat-ch the killer like a dog with a bone.

___

Ms. LoTempio brings together a great group of characters that band together to help find the culprit that took down Amelia Witherspoon. The woman didn’t have a lot of friends but Shell didn’t know her at all. That brings in the group that welcomed Shell to town, Olivia, Rita, and Ron. When her former co-star Gary Presser calls to check in with her, he knows something is up and it isn’t long before he pulls into town.  Together the group is determined to solve the case. Detective Josh Bloodgood admits that while Shell had motive and opportunity he really doesn’t think she did it, but isn’t happy she and her friends are snooping. All these characters are believable and fleshed out nicely for the first book in a new series.

The human characters shine but so do the pets. Shell’s cat Kahlua soon meets Tillie’s cat Purrday. Will they get along?? Together due to their instincts and actions they play a key role in solving the mystery. I love when animals in cozy mysteries are involved and more than just pets.

The author has constructed a nice whodunit too with plenty of suspects and surprises. I did solve the murder a bit before the reveal but totally enjoyed the story right up to the last page.

As a fan of classic movies, I loved those references and would love to see Aunt Tillie’s collection in person. I hope we delve into other parts of it as the series continues.

Lighthearted, fun, and entertaining. This series is off to an excellent start! I hope Gary sticks around Fox Hollow! He turned out to be my favorite non-feline character 🙂

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

 

While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic.  She and her cat pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime and the Cat Rescue series from Crooked Lane.  Her latest, the Pet Shop Mysteries, makes its debut August 8 with The Time for Murder is Meow.

You can cat-ch up with them at ROCCO’s blog, www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com or her website, www.tclotempio.net

Where to find them:

ROCCO’s blog:   www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com

Website:    www.tclotempio.net

Purchase Links:

Amazon   B&N   IndieBound 

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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 Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Purrfect Reading Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Julia Buckley – Author of Death in a Budapest Butterfly (A Hungarian Tea House Mystery) #GuestPost / #Review / #Giveaway

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so excited to welcome Julia Buckley today!

My Hungarian Grandma

By Julia Buckley

(Guest Post Provided by Publicist)

The author with her Grandma in the 1980s

One character in my new mystery, DEATH IN A BUDAPEST BUTTERFLY, has garnered some attention because she is interesting and possibly psychic. She is a Hungarian immigrant who raised her family in America and adapted to a new way of life despite spending all of her formative years in her home country.

Parts of this character, Juliana Horvath, were based on memories I have of my own grandmother, Julia Vig, who came to this country right around 1920 to keep house for her father, who had traveled to America before her. She traveled by ship, alone, to a country she knew nothing of, and a father she had not seen in years. She was seventeen years old.

I only knew my grandmother in her later life, and my fictional Juliana, too, is an old woman.

My grandmother was full of personality. She was loving, sometimes strict, religious but also superstitious, and extremely talented in the areas of needlework and cooking.

I have not tasted my grandmother’s food in close to forty years, but I have FOOD MEMORY—that thing which allows you to recall the best foods of your childhood as though the flavor is still on your tongue. I remember the smell of her kitchen, the taste of her cooking, the wonderful blend of onions and paprika and chicken stock and pastry.

My grandma did not use recipes, at least not ones that she would write down for us. She had a magical sense of what was needed, and she threw it all into a pot and created delicious things. One of my favorite memories of her involves the sleep-overs my sister and I would have at her house (we were the two youngest and probably the only ones not in school at this point). We would sleep in her “hotel” and we got a room to ourselves, known as the “purple room” because of its purple bedspread. We got to unpack our things in the big old dresser, and it felt quite cosmopolitan to us little girls who pretended we were in some Ginger Rogers movie.

In the morning we would go down the solid wood staircase and travel to my grandmother’s kitchen on a wave of some heavenly aroma. She would have cereal for us, but she would be at work, even in the early hours, making noodles. All of her noodles were homemade, rolled out from dough and cut into tiny pieces, then dried so that they could be used in various recipes. She would have a huge pot of chicken soup going; this became our lunch. It was filled with vegetables from her garden, healthy doses of chicken, and her little noodles. (In her early Chicago days, she even killed and plucked the chicken herself).

