Posted in Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2014

Special Guest – Toni LoTempio – Author of Meow If It’s Murder (Giveaway too!)

special guest bluePlease help me welcome my last special guest of 2014! Toni LoTempio’s Meow If It’s Murder was released this month and it will leave you purring for more!

Toni LoTempio Credit to Clifton Animal Shelter

Why a Cat?

I’ve had quite a few people ask me why I chose to write a mystery series about a cat.

Well, the answer’s simple. I didn’t actually choose to do it…

I’ve been writing for most of my life, but never with an eye for publication until 1997. There followed a flurry of writing books – mostly my favorite genre, horror, where I tried very hard to be the next Stephen King. I ended up getting a few published, but through a small press. I still wasn’t where I wanted to be.

Next I started writing paranormals – mostly paranormal mysteries. Alas, I was informed by many of the agents I approached that the market for paranormals – especially those that featured vampires – was over-saturated. Another dead end.

So I turned to self publishing.

I published a few of my paranormal mysteries via Amazon and Barnes and Noble. They got pretty good reviews, but nothing really stellar. I still hadn’t found my niche. And then….


I was at my day job one morning, sitting in my boss’s office. He knew my hobby was writing and I was telling him about the latest one I’d written that was ‘making the rounds’ at agent offices. He looked me straight in the eye and said, “Why don’t you quit writing about vampires and werewolves and write a book about your damn cat?”

Me: “But I like to write about vampires and werewolves.”

My boss: But it isn’t getting you anywhere. You love that cat and you love to write. I think you should think about it.

I went home that night and thought about it. I’d recently acquired a tuxedo cat, ROCCO, who had a feisty personality – so much so that I’d created a blog entitled cats, books and more cats, and I’d just developed what I though was a creative premise – I’d interview authors as if the cat were the one asking the questions. I’d gotten Janet Evanovich to agree to an interview and I’d just also gotten in touch with a few other authors who all thought the idea was “cute”.

Hm….maybe my boss had something there? But what sort of book could I write that would feature a cat? It had to have something to do with food, I thought. People love books with recipes!

I lay down on my couch and flipped through the channels. Turner classic was running “The Thin Man”. And suddenly the premise came to me…Nora Charles, ex-crime reporter, returns to her hometown of Cruz, California to take over her mother’s sandwich shop and finds a stocky, tuxedo cat on her doorstep, whom she names Nick. As it turns out, the cat’s original owner was a Nick, too, and he was a private eye….and thus were born the Nick and Nora mysteries.

Although the original premise was a LOT different from the book Penguin bought…but that’s a story for another day!

~Toni

Here’s a little snippet from Meow If It’s Murder
by Toni LoTempio

I put the phone down and leaned back, laced my hands behind my head. The key to all this, I felt certain, was finding someone willing to come clean about what really happened on the yacht that night. From my experience, there was no way all those people were telling the truth. One – or maybe more – was lying.

What I needed to do was figure out who and more importantly, why.

I stood up, stretched, and put down the top on the computer. Nick watched me with his unblinking golden eyes.

“My next move should be to question the other three, see what they have to say about that night. That’s going to require some thought. After all, it’s not like we hang out in the same circles, or that they even frequent Hot Bread for lunch. I can’t just run into them you know.”

Nick jumped up on the counter. His plume of a tail swished, knocking over the plastic case containing my catering menus. They scattered to the floor like autumn leaves. I sighed, bent to retrieve them, then suddenly straightened. I hurried over to the old rolltop desk in the corner, jerked open the bottom drawer where my mother’s impeccable catering records were kept. I thumbed through the folders, and a little cry of triumph escaped my lips as I pulled out one marked KMG. Sure enough, inside were two neatly drawn contracts, bearing both my mother’s signature and that of Lola Grainger, for Hot Bread to cater two of their upcoming company events. I glanced over at Nick, sitting calmly on the counter, licking one paw.

“I get it,” I murmured. “Good point. Now that Lola’s dead, what happens with these contracts?”

I shoved the file folder under one arm and patted Nick on the head. I figured now was as good a time as any to find out.

To find out more about Toni LoTempio and her book visit her webpage here and Rocco’s blog here.

9780425270202_medium_Meow_If_It's_MurderMeow If It’s Murder
(Nick and Nora Mysteries Book 1)

New Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (December 2, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Mary Ann Lasher
Cover Design by George Long
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425270202
E-Book File Size: 1260 KB
ASIN: B00JJXV1CA
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

Nora Charles doesn’t believe in fate, even if she is a crime reporter who shares a name with a character from The Thin Man. In fact, she’s moving back to Cruz, California, to have a quieter life. But after finding an online magazine eager for material, and a stray cat named Nick with a talent for detection, Nora’s not just reporting crimes again. She’s uncovering them…

Back in her hometown, Nora reconnects with old friends and makes some new ones, like Nick, the charming feline who seems determined to be her cat. But not everything about Cruz is friendly. Writing for a local online magazine, Nora investigates the curious death of socialite Lola Grainger. Though it was deemed an accident, Nora suspects foul play. And it seems that her cat does too.

Apparently, Nick used to belong to a P.I. who disappeared while investigating Lola Grainger’s death. The coincidence is spooky, but not as spooky as the clues Nick spells out for her with Scrabble letters—clues that lead her down an increasingly dangerous path. Whether fate put her on this case or not, solving it will take all of Nora’s wits, and maybe a few of Nick’s nine lives.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I had not thought about The Thin Man movies in ages but I have to say Toni LoTempio has done them proud with her twist to use them as the basis of her new cozy series. In this case Nora isn’t quite so “ditzy” and Nick happens to be a very smart and intuitive cat and together they make a great team.

Nora has come home to Cruz to take over her mother’s sandwich shop but true crime reporting is in her blood and she can’t let it go. Everything about the investigation into Lola Grainger’s death feels wrong to Nora and she just can’t stop herself from doing a little investigating herself. When she finds out her new cat’s previous owner was a P.I. investigating the death and he has since mysteriously disappeared she jumps in with both paws, I mean feet. This is dangerous both for her and her new feline friend.

