Aug 292018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so happy to welcome Bailey Cattrell back to Escapes With Dollycas!

A Mysterious Manuscript and More in Marigolds for Malice
by Bailey Cattrell

 
(Provided by Publicist)

Marigolds for Malice is the third book in the Enchanted Garden Mystery series. Elliana Allbright is still running her perfume and aromatherapy shop, Scents and Nonsense, in Poppyville, California. The scent-related empathy that allows her to create custom essential oil blends to benefit her clients is developing more and more, and business is booming. She loves her work, her tiny house, her friends, and her town. In late March, the Enchanted Garden behind her shop is burgeoning, filled with spring blooming plants and the tender green shoots of new growth between the tiny fairy tableaus and gnome doors. Better yet, Ritter Nelson is returning from his research project in the Alaskan tundra, so her love life is about to pick up in a big way.

So, life is better than good … until another murder throws a wrench into things.

Ellie’s women’s business group, the Greenstockings, have been putting the finishing touches on the Heritage House Gold Rush Museum. It’s housed in a small log cabin that’s been restored and moved to the park behind the library. Retired Berkeley history professor Eureka Sanford has a special interest in the California Gold Rush and is helping out.

As the group sifts through items to put on display, they discover a time capsule from the mid-1800s. Inside are several artifacts from Poppyville’s heyday, including a gold nugget the size of an orange and a black-and-white photo of a woman who could have been Ellie’s identical twin. There’s also a mysterious manuscript that appears to be much older and doesn’t seem to be related to the other contents of the time capsule.

The manuscript, soon dubbed the Xavier manuscript, is written in several alphabets and is in a language no one understands. Eureka Sanford knows it’s rare and valuable, but Ellie senses something more about it. When she goes to find out more, she discovers Eureka dead in the museum, and the contents of the time capsule missing.

The last thing Ellie wants is to go up against Detective Max Lang in another murder investigation, but this time the chief of police is heading the investigation. He’s a busy man, though, and Ellie doesn’t quite trust that he’s giving the case the proper amount of attention. So, in the interest of justice for Eureka – and finding the Xavier manuscript, which seems to hold a key to her own past and strange scentual abilities – Ellie starts asking questions.

I’m often asked where I get my ideas. The answer is: everywhere. It’s not a constant influx of lovely ah has!, of course, and rarely do they come fully formed. Rather, there are bits from here and pieces from there, incidents of gosh, isn’t that interesting that go into the mix along with truths that are stranger than fiction. Over time, they synthesize into plot points, character development, and sometimes into the hooks upon which I hang an entire story.

A few years ago, a friend sent me a link to a Wikipedia article about the Voynich manuscript. It described, “an illustrated codex hand-written in an unknown writing system.” It was carbon dated to the early 1400s, and probably written in Italy. Codebreakers from all over had tried to decipher it with no luck. And the illustrations? Some were pretty weird, but others reminded me of the kinds of pictures Ellie’s gamma drew in her garden journal – the one which always seems to contain new information just when Ellie needs it.

I decided against using the Voynich manuscript in Marigolds for Malice per se. For one thing, I wanted the freedom for the manuscript to be what the story needed, and the Voynich is well and specifically documented. It’s also been posited to be a fraud or a hoax. And not too long ago, someone determined that the language wasn’t mysterious so much as it contained a bunch of Latin abbreviations. He concluded that it was actually a medical text written for women’s health.

True? I don’t know. It doesn’t matter, because reading about the Voynich manuscript sparked the idea for the Xavier manuscript, which may or may not be related to Ellie’s grandmother’s mysterious and magical garden journal, and which Ellie – and possibly one other person – can understand even if they don’t know the language it’s written in.

Because I really do think magic is around us all the time if we look for it…and so are ideas.

Other things that sparked aspects of this book? A picture of my great grandmother that looks exactly like my aunt was posted on my family genealogy Facebook page. That made me think about doppelgangers, and then whether Ellie might have one, and why. Watching the first episode of Deadwood again inspired me to research some of the less savory aspects of the Gold Rush in Ellie’s town. A friend’s son was working with his classmates to create a time capsule for future students at his school, and that made me wonder whether time capsules are ever misinterpreted by those who open them. And, as usual, my own interests in gardening, aromatherapy, herbalism, soap making, and, of course, cookies, were sprinkled into the book as well.

Marigolds for Malice includes recipes for Astrid’s Chocolate Crinkle Cookies and Ellie’s Oatmeal Milk Bath. Next up is Cookies and Clairvoyance, the eighth in the Magical Bakery Mystery series that I write as Bailey Cates. For more information about my books, please visit www.baileycattrell.com .

Happy reading!

~Bailey

Thank you, Bailey, for dropping by and giving insight about this book.

Keep reading for my review.

