Jan 042017
 

 

Welcome to the first Cozy Wednesday of 2017! 
I am excited to Welcome Diana Orgain
to Escape With Dollycas today!

 

Researching a Haunted Castle for Third Time’s a Crime.

By Diana Orgain

It began like most things begin today – with a google search. I was hunting for the perfect location to set my next mystery Third Time’s a Crime. The mystery is the third book in my reality TV series where I’d concocted an unsolved murder at a haunted castle. I needed an eerie location as a starting point for my story.

When I found the Preston Castle in Ione, California I knew I had it! From the Preston Castle website: “Experiences at the castle have included EVP, humming, whispers, touching, channeling, and seeing and recording orbs and apparitions. There have been no harmful events and no one has been hurt during these overnight events.”

You see this is no ordinary castle – it was the home of Preston School of Industry, one of the oldest and best-know reform schools in the United States. It is said to have been the sight of many mysterious tragic episodes, violent encounters and even unsolved murders. The accounts of visitors are that the castle is rife with ghost sightings. The fact that the castle sponsors overnight ghost tours seemed like just the ticket for my research.

I dialed my dear friend and paranormal mystery author, Kirsten Weiss.

“Want to go on a haunted castle flashlight tour with me?” I asked.

Kirsten laughed a response.

“Why are you laughing?” I asked, fearful that my request was too over the edge even for a paranormal mystery author.

“I can’t believe how lucky I am to be invited on a haunted castle tour,” Kirsten said. After I explained the details to her, Kirsten added. “Can we stop at a winery I like in Lodi?”

Now I couldn’t believe my luck. We were going to explore a historic site in California and include wine tasting?

Awesome.

We arrived at The Preston Castle as the sun was setting. It was wintertime and the light didn’t hover for very long. Before we knew it, our view of the Castle turned from breathtaking to downright eerie. The docent handed us flashlights and ushered into the vast foyer. The castle is 46,000 square feet, has 77 rooms and no fewer than 43 fireplaces and 257 windows!

We were cold beyond belief; every window in the place was broken, cracked or gone. We were only allowed to tour the first few floors and the basement. The third and fourth floor were closed due to the condition of the roof (I believe there’s a hole in it and those floors are beyond repair).

The first stop on the tour was the “prayer” room. It was set up like a small chapel, but instead of praying we watched an intro video that included the history of the construction of the castle and famous inmates (among them, my favorite country singer of all time Merle Haggard!)

Most of the public rooms on the main floor – like the dining room and hall – were enormous, while the private bedrooms on the second floor were tiny. Of note, on the second floor one side of the hallway had rooms with a sink, while the other side had rooms with a fireplace.

The dining room fascinated me. “Where the kitchen?” I asked the docent.

“Downstairs,” she told me. “It’s where they found the body of the head housekeeper, Anna Corban.”

A chill danced across my spine. Poor Anna.

“Can we see the kitchen?” I asked.

The docent took us down a narrow staircase and showed a small cupboard where Anna’s body had been hidden. The cupboard was so small it seemed impossible that anyone would fit in it.

It turned out the kitchen was small too. All the food was prepared there and then transported through a dumbwaiter up to the dining room.

The cupboard, along with the kitchen and especially the dumbwaiter sparked an idea for me, and shortly after Third Time’s a Crime was written! I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

~Diana

Plus an Excerpt –

One

The raven swept down upon us in a terrifying plunge, talons outstretched, screeching at an ear-shattering pitch. Instinctively, I jumped out of the way and reached for my gun, only remembering too late that I hadn’t carried one in eighteen months, since I’d been let go from the San Francisco Police Department.

The bird’s massive wings flapped so close to me that the breeze lifted my hair and I fought the urge to strike out at it. Suddenly, the bird arched up and flew to the top point of the castle, perching itself overhead.

The woman next to me gasped. “A raven? That’s a bad omen.”

Cheryl Dennison, our executive producer, yelled, “Did you all catch that?”

“I got it,” one of the cameramen shouted excitedly. “I got a great shot.”

“Good,” Cheryl said, a self-satisfied smile playing on her face. “We’ll want to use that in the promos.”

“Cheryl probably shipped that bird in from Hollywood,” I said under my breath to the woman next to me. “Just to capture that shot.”

The woman, a former FBI profiler, made a face. As if she disapproved of Hollywood histrionics.

