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

Cozy Wednesday with Author B.B. Haywood (Giveaway too!)


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday. I am so excited to welcome B.B. Haywood to Escape With Dollycas. Which means that I am really welcoming 2 wonderful authors today. You see B.B. Haywood is the pseudonym used by co-writers Bob and Beth Feeman. I have not seen this widely published nor have I ever seen a picture of this cozy writing duo. So let’s just keep it between all of us. Add to the mystery a bit. They do have a brand new website, so be sure to check that out after you read their wonderful post.

Welcome B.B.!!! or Beth and Bob 😉

Hi Lori,

The Harrowing Life of a Mystery Series Heroine
by B.B. Haywood

One of the great parts about being a mystery writer is that you get to explore the reactions and behaviors of normal people in incredibly abnormal situations. This is especially true of a cozy mystery featuring an amateur sleuth. In fact, the more harrowing the situation for the heroine, the more fun it is to write, and hopefully read.

Consider, for example, Candy Holliday of Cape Willington, Maine. Candy is just your everyday blueberry farmer, dealing with all the ho-hum details of everyday life. But over the past two years, a string of seemingly unconnected murders have put her at the center of attention, and prompted her to do things she never thought herself capable of doing as she seeks to unravel the mysteries that have cropped up in her little town. She’s faced all kinds of dangers, and she’s always risen to the occasion, no matter what comes her way, sometimes exhibiting a bravery she never knew she had.

For instance, in Town In a Blueberry Jam, the first book in the series, Candy found herself hunting down a red-handled hammer (a murder weapon), dodging bullets, and facing a crazed murderer on the Widow’s Walk atop the Pruitt Opera House—in a driving rain, no less. (We writers do like to pile on the complications—no sense making it too easy for the heroine.) But with the help of her best friend, Maggie Tremont, Candy stood her ground and won the day.

And in Town In a Lobster Stew, she faced a similar danger atop the English Point Lighthouse, this time in a thick fog. (Candy seems to prefer adverse weather conditions when confronting villains.) And again, she exhibited great skill and bravery in staying alive and helping to capture the murderer.

It doesn’t get any easier for Candy in the third book in the series, Town in a Wild Moose Chase, which was released yesterday. And yes, there is a moose in this book—a rare white moose, in fact. And strangely enough, the moose helps Candy solve the mystery, which involves a very crafty villain. Will Candy find herself in danger once again? Undoubtedly. Will she win out in the end and capture the villain?

Well, in this one, the answer is both “yes” and “no.” Because there’s more to the story than meets the eye. In this book, as they say, the plot thickens—a lot! But whatever’s going on around town, you can rest assured that Candy Holliday is on the case, and that she’ll eventually figure it out—even if she has to put herself in danger to do so.

And in this and coming books, Candy will have her hands full trying to figure out what’s going on while running the blueberry farm with her father.

And that, in a nutshell, is what makes cozy mysteries so much fun to read—and write!

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

Thank you so much for visiting with us today!!  I hope you will come back when the next Candy Holliday story is released. 


Town in a Wild Moose Chase (CANDY HOLLIDAY MYSTERY)
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Published by The Penguin Group
3rd in the Series
Available Now!

It’s time for the Annual Moose Fest in Cape Willington featuring a Sleigh and Sled parade, an ice sculpting exhibition, and the Moose Fest Ball. Candy again is in the center of the action covering things for the local newspaper but her mind is filled with things Solomon Hatch has told her. He claims he saw a dead body in the woods behind her blueberry farm. As if that is not enough, a mysterious white moose is showing up in the strangest places. How do all of these things fit together? You can be sure Candy will figure it out.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Life is never dull in the quaint seaside village of Cape Willington, Maine. As was said in the guest post above, the plot in this story really thickens and Candy is right in the thick of things. She is a very strong, savvy, smart protagonist. She has really grown in this series and I have grown to love her. But I am so jealous of her. We once took a vacation to Canada and the only moose we saw were on the moose crossing signs and Candy not only has a moose in her woods, but a white moose. We should have went to Maine!

