Jul 242015
 

trawling trouble large banner640

Trawling For Trouble
by Shelley Freydont

TRAWLINGTrawling for Trouble:
A Celebration Bay Mystery Novella

Cozy Mystery
Publisher: InterMix (July 21, 2015)
ASIN: B00NMPJ6XW
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Synopsis:

 

The author of Independence Slay is back as intrepid event planner Liv Montgomery discovers something fishy going on beneath Celebration Bay’s deceptively calm surface.

Liv Montgomery knew that asking Celebration Bay’s newspaper owner-slash-ne’er-do-well Chaz Bristow to teach her how to fish meant angling for more than a lesson in sinkers and chum. Like asking him to spearhead the fund raiser that’ll benefit the town’s community center. And there are worse ways to spend the afternoon than out on the town’s picturesque lake.

But it’s not long before Liv reels in a huge catch—already quite dead. It’s the body of an unknown man, and it was no accidental drowning. This floater was murdered. While local authorities investigate, it’s Liv and Chaz who stumble upon a shocking motive, and become live bait for a ruthless killer determined to keep his secrets down in the deep.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Liv is taking a little break between celebrations and Chaz has decided to teach her how to fish. Well wouldn’t you know the only thing she catches is the pocket of a pair of jeans. A pocket still connected to the pants and still being worn by a very dead man.

Hold on tight because this mystery is very fast paced and pretty exciting. Chaz and Liv are chasing down clues as fast as they can and trying to protect the ones that they love at the same time. Whiskey does his best to help them both out. The author has packed these pages full with drama and action.

Freydont has given us a nice quick novella as we anxiously await the release of Trick or Deceit out September 1. She also includes preview of that and a preview of A Gilded Grave that will be out August 4.

just you and a friend

4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

ShelleyNoble FinalV3 copyAbout the Author

 

Shelley Freydont is the author of the Liv Montgomery Celebration Bay Mysteries, Foul Play at the Fair, Silent Knife, Independence Slay as well as the Kate MacDonald Sudoku Mysteries and the Lindy Haggerty dance company mysteries, and the upcoming Newport Gilded Age Mysteries, beginning with A Gilded Grave (6/15)

As Shelley Noble, she is the NYTimes Best selling author of women’s fiction (Beach Colors, Stargazey Point, Breakwater Bay, and Whisper Beach as well as several novellas. A former professional dancer and choreographer, Shelley lives at the Jersey shore and loves puzzles, light houses and antique carousels. She also loves to hear from readers.

A former professional dancer and choreographer, she most recently worked on the films, Mona Lisa Smile and The Game Plan. Shelley is a member of Sisters-in-Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and Liberty States Fiction Writers.

For more about Shelley, please visit her website www.shelleyfreydont.com.

* Author Links

Website www.shelleyfreydont.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/ShelleyFreydont

Amazonhttp://www.amazon.com/Shelley-Freydont/e/B001HCUVP4

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/ShelleyFreydont

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Tour Participants

July 21 – Laura’s Interests – Review
July 22 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review
July 23 – A Blue Million Books – Interview
July 24 – Back Porchervations – Review
July 24 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review

July 25 – Brooke Blogs – Review

 

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

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Jun 252014
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so excited to have Shelley visit today!!

ShelleyNoble FinalV3 copy

The Making of a Destination Town
By Shelley Freydont

I’m not really a knitter, or a crocheter, baker, or quilter. I make a decent cup of coffee, and I can throw a casserole together if company calls. I can manage a little bit of all these activities, but what I really am is a holidayer.

Give me a holiday and I’ll celebrate it, I’ll even knit, quilt, cook or scrapbook for it. But mainly I’ll enjoy it. With friends and strangers. With bells on.

So when I started my new series I decided it would be about holidays. Holidays and small town living. That way it could incorporate all those arts and crafts that I dabble in but rarely finish and my favorite kind of people, opinionated, energetic and fiercely loyal.

indepenndence slaysmall townAnd where could you find a better place to live than a town dedicated to the celebration of holidays? Celebration Bay is a destination town on the New York side of Lake Champlain. I decided on that location because it has snow in winter, I’m dreaming of that White Christmas, and water sports and parade weather for the Fourth of July. Can’t you smell the hot dogs and see the fireworks display over the lake?

