Posted in Cruisin Thru Cozies Reviews 2012

Ocean Waves by Terri Thayer

Ocean Waves
(A Quilting Mystery)

3rd in Series
Midnight Ink
Published by Llewellyn Publications
Cover Illustration by Cheryl Chalmers- The July Group
Cover Design by Lisa Novak

Dewey Pellicano, owner of QP (Quilter Paradiso) is in just a little over her head. In her quest to learn more about quilting since her mother left her a quilt shop she decides to attend the Sewing-By-The-Sea Symposium in Asilomar, California. Everyone there has much more quilting experience than Dewey and the conference organizer is more of a dictator than a director. She collects their cell phones and car keys, only allows the public phone to be available from 7-9 p.m., doesn’t allow anyone leave the park, the woman definitely has issues.

Dewey just wants to learn what she can, relax a little, hopefully with her man by her side and get through the week. Then she learns about a ghost that lurks around the conference, a woman goes missing, and there is a mountain lion on the loose. If that isn’t enough a valuable sewing box is stolen and then someone ends up dead.

Poor Dewey, seems trouble follows her wherever she goes. Looks like she is going to have to piece together all the clues again and figure just what is going on in this crazy quilt of murder and mayhem.


Dollycas’s Thoughts

Terri has a true gift!! The twists and turns in this installment were fabulous!!!

Dewey reconnects with her brother Tony, he is a ranger at the park. The brother/sister interplay was so real and endearing. Snappy, teasing, but there for each other. Loved it. Dewey and Buster’s relationship continues to evolve as they can’t stand to be away from each other.

The author also delves into the topic of abuse, a wife being abused by her husband. She stitches it into the complex plot masterfully. She helps shed light on that an abuser can be anyone, the guy next door, a person asking for directions, someone you see everyday and would never think they would be an abusive person.

While we miss some of the characters from the quilt shop we are introduced to new ones that work their way into our hearts, plus the flamboyant Freddy is back from the first book is the series.

The next book in the series, Monkey Wrench, out May 8th, arrived in my mailbox last week. I can’t wait to see what Dewey and the QP gang are up to next. 

This series continues to impress me and bring me joy.  I urge you to pick one up and “Escape Into” it today!!

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


This book was from my personal collection.

Posted in Cruisin Thru Cozies Reviews 2012 What An Animal Reading Challenge

Dread on Arrival by Claudia Bishop

Dread on Arrival
(A Hemlock Falls Mystery)

17th in Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Karen Strelecki
Cover Design by Diana Kolsky

Available Now!

 

Hemlock Falls, New York, is perfect for tourists with its quaint shops and world famous cooking school and the wonderful Inn at Hemlock Falls. Run by sisters, Meg Quilliam and Sarah Quilliam-McHale. Meg is a master chef with a bit of a temper, watch out for flying saute pans. Sarah (Quill) is the manager with an adorable son Jackson. Her husband Myles, the former sheriff, now works for the federal government and is gone a lot.

In this latest installment a episode of the hit television show Your Ancestor’s Attic is being taped in Hemlock Falls. The host of a competing show Pawn-O-Rama arrives on the scene just in time to cause a little trouble. The hosts of the shows have quite a rivalry going and they decide to settle things between them with a cooking contest that will be taped for both programs.

Things get a little heated as the competition begins, then one of the men keels over dead. Suspicions are that he was poisoned and his rival is the obvious culprit. But he is not the only suspect, even some of the residents of Hemlock Falls are being questioned.

Thankfully the Quilliam sisters are masters at sizing up the suspects and with a little help they will catch the killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This is one of my favorite series. The entire set in on my keeper shelf. The quirky characters are delightful. They continue to grow and evolve through each story. Their antics always bring a smile to my face.

With that being said the plot of this one threw me a bit. I love the idea of an Antiques Roadshow type series coming to the town. The characters this theme brought were amazing.  I got lost wondering why would these hosts engage in a cooking contest? This idea did bring the story back to the inn and cooking school, but it just felt off. The were appraisers of antiques, not from a cooking show. If rival cooking show hosts came to town this contest was perfect but it didn’t work for me in this circumstance. There was a wedding supposed to be held at the inn with the reception at the cooking school and a murder there may have made more sense. I know after 17 stories it is hard to be new, fresh, current and unique, and please all the fans, this one just missed the mark with me. 

The story as it plays out is entertaining and I still enjoyed it. It just left me scratching my head a bit.

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Giveaways Guest Posts

Cozy Wednesday with Elizabeth Lynn Casey (Giveaway too!)


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!!