The team of B.B. Haywood have written another captivating cozy sure to be enjoyed by all cozy lovers. These books are unique in that they all feature yearly events in Cape Willington. I hope they have many, many, more events planned to keep Candy busy for several stories. The title for the next book, Town in Pumpkin Bash already has my mouth watering and mind anxiously awaiting its release next year.


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

I have a very special giveaway planned today.
Is this a new series for you?
Well I have one gently read complete set of all three books to giveaway.

If you are a fan of this series I am also offering 2 copies of
Town in a Wild Moose Chase (CANDY HOLLIDAY MYSTERY) too!

Just Fill Out The Form Below!
U.S. and CANADIAN RESIDENTS
You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

***Remember GFC is going away March 1, 2012
so be sure you are following in a different way if you want to
continue to follow Escape With Dollycas.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

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

Contest Will End February 22, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Posted in Literary Escapes Reviews 2012

Buried in a Book by Lucy Arlington

Buried in a Book (A Novel Idea Mystery)
Brand New Series!!

The Berkley Publishing Group
Publish by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Julia Green
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell
Release Date: February 7, 2012

Meet Lila Wilkens, former newspaper journalist and the newest employee of A Novel Idea. She is a 45 year old intern, but she not only accepts the position because she really needs the job, but also because it is a thriving business in the Utopian town of Inspiration Valley, North Carolina.  Lily is an avid reader and can imagine no job better than getting paid to read.

Her first day is quite eventful as she meets her eccentric coworkers, receives a huge stack of query letters to review, and is assigned an extremely small desk. Of course none of that compares to finding a dead body in the waiting room. Even more amazing is that none of her new coworkers seem the least bit concerned that a man died in their office. Most of them just continue on with their day leaving Lila to handle the aftermath including the police.

The journalist in Lila can’t believe that this man died at A Novel Idea randomly so using skills from her previous job she is determined who killed this man and why.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
First things first, I want Lila’s job, I wouldn’t even mind dealing with the dead body. Being paid to read story ideas and novels would be absolutely awesome. Doing it in a place like Inspiration Valley would be caramel on top of my latte!

Lucy Arlington has a winner with this debut. Readers will love to read about the beginning of the publishing process with a murder or two wrapped in a great mystery. The setting is a place everyone will want to visit, from the coffee cafe to the sandwich shoppe. I want to jump right into the cover of the book and tool around the cobblestone streets on my bright yellow scooter.

Lila is quick to make friends, some friendlier than others, her mother is has a unique gift, her son Trey needs a little redirection that the changes in Lila’s life will help create.  We are just starting to get to know all the characters and I am very anxious to see where the author takes them.

A first-rate whodunit all cozy fans will enjoy!!

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.”

Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Cozy Wednesday Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Literary Escapes Reviews 2012

File M for Murder by Miranda James


This book caught me a little off guard because of its release date. Usually all my cozies are released on the first Tuesday of the month and this one came out yesterday, the last Tuesday of the month. I am sure the publisher’s know what they are doing, but it messed with my routine 🙂 so I didn’t ask Miranda to guest post today, but we can have fun just the same because File M for Murder just like the other two Cats In The Stacks Mysteries it is another purr-fect escape!!

File M for Murder
A Cat In The Stacks Mystery
3rd book in the Series


A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Dan Craig
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell
Available Now!


This series features Charlie Harris who has returned home to Athena, Mississippi to work as a librarian. He also has a sidekick that goes almost everywhere he goes, a rescued Maine coon cat named Diesel. Diesel is happy to don a harness and leash and travel around town with Charlie. Most of the people of Athena have adjusted to this huge cat and realize how friendly he is, they always have pats and treats ready for Diesel.

In File M for Murder, Charlie is surprised when his daughter, Laura, returns home from Hollywood to fill in for another professor at the local college. Charlie, Sean and Diesel are thrilled to have her home.

He then learns that her old boyfriend, Connor Lawton, a playwright,  is also at the college as a writer-in-residence, working on his new play and helped her get the job. Charlie in not at all impressed with the man who is just plain rude. Connor is also followed to Athena by an old girlfriend who believes she is the only woman good enough for Connor.

