Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours You Read How Many Books Challenge

Corpse and Robbers: A Male Housekeeper Mystery by Stephen Kaminski #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Corpse and Robbers: A Male Housekeeper Mystery
by Stephen Kaminski

About Corpse and Robbers


Corpse and Robbers: A Male Housekeeper Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – A small town in Michigan
Cozy Cat Press (April 16, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 234 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1952579457
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1952579455
Digital Cozy Cat Press (May 13, 2022)
ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0B1BD759B

Paul Bearer & Sons have two memorial services on the schedule, but three dead bodies. When Rusted Bonnet’s funeral home becomes the site of a murder, Cam Reddick finds himself as a prime suspect. To distance himself from the allegations, Cam must untangle a host of clever cons and mini mysteries, from corpse robbing to a fine art scam to a modern-day treasure hunt. Cam soon discovers that Paul Bearer’s more closely resembles a con artists’ colony than a funeral home. With help from his ex-wife and mother, Cam ultimately unearths the most devious and deadly ploy of all.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Cam Reddick had failed—as a husband, as a father, and as a professional. But now he is back in Rusted Bonnett, Michigan, and running his mother’s housekeeping business, Peachy Kleen, and trying to strengthen his relationship with his ex Kacey Gingerfield (who doubles as the village’s Deputy Chief of Police) and their daughter Emma.

Cam arrives at Paul Bearer & Sons’ funeral home to finish the cleaning before two memorial services take place. Instead, he finds three dead bodies and soon finds himself on the top of the suspect list. To try to clear his name he needs a little help because all he has found is a tangled-up mess of cons, deceit, and lies.


I had to refresh my memory a little bit because the first book in this series, An Au Pair to Remember was released in January 2019. That was done quickly and the author does give background at the start of this series too, which I appreciate. I am glad that Cam and Kasey have a great co-parenting plan for Emma. Cam has grown a lot and he has some good sleuthing techniques. Kacey is a strong woman who knows what she wants and needs and how to get it. Maybe because I am a mom, I love Darby and her quick wit. What I like best about all the characters is that they are genuine, people you would meet in any small town.

There is a lot going on in this book. Three mysteries running concurrently. The author does a good job of blending them together but I found myself taking notes trying to keep everyone and everything straight. Bodies, art, missing silver bars, the mafia, a twist here, a turn there, a setup, a takedown, all meld together for a fine story.

Readers are taken on quite a journey in Corpse and Robbers before all the clues fall into place and the mysteries are solved. It was a very enjoyable read. I hope the author doesn’t take as long to pen Book #3.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Stephen Kaminski


Stephen Kaminski is the author of two cozy mystery series: The Male Housekeeper Mysteries and the Damon Lassard Dabbling Detective series, both published by Cozy Cat Press.

Corpse & Robbers” (2022) is the latest of Kaminski’s Male Housekeeper Mysteries. The first installment of the series, “An Au Pair to Remember,” was penned in 2019.

Each of Kaminski’s Damon Lassard books — “It Takes Two to Strangle” (2012), “Don’t Cry Over Killed Milk” (2013), and “Murder, She Floats” (2014) — was awarded the Reader Views Literary Award for the Mid-Atlantic Region, and Don’t Cry Over Killed Milk was named Best Classic Cozy in the 2014 Murder & Mayhem Awards and was a 2013 Chanticleer Media CLUE Award Finalist.

Stephen is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and Harvard Law School and currently serves as the chief executive officer of a national energy association. He lives with his 120 lb Swissie, Siberian forest cat, rescue kitty, and a gaggle of occasionally tolerable but always loveable humans in Bethesda, MD.

Purchase Link

Amazon 

Also by Stephen Kaminski

Great Escapes Praise for Corpse and Robbers: A Male Housekeeper Mystery
by Stephen Kaminski

The journey to the mystery’s resolution was filled with twists and turns, making for a satisfying mystery.
~Cassidy’s Bookshelves

A perfect choice for cozy fans looking for a fast-paced read that would be a little different than the norm. I really liked it so I give it 4/5 stars.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

This mystery was light and easy to read and very entertaining. I’ve always been fascinated by funeral home storylines and the family who runs Paul Bearer Funeral Home is a pretty fascinating group. This is a good one.
~Books to the Ceiling

A fun new cozy mystery! If you’re looking for a quick, entertaining, unique cozy read, I’d highly recommend Corpse and Robbers!
~Nellie’s Book Nook

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
August 1 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 1 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW
August 2 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
August 2 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 3 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
August 3 – Novels Alive – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
August 4 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
August 4 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
August 5 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
August 5 – Books to the Ceiling – REVIEW, EXCERPT
August 5 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
August 6 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
August 6 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
August 7 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
August 8 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
August 8 – Nellie’s Book Nook – REVIEW
August 9 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
August 10 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT
August 10 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

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

Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Guest Posts

Special Guest – Cheryl Hollon – Author of Death a Sketch (A Paint & Shine Mystery) #GuestPost / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @CherylHollon.