Those Southern Sewing Circle ladies are back and this edition is awesome. I have loved each and every book in this series. This women have become friends I can’t wait to see again and again. They are always getting into some kind of trouble.  I have always wondered where Elizabeth comes up with her ideas. I am thrilled she is here today to shed a little light on the subject. Please get a glass of sweet tea and help me welcome Elizabeth Lynn Casey.

Hi Elizabeth!!

Hi Everyone!

The Happy Place
By Elizabeth Lynn Casey

Readers often ask where I get my ideas. And, in many cases, my answer is fairly simple—a snippet from a newsbyte on the radio, or a news item on my computer’s splash screen. When this happens, it’s because something about that particular news item caught my attention and sent me off to my happy place.

Now, while I love the ocean and hiking through the woods, the happy place to which I’m writing about at the moment is inside my head.

Strange, I know.

When a snippet finds its way into my happy place, I’m pretty much done. I don’t hear another word the radio personality says, I don’t read another word of the blurb on my screen. Instead, I retreat and let my mind start putting its own spin on things.

I’ll give you an example from yesterday’s release of Reap What You Sew (the sixth book in my Southern Sewing Circle mystery series).

Reap What You Sew

This book was born from a simple “how was your day” discussion with a woman I see from time to time. She’s a special education teacher with some of the best “how was your day” answers, I’ve ever heard. Anyway, she was talking about a young man in her class who is a Kleptomaniac Hoarder—which means he has a tendency to swipe things (in quantity) and hang onto them.

What, if anything, this woman said about the rest of her day, I don’t know. Because I wasn’t there, anymore.

Well, technically I was there—still sitting in the same chair—but I wasn’t there.

Yup, that’s right. I was in my happy place. 🙂

Before I left that night, I knew a) how I was going to use that Kleptomaniac Hoarder thing, b) who was going to enter the canvas of characters with that condition and c) how it was going to play out.

The result? A super fun story that has; a famous movie director coming to Sweet Briar to film a few scenes for an upcoming film, the introduction of (fan favorites) Leona and Margaret Louise’s elderly mother, and a murder that puts three of the sewing Circle’s members on the suspect list.

If you’re already a fan of the series, I hope you enjoy this latest installment (the cover is spectacular, isn’t it?). If you’re new to the series, you’ve got some catching up to do.

Next up? Let It Sew, the seventh book in the series coming November 6th.

Happy Reading!

~Elizabeth

Thank you so much Elizabeth for stopping by. I know you are super busy with this book release and another in June. You continue to amaze me and create characters and stories for all of us to enjoy! You keep writing and we’ll keep reading!!

About This Author

Elizabeth Lynn Casey is the author of the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries with Berkley Prime Crime. Reap What You Sew, the latest title in the series, debuted yesterday. In addition to this series, Elizabeth will also be writing the upcoming Amish Mysteries (also with Berkley Prime Crime/Penguin) under her real name, Laura Bradford. Hearse and Buggy, the first book in the series, will release on June 5th. For more information about Elizabeth, visit: www.elizabethlynncasey.com

 

Reap What You Sew
Reap What You Sew
(A Southern Sewing Circle Mystery)

6th in Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group

Cover Illustration by Mary Ann Lasher(It’s Amazing!)
Cover Design by Judith Lagerman

Quaint, cozy, Sweet Briar is about to get full of drama, lots of drama! Warren Shoemaker has chosen Sweet Briar to be the setting for his next movie. Everyone in Sweet Briar, including every member of the Southern Sewing Circle is dreaming of stardom hoping to be cast as an extra in the movie. One of the members even plans to snag a leading role. Tori Sinclair is the lucky one to actual earn a part as an extra. She is very excited to step out of the library and into a movie based on one of her favorite books.

The cameras stop rolling very early as everyone waits for the leading actress to arrive on the set, but we soon learn she is not just late or being the diva the whole crew knows her to be. She is found dead in her trailer, murdered and more than one of the sewing circle members turns out to be prime suspects in her death. The show most definitely will not go on until Tori can uncover the truth and catch the real killer. The set is anything but quiet as she pieces together the clues that will sew up all the drama plaguing the lovely town of Sweet Briar.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Everyone needs a group of friends like the ladies of the Southern Sewing Circle. These ladies have each others back whether they are trying to survive a break up with a boyfriend, dealing with their kids, facing the task of what to do with an aging parent or keeping someone’s butt out of jail. A certain lady in the group gets herself in a bunch of hot water in this installment and at times can be exasperating at her thoughts that even though she may not have committed the crime, she is still happy “that woman” is out of the “picture”. As I have said before these friendships are the core of this series. Each of their different outlooks and personalities bring the perfect contrast to this group of characters. Each character is brilliantly written.

