Jul 172019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am pleased to feature Devon Delany’s Guilty as Charred today! 

Guilty as Charred
(A Cook-Off Mystery)
by Devon Delaney

 

About the Book 


Guilty as Charred (A Cook-Off Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Kensington (June 25, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496714474
ISBN-13: 978-1496714473
Digital ASIN: B07HVYY7KN

Sherry Oliveri has attained celebrity status after winning the America’s Good Taste Recipe Contest with her delectable New England Crab Cake Sliders. But now that she’s back home in Connecticut, she’s got to deal with something else fishy . . .

Sherry’s making a guest appearance on a local radio show when the news comes in: Poppy Robinson has been found dead in the town’s community garden. Sherry was supposed to be taking questions about her win in the national cooking competition, but instead the callers start dishing dirt.

Poppy and Sherry were both involved in the vegetable garden, and while Poppy may have been a bit priggish, it wasn’t anything that called for a shovel to the back of the head. There was already trouble brewing, with the owner of the land threatening to renege on their agreement, and this murder has taken tensions to a new level. Now while Sherry’s organizing a Fourth of July cook-off event, she’s also got a murder investigation on her plate . . .

Includes Recipes from Sherry’s Kitchen!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sherry Oliveri is back with a major win under her belt and another murder to solve. She won the America’s Good Taste Recipe Contest beating out cooks from the other 49 states. While talking about her win for a local radio station breaking news informs listeners that Poppy Robinson has been killed and that her body was found at Augustin’s community garden. Poppy and her family owned the land the community garden was on, she was on its board and ruled with an iron fist. She was also running for mayor.

The current mayor thought a 4th of July cookoff would be a great way to bring tourists to town and thought Sherry would be the perfect person to organize it.  He also wants the murder case wrapped up asap! So Sherri is planning a cookoff, preparing for her next cooking contest, working with her dad at the Ruggery and has now added catching a killer to her already long to-do-list. She is going to need the perfect recipe to solve the murder and get on with her life. Hopefully, she can save the community garden too.

_____________

Protag Sherry Oliveri continues to grow and evolve as do all her relationships with a great cast of core characters. I continue to admire her relationship with her father. Detective Ray Bease also returns and tries to keep her out of his investigation but we all know that is not going to happen. I love when her sister comes to visit and the friendship she has built with Amber.

Ms. Delaney has cooked up quite a mystery this time complete with the red herrings cozy readers love. Twists, turns, surprises fill the pages. Sherri now has a reputation for solving murder mysteries and so many people were pressing her for answers. The deceased had an off-putting demeanor but was that enough for someone to want her dead?

I enjoyed the way Sherri handled her investigation, she really didn’t know Poppy well, but the killer is on her tail so she must be on the right track. Her current challenge is to live through her investigation. I must have totally missed a major clue because the killer reveal caught me off-guard.

I was very entertained by this great story. It was well-written and plotted which was key because there were several subplots that all needed to come together at the end. I will say all of Sherry’s activity exhausted me.  But her recipes though delighted me. I hope she gets a few months off before the next case comes along. She needs to recharge her batteries and have time for doing what she loves, finding the perfect recipe to win another challenge.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Devon Delaney is a wife, mother of three, accomplished cooking contester, recent empty nester, and lifelong resident of the Northeast. She has been handsomely rewarded for her recipe innovation over the last twenty-plus years, including a full kitchen of major appliances, top cash prizes, and four trips to Disney World. She has also won the Grand Prize in a national writing contest for her “foodie” poem “Ode to Pork Passion.”

Check out Devon’s Website and find her on Instagram 

Praise for Guilty as Charred (A Cook-Off Mystery)
by Devon Delaney

Guilty as Charred has appetizing cuisine, a technologically challenged detective, a panicked populace, toxic threats, a canine named Chutney, and one prying protagonist.
~The Avid Reader

This book has well-written characters. I love how the author’s writing just flows through the pages. This is a cute cozy mystery.
~Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting

A great mystery full of quirky characters and mouth-watering food that will keep you hooked until the very end. Perfect for fans of culinary-themed cozies.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Cook-off competitions can be crazy, engaging and engrossing but small time life can be hectic and homicidal!
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

