May 222019
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled to feature Ellery Adams’ new book today!


Murder in the Reading Room (A Book Retreat Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Virginia – Travels to North Carolina
Kensington (April 30, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496715659
ISBN-13: 978-1496715654
Kindle ASIN: B07G6NJK5W

Storyton Hall, Virginia, is a paradise for book lovers who come from all over for literary getaways. But manager Jane Steward is temporarily leaving for another renowned resort—in hopes of solving a twist-filled mystery . . .

Jane’s boyfriend is missing, and she thinks she may find him at North Carolina’s historic Biltmore Estate. Officially, she’s there to learn about luxury hotel management, but she’s also prowling around the breathtaking buildings and grounds looking for secret passageways and clues. One of the staff gardeners promises to be helpful . . . that is, until his body turns up in the reading room of his cottage, a book on his lap.

When she finally locates the kidnapped Edwin, his captor insists that she lead him back to Storyton Hall, convinced that it houses Ernest Hemingway’s lost suitcase, stolen from a Paris train station in 1922. But before they can turn up the treasure, the bell may toll for another victim . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Storyton Hall’s manager Jane Steward along with Landon Lachlan travel to the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina for a Luxury Lodging Seminar, but they have an ulterior motive, Jane’s boyfriend,  Edwin Alcott is missing and they believe he is being held prisoner on the estate. Landon befriends one of the estate’s gardeners and he believes the man will help in their quest to find Edwin. They were interrupted on their visit, so they arrive at his cottage the next day to continue their conversation and for Jane to give the gardener a gift from Storyton Hall. Sadly, they find the man dead in his reading room with a book on his lap. They are crushed by the man’s death but they can’t give up on finding Edwin. Following certain clues, they do find Edwin but they then learn the find was a setup and are faced with a stunning surprise. They then realize the captor holds the cards and they must take him back to Storyton Hall. Jane just hopes on her home turf she can bring the captor down without anyone else losing their lives.

This book is a wonderful addition to this series and puts in motion some pivotal actions. For that reason, I want to state upfront that you need to read this series from the start in order. If you don’t I don’t think you will feel the full impact of this book.

The setting of the book/series, Storyton and Storyton Hall are things that truly sets this series apart from others. Storyton Hall is an extraordinary place, a book lover’s dream.

Great Gatsby Ballroom
Madame Bovary Dining Room
Isak Dinesen Safari Room
Daphne Du Maurier Morning Room
Jane Austen Parlor
Shakespeare’s Theater
Kipling Cafe
Milton’s Gardens
Lewis Carroll Croquet Lawn
Beatrix Potter Playroom
William Faulker Conference Room
Henry James Library
Ian Fleming Lounge
Robin Hood Archery Range
Green Gables Gazebo
Jules Verne Pool

The author describes each room, its artifacts, furniture, and books so expertly that they come alive and are so easy to visualize. In this story, she takes us to the Biltmore Estate and uses her talents to bring that setting to life as well.

Ms. Adams has crafted spectacular characters. Jane Steward is a strong protagonist. She is smart and can think on her feet. Thanks to Fins, she is also well trained in several ways. The Fins and all the residents and employees are so genuine and each has a role to play. Their relationships and dialogues are believable. They are engaging and memorable.

Within these pages is a complex mystery, one that has not only twists but surprises and secrets revealed.  Certain events really jerked at my heart, others had me thrilled and excited.  Pivotal actions that I mentioned above truly caught me off guard. More than once I thought that things were being wrapped up to end the series, but then I thought that maybe the author is taking the series in a different direction. I have enjoyed this series from the start and I certainly don’t want it to end so my fingers are crossed there will be more visits to Storyton Hall in the future. I think the author has more mysteries and surprises in store for us.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

My reviews of previous books in this series.

Murder in the Mystery Suite 

Murder in the Paperback Parlor

Murder in the Secret Garden

Murder in the Locked Library 

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





GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the people at Kensington 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.