Being a destination town, Celebration Bay has it all, the baker, the bookstore owner, the barista, the diner, a great little Italian cafe, a fabric store and a quilting club. And a big town square. All geared to making holidays fun and profitable.

Of course as with any town, Celebration Bay has its share of grinches and bah humbugs, but that just makes writing about it more fun.

flagsBut who could be the sleuth? An amateur in sleuthing but competent and industrious in her daily activities. The baker? The quilter? Someone who had lived in Celebration Bay all his or her life? Whose family had lived there for generations? That’s the kind of town it is. Proud of their history and their way of life.

Well, that would be fine, but what if the sleuth was an outsider? An outsider, an event planner from Manhattan, hired to coordinate the town’s holidays. Someone the town needs but doesn’t quite trust since, after all, she’s an outsider. And from New York City. Even the barista who has lived in town for twelve years is still considered a newcomer.

Holiday GazeboSo Celebration Bay become a town that welcomes throngs of tourists year round, but closes ranks and sticks together when the going gets rough, as it sometimes does in small towns, especially when there is a murder to solve.

And where is this town? Somewhere up north. Made up of pieces of my favorite real towns. With a pinch of imagination thrown in. And always celebrating something.

And so I created my mystery setting. I wouldn’t try to cook it or knit it, but writing it is lots of fun. Like having a holiday everyday.

~Shelley

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

indepenndence slay
Independence Slay
(A Celebration Bay Mystery)

3rd Book in The Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (June 3, 2014)
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Art by Robert Crawford
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425252567
E-Book File Size: 2297 KB
ASIN: B00EOARZFU
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On the Fourth of July, Old Glory is flying high in Celebration Bay—until someone raises a red flag…

With Independence Day fast approaching, Liv Montgomery is swamped coordinating one of the town’s biggest festivals. In addition to the traditional July fourth events, the town stages a spooky Revolutionary War reenactment that can’t be missed. Every year, the ghost of local war hero Henry Gallantine—played by his eccentric descendant of the same name—appears at the top of the family mansion, kicking off the night’s revelries.

But Henry’s annual cameo goes awry after the ghost signals SOS instead of his traditional cue. When Liv rushes to the rescue, she finds Henry missing and a real dead body instead of a fake haunt. Now she will have to hunt down both a murderer and a missing person quickly before unwanted political fireworks ignite and someone else winds up as local history…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

What a great story! Released at the perfect time of year. Celebration Bay plays a bit with the historical facts but they throw quite a party. If it wasn’t for that pesky murder the celebration would have been prefect.

Again Liv has her hands full pulling things together for this huge festival but she has Ted by her side and he knows all the details by rote. This festival has been going on for years and new event coordinator Liv just needs to add a few of her touches plus some additional security. But even with the top-notch security team A.K. has put together not every incident can be averted.

Shelley Freydont has created another great mystery and all of out favorite characters are back including Whiskey and his wonderful Ah-Roo-Roos. I thought I had the guilty party pegged but those darn twists stumped me again. Hildy was my favorite new character this time. Her cleaning skills may be waning but she is sharp as a tack and isn’t afraid to pull out her shotgun to protect her employer or his treasures. Chaz, the wayward journalist, also returns but he clearly isn’t himself and Liv tries her best to find out what is wrong. The interplay between these two is a real treat to read.

I have really enjoyed this entire series. I can’t wait to gather with the gang in Celebration Bay again soon!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for Shelley for 5 Bonus Entries !

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

Contest Will End July 9, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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

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Jul 252012
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

Click on the picture to go to Jenn’s site for the recipe.

I am so excited to have Jenn here today! She actually writes some of the most tasty cozies I have ever read! They are all fun mysteries and I am always anxiously awaiting the next book in every series. She has just started a newsletter with recipes, book chat, and miscellaneous…because you can’t have too much miscellaneous! You can sign up here

Help yourself to a cupcake and help me welcome Jenn to Cozy Wednesday. Seems her characters got a little out of control.

Hi Jenn!