The movie plot touches home with me as my little hometown here in Wisconsin was used as a backdrop for a bit of Johnny Depp’s movie Public Enemy. The scenes rang true to everything I heard and observed during that time. Little towns just go crazy when there movie stars walking about.

The victim and I share something too. I can’t tell you what but you will see when you read this wonderful story.

There are the surprises and twists that Elizabeth Lynn Casey stitches in each of her mysteries. She says snippets (ideas) find the way to her “happy place” and stories are born. She has done amazing things with these snippets. I hope her “happy place” overflows with these ideas and lead to many more fun stories like this one. You cannot go wrong with an Elizabeth Lynn Casey mystery.  They are fun, entertaining and definitely “must reads”!!


Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the wonderful people
at Berkley Prime Crime
I have 2 copies of


and one copy of the fifth book in the series


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

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

Leave a comment for Elizabeth for 5 Bonus Entries !

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

Contest Will End April 18, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here.


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

Posted in Reviews 2012

50% OFF MURDER by Josie Belle

50 off murder

50% Off Murder
(Good Buy Girls)

Brand New Series

A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Company
Published by The Penguin Group’
Cover Illustration by Mary Ann Lasher
Cover Design by Sarah Oberreader
Available Now!!

Meet the Good Buy Girls – Maggie Gerber, St. Stanley native. Her husband, Charlie, was a deputy for the St. Stanley Sheriff’s Department. He was killed in the line of duty when their daughter, Laura, was just a toddler. Laura is now a sophomore at Penn State and Maggie has opened her home to her niece Sandy and her son Josh. Sandy’s husband is deployed in Afghanistan and Sandy is studying to become a nurse. Maggie helps with Josh and does billing part-time for a local doctor.

Ginger Lancaster, another St. Stanley native, same age, same dress and shoe size as Maggie. Ginger is outspoken and funny. She runs her own accounting business. Her husband has a corporate sales job and they have four teenage boys.

Clare Freemont is in her mid-30’s, she moved from Baltimore and is a librarian with a very dry sense of humor, her biggest extravagance is gourmet pet food for her cat, Mr. Tumnus. Maggie invited Clare to join the group when she found out they shared a mutual love for books and bargains.

Joanne Claramotta is the newest member of the group. Together with her husband Michael they own and operate the More Than Meats Butcher Shop and Deli. They moved to St. Stanley from Brooklyn about 10 years ago.

Maggie and Ginger started the Good Buy Girls Club to share coupons, discounts and bargain tips over 20 years ago when they were newlyweds expecting their first babies. The club membership has varied over the years with Ginger and Maggie as self-proclaimed life time members. Maggie’s house is home base for the club.

Maggie takes Josh to story hour at the library. While he is playing with friends Maggie visits with Clare. She decides to help her move some donated books to the library basement. When they reached the bottom of the stairs they are scared to death. There is body on the floor with a knife in his chest. Turns out Clare recognizes the man, someone from her past.

The handsome new sheriff who happens to be a man from Maggie’s past sets his sights on Clare as his prime suspect. It will take more than a clearance sale for the Good Buy Girls to get their friend out of this jam.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
This is a wonderful debut to this brand new series.

Josie Belle is a pseudonym for Jenn McKinlay author of the Library Lover’s Mystery Series and the Cupcake Mystery Series. She also wrote the Decoupage Mysteries under the name Lucy Lawrence.

In this series she has created wonderful characters in the Good Buy Girls but also in the supporting characters. The sheriff Sam Collins, Max who is so much more the the guy who works at the Frosty Freeze, Summer Phillips the thorn in Maggie’s side, and the suspects, there are many more than just Clare.

She has also developed a very engaging who-dun-it that keeps bringing the man Maggie wants to avoid more than paying retail into her path. Why did he have to come back to St. Stanley? Things were going so well.

Who doesn’t love a good bargain? Josie Belle has taken a theme we all can relate to and turned it into what I know will be a very successful series. 50% Off Murder equals 110% of fun!! I can’t wait for the next big sale! Keep you elbows to yourself and your eyes on the prize, three…two… one…go!!!!!

 

 

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


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

Posted in Giveaways Guest Posts

Special Guest Post – Laura Childs With Giveaway!

I am so happy to welcome Laura here today. Whether you have love her Tea Shop Mysteries or Scrapbooking Mysteries, or Cackleberry Club Mysteries or you love them all you realize what a treat it is to have her here . If Laura is an author new to you I will have a complete list of her books after her guest post.

