Posted in My Reading Itinerary Monday

My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #23 2017

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will really be traveling this week…Connecticut…Alabama…Minnesota. 

Here’s what I read and what
I have planned for this week.

Books Completed


Fatal Facade (An Allison Campbell Mystery)
Release Date – June 13, 2017
Setting – Italy
My Review

The Deadly Art of Deception (Caribou King Mysteries)
My Flashback Friday Book
Release Date – September 30, 2016
Setting – Alaska
My Review

Murder at the Puppy Fest (A Melanie Travis Mystery)
Release Date – June 27, 2017
Review will be up tomorrow!

Grace to the Finish (A Manor House Mystery)
Release Date – June 27, 2017
Setting – North Carolina
Review will be up Thursday!

Books Scheduled

The Beach at Painter’s Cove: A Novel Release Date – June 13, 2017
Setting – Connecticut
For Review


The House of Memory (Pluto’s Snitch)
Release Date – June 27, 2017
Setting – Alabama
For Review


Booked 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery)
Release Date – June 27, 2017
Setting – Arizona
J.C. Eaton will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday next week!

Click Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!
Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes Reviews 2017 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Flashback Friday – The Deadly Art of Deception by Linda Crowder – #Review / #Giveaway / #FF


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 Deadly Art of Deception (Caribou King Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Alaska
Cozy Cat Press (September 30, 2016)
Paperback: 230 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1939816979
Kindle ASIN: B01LZ698BS

 

 

Only two seasons matter in Coho Bay, Alaska––cruise ship and winter. Caribou King, owner of The Broken Antler Gallery, is hip-deep in tourists when her old college pal Taylor shows up asking for refuge, saying she has no place else to go. Cara is cautious; Taylor was the wife of one of Alaska’s most renowned artists––Jonathan Snow, who was mauled to death by a bear the previous year. Why would his widow want to return to the location of her tragic loss? Something about Taylor’s story just doesn’t ring true. Of course, she may not be the only liar in town. Taylor’s former father-in-law accuses her of killing his son in front of a diner full of people, except he may have had a stronger motive. A handsome boat captain seems to fancy both Cara and Taylor and can’t make up his mind between them––or between lying and telling the truth. And the local constable mistrusts everyone, but may have a reason to be mistrusted himself. Will Cara help her old friend Taylor, or will doing so get her into a heap of trouble? When a headless body is discovered in the bay, Cara wonders just who she can trust in this tiny town.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Coho Bay, Alaska was just a small town on the Alaskan coast before cruise ships made it one of their stops. Now the town is supported by “cruise ship season” which is nearing a close for the year. Everyone knows everyone’s busy and gossip travels at the speed of light. Caribou King (Cara) owns the The Broken Antler Gallery, her sister, Mel, and her husband, Bent, own and run the local diner and her parents are off in the wilderness on a Moose Count.  Cara is surprised when her friend Taylor returns to Coho Bay. Her husband was an artist just starting to take off with his career when he was killed by a bear. Taylor left town shortly after. Cara cannot get a straight story from Taylor but it seems to be her husband’s death is in question. Soon after her arrival the town is shocked when a body sans head and hands is found in the bay. Can the deaths be connected? Does Taylor’s reappearance in town have anything to do with the dead man? Who can Cara really trust to find answers?

I was familiar with this author from her Jake and Emma Mysteries so I knew this story was going to be good, and I was not disappointed.

I have not read many books set in Alaska but the author’s descriptive words painted some beautiful pictures in my mind. Set near the end of the summer the weather was very changeable. One day summer like and warm, the next could bring rain or even snow. You would have to be one tough cookie to live there year round.

Caribou King, the name made me shake my head a bit, but I was fine calling her Cara is a complex protagonist, smart, funny, comfortable hunting elk and moose with her father, but awkward around men and a bit naive. She is tall for a girl, was the football quarterback in high school because there weren’t enough guys to fill a team. There aren’t many men in town and most are taken or look at her as a buddy rather than a woman to date and she is fine with that.  She lives in the apartment above the gallery and takes most of her meals at the diner, where she helps out every morning at 5:30 a.m.

The story focuses on Cara and her family, Taylor, her friend from college, Taylor’s ex-father-in-law, the local police officer and visitor who has booked a cabin for the summer. Ms. Crowder wraps them in terrific mystery that had both me and Cara twisted up in knots trying to figure out whodunit. At times the story became very suspenseful making the book hard to put down and easy to read in one sitting.

