May 092018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so excited to have Maymee (Tonya)drop by today! 

Death By Edits

 

I admit that when I started writing I had no idea what I was doing. I had an idea. I wanted ONE reader to escape their life by my one story. That was it. It wasn’t until I had written that book did I know what it really was like to be a writer.

Some people say that writing the novel is the hardest part for them. Ernst Hemingway said, “There is nothing to writing. All you have to do sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.” I agree that writing a novel is far from easy. It takes discipline to sit down every day and knock out five thousand words. Believe it or not, that is the I immerse myself into a book as I’m writing it. I love those characters. I love their homes. I love the small town. I love everything about it. I live in their world for many months as I’m writing their story.

Then comes the part that I downright loathe! I mean it. I can’t stand editing. To make it less painful, after I write the first one-hundred pages of a novel; which is what I call the bones, I go back and add meat to those bones. I will add more descriptions, more dialogue tags, and more of the funny stuff. Then I will do this for the next one-hundred pages with a Diet Coke my side.

That’s not the end of the editing process. This is just the beginning. Once I go back and add the meat on the bones, I print it all out and do it all over again. I try to make the manuscript fat with words and with description all while making sure the timelines in the plot fit and work. After doing this a few times, then and only then do I send it off to the editor. But by this time another character from another series has already taken root in my head and started their story.

 

A few months later I get an email from the editor that their edits have been added and I have to take a look at them.  I’ve already forgotten the plot and what everyone in the town looks like because I have moved on. I grab a cup of coffee and hunker down.

This is very difficult for me. I’m not the type of writer who can write a couple books at the same time. I can’t. I’m not wired that way. It’s awful. Plumb awful.

Since I have to get the edits back to my editor, I have to stop writing the current work in progress, go back and reread the novel that needs edits and start all over. By this time, I’m so sick of the novel that I just want to move on.

Then I send it back to my editor for a couple more rounds of edits. I don’t hear from the editor for a few months. Then out of nowhere, I get a copy of the ARC of that novel that I’d been so tired of. My eyes swell. My heart dips. I rub the cover. I crack the spine and start to fall in love all over again with those characters and that small town. And it’s just in time for them to move right back in my head for the next novel in the series.

~Maymee

Thank you so much for visiting today! 


Cake and Punishment: A Southern Cake Baker Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Kentucky
Crooked Lane Books (May 8, 2018)
Hardcover 257 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683315711
Digital ASIN: B075QJM2W8

 

 

In the first of a delectable new Southern-set baking cozy series, Sophia Cummings, pastry chef extraordinaire, must craft the perfect cake for an old friend’s wedding while sifting through the suspects in a murder.

Bucolic Rumford, Kentucky has glowing fields of bluegrass, a fine selection of bourbons, and now a professional pastry chef. Broken-hearted Sophia Cummings has come home from New York City. She’s not there a minute before she’s charmed into making her high school friend Charlotte’s wedding cake. The kitchen at the Rumford Country Club seems perfect until Chef Emile’s body is discovered, sprawled near the stove, a cast iron skillet on the floor close by.

With one look at the shiny, new frying pan, Sophia knows it’s not Emile’s. She offers her knowledge to Sheriff Carter and her talents to Evelyn, the manager, who needs an interim chef. The mood in the country club is grim: Emile’s peppery personality had burned members and staff alike. Sophia wonders which one of them burned him?

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

When I first saw the cover of this book I didn’t know the author was a pseudonym for Tonya Kappes, but as soon as I read the first page, I knew I was reading a book by Tonya Kappes. She has a distinctive writing style and her characters are so much fun.

