Posted in Monday's Music Moves ME

Monday’s Music Moves Me!

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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
Songs or Things We Are Thankful For


This was a song from our wedding.


That should get your Monday off to a good start!!
Click one of the above links and add you own favorites!!


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.

FINISHED

A Real Basket Case (A Claire Hanover Mystery)


For Review! This has been on my wish list a while!!!
Review will be up tomorrow. This book was so good!!!!

Who Do, Voodoo? (A Mind for Murder Mystery)


Rochelle is an author with roots in Wisconsin and
she will be here this week for Cozy Wednesday!!

Sweet Revenge: A Lady Arianna Regency Mystery (Lady Arianna Hadley Mystery)


November Just For Fun Book!!

The Perfect Christmas

A Quick Christmas Read

CURRENTLY READING

Daddy’s Home

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

ON DECK

Executive Retention: A Sedona O’Hala Mystery #2 (Volume 2)
For Review

Crops and Robbers (A Farmers’ Market Mystery)
Release Date: December 6, 2011

Endangered (A Summer Westin Mystery)

New Series
Release Date: December 6, 2011

Double Booked for Death (A Black Cat Bookshop Mystery)


New Series
Release Date: December 6, 2011


The Gratitude Giveaways Continue!

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 Just For Fun Challenge

Just For Fun Challenge 2012

As bloggers we are all on timetables to read books, get reviews posted, host giveaways, etc.
But we also travel around to other blogs and see books we would just like to read because of their recommendation or the cover or title catches our interest. The Meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” adds more books to my Wish List and To-Be-Read pile every week.

As followers you get our recommendations, win books from us, pick up books at the library or buy them at a store.
But our lives are so busy these books sometimes sit in our To-Be-Read piles for months or even years.

This is the second year I am hosting this challenge to
encourage you to read some of those books.

12 books in 12 months.

This year this challenge will be set up as a group on Good Reads. If you are not a member it is very easy to join. There are many benefits other than this challenge, you can keep track of the books you read and get great recommendations from other members too. Just go here http://www.goodreads.com/ to sign up.

Then go to JUST FOR FUN READING CHALLENGE 2012.

Join the group!
This group will close to new members on January 31, 2012.

Just start a thread, WITH YOUR NAME AS THE TOPIC OF YOUR ORIGINAL POST. Select the proper folder using your first initial.
Then copy and paste this:
I am committing to read just one book for fun each month!
JANUARY
FEBRUARY
MARCH
APRIL
MAY
JUNE
JULY
AUGUST
SEPTEMBER
OCTOBER
NOVEMBER
DECEMBER

There will be no forms to fill out each month. You just need to go back to your original post on GoodReads,  and edit it each month to add the book you read plus the author next to each month. Please add a link to the book you read if you would like. This way you are in charge of your own recordkeeping and can check where you are in the challenge anytime you wish.

Bloggers: Please grab the button and put it on your blog to show your participation and provide a link back so others can join. I hope you will write a post telling about your involvement in the challenge and invite you followers to join and participate! Bloggers if you feel compelled to review the book you can but it is not required. You may want to list what books you have read under the button on your blog.

Then:
Read 1, yes, just 1 book for fun each month.

 

All book formats are allowed, printed, audio, e-book.

These books can be counted in your total books read for the year challenge and to one other challenge such as a Where Are You Reading Challenge but try not to cross them over to many other challenges as they really are to be read
JUST FOR FUN!

Everyone that completes the Challenge, 12 books in 12 months will be entered in a drawing for a $25 dollar Amazon.com Gift Certificate or $25 at The Book Depository for International Participants.

Last year I really hampered myself by using the books I read JUST FOR FUN as a prize. I found myself putting so much thought into my choices like: Is it the first in a series?, Will other people like this?, that I found I wasn’t reading the books I really wanted to read JUST FOR FUN, like some of my favorite series books that I didn’t want to part with. So my books will not be a prize in 2012.

Instead I will add another $10 Gift Certificate from Amazon.com or The Book Depository as a 2nd prize.

More prizes may be added depending on the number of participants.

You Must Read One Book For Fun Each Month.
You can only add one book to your list per month.

