Posted in Reviews 2013

Review: A Case of Redemption by Adam Mitzner

A Case of Redemption

A Case of Redemption
Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Gallery Books (May 14, 2013)
A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1451674798
E-Book File Size: 652 KB
ASIN: B008J2B29O

Dan Sorenson was a high profile attorney at a big New York firm spending 12-16 hours a day working. Then the unthinkable happened. His wife and daughter were killed in a horrifying auto accident.  He quits the law firm and spends 18 months wallowing in his grief. Drinking so much that he blacks out and forgets hours of time.

At a party he meets someone who can give him the opportunity of a lifetime, a way to start over, but first he has to have them explain the whole idea again as he barely remembers the meeting.

An up and coming rapper has been accused of killing his pop star “girlfriend”. He swears he is innocent but the press has the story on every front page  so defending him will be an upward climb. He is not sure he is ready just a huge case. He also realizes this could be his last chance to get his life back on track. In a way he needs this client as much as his client needs him.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Oh this story is like a ride on a tilt-o-whirl. Full of twists and spins and plenty of excitement.

I love the way Mitzner creates characters readers will love even the ones we love to hate. Defending L.D. takes over Sorenson’s life. Nina was the calming influence he needed. J. D. has a past that has to be clarified and clarified again. The prosecuting attorney was a strong woman just doing her job. The trial judge adds a little humor to the story.

Told from Sorenson’s point of view readers have the “you are there” feeling.  The story builds and builds at a perfect pace leading up to the trial but I can’t tell you more you have to read it for yourself. Just know the pages will be flying.

Fans of Grisham and Turow will love Mitzner. With just two books out he is definitely an author to watch. I can’t wait until his next book. Will Dan Sorenson pop up again? I sure hope so!!

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

adam-mitznerAbout This Author

Adam Mitzner, a lawyer by day, is the author of A Case of Redemption, and A Conflict of Interest, one of Suspense Magazine’s Best Books of 2011. He lives in New York City.

To learn more check out his webpage here.

Follow him on:

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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 Literary Escapes Reviews 2013

Review: The S Word by Chelsea Pitcher

the s word

The S-Word
Teen Fiction
Gallery Books (May 7, 2013)
A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Trade Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1451695168
E-Book File Size: 609 KB
ASIN: B007Z4S22M

Lizzie wasn’t the first student at Verity High School to kill herself this year. But the difference is, she didn’t go quietly.

Lizzie’s reputation is destroyed when she’s caught in bed with her best friend’s boyfriend on prom night. With the whole school turned against her, and Angie not speaking to her, Lizzie takes her own life. But someone isn’t letting her go quietly. As graffiti and photocopies of Lizzie’s diary plaster the school, Angie begins a relentless investigation into who, exactly, made Lizzie feel she didn’t deserve to keep living. And while she claims she simply wants to punish Lizzie’s tormentors, Angie’s own anguish over abandoning her best friend will drive her deep into the dark, twisted side of Verity High—and she might not be able to pull herself back out.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This was a heart wrenching story to read. Our family has been personally touched by a teenage suicide and then as here a young life was lost because of secrets, lies, and misinformation. 

The book is told from Angie’s point of view and questions, guilt, and anger over her best friend’s death are just eating her alive. Her personal journey through the grieving process while trying to hold herself and others responsible drive this story while at the same time as teaching several lessons about bullying and judging people.  Actions do have consequences.

The author walks the fine line with subjects that could go very dark but by adding real high school behaviors in a very ingenious way she has escaped that trap. A plot full of surprises and realizations make this a hard book to put down. The diary entries added immensely to the story as we learned Lizzie’s  way of not even naming names in a place where she kept her private thoughts.

This is heavy read with some expected and unexpected resolutions. I think it would be a great book to add to high school reading lists.

just you and a friend

4 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Chelsea Pitcher is a native of Portland, Oregon, where she received her BA in English Literature. The S-Word is her first novel. Visit her website at ChelseaPitcher.com.
Follow her on: 

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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.”