I really enjoyed this book and think we have hit just the tip of the iceberg with these characters. I am excited to see what book number brings. Maybe a little romance for Cara??

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

linda Linda grew up in Loveland, Colorado, the youngest of six children. She moved with her parents to California when she was 16 and spent the next 16 years of her life in the Bay Area before moving home to Colorado and finally to Wyoming.

In her writing, Linda draws from her vast and varied experience with people facing domestic violence, hunger, homelessness, mental illness and suicide. Her nonfiction is full of practical strategies and her fictional characters leap off the page with all the nuances, strengths and frailties that draw readers to her work.

Her current projects include the third Jake and Emma Mystery, “Justice for Katie,” now out and a new edition of “Life Isn’t Just Luck” to give readers even more real-world advice and activities. Linda is also working on a series of inspirational short stories and exploring a humorous new series called “It’s a Gift” about a young woman determined to make the most of every day of her life.

Follow Linda on Twitter https://twitter.com/LJCrowder

Check out her Author Site www.lindajcrowder.com for news and snippets of upcoming books.

Find her on Facebook – She loves to share books she’s read and recommends and she enjoys chatting with readers. www.facebook.com/lindajcrowderauthor


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Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Guest Posts Reviews 2016 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Julie Seedorf – Author of The Penderghast Puzzle Protectors – #Giveaway too!

cozy wednesday 2013 640

I am so pleased to welcome Julie Seedorf to Escape With Dollycas today
as part of her Great Escapes Book Tour! 

The Penderghast Puzzle Protectors large banner640

author photo2Thank you Lori and Escape with Dollycas for having me on your site today. You are awesome. I also thank you for all you do for authors.

I still have a hard time when asked what I do, meaning my career, answering that I am a writer or an author. It seems too much of a dream and though my column in newspapers was born in 2005, I feel I haven’t earned the accolades to call myself an author or a writer. I fear it happens to all of us–we have a hard time believing in ourselves. We also have a hard time knowing what to share about ourselves and often times the only thing we end up sharing is asking people to buy our books.

It is risky letting our readers know who we are and what makes us tick. We want to be liked and not get zinged in the media. I like to know my readers and I like to have my readers know me, know my heart and understand why I write what I write.

I grew up in a family in southern Minnesota. I was a spoiled only child. We took care of family, meaning elderly grandparents and uncles and aunts. I played outside at night with my friends playing the simple games of ball and tag and red rover. We could camp out in our yards at night and we could roam the community. Everyone watched out for everyone else. Looking back it was the idyllic childhood. Isn’t that what happens sometime with our memories? It had it’s ups and downs and childhood strife. We weren’t rich but we weren’t poor, but I don’t think rich or poor was anything I ever thought about. I don’t think my friends did neither. Looking back now after experiencing life’s ways as an adult and the stresses kids have now it was a simple childhood.

My childhood shaped who I became and the people in it, kids and adults, built my character. As an adult I got married, had kids and it was a good life though it wasn’t and isn’t perfect. There have been many sorrows and many hardships and problems along with joy and love and fun. I hope I have grown out of that selfish spoiled child into a caring adult. Everything I have experienced in my life has made me who I am today. I am a package of the good and the bad and the unexplainable.

granny_hooks_a_crook_4I like to think I bring that experience to the characters in my books. Let’s start with Granny from the Fuchsia Minnesota Series. People love or hate the series because that series is silly, unbelievable and makes fun of many of the things we deal with in real life today. But the character of Granny has real depth but she hides behind her crusty exterior and her willful ways. All readers see in the first book is the exterior of her character. As the series continues if readers look underneath the humor and the craziness, they will find an explanation of life that made her who she became and as that life continues, she changes and evolves, yet somethings can never change because her past is so deeply rooted into who she becomes. I believe if you look past the plot in many books and feel the characters you will feel the authors heart.

The_Penderghast_Puzzle_Protectors_jpgIn The Penderghast Puzzle Protectors, Jezabelle Jingle, is the ringleader of the group. Jezabelle is a single woman, lives alone in the oldest neighborhood in Brilliant and is the longest resident in the Penderghast neighborhood. She keeps an eye on her neighbors but only because her neighbors are strange and her love of a mystery has her spinning tales in her mind about their curious habits. Jezabelle has at times a no-nonsense attitude but has a quick wit and a mischievous quirk to her personality.

