Dec 212016
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

Today we have 2 authors visiting!! 

Welcome Barbara Ross and Liz Mugavero! 

Talk of the Town

Liz Mugavero and Barbara Ross both have books coming out December 27. For Liz, it’s Custom Baked Murder, the fifth book in her Pawsitively Organic Pet Food Mystery series. For Barb, it’s Iced Under, the fifth book in her Maine Clambake Mystery series. Recently, they got together to talk cozy towns.

Barb: Hi Liz. If I know you as well as I think I do, you, like me have been watching the new season of The Gilmore Girls. As I watched, I realized one of reasons for the series’ success, along with the snappy dialog and endearing characters, is the town of Stars Hollow. Like the towns we write about, Frog’s Ledge, Connecticut and Busman’s Harbor, Maine, Stars Hollow is a classic New England town with a green and a band shell and a grab bag of eccentric characters.

What do you think attracts readers and viewers to these places?

Liz: Hi Barb! Yes, you do know me as well as you think…although I have a dilemma. I made a pact with myself that I’d watch all the original Gilmore Girls before watching the new season. I started over the summer and convinced myself that I’d be done way before November 25th! Alas, life got in the way and I’m only on season four – so no spoilers for the new ones!

Now, to your question. I have a confession. I watched Gilmore Girls before I moved to Connecticut. And I think one of the reasons I ended up here was because I was convinced every town was like Stars Hollow! Unfortunately it wasn’t true, but I became obsessed with the idea that I would find a little town to love that would love me back. A town with the perfect bookstore, the perfect grocer, the perfect people. And, the perfect coffee, of course. But it’s that sense of security I got from watching the show that drew me in. The idea that the people around you had your back, even though they weren’t traditional family. It’s that idea that you make your own family, right?

So let’s talk about that. How did you come up with the people with whom you populated your town? Based on real people, or totally made up?

Barb: What a great question. Of all my characters, Gus is the only one based on a real Maine person. There really was a guy who owned an old restaurant near us in Maine with a gorgeous view of a place called, believe it or not, Cozy Harbor. The restaurant looked like an Edward Hopper painting with an old-fashioned gas pump on the outside and a candle-pin bowling lane on the inside. And, just like in the books, Gus only served food to people he knew, or people who knew someone he knew. No one else is based on a real person, though I know people in the real Boothbay Harbor like to guess who’s who!

So my town is kind of, sort of, based on a real town, highly fictionalized. What about you? Is there a real basis for Frog Ledge? How is it similar and different physically and otherwise?

Liz: My fictional town started with a real thing. The town next to me has a really cool town green with a walking path, and I started bringing the dogs there. It’s about a mile around, and there are houses on both sides as well as a bunch of historical buildings, the library, and a museum. And there are always activities happening on the green, from farmers’ markets to 4th of July fireworks to summer concerts. It’s a cool place, and there’s a lovely little Victorian house on one side. I was there one day and thought, wow, this is the place. The place where people in my books can go for all the gossip. The place where Stan should live and spend a lot of her time. The true center of town, you know? And then from there I beefed up the rest of the town with some fictional places like Izzy’s coffee and chocolate shop, the flower shop, the pub. I pulled elements of neighboring towns so it became sort of a hybrid of real places with some fiction thrown in.

It works for me. What about you? Is there something different you wish you’d done relating to how you set up your town? Or is it perfect the way it is?

Barb: Five books in, Busman’s Harbor is still growing. I’ve added shops along Main Street as I’ve needed them—a hardware store for Clammed Up, a frame shop for Fogged Inn, and a jewelry store for Iced Under. It’s kind of like an old map, some places are well understood and finely drawn, while others are completely blank “Here be dragons.” One thing I wish I’d done. I wish I’d called my main road “Maine Street” with an e. So obvious, and yet I missed it.

Of course the most important thing in a cozy mystery, wherever it is set, is a sense of community, of people pulling together, and then potentially pulling apart due to murder. Our sleuths need to set things to rights again, and that means Stan Connor and Julia Snowden have their work cut out for them.

We have our work cut out for us, too, since both of us are on deadlines for book six. Good luck with it, Liz. Let’s talk soon!