Hi Everyone!

When I sat down to write Red Velvet Revenge, I knew it was time for my cupcake bakers, Mel and Angie, to face one of life’s greatest challenges – summer in Arizona.

When the mercury creeps up and hovers around 114 day after day, when you lose half your body weight in sweat just walking from the parking lot to the grocery store, when the bottom layers of your flip-flops melt to the sidewalk because you’re not moving fast enough, that is summer in the desert and it is not for the weak.

As I wrote the opening scene, however, my characters ganged up on me.  Angie, Mel, Marty, Oz, and Tate would not speak to me if I made them sweat out the summer in Scottsdale.  Still, I refused to change the setting.  I was the boss, right?  Yeah, right.

They clammed up.  They were giving me what every author dreads – the silent treatment.  I tried to negotiate.  They were having none of it if it involved a summer in the city.  When I asked them what they expected, they declared they were acquiring a cupcake van and were going to a rodeo.  Huh?   No way!  I refused to write it, but they badgered and they haggled, they wailed and they whined.  I won’t tell you who the biggest whiner was, but let’s just say he’s not known for his thick head of hair.

Sometimes an author has no choice but to rise to the challenge presented to them and so finally, after some pouting of my own, I agreed.  With a newly tricked out cupcake van, we were off.  Having lived in Arizona for the past twenty years, there aren’t many corners of this state that I haven’t visited.  The town of JuniperPass mentioned in Red Velvet Revenge is of my own invention but it’s inspired by some of my favorite spots — Prescott, Jerome and Greer to name just a few.

Don’t tell my characters that I said so, because I don’t want them to get too bossy, but they were right.  A vacation out of Scottsdale was a great idea and a rodeo, which celebrates the history and lore of the cowboy, was a fun way to escape the heat.  Unfortunately, we were just beginning to enjoy ourselves when we had a run in with the “Bubbas”, a pair of barbecue butt-heads, and then our friend Slim Hazard got shot.  But the vacation didn’t really take a downward turn until our buddy Oz had a face off with a runaway bull and the star of the rodeo Ty Stokes, that ego-maniacal bull rider, was murdered.

So much for the cupcake crew’s restful respite from the heat.  I tried to tell them I had nothing to do with it, especially when Angie blasted me with her most fearsome stink eye.  But as I pointed out to them, what’s a vacation without a little murder and mayhem?

Thanks so much for letting me visit today, Lori.  It’s always a pleasure.  Yee haw!

~Jenn

Thank you Jenn for stopping by! I hope you will come back soon!!

About This Author

Jenn McKinlay is the NYT bestselling author of the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries and the Library Lover’s Mysteries. She also writes under the names Lucy Lawrence and Josie Belle. Check out her website. Find Jenn on Facebook and Twitter Don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter.

Red Velvet Revenge
(Cupcake Bakery Mystery)

4th in Series

A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group

Cover Illustration by Jeff Fitz-Maurice
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell
288 pages

Red Velvet Revenge (Cupcake Bakery Mystery, #4)

 

Fairy Tale Cupcakes is hitting the road and headed for a rodeo! Off to sell their cupcakes to some cowpokes sounds like fun, but this is not the getaway any of them had in mind.  Hang on tight the ride is wild!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have warned you before and it is still true. You will crave cupcakes while reading this marvelous mystery so be sure to have some handy. That was the case with every book in this series!

Jenn has whipped up another delectable treat for our reading pleasure. The Arizona heat has hit the midwest this summer though we never hit the 114 degrees the characters suffered in this story. My grandma always said that our heat is worse because we have high  humidity and Arizona has dry heat 🙂 I enjoyed this story comforted by nonstop air conditioning but I am glad their heat drove them north for the rodeo. All the characters shined in the new setting. You can’t go wrong when you match cowboys and cupcakes with murder and mayhem.

Oz again was my favorite character. You won’t believe what he does with his new cupcake creations. There were also a few unexpected surprises with a couple of other characters. Jenn adds the perfect amount of humor and romance to her mysteries.

I do think this is the best book in this series. I was sad when it ended. The author has included  some wonderful recipes to help us bide our time. 