Think you could be an author yourself, read below as Laura gives you a bit of inside information.

Hi Laura!!

Hi Lori, I am happy to be here!

Have you got a story to tell and a yearning to be published?

Most people do. As an author, I’m constantly quizzed about the world of publishing and being asked for tips on how to break in and what editors are looking for.

So . . . do editors really know what they’re looking for? Not always. Do they know it when they see it? Well . . . sometimes.

An editor’s biggest responsibility lies in the area of acquisitions. That is, they are tasked with finding new authors with new material. As such, editors are always on the hunt for the next big thing. And usually that means a great story with great characters – because a character-driven story is what’s really critical these days.

Editors are also looking for breakout books. Books that are different and don’t re-tell the same old story. Think about books such as The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother or The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. These are books that really stand out in their categories.

So what can would-be authors do to increase their chances of success today? What can you do if you’ve got a story to tell and a yearning to be published? Well, take a look at the various categories. The mystery, thriller, and romance categories seem to be holding strong, while the market for “chick lit” novels is fairly saturated.

In the past, I was able to pitch books and win contracts based on 3 or 4 chapters and an outline. Now that we’re in a somewhat tougher market, that’s pretty much changed. Now editors want to see your entire manuscript.

As an prospective author, you also need to understand how your book concept relates to the marketplace. If there are already 35 culinary mystery series out there and you’re pitching the 36th, it could be a tough sell. You also need to be fully cognizant of the internal architecture of your novel. I’m talking about plot, pacing, turning points, character development, dialogue, and building suspense. These are the things you learn with experience and also by reading other successful authors. In fact, when I first started out, I used to tear apart novels by Michael Connelly and James Patterson and actually diagram them!

But the most important thing you need today is fortitude – you have to believe in yourself! You have to know that you can do it and never ever allow yourself to become discouraged! Just remember – John Grisham’s first novel, The Client, was turned down by 30 agents and 15 publishers. More than 2 dozen publishers turned down Chicken Soup for the Soul before it became a best seller and spawned an entire series. And Mary Higgins Clark, who helped me get started, was rejected 40 times before making her first sale. One editor told her: “Your story is light, slight, and trite.”

In today’s on-demand climate it’s also hugely important to establish an opening story hook immediately. Editors don’t want pages and pages of build-up, they want you to toss your reader directly into the action! As my agent once said to me – “You’re writing murder mysteries, so you better deliver a dead body right there in chapter one!”

So . . . good luck. Write diligently and work smart. And someday I hope to see you on a bestseller list!

Laura Child’s most recent release is Agony of the Leaves (A Tea Shop Mystery). She has Postcards from the Dead (A Scrapbooking Mystery) coming out October 2 and Stake & Eggs (A Cackleberry Club Mystery) being released December 4, 2012. Both of these new book are available for pre-order.

Find out more about the author at www.laurachilds.com

Thanks to the people at Berkley Prime Crime
I have 2 copies of Laura’s Newest Release!!

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

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

Leave a comment for Laura for 5 Bonus Entries!

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

Contest Will End April 12, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here.

Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Cozy Wednesday Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2012

Cozy Wednesday with Maria E. Schneider with Giveaway!!


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I “met” Maria awhile ago when she was nice enough to share the first two books in the Sedona O’Hala series with me. Sedona sure gets into some intense situations but the thing that makes me love these story are the parts that are laugh out loud funny. I am so excited to have her here today to talk books. I will also review Executive Sick Days. It is so funny that this one has to do with x-rays since my husband manages a mobile x-ray company here in Wisconsin. He could probably write a book as well about some of the happenings but he will never have Maria’s gift!!

Welcome Maria!

Hi Everyone!,

I’m on a cozy reading group over on the Amazon forums. I asked the ladies there what I should blog about for my guest blog here on Dollycas’ fabulous site. “Oh, blog about your two feral kitties, Scamp and Junior,” said one. “No, no, you have to tell them about trying to find shorts that fit and that one pair you made where you kept cutting the legs to match until all you had left was pair of underwear with pockets.” Gosh. By all means, let me leave a first impression of a homeless bag lady with cats. Uhm.

Perhaps it’s best if I just introduce myself as a writer with a lot of hobbies. I write cozy mysteries and not-quite-cozy paranormal mysteries. Lori has told you all about my Sedona mystery series: an amateur sleuth trying her best to climb the corporate ladder and make a decent living. Like a lot of us, her boss isn’t necessarily cheering her on, and she has some co-workers who could make an angel plot revenge.