This story is full of twists and had it not been for Nick (the cat) helping her with the clues I don’t think Nora would have figured it out. It is not blatantly spelled out but I think this cat is more than he appears to be. I think he is a special cat that takes on the spirit of his previous owner. When he belonged to Nick, the private eye, his name was Sherlock. I wonder who his owner was before Nick, maybe Mr. Holmes? I am very interested to see if the author addresses this in future installments. He is definitely a special cat with special powers regular kitty cats do not possess. Daniel Corleone is also a very interesting character that I want to get to know better.

The author has laid a nice foundation for the series going forward. There were many parts that drew directly from the original Thin Man and tested my memory, but you do not have to be familiar with the movies or the original story by Dashiell Hammett to enjoy this story. Nick and Nora are off to a great start. I am excited to see what crime they investigate next.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Note: The Thin Man was on Turner Classic Movies Saturday night. I recorded it to watch at a later date and I see it is on again later this month. After reading this book I am excited to watch this oldie but goodie 🙂

GIVEAWAYThanks to the people at Penguin 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.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Following the new Google+ Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book Fan Page will earn you 3 Bonus Entries.

Leave a comment for Toni for 5 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 January 3, 2015 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 Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Reviews 2014

Review/Giveaway – Shadow of Doubt by Nancy Cole Silverman – Great Escapes Book Tour

shadow of doubt  large banner640
I have taken the liberty of inserting myself into this tour. I didn’t want to steal a stop from another blogger but really wanted to read this book 🙂

SHADOW OF DOUBT cover 1Shadow 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
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

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.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Carol Childs is trying to make it as a radio news reporter with a boss that seems to be holding her back. When her neighbor knocks on her door and tells her aunt, a top Hollywood Agent, has been found dead Carol knows a scoop when she hears one. When the niece becomes the prime suspect Carol ends up right in the middle of the investigation and it is a wild ride. Carol’s boyfriend Eric is the FBI agent assigned to lead the case and a psychic, Misty Dawn, plays a key role. When the body count starts to rise time is of the essence and while Carol doesn’t actually trust Misty she follows the clues no matter the source. She just needs to learn to keep her boss in the loop because he really hates surprises.

Nancy Cole Silverman has worked in the radio business so they atmosphere of Carol’s workplace seems not typical but genuine. She has created a protagonist in Carol that is very easy to identify with, a working mom just trying to make a life. A hunky FBI agent for a boyfriend is mighty nice too. He does his best to keep her safe but she doesn’t make is easy.

I have to say my favorite character was Misty Dawn, the psychic. She is an unusual woman but does seem to have a gift.  It was funny how she knew everything Carol was up to in her personal life. That knowledge made Carol take her seriously about her clues in the case, even when Misty herself became a suspect in Carol’s mind, that and the fact the Misty tells her there is a dark cloud all around her that Carol is determined to get rid of.

The mystery was very well written and has plenty of curves to twist up the plot. Plenty of suspects and any of them truly could be the killer. The author keeps us on our toes until the very end when The Bathtub Killer is finally revealed.

Nancy Cole Silverman is off to a great start with this series! BEYOND A DOUBT will be released in July 2015 and I hate that we have to wait that long!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Silverman believes her twenty-five years in radio help her to develop an ear for storytelling. In 2001 she retired from news and copywriting to write fiction fulltime. Much of what she writes she admits is pulled from behind the headlines of actual events that were reported on from some Los Angeles busiest radio newsrooms where she spent the bulk of her career. In the last ten years she has written numerous short stories and novelettes some of which have won awards &/or been picked up for publication. Currently she has three audio books with MindWings Audio. Her first novel, The Centaur’s Promise, was published by Eloquent Press in 2010. In December, Henery Press will roll out the first of Silverman’s new Carol Childs Mysteries, Shadow of Doubt.

Author Links

WEB: www.nancycolesilverman.com

FOLLOW: www.twitter.com/nancycolesilve1

LIKE: www.facebook.com/pages/nancy-cole-silverman

Be sure to check out the rest of the tour!!
Tour Participants

December 8 – Chloe Gets A Clue – Interview
December 8 – Queen of All She Reads – Review
December 9 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review
December 10 – The Gal in the Blue Mask – Review, Interview
December 11 – A Blue Million Books – Guest Post
December 12 – Christa Reads and Writes – Review
December 13 – Brooke Blogs – Interview
December 13 – readalot – Review
December 14 – Mystery Playground – Guest Post
December 15 – Bea’s Book Nook – Review
December 15 – Latte’ Da! – Guest Post
December 16 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview
December 17 – Community Bookstop – Review
December 17 – dru’s book musings – Guest Post
December 18 – deal sharing aunt – Interview

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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 Guest Posts Reviews 2014

Special Guest – Kate Carlisle – Author of A High End Finish (Review & Giveaway too!)

 

special guest blueI have been so excited about Kate Carlisle’s new Fixer Upper Mystery Series
and I am so glad to have her visit today!

kate-carlisle-bookshelf-web

Kate Carlisle’s Writing What She Doesn’t Know

From the time I was a little girl, I’ve loved books. More than just the content—the stories, the language, the knowledge—I loved the book itself as an object. I always volunteered to hang Dad’s dry cleaning so I could lay claim to the thin, white cardboard sheets tucked inside his dress shirts. I used them to make my own little books, beautifully decorated but blank inside.

9780451469199_large_A_High-End_FinishI moved on to take book arts classes at the local library and then at book arts centers. Writing the Bibliophile Mysteries with bookbinder protagonist Brooklyn Wainwright was a natural extension of a hobby I’ve enjoyed all my life.

The Fixer-Upper Mysteries? Not so much.

Shannon Hammer, heroine of A High-End Finish (November 4) and This Old Homicide (January 27), lovingly restores Victorian homes in the quaint town of Lighthouse Cove, California. While my father was a contractor and my brother painted Victorian buildings in San Francisco, I personally have no hands-on experience in that field. No, I have never restored a Victorian home. Or any home, for that matter. I had my kitchen remodeled a couple years ago, but I didn’t do the work; I just complained about how long it took.

queen anneWith the Fixer-Upper Mysteries, I’m writing about something I don’t know—for the sheer pleasure of doing the research. And I’m having so much fun, I almost feel guilty!