Marigolds for Malice (An Enchanted Garden Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – California
Berkley (August 28, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 0451476905
ISBN-13: 978-0451476906
Kindle ASIN: B078DW46M3

In the third captivating Enchanted Garden Mystery from Bailey Cattrell, Elliana Allbright will need to dig up clues from the past to weed out a killer…

Elliana Allbright is happy running her perfume shop, Scents & Nonsense, in the charming town of Poppyville, California. And she’s even happier when she can use her inherited abilities to infuse her perfumes with an extra special something that eases woes or solves problems for her customers. But she’ll need those abilities and more when murder comes to town.

Ellie and her women’s business group, the Greenstockings, are helping to open a new museum about local history, and while sorting through the collection of artifacts they discover a time capsule from the days of the Gold Rush. Among the contents is a strange botanical manuscript, recognized by local history professor Eureka Sanford as extremely rare and valuable. When the professor is found dead in the museum, Ellie has no choice but to sniff out the murderer… but this one may have roots that are as old as Poppyville.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Elliana Allbright is the owner of Scents & Nonsense where she sells items made with special oils she distills from plants in her own garden. The Enchanted Garden is right next to the shop and abuts right up to her tiny house. The garden is a relaxing place with spots for people to sit and wind down from the stress in their lives. Ellie’s dog, Dash and shop cat, Nabokov have free rein of the area so they may dish out their own kind of comfort too.

Ellie belongs to a women’s group, the Greenstockings. They are busy cataloging artifacts for a new local history museum. In their endeavor, they find want appears to be a time capsule for the 1800’s. The town quickly makes an event out of its opening. Inside they find some rare items and local history professor Eureka Sanford tells all that the items could be quite valuable. After most of the items are returned to the museum, Eureka is found dead and most of the items are missing. Ellie is quite interested in the items for a personal reason so she is determined to root out the killer and get the items back.

Elliana Allbright is a wonderful protagonist. She has a gift passed on by her Gamma of being able to match each person with the right combination of scents for them and any problem they may be facing. Her Gamma’s journal is the guidebook and has been the key to everything she knows. A magical journal that still updates itself long after her Gamma’s passing. In this story, it again plays a critical part in solving the mystery.  It is fun tagging along with Ellie as she sniffs around for answers. I love the way she and Detective Lupe Garcia work together, especially this time because the chief of police has taken the lead on the case.

The mystery is not easy to solve and the killer tries to permanently stop Ellie from investigating which just riles her up even more. There are several suspects to check out. While reading along I suddenly had my “aha moment”.  I read a little further and thought “no, that can’t be right”, but then after a few more pages I joyously found out I was right. The author tried hard to lead me astray but I was almost as determined as Ellie  😀

Now, I can’t finish this review without mentioning the cover. All the covers for this series have been amazing and I want to give a shout out to cover artist Adrienne Langer. She captures the beauty of Ellie’s enchanted garden perfectly. That alone should have people grabbing the book off the shelves. Then to read the story and read the descriptions the author provides of the entire garden, Ellie’s shop, and her little house provides the added imagery needed to bring the setting to life. Poppyville and Scents & Nonsense sound like somewhere I would love to visit again and again.

An enchanting place, engaging characters, and a truly entertaining mystery all come together to give readers “A Perfect Escape”. Until next time . . . I can hardly wait!!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Bailey Cattrell writes the New York Times bestselling Magical Bakery Mystery series as Bailey Cates. She has studied philosophy, English, and history, and has held a variety of positions, ranging from driver’s license examiner to soap maker. She also writes the Home Crafting Mysteries as Cricket McRae.

 


Writing as Bailey Cates


Writing as Cricket McRae

GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!

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.

 

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

 

Contest Will End September 12, 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

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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May 182017
 

Nightshade for Warning (An Enchanted Garden Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – California
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451476890
Kindle ASIN: B01K1ATYJ6

 

 

Elliana Allbright’s custom-made perfume shop and the Enchanted Garden behind it are garnering all sorts of attention, but a dead body could bury her in bad publicity. . . .

Ellie’s business and personal life have been flourishing in her hometown of Poppyville, California, since she opened Scents & Nonsense. She uses her very special skills to craft perfumes that almost magically ease heartache, inspire change, and bring joy—and her customers love to relax in the beautiful garden behind her shop with her corgi, Dash, and her cat, Nabokov. She even lives right next to the garden, in a compact “tiny house”—and she’s excited to hear that a journalist is going to write a feature about her home and garden for a national magazine.

But then the journalist is found dead, and suspicion falls on the last person to see him—who just happens to be Ellie’s brother’s girlfriend. So before everything goes to seed, Ellie must rely on her powers—observational and otherwise—to pick out the real killer from an ever-expanding bouquet of culprits. . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Isn’t that a gorgeous cover? As soon as I saw it and felt the springtime temps here is Wisconsin I knew I had to escape right into this book.

