Posted in Giveaways Guest Posts

Special Guest – Allan J. Emerson – Author of Death of a Bride and Groom – Giveaway too!

special guest blue
I am pleased to welcome Allan J. Emerson to Escape With Dollycas today! His book
Death of a Bride and Groom was just released on May 20.

Author Photo

Allan J. Emerson: Becoming a storyteller:

From the time I was 7 or 8, I made up stories to tell my younger brother.

I was a very obliging storyteller: if a character died or lost his magic powers and my brother didn’t like that, I usually changed the plot until he was satisfied. Occasionally I resisted, if what he wanted was going to ruin the story. (Turned out to be good practice for dealing with editors later on.) When I grew older, I wanted to be a singer, which seemed like just another type of storytelling to me. Unfortunately, I couldn’t sing, so my next idea was to be an actor. Unfortunately … you guessed it.

The one thing that always made sense to me was word spinning–I loved words and the ways they could be put together to make a story. It never occurred to me that this could be for anything other than my own entertainment, or that people actually did this as an occupation. So I got a job to pay the bills and continued to write when I could.

I began by writing literary short stories, which has to be the toughest market for any writer, let alone an unpublished one. They were all rejected, with once in a while an encouraging note sent with a returned manuscript. Although I never got anything published, I did learn a lot by writing those stories.

After collecting a box of rejection slips (and why do writers save those, I wonder) I began to think about writing a novel, but it seemed a gigantic task, akin to the 50-year undertaking to carve a mountain into the likeness of Crazy Horse. Still, one day I sat down and started with one scene: the discovery of a pair of bodies dressed in wedding clothes on top of a parade float. The result wasn’t “literary” but it was fun.

I wish I could say it all came easily after that, but the truth is it took a long time. I wrote off and on, deleted chunks that didn’t work, then figured out how to make them work and put them back, then took them out again and substituted something else. Gradually, the material began to take shape. The characters assumed form, inhabited their world and started to act with purpose.

DeathOfABrideAndGroomFrontEventually I had Death of a Bride and Groom. One day, shuffling through the usual harvest of “no thanks, not quite right for us” rejections, I noticed one that said “we like it and we want to publish it,” or words to that effect. After re-reading it carefully forty or fifty times, I thought hmm … they sound interested. And they were.

Now in the movies, after the book is accepted the writer goes off, has a few drinks and next thing you know, he’s ogling piles of his masterpiece in bookstore windows. That’s not quite how it works in real life, at least not nowadays.

The next stage in the process is the waiting. Waiting to hear anything more from the publisher. Let me repeat that: The … W..a..i..t.i…n…g. (Say it out loud in a hollow voice with a dying fall and you’ll get the idea.) Have they forgotten all about you? Suddenly realized they were out of their mind when they offered to publish and hunkered down hoping you’ll go away? Gone bankrupt?

Then one day, there’s an email with an edited copy of your manuscript. This is where you get the rude awakening that your creation isn’t quite as perfect as it seemed to you when you first sent it off. In spite of the fact you read and revised every single sentence at least a dozen times, and you were the star pupil in your English class, you discover that your mastery of grammar and syntax may not quite be at the level you’ve always thought it was. And that some of your cleverest turns of phrase aren’t comprehensible to anyone but you. And that consistency in spelling some of your characters’ names may not be your strong point. Fortunately, the edit process seems to have something like the seal of the confessional about it–only your editor will know that neither you nor Spell Check had a problem with a car’s “breaks” failing.

After the edits, you’ll need to supply a photo for the dust jacket. Strangely enough, every single one available will make you look like either a shifty-eyed crook or the Creature from the Black Lagoon with a killer migraine.

Think you’re finished? Nope, the publisher wants you to publicize: do press releases, book readings and signings, play up your connections with celebrities. But who’s going to turn out for these events if no one’s ever heard of you, and the closest thing to a celebrity you know is a supermarket cashier who was in the news when her purse was snatched? Beats me, but I’m marching my literary offspring into public view. I hope you’ll feel like keeping us company on the trip and introducing us to a few of your friends.

