Posted in Reviews From Dollycas's Thoughts

THE CAT, THE QUILT AND THE CORPSE By Leann Sweeney

This post was originally posted at Dollycas’s Thoughts on January 11, 2010

I love cats, quilting was a former passion, and who doesn’t like a good mystery.

Leann Sweeney’s first book in her new Cats in Trouble series was truly enjoyable.The characters are realistic and relatable, the cats are truly stars in this book, and the plot is well thought out.  The Cat Trivia within the story are little added gifts.  (I did not know a group of kittens was call a “kindle”, I thought a kindle was the new electronic gadget for reading books.)

Jillian and John Hart move to Mercy, S.C. where everyone knows everything about everybody, or do they?

John dies all too soon and leaves Jillian with their three cats, Merlot, Chablis, and Syrah and her quilting business, knowing almost none of her neighbors. When she returns from an overnight business trip she finds her home has been broken into and one of her beloved cats is missing. After reporting the break-in and the missing cat, she knows the police are not going to be of any help to find her cat and realizes she must look for him herself. While searching for her cat she also finds a corpse, and her investigation is just beginning, not only is she going to meet her neighbors, she’s going to find out one of them is a murderer.

Don’t forget to check out Leann’s other series The Yellow Rose Mysteries and her website http://www.leannsweeney.com/.

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Posted in Reviews 2011

Dangerous Alterations by Elizabeth Lynn Casey

Dangerous Alterations (A Southern Sewing Circle Mystery)
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Published by The Penguin Group
5th in the Series
Cover Illustration by Mary Ann Lasher (It’s Fabulous!)
Cover Design by Judith Lagerman

We are back in Sweet Briar with Tori Sinclair and the ladies of the Southern Sewing Circle. In this installment Tori’s past comes back to haunt her.

First at a local health clinic Tori runs into her ex-fiance’s great aunt Vera. The old woman seems shocked to see Tori. Tori is shocked when the woman dies on the spot, most likely from a heart attack. Vera’s death brings slime-ball Jeff to Sweet Briar for the funeral and he has the nerve to ask Tori to take him back.

Tori is also worrying about Dixie, the former head librarian, filling in for her as she takes off on a weekend retreat with the Sewing Circle. Then she learns that it seems Jeff has fallen over dead during a run around Sweet Briar, from a heart attack as well. Heart problems run in his family but even Tori believes this is too much of a coincidence. The police chief thinks so too and even thinks Tori may be involved in the death.

It’s time to gather everyone together and try to piece together what really happened as Tori tries hard to keep for life from ripped apart at the seams.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
I love this series and I love these ladies. The story is filled with one surprise after another. Elizabeth Lynn Casey has outdone herself with this one. It is easily the best book in the entire series, but knowing this author the next one will be awesome too. The characters continue to grow, the story is full of layers that will continue into the next installments. The mystery or should I say mysteries are clever. I will say there were at least three places in this story when I said “OH MY GOSH”, totally unexpected, off the wall twists.

As the time passes, the friendships of these women have grown so that even through some are already family, together they are building a new family all their own. Tori has been in Sweet Briar a very short time and now with her past up close and personal she has the entire support of the ladies of the Southern Sewing Circle. She needs them more than ever in this story. They protect her and fight for her like she was their own, daughter, niece or sister. They are there to help her pick up the pieces and move forward. These friendships are the core of this series. To move away from one life to start over in a new place is extremely difficult but she has been welcomed and embraced by this town totally.

Every trip to Sweet Briar is a pleasure. The residents of Sweet Briar just stitch themselves right into your heart. I’ll give Tori and friends some time for things to settle down. I know the next book is in the works and I can’t for my next visit.



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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Berkley Prime Crime. 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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Posted in Giveaway Winners - Now Appear In The Sidebar

GIVEAWAY REDO WINNERS!!!

 

It feels so good to finally wrap us these giveaways.
Thank you all for being so patient and understanding and following these giveaways to 3 different blogs.
Please let me assure you all entries were combined and
all entries included no matter how, when or where you entered.

I never want to do that again so I hope you like my new blog because I am not planning on moving again ever. Yes, I know you should never say never but never mind that, they will have to drag me kicking and screaming from this site.

to:
Carol M. (Pennsylvania)
and
Nancy Jo C. (Virginia)
They have each won a copy of:

to:
Brenda H. (Georgia)
and
Lindsey A. (Massachusetts)
They have each won a copy of

and to:
Wanda G. (Wisconsin)
She has won

Thank you to everyone who entered.
Winners chosen using Random.org
Stay Tuned for more
Book Reviews, Recommendations,
Random Thoughts & Giveaways!!