Little do the residents of the Penderghast neighborhood or the residents of Brilliant know the Brilliant Brothers have left all the residents of Brilliant a puzzle and a legacy hidden in their houses and their community. All is not what it appears to be with the Penderghast Puzzle Protectors personalities or the town.

We all have hidden aspects of our personalities. We all have hidden secrets shared with no one. We have secrets we may not acknowledge because if we do it will reveal another facet of what made us who we are that we would like to keep hidden. Letting our friends and family know who we are may help them understand why we behave the way we do, why we act the way we act, and why our lives have shaped us into who we are today.

Take a chance on the Penderghast Puzzle Protectors. It is the first book in the Brilliant Minnesota Series. Over time and the next books you will see why Jezabelle chose her own last name of Jingle. You will know what makes the characters hurt, angry and sad. You will learn why laughter is sometimes easier than crying. This book is only the beginning of the heart of Brilliant Minnesota and it’s residents. And if you look closely in all my books you will see my heart too.

~Julie

About The Author –

Julie Seedorf is a Minnesotan. She calls dinner, supper, and lunch, dinner. She has had many careers over her lifetime but her favorite career was that as mother to her children. In later life she became a computer technician, opening her own business. In 2012 Julie signed a contract with Cozy Cat Press for her Fuchsia, Minnesota Series. Books included in that series areGranny Hooks a Crook, Granny Skewers A Scoundrel, Granny Snows A Sneak and Granny Forks A Fugitive.

Closing her computer business in January 2014 Julie has transitioned to becoming a full time writer adding free-lance work for various newspapers, along with continuing her column Something About Nothing, which is now in book form in a book of the same name released in early 2015. Her children’s series, Granny’s In Trouble gives her grandkids a hint of the young Grandma underneath the wrinkles.

Her books are light and fluffy and highlight the fact that in the midst of life we have to find the humor in bad situations to keep us going. “We all take ourselves too seriously and we need to have a little fun.” Julie secretly yearns to be like the Granny characters in her books.

In February 2016 the first book in the Brilliant Minnesota Series was released titled the Penderghast Puzzle Protectors. She also is part of a group mystery by Cozy Cat Press Authors titled “Chasing the Codex.” Julie’s serious side is revealed in a story included in the Anthology, We Go On – Anthology for Veterans where the proceeds will go to Veteran’s Charities.

Visit her website at http://www.julieseedorf.com.

Her blog http://sprinklednotes is a little scattered like Granny but lends itself to wisdom and occasional flip flops about life.

You will also find her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/julie.seedorf.author and on Twitter at julieseedorf@julieseedorf and her character Granny has her own Facebook page,http://www.facebook.com/GrannyFromFuchsiaMinnesota. Enjoy the moments; they may carry you through a lifetime.

Author Links

Webpage     Blog     Facebook 

Twitter     GoodReads    Amazon Author Page

 


The_Penderghast_Puzzle_Protectors_jpgThe Penderghast Puzzle Protectors: A Brilliant Minnesota Mystery
New Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Minnesota
Cozy Cat Press (January 20, 2016)
Paperback: 270 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1939816801
E-Book ASIN: B01BDZWAE4
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Jezabelle Jingle and her neighbors in the Penderghast section of Brilliant, Minnesota, have a mystery on their hands. Someone is stealing sections of hardwood floors in their homes and the thefts may be connected to a long-hidden treasure left by the founders of Brilliant. Not only that, there’s a dead body in a basement to add to the mix. Can Jezzy and her quirky friends figure out the puzzle and find the treasure before some other, unknown person–maybe the murderer–beats them to the punch? Or will the town’s Chief of Police, Hank Hardy, prevent the group from their sleuthing? Anything can happen in the strange little town of Brilliant, Minnesota. After all, brilliant minds create brilliant finds!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Can a story turn a bad day into a good day or at least let you escape the stressful times around you? This one sure can!

Welcome to Brilliant, Minnesota. Jezabelle Jingle and her friends and neighbors are victims are a very unusual theft. Sections are the floors in their homes are being stolen and it puts one neighbor in a very precarious predicament. After a dead man is found in the basement of a vacant house, solving this puzzle mystery becomes a top priority for both the police and the newly formed Penderghast Puzzle Protectors.