I hope you enjoy this challenge and
hope I help you clear at least 12 books from the rising stacks.

There will also be extra giveaways only for JUST FOR FUN CHALLENGE MEMBERS throughout the year!

You can enter anytime between now and January 31, 2012.

There will still be a JUST FOR FUN page here too for reminders and special announcements.

Sign up today and get ready to hit the ground running January 1 reading
Just For Fun!!!

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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?

Last Saturday my grandson turned 4. I can’t believe how time has flown by.
From This

To This

And Grandma and Papa were so mean we got him pajamas and not toys.

It looks here like they were liked better once he got home.

The other thing that took up a lot of my week was setting up and maintaining the social media networks and publicizing the page for a group in the area. Here in Wisconsin there is a huge movement to recall our governor. Only two governors have ever been successfully recalled. In 1921, Lynn Frazier, Governor of North Dakota, was recalled during a dispute about state-owned industries, and in 2003, Governor Gray Davis of California was recalled over the state budget. Additionally, a recall was approved against Arizona Governor Evan Mecham, but he was impeached and convicted before it got on the ballot.

I am pleased to be able to do my part for this recall by setting up Grassroots Columbus-Fall River. I can’t go door to door collecting signatures, go to the protests or rallies but this was something I could do to participate in this historic event.

Do worry, my blog will remain book oriented and remain politically free but when looking back at my week this task took up most of it.

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 Reviews 2011

Edited for Death by Michele Drier

Edited for Death
By Michele Drier
Mainly Murder Press, LLC
Available Now

When Amy Hobbes takes on the editor job of a small town Northern California newspaper she expects a fairly easy job. She decides she wants to write a book about Senator Robert Calvert who had died recently. He was a WWII war hero and the famous son of a family from nearby Marshalltown. His family owned the Marshalltown Hotel since the Gold Rush, but as more people with connections to the hotel end up dead, secrets begin to emerge and the book takes a backseat to the daily news and solving the murders. Some of the secrets even lead to a Holocaust survivor who has been tracking stolen goods taken during the war. Quickly the past of the Calvert family puts not only Amy but her friends in danger, simple research could end up with dire consequences.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
An excellent debut!The author’s background in journalism shows in every word and every page. The story was well researched and a bit of a history lesson as well. The flashbacks to the war were amazingly insightful. The settings rich with history. The characters clearly defined. The story builds and unfolds at a rapid pace. There is bit a romance starting for Amy as well which adds another wonderful element. I hope the author has more adventures planned for Amy Hobbes, this is a wonderful start to what could be a very entertaining series.


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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Posted in Giveaway Winners - Now Appear In The Sidebar

To Catch A Leaf Winners!!!!!

to:
Denise (Oregon)
and
Amy (Indiana)
They have each won a copy of

To Catch a Leaf: A Flower Shop Mystery


Winners chosen using Random.org
Thank You To Everyone That Entered!!!
More Book Reviews, Recommendations,
Random Thoughts & Giveaways!!!
Will always be here!!!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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Posted in Giveaways

Gratitude Giveaways Blog Hop


Click Here To Travel To Over 300 Other Blog Giveaways

This is a special Giveaway Hop where we say
THANK YOU
to our followers!!

Entry is very simple, just your name, your email address and your mailing address.
One entry is all that is allowed for each Gratitude Escape Into A Good Book!

I really am using this giveaway to say Thank You!
It has been quite a stressful couple of months for me recreating this blog
after having Dollycas’s Thoughts for almost 2 years.
I thank you for following me to this new site and
chasing me not only to one WordPress Blog
but two all in less than one week.
I know many of you follower me in more than one way and I appreciate that so much!

That is my only requirement for this giveaway, you must be a follower!

