Posted in 2020 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Guest Posts New Release Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge What's In A Name Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Jennifer J. Chow – Author of Mimi Lee Gets a Clue (A Sassy Cat Mystery) #GuestPost / #Review / #Giveaway @JenJChow

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am thrilled to welcome Jennifer J. Chow back to Escape With Dollycas!

Living in La La Land
By Jennifer J. Chow
Guest Post Provided by Publicist

            I’d never planned on living in Los Angeles. However, I ended up moving here in order to get my master’s degree at UCLA. At the time, I figured I’d flee the traffic-heavy, smog-infested area right after completing my required two years of study. Well, fast forward a few years, and I’d stayed put.

I ended up working in the area and had gotten married by then, so I chose to settle down. I started re-evaluating my initial (and sometimes faulty) impressions of Los Angeles and found many silver linings to staying.

Here are my top five fact vs. fiction insights:

    1. Lotsa traffic. Okay, this perception is true. I personally experienced the slow crawl of cars leaving downtown Los Angeles and trailing behind others’ taillights on the congested freeway. However, as a local, I’ve now discovered sneaky ways to bypass the traffic. I often switch to local roads to speed up my traveling. Also, by knowing the traffic patterns, I pick more optimal times for driving to avoid getting stuck.
    2. Smog city. Los Angeles is known for its air pollution. We do have unclean air, but at least on the American Lung Association’s website, we’re not number one for particle pollution—that distinction goes to the Central Valley. We are, though, tops for having high ozone levels. However, we’re aware of the problem, and officials are trying to brainstorm innovative solutions to improve the air quality here. As an aside, I actually appreciate how the smog creates prettier sunsets—those gorgeous reds and oranges are amazing to behold.
    3. Baywatch bodies. When I first got to L.A., I remember seeing (and hearing) advertisements about how I could create a more improved version of myself, whether by eating vitamins, exercising, or undergoing surgery. This fixation on appearance confounded me, but I thought, “Maybe it’s because we’re so close to Hollywood.” While I have seen some knockouts in L.A., what I’ve noticed more is the diversity of the people who live here. There are different ages, ethnicities, and body types, and I love this variety. Bonus: There’s a huge array of delicious cuisines to choose from because of the vast number of cultures represented in the area.
    4. Natural disasters. Yes, we’re prone to earthquakes (and it is common that people sometimes barely blink at a tremor, as depicted in A. Story—a movie others made me watch when I first arrived in Los Angeles). Beyond the disasters, though, we also have access to natural marvels. There are rugged mountains and verdant forests to the north, plus golden sand and glistening waves to the west. Even the stark beauty of the desert is nearby, like at Joshua Tree National Park.
    5. Hollywood glitz. In grad school, my roommate oohed over how she’d seen the ponytail of a celebrity. I’ve also known coworkers who would haunt Pink’s Hot Dogs just to get a glimpse of somebody famous. And out-of-town friends do enjoy purchasing a Star Map and spying on celebrity homes. I myself enjoyed the excitement of a red carpet event one time—okay, so I was only within googling distance. However, I have rubbed shoulders with a few better-known figures and up-and-coming creative individuals. What I appreciate about meeting them isn’t their glamour but their artistry and perseverance. I connect with them since I’m also pursuing my own passion of writing.

I hope both the fabulous and quirky atmosphere of Los Angeles comes through in my newest novel, Mimi Lee Gets a Clue. The first in the new Sassy Cat mystery series, it features an L.A. pet groomer whose dream career gets disrupted when she becomes a suspect in the murder of a dog breeder. But with the help of her snarky cat and a dreamy lawyer neighbor, maybe she can get back to living the LA dream and running her store, Hollywoof.

So, even if you can’t come and visit L.A., perhaps you can do some virtual traveling through my book. Wishing you lots of happy reading!

~Jennifer

Thank you, Jennifer, for visiting today!

Now let me give you my thoughts on Mimi Lee Gets A Clue


Mimi Lee Gets a Clue (A Sassy Cat Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – California
Publisher: Berkley (March 10, 2020)
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1984804995
ISBN-13: 978-1984804990
Kindle – ASIN: B07VG4QTFQ

Mimi Lee is in over her head. There’s her new Los Angeles pet grooming shop to run, her matchmaking mother to thwart, her talking cat Marshmallow to tend to—oh, and the murder of a local breeder to solve…now if only Mimi hadn’t landed herself on top of the suspect list.

 

Mimi Lee hoped to give Los Angeles animal lovers something to talk about with her pet grooming shop, Hollywoof. She never imagined that the first cat she said hello to would talk back or be quite so, well, catty—especially about those disastrous dates Mimi’s mother keeps setting up.

 

When Marshmallow exposes local breeder Russ Nolan for mistreating Chihuahuas, Mimi steals some of her cat’s attitude to tell Russ off. The next day the police show up at Hollywoof. Russ has been found dead, and Mimi’s shouting match with him has secured her top billing as the main suspect.

 

Hoping to clear her name and save the pups Russ left behind, Mimi enlists help from her dreamy lawyer neighbor Josh. But even with Josh on board, it’ll take Mimi and Marshmallow a lot of sleuthing and more than a little sass to get back to the pet-grooming life—and off the murder scene.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Los Angeles has a new place to take your pets for grooming. Hollywoof is operated by Mimi Lee and she just hopes she gets enough customers to keep her business afloat.

The first day her sister drops by with a surprise, a fluffy white Persian cat with big blue eyes. Mimi does prefer dogs but she can’t say no. The cat is soon named Marshmallow, a name he clearly doesn’t like and let’s er know in a surprising way.

Mimi is single but her mother has a plan for that. Mimi plays along for the most part because she has other concerns. Several customers are bringing in Chihuahuas from various services and she notices they all have health issues. When she learns that all came from the same local breeder she decides to investigate. She gets into a war of words with the man, witnessed by one of his neighbors.  Mimi then reports the breeder to the proper authorities for violations. When a Police Detective Brown shows up a Hollywoof he is not there to talk about the mistreatment of animals. He is there to question her about the breeder’s murder. What!