Liz: Good luck, Barb.

About The Authors

Barbara Ross is the author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries, including the Agatha-nominated Best Contemporary Novel Clammed Up, as well as Boiled Over, Musseled Out, Fogged Inn, and Iced Under. Her story “Nogged Off” appears in the holiday novella collection Eggnog Murder along with stories by Leslie Meier and Lee Hollis. Barbara blogs with the Wicked Cozy Authors and Maine Crime Writers. In the summer, she writes on her big front porch overlooking the water in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. You can visit her website at http://www.maineclambakemysteries.com

Liz Mugavero is the author of the Agatha Award-nominated Pawsitively Organic Mysteries Kneading to Die, A Biscuit, A Casket, The Icing on the Corpse and Murder Most Finicky. Custom-Baked Murder, the fifth in the series, will be released in December 2016. As you can imagine, her canine and feline rescues demand the best organic food and treats around. She is a member of Sisters in Crime National, Sisters in Crime New England, Mystery Writers of America, and the Cat Writers’ Association. She currently lives in Connecticut.


Iced Under (A Maine Clambake Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Maine/Massachusetts
Kensington (December 27, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496700391
E-Book ASIN: B01DRXCGEE

 

 

The snow is deep in Maine’s Busman’s Harbor and the mighty rivers are covered in ice. Snowden Family Clambake Company proprietor Julia Snowden and her mother, Jacqueline, are hunkered down for the winter when a mysterious package arrives—heating up February with an unexpected case of murder . . .

Inside the mystery package is an enormous black diamond necklace that once belonged to Julia’s great-grandmother and disappeared in the 1920s. Who could have sent it—and why? Julia’s search for clues takes her on a perilous journey through her mother’s troubled family history, from a squabble over the family fortune in “frozen water” to the recent unexplained death of Jacqueline’s long-lost cousin Hugh—who’d been missing and presumed drowned for more than forty years. To protect her mother’s inheritance, Julia must fend off a small army of feuding relatives, solve the mystery surrounding Hugh’s demise, and get back home before the next blizzard buries them all . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It may be winter in Busman’s Harbor but Julia still has a mystery to solve. Her mom received a package containing a wonderful family heirloom, one the disappeared back in the 1920’s. The problem is they have no idea who sent the package. Julia’s investigation leads her to connect with family she didn’t know she had and she arrives at their door just in time to find out the person she hoped to meet died recently. Shortly after her arrival the family learns that the death was not from natural causes, it was MURDER!

I really love these stories. So much happens in addition to the main mystery. In a subplot Julia’s sister, Livvie, is due to give birth any day and the snow coming could make getting to the hospital an adventure. This mirrors my daughter’s experience almost exactly 4 years ago. Her dad drove her to the hospital in the middle of a blizzard following a snow plow all the way. Babies seem to want to make appearances in reality and fiction at the most inopportune times.

In the main mystery plot the author introduces many new characters enabling Julia to meet and learn about family members she and her mom didn’t even know existed. She also learns the truth about an event in the past that happened very differently than her mother thought. I enjoyed the history research and the stories told by these family members almost more than the mystery and it is a great mystery full of twists and surprises.

The author provides enough background to allow this book to be read without reading the previous stories but I encourage you to read them all in order. The characters really grow and become more distinct throughout the series and each includes a stellar mystery.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


Custom Baked Murder
(A Pawsitively Organic Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Kensington (December 27, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496700193
E-Book ASIN: B01DRXCGD0

 

 

Kristan “Stan” Connor gladly turned tail on her high-flying job and moved to a quaint New England town to sell organic pet treats. But with her nose for solving murders, there’s no such thing as a quiet life…

Summer is winding down in Frog Ledge, Connecticut, but Stan’s love life and career are both heating up nicely. In between planning her new pet patisserie and café, Stan is settling into living-in-bliss with sexy pub owner Jake McGee. Love’s on the menu for Stan’s mom, Patricia, too, who’s engaged to Frog Ledge’s mayor, Tony Falco.