2013where are you reading

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2013

Cozy Wednesday with Author Chrystle Fiedler (Giveaway too!)

cozy wednesdayWelcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so excited to welcome Chrystle here today.  Her books pack a punch with clever mysteries and so much information about Natural Remedies. Check out her post, then brew yourself a cup of tea and escape into a cozy mystery!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATHE JOYS OF DRINKING TEA AND READING COZY MYSTERIES

By Chrystle Fiedler

Nothing warms the body and soul like holding a fragrant steaming cup of herbal tea, inhaling its subtle scents as you slowly sip, while you enter the world of a cozy mystery. Not only does tea bring you flavor, variety, and easily digested nutrients, it also provides numerous health benefits from soothing a sore throat with fennel to easing anxiety and stress with chamomile. Making herbal tea is a unique way to use the benefits of aromatherapy, the theme of my latest cozy Scent to Kill: A Natural Remedies Mystery.

I like to brew a nice cup of tea in the late afternoon, what the Brits call “tea time” and drink it as I am writing my cozy mysteries. Use this guide to make the perfect cup of tea the next time you’re planning on reading one!
Here’s how:

iStock_000004128612XSmallMaking the Perfect Cup of Tea

Herbal tea is an infusion of leaves, seeds, roots or bark, whose goodness is extracted in hot water and sipped for its benefits, both mental and physical. To begin, use pure water, distilled, spring filtered, or well water. Use one heaping teaspoon of dry herbs per cup of hot water. Dried herbs available in loose bulk form are often less expensive and offer a wider variety of flavors. Health food stores offer muslin tea bags and tea balls, which can be filled with herbs and used to steep to make herbal tea.
You can also try using a conventional teapot. Here’s how:

Teapot Method

Fill a china or porcelain tea pot with hot water and allow it to stand for a minute or so. This warms the pot so that the tea you pour into it will not cool down quickly because of a cold pot and impede the steeping process.
Then pour off the water, add loose herbs (1 heaping teaspoon for each cup plus one extra one ‘for the pot’) and fill the pot with boiling water. Cover and allow the herbs and water to steep for ten to fifteen minutes. This also allows the herbs to cool to a comfortable drinking temperature. To serve the tea, simply hold a strainer over each cup as you pour.

The Infusion Method

The Infusion method is ideal for herbal leaves, flowers and seeds and even roots (such as ginger, osha, and valerian) that have delicate essential oils that would be diminished if boiled. The best way to prepare this type of tea is to lightly bruise seeds with a mortar and pestle to help release their flavor and properties.

Next, simply boil a cup of water and remove it from the heat. Add one heaping teaspoon of herb, cover (to prevent the delicate essential oils from
evaporating) and allow it to steep for ten to twenty minutes.

Scent to kill (2)French Press

A French press is a glass pot, a gadget beloved by coffee drinkers, but works great for herbal tea. Simply add the herb to the press, cover with hot water and allow it to steep for ten minutes. The press automatically strains out the herbs, and you can give it a squeeze to further release therapeutic value.

Sun Tea

Sun teas work best with leaves and flowers. Add one cup of herb or herb mixture or twelve tea bags and allow the herbs to sit in sunlight for four to six hours. Cover the jar to prevent leaves from blowing into the jar.
Strain before drinking.

Cold Water Infusion

Cold water infusions retain more vitamin C, and a brighter color than hot infusions. Fill a glass pitcher with fresh picked herbs from the list below and cover with spring water. Allow to steep in the refrigerator for several hours (8-12) or overnight.

death dropsThese herbs are good choices for cold infusion:

Bee Balm
Catnip
Lavender
Lilac
Lemon Balm
Lemon Verbena
Anise
Hyssop
Peppermint
Rooibos
Rose
Rosemary
Spearmint

Add Flavor to Your Tea

Make your tea even more flavorful by adding a touch of honey, agave nectar, apple juice, maple syrup, raw sugar, cinnamon extract, a squeeze of fresh lemon, lime or orange. I like to add Truvia which is a kind of stevia. You can keep tea up to four days in the refrigerator.

Types of Tea You Might Like to Try:

Chamomile tea is a soothing and sedative herb that’s effective at relieving stress and anxiety and easing insomnia. Valerian tea also helps you to relax.

Ginger tea soothes tummy and digestive troubles like nausea and an upset stomach.

Milk Thistle tea is a gentle liver cleanser that helps this important organ to regenerate and work more efficiently.

Lemon Balm tea can help you see the glass half-full so it’s good for the winter blues. It can also help you concentrate better.

Rosehip tea is bursting with Vitamin C, so it’s good for your immune system and can help to ward off colds and flu. Green tea is also packed with polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that helps boost health.