In efforts to clear her name, Mimi starts rubbing elbows with her client’s well-to-do owners and she hires a lawyer, Josh, an easy on the eyes neighbor, she met while doing laundry. Marshmallow also becomes a key member of the investigation team.

______

I love Marshmallow! Haven’t you always wanted to know what your pet is thinking? The author created this fun character and explains how he learned everything he knows. So lighthearted and funny.

We get to know Mimi Lee pretty well in this first book of the series. She is petite, smart, mid-twenties, but you can tell she has led a bit of a sheltered life due to her upbringing. Her mother is Asian American and her father is caucasian. He’s pretty laid back. She is all in both her daughter’s business or forces one daughter, Mimi, the eldest to interfere in the younger sister’s business. Sometimes this goes unbelievably too far. Mimi has opened a new business without much of a plan and is running it with a seat of the pant’s attitude. Thankfully, she grows over the course of this book and so does her business.  Her mother’s efforts to find Mimi find a man are pretty comical though. The family dynamics are interesting.

I really enjoyed this fresh take for an amateur sleuth team, not your typical Sherlock and Watson.  The mystery was very well done and exceeded my expectations for the first book in a series. The actual detective on the case seemed to be glued to his initial thought even when Mimi tried to give me details she had uncovered. Breeders like the one in this story are a hot topic these days and Ms. Chow gives it a fantastic fictional spin. She plots a twisted up mystery to find who killed the awful man responsible for the poor puppies. Mimi got her clue well before I did. I was very entertained following along with her to clear her name and get justice for the lovable pooches and find them fur-ever homes.

Mimi Lee Gets A Clue gives readers an intriguing mystery with plenty of suspects and twists. I am curious to see how all the characters develop more. Mimi is more Nancy Drew than Jessica Fletcher, meaning she doesn’t have the sage experience needed the help solve complex mysteries, but her youth brings a real freshness to the cozy mystery genre. The rest of the characters need to be more fleshed out to support her and get readers engaged and invested in their lives. For me, Sassy Cat Marshmallow stole the show!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Jennifer J. Chow grew up reading Garfield comics and adores creating sassy kit lit. She also writes the Winston Wong mysteries, which feature a regular meowing cat. Her other Asian American novels include Dragonfly Dreams (a Teen Vogue pick) and The 228 Legacy.

She’s involved in Crime Writers of Color, Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime. Like her on Facebook and Follow her on GoodReads and Twitter. Connect on Instagram @jenjchow

Coming November 10, 2020

Also by this Author

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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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

In An Instant by Suzanne Redfearn #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @SuzanneRedfearn

In an Instant
by Suzanne Redfearn

About In An Instant

In An Instant
Thriller/Women’s Fiction
Setting – California
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (March 1, 2020)
Paperback: 331 pages
ISBN-10: 1542006589
ISBN-13: 978-1542006583
Digital ASIN: B07NVD1276

A deeply moving story of carrying on even when it seems impossible.

 

Life is over in an instant for sixteen-year-old Finn Miller when a devastating car accident tumbles her and ten others over the side of a mountain. Suspended between worlds, she watches helplessly as those she loves struggle to survive.

 

Impossible choices are made, decisions that leave the survivors tormented with grief and regret. Unable to let go, Finn keeps vigil as they struggle to reclaim their shattered lives. Jack, her father, who seeks vengeance against the one person he can blame other than himself; her best friend, Mo, who bravely searches for the truth as the story of their survival is rewritten; her sister Chloe, who knows Finn lingers and yearns to join her; and her mother, Ann, who saved them all but is haunted by her decisions. Finn needs to move on, but how can she with her family still in pieces?

 

Heartrending yet ultimately redemptive, In an Instant is a story about the power of love, the meaning of family, and carrying on…even when it seems impossible.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

As soon as I read the synopsis for this book I knew I had to read it and OMG I am glad I did.

A long weekend and the Miller family along with neighbors that are like family, Finn’s best friend Mo, Chloe’s boyfriend Vance and Bingo, the family dog all load into the Miller Mobile to go to Big Bear for skiing, snowboarding, and family fun.

They arrive at their cabin to unload and unpack but soon hit the road again to go to Grizzly Manor for dinner. The snow started falling while they were inside and quickly turns into a full-blown blizzard.

Along the way, they stop to pick up Kyle whose car is now stranded in a snowbank. It is slow going but then a buck in the road has Finn’s dad hitting the brakes and the camper starts to slide and tumble over the side of the mountain.

Finn doesn’t survive, but she can see and hear everything. She is trapped between heaven and hell on earth as she watches her family deal with her death and try to save themselves.

_____

The story is told from Finn’s point of view so readers are able to see and feel everything that unfolds. The depth of each character evolves as we see how they react to the horrendous tragedy. It is a very emotional tale and I was completely riveted to the pages. Powerful, gripping and revealing.

I think this story really hit me in the heart because I have lost a child. Different circumstances but I always feel like he is with me every day even after almost 5 years. I will say I dealt with my grief and still deal with my grief differently that the characters in this story but everyone handles loss in their own way.

When I reached the end of the book I wiped the tears from eyes and read the Author’s Note and learned this book is based on a true memory she had. Thankfully no one died then but my tears started flowing all over again. She told this story in such an amazing way. As a reader, I could feel the cold, my heart ached with the pain, and anger flared more than once.

Ms. Redfearn also included a special needs child in this story. Again, my emotions rolled by the way this child was treated. Heartwarming to fierce anger to heartbreaking. His part of the story has stuck with me almost more than Finn’s.

In An Instant is a story that will make you think and may even leave you breathless at times.

This quote is one I want to keep and maybe have it etched permanently somewhere:

“Reach for the stars or the moon or another universe altogether, and shine so bright you blind everyone around you, and though I am gone, carry me with you, but only as lightness and never as weight.”