Death a Sketch (A Paint & Shine Mystery)
by Cheryl Hollon

It is my pleasure to welcome Cheryl Hollon
to Escape With Dollycas today!

I Love Independent Bookstores
by Cheryl Hollon

 

It’s already August! It is day 220 out of 365 days in the year 2022. Yikes, that means that this year is more than half done – how did that happen? I haven’t written down my goals for this year, but that’s another story.

This has been a year of change for me—significant changes. We sold our house and moved to a condo apartment in downtown St. Petersburg. Locally, it’s called DTSP, St. Pete, or the Burg. But in any case, we love the urban lifestyle and embrace the freedom that comes with owning a small but big enough space with a screened-in balcony for morning cups of coffee and dining outdoors.

I’m not the only one in my circle who has moved. A local bookstore that has been a champion for my books and a friend to cozy readers, Books @ Park Place, has moved to a new location at 6800 Gulfport Boulevard S., Unit #113, in the South Pasadena Shopping Center, Pasadena, FL.

I’m excited because their new location is much closer to the beaches and has a higher rate of walk-by traffic. This is good for a local bookstore. I’ve known the owner, Nancy Alloy, for several years now. She’s the perfect bookseller. She knows what I like to read and has several new recommendations each time I visit.

She also has book signing events that feature various authors ranging from poets, horror, self-published, rescue organizations, board game night, and movie book night. The store is on Facebook, and the bookstore phone number is (727) 388-9093

Another champion for local authors is a relatively new establishment called Tombolo Books. They have a curated selection of the best contemporary fiction and nonfiction titles worldwide. After a successful crowdfunding campaign, the owners opened a unique brick-and-mortar store in the Grand Central District at 2153 1st Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL.

Founder Alsace Walentine was the longtime events director of Malaprop’s Bookstore in Asheville, NC, before moving to St. Petersburg with her partner and store co-owner Candice Anderson. I was delighted to launch DEATH A SKETCH at Tombolo Books on July 26, 2022, from 6:00-7:00 pm. Visit their website.

The newcomer to downtown St. Petersburg is another type of bookstore altogether. It calls itself a bookstore with wine and a wine bar with books. They have coffee and snacks, too. You can work from the bar or meet some friends for happy hour.

Owner Terra Dunham worked for 14 months on the debut of Book + Bottle, a dream-turned-reality wine bar in downtown St. Pete. She opened two days before the mandated pandemic shutdown. The timing couldn’t have been worse, but she needed to figure something out.

They pivoted from in-house wine bar operations to a delivery service that offered two shelter-at-home staples: books and wine. Through tenacity and creative persistence, the store is thriving. I’m hosting an author event in August. This is their website.

I encourage you to visit your local independent bookstore if you’re lucky enough to have one within driving distance. The hard times are not over for these precious bookstores. Let’s support them in any way we can.

Thank you, Cheryl, so much for visiting today! 

Keep reading for the details about Cheryl’s new book. 

About Death a Sketch


Death a Sketch (A Paint & Shine Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Kentucky
Kensington (July 26, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 149672528X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496725288
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09KP3TJ8F

In eastern Kentucky, Miranda Trent runs a unique tour company called Paint & Shine, but sometimes the peaceful mountains play host to murder . . .

Miranda’s business—combining Appalachian adventure tours with art and a bit of moonshine—is the perfect place for an outdoor sporting goods company to hold an employee retreat. It’ll be a challenge, but the money they’re paying will definitely help with building her new distillery.

Miranda has lots of teamwork-fostering activities planned, from sketching classes to Southern cooking, but the executive running things prefers a more competitive spirit. In fact, after the workers are split into teams, they’re told that only the winners will keep their jobs, and tensions begin to spike. Even after a participant is found dead, the contest continues—while Miranda starts drawing her own conclusions about the ambitious attendees. Now she just has to find the proof . . .

About Cheryl Hollon

Cheryl Hollon now writes full-time after she left an engineering career designing and building military flight simulators in amazing countries such as England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, and India. Fulfilling the dream of a lifetime, she combines her love of writing with a passion for oil painting and creating glass art. Cheryl and her husband live in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. Visit her online at http://cherylhollon.com, on Facebook or on Twitter @CherylHollon.

Purchase Links
AmazonB&NKoboGoogle PlayIndieBoundKensington

Also by Cheryl Hollon

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
August 1 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT
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The Fragrance of Death (A Sally Solari Mystery) by Leslie Karst #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @LeslieKarst

The Fragrance of Death (A Sally Solari Mystery)
by Leslie Karst

I am very happy to shine my spotlights
on The Fragrance of Death today!

About The Fragrance of Death


The Fragrance of Death (A Sally Solari Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – California
Severn House; Main edition (August 2, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 224 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1448309034
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1448309030
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09V878YNB

Restaurateur Sally Solari has a nose for trouble, but when her sense of smell goes missing, it’s not just her career on the line . . . it’s her life.