The book details all of my favorite foods (they become the favorites of Hana, my narrator) and they will make you hungry.

It’s hard to find a good Hungarian restaurant these days, but even if I could locate one near me, the chef would have a very tough act to follow. The reality is that no one cooks like Grandma did, and the best way I can pay homage to her food is to write about it.

~Julia

Thank you so much, Julia, for visiting today!

Keep reading for my thoughts on Death in a Budapest Butterfly.


Death in a Budapest Butterfly (A Hungarian Tea House Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Setting – Illinois
Berkley (July 30, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1984804820
ISBN-13: 978-1984804822
Kindle ASIN: B07K5ZJ2QL

Hana Keller serves up European-style cakes and teas in her family-owned tea house, but when a customer keels over from a poisoned cuppa, Hana and her tea-leaf reading grandmother will have to help catch a killer in the first Hungarian Tea House Mystery from Julia Buckley.

Hana Keller and her family run Maggie’s Tea House, an establishment heavily influenced by the family’s Hungarian heritage and specializing in a European-style traditional tea service. But one of the shop’s largest draws is Hana’s eccentric grandmother, Juliana, renowned for her ability to read the future in the leaves at the bottom of customers’ cups. Lately, however, her readings have become alarmingly ominous and seemingly related to old Hungarian legends…

When a guest is poisoned at a tea event, Juliana’s dire predictions appear to have come true. Things are brought to a boil when Hana’s beloved Anna Weatherley butterfly teacup becomes the center of the murder investigation as it carried the poisoned tea. The cup is claimed as evidence by a handsome police detective, and the pretty Tea House is suddenly endangered. Hana and her family must catch the killer to save their business and bring the beautiful Budapest Butterfly back home where it belongs.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Welcome to Maggie’s Tea House where Hana, her mother Maggie, and grandmother Juliana, serve cakes and tea focused on the family’s Hungarian heritage. A real treat is that Juliana can read tea leaves and predict the future. The ladies have a vast tea service collection for their customers and Hana has a private collection too. She just added a beautiful butterfly cup, one that she has put on display at their latest event.

With the event well underway Maggie notices her cup is not where she left, but on a table being used by a woman, she doesn’t recognize. Her grandmother is busy reading leaves and Hana overhears some ominous predictions. She looks back to see the woman who was using her cup hurrying off to the bathroom. After a few minutes, Hana heads that way to find the woman dead.

Detective Erik Wolf arrives on the scene, the butterfly cup is bagged as evidence and he and his partner start getting everyone’s information. When he does start questioning witnesses he asks for Hana, Maggie, and Juliana’s help because they are familiar with the woman and the Hungarian language. With their business labeled as a crime scene, they agree but that doesn’t stop them from doing some snooping on their own.

This series is off to a fine start!

Hana Keller is 26 years old and still single much to her mother and grandmother’s dismay. She lives with her cats Anthony & Cleopatra and she has a passion for promoting her family’s Hungarian culture. Her mother Maggie is the force behind the tea house, but her grandmother is also very involved. I really enjoyed getting to know them, but feel we have just scratched the surface of who they are. There is a thread that purposed that Hana may have a gift similar to her grandmother that seems to have skipped her mother’s generation. I am interested to see how this is featured in future stories.

We are also meet several women/suspects from the neighborhood, the hunky Detective Wolf and his partner. Detective Benton. We are also introduced to pastry chef Francois, Hana’s brother Domo, and her dad too. It is a large cast but the author takes time to make each unique and has left plenty of room for growth. There are some sparks between Hana and Detective Wolf but it is very early in the series and hard to classify as a relationship YET, but we know where they are headed. 🙂

The mystery was filled with intrigue. I did like that Hana and Detective Wolf stayed in constant communication and she passed on everything she uncovered. I was also pleased that the family was not automatically pegged as suspects and were treated with respect whenever they needed to answer questions. There were twists and turns too and clues were released in unique ways. The author’s detailed writing style played well for this type of plot.

