Posted in Thoughts

Giveaway Redo – Redone

Sorry everyone. Still a big learning curve here. Form is up in sidebar and you should be able to check one, two or all 3 giveaways and only have to enter your information one.  Old forms were not giving me info correctly so please re-enter on the new form.

Lori

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Posted in Giveaways Reviews 2011

GIVEAWAY REDO

Google decided to turn my accounts back on tonight so I am adding entry forms here. No matter how you enter all entries will be counted with the exception of all the bonus entries. If you entered at Dollycas’s Thoughts or at the original WordPress Blog through the form in the sidebar you do not need to enter again. I will manually be sure all entries are compiled and use Random.org to choose winners.

You all have been amazing through this entire upheaval in my blog life. You know if I would have done nothing, my accounts never would have been turned back on. This has been a roller coaster ride I would not wish on anyone. The good thing that came out of this is that I have this new site without the problems of Dollycas’s Thoughts that were causing many of you headaches. The old WordPress was up just 5 days and you found it but here we can use Google Friend Connect and for now Google Forms for giveaways, so good definitely came out of bad.

 

We should be good to go now.  You can check, one, two or all 3 giveaways.  I am really sorry about that.

Thanks to my Google fiasco we will have to start over the giveaways that were in progress when Dollycas’s Thoughts disappeared from the blogosphere.

Below you will find parts of the posts I was able to rescue and then these will be an easy, no frills,  bare bones, giveaway entries.  There will be an entry form in the sidebar for each giveaway.  Simple, FULL NAME, EMAIL, MAILING ADDRESS.  Each entry will be assigned a number chronologically as received and Random.org will be used to chose the winners.  All 3 contests will end October 28 at 11:59 p.m. CST Winners will be emailed and the results will be posted here.

GIVEAWAY #1

Button Holed (Button Box Mystery)
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
A Brand New Series

Josie Giancola is known as a button expert for all kinds of buttons and has even worked in Hollywood. Today she is opening her new button shop, The Button Box, set up in a Chicago brownstone. She also has an appointment with a well known Hollywood starlet who wants to find the perfect buttons for her perfect wedding dress. Josie arrives extra early on her opening day to make sure everything is ready for her appointment only to find that her store has been broken into and ransacked. There are buttons everywhere. Buttons she had spent many days sorting and categorizing and displaying with flawless precision.

Things don’t get any better when the next day the starlet is found dead right in the middle of The Button Box. The homicide detective seems to be looking for clues in all the wrong places and the murderer has now set his sights on Josie. She has no choice but to follow the clues she has and get this murderer all buttoned up before she finds herself “Button Holed”!

My Thoughts
This story could not have been more perfect. Wonderful characters, a delightful complex plot, and thoroughly engaging humor.

I fell for Josie on the very first page. I come from a family of seamstresses and they all had button bowls and boxes. As a child I spent hours sorting, stacking and separating my favorites. I have my own button box around here somewhere from my sewing days and I know there are some buttons in there from my ancestors as well. Button Holed (Button Box Mystery) and The Button Box brought back some wonderful memories. Thankfully none of my memories include a dead starlet.

There is also a very interesting thread throughout the story about some very special buttons that I really enjoyed.

I was truly entertained from the first page to the last! I am patiently waiting for Kill Button, the next book inThe Button Box Mystery Series coming soon, but never soon enough!!

I have 2 copies to share!!

GIVEAWAY #2
Laurel Dewey Giveaway

Detective Jane Perry is on the case.  In Promissory Payback she is investigating the gruesome death of a woman with not many friends and a whole lot of enemies.  “Karma is a bitch” is very true in this case.

Unrevealed contains 4 short Jane Perry stories.
ANONYMOUS: One of Jane’s first AA meetings leads her to an encounter with a woman in need of her detection skills…and a secret she never expected to uncover.

YOU CAN’T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER: Forced by her boss to speak at a high school career day, Jane meets a troubled boy and finds that his story is only the beginning of a much more revealing tale.

YOU’RE ONLY AS SICK AS YOUR SECRETS: An early-morning homicide call introduces Jane to a mystery as layered as it is unsuspected.

THINGS AREN’T ALWAYS WHAT THEY SEEM: Jane finds herself sharing a 2:00 am conversation at a downtown bar with an old acquaintance. Will the bloody night that proceeded this moment complicate Jane’s intentions?