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Posted in Reviews From Dollycas's Thoughts

Review: Silver Girl by Elin Hilderbrand

This review originally appeared on Dollycas’s Thoughts June 21, 2011.

Reagan Arthur Books/
Little Brown and Company
Hachette Book Group

ISBN-10: 031609966X
ISBN-13: 978-0316099660
Meredith Martin Delinn’s world is crashing around her. She has been living the “high life” since her children were small. Her husband, Freddy, was one of those wonderful guys on Wall Street that got caught by the SEC (think Bernie Madoff) making off with his clients money and wonderful guy that he was, he dragged his wife and family down with him.

Freddy is now sitting in prison while Meredith and their son Leo are under investigation and filled with questions. Their son Carver never got into the family business so he is not facing the heat, but Leo has moved in with him and they can have no contact with their mother.

Meredith has lost everything except for some money she had of her own before she was married, but she has no home, no friends, can’t talk to or see her sons, no social standing at all.  She contacts her friend since childhood, Constance Flute.  Their friendship fizzled out when they took all the money they had invested with Freddy out a couple of years ago. Connie’s husband, Wolf, was dying and he just didn’t think Freddy’s numbers added up and thought he was doing something shady.  But Meredith stood  by her man and blamed Wolf’s cancer for his poor judgement.

Connie is headed to Nantucket for the summer to try to heal from the devastating loss of not only her husband, but her daughter who is blaming her for not making her dad fight harder against the cancer that had returned.  He chose his work over the treatments.  He was an architect and he felt the work he was committed to needed to be completed and would be his legacy.  Connie has called and left a voice mail every Sunday hoping that just once her daughter will pick up the phone or call her back.

Connie decides to take Meredith with her to Nantucket so they may also heal their friendship, but once the people of the island find out that Meredith is there, the friends become plagued with old and new troubles, adding even more stress in their lives at a place that was supposed to be healing, relaxing and full of happy memories. Can their friendship be restored?  What kind of lives will they after when the summer ends?
This is the quintessential summer beach read.  It takes on the power of friendship, love, loss, forgiveness, trust, happiness, prosperity, misery, and bliss, along with an element of suspense.  It is also very current due to the scandal that happened in New York with Bernie Madoff recently, like I said above, but it shows the other side, that maybe some of the spouses of the Wall Street Execs really could be oblivious to what was really happening.  When they are bringing home that much money it is kind of taken for granted and the how and why is not always questioned. Unfortunately most of us are not in that position so I didn’t trust Meredith for a good part of this story, which made it more of a mystery for me as the clues were uncovered and linked together.

I also loved the special ways history was remembered and tied to some very beautiful music.  It made the story so much more real as they were songs I loved from my past.  Just added a wonderful element that set the back stories and much more.

I had the privilege to read an review Hilderbrand’s The Island last summer and declared it my Best General Fiction Read of 2010. Elin Hilderbrand has become one of my favorite authors and I can’t wait to read her entire back list and anything she writes in the future.

The tagline of this blog is “Escape With A Good Book”.  This is the perfect “escape” book!! I did over the weekend and am so glad I did. Get yours today, fix a nice pitcher of lemonade, splash on a little sunscreen and hit the beach, deck chair, or porch swing and sit back and enjoy this wonderful story.
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Reagan Arthur Books, Little Brown and Company, a division  of Hachette 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.”

Posted in Reviews 2011

L.A. Mental by Neil McMahon


Harper
An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Available Now

To psychologist Tom Crandall it seems Los Angeles in going insane. A distinguished judge goes on a rampage an destroys his own home, a brilliant grad student from CalTech is killed while driving his car wildly through traffic, his own brother, Nick, calls him distressed claiming “his brain is being devoured by worms”.

Sadly as Tom tries to help his brother he can’t stop him from throwing himself off a cliff into the Pacific ocean. Tom rescues him only to learn Nick doesn’t remember a thing.

The Crandalls are a very wealthy family. Tom seeming to be the most normal, Nick has been involved in some shady dealings, their sister Erica has her own problems and younger brother Paul is the business man of the family and is in charge of the family fortune.