But enough about me. Let’s talk books. You like books, I like books. I’ll tell you my favorites if you tell me yours.

Elizabeth Peters – I not only like her Amelia Peabody series, but perhaps even more, her zany Vicky Bliss series. I am pretty sure Peters influenced me and I don’t mean my writing–I own a parasol because Amelia owns one. Ever since I read about a parasol making a nifty weapon, well, I just had to have one. It’s pure cotton lace and would make a terrible weapon, but yes, I really have walked through the park with my dear husband and my parasol. It is true that I giggled, but at least two other passersby stopped to ask me where I bought my parasol. One was a lady on a bicycle who stopped so suddenly I worried the little dog in the carriage behind her might catapult into a tree. We had a nice chat about my parasol. The dog’s name was Bo. I don’t remember her name, but I always wondered if she bought a parasol.

Virginia Lanier – Now this series isn’t really cozy. It’s got an edge and there are some parts that are heartbreaking and scary. But there’s dogs and people who work hard and care, and the writing and plots are some of the best I’ve read. Ever. I don’t think this author influenced me. I could not write like she did, and I don’t have a dog. But if I did have a dog, it would be awfully cool if, like in the books, it was a talented bloodhound capable of rescuing people–and guarding the heart of its owner as the most valuable thing in the world.

Patricia Briggs– She writes a lot of urban fantasy these days and it’s all very, very good. Specifically the Alpha and Omega series which has so much heart and mystery, you’ll be glued to the pages. I read Patricia Briggs back when she started out in fantasy.  When Demons Walk  remains an all-time favorite. But it’s not the fantasy or urban fantasy themes that make this author’s work so special. It’s the fact that she can write a thrilling mystery with characters you care about–in any setting. She never forgets to wind in a romance, the kind that puts a smile on your face and makes you nod your head because it isn’t that the hero is handsome, it is that he is kind and good and special. If her work has taught me anything, it’s that you can write a book that is a superbly-plotted mystery in any setting so long as you take the time to create just the right characters to go with the story.

Those are three of my favorites. Stop by and tell me yours!

~Maria
www.BearMountainBooks.com

Please Leave A Comment telling Maria your favorite authors and look for a special giveaway after my review.

Executive Sick Days
A Sedona O’Hala Mystery

3rd in Series
Bear Mountain Books

Those darn Huntington brothers have lured Sedona into another dangerous investigation. Good thing one of them makes her heart beat faster and the other gives her nice gifts, like a Mercedes.

Someone at the hospital is running a scam and it is not easy to figure out who or how but Sedona is on the case in addition to cleaning bed pans and avoiding a certain nurse. Hopefully she doesn’t end up on a slab in the morgue before she works out all the details.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The crime here is serious but Sedona just cracks me up time and time again.

This story hits home for me not only because my husband works for an x-ray company but because just last week I was contacted about a past due bill for a doctor I have never seen in my life. Yes, I was in the hospital last April but that doesn’t mean every doctor on staff can bill me for services. I understand way to clearly why American health care is so screwed up.  

But now back to this wonderful story. The plot is believable and real. The characters are fantastic. Sedona volunteering at the hospital where her sister-in-law works is the perfect setting. How long can anyone seriously think they can hide a pregnancy? 🙂 The romantic tension keeps building with one Huntington and just plain tension is going strong with the other one. 

This whole series of books is just plain fun and entertaining!! Word of caution, watch out for the snake!! You will love this book!!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Now for the special giveaway!

Since I received my Kindle I have become addicted
to it so this is an e-book giveaway.

My first!!

Your Choice Kindle or Nook!
Your Choice of one book from the Sedona O’Hala Mystery Series!

There will be 3 winners!!

Fill out the form below and I will contact you for your choice of book if you win!
Contest Will End April 12 AT 12:01 AM CST
GOOD LUCK!!
Continue reading “Cozy Wednesday with Maria E. Schneider with Giveaway!!”

Posted in Just For Fun Challenge Reviews 2012

Old Maid’s Puzzle by Terri Thayer

This is my March Just For Fun Selection.

Old Maid’s Puzzle
(A Quilting Mystery)

2nd in the Series

Published by Midnight Ink
Llewellyn Publications

Dewey Pellicano is looking forward to celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Quilter Paradiso, the quilting shop left to her by her mother. Dewey never caught the quilting bug but realizes she has to learn to keep the store a sucess and as she learns so is starting to love it just as her mom did.