This new cozy series introduces us to Sophia Cummings, a pastry chef at a top Manhattan restaurant. That is until she finds her boyfriend, also a chef at the same restaurant, cheating on her. She decides to head home to Rumford, Kentucky to get a break.  She quickly runs into a friend from high school and finds herself making her wedding cake. The reception is being held at the Rumford Country Club where Sophia used to work. She knows she will have everything she needs there to create the wedding cake of her friend’s dreams. Unfortunately, when she arrives she finds the club’s head chef, Emile, dead on the floor with a cast iron skillet nearby. She notices something about the pan and informs Sheriff Carter.  The next thing she knows she has accepted the job as an interim chef for the club. Maybe while working there she can find out who clobbered the chef, but her main concern is that her friend’s wedding goes on without any more interruptions or dead bodies.

This series is off to a divine start. Sophia is a talented chef with a huge heart. She loves creating desserts that make people happy. She couldn’t say “no” to anyone, which is why she ends up committed to baking things even after the date she plans to return to Manhattan.  Her mother, on the other hand, is demanding, bossy, and you know a mom that really loves her daughter. She is also not beyond a little matchmaking. Her father does his best to keep the peace and has a strong bond with his daughter. It was great to meet all of Sophia’s high school friends, even the one she doesn’t recognize. These characters are so well developed already in this first book. I am excited to see the beyond high school relationships grow and evolve. Their Southern charm shines throughout the whole story.

The author has filled these pages with a great whodunit too with plenty of suspects and twists galore. So well-plotted and full of clues and just the perfect amount of humor.

Ms. Bell’s descriptive talents set the scene perfectly. She has created this wonderful little town of Rumford and I escaped away right into it.

Southern charm, mystery, great characters, fantastic dialogue, and a bit of comedy make Cake and Punishment a must read! The talk of sweet treats will also have your mouth watering.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About the Author

Maymee Bell is the pen name of USA Today Bestselling author Tonya Kappes. She lives in Kentucky with her family and her two schnauzers. She likes strong coffee, slow-country days, and fresh-baked cookies – but she like telling stores best of all. This is her first SOUTHERN BAKER MYSTERY.

Visit Tonya:

Facebook at Author Tonya Kappes    Kappes Krew Street Team

Kappes Krew Recipe Exchange

Website    Goodreads     Twitter     Pinterest

Purchase Links:

Amazon  B&N   Kobo 
Click here to find all of Tonya’s books on Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tour Participants

April 25 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 25 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
April 26 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
April 26 – Bibliophile Reviews –  REVIEW
April 27 – The Book Diva’s Reads –  CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 27 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
April 28 – Ms. Cat’s Honest World – REVIEW
April 28 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 29 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
April 30 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
April 30 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
May 1 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
May 1 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 2 – Queen of All She Reads – SPOTLIGHT
May 2 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
May 3 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
May 3 – Valerie’s Musings – GUEST POST
May 4 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
May 4 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 5 – Varietats – REVIEW
May 6 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
May 7 – FUONLYKNEW – REVIEW
May 7 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST
May 8 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 8 – Cinnamon, Sugar and a Little Bit of Murder – RECIPE POST
May 9 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GUEST POST
May 10 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW, GUEST POST
May 10 – Bookworm Cafe – REVIEW
May 11 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, RECIPE POST
May 11 – Melina’s Book Blog – 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.”

May 082018
 

Flowers and Foul Play: A Magic Garden Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Settings – Scotland
Crooked Lane Books (May 8, 2018)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683315629
Kindle ASIN: B075QJ6C76

 

 

Fiona Knox lost her fiancé and her flower shop—but when she flies to Scotland to inherit her godfather’s cottage and possibly magical walled garden, she may lose her life as well when she’s swept into a murder investigation.

Florist Fiona Knox’s life isn’t smelling so sweet these days. Her fiancé left her for their cake decorator. Then, her flower shop wilted after a chain florist opened next door. So when her godfather, Ian MacCallister, leaves her a cottage in Scotland, Fiona jumps on the next plane to Edinburgh. Ian, after all, is the one who taught her to love flowers. But when Ian’s elderly caretaker Hamish MacGregor shows her to the cottage upon her arrival, she finds the once resplendent grounds of Duncreigan in a dreadful shambles—with a dead body in the garden.