I look forward to reading more books by this author.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Suzanne Redfearn

Suzanne Redfearn

Suzanne Redfearn is the award-winning author of three novels: Hush Little BabyNo Ordinary Life, and In an Instant. In addition to being an author, she’s also an architect specializing in residential and commercial design. She lives in Laguna Beach, California, where she and her husband own two restaurants: Lumberyard and Slice Pizza and Beer. You can find her at her website, SuzanneRedfearn.com, on Facebook at SuzanneRedfearnAuthor, or on Twitter @SuzanneRedfearn.

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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.”

Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Ghosts of Painting Past (An Aurora Anderson Mystery) by Sybil Johnson #Review / #Giveaway @HeneryPress – Great Escapes Book Tour

Ghosts of Painting Past (An Aurora Anderson Mystery)
by Sybil Johnson

About Ghosts of Painting Past

Ghosts of Painting Past (An Aurora Anderson Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Henery Press (November 19, 2019)
Paperback: 264 pages
ISBN-10: 1635115590
ISBN-13: 978-1635115598
Digital ASIN: B07XC3DXGN

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It’s Christmastime in the quiet Los Angeles County city of Vista Beach, home of computer programmer and tole-painting enthusiast Aurora (Rory) Anderson. The magic of the season fills the air as residents enjoy school concerts, a pier lighting ceremony and the annual sand-snowman contest.

During the weeks leading up to Christmas, Rory plans on painting ornaments to sell at the local craft fair and joining in on the holiday fun. But she finds the season anything but jolly after the house across the street is torn down, revealing a decades old crime. Past meets present when her father is implicated in the murder.

Fearing for her father’s future, Rory launches her own investigation, intent on discovering the truth and clearing his name.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Christmas in California should be bliss for Rory Anderson but all the holiday magic is sucked out of the atmosphere when a skeleton is found on the property across the street from her house and another is found on the beach. It appears the deaths are connected and Rory’s father is right in the middle of it. Rory is bound and determined to show her father is not involved. Clearing his name means digging up his past which he has always painted with a pretty broad brush. She learns a lot about her parents but knows her father is no killer.

____

This time Rory’s family, friends, and neighbors all get in on the investigation. There were a few funny moments as Rory and the rest of the nosy neighbors tried to see what the big discovery was on their street. When they found out it was a skeleton and again when the skeleton was identified the story took a more somber tone. The situation really tugged on this mother’s heartstrings.

Ms. Johnson has created a wonderful cast of characters. The recurring characters continue to grow while the new characters bring new energy to the story. I really enjoyed reading about how Rory’s parents met and their love story. Rory has the perfect job for an amateur sleuth, working from home, in charge of her own time, allowing her to drop everything at a moment’s notice to follow a lead.

The story was filled with twists and moved along nicely. I loved that the past and present were tied together in a top-notch mystery.

Celebrating Christmas without any snow would be hard for me but it was fun to read about all the festivities. The author does an excellent job of bringing the various scenes to life. The lighted trees lining the pier, the snowman contest on the beach and even the craft sale.

Ghosts of Painting Past is a great addition to this series. It checks all my cozy boxes and left me excited for the next book in the series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About Sybil Johnson

Sybil Johnson’s love affair with reading began in kindergarten with “The Three Little Pigs.” Visits to the library introduced her to Encyclopedia Brown, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and a host of other characters. Fast forward to college where she continued reading while studying Computer Science. After a rewarding career in the computer industry, Sybil decided to try her hand at writing mysteries. Her short fiction has appeared in Mysterical-E and Spinetingler Magazine, among others. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in Southern California where she enjoys tole painting, studying ancient languages and spending time with friends and family.

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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.”

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Guest Posts Read The Printed Word Challenge Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Kate Carlisle – Author of Shot Through the Hearth (A Fixer-Upper Mystery) #Guest Post / #Review / #Giveaway @BerkleyMystery

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to welcome Kate Carlisle back to Escape With Dollycas today!

The Twisty, Turny Research Journey to Kate Carlisle’s New Book

(Guest Post Provided by Publicist)

Kate Carlisle is the New York Times bestselling author of two ongoing series: the Bibliophile Mysteries featuring San Francisco bookbinder Brooklyn Wainwright, whose rare book restoration skills uncover old secrets, treachery and murder; and the Fixer-Upper Mysteries (as seen on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries), featuring Shannon Hammer, a home contractor who discovers not only skeletons in her neighbors’ closets, but murder victims, too.

Kate’s Latest Fixer-Upper Mystery is Shot Through the Hearth, available now.

As a writer, research can be a massive problem for me. Not because I dread it. Quite the opposite, in fact. I love it so much that I can all too easily be drawn down a circuitous path of wonderment that has no end. I’m curious about everything.

Everything.

I do my research in two stages: while plotting the story and while writing it. During the plotting stage I have more freedom to explore because the things I learn could take the story in exciting directions I never anticipated. At that stage, I don’t know what I don’t know, so every discovery has the potential to change the plot.

During the writing stage, my research has to be more focused on finding the answer to a specific question. I must discipline myself not to go off on any tangents, no matter how seductive they may be. Find the answer, get back to work.

My goal is to weave much of what I learn into a smart, funny murder mystery that keeps readers guessing and teaches them something at the same time. I want lots of those “Huh. I didn’t know that” moments.

My readers are insatiably curious, too. I think it’s one of the reasons they love my books.

To show you what a wide variety of research goes into my books, here’s a sampling of topics I studied while plotting and writing Shot Through the Hearth, my latest Fixer-Upper Mystery, and a random fact about each. You’ll have to read the book to see how these facts come together in one whodunit.

HOW MANY POUNDS DOES IT TAKE TO CRUSH A HUMAN CHEST?

Turns out, there’s no definitive answer—it depends on the strength of the person’s chest muscles. Which means, sadly, I’d go quickly, I’m afraid.

TRADITIONAL SCOTTISH STONE MASONRY TECHNIQUES (even though Shot Through the Hearth is set in Lighthouse Cove, California)

Scotland’s official website is gov.scot. The United States’ official website is usa.gov. Huh.

BARN RAISING

Historically, this was also called a raising bee. The only bees I’d heard of before were quilting bees and spelling bees. We need more bees! A cocktail party could be called a boozing bee. A city council meeting could be a sniping bee.