Before the sharp tongued writer can finish his play he is murdered and Charlie’s daughter becomes the prime suspect. Charlie and Diesel are on the case. He soon finds many other viable suspects but can he find the real killer before any of his family or friends end up filed under M for murder.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Yes, Diesel is one of the shining stars of this series. His meows, warbles, chirrups, and head bumps are priceless. He is so in tune to human’s feelings. If you are a cat person like me you will truly understand. But without Charlie there is no story so together they make a great team of shining stars. We also know that Charlie is not the only human who talks to their pets like they understand exactly what we are saying. I know Azalea is shaking her head at me.

This story touched my heart because of the relationship Charlie has with his daughter. I found myself missing the talks I used to have with my dad. Like Charlie, he was there for me through thick and thin until his death, although he definitely was not a cat person. 🙂 Charlie was definitely Laura’s hero in this story, just like a dad should be. James creates a wonderful family dynamic that reaches out to Justin and Stewart, Charlie’s boarders. All the characters are strong, real and jump right off the page.

This mystery was complex and following the tidbits and putting them all together was very entertaining. It will change the way you look at your local librarian because contrary to what we think we can’t find everything we need to know on the internet. Sometimes we need to dig a little deeper and go through those old musty files, especially when trying to solve a murder, be it a new one or a very old one.

File M for Murder is full of Southern Charm and the residents of Athena will work their way right into your heart, especially one huge Maine coon cat! Love ya Diesel! 

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

For the giveaway today I am giving my gently read copy of

File M for Murder (Cat in the Stacks Mystery)

plus 2 BRAND NEW COPIES FROM PENGUIN!!

Just Fill Out The Form Below!
U.S. and CANADIAN RESIDENTS
You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

***Remember GFC is going away March 1, 2012
so be sure you are following in a different way if you want to
continue to follow Escape With Dollycas.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

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

Contest Will End February 15, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here.

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

Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Cozy Wednesday Giveaways Guest Posts Literary Escapes Reviews 2012 What's In A Name Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Author Hannah Reed (Giveaway too!)

One of the first things I learned when I started blogging was that Hannah Reed and her alter ego Deb Baker are from Wisconsin. I quickly reached out to her and she was the very first author to guest post on Dollycas’s Thoughts. Since then I have become huge fan. I am so happy she is here today to tell us about the next Queen Bee Mystery.

Welcome Hannah!

Hi Everyone!

“Write What You Know,” the writing coaches tell us.

But I wanted to write mysteries, and I didn’t know a single thing about killing – I’m not a murderess, or in law enforcement, or a medical examiner. I don’t have a degree in criminal law, and I certainly am not acquainted with any serial killers, so interviewing bad guys was out. The victims weren’t talking, either (obviously).

After a lot of internal debate over my lack of qualifications, I decided to really write what I knew. And what I had experience with was small town Wisconsin. Plus, I’d married into a family business, and let me tell you, that turned out to be quite an awakening.

I also realized early on that I love sassy, unusual characters and fun romps and delving into family dynamics, all mixed with a twinkle of the outrageous and a bit of humor.

Enter Story Fischer, living in her hometown of Moraine, Wisconsin, a novice beekeeper, owner of The Wild Clover, the only local grocery store. Add an overbearing mother, a sister and cousin who work at the store, and a snoopy neighbor. Whip in a hot cop with a K-9 partner, plenty of gossip going around, and the dark side of human nature. Ta da. A winning recipe for murder and mayhem.

Book 3 in the series, Plan Bee, came out early this month. Appropriately titled, since when was the last time Plan A really worked? Never, that’s when.

Hope you enjoy it.

~Hannah

Thanks Hannah for stopping by.

About This Author
Hannah Reed is the pen name of author Deb Baker.

As Deb (her real name) she has authored The Gertie Johnson Backwoods Adventures and The Dolls To Die For Series.

In her youth, Deb dreamed of working as a private investigator or as an undercover cop. So when Deb began writing a new series, the Queen Bee mysteries, she did something she always wanted to do — she went undercover with an alias!

Hannah was one of her all-time favorite names. Reed was her great-grandmother’s maiden name. So she put the two together.

