Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Red Hot (A Red Herring Mystery) by Dana Dratch #Review

AVAILABLE TODAY!!

Red Hot (A Red Herring Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Florida
Publisher: Kensington Books (May 26, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496716604
ISBN-13: 978-1496716606
Kindle ASIN: B07W6S6VQX

Freelance writer Alex Vlodnachek hasn’t had a vacation in ages. So when her sister invites her—and pup Lucy—for a girls’ get-away to Miami, it’s too tempting to resist.

 

Big sister Annie wants Alex to savor a little fun in the sun at her South Beach condo. Redhead Alex just wants to escape complications at home, enjoy a little R&R and find an industrial-sized bottle of sunscreen. But trouble is hot on her heels—along with a few stray friends and relatives.

 

On the eve of the condo association’s hotly contested election, everything in the luxury high-rise is going haywire. But board president and social butterfly Leslie McQueen seems curiously absent amidst the chaos. Along with a good chunk of the association’s cash.

 

When several of Annie’s friends are left holding the bag, Alex jumps in to help—and discovers the tony condo tower offers no shortage of shady characters, murder, and mayhem.

 

But when her brother, Nick, arrives—with their irrepressible grandmother, Baba, and Alex’s pal Trip, in tow—is the gang riding to the rescue? Or plunging Alex into more hot water?

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Alex Vlodnachek heads to South Beach with her big sister/super model Annie for a much-needed vacay and pup Lucy gets to tag along. Alex plans to relax by the pool while Annie takes care of some business at her condo. A quickly scheduled condo vote has Annie concerned and she hopes Alex can use her investigative skills to help her figure out what is going on.

When the current condo association president, Leslie McQueen goes missing and things around the property start to fall into disrepair. the sisters start digging and learn the association is basically broke, less than $40 in their account. Now they need to decide who they can trust. Was Leslie working by herself or did she have an accomplice or two?


This was a crazy fun book to read. Once I started I didn’t put it down.

Ms. Dratch takes the characters I have come to love on the road but soon most are all together in Miami. Baba gets a South Beach makeover but that woman still can’t cook. but her family will never let her know. I loved that Alex and Annie got to spend some time alone together before the rest of the family arrived but they do run into someone very helpful from their past. I also loved that Lucy played a big part in the story. This family is a hoot and a half and still all the characters continue to evolve and grow. The author also introduces readers to a diverse cast of characters that live in Annie’s condo building and they all seem to have secrets.

The pace was lightning fast, those girls were always up to something, which is why I read this book faster than I have read any book of late. Ms. Dratch is the expert at placing red herrings that is why they are the Red Herring Mysteries. She also plots the story out so well. The investigation follows a clear path and even when Annie and Alex hit a dead end they use spot on reasoning to move their search ahead.

I liked the change of scenery in this book. Florida is a great locale for a cozy mystery.

Red Hot is a wondrous cozy mystery filled with lovable characters, an intriguing mystery, a large dose of humor, and just a dash of romance. The entire series is fantastic! I recommend you read them all. My only complaint is that we have to wait until next year for book four, but it is so worth it.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Dana Dratch is a personal finance writer and the author of CONFESSIONS OF A RED HERRING and SEEING RED. She’s currently working on the third Alex Vlodnachek mystery adventure, RED HOT. Get updates at ConfessionsofaRedHerring.com.

Purchase Links

I apologize. Due to COVID 19 the publisher is unable to offer a giveaway at this time.
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 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Easter Hair Hunt (The Bad Hair Day Mysteries) by Nancy J. Cohen – #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @nancyjcohen

Easter Hair Hunt (The Bad Hair Day Mysteries)
by Nancy J. Cohen

About Easter Hair Hunt


Easter Hair Hunt (The Bad Hair Day Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
16th in Series
Setting – Florida
Publisher: Orange Grove Press (March 10, 2020)
Print Length: 233 pages
Digital ASIN: B083TZ78G1

Hare today, dead tomorrow… Can a stylish sleuth pull a rabbit out of her hat to solve an Easter murder in this to-dye-for cozy mystery?

 

When hairstylist Marla Vail attends an Easter egg hunt at historic Tremayne Manor, she’s only there to fix hair for a client, Bonnie “Blinky” Morris. But when she’s asked to comb the grounds for leftover goodies, Marla discovers more than just a few dyed eggs. The dead body in the bunny costume is definitely not having a good hare day. And Blinky seems to have disappeared down a rabbit hole.

 

When trying to solve a murder, everyone needs a friend who’s all ears. For Marla, that’s her husband, homicide detective Dalton Vail. They make an eggcellent team. Dalton isn’t the kind to leap to conclusions, but with his wife seven months pregnant, and knowing Marla finds crime-solving to be irresistible, he worries about her running off on another hare-raising adventure.

 

Marla’s peeps are hoping for a happy ending, but she may have found a basketful of trouble this time. Can she crack the case before Blinky becomes the next victim?

 

Recipes Included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Who stabbed the Easter Bunny?? That is exactly what hairstylist and amateur sleuth Marla Vail intends to find out.

Marla was at an Easter event at Tremayne Manor to fix Bonnie “Blinky” Morris’ hair but while helping clear the grounds of any eggs missed by the searching children she finds a dead bunny, a human in a bunny suit. Seven months pregnant the last thing she needs is another murder investigation but hubby and homicide detective, Dalton Vail knows they make a great team because people open up to Marla. He just hopes all those baby kicks she is receiving help her to make careful choices. The case gets pretty egg-citing and she best “bee” careful or she may find herself just a “hare” out of the killer’s sights.

Oh, and while everyone is focused on the dead bunny, Blinky Morris has disappeared. Her car is still in the lot, but she is nowhere to be found, She can’t be the killer or can she???


I love the way these characters have grown over the course of this series. Marla is not letting this pregnancy hold her back from anything she wants to do. She is keeping normal hours at her salon and now she is delving into another murder. Baby things, like the nursery, name and numerous other things were getting put off until her family starts laying on the pressure. She is already a great mom to her stepdaughter Brianna, but a new baby is really going to change her life. Dalton is pretty laid back about the whole thing but their religious differences may add a little bit of drama. They are also going to be dealing with Brianna heading to college soon.

