May 232019
 

Drowning Lessons
(A Red Frog Beach Mystery)
by Rachel Neuburger Reynolds

About the Book


Drowning Lessons (A Red Frog Beach Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Bocas del Toro, a remote chain of islands off the Caribbean coast of Panama
Self-Published (May 21, 2019)
Number of Pages: ~290
Digital ASIN: B07PZRR8WC

You are cordially invited to a destination wedding to die for…

Welcome to Bocas del Toro, a remote chain of islands off the Caribbean coast of Panama. Five days of glorious sun and lush rainforest await the forty guests celebrating Bridezilla Olivia’s dream wedding—but will a murder sink the catered affair? Before anyone’s got time to start working on a tan, an unfortunate snorkeling accident eliminates a member of the wedding party. Maid of honor Lexie Marino smells trouble, and is thrust into the responsibility of investigating, needing to solve the case before her bestie’s trip down the aisle gets tropically derailed. The show must go on.

Lexie’s a little too tall, a little too awkward, and a little too brokenhearted, but she’s determined to nail the real killer. Can this unlikely sleuth stay afloat as she’s hit by wave after wave of wildly entertaining characters, including an alpha bride, surfing detectives, and a high school flame long forgotten?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We arrive on Bocas del Toro, a remote chain of islands off the Caribbean coast of Panama for the destination wedding of Olivia Fowlers. Alexandra ‘Lexie’ Martone is her maid of honor and is at the bride’s beck and call, as are all of the bridesmaids. Each one has received a binder/dossier with details about all 40 guests and all the activities the bride has planned for the week. Each bridesmaid has been assigned a group of people to watch over and certain events they are each in charge of.

The first event, snorkeling is all fun and games until one of the guests failed to come out of the water on their own. The bride quickly informs Lexie to handle it, a dead body is not going to ruin her big day. When the authorities determine the person was actually murdered the bride’s Zilla claws come out and she tells Lexie to keep everything a secret until her wedding goes off without a hitch. Lexie isn’t sure if the island detectives can solve the case since they seem more focused on surfing instead of the murder, so she starts to do a little snooping on her own. Even she knows this could end badly.

‘Lexie’ Martone has the patience of a saint. She is trying to recover from a bad breakup, doesn’t know how to swim, has put on a few pounds, and has always been the tallest girl in the crowd. She knows nothing about investigating a murder but she is going to give her the old college try. Everyone is a suspect and she doesn’t know who she can trust. Her time on the island is going to be the farthest thing from a delightful vacation. Lexie shows a lot of growth over these pages which makes me excited about this character.

In addition to Lexie, the author introduces us to a mixed bag of characters. New friends, old friends, a few relatives, work colleagues and one very wealthy character who is paying for this extravaganza. One ends up dead and then another and all those remaining land on the suspect list. Truthfully, with the exception of one or two, they weren’t a likable bunch for me or Lexie, so it wasn’t hard to believe that one or more of them could be a murderer.

Our protagonist didn’t do too much actual investigating. She leaned on her observations, overhearing conversations, and making a pest of herself, just being on the scene while trying to keep up with all her wedding chores. In my mind, she put herself in some risky situations for very little knowledge gained, but somehow it all came together by the end in a very enjoyable way.

This story is much more than a cozy mystery. It is a dramedy where literally everything that can go wrong does. Twists, turns, craziness, and good old mayhem fill these pages all on an idyllic chain of islands. A virtual beach escape or grab a copy and head to the beach.  This was a fun book to read and a great start for this series. I am looking forward to the next book.

About the Author

RACHEL NEUBURGER REYNOLDS is the author of The Red Frog Beach Mystery Series. As a playwright, her plays have had been produced in London, Edinburgh and New York. After 25-years in New York City, she now resides with her husband between London and St Leonards-on-Sea in England. For news about Rachel and the upcoming Red Frog Beach Mysteries, check her out at RachelNeuburger.com.

Author Links

Webpage and Blog: RachelNeuburger.com

FaceBook Twitter: @rainyday11

Instagram: @rainydaywrites   Goodreads:    Pinterest

Purchase Links 

Amazon – Kindle


Thanks to the author I have 1 e-copy to give away!
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.

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

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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

 

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

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May 222019
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled to feature Ellery Adams’ new book today!


Murder in the Reading Room (A Book Retreat Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Virginia – Travels to North Carolina
Kensington (April 30, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496715659
ISBN-13: 978-1496715654
Kindle ASIN: B07G6NJK5W

Storyton Hall, Virginia, is a paradise for book lovers who come from all over for literary getaways. But manager Jane Steward is temporarily leaving for another renowned resort—in hopes of solving a twist-filled mystery . . .