As it turns out, the author Hannah Reed is much younger than Deb Baker. She’s also more daring, more willing to step right into the midst of any sticky situation, and she’s not afraid to tell it like it is.

As Deb says, “Look out! When Hannah’s around, big trouble is sure to follow.”

To find out more check out her web page.

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

If you love the Queen Bee Mysteries, you will love Yooper Mysteries too. Stop by tomorrow when I tell you all about Murder Grins and Bears It. The second book in the Yooper series.

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


Plan Bee (A Queen Bee Mystery)
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery

A Queen Bee Mystery
3rd in the Series
Cover Illustration by Trish Cramblet
Cover Design by Judith Langerman

It’s time for the Harmony Festival in Moraine, Wisconsin. All the shopkeepers are setting up outdoor displays, there will be a parade and even a Honey Queen. Story is none to happy with this year’s queen but there are other things for her to worry about, like a 12 year old whose is experimenting creating explosives, her mother’s new boyfriend and an out-of-towner trying to reap the benefits of the home town festival.

Then there’s that darn disappearing body, she tripped over it in the cemetery, but by the time help arrives the body is gone. It then turns up in a most unusual spot and when his identity is revealed Story realizes there are even more things she needs to worry about. The search for the truth “bee-comes” very interesting and danger could “bee” lurking around every corner.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
I love this series.

Hannah Reed definitely writes what she knows. She crafts an wonderful intelligent cozy mystery without a flaw. The characters are all unique and absolutely extraordinary. Each and every one will make a beeline right into your heart, even the characters we love to hate. I grow to love each one a little more with every page in this wonderful series. They never fail to put a smile on my face.

Mystery and mayhem are blended together to give us a honey of a story for our minds to enjoy. Reed is definitely the Queen Bee when it comes to cozy mystery.


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have
2 copies of this awesome book to giveaway
so be sure to fill out the form below to enter!!

U.S. and CANADIAN RESIDENTS
You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

***Remember GFC is going away March 1, 2012
so be sure you are following in a different way if you want to
continue to follow Escape With Dollycas.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

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

Contest Will End February 1, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here.

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

Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Reviews 2012

Breach of Trust by David Ellis

Breach of Trust
Berkley Prime Crime
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group

A Jason Kolarich Novel
Available Now In Paperback


Jason has lost his wife and baby daughter. He should have been in the car with them. He was more familiar with road. Instead he was waiting for a call that never came. He was waiting for an informant to call with vital information, but the informant was murdered before he could place the call. Jason carries the guilt of not only losing his family but the informant had a wife and kids too.

Jason now has the opportunity to find the killer and bring him to justice. But the FBI is on to his plan as it collides with a probe of their own. He is forced into a game of wiretaps, listening devices, and danger, to help get the answers he needs and the information the FBI wants. The informant was just the tip of the iceberg. Corruption runs deep and wide, hopefully he can make it out alive.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
A corrupt governor in Illinois, no way. Ellis writes this book after serving as House Prosecutor that convicted Governor Ron Blagojevich in the impeachment trial before the Illinois Senate. He writes what he knows. This is quite a political drama.

We were introduced to Jason in Ellis’ The Hidden Man. I was really looking forward to this story after reading that one. Jason Kolarich is a guy trying to do the right thing so you are naturally rooting for the truth to prevail.  

My only reservation about this story is that while very entertaining,  the book was written so that it could be read as a stand alone. A lot of pages were filled with things from the previous book with few real necessary additions. Coming in at 546 pages the repetition took away in places what could have been a tight page turning novel. It was wonderful that the truth was revealed and came together, but having read the first book it dragged in spots. The last third of the book was completely page turning and exciting. The suspense part came through  a little more in this one. 

Truthfully these books could be read in any order. I would start with this one and if you want, check out The Hidden Man.  I see The Wrong Man (Jason Kolarich) is coming out June 28, 2012. I will look forward to the next installment. David Ellis is also teaming up with James Patterson for the anxiously awaited Guilty Wives out on March 26.


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.”

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Guest Posts Reviews 2012

Cozy Wednesday With Author Paige Shelton! (Giveaway too!!)