My Thoughts
I really enjoyed these stories. Don’t let the small number of pages fool you.  These are well written short mysteries that still pack a punch with sharp dialogue, a gritty leading lady and plots that play out a break neck speed. They are the perfect quick reads to get your mystery fix.  There are even more Jane Dewey novels/novelettes to enjoy and the author will be starting a new series next year with a whole new star. Keep your eye on this author!!

I have one set of these books to giveaway!

GIVEAWAY #3

India Black and the Widow of Windsor
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
A Madam of Espionage Mystery
Second book in the series.

India Black is back and on a new mission with her friend French in Scotland.

Queen Victoria attended a séance where she is contacted by her dearly departed husband, Prince Albert, where he insists she break tradition and spend the Christmas holiday at Balmoral, their Scottish castle. The Prime Minister believes that Scottish nationalists are planing to assassinate the Queen and calls on his friend and British spy, French, who invitesIndia to join him undercover at the castle.  French poses as one of the guests, while India’s assignment is to be the maid to the eccentric Dowanger Marchioness of Tullibardine.

It doesn’t take long for India to realize the Prime Minister was exactly right in his assessment of the situation.  For the next few days Indiaand French will be running themselves ragged to find the Queen’s enemies and assure her safety.

My Thoughts
Like the first book in this series, India Black, I loved this story.  I adore where the author took this character on this adventure. Balmoral is a fascinating setting and I don’t know how true the author’s descriptions are of the castle, but I felt like I was right there sneaking through the hallways with India.

The story also contains a wonderful mystery with plenty of twists but what really captured by heart in this story was the humor.  India has a quick wit and keen intelligence and while not at all happy with her job in this adventure she continues to entertain us with her observations and quips. The Lady India serves sets up several instances that had me laughing out loud.

Carol K. Carr is an amazing storyteller.  I love her writing style. In her case, her words are worth a thousand beautiful pictures.  I have absolutely no problem “escaping” far into her books and don’t want to leave after the last words are read.  I want to follow India on her next adventure.  Please Carol don’t make me want too long for my next trip abroad.

I have 2 copies to share!!!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in Reviews 2011

Kitchen Counter Cooking School by Kathleen Flinn

The Kitchen Counter Cooking School: How a Few Simple Lessons Transformed Nine Culinary Novices into Fearless Home Cooks
Viking
Published by The Penguin Group
Jacket Illustration by Rachel Ross
Jacket Design by Roseanne Serra
Available Now!

Kathleen Flinn returns from Paris where she studied at Le Cordon Bleu. Back in the Seattle she is unsure what to do with her new culinary degree until a trip to a local grocery store give her an epiphany.  Seeing a woman’s cart filled with boxes of “ultraprocessed products” kicked her “chefternal” instincts into overdrive.  As she talked to the woman she realized this woman was afraid to cook things fresh because she thought it would be too hard or wouldn’t taste right.  She spent some time traveling with her around the store and convinced her to put the packaged food back on the shelf and try cooking with real food. This made her start to wonder if she had found what to do with her degree.

This led Kathleen to gather a group of volunteers who felt the same as the woman in the grocery store.  She enlisted the help of other culinary professionals, rented kitchen space and started a class on cooking fundamentals from making simple Alfredo sauce to proper chopping techniques and even weekly taste testing of things like olive oil and salt.  This book tracks the volunteers through the classes and includes common sense recipes and details for the reader as well.

My Thoughts
I enjoyed this book. My husband is the “chef” in our family and have inserted several post it’s within the pages of things I want to share with him.

This book really reads a lot like fiction, taking peeks into these people’s lives with wonderful lessons and recipes as an added bonus. While very instructional it is entertaining and humorous. The author has a delightful writing style.

With fast food quickly becoming the common way to eat these days, this book will teach you that fast food can be nourishing, tasteful and does not come from a drive thru lane.  I was actually stunned how easy it is to make dishes that I thought could only be found in a restaurant, with wonderful flavor and none of the preservatives found it the prepackaged dishes found on the grocery shelves. This may be a book to add to your cookbook shelf after reading the story of the volunteer’s journey at the The Kitchen Counter Cooking School.  It could change your life.

To find out more about Kathleen Flinn check out her webpage at kathleenflinn.com You may even be able to catch her on tour!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Viking. 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 Guest Posts Reviews 2011

Cozy Wednesday With Jennie Bentley (Great Giveaway Too!)

