Posted in Cozy Wednesday Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2012 What's In A Name Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Sharon Pape (Giveaway too!)

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! I am so thrilled to have Sharon here today! Imagine my surprise when I opened Sketch a Falling Star and saw Dollycas’s Thoughts quoted on the Praise Page. It was a first for me and I am still riding high with joy.

Sharon is an awesome lady and she is the reason I now enjoy reading stories that feature ghostly apparitions. I can’t help it. I have fallen hard for Zeke as well as the living characters of this wonderful series. But it looks like Sharon may be having a little a little trouble with one of her characters. I’ll let her explain.

Welcome Back Sharon!!

Hi Lori, it’s good to be back!!

Rebel With a Cause

You have to be careful with characters. I should have those words tattooed on my forehead – backward, so I can read them every time I look in the mirror. As I recently discovered, even the mildest, most delightful of characters can turn on you. Not in a million years would I have expected Rory’s Aunt Helene of trying to organize a rebellion against me. Yet that’s exactly what she did.

“Okay,” I said in a ‘let’s get this over with’ tone of voice. “What are your demands?”

“Demands?” Helene repeated with the wide-eyed innocence of an ingénue. “It’s not a demand; it’s more like a suggestion.”

“Fine, we can call it whatever you like, but we both know what it is.”

“What’s that?”

“Extortion, a quid pro quo, a ransom – take your pick

“That’s horrible.” She sounded deeply wounded. “I don’t think I deserve that kind of accusation.”

“Aren’t you the one who tried to organize a mutiny against me when I didn’t agree to use the plot you proposed?”

“Well….”

“Helene – you were actively trying to get the other characters to boycott working in my next book.”

“You make me sound so awful.”

“If it looks like duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck….”

“I can see how you might have gotten that impression,” she said, “but I was just trying to get your attention. You wouldn’t listen to me and you brushed me off without even giving me a chance to explain. Then you locked me up in that dark, little room in your brain and left me there forever.”

“It was an hour and a half, and I left the light on.”

“Well it seemed like forever.” Helene was clearly on the verge of crying.

I could feel my heart softening toward her and I struggled to keep it under control. Don’t forget she’s an actress, I warned myself. You made her a dandy, little actress. “You needed a timeout to think about what you were doing,” I told her with as much authority as I could muster.

“I thought you liked me,” she sniffled while changing the subject.

“Of course I do. But lately you’ve been making my job a lot harder that it ought to be.

“And you’ve been squandering my talent,” she said, pushing back.

“You’re not the main character in this series, Helene. That was never your role and you know it.”

“All I wanted you to do was read my proposal. Is that too much to ask?”

Suddenly she was sounding like the reasonable one, and I was coming off like an ogre for refusing such a simple request. “I told you,” I said, scrambling to defend myself, “that I have a great new plot for the next book.” In fact I’d already passed it onto the industrious, little elves in my subconscious for fleshing out.

My once happy-go-lucky, slightly off-kilter Helene was doing a fine job of looking miserable. And according to her, I had the power to change that. “Okay,” I conceded finally. “Okay, I’ll read your proposal.”

Her face lit up with such instantaneous joy that I felt twice as awful for having refused her request earlier. Of course she’d gone about getting my attention in the worst possible way. I challenge anyone to respond well to an attempted high-jacking or mutiny. She may have thought she was being cute or clever about it, but that wasn’t how it had seemed to me. I have a lot of personalities to juggle in a book, and one wormy Macintosh can upset my entire apple cart.

I sat down and read her proposal as promised, and although I was somewhat predisposed to dislike it, I found myself playing the “what if” game with the central idea – a sure sign that it had hooked me with its possibilities. I just might be able to make it work. Helene would have a larger part in it than she’d had in the other books, but she wouldn’t have to be the lead. If she was okay with that, we could probably work out a deal that satisfied both of us.

After some amicable negotiating, we found common ground. Helene apologized for having gone about things the wrong way, and after some hemming and hawing I admitted to having been short-sighted and maybe a bit dictatorial – hey, nobody’s perfect. What’s important is that we worked things out and we’re back to being one big, happy family again. But I’m still thinking of getting that tattoo.