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

Subscribe to Ellery’s Newsletter and receive 5 Bonus Giveaway 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 June 5, 2019, 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 202018
 


The Whispered Word (Secret, Book & Scone Society)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – North Carolina
Kensington (November 27, 2018)
Hardcover: 224 pages
ISBN-10: 1496712404
ISBN-13: 978-1496712400
Kindle ASIN: B07B77VBXX

Nora Pennington, owner of Miracle Books, believes that a well-chosen novel can bring healing and hope. But she and the other members of the Secret, Book, and Scone Society know that sometimes, practical help is needed too. Such is the case with the reed-thin girl hiding in the fiction section of Nora’s store, wearing a hospital ID and a patchwork of faded bruises. She calls herself Abilene, and though Nora and her friends offer work, shelter, and a supportive ear, their guest isn’t ready to divulge her secrets. But when a customer is found dead in an assumed suicide, Nora uncovers a connection that points to Abilene as either a suspect—or another target.

Summer’s end has brought other new arrivals to Miracle Springs too. Entrepreneur Griffin Kingsley opens Virtual Genie, a cyber business that unloads people’s unwanted goods for cash. With the town in an economic slump and folks hurting for money, Virtual Genie and its owner are both instantly popular. A patient listener, Griffin dispenses candy to children and strong coffee to adults, and seems like a bona fide gentleman. But Nora’s not inclined to judge a book by its cover. And when a second death hits town, Nora and her intrepid friends must help the new, greenhorn sheriff discern fact from fiction—and stop a killer intent on bringing another victim’s story to a close . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Secret, Book, and Scone Society Members

Nora, the owner of Miracle Books, tries to heal people woes with a unique set of books she personally selects for them.

Hester runs the Gingerbread House bakery. Customers tell her a little bit about their lives and what brought them to Miracle Springs. Then she bakes them up a “comfort scone”.

June works at the hot springs spa where people come to rejuvenate themselves.

Estella is a beautician who tries to help her clients find their true selves.

Working together they try to help people, like Abilene, a young woman that has found her way to Nora’s shop wearing a dress that is way to big for her, a hospital ID bracelet and visible bruises. The ladies try to take her under their wing by offering a job and finding her a place to stay. Abilene has secrets and she is nowhere close to being reading to share them. Nora has a feeling one of her secrets connects her to a woman found dead from an apparent suicide.

There is also a new business in Miracle Springs. A business that helps customers sell their collectibles and other goods online. The grand opening had people lined up and down the street. The shop seems to be on the up and up but Nora is keeping an eye on the place. She doesn’t have a lot of confidence in the new sheriff, and she has no trouble barging into any of his investigations, especially after another body is found.

As in the first book another victim of an apparent suicide until The Secret, Book, and Scone Society digs deeper. Until my son took his life I never realized how many deaths in mysteries are first categorized as probable suicides. Each time I come across this now in a book I have to pause and tell myself that 99% of the time, that is not the case and to keep reading.  I don’t want to spoil anything but the woman did not take her own life. In fact, what unfolds is a well-plotted mystery that tangles around and around and around again before the real culprit becomes clear. And again, like in the first book, the wonderful core characters of The Secret, Book, and Scone Society grow and learn more about themselves in the process.

I love the compassion these women have for almost everyone they meet. People in Miracle Springs are struggling due to the poor economy and immediately they try to do something to help. They have come up with a nice little idea to help some folks a bit. Also, the way they opened their hearts to a complete stranger in Abilene was so telling and heartwarming. These are flawed characters, with their own issues, yet they can set them aside for others in need.

Miracle Springs sounds like a perfect place to visit. A town based on healing the body, soul, and mind. It also a perfect place to set a cozy mystery series because there is always a new batch of people coming to town. Our family’s best vacation ever was to North Carolina, days spent by the ocean had their own healing effect, so I can totally understand why Ms. Adams has chosen this locale for this story and others.

Another great read from this author. It can be read all on its own too!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

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May 172018
 

Murder in the Locked Library (A Book Retreat Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Virginia
Kensington (April 24, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496715630
Kindle ASIN: B074DH6HD3

 

 

Welcome to Storyton Hall, Virginia, where book lovers travel from near and far to enjoy the singular comforts of the Agatha Christie Tea Room, where they can discuss the merits of their favorite authors no matter how deadly the topic . . . 

