Posted in Giveaway Winners - Now Appear In The Sidebar

Gratitude Giveaway Winners!!!

I am so happy the randomizer picks the winners, because you all left wonderful comments that made me smile and even shed a few tears. I love this blog and really believe this is what I am meant to be doing at this point in my life. I love reading and being able to share my thoughts and books with you brings me so much joy. I appreciate each and everyone of you and am thankful that while we are not able to all meet in person we can all meet here almost every day a share little bits and pieces of our lives. Just think of the party we could have in real life, it would be awesome!!!

Thank you everyone. I hope you will be “escaping into good books” with me for a long, long, long time!!!

 

The Winner of Gratitude Escape #1 is:
LISA G. (Florida)
She has won:

Herald of Death (A Special Pennyfoot Hotel Mystery)


Plus some bookish swag

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

The Winner of Gratitude Escape #2 is:
DEBI M. (Wisconsin)
She has won:

Die Buying (Mall Cop)

BONUS

The Christmas Journey

Plus some bookish swag!!!

***********

The Winner of Gratitude Escape #3 is:
HOLLY W. (Alabama)
She has won:

A Pinch of Love: A Novel

Plus some bookish swag!

Thank you to everyone who entered!
Winners chosen using Random.org
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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Posted in It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

This great meme is hosted by Sheila at
Book Journey”.
It’s a great way to start the week and
find out what other bloggers are reading.
My To-Be-Read pile has grown to an
unbelievable number thanks to this meme.

It was quite a week with Thanksgiving and the Packers beating the Lions to start out the holiday, but made for a weird Sunday. NASCAR is done for the year, no football to watch, made yesterday a perfect reading day!!

FINISHED

Daddy’s Home

For Review and for my 3 R’s Challenge.
Recommended by Lori at Lori’s Reading Corner

Fantastic Read Read Review Here!

Executive Retention: A Sedona O’Hala Mystery #2 (Volume 2)
REVIEW COMING SOON!

Crops and Robbers (A Farmers’ Market Mystery)
Release Date: December 6, 2011
Will Post The Review on Cozy Wednesday!!
and tell you about more cozies coming December 6!!

Endangered (A Summer Westin Mystery)

New Series
Release Date: December 6, 2011
This one surprised me. Review will be posted soon!

CURRENTLY READING

A Quilter’s Holiday: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel

JUST FOR ME!!!

ON DECK

The Last Word (A Books by the Bay Mystery)

Release Date: December 6, 2011
Ellery will be here for Cozy Wednesday on December 7!!

 Double Booked for Death (A Black Cat Bookshop Mystery)


New Series
Release Date: December 6, 2011

Playing the Hand She’s Dealt
FOR REVIEW

You Might As Well Die: An Algonquin Round Table Mystery


Release Date: December 6, 2011


Starts December 2nd!

Click Here To See Current Giveaways!!


Details for 2012 Found Here!!

HAPPY READING!!!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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Posted in Monday's Music Moves ME

Monday’s Music Moves Me!!

Photobucket
This is  a fun meme conducted by Xmas Dolly, co-conductors Stacy from Stacy Uncorked Lorie fromThe Shewbridges of Celebration, and Callie at Jamerican Spice.   This meme is so much fun and so easy!!!  Just go to one of the links above for the details and enjoy the music.


This week’s theme
Starting the Christmas Season!!

I love Jeff Dunham and Ackmed!!

Wishing you much joy as you all prepare for the holiday season!!!

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Posted in Thoughts

The Saturday After Black Friday

Just wondering how many of you shopped yesterday.
How were the crowds?
Did you save a lot of money?
How much of your Christmas shopping did you get done?
Are you taking part today in Small Business Saturday?
Are you shopping online too?

I do most of my Christmas shopping online as it is hard for me to get around with the crowds but would love to hear about your experience!!!

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!!!

~Dollycas

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Posted in Giveaway Winners - Now Appear In The Sidebar

Hickory Smoked Homicide Winners

Angie H. (Florida)
and
Beverly A. (Colorado)

They have each won a copy of

Hickory Smoked Homicide (A Memphis BBQ Mystery)

Winners Chosen Using Random.org

Thank to everyone who entered!
Stay tuned for more Book Reviews, Recommendations,
Random Thoughts & Giveaways!!!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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Posted in Thoughts

Feel Good Friday

Hosted by: Erika, the girl next door grows up

Welcome to
Feel Good Friday!!!

