Jan 172018
 

 
Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so happy to have Winnie Archer drop by for a visit!

Guest Post
by Winnie Archer

 

I think the absolute best part about being a writer is knowing that your characters have connected with someone. I get “fan” email (for lack of a better term) fairly consistently relating to the different series I write. Every once in a while, they say something like:

I love your books. Keep writing them! I do want to point out that there is an inconsistency between X and Y, and you really should consider XYZ…

The first time I received such an email, I was taken aback, but then I thought about it. Even if this person was being critical, she had liked my book enough to care. And that was pretty amazing to me–a teacher, a mom, a wife, a daughter… just an ordinary person-turned-writer.

The very best moments are when I receive emails asking when the next book is coming out in one of my series, or telling me that reading one of my books is like being with old friends. I never realized just how much that would mean to me until I received the first such message. I began writing because I had a character (Lola Cruz) that was in my head. I wrote that very first book for me. That was fifteen years ago. Just a few days ago, I opened an email from someone who’d read the three Lola Cruz books. She wondered if/when there would be another one in the series. She just loved Lola! The happy byproduct of my writing was understanding that the books I’d written for myself connected with other people in a way I’d never anticipated.

Lola Cruz; Harlow Cassidy; Ivy Culpepper. These three heroines in my respective series are so alive in my head. Their families; their communities; their friends: they are all part of me. They all come from me. And they resonate with readers, which is truly amazing.

Although I miss the people and the series I’m not currently working on (Lola Cruz and Harlow Cassidy), the deeper I get into Ivy Culpepper and the seaside community of Santa Sofia (the Bread Shop Mysteries), the happier I am. Being in Yeast of Eden with Olaya Solis and Penelope Branford, rekindling romance with Miguel Baptista, and being part of a family again with her father, brother, and old friend, Emmaline Davis…it’s like pot roast. Warm and comforting and…home.

Finding a connection to what you read is incredible. I hope it happens for each of you!

Happy reading.

Winnie Archer

 

Thank you so much, Winnie, for stopping by today!


Crust No One (A Bread Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
2nd in Series
Kensington (December 26, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496707741
Kindle ASIN: B06XZ7TQXR

 

 

Business is booming at Yeast of Eden. But with a deadly mystery taking over the seaside town of Santa Sofia, the Mexican bread shop can’t possibly leaven a killer’s appetite . . .

For once, Ivy Culpepper feels fulfilled. An apprenticeship at Yeast of Eden has opened her world to time-honored baking techniques under owner Olaya Solis’s guidance—as well as the freshest small-town gossip, courtesy of chatty regulars known as the Blackbird Ladies. Ivy even begins accepting that she and restaurateur Miguel Baptista may never again rekindle their romance—despite the undeniable tension between them . . .

But she’s tied to Miguel again when his trusted produce supplier goes missing. Old Hank Riviera’s financial troubles would make anyone consider running away forever. And with his relationship woes, there are plenty of people who might want to see Hank disappear. As Ivy, with the help of her octogenarian sidekick, turns to the loose-lipped Blackbird Ladies for leads, she soon finds herself caught in a web of lies stickier than a batch of Olaya’s popular pastries . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts
We return to Santa Sofia for the Winter Wonderland Festival. Ivy is getting set to help Olaya do all the baking but before she can she learns a man has gone missing. Hank Riviera delivers his produce to several local businesses including Miguel Baptista’s family restaurant. Ivy was there to talk about a photography opportunity but that is forgotten as soon as they get the news that Hank has missed deliveries and can’t be found. She and Miguel along with a group of customers from Yeast of Eden, who Ivy lovingly named the Blackbird Ladies, start an investigation to find the missing vendor. Where their investigation leads them surprises everyone.

Ms. Archer has written another fantastic mystery. Ivy grew so much in the first book in this series and she really seems very comfortable now in her life even though the tension between she and Miguel continues.  The supporting characters are very well developed too. I felt like I was reconnecting with old friends. The new characters introduced were unique and interesting.

The mystery itself developed and at a nice pace throughout the book. Twists galore took the story in a very unexpected direction. The author does an excellent job of dropping clues like breadcrumbs until we have not one but two “aha” moments.  Even Deputy Sheriff Emmaline Davis was surprised.

Winter in Santa Sofia, not quite winter in Wisconsin, but no matter where you live it is the perfect time to visit Yeast of Eden for a tasty treat. Doesn’t that cover just make you crave bread, rolls, and every other doughy product you can think of?

I enjoyed every minute of this story. I don’t want to spoil anything, but this mystery unfolds a little differently than most cozy mysteries. I was engaged from page 1. The real-life moments, Em moving in with Billy, Ivy trying to find more photography work, customers in the bread shop, the baking, all tied into the plot seamlessly.  I loved it!

I can’t wait for the next book in this series! The Walking Bread comes out September 25, 2018.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

The indefatigable Winnie Archer is a middle school teacher by day and a writer by night. Born in a beach town in California, she now lives in an inspiring century-old house in North Texas and loves being surrounded by real-life history. She fantasizes about spending summers writing in quaint, cozy locales, has a love/hate relationship with both yoga and chocolate, adores pumpkin spice lattes, is devoted to her five kids and husband, and can’t believe she’s lucky enough to be living the life of her dreams. Visit her online at WinnieArcher.com.