The quilting love goes out the back door as she finds out there is a dead body in the alley behind the store. As if she didn’t have enough problems, facing stiff competition from other stores she is barely keeping Quilter Paradiso afloat, she has an employee who happens to be her sister-in-law fighting her every step of the way and she just learned her shop is going to be featured on national television the day before the huge 20th Anniversary Sale. A dead body in the alley is not going to lure customers to her store even if it is on television. She has to scrap together everything she can to find the killer before the sale. Hopefully her hunky detective boyfriend Buster will lend her a hand.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

There is just something about these books, once I start them I can’t put them down.  As I said when I reviewed the first book, Wild Goose Chase, this is a fun series. Dewey is getting stronger. Her romance with Buster is developing nicely. Kym has taken her fight against progress to a whole new level. We are also getting into more of the lives of the supporting characters.

But it is the mystery of who killed the man in the alley that kept the pages turning with its several twists and turns that made me love this book. It was full of surprises and suspense. There are also parts that are laugh out loud funny. Terri has crafted another cozy both quilters and non quilters will absolutely love. I can’t wait to read Ocean Waves and Monkey Wrench comes out on May 8. 

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


*This book was from my private collection.

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Giveaways Literary Escapes Reviews 2012

Cozy Wednesday with Author Denise Swanson (Giveaway too!)


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

When you hear the name Denise Swanson and think cozy mystery you immediately think of her Best Selling Scumble River Mystery Series featuring school psychologist Skye Denison. Murder of a Creped Suzette,the 14th book in the series, was released back in October. But today she is here to tell us about her brand new Devereaux’s Dime Store Mystery series. 

Little Shop of Homicidewas released on March 6 and it is a wonderful debut but I ‘ll post my review after we visit with Denise. Pour a cup of coffee and let’s hear how Devereaux Sinclair’s life was born onto the pages for all of us to enjoy!

Welcome Denise!

Hi Everyone, I am happy to be here.

Writing a Second Series

It took me a long time to decide to write a second mystery series. I was happy writing about Skye and her gang in my Scumble River series and didn’t really have an idea (at least not a good unique one) for another mystery series. I had lots of ideas for contemporary romances, paranormal romantic mysteries, and even one for a suspense thriller and an end of the world book—all of which I wrote several hundred pages on before having to turn back to Skye because of a looming deadline.

However, about a year ago, a character named Devereaux Sinclair popped into my head and started telling me her story. Dev, which is what most people call her, was a financial advisor for six years before buying her hometown dime store. Her boss viewed the glass ceiling as a protective barrier and her colleagues committed most of the seven deadly sins before their first coffee break.

Dev lives in the fictional town of Shadow Bend, Missouri with her grandmother, Birdie. With her father in jail for vehicular manslaughter and her mother hiding in California, Dev has no other family. She does have two best friends—a cynical bad girl named Poppy Kincaid who owns Gossip Central, the local bar, and Boone St. Onge a small-town lawyer who handles the local divorces and real estate deals.

When I realized I finally had an idea that was sufficiently different from Skye, but still with enough similarities to make me want to write about it—small town setting, quirky family and friends, and murder—I decided to give it a try.

The Devereaux’s Dime Store books offer me a chance to spread my wings and write about some edgier situations, while still keeping my same voice AKA writing style. My goal is to continue to give my readers a satisfying mystery, but add a tiny bit spicier romance and more complicated family relationships. Not to mention, the nostalgia that only an old fashion dime store can truly provide.

In a way, it’s like having a second child. I wanted to do all the things that I had done right with the first series, but try some new things as well—and avoid some of the mistakes. And while I love my first-born, and am continuing to write about her adventures, (the next Scumble River comes out in September) I also love Dev and her town and I hope you will, too.

–Denise Swanson, New York Times bestselling author
www.DeniseSwanson.com

Denise, I am so glad Dev popped into you head along with all her friends. As you will see below I LOVED this story!!

Little Shop of Homicide
(Devereaux Dime Store Mystery)

New Series!
An Obsidian Mystery
Published by New American Library
A Division of The Penguin Group

Welcome to Devereaux’s Dime Store and Gift Baskets complete with a 3 stool soda fountain and a glass candy case. The best thing Dev ever did was quit the rat race, move home and buy this store.

Today she is rethinking her big decision as Kansas City Detective Woods arrives before the store is even open to accuse her of murdering her ex-boyfriend’s fiancée Joelle Ayers. Just because some items from a gift basket she created were used as murder weapons didn’t mean she had anything to do with the woman’s death and he surely doesn’t have enough evidence to arrest her. He makes a few threats and leaves.