With her twins, Fitzgerald and Hemingway, back in school, Jane Steward can finally focus on her work again—managing Storyton Hall, and breaking ground on the resort’s latest attraction: a luxurious, relaxing spa named in honor of Walt Whitman. But when the earth is dug up to start laying the spa’s foundation, something else comes to the surface—a collection of unusual bones and the ragged remnants of a very old book. The attendees of the Rare Book Conference are eager to assist Jane with this unexpected historical mystery—until a visitor meets an untimely end in the Henry James Library. As the questions—and suspects—start stacking up, Jane will have to uncover a killer before more unhappy endings ensue . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Storyton Hall is expanding and building a wonderful spa named in honor of Walt Whitman. Construction begins by digging the hole for the foundation. Jane Steward’s twins Fitzgerald and Hemingway are very excited to watch the big excavation. Imagine their surprise when a skull, bones and a very old book are uncovered. Storyton Hall just happens to be hosting the Rare Book Conference and those attending love a mystery as much as Jane so they offer up their assistance to find out as much as they can about the book. The police are calling in an anthropologist to help with the bones. Storyton Hall also has its own experts to investigate all the findings. But when one of the Hall’s guests suddenly dies in the Henry James Library just as he starts to share information about the book the police and staff of Storyton Hall realize they now have two murders to solve and they are probably connected.

I love this series so much. I am also thrilled that this series has found a new home at Kensington Books. These characters stories were far from over after the first three installments.

All my favorite characters are back. Jane Steward is the manager of Storyton Hall. It is a huge job and a privilege to be its caretaker, its guardian. She has twin sons, Hemi and Fitz, who are as curious as can be. Jane has her book club, the “Cover Girls” and they always have her back. The staff of the hall have a variety of jobs and some are quite surprising. If you are new to the series you will have to discover what I mean when you read the story.

The setting is magnificent, Ellery Adams has created an amazing place that all book lovers would enjoy.  Secret stairways, secrets passages, secret rooms and most important of all a secret library. If I could I would pack my bags and move to Storyton Hall and probably never leave.

The author has crafted an amazing story with more than one mystery. An old murder, a new murder, an old book, all entangled together in the most delightful way. She keeps the pace brisk and throws in some dynamic twists. A cozy mystery with the perfect amount of action and suspense. She draws the reader in and holds us captive until the final page.

With the publisher change, the book has been written to give enough background for new readers to jump right in but this series is so fantastic I recommend you read the series in order. If you do decide to start with this one I guarantee you are going to want to read the first three.

This is definitely one of my favorite cozy series!

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

Check out my reviews of the first 3 books in the series.

Murder in the Mystery Suite

Murder in the Paperback Parlor

Murder in the Secret Garden

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





GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the people at Kensington I have 1 copy to give away!
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 Ellery’s Newsletter and receive 5 Bonus Giveaway 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 31, 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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Oct 312017
 

The Secret, Book & Scone Society
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Setting – North Carolina
Kensington (October 31, 2017)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496718563
Kindle ASIN: B01N4W09GF
Audio CD ISBN-13: 978-1520079691

 

 

From New York Times bestselling author Ellery Adams comes the first in an intriguing new series set within a quirky small-town club where the key to happiness, friendship—or solving a murder—can all be found within the pages of the right book . . . 

Miracle Springs, North Carolina, is a place of healing. Strangers flock here hoping the natural hot springs, five-star cuisine, and renowned spa can cure their ills. If none of that works, they often find their way to Miracle Books, where, over a fresh-baked “comfort” scone from the Gingerbread House bakery, they exchange their stories with owner Nora Pennington in return for a carefully chosen book. That’s Nora’s special talent—prescribing the perfect novel to ease a person’s deepest pain and lighten their heaviest burden.

When a visiting businessman reaches out to Nora for guidance, she knows exactly which novels will help. But before he can keep their appointment at Miracle Books, he’s found dead on the train tracks.