THE RANGE OF A RIFLE BULLET

Not only did I need to know how far the bullet could travel, but also whether it would have enough velocity at the end of its journey to do any damage. Imagine standing on the street and watching a bullet glance harmlessly off your stomach and roll to the ground.

CAN PLANTS BE SENTIENT?

Instead of sharing a fact here, I’ll share a snippet from Shot Through the Hearth. In this scene, contractor Shannon Hammer and her boyfriend Mac Sullivan, a thriller writer, explore the Ecosphere, an indoor vertical garden that’s hiding something that just may be sinister.

We stepped through the doorway and entered the tropical wonderland.

I hadn’t been inside since Julian and his team had installed small spotlights in various parts of the garden. It gave the space a wonderfully ethereal quality that I really loved.

“The air is cool,” Mac marveled. “I thought it would be warm.”

“No, the plants help clean the air and cool it down. And the louvers help.” I pointed to the nearest window and the wide horizontal blinds covering them. “They move with the sun in order to keep the interior from getting too hot at any time during the day.”

He continued to look around, taking in the verdant carpet of ferns that edged the pathway and the thick vines that draped the walls. Aloe vera plants thrived in every corner. Dozens of pothos plants, with the most abnormally large leaves I’d ever seen, cascaded down from the second- floor balcony. Succulent snake plants cast eerie, tongue-like shadows on the walls.

“I could set up a table and write in here.” Mac moved in a circle, studying the greenery all around us. “In fact . . .” He took out his phone and began taking photos. “I can see Jake Slater getting trapped in here.”

I had to smile. “That’s a great idea. And wait until you meet Stephanie.”

He began to walk up the ramp but stopped and turned. “Who’s Stephanie?”

“Let’s keep going up to the next level. I’ll show you.”

As we reached the second floor of the Ecosphere, the tendrils of the Stephanie vine brushed against Mac’s legs.

“What was that?” he demanded, jumping back.

“That’s Stephanie,” I said, laughing. “She’s a fast-growing vine and seems to move toward anything human.”

“That’s freaking weird.”

“Yeah, it’s weird. But it makes sense when Julian explains it. Something about its DNA causes the plant to react to human pheromones. Apparently it’s attracted to our breath, too. There’s a bunch of other details Julian talked about that I couldn’t begin to explain to you, but he’ll be giving Ecosphere tours starting tomorrow.”

“I’ll sign up for that. I want to hear all about Stephanie. And the rest of this place, too.”

I hope you’ll have as much fun reading Shot Through the Hearth as I had writing—and researching—it.  You can read chapter one for free at https://katecarlisle.com/shot-through-the-hearth.php. Please let me know what you think! You can reach me via my website or at www.facebook.com/katecarlislebooks

Thank you Kate for dropping by for a visit.

Keep reading for my thoughts on A Shot Through The Hearth.

Shot Through the Hearth (A Fixer-Upper Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – California
Publisher: Berkley (October 29, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1984804391
ISBN-13: 978-1984804396
Kindle ASIN: B07NCPRQ52

Contractor Shannon Hammer is measuring murder motives in the latest Fixer-Upper Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of A Wrench in the Works and Eaves of Destruction

Shannon’s good friend and retired tech billionaire, Raphael Nash, is loving his new retired life but he can’t stay unoccupied for too long. He’s started the Marigold Foundation that helps fund small companies and individuals who do humanitarian work around the world. It’s an exciting time in Lighthouse Cove as Raphael hosts the first ever global conference inviting big thinkers from every area of industry to give presentations on eco-living.

Raphael’s old business partner arrives in town with a grudge and a plan to steal him away from his important new passion project. Shannon knows her friend has no intention of giving up Marigold and is proud of Raphael for sticking to his guns. But when his former associate winds up dead, all signs point to Raphael.

It’s up to Shannon to hammer out the details of the murder before her friend gets pinned for the crime…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Shannon  Hammer, contractor extraordinaire, knew her job for billionaire Raphael Nash was going to be a huge job but big thinking Rafe has expanded his plans for his project and Hammer’s construction crew and for Lighthouse Cove too. Not only does he want the home on his property renovated he adds a barn-raising and a garden tower all to be completed before a global conference about eco-living. He has a vast schedule of events with many guest speakers, including Mac, Lighthouse Cove’s resident author.  Rafe has also created the Marigold Foundation, named after his lady love, to award money for research and ecologic humanitarian work around the world. He hopes the conference will become an annual event.

While Rafe Nash is over the moon excited about the foundation and conference, his former partner Dillon Charles is not happy. He wants Rafe to come back to the company they built together and to do new projects together. Rafe tries hard to explain he has a new life in Lighthouse Cove and has no plans to leave it but Charles is not backing down.

Then as the barn-raising gets underway Dillion Charles is found dead and Rafe finds himself at the top of the suspect list. Shannon vows to help her friend. She plans to find the real killer before he gets screwed for a crime he didn’t commit

___

I am always excited when a book in this series is released. With a little home construction experience, I am always pulled into Shannon’s new project and all the drama that surrounds it. Because of this series, I look at every Victorian home that crosses my path in a new light. This time the project is huge and takes about 8 months to complete so we don’t get as many details of all the work completed but the author gives us plenty of information to visualize not only the house with its wonderful outside living space, but the grounds, the barn, the tower, and the unique pods Rafe Nash brings in for his conference.

Ms. Carlisle has also constructed a fantastic mystery. The victim was shady and unlikable. As the story continues information comes to light the pries the suspect list wide open. Many people have a motive, the key is the opportunity. A second death gives a little more focus to who did the deed and readers are taken right into the middle of the scary big reveal when all the clues fall into place. That wasn’t the only scary moment, there are a few that added to the suspense of the story. I was captivated by the process and each little twist and I was still totally surprised at the end.

I enjoy that Shannon is a woman in a male-dominated field who knows her job but isn’t afraid to admit when she doesn’t know something. Her field is Victorian restoration, not barn building, and she sent one of her crew to witness and help in an Amish barn raising and bring back what he learned to have their job go off without a hitch. Her crew, many of who worked with her dad, trust her and they work together like a well-oiled machine.