Mayor Falco’s dogged ambition isn’t popular among locals, but it’s his executive coach, Eleanor Chang, who’s inspired a dangerous grudge. When Eleanor is found dead, there’s a whole pack of suspects to choose from. Stan has first-hand experience of Eleanor’s unsavory business tactics. But finding out who forced her to take a fatal plunge off the corporate ladder means unearthing some shady secrets…and a killer who’s too close for comfort.

Includes Gourmet Pet Food Recipes!

This is a series I really need to get caught up on. I did receive a note from a friend warning me that this story may have parts that would be hard for me to read after the death of my son so I will hold off reading it for now. 

Thanks to the authors I have 1 copy of each book 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 Barbara or Liz for 5 Bonus Entries.

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.

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

Contest Will End January 4, 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.”

Oct 182016
 
eggnog-murder

Eggnog Murder
by Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, Barbara Ross
3 Cozy Mysteries
Setting – Maine
Kensington (October 25, 2016)
Hardcover: 345 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496704474
E-Book ASIN: B01BAYWZF2
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With the fireplace crackling, the tree twinkling, and the carols humming, few things in life are as picture perfect as Christmas in Maine—until murder dampens the holiday spirit. It must be something in the eggnog . . .
 
EGGNOG MURDER by LESLIE MEIER
When a gift-wrapped bottle of eggnog—allegedly from the Real Beard Santa Club—proves to be a killer concoction for a Tinker’s Cove local, all Lucy Stone wants for Christmas is to find the murdering mixologist who’s stirring up trouble.
 
DEATH BY EGGNOG by LEE HOLLIS
Food and cocktails columnist Hayley Powell has never cared much for Bar Harbor’s grouchy town librarian, Agatha Farnsworth. But after the Scroogy senior has a fatal—and suspicious—allergic reaction to supposedly non-dairy eggnog, it’s up to Hayley to ladle out some justice.

NOGGED OFF by BARBARA ROSS
Julia Snowden’s tenant Imogen Geinkes seems to be jinxed. First, her poorly named “Killer Eggnog” gives all her co-workers food poisoning at the holiday party, then her boyfriend’s body shows up in Julia’s moving truck as she’s headed back to Busman’s Harbor. Now Julia has to get moving to catch the cold-hearted culprit.

Cozy up with a glass of eggnog and enjoy the spirit of murder and mystery in a Yuletide treat perfect for those winter holidays . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I will start this review by saying I have read all of Barbara Ross’s Maine Clambake Mysteries, I have read many of Leslie’s Lucy Stone Mysteries and there are some screaming at me from my To-Be-Read shelf, and Lee Hollis is a new author to me. So I will start my review will Barbara’s story.

NOGGED OFF focuses on Julia cleaning out her old apartment in New York since she has decided to stay in Busman’s Harbor. When she meets her subletting tenant her quick trip to the city gets complicated. The author packed a whole wonderful cozy into just over 100 pages. The mystery takes us on quite a ride that at times was just plain crazy and so much fun to read. I love Julia and her big heart. It was fun to make another winter trip to Busman’s Harbor.

EGGNOG MURDER is set in Tinker’s Cove, Maine and within a few paragraphs I remembered all about the main characters and had no trouble jumping back into this series. I loved learning about their Real Beard Santa Club, which I now know is a real group with branches everywhere. The characters of this story drew me right in and I realized I have missed them so I know I need to get caught up on the books I have missed as soon as possible.

DEATH BY EGGNOG by LEE HOLLIS takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. I was at a little disadvantage with this one as it was my introduction to these characters and the writer’s style of Hayley’s articles right in the story but I knew from the start Agatha Farnsworth, the head librarian, was definitely on Santa’s naughty list and was not surprised she was our victim. What was surprising was the culprit responsible for her demise.

All three of these stories were well written with interesting characters. Great reads for the holiday season but they may have you refraining from eggnog for awhile. I say fix a cup of hot chocolate and curl up in a cozy chair. These mysteries will captivate you for a few wonderful hours.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


Find out all about Leslie Meier and her books on her webpage here.

Find our all about the team that writes as Lee Hollis and their books and her webpage here.

Find out all about Barbara Ross and her books on her webpage here.

GIVEAWAY
I am giving away my advance review copy signed by Barbara Ross!

