Dec 202013
 

quilt trip
Quilt Trip: A Southern Quilting Mystery
3rd in Series
Cozy Mystery
An Obsidian Mystery (December 3, 2013)
Published by New American Library
An Imprint of The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451240637
E-Book File Size: 1228 KB
ASIN: B00BDQ397G
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As a quilter, retired folk art curator Beatrice Coleman likes to have all the seams stitched together—but her plans keep getting tangled up in unexpected ways…

In this third installment Meadow is dragging Beatrice to meeting they were not even invited to attend.  Meadow has no qualms about “crashing the party”, but the sky looks like it is cooking up a storm and Beatrice would just like to stay home safe and sound. But there is no stopping Meadow so off they go to find the Victorian mansion in the mountains beyond Dappled Hills, North Carolina, that belongs to Muriel Starnes. Muriel is an elderly eccentric woman who wants to start a foundation to introduce and teach quilting to young people in the area. Meadow is on a mission to get her to choose the Village Quilters Guild over everyone else at the meeting to administer the foundation.

As expected the storm Beatrice was worried about strikes just as they arrive at the mansion. The rain soon turns to sleet and then ice. It isn’t long before an old tree limb falls blocking the driveway which it now just a thick sheet of ice, the power goes out, and of course there is no cell phone reception.

They have no choice but to bed down for the night. At least Muriel has plenty of beds and quilts to keep everyone warm. But everyone does not survive the night. They find in the morning that Muriel has passed away. She was in poor health but Beatrice sees she did not die of natural causes. She was murdered and they have a houseful of suspects. They are also all trapped in the house with a killer. Beatrice and the Village quilters are on the case to figure out just who is responsible for their host’s early demise.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
These are some of my favorite fictional characters. Beatrice, calm, cool, collected, and just so darn nice. She can’t say “no” to anyone especially Meadow. Meadow, “bless her heart”, it is always in the right spot, but she is like “a bull in a china shop” and her brain does not filter what comes out of her mouth. Miss Sissy is battling Alzheimer’s so she has her good times and bad but she always seems to be on the right track when it comes to figuring people out. Posy is sweet as can be and she handles Miss Sissy perfectly.   And when they are all stuck together, with barely enough food, the all pull out their works in progress and quilt.

The author has written a very Christie-esque mystery where all the suspects are trapped together and someone (Beatrice) figures out the Who – Why and How. It all takes place is a mansion with all the turrets and attic complete with hidden rooms and spaces. It also seems the deceased had a pretty big secret. 

The was a really fun mystery to read. With the bitter wind blowing outside my own window I felt like I was right in the story with them. All I needed was the fire to warm my toes. I enjoyed this Quilt Trip very much and can’t wait for my next trip to Dappled Hills.

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author

Elizabeth writes the Memphis Barbeque series for Penguin/Berkley (as Riley Adams), the Southern Quilting mysteries for Penguin/NAL, and the Myrtle Clover series for Midnight Ink and independently.
Facebook: Riley Adams Author and Elizabeth Spann Craig Author.

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

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Feb 272013
 

cozy wednesdayWelcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled today to welcome Elizabeth Craig to Escape With Dollycas.
Her Southern Quilting Mysteries are so much fun!

Hi Elizabeth!

ESC Head Shot (riley)Hi Everyone!

Writing the South? 

You’ve Got Heaps of Material

By Elizabeth S. Craig

Why do I pick Southern settings for my books?  Well, for one thing, it’s the only area of the world that I can write about with any degree of authority.  As a lifelong Southerner, and an observer of all the South’s fun and foibles, it’s only natural I’d pick the settings I do.

For another—let’s face it.  There’s just a lot of material to write about here.  Everyone has at least one relative who’s a little bit batty (I claim several), there are family secrets, gossip, interesting diction choices, and quite-involved traditions and customs.

In many ways, the South is very old-fashioned. Most ladies of a particular age still adhere to the no-white-shoes-after-Labor Day rule.  Even if you don’t wear pantyhose to work, you should wear it to church and funerals. And nobody wears white at weddings but the bride (wearing black at weddings is considered bad luck.)  Take down the Christmas tree by New Year’s Day or else you’re cursed with bad luck for the year.  Actually, there are a whole bunch of traditions related to luck and superstition.  Eating black-eyed peas at New Year’s is another (this is one you should do, instead of avoid.)