Written as Melissa Bourbon

Written as Misa Ramirez


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

Dec 262017
 

Full Bodied Murder (Rose Avenue Wine Club Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – California
Kensington (November 28, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496712103
Kindle ASIN: B06XFKNJ2S

 

 

As the newest member of the Rose Avenue Wine Club, Halsey wants to expand her palate—not solve murders. But when a neighbor is found dead, it’s up to her to pair the culprit with a deadly crime . . .

Leaving behind a failed marriage, New Yorker Annie “Halsey” Hall is ready to begin the next phase of her life in coastal Southern California. From the moment she arrives at her new digs on cozy Rose Avenue, she looks forward to joining the neighborhood ladies for their weekly Wine Club gathering. With only a rambunctious yellow lab puppy to keep her company, Halsey could really use a confidant—and a glass or two of her favorite white wine . . .

Unfortunately, she finds nothing but red at the Wine Club meeting—and judging by the dead woman lying face down in the backyard, it’s not spilled Merlot. Halsey accidentally stumbled into the wrong address at the wrong time, and with suspicions about her past on the rise, she must prove that she isn’t a killer. Enlisting the eclectic talents of the Wine Club ladies, Halsey searches for the true criminal at large. But separating friends from foes isn’t easy on Rose Avenue, and as she racks up a suspect list, Halsey can’t shake the feeling that someone in her inner circle has a taste for murder . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Annie “Halsey” Hall has moved to California and landed on Rose Avenue. She realizes immediately how different it will be from her life in New York. Here she has neighbors that she wants to get to know, so she is excited to be asked to join the Rose Avenue Wine Club. She sets off with her puppy to attend the first club meeting but when she arrives her dog drags her through the house where she discovers a dead woman. Not the welcome she had expected at all, especially when the police arrive and consider her their prime suspect.

She soon learns she was at the wrong address and meets up with the women of the wine club. They promise to help her clear her name and they start their own investigation. Halsey wants to get to know these ladies better as she fears one of them may actually be the killer.

We meet a lot of characters in this first book of the series. The wine club ladies all live on the same street and all of them seems to have a secret. The one thing they all have in common is their love of wine. They consume a bottle or two or more every time they meet. I am not sure if the helped or hindered their investigation 🙂 They do put themselves in some dangerous situations and more than one of them end up in the hospital.

I did enjoy the introduction of Halsey’s love interest. Jack, dog trainer/dog whisperer has been hired by Halsey to help her train her loveable Labrador puppy. Their relationship had a spark from their first meeting and continues to grow throughout the story.

The plot has a fever pitch as so much happens. In addition to the murder, there are drug dealers, middle of the night car deals, rats invading a business, theft, hidden security cameras, angry and nosy neighbors, illegal aliens,  and general shady deals all over the place. It all comes together to make a darn good mystery.

Everyone would enjoy this story but wine lovers will find details about all the wine mentioned in the story and a Glossary of Wine Terms and the end of the story.

I feel as if we have just gotten a good sip into the lives of these characters. The author has left them plenty of room to grow. I am excited to see what she decants about them in the next book. Murder Most Fermented will be ready to pour April 24, 2018. 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Christine E. Blum was born in Shaker Heights, Ohio. At the age of seven, her parents moved to Europe and luckily took her with them. Christine grew up in Paris, Brussels, and finally London, and along the way developed her unique brand of humor. She lives in Southern California where she’s allowed to share a house and pool with her famous yellow Lab, Bardot, who just happens to be able to dive 10’ underwater, has appeared on Animal Planet, and was featured in the New York Times bestseller, Underwater Dogs. When not signing paw-tographs, she can be found lounging by the pool and solving murders. Readers can visit Christine’s website at christineeblum.com.


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

Dec 152017
 

The Trouble with Murder (A Gourmet Cat Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – California
Lyrical Underground (December 12, 2017)
Paperback: 174 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1516103010
Kindle ASIN: B06XR2CHHD

 

 

Single mom and gourmet cat food entrepreneur Colbie Summers thought she’d escaped her tiny California hometown forever. But when her father needs her, she packs up her adolescent son, their finicky feline, Trouble, and her budding business. She knows change is tough—but she doesn’t expect it to be murder . . .
 
Between dealing with her new rural life, her grumpy, sports-obsessed father, and preparing to showcase her products in the local Sunnyside Power Mom’s trade show, Colbie has more on her plate than she bargained for. Luckily, she has her official taste-tester, Trouble, by her side to vet her Meow-io Batali Gourmet Cat Food line. Things look promising—until one of the Power Moms is found dead—with an engraved Meow-io specialty knife buried in her chest.

As the prime suspect, Colbie needs paws on the ground to smoke out who had means, motive, and opportunity among the networking mothers—including a husband-stealing Sofia Vergara lookalike. And the cat’s still not out of the bag when a second violent death rocks the bucolic community. Trouble may have nine lives, but Colbie’s only got one to clear her name and stop a killer from pulling off the purr-fect crime . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Colbie Summers has come home with her son and their cat Trouble to take care of her ailing father. Her gourmet cat food business can be handled from there but she still needs to commute back to the kitchen she uses to produce her products. Her customers can order the food online and find her selling it at local farmer’s markets, but she is hoping to land a major store to carry them too. She is also spreading the word locally at the Sunnyside Power Mom’s trade show.