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.

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 November 1, 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.”

Feb 252016
 
Earlier today I reviewed a book inspired by Walt Whitman, where Edgar Allan Poe made a cameo appearance. Now let me share this book of short stories with you inspired my Edgar Allan Poe.

edgar allan cozy
Edgar Allan Cozy: Wicked Short Stories
Cozy Anthology
Setting – Maine

Print Length: 55 pages
Wicked Cozy Press (January 16, 2016)
ASIN: B01AQ77TBY
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When cozy mystery writers meet Edgar Allan Poe, the result is Edgar Allan Cozy. Each story in this suspenseful new anthology is inspired by the work of Poe. “The Raven,” “The Lighthouse,” “MS. Found in a Bottle,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Cask of Amontillado,” and “Annabel Lee” have been updated and set in the fictional town of Raven Harbor, Maine.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

As soon as I heard about this collection I was so excited to read it. A modern spin on classic Poe, sign me up!

The book starts with a wonderful introduction of how these poems and stories can to be. They all take place in Raven Harbor, Maine. It was fun to have the stories all tie together in the same setting.

First up Barbara modern take on The Raven. I loved it!!!

Next Sherry Harris gives us The Lighthouse, a story where Madeline Wilson tries to find out what happened to her great-great-great grandfather, Barnabas, all those years ago. The residents seem to know the story but are pretty tight lipped. It has a nice twist that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Then Sheila Connolly gives us Found in a Bottle. This is a dark tale. A story were a romantic weekend turns into a true mystery. The romance of the story quickly fizzles but what continues is very interesting.

An Intolerable Intrusion by Edith Maxwell comes next. She gives us her modern twist on A Tell-Tale Heart. This was an entertaining read and if I was forced to choose my favorite I would have to pick this one.

Sadie Hartwell’s Within These Walls is next. What do you do when your husband cheats? This story has an intriguing idea. I knew where it was going but I loved it none the less.

The book wraps us with Anna, Belle and Lee by Sherry Harris. She has crafted quite a poem of a twisted love triangle.

Whether you are a fan of Poe or not, I know you will enjoy this little collection. It was a nice mini escape at only 55 pages. It will also be a keeper to be read again and again.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Feb 232016
 

fogged inn
Fogged Inn (A Maine Clambake Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Maine
Kensington (February 23, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496700377
E-Book ASIN: B00Y6RB372
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An autumn chill has settled over Busman’s Harbor, Maine, but Julia Snowden is warming up the town by offering lobster stew at the local diner. When her landlord discovers a dead body in the walk-in refrigerator, Julia must figure out who ordered up a side of murder.

Nothing’s colder than a corpse–especially one stashed inside a sub-zero fridge. The victim spent his last night on earth dining at the restaurant bar, so naturally Julia finds herself at the center of the ensuing investigation. Lost in the November fog, however, is who’d want to kill the unidentified stranger–and why. It might have something to do with a suspicious group of retirees and a decades-old tragedy to which they’re all connected. One thing’s for sure: Julia’s going to make solving this mystery her early bird special…

Includes Traditional Maine Clambake Recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Back to Busman’s Harbor, Maine, and this time it is snowy and icy and there are no clambakes. Instead Julia and Chris have opened Gus’s Too. They take over Gus’s restaurant in the evenings to give locals one place to dine during the off season. They are still finding their way, running the business by themselves, but they are off to a great start. That is until a dead body is found in the walk-in frig. Julie and Chris recognize the man as a customer from the night before. This leads them to take a closer look at all their customers from that night. Since it was foggy, rainy and cold there weren’t many. Some relatives of mine Caroline and Henry Caswell were among the guests. They certainly couldn’t have anything to do with that dead man, could they??

I started reading and I just couldn’t stop. I was excited not only about Chris and Julia’s new venture, but I desperately wanted to know how that guy ended up in a cooler in a restaurant that was locked up tight and why? Ross has plotted a marvelous mystery and I loved the way everything came together with a very unexpected ending, very different than a typical cozy mystery. At first I was sure I liked it but after thinking about it, I was totally on board with it.

