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.”

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

Due Or Die by Jenn McKinlay

Due or Die
(A Library Lover’s Mystery)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2012 What's In A Name Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Sharon Pape (Giveaway too!)

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! I am so thrilled to have Sharon here today! Imagine my surprise when I opened Sketch a Falling Star and saw Dollycas’s Thoughts quoted on the Praise Page. It was a first for me and I am still riding high with joy.

Sharon is an awesome lady and she is the reason I now enjoy reading stories that feature ghostly apparitions. I can’t help it. I have fallen hard for Zeke as well as the living characters of this wonderful series. But it looks like Sharon may be having a little a little trouble with one of her characters. I’ll let her explain.

Welcome Back Sharon!!

Hi Lori, it’s good to be back!!

Rebel With a Cause

You have to be careful with characters. I should have those words tattooed on my forehead – backward, so I can read them every time I look in the mirror. As I recently discovered, even the mildest, most delightful of characters can turn on you. Not in a million years would I have expected Rory’s Aunt Helene of trying to organize a rebellion against me. Yet that’s exactly what she did.

“Okay,” I said in a ‘let’s get this over with’ tone of voice. “What are your demands?”

“Demands?” Helene repeated with the wide-eyed innocence of an ingénue. “It’s not a demand; it’s more like a suggestion.”

“Fine, we can call it whatever you like, but we both know what it is.”

“What’s that?”

“Extortion, a quid pro quo, a ransom – take your pick

“That’s horrible.” She sounded deeply wounded. “I don’t think I deserve that kind of accusation.”

“Aren’t you the one who tried to organize a mutiny against me when I didn’t agree to use the plot you proposed?”

“Well….”

“Helene – you were actively trying to get the other characters to boycott working in my next book.”

“You make me sound so awful.”

“If it looks like duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck….”

“I can see how you might have gotten that impression,” she said, “but I was just trying to get your attention. You wouldn’t listen to me and you brushed me off without even giving me a chance to explain. Then you locked me up in that dark, little room in your brain and left me there forever.”

“It was an hour and a half, and I left the light on.”

“Well it seemed like forever.” Helene was clearly on the verge of crying.

I could feel my heart softening toward her and I struggled to keep it under control. Don’t forget she’s an actress, I warned myself. You made her a dandy, little actress. “You needed a timeout to think about what you were doing,” I told her with as much authority as I could muster.

“I thought you liked me,” she sniffled while changing the subject.

“Of course I do. But lately you’ve been making my job a lot harder that it ought to be.

“And you’ve been squandering my talent,” she said, pushing back.

“You’re not the main character in this series, Helene. That was never your role and you know it.”

“All I wanted you to do was read my proposal. Is that too much to ask?”

Suddenly she was sounding like the reasonable one, and I was coming off like an ogre for refusing such a simple request. “I told you,” I said, scrambling to defend myself, “that I have a great new plot for the next book.” In fact I’d already passed it onto the industrious, little elves in my subconscious for fleshing out.

My once happy-go-lucky, slightly off-kilter Helene was doing a fine job of looking miserable. And according to her, I had the power to change that. “Okay,” I conceded finally. “Okay, I’ll read your proposal.”

Her face lit up with such instantaneous joy that I felt twice as awful for having refused her request earlier. Of course she’d gone about getting my attention in the worst possible way. I challenge anyone to respond well to an attempted high-jacking or mutiny. She may have thought she was being cute or clever about it, but that wasn’t how it had seemed to me. I have a lot of personalities to juggle in a book, and one wormy Macintosh can upset my entire apple cart.

I sat down and read her proposal as promised, and although I was somewhat predisposed to dislike it, I found myself playing the “what if” game with the central idea – a sure sign that it had hooked me with its possibilities. I just might be able to make it work. Helene would have a larger part in it than she’d had in the other books, but she wouldn’t have to be the lead. If she was okay with that, we could probably work out a deal that satisfied both of us.

After some amicable negotiating, we found common ground. Helene apologized for having gone about things the wrong way, and after some hemming and hawing I admitted to having been short-sighted and maybe a bit dictatorial – hey, nobody’s perfect. What’s important is that we worked things out and we’re back to being one big, happy family again. But I’m still thinking of getting that tattoo.