The trade show crowd was larger than she expected. Then she is called away and leaves her friend and fellow supermom to close down her booth. When she returns she makes a terrible discovery. Her friend, Twila,  is dead with one of Colbie’s signature knives in her chest. Of course, she is the prime suspect, so she has to investigate. New to the group she doesn’t know these supermoms very well. She quickly finds out most of them are hiding something. She just needs to uncover the right secret to Cat-ch the killer.

This series is off to a fine start.

The author introduces a great group of characters. Colbie and her dad had a falling out years ago but she uproots her life to come home to take care of him. It is a complicated relationship that evolves quite a bit already in this first story. Her son Elliott, is twelve and a theater buff and loves to perform. His dad has never been in the picture and Colbie has this single mother act nailed down. It was nice to see his relationship with his grandpa materialize. We also meet the diverse group of “supermoms” and other friends and neighbors too, including a very handsome next door neighbor.

The theme of Colbie’s owning an organic cat food company was pretty unique. Her cat Trouble is her taste-tester. If he doesn’t like it she throws the recipe out. I am worried about the name of her company in light of the news out this week about Mario BataliMeow-io Batali Gourmet Cat Food may need to go through a name change for book #2.

The story has a nice pace and blends the mystery with real family life. There is plenty of humor and just the beginning spark of romance. The ending was action packed and had me on the edge of my seat. The situation had my heart racing.

I am excited about this series and am anxiously awaiting the next installment.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out more about Kathy Krevat and her books on her webpage here


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#Flashback Friday Will Return Next Week! 

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.”

Dec 122017
 

A Case of Syrah, Syrah: A Wine Country Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – California
Crooked Lane Books
Release Date (December 12, 2017) – TODAY
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683314332
Kindle ASIN: B0723967CW

 

 

Taylor O’Brian is a new businesswoman, founder of “Taylor’s Off The Beaten Path Wine Tours,” who lives on a small winery with her Aunt Jemma. She plans to take small groups around romantic Sonoma county to discover some of the county’s outdoor gardens. It’s all running as smooth as can be until Laura, the leader of the group of yoga instructors she’s leading, is found dead. And it’s Taylor’s corkscrew that’s found buried in Laura’s neck.

She’s not sure who to trust, and everyone around suddenly seems suspect. Only two weeks after the murder, her very own administrative assistant, Amy, marries Laura’s husband, Dan, who doesn’t seem very bereaved about being widowed, and the three yoga masters who were also out on the tour begin to seem shady. Taylor can’t afford to jump ship from her new business endeavor, but just as she begins her investigation, another dead body surfaces. This time, it’s Dan’s sister. And the killer is coming for Taylor next.

Now it’s up to Taylor to uncork this open-bottle mystery before more blood is spilled.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

As soon as I saw this cover I knew I had to read this book. Yes, the wine, the vineyard, and the VW bus, but it was the cat the really caught my attention. Look at those eyes. I was happy to learn there is a canine in the story too.

Taylor O’Brian’s Aunt Jemma was having “heart problems” so she asked Taylor to come to her winery to help run the place. There are other employees and Aunt Jemma is still very hands-on with the winery so Taylor doesn’t have to spend all her time there. She has decided to put her marketing knowledge to the test by opening  “Taylor’s Off The Beaten Path Wine Tours”. She doesn’t get off to a good start. As the group was wrapping up the first stop they discover one of the guests was missing. A quick search finds the woman dead with Taylor’s corkscrew plunged into her neck. Taylor believes there are plenty of other suspects including the woman’s husband but he is telling everyone she is the murderer. It is not long before another dead body is found by none other than Taylor. Taylor needs to save herself, her reputation, and her business. Hopefully, she doesn’t have to do that from behind bars.

Ms. Parra has introduced us to several characters in the first story. The all seem genuine and I hope the characters develop more fully as the series continues. Taylor really is her own worse enemy. The hot water she found herself in time and time again was because of her poor judgment. I understand the whole amateur sleuth thing but she really made some poor choices. I hope that she has learned something for the future cases. Aunt Jemma is quite a woman and while the way she brought Taylor to the winery was a little shady, she is my favorite character in the first installment. She reminds me of my own mother in many ways. We barely have scratched the surface on the other characters but am excited to get to know them better.

The plot was truly puzzling. The murderer had to be someone on the tour, didn’t it? Taylor learned more about the group every day and a variety of motives were uncovered. I didn’t put all the pieces together until the very end. Twists, turns, red herrings, this story has them all.

The setting was extraordinary, Sonoma, wine country, the vineyards and the gardens. I have always wanted to visit and this author gave me an excellent virtual trip.

This series has a lot going for it with plenty of potential. The area is full of wineries to visit no matter what direction Taylor takes her business. As the characters continue to evolve this series will have no bounds. I have enjoyed everything this author has written and I am looking forward to my next trip to Sonoma.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Nancy J. Parra/Nancy Coco and her books on her webpage here


Written as Nancy Coco


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.”