Restaurateur Sally Solari is a champion, both in the kitchen and on the case, but after getting mixed up in one too many murders, she’s noticed her nonna’s friends have now taken to crossing themselves when they see her in the street. Adding to her woes, a sinus infection has knocked out her sense of smell, making cooking on the hot line difficult, indeed. Nevertheless, Sally is determined to stay out of trouble and focus on her work.

But then her old acquaintance Neil Lerici is murdered at the annual Santa Cruz Artichoke Cook-Off, and her powers of investigation are called into action once more. Could Neil have been killed by the local restaurant owner who took his winning spot at the competition? Or maybe by one of his siblings, who were desperate to sell the family farm to a real estate developer?

Sally plunges headfirst into the case, risking alienating everyone she knows – including the dapper Detective Vargas, who finds her sleuthing both infuriating and endearing. And soon it’s not only her restaurant and a tentative new relationship that are on the line – it’s her life . . .

The Fragrance of Death is a non-stop fun cozy mystery that will keep your mind buzzing and your mouth watering, and contains a selection of delicious recipes to cook at home.

Great Escapes Praise for The Fragrance of Death (A Sally Solari Mystery)
by Leslie Karst

This creates a highly enjoyable read that is the perfect way to spend a pleasant afternoon. Sure to be enjoyed by fans of the genre.
~Books A Plenty Book Reviews

I simply love the recipes and delectable dishes offered in the book. Artichokes are an unsung veggie that needs more attention. All in all, this was a pleasant quick read.
~I Read What You Write

The Fragrance of Death is a smart, funny, skillfully plotted mystery, with a bonus: Leslie Karst is a trained chef. In The Fragrance of Death she shares some of the recipes for the delicious dishes mentioned throughout the book. You’ll want to try them all, but to whet your appetite, read on!
~Island Confidential

About Leslie Karst

Leslie Karst is the author of the Lefty Award-nominated Sally Solari culinary mystery series. The daughter of a law professor and a potter, she waited tables and sang in a new wave rock band before deciding she was ready for “real” job and ending up at Stanford Law School. It was during her career as a research and appellate attorney in Santa Cruz, California, that Leslie rediscovered her youthful passion for food and cooking and once more returned to school—this time to earn a degree in culinary arts.

Now retired from the law, Leslie spends her time cooking, cycling, gardening, singing alto in her local community chorus, and of course writing. She and her wife and their Jack Russell mix split their time between Santa Cruz and Hilo, Hawai‘i.

Author Links

Website     Facebook     BookBub     GoodReads     Instagram      Twitter

Purchase Links – AmazonBookShopB&N 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
July 28 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
July 28 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
July 29 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
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July 30 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
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August 2 – Diane Reviews Books – SPOTLIGHT
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August 4 – Baroness Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
August 5 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
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August 6 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Dough or Die (A Bread Shop Mystery) by Winnie Archer #Review / #Giveaway

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.


Dough or Die (A Bread Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – California
Kensington Cozies (August 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496724410
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496724410
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B082WQZBGF

Known for its mouthwatering traditional breads, the Yeast of Eden bakery has gained fame across Northern California’s coast. Now the shop is bound for Reality TV—but a murder may kill its reputation . . .

People come to the beach town of Santa Sofia as much for the healing properties of Yeast of Eden’s breads as for a vacation getaway. And now a cable food channel has selected the bakery as a featured culinary delight for a new show. Baking apprentice Ivy Culpepper is excited as the crew arrives, ready to capture all the ins and outs of the renowned bread shop. But instead, they capture something much harder to stomach: the attempted murder of the show’s cameraman just outside Yeast of Eden . . .

With no motive and no clues, and the town craving answers, it will be up to Ivy to sift through the evidence to find the truth. But she’ll have to move quickly before someone else is targeted or the wrong person gets the heat—and the business collapses like a deflated soufflé, right before her eyes.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

The Yeast of Eden Bakery is drawing quite a bit of attention and now it is going to be featured in the pilot episode of Best Bakeries in America, a new reality show on the food channel. Ivy is so happy for her mentor, Olaya. She is going to be able to share her Bread for a Life Program that helps immigrants and low-income women gain confidence and independence as they work their way out of challenging situations.

The crew from the food channel arrives and there are a few petty disagreements between them but filming finally starts and things appear to be going well until during a break the cameraman is run down by a car right outside of Yeast of Eden.

With the lack of evidence, Ivy knows she can do a little sleuthing to knead out the suspects and their motives, hopefully find the truth before anyone else gets hurt.


I always enjoy my visits to Santa Sofia. In this story, I really enjoyed the way Olaya set up her class giving each student a turn to lead and share a bread from their culture. Such a true example of how recipes are shared and enjoyed and passed on generation after generation. It also enables readers to get to know these characters better. When Olaya gets sick we also see how the relationship between her, Ivy, and Penelope Brandford continues to grow. Ivy and Miguel’s relationship is also evolving nicely. Ms. Archer has done a wonderful job of creating characters that have dimension and layers.