Jane’s boyfriend is missing, and she thinks she may find him at North Carolina’s historic Biltmore Estate. Officially, she’s there to learn about luxury hotel management, but she’s also prowling around the breathtaking buildings and grounds looking for secret passageways and clues. One of the staff gardeners promises to be helpful . . . that is, until his body turns up in the reading room of his cottage, a book on his lap.

When she finally locates the kidnapped Edwin, his captor insists that she lead him back to Storyton Hall, convinced that it houses Ernest Hemingway’s lost suitcase, stolen from a Paris train station in 1922. But before they can turn up the treasure, the bell may toll for another victim . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Storyton Hall’s manager Jane Steward along with with Landon Lachlan travel to the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina for a Luxury Lodging Seminar, but they have an ulterior motive, Jane’s boyfriend,  Edwin Alcott is missing and they believe he is being held prisoner on the estate. Landon befriends one of the estate’s gardeners and he believes the man will help in their quest to find Edwin. They were interrupted on their visit, so they arrive at his cottage the next day to continue their conversation and for Jane to give the gardener a gift from Storyton Hall. Sadly, they find the man dead in his reading room with a book on his lap. They are crushed by the man’s death but they can’t give up on finding Edwin. Following certain clues, they do find Edwin but they then learn the find was a setup and are faced with a stunning surprise. They then realize the captor holds the cards and they must take him back to Storyton Hall. Jane just hopes on her home turf she can bring the captor down without anyone else losing their lives.

This book is a wonderful addition to this series and puts in motion some pivotal actions. For that reason, I want to state upfront that you need to read this series from the start in order. If you don’t I don’t think you will feel the full impact of this book.

The setting of the book/series, Storyton and Storyton Hall are things that truly sets this series apart from others. Storyton Hall is an extraordinary place, a book lover’s dream.

Great Gatsby Ballroom
Madame Bovary Dining Room
Isak Dinesen Safari Room
Daphne Du Maurier Morning Room
Jane Austen Parlor
Shakespeare’s Theater
Kipling Cafe
Milton’s Gardens
Lewis Carroll Croquet Lawn
Beatrix Potter Playroom
William Faulker Conference Room
Henry James Library
Ian Fleming Lounge
Robin Hood Archery Range
Green Gables Gazebo
Jules Verne Pool

The author describes each room, its artifacts, furniture, and books so expertly that they come alive and are so easy to visualize. In this story, she takes us to the Biltmore Estate and uses her talents to bring that setting to life as well.

Ms. Adams has crafted spectacular characters. Jane Steward is a strong protagonist. She is smart and can think on her feet. Thanks to Fins, she is also well trained in several ways. The Fins and all the residents and employees are so genuine and each has a role to play. Their relationships and dialogues are believable. They are engaging and memorable.

Within these pages is a complex mystery, one that has not only twists but surprises and secrets revealed.  Certain events really jerked at my heart, others had me thrilled and excited.  Pivotal actions that I mentioned above truly caught me off guard. More than once I thought that things were being wrapped up to end the series, but then I thought that maybe the author is taking the series in a different direction. I have enjoyed this series from the start and I certainly don’t want it to end so my fingers are crossed there will be more visits to Storyton Hall in the future. I think the author has more mysteries and surprises in store for us.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

My reviews of previous books in this series.

Murder in the Mystery Suite 

Murder in the Paperback Parlor

Murder in the Secret Garden

Murder in the Locked Library 

 To find out more about Ellery and all her books visit her webpage here.





GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the people at Kensington 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.
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If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End June 5, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
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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.”

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May 202019
 

Better Than Nun
(A Giulia Driscoll Mystery)
by Alice Loweecey

Hi Alice, 

Welcome back to Escape With Dollycas. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

—I’m your typical Italian mom: I cook almost everything from scratch, feed my sons with their favorite goodies when they visit, and yes, I make sauce. I will share any recipe with anyone who asks. I don’t understand people who won’t share recipes. Good food is better when shared!

What are three things most people don’t know about you?

—I like dogs only when they belong to other people.

—I once gave 5 dozen slugs a happy death when I set out 3 pie plates of beer in my garden. They were drowned in beer the next morning. (I have a large veg garden. Slugs are the enemy.)

—I once crocheted amigurumi of the entire cast of Firefly as a wedding present for a friend.

What is the first book you remember reading?

Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag. I still love this book.

What are you reading now?

The Elder Sister-Like One vols. 1-3, by Pochi Iida. It’s one of the best mangas I’ve read in years by one of the few authors who took a god from Lovecraft’s pantheon and made it their own. So much fun.

What books have most inspired you?

