Posted in 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Four Cuts Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery) by Debra H. Goldstein #Review / #Giveaway Great Escapes Book Tour @KensingtonBooks


Four Cuts Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery)
by Debra H. Goldstein

About Four Cuts Too Many

Four Cuts Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Alabama
Publisher: Kensington (May 25, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496732219
ISBN-13: 978-1496732217
Digital ASIN: B08GY52GS6

Sarah Blair gets an education in slicing and dicing when someone in culinary school serves up a main corpse in Wheaton, Alabama . . .

 

Between working as a law firm receptionist, reluctantly pitching in as co-owner of her twin sister’s restaurant, and caretaking for her regal Siamese RahRah and rescue dog Fluffy, Sarah has no time to enjoy life’s finer things. Divorced and sort-of dating, she’s considering going back to school. But as a somewhat competent sleuth, Sarah’s more suited for criminal justice than learning how many ways she can burn a meal.

 

Although she wouldn’t mind learning some knife skills from her sous chef, Grace Winston. An adjunct instructor who teaches cutlery expertise in cooking college, Grace is considering accepting an executive chef’s position offered by Jane Clark, Sarah’s business rival—and her late ex-husband’s lover. But Grace’s future lands in hot water when the school’s director is found dead with one of her knives in his back. To clear her friend’s name, Sarah must sharpen her own skills at uncovering an elusive killer . . .

 

Includes quick and easy recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Southwind’s sous chef Grace Winston is teaching a class on knives as part of the culinary program at the local college. The first class is going well until the program’s director interrupts the class leading to Grace getting hurt. The director and Grace have an argument heard by many witnesses until she walks out to meet Sarah and cool down. When Grace and Sarah return to the classroom to clean up and ready the room for the next instructor they are barred from the room. Inside the program director is dead and one of Grace’s knives is the murder weapon. Sarah immediately calls her boss to come to represent Grace and she sharpens her senses to learn what all the gawkers in the hallway are saying. She is going to need all the information she can get to clear her friend’s name and cut through every clue to catch the real killer.


So much happens within the pages of this book it is virtually impossible to put down. In addition to Sarah working her day job at Harlan’s legal office, walking dogs at the local animal shelter, and helping to organize their fundraisers, she helps out at the restaurants she owns with her twin sister, fends off whatever plans her nemesis and business rival, Jane Clark has to steal business from Southwinds, has dinner with at least once a week with her mother and her gentleman friend, tries to have a personal life that may include a date or two and still have time to spend with her rescue dog, Fluffy and Siamese cat RahRah. Add to that a murder investigation and maybe some college classes. I wish I had half her energy.

The character interactions and development are what draws me into these stories. Everything feels true to life and the dialogues are realistic. I was especially taken with Harlen this time and his selflessness, he has a huge heart.  I love the way the pets are presented in the story. They have real personalities and are important in the scenes.

The murder mystery is seamlessly blended with a variety of subplots. I was surprised by the number of suspects that were brought to light. Many were not even on my radar and I did not have anyone pinned down before Sarah revealed all. Her quest to prove her theory was dangerous and exciting to read. Some things really surprised me as the story was brought to a close.

Four Cuts Too Many is a Great Escape and wonderful addition to this character-driven series. The author crafted a clever whodunit that kept me guessing until the very end. I am very curious about where she plans to take her characters next. She never disappoints so I am excited for Five _______ Too Many.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Debra H. Goldstein

Judge Debra H. Goldstein writes Kensington’s Sarah Blair mystery series (Three Treats Too Many, Two Bites Too Many, One Taste Too Many). She also authored Should Have Played Poker and IPPY Award-winning Maze in Blue. Her short stories have been named Agatha, Anthony, Derringer finalists. Debra serves on the national boards of Mystery Writers of America and is president of SEMWA. She previously was on Sisters in Crime’s national board and president of SinC’s Guppy Chapter.

Author Links

Website    Blog    Facebook    Linked In

Twitter @DebraHGoldstein    GoodReads   BookBub

Purchase Links:

AmazonB&NKoboGoogle PlayIndieBound – 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Great Escapes Praise for Four Cuts Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery)
by Debra H. Goldstein

Another great character-driven smooth Southern cozy mystery. See if you can beat Sarah to solve the crime!
~Diane Reviews Books

I love this series! Author Debra H. Goldstein gives the reader wonderful characters, plots, and food!
~My Reading Journeys

There are positive relationships, conflicts, twists, and turns, and a surprise reveal of the killer. I really liked the relationship of Wanda with Kait and the way Kait’s mild dementia was handled.
~Christa Reads and Writes

FOUR CUTS TOO MANY is a delicious mystery dealing with ambition and greed delectable for both foodies and those inept, or at least not too adept, in the kitchen.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

Sarah is back and just and as fun as ever . . . a satisfying ending that will leave the reader happy. Makes for a great read for cozy fans. The adorable critters ate just an added bonus.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

I really liked this one and got pulled into the story right away . . . I loved every minute of this mystery.
~Moonlight Rendezvous

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops.
May 23 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
May 23 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 24 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 24 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 25 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
May 25 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
May 26 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
May 26 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 27 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
May 27 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
May 28 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, RECIPE
May 28 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 28 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
May 29 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 29 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
May 30 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
June 1 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT  
June 1 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, GUEST POST
June 2 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
June 2 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
June 3 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT
June 3 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
June 3 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
June 4 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 5 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
June 5 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 6 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  
June 6 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT

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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 2021 Reading Challenges Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Three Treats Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery) by Debra H. Goldstein #Review / #Giveaway @DebraHGoldstein

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.


Three Treats Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Alabama
Publisher: Kensington (August 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496719492
ISBN-13: 978-1496719492
Digital ASIN: B082WRV78G

When a romantic rival opens a competing restaurant in small-town Wheaton, Alabama, Sarah Blair discovers murder is the specialty of the house . . .

For someone whose greatest culinary skill is ordering takeout, Sarah never expected to be co-owner of a restaurant. Even her Siamese cat, RahRah, seems to be looking at her differently. But while Sarah and her twin sister, Chef Emily, are tangled up in red tape waiting for the building inspector to get around to them, an attention-stealing new establishment—run by none other than Sarah’s late ex-husband’s mistress, Jane—is having its grand opening across the street.

Jane’s new sous chef, Riley Miller, is the talk of Wheaton with her delicious vegan specialties. When Riley is found dead outside the restaurant with Sarah’s friend, Jacob, kneeling over her, the former line cook—whose infatuation with Riley was no secret—becomes the prime suspect. Now Sarah must turn up the heat on the real culprit, who has no reservations about committing cold-blooded murder . . .