The mystery was complicated by the number of suspects and the fact that Ivy didn’t know anyone from the food channel crew so she had to dig deep. Again there were twists upon twists with a red herring or two too! Then, of course, Ms. Archer throws in the last epic twist. Then all the clues fall into place for Ivy. I had an inkling about what happened but was not fully committed to anyone until is was all spelled out for Emmaline and in turn me.

One of the problems with this series is the food descriptions from Miguel’s restaurant and from Olaya’s bakery. My stomach was continually growling. I do love that the recipe for Hembesha, an East African Spiced Bread, and Rosemary Bread are included in the book.

Dough or Die mixes genuine characters, an intriguing mystery, and bread, bread, and more bread into a delectable story. I can’t wait for my next visit to Santa Sofia.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Winnie Archer is the nationally bestselling author of the Bread Shop Mystery series, the Lola Cruz Mysteries, the Book Magic Mysteries, and the Magical Dressmaking Mystery series written as Melissa Bourbon. A former middle school English teacher she lives in North Carolina with her educator husband, Carlos, and the youngest of their five children.


You can read my review of Kneaded to Death here.
You can read my review of Crust No One here.
You can read my review of The Walking Bread here.
You can read my review of Flour in the Attic here.

Written as Melissa Bourbon



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

Posted in 2022 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring A Killing in Costumes (A Hollywood Treasures Mystery) by Zac Bissonnette #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @ZacBissonnette


A Killing in Costumes (A Hollywood Treasures Mystery)
by Zac Bissonnette


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am happy to share my thoughts about
A Killing in Costumes today!

About A Killing in Costumes 


A Killing in Costumes (A Hollywood Treasures Mystery)
Cozy Mystery – LBGT
1st in Series
Setting – California
Crooked Lane Books (August 9, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1639100865
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1639100866
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09LH99ZCM

Stardom fades fast when you’re on the line for murder, in this debut cozy mystery perfect for fans of Richard Osman and Jenn McKinlay.

Jay Allan and Cindy Cooper were soap opera stars in the late ’90s, a wholesome young husband-and-wife duo who combined musical talent with humor and charisma. When the truth about their sexual orientations came to light, their marriage and TV careers ended, but decades later they have remained friends. Together, they open Palm Springs’ chicest movie memorabilia store, Hooray for Hollywood–but no customers and dwindling finances spell trouble.

A Hail Mary arrives in the form of Yana Tosh, a ninety-year-old diva of the silver screen who has amassed a valuable collection of costumes and props and is looking to sell. But first, Jay and Cindy have to beat their competition, a vice president from a mega-auction house with ten times their resources. And when he winds up dead, they become prime suspects in the murder.

With their freedom and livelihoods on the line, Jay and Cindy desperately need to clear their names. There are plenty of other potential suspects, but they’ll have to solve it soon before they’re forced to trade in their vintage costume collection for two orange jumpsuits.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Their careers have faded from soap opera fame due to an uproar when their sexual orientations are revealed. Now divorced but still best friends Jay Allan and Cindy Cooper are filling their days as owners of the best movie memorabilia store in Palm Springs,  Hooray for Hollywood. But the store has been in a huge slump and may be headed toward financial ruin.

Enter Yana Tosh, an actress from the silver screen and now about 90 years old and ready to part with her own collection of movie memorabilia. She has contacted two companies about the sale, Jay and Cindy, and a huge auction house with ties around the world. Before any contracts can be signed the VP from the auction house is found dead and somehow Cindy and Jay are the prime suspects.

So now while trying to save Hooray for Hollywood they need to catch a killer and save themselves.


I love watching old movies so this book excited me from the start.

It did take me a while though to get engaged by the characters but I blame that partially on the book’s formatting. The point of view goes back and forth between Cindy and Jay and sometimes I was a little confused. That being said, I was very happy to see older protagonists in this story and that while divorced they are best friends and spend most of their waking hours together. I was also pleased by the positive way the LBGTQ+ community was portrayed. Also with pets named Bob Hope and Mae West you can’t go wrong.

The memorabilia store was such a great backdrop for this story. All the movie and music references were great. I enjoyed the description of the few items that were mentioned but I would love to lose myself in the aisles probably for about a week mining out treasure after treasure.

The author plotted out this mystery so well. It was pretty complicated with all the suspects, twists, and turns. I didn’t figure out this Whodunit until everything was spelled out for me. That means the book captivated my thinking so much I didn’t take a single note.

A Killing in Costumes has given this series a strong start and has laid a great foundation for future stories. I am excited to see what Zac Bissonnette has in store for his characters. This was a fun and enjoyable read.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Zac Bissonnette 

Zac Bissonnette is the New York Times bestselling author of several nonfiction books, including The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass Delusion and the Dark Side of Cute.

His favorite singer is Perry Como. His favorite author is Agatha Christie. His favorite tea is Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice.