Welcome to the first Cozy Wednesday at Escape With Dollycas.  I am so excited Jennie is here to kick things off! The second book in her Do-It-Yourself Mystery Series, Spackled and Spooked was one of the first books I reviewed over at Dollycas’s Thoughts.  I have loved this series from the start and Flipped Out has quickly become my favorite.

Please help me give a warm welcome to Jennie Bentley!

Hi Jennie!

Hi Everyone, I am happy to be here as Dollycas settles into her new home, a major DIY project!

ONE CHANCE TO MAKE A GREAT FIRST IMPRESSION. . .
EIGHT TIPS THAT’LL DO IT!

Last week, the fifth installment in the Do It Yourself home renovation mysteries was released by Berkley Prime Crime. It’s called Flipped Out a title it shares with the fictitious television show in the book, the one my main characters – designer Avery Baker and handyman Derek Ellis – are filming a segment of.

In real estate terms, a ‘flip’ is a house you buy and sell in quick succession, often without even closing on the sale before passing it off to someone else. It’s also used to describe a quickie renovation job; as Derek puts it: “Slapping lipstick on the pig.”

With five days to whip the house into shape for the cameras, Avery and Derek are applying a whole lot of ‘lipstick’ – and you can, too!

Whether you’re thinking of selling your house – the way Avery and Derek are – or you just want to a do a few updates while you’re living there, curb appeal is super-important: what someone sees when they walk or drive up to your place can make or break a sale, or totally demolish someone’s first impression.

Here are eight easy, inexpensive DIY fixes that can pump up the volume of an otherwise ho-hum exterior for little or no money.

1. First things first: Mow grass and tidy up landscaping.
It costs little to nothing (except for time clocked) to trim overgrown hedges, edge walkways, pull up weeds and cut out dead growth. Transplanting is free, too: Move those gorgeous dahlias from the back to the front yard, where they’re sure to be noticed. Mulch is another winner: Spread a layer of grass clippings (free, collected from a lawnmower), straw, or tree bark-based mulch at the bases of trees and flowerbeds. Doing so not only protects plantings and improves soil quality, but beautifies your yard. Use an online calculator to figure out how much you’ll need.

2. Wash dirty siding and dingy decking.
You can pressure wash any type of siding (save for wood shingles) quickly and easily with a rented power-washer. Or you can use some good old-fashioned elbow grease, your garden hose (on a medium-spray setting), a long-handled scrub brush and a bucketful of water mixed with a few squirts of dish soap. For wood porches and decks, oxygen bleach is the way to go. It’s nontoxic to you, and to pets and vegetation. Mix a few scoops into a bucketful of water, dip the brush and scrub away.

3. Invest in some cool house numbers.
Switch out those tired old digits and give your address a makeover. House numbers can be screwed in or easily glued on with adhesive—and there’s a vast array of styles and materials available. For even more oomph, paint or stain a tall newel post the same color as your front door or shutters, then attach some new, stylized numbers and sink it into the ground either at the end of your driveway or near your home’s entry. (Best to expect some neighborly copycatting on that one.)

4. Upgrade the mailbox.
Wobbly, dented mailboxes are unsightly. Changing the box is a great way to add personality. Installation of a bold door-side mailbox requires only some simple drilling. A good-looking, durable freestanding mailbox just needs a hole dug for the post. Or if your existing mailbox is serviceable but drab, you can paint it or buy a seasonal wrap.

5. Repaint or stain a wood door.
If you’re not ready to spring for a new door, this is the way to go. There’s no excuse for the front door looking anything but shipshape because paint and stain are so inexpensive (and potentially free if you have some paint or stain sitting around from another job). Remove any hardware first (or you can tape around hinges and knobs if you’re feeling confident and have a steady hand). Surfaces need sanding (fine, 180-grit sandpaper should suffice), dusting, priming and two to three coats of paint. Go with the grain; follow the same procedure with stain and varnish.

6. Upgrade the front door hardware.
Basic front door hardware is easy to replace. You’ll find a wide array of bells, doorknockers and escutcheons (plates surrounding bells, keyholes, knobs) at hardware stores and flea markets. A doorbell upgrade is also easy, as there’s often no need to replace the actual chime, just the hardware surround. (If you do want to switch out the entire doorbell, there’s minor rewiring involved.) A kick plate, typically made of polished metals like rustic pewter, aged bronze, or satin nickel, boosts a door’s wow-factor while shielding it from stains and scuff marks. Switching the lockset is the most costly change you’ll make to the entry. Protection is your first priority: choose a lockset that isn’t just pretty, but that will protect your home from intruders. For a cohesive, stylized look, choose accents with the same finishes, and be sure they’re stylistically similar to your home’s design.