The setting for this story was unique. Tremayne Manor is an old family home filled with prized possessions including Faberge eggs, valuable stamps, Russian Matryoshka dolls, and many other historical artifacts. The estate has been opened for public tours and now has a gift shop, a cafe, and beehives. The author incorporates all these features and more into this story so well. All the little tidbits I learned were very interesting.

In Easter Hair Hunt, Ms. Cohen has written a complex mystery, hunting down this killer is far from easy. The motive is unclear but Marla has many theories. She doesn’t believe Blinky could commit murder so she is also on the hunt for her friend. There are plenty of twists and turns before any of the clues start to fall into place. I had an inkling about a major aspect of the mystery but was still surprised by the final reveal.

I have truly enjoyed the books in this series. The characters are well-developed and the dialogue is snappy. There is the perfect balance between family life and mystery along with a good dose of humor along the way. There is a big event coming soon for Marla and Dalton. I am excited to see how the author handles this in future books.

This book reads well on its own but to fully enjoy these characters you should start the series from the beginning.

Easter Hair Hunt is a fun holiday cozy. Hop on over and get your copy today.

 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Nancy J. Cohen

Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Vail. Titles in this series have been named Best Cozy Mystery by Suspense Magazine, won a Readers’ Favorite gold medal and a RONE Award, earned first place in the Chanticleer International Book Awards and third place in the Arizona Literary Awards. Nancy’s instructional guide, Writing the Cozy Mystery, was nominated for an Agatha Award, earned first place in the Royal Palm Literary Awards and the TopShelf Magazine Book Awards, and won a gold medal in the President’s Book Awards. A featured speaker at libraries, conferences, and community events, Nancy is a past president of  Florida Romance Writers and Mystery Writers of America Florida Chapter. She is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who’s Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets. When not busy writing, she enjoys cooking, fine dining, cruising, and visiting Disney World.

Author Links:

Website Blog Twitter Facebook Goodreads Pinterest LinkedIn Instagram BookBub

Purchase Links – Amazon Kindle –  Amazon Print –  B&N –  KoboApple – Books2Read IndieBoundGoodreads BookBubWebsite



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Great Escapes Praise for Easter Hair Hunt (The Bad Hair Day Mysteries)
by Nancy J. Cohen

Nancy J. Cohen is on my “auto-buy” list. Her writing is crisp, fresh and captivating. This is one of my favorite series and I do hope it continues for a long time to come.
~Socrates’ Book Reviews…

This cozy mystery beautifully blends together important key elements – rich characterization, vivid setting, historical tidbits, and a mystery that keeps you guessing.
~The Power of Words

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

Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes Purrfect Reading Challenge Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – A Deadly Feast: A Key West Food Critic Mystery by Lucy Burdette – Great Escapes Book Tour @lucyburdette @crookedlanebks

This book was released today!

A Deadly Feast:
A Key West Food Critic Mystery
by Lucy Burdette

 

About the Book


A Deadly Feast: A Key West Food Critic Mystery
Cozy Mystery
9th in Series
Crooked Lane Books (May 7, 2019)
Hardcover: 272 pages
ISBN-10: 1683319699
ISBN-13: 978-1683319696
Digital ASIN: B07HM9NCJQ

National bestselling author Lucy Burdette’s intrepid food critic Hayley Snow must sniff out a killer in the ninth Key West Food Critic mystery.

Key West food critic Hayley Snow scents-es something fishy when a customer falls stone-crab cold dead on a seafood tasting tour.

Thanksgiving is nearly here, and Key West food critic Hayley Snow has just one more assignment to put to bed for Key Zest magazine before she gets to celebrate with her family and her police officer fiancé, Nathan Bransford. Then, just days later, wedding bells will ring—if death doesn’t toll first.

The sweet potatoes and stuffing will have to wait when Hayley picks up a distraught phone call from her friend, Analise Smith. On the last stop of a seafood tasting tour run by Analise, one of the customers collapsed—dead. With the police on the verge of shutting down the tour—and ruining Analise’s business—Hayley can hardly refuse her friend’s entreaties to investigate.

As if wedding jitters and family strife weren’t enough for Hayley to worry about, there’s crusty pastry chef Martha Hubbard, whose key lime pie may have been the murder weapon—but did she poison her own pie or was she framed? As the hours to Turkey Day tick away, the pressure cooker is on for Hayley to serve up the culprit on a silver platter in A Deadly Feast, national bestselling author Lucy Burdette’s taste-tempting ninth Key West Food Critic mystery.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It’s almost Thanksgiving and food critic Hayley Snow already has plenty on her plate.

  • Her wedding to Detective Nathan Bransford is just a few days away.
  • Her father, stepmother, and stepbrother will be arriving in Key West soon for the festivities including Thanksgiving dinner at her mother’s.
  • She needs to find a place for her and her groom to live because the contractor they hired to renovate Nathan’s houseboat keeps flaking on them.
  • She is taking part in a seafood tasting tour to write an article for Key Zest Magazine.
  • Her groom is working on some top secret case and is missing all the pre-wedding festivities which has her very worried.
  • Plus, the murder she now has to solve. Yes, at that seafood tasting tour, one of the other participants died right in front of everyone. At least, this puts her article on hold.

A normal bride would be all wrapped up in wedding plans the week before her wedding, but Hayley Snow is not a normal bride. She takes on so much I was exhausted just reading about everything she was doing. Oh! to have her energy!

I love Hayley Snow. She is a great protagonist. She is smart and has great instincts and her investigating talents have grown so much since the first book. The one thing she can’t do is say “No” to anyone. This time a chef asked for her help but truthfully she would have investigated anyway, even after Nathan asks her to leave it to the police. In full disclosure, Nathan’s plate was as full as Hayley’s but the case he was working totally took over. Miss Gloria never fails to bring the comedy to almost any situation. She is a real treat. Almost all my other favorite characters returned in this story too. One was out of town and some just have small cameo appearances but it was nice to see them. I was also happy to see Hayley’s whole family together to support her.