The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet, by Eleanor Cameron

Patricia Wentworth’s Miss Silver series

Lord of the Rings

—“The Colour out of Space,” by HP Lovecraft

All for both the same reason and different reasons. The same: all the MCs moved me deeply and the plots made me reread the books more than once. The different: Mushroom Planet was written when male MCs had the exciting adventures in kids’ books, and I had to get my adventure where I could. LotR for much the same reason. “Colour” because it scared me in broad daylight and still gives me shivers when I reread it. Miss Silver: Wentworth writes light mysteries with a touch of romance. When I started to write mysteries, her style was my inspiration.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

Back when I was querying my first book (The Redeemers, published in 2015 under my pen name Kate Morgan with Dark Recesses Press), part of my query letter mentioned I used to be a nun. The agent rejected Redeemers but mentioned how he’d like to see a book with a crime-fighting ex-nun. I dismissed the idea because “I’m a horror writer.” But the idea kept nagging me, and within the year I’d written Force of Habit. I sent the first 3 chapters to that agent—and he rejected it. You have to laugh. I eventually found an agent who sold the book as a 3-book deal in 2010 to Midnight Ink.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

—Outside on our deck by our koi pond. The waterfall is soothing, the frogs and birds carry on conversations. It’s an escape. Of course, since I live in Buffalo, I have to grab every moment I can out there before the snow hits.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

—Everywhere. Everything is fodder for a story. The idea for the MacGuffin in Better than Nun came from a morning conversation at the Malice Domestic conference a few years ago. The ideas for others came from dreams (and nightmares). My brain is a strange place.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

—Carving out time. I work full-time and take care of my house. Sometimes it’s difficult to get creative after a long day. But deadlines aren’t forgiving, so I power through.

What do you think makes a good story?

—A compelling main character. I’ll read almost any genre if the writer makes me root for the MC. Worldbuilding, research, plot, secondary characters—they’re all important, but a main character who grabs me is essential.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

—Ana, the narrator of a book I haven’t yet found a home for. She’s strong-willed, likes to knit, and is all about family. Naturally, I throw her into a sink-or-swim situation completely outside anything she’s experienced. Writers are evil.

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

—Perhaps it’s how Giulia handles sleuthing with ghosts. She’s always practical, so when she discovered ghosts were real, and they wanted her to help them solve their murders, she chose to create a new dimension to her detective agency. Kids need college funds. Giulia is all about justice—and paying the bills—so any ghost wanting her help has to have humans who can meet her fee schedule.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

—I’m writing the book I’ve been wanting to write for years. Now that I’ve had a dozen books published I figure I have the chops. It’s a retelling of the Oresteia set in a modern-day traveling carnival. Some people think ancient Greek drama is boring. Not on your life! This book has drugs, sex, murder, backstabbing business deals, and possibly the most dysfunctional family in the literary world. I’m having a ball writing it. I also get to go to carnivals again in the name of research. Whee!

Thank you, Alice, for visiting today!

Keep reading to learn about Alice’s new book!

Better Than Nun (A Giulia Driscoll Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Henery Press (May 21, 2019)
Hardcover: 284 pages
ISBN-10: 1635114829
ISBN-13: 978-1635114829
Paperback: 284 pages
ISBN-10: 1635114799
ISBN-13: 978-1635114799
Digital ASIN: B07P687GDG

Ghosts for Mardi Gras!

Giulia Driscoll used to say running a detective agency was the busiest job she’d ever had. Then the ghosts showed up, and she figured now she’s the busiest ever. This of course challenged the Universe to say, “Hold my beer.”

Today she’s running the agency, sleuthing on behalf of the ghosts, and being the mother of a two-month-old. At last she understands those 5-Hour Energy commercials.

The Universe then dropped two clients in her lap for Mardi Gras: a family greedy to find hidden money and the son of her least-favorite person, Ken Kanning of The Scoop. The positive: a date night! The not-so-positive: it’s a working date night. Driscoll Investigations is joining the big Mardi Gras costume charity gala to search for potential thieves. Kanning Junior will be at the party showing off his tame ghost.

The Scoop, a few hundred drunk revelers, a mercenary family, and a ghost who isn’t as tame as the kid thinks. What could possibly go wrong?

Did someone just hear the Universe say, “Hold my beer”?

More About the Author

Alice Loweecey is a baker of brownies and tormenter of characters, Alice Loweecey recently celebrated her thirtieth year outside the convent. She grew up watching Hammer horror films and Scooby-Doo mysteries, which explains a whole lot. When she’s not creating trouble for her sleuth Giulia Driscoll or inspiring nightmares as her alter-ego Kate Morgan, she can be found growing her own vegetables (in summer) and cooking with them (the rest of the year).

Website: aliceloweecey.net

Facebook: facebook.com/GiuliaDriscoll

Twitter: @AliceLoweecey

Goodreads: Alice Loweecey

Purchase Links

Amazon  B&N 

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
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May 182019
 

Mind Your Manors (A Flamingo Realty Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Independently published (December 31, 2018)
Paperback: 222 pages
ISBN-10: 1792798520
ISBN-13: 978-1792798528
Kindle ASIN: B07MB4778S

Meet Stella O’Neil, retired FBI agent Oscar O’Neil’s granddaughter. She’s got a lot on her plate, trying to figure out her crazy, stubborn family, the hidden secrets that caused her grandfather’s estrangement from her dad, and starting out as a realtor. Throw in a dead body found in what used to be the town’s “royalty” family’s manor, and she’s neck deep in a mystery.