Minutes into her arrival, Fiona is already being questioned by the handsome Chief Inspector Neil Craig and getting her passport seized. But it’s Craig’s fixation on Uncle Ian’s loyal caretaker, Hamish, as a prime suspect, that really makes her worried. As Fiona strolls the town, she quickly realizes there is a whole bouquet of suspects much more likely to have killed Alastair Croft, the dead lawyer who seems to have had more enemies than friends.

Now it’s up to Fiona to clear Hamish’s name before it’s too late.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A cozy cottage with a magical garden and a couple of very interesting furry creatures is what Fiona Fox finds when she arrives in Scotland. Oh, she also finds a dead body in the garden. Her godfather, Ian MacCallister, the man that shared her love of flowers has died and he has bequeathed the place to her. The garden has not flourished since Ian’s was killed in Afghanistan, but his caretaker Hamish MacGregor assures her that now that she has arrived the garden will start to bloom again. But first, she needs to deal with the body. He is identified as Alastair Croft, Ian’s lawyer and while  Chief Inspector Neil Craig has taken her passport, he believes Hamish is the killer. Fiona quickly decides to get to know her neighbors and try to find the handsome detective some additional, more viable suspects. It wasn’t hard, most of the town couldn’t stand the man.

There are so many things I loved about this story.

Fiona Knox is nursing a broken heart. Her fiance left her for their cake decorator, a chain florist drove her little flower shop out of business, and she is mourning the death of a very important man in her life, her godfather. A man she shared her love of flowers with, a man she and her family had visited several times over the years. After all that she is using her trip to Scotland to heal her heart and make a new plan for her life. Her inner strength shines through as she sets out to find the killer. She travels to the nearby village to meet and question everyone she can. She is an intelligent woman determined to get the answers she needs.

We also meet Hamish MacGregor. An elderly man, caretaker of Ian’s property. A position he takes very seriously. He also has a pet squirrel named Duncan, that rides around on his shoulder and comes indoors, and doesn’t like cats at all, especially Ivanhoe, a cat Fiona has brought home.

Fiona finds herself being questioned by Chief Inspector Neil Craig within minutes of her arrival. The man is easy on the eyes and the two learn to work together. He sees instantly that Fiona is not a woman that will give up her own investigation so he decides that to keep her safe he needs to remain close.

The Scotland setting, the nearby sea, and the magical garden drew me into this enchanting story. Only a few seeds have been sown about this garden that Fiona is now the keeper of. I am excited to learn more right along with Fiona.

The story has many turns as the mystery of Alastair Croft and his death is solved. The author sets a nice pace as the story evolves. I really enjoyed the way the whole village was involved. It gives readers the chance to know a lot of characters without feeling overwhelmed. They are distinct individuals with their own stories. Some become viable suspects and some will become great friends for Fiona. Like all great cozies – be ready for that final outstanding twist. . . I LOVED IT!

Amanda Flower is an outstanding storyteller. She mixes paranormal and cozy like a master. The characters she creates jump off the pages. The setting is idyllic and the mystery is marvelous. She has written a story that was virtually impossible for me to put down.

I am thrilled about this series!! I can’t wait for the next book!! Death and Daisies will be released November 13.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About This Author

Amanda Flower, a two-time Agatha Award-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth-grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. She also writes mysteries as national bestselling author Isabella Alan. In addition to being an author, Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland.

Author Links:

Website  Pen Name Website     Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads    Pinterest




Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series (writing as Isabella Alan)

Thanks to the publisher I have 2 copies to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Subscribe to Amanda’s Newsletter for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End May 22, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

May 082018
 

Welcome to New Release Tuesday! 

These books are available today at booksellers everywhere! 