The book was very entertaining. All the daily drama leading up to the real main event captivated me from the start. Because of that, the mystery portion of the story got a little lost for me. I was wrapped up in all the other chaos in Hayley’s normal life until things really started to come together in a very exciting way near the end. There was definitely some edge of the seat moments. Then the ending was positively heartwarming.

Again, this author brings on my cravings with all the delectable food. Lobster Macaroni and Cheese, Mojito Cookies, Strawberries and Lime Sponge Cake Trifle, and some unique twists on the usual Thanksgiving fare. Yes, the recipes are at the back of the book. Perfect to make your own holiday feast.

I have enjoyed each and every visit to Key West. These are some of my favorite cozy characters and a literary vacation to Key West is always fun, no matter what time of year.

Fans of this series will be delighted by this book. New readers will enjoy it even more if they start the series from the beginning.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Courtesy Carol Tedesco

Clinical psychologist Lucy Burdette (aka Roberta Isleib) has published 16 mysteries, including the latest in the Key West food critic series, DEATH ON THE MENU (Crooked Lane Books, August 2018.) Her books and stories have been short-listed for Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards. She’s a member of Mystery Writers of America and a past president of Sisters in Crime. She blogs at Jungle Red Writers and shares her love for food with the culinary writers at Mystery Lovers Kitchen She lives in Madison CT and Key West FL. Read more at www.lucyburdette.com.

Author Links:
Facebook    Twitter
Pinterest     Website
Blogs: Mystery Lovers Kitchen  and Jungle Red Writers

Purchase Links: – AmazonB&NIndieBound


Just click on covers for more book info and to order from Amazon.

Thanks to the Author 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.

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If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
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Contest Will End August 15, 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

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
May 2 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Guest Posts Spotlights

Special Guest – Frances Metzman – Author of The Cha Cha Babes of Pelican Bay – Great Escapes Book Tour

I am excited to welcome Frances Metzman to Escape With Dollycas today!

Hi Frances,

  1. What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

 I believe I’ve gone the distance to develop my characters as much as the plot. It’s important to reveal my character’s upbringing as well as how they get through the hurdles and conflicts in their particular situation. How do they resolve overwhelming issues? What choices do they make and how does it reflect on their upbringing. How do they handle resolution and look to the future.

  1. What’s next on the horizon for you?

I have a sequel in progress to The Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Way and an outline of a 3rd book.

  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Formally, I was a sculptor and a social worker. I always wanted to write and 30 years – ago set out to do just that. But I knew structure was of the utmost importance. So, my quest included conferences, workshops, writing groups, individual lessons and wherever I could seek out information. They were given in tidbits, slivers or nonexistent. It was frustrating. I then devised my own standards of basic writing structure by piecing it together and lots of reading. I live by that framework and can manipulate the structure now without losing balance in writing. I liken it to the abstract painter who actually knows realistic work prior to experimenting. I teach that structure and occasionally meet resistance. Nonetheless, I will never divert and water it down.

  1. What are three things most people don’t know about you?

I hike/walk a lot, entertain to look like complex but try to use one pot, AND, I wanted to be a furniture maker but it won’t happen in this life.

  1. What is the first book you remember reading?

See Dick and Jane. I remember elements that were shocking to me. The dad going to work in a suit and briefcase, Mom kissing her children goodbye and conversations between parent and children – I came from a family of 5 children.

  1. What are you reading now?

The Gentleman from Moscow, Ian McEwan– Saturday, Alice Munro-Dear Life, Anne Tyler-St. Maybe, (I’m not always up-to-date)

  1. What made you decide you want to write?

I’m pretty sure it started as a healing process to re-arrange history and establish a resolution with my mother which I didn’t do in real life. Writing gave me the opportunity to manage the chaos in life so that conflicts are resolved and inner depths are examined. The process actually did help in my real life. 

  1. Do you have a special place you like to write?

I do. I write in my office.

  1. Do you write at the same day every day?

I try to write from 10 AM till 5 or 6 PM. If I start later in the day I try to work later – that is if my brain hasn’t gone numb.

  1. Where do the ideas for your books come from?

I think much of my ideas come from researching white collar crime. I read those types of crime in newspapers and from those who I have known.

  1. What books have most inspired you?

I think Cynthia Ozick for plotting and characterization early on and I admire Ian McEwan very much for his fastidious researching and characterization.

  1. Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Editing especially cutting my best pages.

  1. What do you think makes a good story?

 I believe in plotting even in literary books where there is a sense of a story. We have had stories – beginning, middle and ending from the earliest times of our lives. It doesn’t have to be obvious. It can be very subtle, even in literary books, but there nonetheless. Call me old-fashioned, it’s okay. Also, character development is equally if not more important.

  1. Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

That’s tough. Maybe a bit of them all, but Celia perhaps a tad more than others.

  1. Why did you pick your particular genre?

I’ve mentioned my fascination with white collar crimes committed by people I’ve known who are economically comfortable. Also, my need to bring about order and understand why people behave the way they do.

Thank you, Frances, for visiting today!

_________________________________________________________

About the Book

The Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Way
Cozy Mystery
Wild River Consulting & Publishing, LLC (June 21, 2018)
Paperback: 506 pages
ISBN-10: 9781941948064
ISBN-13: 978-1941948064
Digital ASIN: B07CV2GP9Z

Would you move a dead body for the sake of your best friend? Ask cha-cha babe Celia Ewing, a sixty-five-year-old widow who has just settled into Boca Pelicano Palms, the Florida retirement community of her dreams. When Celia’s best friend Marcy calls her and their friend Deb for help in the middle of the night, they find a naked Marcy trapped under the body of her beau, the community’s board president, Melvin. And he’s dead. The three friends secretly move Melvin back to his apartment setting off a chain of events that will threaten to tear their community apart and send them to jail. Melvin is one of a number of residents who are dying under suspicious circumstances; and soon Celia becomes an amateur sleuth in an attempt to identify what she suspects is a serial murderer.