She may be sweet, but she’s pretty stubborn herself.

As Stella’s curiosity leads her from one town resident to the next, a dramatic tale of family secrets starts to appear, but is she getting too close to the truth? A scary car chase in the dark has her nerves on edge, but she won’t give up until she finds out who the skeleton once was. She’s so close… but someone… maybe more than one person… will do anything to stop her.

About the Author
CeeCee James is a USA Today bestselling writer who got her story-telling feet wet with the many bedtime stories she told her children through the years. Some of her mystery series include- the Baker Street Mysteries, Angel Lake Cozy Mysteries, and the Oceanside Hotel mysteries. She’s known for writing flawed sleuths with a good sense of humor and an added dash of romance.

Her favorite place to write is curled up in an oversized squashy chair with a cup of coffee and a sleeping dog by her feet. She has two mini-dachshunds who like to snore and chase things in their sleep. In honor of them, there are usually dogs in her books, with the exception of the Angel Lake series, which has a cat in honor of the one in her author picture.

Writing has been a life long passion. Her first published works were nonfiction Ghost No More. She loves writing about love and the celebration of life.


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy.
Book will be sent directly from Amazon.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End June 1, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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May 172019
 


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 first book in this series received my Paradise Rating but
I made a huge mistake with this book and scheduled its release date on my calendar wrong.
My calendar was packed and I finally gave up trying to fit it into the regular schedule and scheduled it for the Flashback Friday feature so I could read the book that wasn’t
just screaming at me it was reaching out and hitting me over the head.

My apologies to Krista Davis for my delay in sharing this wonderful book with you. 


The Coloring Crook (Pen & Ink)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Washington D.C.
Kensington (November 27, 2018)
Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496716426
ISBN-13: 978-1496716422
Kindle ASIN: B07B78THTP

Includes A Front and Back Cover for You to Color!

Life is looking rosy for Florrie Fox, manager of the Color Me Read bookstore in Georgetown, Washington D.C. She’s working on an adult coloring book of gardens, her romance with Sergeant Eric Jonquille has entered a new chapter, and the bookstore’s weekly coloring club is a source of friendship and entertainment. No member is more vibrant than Dolly Cavanaugh. Dolly likes to say she was blessed with beauty and cursed with lousy husbands, but at least she has a grown daughter and a stunning brownstone to show for it!

When Dolly’s love of garage sales results in her showing up at Color Me Read with a rare book in hand, Florrie is astounded. The Florist, the earliest known coloring book, was first published in 1760. An original copy would be worth a fortune—and someone else knows it. That same evening, Florrie finds Dolly dead on the floor of her apartment, a corner of a coloring book page clutched in her hand. As Florrie delves into Dolly’s past and her personal effects, she discovers a skeleton in the closet—literally—and a whole lot of shady suspects. One of them is an expert in the fine art of murder, but can Florrie draw the right conclusion?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Florrie Fox is happy. She is working a Color Me Read where she has started a coloring book club. She looks over and sees coloring books she has created on the shelves. She is working on one now featuring beautiful gardens. Her relationship with Sergeant Eric Jonquille is entering a new phase, and she has settled in nicely to her boss John Maxwell’s guest house.

In The Coloring Crook, Dolly Cavanaugh, a member of the coloring book group, takes Florrie to an estate sale. Later Dolly comes into the bookstore showing off one of her purchases. A very rare coloring book, which Florrie does her best to authenticate. This book could be worth a fortune. Dolly makes a HUGE mistake by touting her amazing purchase on social media. People start coming out of the woodwork wanting to buy this book, including the woman who sold the book at the estate sale.

Florrie stops by Dolly’s home after work and finds poor Dolly on the floor dead with a piece of a page of the 1760 coloring book in her hand. The rest of the book is missing. The police believe she died of natural causes but Florrie believes it was clearly murder. She feels responsible for not warning Dolly to keep her prize safe and secret until it could be sold through a reputable party. She decides to do a little sleuthing on her own and she makes some surprising discoveries.  She also has compiled a good list of suspects. When the police finally get on board she thinks their suspect is being set up. She must be right because now she has a target on her back.

Because we share a name, this Dolly immediately had a soft spot for Dolly Cavanaugh. We have a few things in common but I am very close to my children and have one wonderful husband. I do like a good garage sale find and am enjoying the adult coloring book craze. I was sorry she had to be the victim but I loved that story the evolved from her death.