Better Off Read: A Bookmobile Mystery
by Nora Page

Beyond the Pale (A World of Spies Mystery)
by Clare O’Donohue

Cake and Punishment: A Southern Cake Baker Mystery
by Maymee Bell

Flowers and Foul Play: A Magic Garden Mystery
by Amanda Flower

No Cure for the Dead: A Florence Nightingale Mystery
by Christine Trent

On the Hook: A Crochet Mystery
by Betty Hechtman

Pairing a Deception (A Sommelier Mystery)
by Nadine Nettmann

Pick and Chews (A Barkery & Biscuits Mystery)
by Linda O. Johnston

Sixth Cabin (Writer’s Retreat Southern Seashore Mystery)
by Kathi Daley

Widow’s Wreath: A Martha’s Vineyard Mystery
by Cynthia Riggs

Want to see all the mysteries – cozy to thriller
released in May.
Just click here.
 
Can’t afford to buy or pre-order all the books you want to at this time.
Bookmark this page in your browser so you can reference it at any time.
Be sure to share your wish lists with your local librarians too!

HAPPY READING EVERYONE!!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

May 072018
 

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be traveling to Kentucky, Connecticut, and Virginia.

Here’s what I read and what
I have planned for this week.

Escapes Completed


Honor Kills (Angelina Bonaparte Mysteries Book 3)
Release Date – May 1, 2018
Setting – Wisconsin
My Review


Flowers and Foul Play: A Magic Garden Mystery
Release Date – May 8, 2018
Setting – Scotland
My Review will post tomorrow! 


Cake and Punishment: A Southern Cake Baker Mystery
Release Date – May 8, 2018
Setting – Kentucky
Maymee Bell will be my guest this week for Cozy Wednesday as part of the Great Escapes Tour!


Magick Run Amok (An Abracadabra Mystery)
Release Date – May 1, 2018
Setting – New York
The Great Escapes Book Tour stops here this Thursday!

Current Escape


Release Date – June 6, 2018
Setting – Colorado
My Flashback Friday Read

Scheduled Escapes


Dead As A Doornail (A Kenni Lowry Mystery)
Release Date – May 15, 2018
Setting – Kentucky
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Tuesday!


Expiration Date (A Cook-Off Mystery)
Release Date – April 24, 2018
Setting – Connecticut
Devon Delaney will be my guest next week for Cozy Wednesday!


Murder in the Locked Library (A Book Retreat Mystery)
Release Date – April 24, 2018
Setting – Virginia
For Review

Click Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!
Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Apr 302018
 

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be traveling to Scotland before heading back to Kentucky and New York.

Here’s what I read and what
I have planned for this week.

Escapes Completed


Read Herring Hunt (Mystery Bookshop Mysteries)
Release Date – April 24, 2018
Setting – Michigan
My Review will be up tomorrow! 


Murder Most Fermented (Rose Avenue Wine Club Mystery)
Release Date – April 24, 2018
Setting – California
Christine E. Blum will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday this week!


Beach Bliss
Release Date – March 6, 2018
Setting – Connecticut
My Review post on Thursday!

Current Escape


Honor Kills (Angelina Bonaparte Mysteries Book 3)
Release Date – May 1, 2018
Setting – Wisconsin
For Review

Scheduled Escapes


Flowers and Foul Play: A Magic Garden Mystery
Release Date – May 8, 2018
Setting – Scotland
For Review


Cake and Punishment: A Southern Cake Baker Mystery
Release Date – May 8, 2018
Setting – Kentucky
Maymee Bell will be my guest next week for Cozy Wednesday!


Magick Run Amok (An Abracadabra Mystery)
Release Date – May 1, 2018
Setting – New York
The Great Escapes Book Tour stops here next Thursday!

Click Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!
Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Apr 272018
 

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.


Unnatural Causes: A Dr. Katie LeClair Mystery
Mystery/ Amateur Sleuth
1st in Series
Setting – Michigan
Crooked Lane Books (December 12, 2017)
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683313137
Digital ASIN: B0767G2XLL

 

 

Katie LeClair has finally settled down as the new doctor in Baxter, MI. After years of moving, schooling, and training, she wants nothing more than to find a place she can call home, and a small town outside of Ann Arbor seemed perfect.