Jezabelle Jingle, Phoebe Harkins, Rock Stone, Miranda Covington, and Mr. Warbler all live in the Penderghast Neighborhood and along with Lizzy Langer they become the Penderghast Puzzle Protectors with a mission to find the person stealing parts of their floors, who has already killed once. They know to to this they must solve a complex puzzle with some very large pieces. Police Chief Hank Hardy is less than pleased with their endeavor but he knows when Jezzy Jingle sets her mind on something there is no stopping her. They may live in Brilliant but he believes what she and the other puzzle protectors are doing isn’t very smart. He is going to have to protect them from themselves knowing they may solve the case before he does.

Author Julie Seedorf’s sense of humor shines in this story from the character’s names to situations she puts her characters in. I found myself giggling several times. These characters are true cozy, quirky to the core.

She sets the scene very well and gives us the history of Brilliant needed to make us understand the town and its ancestors and how it all plays together in this story’s mystery. As each new clue was revealed I was more excited to solve the puzzle myself.

Starting a new series is not easy. The author needs to introduce us to interesting characters in a distinct setting while also giving us a mystery that tests us is a tall order. Julie Sedorf does an excellent job at this. She also ties it to her other series set in Fushia, Minnesota. The towns are not too far apart and the people of Brilliant have friends and relatives there. But you do not need to have read about Granny and her friends to enjoy this puzzler mystery. You may want to to start reading them though after you read this story.

Julie Seedorf writes fun/funny, entertaining mysteries sure to put a smile on your face and even make you laugh out loud. This story is truly unique and I recommend it highly if you like you like your mysteries with a large dose of humor or need a wonderful pick me up.

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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Tour Participants

May 23 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
May 23 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT
May 24 – The Girl with Book Lungs – SPOTLIGHT
May 25 – Lori’s Reading Corner – GUEST POST
May 26 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW
May 27 – Omnimystery News – INTERVIEW  
May 28 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST
May 29 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW, GUEST POST
May 30 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & , Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
May 31 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW
June 1 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – COZY WEDNESDAY – GUEST POST
June 2 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, GUEST POST
June 3 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – INTERVIEW
June 4 – Book Babble – REVIEW
June 5 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

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 Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Great Escapes Book Tours Reviews 2015 You Read How Many Books Challenge

The Cunning Cruise Ship Caper by Sally Carpenter Great Escapes Book Tour – Review

great escape tour banner large cunning cuise ship caper640
It’s my turn today on the Cunning Cruise Ship Caper Great Escapes Book Tour!
This is the last day too!

I would have loved to go on a cruise with some of my teen idols. Right now The New Kids On The Block have a show on Pop TV called Rock This Boat that shows just some of what happens on these cruises. Donnie Wahlberg is one of my faves so I found myself watching this show just as I reading Sally’s book!

Cunning_Cruise_ebookThe Cunning Cruise Ship Caper
(Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol mysteries Book 3)

Cozy Mystery
Paperback: 226 pages
Publisher: Cozy Cat Press (September 28, 2014)
ISBN-13: 978-1939816528
E- book File Size: 890 KB
ASIN: B00PCPAQ5C
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It’s been years since Sandy Fairfax was a teen idol and starred in his hit ‘70s television series Buddy Brave, Boy Sleuth, but he still has his fans. Now it’s 1993 and many of his grown-up fans see a leisurely cruise as the ideal vacation. So, when Sandy’s agent finds him a pleasant gig aboard the SS Zodiac, he jumps at the chance. And, when the offer includes a spot for his musician sister, Celeste, who is blind, Sandy sees an opportunity to re-engage with his estranged sibling. However, the brother-sister duo are barely aboard the ship, when Sandy finds a singer from another shipboard show murdered in his dressing room. When the ship’s security officer does little to investigate, Sandy feels obligated to jump in, even though he isn’t a detective––he just used to play one on TV. Soon he’s grilling potential suspects, including a burnt-out piano bar player, a Southern-fried magician, a blackmail victim, a ventriloquist with a sassy dummy and even a former flame. Will Sandy unmask the killer before the cruise ends? Will he connect with the girl of his dreams? Will he have time to enjoy the sights of Nassau? Or will he end up sleeping with the fishes in the Atlantic Ocean, another victim in this killer’s CUNNING CRUISE SHIP CAPER?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This third installment finds Sandy sailing away with some fans, some strangers, some strange performers, his estranged sister and a killer!! Sandy has changed a lot over the years and is trying to be a better man, the last thing he needed was to find another dead body. So he puts on his super sleuth shoes and tries to catch the murderer all while trying to repair his relationship with his sister.