Again she gives us just a tasty tidbit of the next book in the series. I can’t wait to take a big bite of Going, Going, Ganache  coming April 2, 2013 from Berkley Prime Crime. It is already available to pre-order from Amazon.com.

 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the people at Penguin
I have 2 copies to giveaway!!

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 Jenn for 5 Bonus Entries !

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

Contest Will End August 8, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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

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May 162012
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!


Today my very special guest is the author of a brand new cozy mystery series, the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries. But Victoria is not a brand new author, this may be her first venture into the cozy genre but she has written several bestselling romance novels. I am thrilled to welcome her today to tell us about her crossover to the genre that I absolutely love! Help yourself to a cup of tea and join me in welcoming Victoria.

Hi  Victoria!!

Hi Everyone!

The Ultimate Game of Pretend
By: Victoria Hamilton

A couple of years ago I approached a wonderful agent, one I was hoping to interest enough that she would represent me as an author. I had a mystery series idea, and had already written one book, and was a good way though a second in that series. I was devastated – crushed! – when she read my proposal, but just didn’t find it compelling enough to offer me representation. And then she went on hiatus, and was not accepting proposals for about five months. Ack!!

I was sending around to other agents, but not a one of them was my ‘dream’ agent like Jessica was (and still is). So I did something rare for an author. I asked for – and took! – her advice. Read some of the ‘first in a cozy series’ books by authors she represented, she told me. And I did. I read Hannah Reed, Sarah Atwell, Betty Hechtman, Joyce and Jim Lavene, Sheila Connolly and many others.

And I got it!! I finally got it.

To create a cozy mystery series that people would love, I had to take something I was passionate about and find a way to incorporate it into a set of characters and a town that was both fun and entertaining. I created a concept, wrote a proposal, presented it to my dream agent, and voila! She loved it as much as I did. Within weeks I had a three book contract with Berkley Prime Crime, my dream publisher.

That was how my Vintage Kitchen Mystery series was born. I’ve been collecting vintage kitchen stuff since… well, since the stuff wasn’t even vintage. I have some of my mom’s Pyrex refrigerator dishes, old tablecloths, and even her handwritten recipe book from way back when. Since then I’ve added to my collection with a set of Primary Colors Pyrex bowls, bought one piece at a time so it cost me less than a whole set. I have vintage cutlery, Depression glass bowls, old cookbooks… more than I really should have.

Then I imagined a town I’d like to live in, one where Americans and Canadians could mingle. And so Queensville, Michigan popped onto the map along the St. Clair River, which is the border between Michigan and Ontario. I invented an island – Heartbreak Island – with an interesting history, and a neighboring Canadian town, Johnsonville. I built an old yellow brick house in Queensville, and peopled it with a youngish vintage collector – Jaymie Leighton – and her two fur friends, Hoppy, a three-legged Yorkie-Poo of indomitable character, and Denver, the crabby tabby.

And then I let Jaymie loose, looking for that big, elusive prized piece on which to display some of her collection, a Hoosier kitchen cabinet. Jaymie went to an auction, and guess what she found… a Hoosier cabinet! Being a writer is wonderful, like an extended version of that favorite childhood game of ‘Pretend’. Do you remember that? It was my favorite. While other little girls may have treated their dolls like their babies, I treated them all like characters in a story, and made up lives for them.

And I guess I’m still doing that today. Being a writer is the ultimate game of pretend!

Book 1 of my Vintage Kitchen Mysteries, A Deadly Grind, is now out, and I am thrilled with the reception… readers seem to love it! Book Two, Bowled Over, will be published in February of next year.

When I thought of writing another series, guess what? I realized another collecting passion of mine would come in handy!! I love and adore and collect teapots and teacups. So next year will also see the introduction of Book 1 of my Merry’s Muffins series, A Bran New Death.

This really is too much fun!
~::~Victoria

A Deadly Grind is the first book in Victoria Hamilton’s ‘Vintage Kitchen Mysteries’ cozy series. To learn more about the series, check out Victoria’s website: http://www.victoriahamiltonmysteries.com

Read an excerpt from A Deadly Grind, and check out the site for online availability of this and other Victoria Hamilton Mysteries.