The Hungarian theme and language continued throughout the story. I had known a little about the culture and was happy to learn more. When Detective Wolf was around it was necessary for words to be translated and as a reader, not familiar with the language that was appreciated. I love that recipes are included in the back of the book. To learn that Grandma Juliana is partly based on the author’s grandmother brought me even more joy about this book. What a wonderful to pay tribute to someone important in her life.

I found Death in a Budapest Butterfly to be delightfully entertaining. I want to get to know these characters better and visit the tea room again soon.

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About the Author

Julia Buckley is the author of the Undercover Dish mysteries and the Writer’s Apprentice mysteries. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and the Chicago Writer’s Association. She has taught high school English for twenty-nine years.

Also By Julia Buckley


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.

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Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End August 21, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

 

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Risky Biscuits (A Sugar & Spice Mystery) by Mary Lee Ashford #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @lyricalpress @maryleeashford

Risky Biscuits
(A Sugar & Spice Mystery)
by Mary Lee Ashford

 

About the Book


Risky Biscuits (A Sugar & Spice Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Iowa
Lyrical Underground (July 9, 2019)
Paperback: 190 pages
ISBN-10: 1516105079
ISBN-13: 978-1516105076
Digital ASIN: B07JDXFM7G

Former magazine editor “Sugar” Calloway’s life has taken a delicious twist since she launched a community cookbook publishing business with blue-ribbon baker Dixie Spicer. Now these amateur sleuths must solve a small-town murder—without getting burned . .

Sugar and Spice Cookbooks’ newest project is a fundraiser organized by the St. Ignatius Crack of Dawn Breakfast Club, famous for their all-you-can-eat biscuits and gravy events. But when a group member is found dead, Sugar and Spice’s priorities change from raising dough to figuring out who put murder on the menu.

The return of former badboy Nick Marchant has stirred the town’s gossips too. Add a few grudges and some old-fashioned greed over a land deal into the mix, and it’s a recipe for mayhem. And when someone serves up a second helping of murder, Sugar and Spice need to sift the guilty from the blameless, or their next breakfast may be their last . . .

* Includes delicious recipes! *

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Biscuits and Gravy cooks from the St. Ignatius Crack of Dawn Breakfast Club have been hosting breakfast events to raise money for the park shelter where they hold their events. The decide to bind their recipes together in a cookbook put together by Rosetta Sugarbaker Calloway and Dixie Spicer aka “Sugar” and “Spice”. When the de facto leader of the Breakfast Club goes missing and is later found killed, Sugar’s landlord, a member of the group begs Sugar to look into the tragic death. Sugar does have an in as she needs to attend meetings and contact members to keep the fundraising cookbook on track. Plus the gossip chain has ratcheted up with the return of Nick Marchant to town. He and “Spicy” have some kind of a past that Sugar knows nothing about but keeping her ears open and putting a little pressure on her friend she just might find out. The good sheriff is sure not thrilled the man is back in town either.

After reading Game of Scones recently I could wait to sink my teeth into Risky Biscuits. Author Mary Lee Ashford sure didn’t disappoint. She has written strong characters and enveloped them in a stellar mystery.

Sugar & Spice Publishing is getting more clients and Sugar is using her organizational skills while Spice refines a bunch of recipes all to make their next cookbook publication a huge success. Photographer Max Windsor wasn’t as present at the beginning of the story as I had hoped but he doesn’t let the ladies down when it is time to take the food photos needed for the book. We also meet several residents from Greer’s retirement community. While mourning their friend they are still a fun and feisty group.