Sally Carpenter has introduced us some interesting new characters. My favorite was Sandy’s sister, Celeste. She was a folk singer herself back in the day but when Sandy’s career took off her career stalled out and she became a bit of a recluse. Sandy had not seen her in years and she blames him for the demise of her career so it is important to him that she comes on the cruise with him. Celeste is also blind but I seemed to almost forget that some of the time. She makes some huge changes during this cruise.

The story is also well written and flowed very well. I really liked the way she writes Sandy. He is not an investigator at all, but he is not afraid to just go for it and ask questions of anyone and everyone. Things do not always go well with Sandy’s approach but in the end they work. You will feel sorry for him and giggle at the same time at some of the predicaments he gets himself into.

All the books in the series have been fun to read. I hope Sandy is out and about with another caper for us soon!

just you and a friend5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author

Sally Carpenter is native Hoosier now living in Moorpark, California.

She has a master’s degree in theater from Indiana State University. While in school her plays “Star Collector” and “Common Ground” were finalists in the American College Theater Festival One-Act Playwrighting Competition. “Common Ground” also earned a college creative writing award and “Star Collector” was produced in New York City.

Carpenter also has a master’s degree in theology and a black belt in tae kwon do.

She’s worked as an actress, freelance writer, college writing instructor, theater critic, jail chaplain, and tour guide/page for a major movie studio. She’s now employed at a community newspaper.

Her initial book in the Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol series, “The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper,” was a 2012 Eureka! Award finalist for best first mystery novel.

Her short story, “Dark Nights at the Deluxe Drive-in,” appears in the anthology “Last Exit to Murder.”

“Faster Than a Speeding Bullet” was published in the “Plan B: Vol. 2” e-book anthology.

Her short story “The Pie-eyed Spy” appeared in the Nov. 23, 2013, issue of Kings River Life ezine.

Author Links

She blogs at http://sandyfairfaxauthor.com.

She’s a member of Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles chapter. Contact her at Facebook or scwriter@earthlink.net.

Links: (blog) http://sandyfairfaxauthor.com

(Facebook) https://www.facebook.com/sally.carpenter.54

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

Posted in Reviews 2014 Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting

Review – Cash Kills by Nanci Rathbun

Cash killsCash Kills:
An Angelina Bonaparte Mystery

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Published by Cozy Cat Press (June 3, 2014)
Trade Paperback: 260 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1939816443
E-Book File Size: 488 KB
ASIN: B00OIG3BOY
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When her office mate, accountant Susan Neh, brings Angelina Bonaparte a client named Adriana Johnson, the PI wonders how she can help this bedraggled young woman. Adriana’s parents, immigrants from the former Yugoslavia, were murdered only a week earlier, in a robbery at their small hardware store. Now she has discovered that, despite living like the working poor, they were actually quite wealthy––with numerous large bank accounts located around the world. Adriana is suspicious about her newfound status and hires Angie to discover the nature of her deceased parents’ wealth. When Angie arrives to interview with the parents’ attorney, Herman Petrovitch, he is missing, but his secretary Dragana is there––lying dead on the office floor, with her head blown off. Homicide detective––and Angie’s own boyfriend––Ted Wukowski, cautions her against getting involved in the murder investigation. Of course, Angie pays little heed to his warning.

I cut the synopsis down a bit because I think the longer version gives too much away.

Dollycas Thoughts

Angie Bo-nah-par-tay is back in the second installment to this mystery series set in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

I love this character.  She is a feisty, 50 something, private investigator with all the right connections. Her father has ties to the mob and her boyfriend is a police detective. She has friends in high and low places and she uses all those connections to help keep Adriana Johnson safe while she investigates her monetary windfall due to her parents death. Angie opens quite a can of worms. While following the clues she realizes there is much more there than she ever imagined. Could the money and her parent’s deaths be connected? Can this really go back to the Bosnian War?

Angie really starts to look at Adriana as more than a client. Her mothering instincts start to take over and that could mean trouble as she lets her guard down regarding her own safety. Adriana has led a very sheltered and meager life and can’t believe the way her parents had deceived her.

This is quite a story. Set at Thanksgiving time I read this at the perfect time. In addition to investigating Adriana’s case Angie has a lot going on in her personal life. Her relationship with Ted is flowing at a perfect pace. She finally meets Ted’s Polish mother and she invites both of them to her family’s Sicilian/American Thanksgiving so they can meet her very unique family. (You do know that Thanksgiving is the most stressful holiday don’t you?)