 

Nov 102017
 


A Treasure to Die For (A Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Satori (October 13, 2017)
Paperback: 228 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0996428224
Kindle ASIN: B074MM55VL

A sunken Spanish galleon brings eight treasure hunters—and murder—to quaint Seaside Cove.

Bandit gold and sunken pirate ships. What could be better for the reputation of a quaint coastal California town like Seaside Cove?

Local eyebrows go up when eight friends come searching for a 16th Century Spanish galleon. After all, everybody knows there’s no such thing as Spanish gold off this part of the California coast.

The group’s visit turns ugly when a killer strikes and leaves Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast owner Rick Atwood with a trunkful of questions. Who murdered one of his guests? Will his precocious ten-year-old daughter stop interfering in his investigation? And can he squelch the latest town gossip? Which is, of course, can Rick and his daughter do what the cops can’t and solve the crime?

About The Author

Once upon a time, in a life he’d rather forget, Terry Ambrose tracked down deadbeats for a living. He also hired big guys with tow trucks to steal cars—but only when negotiations failed. Those years of chasing deadbeats taught him many valuable life lessons such as—always keep your car in the garage.

Today, Terry likes fast, funny mysteries and cool photography.  He writes the Trouble in Paradise McKenna Mysteries and organized an anthology to benefit Read Aloud America. He fondly likens his efforts to those of a blind man herding cats. Find him at terryambrose.com.

Terry’s Books



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Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Nov 082017
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I love this series, so I love it when Kate visits! 

When Is “Fake” Okay?

by Kate Carlisle
Post provided by Publicist

Kate Carlisle is the New York Times bestselling author of the Fixer-Upper Mysteries, featuring Shannon Hammer, a home contractor who discovers not only skeletons in her neighbors’ closets, but murder victims, too. Hallmark Movies & Mysteries is bringing the Fixer-Upper Mysteries to TV in a series of movies starring Jewel and Colin Ferguson. Visit Kate online at www.KateCarlisle.com.

Everyone in the homebuilding industry has run into a snob a time or two, I’m sure. My dad would bring home stories that made all of us roll our eyes. Like the gold-plated toilet handle.

Seriously???

In my latest Fixer-Upper Mystery, Eaves of Destruction, contractor Shannon Hammer has been hired by rival neighbors to beautify their homes for the hotly contested title of Best of Show in the annual Victorian Home and Garden Tour. One client is outraged when Shannon suggests they buy wood onlays to replace carved panels.

Petsy shook her head in disbelief. “But these things are . . . why, they’re . . . they’re fake!”

I was about to laugh—until I got a better look at her horrified expression. “Let me assure you that this is a perfectly acceptable way of creating the look you want. The pieces are manufactured in England.”

I covertly rolled my eyes as I said the words. As if something coming from England made it more legitimate? But for some people, that fact made all the difference.

To show you just how foolish Petsy’s snobbery is, here’s an example of a beautiful onlay from ArchitecturalDepot.com.

Many onlays are carved from wood—real wood—so there’s nothing fake about them. They’re simply made. . . elsewhere. And, by the way, as Shannon points out in the book, people in Victorian times used onlays all the time!

That got me thinking—when else is “fake” okay?

Hair Color

Honestly, I’ve been blond so long that at this point, my natural color would feel fake.


Who is that strange woman?

3D Printed Tools

Did you know that the international space station has a 3D printer? So now if astronauts break or lose a tool, they can print another—even tools with moving parts! (I swear, we live in the future.)

Prosthetic Limbs

The advances in prosthetics have been jaw-dropping. It’s so heartening that loss of a leg—or even both legs—no longer means a person is facing a life of severely limited mobility. It’s still not something anyone would choose, but wow, what a difference prosthetics have made!

Can you think of any other examples of when “fake” is okay?

~Kate

Thank you so much for visiting today Kate! 

Eaves of Destruction
(A Fixer-Upper Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – California
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (November 7, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0399586460
Kindle ASIN: B06VTV6Q1G

 

 

Murder is on the to-do list when construction contractor Shannon Hammer looks for a killer in the fifth Fixer-Upper Mystery….

At the annual Victorian Home and Garden Tour, Lighthouse Cove, California’s premier contractor, Shannon Hammer, realizes that the competition is about to turn deadly….

Shannon is in high demand among rival homeowners, who will do anything to win Best in Show. One-upmanship and even espionage break out among neighbors, construction crews, decorators, and landscapers. Thanks to several new hires, Shannon is sure she can handle the extra load—until murder throws a wrench in the works.

The small town’s corrupt building inspector is found dead on one of Shannon’s jobsites, and soon plenty of suspects are coming out of the woodwork. When another body is discovered, Shannon calls on her team of close friends and devilishly astute thriller writer Mac to help her nail down the details and build a case against the killer before the door shuts on someone else—for good.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Lighthouse Cove is getting ready for the Victorian Home and Garden Tour and everyone wants to have a little work done in hopes of coming in 1st this year. No one wants to win more than Petsy Jorgensen. Her neighbor won last year so she is pulling out all the stops with some delicate work inside the house and adding an orangery onto the house as well. Petsy is a “difficult” client but Shannon feels the home is a real “gem” and she really wants this job. She has several works in progress so he has hired a new carpenter to help with all the work the Home and Garden tour is bringing to her company, especially the detailed work for the Jorgensens.