Shannon also has a strong man in her life and he is right there to help when she finds herself dealing with yet another dead body. Of course, Eric Jensen, the chief of police, is on the scene and kept in the loop on everything Shannon uncovers. Her father is not quite as involved this time but it is for a good reason. Her uncle also makes an appearance. All the characters have a purpose and the dialogue flows so well.

Engaging characters and another fine mystery. A great addition to this series. Each one has been A PERFECT ESCAPE foe me and I recommend them all.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my Reviews for the whole series. 

Book 1 – A High End Finish here

Book 2 – This Old Homicide here.

Book 3 – Crowned and Moldering here.

Book 4 – Deck the Hallways here

Book 5 – Eaves of Destruction here

Book 6 – A Wrench in the Works here.

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


Also by Kate Carlisle



GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away. 

The 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.

Sign Up For the Author’s Newsletter for 3 Bonus Entries.

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

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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 27, 2019, 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.”

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday – Featuring The House on Hallowed Ground (A Misty Dawn Mystery) by Nancy Cole Silverman – Great Escapes Book Tour @NancyColeSilve1

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to feature The House on Hallowed Ground by Nancy Cole Silverman today!

The House on Hallowed Ground (A Misty Dawn Mystery)
by Nancy Cole Silverman

 

About the Book


The House on Hallowed Ground (A Misty Dawn Mystery)
Paranormal Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – California
Henery Press (September 10, 2019)
Hardcover: 260 pages
ISBN-10: 163511554X
ISBN-13: 978-1635115543
Paperback: 260 pages
ISBN-10: 1635115515
ISBN-13: 978-1635115512
Digital ASIN: B07TKNGZ2Z

When Misty Dawn, a former Hollywood Psychic to the Stars, moves into an old craftsman house, she encounters the former owner, the recently deceased Hollywood set designer, Wilson Thorne.

Wilson is unaware of his circumstances, and when Misty explains the particulars of his limbo state, and how he might help himself if he helps her, he’s not at all happy. That is until young actress Zoey Chamberlain comes to Misty’s door for help.

Zoey has recently purchased The Pink Mansion, a historic Hollywood Hills home, and believes it’s haunted. But when Misty arrives to search the house, it’s not a ghost she finds, but a dead body.

The police are quick to suspect Zoey of murdering her best friend. Zoey maintains her innocence and fears her friend’s death may have been a result of the ghost…and a long-time family curse.

Together Misty and Wilson must untangle the secrets of The Pink Mansion or submit to the powers of the family curse.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This new series from Nancy Cole Silverman is off to an excellent start.

Psychic Misty Dawn has foretold many events for the Hollywood elite, but she is now at a crossroads in her life, broke and living in her VW van with her cat. When her client Denise Thorne comes up with a win-win for both of them it is hard to refuse. Misty can move into her deceased brother’s house until she decides what to do with it as long as Denise can receive readings whenever she wants. Misty excepts but quickly realizes she got a little more than she bargained for. Denise’s brother Wilson is still occupying the house, well at least his ghost is.

Unsure as to why he hasn’t moved on, Misty explains his limbo status and tells him if they work together she may be able to help him crossover. His services are needed almost immediately when Zoey Chamberlain, a young actress and a descendent of Hollywood royalty comes knocking on the door. She has purchased “The Pink Mansion” down the street from Wilson’s house. She believes the mansion is haunted and wants Misty’s help. As Misty arrives to check the place out she sees the police coming in and out of the mansion. A dead body has been found in the backyard. The deceased worked as Zoey’s body double and amidst Zoey’s cries of innocence, the police have named her as their top suspect.

Misty decides with Wilson’s help she can solve the case by finding the real killer and saving her new friend Zoey. She also explains his help may curry favor to help him move forward to his quest to get to the great beyond.

___

Over the years I have become more comfortable reading stories like this which I call paranormal light. Thank you, Joyce Lavene! An author, we lost much too soon. What I mean is that for the most part the ghosts are friendly and stay within the cozy mystery norms.

In this story, we encounter more than one ghost, and like the characters still living the author takes the time to develop them so well. I really like Misty. She is comfortable in her own skin and she knows her job and its limits. The relationship that evolves between her and Wilson is genuine, a  friendship really blooms between them. Some of their dialogues are laugh out loud funny and eventually they start work together so well. I have to say the way Wilson evolves over the course of the story was extraordinary and delightful to read. Denise is pushy and she and her brother clearly never saw eye to eye. Zoey is a very interesting character. Her life continues to pull her in different directions and the world’s eyes are watching everything she does.

The settings in this story, both Wilson’s craftsman and Zoey’s Pink Mansion really caught my interest. The Pink Mansion has a history and is what imagine would be perfect for a movie star. Wilson was a set designer and his home fits him and is filled with treasures he has accumulated. It is easy for Misty to move comfortably through both places and even make herself at home at Wilson’s.

The mystery uncovers so much and I don’t want to spoil anything so I am just going to say I loved every little twist the author puts into this story. I was totally consumed by it. The ending was priceless.

Well-written and plotted with great characters. I found the story to be very entertaining and I am anxious to see where Ms. Cole Silverman takes this series and the characters next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Nancy Cole Silverman 

Nancy Cole Silverman’s realization that she and Edgar Allen Poe shared the same birthday sparked her lifelong interest in mystery fiction. After a very successful career in the radio industry, she turned to writing, and her crime-focused novels and short stories have attracted readers throughout America. Her Carol Childs Mysteries series (Henery Press) features a single-mom whose “day job” as a reporter at a busy Los Angeles radio station often leads to long nights as a crime-solver. Silverman lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a thoroughly pampered standard poodle.

Author Links –
Facebook – GoodReads – Twitter: @NancyColeSilve1

Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N – Kobo 

Also by Nancy Cole Silverman

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Be sure to visit all the stops! 
September 9 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
September 9 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW
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September 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – COZY WEDNESDAY
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September 12 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
September 12 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
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September 21 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
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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.”