We meet several new characters this time, couples that come to eat at Gus’s Too. When Julia does her investigation we get to know them all quite well and their connection to the town. She visits with each of them several times as she tries to figure out if they had anything to do with the man’s death even when they claim they didn’t know him at all. I found the dialogues interesting and I really tuned in to catch any clues.

Julia has moved into the apartment above Gus’s and Chris spends most night there. He still has his cabin which he is remodeling so he can rent it out during tourist season. They are starting to get more comfortable in their relationship but they have a lot of things to work out. Julia is a little too sure of herself after helping solve previous cases and Chris just wants her to leave the investigating to the police. Well, we all know that is not going to happen.

The fog plays a huge part in this story and I just don’t mean the weather outside. I really felt Julia and the police were working in a fog and through the fog to identify the victim and catch the killer. At times it was as thick as pea soup and I truly didn’t know how it was all going to come together in the dwindling amount of pages left, especially because I knew there were recipes back there too.

This is another strong story from Barbara Ross and I commend her for coming up with a great story in the off season when the town is really moving at a much slower pace with less people around. It was nice to get to know some of the other residents of Busman’s Harbor. They were a unique bunch. I hope they pop in for visits in future stories, especially those Caswells!

perfect 2016

 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

Find out all about Barbara Ross and her books on her webpage here.

Be sure to check out Barbara and the other Wicked Cozy Authors on their blog and Facebook too! 

GIVEAWAY

I am giving away my review copy!
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

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 March 8, 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.”

Apr 302015
 

MUSSELED OUTMusseled Out
(A Maine Clambake Mystery)

3rd Book in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Massachusetts
Kensington (April 28, 2015)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0758286895
E-Book ISBN-13: 978-0758286895
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The busy summer tourist season is winding down in Busman’s Harbor, Maine, but Julia Snowden senses trouble simmering for the Snowden Family Clambake Company. Shifty David Thwing–the “Mussel King” of upscale seafood restaurants–is sniffing around town for a new location. But serving iffy clams turns out to be the least of his troubles. . .

When Thwing is found sleeping with the fishes beneath a local lobsterman’s boat, the police quickly finger Julia’s brother-in-law Sonny as the one who cooked up the crime. Sure, everyone knows Sonny despised the Mussel King. . .but Julia believes he’s innocent. Proving it won’t be easy, though. It seems there’s a lot more than murder on the menu, and Julia needs to act fast. . .

Includes Traditional Maine Clambake Recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Another tasty installment from Barbara Ross. In Clammed Up Julia came home to help save the family business. In Boiled Over she got the business steered in the right direction. Now in Musseled Out the season is drawing to a close and she needs to make a huge decision, return to her job back in New York or stay in Maine with her friends and family. Of course a dead body being found and her brother-in-law being a prime suspect will weigh heavily into her decision. First she needs to find out who killed the “Mussel King” and why, then she should hopefully, probably, maybe, make a decision regarding her own future.

I quickly became caught up in this mystery because after reading the first 2 books I was very invested in these characters. Growing up in a family food business I understand how the whole family gets involved to making it a success so I really want the Snowden Family Clambake Company to succeed. A new competing business wouldn’t be a good  thing but I can’t see Sonny killing someone over it so I knew there was much more to the story, but Ross truly surprised me with the way she mixed all the elements together.

Barbara Ross slowly develops these characters. We learn more and more about them with every turn of the page. Livie, Julia’s sister, and Sonny have a new baby on the way. Add that to the business worries and things get a little stressful. Julia’s mom is unsure of her place since her husband passed away and she is branching out causing some concern from her daughters. Chris and Julia’s relationship is still so new and they are working things through as they get a little more serious.

The author has given us a wonderful whodunit with just the right amounts of humor and romance. I loved the ending. I hope this isn’t the last we see of these characters. I have really enjoyed my Maine excursions.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out all about Barbara Ross and her books on her webpage 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.”

May 092014
 

boiled overBoiled Over
(A Maine Clambake Mystery)

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Kensington Publishing (May 6, 2014)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0758286871
E-Book File Size: 1209 KB
ASIN: B00G9ABZL8
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

For Julia Snowden, the Founder’s Day summer celebration in Busman’s Harbor, Maine, means helping her family’s clambake company to prepare an authentic taste of New England seafood. Any Mainer will tell you that a real clambake needs wood for the fire . . . so why is there a foot sticking out of the oven?