~Sharon

Sharon, I am so glad you and Helene worked things out!! 

To find out more about Sharon be sure to visit her beautiful Web Page.

Sketch a Falling Star
(A Portrait of Crime Mystery)

3rd in the Series

A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Cliff Nielson
Cover Design by George Long
Released Yesterday!

Preston Wright, one of the actors in the Way Off Broadway Players dies in a freak accident in Arizona. The whole group is caught in a flash flood. The others all escape with a couple of broken bones, cuts and bruises.  Preston’s death is ruled as an accident, but his mother believes there may have been some foul play. She hires Rory McCain to do a little investigating.

Rory is also getting close to solving a very, very old cold case, the murder of her ghost partner Zeke.  Rory is hunting down villains both in the present and the past.  She may ruffle a few feathers but a good investigator always gets her man, or woman!

Dollycas’s Thoughts
In this installment you get two mysteries! Love it!

We find out more of Zeke’s story and determine whether Preston Wright was murdered or just the victim of a crazy accident. Sharon keeps us guessing about both as the clues are figured out. If Wright’s death was an accident he sure had plenty of people around him that were not unhappy to see him go. Zeke’s past is very intriguing and this reader was very worried than when he learned the truth it would free him to stop haunting the present. You will have to read the book for yourself to find out what happens. No Spoilers Here!

The was a amazingly quick read as we slipped back and forth from the present to 1878. Rory is a strong woman on two missions with her sidekick Zeke there for moral support, a second opinion, and his hi-jinks that made me fall in love with this character. A new character, Eloise, is added to the mix and she is something else. Helene is not as active in this edition but after Sharon’s post above we know she will be back to her meddling self in future stories.

Saddle up your horse and hold on tight, you are in for a wild ride! This is mystery not to be missed!! You may even Sketch A Falling Star!


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the folks at Berkley Prime Crime
I have 2 copies of this book to give away!!

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.

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 Sharon for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End March 21, 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 2012

Fire Engine Dead by Sheila Connolly

Fire Engine Dead (A Museum Mystery)
A Museum Mystery
3rd in the Series

A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Ross Jones
Cover Design by Rita Frangie

Release Date: March 6, 2012

Nell Pratt, the new president of the Pennsylvania Antiquarian Society, is busy trying to hire staff and keep The Society running in these hard economic times, but when The Fireman’s Museum loses most of it’s collections to a fire she realizes things could be much worse. She tries to help by gathering all the information The Society has about local fire history to help them tally their losses and file an insurance claim. It is a picture that makes Nell understand there is much more to the story that meets the eye. When the smoke clears she knows she has to help find the truth. Hopefully she will not go down in a blaze all her own.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Being a daughter of a firefighter this story really touched by heart. The fire department where I grew up has many treasures from the past including an antique engine that travels around to nearby parades and events throughout the summer. My father was the chief for many years before he passed away. The department was an integral part of my life. There is even a Fire Training Facility dedicated to my dad at a nearby college. So growing up you could say fire fighting and all that goes with it was the family business.

Because of that I know Sheila Connolly has created a very accurate picture of the dedication of the men and women in this dangerous profession. Arson is a horrible crime and the reactions of all the characters are realistic and true. She also takes the saying of “a picture is worth a thousand words” to a very practical level, the key to the mystery.

I enjoy this series because Nell takes us into a museum full of paper and books that unless you are doing research could be quite boring but all the interplay with the characters and where their lives take us is anything but boring. It’s exciting, entertaining, and fun. It’s amazing what can happen in rooms full of ledgers, letters and legal documents. Connolly has created a complex and complicated mystery that will keep your feet to the fire as you follow the clues that will slam the door shut on those who ignited the flames. Sit back and enjoy this one, just stay back from the fire, we don’t want any readers to get injured during the reading of this book 🙂


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 Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Guest Posts Literary Escapes Reviews 2012

Cozy Wednesday with Author Lorraine Bartlett (Giveaway too!)