Welcome to the first Cozy Wednesday of 2012. I am so excited about today’s guest. Paige has been a friend to me and a supporter of my blog for almost the whole two years. She even sponsored a Blogoversary Giveaway. (There is still time to enter.) The real excitement for me today is that yesterday she premiered a whole New Series, The Country Cooking School Mysteries. The first book If Fried Chicken Could Fly had me right from the title. I have been anxiously awaited this book ever since I heard Paige was working on it. It was well worth the wait, it is fabulous, but I’ll post my review at the bottom.

Now please help me welcome the guest of honor. Welcome Paige!!!! I am so glad you are here and so are my readers!!!

Thank you, Lori and your readers, for letting me stop by today. Happy New Year!

Sometimes you don’t even know you’re getting ideas for books.

A few years ago, my son and I were tromping through a small, old cemetery outside Rolla, Missouri, in search of the grave of one of our ancestors. The day was sunny and warm, but the cemetery was shadowed by trees and the long white-washed church building located next to it. It was both wonderfully peaceful and kind of spooky.

This ancestor, my great-grandmother, someone I’d only recently learned about because of a new interest in genealogy, had died a horribly tragic death. Sadly, we didn’t find the grave, but the experience created a foundation for something I would write a few years later – and it published just yesterday.

When I first started If Fried Chicken Could Fly the cooking school in the story materialized in my mind as a long white building that had at one time been a church. It was located out in the country and next to a cemetery that was a hot summer tourist spot because of the infamous criminals who’d been buried there. Honestly, at that point I didn’t even realize I’d plucked the church building and adjoining cemetery from my memory.

However, once I met the ghost (a ghost who wasn’t originally supposed to be a part of the story, by the way) of Jerome Cowbender, infamous dead bank robber who couldn’t shoot straight enough to hit the side of a building, I realized I was putting this story together with other stories – stories I’d heard from my family about my ancestors. Thankfully, they’re a pretty colorful group.

Of course, I should have realized that when I started writing a book about Gram’s cooking school, my subconscious would go to that place where my own grandmother had been. My parents and their parents grew up in and around Rolla, and when I was little that’s where we went for holidays and vacations. My grandmother’s kitchen will always remain the stuff of legend. She cooked fried chicken like no one else, whipped up holiday dinners that I’d start craving in July, knew how to add a little of this and a little of that and somehow bake chocolate chips cookies I’m sure I’ll never taste the like again. Her home and her kitchen were all about good food, good times and family.

Gram’s personality in If Fried Chicken Could Fly isn’t much like my grandmother’s, but they share some of the same cooking and baking ideas. If keeping a container of bacon grease next to the stove or cooking with cast iron skillets sound familiar to you, Gram’s ideas might remind you a little of your grandmother. I hope I’ve at least partially done justice to that amazing generation of women.

So, I’d like to welcome you to Broken Rope, Missouri, and Gram’s Country Cooking School. We’ve got ghosts and a slew of strange and mysterious deaths, but mostly we’ve got Gram and her down home and delicious cooking methods. Come on in and sit a spell.

~Paige

Thank you so much Paige.  I need to mention that, yes, there are recipes in the back of the book.  My son and his friends made the Red Velvet Cupcakes this past weekend and they were so yummy.  As a mom here though I think every recipe should end with “Clean Up Your Mess!”  I am sure Gram teaches that at her Cooking School, whether the mess comes from regular baking, a small fire or a dead body. 

Want to find out how Paige got her start at writing mysteries This is a great article. To find out more about Paige and her books this is a link to her web site.

If Fried Chicken Could Fly (Country Cooking School Mystery)
A Berkley Prime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
A Country Cooking School Mystery
Brand New Series
Cover Illustration by Dan Andreasen
Available Now!

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Everyone loves their grandma’s cooking. My grandma even ran a restaurant for awhile. Gram reminds me a lot of my Grandma Lue. She also made the best fried chicken. The whole idea of a country cooking school fascinates me. I was just a teenager when my grandma passed away so I never really had a chance to learn from her but do have a few of her recipes in my recipe box.

I have to say the appearance of Jerome Cowbender did surprise me but as he became a major player in the plot I couldn’t imagine the story without him. I now understand how sometimes characters just appear in these stories without the author’s control. He was a brilliant addition to a wonderful story.