We were on location at the Golden Castle, said to be haunted and the scene of an unsolved murder. During its heyday, it’d doubled as a reform school. It stood nestled on the hill overlooking the charming old mining town of Golden, California. But the castle was far from charming. It was so large it blotted out the sun and the windows were dark and murky. The exterior bricks had been built in San Quentin Prison and they projected a feeling of doom and gloom. Overall, the castle had such an ominous presence that it screamed “horror film,” or in our case, “bad reality TV.”

My best friend and the assistant producer, Becca, had begged me for weeks to accept the casting offer. She knew I wasn’t too keen on the paranormal aspect of the show. I wasn’t exactly a “believer” but now, despite myself, looking at the castle sent a shiver up my spine. I squeezed Scott’s hand as we hiked up the gravel driveway toward it.

“All right!” Scott said, barely able to keep the excitement out of his voice. “It’s downright menacing.”

I giggled. I knew that, being a horror writer, this haunted castle was right up his alley.

“Remind me again why I’m doing this?” I asked.

“To solve the crime,” he said.

“The fact that this is my third stint on reality TV is the crime,” I said.

Scott flashed me his winning smile, reminding me again why I always felt so warm and happy in his presence.

We’d met and fallen in love on the first show, and won the cash prize to boot. However, the money hadn’t stretched as far as we’d hoped and we’d signed up for the whole rodeo again. But the second time, I hadn’t won the money, and after starring on reality TV, my chances of ever landing a job again as a police officer were between slim and none.

I figured I better take the opportunity to solve a case while I could. Who knew, maybe I’d be able to salvage a shred of my reputation.

Besides us, the famous forensic archaeologist from the Hunting Bones reality show chuckled. “You know you love it,” he said.

I turned to him. “Love what? Solving a crime?”

He glanced over at Scott and was seemingly deciding if he should say what was really on his mind. When he noticed that Scott was mesmerized by the castle looming over us, he said, “The limelight.”

“You don’t seem to mind it yourself,” I said, trying my best not to bristle.

He was tall with piercing blue eyes and a confidence that made him handsome. He had the type of square jaw and prominent nose that was extremely photogenic. I knew without a doubt his looks were the reason that Hunting Bones had been such a smashing success.

“All right, listen up, folks,” Cheryl said. “As you know, we need to get some final images for the intro montage, so please line up over here where the light is best and let’s get some usable footage before we get on to filming the first episode.”

A rumble of excitement worked its way through the cast and crew. We were quite a crowd. On location, there were ten of us contestants, the show’s host, Harris Carlson, several cameramen, lighting techs, sound techs, the hair and makeup folks, along with the production team.

The cast took turns lining up against the awful red bricks; preening, primping, and pirouetting on Cheryl’s request.

We were five teams of two players. Scott and I made up one team. Dr. Arch, the forensic archaeologist, and his sometimes cohost, the FBI profiler Karen Kenley, made up the second team. There was a historian from an Ivy League college paired with her brother, a priest. Then a professed ghost hunter partnered with a psychic. And finally two young women, the castle docent and the unsolved murder victim’s great niece.

Our mission was to solve the murder of Jane Reiner. According to the limited information we’d been given, the historical accounts about Jane’s murder all differed. Some said she’d been hung in the kitchen, other accounts claimed she’d been stabbed in the basement and still others said she’d been shot in the supply room.

All accounts seemed to believe that Jane haunted the castle and would continue to do so until her murder could be solved. Rumor had it that she appeared from time to time to visitors either hanging in the kitchen or bleeding in the basement or supply rooms.

None of the information squared, so in Cheryl’s infinite wisdom, she’d pitched to a Hollywood Studio the idea that a team of misfits might be able to solve the historic murder on national television.

Needless to say, it was such a bad idea that Hollywood loved it.

Once inside the castle, the creep factor only escalated. The inside of the building was a like a maze with steps and hallways spinning in every direction, vertically and horizontally. The stairs were worn and creaked as the cast and crew climbed them to what was known as the prayer room.

A strange smell filled the room, like sulfur mixed with stale kerosene that someone had attempted to mask with a flowery perfume.

“Whoa! Do you smell that?” the psychic asked. “It’s a presence! Most certainly a presence!”