Through Shannon, we get to explore every nook and cranny of the fascinating Victorian homes of Lighthouse Cove, from the grande dames to the crackerboxes. When most people think Victorian, they think of Queen Anne style, but there are many styles of Victorian architecture. In the books, readers will have the pleasure of traipsing through strangers’ homes and through the history in each, all wrapped up in a quirky whodunit.

It’s unfortunate for Shannon that in A High-End Finish, she literally stumbles upon a dead body in the basement of one of her projects. And even more unfortunate that the victim turns out to be a creep she went on a blind date with the night before, a date that ended badly… and publicly.

I grabbed my purse and jacket and started to dash off—until I felt cold air hit my skin. I looked down to see my teal blouse rippling in the breeze. Jerry had torn it off my shoulder!

I turned back and yelled, “You big jerk!” I was so angry. He’d ripped my clothing! What a Neanderthal! I knew it was wrong, knew I had to shake off this negative energy, but I wanted to give him a swift smack across his big stupid head. Just walk away, I thought.

I started to move, but stopped when I heard another sound.

Applause?

Looking up at the pier, I saw two men rushing down the stairs toward me. The rest of the people standing at the railing were clapping and laughing and whistling. I even recognized a few of them when they waved at me. What did they think was going on here?

Jerry raised his head and glared at me. “You’ll be sorry for that.”

“Oh yeah?” I felt safer now that we were about to have company, so instead of slapping at him like I wanted to, I reached inside my purse and pulled out the only weapon I had on me. My pink needle-nose pliers. I leaned over and snipped them in front of his face a few times.

He recoiled. “Get that thing away from me!”

“Just a warning,” I said with deadly calm, furious with myself for ever believing that he might’ve been a nice guy.

So who do you think is the prime suspect when Jerry is found murdered the very next day? Especially when he’this old homicides murdered on one of Shannon’s job sites… and the likely murder weapon is one of the pink tools for which she’s known.

A High-End Finish is available now, so you have the chance to get in on the Fixer-Upper Mystery series right from the very beginning. I hope you’ll enjoy the stories and that you’ll love learning fascinating little tidbits about restoring beautiful Victorian homes.

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

~Kate

9780451469199_large_A_High-End_FinishA High-End Finish:
 A Fixer-Upper Mystery
Brand New Cozy Series
An Obsidian Mystery (November 4, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451469199
E-Book File Size: 2220 KB
ASIN: B00JJXV8DC
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

In the seaside town of Lighthouse Cove in northern California, everyone knows the best man for the job is actually a woman—contractor Shannon Hammer. But while Shannon can do wonders with a power drill and a little elbow grease, she’s about to discover that some problems aren’t so easily fixed….

Shannon’s home-renovation and repair business is booming, but her love life needs work. On a blind date with real estate agent Jerry Saxton, she has to whip out a pair of pliers to keep Jerry from getting too hands on. Shannon is happy to put her rotten date behind her, but when Jerry’s found dead in a run-down Victorian home that she’s been hired to restore, the town’s attractive new police chief suspects that her threats may have laid the foundation for murder.

Determined to clear her name, Shannon conducts her own investigation—with the help of her four best friends, her eccentric father, a nosy neighbor or two, and a handsome crime writer who’s just moved to town. But as they get closer to prying out the murderer’s identity, Shannon is viciously attacked. Now she’ll have to nail down the truth—or end up in permanent foreclosure.…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

An awesome debut!

With a bit of home construction work in my past and a person who has renovated a house or two I loved this story. Shannon’s dad had built up a very successful business and Shannon has stepped to fill his shoes nicely. Her love life is a bit of a mess and she has a friend whose main mission seems to be to find Shannon and any of her other single friends a man. You would think Shannon’s last date and the man ending up dead would get her to stop but it barely slows her down. Shannon does meet some very interesting men, the new police chief who is thinks she may have committed murder and a crime writer who first met her when she was looking her absolute worst. If she survives and the murderer is caught there may be some developments in the romance department but first things first. She needs to stay safe and the police chief needs to do his job.

These characters are absolutely wonderful. Shannon, her friends, neighbors and co-workers all look out for each other. That what small town life means. Sometimes it means a lot of gossip but most of the time it means helping in any way they can. Her dad and uncle can’t always be around because when the fish are calling it is time to go fishing. The chief just needs to get to know everyone better and the writer seems to be settling in just fine. She also gives us some very interesting unsavory characters, the creepy Jerry and a man who comes to Lighthouse Cove for 2 weeks every year and no one in town wants him as their guest. Sadly Shannon drew the short straw this year and he is staying in one of the suites above her garage. He is one who believes the customer is always right but he is so very wrong.

I especially enjoyed all the descriptive details of the houses, the lighthouse and the town of Lighthouse Cove. It is so important to have the foundation of the setting as the series continues.

As for the plot, there was a lot of action, plenty of suspects and a few surprises. It was a captivating cozy and thankfully we don’t have long to wait for the next installment. This Old Homicide: A Fixer-Upper Mystery comes out January 27. This girl, who had her own set of pink tools, gives this story 5 starfish!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the people at Penguin 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.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Leave a comment for Kate  for 5 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 December 4, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FROM 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 Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Guest Posts Reviews 2014

Cozy Wednesday with Diane Vallere – Author of Suede to Rest – Giveaway too!

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am excited to be part of the Suede to Rest Great Escapes Book Tour
and have author Diane Vallere visit Escape With Dollycas today!

DianeVallereAuthorPhoto_color_croppedYou never know what’s around the next corner. That’s the underlying current that pushes Polyester Monroe, the main character of Suede to Rest, to make some decisions she never expected to be facing. When the book starts out, she’s a concept designer for a somewhat tacky pageant dress shop in Los Angeles, working for a boss who counts on her to keep the workroom running smoothly, and in a relationship with a banker boyfriend who’s been hinting about marriage. She’s accepted the fact that her great aunt was murdered in the fabric store where she was born and that her great uncle boarded up the store and cut all ties with the family after the tragic event.

SuedeToRest_final coverBut all of that is about to change.

It doesn’t take long for Poly to be away from her regular life to realize that maybe it means something that she doesn’t miss the things she should. Soon, she’s driven to find answers to questions that nobody else thinks to ask. Her routine gets put on hold indefinitely and a whole slew of doors she never considered are not only open, but right in front of her, practically painted with signs that say Come On In.