7. Replace old light fixtures.
Match the style and finish of new lights to other elements in your entry and you’re generally good to go. For lighting the yard, you can opt for solar-powered lights, which have three significant advantages over their hard-wired electric counterparts: There’s no assembly required, they save energy, and you can move them around with little effort. Sink a few attractive lantern-style lights into the soil that flanks walkways and the driveway. You’ll be amazed at how good this actually makes a home look.

8. Clean and dress up windows.
Mullions, moldings and decorative brackets can really make your exterior pop, and installation is as easy as clicking in a PVC grid over existing windows, or screwing wooden brackets into existing structures. Sometimes, the act of simply cleaning the windows—inside and out—is all you’ll need to massively improve the view. Dish detergent (or plain old vinegar) and a microfiber rag (or a piece of newspaper!) should do the trick. For hard-to-reach windows, use a cleaner formulated for outdoor use that attaches to your garden hose. It should dry to a smudge-free finish, and there’s no need to remove screens. Just wash on a cloudy, non-windy day, as breezes and sunlight dry panes too quickly, leaving unsightly streaks behind.

These and other tips abound in “Flipped Out,” There are directions for how to customize a doormat, how to build your own batten-board shutters, and how to build your own window boxes and planters, among other things. And you don’t want to miss out on how to make your very own Swiss Cheese Adirondack chair! So go ahead, get yourself a copy today. You know you want to!

~Jennie
Continue reading “Cozy Wednesday With Jennie Bentley (Great Giveaway Too!)”

Posted in Thoughts

Update:

I didn’t do a review post today, trying to get tomorrow’s post perfect.

Jennie Bentley is Guest Posting for the
first Cozy Wednesday in my new home here!
There will also be a very special giveaway!
Prayers and fingers crossed everything works, if it does I will repost the giveaways that were left in the lurch by my sudden move. If it doesn’t I will make it work!!

Learn from my mistake, backup everything you have online today to your hard drive, especially email contacts and use a calendar and other programs right on your computer not online for everything important and back it up regularly as well to an external hard drive or disks. Don’t be like me and have all your life’s important information gone in the blink of an eye.

All my previous reviews can be found in a link in the sidebar.  I am so happy I post them on Amazon!

Thursday I will be posting a couple of new reviews and Feel Good Friday will be here before I know it.

I want to take a moment to say thank to my friend Lori Gondelman.  She is the one that first introduced me to this bloggy world and probably saved my life! She is also the one that got my head on straight this week after my husband told her what was happening and made me realize I could start over.

I also want to thank Dorothy Thompson who helped me find the snippets I needed from the old blog that are going to make things easier moving forward.

And my final THANK YOU to everyone reading this and following me across the blogosphere and passing the word so that others can find me too. Without you there would be no point to any of this.  The best part of blogging is the reaching out and making new friends. Friends that may never meet in person but our lives have enriched each other. The blogging world is great, the book blogging world is fantastic and I cherish getting to “know” everyone of you!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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Posted in Reviews From Dollycas's Thoughts

Review: Live Wire by Harlan Coben

This review was originally posted at Dollycas’s Thoughts on March 22, 2011.
Last year his book CAUGHT was another 
#1 New York Times Bestseller
 and my top choice for Best Suspense/Thriller for 2010. 
 I couldn’t wait to get this new novel in my hands!!!!

 

Published by DUTTON

A Division of Penguin Group

10th Myron Bolitar Novel

AVAILABLE TODAY!!!!!

ISBN-10: 0525952063

ISBN-13: 978-0525952060

We first met Myron Bolitar back in 1995 in the book Deal Breaker.  He was an athlete knocked out of the game by an injury right before his first professional start so he became a Sports Agent to keep him in the game if only from the sidelines.  But he was more than an agent, he was a friend, a confidant, a problem solver, and a guy with an enormous heart that to protect his clients he also eventually becomes a private eye.
With the help of his friends, Windsor Horne Lockwood III (Win), and two gals who were a former tag team with the Fabulous Ladies Of Wrestling (FLOW), MB Reps has grown into a firm that not only handles athletes, but authors, actors, artists, and musicians.
In this book we learn more about Myron’s family and his past as he is forced to deal with some family issues.  He is also trying to help former tennis star Suzze T (Trevantino) and rock star husband Lex get to the bottom of a paternity issue being posed about their unborn child on a Facebook page.  Myron also learns that his family issues and these baby issues are intertwined in a way that leads him down a very dangerous path as he tries to find the truth that has been hidden for more than 15 years.