Panicked Dev gets her friends Poppy and Boone to help her investigate. Then, hunky Jake Del Vecchio, a U.S. Deputy Marshall in town recovering from an injury, enters the picture. Seems his uncle and Dev’s grandmother are old friends and he has been encouraged to help her clear her name. Only one problem, this guy Jake is hot, and Dev is finding it difficult to concentrate on finding the real killer. If she is not careful to keep her mind on the tasks at hand she may find herself doing time behind bars instead of behind the counter of her five-and-dime.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
I keep breaking my own rules. I used to say I couldn’t give the first book in a new series 5 stars because it takes time for the characters to develop. However, I started this book and couldn’t put it down. The characters, while new, grabbed my heart immediately. The romantic tension was fabulous, a new twist to the typical cozy and I think it is wonderful. Plus the small town setting and the dime store evoke memories of a store from my childhood, a place I adored and drank quite a few cherry cokes.

Denise Swanson has created a marvelous debut for this new series. The mystery is top-notch, with several twists of its own.  She has taken a small risk adding a bit of spice to the romance and this reader absolutely loved it. These are characters I am invested in and I can’t wait to tag along on their journeys. Bravo Denise!!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the folks at Penguin
I have 2 copies of this book to give away!!

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

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

Leave a comment for Denise for 5 Bonus Entries !

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

Contest Will End April 4, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the 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 Cruisin Thru Cozies Guest Posts Literary Escapes Reviews 2012

Cozy Wednesday with Ada Madison (Special Giveaway too!)


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! I found out last year Ada Madison was a pseudonym for Camille Minichino and we connected on Facebook very quickly. What did we do before Facebook and the internet? We would never have gotten to know our favorite authors and the only way we were able to tell them we loved their work was to send them a letter through the publisher. I am so happy to be able to send them messages, email them with questions, or just tweet to the world that we love their books. I am so glad I was able to connect with Camille and find out what a truly special woman she is and I am so happy she could take time to visit here today.

Welcome Camille!

I am happy to be here!!

Escape with Camille

 

The title of the new Dollycas site got me thinking – what does it take for me to escape into a good book?

I’ve come up with two criteria for starters:

1. The setting must hold my interest. The author has to take me to the city, domestic or international, in a way that convinces me she’s been there. If I come across phrases that have been ripped from tour guides and brochures, such as “San Francisco has extraordinary vistas and innovative sightseeing buses,” I’ll toss the book aside.

Even if the setting is fictional, it must have characteristics that make it unique and appropriate for the story, whether it’s a boardwalk or a monument to Machiavelli.

I’ve tried to make my fictional town of Lincoln Point  (The Miniature Mysteries by Margaret Grace) memorable for its devotion to Old Abe, with Lincoln quotes etched into public buildings, streets named after him and his friends, a reenactment of a Lincoln-Douglas debate every year, and even a Mary Todd Lincoln Ball on her birthday in December. (Not all in the same book!)

A small New England college is the setting for my newest series (The Professor Sophie Knowles Mysteries by Ada Madison). College events, like reunions and graduations provide the background for the stories. In the latest, “The Probability of Murder” the stacks in the campus library are the site of murder and mayhem.

2. Character names. Those of us who write mysteries and hang around with mystery writers form a kind of inner circle of connections. Not only do we all know more or less the same booksellers, agents, and editors, we know each others’ families. If I find an author’s cousin in a work of fiction, I pull back, taken out of the story. Oh, right, I think, this is a nod to XX’s family. So much for escaping.

The worst  case of this: Recently, I was reading a novel with a reporter as amateur sleuth. On the back flap, I learned that the author lives in New York with his wife, the poet—let’s call her Penelope Jones.

About one third of the way into this very well written novel, the protagonist meets a woman in a bar. The woman is reading a book of poetry by—wait for it—Penelope Jones. They read a few lines aloud and have a conversation about how great Jones’s poetry is.

What? A commercial in the middle of my escape fiction?

I’m sure the author made points with his wife and his in-laws for his humorous little plug, but, for me, it simply took me out of the fictional world and into the real life of the author. I closed the book and never opened it again. I guessed that by end of the book, the murder might be solved, but not before Penelope Jones received the Robert Frost Prize for her poetry.

What takes you out of a story? Would you have continued to read the reporter-and-wife’s story?

Let me know here and be eligible for a math-related prize!

~Camille

What a perfect post for my blog!! I would hate the little plug too, but I really believe the setting is key to escaping into a book, whether it be an island, small town or even a prison, if the author reveals the setting correctly the escape is magical and easy. Thank you so much Camille!!