Stunned, Nora forms the Secret, Book, and Scone Society, a group of damaged souls yearning to gain trust and earn redemption by helping others. To join the society, members must divulge their darkest secret—the terrible truth that brought each of them to Miracle Springs in the first place.

Determined to uncover the truth behind the businessman’s demise, the women meet in Nora’s cramped and cozy bookstore to share stories and trade support. And as they untangle a web of corruption, they also discover their own courage, purpose, and a sisterhood that will carry them through every challenge—proving it’s never too late to turn the page and start over . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Nora Pennington has come to Miracle Springs, North Carolina to escape a terrible tragedy. She feels safe in her bookstore helping her customers find their own healing in the books she chooses for them. Hester runs the Gingerbread House bakery. Customers tell her a little bit about their lives and what brought them to Miracle Springs. Then she bakes them up a “comfort scone”. She and Nora work together by sending their customers to each other’s stores. June works at the hot springs spa where people come to rejuvenate themselves and Estella is a beautician who tries to help her clients find their true selves. These 4 women were very introverted, had no friends, and barely knew each other until a man left Hester’s bakery on his way to Nora’s bookstore and never arrived. Soon after, he is found dead on the railroad tracks. The local police quickly rule the death a suicide but these ladies can’t believe that is true. Together they form the Secret, Book & Scone Society and decide that together they can find the truth and get justice for a man they didn’t even know.

This is such a special story, so much more than a cozy mystery, but a story where the characters bring hope to others while examining their own lives. They are each in places of needing healing themselves and over the course of this story a heartwarming bond is formed. These characters are written with a loving hand as we learn throughout the book the traumas they have endured to become the woman they are today. At first they read as timid characters but their strength grows with the turn of each page. Ellery Adams is known for creating characters that readers want to know better. These character are absolutely wonderful. They are compassionate, engaging and relatable and believable. Characters you would want to be friends with if you could jump into the book.  I want to join their society.

The mystery itself was a curious one. Neil Parrish was a business man clearly at a crosswords that he was unsure how to handle. Knowing nothing of the man Nora and the rest of Secret, Book & Scone Society had to do some research and legwork including sneaking around in places that put them in danger. For me it was like a huge puzzle with too many pieces. Some information moved their investigation forward, some sent them in circles, or was just interesting but may not have anything to do with Parrish’s death. I was intrigued and entertained following along for each new discovery. I was holding my breath for the climatic scenes. Wow!

Miracle Springs is a very interesting place and a fantastic setting for this series. I think we have barely scratched the surface of the potential stories that can be gleaned from the town and its residents. As someone trying to heal myself from a variety of things in my life I wish I could actually travel there for my “comfort” scone and my bag of books that would set my healing on a clear course.

I have loved everything I have read by this author. She is such a talented writer and she has created something truly magical in this story. I am excited to see where she takes this series. This amazing story was a true trip to PARADISE. What a extraordinary escape!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

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May 102017
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
Today I am featuring the last book in the Books By The Bay Mystery Series.


Killer Characters (A Books by the Bay Mystery)
8th and Final Book in Series
Setting – North Carolina
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (May 2, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Ransom House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451488442
Kindle ASIN: B01K1ATZHM

Restaurant owner and aspiring novelist Olivia Limoges is happily enjoying her new marriage. Sadly, the same doesn’t hold true for Laurel, a fellow Bayside Book Writer. While struggling with a demanding job, twin boys, and a terminally ill mother-in-law, Laurel learns that her perfect marriage is mostly fictional. When she catches her husband fooling around with his mother’s hospice nurse, she issues impassioned threats that will later come back to haunt her.

After the nurse meets a deadly denouement, Chief Rawlings is forced to take Laurel into custody. While Olivia protests the arrest, the rest of the Bayside Book Writers become a group divided, with Rawlings and Harris on one side and Olivia and Millay on the other. Now the women must race against the clock to prove that Laurel’s not the sort for murder before her story ends in tragedy…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this final installment to this beloved series we see Laurel struggling to hold things together. Her husband is basically absent from her life and she is trying to raise her twins, hold down her job, and dealing with a terminally ill mother-in-law that has never liked her. When Laurel finds out how her spouse has been occupying his time she explodes with some verbal remarks that could end up costing her everything. Olivia and the Bayside Book Writers pull out all the stops to prove her innocence.