The Russian and Serbian elements were very interesting as I usually think of Milwaukee and Wisconsin having a strong German and Polish population but it has truly become a melting pot for all nationalities. In fact I just learned the Bosnian population is growing in Milwaukee due to the recent migration after the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina and that ties right into this story. Thank you Wikipedia.

Nanci Rathbun has given us wonderful characters and they are real and down to earth. They are truly fleshed out with depth and it is so easy to become involved in their lives. From Spider, the bodyguard to Angie’s Aunt Terry, these are people I want to know more about.  This author’s story lines are tight with the main plot and subplots woven seamlessly together. Her setting is less than hour from my home and she shows us many sides to Milwaukee. It is fun to read about places you are familiar with. There is also humor spread throughout the story to balance out the edges of the mystery.

This is a great follow up to Truth Kills and I can’t wait to get my hands on Deception Kills when it comes out next year.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

author NanciAbout This Author

Nanci Rathbun is a lifelong reader of mysteries – historical, contemporary, futuristic, paranormal, hard-boiled, cozy … you can find them all on her bookshelves. She brings logic and planning to her writing from a background as an IT project manager, and attention to characters and dialog from her second career as a Congregationalist minister. Her first novel, Truth Kills: An Angelina Bonaparte Mystery, is out in both paperback and ebook formats. The first chapter is available free on her web site and on her Goodreads page. Cash Kills is the second book in the series. Number three has a working title of Deception Kills, with plans to publish in 2015.

Nanci is a longtime Wisconsin resident who relocated to Tennessee to be closer to her granddaughters – oh, and their parents – and is planning an upcoming move to the West Coast for the same reason. No matter where she lives, she will always be a Packers fan.

Author Links
Webpage: http://nancirathbun.com
Facebook: Author Nanci Rathbun
Twitter: @nancirathbun
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7199317.Nanci_Rathbun
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Nanci-Rathbun/e/B00E9E7QCI

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 Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2014

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

 

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

kate-carlisle-bookshelf-web

Kate Carlisle’s Writing What She Doesn’t Know

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

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

The Fixer-Upper Mysteries? Not so much.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Applause?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~Kate

9780451469199_large_A_High-End_FinishA High-End Finish:
 A Fixer-Upper Mystery
Brand New Cozy Series
An Obsidian Mystery (November 4, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451469199
E-Book File Size: 2220 KB
ASIN: B00JJXV8DC
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In the seaside town of Lighthouse Cove in northern California, everyone knows the best man for the job is actually a woman—contractor Shannon Hammer. But while Shannon can do wonders with a power drill and a little elbow grease, she’s about to discover that some problems aren’t so easily fixed….

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

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

Dollycas’s Thoughts

An awesome debut!

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

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

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

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

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for Kate  for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End December 4, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FROM ENTRY FORM

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

Posted in Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Great Escapes Book Tours Reviews 2014 Virtual Book Tour What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

The Sinister Sitcom Caper by Sally Carpenter – Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour

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The Sinister Sitcom Caper
(Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol Mysteries)

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Cozy Cat Press (October 4, 2013)
Paperback: 252 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1939816238
E-Book File Size: 571 KB
ASIN: B00H3KTDVM
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Sandy Fairfax, former teen idol and star of the ‘70s hit TV show “Buddy Brave, Boy Sleuth,” is now a middle-aged recovering alcoholic who realizes that making a comeback can be murder. He’s the guest star on “Off-Kelter,” a corny family situation comedy, and the lowest rated TV show of the 1993 fall season. Before rehearsals barely begin one of the actors drops dead at Sandy’s feet. He investigates, enlisting the aid of two of his new cast mates: a dwarf and an animal actor. During his snooping, we meet Sandy’s ex, his parents and his teenage son, all with their own “situations” going on. During rehearsals Sandy also encounters a beautiful choreographer—could this be love? Will Sandy solve the murder before the Friday night taping of “Off-Kelter” or will the elusive killer cancel our hero before the final credits? This book was inspired by the author’s experience working as a tour guide/page at Paramount Pictures in Hollywood.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sally Carpenter has penned quite a mystery. This story is full of humor from start to finish.

Those of us of a certain age remember the posters of those teen idols hanging on our walls and anxiously awaiting the next issue of Tiger Beat.  We still swoon when the much older Shawn Cassidy appears on one of talk shows. This story brings back all those memories including some of the crazy sitcoms that have appeared on our televisions over the years.