Includes quick and easy recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Things are tense in Wheaton, Alabama with two new restaurants opening. What’s funny is that Sarah Blair, whose cooking skills are pretty minimal is co-owner of one of the new places with her twin sister, Chef Emily. They are just waiting for the town building inspector to do the final inspection so they can have their grand opening.

The other new restaurant, Jane’s Place, is owned by Sarah’s late husband’s mistress who has hired vegan chef Riley Miller. Jane is hoping serving vegan dishes will set her restaurant apart from the others. Sarah and most of the town have turned out from the grand opening and if the food served is any indication Jane Place will be a worthy competitor for Sarah’s Southwinds Restaurant.

The night seems to be a rousing success until Chef Riley is found dead in the parking lot with her former boyfriend Jacob kneeling by her body. Jane wants the man arrested immediately. While he may be the prime suspect Sarah cannot believe he could have killed the young chef. Sarah’s boss agrees to defend Jacob but much to his dismay Sarah starts digging around to find more worthy suspects too. She may soon regret her actions as the killer has no reservations about killing again.


The author has penned a diverse group of characters from chefs to motorcycle riding vets to building contractors to two lovable fur-babies. Sarah is an excellent protagonist because she always seems to land right in the middle of whatever is happening in the small town of Wheaton. Being a small town most of the characters are connected in multiple ways which makes the story very interesting. The characters are all cleverly written and unique so it is easy to keep everyone straight. I do love the Blair family dynamics. Maybelle has become a real hoot! RahRah and Fluffy always make me smile and their closeness reminds me of some of the pets I have had over the years.

Because of all interpersonal connections, the mystery is a treat to solve as many of the characters become suspects in their own right. A second death turns up the heat as does a smelly discovery. Thankfully Sarah has the gift of gab or the ending could have taken a dire turn. The author serves up some really nice twists to keep people guessing. I was thrilled that I solved the whodunit before all was revealed but the ending was exciting and very entertaining.

Three Treats Too Many is a delightful addition to this series. Fun characters and a great mystery, this book doesn’t disappoint. I have enjoyed all three books in this series and recommend reading them in order to enjoy the character growth and fun mysteries. Four Cuts Too Many is impatiently waiting on my Kindle. I will be reading and reviewing soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Judge Debra H. Goldstein writes Kensington’s Sarah Blair mystery series (One Taste Too Many, Two Bites Too Many, Three Treats Too Many). She also wrote Should Have Played Poker and IPPY winning Maze in Blue. Her short stories, including Anthony and Agatha nominated The Night They Burned Ms. Dixie’s Place and Derringer Finalist Pig Lickin’ Good, have appeared in numerous publications. Debra serves on the national boards of SinC and MWA and is president of SEMWA.

Author Links

Website    Blog    Facebook    Linked In

Twitter @DebraHGoldstein    GoodReads        BookBub

Purchase Links

Coming Next Tuesday!

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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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Guest Posts Literary Escapes Purrfect Reading Challenge Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Special Guest – Debra H. Goldstein – Author of Two Bites Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery) #GuestPost #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @DebraHGoldstein

Two Bites Too Many
(A Sarah Blair Mystery)
by Debra H. Goldstein

I am so excited to welcome Debra Goldstein to Escape With Dollycas today!

My Favorite Shirt Has a Tear
by Debra H. Goldstein

 

My favorite shirt has a tear.

The minute the dryer buzzed, I stopped what I was doing and went to retrieve my shirt, so it wouldn’t wrinkle. I pulled it out, shook it, hung it, and saw the pinprick sized hole at the edge of the pocket. Perhaps it was a spot? No, a hole going all the way through the fabric at a location that makes patching or simply wearing it again in public impossible.

What will I do?

I wear that shirt when I don’t feel up to par, when I think the weather is going to be cold, when I write and things aren’t working, or when it is one of those days. It is my comfort shirt. Oversized, blue-green and white plaid, with sleeves that stay rolled up because it has little buttons and tabs to keep them in place, it would never be mistaken as high fashion. My shirt serves only two purposes:  it keeps me covered and makes me feel secure.

My writing is like my shirt. I write comfort books and short stories. Hopefully, readers feel embraced by the wealth of my words and for a moment forget whatever troubles them in the real world. Whether my tale is dark or light, the goal is for the plot, setting, and characters to wrap the reader in a manner that shuts out any other thoughts.

In One Taste Too Many and Two Bites Too Many, the first books in my new Sarah Blair cozy mystery series from Kensington, I address one of my biggest fears – being in the kitchen. As Sarah struggles to avoid making anything from scratch, I express her fears and actions in a fun way that readers can either identify with or laugh at. Whether a reader goes the extra step of making one of the recipes, like Jell-O in a Can, or is engaged by the charms of RahRah, Sarah’s Siamese cat, there should be a momentary sense of enjoyment. The language I use may not be highfaluting, but it always is understandable. Consequently, like my shirt, the purpose of this series is to provide comfort to readers.

Time changes everything. Hopefully, each of my written works has improved. It is an inevitable evolution, comparable to life. Tomorrow, I’ll mourn the loss of my shirt, but I’ll buy another. It will be different, but I bet in the long run it will be just as comfortable. My series won’t be the same as other ones you’ve tried and liked, but I’m hoping you discover, as I will with my new shirt, that different can entertain you and cover you with the security of joy.

Have you ever found giving up something old has led you to something you liked even better?

 

Thank you, Debra, for visiting today!

Okay folks, keep reading for my thoughts about Two Bites Too Many. 

About Two Bites Too Many


Two Bites Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Alabama
Kensington (September 24, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1496719484
ISBN-13: 978-1496719485
Digital ASIN: B07MB4779P

Far from a domestic goddess, Sarah Blair would rather catch bad guys than slave over a hot stove. But when a dangerous murder boils over in Wheaton, Alabama, catching the killer means leaving her comfort zone . . .

Things are finally looking up for Sarah Blair following her unsavory divorce. Settled into a cozy carriage house with her sassy Siamese cat, RahRah, she has somehow managed to hang on to her modest law firm receptionist job and—if befriending flea-bitten strays at the local animal shelter counts—lead a thriving social life. For once, Sarah almost has it together more than her enterprising twin, Emily, a professional chef whose efforts to open a gourmet restaurant have hit a real dead end.

When the president of the town bank and city council is murdered after icing Emily’s business plans, all eyes are on the one person who left the scene with blood on her hands—the twins sharp-tongued mother, Maybelle. Determined to get her mom off the hook ASAP, Sarah must collect the ingredients of a deadly crime to bring the true culprit to justice. But as neighbors turn against her family, can she pare down the suspects before another victim lands on the chopping block?