As Tom starts to investigate secrets come out and all the insanity seems to lead to a film company Parallax Productions and its director, a former physicist named Gunnar Kelso. Tom delves right into the middle of things to find some answers and what he discovers is absolutely mind boggling.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
I knew this author from his previous work with James Patterson on the book TOYS so I knew he come up with some pretty out there ideas, but it did not prepare me for this.

I wouldn’t actually call it a thriller, it is more of a psychological study of madness. However, it is just as entertaining, but must be read carefully to capture ever nuance in this mind bending story. They are some really technical concepts that take away some of the drama by being too scientific. They are also some confusing elements as to setting and why certain people were affected and others not, but it is fiction, science fiction. Sometimes you need to just let go of reality and let the story take you on a journey. I was waiting for a real ” a ha moment” and that doesn’t happen.

Like Patterson’s quote says on the cover it is “a very cool concept”, but if you pick this book thinking you are going to be reading a true thriller you will be disappointed. If you like sci-fi or futuristic type fiction this book is perfect for you. It is filled with the stuff that you spend nights dreaming about. It is also a book that will leave you contemplating just how much is really fiction. How much of this technology is already out there and can it be used for good and evil. McMahon has now shown me twice that he has quite an imagination, a sometimes scary imagination. What worries me is the actual research he did to come up with this “very cool concept” and how much is true and how much is imagined.
The Twilight Zone Theme Song



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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Harper. 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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Posted in Reviews From Dollycas's Thoughts

COZY WEDNESDAY – With Author Kylie Logan

This post originally appeared on Dollycas’s Thoughts September 28, 2011.

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday.  I was blown away when I received the guest post from today’s guest.  The author information is curiously missing from today’s featured book so I knew it was probably an author I knew using a pseudonym.  The question was who was it? You will find out below! 

Button Holed (Button Box Mystery) is the first installment of a brand new series and I loved it!!! My full review will follow Kylie’s Guest Post.  Please help me give a warm welcome to Kylie Logan!

Welcome Kylie!! 

Thank you so much for the invitation to blog on your site!
Not everyone is lucky enough to not only have more than one personality, but to be able to celebrate it. As Casey Daniels, I write the Pepper Martin mystery series about a cemetery worker who investigates for the ghosts in her cemetery. The seventh book in that series, “A Hard Day’s Fright” came out in April and book #8, “Wild, Wild Death,” will hit shelves on January 3.
But I’ve got a new alter-ego, and she’s just recently made her first official appearance.
She’s Kylie Logan, author of the Button Box mystery series. Book #1, “Button Holed,” hit store and virtual shelves early this month.
Cover Illustration

by Jennifer Taylor

Cover Design

by Annette Fiore Defex

It’s been an interesting road to publication for Kylie and it all started, quite simply, because I like buttons. As Josie Giancola, the heroine of the new series comments, buttons are little bits of history, and tiny works of art. They say something about a person’s style, and that person’s social class. Many antique buttons display incredible workmanship, dazzling jewels and even say something about a wearer’s love life; back in the nineteenth century, it was fashionable for a young lady to have a photograph of her beau put on her coat buttons!
Still, I never thought about actually writing a mystery series about buttons until a couple years ago when I visited Ann Arbor, Michigan. I’d just finished lunch at a charming coffee shop and I was alone on the front porch, sipping coffee and knitting, when a couple sat down at the table next to me. There are a couple operative words in that last sentence, namely, alone and next to. You see, they decided to pick that very moment to break up.
I listened to it for ten minutes or so and honestly, I expected them to apologize. After all, there was no doubt I could hear everything they were saying. They didn’t. Instead, they went on and on and I’d had enough. I gathered up my knitting and went next door to an antique shop.
What I didn’t know until I opened the door was that it was an antique shop that specialized in buttons.
Thousands and thousands of buttons.
I was in heaven, and the nice lady who owned the place was only too happy to tell me stories and answer my questions.
It was that encounter that gave me the idea for the Button Box mysteries. Josie owns an antique button shop, too, though hers is in a Chicago brownstone. It’s there that she meets a famous actress who’s come to Josie for the buttons she’ll put on her wedding gown when she marries a European prince. And it’s that actress who is murdered in the shop. When Josie’s cleaning up, she finds an unusual button–one she knows didn’t come from her collection.
As for those multiple personalities of mine . . . readers who enjoy the Pepper Martin mysteries can expect much the same light and airy reading experience and the same sort of humor and intricate plotting. However, there are no paranormal elements in Kylie’s books as there are in Casey’s.
Because Kylie is a new person, she has her own, new blog. You can find her at:
Email her at:
or friend her on Facebook.