Filled with humorous, witty observations about retirement communities, the realities of getting older, and the promise of new love, the Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Way celebrates the deep bonds of female friendships, the desire for companionship at any age, and shows us that it’s never too late to learn how to cha-cha through life.

About the Author

 

Frances Metzman, a graduate of Moore College of Art and a Masters degree from the University of Pennsylvania, co-authored a novel, Ugly Cookies, by Pella Press. Her short story collection, The Hungry Heart: Stories, was published by Wilderness House Press, February 1, 2012. In 2009 she won a nomination for a Dzanc Books award, “Best of the Web.” In addition to publishing numerous (25) short stories in various literary journals, she has a novel published by Wild River Books, 2018, The Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Way. Her teaching credits include Adjunct professor at Rosemont College to graduate school, Temple University at OLLI (creative writing and memoir). Other writing workshops, memoir/creative writing, have been given at universities and colleges such as Bryn Mawr, Penn State, Delaware, University of Pennsylvania, Widener, etc. As fiction editor for a literary journal, Schuylkill Valley Journal, she selects and edits the submissions. Many articles, essays, and stories she writes deal with aspects of society that influences relationships for all ages, including the mature set (sometimes tongue in cheek). Many articles are dedicated to improving attitudes toward the mature folks and address myths about “age appropriate” thinking.

Author Links

Twitter Facebook GoodReads – 

FrancesMetzman.com

Purchase Links –

AmazonB&N – Kobo 

Praise for The Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Way
by Frances Metzman

What a page-turner. Honestly once I got into the story it was hard to put down!
~My Reading Journeys

This heartwarming cozy mystery is surprising uplifting; it certainly raised my spirits.
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies

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Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Reviews 2018 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – Trimmed to Death (Bad Hair Day Mysteries) by Nancy J Cohen – Great Escapes Book Tour @nancyjcohen

Trimmed to Death (Bad Hair Day Mysteries)
by Nancy J Cohen

I am the final stop on the Great Escapes Book Tour!

About the Book


Trimmed to Death (Bad Hair Day Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
15th in Series
Setting – Florida
Orange Grove Press (September 25, 2018)
Paperback: 290 pages
ISBN-10: 0998531766
ISBN-13: 978-0998531762
Digital ASIN: B07F2FP55B

Mix together a cocktail for murder, add a few salty suspects, toss in a dollop of sweet humor, and you have the recipe for Trimmed to Death, #15 in the Bad Hair Day cozy mystery series.

Savvy hairstylist and amateur sleuth Marla Vail enters a charity bake-off contest at a fall festival sponsored by a local farm. While she waits to see if her coconut fudge pie is a winner, Marla joins a scavenger hunt where people playing character roles are the targets. Instead of scoring points with a live person, she finds a dead body planted face-down in the strawberry field. Who would want to cut short the life of food magazine publisher and fellow bake-off contestant Francine Dodger? As she investigates, Marla learns there’s no shortage of suspects. A celebrity TV chef, food critic, olive oil importer, food truck owner, pastry chef, and cookbook author may be stirring up more than their next recipe. Can Marla unmask the killer before someone else gets trimmed from life?

Recipes Included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Marla Vail wants to expand her salon and spa to include a small cafe so when she hears about a bake-off contest with a $10,000 prize she signs up and enters her coconut fudge pie. The contest is part of the fall festival taking place on a local farm and many other activities are happening. Marla’s husband Dalton even enters some prime produce. There is also a fun scavenger hunt with people dressed up to promote healthy eating. Marla decides to play along while waiting for the cook-off winners to be announced. She finds every person except for the final one. The person was also a bake-off contestant, where could she have gone? Marla decides to venture into the strawberry patch and that is where she finds Francine Dodger but she won’t be doing any more baking or healthy eating. Marla has found another dead body. Dalton and Marla quickly realize anyone at the festival could be her killer. They have to narrow down the suspects and that isn’t going to be easy.

Aside from the murder, Dalton and Marla are settling into married life and Dalton’s daughter Brianna will be applying to colleges soon. After taking care of her friend’s Tally’s son (Hair Brained). Marla has changed her mind about having children, but she may be too late. They are not having much luck in conceiving. In addition to helping with the investigation, Marla is busy with her hair salon and is even planning a fundraiser for a local museum. The fundraiser planning allows her to ask questions about the death of Francine too.

I have really become caught up in the lives of Marla and Dalton. Marla has grown so much over these 15 stories. She has a huge heart and cares about helping her community and the people that inhabit it. She is an excellent step-mom to Brianna, a nice counterbalance to Dalton. He has grown too, and I love seeing them happy together. They also work well as an investigation team. Marla has a way of getting people to open up and tell her things they would never tell the police and Dalton knows it.

Now the mystery is complex with many layers, so many suspects, and one person and another throwing shade and other people under the bus. Several theories are thwarted by evidence but after many twists clues start to come together. Following along was so much fun. The final climax was so exciting I was glued to my seat.

The blend of mystery to family life is excellent, the pace is flawless and the characters are so appealing. The dialogue is spot on and the humor plays off the suspense at all the right times. This book was a fantastic read. The murder part of the story was all wrapped up but the family storyline continues and I truly cannot wait to read what happens next.

Each title in this series can be read on its own so feel free to jump right in with Trimmed to Death, but I bet you will want to go back and read the rest!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

The last book in this series was my favorite although they are all great reads. Hair Brained made my Best Books of 2017. You can read my review here. 

About the Author

 

Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Vail. Titles in this series have made the IMBA bestseller list and been selected by Suspense Magazine as the best cozy mystery. Nancy has also written the instructional guide, Writing the Cozy Mystery. Her imaginative romances, including the Drift Lords series, have proven popular with fans as well. A featured speaker at libraries, conferences, and community events, Nancy is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who’s Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets. When not busy writing, she enjoys fine dining, cruising, visiting Disney World, and shopping.