Work at all the sites is on schedule until the town’s building inspector is found dead at one of them. Joe Scully has been a thorn in Shannon’s side since she took over the construction business from her dad. He seemed to rub everyone in town the wrong way so building a case isn’t going to be easy. At least the police don’t think Shannon is a suspect. Still she teams up with her favorite thriller author Mac to see if together they can hammer out the details and close the case before more bodies start piling up on her jobsites.

This was a story with many, many layers, taking us on quite a historic tour of our own. The Jorgensen house has been in the family forever so it is easy to understand why the current caretakers would want it to be a showplace. But Petsy Jorgensen is all about winning the prize. She was a mean woman and hard not only on Shannon and her crew but to her family as well. Shannon didn’t like it but took it and kept her mouth shut for the most part. The author has given Shannon much more patience and focus than I would ever have. That being said this evil character is so well written and fleshed out, as are her husband and daughter. I got very emotional over the way Petsy talked to and treated her daughter.

I worked in construction for awhile so following Shannon around is extra fun for me. Her take on onlays and the work her carpenter did in the Jorgensen’s dining room was very interesting. For me, the building inspector was the perfect victim. Good ones are picky but corrupt ones like Joe Scully have no place in the building world, but sadly there are quite a few out there. While not a good idea in real life, having one killed in a fictional sense was pretty delightful.

All my favorite characters from previous book have returned and I love the way Shannon’s dad and her uncle are celebrating their retirement. Shannon and Mac’s relationship is strong and their dialogues are very real. The do make a great sleuth team. Shannon’s interactions with her crew are also very true to life.

As always the setting is divine, I love Victorian houses and all their little nooks and crannies and bonus spaces.

I really enjoyed the mystery. It was pretty fast paced with some very clever twists. It was very well thought out and with a fantastic ending.

I highly recommend the whole series!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Read more about Kate and the Fixer-Upper Mysteries at www.KateCarlisle.com!


Also by Kate Carlisle

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

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

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If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
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Contest Will End November 22, 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.”

Nov 022017
 

A Deadly Éclair: A French Bistro Mystery
by Daryl Wood Gerber

A Deadly Éclair: A French Bistro Mystery
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Setting – California
Crooked Lane Books (November 7, 2017)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683313410
Kindle ASIN: B06XWDWRLF

It’s always been Mimi Rousseau’s dream to open her own bistro, but it seems beyond her grasp since she’s been chased back home to Nouvelle Vie in Napa Valley by her late husband’s tremendous debt. Until her best friend Jorianne James introduces her to entrepreneur Bryan Baker who invests in promising prospects. Now, working the bistro and inn until she’s able to pay it off and call it her own, Mimi is throwing the inn’s first wedding ever.

The wedding will be the talk of the town, as famous talk show host Angelica Edmonton, daughter of Bryan’s half-brother, Edison, has chosen the inn as her perfect venue. Anxious, Mimi is sure things are going to turn south, especially when Edison gets drunk and rowdy at the out-of-towners’ dinner, but by the evening, things begin to look up again. That is until six AM rolls around, and Bryan is found dead at the bistro with an éclair stuffed in his mouth. And the fingers point at Mimi, whose entire loan is forgiven in Bryan’s will.

Now it’s up to Mimi to clear her name and get to the bottom of things before the killer turns up the heat again in A Deadly Éclair.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This series is off to a magnificent (magnifique) start! Mimi Rousseau is living her dream of owning her own inn and bistro. She has collaborated with Bryan Baker for the financial backing needed for the purchase and the vast remodeling effort to get both places open. In fact, the story opens with Mimi and her staff getting reading to host it’s first wedding. Bryan’s niece, talk show host, Angelica Edmonton and her fiancé are excited to be married at the inn. Things start to go awry with Angelica’s father, Edison, arrives at the out-of-towners’ dinner, but when Bryan is found dead the next morning at the bistro with an éclair in his month, Mimi doesn’t think things can get any worse. Now her mentor is dead and she is a prime  suspect.

I have been looking forward to the book since I first saw the cover pop up on Facebook and it certainly exceeded my expectations. As a fan of the author’s Cheese Shop Mysteries and Cookbook Nook Mysteries, I knew the characters would be strong and the food descriptions would have my mouth watering and I was right.

Mimi Rousseau has a lot on her plate but I knew right away she could handle it. She is strong and savvy and has hired a top-notch staff. Chef C. and sous chef Stefan keep the kitchen under control while Heather runs the dining room. The inn, a fancy bed and breakfast, is managed by Mimi’s BFF, Jorianne. Mimi oversees everything from the menus and wine to all the events happening at the inn and bistro. All of the characters are very well defined for the first book in a series but there is plenty of room for them to grow. The secondary cast, the wedding party, family and friends, are also very well crafted. I was drawn right in to all of their drama.