This was the most fun of writing Suede to Rest. To go along with Poly on her new beginning, peer over her shoulder at the moment when she realizes maybe her life isn’t turning out the way she wanted. It’s fun to laugh at the monotony of her life because it’s not that hard to imagine, and it’s liberating to cheer her on when everybody expects her to turn left and she turns right.

I hope you like spending time with Poly as much as I did!

~Diane

About This Author
After close to two decades working for a top luxury retailer, Diane Vallere traded fashion accessories for accessories to murder. Suede to Rest.the first in her new Material Witness Mystery Series, was released November 4. In addition, she writes the Style & Error Mystery Series, featuring former fashion buyer Samantha Kidd, and the Mad for Mod Mystery Series, featuring Doris Day-loving interior decorator Madison Night. Diane started her own detective agency at age ten and has maintained a passion for shoes, clues, and clothes ever since. Find her at http://www.dianevallere.com/.

Author Links
web: http://www.dianevallere.com/
Twitter: @dianevallere
FB: dianevallereauthor
GR: Diane Vallere

SuedeToRest_final coverSuede to Rest
(A Material Witness Mystery)

New Cozy Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (November 4, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Matthieu Forichun
Cover Design by Sarah Oberrender
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425270578
E-Book File Size: 2493 KB
ASIN: B00JJXV198
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

With her career as a dress designer in shreds, Polyester Monroe is looking forward to a fresh start. But as it all unfolds, the pattern to a new beginning looks a lot like murder.

When Poly Monroe was little, she loved playing in her family’s textile store. But after a fatal family tragedy, Land of A Thousand Fabrics was boarded up and Poly never expected to see the inside again. Now, as inheritor of the long-shuttered shop, she’s ready to restore the family business. However her two new kittens, Pins and Needles, aren’t the ones causing a snag in her plans…

Not everyone wants Poly back in San Ladrón, especially a powerful local developer pressuring her to sell—and leave town fast. But even when the threats turn deadly, she’s not ready to bolt. Because Poly is beginning to suspect that the murder behind the shop is tied to a mystery in her family’s unsettled past that she’s determined to solve…before her own life is left hanging by a thread.

INCLUDES A CRAFT PROJECT

Dollycas’s Thoughts

First let me say I am so jealous of Poly Monroe. I have always wanted to own my own fabric store. Sewing is something I loved since my mother and grandmother taught me to sew. I could spend a whole day shopping for fabric, finding just the right pattern and fabrics for clothes or quilts for my family. It is one of the things I miss most since my accident.  That is why I love cozies like Suede to Rest . I can escape right into the pages and it brings so many wonderful memories.

With a name like Polyester you would almost have to be involved in the textile industry. You also know she comes from a family that had a great sense of humor.  In the same way the story evoked memories for me walking back into her family’s fabric store did the same thing for Poly. Her original idea was to clean it up and sell the building. It had been closed for 10 years so she didn’t think there would be much to save but while the outer layer of the bolts were affected by the conditions underneath she finds some treasures.  She barely starts to check the inventory before a man is found murdered behind the stores and the mystery begins. When Poly realizes there may be a connection to the death of her Aunt she knows it is up to her to sew all the clues together to get the answers she needs, a bonus would be catching the killer.

This is an amazing debut. Diane Vallere has introduced us to some very strong characters and the plot is full of unexpected twists. I was totally drawn into this story and it held on tight. The family history was so rich. The town of San Ladrón has a history too and is facing many changes, thanks to a big developer with a grand plan. Our protagonist could really upset his plans. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series and revisit these characters. I can’t wait to see what Poly gets into next!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the people at Penguin 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.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Leave a comment for Diane for 5 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 26, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Thanks to the people at Penguin
I have 2 copies to giveaway!!

Click Here For Entry Form

suede to rest large banner 640
Check out the rest of the tour!!

Tour Participants

October 31 – Buried Under Books – Guest post

November 1 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Interview

November 2 – Queen of All She Reads – Review

November 3 – Killer Crafts and Crafty Killers Guest post

November 4 – off

November 5 – Mysteristas  – Guest Post

November 6 – Get Lost in a Story Interview

November 7 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review

November 8 – Booklady’s Booknotes – Review

November 9 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review, Guest Post

November 10 – Back Porchervations – Review, Interview

November 11 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review

November 12 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Guest Post

November 13 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – Review, Interview

November 14 – deal sharing aunt – Review, Guest Post
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 Reviews 2014

Review/Giveaway – Knot In My Backyard by Mary Marks

22095637Knot In My Backyard
(A Quilting Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series

Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Kensington (November 4, 2014)
ISBN-13: 978-0758292070
E-Book File Size: 1226 KB
ASIN: B00JVW6HPK
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Baseball may be America’s official favorite pastime, but for Martha Rose and her friends, quilting is far more fun…and a lot less dangerous.

A diamond brocade pattern is more quilter Martha Rose’s style than a baseball diamond—especially when it comes to the new eyesore of a stadium ruining her lovely San Fernando Valley neighborhood. Martha doesn’t know a bunt from a bundt cake, but when she stumbles upon the battered body of baseball coach Dax Martin, she doesn’t need a scorecard to know it’s foul play. LAPD homicide detective Arlo Beavers is convinced one of her neighbors is responsible. But Martha and her fellow quilters Lucy and Birdie soon discover a whole field of suspects who might have wanted to take the coach out of the game permanently…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I liked Martha Rose the minute I met her in Forget Me Knot, the first book in this series. I can relate because I am 50ish, overweight, love food, hate to cook and a horrible failure when it comes to dieting. This time she gets herself in trouble just by taking a walk. She knows she needs to be more active but finding a dead body just a few minutes from her house may make her reconsider the whole exercise thing.

The police of course determine that Martha’s neighbor is the killer because he had an argument with the victim over a monstrosity of a baseball diamond that was built behind their houses. None of the neighbors is happy about all the extra traffic or the noise but Martha knows none of them would commit murder because of it. With a little help from her friends Lucy and Birdie they come up with enough suspects to fill a baseball roster. Martha Rose is on a mission and detective Beavers is not going to stop her from finding who really hit Dax Martin out of the park – permanently!

