Posted in Giveaways Reviews 2017 Spotlights

#ReviewRewind /#Giveaway – A Deadly Éclair: A French Bistro Mystery by Daryl Wood Gerber – Great Escapes Book Tour

About the Book

This book has now been released in Trade Paperback and
at the time of this posting, you can get the Kindle version for just $1.20!!!

A Deadly Éclair: A French Bistro Mystery
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Setting – California
Crooked Lane Books (June 12, 2018)
Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683316046
Kindle ASIN: B06XWDWRLF

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

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

Now it’s up to Mimi to clear her name and get to the bottom of things before the killer turns up the heat again in A Deadly Éclair, the scrumptious series debut by Agatha Award-winning author Daryl Wood Gerber.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

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

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

Great cozy mystery filled with all the things I love…great characters, great storyline, great food, and a dash of romance!
~Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews

What a wonderful start to a new cozy mystery series . . . This really is a must-read for fans of the genre and food. I just loved it so I give it 5/5 stars.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

My vocabulary also got a workout, which I enjoy. Reading a good cozy should expand your world and this does that very well.
~Laura’s Interests

A DEADLY ECLAIR serves up a delicious blend of characters, setting, and mystery in the first French Bistro Mystery.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and through most of the book, I felt like I was right there watching all of the action taking place. And the descriptions of the foods had me salivating.
~MJB Reviewers

Setting, characterization and plot all come together beautifully in A Deadly Éclair, book #1 in Daryl Wood Gerber’s entertaining new French Bistro series.
~The Power of Words

This was a great new series which leads us to another food cozy mystery . . . I love reading how Mimi clears her name.
~Community Bookstop

The setting descriptions were great, which I’ve come to expect from this author. She usually has a good balance of details and leaving some things to the imagination. I’m totally in love with the fact that the inn and gardens are based on Monet’s house in Giverny.
~Valerie’s Musings

A Deadly Éclair is well-written, contains good characters, and luscious food descriptions. Daryl Wood Gerber sets up a lovely backdrop for A French Bistro Mystery series.
~The Avid Reader

I loved the story and plot. I loved the characters.
~My Reading Journeys

What a wonderful start to a new series. The author has mesmerized me with her exquisite meals served at the beautiful restaurant our main character runs.
~Texas Book-aholic

A fun read with a wonderful setting, a blossoming relationship, and a perplexing murder.
~Mysteries with Character

The fictional setting of Nouvelle Vie, including the inn and bistro, will have you seriously considering a vacation to Napa Valley, and the food mentioned throughout the novel will leave your mouth watering!
~Reading is My SuperPower

The author’s descriptive style beautifully captures the setting and paints a lush and inviting place you would want to visit on your next holiday.
~That’s What She’s Reading

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

Purchase Links

Amazon  B&N     Kobo    BookBub
Coming July 10

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Click on covers to view details on Amazon.

Tour Participants

June 6 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW, RECIPE – GUEST POST
June 6 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews– REVIEW
June 7 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
June 7 – Ruff Drafts – RECIPE – GUEST POST
June 7 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT
June 8 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
June 8 – Cozy Up WIth Kathy – REVIEW*, RECIPE – GUEST POST
June 9 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
June 9 – The Power of Words – REVIEW*
June 10 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW
June 11 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW*, RECIPE – GUEST POST
June 11 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW*
June 12 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
June 12 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW*
June 13 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
June 14 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW*, RECIPE – GUEST POST
June 14 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW*
June 15 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
June 16 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
June 16 – Lisa Ks Book Review – REVIEW*
June 17 –   The Cozy Pages – REVIEW
June 18 – The Montana Bookaholic –  REVIEW, RECIPE – GUEST POST
June 18 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW*
June 19 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
June 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW*

*Review Repost from Hardcover tour.

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Posted in Giveaways Spotlights

#Spotlight / #Giveaway – Pick and Chews (A Barkery & Biscuits Mystery) by Linda O. Johnston – Great Escapes Book Tour @midnightinkbook

Pick and Chews (A Barkery & Biscuits Mystery)
by Linda O. Johnston

About the Book

Pick and Chews (A Barkery & Biscuits Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Midnight Ink (May 8, 2018)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738752457
Digital ASIN: B075W2BCW6

Carrie Kennersly tries to help her veterinarian boyfriend when he’s under suspicion of murder…Is he a keeper, or should she let him go off-leash for good?

As a technician for a local vet and the owner of the Barkery & Biscuits dog bakery, Carrie Kennersly is excited to host a rescue animal adoption event. She’s also excited to be in a relationship with veterinarian Dr. Reed Storme, despite his pleas for her to butt out of the murder cases she keeps finding herself involved with. Yet when Reed is accused of killing his former veterinary colleague, he seems a lot more agreeable to having amateur detective Carrie butt back in. Can Carrie clear Reed, or does she care too much for a killer?

Includes recipes for dog treats and people treats!