~Sharon

Sharon, I am so glad you and Helene worked things out!! 

To find out more about Sharon be sure to visit her beautiful Web Page.

Sketch a Falling Star
(A Portrait of Crime Mystery)

3rd in the Series

A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Cliff Nielson
Cover Design by George Long
Released Yesterday!

Preston Wright, one of the actors in the Way Off Broadway Players dies in a freak accident in Arizona. The whole group is caught in a flash flood. The others all escape with a couple of broken bones, cuts and bruises.  Preston’s death is ruled as an accident, but his mother believes there may have been some foul play. She hires Rory McCain to do a little investigating.

Rory is also getting close to solving a very, very old cold case, the murder of her ghost partner Zeke.  Rory is hunting down villains both in the present and the past.  She may ruffle a few feathers but a good investigator always gets her man, or woman!

Dollycas’s Thoughts
In this installment you get two mysteries! Love it!

We find out more of Zeke’s story and determine whether Preston Wright was murdered or just the victim of a crazy accident. Sharon keeps us guessing about both as the clues are figured out. If Wright’s death was an accident he sure had plenty of people around him that were not unhappy to see him go. Zeke’s past is very intriguing and this reader was very worried than when he learned the truth it would free him to stop haunting the present. You will have to read the book for yourself to find out what happens. No Spoilers Here!

The was a amazingly quick read as we slipped back and forth from the present to 1878. Rory is a strong woman on two missions with her sidekick Zeke there for moral support, a second opinion, and his hi-jinks that made me fall in love with this character. A new character, Eloise, is added to the mix and she is something else. Helene is not as active in this edition but after Sharon’s post above we know she will be back to her meddling self in future stories.

Saddle up your horse and hold on tight, you are in for a wild ride! This is mystery not to be missed!! You may even Sketch A Falling Star!


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 Sharon for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

Fire Engine Dead by Sheila Connolly

Fire Engine Dead (A Museum Mystery)
A Museum Mystery
3rd in the Series

A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Ross Jones
Cover Design by Rita Frangie

Release Date: March 6, 2012

Nell Pratt, the new president of the Pennsylvania Antiquarian Society, is busy trying to hire staff and keep The Society running in these hard economic times, but when The Fireman’s Museum loses most of it’s collections to a fire she realizes things could be much worse. She tries to help by gathering all the information The Society has about local fire history to help them tally their losses and file an insurance claim. It is a picture that makes Nell understand there is much more to the story that meets the eye. When the smoke clears she knows she has to help find the truth. Hopefully she will not go down in a blaze all her own.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Being a daughter of a firefighter this story really touched by heart. The fire department where I grew up has many treasures from the past including an antique engine that travels around to nearby parades and events throughout the summer. My father was the chief for many years before he passed away. The department was an integral part of my life. There is even a Fire Training Facility dedicated to my dad at a nearby college. So growing up you could say fire fighting and all that goes with it was the family business.

Because of that I know Sheila Connolly has created a very accurate picture of the dedication of the men and women in this dangerous profession. Arson is a horrible crime and the reactions of all the characters are realistic and true. She also takes the saying of “a picture is worth a thousand words” to a very practical level, the key to the mystery.

I enjoy this series because Nell takes us into a museum full of paper and books that unless you are doing research could be quite boring but all the interplay with the characters and where their lives take us is anything but boring. It’s exciting, entertaining, and fun. It’s amazing what can happen in rooms full of ledgers, letters and legal documents. Connolly has created a complex and complicated mystery that will keep your feet to the fire as you follow the clues that will slam the door shut on those who ignited the flames. Sit back and enjoy this one, just stay back from the fire, we don’t want any readers to get injured during the reading of this book 🙂


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 Just For Fun Challenge Reviews 2012 Thoughts

Wild Goose Chase by Terri Thayer

Terri Thayer is the wonderful author who wrote the Stamping Sisters Mysteries and writes the Quilting Mysteries. She is so sweet she sent me this book, the first in the Quilting Mystery series last year and I just couldn’t squeeze it into my reading schedule, not even as a Just For Fun book because last year I was giving the books I read for the challenge away as a prize. Terri wrote a personal message in the book so I will treasure it always on my keeper shelf and never give it away.