Posted in Giveaways Spotlights

#Spotlight / #Giveaway – The Book Supremacy (Bibliophile Mystery) by Kate Carlisle @BerkleyMystery @katecarlisle


I am excited to shine the Spotlight on
Kate Carlisle’s new book today!


The Book Supremacy (Bibliophile Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
13th in Series
Berkley (June 4, 2019)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 0451491408
ISBN-13: 978-0451491404
Kindle ASIN: B07H72R95G

In the latest in this New York Times bestselling series, San Francisco book-restoration expert Brooklyn Wainwright investigates a mysterious spy novel linked to a string of murders…

Newlyweds Brooklyn and Derek are enjoying the final days of their honeymoon in Paris. As they’re browsing the book stalls along the Seine, Brooklyn finds the perfect gift for Derek, a first edition James Bond novel, The Spy Who Loved Me. When they bump into Ned, an old friend from Derek’s spy days, Brooklyn shows him her latest treasure.

Once they’re back home in San Francisco, they visit a spy shop Ned mentioned. The owner begs them to let him display the book Brooklyn found in Paris as part of the shop’s first anniversary celebration. Before they agree, Derek makes sure the security is up to snuff—turns out, the unassuming book is worth a great deal more than sentimental value.

Soon after, Derek is dismayed when he receives a mysterious letter from Paris announcing Ned’s death. Then late one night, someone is killed inside the spy shop. Are the murders connected to Brooklyn’s rare, pricey book? Is there something even more sinister afoot? Brooklyn and the spy who loves her will have to delve into the darkest parts of Derek’s past to unmask an enemy who’s been waiting for the chance to destroy everything they hold dear.

Read more about Kate and her mysteries at www.KateCarlisle.com!

Also by Kate Carlisle

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

The 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.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Sign Up for Kate Carlisle’s email alerts! 5 Bonus Giveaway Entries!

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End June 22, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
Posted in Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Daryl Wood Gerber – Author of Sifting Through Clues (A Cookbook Nook Mystery) #GuestPost / #Recipe / #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour – @DarylWoodGerber

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am thrilled to welcome Daryl Wood Gerber back to Escape With Dollycas today
as part of her Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour!

In Sifting Through Clues, at the Cookbook Nook, Jenna is featuring all sorts of cookbooks that serve up a great tea. Do you love high tea? I do. I love the pomp and circumstance. The tea, the champagne, the scones with whipped cream. Yum.

At the Nook Café, Katie is whipping up all sorts of great recipes to feature at a tea. In fact, she gives a tea sandwich demonstration at the Cookbook Nook. One of the sandwiches she makes as a sample for the guests to enjoy is a pear and cheese tea sandwich. This is one of my favorites. Many tea sandwiches are savory, but this one is sweet–not too sweet because of the goat cheese. Now, if you’re not a goat cheese fan, switch it out to Brie or cheddar or even cream cheese.  The honey and pears are what makes this sandwich stand out.

Pear and Cheese Tea Sandwich

(Makes 8 sandwiches or 16 – 32 triangles)

4 ounces of goat cheese, softened to room temperature

2 red Barlett pears, sliced thin

½ cup watercress

¼ cup pecans, chopped, *or nut of your choice

4 tablespoons honey

16 slices of white bread

In a small bowl, mix the cheese and pears. Add the watercress, pecans (*or nut of your choice) and honey. Spread on 8 slices of bread. Top the sandwiches with the remaining slices of bread. Carefully remove crusts, and then cut the sandwiches into desired shapes.

Sounds fantastic and easy.

Thank you, Daryl, for visiting today!

Keep reading for my thoughts on Daryl’s book.

 

About the Book

Sifting Through Clues (A Cookbook Nook Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – California
Beyond the Page (April 23, 2019)
Print Length: 235 pages
ASIN: B07NQNFC45

The Agatha Award–winning author of Wreath Between the Lines returns to the Cookbook Nook, where culinary mysteries are giving everyone food for thought . . .

Book clubs from all over have descended on Crystal Cove to celebrate the library’s Book Club Bonanza week, and Jenna Hart has packed the Cookbook Nook with juicy reads and tasty cookbooks. But she’s most excited about spending an evening with the Mystery Mavens and their moveable feast, when they will go from house to house to share different culinary treats and discuss the whodunit they’re all reading. It’s all good food and fun for the savvy armchair detectives, until one of the members of the group is found murdered at the last stop on the tour.

As if that weren’t enough to spoil her appetite, Jenna discovers that all the evidence points to her friend Pepper as being the guilty party. And with Pepper’s chief-of-police daughter too close to the case to be impartial, Jenna knows she’ll have to step in to help clear her friend’s name before a bitter injustice sends her to jail. Sifting through the clues, Jenna unearths any number of possible culprits, but she’ll have to cook up a new way to catch the killer before Pepper’s goose is cooked . . .

Includes tasty sweet and savory recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

We return to Crystal Cove, California just in time for Book Club Bonanza Week sponsored by the library. It is an event that has brought in many tourists and the Cookbook Nook has stocked up and planned a few events. Jenna’s book club, the Mystery Mavens is hosting a progressive dinner while discussing this month’s book, each course being hosted at a different member’s house. The final host seems to have received her “just desserts”. She is found dead as her guests arrive.

The deceased, Ivy Beale owned Dreamcatcher, a crystal shop, focused on their healing properties. All the evidence seems to point at the owner of Beaders of Paradise, Pepper Pritchett, Jenna’s friend and mother of Chief of Police, Cinnamon. Everyone knows Chief Cinnamon is too close to the case but she refuses to step aside, even when an unexpected visitor enters her life. Jenna finds herself Sifting Through Clues to get to the truth to make sure the real killer is booked!

The author brings readers another terrific mystery! This time her focus is on book clubs is a real treat. Because of that, we are introduced to several new characters. We also meet someone from Cinnamon’s past which adds another interesting dimension to the story. These characters all mesh with our returning favorites to create a story I had a hard time putting down.