 

If you have read the previous 9 Myron Bolitar novels and you think you know Myron Bolitar you will realize early into this book that you didn’t know him at all.

Harlan Coben is by far the best author ever of the suspense thriller. He grabs you from the first word and like the title of one of his previous novels HOLD(s on) TIGHT until the very last word and leaves you wanting more.  The difference between this novel and others in this series is than we learn more about Myron Bolitar than we ever have before and Coben ties it into the latest mystery brilliantly.  What starts out as a simple question of who posted the anonymous Facebook comment builds into the thriller Coben is famous for, and brings to light the things Bolitar has kept hidden or to himself in the other books.

This is definitely a book you will want to read in one sitting, so plan accordingly and be prepared for a few surprises.  This book proves than even Harlan Coben still has plenty up his sleeve to thrill and entertain us.  Coben himself is the LIVE WIRE!!!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To find out more about Harlan Coben be sure to check out his web page.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the Dutton, A Division of the Penguin Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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 Reviews From Dollycas's Thoughts

Curiosity Thrilled The Cat by Sofie Kelly

This post originally appeared over at Dollycas’s Thoughts on February 8, 2011

An Obsidian Mystery

An Imprint of New American Library

A Division of Penguin Publishing

A Magical Cats Mystery
FIRST IN A NEW SERIES!
AVAILABLE NOW!
  • ISBN-10: 0451232496
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451232496

Kathleen Paulson needs to change her life NOW, her boyfriend goes away for two weeks and comes back MARRIED!!

Kathleen chucks her life in Boston and accepts a job in Mayville Heights, Minnesota, to supervise the renovation and modernization of their library.  This turns out to be no small task, but the job is just the kind of distraction she needs.

Not long after her arrival in town she allows to stray cats two snuggle their way into her life. She names the tabby Owen and quickly learns he is addicted to catnip. The other is a stocky tuxedo cat she names Hercules. Hercules loves Barry Manilow music as much as Kathleen, but Owen hates Barry, no matter the song and has no trouble showing his distaste.  It doesn’t take Kathleen long to learn the cats are very special, maybe even magical.

Life in quiet Mayville Heights takes a drastic turn when a guest of the Wild Rose Summer Music Festival is found dead.  For some reason all the clues seem to point to Kathleen.  It is then she finds out just how gifted her four legged feline friends are when they help her work to clear her name and quickly bring this caper to a close.

The first thing that really drew me into this book was the cover, the cat’s piercing eyes.  I have been trying this year to acknowledge the cover illustrators and designers, because book covers today are truly small works of art.  There is no information on the artists for this cover but click on the picture, the cats eyes alone will have you wanting to read the story.

The characters of Mayville Heights are so easy to enjoy from the quick wit of Roma, veterinarian by day to human doctor in a pinch, or coworker Abigail’s sarcasm, and Detective Gordon’s dry sense of humor. Add to that, loving neighbor Rebecca along with the newly transplanted Kathleen, the antics of her “magical” cats and so many more true characters in every sense of the word.  There is someone for every reader to love or even hate as I do, the maddening contractor in charge of the renovation.  As a former construction worker it took pure restraint not to jump right into the pages and slap him “up aside the head”!

You can’t go wrong with a cozy if you have characters like these, a really good mystery, the perfect setting of a library and magical cats.  A wonderful debut for what I know will be a “purrfectly” “cat-invating” series.  This author has written several young adult books and has now left a paw print in the cozy mystery world with this story and I am happy to welcome her and will anxiously awaiting her next feline escapade.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Obsidian/NAL, a Division of Penguin Publishing.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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.”

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel  Agent

 

Be sure to visit the Author’s Website to find about her alter-ego and the other books she has written.

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Reviews From Dollycas's Thoughts

COZY WEDNESDAY – With Author Clare O’Donohue

This post originally appeared at Dollycas’s Thoughts June 1, 2011.

I was introduced to Clare by her Someday Quilts series, they are so good. A couple of months ago she sent me an Advance Review Copy of the first book in her new series starring Kate Conway and it broke my rules, very rarely do I LOVE the first book in the series because I feel it takes more than one book to get to know the characters, the protagonist, the setting and the background.  But this book grabbed me from page 1.  
I am thrilled to have Clare here today to tell us about writing two series that are so vastly different.
Welcome Clare!