The townspeople want to pin the murder of the RV park owner on Cabe Stone, a new employee of the Snowden Family Clambake Company–who bolted from the crime scene and disappeared.

Julia knows having another murder associated with her family’s business is a recipe for disaster . . . but who is the killer? Cooking up a proper investigation doesn’t leave much time for the rest of Julia’s life, and this is one killer who’ll do anything to stop her from digging up clues . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Barbara Ross has cooked us up another fine mystery in Boiled Over. In this follow-up to Clammed Up Julia is still trying to make sure the Snowden Family Clambakes are back on the right track. She thinks serving their food sat the Founder’s Day celebration will be the perfect way to advertise and put a little more money in the business account. Of course she didn’t plan for the dead body.

Ross introduces us to some new characters who are not all who they seem to be. This leads the reader on quite an adventure. We even learn about the true founder of Busman’s Harbor and how the town got its name. We also traveled with Julia through a good bit of Maine tracking down clues.

Julia is not only trying to save the family business,  she is at a crossroads of her life. Does she want to go back to New York City? Or stay in Maine with her family and a very important man in her life? Did she wait too long to share her true feelings?

Ross has served us a great mystery with a perfect amount of humor and romance. She has given us rich characters that continue to evolve and a nice little cliffhanger to bring us back for more when Musseled Out hits shelves in 2015.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Find out all about Barbara Ross and her books on her webpage here.

I am giving away my review copy!!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

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

Contest Will End May 23, 2014 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.”

Sep 112013
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!!

I am so excited to have Barbara Ross here today! 

Her new book Clammed Up is sure to be a hit with all over you!!

The Alpha and the Omega: Continuing Characters in Series

barbfordollycasLori, thanks so much for having me for Cozy Wednesday.

 It’s an interesting time for me as an author. On September 1, I handed in the manuscript for Boiled Over,  the second book in my Maine Clambake Mystery series. And on September 3, Clammed Up,  the first book in the series was released.

 As you can imagine, it’s been an interesting time. In fact, as I switched on September 2, from writing to promotion mode, my mother-in-law said, “It seems like all summer it’s been Boiled Over, and now it’s Clammed Up !

Boiled Over is my first time writing a second book in a series. So it got me wondering, how do people feel about continuing characters? Not the main characters, but the other people who populate the book?

 I admit to being a full-out series fan. Nothing makes me happier than finding a book I love and then discovering there are four or six or ten more to read in the series. Once I’m caught up, and have to wait a full year for the next one (as I just did with Louise Penny), it kills me.

17239894Part of the reason I love series is because of the way characters and settings can develop over time. I’m a huge fan of Ruth Rendell’s Wexford series. I love the way Kingsmarkham, the town where her Chief Inspector Reg Wexford works, evolves from being a small market town the first book, From Doon to Death (1964) to an ever growing suburban city in the latest books. And how along the way, Wexford has to deal with increasingly complex, modern issues of race, immigration, and environmental activism—not to mention the baffling personal lives of his grown daughters. (The latest book in the series, No Man’s Nightingale is out in the UK, but won’t be here until November. I am trying to restrain myself from ordering it from Amazon UK.)

I get invested in the secondary characters, too. I spent a long time reading every Rendell short story I could get my hands on, because I was convinced there was a story in which Wexford’s faithful no. 2, Detective Mike Burden’s first wife dies. It turns out, she dies off stage. But reading all those stories was great, because it brought back my childhood love of short fiction and got me writing my own. Now I’m a co-editor of an annual short crime fiction anthology for Level Best Books. www.levelbestbooks.com

But I have to confess, there are some series I’ve given up because the author couldn’t seem to let go of a single secondary character. So every last person from the first book gets pulled into the second book and so on, until by the fourth book, I’m thinking, “Who are all these people and why does the author think I care about them?”’

maineclambakefordollycas

 In Boiled Over, I tried to use the “bar story” principle. Pretend you’re meeting an old friend for a drink, the kind of friend you can not see for years and then pick the conversation right up where you left off. You say to her, “You wouldn’t believe what happened to me!” As you tell the tale, you introduce her to all the people she needs to know about for the story, plus a few other people who were really important in your life at the time and were giving advice, and so on. You don’t tell her what happened to every person you’ve met since you last saw her. The other people in your life are presumably going about their business, and may show up in another bar story some other time, but we don’t have to talk about them now.