Praise for Pick and Chews (A Barkery & Biscuits Mystery)
by Linda O. Johnston

The well-written story will suck you in until you find yourself on the last page amazed at the ending.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

I truly love cozy mysteries, and when they include pets, I’m over the moon! Almost every character in this story, no matter gender, personality, or career, is owned by one or more pets, and animals play a highly significant role.
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies

Author Linda O. Johnston puts her all into each and every book she writes. PICK AND CHEWS, like her stories before, leads readers on a whodunit that in the end, I didn’t guess.
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews

Love for animals is a well-developed theme, and I wanted to cheer for the pet rescue efforts between the vet clinic and the Mountaintop Rescue facility. . .
~The Power of Words

You will find yourself drawn to solving the mystery with Carrie and you will want to cozy up in her barkery and enjoy seeing the pets!
~Bibliophile Reviews

One of the things I love about this series is the emphasis on animal adoption. It is so nice to see awareness about a problem that so many animals face. The author always does such a great job of putting pet adoptions in the stories and it makes me smile every time I read it.
~Texas Book-aholic

. . . the conclusion is suspensefully surprising!
~Laura’s Interests

. . . you can tell how much the author loves animal, especially dogs. The rescue shelter made for some heartwarming moments. And I really enjoyed reading about that.
~MJB Reviewers

About the Author


Linda O. Johnston, a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer, currently writes the Barkery & Biscuits Mystery Series for Midnight Ink. She has also written the Superstition Mysteries for Midnight Ink, and the Pet Rescue Mystery Series and Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime. Linda also writes the K-9 Ranch Rescue miniseries for Harlequin Romantic Suspense as well as a paranormal romance miniseries for Harlequin Nocturne. And all her current stories involve dogs.

Author Links:

Website:  www.LindaOJohnston.com

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

Purchase Links:

Amazon  B&N   BookBub   Kobo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

May 29 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
May 29 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
May 30 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
May 30 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
May 31 – Books Direct – GUEST POST
May 31 – T’s Stuff – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 1 – Cinnamon, Sugar and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW
June 1 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
June 2 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW  
June 2 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
June 3 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST  
June 4 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
June 4 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
June 5 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
June 5 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 6 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 6 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 7 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
June 8 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW
June 9 – The Montana Bookaholic – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
June 10 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
June 11 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 11 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

 

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge Reviews 2018 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – Bleeding Tarts (A Pie Town Mystery) by Kirsten Weiss @KensingtonBooks


Bleeding Tarts (A Pie Town Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – California
Kensington (April 24, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496708977
Kindle ASIN: B074DHC4P6

 

 

Val’s new pies are foolproof—but not bulletproof.
 
Old West ghost towns are as American as apple pie. So what better place to sponsor a pie-eating contest than the Bar X, a fake ghost town available for exclusive private events on the edge of Silicon Valley. Valentine Harris is providing the pies, hoping to boost business for her struggling Pie Town shop and become a regular supplier for the Bar X.

But no sooner does she arrive in town than a stray bullet explodes the cherry pie in her hands. And the delicious dessert is not the only victim. Val finds the Bar X bartender shot dead in an alley. Egged on by her flaky friend and pie crust specialist, Charlene, Val aims to draw out the shooter. But solving a real murder in a fake ghost town won’t be easy as pie. And if Val doesn’t watch her back, her pies won’t be the only thing filled full of lead . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Bullets are blazing everywhere when Val arrives with her delivery to the Bar X, one even takes out a pie SHE WAS HOLDING!! Covered in cherry pie she discovers one of the bullets hit someone. She finds the bartender from the Bar X Saloon dead in the alley when she runs for cover. She really wants the business from this fake ghost town to improve her bottom line but is it worth getting killed over?  Charlene has one of her “pie in the sky” ideas that she and Val (the Baker Street Bakers) can prove her old friend Marla is the murderer, I mean find the killer. But someone is not happy with their interference and lets them know it in some very dangerous ways.

Charlene is flakier than any of her fabulous crusts and Val loves her too much to call her out on her weird conspiracy theories. That is until she decides her old arch enemy Marla is guilty from the moment the shots were fired. Instead of trying to catch the real killer, who could still be Marla, Charleen tries to twist up all the facts.  I will admit to laughing out loud as Marla and Charlene’s rivalry soared to new heights throughout the story.  The author also introduces a supporting cast at the Bar X. These characters, like the ones we met in the first story, are very well written. We learn a lot about all of them within these pages.

I really enjoyed the setting of the Old West ghost town. Still new and just getting ready to open with a big event, a pie eating contest. A great way to mesh together the Pie Town shop with a new business. I also liked the little place Val has moved into. A very unique idea and the views are to die for.

The murder at the ranch gave a wide range of suspects. Who had alibis and who didn’t? Was it two people working together? Another murder shakes the investigation up as the fingers are being pointed at almost everyone.