Author Links – WebsiteTwitterBookBubGoodReads – 

Purchase Links

AmazonB&NKoboGoogle PlayIndieBound – 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops.
August 3 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
August 3 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
August 3 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT
August 4 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
August 4 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 5 – The Editing Pen – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 5 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
August 6 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
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August 7 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT
August 7 – Books Blog – SPOTLIGHT
August 8 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 8 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW  
August 9 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 9 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
August 10 – Ascroft, eh? – GUEST POST
August 10 – Novels Alive – REVIEW
August 10 – Novels Alive – SPOTLIGHT
August 11 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
August 12 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 12 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  

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

Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies You Read How Many Books Challenge

Mint Chocolate Murder: An Ice Cream Shop Mystery by Meri Allen #Review @StMartinsPress


Mint Chocolate Murder: An Ice Cream Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Connecticut
St. Martin’s Paperbacks (July 26, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1250267080
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1250267085
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09L6V4FWV

Riley Rhodes returns in the second delicious cozy set in a New England ice cream shop, Meri Allen’s Mint Chocolate Murder!

When Udderly Delightful Ice Cream shop manager Riley Rhodes is summoned to Penniman’s Moy Mull Castle, it’s the cherry on top of a successful summer season. The gothic pile built by an eccentric New England Gilded Age millionaire has been transformed into a premiere arts colony by Maud Monaco, a reclusive former supermodel. As part of Moy Mull’s Fall Arts Festival, Maud is throwing a fantasy ice cream social and hires Riley to whip up unique treats to celebrate the opening of an exhibit by Adam Blasco, a photographer as obnoxious as he is talented.

As Penniman fills up with Maud’s art-world friends arriving for the festival, gossip swirls around Blasco, who has a dark history of obsession with his models. Riley’s curiosity and instincts for sleuthing – she was a CIA librarian – are piqued, and she wonders at the hold the cold-hearted photographer has over the mistress of Moy Mull.

But when Adam is found dead behind the locked door of Moy Mull’s dungeon, Riley realizes there’s more than one suspect who’d wanted to put the malicious photographer on ice.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Riley Rhodes has been given a unique opportunity to provide ice cream treats for Moy Mull’s Fall Arts Festival at the medieval Penniman’s Moy Mull Castle. The castle has had its share of owners but Maud Monaco turned it into a premier arts colony. She has invited famous photographer Adam Blasco to be the first exhibit at the festival.

Maud is excited as all her art-world friends start to arrive but Riley hears plenty of gossip about Adam Blasco. Her CIA librarian skills kick in as she wonders what the truth is about the photographer. His history is pretty dark but then why would Maud have invited him to exhibit his art?

When Blasco goes missing Maud does her best to follow through on her programs. Then Adam Blasco is found dead in the castle dungeon. After all Riley’s heard she knows there is quite a list of people who could have done the deed including someone close to her. She just needs to follow the clues and get the scoop on the killer before they strike again.


First, I have to address the elephant in the room. That’s a really cool cover, right? Sadly, it has nothing to do with this story and neither does the title. I love cozy mysteries with punny titles and how they are woven into the story but this title is pretty straightforward –  Mint Chocolate Murder. Well, the word MINT is not found once in the text of this story and the word CHOCOLATE is just mentioned 6 times. But PUMPKIN SPICE is mentioned 29 times. Either the title should have been Pumpkin Spice Murder or everywhere “pumpkin spice” is used should have been changed to Mint Chocolate. I know sometimes the titles are out of the author’s control but this should have been fixed in editing. Even the recipe at the end of the book is for No Churn Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream! It truly looks like the wrong story was matched with the wrong cover.

Riley Rhodes is a great amateur sleuth, especially with her CIA librarian background. It feeds her need to research and investigate while handling her day job of managing the Udderly Delightful Ice Cream shop. There her creative juices can flow as she comes up with some fantastic ice cream flavors. Riley is surrounded by a wonderful group of family and friends who can all pitch in to help so she has time to do a little sleuthing. It is a large quirky cast and they all feel true to life.

I really enjoyed the castle setting. It almost became a character on its own. All its secrets, the nooks, crannies, staircases, dungeon, and hidden features made an excellent place for a cozy mystery to take place. I was entertained following along as Riley tried so hard to find what she was looking for and finding something she wasn’t looking for at all. I was working on a couple of theories of my own. I had the guilty party in my sights very early on but that sure did not take away from the big reveal that was compared to a Mission Impossible movie.

While Mint Chocolate Murder has nothing to do with mint or chocolate it was an appealing read. Terrific characters including two frisky felines, an intriguing setting, and a stirring mystery make this book a fine successor to Rocky Road to Ruin. I am looking for to the next book in this series.



Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

https://us.macmillan.com/author/sharirandall/

About the Author

MERI ALLEN/ SHARI RANDALL lives in a quiet corner of Connecticut, where she haunts libraries, used book stores, and vintage shops.

 

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 2022 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Literary Escapes You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring The Sign of the Calico Quartz (The Sweetbrier Inn Mysteries) by Jan Drexler #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


The Sign of the Calico Quartz (The Sweetbrier Inn Mysteries)
by Jan Drexler

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so happy to share my thoughts about
The Sign of the Calico Quarts today!