The man claiming to be a psychic was the least likely person I would have expected. I figured Cheryl would have a cast a pretty blond young lady, but instead the man before us was as large as a lumberjack complete with a burly red beard. I’d liked him immediately, even though, of course, I couldn’t believe a word he uttered.

I wrinkled my nose. “I think the room’s probably been closed up a long time.”

“No, no,” the docent disagreed. She worked at the Golden Castle as one of the tour guides. “We air it out every day, but the smell always returns.”

Fingers tickled the back of my neck and I involuntarily jumped as Scott leaned in close to me, his lips touching my ear. “Oooh,” he whispered. “Creeeeeppppy.”

“I thought you were here to protect me, not freak me out,” I said.

He pressed his forehead to mine, looking into my eyes. “You certainly don’t need my protection, but you have it babe, always.”

As Scott leaned in to kiss me, Cheryl’s screechy voice interrupted our romantic moment. “People! Listen up. The team is going to need a few minutes here to set up the cameras, lights, and mikes. We’ll kick off the show here. Harris will give the introduction. The camera will pan on each of you as Harris introduces you. Then we’ll go ahead and start the castle tour for the viewers. You’ll all need to make sure your hair and makeup are set. Please don’t wander off and get lost.”

Scott rubbed at his shaved head. “I’d better see to getting my hair fixed.”

“It is kind of messy,” I joked. Suddenly, I had the strange sensation of being watched. Which one would think I’d be used to after two tours of reality TV, nevertheless I still found the feeling mildly disconcerting. I turned to find Dr. Arch staring at Scott and me.

“You two don’t seem to be taking this very seriously,” he said.

Scott hid his amusement. “You believe in all the hocus-pocus going on here, doctor? Spirits trapped in the in between.”

The priest, who’d been meditating in front of a candle, snapped to attention. “Oh, I do think there is evil here. With much prayer, we can send the spirits on.”

Cheryl strode between us. “Now, now, father. We had this discussion, didn’t we? Save it for the cameras.” The priest shook his head and seemed ready to argue, but Cheryl was already on to the next group, calling out, “Five minutes, people. Ready in five.”

“Anyway, what I meant was,” Dr. Arch continued, “is that you have to take this one seriously. It’s viewer determined, you know. If you don’t get the votes, you’ll be sent packing. Even though I’m betting against myself here for a moment, I think you two probably have the best chance of solving the mystery.”

Dr. Arch’s partner, Karen Kenley, sidled up to him. “That’s some vote of confidence, Arch.”

The doctor looked chagrinned. “I didn’t mean anything against you, honey.”

Karen Kenley, the FBI profiler, looked like the type of woman who never accepted any excuse, either from a man or much less from a woman. Her straight black hair hung like a curtain around her face. She had the type of sharp features that let you know right away if you messed with her, you’d get cut.

Cheryl clapped her hands again. “Okay, people,” she shouted. “Places please. Cast, line up here.” She indicated a row of blue painter’s tape the crew had laid down for us. “Harris, you’ll stand here—” A large thump against one of the windows startled Cheryl. She put a hand over her heart. “What was that?”

“A bird, I think,” Scott said. He rushed to the window, but the glass was so hazy it was impossible to see through.

The lumberjack psychic next to me moaned and pressed his fingers to his temple.

His partner, the ghost hunter, fiddled with a device strapped to his belt and asked, “Can we go outside and take a look? I have to investigate, my EMF is going crazy.”

“What’s that?” Scott asked.

“It measures fluctuations in the electromagnetic fields,” he said.

Cheryl collected herself. “Let’s not get distracted here, folks. We have to start filming.” She put on a headset and made a beeline to the back of the set and motioned for cameras to start rolling.

Harris took center stage and said directly into the camera, “Welcome, America, to Cold Case in the Castle!” Harris’s voice boomed in his made-for-TV persona. “We’re coming to you from Golden, California, where the town has had a dark and tragic unsolved mystery haunting them since 1960. You see, back in the early 1900s this castle was a reform school, a home for the state’s most delinquent wards. However good-intentioned the state may have been in wishing to rehabilitate the wards, horrors came to pass: abuses, escape attempts, violent encounters, inhumane punishments, and, yes, ladies and gentlemen, even murder.”

Harris gave a dramatic pause, then continued. “There were five murders that took place on these grounds. All were solved.” Harris held up his index finger and gave a flourish as he said, “Except for one.”