Victoria, I am so happy you have been bitten by the cozy bug. You play the game of “pretend” very well :).

Now let me me tell you why I loved this story!
A Deadly Grind
(A Vintage Kitchen Mystery)

Brand New Series!
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group

Cover Illustration by Tim O’Brien
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell

Jaymie Leighton lives in her parents nineteenth century yellow brick home. They have retired to a warmer climate and just visit during the summer. Her sister Rebecca visits on the weekends from London, Ontario, and together they hit the auctions and estate sales. They are both collectors. Jaymie collects vintage cookware and cookbooks. Rebecca china, tea cups and saucers. Rebecca is fifteen years older than Jaymie and sometimes seems like a second mother. She still thinks she knows what is best for Jaymie, but at 32 years of age Jaymie can make her own decisions.

Jayme decides to bid on Hoosier cabinet that made be a little worse for wear but she knows with a little elbow grease she will have a treasure. She outbids the other buyers and is thrilled to get her purchase home. Her sister, not so much. She thinks the house is full enough of Jaymie’s clutter. They get it home and leave it on the summer porch. They are exhausted from the day and enjoying their purchases can wait until morning.

But someone else had other ideas. Becca and Jaymie are woken up in the middle of night by noise downstairs. They are beside themselves when the find a dead body on the summer porch. They don’t recognize the man and even the police have a hard time identifying him. Why their house? Who is this guy? Jaymie needs to know. She starts to do just a little investigating. She had better be careful or she may be the one “who ends up going, going,…gone”.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
I can identify this sibling relationship clearly. My sister is 12 years older than me and she too was like a second mom. We are close today but there have been times when she has made me so mad, thinking she knows best.

Before my accident I loved to attend auctions and estate sales. I was just like Jaymie. I would have killed, not literally, for a Hoosier like the one in this story. Our home has been cluttered over the years with my “finds”. This story hit home for me, really struck my heart.

Jaymie and I could be friends, we would be hitting the sales. Becca would probably be friends with my sister 🙂

The setting of these mysteries is really brilliant. Fictional Heartbreak Island between Michigan and Ontario where both American and Canadian tourists arrive for a variety of celebrations is the perfect backdrop. In this installment, a “Tea With The Queen” fundraiser gives the tourists, residents, and suspects a place to gather.

The author has laid the great foundation for more books in this series, setting us up for many return visits to Heartbreak Island. I hope not too many hearts are broken but with cozy mysteries you never know who the next victim or suspect may be. I just know this author is going to give us a wonderful who-dun-it that will find us Bowled Over!!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the people at Penguin
I have 2 copies to giveaway!!

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 Victoria for 5 Bonus Entries !

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

Contest Will End May 30, 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.”

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May 092012
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!!

I am chair dancing today because if you are a follower of my blog you know I have been loving the Quilting Mysteries by Terri Thayer. The latest installment Monkey Wrenchwas released just yesterday. I was so happy to get a review copy! I was even happier when Terri said “yes” to guest posting here today.  So pull up a chair and help yourself to some virtual lemonade and help me  welcome Terri to Escape With Dollycas.

Welcome Terri! We are so glad you are here!

Hi Everyone!

Thank you Lori for inviting me.

“Get a gang.” That’s one of my favorite quotes on how to be happy from one of my favorite authors, Kurt Vonnegut.

I was reminded of how true that is while visiting Colorado. I have been here for a month at my mother’s place while she recovers from a broken hip. To get out of the house one day, I attended a meeting of the Quaking Aspen Quilt Guild as a visitor. Immediately, I felt right at home. Here was a gang of people just like me. Who loved the challenge of turning an idea, fabric and thread into a beautiful object. Who liked to talk sewing machines. Who thought spending hours and hours on a quilt project was normal. More than normal, necessary.

At home, I have plenty of gangs. My writing critique group. My book club. My out-to-lunch friends. My quilting buddies. My walking friends. Gangs keep my goals on track,  inspire me with their writing or quilting, make me laugh. Laughing cures everything.