A lot of drama took place away from the Bar X too. Val is being targeted by the killer, Heidi, owner of the gym next door is still on her SUGAR KILLS rampage, Val ex is still hanging around every though Val is trying to actually make it through a date with Detective Gordon Carmichael, and there may be fairies or ghosts in the local dog park.

Between Charlene’s trying to divert attention to Marla and the nice twists given by the author, I found this mystery very entertaining. Life at Pie Town and Val’s personal life added a lot to the story. I have never watched Stargate, but fans will love that Val and Charlene are watching the series and will enjoy the references to the characters.

Put all of this together along with all the pies and you have a delightful cozy mystery. I really like the cover too!

You are going to want to have pie available as you are reading. I recommend cherry, but skip the bullet!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Kirsten Weiss and her books on her website here.


Also by this Author



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 June 12, 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

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 Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge Reviews 2018 TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – The Quiche and the Dead (A Pie Town Mystery) by Kirsten Weiss #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks

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


The Quiche and the Dead (A Pie Town Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – California
Kensington (October 31, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 313 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496708960
Kindle ASIN: B01MUNBV7Q

 

Is Val’s breakfast pie the quiche of death?

Owning her own business seemed like pie in the sky to Valentine Harris when she moved to the coastal California town of San Nicholas, expecting to start a new life with her fiancé. Five months—and a broken engagement—later, at least her dream of opening a pie shop has become a reality. But when one of her regulars keels over at the counter while eating a quiche, Val feels like she’s living a nightmare.

After the police determine the customer was poisoned, business at Pie Town drops faster than a fallen crust. Convinced they’re both suspects, Val’s flaky, seventy-something pie crust maker Charlene drags her boss into some amateur sleuthing. At first, Val dismisses Charlene’s half-baked hypotheses, but before long the ladies uncover some shady dealings hidden in fog-bound San Nicholas. Now Val must expose the truth—before a crummy killer tries to shut her pie hole.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Welcome to the California coastal town of San Nicholas. A place where Valentine Harris expected to live a happy life with Mark Jeffreys. She was going to open a pie shop and he was going to sell real estate and they would live happily ever after. But that didn’t happen. Mark is selling real estate, his face is on signs everywhere. Val did open her pie shop. But there is no happily ever after, in fact, Val is living in her pie shop until she can afford to rent a place and she tries as hard as she can to avoid her ex. What did she ever see in that man?

The pie shop has a few regulars and the tourists love the place. Val is hoping to add to her business by adding breakfast pies to the menu. She cooks up a quiche to give to her new neighbor that has opened a gym, but the woman wants nothing to do with it. Regular Joe says he’ll take the quiche off her hands and quickly starts chowing down. Then just a quickly drops dead. The police say the man was poisoned and the future of Pie Town and its owner are in jeopardy. When septuagenarian pie crust baker Charlene decides she and Val need to start their own investigation Val just thinks its another of Charlene’s pie in the sky ideas. Then she finds herself out in the fog, in the middle of the night, trying to find out who really killed her customer. They may find out a lot more than they bargained for.

Pie Anyone?? Have one handy when you start reading!

I like Valentine Harris. She could have packed it in or moved her shop to another town, but she is sticking it out in San Nicholas. She is a smart woman with delicious ideas and a can-do attitude. I LOVE Charlene! Pie crust maker extraordinaire, a conspiracy theorist and owner of a very unique white cat. She had me laughing out loud time and time again.  Their sleuth abilities may be a bit lacking but they do make a great team. The supporting cast is diverse and really adds to the story.

I really enjoy the atmosphere of Pie Town, sans the murder, of course. Val has the coffee set up as self-serve, she offers a variety of sweet and savory pies, and allows a group of young adults who take a table daily to play games. It just feels very welcoming to residents of San Nichols and tourists too.

The mystery is very well plotted and written. Our victim Joe was a bit of a sleuth himself along with his friend Frank. When Val and Charlene start to dig into some of their “cases” they uncover some very interesting things that take their own investigation in many different directions. I followed all the clues and solved the murder right along with them.

This series is off to a wonderfully mouthwatering start. The main characters are fun and engaging and take us along on a fun whodunit. I really enjoyed my first trip to Pie Town and am excited that the second book in the series, Bleeding Tarts is already on my Kindle not so patiently waiting for me to read it.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Kirsten Weiss and her books on her website here.


Also by this Author



I am giving away 1 e-copy of
The Quiche and the Dead.
Book will be gifted from Amazon.

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

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 June 1, 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

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 Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Reviews 2018 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Christine E. Blum – Author of Murder Most Fermented #GuestPost / #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am excited to welcome Christine to Escape With Dollycas today!!