The story was very fast paced with some corkscrew twists and more suspects than I at first set my sites on.  This author knows how to set the scene and have readers nibbling on each little clue as we follow Mimi in her investigation. The mystery is well plotted and so entertaining. I was enthralled from the first page until the last and then I wanted more.

Now let me talk about the food. Oh my! Thanks to the tantalizing descriptions I could almost taste and smell so many delightful dishes and even the unique flavors of the wine served.  I love onion soup so every time it was mentioned my cravings stepped up another notch. Daryl Wood Gerber does share some recipes in the back of the book including recipes for Chocolate Éclairs and Onion Soup Gratinée. Both have been copied into my recipes file.

I am really excited about this new series and can’t wait for book #2, A Soufflé of Suspicion, coming in July 2018.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

After reading about all that deliciousness in the book I am so happy Daryl is sharing recipes as part of her Great Escapes Tour. Be sure to visit each day to enjoy the full feast. 

Traveling Meal

Appetizer #2

Welcome back to the traveling feast.  I’m celebrating the upcoming release of the first French Bistro Mystery, A DEADLY ÉCLAIR, by hostessing a traveling meal, one blog at a time. This way you can sample different foods…one day at a time.

Of course, I’m focusing on French-themed foods because my protagonist, Mimi Rousseau, would serve these kinds of items either at her bistro or at her home.  Mimi used to be a chef in San Francisco, but life took a turn, and she returned home to Nouvelle Vie, an enclave of Napa Valley, to start anew. Luckily, her benefactor gave her the opportunity to open her own bistro and bed-and-breakfast. Appetizers are an important feature in the bistro.

One can never have enough appetizers, right?

And champagne. It goes with everything. Ooh-la-la!  Enjoy.

Here’s a brief scene from A DEADLY ÉCLAIR:

*

As I bent to retrieve a basket, a woman screamed, “Mimi!”

My pulse skyrocketed. I spun around.

My best friend, Jo, the woman who had bravely tasted all my childhood cooking fiascoes, the woman who had introduced me to Bryan and who had given up her high-paying CPA job to manage Maison Rousseau, ran at me full tilt, arms waving. “Help! It’s horrible!”

*

Camembert Pear Appetizer

  • 1 8 oz. round of Camembert
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Bosc pear, peeled and cut into tiny cubes
  • 1 Tablespoon rosemary (fresh, if you can, chopped)
  • 2 Tablespoons Triple Sec (or other orange liqueur)
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon honey

Remove the Camembert from the refrigerator and slice in half. Set aside.

Peel the Bosc pear. (It does not have to be completely ripe; may be firm)

Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the pear and cook about 3-4 minutes, until the pear is tender. Add the rosemary and Triple Sec. Cook another minute.

Remove the pears from the pan.

Set one half of the Camembert, bloomy rind side down, on a pretty serving dish. Pour almost all of the pears (except 2 Tablespoons) on the bottom half of the Camembert.  Top with the other half of Camembert (bloomy rind on top). Top with the remaining pears.

Return the saucepan to the stove. Add the balsamic vinegar and honey and cook about one to two minutes, letting the combination reduce. Pour over the cheese and pears. Serve immediately (if you can, but sometimes guests aren’t always on time). It’s lovely at room temperature, too.

 


From Daryl:

I’m offering a book giveaway (winner’s choice of 1 from my published paperbacks) every day of this traveling feast. To enter today, tell me—cheese platter or chips and dip in the comments ?

BY THE WAY, don’t miss out on the French Bistro-themed BOX I’m giving away on my Facebook Author page. Link below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 


About the Author

Agatha Award-winning Daryl Wood Gerber is best known for her nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries and CHEESE SHOP MYSTERIES, which she pens as Avery Aames. She will soon debut the new French Bistro Mysteries. Daryl also writes stand-alone suspense: DAYS OF SECRETS and GIRL ON THE RUN. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to cook, and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!

Author Links

Visit Daryl or Avery at www.darylwoodgerber.com.

Daryl’s Blog – Avery’s Blog – Mystery Lover’s Kitchen – Killer Characters –

Facebook:   Daryl      Avery 

Twitter: @AveryAames @DarylWoodGerber

Goodreads:    Daryl Wood Gerber     Avery Aames

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Purchase Links

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Tour Participants

November 1 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – Review, Recipe
November 2 –  Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review, Recipe
November 3 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Recipe
November 4 – A Holland Reads – Review, Recipe
November 5 – Jane Reads – Review, Recipe
November 6 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review, Recipe
November 7 – Back Porchervations – Review, Recipe

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

Oct 282017
 

I have enjoyed all 4 books in this series so I am honored to shine spotlights on all of them today!


Room For Doubt (A Carol Childs Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – California
Henery Press (July 18, 2017)
Paperback: 278 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635112351
Kindle ASIN: B06ZXY2K1X

When radio reporter Carol Childs is called to a crime scene in the Hollywood Hills at five thirty in the morning, she’s convinced it must be a publicity stunt to promote a new movie. That is, until she sees the body hanging from the center of the Hollywood sign. The police are quick to rule it a suicide, but something doesn’t add up for Carol. Particularly after a mysterious caller named Mustang Sally confesses to the murder on the air and threatens to kill again.