All Escapes are Open to U.S. and Canadian Residents

Gratitude Escape #1

Herald of Death (A Special Pennyfoot Hotel Mystery)


A dark spirit threatens the Pennyfoot’s shiny and bright Christmas…

The Christmas Angel is a welcome sight during the winter season-but not this year. A killer is afoot in Badger’s End, cutting a lock of hair from his victims and sticking a gold angel on their foreheads. Cecily Sinclair Baxter already promised her husband that she’d take a hiatus from sleuthing. But three killings have created a blizzard of bad publicity-and guests are canceling their hotel reservations. She will have to find the angel of death before he strikes again, leaving murder under the tree…

Plus some bookish swag

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

Gratitude Escape #2

Die Buying (Mall Cop)

Emma-Joy Ferris likes mall cop work, even though it’s a bit more humdrum than the military policing she did in the army. But there’s no time to be bored when someone ‘liberates’ a 15-foot python from the Herpetology Hut, and a mannequin turns out to be a very real corpse.

BONUS

The Christmas Journey

The eighty-mile journey of a common carpenter and a simple peasant girl is one of the most powerful stories in history. As books go out of print and stories fade from memory, the journey of Joseph and Mary and her delivery inside a common barn continues to bless and inspire hope in people around the world.
Accompanied by moving and beautifully rendered illustrations throughout, Donna VanLiere’s retelling shows that the story of the Nativity is alive in our modern world.

Plus some bookish swag!!!

***********

Gratitude Escape #3

A Pinch of Love: A Novel

With a little bit of flour and a pinch of love, anything is possible…

Rose-Ellen “Zell” Carmichael Roy doesn’t cook, but she wears her late husband Nick’s camouflage apron every day. That’s her widow style. It’s been more than a year since Nick’s tragic death during a post- Katrina relief mission in New Orleans, but Zell can’t bring herself to move on. Then, a postman’s error spurs her to enter a baking contest in the hopes of donating the grand prize to the hurricane survivors in Nick’s memory. After Zell’s first attempt at baking goes embarrassingly awry, she meets Ingrid Knox-her motherless nine-year-old neighbor-and the two forge an unlikely friendship that will alter both their lives forever.

Plus some bookish swag!

With Christmas Shopping and Thanksgiving I hope all of you
find some time to Escape Into A Good Book!
Thank you one and all!!!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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Posted in Reviews 2011

A Pinch of Love by Alicia Bessette


A Pinch of Love: A Novel
by Alicia Bessette
Plume
Published by The Penguin Group
Available Now
Cover Design by Melissa Jacoby

More than a year after her husband was killed during a relief mission in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, Rose-Ellen “Zell” can’t bring herself to move on with her life. Zell who has lived her life with her meals provided via take out or the microwave. So much so, that her husband could even hide surprises for her in the oven knowing it would never be used.

A simple error by a postal carrier changes her life. She receives a magazine touting a baking contest with a $20,000 grand prize. She decides to enter and win and donate the money to hurricane survivors in her husband’s memory. Thankfully after a failed baking attempt that almost burns her house down, Zell meets Ingrid. Ingrid is nine years old, lives next door to Zell with her dad, and Ingrid’s mother is completely out of the picture. These two form an unlikely friendship as they endeavor to win the baking the contest. They both have very different reasons for wanting to win and this contest could change both of their lives forever.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A compassionate look at the grieving process. The author has mixed together the perfect ingredients to turn out a true recipe of hope and light through the darkness of losing a loved one. The new bonds created are real and ring true in a engaging story that may have you laughing one moment and crying the next.

The characters in this story are absolutely wonderful. Even the character of Zell’s husband is fully developed and his strength carries on in Zell as she allows herself to grieve her devastating lost.  It is true sometimes the best medicine for the hardest times comes from children and our pawed friends. 

If you are like me and endured Home Economics in high school you will love the Ye Old Home Ec Witch references and how the “witch” spends her time in retirement.  

Keep some tissues handy, the entire story will warm your heart and remember a pinch of love never hurts no matter what you are doing.


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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Posted in Cozy Wednesday Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2011

Cozy Wednesday with Author Livia J. Washburn (Giveaway too!)

Welcome to another Cozy Wednesday! With the weather getting colder and the snow last week this picture sure looks inviting.

I am really excited to have Livia here today. The Fresh Baked Mysteries are truly tasty delights and the first book in her Delilah Dickinson Literary Tour MysteriesFrankly My Dear, I’m Dead,is waiting for me on my To-Be-Read stacks and I can’t wait to get to it. While doing a little of research to prep for her visit I was surprised to learn that she started writing stories with her husband and then branched out on her own. Well know I am just one of many that is so glad she did, I have enjoyed everything I have read by her and am excited for more!!