The book had a perfect pace and was well-written. The characters were very engaging and developed. The author has taken the core characters in a very pleasing direction. The story was complex with more than one mystery to solve. Ms. Davis did take a few legal sidesteps with no will being produced or read while Dolly’s daughter started disposing of her mother’s belongings and was giving tenants notice because she was selling the house very quickly. The case was still open and one new discovery should have stopped her actions in their tracks. That aside I truly enjoyed the story and am looking forward to the next book.

The author informs readers that the coloring book referenced in her story, The Florist is real and that one of the copies is at the Peter F. Raven Library/Missouri Botanical Gardens. So short of a lengthy road trip I just had to look the book up online and found several pages. You can check out pictures here. I love reading fiction stories where I can learn something too.

This book can be read on its own but I recommend starting with Color Me Murder. Both books have covers ready for you to color.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Color Me Murder here.

Krista Davis is the New York Times bestselling author of the Domestic Diva Mysteries, the Paws & Claws Mysteries, and the Pen & Ink Mysteries. Several of her books have been nominated for the Agatha Award. Krista lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with two cats and a brood of dogs. Her friends and family complain about being guinea pigs for her recipes, but she notices they keep coming back for more.

Author Links:
Website   Facebook   Pinterest Mystery Lovers Kitchen    Twitter    Killer Characters

 


GIVEAWAY

 Thanks to the publisher I have 1 Kindle copy to give away!
Book with be sent directly from Amazon.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Sign Up for Krista’s Newsletter 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 May 31, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

 

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

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May 162019
 


Dying for Devil’s Food (Cupcake Bakery Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
11th in Series
Setting – Arizona
Berkley (May 7, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 0451492633
ISBN-13: 978-0451492630
Digital ASIN: B07GD4DZ5N

As the New York Times bestselling series continues, it’s going to take every recipe the Fairy Tale Cupcake crew has to whip up a quick defense for Mel Cooper when her high school reunion goes from a cake walk to a car wreck…

Melanie Cooper has zero interest in catering her fifteen-year high school reunion, but Angie insists it’s only right that they bask in the success of Fairy Tale Cupcakes–and Mel’s engagement to the delicious Joe DeLaura is the cherry on top!

Everything is going better than expected until Cassidy Havers, resident mean girl and Mel’s high school nemesis, picks a fight. No longer willing to put up with Cassidy’s bullying, Mel is ready to tell the former homecoming queen to shut her piehole and call it a night. But as Mel and Joe prepare to depart, Cassidy is found dead in the girl’s bathroom, next to a note written in lipstick that points right to Mel–making her the prime suspect.

Now, Mel must follow the clues to find the real killer and keep her reputation from being frosted for a crime she didn’t commit.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Class reunions can be murder! In this case, Melanie Cooper, cupcake baker extraordinaire finds the girl who bullied her all through high school dead in the bathroom. With their past and Mel’s name scrawled in lipstick on the wall, she becomes the prime suspect. She didn’t want to go to the reunion in the first place, but Angie convinced her they could attend and show off the success to all their classmates. Plus with the hunky Joe DeLaura by her side, all the women would be green with envy. Well, that didn’t happen. Now, to save her business and herself she has to find who sent the *itch from her past to the great beyond.

It is always good to catch up with Mel, Angie and the gang. The Fairy Tale Cupcake crew is baking up 500 cupcakes for the girl’s reunion and when the party ends with murder everyone is there to support Mel.

Cassidy Havers was just downright nasty and to think even 15 years past high school the woman has gotten even worse. The author really takes on the issue of bullying and it doesn’t just affect kids, bullies can carry their abusive behavior into their adult life. I enjoyed the awakening Mel had. As an adult, with Joe and her friends by her side, she was able to take a step back and see the whole picture. These characters have all grown over the series but Mel’s growth just over the pages of this book was heartwarming and inspiring. Now if she could find the real killer.

Ms. McKinley’s story was fast paced with plenty of twists. The reunion brings together a room full of suspects. It was no surprise that Cassidy had made many enemies over the years. It was so much fun to tag along as she followed each clue, eliminating people and circling back around as new information came to light I was kept guessing right up to the very end.

This is such a fun series. One thing I have learned is that “Cupcakes always make everything better”.

These books are a real treat! Not only do we get a wonderful mystery, but we also get the recipes for the cupcakes that had our mouths while reading the book.  The ingredients for Pineapple Upside-Down Cupcakes have been added to my grocery list. I can’t wait to try them.

I have a reunion coming up this summer. I know it won’t be as eventful as Mel and Angie’s. 🙂

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Find out all about Jenn McKinlay and her books on her webpage here.

Cupcake Bakery Mysteries

Library Lover’s Mysteries

The Hat Shop Mysteries

Check Out Her New Romance Series’

Click on covers to order from Amazon.

GIVEAWAY

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Sign Up for Jenn McKinlay’s Newsletter 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 May 30, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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May 152019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am happy to feature Peggy Ehrhart’s new book today!