*************************************************

Thanks Lori!

A New Friend
            For the last few years, I’ve spent part of my time in a quiet river town called Archers Rest. Three hours north of New York City, it’s famous for three things; an amazing shop called Someday Quilts, a larger than logical murder rate, and for being entirely fictional.
            It’s been fun for me to write each book in my Someday Quilts series, including The Devil’s Puzzle, which will be released in late September. I love Nell Fitzgerald, the main character of the series, and I love being part of the lively quilt group, who manage to solve murders and finish most of their quilting projects at the same time. Archers Rest has become a very comfortable place for me to hang out, and I hope for the readers of this series as well.
            But things are changing. With the release of Missing Persons, the first in the Kate Conway Mysteries, a new location, a real location – Chicago – and a new set of characters, is taking hold on my imagination. Kate is older and more sarcastic than Nell. And the world of Missing Persons is more complicated. There’s no quilting (though I do mention a quilt in the book!) and, unlike the deaths in my Someday series, which I like to refer to as step-over-the-body murders, the mysteries in Missing Persons change forever the lives of all involved.
            Some people have asked if it’s hard for me to write two very different series at the same time. No more difficult, I think, than having two friends with different personalities. Nell is romantic, curious, and headstrong. An art student and quilter, she is surrounded by the love and protection of her boyfriend, Jesse, and her grandmother, Eleanor, as well as all the members of her quilt group, including its most popular member, Barney, the loveable golden retriever. Nell’s curiosity may get her into trouble, but she has plenty of people around to keep things from getting out of control.
            Kate, on the other hand, is complicated, funny, and overwhelmed. She has no quilt group, no grandmother, no boyfriend, to offer support and friendship. Her soon to be ex-husband is dead, and Kate is left with her in-laws, her meddling sister, and worst of all, her husband’s girlfriend. Plus, her job as a TV producer of a true crime show requires her to exploit the family of a missing girl.
        Something Kate does just well enough to feel bad about it. Kate isn’t curious. In fact, she just wants to sit on her couch and eat take-out Chinese. But she hates to be treated like a fool. Kate looks into the death of her husband and the disappearance of the missing girl because she is convinced that someone is lying – and she does it without knowing if anyone will be there to help if she gets into trouble.
            Kate and Nell might not be similar to each other (or to me) but I like them both. And going back and forth between them allows me to talk about life, death, love… you know, all the big subjects… from two very different points of view.
            Of course, as I launch Missing Persons, I do wonder if my readers will like Kate as much as Nell. It’s always hard to introduce a new friend to an established circle. But I’m hoping they give Kate a chance. She may not know how to quilt, but Kate Conway sure has a knack for tripping over a body, and who doesn’t need a friend like that?
***********************************
Clare O’Donohue is the author of four novels, including the just released Missing Persons; A Kate Conway Mystery. She still works as a TV producer and writer, and lives in Chicago.  Check out her web page for more information.

 

 

 

 

Plume

Published by The Penguin Group

 

 

A Kate Conway Mystery

First In A Brand New Series

ISBN-10: 0452297060

ISBN-13: 978-0452297067

 

 

Kate Conway’s soon to be ex-husband Frank is dead and the cops always think the spouse did it so Kate becomes the number one suspect.  Strange too is that his new girlfriend wants to be her new best friend.
She decides to bury herself in work to get her mind off his death and give the police time to find the real killer. She is offered a new assignment for a brand new series, Missing Persons.
Kate starts researching the story of Theresa Moretti, a young woman who has been missing for a year.  Her family is still holding out hope Theresa is alive and believes Kate will find her.  Kate just wants to get enough footage to tell the missing girl’s story and move on but Theresa’s family has really touched her which causes her to dig a little deeper and the more she digs she finds the death of her ex may be related to this Missing Person story.   She also finds the deeper she digs she may be putting her own life in danger.

 

 

This is an edgy story that not only draws you in but educates on how these True Crime shows are made and with an author that has a background in television all the jargon rings true, especially how long it takes, how much film is needed, and how much is cut to tell a story in about 22 minutes.  

The unexpected is that as each clue is uncovered you feel you are actually right on the scene.  This can happen with a lot of stories but this one actually played in my mind’s eye like a television program. It made you almost forget this is a work of fiction and that you were actually reading a book. It really is hard to believe the same author who wrote the Someday Quilts series in the same person who wrote this book.  Clare you have a wonderful imagination and I LOVE IT!!!