About The Sign of the Calico Quartz


The Sign of the Calico Quartz (The Sweetbrier Inn Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – South Dakota
Swift Wings Press (May 20, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 276 pages
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8986137803
Digital Swift Wings Press (May 25, 2022)
Print length ‏ : ‎ 242 pages
ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09ZNDM1VL

Emma Blackwood’s favorite pastime is solving literary murder mysteries…until the body in her living room makes everything a little too real.

When Emma comes to the Black Hills to work at her Aunt Rose’s B&B, the Sweetbrier Inn, she is hoping for a quiet break from the corporate treadmill. But she hadn’t expected murder and intrigue to mar this peaceful setting.

As she wades through too many clues to identify the murderer, she soon finds that the culprit isn’t stopping at only one homicide and may even have placed Emma herself on the list of targets. With the help of her friend Becky and a deputy sheriff who grudgingly lets them join in on the investigation, Emma tracks down the killer. But will it be in time to save the next victim?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Emma Blackwood’s Aunt Rose has asked her to come to the Black Hills to help with The Sweetbrier Inn, her B&B that is really starting to take off. Emma is happy to help as she is just getting out of a bad relationship and could use a diversion from the corporate grind too. But she never expected that diversion to be a murder investigation with her at the top of the suspect list. Okay, the dead body was found in her suite, but she has no idea who the man is until she is informed he had been hired to take some of the guests prospecting. While Emma does her best to sort out a myriad of clues she learns her Aunt Rose is being threatened. Then another guest is strangely ill and another goes missing. Can Emma find a way to corner the killer or will she be the next victim?


First, I have to compliment that cute book cover. The cat is named Tim and Emma is his person. The Corgi is Thatcher and he belongs to Rose. The cover was all the push I needed to want to read and review this book.

I liked Emma immediately. She is smart and funny and ready to help her aunt in any way she can. Aunt Rose has an interesting past but she is totally in her element when chatting up the guests and telling them about things to do in the area. Wil, Rose’s chef, and partner has big ideas for the inn but Rose is pretty happy with how things are. Becky delivers baked goods to the inn every morning and she and Emma become fast friends. Deputy Cal Cooper entered the scene when the dead body is found and immediately put Emma in the hot seat.  These characters are interesting and develop well over the course of the story.

Readers are introduced to several new characters in the form of the guests at the inn. Rose’s long-time friend Clara is booked for a two-week stay. Montgomery, a friend from Rose’s past has also checked into the inn to do a little research. Ghost hunter Paul Peterson hopes to film an episode at the inn or in the area. His assistant, Mary Walters is at his beck and call. Fans Roger and Annie would love to be part of his ghost hunting team. Sam Nelson and his wife Nora have checked in and are excited to do a little prospecting. It’s an eclectic group and I loved that Emma used mnemonics to keep all the guests straight and that helped me as a reader too.

Emma was clearly being framed so she had to mine through a lot of clues to solve this mystery. She teams up with Becky to make a crime board to try to put some order to the information they have so far.  I will say the guilty party was on my personal suspect list but I was mystified for quite a while as to their motive. I loved following along with Emma as she continued her investigation but Deputy Cal knows she may have pushed the killer too far. Of course, that sets up a very entertaining reveal.

I also enjoyed the author’s descriptions of the Black Hills. Back in the 1980’s my husband and I along with our infant son traveled through South Dakota and saw all the sights. We even panned for a little gold. I had never heard of “calicoes” but I found the information fascinating.

The Sign of the Calico Quartz has set the Sweetbriar Inn Mysteries off to a great start. Ms. Drexler has written several Amish and Christian Romance stories but this is the first time she has ventured into the cozy realm. I am really excited to see where she takes these characters and this series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Jan Drexler 

Jan Drexler lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota with her husband, where she enjoys hiking and spending time with her expanding family. She is the author of several historical romance novels, including the award-winning Mattie’s Pledge, and is pleased to be starting a new adventure with a cozy mystery series, The Sweetbrier Inn Mysteries. You can find out more about Jan on her website: www.JanDrexler.com.

Author Links 

 

Purchase Link –

Amazon 

Find more books by Jan Drexler here.

Great Escapes Praise for The Sign of the Calico Quartz (The Sweetbrier Inn Mysteries)
by Jan Drexler

The Sign of the Calico Quartz is a charming cozy with the beautiful Black Hills, a cute corgi, a murdered man, scrumptious scones, cagey guests, cowboy Cal, and enquiring Emma.
~The Avid Reader

The Sign of the Calico Quartz is an entertaining start to a new cozy mystery series! If you’re looking for a great mystery to cozy up with this weekend, grab a copy and enjoy!
~Reading is my Superpower

What an adorable mystery! I loved these characters and thought that this was a wonderful start to a brand new series.
~Moonlight Rendevous

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

Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways

No Parm No Foul (Grilled Cheese Mysteries) by Linda Reilly #Review / #Giveaway @LindaSReilly7 @PPPress

Available Today!!