How A Tomato Turned Into a Murder Mystery
By Christine E. Blum

A little over a year ago I made the trek up the hill to Ocean View Farms with some fellow Rose Avenue Wine Club members to attend something called a “Tomato-bration”. Atop the hill and in the midst of 500 community garden plots was a gathering place where you could purchase starter tomato plants of seemingly infinite varieties. This may not seem unusual to many of you until I tell you that this was in the middle of West Los Angeles, an oasis surrounded by Whole Foods stores, gas stations and the not too distant motor sounds coming from the 405 Freeway. I was just finishing my first book, “Full Bodied Murder” and so instead of thinking about the fresh salsa and tomato sauce that I’d have all summer; I was thinking that this would be a perfect spot for a murder…

Time for a little history. In my books I treat Los Angeles as a living, breathing character and love to share the wonders of this city with my readers. I’m not talking about star sightings, lavish mansions and automobiles or an encounter with a Kardashian, I want you to see what I see, a magical place steeped in heritage and hard work. And the occasional murder.

When I returned home I immediately hopped online to do some research. That led me in a dozen directions with as many stories.

“California Rancheros”, men of Spanish and Mexican descent who mostly raised cattle, originally occupied the area. About the time that the Mexican War was ending, Yankee immigrants were making their way across the country attracted by the discovery of gold here.

Anderson Rose, for whom Rose Avenue is named, was one of said Yankee pioneers. Shortly after he arrived he began acquiring land. Some say over the years thousands of acres. He did initially mine, but with poor results so he stuck to ranching.

The discovery of oil in Los Angeles at the turn of the century and the fight for ownership was the stuff of legends. And amazingly there are still some oil derricks just blocks away from Rose Avenue. Every so often when new construction starts on old ground rumors fly about the possibility of striking oil.

The hill later became a bustling farmland producing lima beans and celery. People living in the area hunted with rifles and bows and arrows, raised poultry and rode horses up until as late as the 60’s.

A Murderous History

When I stumbled on the following story I knew that I had the perfect backdrop for my next book, “Murder Most Fermented”.

On the morning of February 10, 1947, on top of the Ocean View Farms hill, a tractor driver who was grading the fallow field spied something lying in the weeds.  A closer inspection revealed a ghastly sight: the nude, badly battered body of a dead woman, Mar Vista resident Jeanne French.

Jeanne, a nurse and bit player in the movies, had been stomped to death and her body desecrated with an obscenity written with her lipstick.

Jeanne’s brutal slaying was committed less than a month after the more famous “Black Dahlia” murder, and police investigators at the time believed the same fiend killed both women.  Some modern researchers concur; both crimes remain officially unsolved.

That got me thinking and I knew that I needed to pull all of this history together and weave it into a story for the ladies of the Rose Avenue Wine Club.

Now all that was left to do was to grab Bardot and head out to create and solve a murder…


~Christine

Thank you, Christine, for visiting today!

 

Murder Most Fermented (Rose Avenue Wine Club Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – California
Kensington (April 24, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496712127
Kindle ASIN: B074DGXVPC

 

 

Murder and merlot! The ladies of the Rose Avenue Wine Club are back to track down another killer . . .

When New York transplant Annie “Halsey” Hall starts digging for her tiny SoCal dream vineyard off Rose Avenue, the last thing she expects to unearth is an elderly woman. Between decanting chardonnays and rosés, Halsey and the women of the Wine Club pour over the list of suspects. Could the old woman have bottlenecked her great grandson’s latest scheme? Was it a case of super sour grapes with the local historical society? Or did a devious developer close a killer deal?

With the help of the Wine Club and her enthusiastic yellow lab, Bardot, Halsey must untangle the twisted tendrils of the mystery to clear her name and end a murderer’s reign of terroir . . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We are back on Rose Avenue with Halsey and Bardot. Halsey has been gifted a spot in the community garden and hopes to plant some grapes for her own mini vineyard. But as Bardot starts “helping” her turn over the soil he makes a shocking discovery. A body has been buried in her garden and it turns the neighborhood upside down. Halsey doesn’t waste any time getting involved in the investigation and the members of the Rose Avenue Wine Club are tipping their glasses and putting themselves in danger to help.

These ladies take their wine very seriously and when trying to catch a killer they meet more often and that means more wine for everyone. Every time one of them opened another bottle I chuckled just a bit. They do uncover clues and do get themselves in some dicey situations. Halsey even takes on the police after being arrested for trespassing. She wants answers and she wants them now.

I do like Halsey, she is not afraid to get her hands dirty to solve a crime, and she is not timid in her dealings with anyone. Her relationship with dog whisperer/trainer Jack is progressing but he hates that she is putting herself in danger. Bardot is quite a dog. He is a quick learner and just the type of dog Halsey needs especially when the chips are down.

Ms. Blum gives great descriptions of everything, the place, the people, the food and the WINE!

The characters are quirky, some more than others. Some strong friendships are made while a certain neighbor is mostly just tolerated for good reason. They are genuine and the dialogues between them ring true. And like I said, they love their wine.

