Posted in Giveaways Reviews 2013

Review & Giveaway: Retirement Can Be Murder by Susan Santangelo

retirement can be murderRetirement Can Be Murder — Every Wife Has A Story
A Baby Boomer Mystery
1st in Series
Cozy Mystery
Baby Boomer Mysteries Press (April 1, 2009)
Paperback: 231 pages
E-Book File Size: 402 KB
ASIN: B004KKZ40C
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Carol Andrews and her Beloved Husband, Jim, are members of the fastest growing demographic in history, the Baby Boomer generation. Jim has started thinking about retiring because he isn’t really happy with all the new changes at work. Carol has her own routine and the last thing she needs is Jim hanging around the house all day. During a lunch with her friends Carol learns about retirement coaches. She thinks this is just what Jim needs to convince him retirement is just not the best option for him right now. She finds a retirement counselor online and using her years of experience being married to “her Beloved” she makes him think it was his idea to contact the guy. Carol is thrilled until the coach ends up dead and Jim becomes Murder Suspect #1.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Being a “Baby Boomer” myself I was very interested to learn about this series so I have started from the beginning. What a treat!!

Santangelo has created some interesting characters and put them in a situation many of us could be facing in the not too distant future. I think Jim is kind of a jerk and thank my lucky stars “my Beloved” is nothing like him, but he and Carol seem to be quite compatible and that makes for a great story even without the dead guy 🙂

A healthy dose of humor is injected throughout the entire story. The chapters each start with a retirement joke or phase. I found myself giggling several times. Carol knows how to handle her husband and at times he even knows it too! Having an adult child move back home added another nice element to the tale.

The mystery was light and enjoyable as Carol slowly found each piece to the puzzle. This would be a good book to take to the beach this summer. A very fast read, those pages just kept turning.

This was a very pleasant debut for this series. I definitely want to read Moving Can Be Murder to see what Carol is up to next.

just you and a friend
4 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


About The Author

Susan Santangelo has been a feature writer, drama critic and editor for daily and weekly newspapers and magazines in the New York metropolitan area, including a stint at Cosmopolitan magazine. A member of Sisters in Crime and The Cape Cod Writers Center, she shares her life with her Personal Beloved and one very spoiled English cocker spaniel, Boomer. She divides her time between Connecticut and Cape Cod.
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 I would love to share my review copy with one lucky winner!!

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 August 23, 2013 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 Reviews 2013

Review: Steamed to Death by Peg Cochran

steamed to death june 2013 Steamed to Death
(A Gourmet De-Lite Mystery)

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (June 4, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Teresa Fasolino
Cover Design by Sarah Oberrender
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425252208
E-Book File Size: 801 KB
ASIN: B009NY2PZC
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Gourmet health food caterer Gigi Fitzgerald is used to helping dieters drop a dress size. But when her clients start dropping dead, she’s ready to switch her chef’s hat for a detective’s cap and track down a killer. . .

One of Gigi’s new clients is aging soap star Felicity Davenport. She needs to lose a few pounds and then plans to have an extreme makeover to give her career a boost.  Felicity has also asked Gigi to do a little catering as she entertains some high profile guests from out of town. But before the guests even arrive Felicity has been steamed permanently. She was found dead in her sauna and it was definitely murder.

The cops suspect Gigi’s very pregnant friend Sienna.  Gigi heats things up when she directs them toward several other suspects that have much better reasons to want the actress out of the picture. She had better be careful or she may be the next one getting burned!!

Dollycas’s Thoughts
I fell for these characters quickly while reading the first book in this series, Allergic to Death. They are even better in this one and they are joined by Declan McQuaid.  He may just give Dectective Mertz a run for his money when it comes to Gigi’s affections. In addition to Sienna she has served up a nice batch of other suspects too. From Felicity’s husband, her stepson, her manager, to the young starlet that plans to replace Felicity in the starring role, and more. Each could have set the dial to cook the soap star.

The other thing I enjoy about these books is Gigi promotes healthy eating without sounding preachy and the delightful meals are described so well you can almost taste them. I wish they were really coming to our grocery stores but we are treated to a couple of recipes. One we plan to try soon as my husband just doesn’t believe it will work. I hope to post more about “Magic Omelets” soon!

You do not have to be on a diet or a foodie to love this story. A well plotted mystery with plenty of red herrings  – in the story, not in the recipes 🙂

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To find out all about Peg and her alias Meg check out her web page 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.”

steamed to death june 2013readalattechallenge_zps01d248d0

Posted in Giveaways Literary Escapes Reviews 2013

Review: Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans By Joanne DeMaio (Giveaway too!)