I started reading this book and couldn’t put it down. Mary Marks has hit a home run with this one. She pitched us a slew of suspects and we followed the clues together striking out one of them at a time until we are totally surprised by who is left on deck. Can you tell I like baseball too? 🙂

The book was so much fun to read. Martha, Lucy and Birdie have their weekly quilting sessions where they talk about everything from quilt squares to politics to the homeless population in their neighborhood. They come up with a fantastic plan to not only help people but a way to hopefully flush out the killer and they get all kinds of attention. Martha even makes a new friend that sort of turns her life upside down in a really good way.

Fabulous characters, excellent plot and subplots, some romance, the perfect amount of humor and a setting that is so easy to picture all add up to a grand slam of a mystery. I absolutely loved it!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About Mary Marks

Born and raised in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, Mary Marks earned a B.A. in Anthropology from UCLA and an M.A. in Public Administration from the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. In 2004 she enrolled in the UCLA Extension Writers Program. Her first novel, Forget Me Knot, was a finalist in a national writing competition in 2011.
Find out more on Mary’s webpage here.

GIVEAWAY I am giving away my review copy!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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 25, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2014

Cozy Wednesday with M.L. Rowland – Author of Murder Off The Beaten Path

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am pleased to welcome M.L. Rowland to Escape With Dollycas today!

m.l. rowland

WOMEN ON SEARCH AND RESCUE
by
M.L. Rowland

Search and Rescue has traditionally been a male-dominated field and, for the most part, still is. For about a dozen years, I was a very active member of a very active Search and Rescue team in the mountains of southern California. For almost two of those twelve years, I was the only woman on the team.

One question I’m asked a lot, mostly by women, is what it’s like to be a woman on Search and Rescue.
Some teams have a lot of women members; some not so many. Sometimes this is due to the normal ebb and flow of membership of a volunteer team, sometimes to the demographics of the community it serves and from which the team draws its members, sometimes, in my opinion, to how women on the team (and women in general) are treated.

I am giving my review copy away!! Contest Will End February 6, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST

In my Search and Rescue mystery series, Gracie Kinkaid is one of the only women on Timber Creek Search and Rescue. An excerpt from Zero-Degree Murder, the first book in the series: “Ordinarily ten men to one woman might be a to-die-for ratio. But more often than not, Gracie found that working with so many Manly Men for so many hours, often days at a time, took its toll on her. She could take only so much crotch arranging, and fart and blonde jokes before she began to crave a bubble bath or painted her toenails petunia pink.”

murder off the beaten path octoberOn our team, while minimal allowances were made for women on the mandatory physical fitness test, there was no difference in what was required in all other aspects of team membership. To qualify as a SAR Technician, Level II, as required by our team to operate in the field, we all had to pass the same National Association for Search and Rescue written and field tests which included the Incident Command System, tracking, basic survival, search tactics, and land navigation and orienteering.

While operating on a team of mostly men, I never expected anything from them that I wasn’t prepared and able to do for them. In other words, I didn’t expect special treatment based on my gender. I held my own, carried my own weight. I worked as hard as, sometimes a lot harder than, every other member of the team. What I lacked in physical strength, I tried to more than make up for in other ways: training, knowledge, expertise, and commitment.
While on a mission, when lives, including our own, were at stake, I depended on my teammates and they needed to be able to depend on me for anything and everything.

Was Search and Rescue work often difficult and physically demanding? Yes. Was working in close proximity with so many Manly Men challenging at times? Absolutely. Do I ever wish I had done something else with my life during those years on the team? Not for a second!

To find out more about M.L. Rowland and her books check out her webpage here.

murder off the beaten path october
Murder Off the Beaten Path
(A Search and Rescue Mystery)

2nd in Series
Mystery/Suspense
A Berkley Prime Mystery (October 7, 2014)
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425263679
E-Book File Size: 1749 KB
ASIN: B00ISEF61I
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As a member of a mountain search and rescue team, Gracie Kinkaid routinely volunteers to put her life on the line. But it’s at her new day job at a residential camp in the mountains of southern California where she finds her life is really in danger…

As a volunteer for Timber Creek Search and Rescue, Gracie responds to a call out for a car that’s gone over the side of a treacherous mountain road. The crash, which Gracie quickly suspects is no accident, proves to be one in an escalating and deadly series of events that lead her right back to Camp Ponderosa, a church-owned camp where she works as Program Director. As Gracie probes more deeply into the dark secrets at the camp, she unearths a hidden world of illegal activities, including murder…and finds herself going head-to-head with desperate perpetrators who will do anything to silence her forever.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This second installment is even better than the first. This time the recovered body is that of a friend and co-worker at Camp Ponderosa and Gracie can’t help but get involved. When she does she finds all the clues lead right back to the camp and even when she becomes a target she just can’t give up.

Just like Zero-Degree Murder the suspense starts from page 1 and Gracie has no idea who she can trust. Gracie is a strong sleuth and her SAR skills help her in so many ways. Her confidence has grown since the first book and she seems physically stronger too. She does get into some dangerous situations and even gets hurt and she just keeps plugging until the last clue falls into place. At times it was like watching a scary movie and I wanted to yell, “don’t go there!” but of course she does and we suffer together through those white knuckle moments.

I recommend reading the books in order. You can read my review of Zero-Degree Murder here. The author’s Search and Rescue  experience shines in both books. She also describes the settings so well. On and off the paths seem to be absolutely beautiful.

The mysteries are fantastic and the hints of romance continue to build.  I am anxious to see how things play out after all that has happened in Murder Off the Beaten Path. It should be very interesting!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the people at Penguin 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.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Leave a comment for M. L.  for 5 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 5, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2014 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Linda O. Johnston – Author of Lost Under A Ladder

cozy wednesday 2013 640
Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am happy to welcome Linda O. Johnston here today!
The first book in her Superstition Mystery Series, Lost Under a Ladder
will be available October 8!!
Linda is also touring with Great Escapes Book Tours right now!

linda o johnston

Superstitions Forever!

Are you superstitious? My fingers are crossed that you are!