During my time here in Boulder, I’ve found more “gangs.” At the YMCA. At the Boulder Bookstore. At the Shambala Meditation Center. Connecting with others

Dewey Pellicano, my protagonist in the Quilting Mystery series, found her gang on the most unlikely place, at Quilter Paradiso, the quilt shop she inherited from her mother. She was nearly thirty and had never quilted. That was her mother’s gig, not hers. To her surprise, she loved the quilters she met. Pearl and Ina gave her the mothering she was missing. Vangie and Ursula help her out with the business end. Her regular customers inspire and entertain her. And make her laugh.

Gangs can spring up in the most unlikely places. The Internet is a wonderful place to connect with like-minded folks. Sites like Dollycas’ provide us a place to mingle with others who love mysteries. In our outdoor life, the library, the coffee shop, the gym, even the produce aisle of the grocery store can help us link up with people we admire and want to spend time with.

So follow Kurt’s—and mine—advice and get a gang.

 

Tell me about the gangs you already belong to.
Leave a comment and you’ll be entered into a drawing
to win my new book, Monkey Wrench.

 Thank you so much Terri!!!! I hope you will visit often! It would be wonderful to have you as part of my gang!!

About This Author
Terri Thayer is the author of seven mystery novels, including the latest Quilting Mystery, Monkey Wrench. She also wrote the Stamping Sisters Mysteries for Berkley/Penguin.
You can find her at the web on Facebook (Terri Thayer, author) or Twitter @territhayer.
Listen to an April 25th interview at Creative Mojo with Mark Lipiniski at http://www.toginet.com/shows/creativemojo.
Visit her website, http://www.territhayer.com to find out more about her unique serial Block of the Month, Tales of the Quilt Shop and Sugarplums.

Now for my review:

Monkey Wrench (A Quilting Mystery)
4th in Series
Midnight Ink
Published by Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd.
Cover Illustration by Cheryl Chalmers – The July Group
Cover Design by Lisa Novak

It’s time for the annual Quilter’s Crawl and this year Quilters Paradiso (QP) is back on the map as part of the crawl. Over the weekend quilters will travel to 12 different quilt shops in the area for special bargains and prizes. Vangie from QP has even set up a Twitter promotion to help boost sales.

Getting everything set up and organized has been quite hectic as Vangie has college classes to work around and a new boyfriend. The store’s long time teacher Pearl is starting to fail a bit so she is not as much help as Dewey was hoping she would be.  Dewey will work day and night with her few available employees to make sure everything is just right.

While picking up more maps for the Crawl Dewey learns of a program at the college that places young men with elderly women call “Grand Son”.  They help around the house, run errands, help with medications. She thinks this maybe just the thing to help Pearl get back to where she was and teaching classes again.

Just days before the Crawl a riot breaks out on campus as law enforcement tries to crack down on the drug problem at the collage and Vangie’s new boyfriends dies from an overdose.

As if that’s not enough, one of the Twitter promotions sets off a stampede and a customer is killed.

These events have all put a huge Monkey Wrench into Dewey’s weekend plans. Now she has to untangle the clues and piece them back together to save her store and herself and her friends.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Terri packs her pages with drama, humor, a little romance and some wild characters. We were introduced to quite a group in this edition. All the shop owners for all the Quilter’s Crawl stores, one leader very set in her ways, a few of her followers stuck in the past and not open to new ideas and a few that have wanted to evolve but not had enough courage to buck the leader. Add Dewey to the mix and watch the sparks fly. Things don’t go exactly as planned but the group pushes forward together. They become quite a gang. I hope next year’s Quilter’s Crawl is a big success hopefully  without the dead bodies. With the crew you just never know.

I love that Freddy has a shop near QP and was integral in the story. I even enjoyed Kym in a small dose as she steps in to help at the shop.  Anyone that has ever remodeled anything will enjoy Dewey putting her brother through the paces to get a bathroom ready and operational before the big event.