BLUE JEANS

Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 1, 2013)
Trade Paperback: 330 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1479262779
E-Book File Size: 510 KB
ASIN: B00BORGOVC

Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans


Escape to Stony Point, cuff your jeans and walk along the water’s edge in this nostalgic story bringing old friends, and their lives, back to the sea …

Designer Maris Carrington has returned to Stony Point to get her family home ready for sale after he father passes away. A home movie tucked inside a dusty attic box leads to an unexpected summer as she discovers a family secret.

She reconnects with old friends and finds inspiration for her new denim clothing line. Her friends lives are all in a state of flux and one has passed away. As memories are shared and remembered Maris starts to wonder about her life in Chicago. What is really holding there? Is she leading a life that makes her happy?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This was the perfect story for me to read while we were going through the stress of moving. When things were getting too tough or tempers were flaring I could tune out and “escape” into the pages of Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans. I absolutely loved Whole Latte Life so was excited when I was asked to review this one. I still can’t believe this is only this author’s second book. She as woven together the lives of the characters with the hand of a master.

I think every reader will find they can identify will at least one of the characters. Eva, Matt, Kyle, Lauren, Jason and Maris are full, rich characters that all bring their own special qualities to this story of friendship, the choices made, love and regrets. Together they lean on each other and help each other heal, move forward and rebuild their lives. ?

All the characters are extraordinary but Jason really touched my heart, maybe because we both have leg issues 🙂 Truthfully he has been carrying a huge weight on his shoulders and seeing him start to deal with his misplaced guilt was empowering.

The beach setting was a character in itself as so many answers were found just looking at the water and walking along the shoreline. I could smell the salt water and hear the surf and even find solace myself.

This is a very moving story that takes you on an emotional roller coaster but is comfortable like your favorite pair of blue jeans. I was sad to reach the last page. I highly recommend this captivating story that will stick with you long after you close the book. a perfect escape 5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author

Joanne DeMaio is the award-winning author of Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans and the bestselling novel Whole Latte Life, which won First Place in the 2012 Discovery Awards and was named a Kirkus Reviews Critics’ Pick. It has also been featured in USA Today, The Huffington Post and other outlets. Blue Jeans and Coffee Beansis her second novel. Both books explore the intricate relationships between mothers and daughters, sisters and friends. In addition, her music essays have appeared in literary journals, celebrating her passion for song. Joanne lives with her family in Connecticut and is currently at work on her next book.

Find out more at her webpage here.

Connect with her on: 25 (2)

 

 

 

I am giving away my gently read review copy!!

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

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

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, 2013 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 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.”

BLUE JEANSreadalattechallenge_zps01d248d02013where are you reading

Posted in Reviews 2012

Review: Book, Line and Sinker by Jenn McKinlay

379178_3712015071951_1022866432_33311551_119250024_n

Book, Line, and Sinker
(A Library Lover’s Mystery)
3rd Book in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (December 4, 2012)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Julia Green
Cover Design by Rita Frangie
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425251768

Book, Line and Sinker (Library Lover's Mystery, #3)Pirates in Briar Creek??! Well maybe just some in costume today but a salvage company has landed in town with hopes of finding buried treasure on Pirate Island. Residents are divided on their feelings about the excavation but Lindsey’s downstairs neighbor, Charlie Peyton, has signed on with the company to help dig up the booty. Things barely get underway when the body of Trudi Hargrave is found at the site. She’s the local tourism director who arranged for the dig. Charlie becomes one of the suspects so Lindsey decides to do some digging of her own before the truth gets buried for good.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jenn McKinlay has written another bestseller here.

The reader is welcomed right into the Briar Creek Library for a meeting of the crafternoon group. The group works on their crafts like knitting or crochet while discussing the pre-selected book. Of course the discussion gets off track and family news and community gossip is shared. Talks try to stay on topic if sour “lemon” Mrs. Cole is lurking. These characters are fantastic!!!! In this installment Lindsey’s ex even makes an appearance. Will his presence throw a wrench in Lindsey’s and Sully’s romance? This reviewer is not telling. 🙂

McKinlay writes a fast paced mystery filled with humor, romance and intrigue. The friendships are genuine and true. Briar Creek sounds like a wonderful place to live and the library a perfect place to be to keep your thumb on the pulse of the community. I really hate getting to end of these stories knowing I must wait months to visit Lindsay, Beth, Sully, Heathcliff and even Mrs. Cole again. I will be watching for Read It and Weep to hit the shelves. Soon I hope.

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author

Jenn is the New York Times bestselling author of the Cupcake Bakery mystery series and the Library Lover’s mysteryseries. She will be debuting the London Hat Shop mysteries in 2013. She also writes the Decoupage mystery series under the name Lucy Lawrence and the Good Buy Girls mystery series under the name Josie Belle.