The mystery was a tangled web but I had my killer chosen before Halsey and the ladies. It was a lot of fun reading on to be sure I was right. After all the years I have been reading cozies I still get excited when I catch on before the protagonist.

Wine lovers or book clubs that serve wine, this is a book for you, but all cozy lovers will enjoy and like me find it very entertaining. I like learning about the different wines too. If the book only came with free samples 🙂

I am excited about the continuation of this series. I can’t wait to visit these characters again. The Name of the Rosé will be released November 27.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About the Author

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


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.

Leave a comment for the author 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 May 16, 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

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 Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Reviews 2018 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – Murder at the Mushroom Festival (A Kelly Jackson Mystery) by Janet Finsilver – Great Escapes Book Tour

Murder at the Mushroom Festival (A Kelly Jackson Mystery)
by Janet Finsilver

Murder at the Mushroom Festival (A Kelly Jackson Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – California
Lyrical Underground (April 17, 2018)
Paperback: 176 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1516104239
Digital ASIN: B07465HNVP

 

 

There’s a corpse among the chanterelles!

Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast manager Kelly Jackson is hosting a cooking class during the Week of the Mushroom festival to attract guests, not drama. But soon after she finishes foraging for an edible mushroom species on sacred Native American land, a local newspaper reporter gets shot dead at the same site. With suspicions spreading like fungi in the quaint Northern Californian community over the culprit’s identity, Kelly and a savvy gang of sleuthing seniors known as the “Silver Sentinels” must uncover the truth about the secluded property before a tricky killer prepares another lethal surprise . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Mushrooms, Murder and a bit of Mayhem! It’s the Week of the Mushroom and many fun events have been planned. Cooking classes and various mushroom hunting tours. Kelly Jackson, manager of the Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast is participating in everything she can but it is not completely for her pleasure. No, she is tracking a murderer to clear her friend Daniel off the suspect list and the “Silver Sentinels” are helping her. Kelly finds herself in a little cold water but she and her friends are not giving up until they find the killer.

All my favorites were back for this new adventure but there was a new character that absolutely stole my heart. Priscilla, the mushroom/truffle-sniffing pig with a big pink bow. 🙂 Seriously though, Ms. Finsilver has created a wonderful cast of characters. The recurring characters are a tightly knit bunch and the new characters added several dimensions to the story. Several holding high places on the Sentinels suspect list. I really do enjoy the way this active group of senior citizens gets involved in the community and solving murders. I wish I was as active as they are.

The backdrop of the story is the illegal harvesting of Redwood trees and redwood sinker logs that have rested underwater for years. I found the information and description of the sculptures created from the redwood and sinker logs very interesting. The sinker logs are rare and there is a lot of red tape to obtain them legally.  We also see how protective mushroom gatherers are of their foraging sites. In this story, one site is on sacred Indian land.  I love learning new things while reading a cozy mystery. Plus the descriptions of the items and the places they were found created great imagery.

The author has given readers a solid mystery with plenty of twists. The Silver Sentinels had their lists on the board but finding someone with motive, means and opportunity just wasn’t lining up. Kelly was pulling out all the stops to figure it out. Readers like me will figure it out right before Kelly has her “aha moment”. Thankfully the woman can think on her feet.

At the end of Murder at the Fortune Teller’s TableI thought there was a romance budding for Kelly, that part of her story is moving very slowly book wise but in the timeframe of the series is unfolding at the right pace.

I have enjoyed this entire series and excited about where the characters are headed and eager to read about their next story.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About the Author

Janet Finsilver is the USA TODAY bestselling author of the Kelly Jackson mystery series. She worked in education for many years as a teacher, a program administrator, and a workshop presenter. Janet majored in English and earned a Master’s Degree in Education. She loves animals and has two dogs–Kylie and Ellie. Janet has ridden western style since she was a child and was a member of the National Ski Patrol. One of the highlights of her life was touching whales in the San Ignacio Lagoon. MURDER AT REDWOOD COVE, her debut mystery, was released on October 13, 2015. Her second book, MURDER AT THE MANSION, was released on June 7, 2016. Book 3, MURDER AT THE FORTUNE TELLER’S TABLE was released on March 14, 2017.

Author Links

Facebook – Twitter – Pinterest – Web

Find out more about Janet Finsilver and her books on her webpage here.

Purchase Links

Amazon   B&N   Kobo     Google+    BookBub

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Be sure to visit all the stops! 
April 16 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
April 18 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
April 19 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
April 19 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 20 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 21 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
April 22 – Community Bookstop – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 23 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 23 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
April 24 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 24 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST
April 25 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
April 26 – Varietats – SPOTLIGHT
April 27 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 28 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
April 29 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
April 30 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2018 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Terry Ambrose – Author of Clues in the Sand (A Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery) #GuestPost / #Review/ #Giveaway


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am happy to welcome Terry Ambrose back to Escapes With Dollycas!