Katie quickly gets to work on building a life for herself in Baxter, and beyond reviving her love life, she also finds a pair of business partners in a team of father and son family practitioners. But that idyllic dream is immediately shattered when one of her patients is found dead. That wouldn’t be the worst thing, except the death is ruled a suicide, and as evidence has it, the suicide was a result of the medication Katie had prescribed. But she doesn’t remember writing it.

When a closer investigation reveals it was murder, Katie is catapulted into an off-the-books investigation that leads her down a dark path of past secrets. But someone is willing to kill to keep part of the town’s history in the shadows, and Katie must race to find out who before it’s too late in nationally bestselling author Dawn Eastman’s riveting series debut Unnatural Causes.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I originally stayed away from this book because of the suicide theme, but now that the holidays, anniversary of my son’s birth and death have passed I was able to read and enjoy the story.

Katie LeClair fresh out of residency has taken a job at a clinic in Baxter, Michigan. She has only been there a few months when one of her patients dies in the emergency room. Her death has been ruled a suicide by overdose. An overdose of a drug that was prescribed by Katie. The problem is Katie doesn’t remember writing a script for the woman. There is also no record of it in the patient’s file.

When the autopsy comes in it contains a couple of surprises, including that the patient was actually murdered. Due to the original suicide ruling evidence has been lost so Katie starts investigating on her own with some shocking discoveries. Discoveries that put Katie in danger. This unusual death could claim one more victim.

Katie LeClair is a dedicated physician that wants to give her patients the best possible care. Her partners are a father and son and together they share clinic and hospital duties. She meets a diverse group of people at the clinic needing all different types of care.  She lives with her younger brother, a real computer genius. Together they are still dealing with the loss of their mother several years ago. Katie also meets another young doctor that could lead to a romantic relationship. Due to a freak event, she is also close to the Baxter police chief.  All of these characters come together naturally and are very well written.

Ms. Eastman gives readers a very suspenseful story. There is a lot going on and the suspects were tangled together in so many ways. I think the police really made a blunder my labeling the death as a suicide before they had the autopsy report. Thankfully Katie was doing some digging initially on her own. Clues were dropped nicely for us readers to follow but I was still juggling suspects when the killer was revealed.

A subplot deals with a very relevant 2018 topic. I was impressed by the way this was handled.

I am a huge fan of Dawn Eastman’s stories.  This story had a darker feel than her Family Fortune Mysteries, but I enjoyed it just a much. I love the way she tells a story.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent


About the Author

National bestselling author Dawn Eastman was a family medicine physician in Michigan. Now she lives in Iowa with her husband, son, and daughter. When not writing, she keeps busy catering to the whims of a bossy bichon-shih tzu mix who wants to rule the world. This is her first Dr. Katie LeClair mystery. She is also the author of THE FAMILY FORTUNE MYSTERIES.

Author Links

Webpage – Facebook – Goodreads

Twitter – @DawnAEastman

I am giving away my review copy!
The 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.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End May 11, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

 

 

 

Apr 232018
 

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be starting in Michigan, then on to California and Connecticut.

Here’s what I read and what
I have planned for this week.

Escapes Completed


Death by Dumpling: A Noodle Shop Mystery
Release Date – March 27, 2018
Setting – Ohio
My Review will post tomorrow!


Shot in the Dark (A Coffeehouse Mystery)
Release Date – April 17, 2018
Setting – New York
Cleo Coyle will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday this week
and she is touring with Great Escapes Book Tours!


Wedding Cake Crumble (Cupcake Bakery Mystery)
Release Date – April 3, 2018
Setting – Arizona
The review will be up on Thursday!


Unnatural Causes: A Dr. Katie LeClair Mystery
Release Date – December 12, 2017
Setting – Michigan
My Flashback Friday Read

Scheduled Escapes


Read Herring Hunt (Mystery Bookshop Mysteries)
Release Date – April 24, 2018
Setting – Michigan
For Review


Murder Most Fermented (Rose Avenue Wine Club Mystery)
Release Date – April 24, 2018
Setting – California
Christine E. Blum will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday next week!