Knit One, Die Two (A Knit & Nibble Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New Jersey
Kensington (April 30, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1496713311
ISBN-13: 978-1496713315
Kindle ASIN: B07G6RYBLH

When Arborville, New Jersey’s snooty theater scene is upstaged by a shocking murder, Pamela Paterson and her Knit and Nibble knitting club must act quickly to stop a killer from making an encore performance . . .

Knit and Nibble’s numbers are growing! In addition to a litter of adorable kittens, the knitting club just welcomed their newest member, Caralee Lorimer, who’s learning to knit for her upcoming role in A Tale of Two Cities. According to the amateur actress, the behind-the-scenes drama at the theater is getting downright catty, and Caralee wants a reckoning for Arborville’s pretentious suburbanites. Her claws are out, and just like her character in the play, Caralee is ready to name names. But before she can finish her snitchy stitches, Caralee is killed in a suspicious theater accident. Someone thinks they’ve staged a perfect murder, but Pamela and her Knit and Nibblers are ready to pounce on the real killer . . . before it’s curtains for anyone else!

Knitting tips and delicious recipe included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

The Knit and Nibble knitting group has another new member. Caralee Lorimer is playing a part in the local theater group’s latest play, A Tale of Two Cities, and her character, knits on stage and she wants to play the part convincingly. She is not afraid to share her opinions of happenings around Arborville along with some things people would like to keep under wraps. She has rubbed several people the wrong way and made a few outright enemies. Pamela had no idea what Caralee was up to, but when the young woman is killed in a theater “accident” Pamela and the rest of the nibblers start to find out what she was really like. She obviously pushed someone too far and Pamela is sure the so-called accident was really a cleverly constructed murder. She just has to prove it and enlists her friend Bettina to help her investigate.

I really love the members of this knitting club. They take their nibbles as serious as their knitting. The group shares mouthwatering treats at a designated time at each of their meetings.  They are an eclectic group and always seem to have a good time when they get together. In this installment Pamela as a kindle of kittens to find homes for and when the group meets at her home, the little ones steal the hearts of more than one member. The kittens are as diverse as the group and I laughed at their antics throughout the book.

I have said in previous reviews that the author has a very descriptive writing style and for the most part, she describes things I am interested in, but this time she went a little over the top and was sometimes repetitive of things we had read just a few pages before. It messed with the flow of the book and took away from the story. A sub-plot mystery was also added that I felt really had no purpose. I really enjoyed the unique clue that set off the real investigation revealing some suspects thanks to Bettina’s husband, Wilfred. I was focused on a certain person early on and as more and more was revealed I knew I was right. I didn’t understand the whole reasoning as to why though until it was all spelled out for me.

I love the theme of this series. The characters in this series are strong and likable. The author needs to tighten up her writing to improve the flow and add more depth to the mystery. I am invested in these characters and need to see what happens to them next.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

You can read my review of Murder, She Knit here and Died in the Wool here.

PEGGY

About the Author

Peggy Ehrhart is a former English professor who writes mysteries and plays blues guitar. She holds a doctorate in Medieval Literature, and her publications include a prize-winning book dealing with classical mythology in the Middle Ages. Her Maxx Maxwell mysteries, Sweet Man Is Gone (2008) and Got No Friend Anyhow (2011), feature a blues-singer sleuth.
Peggy is currently writing the Knit and Nibble mystery series for Kensington Books. Set in the charming (fictional) town of Arborville, New Jersey, it features amateur sleuth Pamela Paterson, founder and mainstay of the town’s knitting club. Peggy is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She plays guitar with the Still Standing Band. (From Amazon)

Find out more about Peggy on her website here.


Coming October 29, 2019

 


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a U.S. 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.

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 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 29, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

 

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May 142019
 

Staging is Murder
(A Laura Bishop Mystery)
by Grace Topping

About the Book


Staging is Murder (A Laura Bishop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Henery Press (April 30, 2019)
Hardcover: 268 pages
ISBN-10: 163511490X
ISBN-13: 978-1635114904
Paperback: 268 pages
ISBN-10: 163511487X
ISBN-13: 978-1635114874
Digital ASIN: B07N96J65X

Laura Bishop just nabbed her first decorating commission—staging for sale a 19th-century mansion that hasn’t been updated for decades. But when a body falls from a laundry chute and lands at Laura’s feet, replacing flowered wallpaper becomes the least of her duties.

To clear her young assistant of the murder and save her fledgling business, Laura’s determined to find the killer. Turns out it’s not as easy as renovating a manor home, especially with two handsome men complicating her mission: the police detective assigned to the case and the real estate agent trying to save the manse from foreclosure.