Includes quick and easy recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sarah Blair doesn’t have to work but she enjoys her job at the law firm and is happy living in the carriage house with her cat RahRah. Her sister Emily along with Marcus have big plans for not just one restaurant but two! The one lost to a fire and one in the “big house” that Sarah inherited. When the bank turns down their loan request her the girl’s mother Maybelle drags Sarah to the bank to hash it out with the president of the bank. Apparently Sarah’s healthy bank account will remind the man who is dealing with.  Promising he’ll look over the paperwork, Sarah heads to a meeting but Maybelle has other plans. She waits a short time and then returns to the president’s office where instead of getting the answer she wanted she finds the man dead. She then finds herself the police’s prime suspect.

Sarah is surprised by how quickly people believe her mother is a murderer. Emily has her hands full working at a local hotel until she can get her restaurants open. Sarah is busy with a fundraiser too but knows she needs to help lawyer Harlan do everything she can to keep Maybelle out of jail.

___________

There is a lot happening in Wheaton, Alabama and Sarah Blair seems to be caught up in all of it. She can do many things now that she has received her inheritance but for right now she is content working for Harlan, helping her sister and staying involved with things around town, like the fundraiser. She and Emily are best friends, the yin to the other’s yang. Maybelle knows just how to push their buttons, but we see a different side of her this time. Emily is very driven and Sarah is still finding her way. The core characters are evolving at a realistic pace.  We learn more about Sarah’s neighbor George this time and because of that, we meet some new characters. Employees of the bank are also introduced. The author does an excellent job giving us characters to root for and those that could be villains/suspects. RahRah again stole my heart.

I did enjoy the way Ms. Goldstein sets the scene. The bank, the hotel, the carriage house and everything in between were all described so well. I could easily envision each place.

The mystery was murky for me but I latched onto the killer pretty early on. I just didn’t know the details of their motive until it was all laid out for me. There were several red herrings though that could have diverted my thinking but I held strong. Mini mysteries that eventually tied together to the murder were very interesting and pressed me to realize I was on the right track. The ending was pretty exciting.

Debra H. Goldstein has again given readers a fun and entertaining mystery filled with characters I wish I could know in person. Comfortable cozies, both books in this series so far have been Perfect Escapes. Once I started reading they were virtually impossible to put down.  Two Bites Too Many has whet my appetite for book #3. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of One Taste Too Many here.

About Debra H. Goldstein 

Judge Debra H. Goldstein is the author of Two Bites Too Many, as well as One Taste Too Many, the first of Kensington’s new Sarah Blair cozy mystery series. She also wrote Should Have Played Poker and IPPY Award-winning Maze in Blue. Her short stories, including Anthony and Agatha nominated “The Night They Burned Ms. Dixie’s Place,” have appeared in numerous periodicals and anthologies including Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Black Cat Mystery Magazine, and Mystery Weekly. Debra serves on the national boards of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America and is president of the Southeast Chapter of MWA and past president of SinC’s Guppy Chapter.

Author Links

Website    Blog    Facebook    Linked In

Twitter @DebraHGoldstein    GoodReads

Purchase Links

Amazon  B&N  Kobo  Google Play 

Praise for Two Bites Too Many
(A Sarah Blair Mystery)
by Debra H. Goldstein

This was a good cozy mystery with all the things I enjoy about this genre: small town, great atmosphere, good food, animals, multi-age characters, a bit of romance, an interesting crime, and a great sleuth.
~Carla Loves To Read

Two Bites Too Many allows its readers to fall into a completely different, tightly-bound family for a few hours. And who doesn’t want to do that? Highly recommended for cozy fans.
~Diane Reviews Books

I have enjoyed this cozy series that is set in a small town and around the catering/restaurant that Sarah’s twin sister owns and operates.
~My Reading Journeys

What an adorable cozy this is! . . . Full of characters you can both hate and love mixed with surprises and good times. Makes for a great read that you won’t want to put down.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews


Thanks to the author I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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.

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

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Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End October 7, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops! 

September 23 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
September 24 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT – Reading Is My SuperPower
September 24 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
September 25 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
September 25 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
September 26 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
September 26 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 27 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
September 27 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
September 28 – Laura’s Interests – CHARACTER GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
September 29 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 30 – My Journey Back-The Journey Back – CHARACTER GUEST POST
October 1 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 1 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 2 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW, RECIPE
October 2 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
October 3 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
October 3 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY  
October 4 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
October 5 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
October 6 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

 

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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 Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Guest Posts Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge Reviews 2018 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Debra H. Goldstein – Author of One Taste Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery) – #GuestPost / #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @KensingtonBooks

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so excited to have Debra H. Goldstein drop by for a visit!

Writers – Creatures of Habit or Not? by Debra H. Goldstein

Writers often claim to be creatures of habit. Their habits may be tied to the means of writing – on a computer, legal pad with special pens, or via dictation; the location where the writing takes place – at the beach, the mountains, in a dark room, or in a room with wide open windows; and, whether there is absolute silence or blaring music. Some writers, the planners, can’t produce a word until every nuance of a piece is outlined while others, known as pantsters, write strictly from the seat of their pants. I wish I could tell you that I am a creature of habit, but I’m not. I write like I cook. Differently, every time even if I am recreating the same dish.

One would think as a former litigator and judge, my writing habits would be unimaginative. That I would outline every word and idea, much like Jeffrey Deaver does. I outlined the beginning and ending of my first book, 2012 IPPY award-winning Maze in Blue, a mystery set on the University of Michigan in the 1970’s, but the middle flowed, like magic, through my fingers to the keys of a computer sitting on a desk in my home office. I attributed my writing to the character’s voices leading me through their story. The only thing necessary for the words to pour out of me was playing the soundtracks from 1776 and They’re Playing Our Song repetitively in the background.

The same songs and physical location didn’t work for my second book. To write Should Have Played Poker: a Carrie Martin and the Mah Jongg Players Mystery, I took my laptop and sat in an oversized chair in my living room. Century old furniture, which once belonged to my parents or grandparents, interspersed with modern cherry wood floors and an orange, gold, and blue carpet brought me a sense of peace that allowed me to bring new life to the characters from a short story published in 2010. I occasionally played folk songs and soft rock hits from the 60’s and 70’s, but for the most part, I wrote and rewrote in silence. It was the ambiance of the room that enabled me to find and contrast the voices of the Sunshine Village Retirement Home Mah Jongg players with the twenty-nine-year-old corporate attorney protagonist and her former lover, the detective assigned to her murdered mother’s case.