Her main interests are reading, writing, baking, knitting and skateboarding. She lives in sunny AZ in a house overrun with kids, pets and guitars.

Find out more about Jenn McKinlay at www.jennmckinlay.com

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2012

Cozy Wednesday with Author Peg Cochran (Giveaway too!)


Welcome To Cozy Wednesday!

I get so excited when I receive the first book in a brand new cozy series. New characters to get to know, a new town to scope out, maybe a pet or two, and of course a murder! Peg Cochran is here today to tell us a bit about how Gigi Fitzgerald and Gigi’s Gourmet De-Lites came to Woodstone,Connecticut. There is lemonade on the table, help yourself, and help me welcome Peg Cochran.

Hi Peg!!

Hi Everyone!

When I decided that I wanted to write a “cozy” mystery, I learned from my successful cozy writer friends (Krista Davis, Laura Alden, Janet Bolin and Avery Aames) that I needed a strong “hook” for the series.  Not unlike a fisherman’s hook, I needed something to reel my readers in.  I thought about it quite a bit and decided that what I’d really love to do was marry my passion for cooking (and eating!) with my love of writing and mysteries.

I looked at what was already on the market, and there were quite a few foodie mysteries already.  I needed something with a twist.  I thought about diet food…but my friends reminded me that cozies are supposed to be indulgent.  And dieting is anything but!  So I decided, how about gourmet low-calorie food that’s home-cooked and hand-delivered three times per day? Maybe even I could stay on a diet if I had access to such a service.  Voila!  My Gourmet De-Lite series was born.

I wanted my protag to be feisty (the plaque in her kitchen reads “I have an Irish temper and an Italian attitude.”)  But I didn’t want her to be too tough so I made her slightly damaged—her husband has left her for an older woman.  What a blow!

But it takes more than that to get Gigi Fitzgerald down!  She moves to Woodstone, Connecticut, rents a charming cottage, starts her business and acquires a Westhighland white terrier named Reg as a sidekick!  Her business allows her the flexibility to do a lot of investigating (poking her nose into things might be a more appropriate way of putting it!), especially when her client dies from a peanut allergy and Gigi becomes suspect number one!

Woodstone, Connecticut doesn’t really exist—except in my imagination.  I love Connecticut and gave the town everything I would want to have in a place I lived—lots of big, old trees, charming shops, interesting characters.  It’s the ideal small town, and isn’t that what cozies are all about?  Except for the murder of course!

 ~Peg

Thank you so much for being here today! I am anxiously awaiting the next installment 🙂

To find out all about Peg and her alias Meg check out her web page here.

Allergic to Death
(A Gourmet De-Lite Mystery)

Brand New Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Murder
The Berkley Publishing Group (August 7, 2012)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425251461
Cover Illustraion by Teresa Fasolino
Cover Design by Sarah Oberrender

Allergic to Death


Gigi Fitzgarald has brought a new diet plan to Woodstone with her business Gigi’s Gourmet De-lite. She makes 3 meals a day for her clients. With Martha Bernhardt, a restaurant reviewer, as her newest client she just knows her business is going to grow as her clients lose some inches. When Martha drops dead after eating one of Gigi’s meals things just go nuts! Seems Martha had a peanut allergy and there were traces of peanut oil in her last meal.

Gigi know she didn’t drizzle any peanut oil anywhere near Martha’s meal so she needs to find out who did and fast before more of her clients start dropping like flies instead of dropping the pounds.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
The author has created a wonderful mix of characters in a wonderful setting. Gigi has just enough spice to make her a woman to reckoned with and a heart that will have you rooting for her from the first chapter. Her friend Sienna is a great sounding board and Detective Mertz was really growing me and Gigi too. The puppy on the cover is a lovable Westie that used to belong to Martha. Gigi wastes no time in agreeing to take in her new four legged friend.

As someone who is allergic to nuts this story his me on a personal level. Thankfully I have never had a severe reaction and watch what I eat so have not even had a minor flare up in years. But what a perfect way to commit a murder. Well almost perfect because the culprit does get caught.

A great debut for what I know is going to be a great series. There are even some of Gigi’s de-lite-ful recipes to try and some dieting tips too!


Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Want to win a copy of this great debut!
Thanks to the people at Penguin
I have 2 copies to giveaway!!

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

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

Leave a comment for Peg for 5 Bonus Entries !

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

Contest Will End August 22, 2012 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 FOR THE 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 Reviews 2012 Virtual Book Tour

Whole Latte Life Virtual Blog Tour (Giveaway too!)

I am happy to be part of this tour. There is even a blog inspired by the book where the author, Joanne Demaio, has shared her life while writing it and continues to share with her followers.