First, I need to say this series was ended by the publisher, not the author. She has stating publicly that this book was very hard for her to write. Readers have built a connection to these characters but she was the one that gave them life. Whatever we are feeling is nowhere near the pain she felt and is still feeling about ending their journey. She chose to end it in a way for me that very surprising at first but when I took a step back I totally understood why she did this. This story invoked strong emotions for me and will for all fans of these characters. I recommend you have some tissues handy because you will need them for the ending.

That being said, she gives us a mystery we can sink our teeth into as it splits the Bayside Book Writers apart. Chief Rawlings is too close to Laurel to take the lead on the investigation and there is only so much he can pass on to Olivia and Millay. Harris is still working the case but he too has to be careful not to overshare and put the investigation in jeopardy. This doesn’t sit well with Olivia or Millay. So needless to say situations can get tense. There are twists and turns and suspense that really upped my heart rate.

These characters have grown so much since the first book in a way that was believable. Olivia as the main character brought this wonderful group together and readers fell for them almost immediately. Starting with the lovable Capt. Haviland, always by Olivia’s side. Chief Rawlings and Olivia’s relationship spanned the series bringing two very independent people together. Laurel, Millay, Harris round out the writer’s group and their lives intermingle within the pages. We also met Chef Michel and the fabulous roller skating waitress Dixie. Each of the characters have worked their way into my heart and I treasure the time I got to spend with them whether at the lighthouse, Grumpy’s Diner, The Boot Top Bistro or out and about in Oyster Bay.

This series is binge-worthy if you haven’t started it yet or are a book or two behind. Fans will be emotional and moved by this final book.

Thank you Ellery Adams! You are a master storyteller. We are all blessed for the time we spent in Oyster Bay.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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






Follow Ellery Adams on Amazon and find more of her books here.

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.

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

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 24, 2017 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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Aug 062016
 
murder in the secret garden
Murder in the Secret Garden (A Book Retreat Mystery)
3rd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Virginia
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (August 2, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425265611
E-Book – ASIN: B01839Q2M4
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

 

Things really go to seed in the newest novel in the New York Times bestselling Book Retreat mysteries…

There is a hidden garden bordering the grounds of Jane Steward’s book-themed resort—a garden filled with beautiful but deadly plants such as mandrake and nightshade. Tucked away behind ivy-covered walls and accessible only through a single locked door, as described in the pages of Frances Hodges Burnett’s classic novel, the garden is of special interest to Jane’s current group of guests, The Medieval Herbalists. But when one of them turns up dead, Jane must discover whether a member of the group has come to Storyton Hall to celebrate their passion for plant lore or to implement a particularly cruel means for murder.

With thousands of books at her disposal, Jane believes she has the proper materials to solve this deadly problem. If she’s wrong, however, she may lose something far more precious than the contents of Storyton’s secret library…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am so excited to be back in Storyton and to wander the beautiful gardens. No cell phones, no computers, no deadlines, a vacation from the rat race surrounded by books, books and more books.

The Medieval Herbalists are guests at Storyton Hall and when one their bodies is found floating down the river Jane and the Finns are on the case. The suspects are many but they are up to weeding out the murderer.

Ellery Adams continues to create stories that surpass the last. The mysteries of the secret garden at Storyton bring us straight back to the classic The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It makes me want to find my old copy and reread it yet again because I am sure there are more correlations the author referenced that I have since forgotten.

We already know what an amazing place Storyton Hall is from the first two books in this series that now we travel the gardens and a very special garden makes the place even more idyllic. I particularly enjoyed the way Jane’s sons, Hemi and Fitz start out hating helping their mother weed the garden but soon become totally invested when a little cash is offered and they start to learn about the plants and get excited about the bounty the gardens produce. Being covered in dirt from head to toe and having so much fun.