Am I the only one here who was threatened with charm school when I used bad manners as a child?  Children are cajoled and scolded into good behavior with plenty of ma’ams and sirs thrown in for good measure—and charm school is still around.  Except now I think they call it etiquette class or something. Which doesn’t have the same appeal, to me, somehow.

knot what it seamsSo for this new book, Knot What It Seams, I figured I’d have to include a smattering of Southern funeral tradition.  It might also be tradition where you live, and if it is, I’d love to hear it…or how your traditions differ. Although I only touched on this in the new book, most of my books include Southern funerals. They’re just so distinctive and such occasions for both grief and celebration that it’s tough to leave them out.

Funerals here in the South are occasions for food.  Food is considered an amazing balm for the troubled spirit, here.  The interesting thing is how heavy the food typically is—you’d think we’d all be a lot more health-conscious since we’ve got funerals on the brain.  But there are no antioxidant super foods to be found after Southern funerals.  There are plenty of casseroles, brought over by your neighbors, coworkers, church friends, family, and friends—thoughtfully put in throwaway containers with reheating instructions on them. My character in the new books, Meadow, mentions “a cornucopia of lovingly donated casseroles.”

And there will be ham. If you’ve lost a loved one here, the church ladies will descend upon your house with fiercely tender efficiency. They’ll organize the food, freezing some and putting others in the fridge.  After your funeral when everyone drops by your house to be fed (does this happen elsewhere, too?), the church ladies will command your kitchen for you, shooing you out gently but firmly as they create a buffet line and serve plates of food to your grieving guests.  Eventually, a party-like atmosphere may commence (particularly if the deceased was of an advanced age and the death was not an especially tragic occurrence.)  It will be the first time many have seen their cousins and great aunts for years and they can’t resist the temptation to celebrate, despite their grief. Besides, Me-maw would have celebrated, too.

What about where you live?  Have you got special customs related to weddings or funerals? What are they like?

~Elizabeth

Thank you so much Elizabeth for visiting today. Ham and church ladies run rampant here after funerals here in Wisconsin too:)

About This Author

Elizabeth’s latest book is Knot What it Seams, which released February 5. Elizabeth writes the Memphis Barbeque series for Penguin/Berkley (as Riley Adams), the Southern Quilting mysteries for Penguin/NAL, and the Myrtle Clover series for Midnight Ink and independently.
Facebook: Riley Adams Author and Elizabeth Spann Craig Author.

knot what it seams

Knot What It Seams:
A Southern Quilting Mystery

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Obsidian (February 5, 2013)
Published by New American Library
A Division of The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451239617
E-Book File Size: 716 KB
ASIN: B0099CURF8

Knot What It Seams: A Southern Quilting Mystery

When former folk art curator Beatrice Coleman retired to Dappled Hills, North Carolina, for peace and quiet and quilting, she never expected that murder would disturb the peace…

Meadow Downey is on a quest to recruit new members for the Village Quilters Guild. She sets her sights on Jo Paxton, mail carrier, quilter, and judge for many of the nearby quilting contests. She is a much better quilter than mail carrier but all that mail gives her just enough information to cause trouble wherever she goes. Beatrice wonders if Jo is the right fit for the close knit Village Quilters. Before she can voice her concerns to Meadow Jo is killed in a car accident. Evidence shows that Jo’s crash was no accident – someone tampered with her vehicle. Meadow is sure someone is out to kill off the members of her guild. It is time for Beatrice to piece together some clues and pin down the killer before another quilter’s life is cut short.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Never a dull moment in Dappled Hills. Thankfully Police Chief Downey can filter his wife’s comical hysteria and has an open enough mind to listen to Beatrice’s theories. 

Beatrice has quickly made herself at home in her new town and is even learning to quilt. Meadow and Ramsey are the perfect couple. She is absolutely as crazy as the quilts she creates and always up to something. Ramsey is calm, cool and collected, and reads poetry to relax after a hard day of fighting crime. Miss Sissy is my absolute favorite character. She is off beat and unpredictable and I love her. Jo was a fabulous character as well. A true troublemaker. Too bad she had to die.