Beach Bliss
Release Date – March 6, 2018
Setting – Connecticut
For Review

Click Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!
Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Apr 112018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am excited to welcome Nell Hampton today!

London, British TV, and the Royals

London

I’ve been to London and it’s every bit as interesting as a Midwesterner could imagine. I found it fun and amazingly old. The museums and the parks and the bridges, I felt like I was breathing in the history. The neighborhoods with the Victorian mansions were as interesting as the palaces with their guards and glorious gardens. I went over Christmas which is not a busy time of year for the city. So many people leave to go spend the holidays with their families. The weather was supposed to be in the 50’s the entire time. So I thought I’ll bring a nice leather jacket and be okay. I’m from the Midwest, right? Well, it’s more damp there than I had imagined and that 50 degrees had me shivering.

I walked everywhere from Kensington Palace to Buckingham Palace to the Millennium Bridge which stretches across the river Thames. St. Paul’s cathedral is awesome. You can climb a staircase to the very top and look out over the city.

I can tell you if you don’t like crowds stay away from the Underground at rush hour. I squeezed inside a train so full that you could wear the shirt sleeves of the guy next to you. Then I went to Harrods’s Department store on Christmas eve when the people were four deep to any counter so there was no getting to see anything you might want to buy.

I wouldn’t want it any other way. It took a while to figure out if you wanted to eat at a pub you had to order food from the bar. They bring it around to the table, but they don’t come to the table and take your orders. I think I sat for an hour before figuring that out.

British TV

When you’re in London, there is so much to see that there is no time to watch British television. Then of course when you do catch a program it’s so different from US live television. It feels almost small town. But I love the programs. I watch Dr. Who, Father Brown, Downton Abbey, Midsomer Murders, Sherlock and so many more. The humor and mystery are wonderful and I’ve always been passionate about history and all that goes into the care of keeping of a manor home or palace so those stories are fun.

The Royals

I’ve been following the Royal family most of my life. My father was a huge reader and fan of monarchies. I studied the Royal histories in college as an elective. The idea of protocol and intrigue that followed the royals for centuries. Now they are a favorite soap opera. Who doesn’t love a royal wedding or pictures of the children? When I had this opportunity to write a cozy mystery set in a palace, I had to pick the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their growing family.

So I put all that knowledge and research and respect and imagination into Kale to the Queen followed by Lord of the Pies. I think where you set a cozy is as important as what the sleuth does for a living. Since we can’t all live in London, it’s fun to go there in the pages of a book.

Where is your dream place to visit? Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Lord of the Pies.

Thank you, Nell, for visiting today!

Lord of the Pies: A Kensington Palace Chef Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Kensington, England
Crooked Lane Books (April 10, 2018)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683315599
Kindle ASIN: B074MCJB5D

When Carrie Ann Cole bakes a lemon meringue pie to die for that actually kills someone, she must find out who the real killer is before her time at the Kensington Palace expires.

The elegant Orangery at Kensington Palace is the perfect setting for the bridal shower of Carrie Ann Cole’s best friend’s sister. Personal chef to the royal family, Carrie Ann’s pie theme is naturally winning. But a waiter later keels over dead into the lemon meringue pie she leaves as a thank-you to the staff and Carrie Ann realizes that somebody slipped a mickey into that meringue.

Her floury fingerprints are all over that pie and the authorities suspect her distress is a cover-up for murder. Carrie Ann must set out to clear her name if she wants to stay at her dream job any longer. But all too soon, another body drops in the Orangery. This time, it’s the Orangery chef.

Murder won’t crimp her style, and as bodies pile up, Carrie Ann uncovers palace intrigue, London nightlife, and British pies scouring for the killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Pies! Pies! Pies! Carrie Ann Cole is baking pies for a bridal shower to be held in the Orangery at the palace. She has one pie left over and leaves it for the chef usually in charge of the Orangery. When a waiter is found dead with his face in her pie she knows someone tampered with it. All the evidence points to Carrie Anne and when another chef is murdered she realizes it is up to her to find the real killer before she loses her dream of being the chef for the Duke and Duchess and their wonderful family.