In addition to the Steward family’s life at such a wonderful place Adams gives us a fantastic mystery to sink our teeth into. The suspect pool is pretty full but as each one is eliminated Jane feels she is missing something. The motive just doesn’t seem to be what it appears. She keeps digging until all the clues and secrets are revealed and even then she has a couple of loose ends. This was a tough one to figure out. I also still think there is more to the overall Book Retreat Mystery story. I can’t put my finger on it yet, but there is something there.

It is also interesting that Storyton Hall has its own set of investigators, The Finns, staff members who are more than who they appear to be to the guests. They “work” with the police in their own way but they always seek out answers most times before even alerting the authorities. This time part of the crimes happen out of the local jurisdiction and I was a bit surprised there was more fallout from their actions.

This is a series that needs to be read in order to fully enjoy each story. They are also stories to savor and not rush through because this author knows her stuff and drops hints than can appear to be insignificant at first but can be very important as the mystery continues.

I loved my latest retreat to Storyton. I anticipate some excellent visits in the future. I recommend you book your retreat to Storyton as soon as possible and enjoy your little break from the stress of every day life.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

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




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.

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 August 20, 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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Nov 202015
 

WRITING ALL WRONGSWriting All Wrongs
(A Books by the Bay Mystery)

7th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – North Carolina
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (November 3, 2015)
An Imprint of Penguin Ransom House LLC
Cover Illustration by Kimberly Schamber
Cover Design by Rita Frangie
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425270844
E-Book ASIN: B00SI026LU
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The New York Times bestselling author of Lethal Letters returns to the North Carolina Coast, where aspiring novelist and amateur sleuth Olivia Limoges discovers crime doesn’t take a vacation . . 
 
After Olivia and Chief Rawlings enjoy a brief honeymoon on Palmetto Island, they’re joined by the rest of the Bayside Book Writers for the Coastal Carolina Crime Festival. The festival’s highlight is Silas Black, celebrity screenwriter and television producer, who is currently working on a popular television show in North Carolina.

As the festival gets under way, a trickster seems to be bringing famous local ghost stories to life. But when the body of a woman close to Black is found on the beach, Olivia and her friends must deduce who on the island could resort to murder—before the sands of time run out for someone else…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Olivia and Chief Rawlings are finding the way in the marriage department. They were both used to their alone time and solitary space. Hard to learn how to live with a person day in and day out when you are pretty set in your ways, but I have faith they will work everything out. Taking a honeymoon on Palmetto Island seems like a good start. They are joined after a couple of days by their friends, the Bayside Book Writers, as the Coastal Carolina Crime Festival starts. Celebrity, Silas Black, is the main draw to the festival but when local ghost stories start to come to life and a woman is found dead on the beach the fun the group was having comes to an end. When the main suspect is someone they know it’s all hands on deck to find the real killer.

Ellery Adams takes her characters on a bit of vacation and where they go trouble seems to follow. Palmetto Island sounds like a beautiful place. I can understand the residents wanting to keep part of the island in its original state and the anger as another developer comes in to put up another hotel. The character of Jan is not afraid to protest or rile people up to protect the habitat. We also meet a man who lived his whole life, 90 years, on Palmetto Island. He is quite a storyteller too. Adams draws such dynamic characters, new and old and even dogs. They are all so engaging.

The mystery itself has many moving parts. The ghost stories being reenacted, the sale of a large piece of land, the festival, a book release, and more. They are all blended together with a very fine hand. The words and the images they formed were so captivating. It was quite an adventure.

Adams is an extraordinary storyteller. In this series she writes the main story but also because the cast are writers themselves she has to write pieces of their stories too. In this installment one of them actually has had a book published and while it probably isn’t my cup of tea I almost expect it to pop up on my Amazon feed. She adds even more stories this time as we hear the Palmetto Island ghost stories.

I have loved this series from the start and I want more, more, more!!

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

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


Follow Ellery Adams on Amazon and find more of her books here.

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.