 Author Links:
Website        Blog      Facebook     Twitter      Goodreads    Pinterest    Linked In 
Booklover’s Bench    Newsletter Sign-Up

Purchase Links

Universal Link    Amazon     B&N    iBooks     Kobo

 

Praise for Trimmed to Death (Bad Hair Day Mysteries)
by Nancy J Cohen

The author juggles a fair number of characters and plot lines without giving away “the farm.” (Intentional pun!)
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies

The Bad Hair Day Mysteries is one of my favorite series . . . There is much going on and conflicting clues and evidence make it a difficult case to solve.
~Laura’s Interests

This book had so much going on and I couldn’t put it down until it was over and the murder was definitely not who I had pegged for the crime. Such a great adventure to go on!
~Community Bookstop

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
September 26 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
September 26 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT – EXCERPT
September 27 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
September 27 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT – EXCERPT
September 28 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
September 28 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
September 29 – Island Confidential – GUEST POST
September 29 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT – EXCERPT
September 30 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 30 – Lori’s Reading Corner – GUEST POST
October 1 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT – EXCERPT
October 1 –Laura’s Interests – REVIEW  – EXCERPT
October 2 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT  
October 2 – Mysteries with Character  – AUTHOR INTERVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
October 3 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW
October 3 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT – EXCERPT
October 4 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 4 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT – EXCERPT
October 5 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
October 5 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

 

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

Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Reviews 2018 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – Death on the Menu: A Key West Food Critic Mystery by Lucy Burdette – Great Escapes Book Tour – @crookedlanebks

About the Book

 

Death on the Menu: A Key West Food Critic Mystery
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – Florida
Crooked Lane Books (August 7, 2018)
Hardcover: 295 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683317463
Digital ASIN: B078MBKH95

When a killer strikes just before flan time, beloved food critic Hayley Snow is forced to sniff out the killer before someone else bites the dust.

Hayley Snow, fiery food critic for Key Zest magazine, has just landed a ticket to one of the most prestigious events in Key West: a high-brow three-day conference at the Harry Truman Little White House. Even though she’ll be working the event helping her mother’s fledgling catering business, there’s plenty of spicy gossip to go around. But just before her mother’s decadent flan is put to the test, Key West’s most prized possession, Hemingway’s Nobel prize gold medal for The Old Man and the Sea, is discovered stolen from its case.

Unsavory suspicions point to Gabriel, a family friend and one of the new busboys working the event, who mysteriously goes missing moments later. Anxious to clear his name, Gabriel’s family enlists Hayley to help find him, but right as they begin their search, his body is found stabbed to death in the storeroom.

Hayley has no shortage of suspects to interrogate and very little time before the killer adds another victim to the menu in national bestselling author Lucy Burdette’s delectable eighth Key West Food Critic mystery, Death on the Menu.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Key West is a place steeped with history. Whether it be the Harry Truman Little White House or the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, both are huge tourist attractions. We visit just in time for a conference bringing a Cuban delegation to Key West to celebrate the similarities and differences hoping to forge a path of working together. Hemingway’s Nobel prize medal has been brought to town to be put on display with other treasures during the conference. Hayley’s mother has been hired to cater the food for the event. Hayley and Miss Gloria have been recruited to help serve. Hayley’s boyfriend Nathan would like the ladies to stay away from the conference. His intel says they may be trouble with all the protestors. But Hayley assures him that security is tight and they will be safe. Then the Nobel prize is stolen and one of her mother’s employees is missing. An all out search doesn’t find the medal but the employee is found in a storeroom, stabbed with a kitchen knife. Someone that passed through security has to be the killer, which means everyone. With suspects galore Hayley dives right in to find the murderer and hoping when she does she will find Hemingway’s prize too and ease the tension with the guests from Cuba.

This story has a slow build as the author introduces all the history and reasons for the conference. Hayley is still working on stories for Key Zest but isn’t in the office much. She spends most of her time with her mother getting food ready and serving. I missed the interaction with the other people at Key Zest. That being said there was so really cool guests to the conference. Jimmy Buffett and Barack Obama surprised the attendees with their appearances. I enjoyed Hayley supporting her mom and going above and beyond to make the event a success. Miss Gloria is always entertaining. I wish I had her energy.

After the body is found the pace picks up as both the police and Hayley need to catch the killer before the conference ends. For Hayley, that means being in the right place at the right time and keeping her ears open. With several twists and a keen insight, Hayley makes a discovery that blows the whole case wide open. I really enjoyed tagging along for this one.

After the killer is caught and the characters get back to their Key West lives the story ends in a way that had me smiling ear to ear and very excited for the next book in this series. I hope we don’t have to wait too long.

By the time you reach the 8th book in a series, the characters and the place have evolved in so many ways. To really enjoy this story I recommend reading the prior books first. Miss Burdette does provide some background details because of the publisher change, but to really know Hayley Snow, you need to start at the beginning.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Courtesy Carol Tedesco

Clinical psychologist Lucy Burdette (aka Roberta Isleib) has published 16 mysteries, including the latest in the Key West food critic series, DEATH ON THE MENU (Crooked Lane Books, August 2018.) Her books and stories have been short-listed for Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards. She’s a member of Mystery Writers of America and a past president of Sisters in Crime. She blogs at Jungle Red Writers and shares her love for food with the culinary writers at Mystery Lovers Kitchen She lives in Madison CT and Key West FL. Read more at www.lucyburdette.com.

Author Links:
Facebook    Twitter
Pinterest     Website
Blogs: Mystery Lovers Kitchen  and Jungle Red Writers

Purchase Links:
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Praise for Death on the Menu: A Key West Food Critic Mystery
by Lucy Burdette

What a great addition to this wonderful cozy mystery series. . . Just full of Key West history, a mystery, and characters to liven up the book as the investigation goes on in between the plot twists.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Death on the Menu contains good writing and engaging characters. Lucy Burdette does a wonderful job at world building.
~The Avid Reader

There is something in the book for any reader. The problems and crimes are definitely not simple to solve.
~Laura’s Interests

This book was thoroughly enjoyable with a great group of characters, fun atmosphere, and authentic Key West flair. You won’t be disappointed in this one!
~The Montana Bookaholic



Just click on covers for more book info and to order from Amazon.