Guilty as Charred by Devon Delaney is a delightful mystery with wonderful characters and a lovely small town setting. It has food, murder, and everything that leads us to a great whodunit.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboGoogle PlayIndieBound

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
July 8 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW, EXCERPT
July 8 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
July 9 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 9 – Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting – REVIEW
July 9 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
July 10 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 10 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
July 10 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
July 11 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
July 11 – Baroness Book Trove – REVIEW, EXCERPT
July 11 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 12 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
July 12 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
July 12 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT
July 13 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 13 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
July 13 – Reading Is My SuperPower – SPOTLIGHT
July 14 – Handcrafted Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 14 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
July 15 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 15 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
July 15 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
July 16 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 16 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW, RECIPE
July 16 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
July 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
July 17 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

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

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Sep 272018
 


Final Roasting Place (A Cook-Off Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Kensington (September 25, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496714458
ISBN-13: 978-1496714459
Kindle ASIN: B078QSJR3H

Sherry Frazzelle is back to being Sherry Oliveri, her divorce all but final and her new life in full swing. Her part-time job is helping her father with his hooked-rug business, and her full-time passion is competitive cooking. But murder is about to rock their little Connecticut town . . .

Erno Oliveri made sure to be on set for his daughter’s cook-off appearance on Sunny Side Up with Brett and Carmell. Or as it’s now known, Sunny Side Up with Carmell and Brett—since the ambitious young Carmell seems to have the producer and station owner eating out of her hand. But the important news is that Sherry has bested the competition with her Spicy Toasted Chickpea and Almond appetizer and clinched the spatula-shaped trophy. It’s her shining moment—until everything goes dark.

A quick-moving storm has knocked out power to the studio—and when the lights come back up, Carmell is at her desk with a sharp object lodged in her neck. The weapon is an unusual tool, used by craftsmen who make hooked rugs. Has someone taken corporate backstabbing to a new level, and framed Erno in the process? If Sherry’s going to protect her dad and their family name, she has to find out where he was when the lights went out . . .

Includes Recipes from Sherry’s Kitchen!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sherry Oliveri formerly Sherry Frazzelle (divorce is almost final) has just won a cook-off at a local tv station on the Sunny Side Up with Brett and Carmell program. Her Spicy Toasted Chickpea and Almond appetizer won her the prize. She had her father along for moral support. But before they could leave the building a quick moving storm blows through and knocks out the station’s power. When the power is restored one of the show’s co-hosts is dead. Carmell was not well liked by many on the staff but seeing the implement she and her father use for hooking rugs protruding out of her neck was a huge shock. Sherry was around someone the whole time so she is not a suspect. The same can’t be said for her dad. She now has to create a recipe more important than any other . . . how to get her dad out of this mess.

Ms. Delaney’s core characters continue to evolve and impress. Sherry is a strong woman, a very type-A individual but she seems to control her panic attacks much better in this story. Erno does not handle being a prime suspect very well. In fact, he ends up in the hospital and is diagnosed with a panic attack all his own. Her friend Amber returns just in time to help with the shop. Erno has been ordered by doctor’s to take some time off. Amber has no trouble taking things over at the store or teaming up to help Sherry track down a killer. But Amber is sweet on one of Sherry’s suspects so that could make things chilly between friends.

The death at the television station brings readers a new group of characters to meet. They are all unique and any one of them could have killed their co-worker. A receptionist plays a very small part, not involved in any of the drama but really liked Sherry’s cookies and her attitude about the station’s dilemmas brought a smile to my face. The rest all seemed to be out for themselves. One cute new character is Bean, a puppy that becomes quick friends with Chutney and finds a new furever home.

The mystery was tightly connected to Sherry and her dad, due to his friends and the Founder’s Day celebration the town was planning. It was a real puzzler for Sherry and me as the reader. I was up in the air completely until the excellent way the killer was revealed. Twists, turns, red herrings, this story had them all. Detective Ray Bease showed up just in time to take the culprit away.

What I love most about this series is the father/daughter relationship. They are close but Erno still manages to keep a few secrets from Sherry. I have truly become invested in both of them and am excited for the next book in this series.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Check out my review of
Expiration Date here.