With the help of an incorrigible PI, her best friend, and a kooky psychic, Carol is drawn into the world of contract killers and women scorned. As she races to find the real killer, she finds herself faced with a decision that will challenge everything she thought she knew.

You can read my review here.


Without A Doubt (A Carol Childs Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – California
Henery Press (May 24, 2016)
Hardcover: 256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635110289
Paperback: 258 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635110258
Kindle ASIN: B01C4LEFTE

As radio reporter Carol Childs investigates a series of Beverly Hills jewelry heists, she realizes her FBI boyfriend, Eric, is working the same case. Even worse, she may have inadvertently helped the suspect escape. The situation intensifies when the suspect calls the radio station during a live broadcast, baiting Carol deeper into the investigation.

In order for her to uncover the truth, Carol must choose between her job and her personal relationships. What started out as coincidence between Carol and Eric becomes a race for the facts—pitting them against one another—before the thieves can pull off a daring escape, leaving a trail of dead bodies behind, and taking the jewels with them.

You can read my review here. 


Beyond a Doubt (A Carol Childs Mystery)
2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – California
Henery Press (July 14, 2015)
Paperback: 244 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1941962732
E-Book – ASIN: B00W5VI838
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When reporter Carol Childs is called to the scene of a body dump she has no idea she’s about to uncover a connection to a string of missing girls. Young, attractive women drawn to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood via an internet promise of stardom and romance have been disappearing. A judge’s daughter leaves behind a clue and a trip down Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame reveals a connection to a high powered real estate mogul and to a cartel targeting girls for human trafficking.

Old Hollywood has its secrets, its impersonators and backdoor entrances to old speakeasies and clubs where only those with the proper credentials can go. And when Carol Childs gets too close, she finds herself politically at odds with powers that threaten to undo her career and like the very girls she’s seeking, make her disappear.

You can read my review here. 



Shadow of Doubt
(A Carol Childs Mystery Book 1)

Publisher: Henery Press (December 2, 2014)
Hardcover: 252 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1940976563
Paperback: 276 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1940976532
E-Book File Size: 463 KB
ASIN: B00NEON2RM
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When a top Hollywood Agent is found poisoned in the bathtub of her home, suspicion quickly turns to one of her two nieces. But Carol Childs, a reporter for a local talk radio station, doesn’t believe it. The suspect is her neighbor and friend, and also her primary source for insider industry news. After a media frenzy pits one niece against the other—and the body count starts to rise—Carol knows she must save her friend from being tried in the court of public opinion.

But even the most seasoned reporter can be surprised, and when a Hollywood psychic shows up in Carol’s studio one night and warns her there will be more deaths, things take an unexpected turn. Suddenly nobody is above suspicion. Carol must challenge both her friendship and the facts, and the only thing she knows for certain is that the killer is still out there. But the closer she gets to the truth, the more danger she’s in.

You can read my review here.

nancy cole silverman

About The Author –

Nancy Cole Silverman credits her twenty-five years in radio for helping her to develop an ear for storytelling. In 2001, Silverman retired from news and copywriting to write fiction full time. In 2014, Silverman signed with Henery Press for her new mystery series, The Carol Childs’ Mysteries. The first of the series, Shadow of Doubt, debuted in December 2014 and the second, Beyond a Doubt, was July 2015. The third, Without A Doubt, was released May 24, 2016. Room for Doubt was released on July 18, 2017 For more information visit www.nancycolesilverman.com

 

Author Links
Facebook – GoodReadsTwitter:@NancyColeSilve1

Purchase Links

Amazon B&Nkobo

Click on book cover for more inform or to order from Amazon.

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

October 18 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY

October 19 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT  

October 20 – Readsalot – GUEST POST

October 21 – The Montana Bookaholic – GUEST POST

October 22 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

October 23 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

October 23 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

October 24 – Nadaness In Motion – CHARACTER GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY

October 25 – A Holland Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY

October 26 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY  

October 27 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT

October 28 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SERIES SPOTLIGHT

October 29 – Lori’s Reading Corner – GUEST POST

October 30 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

October 31 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT

 

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Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Oct 272017
 

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

I did it again, scheduled myself to read too many books this week. So today I am doing REVIEW REWIND on a favorite. Sadly, I believe it is the last book in the series. 

crime-and-catnip

Crime and Catnip (A Nick and Nora Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – California
Berkley Prime Crime (December 6, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425270226
E-Book ASIN: B01CZCW4ZY
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Synopsis

Crime and Catnip by T. C. LoTempio – Nick and Nora aren’t just pussyfooting around this time as they deal with a missing person’s case and murder.

While catering a gala for the Cruz Museum, Nora Charles agrees to look into the disappearance of director Violet Crenshaw’s niece, a case previously undertaken by her frisky feline friend Nick’s former owner, a private eye whose whereabouts are also currently unknown.

As Nora and her curious cat Nick pull at the string of clues, they begin to unravel a twisted tale of coded messages, theft, false identities, murder, and international espionage. Nora dares to hope that the labyrinth of leads will not only help them locate the missing young woman, but also solve the disappearance of the detective. That’s if Nora can stay alive long enough to find him…

INCLUDES DELICIOUS SANDWICH RECIPES

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Nick and Nora are back for the 3rd story in this series and they have their hands/paws full. Nora is still trying to track down human Nick, she is catering a huge gala and the director of the event has asked her to continue the case human Nick was on when he disappeared, and then of course there is a dead body found at the gala and maybe some missing jewels. Could all these things be tied together? You will have to read the book to find out.