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

Today’s guest is a Shining Star among cozy authors with her Victoria Square Mysteries, The Jeff Resnick Mysteries written as L.L. Bartlett and The Booktown Mysteries written as Lorna Barrett. I am so happy she could take time out of her busy days to write her guest post for me, but today she is off on vacation so she can’t answer your comments or questions, she may have one of the other Cozy Chicks stop by.  She certainly deserves a vacation and I hope she is having a wonderful time. I am sure she will check out the comments when she returns.

Wedding Bell Blues

“Always a bridesmaid … never a bride.”

Well, I can’t say that phrase describes me. I was a bridesmaid twice before I took the big step myself.

The first time I was 19 and “stood up” at my older brother’s wedding, one of five or six bridesmaids with a Butterick pattern dress. (It was a “rainbow” wedding. Every bridesmaid had a different color dress. Mine was green. Ick.) The second time, I was 24 and stood up for a friend (at first she’d tried to foist the guy on me because he read lots of books and so did I. That didn’t work and they’re still happily married today.) It was a small bridal party (a maid of honor and me), but the dress was much nicer.

In my latest novel, The Walled Flower (Victoria Square Mystery), my protagonist, Katie Bonner, is asked to be the maid of honor for one of the merchants on Victoria Square. Actually, she’s kind of coerced into the job and soon finds out she was second (or third, or maybe even fourth) choice–and mainly because (with just a littler alteration), she’s the right size for the (rather hideous) dress.

The timing couldn’t be worse. Katie has less than two weeks to find a new apartment before she ends up living in her car. She must referee on-going disputes with her vendors at Artisans Alley on Victoria Square, and, oh yes–solve two (or is it three?) murders, one of which occurred more than two decades before.

With so much on her plate, Katie must prioritize–and putting Jordon almonds in little net bags is not on the top of her list of things to do. Especially when the usually meek and mild bride becomes Bridezilla!

Will Katie find a new home?

Will she solve the murder(s)?

Will she actually let herself be seen in publish in that backless, purple bridesmaid dress?

I hope you’ll check out The Walled Flower to see.
———————————————
You can find Lorraine at her website(s–yes, she has three!)
http://lornabarrett.com/
http://www.LorraineBartlett.com
— or her blog http://www.LLBartlett.typepad.com — but she hopes you’ll find her at your favorite bookstore.

The Walled Flower (Victoria Square Mystery)
The Berkley Publishing Company
Published by The Penguin Group
A Victoria Square Mystery
2nd in the Series
Cover Illustration by Chris Beatrice
Cover Design by Annette Fiore Defex

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Lorraine gave a wonderful synopsis above of this fantastic story that has Katie running in circles and eating way too much pizza but by the time I finished reading the book I was craving cinnamon rolls. 

The characters in this series are so much fun, even if one or two of them may be murderers.  Katie has faced so much already losing her husband, then her business partner is murdered and she finds herself the sole owner of Artisans Alley putting here dreams of owning a B&B firmly out of reach. She has grown into the job wonderfully, handling the vendors with a caring touch but firmly enough so they know who’s is charge. Her relationship with Andy continues to evolve.  They just need to figure out to spend more time together.  We also get to know Edie, Rose and Vance better in this installment.  I love that Vance’s son has a part to play in this multifaceted story.

Bartlett is an expert at telling a cozy mystery. A true shining star!! She breathes life into every character and pens a mystery full of twists and turns in a beautiful setting that keeps us engrossed from the first word until the last. Definitely another bestseller!!!!

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 29, 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 Literary Escapes Reviews 2012

Avalanche Pass by John A. Flanagan

 

Avalanche Pass (A Jesse Parker Mystery)
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
A Jesse Parker Mystery
2nd in the series
Available Now

Former Detective, Jesse Parker was injured in a ski accident and while his physical injuries have healed the emotional ones have not. He is afraid to ski on the difficult slopes where he was injured. He decides to head to Utah to a wonderful ski lodge to try to work through his issues without the pressure of all his friends standing by.