Welcome Livia!!!

Thanks for inviting me!

When I began the Fresh Baked Mystery series several years ago, I didn’t really intend for most of the books to center around holidays, but that’s the way it’s developed, for several very natural reasons.

For one thing, what better time to bake than around holidays? When I was growing up, pumpkin pie season began shortly before Halloween (after all, when you hollow out a pumpkin to make a jack-o’-lantern, you have to do something with the insides), extended through Thanksgiving, the traditional pumpkin pie holiday, and right on to Christmas. We can’t forget about pumpkin bread and pumpkin muffins, either. (Phyllis certainly won’t forget pumpkin muffins after The Pumpkin Muffin Murder.)

Then you have pecan pies for Thanksgiving and festively decorated cookies and gingerbread men for Christmas (hence The Christmas Cookie Killerand The Gingerbread Bump-Off.)

Heart-shaped cookies and decorated cupcakes are popular for Valentine’s Day. Hmm, a future book, maybe?

Yes, holidays are an extravaganza of baking, all right, but what about murder, you say? It’s also well known that holidays are the most stressful time of year for many people. Nursing a grudge? Need money? Have a secret you don’t want exposed? Having to deal with the holidays on top of that is just going to make things worse. All the murderous impulses that bubble up are going to be that much harder to suppress, and if you’re desperate enough, you might just pick up a ceramic gingerbread man and bash it over somebody’s head . . .

Just don’t do it in Phyllis Newsom’s front porch, or she’ll be on your trail, as she is in The Gingerbread Bump-Off.

Another reason I like writing about holidays is that I have such good memories of holiday seasons from years past in my own life. I come from a large, gregarious family, and there were parties and family get-togethers for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Fourth of July . . . any excuse to get together and have good times with family and friends. Phyllis feels the same way, and that’s why she usually finds herself opening her home for some sort of festivities, such as inviting those who have no other place to spend Thanksgiving, as she does in The Pumpkin Muffin Murder,or taking part in the Annual Jingle Bell Tour of Homes, which leads to murder in The Gingerbread Bump-Off.

Luckily, holidays don’t always equal murder, even for Phyllis, otherwise she might be tempted to stop celebrating!

~Livia

This has been quite a month for Livia. Not only was The Gingerbread Bump-Off released but The Pumpkin Muffin Murder came out in the mass market paperback version. I have reviewed them both below.


Obsidian
Publish by New American Library
A Division of The Penguin Group
A Fresh Baked Mystery
5th in the Series
Cover Art by Jesse Reisch

It’s almost Thanksgiving in Weatherford, Texas and the First Annual Harvest Festival is just about to start. Phyllis is baking her Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins for the baking contest and this time her friend Carolyn is a judge instead of a competitor. In most contests they go head to head in the competition so there is less pressure on both of them.

That is until right before the judging is supposed to start. One of the scarecrow decorations turns out to be a disguise that turns the festival into quite a scary experience. The disguise is being worn by the festival’s organizer who is most definitely dead and not at all festive. The wife of the victim seems to be the most likely suspect but she is Carolyn’s friend and Carolyn begs Phyllis to track down the real murderer before her friend ends up wearing orange behind bars.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
This was a face paced mystery that once I started reading it I couldn’t put it down. The clever idea of hiding the body in a scarecrow decoration was genius. To think if it would have just not looked a little out of place it would not have been discovered until after the festival.

Phyllis is a fun protagonist because she just knows she will figure things out, she just needs to talk things through, sometimes with herself, but when she gets those clues put together just right and she gets that look on her face where everyone knows she did it, she figured it out.

A delightful addition to this series!!


Obsidian
Publish by New American Library
A Division of The Penguin Group
A Fresh Baked Mystery
6th in the Series
Cover Art by Jesse Reisch

Christmas comes to Weatherford along with the annual Jingle Bell Tour. One of the participants has to drop out for health reasons and Phyllis agrees to have her house be a last minute substitute, even though she already has her hands full planning her friend and tenant Eve’s bridal shower and wedding.