I am sure readers of the previous series will love this book but I see it bringing in a whole new group of readers, those who love true crime. This story fits the description of a cozy mystery in the way that the crime solver in an intelligent female amateur sleuth,  but this series seems to go further just because of Kate’s job and takes place in the big city of Chicago.

This series has a wealth of information available as people go missing and crimes are committed everyday.  I look forward to being on the scene of the next Kate Conway Mystery.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel  Agent
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Plume, A Division of Penguin Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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

 


MORE BOOKS BY CLARE O’DONOHUE
  

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Posted in Cozy Wednesday Reviews From Dollycas's Thoughts

Special Tuesday Edition of Cozy Wednesday with Sally Goldenbaum (Giveaway too!)

This was originally posted on Dollycas’s Thoughts May 17, 2011.

Sally Goldenbaum has been a good friend since I started this blog and when we realized we share Wisconsin as our home state the friendship has grown. The latest Seaside Knitting Mystery really brought back some fabulous memories of my wedding, which I will share more about following her post.  Right now I am just delighted she found time in her busy schedule to spend some time with us!!!

 

 

Welcome Sally!!!

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I love visiting Dollycas’s Thoughts. Thank you for having me back, Lori.

And what nice company I’m in—lots of cozy mystery authors are stopping by to say hello. Which got me pondering what many of us write about. Nice people in lovely towns, interesting jobs, great crafts, good food, and….well, yes—murder.
So why do these things seem to go together so well? Why do so many of us write mysteries around a theme, like food or knitting or gardening?
Who needs herbs and bamboo needles or a trowel when you have a dead body? Why isn’t a plain old murder enough?
Why, indeed?
Although each of us would probably have a different slant on why we’ve chosen to stir all these elements together in our mysteries, we’d probably agree on one thing: adding a craft or particular job or profession can provide a kind of centering to our stories.
In writing a mystery series, we are not only inviting readers back to follow the same characters story after story; we’re also inviting those characters back. The same ones, book after book after book. And having some sort of anchor—a ready-made reason for those characters to get together, to interact, to gossip, to grow together and develop their friendship in new ways—is helpful in structuring a plot.
Nell, Birdie, Izzy, and Cass—the four friends in my Seaside Knitting Mysteries—gather in Izzy’s cozy yarn shop to think through the things going on in Sea Harbor—whether those things are joyful happenings (like the wedding about to happen in THE WEDDING SHAWL), or tragic events, like a sports car that careens off a cliff and into the ocean (in MOON SPINNERS). The knitting isn’t instrumental in solving the crimes, but it provides an ‘excuse’ to be together, to deepen friendship, and to explore a murder.
Another thing that knitting adds to the novels, I think, is a kind of sensuousness. Imagine a basket filled with cashmere yarn. You can hardly keep your fingers out of it. Soft and silky, vibrant colors so luscious you can almost taste them.
Food and drink do the same—a common theme in so many mysteries. Savoring Nell’s garlic grilled shrimp salad with fresh flakes of basil sprinkled on top—and clinking together four glasses of Birdie’s chilled pinot grigio —are certain to stimulate and sharpen the senses and help the Sea Harbor knitters explore the intricacies of a neighbor’s untimely death.
But why did I pick knitting and not some other craft? Lots of people ask me that. And I’m sure those who write about quilting and gardening and cheese shops are asked the same. Again—there are probably lots of different answers, not the least of which might be that the author happens to be an expert quilter or gardener.
Me? Not so much!
When she was eighty years old and I was ten or eleven, my grandmother taught me how to knit. And though she was an amazing, accomplished woman, she failed in that one aspect of her life. Knitting and purling escaped me.
And then I grew up and became a writer.
AND had grandchildren.
Grandchildren…..knitting.
And so I picked up the needles, filled a shelf with fine cotton yarn, and tried all over again, this time with a new passion, if not great skill.
And at that same time, I was thinking about a new mystery series. A series about four smart, funny, hopefully wise women who care about each other and the seaside town in which they live and love and work and eat delicious seafood. A former lawyer, a retired nonprofit director, a lobster fisherwoman, and a grand dame with life’s lessons at her fingertips.
But I needed a way for these women to get together frequently. Something that suited their personalities.
And that something became Izzy’s yarn shop, with a room in the back that overlooked the sea—with a fireplace, fine pinot grigio and fantastic seafood pasta on the coffee table, yarn baskets beside each comfy chair.
The Seaside Yarn Shop became the knitters’ safe haven, the place where the women of Sea Harbor settle down with their yarn and their needles. It’s the place where they gently sip their wine or tea and peel away the layers of their friends’ and neighbors’ lives, discovering secrets in order to solve crimes and to bring peace back to the town they love.
Knitting—and the Yarn Studio—is where their friendship is nourished, right along with their sleuthing skills.
A warm, safe, and cozy place.
And as they work on their projects (I say, hopefully) they will teach me something about picking up dropped stitches and weaving in loose ends.
And even some things about life.
Knitting. Mysteries. Friendship