Jesse heads to the slopes one last time before he heads home. Unable to overcome his fears he returns to the lodge to find it has been turned into a war zone, complete with guns on the roof. The guests and staff have been taken hostage by about 20 heavily armed men.

Meanwhile the FBI determines one of the guests of the lodge is a United States Senator. They also find the ransom amount odd and they start to think there is more to the story than just wanting money. They also learn that they have a man that can help them on the inside, an ex-cop and part-time Sheriff’s Deputy. Jesse had checked out of the hotel before he went skiing so as long as he’s careful he may be able to help free the hostages and stay in contact with the FBI and stop the cold blooded captors in their tracks.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
One of the very first things I noticed about this book is that the author was from Australia which accounts for some of the terminology or wording to be a little unusual for a story that takes place in the United States. After I accepted that fact I was able to look beyond that flaw and enjoy the story. It is a really good suspenseful story. It has a hostages playing a part in their rescue, kind of a Flight 93 on 9/11 element that was quite gripping.

I had not read the first book in this series, Storm Peak: A Jesse Parker Mystery, and had absolutely no problem following the story line so this book could definitely read as a stand alone, although now I would like to read the first one.  I want to see how Jesse’s story began.

This author is better know for his fantasy series for children in grades 4 – 8 but the first book in this adult series was a New York Times Bestseller and this follow up may be too.  I give it 4 starfish!

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 Guest Posts Literary Escapes Reviews 2012

Special Edition of Cozy Wednesday With Author Avery Aames (Giveaway too!)

Say Cheese!!!! I am so thrilled  Avery Aames is visiting today. You know how we love our cheese in Wisconsin! Avery writes the Cheese Shop Mysteries and besides the wonderful mystery I just love all the cheese information and recipes. Today I am sharing a virtual tray with Wisconsin made Linderkranz cheese, some dried apricots and a little rye bread. (My dad was a Borden’s milkman for years and this cheese used to be a treat at our house.) I am sure Charlotte, the star of this series, would know the perfect wine to go with this yummy cheese, but around here a nice dark beer is our usual complimenting beverage. Please help yourselves and relax and enjoy Avery’s post.

Welcome Avery!

Thank you, Lori, for inviting me to talk about the third in A Cheese Shop Mystery, Clobbered by Camembert.

I know this might sound cheese-y, but I’m truly thrilled to write about cheese. I have a love affair with it. I didn’t. Before writing this series, I had tasted the usual suspects: Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Swiss. But then I started to do research, and I’ve fallen head-over-heels with cheeses with names like: Délice de Bourgogne and Hook’s Five-Year Cheddar and Abbaye de Bellocq. Aren’t these heavenly and unusual names?

It’s such a joy to write about food. I love to cook, to explore. I blog about food on Mystery Lovers Kitchen with a number of other foodie authors, and we have so much fun.

Often people ask if my protagonist, Charlotte, a cheese shop owner, is like me. Actually, the answer is yes. She’s much younger and single (for now), but like me, she’s impulsive, caring, and a fixer by nature. She can’t stand on the sidelines. She has to dig in and make things right. It gets her in trouble [It often gets me in trouble, too]. I don’t like to see the underdog suffer. And I really care about my community: my family, my friends, my city and country. Would I ever be a cheesemonger? I’m not sure about that. I think running a business would be so difficult. You have to consider the customers, the purchasing, the state of the store, taxes, disability insurance, and so much more. My hat goes off to people who continue to start new businesses in this country to make our economy hum. I did consider owning a restaurant at one time. I wanted to have a diner, like the Country Kitchen across the street from Fromagerie Bessette (The Cheese Shop). I would have loved to serve up grilled cheese sandwiches and burgers and shakes, with delicious homemade pies, homemade ice cream, and cheesecakes for dessert. Yum! Can you tell I like food? And I would have demanded that the wait staff dance in the aisles! Heck, I would have joined them.