Erika had found that a lot of her bloggy friends reading posts about being positive, so she thought she might try her very own meme. She just wanted everyone to feel good and have some happy thoughts as you begin the weekend.

“The Girl” is busy constructing a new website so for the time being this feature is being hosted by lia sophia tomgirl. She has a great blog, be sure to check it out!

What made me FEEL GOOD this week?

We had a pretty low key Thanksgiving yesterday.

Hubby cooked ham as requested by our youngest. Kris and Amber were with her family. Katy and Kaden stopped by for a bite to eat before she headed out shopping and Jayme and Betsy had to work for part of the day, so it was a really casual thing.

But first we watched the Packers go to 11-0 beating the Detroit Lions and Aaron Rodgers winning the Golden Gobbler Award.

Earlier in the week Fall River Boys Basketball started with an away game Tuesday night and as you can see it was a great one
AND WE MISSED IT!!
Fall River 47
C-F 46
CAMBRIA – Reid VanGysel’s 3-pointer with four seconds left lifted visiting Fall River to a 47-46 nonconference boys basketball victory over Cambria-Friesland in Tuesday’s season opener.

The Pirates (1-0) raced out to a 32-18 halftime lead but watched as the Toppers (0-1) cut the deficit to two late in the fourth quarter.
Bryce Williams’ 3-pointer with 14 seconds remaining gave C-F a 46-44 advantage. Williams paced the Toppers with 12 points.
VanGysel had 14 points to lead Fall River. Max Tramburg and Jake Grebe each chipped in 10 points.


WAY TO GO PIRATES!!!!!

I am suffering from High School Basketball withdrawal now that Jayme has graduated.
I have told my husband we will be at the home game on Monday or else!!!!

I also read an excellent book that I reviewed yesterday. (See Review In Post Below)


If you like suspense this is one not to miss!

What made you Feel Good this week?
I hope you will take a moment to share!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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Posted in Thoughts

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Posted in Reviews 2011

Daddy’s Home by A.K. Alexander

Daddy’s Home
Published by CreateSpace
Available Now

The media call him “The Family Man”. He is in search of the “perfect” family and he stalks single moms and their kids trying to choose just the right ones so he can insert himself to be the “perfect” father. Perfect until the chosen mother and child don’t play along with his demented fantasy and then he kills and starts hunting again.

Holly Jennings, a Crime Scene Investigator for the San Diego Police Department has caught the case. She lost her husband in another police investigation that went horribly wrong. She deals daily with the guilt that it was her fault. This makes the case personal because she is now a single mom herself.

The case gets even more personal for her as a friend falls victim to “The Family Man.” Holly start to realize she has to tread carefully as she fits his profile. One false move could cost not only her own life but the lives of others she holds dear.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Talk about psychological suspense thrillers, this one blew me away! Think Criminal Minds more than CSI. Holly works her way into your heart and “The Family Man” speeds up your heart rate to record levels.

The author has written the book in such a way that you become invested in the characters quickly. They are so fully developed, both the “bad” characters and the “good” characters. Their back stories are interspersed so naturally you can almost see them drawn on the page.

While the moments with the killer can get gritty and graphic, the times with Holly as her new relationship grows can be serene and romantic. Then as we get more into the story and the “chase” is on your emotions will run the gambit. I challenge you to try and put this book down! You will not be able to do it! It is filled with plot twists, surprises and one unbelievably strong woman!

This author has definitely found her niche. I want more just like this one!!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


I want to recognize and thank Lori from Lori’s Reading Corner for recommending this fantastic book to me. I read about it on her blog back in August and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Now I can’t wait to my hands on all of these!!!

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. 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 Wisconsin Author

Cozy Wednesday with Author Rochelle Staab (Giveaway Too!)


Back in August I received the nicest email from Rochelle telling me how much she liked my blog Dollycas’s Thoughts, (I hope she likes this new revised version as well) but she also told me she was originally from Wisconsin and about her new book coming out November 1 and that is was a cozy mystery. Well you know what that meant, I immediately wrote back to her and signed her to Guest Post here.