All the core characters have evolved in this series. Jenna’s friend Bailey is getting so excited for her little bundle to be born and I loved the decor she has planned for the nursery. Bailey always makes me smile. After Jenna, she has become my favorite. The fact that Pepper and Jenna are now friends shows so much growth. They have come a long way. Jenna’s relationship with Cinnamon though is pretty rocky. I know she doesn’t want Jenna involved in her investigation but I would think this time she would be happy for Jenna’s help.

The mystery portions of the story were so intriguing, I mean the chief of police’s mother as the prime suspect!  Twists, turns, red herrings, this story had them all. So well written and well plotted out. A truly exciting email element added to the drama. I urge to plan accordingly because had I been able to keep my eyes open I would have finished the book all in one sitting.

As with all the books in this series, the recipes had my mouth watering and all the references to cozy mysteries and cookbooks are always appreciated.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Agatha Award-winning Daryl Wood Gerber writes the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries as well as the French Bistro Mysteries.  As Avery Aames, she pens the popular Cheese Shop Mysteries. Daryl also writes stand-alone suspense. 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 – AmazonB&N  – Kobo Google Play





Click on covers to view details on Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


In addition to the Rafflecopter Giveaway above the author is giving away

Winner’s choice of Cookbook Nook Mystery, Paperback or Digital.
The 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.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End April 21, 2019, 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

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 

April 15 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
April 15 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW
April 15 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
April 15 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
April 15 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
April 16 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, GUEST POST – RECIPE – INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
April 16 – Carstairs Considers – REVIEW
April 16 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
April 16 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
April 16 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
April 16 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 17 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
April 17 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
April 17 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT
April 17 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GUEST POST – RECIPE – INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
April 17 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 18 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
April 18 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
April 18 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 18 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
April 18 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
April 19 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST – RECIPE – INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
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April 19 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 19 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
April 19 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
April 19 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 20 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
April 20 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
April 20 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
April 20 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 21 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, GUEST POST – RECIPE – INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
April 21 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
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April 21 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

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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.”

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Purrfect Reading Challenge Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday – Featuring Pie Hard (A Pie Town Mystery) by Kirsten Weiss #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am excited to feature Pie Hard by Kirsten Weiss this week!


Pie Hard (A Pie Town Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – California
Kensington (February 26, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1496708989
ISBN-13: 978-1496708984
Kindle ASIN: B07DBR4SRF

Will Val pie hard on national TV?

Business at the bakery may have slowed down, but Val Harris isn’t about to eat humble pie—not until a reality cooking show decides to whip the struggling Pie Town into shape. If Val can tolerate criticism from an abrasive pastry chef during filming, the free publicity might turn the unusual opportunity into the sweetest deal she didn’t know she needed.

Except no one in San Nicholas has an appetite for dessert once murder steals the spotlight. When the show’s bossy producer gets pushed to her death, Val and her flaky, septuagenarian pie crust expert, Charlene, follow crumbs in hopes of finding the killer. But with cameras still rolling and the shocking identity of the victim’s replacement a guaranteed recipe for disaster, Val needs to stay cool long enough to solve the crime and keep Pie Town from falling apart—or else she just might go up in smoke before she ever graces the small screen.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Pie Hard, a reality cooking show has come to Pie Town courtesy of Charlene and as a complete surprise to Val. The camera and crew arrive along with Regina Katz, the show’s producer. Val is nervous because she knows what type of show this is. They will bash her shop and everything she does to get the high ratings. The show’s pastry chef, Ilsa Fueder, is already muttering “don’t like” about every pie she looks at.

After the first day of taping Val gets a call from Ray, one of the gaming regulars telling her that show’s producer has died in an “accident” he sees more like murder. Soon the Baker Street Bakers are into a full-blown investigation with Ray as an associate member, (he is not a baker). Shocked that show is continuing Val uses the opportunity to get to know all the suspects on her list. She also has a connection to the show’s new producer. The death has again slowed Pie Town’s business to a crawl. Hard to be a success when Val keeps finding dead bodies. She just knows she needs to find the killer before she is bankrupt and baked to a crisp.

This is a fun series and this is a great addition. Murder with a lot of mayhem fills these pages. Charlene is quite the instigator and to start with Val just has to go with the flow. Right from the beginning when a yurt is dropped within feet of Val’s tiny storage container house and the “goddesses” arrive for their yearly retreat. Something Charlene forgot to mention to Val. Then continuing when Val arrives at Pie Town to see her shop filled with strangers, holding cameras and tacking a microphone to her shirt. And on to Charlene’s several unbelievable and impossible theories about who killed the producer and why. It takes a little time, but Val gets her bearings and juggles all these balls in the air while trying to find out more about a certain new member of the crew. The author has done so well developing the recurring characters and introducing the new batch as well. Charlene’s cat, Frederick continues to make his appearances and is always good for a giggle.

I really enjoyed all the facets of the mysteries within this story. Val has plenty of clues to sift through along with plenty of suspects. The story is expertly plotted in a way that had me guessing right up until the big reveal. The family dynamic that was woven into the murder part of the story really added depth. It will be interesting to see how it impacts future stories. I was intrigued about how the goddesses were going to evolve into the story. I will say I was surprised at the role one of them played, but it was absolutely perfect.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of The Quiche and the Dead here and Bleeding Tarts here.

About the Author

Based in San Mateo, California, Kirsten Weiss writes genre-blending novels: urban fantasy/mystery, steampunk/suspense, and cozy mysteries. Kirsten has never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer reruns and drinking red wine.
Visit her at kirstenweiss.com.


Also by this Author


Find more books by Kirsten Weiss here.

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to giveaway

The 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.

Sign up for Kirsten’s newsletter for 5 Bonus Entries.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End March 20, 2019, 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.”

Posted in Spotlights

#Spotlight – Lily’s Homecoming Under Fire (Calla Lily Mystery #1) by Anna Celeste Burke @aburke59


Lily’s Homecoming Under Fire (Calla Lily Mystery #1)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – California
Independently Published
Publication Date: January 12, 2019
Print Length: 176 pages
ASIN: B07ML6FHLX

In California’s wine country, someone wants Lily dead.