 

~Kylie
Thank you so much for being here today.  You are always welcome to come back no matter what alias you are using.  Kylie also shared with me that she also writes as Miranda Bliss, author of the Cooking Class Mysteries, another of my favorites.  She has other nom de plumes as well but I won’t give out all her secrets here today. J
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 in The Button Box Mystery Series coming soon, but never soon enough!!
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Berkley Prime Crime. 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 Reviews From Dollycas's Thoughts

Review: THE COVERT ELEMENT by John L. Betcher

This post originally appeared on Dollycas’s Thoughts June 18, 2011.

The Covert Element: A James Becker Thriller

This is the third installment featuring James Becker (Beck), a former Military Intelligence Agent and his ex-CIA code cracking, computer expert wife, Beth. They are both retired from their stressful jobs, Beck does some work as an attorney now, but they just can’t seem to stay out of trouble.
In this edition the Mexican Drug Wars come way too close to home, very near to their quiet Minnesota community, and they aren’t just selling the drugs, they are manufacturing meth at a huge grain company.  The organic grain elevator and small dairy is a great cover.  The CEO doesn’t even know what is happening right under his nose.
To add even more thrill to this thriller we find out about some of Beck’s friend Bull’s past.  A friend from his time in the military shows up and he is on a mission and wants Bull’s help to carry out his plan. He has set up his planned assault for many years and it is all coming to a head now in Minnesota.
Beth and Beck try to help their friend Bull accomplish his friend’s mission in the most legal way possible because if they don’t they could all end up in jail or dead.
I was privileged to be one of the first to read the first book in this series, The Missing Element and then The 19th Element which tied with Harlan Coben’s CAUGHT for my selection of Best Suspense/Thriller for 2010. I was worried that after the last one John had set the bar too high for himself, but The Covert Element surpassed both of the previous novels.
I think that John is not only a brilliant writer but he takes huge current issues in the world and brings them alarmingly close to home.  He had made Red Wing, Minnesota the hotbed of some critical world issues in a truly believable way.  I just hope the wrong people don’t read his books and get ideas. 
The dialogue between Beck and Beth is so real.  I know some critics have panned their romance and relationship taking too big of part in these stories, but to me it makes the stressful situations even more real.  There is less of that in this installment but you still see and feel the calming effect Beth has on Beck.  Without that he could develop quickly in a character out of control.  She is a vital character and their strong relationship is a huge part of why these stories work.
You can see the author takes great pains in his research in every one of the books but this one took intense investigation to get the facts right to make this story credible.  
It continues his “ripped from headlines” style.  This is yet another book by John L. Betcher I recommend you click the link below and order today.  You will be enthralled from the first page until the very last and you won’t be able to wait and tell your friends they have to read it too!!!
Well done John!!!  Now get to work on the next one!!! By hot little hands are waiting!!!

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author.. 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 2012

Review: The Missing Element by John L. Betcher with Q&A

This post originally appeared on Dollycas’s Thoughts May 18, 2010.

A JAMES BECKER MYSTERY

James (Beck) Becker and his wife Elizabeth (Beth) have retired from their high pressure lives as government operatives, Beck in military intelligence, Beth as a CIA code-cracker and moved back to Beck’s childhood home of Red Wing, Minnesota to enjoy some rest and relaxation.

Rest and relaxation doesn’t last long as Beth gets a call from an old acquaintance begging her to help find his wife, who he believes has been kidnapped.  Katherine Whitson, a computer genius, has left her husband her car keys, credit cards, most of her belongings and a note saying she’s leaving him, but he doesn’t believe it for a minute.

Beth talks Beck into taking the case and it takes him on a route through Katherine’s personal and professional lives and into the inside the mind-bending world of computers and microprocessors that he doesn’t even understand.  He realizes he needs Beth’s help, and the help of some of their friends if he is ever going to find Katherine alive and close this case.

This is such a good book.  It is written at the perfect pace that keeps you turning page after page after page.  It is hard to believe this is the author’s first mystery novel.   The characters are wonderfully developed, my favorite character of the book is Bull, an American Indian, with some very special skills and a very dry wit.  The plot is one that may scare anyone who uses a computer, which today is everyone, when you realize this story can actually be true. Are machines running the world? Are humans THE MISSING ELEMENT?