~Sally

 

 

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Is she a great lady or what???  

Thank you so much Sally!!!

Her latest book is:

Jacket Illustration

by Doug Martin

An Obsidian Mystery

A Division of Penguin Publishing

Was Released May 3, 2011

A Seaside Knitters Mystery

5th in the series

Izzy is getting married and all her friends are getting together to knit her a beautiful wedding shawl. Everyone contributing their knitting talents to one wonderful project. What a treasured gift!!!

Oh yes, there is mystery too, as the hair stylist for the wedding participants disappears and later is found dead. This lands the Seaside Knitters in the middle of another murder investigation.  But these ladies can handle it, they will finish the shawl and solve the crime to get the towns focus back on wedding bells instead of jail cells.

You know I loved this book because I truly love this series.  The friendship these women have, their personalities, their wisdom, added to the perfect setting, all brilliantly written, makes every trip to Sea Harbor a well deserved vacation with the friends we have come to love. Yes, the sensory factors are amazing, you can almost smell the sea air, feel the yarn fibers and taste the seafood and fine wine. 
Sally is right about the connection needed in these wonderful cozy mysteries I have grown to love.  I was a very crafty person before my accident, knitting, crocheting, sewing, macramé, quilting, cooking, anything to keep my hands busy.  That is what first drew me to these kinds of books.  I may not be able to actually do the craft myself anymore but I sure can read about it. 
This story brought back a wonderful memory.  While not a knitted wedding shawl, I was blessed to have a hand crocheted wedding dress and jacket made just for me.  I found the pattern way back when I was in high school and fell in love with it and tucked it away. When my husband and I became engaged I was bound and determined to make this dress, but there were just not enough hours in the day, so a family friend took over and completed a monumental task as you can see from the picture below.
I wish I could find some pictures of the stitching close up.  We sure have had fun looking through all the old pictures.  The dress underneath is sleeveless and the jacket has like 30 little small pearl buttons to hold it closed.  It was dry cleaned, sealed in a special box, tucked away in my cedar chest, and is waiting for a daughter or granddaughter to wear it someday.  It is quite the treasured heirloom just like Izzy’s shawl. Thank you Sally for such a wonderful memory.  Someday I will share the bridesmaid dresses fiasco 🙂
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel  Agent


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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from The Obsidian Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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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Posted in Thoughts

Hello world!

I thought I should let you all know why Escape With Dollycas or Dollycas’s Thoughts Part II is now on WordPress with a new name but the same Dollycas.

It seems I posted something on a forum for Google’s Blogger (my old host site) that angered the Google gods so much that they completely shutdown all the Google products I was using including not only my blog, but my email, my calendar, my forms and spreadsheets and even the Google Map I was using for my 50 State Challenge.

This means that no one can see my history of posts that I had created since I started blogging on December 31, 2009. My husband and I spent yesterday begging Google to reactivate my accounts and me basically turning into a lump of Jello. My husband reached out to the person I credit for getting me engrossed in this bloggy world to begin with and she made a really good point, it was the blogging I loved and the friends I made and that they would find me again.

So today, I picked myself up, brushed myself off, and left my comfort zone and have started over here.  There are a lot of things I need to work out yet so please bear with me. Any giveaways in progress will have to be restarted and hope to have that figured out soon.

Most important is Jennie Bentley’s Guest Post and my first Cozy Wednesday this week on this new site.  It will have a very special giveaway. I may need to go back to the email/comment way until I set something new up, but just like the old Dollycas’s Thoughts, your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent is still on the job.  There will be Book Reviews, Recommendations, Random Thoughts and Giveaways, lots of Giveaways.

Please pass the word of the new name Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book and the new address http://escapewithdollycas.wordpress.com/ and let them know I am still here!!!!

Thank You!