“The disturbing and brutal murder of Jane Reiner. Jane had been an innocent and lovely youth, working as a librarian in training, when she mysteriously disappeared. Her body was later discovered heinously murdered on the premises of the reform school.”

The cast made the appropriate gasps and tsking sounds.

Harris launched into a brief recap of the facts we’d been given, then said, “And that’s where you, dear viewer, come in.” Harris continued, “Join us, as we travel back in time and solve Jane’s murder. We’ve assembled a cast that we believe can help us do just that.”

One by one, he motioned toward us and introduced the cast. When he finally landed on the last contestant, the lumberjack psychic suddenly moaned as if in pain and fell to his knees. He screamed out, “Oh, no!”

“Oh, brother,” I mumbled to Scott, but before he could respond there was a deafening and repetitive pounding on the windows. We all jumped and turned toward them only to see a massive onslaught of small black birds flying directly into the glass.

Karen and Dr. Arch gasped, the ghost hunter rushed toward the glass with his EMF device in hand and the historian from Harvard fainted.

A loud splintering sound echoed through the room as the ancient glass shattered against the assault. Then Cheryl called in a cheerful voice, “Cut!”

 

Third Time’s a Crime (A Love or Money Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – California
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (January 3, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425271704
Kindle – ASIN: B01E4WAFHW

 

 

POOL YOUR RESOURCES…

After two hit reality TV shows brought ex-detective Georgia Thornton into America’s living rooms, audiences can’t get enough of her quest for love and justice. Now producers have come up with an all-new show set in a haunted castle in Golden, California. Georgia and nine other contestants will need to solve the mystery of a young woman who disappeared at the castle in 1960.

Except there’s one rather substantial problem waiting for everyone when they arrive: a groundskeeper is found drowned at the bottom of the castle’s empty pool. Now Georgia and the other contestants will need to work together, because there’s a different sort of game afoot—and it’s not one they can afford to lose…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Georgia and Scott are appearing on their 3rd reality show, Cold Case in the Castle, where the task is to solve an old murder in a creepy, old, dilapidated castle. Each day a couple is eliminated and hopefully at the end the winning couple solves the cold case. Of course the producers never imagined some new murders would take over the show and place the contestants in danger. Georgia finds herself trying to solve them all.

Fans of realty shows will be delighted with this series.  In the first book, A First Date with Death, it was like The Bachelorette. The second, A Second Chance at Murder, was like The Amazing Race, this time it is like the short lived series, Whodunnit?, with a little bit of Ghost Hunters thrown in.

Diana Orgain has given cozy readers another fun story. At first I was a little tentative about the setting but this mansion/castle with its interesting and at times dangerous floors, rooms, and hiding spaces turned out to be a perfect place. The grounds also added some interesting areas.

She has brought back Becca, Cheryl, Kyle, and Georgia’s father, Gordon, and introduced a variety of new characters in the cast and crew. We also meet the head of the historical society who is not happy to have all these people traipsing around “her” property. Each person’s personality comes through clearly and realistically.

In addition to the murder mysteries to solve, Scott and Georgia are having a bit of trouble in their relationship, Becca meets someone new, and Cheryl and Gordon are still an item.

I really enjoy the way Ms. Orgain writes. All these books in this series have a brisk pace and there is always something happening. This one was a little bit shorter but readers are not shortchanged. She has packed these pages full. She takes us behind the scenes of reality television and beyond in a refreshing way.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author
Diana Orgain is the author of the Maternal Instincts Mysteries and coauthor of Gilt Trip with Laura Childs in the New York Times bestselling Scrapbooking Mysteries. She holds a B.A and M.F.A. in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University with a minor in acting. Diana has acted professionally both on stage and in national commercials. She’s written several plays, which were produced at San Francisco State University, GreenHouse Productions, and PlayGround. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and three children. Visit her atwww.dianaorgain.com.

 

GIVEAWAY

 

Thanks to the publisher 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.
Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry. 

Leave a comment for Diana 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 January 18, 2016 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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Dec 292015
 

second chance at murderA Second Chance at Murder:
A Love or Money Mystery

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Spain
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (January 5, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Cover Illustration by Bill Bruning
Cover Design by Danielle Abbiate
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425271698
E-Book ASIN: B00W2ZKIHG
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

 

In the latest from the USA Today bestselling author of A First Date with Death, reality TV gets all too real with murder…

After Love or Money made them reality TV stars, former cop Georgia Thornton and her new boyfriend Scott were supposed to live happily ever after. Unfortunately as their fifteen minutes of fame came to an end, actual reality kicked in and their prize money quickly evaporated.