It also gave me a wake up call about my reading schedule. I had to make sure I had room to read books off my shelf for series and authors that I loved before I started blogging and receiving review copies. The Finish The Series Challenge and the Off The Shelf Challenge  are also helping with this. There are two more books already released in this series Old Maid’s Puzzle and Ocean Waves with a new installment Monkey Wrench coming out May 8. In fact I am chair dancing because Terri will be here for Cozy Wednesday on May 9!!! So I will definitely be catching up on this series!!

Now let me tell you about this book. I was really getting into quilting at the time of my accident so now reading mysteries like this are a real treat!

Wild Goose Chase (A Quilting Mystery)
Published By Midnight Ink
An Imprint of Llewellyn Publications
1st in the series
Cover Illustration by Cheryl Chalmers
Cover Design by Lisa Novak

Dewey Pellicano, a computer techie, inherits her mother’s quilting shop, Quilter Paradiso. She “would rather swallow needles than be pinned down to a life of quilting.” Dewey is learning the business, trying to computerize the inventory and setting up and working at a booth at a national quilting show. Her employee who happens to be her sister-in-law is driving her crazy as she does not support anything Dewey is doing and just wants Dewey to back to her computer life and leave her alone to run the store.

Then at the quilting show, quilting celebrity, Claire Armstrong, seems like an answer to prayer when she offers to buy the shop. Unfortunately, the famous quilter is found dead before Dewey can accept her offer. Enter a handsome man from Dewey’s past, homicide detective, Buster Healy. Romance was the last thing she on Dewey’s mind. Then another murder happens while Buster and Dewey are away having a very emotional lunch.  She realizes there is no way her life can move forward until she can piece together the clues and to help catch the killer, hoping not to become the next victim.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
This is a wonderful debut to what looks to be a really fun series. Dewey is dealing with so much, her mother’s passing, a sister-in-law that I wanted to leap into the pages and shake a few times, a brother caught in the middle and trying to keep her mother’s legacy alive in a realm that is almost foreign to her.

I was taught to sew by my mother and when other girls were getting cedar chests for graduation gifts I received a sewing table and cabinet. Dewey was never drawn into the sewing and quilting world, although she should love the awesome computerized sewing machines available today. Maybe in a future book.

Terri has created a very complex character in Dewey. Her sister-in-law Kym really pushed my buttons as well as Dewey’s. I am reserving my opinion of her until I get to know her better in future installments. Buster is also a definite character to watch as we see how his relationship with Dewey evolves. The supporting cast of quilters, shop owners, and even security guards at the quilt show were colorful, quirky and added depth and humor to give this series the perfect foundation.

Wild Goose Chase is a mystery as sharp as a rotary cutter. Curl up under your favorite quilt and Enjoy!!


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

**Before my accident I looked forward to every Spring when Nancy’s Notions held their annual sewing weekend that includes a smaller version of the quilting show featured in this story. The seminars and shopping are excellent!! I saved up all year for that weekend. It is May 3 -5 this year and I can’t remember how many years it has been going on, but I haven’t attended for the past 11 years but went to many before that. If you live near Beaver Dam, Wisconsin or are an avid sewer/quilter it is definitely an awesome event to attend.


*This book was from my personal collection.

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2012

Cozy Wednesday with Author Melissa Bourbon (Giveaway too!)


When I read the first book in this series Pleating for MercyI definitely felt the magic. Not only was it a wonderful debut to this series but it brought back some wonderful memories for me of my mother and grandmother who were exceptional seamstresses. I knew I had to invite Melissa to stop by here when her next book was released. A Fitting End: A Magical Dressmaking Mystery (A Dressmaker’s Mystery) was released on February 7 and Melissa is here today!! (Grandma, you would love these stories, no need to rattle the pipes, I know you can hear me ;))

Welcome Melissa!

Thanks Lori!
“Every small town has their traditions. Bliss, Texas, is no exception. We have your typical holiday parades and summer concerts, sure. But the big deal on the annual town calendar in Bliss is the Margaret Moffette Lea Pageant and Ball. Or The Margaret Festival, as the locals call it. The event used to be one of the dividing lines between the haves and the have nots in our small town. If you weren’t a Margaret, you were a have not.