About the Author

Devon Delaney is a wife, mother of three, accomplished cooking contester and a recent empty nester. She taught computer education and Lego Robotics for over ten years prior to pursuing writing. Along the way, she has been handsomely rewarded for her recipe innovation over the last twenty-plus years. Among the many prizes she has won are a full kitchen of major appliances, six-figure top cash prizes and four trips to Disney World. She has also won the grand prize in a national writing contest for her ‘foodie’ poem “Ode to Pork Passion.” Combining her beloved cooking contesting with her enthusiasm for writing was inevitable.

Check out Devon’s website at: www.devonpdelaney.com

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 paperback 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.

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 October 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.”

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May 162018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to welcome Devon Delaney to Escape With Dollycas today! 

In It To Win It

by Devon Delaney

Some have described the game of golf as a good walk spoiled. A similar sentiment could be applied to cooking competitions. Consider preparing a satisfying meal. The notion should conjure up a kitchen that fills the senses with pleasure and satisfaction. Listen to the crunch of the lettuce being chopped. Feel the fuzzy kiwi skin as you peel it. Smell the sizzling garlic as it dances in the hot olive oil at the bottom of an iron skillet. Roll the cookie dough in the palm of your hand, and note the texture of the chopped walnuts and dark chocolate chips that will be the crunchy gooey center of the sweet treat. Referring back to the golf saying, that’s the “good walk” part.

Now, add to the equation chaos, commotion, pressure, severe time restriction and fellow cooks aiming to outdo your efforts with any means available and you have the basis of a live cook-off. Some may think staging cooking as a battle that rewards the victor with cash and valuable prizes spoils time in the kitchen and that it should be left the wholesome activity it has been for centuries.  I’m not in that group.

I would never have guessed that years ago, as a thirty-something mother of three, it would only take one happenstance to transform the ages-old activity of preparing a flavorful recipe solely for a family’s health and well-being into a modern competitive obsession.

Let me explain. I began cooking in earnest when I was about eight years old. Back then, my mother wasn’t much of a cook and still isn’t. If I wanted to eat something besides oatmeal, boiled chicken breasts, or creamed onions, I was going to have to invade her aged and underutilized spice rack and figure out how to infuse flavor into her bland menu. Eventually, I took over dinner preparations completely.

Fast forward to my early years of motherhood. Not working outside the home at that point, and feeding a hungry husband and three active children, I gained a renewed sense of inspiration in the kitchen. Creating meals that pleased all manner of appetites became my focus at 5 pm each night and I was soundly rewarded for my efforts with loving accolades. But, while I was content in the kitchen, I wasn’t feeling totally fulfilled.

Oh, did I mention I’m a tiny bit competitive? I grew up with four siblings and we all competed for good grades, sports trophies, the last cookie in the cookie jar and my parent’s attention. Rewards were greatest for those who put limits to the test. To this day, I compete with other ladies on a tennis team, with neighbors as to who has the best-trained dog, and against family members for who knows the most answers on Jeopardy, (the answers are technically the questions if you are familiar with the game.)

With a baby, a near-toddler, and a toddler in constant motion, I was faced with the challenge of keeping myself sane throughout a severely icy stretch of winter, during which it was often unsafe to leave the house. On one of the few times, I made a journey to the grocery store, I picked up a handful of magazines to leaf through during naptime. In the back of was an advertisement for a recipe contest with the theme “What recipe can you create with a slice of bread.” I came up with Orange Dusted French Toast Fingers with Maple Dipping Sauce. After typing up the recipe for my concoction and snail-mailing it to the listed address, I forgot all about the contest. Six months later I received a two thousand dollar check in the mail as the grand prize winner. When I read I had beaten out hundreds of entries for the win I was hooked on cooking contesting. My appetite for the adrenaline rush I get when I compete had another source of supply.

Don’t get me wrong. I still am able to approach dinner preparations with calm serenity when I’m not gearing up for a cook-off or recipe contest. However, cook-offs are my escape to the world of like-minded cooks who have let their creativity flow as they turn a sweet potato into a savory biscotti or a cut of beef into a ranch steak bruschetta salad. Each of those ideas won me cash and valuable prizes. So, if its game on for, say, the National Mushroom Cook-off, the “good walk” is spoiled and I’m in it to win it. There will be time for a good walk after the judges choose the winner.