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 December 4, 2015 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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Oct 132015
 

tea book
Tea Time With The Cozy Chicks
(Cozy Chicks Kitchen series)
(Volume 2)
Self Published – October 6, 2015
Paperback: 228 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1517385781
E-Book ASIN: B014OE31SA
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The Cozy Chicks realized that tea was such a perfect complement to cozy mysteries that we decided to write a book about it. Not only does Tea Time with the Cozy Chicks have delicious recipes, but it also includes themed tea menus, fascinating articles, fun facts, curious quotes, and helpful hints on how to host the most memorable tea parties ever! And for an extra treat, a few of us have included excerpts of our work as well! Read, cook, drink tea, savor, and most of all enjoy!

guest post

Tea parties have been around for well over 3,000 years. People on all parts of the earth have tea parties every day. So sit down, pour yourself a cup of tea, and let me tell you about Tea Time With the Cozy Chicks.

First of all who are the Cozy Chicks? If you haven’t visited our blog before, please pop by http://www.cozychicksblog.com. It’s a great way to get to know us and to catch a glimpse at the crazy life of a mystery writer. The Cozy Chicks are…Ellery Adams, Lorraine Bartlett, Duffy Brown, Kate Collins, Mary Kennedy, Mary Jane Maffini, Maggie Sefton, Leann Sweeney.

We write cozy mysteries and in our books characters often gather around the table to discuss cases. They drink a staggering amount of caffeinated beverages and seem to be surrounded by an endless array of mouth-watering sandwiches, cookies, pastries, and chocolate. In short, these gals in our books have a pretty good time…unless theyre chasing the killer…and we thought it would be fun to spend a little time in their world.

The result is Tea Time With The Cozy Chicks filled with the lore of tea in so many of its incarnations. The book offers an assortment of tea parties like how to have a Bon Voyage tea, bachelorette tea, proper Yorkshire Tea, Chocolate Lovers tea etc. There are menus for each party, invitation suggestions, decorations, flowers, table settings, recipes galore and all hosted by characters from our books to add to the fun.

An afternoon tea party is suitable for many celebrations and isn’t as involved as a dinner party. Often a tea party can be the answer to friends just getting together. It’s an ideal format for a simple elegant party where the food is prepared before your guests arrive and is either presented buffet style, or by passing plates of goodies at the table. The best thing about a tea party is that the only thing you need to serve is the tea itself, leaving you plenty of time to relax and enjoy your guests.

There is more in Tea Time With the Cozy Chicks than just tea parties. There are ideas on tea paring, tea towels, antique teapots and cups, reading tea leaves and the book gives favorite tearooms that we’ve discovered. These are tearooms that Duffy Brown came across in Savannah and on Mackinac Island. These tearooms are filled with charm and delicious tea, pastries and delicious sandwiches and are just for you here and not included in the book.

Tea Rooms of the South:

 DSCN1827

Gryphon’s Tea Room

337 BULL ST., SAVANNAH, GEORGIA | 912.525.5880

Gryphon’s is located on Savannah’s Madison Square one of the 23 delightful oak and Spanish moss covered squares in the city. It boasts a 1926 Scottish Rite architectural profile and alluring café menu. The white-clothed tables, carved-mahogany bookcases, and original stained-glass panels convey warmth and graciousness and provide a front row seat to the iconic Bull Street. The lovely selection of teas and delicate sandwiches complete the experience. Herb-encrusted goat cheese medallions, sliced pear, toasted almonds, and dried cranberries on baby greens with a Vermont maple vinaigrette is a small sample of the delicious offerings inside.

The Serenity Tea Room

140 Abercorn Street
Savannah, GA 31401

Transport yourself with Serenity House Tea Society and leave your passport at home – that is the owner’s motto.

A trip to the Serenity is a mini vacation to India with the taste of a real Chai with cardamom pods, cloves and more – or perhaps a visit to Morocco with Nana -Mint; drop into China with Heaven’s Green and a Sencha from Japan, Mate from South America and Rooibos and Honeybush from South Africa or flavor a tea at home with fresh organic Lavender from France. Or you can spiritually enhance your mood with Spiritual Energy –relieve your stress with Stressless.