Thanks to the Author I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

Sign Up for Lucy’s Mailing List for 3 Bonus Entries.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End August 15, 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

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

August 1 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
August 1 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 2 – Mystery Lovers Kitchen – RECIPE
August 2 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 2 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 3 – Killer Characters – CHARACTER GUEST POST
August 3 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
August 4 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
August 4 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
August 5 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 6 – Map Your Mystery – INTERVIEW
August 6 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW
August 6 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
August 7 – Jungle Red Writers – GUEST POST
August 7 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – RECIPE, REVIEW
August 7 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT
August 8 – The Conscious Cat – GUEST POST
August 8 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
August 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
August 9 – Mystery Lovers Kitchen #2 – RECIPE
August 10 – Wicked Cozy Authors –  GUEST POST
August 10 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
August 11 – Book Babble – REVIEW
August 12 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
August 13 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
August 13 – Mallory Heart Reviews – REVIEW
August 14 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
August 14 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 15 – Fabulous Florida Writers – GUEST POST
August 15 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
August 15 – Varietats – REVIEW

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

Posted in Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Reviews 2018 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – The Disappearing: A Novel by Lori Roy @DuttonBooks

The Disappearing: A Novel
Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Setting – Florida
Dutton (July 17, 2018)
Hardcover: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1524741930
ISBN-13: 978-1524741938
Kindle ASIN: B076NRLQ5L

The Disappearing – Two-time Edgar Award-winning author Lori Roy spins a twisted, atmospheric tale about a small Southern town where girls disappear and boys run away.

When Lane Fielding fled her isolated Florida hometown after high school for the anonymity of New York City, she swore she’d never return. But twenty years later, newly divorced and with two daughters in tow, she finds herself tending bar at the local dive and living with her parents on the historic Fielding Plantation. Here, the past haunts her and the sinister crimes of her father–the former director of an infamous boys’ school–make her as unwelcome in town as she was the day she left.

Ostracized by the people she was taught to trust, Lane’s unsteady truce with the town is rattled when her older daughter suddenly vanishes. Ten days earlier, a college student went missing, and the two disappearances at first ignite fears that a serial killer who once preyed upon the town has returned. But when Lane’s younger daughter admits to having made a new and unseemly friend, a desperate Lane attacks her hometown’s façade to discover whether her daughter’s disappearance is payback for her father’s crimes–or for her own.

With reporters descending upon the town, police combing through the swamp, and events taking increasingly disturbing turns, Lane fears she faces too many enemies and too little time to bring her daughter safely home. Powerful and heart-pounding, The Disappearing questions the endurance of family bonds, the dangers of dark rumors and small town gossip, and how sometimes home is the scariest place of all.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Lane Fielding has returned to a place she had hoped to never see again. The historic Fielding Plantation, her family home. Her marriage fell apart and now she and her two daughters have moved in with her elderly parents. Her father, the former director of the boy’s school across from the home, is failing and needs constant care but he has made it well known he isn’t happy Lane has returned. Her mother, failing too, tries to placate everyone to keep the peace.

A college student that was working at the plantation went missing 10 days ago and now Lane’s oldest daughter has disappeared too. Boys used to disappear but now it is blonde girls. The police are trying to find the girls and after talking to Lane’s other daughter have started to zero in on a suspect. The question is will they find the girls in time.

This book has a haunting, almost Gothic feel. Told from several points of view and a couple different timeframes, this story slowly unfolds to reveal so many secrets and lies all attached to this one family. Twenty years have passed since Lane left her home for New York, but her own secret still has never been revealed. Having read other stories by this author I knew the mystery was not going to be as simple as it seems. There is a mighty twist that turns the story upside down.

There was truly nothing endearing about these characters, except maybe Talley, the youngest daughter, but these character’s story is a very compelling read. The family’s drama set in motion by the sins of Lane’s father had me shaking my head in disbelief of all the happenings. The final line sent chills up my spine.

I had read somewhere this book is based on the true story of the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys and I just had to do a little research myself. I was surprised to see the school was just shut down in 2011 after years and years of investigations. Ms. Roy’s fictional spin on this was so interesting to read.

The only downfall in the story for me was the repetition of events from the different points of view made the plot a bit disjointed, but after getting into the story I found a good rhythm to overlook this issue.

The book ending leaves an open option to visit these characters again. It might be interesting to look back on them, say twenty years again in the future.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out more about Lori Roy and her books HERE.



Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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 August 7, 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.”

Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Reviews 2018 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – Murder Made to Order (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery) by Lena Gregory – Great Escapes Book Tour

Murder Made to Order (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery)
by Lena Gregory

About the Book

Murder Made to Order (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Lyrical Underground (June 19, 2018)
Paperback: 196 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1516104666
Digital ASIN: B075WBZH6L

To save her cozy Florida diner, Gia Morelli must choke down a heaping helping of murder . . .

New York native Gia Morelli is just getting used to life in Florida when she gets word that the town government wants to shut down her pride and joy: the charming little diner known as the All-Day Breakfast Café. A forgotten zoning regulation means that the café was opened illegally, and hard-boiled council president Marcia Steers refuses to budge. Gia is considering hanging up her apron and going back to New York, but before she gives up on her dream, she discovers something shocking in the local swamp: Marcia Steers, dead in the water. There’s a secret buried in the books at town hall, and someone killed to keep it hidden. To save her café and bring a killer to justice, Gia and her friends will have to figure out a killer’s recipe for murder . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Murder, a fire, tornadoes, zoning issues, bears, snakes, ticks, and alligators. Gia didn’t have any of these problems in New York. Maybe Florida isn’t the place for her. Especially now that she found another body. The city council president Marcia Steers was right there, dead in the water. She said she wanted to meet with Gia…why? She was trying to shut down the All-Day Breakfast Café. Why would she want to help Gia now? Is that why she was killed? Gia is going to fight to keep her cafe and just may catch a murderer too.