Sandy Fairfax is quite a character trying to get his life together and stay sober so his ex-wife will allow him to spend time with his kids. His parents had a much different plan for him and he strives to raise himself just a little bit in their eyes.  He hopes this guest appearance will lead to more work but before the show is even taped one of the actors drops dead right in front of him. What is even worse he seems to the only concerned that a person died. The show continues to go on and the cops hardly even investigate.  He becomes consumed with the need to find out what happened and why. He gets help from 2 very unlikely places.  An actor from the show who happens to be a little person and a dog that is also on the show.

Very interesting characters is a unusual setting. There are twists, turns, fire and rain to add to the excitement.  This is the first book I have read by Sally Carpenter but I know it won’t be the last.

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author
Sally Carpenter is native Hoosier now living in Moorpark, Calif.

She has a master’s degree in theater from Indiana State University. While in school her plays “Star Collector” and “Common Ground” were finalists in the American College Theater Festival One-Act Playwrighting Competition. “Common Ground” also earned a college creative writing award and “Star Collector” was produced in New York City.

Carpenter also has a master’s degree in theology and a black belt in tae kwon do.

She’s worked as an actress, freelance writer, college writing instructor, theater critic, jail chaplain, and tour guide/page for a major movie studio. She’s now employed at a community newspaper.

She blogs at http://sandyfairfaxauthor.com.

She’s a member of Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles chapter. Contact her at Facebook or scwriter@earthlink.net.

Links: (blog) http://sandyfairfaxauthor.com

(Facebook) https://www.facebook.com/sally.carpenter.54

(Goodreads) https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19140606-the-sinister-sitcom-caper?from_search=true

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Check out the rest of the tour!!

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

February 17 – Chloe Gets a Clue – Interview
February 17 – Christa Reads and Writes – Review
February 18 –StoreyBook Reviews – Review
February 19 – Kelly P’s Blog – Interview
February 20 –Queen of All She Reads – Review – Guest Post – Giveaway
February 21 –rantin’ ravin’ and reading – Review – Guest Post
February 23 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview
February 24 – Books-n-Kisses – Review
February 25 – Omnimystery News – Interview
February 26 – readalot blog – Review
February 27 – Community Bookstop – Review – Giveaway
February 28 – Read Your Writes – Spotlight
March 1 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review
March 2 –off
March 3 –Brooke Blogs – Review

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 Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes Reviews 2013 Virtual Book Tour

Great Escapes Book Tour – Deathbed & Breakfast by Bart J. Gilbertson

great escape tour banner large DEATHBED AND BREAKFAST 640

Deathbed & Breakfast
by Bart J. Gilbertson

 

Deathbed_&_Breakfast_432x648_Small_Ebook
Deathbed & Breakfast (Pookotz Sisters Bed & Breakfast Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Cozy Cat Press (June 30, 2013)
Paperback: 264 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1939816115
E-Book File Size: 372 KB
ASIN: B00DUGZHYK

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Dollycas’s Thoughts
Retired CEO, Richard Forester and his granddaughter are just passing through town and need a place to stay for the night. A stop at a local store leads them to the Pookotz Sisters B & B. Everyone can see that Richard is very ill as he barely stays awake and is in obvious pain through the evening meal.

This story had a bit of a Twilight Zone feel as this seemingly random stop takes them to a place where all the guests at are all connected to Richard or his former company. A company where he was accused of embezzling $750,000 but never convicted of the crime. When he is found dead in his bed the next morning it is first believed he has died of natural causes. Then the sheriff and coroner find evidence of murder. Everyone is placed under house arrest while the local authorities start their investigation,  the Pookotz sisters start a little investigation of their own.

I can tell this author has a great sense of humor because it really comes through in this story. Edna and Mildred Pookotz are absolute treasures and excellent amateur detectives. Felix the chef was a hoot! I wouldn’t want to eat any food he prepared but he had me laughing out loud.

The story is full with twists and turns as means, motive, and opportunity are determined for all the suspects and one clue leads to another.

This was a very interesting debut. I am quite anxious to see what is in store for Edna and Mildred and their future guests. I think fans of Jessica Fletcher will fall quickly for these sisters.

just you and a friend

4 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Bart J. Gilbertson 4
About This Author
Bart J. Gilbertson is the author of the Pookotz Sisters Mystery Series. Although he was born in Wisconsin, he spent most of his youth and later years in the rocky mountain state of Idaho. He has been all over the northwest and it is his love for the lush green state of Oregon that inspired the setting for Pleasant Lake and its inhabitants. He attended ITT Technical Institute in Boise, ID and received an Associate in Applied Science Degree for Computer Networking Systems and graduated with honors. Bart has worn many hats over his lifetime career, but the one he is most proud of is that of being a writer. He currently resides in O’Neill, NE. He has two children.