The characters in these stories have become old friends, some I like more that others but they are all entertaining. The happenings at Quilters Paridiso are sometimes a long way from Paradise but I have enjoyed every single visit more than the last.  I am looking forward to my next trip to California already.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Terri is giving away a copy of Monkey Wrench (A Quilting Mystery) in a very easy giveaway!
Answer her question above in the comment section and one comment will win!
Giveaway Will End May 23rd at 11:59 p.m. CST

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

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May 022012
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

Today I am thrilled to welcome Sally Goldenbaum back to my blog whatever the name may be. Sally has been with me since the beginning. She no longer calls Wisconsin home but she grew up here and that makes her a Wisconsin Author. More importantly she is my friend and she writes wonderful stories for you and I to “escape into”. I look forward to every visit to Sea Harbor to catch up with the Seaside Knitters. I also look forward to Sally’s visits. Today we are taking a virtual road trip, hang on tight!!

Hi Sally!!

Hi Everyone!

Visiting “Dollycas’s Thoughts” is like settling down in a warm, comfortable place with readers, writers, friends, and wonderful books. A joy.

It’s a lot like the place where I write, so I thought I’d share that place with you today, invite you to sit a spell, to feel the breeze, sip a glass of wine or tea.

First, in the interest of full disclosure, I don’t write in this place when winter comes and snow makes its way through the screens. On those days I move to a coffee shop, to the library, or to my friend Nancy’s office. But when it’s spring and the robins beckon, I answer their call. And here’s where I land—


On my writing porch. Welcome!

It’s small and square with an old cabinet built into one corner, crammed with books. The chairs are casual and worn and the couch is the perfect length to stretch out on between chapters. It even has its own special breeze, one that moves through the space on warm Kansas days and whispers, ‘Stay. Be still. Write.’

Each spring I fill buckets with soapy water and head out to clean the wide ceiling fan. Next come the screens and the walls, dreary with winter dust. The cushions are washed, the chairs wiped off, the small refrigerator filled with writer’s tonics—water, diet coke, iced tea.

It’s not a homey office or a kitchen table (where I wrote when my kids were little) but a breezy, comfortable writing space that suits me just fine. It’s where I sit and imagine the people of Sea Harbor. It’s where I got to know Finnegan, the old fisherman who both helps—and hinders—Cass’ life in A Fatal Fleece. It’s where I met the skeleton in Birdie’s closet who became so important to the knitters in A Fatal Fleece.

It isn’t only the seaside knitters and their friends who share this space with me. My writing companion, Nancy Pickard (The Scent of Rain and Lightning), often wanders in with her black Mac in hand and settles into the wicker chair across the porch from me.

We write our own separate books, but share the porch and the writing vibes (not to mention those elusive muses, when they show up). Especially we share a kindred spirit and sensibility. Another person who knows that sitting at a computer isn’t always easy. That cleaning an oven or walking in a freezing rain or going to Target sometimes sounds devastatingly attractive.

But no, it’s time to write, our presence says to one another. And so we stay put. Without a single word passing our lips, we shout to the other: I’m sitting here on this lovely porch writing. Don’t you think you should be, too?

The rule of our writing porch is simple: Quiet. Authors at work. And mostly that’s what we do, saving news updates, Words for Friends, and gossip for later, pausing only for water or coffee or diet Coke refills.

Sometimes, though, we take breaks and walk around the yard to talk about the perfect murder or red herrings or why a plot is suddenly falling apart. Then back to the porch and the hum of the fan, to pages begging for words and resolution. But all days come to an end, and often our end is marked with cheese and crackers, a glass of wine, a little time to celebrate the people living in our books, the way a plot unfolds or a murder is solved. The joy of having written.

Sometimes.

And sometimes we simply sink deep into the cushions and wonder why our brains hurt.

But there’s always another day. And on those other days, wondrous writing things can happen, like Finnegan the fisherman telling me what he was all about in A Fatal Fleece, and Izzy’s perfect wedding in The Wedding Shawl unfolding so nicely it made me cry.

Some days when I sit out here, my mind wanders to days before the porch gave birth to The Wedding Shawl or A Fatal Fleece and Nancy’s The Scent of Rain and Lightning. It’s always been a special place in our family’s life. Sometimes I think it’s why we bought this house 30 years ago. It’s where we gathered to welcome grandbaby Julian home from the hospital, and where we introduced a new daughter-in-law from California to the rest of the family.