The Trouble with Treasure

When I first began writing the Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery series, I felt I needed “a hook.” Problem was, I had no idea what that should be. When my wife made a comment about people loving a good treasure story, I decided to take on the writer’s favorite pastime—research. What I uncovered opened my eyes to a fascinating world I’d forgotten after history class let out.

The game begins

I have to admit, when I started, the stories of the Spanish treasure fleet captured my interest. Those ships sailed for months to bring enormous wealth from the New World back to Spain, but other countries saw these riches as an irresistible target. Why not? The Spanish had done the hard work—they’d conquered the Incan empire, mined the gold, and sailed thousands of miles to return home. The French, British, and Dutch were eager to reap the benefits of those efforts.

With easy money as the lure, the age of privateers began. In 1537, French privateers captured nine treasure ships, prompting Spain to send protection in the form of royal warships. This first treasure fleet became the standard for hundreds of years.

Swashbuckling pirates were just the beginning

Sixteenth Century treasure raiders relied on the strength and speed of their ships. Cannon, sword, and cunning ruled the sea. In 1708, the San Jose fell victim to this type of raid by a British warship. Those British privateers sank the San Jose, thus losing their bounty to the bottom of the sea where it lay for centuries.

When treasure hunters discovered the San Jose off the coast of Cartagena, its bounty was estimated at $17 billion. Treasure hunters, museums, and even governments salivated. Everyone wanted a piece of this pie. None wanted to give up their slice without a fight. This same spirit of lust—the desire to be the primary beneficiary of a 300-year-old bounty—was one element of the story behind Clues in the Sand.

Today, modern privateers no longer attack with cannon and sword. These treasure raiders are experienced divers who operate with highly specialized equipment. Professional divers conduct snatch-and-grab treasure raids and operate at depths that could kill a recreational scuba diver.

The lure of riches beyond belief

The voyage of the Manilla galleons took months to complete and was one of the most dangerous in the world. If privateers didn’t attack, violent storms could push a ship off course. If there were no storms, the winds might die and leave a ship to languish until its crew was too weak or too few to operate safely.

The Manilla galleons sailed for nearly 350 years. During that time Spain lost over forty ships at sea. The British and Dutch captured or destroyed many others. These were some of the richest cargos to sail the seas. Is it any wonder the promise of such instant wealth brought out the worst in everyone?

It was for all these reasons that when Kathy said, “You need a good hook,” I thought I’d found one. The lure of treasure hunting captured my interest. It wasn’t enough to risk everything on a gamble for instant celebrity, but it was enough for me to delve deeper and explore that world vicariously. I hope readers will enjoy the blending of snippets of treasure hunting with the small town atmosphere of Seaside Cove—where murder meets the sea.

* * *

~Terry

Thank you so much for visiting today, Terry! Kathy is right, people love a treasure story! Especially when there is a murder involved. 

 

Clues in the Sand (A Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – California
Satori (March 15, 2018)
Print Length: 191 pages
ASIN: B078ZMZQ48

To Rick Atwood’s dismay, the police find a body on the beach near his Seaside Cove B&B. The dead woman held a pottery shard from an ancient rice bowl, which the cops believe is a clue to her murder.

The chief suspect is Flynn O’Connor, a female archaeologist known for her hatred of treasure thieves. Trouble is, Rick’s daughter Alex sees Flynn as a role model and will not believe her friend is a killer.

Alex pressures her dad as only a ten-year-old can to prove Flynn is innocent. The mayor is also making demands—for Rick to stay out of the investigation. With his daughter and the mayor at odds, Rick sees trouble brewing. He knows too well how much Alex loves sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong. Especially when there’s murder involved.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Rick Atwood was hoping that murder was a rare occurrence in Seaside Cove, but another body has been found on the beach. Because of the pottery shard, she was holding in her hand and a witness archaeologist Flynn O’Connor is deemed the main suspect. His 10-year-old daughter Alex has become friends with Flynn and knows she didn’t do it. Rick tries to stay out of the police’s way but Alex takes some steps of her own that lands him right in the middle again.

I really fell for these characters in book 1, especially young Miss Alex. She is smart, generous, friendly, and knows how to get her way with both her dad and Marquetta. In addition to helping her dad around the B&B and organizing help to solve the murder, she is doing her darndest to bring Rick and  Marquetta together. She is a girl on a mission or two, and I absolutely love it.

The author has written a very clever mystery. The mayor was very prickly this time and Rick knew she was up to something, but did it have anything to do with the murder? I really enjoyed the way Rick pursued his theories and wasn’t afraid to ask the hard questions. I also learned a key piece of information about the murder weapon and more about sunken treasures. I always like it when I learn something new while reading my mysteries. There were plenty of suspects and clues in the sand and elsewhere that kept me guessing until the very end.

Again, the cover calls to me, as did the descriptions of the B&B, especially the attic this time, and the town of Seaside Cove.

Mr. Ambrose has a fun, easy, writing style. It is very comfortable with ebbs and flows. A perfect mystery for a lazy afternoon. I enjoyed the setting, the mystery, and the characters. I am excited for the next book in this series!