Ms. Ashford takes a bit of time introducing the new characters and showing readers how they fit with those we had already met. But then Sugar gets hot on the trail to find the killer. Red herrings, yes there were a few. I made the mistake of thinking I had the culprit pinned down early only to be shown the error of my ways. Twists and turns led to a shocking reveal.

Aside from the murder, this little town in Iowa is a fun place to visit. I love all the friendships that are blooming.

I can’t finish this review without mentioning the food. Spice is always baking up something good. Even things she considers flops are downright tasty. She always seems to have plenty of people dropping by their shop for samples too. I wish she could pass them out from the pages, especially the Better Than Robert Redford/George Clooney cake. The author does include recipes in the back of the book but I don’t have the skills Spice has. Then again the recipe of the above mentioned doesn’t look too complicated 🙂

Culinary cozies readers will love this story.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Game of Scones here.

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 & Spice mystery 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 current board member of the Mystery Writers of America Midwest chapter, as well as a member of Novelists, Inc., Romance Writers of America, Kiss of Death the RWA Mystery Suspense chapter, Sisters in Crime, and the SinC internet group Guppies.

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 loves encouraging other writers and is a frequent presenter on a variety of topics at workshops, conferences, and writers’ groups.

In her day job, Mary Lee is a Deputy Chief Information Officer. She currently resides in the Midwest with her husband, Tim, and Sparkle, the rescue cat namesake of the Sparkle Abbey pseudonym. Her delights are reading and enjoying her family and especially her six grandchildren.

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

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

Purchase Links
Amazon    Barnes & Noble     Kobo    iBooks


Thanks to the author I am giving away 1 copy!

Winner’s Choice – Print or Digital!

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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If you share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
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Contest Will End August 14, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops! 
August 5 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 5 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
August 6 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY  
August 6 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 6 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
August 7 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
August 7 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
August 8 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW
August 8 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY
August 8 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
August 9 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, RECIPE, GIVEAWAY
August 9 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY
August 10 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 10 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
August 11 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 11 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
August 12 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
August 12 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
August 12 – My Devotional Thoughts – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
August 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 13 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
August 13 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
August 14 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
August 14 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT

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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 My Reading Itinerary Monday

My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #32 2019

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be visiting Alaska, home to Wisconsin, then off to New Hampshire!

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

Escapes Completed


Risky Biscuits (A Sugar & Spice Mystery)
by Mary Lee Ashford
Release Date – July 9, 2019
Setting – Iowa
The Great Escapes Tour stops here tomorrow!


Death in a Budapest Butterfly (A HUNGARIAN TEA HOUSE MYSTERY)
by Julia Buckley
New Series
Release Date – July 30, 2019
Setting – Illinois
I will feature this book this week on Cozy Wednesday!


The Time for Murder is Meow (A Purr N Bark Pet Shop Mystery)
by T. C. LoTempio
New Series
Release Date – August 8, 2019
Setting – Connecticut
The Great Escapes Tour stops here this Thursday!


Under My Skin
by Lisa Unger
Release Date – October 2, 2018
Setting – New York
My Flashback Friday Read!
This book completes my Alphabet Soup Title Challenge and
leaves me with just 2 more letters on my Alphabet Soup – Author Edition!

Scheduled Escapes

Thin Ice: A Mystery
by Paige Shelton
Release Date – December 3, 2019
Setting – Alaska
Early Review


Needled to Death (A Helping Hands Mystery)
by Annelise Ryan
New Series
Release Date – July 30, 2019
Setting – Wisconsin


A Killer Edition (A Booktown Mystery)
by Lorna Barrett
Release Date – August 13, 2019
Setting – New Hampshire

Future Escapes

August 5 – August 11, 2019


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 Thoughts

Sunday Salon / Sunday Post – Craft Fair – Weekly Rewind – Mail Call

My thoughts and prayers are with the people
of El Paso and Ohio.

I pray that there will be thoughts and actions to end these deadly mass shootings.

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The Sunday Salon used to be a meme but was getting so huge it became unmanageable, so it is now 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.