There is also the wonderful love story of Beck and Beth and the perfect amount of humor to keep the story from getting to technical or heavy.  If you are a fan of Tom Clancy, John Grisham or Robert Parker, you will truly enjoy this book, but even if you a just a cozy mystery reader this is still a book for you.  I truly recommend you add this book to your Summer Reading Lists today!!!

About The Author

John L Betcher is a University of Minnesota Law School graduate and has practiced law for more than twenty-five years in the Mississippi River community of Red Wing, Minnesota. He has also been a long-time supporter and coach of youth volleyball there.

He has authored three feature articles for COACHING VOLLEYBALL, the Journal of the American Volleyball Coaches Association. His most recent article was the cover story for the April/May, 2009 Issue. His book on volleyball coaching philosophies entitled THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK OF VOLLEYBALL COACHING is available at www.johnbetcher.com and at amazon.com. He is also an active member and writing peer coach at the Agent Query Connect writer’s forum.

 

After finishing this book Sunday night I emailed John Monday morning to tell him how much I loved the book and asked him to join me here to answer a few questions and find out if there would be more books in Beck & Beth’s future.

 

Q & A with Author John L. Betcher 
Was writing a book something you always wanted to do?
Writing fiction is a vocation I came upon gradually. I had never really pictured myself as an author before I decided — about a year ago — to become one. Having an English major in college and doing a lot of legal writing certainly helped writing skills along. But I hadn’t really aspired to be a writer. In fact, until last summer, I had been very involved in my two daughters’ school, artistic and sporting activities. Parenting occupied most of my time outside of lawyering. Then my youngest graduated from high school, and my schedule changed dramatically. Suddenly, I had time to do something else.
Actually, coaching youth volleyball for the past ten years was the impetus that got me writing for publication. I published three articles in “COACHING VOLLEYBALL, the Journal of the American Volleyball Coaches Association” between 2006 and 2009. The last article turned out to be the cover story for the April/May 2009 issue. In May, 2009 I wrote a small book on volleyball coaching philosophies entitled The Little Black Book of Volleyball Coaching. By this time I was ready to move on to more challenging writing projects.
I guess you could say that my passion for coaching volleyball, and a recent appearance of some free time in my family schedule, were the major factors that allowed me to explore writing fiction. And like Beck, when I take on a challenge, I do so wholeheartedly. I now consider myself a full time lawyer and a full time author.

 

Are you really computer savvy or did you have to do a lot of research for this book? The book implies that humans are ‘The Missing Element” in computer technology. How did you come up with this storyline?
In 1980, I was fortunate enough to have access to one of IBM’s very first personal computers — the IBM XT — through my part-time job during law school. I’ve kept up with computers ever since. So on one hand, computers and technology have been parts of my life for a long time.
The really deep and involved aspects of computer chip design and manufacturing featured in the book came to me through an engineer friend of mine whose family has its own technology business. I invited him to my home one evening to share a beverage. I kept asking technology questions. And he kept giving me more and more intriguing answers. I backed up that personal interview with some web research to make sure I had all the terminology straight. It was my engineer friend who first expressed to me his concern over humans becoming increasingly absent in the technology equation. That idea blossomed into a good part of the book’s plot.
Do I really believe that “technology is becoming an uncomfortably black box,” as Beck would say? Yes. I’m not alarmist about it. But there are definitely Orwellian overtones to the expansive role technology plays in today’s world — mostly with little or no human intervention.
Are you Beck? I ask because he’s also a lawyer in the Red Wing area.
In writing The Missing Element, I tried to adhere to the common wisdom that an author should write about a subject with which he is familiar. I know a lot about lawyering, computers, the small town of Red Wing, Minnesota, and the Twin Cities metro area. So it is definitely true that there are parallels between my life and Beck’s. And Beck and I share some personal philosophies.
But one must remember that this book is fictional. And so are its characters. No one should believe for a minute that I am Beck, or vice versa. It would be exciting if I were capable of some of Beck’s heroics. But then I probably would be out saving people instead of writing books, wouldn’t I?
Beck and Beth make a great team. Will we see them working together in future books?
I like the characters of Beth and Beck very much. They are a little too perfect. And maybe they’re a bit self-absorbed. But their interaction with each other makes me feel good inside. Too few books leave you liking the main characters and happy about the ending. The Beck books will always be exceptions to that rule. And Beck and Beth will always be there.
I also like the characters of Bull and Gunner. Red Wing has substantial populations of both Scandinavians and Dakota Indians. So readers should expect to see more of Gunner and Bull in future books as well.