The story has a perfect mix of cozy fixings, with a “surprise ingredient”, blended expertly to make a culinary masterpiece for our reading pleasure.

The town of Broken Rope seems to have more than it’s share of quirky residents, which means plenty of fodder for future installments of this new smokin’ series!!!!


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have
2 copies of this wonderful book to giveaway
so be sure to fill out the form below to enter!!

U.S. and CANADIAN RESIDENTS
You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

***Remember GFC is going away March 1, 2012
so be sure you are following in a different way if you want to
continue to follow Escape With Dollycas.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

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

Contest Will End January 18, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here.

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

Posted in Reviews From Dollycas's Thoughts

Review: The Diva Cooks A Goose by Krista Davis

Berkley Prime Crime Mystery

A Division Of Penguin Publishing

4th in the Domestic Diva Mystery Series

Available Now!
The key characters in this series are Sophie and Natasha.  Natasha happens to be the girlfriend of Sophie’s ex-husband Mars (short for Marshall) and they each offer us wonderful household tips from their syndicated newspaper columns at the start of each chapter.

This book revolves around the Christmas Season and brings all the families and neighbors together.  All is cherry and bright until a Grinch steals all of the Christmas presents from one neighborhood as all the neighbors are gathered for the annual holiday celebration.  They even took the food.  Sophie tries to stem the neighbors from turning against each other as they try to figure out who is responsible and she succeeds in getting them to work together to come up with toys so the children have gifts in the morning.
One crisis down, another arises when Sophie’s sister-in-law’s father shows up at a family gathering with a diva all his own.  He and his wife had only been separated for a very short time and this guest’s arrival does not sit well with anyone at all.  When the new diva becomes victim of some well thought out foul play, Sophie’s relatives of  course considered prime suspects.  Sophie’s detective boyfriend in out of town visiting his parents so it’s up to Sophie to save the holidays.

 

First of all I apologize for the tardiness of this review.  Life some times get in the way of best laid plans.
This is such a fun series and the last book had more adventure that most series have in all the books together.  It was definitely hard to put down.  There were so many people that could have committed both the robberies and the murder that it truly came down to the very last chapter before all the clues came together to provide all the answers to nab the criminals.  Sophie put it all together literally in the “nick” of time before her “goose” was literally cooked and she almost had her sister baked too.

This was the perfect mystery, every time you thought you had it figured out another clue sent you in another direction.  It was not only well written, but wonderfully staged and plotted.  The new characters added a whole new dimension to this story, I hope some of them reappear in future editions, especially Ginger.  

I have to mention the pets that add the important feature necessary in every great mystery, including this one.  Daisy, the dog with the keen senses of smell, hearing and the ability to know the good guys from the creeps :).  Mochie, the cat with the attitude and the knack of knowing just when to pounce and when to just walk away.  Plus the two little ragdoll kittens, Alice and Jasper, cute, cuddly and key to some clues in the mystery. 

To say this book is full of “mystery and mayhem” is a understatement. This story is beyond a little chaos and clues, it takes the cozy mystery to a whole new realm and I enjoyed every minute of it and can’t wait for more.
 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received these books free from Berkley Prime Crime,  a Division of Penguin Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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 Reviews From Dollycas's Thoughts

COZY WEDNESDAY – With Author Krista Davis

This post originally appeared on Dollycas’s Thoughts September 7, 2011.

I love Cozy Wednesdays and hope you do too.  Today my special guest, Krista Davis, author of The Domestic Diva Mysteries. is here and I am really excited.  The latest book in the series, The Diva Haunts the House  is the perfect fall read because “This Halloween A Murderer Is Up To Mischief”.
With yesterday being New Release Tuesday and Krista’s book coming out you know she has been extremely busy getting ready for her big day.  I am so happy she is here today to spend some time with us!
Welcome Krista!!!
Thank you for inviting me!
We’re Watching You!

A dear friend gave me a T-shirt that says Careful, or you’ll end up in my novel. I love that shirt. There’s a little bit of truth in that saying. People often ask writers where we get our ideas. We get them from you!