When Lily Callahan returns home to California’s wine country, sparks fly amid a hail of bullets as she and U.S. Marshall Austin Jennings take cover.

Money, fame, and love all come into play as motives when Lily and Austin try to find out who sent hired guns to kill Lily. The trouble begins soon after her beloved Aunt Lettie dies and leaves her estate to Lily—is it about the money?

Or, is life imitating art? Lily’s trouble-making character in a long-running TV soap was recently killed by a paid hitman. Is a crazed fan trying to end Lily’s life as well as her acting career? Did her agent borrow a page from the script after Lily dismissed him?

Lily’s surprised to find an old flame waiting for her when she returns home. Has he reached the point that if he can’t have her, nobody can? If it’s about an old love that’s become dangerous, the new one that propels Lily and Austin into each other’s arms won’t help.

Life in small-town California wine country is a tangled vine of mystery, suspense, and intrigue.

Grab your copy of the first book in the Calla Lily Mystery Series by USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author, Anna Celeste Burke to find out what happens to Lily and Austin.

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About the Author

Anna Celeste Burke is an award-winning, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author!

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Life is an extravaganza! figuring out how to hang tough and make the most of the wild ride is the challenge.

On my way to Oahu to join the rock musician and high school drop-out I had met in San Diego and married in Tijuana, I was nabbed by the police as a runaway. When the police let me go and the rock band broke up, my husband and I had to find another way to survive. Our next stop: Disney World where we trained to be chefs, courtesy of the Walt Disney World University. A GED for my husband and many more years of education landed us in academia at The Ohio State University. Retired now from my role as a professor in social work and behavioral science, I have picked up a long-time interest in writing fiction. I’m still married to the same sweet guy and live with him in the Palm Springs area. In addition to reading and writing fiction, I enjoy painting, hiking, hanging out with my handsome husband and tending to my Siamese kitties.

An award-winning and bestselling author I enjoy snooping into life’s mysteries with fun, fiction, & food—California style! I write books in five series: The Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery series set in the Coachella Valley near Palm Springs, the Corsario Cove Cozy Mystery series set on California’s Central Coast, The Georgie Shaw Cozy Mystery series set in Orange County, California, The Seaview Cottages Cozy Mystery Series set on the American Riviera, just north of Santa Barbara, and The Calla Lily Mystery series set in Northern California’s wine country.

Find out all about Anna Celeste Burke on her website here.

Find more books by Anna Celeste Burke here.
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#Review – Seven Deadly Zins: A Sonoma Wine Country Mystery by Nancy J. Parra @crookedlanebks


Seven Deadly Zins: A Sonoma Wine Country Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – California
Crooked Lane Books (January 8, 2019)
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1683318714
ISBN-13: 978-1683318712
Kindle ASIN: B07DTJ7DQQ

Which suspect drowned an inspector in the Zinfandel? Sonoma tour guide Taylor O’Brian uncorks another intoxicating Sonoma Wine Country mystery.

Taylor O’Brian, founder of “Off the Beaten Path”, takes small groups on wine country tours of romantic Sonoma County. Friends are everything in the tour business, so Taylor is happy to guide investors to the winery owned by her friend Tim Slade. But vintage turns to vinegar when an FDA inspector is found floating face down in one of Tim’s vats of squished grapes.

Tim is arrested on suspicion of murder, and Taylor and her friends rally to prove his innocence. But it’s not an easy task, especially since the winery proprietor’s acidic sense of humor tends to reap a harvest of sour grapes. Taylor’s investigation is withering on the vine until she discovers that Tim’s girlfriend, Mandy, is having an affair with a self-help guru. But before she has a chance to confront Mandy, Taylor finds Tim standing over the body of the dead guru.

This tart turn of events sends a bottle shock through Sonoma. Might Taylor’s friend really be a Zin-ful killer? If so, could Taylor be the next victim? The tour guide and her friends come to realize that the true murderer’s scent is obscured by an unsavory bouquet of red herrings.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Taylor O’Brian owns Off the Beaten Path Wine Country Tours. She offers unique outings for small groups to visit local wineries and other points of interest in Sonoma County. This time she has a group of investors and their first stop is a winery owned by her friend Tim Slade. Unfortunately when Tim demonstrates one of the key processes of winemaking he gets a terrible surprise. A body in one of the vats. Without an alibi, he is arrested. Tim can rub some folks the wrong way, but he is not a killer. Since this is not the first time Taylor has been involved in a murder investigation she knows the ropes. She knows she is going to have to come up with a least one alternate suspect. Strangely it is a visit to see a self-help guru that points Taylor in the right direction. Yes, she is there when another dead body is found, but it helps her to start to uncork this wine filled mystery.

There is a lot happening in this story and at times it gets to be a little chaotic. In addition to the main murder mystery, Taylor learns she has new competition in the wine tour realm. I must say the other woman seems far more organized and business savvy, she makes Taylor look like an amateur. Also, Dr. Adam Brinkman, a renowned self-help guru comes to town and crowds are lined up for his seminars. Aunt Jemma leads a “seance” when her psychic friend is unavailable and then that psychic takes over one of Taylor’s tours when Taylor has to handle a family crisis. It all blends together but not as smoothly as I would have liked. There is a really nice twist at the end that really saved this story for me.

Taylor has evolved a little bit since the first book, A Case of Syrah, Syrah, but I still find her frustrating. She is her own worst enemy. She pushes ahead without a clear plan of where she is headed or what she is trying to accomplish. She leads with her heart and not with her head, which can be endearing until it happens too often. I enjoyed her get-togethers with her friends and the relationship she has with her aunt. There are two potential love interests for her but she is indecisive about them as well.

The setting is wonderful. I could picture most of the places traveled very easily. I have always wanted to take a vacation to Sonoma and visit as many wineries as possible. The setting and the colorful covers are what really drew me to this series.

This story missed the mark for me a little bit, but I have hope that Taylor will continue to evolve and I will grow to like her as much as I do the supporting cast.

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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.”