Since then I have read the book, Who Do, Voodoo? (A Mind for Murder Mystery), and loved it!!! Rochelle was in Wisconsin last week to publicize her book, but we didn’t get to meet in person this time. I know we will get together in the future. Right now I am just so pleased that she is here today, especially with Thanksgiving tomorrow!!!

Welcome Rochelle!!

Thank you so much for inviting me here on Cozy Wednesday, Lori. I’m thrilled to be in the company of the wonderful writers who post here, and proud to raise my hand as a native Wisconsin author. Although fate transplanted me to New York then Los Angeles, I am a Midwest gal at heart.

As I bake pecan pies for tomorrow’s dinner, I’m filled with gratitude. Thanksgiving 2011 is particularly special for me—my first book went on sale this month, fulfilling a lifelong dream. Seeing Who Do, Voodoo? on bookstore shelves took my breath away. Tears? Indeed.

Today I’d like to take the Dollycas’ readers into my writing cave to share some of the other things I am grateful for as a writer:

1. Loud, noisy, hyperactive characters who won’t shut up when they enter a scene. These characters are fun to write because they’ll blurt out the most outrageous comments, mess up the plot, shift directions, and create conflict. Viv, my main character’s mother, is a good example. I can’t say who inspired Viv (my Mom?) but she’s a blast to write. Most of the time characters like this need to be edited, but they’re much more dynamic than characters who opt to take an emotional day off when I need them to react.


2. Scenes that write themselves. Occasionally scenes fool me because on the outline or in planning stages they appear complicated or tricky. Maybe the story is headed toward a big confrontation or dark moment or multi-character gathering I know is necessary but a bear to organize. Then “voila!” I start writing and the scene flows out as smoothly as telling my best friend Pat the minute details of a party complete with dialog, wardrobe, and props.


3. Surprising plot twists. The best. As I began writing Who Do, Voodoo? I was certain I knew exactly who the killer would be. A third of the way in I thought, “Huh. It’s not that person—it’s THAT person.” Two-thirds through I realized, “Holy cow, I was wrong again. The killer is THAT person!” I hope the plot of every novel I write shocks me somewhere along the way because, in turn, the reader (and my amateur sleuth) will be surprised too.


4. Cold Readers. These are the guinea pigs, intelligent and patient souls who read my novels before anyone else, even before my genius editor picks up her red pencil. Cold readers are like the saleswoman who comes in the department store dressing room with the pluck to tell me my butt looks huge in a dress instead of gushing or keeping her mouth shut just to get me to the cash register. It’s great to have one cold reader who gushes, but the treasures are the one who will say, “The main character would NEVER go down to the basement alone. What were you thinking? Rewrite the scene,” and frame their words as a constructive compliment. I (heart) my critique partners and cold readers.


5. The End. Ah, the gift that keeps on giving. The utter joy of typing those two little words comes wrapped in a major sigh of relief with arms in the air and cheers—even if I will be rewriting and editing the entire blasted story at least three more times.

The community of cozy readers, reviewers, bloggers, and writers is the most amazing group of supporters any writer could hope for and will also be on my gratitude list tomorrow. When dinner is over and I’m curled up in bed, I’ll be opening a good cozy for a great read.

Have a fabulous Thanksgiving everyone!

~Rochelle

Thank You Rochelle!!!! I love those loud, noisy characters as you will see in my review. I want to add that as I getting this article ready to post I have learned that Rochelle’s book has made the Barnes & Noble Bestsellers List. Congratulations Rochelle!!! Can you pass a piece of that pecan pie?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Rochelle Staab, a former award-winning radio programmer and music industry marketing executive, blended her fascination with the supernatural and her love for mystery in Who Do, Voodoo?the first novel in her Mind for Murder Mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime. BRUJA BROUHAHA, the second novel in the series will be released in August 2012.
You can find out more about Rochelle at www.rochellestaab.com
or Follow her at:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rochelle.staab
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/rochellestaab
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4705211.Rochelle_Staab

****

Who Do, Voodoo? (A Mind for Murder Mystery)
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Published by The Penguin Group
1st in the Series
Cover Illustration by Blake Morrow
Cover Design by Diana Kolsky


Who Do, Voodoo?,the first novel in Rochelle Staab’s thrilling new Mind for Murder Mystery series features no-nonsense Liz Cooper, a Los Angeles psychologist forced to embrace the occult to clear her best friend of murder.