No Parm No Foul (Grilled Cheese Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Vermont
Poisoned Pen Press (July 26, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1728238358
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1728238357
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09JJ46K9H

The second book in a delicious culinary cozy series—the muensters have arrived in Balsam Dell in this Halloween cozy mystery featuring a grilled cheese shop owner turned amateur sleuth

After a long hot summer in Balsam Dell, Carly Hale is ready for crisp Vermont weather and gourmet grilled cheeses at her Grilled Cheese Eatery. And the upcoming Halloween food competition is the perfect way to impress the locals.

But Ferris Menard, the owner of Sub-a-Dub-Sub, is nursing a serious grudge against Carly. Two days before the competition, one of Carly’s employees quit his part-time gig at Menard’s sub shop, sending Menard into a serious snit. In a confrontation at the Eatery, Menard accused Carly of sabotage and vowed to bring her down.

That’s when Menard’s body is found in his kitchen the morning after the competition, a steak knife sticking out of his heart. But Menard had a slew of enemies, and if Carly doesn’t figure out which one is the culprit, she might find herself—or someone she cares about—serving grilled cheese sandwiches under lock and brie!

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Autumn in Vermont is perfect for a cup of soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. Carly Hale has a bit of competition, though, not just for her food but for an employee too. Ferris Menard gets on his high horse when he decides that Carly is the bain of his existence. One of his employees that had been working part-time for both Menard’s Sub-a-Dub-Sub Shop and Carly’s Grilled Cheese Eatery has decided to work full time for just Carly. He went so far as to publicly accuse Carly of sabotaging his business during the Halloween Scary-Licious Smorgasbord food competition.

When Menard’s daughter finds her father’s dead body the next morning in his shop’s kitchen with a steak knife plunged into his heart Carly knows she will be on the list of suspects, along with someone she cares about. It should be a long list though, the man had made plenty of enemies over the years but she can’t take any chances. Carly’s going to do her best to flip the real killer and fry them up in a pan before she sends them off to jail.


Carly has settled into her new life well. Her eatery has really taken off and she has great friends and employees that support her in everything she does. She is a strong protagonist but she may need to fine-tune her investigation techniques. One person tells her, “You know Carly, you’re about as subtle as a coronary.” Another tells her, “a careful driver like you is easy to tail.” But her heart is always in the right place she will do anything she can to help anyone. I love the direction her relationship with Ari is taking. And Havarti, Carly’s lovable Morkie always makes me smile.

Carly’s supporting cast is great too. Grant and Suzanne are wonderful employees that truly have become friends. Suzanne has a little accident in this story that put her out of commission for a while but that made for some interesting temporary employees. I will say my favorite character in No Parm, No Foul was retired teacher, Evelyn Fitch. She is a regular at Carly’s Eatery and she really is a special lady who plays a major role in the mystery.

The mystery had as many tangles as a Halloween cobweb with a lot of evidence pointed in one direction. It is clearly a frame-up. Carly gets clues from some unusual sources. One who uses poetry to help her get on the right track. She does get frustrated but doesn’t give up. I was totally engaged following along with her step by step. There were some really nice twists and that meant my jaw dropped when the killer was outed during a scary and exciting reveal.

This second Grilled Cheese Mystery, No Parm, No Foul, is an excellent addition to this series. I do suggest having a cup of tomato soup and a grilled cheese handy as your start reading because the cravings start almost immediately. There are a couple of recipes at the end of the book you are going to want to try too.

Engaging characters, a fun mystery, and a cheesy-filled story will have you coming back for more. Cheddar Late Than Dead will be released on January 31, 2023.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Linda Reilly is the author of several mystery novels, including the Cat Lady Mysteries, the Deep Fried Mysteries, and the Grilled Cheese Mysteries. A member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and Cat Writers’ Association, she can be found prowling the shelves of a local bookstore or library when she’s not pounding away at her keyboard. A dyed-in-the-wool New Englander, she lives with her husband and rescue cat in southern New Hampshire.


Coming January 31, 2023

Also by Linda Reilly

I am giving away my review copy!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

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

Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Spotlights

Deceived (A Kelly Pruett Mystery) by Mary Keliikoa #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @mary_keliikoa


Deceived (A Kelly Pruett Mystery)
by Mary Keliikoa

It is my pleasure to shine my spotlights
on Mary Keliikoa’s new Kelly Pruett Mystery today!

About Deceived

Deceived (A Kelly Pruett Mystery)
Cozy Mystery – Woman Sleuths
3rd in Series
Setting – Oregon
Camel Press (May 10, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 218 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1603818650
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1603818650
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09Q7SG18K

In the third thrilling book in the Kelly Pruett mystery series–Her world was falling into place. Then women started dropping off the map.

 

PI Kelly Pruett finally feels like she’s coming into her own. With her personal life well on track, a gig uncovering what drove a client’s granddaughter underground could be good for business. But after her undercover operation at the homeless shelter reveals rampant drug dealing, she’s suddenly kicked off the case… just as another girl goes missing.

 

Vowing to expose the truth even if it means pro-bono work, Kelly is taken aback when her half-sister helps her hunt down answers in a tent city brimming with distrust. When her investigation doesn’t move quickly enough to save a second woman from a vicious murder, Kelly doubles her efforts unwilling to accept defeat.