Elliana Allbright is the owner of Scents & Nonsense where she sells items made with special oils she distills from plants in her own garden. The Enchanted Garden is right next to shop and abuts right up to her tiny house. The garden is a relaxing place with spots for people to sit and wind down from the stress in their lives. Ellie may be able to whip up the perfect perfume to ease whatever malady they may be feeling. Ellie’s dog, Dash and shop cat, Nabokov have free rein of the area so they may dish out their own kind of comfort too.

In this installment, Ellie’s tiny home, formerly a garden shed, has gathered some acclaim and a national magazine is sending a reporter and photographer to include her home in an article about the tiny house craze. Ellie bumps into the journalist while she is out having dinner with her brother and his girlfriend. She wasn’t that impressed with the man but tried to be friendly so that his story about her wouldn’t do more harm than good. When she learns the next day he was found dead in his hotel room and that her brother’s girlfriend is the prime suspect she knows she has to dig up the real killer and fast. She has witnessed how the lead detective investigates, in that he doesn’t. She hopes she can persuade his partner and her friend, Detective Lupe Garcia, to work together to solve this case and clear up the whole bloomin’ mess.

The way this author sets the scene is absolutely magical. You can practically smell the flowers blooming in the Ellie’s garden, feel enveloped by a fog that rolls in, and pick a book off the shelf curl up in the chair in Ellie’s living space. It is a place I would love to visit. I have even given serious thought about living in a tiny house myself. That would be fine until the kids and the grandkids want to visit 🙂 then I don’t know what I would do.

We meet some very interesting characters this time and we travel to a very intriguing place. The reporter that was killed has ties to Poppyville and Ellie is going to shake that family tree to see what seeds drop out. This leads her down a very surprising path of twists and secrets. Readers will feel like they are on her shoulder as she does her best to distill the real criminal. It was not an easy task and at first there were many more questions than answers.

This story is so well written and the characters are very engaging. The themes are current and relevant. There is just a hint of magic and humor pops up in all the right places. Bailey Cattrell has treated us all to an enchanting mystery.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


Writing as Bailey Cates


Writing as Cricket McRae


GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the publisher I have 2 copies to give away!

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.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

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 June 1, 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

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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Jan 202016
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am pleased to welcome Bailey Cattrell to Escape With Dollycas today!

McRae_Cricket pic

 

Daisies For Innocence is first in the Enchanted Garden Mystery series and features Elliana Allbright, aromatherapist extraordinaire and owner of Scents & Nonsense. A thirty-something recent divorcee, Ellie has lived in Poppyville, California her entire life.

In fact, her great, great grandfather was one of the founders of the town – along with Pauline “Poppy” Thierry, the local madam in 1849. Originally settled in order to cater to the miners headed into the Sierra Nevada Mountains during the California Gold Rush, modern-day Poppyville is a tourist town chock full of Old West flavor and offering nearby hot springs, mountain biking, horseback riding, and fly fishing.

Ellie lives with Dash, her Pembroke Welsh corgi, in a super-efficient Tiny House at the back of the Scents & Nonsense property. The shop is guarded day and night by a Russian blue shorthair named Nabokov who regularly attracts clusters of blue butterflies when he ventures out to sun himself in the garden. By the end of the book, Ellie’s growing menagerie is joined by a beta fish named Leonard.

daisies for innocenceThe space between Ellie’s home and work is packed with garden beds connected by winding stone paths. There are seating areas and cozy alcoves interspersed with fairy houses, gnome doors and miniature tableaus tucked in surprising nooks and crannies. An etched boulder in the center of the space declares it The Enchanted Garden, and over time it has gained a reputation as a place for children to come explore the tiny “fairy” worlds while their parents have a cup of tea and nibble on the cookies Ellie’s best friend, Astrid Moneypenny, brings into the shop each morning.

However, the Enchanted Garden also provides the flowers and plants Ellie distills down into custom “perfumes” that do more than just smell good. She learned about plants and their essences from her gamma, who left behind a dog-eared but beautifully illustrated garden journal and an ancient, copper alembic. An alembic is a kind of still (think moonshine), but much smaller and used for distilling essential oils.

Her whole life, Ellie always had a fine-tuned sense of smell, which, combined with a natural ability to know how scents can help other people, uniquely qualifies her to create her special perfumes. When Astrid calls it a superpower, Ellie just laughs, but it turns out Astrid might be more right than Ellie realizes!