Camille is offering 3 math prizes so be sure to leave a comment to answer her questions. Check out the book giveaway after my review of Ada’s latest!

 About This  Author

Camille Minichino is a retired physicist turned writer.

As Camille Minichino, she’s the author of the Periodic Table Mysteries. As Margaret Grace, she writes the Miniature Mysteries, based on her lifelong hobby. “Mix-up in Miniature” will be released April 2. As Ada Madison, she writes the academic mysteries featuring Professor Sophie Knowles, college math teacher. “The Probability of Murder” was released March 6. Check out her blog!

Soon, every aspect of her life will be a mystery series. 
**********************

The Probability of Murder
(Professor Sophie Knowles)

Second in the Series

Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Lisa French
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell

Dr. Sophie Knowles is a rare college professor who has a way of making the most complex math problems fun for her students. She hosts weekly parties celebrating famous scientists and mathematicians. They are quite popular with the students.

The fun quickly ends when Charlotte Crocker, Sophie’s friend and college librarian, is found dead in the stacks. Everyone loved Charlotte until it was learned that her entire life was just a web of lies. Sophie can’t believe the woman she knew had such a checkered past. So instead of grabbing a couple of days away with her boyfriend Bruce, she needs to do her own homework and formulate a plan to catch the killer before there are any more deductions of students or staff. She is on her own as Bruce takes off on a ice mountain climb, so she has to worry about him too!!

Dollycas Thoughts
College campuses are full of big, old buildings full of mystery. They are also full of plenty of suspects. Sophie is very distracted in this story by events involving her boyfriend but it doesn’t stop her from working her way through the clues to solve the problems doing her best to catch the culprit. The author combines both situations is a very exciting and entertaining way.

If math was not your favorite or best subject there is no need to be afraid of this series. Being a mathematics professor you may think Sophie takes a very analytical approach to solving the crime, but she is more of an emotional solver when it comes to finding this murderer. She is also very open to having pizza with the Bruce’s friend, Detective Virgil Mitchell to pump him for information.

This is a fun, captivating cozy to escape into today!!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 


Thanks to the folks at Berkley Prime Crime
I have 2 copies of this book to give away!!

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

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

Leave a comment for Ada (Camille) for 5 Bonus Entries and
enter her special giveaway.

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

Contest Will End March 21, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here.

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

Posted in Reviews 2012 What's In A Name Challenge

One Book In The Grave by Kate Carlisle

One Book in the Grave
A Bibliophile Mystery

4th in the Series

An Obsidian Mystery
Published by New American Library
A Division of The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Dan Craig

Brooklyn Wainwright loves to restore old books. She was so excited when her friend Ian McCullough from the Covington Library called to tell her he had a job for her. You see Brooklyn is a “book addict” and her drugs of choice are old, rare and beautiful books. She couldn’t wait to see what he had for her.

It was a rare first edition copy of Beauty and the Beast in dire need of help, but Brooklyn also knew its most important trait, it was STOLEN! She knew this because of the inscription, she had given this exact book to her friend, Max Adams ten years ago, and her gave it to the love of his life, Emily. Very soon after Max was killed in a car crash.

Brooklyn wants to restore the book but first she has to find out how this book was sold to The Covington Library in the first place. She seeks out information from a rare book dealer but when she arrives at his shop she finds a dead body instead of the answers she needs.

With the help of her hunky boyfriend, Derek Stone, Brooklyn sets out to find the truth about the book and may find a murderer too.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

 I am a Book Addict as well and my drugs of choice are books filled with mysteries and romance. This book delivers on both.

Brooklyn is named after the place she was either born or conceived in like her brothers Austin and Jackson, and her sisters, China, London and Savannah. Her parents are real hippies who junked corporate life and followed the favorite guru to Sonoma and started Fellowship for Spiritual Enlightenment and Artistic Consciousness. These characters add to the mix in a variety of ways in each edition to this wonderful series.

In this installment Savannah is opening a vegetarian restaurant and Brooklyn is hanging around Sonoma as the clues to the mystery of the book have led her there. She finds out that Guru Bob and her dad have a secret that may not only help answer her questions about the book but solve the murder as well. A little Spiritual Enlightenment may come in handy so her mom tags along to assist as she talks to the locals. Brooklyn is surprised at how good her mother is a getting people to talk and talk and talk.

Kate Carlisle has taken an idyllic place, filled with lovable characters, and a few we love to hate, and plotted a wonderful whodunit that is a pure delight.

The next book in the series, Peril in Paperback will be out in August and Kate has also written Pages of Sin: A Bibliophile Mystery An eSpecial from New American Library that is available now.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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