Craig’s whodunit was full of misdirection and curves with bits of humor sewn right in. There is a true Southern feel to the characters and events. More like Southern chaos instead of Southern charm. A fun and entertaining story. These are characters I can’t wait to visit again.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Would you like to win a copy of this wonderful book?

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

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

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

Leave a comment for Elizabeth for 5 Bonus Entries !

Answer her question:

What about where you live?
Have you got special customs related to weddings or funerals? What are they like?

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

Contest Will End March 13, 2013 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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Jun 232012
 

Quilt or Innocence
A Southern Quilting Mystery

New Series!
Obsidian
Published by New American Library
A Division of The Penguin Group

Available Now!

Quilt or Innocence: A Southern Quilting Mystery


Beatrice Coleman has retired and moved to Dappled Hills, North Carolina to be close to her daughter. She had worked as a folk art curator and knows everything there is to know about valuing and displaying quilts. But she has never made a quilt herself and never really planned on ever making one.

Quilting is a big thing in Dappled Hills, in fact Beatrice’s new home is right next to the Village Quilters guild president Meadow Downey. Meadow insists Beatrice join the guild. She doesn’t even have time to get settled before Meadow is dragging her to a guild meeting. It is there that she meets Posy, the owner of Posy’s Patchwork Cottage and learns about Judith, the landlord everyone loves to hate. She wants to raise Posy’s rent and if Posy does want to pay she will just find a new tenant.

When Judith is found dead there certainly isn’t a shortage of suspects. Beatrice may be able to use her fine attention to detail to help figure out who killed Judith. Hopefully before someone else gets pinned permanently.

Dollycas Thoughts
Quilters are passionate people, extremely passionate about quilting and they want to share their joys with everyone. I know because before my accident I was a very passionate quilter. I loved going shopping for fabric. I love the smell of a fabric store and rubbing the material between my fingers. Finding the perfect combination of fabrics and deciding on the pattern. The creative part, the construction, the quilting and completing the project can give you a personal high. It’s addictive. I understand completely.

That’s why I actually felt sorry for Beatrice. She was ambushed by a group of crazy quilters who expected just because she knew about quilts she would want to make not just one but many quilts. They pushed and pushed, trying to get her to be just like them. They expected her to make a block for a group quilt when she had never picked up a needle. They thought she would be bored unless she was involved in everything happening around town. I found myself really not liking these characters through most of the story. I wanted to jump into the pages and defend Beatrice. Slow down, she hasn’t even finished unpacking.

As the story evolved there was one character that saved the entire story for me. Yes, she is quirky, opinionated and she will definitely keep you guessing whether she is all there or not, but circumstances threw her and Beatrice together and she took the time to get to know Beatrice and let Beatrice do things in her own time frame.

The who-dun-it played out really well as Beatrice used her analytical skills to see things in strangers that long time residents completely missed. It’s always those little things that trip a criminal up. Beatrice was on the spot to blow the whistle on the murderer.

I am looking forward to the next book in the series and getting to know the characters and Dappled Hills better. Hopefully Beatrice will be more settled before the next tragedy strikes and she has had a little time to adjust to her new life. Dappled Hills may be small but with this cast of characters I am sure it will never be boring.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author

Elizabeth writes the Memphis Barbeque series for Penguin/Berkley (as Riley Adams), the Southern Quilting mysteries (2012) for Penguin/NAL, and the Myrtle Clover series for Midnight Ink. She blogs daily at Mystery Writing is Murder, which was named by Writer’s Digest as one of the 101 Best Websites for Writers for 2010, 2011, and 2012.

Elizabeth is active in the online writing community. She shares writing-related links on Twitter as @elizabethscraig and posts on craft and the publishing industry on her blog, Mystery Writing is Murder.

She and Mike Fleming of Hiveword also manage the Writer’s Knowledge Base–a free search engine to help writers find resources. As the mother of two, Elizabeth writes on the run as she juggles volunteering, referees play dates, drives carpools, and is dragged along as a hostage/chaperone on field trips.

You can find out more about Elizabeth and her books here.

 

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

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