In Daisies For Innocence, Ellie’s part-time employee, Josie Overland, confesses that she has been dating Ellie’s ex-husband for a month or so. Ellie is surprised and worried at this news, as she doesn’t want Josie to get hurt the same way she did. But when she finds Josie dead on the boardwalk in front of Scents & Nonsense the next morning, she is unable to convince Detective Max Lang that she had no motive to kill Josie. After all, Max and Ellie’s ex, Harris, are best friends, and Harris has painted Ellie to be a jealous shrew.

Fortunately, Max’s partner, Detective Lupe Garcia is open to looking for other suspects. Unfortunately, Garcia’s new to town, and so it’s up to Ellie and Astrid to ferret out the real killer. Ellie also gets help from members of the Greenstockings, her women’s business group, and Ritter Nelson, an old high-school crush who is back in town visiting his sister.

And then there’s the mysterious plant that sprouted under the birdbath the same day Josie was killed – a plant that grows faster than anything Ellie has ever seen and that she can’t identify anywhere except in her gamma’s journal. As she looks into the life of a woman she thought she knew while hunting for her murderer, Ellie waits for the chance to distill the strange plant’s heady essence – and whatever memories it might bring – for herself.

The book includes a recipe for Astrid’s Chewy Double Chocolate Chunk Hazelnut Cookies, aromatherapy tips, and essential oil blends for things like relaxations and concentration. There’s also the first chapter of Brownies and Broomsticks, the first of the NYT bestselling Magical Bakery Mysteries that I write as Bailey Cates.

Next up? Spells and Scones, the sixth Magical Bakery mystery, will release in July, 2016, and I’m currently working on the second Enchanted Garden Mystery, Nightshade for Warning.
For more information about all my books, please visit www.baileycates.com, Like my page on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter.

~Bailey

daisies for innocenceDaisies For Innocence:
An Enchanted Garden Mystery

New Cozy Mystery Series
Setting – California
An Obsidian Mystery
Published by New American Library (January 5, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451476883
E-Book ASIN: B00W2ZKKM4
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From Bailey Cattrell—who writes the New York Times bestselling Magical Bakery Mysteries as Bailey Cates—comes the first Enchanted Garden Mystery featuring custom perfume maker Elliana Allbright…

The Enchanted Garden behind Elliana Allbright’s perfume shop draws people of all ages with its fragrant flowers and lush greenery. But when the magical serenity is interrupted, it’s up to Ellie to sniff out a killer.

Ellie’s life has blossomed in Poppyville, California, since she opened Scents & Nonsense, a custom-made-perfume store. Her skills with aromas and botanical essences—some from her very own garden—seem almost…supernatural. Her perfumes can evoke emotions,  bring about change, or simply make people happy. Customers are flocking to the store to buy her wares or just to sit in her beautiful garden, sip tea and enjoy homemade cookies.

But she smells trouble when she learns that her part-time assistant Josie is dating her ex. And before she can tell the young woman to beware of his charms, she finds Josie dead in the Enchanted Garden. Now the prime suspect in Josie’s murder, Ellie must search for the real culprit in Josie’s past—because it’ll take a miracle to nip this problem in the bud….

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Elliana Allbright has a fantastic place in Poppyville, California. At the front of her lot is Scents & Nonsense, her store, where she sells items scented from the flowers in her very own garden. The Enchanted Garden fills the side and back yards right up to the front of her tiny house. I can picture it so clearly in my mind with her bird bath and other whimsical touches surrounded by flowers that bloom all year. Even a few extra special varieties.

Ellie has a gift of matching the right scent to each person for any occasion and her Gamma’s journal is the guidebook to everything growing in the garden.  Everything is coming up roses until her friend and employee, Josie Overland, is pushing up daisies, dead in the garden. Not so enchanting.

The was a fun read. Because of the location of the body, Elliana is the prime suspect. One of the officers on the case is best friends with her ex so she knows she isn’t going to get much help there but his partner, Detective Lupe Garcia, has a more open mind and actually investigates. I liked that Ellie didn’t just jump into the investigation. She stayed in touch with Garcia and they shared infomation. We meet several unique characters throughout the book. Friends from her high school days, friends that Ellie made before her divorce and new friends since opening her store. Ellie shop also has a resident feline and she has a Welsh Corgi named Dash too.

The book started a little slow for me but soon I was fully engaged and stayed up until early in the morning  to finish. The mystery has its share of plot twists to keep readers guessing and I was surprised to learn I had picked the right culprit from the bunch.

I loved the aromatherapy theme and was thrilled to see the blends at the end of the story.

Bailey Cattrell has planted all the seeds to get this series off to a blooming start.

enjoyable 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


Writing as Bailey Cates


Writing as Cricket McRae


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.

This year I am trying to build my Twitter following so for this giveaway 4 Bonus Entries will be awarded by following me on Twitter. @dollycas

Leave a comment for Bailey 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 3, 2016 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.”

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