I was so excited to visit these characters again. They are realistic and engaging, people that would be great to meet in real life.  Gia is a great protagonist that makes me laugh out loud. She is a city girl that has moved to Florida, opened a restaurant, and purchased a home surrounded by a woods and all the creatures that live there. She also has a big wonderful Bernese Mountain Dog named Thor. Thor is not afraid of much, but Gia is afraid of almost everything. Her friend, Savannah, is there to guide her through all the most of the treacherous things she encounters. Detective Quinn Hunter has a few things that take him away from Gia, but he seems to be there when it really counts.  She also has another friend on the force, Savannah’s boyfriend, Leo tries to keep the girls in the loop on the investigation and safe when he needs to. Gia is still looking for another cook and she finds not 1 but 2 people that may be able to help. A part near the end when the community came together really warmed my heart.

The story sets a nice pace with the murder investigation mixed flawlessly with Gia’s life in Boggy Creek. Gia never really manages to “investigate”. She learns the most by keeping her ears open and following up with the right questions. She truly feels the current murder is tied to the unsolved murder of Savannah’s mother, and that makes it personal for her and really captivated my interest too.

This was a great story. Fun characters with a fantastic whodunit made this cozy mystery top-notch. It checked all my cozy boxes!

I can hardly wait for the next book. A Cold Brew Killing comes out November 6!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

About the Author

Lena Gregory lives in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island with her husband and three children.

When she was growing up, she spent many lazy afternoons on the beach, in the yard, anywhere she could find to curl up with a good book. She loves reading as much now as she did then, but she now enjoys the added pleasure of creating her own stories.

Author Links:

Website – Facebook –  Facebook Fan Page –  Twitter – Goodreads –  Pinterest

Praise for Murder Made to Order (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery)
by Lena Gregory

Murder Made to Order is easy to read and has a steady pace throughout . . . I like the small-town atmosphere of Boggy Creek.
~The Avid Reader

This is a fast-paced mystery with a wide array of characters. Gia and her friends began to feel like old friends.
~Socrates’ Book Reviews…

I do believe I enjoyed this book even more than I enjoyed the first! The story again is fast-paced and lively and characters that make you feel like you have known them for, forever.
~The Montana Bookaholic

Purchase Links


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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

June 20 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
June 20 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW
June 20 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 21 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW
June 21 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
June 22 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
June 22 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
June 22 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 23 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW
June 23 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 24 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
June 24 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST
June 25 – Varietats – REVIEW, GUEST POST
June 25 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT
June 26 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
June 26 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
June 27 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – GUEST POST
June 27 – Readeropolis – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 27 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
June 28 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 28 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
June 29 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 29 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
June 30 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
June 30 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 1 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW
July 1 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 2 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
July 2 – A Blue Million Books –  AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 3 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
July 3 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

 

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

Posted in Great Escapes Book Tours Spotlights

#Spotlight – The Russian & Aunt Sophia (A Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery Novella) by Rita Moreau – Great Escapes Book Tour

The Russian & Aunt Sophia
(A Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery Novella)

by Rita Moreau

The Russian and Aunt Sophia is a madcap cozy mystery novella that could only take place in Florida.
~Laura’s Interests

The Russian & Aunt Sophia (A Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery Novella)
Cozy Mystery
Novella #1
Self Published (January 16, 2018)
Print Length: 77 pages
ASIN: B0793BTWPD

When mobsters frame her aunt, one psychic dives headfirst into a criminal conspiracy.

Mary Catherine, MC for short, inherited her family’s psychic abilities and a knack for trouble. When her fortune-telling aunt is accused of murdering a Russian mobster and refuses to defend herself by revealing what she saw in a card reading, it’s up to MC to divine the truth.

But if MC isn’t careful, she could end up sharing a jail cell with her aunt … or swimming with the fishes.

The Russian and Aunt Sophia is a madcap cozy mystery novella that could only take place in Florida. If you like surreal plots, well-rounded characters, and quirky comedy, then you’ll love Rita Moreau’s psychic whodunit. 

Semifinalist in the 2017 ScreenCraft Story Contest

About the Author

Rita Moreau is the author of the Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery series.

A workaholic by nature, upon retirement, Rita Moreau began work on her bucket list, writing a book. Traveling the national parks with her husband George in a vintage Bluebird motorhome, (on George’s list), Rita completed her first novel Bribing Saint Anthony. Back home she completed Nuns! Psychics! & Gypsies! OH! NO, Feisty Nuns and The Russian & Aunt Sophia. Rita and her husband live in a postcard called Florida where he has fun telling everyone he is the author’s husband. When not writing she joins PatZi Gil on the Joy on Paper radio program with Book Buzz Mysteries or you can find her teaching fitness classes and doing her best to keep busy. She loves connecting with readers. Visit her at www.RitaMoreau.com or find her on Facebook at facebook.com/RitaMoreauAuthor. She would love to hear from you.

Purchase Link

Amazon 
Also by Rita Moreau

 

Tour Participants

March 14 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

March 14 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

March 15 – Mysteries with Character – SPOTLIGHT

March 15 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST

March 16 – A Blue Million Books –  CHARACTER INTERVIEW

March 16 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

March 17 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

March 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

March 18 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

March 19 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 19 – The Montana Bookaholic – SPOTLIGHT

March 20 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

March 20 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

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Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Guest Posts

Special Guest – Barbara Barrett – Author of Craks in a Marriage (Mah Jongg Mysteries) #GuestPost / #Giveaway

I am excited to have Barbara Barrett visit Escape With Dollycas today
as part of her Great Escapes Tour! 

Why I Love Mah Jongg
by Barbara Barrett

Why would anyone decide to base their first cozy mystery series around the game of mah-jongg?