About Mary Keliikoa 

Mary Keliikoa is the Shamus finalist and Lefty, Agatha and Anthony nominated author of the PI Kelly Pruett mystery series, and the Misty Pines mystery series featuring former Portland homicide detective turned small-town sheriff. Her short stories have appeared in Woman’s World and in the anthology Peace, Love and Crime.

A Pacific NW native, she spent years working around lawyers and admits to being that person who gets excited when called for jury duty. When not in Washington, you can find Mary on the beach in Hawaii. But even under the palm trees and blazing sun, she’s plotting her next murder—novel that is.

Author Links

Website       Facebook     Twitter      Instagram      Goodreads    BookBub

Purchase Links

SIGNED COPIES ARE AVAILABLE THRU VINTAGE BOOKS 
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Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Boats and Bad Guys (An Isle of Man Ghostly Cozy) by Diana Xarissa #Review / #Giveaway

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.


Boats and Bad Guys (An Isle of Man Ghostly Cozy)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Isle of Man
Independently Published (February 15, 2017)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 230 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1540750159
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1540750150
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B01N53XBM9

Fenella Woods is excited to be taking the ferry across the Irish Sea to England so that she can begin her research. When she finds a dead body in her cabin, she has to change her plans.

The police seem convinced that the killer is one of the other passengers who had a cabin reserved for the journey. Fenella meets a group of suspects that includes a wealthy couple, an older man and his much younger wife, and a retired and incredibly nosy woman.

Finding herself caught up in the middle of another murder investigation isn’t pleasant for Fenella. This time Fenella is determined not to take any advice from her dead aunt who continues to occupy the luxury apartment that used to be her home. Her kitten, Katie, isn’t much help either, as she seems determined to cause as much mischief as she possibly can.

While Fenella wants to help Inspector Robinson find the killer before he or she strikes again, things certainly aren’t going the way she’d expected when she started her new life on the Isle of Man.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I really enjoyed the first book in this series and have been looking forward to reading this book since I finished it.

This time Fenella Woods is ready to start her research and will be traveling by ferry across the Irish Sea to do so. She has reserved a cabin for the voyage in case she gets seasick and needs to lie down.

She checks in and hurries to her cabin already feeling a little ill but someone is already in the room. She finds a very dead man in her bunk. She backs out of the room and calls her new friend Daniel Robinson, a CID Inspector. The ferry is soon inundated with police and the ferry captain is livid. He feels he should have been told first and then he would decide if and when to alert the authorities. Now all his passengers need to make other arrangements and spend time being questioned.

The police believe the killer is a passenger and Fenella is forced to wait in a room with the other passengers that had booked cabins. They are an eclectic bunch. She is upset about being involved in another murder case. When she gets home her dead aunt wants to start investigating right away no matter much Fenella wants to leave it to Inspector Robinson.

When she moved into the apartment she inherited from her aunt she never expected to be caught up in one let alone two murder investigations. Then again, she never expected to be living with her dead aunt’s ghost either.


I love the Isle of Man setting for this series. Someplace I will never be able to physically visit but the author’s words take me there effortlessly.

Fenella has made some good friends in her neighbors, Peter and Shelly, and also in Inspector Robinson. There is definitely romantic tension between Fenella and the good inspector but she has her ex calling her all the time from the states begging for them to get back together. Then there is Mona, Fenella’s aunt in ghostly form. She is pushy and funny. She pops in at some inopportune moments and is never short on advice for her niece. All these characters sans the ex are delightful.

We are introduced to several ferry passengers. Charlotte Master who is quite a busybody, Justin Newmarket, a 24-year-old who was on his way to Liverpool to spend the weekend with his mates, Brenda Proper and her husband, Nick, both retired, they were on the way to visit their children, a stern Harry Hampton and his much younger wife Sherry also going to visit family, and Sarah Grasso who was set to go on holiday with her husband. We also meet Captain Matthew Howard who is very upset about his authority being overlooked. All are well crafted and easy to keep straight, especially because the captain keeps bringing them together trying to get the answers he wants which are totally different from what the police are looking for. All of them are the inspector’s suspect list.

The mystery is very well-plotted with several meetings and interviews in the quest for the truth. I was kept guessing right up to the end. Captain Howard was really pushing my buttons even though I knew he wasn’t the killer I wanted someone to throw him overboard.

This is an Alphabet Series so I have a long way to go and I am looking forward to reading them all. Boats and Bad Guys takes place about 6 weeks after Arrivals and Arrests and it was a nice follow-up. I hope to be turning the pages of Cars and Cold Cases soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Diana has lived in several US states, the north of England, and the Isle of Man. While she is currently in the US, she still misses the stunning scenery, wonderful people, and fascinating history that make the Isle of Man so unique.

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Find more books by Diana Xarissa here.

I am giving away 1 Kindle copy!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Book will be sent directly from Amazon.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
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Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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If you share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive 5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End on August 5, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For the Entry Form

*This book is part of my personal collection.