Worse still, the meddling of a horoscope-guided friend, a determined grandmother, and the local funeral director could get them all killed before Laura props the first pillow.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Grace Topping starts this book/series out with a big thump. While curbing the clutter in the huge 19th-century mansion, her protagonist Laura Bishop heads to the cellar with a box only to have her client’s body fall from the laundry chute right at her feet. Victoria Denton was difficult but who would have done such a thing?

The police decide Laura’s assistant, Tyrone is their prime suspect. He accidentally broke a vase sending Ms. Denton into a tizzy. She also is on the committee holding Tyrone’s fate in her hands as he waits to hear if he will be awarded a college scholarship. The woman threatened to basically blackball him everywhere and police assume he retaliated. Laura defends the young man but when his grandmother begs for her help she knows she has to do more. Detective Alex Spangler thinks he has his man so Laura grabs her friend Nita Marino and tries to use all the knowledge she has gleaned from reading cozy mysteries to start investigating.

There are such strong characters in this debut. Laura Bishop has left her IT career behind and opened her own business staging homes to help home sellers get the best price and the quickest sale of their homes. She is also new to investigating and admits it which was a big plus for me. She is a very kind person and for the most part, makes really good decisions. Her best friend Nita is the Watson to Laura’s Holmes and they make a good team. The character I liked best was Tyrone. He’s a college student studying design and clearly has talent. He is a hard worker. He has 3 jobs earning money both for school and to help his grandmother. He has such a positive attitude even when things are going wrong. Even behind bars, he was a breath of fresh air. I also loved meeting Inky, Laura’s rescue kitty.

The story flowed well for me. There are several suspects and some great twists. Tossing the victim down the laundry chute was a bit eerie. I love big old homes that have them. My aunt had one in her newer home but the opening was nowhere near large enough to stuff a body through. I enjoyed following along with Laura and her investigation while she continued to work on the mansion to get it ready for an open house. The mansion needed a lot of help and I was surprised by all Laura did with the help of so few people. The author found a nice balance between solving the mystery and everyday life. Humor was also incorporated in a very thoughtful way.

Each chapter starts with a staging tip and the staging theme was super interesting to me. Not that I’ll ever need to stage a home, but several tips made sense to brighten up the home I have.

This series is off to a great start. The characters have plenty of room to grow. The theme provides endless possibilities. I am really looking forward to book #2.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Grace Topping is a recovering technical writer and IT project manager, accustomed to writing lean, boring documents. Let loose to write fiction, she is now creating murder mysteries and killing off characters who remind her of some of the people she dealt with during her career. Fictional revenge is sweet. She’s using her experience helping friends stage their homes as inspiration for her Laura Bishop mystery series. The first book in the series, Staging is Murder, is about a woman starting a new career midlife as a home stager. Grace is the current vice president of the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime, and a member of the SINC Guppies and Mystery Writers of America. She lives with her husband in Northern Virginia.

 Author Links –  Website – Twitter – Facebook – GoodReads – 

Purchase Links – Amazon  B&N   Kobo  

Praise for Staging is Murder (A Laura Bishop Mystery)
by Grace Topping

The writing flows smoothly in this well-paced story and the characters are well drawn. . . .There’s plenty of suspects and red herrings, and the murderer’s identity wasn’t easy to solve.
~The Power of Words

Staging is Murder was a fun and exciting mystery that was a sheer delight for this reader.
~Moonlight Rendezvous

Wow! The planning and misdirections in this first book remind me of the Golden Age murder/mystery writers!
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

STAGING IS MURDER sets the stage for a solid mystery series. There’s an interesting plot and engaging characters, with just enough zaniness to promote laughs, but keep things real.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

Staging is Murder by Grace Topping is a fun mystery with a reluctant amateur detective. This book is a wonderful start to a new series. I can’t wait to see what Laura and Nita get into next.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

Staging is Murder has a friendly protagonist, a charming town, witty commentary, good friends, a frisky feline, a client who has gone to meet her maker, and one cunning killer.
~The Avid Reader

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
Part One
April 25 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
April 25 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
April 26 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW
April 26 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
April 27 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 28 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 28 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
April 29 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

Part Two
May 6 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
May 6 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT
May 7 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 8 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
May 8 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 9 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
May 9 – Carole’s Book Corner – SPOTLIGHT
May 10 – Teresa Trent Author Site – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 11 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
May 11 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 12 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST
May 13 – That’s What She’s Reading – CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 14 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

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

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May 112019
 

I am thrilled to shine the spotlight on this book today! 

 

About the Book


For a Good Paws (A Barkery & Biscuits Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Midnight Ink (May 8, 2019)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 0738752444
ISBN-13: 978-0738752440
Digital ASIN: B07HL4XNKD

Barkery owner Carrie Kennersly follows the scent of murder to find the true culprit . . .

When Carrie Kennersley, owner of a two-part bakery that serves tasty treats to both dogs and humans, learns that a local killer is being paroled, she worries that danger will come barking at her door.