I was never a Margaret.”

So begins A Fitting End, book 2 in the Magical Dressmaking Mystery series. Although there is no such thing as the Margaret Moffette Lea Pageant and Ball, there is something similar. It’s Washington’s birthday celebration down in Laredo, Texas. The girls are called Marthas, in honor of Martha Washington. It’s a mutli-day event filled with food, music, and the culminating pageant.

Oh my gosh! The second I read about this event in Laredo, I knew… I KNEW I had to use the idea and bring it up to Bliss, Texas. I love infusing history and real events into my stories-Harlow Jane Cassidy is a descendant of Butch Cassidy, after all– so I had to research and make my pageant as authentic as possible.

So who is Margaret? She was the wife of Sam Houston, one of Texas’s favorite sons, the perfect bridge to the debutante festival I wanted to create. The girls in A Fitting End are called Margarets, and Harlow spends some time learning how to make these extravagant gowns.

The research for the festival was so interesting! $20,000 gowns (or sometimes more!); girls put on the atelier’s list as a baby so they will have a dress made; a bridge ceremony with the sister city in Mexico. There’s more, of course, but I can’t give away too much. Suffice it to say that the Margarets and the whole pageant, as well as gowns from Harlow’s grandmother’s girlhood in Bliss and the stories they tell, are at the center of the story.

To me, one of the best things about writing is weaving these threads of history into the story and creating something brand new, layered, and interesting. I’d love to hear your thoughts. What are some of your favorite cozy mystery hooks?

Come on over to my website and share what you think! I’m running a sweepstakes for a chance to win an eReader! Hope to see you there, and thank you, Lori, for hosting me today!

~Melissa

Your are so welcome!! I hope you stop by often!!

Connect with Melissa!

melissabourbon.com

On Facebook

Melissa Bourbon Ramirez on Twitter

Misa Ramirez on Twitter

On Goodreads

Email

About This Author
Melissa Bourbon, who sometimes answers to her Latina-by-marriage name Misa Ramirez, is the marketing director at Entangled Publishing and is the author of the Lola Cruz mystery series: Living the Vida Lola and Hasta la Vista, Lola! from Thomas Dunne Books / St. Martin’s Minotaur, Bare-Naked Lola form Entangled Publishing (April 2012), and A Dressmaker’s Mystery series for NAL (Pleating for Mercy, 2011, A Fitting End, 2012, Deadly Patterns, 2012). She also has two romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Curse and A Deadly Sacrifice, and is the co-author of The Tricked-out Toolbox: Promotion and Marketing Tools Every Writer Needs, all to be released in 2012/2013.

A former middle and high school teacher, this blonde-haired, green-eyed, proud to be Latina-by-Marriage girl loves following Lola and Harlow on their many adventures. Whether it’s contemplating belly button piercings, visiting nudist resorts, or hanging out with seamstresses, she’s always up for the challenge. Melissa has two middle grade series for girls in development, is published in Woman’s World Magazine and Romance Writers Report, and GLOW Magazine, and has a children’s book published. She fantasizes about spending summers writing in quaint, cozy locales, has a love/hate relationship with yoga and chocolate, is devoted to her family, and can’t believe she’s lucky enough to be living the life of her dreams.


A Fitting End: A Magical Dressmaking Mystery (A Dressmaker’s Mystery)
Obsidian
Published by New American Library
A Division Penguin Group
2nd in Series

As Melissa told you above the pageant is the center of the story but every cozy needs a murder to solve and in this case it’s the local golf pro who has been very busy in addition to giving golf lessons. So Harlow finds herself wrapped up in another mystery. I don’t want to give too much away either 🙂

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Melissa Bourbon has created some fascinating characters in this series. Yes, the Cassidy women are “charmed” but they are also charming, delightful and funny. Harlow stitches a little magic into each of her creations which leads to some very surprising revelations. Reading this story was pure joy.

There is a part when a huge piece of furniture is being moved, I had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard. The men is this series can be equally charming but are completely in the dark about what is really happening around them. This just adds to the fun.

A wonderful cozy carefully sewn together with love. The relationship between all these woman including MeeMaw’s ghostly interruptions make this a true must read. Bliss, Texas is full of magic, making this story a perfect escape. 