About the Author

Terry Ambrose is a former skip tracer who only stole cars when it was legal. He’s long since turned his talents to writing mysteries and thrillers. Several of his books have been award finalists and in 2014 his thriller, “Con Game,” won the San Diego Book Awards for Best Action-Thriller. He’s currently working on the Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery series.

Author Links:

Website    Facebook   Goodreads



Just click on the book cover for more information or to purchase from Amazon.

The author is giving away 1 Print Copy of Clues In The Sand! 

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US 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.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

Leave a comment for Terry 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 April 4, 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

Terry’s Great Escapes Tour starts tomorrow!!

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 Flashback Friday Giveaways Reviews 2018 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – A Treasure to Die For (A Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery) by Terry Ambrose #Review / #Giveaway

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


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

 

 

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

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

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

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

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have to start by commenting on that cover! So beautiful. I would love to escape to that room and place immediately and I may never come back.

Rick Atwood has inherited a Bed & Breakfast in Seaside Cove from his grandfather, Captain Jack. He and his 10-year-old daughter Alex have moved in. They also seem to inherit Marquetta, a young attractive chef, who knows everything about running the B&B. The place is at full capacity as a group of treasure seekers has come to town to search a vessel that is said to have sunk just off the coast. Unfortunately, one of the group is found dead – murdered and now Rick has a house full of suspects and his daughter wants to help solve the case.

This is a unique cozy mystery.  Alex is not your typical 10-year-old. That girl is inquisitive and takes nosy to a whole new level. Her father does his best to reel her in and keep her safe but she really knows no bounds. Rick a former investigative reporter steps in to help the young officer in charge of the investigation. He has never had to handle a murder before and the mayor has tied his hands as far as asking for support for another department. He usually spends his time checking water meters and keep the tourists out of trouble. He really needs Rick’s help to find the killer.

The author has taken a unique approach. Marquetta had given a journal to Alex as soon as she arrived. The chapters go back and forth from Rick’s and Alex’s point of views. Alex’s pages usually start with or are just a journal entry. I loved her perspective of what was going on around her. Some of her ideas are pure fantasy and some are right on the nose.  Rick has and is going to have his hands full with his daughter now and for many years to come.

The mystery itself had a lot of moving parts, it was fun to follow along with Alex and Rick to get a bird’s eye view of their investigation. It was also interesting to learn the history of these sunken treasures found under the sea and the business thinking behind the groups of treasure hunters.

I was very taken with the characters Mr. Ambrose had introduced. They were believable and so real they jumped right off the pages. The pint-size Nancy Drew, Alex, absolutely stole my heart.

I loved this story!  I am excited about this series! A perfect escape, summer read or virtual vacation!

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

Truth be told, I jumped right into book 2, Clues in the Sand, shortly after finishing this book. Watch for my review next Wednesday when Terry Ambrose in my guest for Cozy Wednesday! 

About the Author

Terry Ambrose is a former skip tracer who only stole cars when it was legal. He’s long since turned his talents to writing mysteries and thrillers. Several of his books have been award finalists and in 2014 his thriller, “Con Game,” won the San Diego Book Awards for Best Action-Thriller. He’s currently working on the Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery series.

Author Links:

Website    Facebook   Goodreads



Just click on the book cover for more information or to purchase from Amazon.

I am giving 1 e-copy of A Treasure to Die For away! 

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.
 

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 30, 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

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 Guest Posts Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Reviews 2018 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Daryl Wood Gerber – Author of Pressing the Issue (A Cookbook Nook Mystery) – #GuestPost / #Recipe / #Review /#Giveaway

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

Please help me welcome Daryl Wood Gerber back to Escape With Dollycas! 

Hi Everyone,

I’m often asked if I do research for my books.

Yes!!! Sometimes I do it by reading books. Sometimes I go online to travel the world for ideas. Sometimes I review photographs on Pinterest and similar sites for visual ideas. And sometimes I go in person to a store, a town, or an event.

For Pressing the Issue, I attended the Renaissance Fair in Los Angeles. I’ve been to many over the years, but I decided to attend a current one to see if they’d changed much. They hadn’t. The vendors were all delightful. I particularly loved the candle display and the knives display. The costumes were fabulous. I dressed up, but I wished I’d purchased a wench costume for next time. They were so colorful and there was such an array. I took in the birds of prey show and watched the merry dancers.

And then I ventured to the food court. Yum. The aromas from all the delicious goodies were heavenly. Turkey legs, meat on a stick, pasties, mead!

One of the foods I’d never seen at a fair before was Hawker’s Mush. Hawker, of course, means vendor or seller. As for the word mush? Don’t let the name fool you. This is NOT porridge. It’s like a very large potato pancake but made with spinach and onions and wild rice, and then drizzled with hollandaise sauce. Divine.

Enjoy.