I had heard a lot about this book around the blogosphere so I was thrilled when my copy of the book arrived. I can’t wait to share it and my thoughts with you!!!


Would you leave everything behind to know who you are?

That’s exactly what Sara Beth Riley does, she leaves her friend alone in New York while she goes off to find herself. Her best friend Rachel plans a Girl’s Weekend to celebrate their 40th birthdays and Sara Beth is there one minute and gone the next. Sara Beth’s journey to find who she really is or change into the person she thinks she needs to be leaves a lot of collateral damage touching both her best friend and her own family. It sets off a summer from Manhattan to a cottage by the sea, a carriage house to a dream house. How much will her decision cost Sara Beth? Her best friend, her husband, her dreams….plus can she come to grips with what is already gone?

Dollycas’s Thoughts
This story took this reader on quite an emotional roller coaster and I have to be very careful with this review not to give the story away.

I went from thinking Sara Beth was a selfish B****, to come to a bit of an understanding of what she was going through. I felt so sorry for Rachel being left in New York wondering if her friend was dead or alive. I wanted to strangle Sara Beth for putting her through that. But Rachel meets someone wonderful as she is surviving the mess Sara Beth made and turns lemons into lemonade.

It is extremely easy to identify with both Sara Beth and Rachel. They are both complex characters dealing with monumental issues, each handling them very differently. Sara Beth’s way was much more extreme, wavering between mid-life crisis and scary mental breakdown.

The story was a true test of love for both characters, the choice to move on or run away. Self love, mother’s love, second chance at love, true love. The bonds made with best friends, spouses, our children, our family, the bonds that bend but don’t break.

DeMaio has written a truly endearing story that will leave us all star gazing and wanting to be kissed in the moonlight!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent



ABOUT THIS AUTHOR

Joanne DeMaio is an author, exploring through her writing the journey to living a fulfilling life. Her debut novel, WHOLE LATTE LIFE, was published in March 2012. In addition, her music essays have appeared in literary journals, celebrating her passion for song, in print. Joanne lives with her family in Connecticut, where the coffee is always brewing, either in her country kitchen or a favorite coffee shop, and the talk is ever flowing over a fresh cup of java.

You can find out more at

http://www.joannedemaio.com

or

http://joannedemaio.blogspot.com

Would you like to win a copy of this wonderful book?

The tour is giving away one copy paperback or e-book (Winners Choice)
and I will add my gently read copy so we have 2 to giveaway!

U.S. and CANADIAN RESIDENTS

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

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

Two more bonus entries if you follow Whole Latte Life.

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

Contest Will End April 19, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. 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 Cruisin Thru Cozies Literary Escapes Reviews 2012 What An Animal Reading Challenge

Due Or Die by Jenn McKinlay

Due or Die
(A Library Lover’s Mystery)

Second in the Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Julia Green
Cover Design by Rita Frangie
Available Now

Lindsey Norris is back and there is a big shake up at the library when the president of the Friends of the Library group, Bill Sint, is ousted after serving for several years. He is replaced by Carrie Rushton and one of Bill’s supporters starts to take things a little too far, but would “Batty” Bilson commit murder? Carrie Rushton’s husband in found dead and all the evidence points at Carrie, but Lindsey knows she is innocent.

To make matters worse the murder investigation takes a backseat when a nor’easter buries the small town of Briar Creek. The entire community is forced to wait out the storm and then dig out after it passes.

Lindsey can’t just stay cooped up and wait for others to investigate. Librarians are always asked tricky reference questions but Who killed Markus Rushton? is the most difficult posed to Lindsey yet. With the help of her friends and a very special canine, she does her best to find the answer to that question before she finds herself checked out permanently.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
I love it! I Love It! I LOVE IT!!!

Jenn has created another awesome cozy set in one of my favorite places, the local library. Old “lemon” Mrs. Cole has returned and I think her face is more puckered than ever. A new character, Heathcliff, has joined the fun and at the perfect time.

I thought winter’s in Wisconsin were bad but those nor’easters that hit Connecticut are something else. I would enjoy being snowed in with a good book like this one, curled up in front of fire, reading by the light of the flames, but then there is that nasty murderer running around. Poor Lindsey just can’t catch a break, but she does catch the killer.

This story is fast paced, I couldn’t put it down. There are great friendships, a romance that is building, an engaging mystery and a big dose of humor, most provided by the lovable Heathcliff. I love the way Jenn McKinlay writes. I feel like I am right in the room observing the action. I am anxiously waiting the next installment, Book, Line and Sinker, coming in December. I can’t wait to see what Lindsey and the gang are up to next!!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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