One Taste Too Many represents a hybrid of the habits that produced my first two books. Because the book is set in the present and the protagonist, Sarah Blair, is a twin, I drew on my experience as a mother of twins when I outlined the basic story premise. Unlike Poker, that I wrote and edited only on a laptop, One Taste Too Many was drafted and revised in two locations. For the first version, I sat in an easy chair in my bedroom with my laptop perched on my knees. When I finished the draft, I mailed it to myself and revised it upstairs in my office on my stand-alone computer. In both locations, I kept the score from Frozen playing constantly. Why Frozen for a book set in a small Southern town? I don’t know, but it worked. The music kept me typing at a nice even clip with a sunny disposition.

The other motivational trick I used for One Taste Too Many was keeping a picture of a friend’s Siamese cat where I could always see it. Growing up, we had dogs, but I knew bonding with a cat was different. That’s why I reached out to my friend and she was so helpful, I modeled RahRah after her cat, Suri. As you can see from the cover, RahRah and I successfully bonded.

For some, being a creature of habit is the only means to write. For me, a willingness to try different techniques and practices is what stimulates the muse and helps me avoid stale ruts. What about you? What does it take to prompt you to write effectively?

~Debra

Thank you, Debra, for visiting today!

Now keep reading for my thought about One Taste Too Many.

One Taste Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery)
by Debra H. Goldstein

 

About the Book


One Taste Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Kensington (December 18, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496719476
ISBN-13: 978-1496719478
Digital ASIN: B07CDCZXLP

For culinary challenged Sarah Blair, there’s only one thing scarier than cooking from scratch—murder!

Married at eighteen, divorced at twenty‑eight, Sarah Blair reluctantly swaps her luxury lifestyle for a cramped studio apartment and a law firm receptionist job in the tired hometown she never left. With nothing much to show for the last decade but her feisty Siamese cat, RahRah, and some clumsy domestic skills, she’s the polar opposite of her bubbly twin, Emily—an ambitious chef determined to take her culinary ambitions to the top at a local gourmet restaurant . . .

Sarah knew starting over would be messy. But things fall apart completely when her ex drops dead, seemingly poisoned by Emily’s award-winning rhubarb crisp. Now, with RahRah wanted by the woman who broke up her marriage and Emily wanted by the police for murder, Sarah needs to figure out the right recipe to crack the case before time runs out. Unfortunately, for a gal whose idea of good china is floral paper plates, catching the real killer and living to tell about it could mean facing a fate worse than death—being in the kitchen!

Includes quick and easy recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sarah and Emily Blair are twins and as different as night and day. Emily is a fabulous chef with plans to make it to the top of her field. Sarah married young and divorced 10 years later. She is starting over and has taken a receptionist job at a local law office and lives in a studio apartment with her cat, RahRah.

The restaurant where Emily works has a booth at the Food Expo and the staff will be giving demonstrations and sharing tasty treats. Emily will be making her special rhubarb crisp.

But tragedy strikes when Sarah’s ex is found dead at the convention center before the event even begins. Covered in rhubarb, it is quickly determined he was poisoned, by Emily! Also, with his death, it seems Sarah’s cat RahRah no longer belongs to her. A chef that works with Emily has laid claim to the feline.

As someone that hates to cook, Sarah knows she needs to hang around the expo to try to catch the real killer, even if it means filling in for her talented sister. That is if the killer doesn’t get to her first. She also needs to find a way to keep her cat.

This series is off to a stellar start and I am head over heels with the wonderful cat, RahRah. The cat was rescued during Hurricane Katrina my Sarah’s ex-mother-in-law who loved Sarah, so of course, she took the cat when the woman passed away. Her ex left out some key details about his mother’s will. Now, with him dead the secrets are revealed. Let’s just say he was a first-class a**, and I was happy he was the first victim. Yes, first, because the killing didn’t stop with him.

Ms. Goldstein has created a pair of sisters, twins, that are truly each other’s half. They are smart and fun. Best friends that take care of each other. Sarah is an interesting protagonist. I hope she continues to team up with her sister. I believe we have barely scratched the surface on when the author can take these sisters.

The story has a little bit more of an edge than a typical cozy but doesn’t go too far. It is exciting and fresh with plenty of twists and corkscrew turns. The author drops in the clues with such precision. I was up in the air about the killer right up until the big reveal. Someone on my radar but not at the top of my list. The motives were unclear until all the last clues slid into place.

This was a very entertaining story. A great mystery with characters I want to visit again. I am excited to see where the author takes this series. This one was A Perfect Escape!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

About the Author

 

Judge Debra H. Goldstein’s new Sarah Blair cozy mystery series debuts from Kensington Press with One Taste Too Many. She also is the author of Should Have Played Poker: a Carrie Martin and the Mah Jongg Players Mystery and the 2012 IPPY Award-winning Maze in Blue. Besides novels, Debra writes short stories. Her short story, The Night They Burned Ms. Dixie’s Place, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine (May/June 2017) is an Agatha Award Short Story Nominee. In addition to being the Sisters in Crime Guppy President, Debra serves on the national Sisters in Crime board and is Vice-President of the Southeast Region of Mystery Writers of America.

Website    Blog    Facebook    Twitter @DebraHGoldstein      GoodReads

Purchase Links

Amazon  B&N  Kobo  Google Play 

Praise for One Taste Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery)
by Debra H. Goldstein

ONE TASTE TOO MANY is a “different,” slightly edgy, cozy from an author with extensive knowledge of legal procedure.
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies

This one was a fun ride. A few twists that will keep you turning the pages may be a little slower to keep up.
~My Reading Journeys

What a fun engaging start to a new series!
~Cozy Up With Kathy

I kept changing who I suspected but when the real murderer is revealed, I was shocked! I did not see that one coming at all.
~Storeybook Reviews

The story was well-written and enjoyable to read.

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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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes Read The Printed Word Challenge Reviews 2018 TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – One Potion in the Grave (A Magic Potion Mystery) by Heather Blake #Review / #Giveaway @BerkleyMystery

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.


One Potion in the Grave (A Magic Potion Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Alabama
Berkley – Obsidian (October 7, 2014)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 0451416317
ISBN-13: 978-0451416315
Kindle ASIN: B00ISEF62C

Carly Bell Hartwell’s love potions are always in demand in Hitching Post, Alabama, the wedding capital of the South.…

When Katie Sue Perrywinkle walks into the Little Shop of Potions, Carly is surprised and delighted to see her old childhood friend. Katie Sue fled her hometown and a troubled family over a decade ago. But she’s not back for a social visit. She’s come to settle a score with Senator Warren Calhoun, who is in town for his son’s high-profile wedding.