~Allan

DeathOfABrideAndGroomFrontDeath of a Bride and Groom
New Series
Honeymoon Falls Mysteries
Hardcover
Publisher: Five Star (May 20, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-1432830694
E-Book ASIN: B00XK2DURA
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When the body of writer Iris Morland is discovered in full bridal array atop a giant wedding cake parade float, the little resort town of Honeymoon Falls is left reeling. Not only is its reputation as “the Romance Capital of the World” at risk, its very survival is threatened. Murder, it seems, has a chilling effect on those considering venues for potential nuptials.

Iris enjoyed betrayal, which makes half the people in town potential suspects. Among them is her husband, Kenneth, enraged after discovering her liaison with television host Arnold Reifel. Arnold’s wife, Marjorie, was seething because Iris had turned Marjorie’s interior decoration schemes into a very public humiliation. Then there’s haughty French film auteur, Pierre Blondin, in town filming Iris’s novel. Did Iris trigger his murderous wrath by opposing a nude scene featuring ninety-five-year-old actress Hermione Hopkins?

Captain Will Halsey, head of Honeymoon Falls’ three-person police force, must find the killer among Iris’s host of enemies. And he’ll have to do it while coping with small-town politics, feuding among his subordinates, and the ferocious attentions of the media.

About The Author
Allan J. Emerson was born in Saskatchewan and grew up in small towns there and in British Columbia. He lived in Australia and New Zealand before marrying and settling on the west coast.
His debut novel, Death of a Bride and Groom, is the first in the new Honeymoon Falls series and has just been released by Five Star Publishing (Cengage). Emerson describes it as “a small-town mystery containing humor, a little sex, and some surprising characters (sort of like the author’s life, except for the murders)”. It’s available from bookstores, libraries, and online. A large print edition will be released November, 2015. Visit Allan at http://www.allanjemerson.com/

GIVEAWAYThanks to Allan I have 1 copy to giveaway!!

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 Allan 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 June 12, 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

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
Posted in Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Reviews 2015

Review/Giveaway Bubba Done It by Maggie Toussaint Great Escapes Book Tour

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Bubba Done It
by Maggie Toussaint

My turn today on this wonderful tour!

bubbaBubba Done It (A Dreamwalker Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Georgia
Publisher: Five Star (May 20, 2015)
Hardcover
ISBN-13: 978-1432830670
E-Book ASIN: B00XK2DURU
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 Amateur sleuth and dreamwalker Baxley Powell is called in on a stabbing case. She arrives in time to hear the dying man whisper, “Bubba done it.”

Four men named Bubba in Sinclair County, Georgia, have close ties to the victim, including her goofball brother-in-law, Bubba Powell.

She dreamwalks for answers, but the victim can’t talk to her, leaving Baxley to sleuth among the living. The suspects include a down-on-his-luck fisherman, a crack-head evangelist, a politically- connected investor, and her brother-in-law, the former sweetheart of the victim’s ex-wife.

The more Baxley digs, the more the Bubbas start to unravel. Worse, her brother-in-law’s definitely more than friendly with the victim’s ex-wife.

Between pet-sitting, landscaping, and dreamwalking, Baxley’s got her hands full solving this case.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this follow up to Gone and Done It we find Baxley with her hands full and way too many Bubbas that could be tied up in a recent murder. The sheriff tries to take the easy route by arresting each of them with very little proof which drives Baxley to do a little investigating of her own. Her daydreaming doesn’t help much as the victim is unable to talk, so she has to start asking questions putting herself in danger.

I really like Baxley. A strong woman dealing with life the best she can. In addition to dreamwalking and consulting with the local police she does landscaping and pet sitting to provide for herself and her daughter. He husband has been declared dead by the military but all his benefits are tied up in red tape. There are even some indicators that he may not be dead.

All of the characters, Baxley, her daughter, her parents, the Bubbas and more  are very well written. Sheriff Wayne drives me a bit crazy. I picture him as a Barney Fife from Mayberry, only with more power. He bumbles around this case looking for a quick, easy solution without trying to see the big picture. Just because the dying man whispered, “Bubba done it” doesn’t mean you arrest the first Bubba you see. The South is full of Bubbas. He even pulls one of the out of the hospital having medical tests done just because his name is Bubba. He is more of an arrest first, ask questions later kind of guy. Thank God for Baxley and her butting in, I mean consulting, on the case.