SCOOP 

The next book in this series is in the works!!!!  
The title:  THE 19th ELEMENT
Expected Release Date: Later this year, maybe as early as late summer
It features the familiar core cast you got to know in THE MISSING ELEMENT — Beck, Beth, Bull and Gunner and is said to be a THRILLER!!!!!
Thank you to John for stopping by today and answering my questions.  I can’t wait to read The 19th Element and many more stories featuring Beck, Beth and the gang.
To learn more about the author visit http://www.johnbetcher.com/

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author.. 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

Review: The 19th Element by John L. Betcher

This post originally appeared on Dollycas’s Thoughts July 13, 2010.

 A JAMES BECKER THRILLER

Al Qaeda plans to attack Minnesota’s Prairie River Nuclear Power Plant to remind everyone they are still very active and to get back in the international headlines.  They have recruited some homegrown anarchists to add to their terrorist forces, one of which is a Three Mile Island survivor with a huge grudge against the power plant, and two more with questionable education and background.

James “Beck” Becker is a former elite U.S. government intelligence operative who has retired to his childhood hometown of Red Wing, Minnesota just a few miles from the Prairie River Nuclear Power Plant.  After a university professor’s body is found along the shore of the Mississippi River, clearly murdered, “Beck” gets in on the investigation and all his instincts tell him, this dead body is just the start of something much bigger.  He is very concerned when he learns the professor’s assistant is missing along with what could be a very dangerous piece of lab equipment.  Later clues like a missing fertilizer truck and an international phone call only confirm to “Beck” that terrorists are involved and that something major is going to happen, but he can’t convince any government officials that a huge threat exists.  So with the help of his American Indian friend “Bull”, he tries to foil the plan on his own.

I am so glad John Betcher sent me this extraordinary thriller.  It is scary good!!  I say this because this fiction could easily become reality.  This could definitely be a “ripped from the headlines” story.  When I think of terrorist targets in the United States, I think of major cities, Washington D.C., New York, maybe Los Angeles, but this story takes place in my “backyard”, the Upper Midwest.  Also we know from history there are terrorists and their supporters here in the states, and this story brings them out front and center.  Yes, this story is fiction but it has all the details that make you realize this could really happen.  While this book entertains it also raises the readers awareness that there are people that want to hurt Americans.

I had the pleasure of reading, reviewing and interviewing the author after her sent me his first book, The Missing Element, and while I truly loved that book, I enjoyed this book even more.  This book is now tied with Harlan Coben’s CAUGHT as the best book I have read this year.  If you like a riveting, page turner this is definitely a book that should be in you hot little hands today.  Don’t wait, click the link below and order this book today!  You will not be able to put it down until you finish the last page and you will be thinking about the reality of it for a long time after you put this book on your keeper shelf.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author.. 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 Giveaways Reviews 2011

The Nine Lives of Christmas by Sheila Roberts Review & Giveaway

I know it is a little early for Christmas books but this one was released on October 25, and I wanted to share it with you as soon as I could.

The Nine Lives of Christmas
St. Martins Press
Jacket Illustration by Jane Boyle Hallman

This story features Ambrose, the matchmaking cat, who finds himself facing his ninth life, you know the final one. He will do anything – ANYTHING – to be able to live it out happily.

When it looks like his fate has been sealed by an enormous dog, he pleads for help. His savior arrives in the form of a big, strong, firefighter named Zach. A firefighter who is very surprised that his good deed not only included scaring away the dog but giving Ambrose a new home.

Ambrose soon sees Zach needs help in the romance department. He also knows it is not going to be an easy endeavor to bring the perfect match together. With a bit of holiday magic he may be able to do it and even find a little feline romance for himself.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
This is such a cute little story. The perfect pick me up to get your holiday planning and shopping off on the right foot. You may even want to pick up some extra copies to give as gifts.

A light holiday romance with the predictable happy ending told from the cat’s point of view. It makes for a Very Meowy Christmas.


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

The good people at St. Martin’s Press have been very generous.
I have my gently read hardcover copy to giveaway
but they also sent me an audio copy too!!

I really want to share this book so I am having a special giveaway.
U.S. & CANADIAN RESIDENTS

You can enter once for each copy formats by filling out two separate forms.
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 publicize the giveaway anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End November 11 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from St. Martin's Press. 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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