So Georgia and Scott agree to appear in a new program, pitting them against other teams in an athletic journey across the countryside of Spain for a chance to win $250,000. But the fierce competition turns frightening when Scott disappears during an overnight camping trip in the Pyrenees Mountains, leaving only his bloody wristwatch behind—and a woman’s dead body.

With the Spanish authorities ready to convict Scott, Georgia must find him and prove his innocence in an amazing race against crime…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In the first book, A First Date with Death, it was like The Bachelorette. This time it is like The Amazing Race, except when someone goes missing and a dead body is found on the first stop, forcing the entire contest to travel nowhere. Yes, the went from America to Spain but that was then the reality show became real and the police wouldn’t let them leave. Georgia and the bachelor she picked in the first story, Scott, are again appearing on a television show. Scott doesn’t get much time onscreen because he disappears before the competition even begins. He will get some jail time though if the police find him because his fancy watch was found next to a woman that had been murdered. The producers expect Georgia to continue the race with a new partner. Can she race and find the real killer? She knows Scott wouldn’t kill anyone…or would he???

Diana Orgain has penned an excellent story that had me staying up late until I finished the whole thing. I wasn’t exactly sure where she was going to go with this series and I love the direction she took in this second book. The characters we loved from the first book are back and we meet several new ones in Spain. I especially liked police detective, Sergio, and the senora that owned and operated the B&B, a very wise woman. The people making up the race teams were very interesting too.

We follow the race teams to many places as they find hidden items and complete the challenge tasks. There are a couple of very scary moments and a couple of funny ones too. Like the real television show expecting the unexpected is key.

The places they visited sound so beautiful and rich with history. Orgain painted wonderful pictures with her words.

As the race went on almost everyone was a suspect in Georgia’s eyes while the police stayed focused on Scott. I was completely in he dark for most of the book. I knew something was amiss but never dreamed it would play out the way it did.

I am ready for more right now. I was blessed to receive an advance copy of this book. Maybe I can get an advance of the advance copy for the next one. 🙂

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author
Diana Orgain is the author of the Maternal Instincts Mysteries and coauthor of Gilt Trip with Laura Childs in the New York Times bestselling Scrapbooking Mysteries. She holds a B.A and M.F.A. in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University with a minor in acting. Diana has acted professionally both on stage and in national commercials. She’s written several plays, which were produced at San Francisco State University, GreenHouse Productions, and PlayGround. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and three children. Visit her atwww.dianaorgain.com.

 

GIVEAWAY

 

I am giving my review copy 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.

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 January 12, 2016 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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Mar 272015
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to a Special Edition of Cozy Wednesday!

This post was supposed to appear on March 18.
I loved this book and am so glad to have Diana here for a visit.

diana

Q and A with Diana Orgain

What am I working on/writing?
I am working on the second book in my Reality TV series (A SECOND CHANCE FOR MURDER) which be released next spring. The first book in the series; A First Date with Death: A Love or Money Mystery is available now. Here’s the awesome blurb that those wickedly talented copywriters at Berkley came up with:

When broken-hearted Georgia Thornton goes looking for romance on reality TV, she has nothing to lose. Apart from a good man, a cash prize, and maybe her life.

What was Georgia thinking? Sure, some cad ditched her at the altar, but can she really find love on TV? Her best friend—and producer of the reality show Love or Money—thinks so. Ten men. Ten adventure-filled dates. What can go wrong? For starters, a faulty bungee cord that hurls Georgia’s first date into a tragic spiral off the Golden Gate Bridge.