~Devon

Thank you so much, Devon, for visiting today!! 

 

Expiration Date (A Cook-Off Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Kensington (April 24, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496714435
Kindle ASIN: B074DGNNYM

 

 

After a short-lived marriage, Sherry Frazzelle is living single life to the fullest in her little Connecticut town, accompanied by her Jack Russell terrier, Chutney. Her new passion is competitive cooking—but it turns out that murder is the surprise ingredient . . .

With contestants from Maine to California and a ten-thousand-dollar prize at stake, Sherry’s latest competition, hosted by the CEO of an organic food company, is sure to be heated. But she’s more than ready to step up to the stove. After all, she did win the award for Most Creative Cupcake back in high-school. Today, she’s hoping her flavorful pork tenderloin will sway the judges. Instead, it seems someone’s decided to slay one of the judges . . .

After Chef Birns falls face first into the Seafood Flatbread Pizza, Sherry’s dish is deemed suspicious. Now she’ll have to stir through a stew of rule-breaking, corruption, and gossip to get herself off the chopping block, and find out who turned this food fight fatal . . .

Includes Recipes from Sherry’s Kitchen!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sherry Frazzelle and her sister Marla Barras have entered the OrgaNicks Corporation Cooking Competition against 4 other home cooks from across the nation. It is time for the celebrity chef judges to choose a winner. Sherry looks on as Chef Birns takes a bite of her pork tenderloin, but he immediately crumbles into another entry. She rushes to help but the man is dead and she is now the prime suspect in his murder. He was eating her food. Amber Sherman, another contestant, agrees to stay in town to help her find out what really happened or the home she could be cooking in be “the big house”.

Sherry Frazzelle is an interesting lead character. She and her Jack Russell terrier, Chutney are starting over after her marriage fell apart. She works part-time for her dad at his hooked rug shop, Oliveri’s Ruggery. She is also very into competitive cooking. She has a few quirks, a very Type A personality. She hates it when someone mispronounces her name, Frazzelle (rhyme with la belly) and hates to be called ma’am and she tends to panic when she is not in control. Her soon to be ex is still hanging around. She has a room full of his stuff that he refuses to pick up. She is close to her sister but Marla lives in Oklahoma. She was thrilled that they were both finalists in the OrgaNicks contest. There they meet Amber and become fast friends.

This is a humorous cozy that suffers a little bit of the first book in the series – itis. The author has to introduce readers to all the characters and give us a mystery we can sink our teeth into. Not an easy job.

I found Sherry a little off-putting at first but she grew on me by the end. I liked her sister Marla and their new friend Amber but since they both were from out of town I don’t know how much of them we will see in future installments. We did meet Sherry’s dad too. I hope he is featured more going forward. I found his hooked rugs shop very interesting. I was really into latch hook rugs back in the day. The dialogue between the characters was a little off and didn’t ring true for me especially when Sherry was talking to police.

The theme of a cooking competition was very enjoyable. There is a lot of emphasis on the food. It was easy to visualize every step of the way. It is also nice to have the recipes talked about in the back of the book.

The pacing of the book became a little stilted in places. The mystery unfolded with plenty of twists and turns but I did zero in on the killer very early in the story due to clues that were a little too on the nose. The murder weapon itself was quite unique. Something I would never have thought of.

Like I always say, the first book in a series is a heavy lift. There are a lot of good things in this story and plenty of room left to expand and grow as the series continues. I really did enjoy the main premise of the mystery and the cook-off theme. A little editing and tightening up would have made this a 5-star read. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About the Author

Devon Delaney is a wife, mother of three, accomplished cooking contester and a recent empty nester. She taught computer education and Lego Robotics for over ten years prior to pursuing writing. Along the way, she has been handsomely rewarded for her recipe innovation over the last twenty-plus years. Among the many prizes she has won are a full kitchen of major appliances, six-figure top cash prizes and four trips to Disney World. She has also won the grand prize in a national writing contest for her ‘foodie’ poem “Ode to Pork Passion.” Combining her beloved cooking contesting with her enthusiasm for writing was inevitable.

Check out Devon’s website at: www.devonpdelaney.com


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.

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 the author 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 30, 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.”

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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

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