~Chrystle

About This Author

Chrystle Fiedler is the author of Scent to Kill: A Natural Remedies Mystery, (Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster) the second in the NATURAL REMEDIES MYSTERY series, Death Drops: A Natural Remedies Mystery, the non-fiction title THE The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Natural Remedies (Alpha, 2009), co-author of Beat Sugar Addiction Now!: The Cutting-Edge Program That Cures Your Type of Sugar Addiction and Puts You on the Road to Feeling Great – and Losing Weight!(Fairwinds Press, 2010), currently in its fourth printing, the Beat Sugar Addiction Now! Cookbook: Recipes That Cure Your Type of Sugar Addiction and Help You Lose Weight and Feel Great!The Country Almanac of Home Remedies: Time-Tested & Almost Forgotten Wisdom for Treating Hundreds of Common Ailments, Aches & Pains Quickly and Naturally (Fairwinds, 2011). Chrystle’s magazine articles featuring natural remedies have appeared in many national publications including Natural Health, Vegetarian Times, Better Homes & Gardens and Remedy. Visit www.chrystlefiedler.com.


Scent to kill (2)

Scent to Kill:
A Natural Remedies Mystery

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Gallery Books(February 26, 2013)
A Division of Simon & Schuster Inc.
Trade Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1451643619
E-Book File Size: 968 KB
ASIN: B008J4RPRK

Scent to Kill (A Natural Remedies Mystery #2)

Willow McQuade, naturopathic doctor, along with her hunky ex-cop boyfriend Jackson Spade, attend a party for a psychic TV show that is filming on Long Island’s idyllic East End. However, Willow is much more interested in visiting the estate’s lavender farm, seeking inspiration for the new aromatherapy workshops she’ll be holding at her store, Nature’s Way Market & Café.

Before the party is over, Roger Bixby one of the producers is dead and the police suspect murder. Roger was working on the show, MJ’s Mind, with Carly Bixby, his ex-wife and the new girlfriend of Willow’s ex from L.A., TV writer/producer Simon Lewis.

After Willow leaves the party, she gets a frantic text from Simon asking for her help. Since Simon had a fight with Roger earlier in the evening, and because of his death is now the primary shareholder in Galaxy films, Willow’s ex becomes the prime suspect. Simon begs her to crack the case and clear him of the murder. MJ McClellan, the psychic and star of the show also asks Willow for help. She hires Willow to provide natural remedies, including aromatherapy, massage, acupuncture and yoga to soothe the agitated crew of her show.

To find the killer, Willow has to deal with ghosts in a haunted mansion, a truly dysfunctional family, death threats and “accidents,” while trying to untangle a homicide identical to one committed during prohibition.

Thankfully, Jackson has been hired to provide security and is there to watch her back and help Willow solve this spooky mystery. As a bonus, you’ll find dozens of natural aromatherapy cures throughout the book that can improve your health in mind, body and spirit!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I was fortunate to be able to read the two book back to back and really enjoyed both.

Scent to Kill focuses on aromatherapy and essential oils and I could almost smell the lavender fields while reading. As soon as I finished the book I went online to check out diffusers and oils.

Willow McQuade uses her knowledge of herbal remedies to put herself right in the middle of the action. Helping the crew through the stresses of their jobs and the added stress of knowing there may be a murderer among them. She also keeps the door open to a more supernatural solution that could solve this murder and those that took place decades earlier. She and retired cop Jackson Spade make a great team. Their romance is also growing at a perfect pace.

Strong characters and setting made this a fun whodunit.  The ghosts  and the spooky mansion really added great elements to the story.

I can’t wait for my next trip to Nature’ s Way.  I will need an appointment with both Hector and Allie. I once had a doctor tell me to do yoga for my back pain. Maybe Nick can explain how someone like me, paralyzed on one side could do yoga 🙂 while I enjoy the nice healthy smoothie. I am sure the author will have a wonderful mystery to solve too!

just you and a friend

4 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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

There are two copies available plus 1 lucky winner
will receive a copy of Death Drops: A Natural Remedies Mystery.

To win a copy of Scent to Kill: A Natural Remedies Mystery directly from the author
just leave a comment telling Chrystle your favorite cup of tea!
The winner will be randomly selected from the comments.