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!

I hope you had some fun this week, I did!

Kaden spent the week with me and the dogs. By the time Saturday, okay Friday night, arrived we had had enough of each other, 🙂 Natalie arrived Friday night for the weekend, but we had to take her back for a make-up softball game on Saturday morning. We delivered Kaden back with his dad after the game and then came back home with Natalie.

After dropping Mr. Dollycas off and a little lunch. Daughter #2, Natalie and I headed for the local art & craft fair. There was live music, food and a nice assortment of vendors! I could have spent a lot of money but restrained myself.

While the girls were looking at things I was relaxing in my wheelchair. I was surprised when a woman walked up to me and showed me a glass angel she had created. She said it was a “Hope Angel” and she wanted me to have it. I was so touched, thanked her profusely and she said I had beautiful girls but knew I needed some “hope in my life”. As soon as I saw the angel I thought of Kris, the son that I lost.  That woman has no idea who I was or anything about me, but she was right I do need more hope in my life.

Our Craft Sale Haul

As we were leaving the area I saw a wall hanging I just had to have. Natalie also found a cool gold glitter water bottle and she and Daughter #2 will be sharing some bath bombs.

After we arrived back at home they decided to relax and watch Disney’s Descendents 3 and I hear there is some cookie baking in our future.

I love it when the grands come to visit. The push me away from this darn computer and out of the house to have some fun. But after Natalie goes home this afternoon I am going to probably read and take a nap and get ready to for my blissfully quiet week with just me and the dogs 🙂

~Lori

 

Weekly Rewind – July 29 – August 3, 2019

Monday – My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #31 2019

Tuesday – Murder at Crossways (A Gilded Newport Mystery) by Alyssa Maxwell #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks @Alyssa__Maxwell

Plus – #SpecialGuest – Sister Matilda – from The House on Xenia (A Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery Series) by Rita Moreau – Great Escapes Book Tour

Wednesday – Cozy Wednesday Featuring Let’s Fake a Deal (A Sarah W. Garage Sale Mystery) by Sherry Harris #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks @SHarrisAuthor

Thursday – You’ve Been Volunteered: A Class Mom Novel by Laurie Gelman – #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @lauriemgelman @HenryHolt

Friday – #FlashbackFriday – Queen of the Trailer Park (Rosie Maldonne’s World) by Alice Quinn #Review / #Giveaway

Saturday – The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs: A Novel by Katherine Howe – #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour – @katherinebhowe @HenryHolt

Plus – The Subject of Malice (A Lila Maclean Academic Mystery) by Cynthia Kuhn – #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour – @cynthiakuhn @HeneryPress

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Spotlights

The Subject of Malice (A Lila Maclean Academic Mystery) by Cynthia Kuhn – #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour – @cynthiakuhn @HeneryPress

The Subject of Malice
(A Lila Maclean Academic Mystery)
by Cynthia Kuhn

I am so thrilled to shine the spotlight on Cynthia Kuhn’s
new book, The Subject of Malice today!

 

About the Author


The Subject of Malice (A Lila Maclean Academic Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Henery Press (July 23, 2019)
Hardcover: 244 pages
ISBN-10: 1635115140
ISBN-13: 978-1635115147
Paperback: 244 pages
ISBN-10: 1635115116
ISBN-13: 978-1635115116
Digital ASIN: B07RDZ99PL

The organizers have rustled up plenty of surprises for the literary conference at Tattered Star Ranch. But the murder of an influential scholar wasn’t on the program—someone has clearly taken the theme of Malice in the Mountains to heart. This shocking crime is only the beginning: Other dangers and deceptions are soon revealed.

English professor Lila Maclean has a full agenda: She must convince a press to publish her book (possibly), ace her panel presentations (hopefully), and deal with her nemesis (regrettably).

However, when Detective Lex Archer requests Lila’s academic expertise, she agrees to consult on the case. While her contributions earn high marks from her partner, it could be too late; the killer is already taking aim at the next subject.