It’s where these amazing grandchildren play and eat and laugh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The porch has hosted baby showers and birthday parties, bridesmaids’ luncheons and family reunions—and it’s where our daughter and her fiancé looked out over the yard one summer day and planned a wedding ceremony—right back there beneath the trees. The same backyard wedding that inspired my favorite scene in The Wedding Shawl (available this month in paperback!). The porch. It’s where we go. Where our family gathers.
Where memories—and books—are born.

I’m glad you came for a visit. Come back soon! And a huge thanks to Lori for planning our visit.

[Note: a few parts of my porch essay previously appeared in an online magazine, ShelterPop.]

~Sally

Sally Goldenbaum is the national bestselling author of the Seaside Knitters Mystery Series and twenty-five other novels. Her most recent mystery, A Fatal Fleece, was released May 1st and The Wedding Shawl was released in paperback the same day. Sally lives in Kansas, far from the sea, but her porch, like a magic carpet, transports her to far-away places where mysteries dwell and Sirens sing.

Visit her online at sallygoldenbaum.com

Thank you Sally for inviting us to drop by! I don’t know about anyone else but I need to pick up Nancy’s latest book too. Some wonderful novels have been written on that beautiful porch! 

 

A Fatal Fleece:
A Seaside Knitters Mystery

6th in series
An Obsidian Mystery
Published by New American Library
A Division of The Penguin Group

There’s someone new in Sea Harbor!! Gabby is a granddaughter Birdie didn’t know she had. Joe Marietti found out about his son shortly before he died but knew nothing about Gabby. Her great-uncle Nick has brought her to Sea Harbor for a visit. She is a very intuitive little lady and quickly makes friends with almost the entire town. She even starts a new trend.

Gabby makes friends with Finnegan, an old fisherman that has become quite a recluse since his wife passed away. Before Gabby he was only close to lobsterwoman Cass Halloran and her mom. Cass tried to brighten up his life and wardrobe by making him a bright yellow fleece vest. He loved it. The property he owns has become quite the scene of disrepair and many people are trying to get him to sell it. He has refused all offers.

The whole town is in shock when Cass finds the old man dead. She immediately becomes the prime suspect in his murder. Her friends know Cass would never hurt a soul. Now they just have to prove it. It may not be easy because they have a ten year old who wants to help and they all need to keep her safe.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The friendships that bind the people of Sea Harbor together are what makes reading this story and the rest of this series pure pleasure.  They stick together in good times and bad, have each others back, and get together each and every week for dinner, discussion, and dissection of the current crime that needs to be solved. 

Finnegan was not part of the core group of characters that got together for the weekly feast, (yes they are feasts, these people cook up some scrumptious food,) but I quickly felt for him as he was grieving all that he had lost. Gabby reaching out to him was so perfect. It is amazing how kids can do things adults just can’t do.

Part of the charm of the Seaside Knitters Mysteries is the setting of Sea Harbor, Massachusetts and the way Sally describes it perfectly. The pictures are so clear in your mind that you feel like you are walking down the streets, pulling weeds in the garden, sitting in Izzy’s yarn studio knitting or crocheting your latest project, or enjoying a glass of wine with some friends.

You do not need to be a knitter or even the least bit crafty to enjoy these mysteries. The plots are riveting, the characters are real and the setting is rich.  I enjoy each trip to Sea Harbor and know you will too!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Would you like to win a copy of Sally’s new book?
Thanks to the people at Penguin
I have 2 copies to giveaway!!
Plus I have 1 copy of The Wedding Shawl to give away too!!

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 Sally for 5 Bonus Entries !

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

Contest Will End May 16, 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.”

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Apr 042012
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!!

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

Hi Elizabeth!!

Hi Everyone!

The Happy Place
By Elizabeth Lynn Casey

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

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

Strange, I know.

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

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

Reap What You Sew

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Reading!

~Elizabeth

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

About This Author

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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


and one copy of the fifth book in the series


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

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

Leave a comment for Elizabeth for 5 Bonus Entries !

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

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


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

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Mar 212012
 


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.”

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Feb 222012
 


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.”

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Feb 152012
 


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.”

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