But before Katie Sue has a chance to voice any objections, she’s forced to forever hold her peace. After finding her friend dead, Carly vows to find her murderer. Were the corrupt Calhouns willing to go to any lengths to avoid a scandal? Did Katie Sue’s family take the term “bad blood” to a whole new level? And why did the bride-to-be come to Carly for a love potion? As Carly gets closer to the truth, a killer is planning a very chilly reception.…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Carly’s mom is getting ready for a high society wedding at her chapel. The son of Senator Warren Calhoun and his bride are prepared to tie the knot. But Katie Sue Perrywinkle has come back to town and she has issues with the Senator that need to be addressed. Before she can do anything she is found dead. Could the Calhouns have killed her or could it have been someone in the family she left behind when she moved away? Carly finds a way to get to get close to both families so she can try to figure out who got rid of her friend, Katie Sue. She also puts herself right in the killer’s sights.

This second book is a great addition to this series. Like her Wishcraft Mysteries, the story has a paranormal witchy theme that doesn’t overtake the entire story. We know Carly has ways to make her special potions work, and she has an empathy power so she can feel what people are feeling. The empathy thing can be very helpful not only in her work but in finding the killer. Her special talents and knowledge aside she is pretty normal. She is always at her mother’s beck and call to help with the chapel. She is the go-to person for her Aunts. She is trying to work things out with her ex-fiance while he is helping to renovate her house.

All the recurring characters are wonderfully written, unique, funny and entertaining. The new characters are well fleshed out. The author lets us get to know them throughout the entire book. The jury was out for me on some of them for me until the very end, but there were a couple I knew were bad from the first mention, but by the end, I had attached “downright evil” to these people.

This mystery was very twisted up regarding Katie Sue. Plenty of suspects and plenty of opportunities. While trying to solve this mystery, Carly stumbles into another one. The second one was easy for me to solve, the first one I was stumped until the very end. Then I was mad at myself because I should have figured that one out too or at least had the person on my radar. Great diversion on the author’s part.

Heather Blake is a fantastic storyteller! She has created a story with a terrific mix of mystery, suspense, humor, magic, and romance. Everything in the proper proportions for a great cozy mystery. This was a delightful read!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author
Heather Blake is a pseudonym of Heather Webber, the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels, including the Nina Quinn Mysteries and the Lucy Valentine books. Blake has been nominated twice for an Agatha Award. She currently lives in the Cincinnati area with her family.

Follow Heather – www.heatherblakebooks.com
On Facebook     On Twitter


I am giving my review copy away!

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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.

Sign Up for Heather Blake’s newsletter for 5 Bonus Entries.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End September 21, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

You can find my review of Heather Blake’s To Catch A Witch 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 Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Reviews 2017 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review – The House of Memory by Carolyn Haines

The House of Memory (Pluto’s Snitch)
Paranormal Historical Mystery/Suspense
2nd in Series
Setting – Alabama
Thomas & Mercer (June 27, 2017)
Paperback: 316 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1477819937
Kindle ASIN: B01NCIKAQX

 

Raissa James not only sees the dead but she’s caught the ears of the living—especially now that she’s solved her first case. Word of Pluto’s Snitch, her private-investigation agency specializing in the occult, has spread far and wide. It’s even come to the notice of Zelda Fitzgerald, the nation’s most celebrated flapper. And Zelda’s in need of its services.

Along with Reginald Proctor, her partner in detection, Raissa travels to Montgomery, Alabama, where Zelda’s friend Camilla has suddenly become prone to violent fits and delusions. Has Camilla gone mad…or has she been possessed?

Raissa and Reginald soon discover that Camilla’s not the only young lady in the area to fall victim to something unnatural. Now it’s up to the Snitches to follow the clues and save Camilla, locked away behind the walls of the formidable Bryce Hospital asylum. But the key to her rescue might not lie among the living at all. Because Raissa knows that the dead have their secrets, too.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this second book of this series Pluto’s Snitch is called on by the famous Zelda Fitzgerald. She has asked partners Raissa James and Reginald Proctor to help her friend Camilla. After two unexplainable episodes Camilla’s mother has sent her to the Bryce Hospital asylum thinking that she has gone insane. Her mother gives permission of any and all treatment the will make her daughter docile enough to get married. Raissa and Reginald quickly find this is a difficult case that may involve many more young girls. Putting themselves in danger they are determined not only to save Camilla but as many other girls as they can.

The author takes us back to the roaring 20’s with flappers, prostitution, prohibition, possession, ghosts and more. A time when women were seen but not heard and many were treated a property. She even includes Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald and Tallulah Bankhead in the story. The author brings true history into her stories making them very believable.

What makes the story so interesting is that Raissa has a gift. She can see and hear the dead. Sometimes what she sees is quite graphic and scary but she soldiers on to get the answers she seeks. She has dead people in her dreams too, sometimes they give her more questions than answers but they almost always move her investigation forward.  While Reginald cannot see spirits (yet) he is a critical thinker and has Raissa’s complete trust. Together they make a fine detective team.

Carolyn Haines is very descriptive in everything from the characters to the settings. She has to be for this story to be a success. Pictures were painted in my mind of both the human characters and the spirits. I could also clearly picture everywhere Raissa went from the Sayre house to the asylum.

There was evil at play in this story both in the living and the dead. The plot would make an excellent movie but it would be one I probably would watch peeking through my fingers over my eyes.

A fast read, hard to put down, a chilling story. You may want to read The Book of Beloved first to start this series from the beginning. I highly recommend both.

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

USA Today bestselling author Carolyn Haines has published over 70 books in a number of genres, both dark and light. She is an animal advocate and a former muckraking journalist. THE BOOK OF BELOVED, a Pluto’s Snitch mystery, is the first book in a new series. The latest book in the Sarah Booth Delaney series is ROCK-A-BYE BONES.

To learn more about Carolyn or to sign up for her newsletter, please go to www.carolynhaines.com or find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram


Click on book covers for more info or to order from Amazon.

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 Flashback Friday Giveaways Spotlights

Flashback Friday – The Darling Dahlias and the Confederate Rose by Susan Wittig Albert #Spotlight / #Giveaway


On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

Due to my husband being in the hospital my reading schedule got a little messed up so I didn’t get a book read for today.
But there is still going to be a giveaway!!