People are fascinating, and writers are people-watchers. We observe the argument between boyfriend and girlfriend at a bar. We notice the adoring smile of a grandmother in the park with her grandchild. We watch the harried mom on her cell phone in the grocery store who doesn’t realize that her three young children are tossing their favorite candies into her shopping cart.
Even animals draw our attention. A baby snake made its way into my house recently. I’m not a snake person, and this little guy was moving fast. I tossed the closest thing, a dog dish, over top of it so it wouldn’t disappear. Ugh. What’s worse than a snake in the house under a dog dish? A snake on the loose in the house! A normal person eventually forgets about that little snake. A writer uses it in a book.
The Diva Haunts the House (A Domestic Diva Mystery)When I was writing THE DIVA HAUNTS THE HOUSE, I came to a part where I needed something spooky to happen. An event that couldn’t be explained, yet, Sophie, my protagonist, had to be able to figure out how it happened. While I was mulling over the possibilities, I heard a creepy voice in my house. I figured out where it came from right away, but no one else was home. What set it off? I won’t spoil the fun — you’ll recognize the event toward the end of the book. It’s something that really happened to me.
The Diva Cooks a Goose (A Domestic Diva Mystery)Of course, we also draw information from the news. In THE DIVA COOKS A GOOSE, Christmas gifts are stolen right out from under the tree. Two days before the book was released, a local man was arrested for stealing wrapped Christmas gifts from someone’s house. They identified him because he dropped his cell phone! Now seriously, aside from the just plain meanness of stealing Christmas gifts, who would steal a wrapped gift? It could be socks or underwear or a talking fish. He was willing to risk jail time for that?
Then there are the fun characters. Do you have some of these in your life? The relative who puts his foot in his mouth every holiday? The co-worker who thinks she’s always right? The boss whose secretary runs the show while he takes the credit? The distant relative who only turns up when he needs a favor? The mom who thinks her angelic child can do nothing wrong, even when the chocolate evidence is smeared all over his mouth?
People are funny, and mean, and deceptive, and clueless, and kind. And since no one is perfect (in spite of the fact that some people think they are perfect), most of us are all of those things at one time or another. Writers are always thinking about what makes people tick because they make life, and mysteries, interesting.
~Krista
Be careful, writers are watching!!! I Love It!!!
Thank you so much Krista for sharing how authors get their ideas.  If you have a friend that is an author you could end up in their book and it will probably be for something you don’t even know they observed until you read it in a book and you say, “hmmmm, that same thing happened to me once.” and then realize OMG, they are writing about me!!!  
Cover Illustrationby Teresa Fasolino

Cover Design

by Diana Kolsky

5th in the series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Published by The Penguin Group
Domestic Divas Sophie Winston and Natasha Smith are trying to outdo each other with their Halloween plans.  Sophie is in charge of the community haunted house while Natasha is planning a huge Halloween Bash at her home. Sophie is worried the fake haunted house is really haunted and Natasha has costumes and caters on her mind.
Sophie was not really planning to attend Natasha’s party but she ends up there to try to solve a small problem.  When she arrives she discovers a much bigger problem, one a Natasha’s guests, part of an elaborate Halloween display in the front yard, is not just playing dead,  he is actually, really, very dead and he has two puncture marks on his neck!
Is there a vampire loose in Old Town?  As people stock up on garlic, Sophie is going to figure out who is responsible for all this mischief and murder!!

 

This entire series has been terrific, but The Diva Haunts the House is so much fun. You could say it’s “SPOOKTACULAR”!  I caught myself laughing out loud several times.  All the kids involved in the haunted house brought back some wonderful memories from way back when.
The constant neediness of Natasha to independent Sophie is such a great contrast.  How could the same man have fallen in love with both these women? The dialogue between any of the two or all three together is perfectly written whether serious or hilarious. The mystery my have you laying in a supply of garlic.
I like that this book is being released well in advance of Halloween. There are wonderful tips, recipes and ideas for your own Halloween party, without the dead body in the front yard of course.
Please take a moment to check out Krista’s Web Page. There is even a cool map there of Sophie’s neighborhood!

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Berkley Prime Crime. 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.”