On the other hand, you don’t have to be superstitious to read my new Superstition Mystery series. In fact, its protagonist Rory Chasen is more skeptical than superstitious.

lost under a ladderThe thing is, Rory is trying to find out the reality of superstitions–because it’s important to her to learn whether the reason her beloved fiancé Warren died was because he walked under a ladder. Did that cause the car to hit him a couple of minutes later? She doesn’t know. She wants to learn, though, because that may be the only way she gets closure.

Rory’s good friend Gemma, a librarian, helps her to start researching superstitions–and encourages Rory to visit Destiny, California, a town that is all about superstitions. Maybe she can find answers there.

But at first Rory finds more questions than answers. She brings her adorable black and white dog Pluckie along, and soon after they arrive Pluckie helps to save the life of Martha Jallopia, a senior woman who has collapsed in the back of the Lucky Dog Boutique. Martha, taking a look at Pluckie, knows she’s going to be just fine, since seeing a black and white dog is lucky, especially if someone is on her way to a business meeting.

Is that destiny? Rory is the assistant manager of a pet store back home, and Martha wants her to stay and run the Lucky Dog. And, because this is a mystery series, Rory agrees.

So why did I start writing the Superstition Mysteries? Am I really superstitious?

Well, what constitutes a really superstitious person? Do I knock on wood? Yes. Do I cross my fingers? Yes. Do I pick up heads-up pennies if I happen to see them on the ground? Yes. Do I walk under ladders? No.

But do I expect the end of the world to occur if I do the wrong thing in the world of superstitions? No. Or at least I didn’t. Now that I’m writing the Superstition Mysteries, I’m much more conscious of superstitions, whether or not they’re likely to come true.

So how about you? Are you willing to take a chance on the Superstition Mysteries? I’ve been telling people it’s good luck to read them. Can I guarantee it? No, but I’m certainly sending good luck wishes to everyone who reads them.

And knocking on wood that they enjoy them and come back for more!

~Linda

About This Author

Linda O. Johnston’s first published fiction appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and won the Robert L. Fish Memorial Award for Best First Mystery Short Story of the year.   Since then, Linda, a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer, has published more short stories, novellas, and 37 romance and mystery novels, including the Pet Rescue Mystery Series, a spinoff from her Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime, plus Harlequin Romantic Suspense as well as the Alpha Force paranormal romance miniseries for Harlequin Nocturne.

Her latest cozy mystery series, the Superstition Mysteries from Midnight Ink, kicks off in October 2014 with Lost Under a Ladder.   Linda believes that reading the Superstition Mysteries will bring good luck!

 

Author Links

Webpage:  www.LindaOJohnston.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LindaOJohnston

lost under a ladderLost Under a Ladder
(A Superstition Mystery)

New Cozy Mystery Series
Published by Midnight Ink (October 8, 2014)
Trade Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738740775
E-Book File Size: 1844 KB
ASIN: B00NJ2U6AK
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Is it Luck? Or is it Destiny?

Rory Chasen never thought superstitions were real—until her beloved fiancé is killed after walking under a ladder. To find closure and the truth about superstitions, Rory takes her dog Pluckie to a town called Destiny, where superstitious beliefs are a way of life.

Rory’s visit to Destiny takes an unexpected turn when Pluckie saves Martha, the owner of the Lucky Dog Boutique. While Martha recovers, Rory reluctantly agrees to manage the pet shop for her. But when Martha becomes the prime suspect in the local bookshop owner’s murder, Rory can’t believe that the sweet old woman would do it. Convinced the real killer is still roaming Destiny’s streets, Rory resolves to crack the case before Martha’s luck runs out.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I admit it, I am a bit superstitious. Cross my fingers, knock on wood, and I would never walk under a ladder.

The town of Destiny, California is all about superstitions with the Broken Mirror Bookstore, Wish Upon A Star Children’s Shop, Lucky Dog Boutique and more but the town still has it’s share of skeptics. Police chief Justin Halbertson calls himself a superstition “agnostic” but don’t let  his boss the mayor hear that. The mayor, Bevin Dermot, represents his town and all the superstitious beliefs to the hilt, even dressing in clothes that make him look very leprechaun-ish.

Rory Chasen and her dog Pluckie have come to town to get some answers so that she can get her life back on track but from the start her trip doesn’t go as planned.  She meets Martha and because of the “good luck” that a black and white dog brings they become fast friends. Rory has a big heart and finds she can’t say no to Martha’s request.

The premise of this story seems pretty unique. I had never heard of a town like Destiny and never had heard that black and white dogs are good luck. I have a black and white dog that I love but I don’t think she has ever given us good luck for a business meeting or in any other way but she she is great to cuddle with while I read or keep my feet warm as I type.

We meet some very interesting characters, like the bookshop owners, the one who died had written a type of guidebook to superstitions.The mayor is a bit quirky too but most of the other characters seem pretty down to earth. I do realize this is just the first book in the series so there is still much to learn about the residents of Destiny and its visitors.

I enjoyed that most of the businesses in town including the eateries allow dogs. In fact most of the restaurants had patio areas perfect for pets.  After reading other series by this author I know how important pets are to her so I knew Pluckie would play a major role in this story. Like all mysteries there is the last good twist that gives us readers that “aha moment”.

Linda O. Johnston is off to a good start with this series. I am looking forward to a return trip to Destiny to see what Rory and Pluckie are  up to next.

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Thanks to the people at MIDNIGHT INK  I have 1 copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
U.S. ONLY ADDRESSES

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.

Leave a comment for Linda for 5 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 15, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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

Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Reviews 2014 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Stirring the Plot by Daryl Wood Gerber – Great Escapes Book Tour – Review/Giveaways

stirring the plot large banner 640

STIRRING THE PLOTStirring the Plot
(A Cookbook Nook Mystery)

3rd Book In Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (September 30, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Teresa Fasolino
Cover Design by Jason Gill
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425258064
E-Book File Size: 2716 KB
ASIN: B00ISEOIPS
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

Halloween in Crystal Cove, California, is a big deal, involving a spooky soiree where the Winsome Witches, a fund-raising group, gather to open up their purse strings and trade superstitions. But party magicians, fortune-tellers, and herbalists are only the beginning of this recipe for disaster…

Jenna Hart has packed The Cookbook Nook chock-full of everything from ghostly texts to witchy potions in anticipation of the annual fund-raiser luncheon. But there’s one unexpected addition to the menu: murder.