The Darling Dahlias and the Confederate Rose
(Darling Dahlias Mysteries)

Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Alabama
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Hardcover: 304 pages – (September 4, 2012)
ISBN-13: 978-0425247761
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages – (September 3, 2013)
ISBN-13: 978-0425252260
Kindle ASIN: B007FEFLSU

National bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert returns to the small town of Darling, Alabama, in the 1930s—and the Darling Dahlias, the ladies of a garden club who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty solving mysteries…

Just in time for the Confederate Day celebration, the Darling Dahlias are ready to plant Confederate roses along the fence of the town cemetery. Of course, Miss Dorothy Rogers, club member and town librarian, would be quick to point out the plant is in fact a hibiscus.

The Confederate rose is not the only thing that is not what it first appears to be in this small Southern town. Earle Scroggins, the county treasurer, has got the sheriff thinking that Scroggins’ employee Verna Tidwell (also the Darling Dahlias’ trusted treasurer) is behind a missing $15,000. But Darling Dahlias president Liz Lacy is determined to prove Verna is not a thief.

Meanwhile Miss Rogers has discovered her own mystery—what appears to be a secret code embroidered under the cover of a pillow, the only possession she has from her grandmother. She enlists the help of a local newspaperman, who begins to suspect the family heirloom may have larger significance.

With missing money, secret codes, and the very strange behavior of one resident, Darling, Alabama, on the eve of Confederate Day, is anything but a sleepy little town…

Includes Southern-Style Depression-Era Recipes

About This Author

Susan Wittig Albert is the New York Times bestselling author of four Prime Crime series: China Bayles, The Darling Dahlias, The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, and (with her husband, Bill Albert) the Robin Paige Victorian Mysteries. She also writes historical fiction. Recent titles: Loving Eleanor and A Wilder Rose. Her website: www.susanalbert.com

Books in this Series


Also by Susan Wittig Albert

GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 1 Hardcover Copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a U.S. mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End July 7, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
Posted in Cozy Wednesday Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2015 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Erika Chase – Author of Law and Author – Giveaway too!

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
Erika Chase is my guest today and I couldn’t be happier to welcome her back to Escape With Dollycas!

 

Erika ChaseBook Clubs by Erika Chase

Do you know the best thing about being in a book club? Did you think I’d say, the books? Well, it’s the people. Those terrific mysteries can be read any time and talked about over coffee or one afternoon during shopping therapy. But, if you’re lucky, it’s the people that make it special. And believe me, I hit the jackpot.

law and authorWe’ve been together for five books now. Law and Author is the most recent. And during that time, we’ve grown into family. Maybe it’s the camaraderie of sharing the books and of course, the cheese straws and other tasty treats. It also could be the, let’s see, I think it’s six bodies we’ve found and of course, gotten involved in tracking down the killers. You know, you just can’t let a murderer get away, especially when one of your friends is being unjustly accused.

In Law and Author, it’s not one of us though, who makes it to the top of the suspect list. It’s Bob Miller’s granddaughter. Bob’s the retired Police Chief and sweet on Molly Mathews, but I digress. His wife left him, taking their young daughter, many years ago. Seems his salary wasn’t enough to keep her in the manner she desired. They divorced, she married a banker with a fatter bank account, and never let Bob see his daughter again. Really mean spirited, I think.

But then with her demise, and the money tap shut off, Bob’s granddaughter, Darla, whom he never even knew existed, turns up on Molly’s doorstep looking for her granddaddy. The guys were away on a fishing weekend and were lucky this time, meaning we got to feast on fresh bass.

Next thing we know, Darla came back the next day for our barbecue and Molly invites her to stay, as in her house for many days. But then a body is found in the back yard, and all hell breaks loose. So, of course, we, being the book club, have to help out.

That’s what we do. Sure, we haggle over books, like Molly loves Agatha Christie while Bob wants a contemporary police procedural. Stephanie’s into more of the chick lit mysteries and Andie loves anything with Stephanie Plum doing the sleuthing. Sally Jo likes a little romance in hers while her main squeeze, Jacob, being a lawyer, likes law reads. That’s our group. Oh, just about forgot me. I’m pretty much on the same page as Sally Jo but maybe something with more of an edge.

Of course, we all agree on the Cheese Straws hence our name, the Ashton Corners Mystery Book Readers and Cheese Straws Society. Food for the brain and the stomach! Great combination.

I have a great idea. Why don’t y’all join us at the BBQ. Just meet up with us in chapter two of Law and Author. And remember to bring your appetite and a sunhat.

~Erika

You can find out all about Erika and her books on her webpage here.

law and authorLaw and Author
(Ashton Corners Book Club)

Cozy Mystery
5th Book in Series
Setting – Alabama
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (September 1, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425278208
E-Book ASIN: B00SI02DZO
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

 

The author of Book Fair and Foul reconvenes the Ashton Corners book club to solve a murder in their own backyard . . .

Bob Miller, retired police chief and member of the Ashton Corners Mystery Readers and Cheese Straws Society, is stunned by the arrival of his twenty-one-year-old granddaughter, Darla, whom he has never seen. Bob has been estranged from his own daughter for decades and hopes to make up for his absence in Darla’s life. But some of the ladies of the book club find their Southern hospitality strained as they question the motives behind this sudden reunion.

After a dead man is found in Molly Mathews’s backyard, their concerns grow more serious. Lizzie Turner saw Darla arguing with the stranger the day before, but when the police question her, Darla proves to be an unreliable narrator. It’s up to the book club to uncover the real story . . . before another victim is written into the plot.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The guys are away on a fishing trip when Molly gets a visitor, a young woman claiming to be Bob’s granddaughter. When he and his wife split up she took their daughter and refused Bob any time he wanted to see her. He thinks maybe spending time with his granddaughter, Darla, could be his second chance. Then a dead man is found in Molly’s backyard and he may be connected to Darla. She may be the police’s prime suspect. This gets the Ashton Corners Mystery Readers and Cheese Straws Society in high gear. They need to find out more about Darla and the life she left behind to find Bob and if she really did know the man who was killed. It time to get to the bottom of her story.

I must be a doubting person because I would have questioned Darla’s story from the moment she arrived. Molly was far more welcoming and Bob much more accepting than I would have been. But then my love for this group of characters and my love of the chase to catch a killer took over and I was following the clues and where they led. Lizzie always gives me a few palpitations as she noses her way into places where others fear to tread.

The character that was my favorite this was Sally Jo. All she wants to do is plan her wedding but her mother has her own ideas. I can relate, been there, done that.

As always Erika gives us a wonderful mystery with plenty of diversions to throw us and the Society off the trail. The subplots are fun and interesting. I love the way the characters and their relationships continue to evolve and grow not only with each book but throughout each story.

Pluses for us book lovers –

  • Each chapter starts with a quote from another author’s book. Several of which I have read and reviewed.
  • There are Reading Lists for each character at the end of the story. They all like  a bit different type of stories.