If anyone had come up to me at my retirement party and said something like, “Now you’ll have all the time in the world to enjoy mah-jongg,” I would have scoffed at the idea. Wasn’t that the game little old ladies played? I might be retiring, but I certainly didn’t see myself in that category. I was still young and vital, and I had great plans to expand my writing efforts now that I was no longer working full time.

A little more than a month later, there I was with my trainer and three other women learning the game. It wasn’t easy. The names of the tiles and the procedures, plays, and hands were a brand new language. I was taught the Wright-Patterson version, a form of the game developed by some military wives whose spouses were assigned to that U.S. Air Force Base. The hands used in the more widely played National version are changed annually. Though some remain, several new ones are added. This had become problematic for women whose spouses were transferred throughout the world because it was difficult to stay current. This new version, with almost double the number of hands, was created so it could be used for more than a year.

The Wright-Patterson version was also more intricate in some ways. Players all started the game with the same number of “chips” worth 1, fifty, a hundred, five hundred and a thousand points. Chips were exchanged after each game, depending on who won and who scored better. The winner wasn’t decided until the end of play. Have I lost you? Sorry, I wanted to demonstrate how this game was more “complicated” than the National version.

I’d been playing Wright-Patterson for over a year when I was introduced to the National version. No chips. No small book of over a hundred hands. And some of the tiles, which in the W-P version are quite valuable, were no longer. Instead, eight Jokers, or wild cards, had now been added; they were the most valuable tiles.

Why do I like this game so much? The first reason, which is still foremost, is its social value. I was new in my community right after I retired, and learning this game seemed as good a way as any to meet others. I’ve made some great friends in mah-jongg. The beauty of the National version is its widespread nature. Visitors to our community can join our group for one or a limited number of sessions and readily fit in. I currently play once a week for about three hours. I look forward to those days and try to keep that afternoon free.

This past fall I taught a class on the National version. Three sessions of seventy-five minutes each. We had a very successful sign-up. Too successful, I’m afraid. Even with three other mah jongg players helping me guide each table (five in all) through the terms and plays, we had our hands full. But we had great fun.

And that brings me to the second reason why I love this game: it’s just plain fun. It doesn’t hurt to win occasionally, either, but it’s a great way to spend an afternoon. Sure, I could probably experience the same kind of fun seeing movies I love or playing other games, but I landed on mah jongg.

The third reason is because it is a great exercise for the brain. Not only are you keeping track of the tiles played, you’re also picking new tiles and discarding those you don’t want in order to make a hand. That’s difficult enough, but sometimes the tiles needed aren’t available and you have to change intended hands. Strategy and flexibility are critical to success. Both keep the old brain working.

This game is also a change of pace. It gets me out of my office and away from my laptop for several hours. I don’t know about other authors, but I need frequent breaks, not only for the bod but also to free up the brain. This can also be accomplished by exercise, just getting up and moving around, and through other pastimes like needlepoint and reading.

Mah Jongg also gets me out of the house and gives my spouse time to himself. We all need our space from time to time.

All that aside, I guess what appeals most is the challenge of putting together a winning hand. It takes a certain amount of skill, an ability to read other players, and just plain luck. The challenge lies in excelling at the first two to leverage them against the third.

~Barbara

Thank you, Barbara so much for dropping by today! 

About the Book

Craks in a Marriage (Mah Jongg Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Florida
Self Published (February 6, 2018)
Print Length: 204 pages
ASIN: B079DCX8WQ

When Sydney Bonner overhears a fellow mah jongg player arguing on the phone with her husband, she realizes the couple’s “perfect marriage” isn’t all it appears to be. A few days later, the husband is found dead, his head bashed in. Fearing she’ll be considered the most likely suspect, the widow prevails upon Sydney and her three friends—Marianne, Kat and Micki—to find out who really killed him.

Though none of these four fun-loving, take-charge retirees has any training as detectives, the women agree to launch a secret investigation. As they dig under the happy veneer of their community’s social life, they find more than enough suspects, from shady ladies to resentful golf buddies, to keep them looking over their shoulders.

Could the murderer be lurking among the talent in a chaotic production put on by Sydney’s husband, who will do anything to keep busy in retirement? Could the sheriff, who may have more than a professional interest in chanteuse Kat, end up pinning the crime on the women instead? Each discovery during their investigations and their weekly mah jongg game keeps them running as they close in on the killer—but the killer may also be closing in on them.

About the Author

 

Barbara Barrett started reading mysteries when she was pregnant with her first child to keep her mind off things like her changing body and food cravings. When she’d devoured as many Agatha Christies as she could find, she branched out to English village cozies and Ellery Queen.

Later, to avoid a midlife crisis, she began writing fiction at night when she wasn’t at her day job as a human resources analyst for Iowa State Government. After releasing eleven full-length romance novels and one novella, she has returned to the cozy mystery genre, using one of her retirement pastimes, the game of mah jongg, as her inspiration. Not only has it been a great social outlet, it has also helped keep her mind active when not writing.

Craks in a Marriage, the first book in her “Mah Jongg Mystery” series, features four friends who seek the murderer of another mah jongg player’s husband before she is charged. None of the four is based on an actual person. Each is an amalgamation of several mah jongg friends with a lot of Barbara’s imagination thrown in for good measure. The four will continue to appear in future books in the series.

Anticipating the day when she would write her first mystery, she has been a member of the Mystery/Romantic Suspense chapter of Romance Writers of America for over a decade. She credits them with helping her hone her craft.

Barbara is married to a man she met her senior year of college. They have two grown children and eight grandchildren.

Now retired, she is a resident of Florida, although she spends her summers in Iowa, her home state. She earned her B.A. degree in History from the University of Iowa and her Master’s Degree in History from Drake University.

When not in front of her laptop creating her next story, she plays Mah Jongg, knits, and enjoys lunches with friends.

Author Links

Website – Facebook – Twitter – Pinterest – GoodReads

Subscribe to her newsletter: barbarabarrett747@gmail.com

Purchase Links

Amazon   B&N 


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