Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Cozy Wednesday Giveaways Reviews 2012

Cozy Wednesday with Erika Chase (Giveaway too!)

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!!

I have been excited about this author and this series for months. A few months back I heard there was going to be a new mystery series featuring a book club. I haven’t belonged to a face to face book club for several years but I remember we talked about a lot of things that had nothing to do with books. Some evenings we never even talked about the book at all, but they were always fun and like the book club in this story food is a very important ingredient to any club that wants to be a success.

So grab a little snack and drink from the virtual buffet table and help me welcome Ericka to Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book! The cheese straws are very tasty.

Welcome Erika!

Hi Everyone!!



I’ve had a truly wonderful month, starting with the release of the first Ashton Corners Book Club mystery, A Killer Read on April 3rd. That’s quite a thrill, seeing your book cover on the web pages of the bookstores and hearing from readers that they’ve purchased it, are reading it, and heavens, even like it!

When a writer starts that journey from blank page to finished, edited manuscript there’s the constant question nagging away at the back of the brain – will anyone read it? Okay, two questions – and, will anyone like it? It’s a ‘pinch me’ moment when the feedback starts coming in.

Which truly points out that writing is all about being part of a community.

At my book launch last week, I met former neighbors, friends and family, former customers and writing colleagues, people I sang with and book club comrades. They’d all come out to help me celebrate one of the most important events in my life. And they’d been there all along, some actively supporting with words of reassurance, sometimes a good kick in the butt, and often some very skilled writing critiques. Others had taken part in this process just because they’d been a part of my life and though these were more subtle influences, they were still part of the entire package.

Readers are an important part of that community, because that is the bottom line to each publishing story. Does the reader enjoy the story? Do the readers want more?

Just as I write about a community, in this case a community of mystery readers in a book club, so I am part of many communities. And it’s the friendships that grow out of these that are so important in our lives.

In Ashton Corners, the book club friends enjoy sharing and comparing thoughts on the mysteries they read; support each other through their personal challenges; and of course, get down to the nitty gritty of sleuthing out a murderer! What could be a more bonding situation?

I enjoy visiting with this community of characters every day as their stories continue. The second in the series, Read and Buried will be out in December, 2012 and the third is almost ready to be sent off.

Books, friends and murder! Hope you’ll join us!


Thank you so much Erika!! I am patiently waiting for the next installment.


A Killer Read (An Ashton Corners)
Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
A Brand New Series!
Available Now!!

Welcome to the Ashton Corners Mystery Readers and Cheese Straw Society hosted in Molly Mathew’s old Southern mansion.

The first meeting doesn’t go as planned when a stranger bursts through the door and demands to use the phone. He is later found dead in front of the house. Nobody knows who this man is or why he died in front of Molly home. The group is even more dumbfounded when they learn he was shot by an antique gun that belonged to Molly’s deceased husband.

Add to this confusion, a manuscript starts showing up a few chapters at a time in Lizzie Turner’s mailbox. Lizzie works for the school district as a reading specialist and it was her idea to start the book club. She never dreamed they would be solving mysteries instead of reading them.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Erika has brought together a nice group of eclectic characters for this series and introduces them to us perfectly, laying the foundation for us to learn more in future stories. The plot is tight and full of twists that mislead the reader and I loved it!!!

While Lizzie is the main character and she is wonderful I really like Molly. She opens her house up to not only the book club but a literacy group and a tutoring program to keep her house “alive” since her husband passed away. She is also “a mover and a shaker in the community and truly one of the nosiest broads” around according to ex chief of police Bob Miller. She sounds like my kind of lady and the perfect character for a cozy mystery.

Each chapter has a sentence from a popular mystery as its header. You can’t go wrong with mood setters like those. The author also includes each of the book club members reading list at the end of the book. Both of these I guarantee will nourish readers appetites and add titles to your wish lists.

The is a super debut that would not only be great for a book club read but for all of us that like our mysteries on the cozy side. A Wonderful Who-Dun-It!!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author
Erika writes the Ashton Corners Book Club mysteries for Penguin/Berkley Prime Crime. In a parallel life Erika Chase is also known as Linda Wiken. A former mystery bookstore owner (Prime Crime Books in Ottawa, ON, Canada), Linda is also a short story writer. She is a member of those dangerous dames, The Ladies’ Killing Circle.

Her short stories have appeared in the seven Ladies’ Killing Circle anthologies (three of which she co-edited), and in the magazines Mysterious Intent and Over My Dead Body. She has been short-listed for an Arthur Ellis Award, Best Short Story, from Crime Writers of Canada.

Before life in the world of mystery, she worked as an advertising copywriter, radio producer, journalist and community education worker. Besides writing and reading mysteries, her other passion is choral singing and she is a member of two choirs.

Okay, maybe one more passion — chocolate!

She shares her house with Keesha and Mojo, her two Siamese cats. Actually, they allow her to live there.

To find out more check out

Would you like to win a copy of this fabulous book?
Thanks to the people at Penguin
I have 2 copies to giveaway!!

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 Erika for 5 Bonus Entries !

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

Contest Will End May 9, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By
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.”

Posted in Literary Escapes Reviews 2012 What's In A Name Challenge

Review: Blue Monday by Nicci French

Blue Monday: A Novel
Pamela Dorman Books
New Series
Available Now

Frieda Klein believes the world is out of control and the only thing we can control is what is inside our own heads. Yes, she is a psychotherapist. A very obsessive compulsive one at that. She spends her free time walking the streets of London to clear her head and get her thoughts in order.

Frieda has a patient that keeps having recurring dreams for a child that looks just like him. He and his wife have been unable to conceive and it has tormented him so that he is very near a mental break. When she learns of the disappearance of 5 year old Matthew Farraday and sees his resemblance to the child her patient has described he feels she must notify someone is charge of the investigation. She never imagined she would be working with the chief investigator to find the boy.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
It is very important to lay out a really good foundation when starting a new mystery series and these authors (Nicci Gerrard + Sean French) have done an excellent job. Revealing enough about the primary characters to immerse us in the current story but leaving us intrigued about where these characters will go and grow in future installments.

Frieda Klein is a perfect imperfect protagonist. She already has many layers. Reuben is a troubled soul that continues to emerge. Josef is a mystery himself and because of his background adds a little humor to a very intense story. Inspector Karlsson is a tough nut to crack but we can see a relationship with Frieda moving forward. The primary character to this story, Alan, was very well written as he struggled through his pain and dealt with a therapist he thought had betrayed him and had secrets revealed about his life that he never could have fathomed. All the characters are flawed which gives them so much depth.

The mystery is extremely complex and suspenseful. A few white knuckle moments. These are experienced authors with several other bestsellers. They know how to create a thrilling tale to keep us turning those pages. It starts slow and builds. I am anxious to see where the next Frieda Klein story takes us.

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.”