Baxley and her family’s gifts of dreamwalking, crystal powering and ESP connections really flow easily throughout the story. The reader just knows this is their way and it is very natural. I do have to say it was just a little hard to read so soon after losing my son. I really wish there was a way for me to dreamwalk and talk to him to understand more about his death. I did my best to set that aside so I could enjoy this story.

This case is tied up by the last page but we still have questions. Is Baxley’s husband alive? and if he is why hasn’t he come home? Does Baxley’s daughter have dreamwalking abilities too? Just how do Baxley’s parents make ends meet? I am anxiously awaiting the next book to find out more about this great cast of characters.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

MaggieToussaint2_fun_largerAbout This Author

From her youthful days of tree climbing and dreams of flying to her career days of pocket-protector geekiness as a toxicologist, Southern author Maggie Toussaint remains riveted by a good story. As a book aficionado, she put into practice what she’d learned and began penning novels.

Maggie is published in mystery and romantic suspense, with six titles in each genre. The third book in her Cleopatra Jones mystery series recently won the Silver Falchion Award, while her romances have won the National Readers’ Choice Award and the EPIC eBook Award for Romantic Suspense. She also writes science fiction under the pen name of Rigel Carson. More at www.maggietoussaint.com.

 Author Links:

Facebook    Twitter    BlogGoodreads      LinkedIn
Pinterest      Booklover’s Bench    website

GIVEAWAY

This giveaway is for one e-copy of a book from the author’s backlist.  Winner’s Choice.
Here are a list of her books:

In For A Penny

On the Nickel

Dime If I Know (Silver Falchion winner)

Death, Island Style

Murder in the Buff

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

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.

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, 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.”

Posted in E-Book Challenge Great Escapes Book Tours Reviews 2015 What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Southern Heat by David Burnsworth Great Escapes Book Tour – Review

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Southern Heat
by David Burnsworth

I am excited to share this book with you today!!

SouthernHeatFrontSouthern Heat
Setting – South Carolina
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Five Star; first edition (February 19, 2014)
ISBN-13: 978-1432828004
E-Book ASIN: B00IF9FAKS
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Synopsis:
Gunshots echo down an antebellum Charleston alley. Brack Pelton, an ex-racecar driver and Afghanistan War veteran, witnesses the murder of his uncle, Reggie Sails. Darcy Wells, the pretty Palmetto Pulse reporter, investigates Reggie’s murder and targets Brack.

The sole heir of his uncle’s estate, Brack receives a rundown bar called the Pirate’s Cove, a rotting beach house, and one hundred acres of preserved and valuable wetland along the Ashley River. A member of Charleston’s wealthiest and oldest families offers Brack four million dollars for the land. All Brack wants is his uncle’s killer.

From the sandy beaches of Isle of Palms, through the nineteenth-century mansions lining the historic Battery, to the marshlands surrounding the county, Southern Heat is drenched in the humidity of the lowcountry.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am just amazed that this was David Burnsworth first novel. He credits several people for helping him polish it for publication but let me tell you this is an author to watch!

Action starts on page 1 when Brack Pelton finds his uncle shot in an alley and takes us  to the best and worst parts of Charleston as he tries out who pulled the trigger and why. The story continues to be very fast paced and my Kindle’s pages were flying and then I ran out of power. I tried plugging it is to keep reading but the machine wouldn’t cooperate so I downloaded it to Mr. Dollycas’s Kindle so I could keep reading and stayed up reading until I reached the end.

His characters were so vividly written. From Brack to Brother Thomas, Mutt, Darcy, Detective Wilson and even a 50 pound mixed breed Dog named Shelby, I could picture them all in my mind and was totally engaged.  The bad guys as well as the good were perfectly described and Burnsworth writes in such a way that the details just naturally flow without becoming too wordy.  The plot flowed easily as well. A really great balance is achieved and that can be very difficult.