We are a left with a “Oh My” moment that will have fans of the series wanting the next book as soon as possible.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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.

Following the new Google+ Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book Fan Page
will earn you 3 Bonus Entries.

Leave a comment for Erika for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End September 30, 2015 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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 Cozy Wednesday Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2015 What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Zoe Chase – owner of the Biscuit Bowl Food Truck – Giveaway too!

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
Fry Another Day finally hit store shelves yesterday and it was well worth the wait!
Zoe Chase – owner of the Biscuit Bowl food truck is my guest today!

 Fry another day

An Update from the Sweet Magnolia Food Truck Race
By Zoe Chase – owner of the Biscuit Bowl food truck
From Fry Another Day
By J.J. Cook

We’re here in Atlanta – finally! The Sweet Magnolia Food Truck Race has been grueling so far. I was expecting some stiff competition from the other food trucks, but not the kind that comes with murder!

I have to tell you that Uncle Saul, Miguel, Ollie, Delia have worked as hard as I have to make sure things go right. It hasn’t been easy with competitors like Our Daily Bread, Stick It Here, Meggie’s Mushrooms, and Pizza Papa. They have really pushed us to our limits.

Plus the weird things the sponsors want us to do – making biscuits out of sweet potatoes, serving food on roller skates, and finding mystery food judges – have been a challenge.

But what could I expect from a food truck race from Charlotte, NC to my hometown of Mobile, Alabama? Ten food trucks trying to win the $50,000 grand prize that will change our lives!

Of course, the kiss Miguel and I shared could be a life-changer too!

I’m so hopeful to be the last food truck standing, and make sure Miguel knows how I feel about him. It’s an exciting time in my life. I hope you will share it.

See you on the road! Be sure to vote for the Biscuit Bowl!

Spiced Peaches
Spiced peaches were a hit for us during the food truck race. They aren’t hard to make, and have a cool, delicious zing!
Ingredients:

2 cups water
2 cups of sugar
1 tablespoon whole allspice
1 tablespoon whole cloves
4, 3 inch cinnamon sticks
2 pounds of peaches (about 10 medium)
You’ll also need one small square of cheesecloth.
Directions:
Mix sugar and water in a heavy saucepan.
Tie allspice and cloves in the cheesecloth. Add this, and the cinnamon sticks, to the water and sugar.
Cover and boil for 5 minutes.
Peel the peaches while the water and sugar are cooking. After the syrup is done boiling, remove cinnamon sticks and cheesecloth bag. Drop the peaches into boiling syrup, a few at a time
Simmer peaches until tender; about 5 minutes.
Delicious with vanilla ice cream!
~Zoe

I just love this picture of Joyce and Jim
I just love this picture of Joyce and Jim

About The Authors

Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, best selling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Simon and Schuster along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family.

Author  Links 

 Jim’s Facebook Page

Joyce and Jim’s Facebook page

Our Amazon AuthorCentral Page

Joyce’s Twitter

J.J. Cook’s webpage

Fry another dayFry Another Day
(Biscuit Bowl Food Truck)

Cozy Mystery
Setting: Alabama
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (February 3, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Griesback & Martucci
Cover Design by Jason Gill
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425263464
E-Book ASIN: B00LMGK40W
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

With a few loyal friends in tow—including her handsome attorney, Miguel, and her cat, Crème Brûlée—Zoe drives the Biscuit Bowl to Charlotte, North Carolina, to enter a nationally televised food truck race. The contest features challenges across the Southeast, and with a fifty-thousand-dollar grand prize, competition isn’t just fierce—it’s killer.

As everyone gears up for the first challenge, another food trucker from Zoe’s hometown is found dead. The race rolls on, but when the body count rises, police begin to suspect Miguel. Now Zoe must race to catch the killer before her attorney needs an attorney.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Road Trip! Zoe and the Biscuit Bowl crew have entered the Sweet Magnolia Food Truck Race. Ten food trucks from the Southeast are all vying to win $50,000. Sounds like fun and it is until one truck vendors is found dead. What everyone thinks was a crazy accident is soon ruled a murder and Zoe’s attorney friend Miguel seems to be a prime suspect. Now Zoe is after more than 1 prize. The $50,000 and finding the real killer. It couldn’t really be Miguel…could it?

Damn J.J. Cook has done it again! I couldn’t put this book down!

Zoe, Ollie, Uncle Saul, Delia, Miguel and even Zoe’s cat Crème Brûlée are all back and traveling around the Southeastern part of the United States serving up their deep fried bread bowls with some very tasty fillings all to win a prize that would get Zoe a huge step closer to opening up her own sit-down restaurant. They are up for any challenge including wearing roller skates or serving patrons during a torrential rain storm.

This story is just like a show you would see on the Food Network, well maybe not the murder, but you know what I mean. People will go on television and do just about anything for money. The author takes that and turns it sideways to include a murder mystery giving us an extremely entertaining read.

The characters are engaging and all have their idiosyncrasies that cozy readers love. I enjoyed traveling with them from North Carolina to Georgia and home to Alabama. Never a direct route, there was always a monkey wrench or two thrown in along the way. The challenges were interesting and the “seat of the pants” method of producing the show probably happens more often than television viewers realize.

Whether writing at J.J. Cook or their pseudonyms you can’t go wrong reading anything they write. They have something for everyone to love and always have a new book right around the corner. Happy Reading!

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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.

Following the new Google+ Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book Fan Page will earn you 3 Bonus Entries.

Leave a comment for J.J. Cook for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End February 18, 2015 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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 Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Cozy Wednesday Giveaways Guest Posts Literary Escapes Reviews 2015

Not So Cozy Wednesday with Bette Lee Crosby – Author of Passing Through Perfect – Giveaway too!

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

This week our Wednesday is not so cozy! but I think you may enjoy this author!

Bette Lee Crosby writes The Wyattsville Series. I reviewed the first book, Spare Change, back in February 2013. I read the second book,Jubilee’s Journey last month as my Just For Fun book and I hope to writing that review soon. The third book Passing through Perfect comes out today and Bette wanted to visit today so I decided to have a Not So Cozy Wednesday. I would classify these books at Historical Fiction. I have loved all 3 of these books and look forward to reading many more of her books.

Please help me welcome Bette to Escape With Dollycas!

bette2

WHAT’S IN A NAME?
by Bette Lee Crosby

Some books start with a title, some start with a story. I’ve written both kinds and I can honestly say there is no right or wrong way. Neither assures you that the book will be wonderful. The only way a writer can do that is by letting their heart loose to find purchase in words.