When the Head Priestess of the Winsome Witches is found dead under mysterious circumstances, there’s no logical answer and plenty of blame to go around. With her aunt, Vera, unable to call on her ability to foresee the future, Jenna will have to use more than just sleight of hand and a few magic tricks to conjure up the truth…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It is Halloween in Crystal Cove so things are a lot witchier than normal. Plus Aunt Vera intuitive powers are on the fritz so that makes things even more interesting.

Daryl Wood Gerber has written a very bewitching mystery and of course Jenna is right in the middle of it. The problem is there are so many suspects that Jenna is following so many leads and putting herself in danger. The story has so many twists I figured everything all out the same time Jenna did. Isn’t that the way it is meant to be? Love it!!

The romance of Rhett and Jenna seems to be heading in the right direction and as usual Gerber stirs the perfect amount of humor into the plot. This installment also has much more witchcraft elements than the first two books but it is Halloween and that is the time spread all the superstitious and paranormal elements around.

You really can’t go wrong with a cozy by this author whether she is writing as Daryl Wood Gerber or Avery Aames. All her stories are completely captivating and very entertaining.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Daryl Wood Gerber 0218 100dpi

About This Author

DARYL WOOD GERBER writes the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mystery series featuring a cookbook store owner who is an avid reader and admitted foodie, set on the coast of California.  As AVERY AAMES, she pens the Agatha Award-winning, nationally bestselling Cheese Shop Mystery series featuring a cheese shop owner amateur sleuth, set in the fictional town of Providence, Ohio. Daryl’s short stories have been nominated for the Agatha, Anthony, and other awards. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl has appeared in “Murder, She Wrote” and more.

Author Links

Visit Daryl or Avery atwww.darylwoodgerber.com.

“They” blog on www.mysteryloverskitchen.com as well as www.killercharacters.com

http://www.darylwoodgerber.com

http://www.averyaames.com

http://www.mysteryloverskitchen.com

http://killercharacters.com

Facebook:
Daryl http://www.facebook.com/darylwoodgerber
Avery http://www.facebook.com/averyaames

Twitter: @AveryAames @DarylWoodGerber

Goodreads: 
Daryl Wood Gerber https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4750535.Daryl_Wood_Gerber
Avery Aames https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3153786.Avery_Aames

a Rafflecopter giveaway

PLUS
Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies OF Stirring The Plot 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.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

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

Contest Will End October 11 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Be sure to check out the tour stops for some fabulous recipes and reviews!!!
Tour Participants

September 23 – Books-n-Kisses – Review, Recipe
September 24 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Recipe
September 25 – rantin’ ravin’ and reading – Review, Recipe
September 26 – A Chick Who Reads – Review, Interview, Recipe
September 27 – StoreyBook ReviewsReview, Recipe
September 27 – Escape With Dollycas – Review
September 28 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Review, Interview, Recipe
September 29 – Back Porchervations – Review, Interview, Recipe

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

Posted in Reviews 2014 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Penny Pike – Author of Death of a Crabby Cook – Giveaway too!

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

Today I am super excited to welcome Penny Pike!

Her new Food Festival Mystery debuted this month with Death of a Crabby Cook.

Photograph (Jim Stevens/Bay Area News Group)
Photograph (Jim Stevens/Bay Area News Group)

DEATH OF A CRABBY COOK
by Penny Pike Warner

Do you munch while you read mysteries? How could you not, when reading one of the many wonderful food-related series on the market today, everything from cupcakes and pies to bacon and fries. I think the reason these culinary mysteries are so popular is simple: they make you hungry, you eat while you read, and they come with recipes.

I got the idea for writing a food truck mystery a couple of years ago before the “meals on wheels” phenomenon swept the country. I was in Napa, CA, doing research for another book (AKA drinking a lot of wine), and spotted a circle of colorful trucks offering intriguing specialties. I decided to try some plein air dining and ordered a little of everything from trucks Kung Fu Tacos, Happy Dumplings, The Boneyard, Fins on the Hoof, Me So Hungry, and Naked Chorizo. Yum. I was hooked.

crabbycookREVISECombining my love of both food and fiction, I began writing the first book in the food truck/food festival series, Death of a Crabby Cook. I created Darcy Burnett, a total foodie who loves to eat, but barely knows how to heat a frozen dinner in the microwave. To complicate things, I made her a restaurant reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle, suddenly downsized, and desperately in need of a job. While eating a therapeutic Caramel Espresso Cream Puff whipped up by Jake Miller from the Dream Puff Truck—and recognizing a hot food trend when she sees one—she’s inspired to write a cookbook full of food truck recipes.

Her first source is the upcoming San Francisco Seafood Festival. Darcy plans to use her journalistic skills to gather recipes for everything from Crab Mac and Cheese from her aunt’s Big Yellow School Bus food truck, to Hangtown Oyster Omelets from the Bacon is the New Black truck.

But her plans are interrupted by a loud commotion in the Ft. Mason food truck area. Chef Oliver Jameson is arguing with a petite woman wielding a large knife. The woman happens to be Darcy’s sixty-something Aunt Abby, a former school cafeteria cook who now owns her own tricked-out school bus and serves comfort food to hungry diners. Abby accuses Jameson of harassing the food truckers in the area—competition for his brick-and-mortar Bones ‘n’ Brew restaurant—which he denies. Did he really plant a rat in her bus to get her in trouble with the Health Department?

When the chef is suddenly poisoned by his own crab bisque—and Aunt Abby becomes a suspect—Darcy smells a rat. Together with Aunt Abby’s hacker son Dillon and dream puff Jake Miller, she discovers something rotten in the food truck world. But it’s not the recipes…they’re to die for!

I just finished DEATH OF A CHOCOLATE CHEATER, and I have to admit, the research was more fun than the writing. I think I’ll include a warning label inside the book: Read with chocolate. And there will be plenty of recipes to help.

~Penny

About Penny Warner/Penny Pike

Penny Warner has published over 60 books for both adults and children. Her first mystery series, beginning with DEAD BODY LANGUAGE, features Connor Westphal, a deaf reporter living in the California Gold Country. The book won a Macavity Award for Best First Mystery, and was nominated for an Agatha and an Anthony Award.