My favorite character was easily Brack. He has been through so much already in his life and even when he wants to give up he finds ways to keep going.

It is usually hard to give a debut novel 5 stars because as a reader I have set the bar high then for their next book, but this story is definitely worth a 5 stars. It has been more than a year since this book was released so I hope the author releases a new one very soon. I am anxiously waiting!!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

db-photo
About This Author

David Burnsworth became fascinated with the Deep South at a young age. After a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tennessee and fifteen years in the corporate world, he made the decision to write a novel. Southern Heat is his first mystery. Having lived in Charleston on Sullivan’s Island for five years, the setting was a foregone conclusion. He and his wife along with their dog call South Carolina home.

Author Links:

www.davidburnsworthbooks.com,

https://www.facebook.com/BurnsworthDavid, https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7229192.David_Burnsworth?from_search=true,

https://twitter.com/DavidBurnsworth

Be sure to visit the other stops on this tour!
Tour Participants

May 6 – A Blue Million Books – Interview
May 7 – readalot – Review
May 8 – Tea and A Book – Review, Guest Post
May 9 – Mystery Playground – Interview, E-Book Giveaway
May 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review
May 11 – fuonlyknew – Review, Print Giveaway
May 12 – Lori’s Reading Corner – Guest Post, Print Giveaway
May 13 – Omnimystery News – Guest Post
May 14 – View from the Birdhouse – Review
May 15 – Brooke Blogs – Review, E-Book Giveaway

Giveaways as shown

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.”

Posted in It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

This great meme is hosted by Sheila at
Book Journey”.
It’s a great way to start the week and
find out what other bloggers are reading.
My To-Be-Read pile has grown to an
unbelievable number thanks to this meme.

Sheila is not back blogging. Please keep her and her family in your thoughts as prayers.

Here in Wisconsin we enjoyed some beautiful weather this past week. I almost ventured outside with a book but then we had some family visit and the book was forgotten for awhile 🙂 Hoping this week it remains nice and I will get there.

Here’s my recap of reading for last week and what I am planning this week.

FINISHED

Musseled Out (A Maine Clambake Mystery)

Release Date: April 28, 2015
My Review
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Oh Say Can You Fudge (A Candy-coated Mystery)

Release Date: April 28, 2015
The Great Escapes Book Tour will stop here on Wednesday!
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The Final Reveille (A Living History Museum Mystery)

Release Date: May 8, 2015
Review will be posted for Cozy Wednesday May 6, 2015
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The Body in the Piazza: A Faith Fairchild Mystery (Faith Fairchild series Book 21)

Release Date: April 30, 2013
A Just For Fun Read as I try to catch up on this challenge.
goodreads-badge-add-plus

ON DECK THIS WEEK

Southern Heat

Release Date: February 19, 2014
The Great Escapes Book Tour stops here next Sunday!
goodreads-badge-add-plus

Bite the Biscuit (A Barkery & Biscuits Mystery)

Release Date: May 8, 2015
New Series!
Linda will be here for Cozy Wednesday next week!
goodreads-badge-add-plus

Dying Brand (An Allison Campbell Mystery) (Volume 3)

Release Date: May 8, 2015
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Thursday!
goodreads-badge-add-plus

escape

Click Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Happy Reading!!!
Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
Posted in Cozy Wednesday Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2014 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Maggie Toussaint – Author of Gone and Done It (Giveaway too!)

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am happy to welcome Maggie to Escape With Dollycas for the very first time!!

MaggieToussaint2_fun_larger

Don’t look now but I’ve Gone and Done It
By Maggie Toussaint

Most people follow a linear career path. They climb the ladder one step at a time and savor each vantage point. Coming to fiction writing from a scientific background, I understood this linear approach. Write a book, do it really well, and build a solid base.

GoneAndDoneIt_Cover_for_webGuess what. My muse didn’t get the career memo. Worse, I’m starting to believe she has a severe attention deficit disorder.

First, she craved the action and adventure of romantic suspense. Then she said, “I’m not fulfilled. Let’s tackle the intellectual challenge of writing a cozy mystery.” What’s a writer to do but change direction? So, I caved and wrote a cozy series and several stand-alones.