Author Links:

Website: http://bjgilbertson2.wix.com/bartjgilbertson

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/BartJGilbertsonAuthor

Blog Page: http://bjgilbertson2.wix.com/bartjgilbertson#!blog/c29d

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BartJGilbertson

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7172645.Bart_J_Gilbertson

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Bart-J.-Gilbertson/e/B00DV4JMO2/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Cozy Cat Press, my publisher: http://cozycatpress.com/

Book Trailer Vid on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FuvPpkc1os
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great escape button160Be sure to check out  the rest of the tour!!

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

November 12 – Mochas, Mysteries and More – Guest Post
November 13 – readalot – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
November 14 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review
November 15 – Books-n-Kisses – Review, Guest Post
November 17 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review
November 19 – Books Are Life – Vita Libri – Review
November 20 – Christa Reads and Writes – Review, Interview
November 21 – Queen of All She Reads – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
November 24 – Kaisy Daisy’s Corner – Review
November 25 – Brooke Blogs – Review
November 27 – Musings and Ramblings – Guest Post, Giveaway
November 28 – Thanksgiving (U.S.)
November 29 – My Devotional Thoughts – Review
November 30 – Dalene’s Book Reviews – Review, Interview, Giveaway
November 30 – THE SELF-TAUGHT COOK – Review

 

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.”

2013where are you reading

Posted in Reviews 2013

Review: Mr. Tea & The Traveling Teacup by Leslie Matthews Stansfield

Mr. Tea and the Traveling Teacups

Mr. Tea and the Traveling Teacup: A Madeline’s Teahouse Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Cozy Cat Press (September 29, 2012)
Trade Paperback: 234 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0988194328
E-Book File Size: 355 KB
ASIN: B009HCX7HK

After the death of their mother, sisters Terry and Karen Sutter, turn their childhood home into a tea house. It’s a dream come true, but the dream begins to resemble a nightmare when teacups start crashing to the floor in the middle of the night. Could the tea house be haunted? There’s a list of possible ghostly candidates: the prior owner who is rumored to have left behind a buried treasure, two spinster neighbors who disappeared without a trace over forty years ago, or perhaps it is Terry and Karen’s own mother trying to communicate with them. Karen, the older sister, thinks running a haunted tea house might be fun, until the sisters come home one night to find the attic stairs covered in a trail of what appears to be blood. Is it a ghost or is it a warning? The tea house’s new mascot, a psychic macaw, may provide some unexpected clues, but the sisters will encounter many more surprises before they solve this mystery.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This was a great debut and a fun read. 

All the characters are easy to identify with and they are an eclectic bunch. Karen and Terry have taken on a major endeavor but they are up to the task. What a wonderful tribute to their mother.  Aunt Rose and Uncle Harry are true gems watching over the girls and butting in every chance they get.  Detective Greg Mullins and his partner Tom are two hunks that add just the perfect amount of romantic tension. But there were two stars for me that both added humor. Mrs. Dinkle has a little problem everyone can hear but her and Mr. Tea, the macaw the could be psychic, has some terrific comments for anyone that come near or just enters the room. 

Coming home is always hard but these girls are welcomed with open arms. Their mother’s friends become some of their best customers. I love these senior characters.

The author has laid a nice foundation for future installments.  Will romance bloom? What will come out of Mr. Teas mouth next? Who will be the next victim? Are there still ghosts lurking about? I am not so patiently waiting for Stansfield’s next story. 

just you and a friend

4 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author

LESLIE MATTHEWS STANSFIELD is the author of  Mr. Tea and the Traveling Teacup , the first book in the Madeline’s Teahouse series.  She is the author of a previous book on the town she lives in. She grew up in Delmar, New York, and credits her friends with developing her imagination. Leslie is a graduate of University of Hartford and recently received her  Masters’ degree from the University of Phoenix in Educational Leadership.  She is a math tutor in a public school as well as the Christian Education Director of her church.  She is currently working on her second book in the Madeline’s Teahouse series.  She has four children and eight grandchildren and lives in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.

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.”