 Mackinac Island:

High Tea at the Grand Hotel is not to be missed

In keeping with more than 100 years of Grand Hotel tradition, Afternoon Tea is served each day in the Parlor. Guests enjoy tea, sherry and champagne, petite finger sandwiches, fresh-baked scones, and an array of pastries, accompanied by a chamber music recital. High tea dress is required in the sundrenched parlor of green brocade couches, pink club chairs, sparkling chandeliers and a view of the Grand Hotel porch, the largest porch in the world that is two-football fields long and adorned with 2500 germaniums. 

Fort Mackinac Tea Room

7127 Huron Road, Mackinac Island

One of the most delightful and scenic settings on Mackinac Island to enjoy tea. Tour this historic fort then relax afterwards under bright yellow umbrellas with a cup of delicious tea and light fare. The tea room offers a full view of the town below, boats bobbing in the harbor and the busy port.

So tell us about your favorite place to have tea. Do you have a special blend for the summer and one for winter? A tea for when you’re sick or have a cold? Tell us about your tea and we’ll give away two adorable teapot teabag holders and some of our favorite peach tea from the answers.

~The Cozy Chicks

GIVEAWAY

tea measuring tapes

The Cozy Chicks Are Giving Away 2 adorable teapot measuring tapes!!  

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

I will announce the winners on Saturday!! 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

 

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Aug 142015
 

murder paperback parlorMurder in the Paperback Parlor
(A Book Retreat Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
Setting – Virginia
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (August 4, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Shane Rebenshied
Cover Illustration by Diana Kolsky
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425265604
E-Book ASIN: B00QH832AO
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

 

The New York Times bestselling Book Retreat mysteries feature Storyton Hall, the perfect getaway for literature lovers—except when a guest tries to get away with murder…

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, Jane Steward is organizing a week of activities for fans of love stories at her book-themed resort. But her Regency readers barely have time to brush up on their Jane Austen before tragedy strikes Storyton Hall. Rosamund York, one of the most celebrated authors in attendance, is killed.

Rosamund had as many enemies as she did admirers, including envious fellow novelists, a jealous former lover, and dozens of angry fans. It’s up to Jane, with the help of her book club, the Cover Girls, to catalog the list of suspects and find a heartless killer quickly—before the murderer writes someone else off…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I was blown away by the first book in this series, Murder in the Mystery Suite, and this one is even better.

We return to Storyton just in time for Romancing the Reader week. The hall is full of lovers of romance novels and Jane has arranged for some special romance authors to attend as well. A full week of activities is planned including a search to find the perfect model for an upcoming romance novel cover, author panels and more. The most well known author is Rosamund York. There is a little friction between her and the other authors but Jane never thought anyone would kill her. When her body is found Jane, the new Guardian of the Library, knows she has to move quickly to find the person responsible and save the reputation of Storyton Hall. She enlists the help of the Cover Girls and a few trusted members of the staff to help her target the killer and bring them justice.

Storyton Hall is a quite a place. Secret stairways, secrets passages, secret room and most important of all a secret library. It is a book lover’s dream come true. The staff is unique, each person seems to have at least one secret talent. The characters are truly dynamic and escape right into your heart. As with the first book I still cannot choose a favorite.

Ellery Adams writes a story that puts you right in the room, looking over Jane Steward’s shoulder, taking in all the mayhem and mystery. There were quite a few suspects and more twists than I could count.The subplots just flow perfectly through the main mystery.

This is one of those stories that you want to savor and read slowly so you do not miss a single clue or nuance but once you start reading and the mystery starts to unfold you find the pages are turning faster and faster. When you reach the end you are happy that the mystery is solved but sad that your visit to Storyton has come to an end. Then you realize you have to wait a year to return to a place you have come to love in just a little over 300 pages.

Ellery Adams is an extraordinary storyteller!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 1 copy to give away!

I know I usually have 2 copies but I am holding on to my review copy this time.

Check out the picture down below and you will see why 🙂

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.

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 August 28, 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

Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book made the back cover!!!

Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book made the back cover!!!

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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Have Yourself a Beary Little Murder (A Teddy Bear Mystery) by Meg Macy Get Your Copy Today!
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