The winds of fate tickled my muse again. “Let’s write a ghost story,” she says. “We can still call it a cozy, and even toss in some romance if that will make you happy.”

I put my foot down, but my muse was persistent. And the longer I made her wait, the more determined she became. “I must write a ghost story. It’s my lifelong dream,” she’d whisper as I awoke each morning.

Already juggling two genres, I ignored her pleas. My eye got twitchy. I got itchy. I started having attention deficit everything as my muse whispered louder. “We will write a ghost story, or you will hear me gripe all day, every day.”

Gone And Done It sprung into being rather quickly, as I had a good sense of what being haunted felt like, thanks to my wayward muse.

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-shih-tzu-s-image16713937From this auspicious beginning, my amateur sleuth Baxley Powell emerged. She’s a petsitter and a landscaper with another gear. She talks to dead people. It’s a family trait, and her dad has been shouldering the load for years, but now he’s handing his responsibilities to Baxley.

Baxley’s got a precocious young daughter and a missing husband declared dead by his military bosses, but he’s not on the Other Side. She knows because she’s searched for him to no avail.

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-beautiful-woman-window-image18587603Before Baxley assumes the mantle of Dreamwalker from her father, she had several negative experiences of intense pyschometry. When she touched an object, she got zapped with a vivid past scene from someone who touched the item in a heightened emotional state. To protect herself from nasty surprises, she learned to block her tactile abilities. Even so, while posing as “normal,” she developed a tuned ear for liars, which gives her an edge in sniffing out the truth.

With the episodic nature of her work, Baxley decides to supplement her meager income by helping the police with cases. It seems like work she might excel in, but then she’s accused of murdering a woman at her landscaping jobsite.

Not trusting the cops to clear her name, Baxley searches for truth in this world and the next.

The book’s title was inspired by a line in the Shania Twain song “Love gets me every time.” My sleuth’s definitely “gone and done it” when it comes to solving crimes. No way she’s trusting her future to anyone but herself. Been there, made that wrong turn.

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-group-three-chihuahua-dogs-image15742176Gone And Done It is the first book of the series, with book 2, Bubba Done It, in acquisitions. Book 3 is in the first draft stage.

Reviews at Kirkus, Amazon, and Goodreads are encouraging. Of course, my muse is taking all the credit. I’ve told her at least a hundred times that no one likes to hear I-told-you-so, but she’s positively giddy about our new direction.

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-maine-coon-cat-3-years-old-image13667872We have ideas for several more stories in the series percolating along, so I hope you’ll join us on our paranormal romp. With each book, another aspect of Baxley’s talent is revealed. Once Baxley accepts the role of County Dreamwalker, power descends upon her, and she has a host of psychic gifts. And yes, my muse and I bent the conventional rules of psychics a bit, but we think you’ll find the results intriguing.

Did I mention her hair? The tangible sign of Baxley’s power is an immediate vanilla frosting-like streak in her forelock. The more hair color she slathers on, the more hair turns white. And forget wearing hats. They now give her monster headaches.

Apparently, the universe wants her striped hair to be on display. Oh, joy.

But, like the letter carriers of yesteryear, nothing can stop Baxley’s search for the truth … and justice.

~Maggie

About This Author
Maggie Toussaint is the author of eleven published books, with six mysteries and five romantic suspense novels. Her latest book is her new paranormal cozy, Gone And Done It which is available at Amazon in print and ebook, and in print at Barnes and Noble

You can visit Maggie at www.maggietoussaint.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MaggieToussaintAuthor
Twitter: @MaggieToussaint

*Photos purchased and provided by author.

GoneAndDoneIt_Cover_for_web
Gone And Done It
(Dreamwalker Mystery)

Paranormal Cozy
New Series
Five Star Publishing (April 18, 2014)
Hardcover: 275 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1432828134
E-Book File Size: 369 KB
ASIN: B00JJ2XVZ6
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

Baxley Powell is a landscaper and pet sitter in a small town on the coast of Georgia. While finishing up a huge landdscaping project Baxley makes a terrible discovery, a human skull. She wants to use her psychic ability to identify the victim but ends up getting tasered by a deputy instead.