As Lila races to keep her colleagues alive, publish or perish takes on new meaning.

About the Author

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Cynthia Kuhn writes the Lila Maclean Academic Mysteries: The Semester of Our Discontent, The Art of Vanishing, The Spirit in Question, and The Subject of Malice. Honors include an Agatha Award for best first novel and Lefty Award nominations for best humorous mystery. She blogs with Chicks on the Case and is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers. For more information, please visit cynthiakuhn.net.

Praise for The Subject of Malice
(A Lila Maclean Academic Mystery)
by Cynthia Kuhn

The Subject of Malice is the strongest book in this series to date. After having read it, I must give it a grade of A+.
~Carstairs Considers….

The Subject of Malice is an entertaining read with twists and turns peppered throughout.
~Mysteries With Character

Author Links

Webpage      Blog         Facebook      Goodreads     Twitter: @cynthiakuhn     Newsletter

 Purchase Links

Amazon   B&N     Kobo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
July 23 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
July 23 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
July 24 – Carstairs Considers – REVIEW
July 24 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT*
July 25 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 26 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
July 27 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 28 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
July 28 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 29 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
July 30 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 31 – Books Direct – SPOTLIGHT
August 1 – Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen – REVIEW  
August 1 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
August 2 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
August 3 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
August 4 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 5 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

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Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Spotlights

The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs: A Novel by Katherine Howe – #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour – @katherinebhowe @HenryHolt

The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs: A Novel
by Katherine Howe

I am excited to shine the spotlight on Katherine Howe’s
The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs today! 

About the Book


The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs: A Novel
Occult Fiction
Henry Holt and Co. (June 25, 2019)
Hardcover: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1250304865
ISBN-13: 978-1250304865
Kindle ASIN: B07HF3MDDH

New York Times bestselling author Katherine Howe returns to the world of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane with a bewitching story of a New England history professor who must race against time to free her family from a curse

Connie Goodwin is an expert on America’s fractured past with witchcraft. A young, tenure-track professor in Boston, she’s earned career success by studying the history of magic in colonial America—especially women’s home recipes and medicines—and by exposing society’s threats against women fluent in those skills. But beyond her studies, Connie harbors a secret: She is the direct descendant of a woman tried as a witch in Salem, an ancestor whose abilities were far more magical than the historical record shows.

When a hint from her mother and clues from her research lead Connie to the shocking realization that her partner’s life is in danger, she must race to solve the mystery behind a hundreds’-years-long deadly curse.

Flashing back through American history to the lives of certain supernaturally gifted women, The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs affectingly reveals not only the special bond that unites one particular matriarchal line, but also explores the many challenges to women’s survival across the decades—and the risks some women are forced to take to protect what they love most.

About the Author

Katherine Howe is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane and The House of Velvet and Glass, as well as the young adult novels, Conversion and The Appearance of Annie van Sinderen. She served as editor of The Penguin Book of Witches and her fiction has been translated into over twenty languages. Descended from three women who were tried for witchcraft in Salem, she and her family live in New England and New York City, where she is at work on her next novel.

Author Links – Twitter: @katherinebhowe     Facebook       Instagram

Praise for The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs: A Novel
by Katherine Howe

The story is full of academic research and family history but is never dull. It is a wonderful story of family and love, with a little magic thrown in.
~The Book’s the Thing

Purchase Links

Amazon   B&N   Kobo  Google Play   IndieBound
Also By Katherine Howe

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
August 1 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
August 1 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
August 2 – The Book Diva’s Reads – REVIEW*
August 2 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
August 3 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
August 3 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT  
August 4 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
August 4 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
August 5 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
August 6 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
August 6 – Ascroft, eh? – REVIEW
August 7 – The Haunted Reading Room – REVIEW
August 7 – Books Direct – SPOTLIGHT
August 8 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
August 8 – Reading Reality – REVIEW
August 9 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW
August 9 – Rosepoint Reviews – REVIEW
August 10 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes Reviews 2019 TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Queen of the Trailer Park (Rosie Maldonne’s World) by Alice Quinn #Review / #Giveaway


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.
Checking off the “Q” this week on my Alphabet Soup Challenge.