Hawker’s Mush

4 tablespoons or more, butter

1 large onion, chopped (about 1 ½ cups)

4 cups raw spinach, shredded (becomes about 2 cups)

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons sherry

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 cups cooked brown rice and wild rice mix

3 eggs, beaten

Hollandaise sauce *recipe below

In a medium frying pan, melt butter over medium heat. Sauté onions until soft and beginning to turn golden brown, about 8 -10 minutes. If the onions seem dry, add another tablespoon of butter. Then add raw spinach.

Sauté until all the moisture from the spinach is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Turn heat down and add the thyme, crushed garlic, and sherry. Add salt and pepper. Simmer until all liquid is absorbed, about 2-4 minutes more. Cool 5 minutes.

In a large bowl mix the wild rice, the onion-spinach mixture, and the beaten eggs.

This step you’ll have to do in batches: in a medium frying pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add rice-onion-spinach in 1/2 cup portions. Flatten each down so you have rounds about ½ ” in thickness. Cook over medium heat until set. Flip over and cook until golden.

Slide onto a plate and put in a warm oven. Repeat until all are cooked.

When ready, serve with hollandaise sauce.

Hollandaise sauce

3 egg yolks

1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 cup butter (one stick)

In the blender, combine the egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice, and white pepper. Blend for about 5-10 seconds.

Put the butter into a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup and melt completely about 30-45 seconds.

Set the blender on high speed and add the melted butter to the egg mixture in a thin stream. It will thicken up, fast.

NEAT TRICK:  You can keep the sauce warm until serving by placing the blender itself in a pan of hot water.

~Daryl

Pressing the Issue (A Cookbook Nook Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – California
Beyond the Page (February 20, 2018)
Paperback: 242 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1946069528
Kindle ASIN: B07955HXRS

 

 

As the annual Renaissance Fair comes to Crystal Cove, Jenna Hart’s Cookbook Nook is packed with tasty treats and all things medieval, while her pal Bailey is ready to swoon over her upcoming nuptials at a local vineyard. But when the two friends discover the body of the vineyard’s owner bludgeoned by a winepress, all their merriment fades, along with their hopes for a vintage year.

Which churlish varlet did the deed? Was it the victim’s errant brother, who stood to inherit the vineyards? Or the owner’s crestfallen ex-girlfriend? Mayhap it was the newly arrived comely wench or her jealous husband. Fie on them all! Verily, Jenna can’t rest until justice is served, and she vows to track down the killer. But can she sniff out the truth before the villainous culprit strikes again?

Includes tantalizing recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We arrive in Crystal Cove just in time for the Renaissance Fair and Bailey’s wedding. Everyone was having a great time until the Nick, the king of the faire and owner of the venue for Bailey’s wedding is found dead. With a booth at the fair, the Cookbook Nook, and all the wedding plans the last thing Jenna Hart needs in a murder to solve. Nick was a very popular resident of Crystal Cove, who would want him dead? Jenna starts talking to everyone she can, maybe she can find the killer before all the people in town for the faire clear out and maybe Bailey’s dream wedding can take place as planned. Let the sleuthing begin.

The last book in this series had me struggling with many emotions. I was so glad to pick up this book and reconnect with all the characters and their lives at a happy time with the wedding and Ren Faire. The author does an excellent job of getting us up to date and back into the groove with Jenna and her friends and family. We also meet some new characters in town for the faire. Daryl Wood Gerber creates such delightful characters that have grown in each new installment of this series.

I was very taken with the vineyard setting Bailey and Tito had chosen for their nuptials. It was described so nicely and sounded like a beautiful place. I have never been to a Ren Faire but I had in my mind a set-up similar to the setting in Joyce and Jim Lavene’s Renaissance Faire Mysteries, but this being only a pop-up type event it wasn’t as elaborate as the faire in those stories, but it sure appeared to be a lot of fun. 

The mystery is so well-written, plenty of suspects and plenty of twists. I do have a problem when I read books by this author. I tend to get all wrapped up in happening to the regular characters and the great books Jenna has a the CookBook Nook that I usually miss some very important clue. This time I made myself pay attention, even highlighting lines from the book on my Kindle. This time when we reached the reveal of the killer I was so happy to see my diligence paid off and I was right.

Another great story from Daryl Wood Gerber.

This series is best read in order for maximum enjoyment.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About the 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 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

Instagram  YouTube Newsletter Sign Up

Purchase Links




Click on covers to view details on Amazon.
Thanks to the author 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.

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

Subscribe to Daryl Wood Gerber’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 21, 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

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 Guest Posts Literary Escapes Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Reviews 2018 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Winnie Archer – Author of Crust No One – #GuestPost / #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks

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

Guest Post
by Winnie Archer

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy reading.

Winnie Archer

 

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


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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

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

Written as Melissa Bourbon

Written as Misa Ramirez


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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for the author 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 January 31, 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

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.”