CONTEST ENDS FEBRUARY 22 AT 12:01 A.M. EST
CONTEST ENDS FEBRUARY 22 AT 12:01 A.M. EST

Spare Change began with the title. I had part of the story in mind, but I knew that would be the title of the book; so I developed a scene to give meaning to the title. In that scene, Olivia has lost her husband and is trying to find her place in life. Canasta is the wise old woman she meets up with… now here is a small snippet of that scene:

* * *

See, sugar,” Canasta took Olivia’s hand in hers, “having a man crazy in love with you is like having your pocket full of money. When you got it you feel like a rich woman, but when you ain’t got it you start feeling poor as a church mouse.”
“That’s surely true,” Olivia nodded.
“Thing is, you ain’t.”
“I’m not?”
“Shoot, no. Making people think they can’t scrape up enough to buy a dime’s worth of happiness is the Devil’s doing. It’s his way of handing out heartaches. The Good Lord don’t do things that way. When he sees a person’s flat out of hope and feeling dead broke, He slips a bit of spare change into the bottom of their pocket. Not a lot maybe, but enough for them to get by.”

* * *
Passing_Through_Perfect_-_EbookWith Passing through Perfect, I didn’t have the title until the very end of the story and while I won’t spoil the book by sharing that scene here, I will tell you that we all pass through times of our life that are so absolutely perfect, we wish we could stay in the moment forever…unfortunately we can’t. But, you never know when the next “Perfect” is just around the corner.

About Bette Lee Crosby

Award-winning novelist Bette Lee Crosby brings the wit and wisdom of her Southern Mama to works of fiction—the result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky charters who will steal your heart away.

“Storytelling is in my blood,” Crosby laughingly admits, “My mom was not a writer, but she was a captivating storyteller, so I find myself using bits and pieces of her voice in most everything I write.”

Crosby’s work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. Since then, she has gone on to win numerous other awards, including The Reviewer’s Choice Award, FPA President’s Book Award Gold Medal and The Royal Palm Literary Award.

Her published novels to date are: Cracks in the Sidewalk (2009), Spare Change (2011), The Twelfth Child (2012), What Matters Most (2013), Jubilee’s Journey (2013), Previously Loved Treasures (2014) and Wishing for Wonderful (2014). She also authored “Life in the Land of IS” a memoir of Lani Deauville, a woman the Guinness Book of Records lists as the world’s longest living quadriplegic.

Crosby originally studied art and began her career as a packaging designer. When asked to write a few lines of copy for the back of a pantyhose package, she discovered a love for words that was irrepressible. After years of writing for business, she turned to works of fiction and never looked back.

Author Links:

Blog:   http://betteleecrosby.com

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3222582.Bette_Lee_Crosby

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Bette-Lee-Crosby/e/B005TLT1PK/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

iBooks:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/bette-lee-crosby/id662962062?mt=11

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BetteLeeCrosby  @BetteLeeCrosby

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Bette-Lee-Crosby/284499021568642

Passing_Through_Perfect_-_Ebook
Passing through Perfect
(The Wyattsville Series) (Volume 3)

Historical Fiction
Setting: Alabama
Bent Pine Publishing – January 14, 2015
Paperback: 252 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0996080347
E-Book ASIN: B00OPBFV68
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It’s 1946. The war is over. Millions of American soldiers are coming home and Benjamin Church is one of them. After four years of being away he thought things in Alabama would have changed, but they haven’t. Grinder’s Corner is as it’s always been—a hardscrabble burp in the road. It’s not much, but it’s home.

When Benjamin attends a harvest festival in Twin Pines, he catches sight of Delia. Before their first dance ends, he knows for certain she’s the one. They fall madly in love; happily, impatiently, imprudently, in love. It doesn’t matter that her daddy is staunchly opposed to the thought of his daughter marrying a cotton farmer, never mind a poor one.

It’s true Benjamin has little to offer; he’s a sharecropper who will spend his whole life sweating and slaving to do little more than put food on the table. But that’s how things are in Alabama. Benjamin is better off than most; he has a wife, a boy he adores, and a house that doesn’t leak rain. Yes, Benjamin considers himself a lucky man until the fateful night that changes everything.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I read this book last week and then watched The Golden Globes Sunday night and though I have not seen the movie Selma yet, I thought all three of these things tied together nicely. With what has been happening around the country civil rights are still a huge issue even after all these years since that march from Selma to Montgomery. Rap singer Common said this in his speech as the Golden Globes when he won the award for Best Musical Score,

The first day I stepped on the set of Selma, I began to think this was bigger than a movie. As I got to know people of the civil rights movement, I realized: I am the hopeful black woman who was denied her right to vote; I am the caring white supporter, killed on the front lines of freedom; I am the unarmed black kid who maybe needed a hand but was instead given a bullet; I am the two fallen police officers murdered in the line of duty. Selma has awakened my humanity.

 Bette Lee Crosby’s Passing through Perfect takes us to Alabama when people of color entered only through the back door of white people’s houses and had separate bathrooms and water fountains. A time when colored people were not allowed in most stores. We have come past those times or have we. We have elected an African American President, but a portion of the country, including some members of Congress that do not support him because his father was a black man. We still have people who are being judged by the color of their skin by the police, by employers, by their neighbors. They are also judged by their economic status no matter what color their skin is. People living in poverty are considered lazy and living for government handouts.

All these things are in Crosby’s book. Benjamin and Delia are both black. Benjamin is a farmer and a veteran. Delia’s father is a preacher. He believes Benjamin is not good enough from his daughter. Love doesn’t matter. Delia has to make a huge sacrifice to be with the man she loves. Then she sees the other side of life for people of color. Not every town in like her home town of Twin Pines. Grinder’s Corner is so small that they need to go to a bigger city for supplies and there are only a few places she and Benjamin are even allowed to enter. Even when Benjamin heads North and reaches Wyattsville everyone is not thrilled by his arrival. It even pits neighbor against neighbor.

Crosby has written a powerful and moving story. Every story I have read by this author has stayed with long past  the final word. There are spots that bring a smile and several that may cause you to shed a tear. Her characters are so engaging you immediately feel invested in their lives and you hope and pray they have better days ahead.

I also hope and pray that people today that are being judged and held back have better days ahead. That there will be income equality, a stronger middle class, less people living in poverty, great education everyone can afford and that we all have equal rights. We have come so far in so many ways but have taken great steps backward in others. I wonder what historical novels written about 2014 will say about equality. This book has really made me think about what future generations may have to say. What stories will a future Bette Lee Crosby write?

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAY

I am giving my Advance Review Copy away!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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.

Following the new Google+ Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book Fan Page will earn you 3 Bonus Entries.

Leave a comment for Bette for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End January 28, 2015 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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.”