Ms. LoTempio has written a very complex mystery for us to solve. Thankfully Nick, the cat, is there to help both us and Nora find and follow all the clues. He is one smart feline. I still think there is so much more to his story but events in this book have me rethinking my original theory. He and Nora along with Nick’s (the human) old partner have to work out secret codes that may lead to international espionage plus Nick (the cat) uses his unique talents to communicate with Nora and help her out of a few dicey situations. If she would just share her info with the hunky law enforcement officers that are prominent in her life before she goes too far… instead of after her life would be a bit safer. I do love the way they show up just after the “nick” of time.  All of these characters are so fun and unique.

One thing I have learned reading this series is the author loves to twist things up as much as she can. That is the reason that once you start reading it is very hard to stop. This one kept me up extra late and I needed a midnight snack too.

Nora runs her mother’s sandwich shop where she serves sandwiches named after actors and actresses. At the end of this book you will find recipes for the Hugh Jackman Sub and the Emma Stone Capri Sandwich, and many others are described within the story. My mouth was watering.

I love this series and each new story quickly becomes my favorite. There is a cliffhanger at the end that leaves me so excited for the next story to be released. Should be out in November or December of 2017. A whole year…I don’t like it but I can make it because I know good things come to those who wait. 🙂

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

fred-profile

About the Author…..

While Toni LoTempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic. She (and ROCCO, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime – and in Spring 2017, the new CAT RESCUE mysteries from Crooked Lane! She, Rocco and company make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York. Catch up with them at www.tclotempio.com and www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com

Author Links

Where to find them:
ROCCO’s blog:
www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com

Website   Facebook    Goodreads   Twitter:@RoccoBlogger

About the Author…..

While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic. She (and ROCCO, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime – and in Spring 2017, the new CAT RESCUE mysteries from Crooked Lane! She, Rocco and company make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York. Catch up with them at www.tclotempio.com and www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com

 

New Series

GIVEAWAYThanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to giveaway!
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 10, 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 052017
 

A Hive of Homicides (A Henny Penny Farmette Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – California
Kensington (September 26, 2017)
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1617739170
E-Book ASIN: B01N5L8IUV

 

 

When Abigail Mackenzie left the police force to become a farmer and beekeeper in beautiful Las Flores, California, she thought her days of criminal investigation were behind her . . .

Her present life is mostly filled with hard work and happy occasions, including the upcoming event with her friend Paola, a truffle maker, who’s renewing her vows with her husband Jake, owner of the Country Schoolhouse Winery. Abby is delighted to provide her trademark lavender honey for the occasion.

But after the ceremony, the guests of honor are nowhere to be found. When Abby goes looking for them, she hears a gunshot and discovers Jake dead in his car and Paola injured beside him.

Who was the intended target? Jake had a reputation as a busy bee with the ladies. Is it possible that one of his flings, stung by rejection, took revenge? Or could it be sour grapes with one of his colleagues at the winery? If Paola was meant to be the victim, Abby needs to protect her as she searches for the shooter.

When a second murder occurs, it’s up to Abby to crush the clues—before the killer gets her over a barrel . . .

Includes farming tips and delicious recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am all abuzz about this series. Former police officer Abigail Mackenzie just keeps finding dead bodies. This time she finds her friend Paola’s husband, Jake dead and Paola has been wounded too, right outside the party celebrating their marriage renewal. Jake was not her favorite person but she would never wish him dead. Was he the real target or was Paola? Was it business or personal? Abigail is having a honey of a time trying to figure everything out. When another person is killed she bee-lieves she is close to solving the case. She just needs to keep herself safe while she gathers enough evidence for her friends at the PD.

The story is well paced with real life and murder investigations in a nice balance. The suspense really builds as Abigail becomes more of a target and everything and everyone she loves falls into the killer’s sights.  There are some nice twists and some really scary moments to keep readers on this toes. Again, the descriptions gave me more of watching a movie feel. The author makes visualizing everything so easy.

Ms. Lester has really taken us on a journey with Abigail over the course of the first three books in this series. We know she is a top notch investigator but she has some serious issues she is dealing with. She has been through so much and is fighting PTSD. The author handles this so well in a very true, real, and believable way. Abby still drops herself right into the middle of an investigation, because that is just who she is, but friends on the force are getting pretty used to that by now. The good thing is she reports what she finds to them and even shares her theories no matter how far-fetched.  Her personal life is blooming just a bit too. I have really become invested in this character and am excited to see what happens next in her life.

The farms tips were very interesting and the recipes sound delicious.

This is a great addition to the Henny Penny Farmette Mystery series. I recommend all three books! I can’t wait to return to Las Flores, California to visit Abby and her friends!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out about Meera Lester and her books on her webpage here.

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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 October 19, 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.”

Another Man's Poison (A Jersey Girl Cozy Mystery) by Jo-Ann Lamon Reccoppa Buy Today!
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