To win my review copy of both books
fill out the entry form. (Link Below)

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

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

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

Contest Will End April 17, 2013 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

Posted in Reviews 2013 What's In A Name Challenge

Review: Death Drops by Chrystle Fiedler

death drops

Death Drops:
A Natural Remedies Mystery

1st in Series
Cozy Mystery
Gallery Books (February 21, 2012)
A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Trade Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1451643602
E-Book File Size: 891 KB
ASIN: B005GG0N6E

Death Drops (A Natural Remedies Mystery #1)

Nature’s Way Market and Café sells healthy foods and natural cures for what ails you. But there is no cure for murder. . . .

Naturopathic doctor Willow McQuade has come to Long Island’s North Fork to visit her Aunt Claire. Aunt Claire owns the Nature’s Way Market and Cafe and is the reason Willow became a Naturopathic Doctor. They have always been close while she is more estranged from her own mother and sister because they were unhappy with Willow’s career choice.

She has only been visiting a few days when her life is shattered. She returns from a walk and finds her Aunt Claire’s lifeless body on the market floor and a bottle of Mimulus lying nearby. Mimulus is taken to calm fears of misfortune and it clearly didn’t work.

Willow knows her death was no accident, her aunt was murdered! But why would anyone kill the wonderful woman? The cops look quickly to Willow as she is Clare’s heir. Willow teams up with former police officer Jackson Spade to try to prove that she is innocent and catch the killer before anyone else receives a fatal dose.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
This is like a new genre, an educational cozy mystery. The author has taken her knowledge of natural remedies and blended it with a clever mystery.

I was sad when Willow’s aunt died so early in the story. She was a character I really would have enjoyed knowing but she has passed on her knowledge and caring nature to Willow, making this protagonist a very interesting woman with tons of potential. She has an expert’s understanding of these natural substances that the police do not have or want making her interactions with detectives very entertaining.

Chrystle Fiedler has created an excellent foundation with this debut. She has given us a wonderful setting and dynamic characters.  Starting each chapter with a Ask Dr. McQuade letter not only informs the reader but sets up the next chapter.  All that should keep this series blooming for a long time

A very quick read. I can’t wait for the next installment!
just you and a friend
4 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Want to find out more about this author? Come back on Wednesday when Chrystle Fiedler will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday. I will be giving away my review copy of this book and Scent to Kill: A Natural Remedies Mystery, the second book in the series. The author will be giving an additional copy of Scent to Kill. So be sure to stop by.

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.”

death dropsmystery challengereadalattechallenge_zps01d248d0WIN61st in a series

Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Reviews 2013

Review: Three Graves Full by Jamie Mason

three graves full

Three Graves Full
Suspense/Mystery
Gallery Books (February 12, 2013)
A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1451685039
E-Book File Size: 1130 KB
ASIN: B008J2AEQG

Three Graves Full

There is very little peace for a man with a body buried in his backyard.

But it could always be worse. . . .

More than a year ago, mild-mannered Jason Getty killed a man he wished he’d never met. Then he planted the problem a little too close to home. But just as he’s learning to live with the undeniable reality of what he’s done, police unearth two bodies on his property—neither of which is the one Jason buried.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
In Jamie Mason’s debut novel she has come up with a very unique plot. Seriously 3 bodies in the same yard left by at least 2 different killers. With elements of dark humor she serves up a complicated mystery with many twists and turns.

The story is told from multiple points of view and I will admit sometimes the timeline and all the characters got a bit confusing but as the story continues and relationships play out it gets easier to follow. The main character Jason Getty was a lost soul and easy prey for Gary Harris. The other characters did not really stand out for me with the exception of the very talented dog that ended up playing a major role.

Remembering this is the author’s first book they are several excellent elements to build on. The premise of the story was fantastic. She has a very descriptive way of writing which I enjoyed. The dialogue between characters and the comedic content was almost there but not quite. I encourage her to work on her character development so the reader is drawn to more than the main character.  Something that makes the supporting characters memorable. Jamie Mason shows great promise and she is definitely an author I will be expecting big things from.

still at the beach but not as tranquil

3 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author

Jamie Mason was born in Oklahoma City, but grew up in Washington, D.C. She’s most often reading and writing, but in the life left over, she enjoys films, Formula 1 racing, football, traveling, and, conversely, staying at home. Jamie lives with her husband and two daughters in the mountains of western North Carolina. Check out her webpage here.

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

readalattechallenge_zps01d248d0mystery challengea-z challenge 2013large