After a trip to purchase a more holiday lights and decorations and with the help of her friends and neighbors she has the house ready in plenty of time for the big event. With the tour ready to start in just minutes, Phyllis hears a crash on her front porch.  She opens the door she finds Georgia Hallerbee, her friend and coordinator of the Jingle Bell Tour unconscious. Someone had used one of her decorations as a weapon to hit Georgia over the head.

Phyllis quickly transfers herself from hostess mode into detective mode and sets out to find the person responsible for this holiday tragedy.

Dollycas Thoughts
What’s a holiday without a little murder in Weatherford? Poor Phyllis seems jinxed by these incidents but she takes them all in stride. With her gentleman friend Sam, they are off to solve another mystery. Love it!!

Livia J. Washburn is a wonderful storyteller and I love the adventures she takes us on with her characters. They are exciting and this one had quite a complicated plot with plenty of suspects. Plus there is never a lack of humor in these stories. They dialogue between the characters can have you in stitches. Poor Sam in the house with these three women, never a dull moment even without the bodies turning up. The back story of Eve and Roy adds a little intrigue as well. That story going forward could prove quite interesting since Eve is known for her many marriages.

This installment is a real holiday treat.


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the great people at Penguin I have
2 copies of The Gingerbread Bump-off to giveaway!

Plus 1 Trade Paperback Copy of The Pumpkin Muffin Murder!!

Fill out one form for each book you would like to win!

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 Livia for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End November 30 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here.

Want an extra chance to win Gingerbread Bump-Off!! Deb is also giving a copy away!!!
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

Paper Angels by Billy Coffey


FaithWords
Hachette Book Group
Now Available

Andy Sommerville seems no different than others in his rural Virginia community, but what sets him apart is that his best friend is an angel. Andy’s world is turned upside down when a brutal attack leaves Andy burned and the boy he loved as a son dead. At this crucial juncture, the angel abandons him to loneliness and pain. The entire story is told from Andy’s hospital bed as he relives his like through memories. Each of the memories is triggered by something Andy has kept in a special box.

Dollycas’s Thoughts I started to read this book awhile ago and had to put it down because I could tell where it was headed. With its release date last week I made myself finish it so I could honor my commitment for an honest review. In the meantime, I had seen a few five star ratings, so I thought: What is wrong with me? This has to be a good book, you just have to finish it.

It is well written and definitely has strong message but it just hit me wrong and after thinking about it, I now know why.

As many of you know I had a traumatic experience myself back in 2001 when I was in a motor vehicle accident and spent 75 days in the hospital. I do not remember much after getting transported by Med-Flight to the hospital except for a few moments in the emergency room when everyone was talking how dire my prognosis was, then a solid tone from a monitor, then darkness, then “she’s back”. (Note to medical personnel, we can hear you!) The next 3 weeks are gone from my memory. I know it is a miracle I am here and that it “wasn’t my time”, but the only angels I had were humans that took care of me, rehabilitated me to move on my own and my family, friends and all their prayers. I had actual counselors to help me heal. So maybe I didn’t like the story because I felt slighted because I had no angels sent by God, at least that I know of.

Spoiler Alert
Maybe I didn’t like that Andy poured his heart and soul out to an angel and in the end after tragedy he was a better man. Coming out on the other side of an event like this does not get better overnight. Yes, Andy will wear his scars forever as will anyone who survives a terrible injury but this all just happened to easily and was tied up too nicely with a hairband in the end. Yes, I am a Christian and I believe in God and things happen for a reason but life is not easy and being disabled in life adds to the strife.

The reason I didn’t like this book is because of who I am and the life I had and the life I continue to lead. My journey is totally different than anyone else’s as are my feelings. This book just didn’t give me that good feeling that the other reviewers felt, but that is on me. Maybe my expectations were too high. You may totally enjoy this book depending on where you are in your journey. I think I may have read this book at the wrong place in mine.

The author is very good. I loved his book Snow Day. I look forward to reading his work in the future. I always say that if we all liked the same things life would be pretty boring and that is the case with this story, it just wasn’t “my cup of tea”.

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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