Queen of the Trailer Park (Rosie Maldonne’s World)
Amateur Sleuths/Humorous Fiction
1st in Series
Setting – France
Translated from French
Amazon Crossing (June 1, 2015)
Paperback: 334 pages
ISBN-10: 1477827560
ISBN-13: 978-1477827567
Kindle ASIN: B00Q74VXMC

Rosie Maldonne is outspoken and sexy. She’s also unemployed, and, with three children and a cat, life is a little tough. The four of them—well, five, if you count the cat—live in the South of France, in a run-down trailer near a vacant lot. They make do, living off her part-time waitressing job and a little help from the state.

Rosie thinks things are finally turning around when she meets handsome police officer Jérôme—until she realizes that his appearance coincides with her friend Véro’s disappearance. Then, something even stranger happens: Rosie finds a package with a crazy amount of money in the trash can of a fast-food joint. With so much going on, Rosie has some big questions: Where is Véro? Is Jérôme too good to be true? Who put all that cash in the trash? And what happens when they want it back?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Single mom Rosie Maldonne lives in a trailer that had seen better days with her three children and their cat. Mostly unemployed she depends on government assistance to keep food on the table.  She waitresses at a nearby restaurant and begs loans from friends when the money runs out. That is until she makes a bizarre discovery in a trash can on her way home – A huge amount of money in several envelopes.

During this time her friend Vero and her son go missing and the police come to Rosie for answers she just doesn’t have. One police officer Jérôme is particularly nice and starts to be around wherever she goes. She also meets a very nice older man that wants to take care of her and the children.

While Rosie tries to find her friend and tries to decide what to do with the found money, she also has to deal with a new development that would evict her from her home. Finding help in unique places she fights to keep what’s hers and save Vero and her son.

____

I was looking for a book to fill the “Q” spot for a reading challenge. The synopsis sounding interesting and felt close to the cozy genre I love so I quickly snapped it up.  I was a little nervous when I realized it was a French story translated to English, but after reading the first few pages I knew that was not going to be a problem at all. The book cannot be classified as a cozy though due to the explicit language used throughout the story.

The lead character Rosie, who would rather be called “CriCri” is a very interesting character. She is very open about her life and has a huge heart.  She takes in one child of a friend quickly and is ready to welcome in another even when she is as poor as can be. She doesn’t let it get her down. She gets her children to school each day and tries to have as much fun with them as possible. The kids are happy and well cared for. Rosie has a quick mind and can put anyone in their place immediately, even men who have come to hurt her. She is always one to two steps ahead of everyone and really can think on her feet. She also has a continuous inner dialogue that is absolutely priceless. She uses unique terminology, calling her children lovingly “crib lizards” and “chickadees” along with other phrases that may only be unique because of the translation from French. She also appears to be a very sexy woman.

The flow of the story has a few issues but I know that is due to the translations. There are a few mysteries to solve and some twist together while others don’t. While most are solved by the end of the book they are things unresolved that will have me reading the next book in the series.

The Queen of the Trailer Park is an entertaining/hilarious story.  Rosie’s antics will have you in stitches and shaking your head. I enjoyed following her exploits all around town. I am so glad I was looking for a “Q” book and found this author and this series. This was a great little escape to France.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Alice Quinn has worked many jobs, from theater hostess to waitress, and has traveled the world, often relying on her wits to make ends meet. After the success of her first novel, Queen of the Trailer Park, in her native French, she quit her day jobs and now makes her living writing full-time. She lives in the South of France with her two teenage children and several cats.


I am giving away 1 Kindle copy of this book!  

It will be sent directly from Amazon.

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.

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

Contest Will End August 16, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I This book was from my private collection. 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.”