Plus, some readers don’t get to read the series in order. (I love to read in order, but I’ll go out of order in a pinch.) So if you have someone who was a suspect in the first book wandering through the next one, doesn’t that give it away?

How do you feel about series characters? Less is more, or the more the merrier? Let me know, because I have to start Book 3 next week!

~Barbara

 Thank you Barbara for dropping by today! I think a great group of core characters visited by new characters each book is great but then the twist after a few books when one of those core characters gets in trouble always adds to the suspense too!  I am sure my readers will help you tackle this question too!

About This Author
Barbara Ross’ novel Clammed Up, first in a new series of Maine Clambake Mysteries, will be published by Kensington in September 2013. Barbara and her husband own the former Seafarer Inn at the head of the harbor in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. From her perch on the Seafarer’s wide front porch, Barbara’s had a chance to observe the quirks of life in a small resort town, along with the stunning harbor views. Barbara and Bill no longer run the inn as a Bed & Breakfast. Barbara is notoriously not a morning person. They considered a Bed-and-Get-Your-Own-Damn-Breakfast, but there didn’t seem to be much of a market.

Barbara is the 2013 co-chair of The New England Crime Bake. She is a co-editor/co-publisher at Level Best Books, which produces an award-winning anthology of crime and mystery stories by New England authors every November. Barbara also blogs with a wonderful group of Maine mystery authors at Maine Crime Writers.

Barbara’s first mystery novel, The Death of an Ambitious Woman, was published by Five Star/Gale/Cengage in August, 2010. In her former life, Barbara was a co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of two successful start-ups in educational technology. When they aren’t in Boothbay, she and her husband live in Somerville, MA.

17239894
Clammed Up
(A Maine Clambake Mystery)

Brand New Series
Cozy Mystery
Kensington Publishing Group (September 3, 2013)
Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0758286857
E-Book File Size: 551 KB
ASIN: B00C6BFTZ2

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Summer has come to Busman’s Harbor, Maine, and tourists are lining up for a taste of authentic New England seafood, courtesy of the Snowden Family Clambake Company. But there’s something sinister on the boil this season. A killer has crashed a wedding party, adding mystery to the menu at the worst possible moment. . .

Julia Snowden returned to her hometown to rescue her family’s struggling clambake business–not to solve crimes. But that was before a catered wedding on picturesque Morrow Island turned into a reception for murder. When the best man’s corpse is found hanging from the grand staircase in the Snowden family mansion, Julia must put the chowder pot on the back burner and join the search for the killer. And with suspicion falling on her old crush, Chris Durand, the recipe for saving her business and salvaging her love life might be one and the same. .

Dollycas’s Thoughts
A delightful debut that has me hungry for more!!!

The story is set in a beautiful part of this country and every bit of it was clear in my mind’s eye. From the island to the ferry trip to the town of Busman’s Harbor. Sounds like a great place to vacation.

Julia’s homecoming being marred by murder is awful but this girl is up for the challenge. She uses skills she has learned while away to whittle down the suspects and it isn’t easy. She makes mistakes. She is scared and worried about losing her family business and is so real and credible. It is so easy to identify with her which makes her a great protagonist.

The supporting cast is strong as well. I personally wanted to take on Sonny. He had just given up and if Julia would not have come back the business would have been history, but his support of Julia was truly lacking. Family drama! I love it! This is a group of characters that will surprise you. Ross has filled this Clambake Mystery with plenty of red herrings!

It seems Julia and Livvie’s dad had put together a wonderful business. There will be some changes going forward but I know the family will come out on top and the clambakes will be even more popular. I am ready to buy my ticket today. Boiled Over (A Maine Clambake Mystery) will be served up May 6, 2014!

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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