Baxley has inherited a unique ability from her father. She is a dreamwalker. Dreamwalkers seem to be well known in this little town. Soon she is helping the police not only identify the remains but also solving a murder as well.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Baxley Powell is a very interesting character.  Her husband, an Army man, is missing and presumed dead. She and her 10 year old daughter are just trying to live their lives. But it hard to live a normal life when the whole town knows your father is a dreamwalker and Baxley is one too. Baxley is just learning about her abilities but her father’s declining health means she needs to learn very quickly.

Baxley is a very likeable character, single mom, trying to make ends meet anyway she can. The dreamwalker ability flows very naturally in the story. Her mother is a great character as well. She uses crystals to help heal her husband and her daughter when their bodies are completely drained after a dreamwalking session. Her father and Baxley’s daughter also have a mind meld thing with Baxley and know when she is safe or in trouble. The whole theme was very fascinating.

I did have one small problem with the story. The way the death or non-death of Baxley’s husband was handled made me wonder several times if this really was the first book in this series. Several times things were referred to with not a lot of explanation like the reader should know these things already.  This improved as the story continued. I realize his status will play out as the series continues I just would have liked to see the character be introduced in a different way instead of wrapped into moments that occurred in this story. I know the character whether alive or dead will have major impact as the stories continue.

This series is off to strong start. I look forward to reading more about Baxley Powell and her family.

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

 

Thanks to the author we are giving away my Advanced Review Copy
and 1 Print Copy of Gone And Done It !!

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.

Leave a comment for Maggie for 5 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 28, 2014 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 author. 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.”

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Cruisin Thru Cozies Guest Posts Reviews 2012

Cozy Wednesday With Author Nancy Cohen (Giveaway Too!)

I have been anxiously awaiting the release of the next Bad Hair Day Mystery so I was thrilled when I connected with Nancy and she sent me an advanced copy. She also made my day when she said she would stop by here for a Cozy Wednesday visit, so today is definitely a Very Good Hair Day!!!

Welcome Nancy!!

Thanks Lori, I am happy to be here.

Weddings and Murder by Nancy J. Cohen

Weddings always make Marla Shore shed a tear of joy, and that goes for me too. Even if I don’t know the couple, I’ll get choked up seeing the veiled bride in her ivory gown facing the altar alongside her groom. During Kate and William’s royal spectacle, I was glued to the TV. So it comes as no surprise that I had to write a wedding story.

Shear Murder, the tenth book in my Bad Hair Day mystery series, finds hairdresser Marla Shore as a bridesmaid at her friend Jill’s ceremony. Things go terribly wrong when Marla finds the matron of honor—Jill’s sister—dead under the cake table.

What is it about weddings that can bring out the worst in people? Is it that their passions are aroused? That they’re reminded of their own disappointments? That their envy of the happy couple’s joy drives them to despair? Certainly, weddings are a popular setting for murder mysteries, often becoming the theme for an entire series.

Since it’s been thirty-five years since my own nuptials, I had to update my knowledge about current customs. Bridal wear, music, flowers, party favors, catering menus, ceremonial and religious details, all of these were necessary to research. I was amazed at the size of this industry. At 2.5 million weddings a year, it fuels a forty billion dollar business. Magazines are devoted to bridal wear and advice on all aspects of this exciting day in a woman’s life. Bridal boutiques offer everything from gowns and shoes to evening bags and tiaras. The selection of bridal dresses itself is staggering. No wonder planning a wedding is the subject of every girl’s dreams.

Flowers may be only one aspect, but they play an important role in my mystery. Marla, wishing to question Jill’s florist, pretends she’s scouting decorators for a friend. The florist seats her down in his shop and shows her some albums.

“Here are some pictures of the most common bouquet styles.” He pulled another book from the stack and flicked open the pages to a classic all-white collection. “The round nosegay is always popular. People used these back in the fourteenth century to mask odors. That’s where the nosegay got its name. Get it? Nose?” He giggled.