When Liz Cooper’s friend Robin Bloom finds an unusual tarot card tacked to her front door, Liz writes it off as a prank. Robin refuses to ignore the omen—her late husband drew the same card, the three of swords, in a reading the night before he was killed in a car accident. As more cards and darker threats appear, Liz realizes someone very dangerous is upping the ante.

Liz turns to her brother’s old college roommate, occult expert Nick Garfield. As Nick leads her into the voodoo community to locate the origin of the deck, she can’t ignore their attraction to each other. Then a woman is found murdered and Robin becomes the prime suspect. Determined to clear her friend, Liz joins forces with Nick to unravel otherworldly secrets and seek help from beyond—or risk being outwitted by a cunning killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
First I have to say this is Rochelle’s debut novel, not just published novel, this is the first book she has written. Unbelievable!! She is such a wonderful storyteller I was sure she had written several books, but no, this the first, I asked her more than once. She even talks about it during an interview she did last week in Milwaukee.

Liz Cooper and I are on the same page when it comes to tarot cards and voodoo, we are doubters, it’s fine if you believe it but it not our “cup of tea”, so no tea leaves for us. You do not have to believe to absolutely love this story. In fact, a little doubt makes you relate to Liz as she delves in to investigate this murder to clear her friend. Both Liz and the reader learn about voodoo, including Haitian Vodou and Louisiana or New Orleans Voodoo. The history of both is very interesting and the way Rochelle connects them to the characters in this story is almost magical.

My favorite character of course was Liz, but her mother is an absolute hoot!! She never misses an opportunity to try to get Liz to reunite with her ex-husband and whenever she talks to Liz about her brother she always says,”your brother, Dave”. Liz only has one brother and she does know his name. It just cracked me up every time. Liz is an expert at dealing with or not dealing with her mother. Loved it!!

This is a perfect cozy mystery, unique characters, clever plot, creative setting, spiced up with a little romance and humor. It is a fabulous debut and I can’t wait for the next installment. The Wisconsin girl did a great job, now she needs to have Liz make a trip to the Midwest for a Mind For Murder sequel, just a thought!!


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the great people at Penguin I have
2 copies of WHO DO VOODOO? to giveaway!

U.S. & Canadian Residents

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.

Leave a Comment for Rochelle for 5 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End December 7 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners 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 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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Posted in Reviews 2011

A Real Basket Case by Beth Groundwater


A Real Basket Case (A Claire Hanover Mystery)
Midnight Ink
First in the Series
Cover Illustration by Glenn Gustafson
Cover Design by Kevin R. Brown
Available Now

Claire Hanover’s nest is empty, her kids are off on their own, and her husband is a workaholic. She has started her own part-time business creating gift baskets but it doesn’t fill her time as much as she would like. She feels neglected by her husband because she comes number two after his rise up the corporate ladder.

She follows the advice of her best friend Ellen to join an aerobics class to get back into shape and meet people. All the women in the class agree their instructor is dreamy and most flirt with him openly through each class. There are rumors that he has had affairs with most of his students but Claire puts up a wall right away letting him know she is married. That doesn’t make her immune from his charms and she still agrees to let Enrique to be her personal trainer and she lets him come to her house to give her a massage after a stressful workout.

The massage barely gets started when someone sneaks into her house and shoots Enrique dead right there in her master bedroom. The police arrest Claire’s husband for the murder very quickly. Claire is determined to clear her husband of the crime and save her marriage and she will do anything necessary to do just that.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
When I finished this book I sat up straight and said WOW!!! This is definitely not your traditional cozy mystery. This is a hold on to the edge of your seat wild ride mystery!!! I got about halfway through and I couldn’t put it down. It was a late night as I stayed up to finish it and then couldn’t get to sleep.

I do not want to reveal much because you will enjoy it much more just reading it yourself but the lengths this woman, Claire, goes to are astounding. All to save the man she loves. The places she goes, the danger she puts herself in, the people she deals with left me dazed. You want to reach into the pages and shake her and say “Are you crazy?” She starts the book as a woman lost and emerges as such a strong heroine.

This is another book I to shout about from the rooftops, YOU HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK!!!! The book is off my rating scale it is so good! Like mystery and suspense, strong women characters, along with the charm and a little humor found in a wonderful cozy, this book is perfect for you. It is like a cozy mystery on steroids!!!



Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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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