Carrie Ann Cole is an American chef in charge of one of the palace’s four kitchens. Her kitchen prepares meals and teas for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. She also is asked to do the food for events her royals host like the bridal shower in this story. In addition to her normal duties, she has been asked to participate in a televised cooking competition for charity. After that event concludes several people on one of the other teams get sick and again Carrie Ann is a suspect. She does have two men watching out of her, the kitchen gardener and the palace’s chief of security. She also has a new assistant that is determined to help her clear her name.

All of Ms. Hampton’s characters leap off the pages. Carrie Ann is getting comfortable in her new position but is worried about being terminated with all these dead bodies that just seem to pile up around her. She is starting a romantic relationship with Jasper, the gardener but there is also romantic vibes between Carrie and Ian, the security chief. I also liked the way she and her new assistant got along and her friend that tries to show Carrie Ann some of the area’s nightlife.

There is never a dull moment at the palace or in Carrie Ann’s life. The story has a fast pace, the pages on my Kindle where flying. Twists and turns, peeping Tom’s, a cheating chef, a cranky chef, murders, secrets and lies and or so many pies held my attention from word one. Cleverly written, Nell Hampton gives readers a mystery we can sink our teeth into. An inside look at palace life is just the meringue on the top of the pie.

Readers of Julie Hyzy’s White House Chef Mysteries will love these characters and their story. I recommend this book/series to all cozy mystery fans!

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About the Author

An avid foodie and writer, Nell Hampton decided to finally combine her two loves. She lives in Richmond, VA. This is her first mystery. But you may also know her as Nancy J. Parra or Nancy Coco. Check out her webpage here. 


Written as Nancy Coco

Written as Nancy J. Parra

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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Contest Will End April 25, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Apr 102018
 

Welcome to New Release Tuesday!

These books are available today! 


Bad Neighbors: An Agnes and Effie Mystery


Farewell, My Cuckoo: A Birds of a Feather Mystery


Homecoming By The Sea (Haunting By The Sea Book 1)


Lord of the Pies: A Kensington Palace Chef Mystery


The Shadow of Death: A Sister Agatha and Father Selwyn Mystery

Want to see all the mysteries – cozy to thriller
released in April.
Just click here.
Can’t afford to buy or pre-order all the books you want to at this time.
Bookmark this page in your browser so you can reference it at any time.
Be sure to share your wish lists with your local librarians too!

HAPPY READING EVERYONE!!

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

Apr 092018
 

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I am traveling to California, New York, and New Jersey! 

Here’s what I read and what
I have planned for this week.

Escapes Completed


Turning the Tide (A Quaker Midwife Mystery)
Release Date – April 8, 2017
Setting – Massachusetts
My Review will be up tomorrow! 


Lord of the Pies: A Kensington Palace Chef Mystery
Release Date – April 10, 2018
Setting – England
Nell Hampton will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday this week!


The Bengal Identity (A Cat Groomer Mystery)
Release Date – March 27, 2018
Setting – New Jersey
My Review will post on Thursday! 


By Book or By Crook (A Lighthouse Library Mystery)
Release Date – February 3, 2015
Setting – North Carolina
My Flashback Friday Read

Scheduled Escapes


Murder at the Mushroom Festival (A Kelly Jackson Mystery)
Release Date – April 17, 2018
Setting – California


Murder with a Cherry on Top (A Lickety Splits Mystery)
Release Date – March 27, 2018
Setting – New York
Cynthia Baxter will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday next week!


Murder, She Knit (A Knit & Nibble Mystery)
Release Date – March 27, 2018
Setting – New Jersey
For Review

Click Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!
Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Nun After The Other (A Giulia Driscoll Mystery) by Alice Loweecey Get Your Copy Now!
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