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have
2 copies of this awesome book to giveaway
so be sure to fill out the form below to enter!!

Plus 1 set of both books

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.

***Remember GFC is going away March 1, 2012
so be sure you are following in a different way if you want to
continue to follow Escape With Dollycas.

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 Melissa for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End March 7, 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 Giveaways Guest Posts Literary Escapes Reviews 2012

Cozy Wednesday with Author Lorraine Bartlett (Giveaway too!)


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

Today’s guest is a Shining Star among cozy authors with her Victoria Square Mysteries, The Jeff Resnick Mysteries written as L.L. Bartlett and The Booktown Mysteries written as Lorna Barrett. I am so happy she could take time out of her busy days to write her guest post for me, but today she is off on vacation so she can’t answer your comments or questions, she may have one of the other Cozy Chicks stop by.  She certainly deserves a vacation and I hope she is having a wonderful time. I am sure she will check out the comments when she returns.

Wedding Bell Blues

“Always a bridesmaid … never a bride.”

Well, I can’t say that phrase describes me. I was a bridesmaid twice before I took the big step myself.

The first time I was 19 and “stood up” at my older brother’s wedding, one of five or six bridesmaids with a Butterick pattern dress. (It was a “rainbow” wedding. Every bridesmaid had a different color dress. Mine was green. Ick.) The second time, I was 24 and stood up for a friend (at first she’d tried to foist the guy on me because he read lots of books and so did I. That didn’t work and they’re still happily married today.) It was a small bridal party (a maid of honor and me), but the dress was much nicer.

In my latest novel, The Walled Flower (Victoria Square Mystery), my protagonist, Katie Bonner, is asked to be the maid of honor for one of the merchants on Victoria Square. Actually, she’s kind of coerced into the job and soon finds out she was second (or third, or maybe even fourth) choice–and mainly because (with just a littler alteration), she’s the right size for the (rather hideous) dress.

The timing couldn’t be worse. Katie has less than two weeks to find a new apartment before she ends up living in her car. She must referee on-going disputes with her vendors at Artisans Alley on Victoria Square, and, oh yes–solve two (or is it three?) murders, one of which occurred more than two decades before.

With so much on her plate, Katie must prioritize–and putting Jordon almonds in little net bags is not on the top of her list of things to do. Especially when the usually meek and mild bride becomes Bridezilla!

Will Katie find a new home?

Will she solve the murder(s)?

Will she actually let herself be seen in publish in that backless, purple bridesmaid dress?

I hope you’ll check out The Walled Flower to see.
———————————————
You can find Lorraine at her website(s–yes, she has three!)
http://lornabarrett.com/
http://www.LorraineBartlett.com
— or her blog http://www.LLBartlett.typepad.com — but she hopes you’ll find her at your favorite bookstore.

The Walled Flower (Victoria Square Mystery)
The Berkley Publishing Company
Published by The Penguin Group
A Victoria Square Mystery
2nd in the Series
Cover Illustration by Chris Beatrice
Cover Design by Annette Fiore Defex

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Lorraine gave a wonderful synopsis above of this fantastic story that has Katie running in circles and eating way too much pizza but by the time I finished reading the book I was craving cinnamon rolls. 

The characters in this series are so much fun, even if one or two of them may be murderers.  Katie has faced so much already losing her husband, then her business partner is murdered and she finds herself the sole owner of Artisans Alley putting here dreams of owning a B&B firmly out of reach. She has grown into the job wonderfully, handling the vendors with a caring touch but firmly enough so they know who’s is charge. Her relationship with Andy continues to evolve.  They just need to figure out to spend more time together.  We also get to know Edie, Rose and Vance better in this installment.  I love that Vance’s son has a part to play in this multifaceted story.

Bartlett is an expert at telling a cozy mystery. A true shining star!! She breathes life into every character and pens a mystery full of twists and turns in a beautiful setting that keeps us engrossed from the first word until the last. Definitely another bestseller!!!!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have
2 copies of this awesome book to giveaway
so be sure to fill out the form below to enter!!

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.

***Remember GFC is going away March 1, 2012
so be sure you are following in a different way if you want to
continue to follow Escape With Dollycas.

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

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

Contest Will End February 29, 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.”