Just as unexpected: he’s replaced by Paul Sanders, Georgia’s former fiancé. But the cop isn’t looking for a TV gig. Suspecting that the lover’s leap was no accident, Paul’s going undercover. When another bachelor gets a fatal kiss-off, the reality is that someone has killer new plans for the show—and for Georgia herself. Now, under the threat of permanent cancellation, Georgia fears that the only man on the set she can trust is the one man she just can’t count on…

FIRST DATE WITH DEATHHow does my writing/work differ from others in its genre?
I have a M.F.A in playwriting and one of my favorite professors used to say, “No laughter for the playwright, no laughter for the audience. No tears for the playwright, no tears for the audience.” What I took that to mean was that the journey on the page had to be real for me with real emotions otherwise, there’s no way that an audience (or reader) will get that emotional journey. That’s what writing is all about for me. A way to share myself on the page with others. Growing up, my dad would always quote Hemingway, “There is no friend as loyal as a book.” That’s my goal with writing: I want my books to be a friends to my readers, to be there in their time or need, or when they need a distraction or just a laugh.

Why do I write what I do?
Growing up I devoured Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Agatha Christie and Mary Higgins Clark – I love a great whodunit and if you add a little suspense in there all the better. The tagline for writing is “Come in the for cozy- stay for the thrill of it!”

How does my writing process work?
I do every process imaginable. When one isn’t working I move to the next. Right now I’m on a long-hand writing kick. I LOVE filing my notebook with my characters – it flows so easily – the tricky part is converting it into text, but for the wonders of technology- I hear the iPad has a great app for that. Sometimes I use voice dictation (especially when I get tired of typing up my hand written notes). But usually, mostly I sit (or stand – I have one of those convertible desks) and power through my first draft on the keyboard. I like to write all the way through the draft before editing, but sometimes, I have to go and fix things before I move forward.

About the Author
Diana Orgain is the author of the Maternal Instincts Mysteries and coauthor of Gilt Trip with Laura Childs in the New York Times bestselling Scrapbooking Mysteries. She holds a B.A and M.F.A. in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University with a minor in acting. Diana has acted professionally both on stage and in national commercials. She’s written several plays, which were produced at San Francisco State University, GreenHouse Productions, and PlayGround. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and three children. Visit her at www.dianaorgain.com.

FIRST DATE WITH DEATHFIRST DATE WITH DEATH
Series: A Love or Money Mystery (Book 1)
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Setting: California
Release Date: March 3, 2015
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Bill Bruning
Cover Design by Danielle Abbiate
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425271681
E-Book ASIN: B00LMGK49I
goodreads-badge-add-plus

When brokenhearted Georgia Thornton goes looking for romance on reality TV, she has nothing to lose—apart from a good man, a cash prize, and maybe her life…

What was Georgia thinking? Sure, some cad ditched her at the altar, but can she really find love on TV? Her best friend—and producer of the reality show Love or Money—thinks so. Ten men. Ten adventure-filled dates. What can go wrong? For starters, a faulty bungee cord that hurls Georgia’s first date into a tragic spiral off the Golden Gate Bridge.

He’s replaced by Paul Sanders, Georgia’s former fiancé. But the cop isn’t looking for a TV gig. Suspecting that the lover’s leap was no accident, Paul’s going undercover. When another bachelor gets a fatal kiss-off, the reality is that someone has killer new plans for the show—and for Georgia herself. Now, under the threat of permanent cancellation, Georgia fears that the only man on the set she can trust is the one man she just can’t count on…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Fans of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette this is the cozy for you. It has an added twist, not all the contestants are searching for love, half of them are trying to win money. Things start to go wrong on the very first date and one of the suitors is killed. Not everyone believes it was an accident and that brings Georgia’s former love to the show, he is a cop and he is going undercover. Then another bachelor dies and and reality television gets even more real as the show must go on. Georgia doesn’t know who to trust but she knows she must find the killer before the final glass of champagne is poured.

I loved this story and I am really interested in seeing how the author continues this series. Georgia was the bachelorette and her turn on Love or Money is complete. I really liked her spunk. She is smart and courageous enough to put herself on national television to find love and track down a killer too.

This story flows really well. The characters are fleshed out and easy to picture and get to know. I found myself rooting for more than one of the bachelors and not only following the clues to find out the killer but who was in it for love and who was in it just for the money.

I really enjoy where Diana Orgain takes us in this story. Not your typical theme for a cozy mystery, it is new and fresh and a lot of fun to read. I am anxiously awaiting the next installment to see where she takes us next.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

GIVEAWAY

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.

Following the new Google+ Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book Fan Page
will earn you 3 Bonus Entries.

Leave a comment for Diana for 5 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 April 10, 2015 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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Staging is Murder (A Laura Bishop Mystery) by Grace Topping Get Your Copy Today!
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