Her second mystery series, beginning with How to Host a Killer Party, features event planner, Presley Parker, and is set in the San Francisco Bay Area. Presley solves mysteries on Alcatraz, at the de Young Museum, at the Winchester Mystery House, in Colma, the City of Souls, and in the Napa wine country.

Her newest series, Death of a Crabby Cook, features Darcy Burnett, a former restaurant critic who now works in her Aunt Abby’s food truck and lives in an Airstream RV. The book is set among food trucks and food festivals in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the Seafood Festival. DEATH OF A CHOCOLATE CHEATER, set at the Chocolate Festival, will be out next year, followed by DEATH OF AN APPLE FEST PEST.

Her middle-grade mystery series, The Code Busters Club, won the Agatha Award for Best Children’s Mystery, and has been nominated for the World Mystery Anthony Award for Best Children’s Mystery. The series features four kids who solve mysteries by cracking codes in each chapter. The books are set in Berkeley, on Alcatraz, at the Carmel Mission, at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, and the International Spy Museum in Washington DC. Her non-fiction book, The Official Nancy Drew Handbook,was nominated for an Agatha Award.

She writes a column for the local newspaper on family life in the Valley, creates fund-raising murder mystery events for libraries across the country, and teaches child development at Diablo Valley College. She can be reached at http://www.pennywarner.com or pennywarnerink@yahoo.com.

crabbycookREVISEDeath of a Crabby Cook:
A Food Festival Mystery

Brand New Series
Cozy Mystery
An Obsidian Mystery (August 5, 2014)
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451467812
E-Book File Size: 1307 KB
ASIN: B00HZ1E3OQ
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

At the San Francisco Seafood Festival, someone is steamed enough to kill a cook….

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I absolutely loved Penny’s Party Planning Mysteries so I am so glad she has returned with this Death of a Crabby Cook: – A Food Festival Mystery Series.

We meet Darcy Burnett who wrote restaurant reviews for the San Francisco Chronicle, I use the past tense because she was laid off as the story began. She quickly starts helping her Aunt Abby with her food truck with hopes of writing a cookbook based on recipes from food fests in the Bay Area.

Penny Pike has written quite a mystery and for most of the book I thought I knew whodunit and happily was so wrong. She had twisted me into quite a pretzel. No pretzel food truck in the story though but there is The Coffee Witch, Dream Puffs, The Yankee Doodle Noodle Truck, Road Grill, The Big Yellow School Bus and more.

Darcy’s aunt worked in a school cafeteria until she retired and opened The Big Yellow School Bus where she serves comfort food like Crabby Cheerleader Mac and Cheese and Science Experiment Spaghetti.

There is a local chef, Oliver Jameson, who owns a restaurant adjacent to where the food trucks park daily and he is sure they are the reason his restaurant is going broke.  He has had very public arguments with most of the food truck owners but he had a huge one today with Aunt Abby. So when his dead body is found she is the number one suspect.

Darcy knows her aunt would never hurt a soul, she may yell at someone but kill them, no way!! All the clues keep pointing to Abby so Darcy knows she is being framed. With a little help from her techie cousin Dillon, Darcy is going to catch the killer one way or another.

All these mobile restaurant owners are truly unique and most have some kind of secret. I was really surprised at how much we found out about these characters in this first book. My mother ran a restaurant/cafe for years in our small town. Aunt Abby reminds me a lot of my mom. She cooked comfort food too. She was also very independent just like Aunt Abby. Darcy is a little like I was back then, I couldn’t cook worth a darn and sometimes was a little too nosy for my own good. Thankfully my life was never in danger.

This story is a lot like the food Aunt Abby served, comfortable with a few surprises to keep those pages turning at a pretty speedy pace.  My only problem with the story is that it didn’t come with food samples. I know there are recipes included but I sure could go for a Dreamy Cream Puff or 2 or 3, any flavor drizzled with chocolate and sprinkled with powdered sugar right now and the whole time I was reading this story!!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!

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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 Reviews 2014 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review – Mission to Murder by Lynn Cahoon

The Great Escapes Book Tour for this book starts July 31.

I loved Guidebook to Murder and couldn’t wait to read this one.

Be sure to check out the tour and enter the giveaways!!

Mission To Murder (eBook)
Mission to Murder
A Tourist Trap Mystery
2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Kensington Trade (July 1, 2014)
Paperback: 238 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1601833051
E-Book File Size: 1196 KB
Publisher: eKensington (July 31, 2014)
ASIN: B00IO3QR98
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In the California coastal town of South Cove, history is one of its many tourist attractions, until it becomes deadly. Jill Gardner, proprietor of Coffee, Books, and More, has discovered that the old stone wall on her property might be a centuries-old mission worthy of being declared a landmark. But Craig Thomas, the obnoxious owner of South Cove’s most popular tourist spot, The Castle, makes it his business to contest her claim. When Thomas is found murdered at The Castle shortly after a heated argument with Jill, even her detective boyfriend has to ask her for an alibi. Jill decides she must find the real murderer to clear her name.

But when the killer comes for her, she’ll need to jump from historic preservation to self-preservation.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jill is a fabulous character. And yes, she let Craig Thomas have it, but it was with words, no foul play here. But she doesn’t have an alibi and she and the mayor do not see eye to eye, in fact he would like to see her in jail. Thankfully she is now dating Detective Greg King and he knows she didn’t do it. Now if he could just figure out to keep Jill from investigating on her own and let him catch the killer. But us fans of cozy mysteries know that is just not going to happen.

Lynn Cahoon has given us another wonderful story. The owner of the antique store next to Coffee, Books and More, Josh and junk dealer Ray are the quirky and creepy characters respectively. I love Aunt Jackie and even Esmeralda with her “woo-woo” predictions.  But my favorite character in this story was cop/barista Toby. He works for both Jill and Greg and is a great friend to both of them. The customers like him and  so do I.

The setting is also special. South Cove sounds like a wonderful place to visit and The Castle sounds like a fantastic tourist attraction.

Cahoon takes the characters in this town and creates a story full of mystery, romance and humor. This is a perfect book to add to your Summer Reading list. Fun and entertaining with just a few hold your breath moments.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

To find out more about Lynn Cahoon and her books visit her blog here.


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