Ten years ago, Mike Holpurn was convicted of murdering the first female mayor of Knobcone Heights. Now, shortly after his release, Holpurn puts the whole town on edge by yelling at the former mayor’s husband, Henry Schulzer. After Schulzer is found dead, everyone assumes Holpurn is the culprit. But Carrie thinks there’s more to the story, especially since Holpurn claims Schulzer was the one who really killed the mayor. Carrie is determined to uncover the truth, even if it means things will get ruff.

Includes recipes!

Praise for this book –  For a Good Paws (A Barkery & Biscuits Mystery)
by Linda O. Johnston

I fell in love with this series during book one and each one just gets better and better . . . An absolute must-read for fans of cozies full of adorable critters. I totally loved it so I give it 5/5 stars.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

About the Author

Linda O. Johnston, a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer, writes the Barkery & Biscuits Mystery Series for Midnight Ink.  Her fifth and final book in the series, For a Good Paws, is a May 2019 release.  She has also written Superstition Mysteries for Midnight Ink, and the Pet Rescue Mystery Series and Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime.  Linda also writes for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, and nearly all her current stories involve dogs.

Author Links

Website –  Facebook

Purchase Links

AmazonB&NBooksAMillionIndieBound

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
May 8 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
May 8 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
May 9 – Books Direct – SPOTLIGHT
May 9 – The Book’s the Thing – GUEST POST
May 10 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
May 10 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 11 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
May 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT  
May 12 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 12 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 13 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
May 13 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
May 14 – Shannon Muir, Author – Infinite House of Books – SPOTLIGHT
May 14 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
May 15 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
May 15 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
May 16 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
May 16 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 17 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
May 17 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

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May 102019
 


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.

Pineapple Upside Down Murder (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Ohio
MYS ED llc (November 23, 2018)
Print Length: 130 pages
Digital ASIN: B07GXDPPSP

Introducing Jolie Tucker, an introverted yet passionate restaurant co-owner of Cast Iron Creations, who, at her best friend Ava’s request, steps out of her comfort zone which leads her into the shade of a killer in the small, cozy village of Leavensport, Ohio. The victim is the villages beloved Ellie Siler who runs the village sweet spot, Chocolate Capers. Jolie finds her grandma Opal is a prime suspect and goes on a search for answers only to find out that her families secret recipes may not belong to the Tucker family at all. Jolie’s job, family, and livelihood are all on the line. The answers are assuredly lethal.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

When Jolie Tucker finds out her Grandma Opal is the top suspect in the death of her friend and owner of Chocolate Capers, Ellie Siler Jolie jumps from the cast iron frying pan into the fire to prove her innocence. What she learns could bring her very short-lived dream as co-owner of the Cast Iron Creations Restaurant to an end. She could also be the killer’s next victim . . .

A dead body, stolen recipes, and family secrets highlight this delightful cozy novella.

Jolie Tucker and her best friend Ava own Cast Iron Creations that features old family recipes made in cast iron skillets. Something her grandma Opal always wanted to do but was never able to do so. Jolie handles the kitchen because she is a real introvert and readers get a little bit of the backstory as to why. Joining Jolie is this story is a big cast. Her best friend Ava, other friends Lydia, Bradley, and Keith, Ava’s girlfriend Delilah, Grandma Opal and her daughter’s, along with Roxi who works at the restaurant and her brother Rex. We also have Detective Meiser, the investigator in charge of the case. At first, I felt like I needed a scorecard to keep everyone straight. It also felt like too many characters for a story of this length. But the author did a good job of making each unique and soon I had a handle on all the players.

This mystery was really twisted up. I did want to reach into the pages and slap the detective a few times. Jolie had a long list of suspects, essentially anyone that wasn’t her grandmother. She has a lot of good theories but the visiting detective in charge wasn’t interested in anything except maybe Jolie herself. The killer reveal was a surprise for me and a nice twist.

I really enjoyed the cast iron skillet theme and I am looking forward to getting to know these characters better and in more depth in the next book, Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Murder, out June 21.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Moving into her second decade working in education, Jodi Rath has decided to begin a life of crime in her The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series. Her passion for both mysteries and education led her to combine the two to create her business MYS ED, where she splits her time between working as an adjunct for Ohio teachers and creating mischief in her fictional writing. She currently resides in a small, cozy village in Ohio with her husband and her seven cats.

Author Links:  Webpage FB Author Page: Author Jodi Rath

Twitter @jodirathGoodreads   Bookbub    Pinterest
Purchase Links: Amazon    All other e-platforms

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread Murder – Coming June 21, 2019.


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
The book will be sent directly 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.

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

Contest Will End May 24, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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A Deadly Feast: A Key West Food Critic Mystery by Lucy Burdette Order Your Copy Today!
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