Many of my CHEESE SHOP MYSTERY readers ask if I have tasted all the cheeses that I mention in the books. I have tasted over 200 cheeses in the past year and a half and intend to taste another 200 in the year to come. I also have a real-life cheesemonger, Marcella and her feline foodie, Spaulding Gray, that give me fabulous suggestions! [I recently shared an Italian Meatball recipe on her site. Mounded with cheese. Divine.]

Research is so much fun. It’s been one of the true delights of my life going into various cheese shops and asking for a sliver of something new or buying a unique cheese online and offering it at a party. A recent discovery was Rush Creek Reserve, from Oregon. Talk about melt-in-your-mouth. Set out at room temperature, it’s a paste that simply scoops out of its bark-bound crust. Delish!

As for mysteries, I’ve been a mystery fan for as long as I can remember. As a girl, I read all of the Nancy Drew stories and Agatha Christie novels. And now I read many of the current foodie mysteries from wonderful authors, such as, Krista Davis, Cleo Coyle, Julie Hyzy, and so many more!

I hope you all enjoy Clobbered by Camembert and I would love to hear your feedback!

You can read more about the book and the series on my website: http://www.averyaames.com,
or Facebook http://www.facebook.com/averyaames.
And I’m always thrilled to hear from my writing and reading friends on twitter! http://www.twitter.com/averyaames.

About This Author
Avery Aames is the Agatha award wining, nationally bestselling author of The Cheese Shop Mystery series, which launched in 2010 with The Long Quiche Goodbye. The latest Cheese Shop Mystery is Clobbered by Camembert (CHEESE SHOP MYSTERY #3).  The Cheese Shop Mystery series follows cheese shop owner Charlotte Bessette as she dishes up tasty morsels of goodness while solving the murders that threaten to the peace and charm of the quaint fictional town of Providence, Ohio.
BUY LINK:
http://www.averyaames.com/book_sellers.html

WEBSITE:
http://www.averyaames.com

BLOGS:
http://www.mysteryloverskitchen.com
http://killercharacters.com

Clobbered by Camembert (CHEESE SHOP MYSTERY)
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
A Cheese Shop Mystery
3rd in the Series
Cover Illustration by Teresa Fasolino
Cover Design by Annette Fiore Defex


Charlotte Bessette—proprietor of Le Petit Fromagerie, affectionately known in Providence, Ohio, as the Cheese Shop—is busy setting up her tent for the town’s Winter Wonderland faire, where she’ll offer fine wines and scrumptious cheeses. In the midst of the preparations, Charlotte meets an old friend of her mother, Kaitlyn Clydesdale, who has come back to Providence with plans to start a new honeybee farm.When Kaitlyn is found dead in the cottage of Charlotte’s assistant Rebecca, suspicion falls on Rebecca’s boyfriend, a honeybee farmer himself. Charlotte knows this beekeeper wouldn’t hurt a fly, so she decides to find the real killer. While the town buzzes with gossip, can Charlotte catch the culprit without getting stung herself?

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Charlotte Bessette is a wonderful strong woman, raised by her grandparents. Her parents were killed in an accident when Charlotte was just a toddler. She has had more than a few bumps already in life but emerges from each them even stronger. She also has a huge heart which means it is hard for her to say “no” to anyone which sometimes leads her to yet another bump in the road. The trouble is lately this bumps have been dead bodies or live ones she just wishes would leave her alone. Rebecca is quite demanding of Charlotte in this installment but then again her boyfriend is being accused of murder. You can’t help but love these characters.

As you can see from the cover of the book illustrated by Teresa Fasolino, the setting is gorgeous. The Winter Wonderland Faire sounds like an awesome event, the food, the ice sculptures, the choir, the author puts you right there, you may even shiver from the cold weather as the snow starts to gently fall.

Avery also sculpts a wonderful winter mystery. New characters come to town shedding some light on the past and also with big ideas that could mean major changes to Providence making many upset as they learn the details. But who would commit murder? We are kept guessing until the very end.

The setting may be winter but that makes this is a perfect cozy to curl up in front of the fire to read. Don’t forgot to pour a glass of wine and make a little cheesy snack. The story will have you craving both.


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have
3 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 23, 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 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.”