“I see.” What she saw was that he made her lose concentration. If she didn’t focus their conversation, she’d never get out of there.

“If your friend chooses to wear a formal gown, I’d suggest this cascade bouquet.” He showed her another picture. “Or for a more contemporary design, we can do wonders with calla lilies, orchids and anthuriums. These can be simple but sophisticated.”

“How about candles, like at Jill’s wedding?” she said in a desperate attempt to steer the conversation.

“At the ceremony, she can have flowers alone, or flowers plus candlelight. We have lots of options for the dinner tables, depending on the look she wants. Also, I can suggest colors for the table linens and chairs. It would help if your friend brings in swatches from the bridal dresses.”

Mute, Marla merely nodded.

“We can do gifts, too. You know, for the bridal party, as well as small remembrances for the wedding guests.” He twirled his hand in the air. “It depends on how elaborate your friend cares to go. Who’s doing the cake? We can scatter rose petals on the cake table, or we could use orchids, my favorite.”

Ah, there’s the opening she needed. “Speaking of wedding cakes, I’m wondering where Jill and Arnie bought their cake knife. Was it from a gift shop or did you supply it?”

“Arnie gave the knife to me beforehand. I brought it in my van along with everything else.”

“So you placed it on the table beside the cake, before the ceremony even started?”

“My dear, I finished doing the ballroom before the bride even arrived.”

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The sad thing is the bride might have the most beautiful bouquet at her ceremony, but she has to toss it at the reception. Then she’s off to her honeymoon and never sees the gorgeous flower arrangement again. According to my wedding photos, I had a cascade bouquet with white roses and carnations. What kind of flowers did you have at your wedding? Centerpieces alone can be an expensive proposition or a place to save money toward catering instead. With so many details to manage, it’s no surprise the happy woman often turns into bridezilla. And other than funerals and bar mitzvahs, this may be the only time extended relatives draw together. Who knows what dangerous secrets some of them might be hiding? With hidden passions at bay, weddings are perfect settings for murder mysteries.
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Shear Murder
Weddings always make Marla Shore shed a tear of joy, and she’s elated to attend her friend Jill’s reception. Marla’s own nuptials are weeks away, and she’s busy following her frenetic to-do list. Her plans go awry when she discovers Jill’s matron of honor dead under the cake table, a knife embedded in her chest. Lots of folks aren’t sorry to see Torrie go, especially since the bride’s sister knew their deepest secrets. But when suspicion falls upon Jill, Marla wonders if her dear friend is truly innocent. She’d better untangle the snarl of suspects and iron out the clues before the killer highlights her as the next victim.

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Dollycas’s Thoughts

Shear Murder (Five Star Mystery Series)
A Bad Hair Mystery
10th in the Series


This whole series has been a lot of fun.

In this installment, Marla not only does hair for a wedding, but is a bridesmaid and finally a bride. At crunch time for her own wedding plans she is also trying to solve a murder. Marla takes multitasking to a whole new level. Dalton really understands her need to be in the middle of things and his daughter Brianna has a great relationship with Marla. I am so happy this new family is coming together.

The family dynamics at work in both Marla’s case and Jill and Torrie’s are very entertaining. Marla knows just how to handle her own relatives and her future in-laws. Torrie’s family and friends are so dysfunctional the suspects in her death are many and when the culprit was revealed this reader was quite surprised.

This is an ideal cozy mystery full of murder, mayhem, humor and romance. It is so fast paced you will read it in one sitting, just as I did. This book is definitely the perfect book to “escape into” this winter, it will warm you right up!


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About This Author
Nancy J. Cohen is an award-winning author who writes romance and mysteries. Her popular Bad Hair Day series features hairdresser Marla Shore, who solves crimes with wit and style under the sultry Florida sun. Several titles in this series have made the IMBA bestseller list, while Nancy’s imaginative sci-fi romances have garnered rave reviews. Her latest book, and tenth in her mystery series, is Shear Murder from Five Star. Active in the writing community and a featured speaker at libraries and conferences, Nancy is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who’s Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets.