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

Staging Wars (A Laura Bishop Mystery) by Grace Topping – Author Interview / #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @gtoppingauthor


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am thrilled to feature Staging Wars by Grace Topping today!

Staging Wars (A Laura Bishop Mystery)
by Grace Topping

About Staging Wars 


Staging Wars (A Laura Bishop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Publisher: Henery Press (April 28, 2020)
Hardcover: 254 pages
ISBN-10: 1635115949
ISBN-13: 978-1635115949
Paperback: 254 pages
ISBN-10: 1635115914
ISBN-13: 978-1635115918
Digital ASIN: B084BT29GG

Laura Bishop’s new home staging business is growing in popularity, though not with her nemesis. Laura has long suspected established interior designer Monica Heller of sabotaging her fledgling company—and having an affair with her late husband.

 

When the ultra-chic Monica is caught at the scene of a murder, Laura is plenty happy to imagine her languishing in a prison cell with bedsheets far from her normal 600-thread Egyptian cotton. But her delight is short-lived.

 

When Laura’s friends land on the police’s radar, Laura must overcome her dislike of Monica to help solve the crime. Not an easy task since Laura and Monica have been at war since the second grade.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Laura Bishop’s new business, staging homes is really taking off, but it seems interior designer Monica Heller would like to stop that, going so far as doing a little sabotage. Then Monica has other concerns on her hands when Laura and 3 other witnesses walk in on her killing her new client. She claims she didn’t do it, it’s all a mistake but the woman is spending some quality time behind bars while a mutual friend begs Laura to clear Monica of the crime.

Grace Topping continues to bring strong characters to her mysteries. Laura, Nita, and all their friends continue to evolve. One has a great amount of power over this certain group of people and knows how to use it to their advantage. I love the real teamwork feel of these amateur sleuths. Even Aunt Kit helps out and takes a new look at her niece’s choices.

The mystery gets off fast with first one body and then another, both killed in the same manner but no other apparent connection.  I was surprised by how much time and effort Laura puts into not only helping Monica regarding the murders but in keeping her business afloat too. Laura is a much better person than me. I would have held a grudge. These women have been foes FOREVER!

The romantic aspect of this book is kinda cute. Laura is completely oblivious that Detective Spangler has feelings for her. I am happy that the author is taking the time to lay a firm foundation for this relationship. I think it will make it so much stronger in the long run.

I really enjoy the home staging theme of this series. It is creative and feels very fulfilling to help homeowners sell their homes faster and usually for a better price. It is like playing with full-size dollhouses. I love that Laura is building her wares enough to have more choices and the need for a large warehouse storage space. Each chapter starts with a staging tip. They could be useful for more than just staging a home. The tips are great to give your own home a little freshening.

Staging Wars is filled with great characters and a substantial mystery that kept me engaged and entertained from beginning to end. I am excited to see what Laura stages next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of Staging Is Murder here

 

Hi Grace, welcome to Escape With Dollycas!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a recovering technical writer and IT project manager, accustomed to writing lean, boring documents. Now that I’ve retired, I am creating murder mysteries and killing off characters who remind me of some of the people I dealt with during my career. Fictional revenge is sweet. I’m using some of the experience I gained helping friends stage their homes for sale as the inspiration for my Laura Bishop mystery series. I’m a member of the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime, SINC Guppies, and Mystery Writers of America. I live with my husband in Northern Virginia.

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

  • I was born in Atlanta, Georgia, but raised in Altoona, Pennsylvania
  • I served in the Navy as a WAVE for seven years
  • While stationed in England, I married an Englishman who calls himself a GI War Bride

What is the first book you remember reading?

My mother had a book of Bible stories that she had brought to Pennsylvania from the farm she grew up on in George. The book was falling apart, but I loved to leaf through the pages looking at the black and white illustrations. I’m embarrassed to say that I colored some of the illustrations with crayons. As I got a little older, I was able to read the stories that went with the illustrations—which had been nicely enhanced by me.

What are you reading now?

I usually have several books going at one time, depending on what mood I’m in. Right now I’m reading One Night Gone by Tara Laskowski, Game of Scones by Mary Lee Ashford, and Fields Guide to Abduction by Julie Mulhern. Different types of stories to fit different moods.

I’m also a huge audiobook fan, so I listen to audiobooks while driving, cooking, or when I can’t sleep. I’m currently listening to An Artless Demise by Anna Lee Huber.

What books have most inspired you?

I especially enjoy books that have characters who are wise and make wise observations—the kind of book that makes you want to underline passages. I find characters like that in books by Jacqueline Winspear and Anne Perry. They often inspire me to be a better person or have a better outlook on life.

I also enjoy books that teach me something new. Cozy mysteries where the main character has a business or interest frequently teach me new things. For example, I learned a lot about clocks reading Julienne Holmes’ Clock Shop Mystery Series.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

Like most mystery writers, I chose to write mysteries because that is what I read. I enjoy the puzzle a traditional mystery presents. How I decided to write one is one of those strange quirks of fate. A friend asked me to go with her to Malice Domestic, a mystery conference for fans of traditional or cozy mysteries. I had never heard of Malice Domestic, but when I discovered it involved mysteries and that some of my favorite authors would be there, I couldn’t sign up fast enough. I went as a fan but found it so inspiring I left as a wannabe mystery writer. Lots of years later, I am attending Malice in May as a nominee for an Agatha Award for Best First Mystery. Anything can happen when you are inspired.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

Most of the time I write in my office, which is a bedroom I inherited from one of my daughters when she left home. But when the weather is good, I love to work on our screened porch that looks out over woods. There is something about being out in nature, feeling a fresh breeze, hearing the birds chirping and the squirrels scurrying up trees, that helps me relax and lets my imagination take over.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

I had a friend who used to say that she got her ideas from the Idea Store. I haven’t been lucky enough to find that place, so I have to look around me for ideas. In my first book, Staging is Murder I had watched so many episodes of home staging shows on HGTV, I felt I had learned enough about home staging to have my main character start her own home staging business. I got the idea for the 19th century home she stages and the setting for the murder from a historic home in my hometown. In Staging Wars, I set the story in a small town arts group, based on the stories my sister told me about heading her arts group—dealing with everything except murder.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

I enjoy writing. I even enjoy rewriting. What I find challenging is proofreading my own work. After reading it numerous times, I begin to see what I expect to see, and I miss mistakes. That’s where beta readers are helpful. The story is fresh to them, so mistakes jump out at them more easily. One beta reader for Staging Wars noted that I had used the wrong name for a character in one place. I had totally missed catching that after reading my manuscript multiple times. It’s also a challenge keeping things straight from one book to another. In my second book, I referred to Laura selling her Lexus in the first book to help fund her business when she had actually sold her Volvo.

What do you think makes a good story?

One thing I look for in a good story is character growth. I want to see the characters evolve and come out of the story better people than they were in the opening chapters. Romance writer Susan Elizabeth Phillips is a master of this. In each of her books she has her main characters facing their demons or recognizing their flaws and dealing with them. One of the first things I learned about writing was to give characters a flaw that they would have to deal with during the story. Nobody likes a main character who is perfect. One of Laura’s flaws is that she has an aversion to good-looking men. Anytime someone hurt or embarrassed her, took credit for her work, or generally made her life a misery, a handsome man was usually involved. It was enough to have her avoiding them.

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

When I first started writing, I felt a bit awkward and self-conscious creating my main character because I felt people would think I was writing about myself. To compensate, I made my main character tall, I’m not; thin, I’m not; and a lot younger. But saying all that, I guess my main character, Laura Bishop, is the most like me. On the other hand, I made Laura’s mother sound so awful that I felt I should add a disclosure at the beginning of the book, saying that Laura’s mother was not based on my mother, who is wonderful.

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

The one thing that might be different from other cozy mysteries is that Laura Bishop is not only an amateur sleuth, she is also an extremely reluctant one. In Staging is Murder when her young assistant is accused of murder and his grandmother beseeches Laura to help find the killer, Laura acknowledges that she doesn’t have any skill in identifying killers and that she would do the grandmother a disservice if she agreed to help and then couldn’t do anything. She does not want to be looking for a killer. Another flaw is that she can’t say no to people who come to her for help, and she is drawn into the case—but reluctantly.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

After I spend a fair amount of time this spring promoting Staging Wars, I will begin working on the third book in the series, continuing the adventures of Laura Bishop and her best friend, Nita Martino. In May, I will be attending the Malice Domestic mystery conference, where I’ll find out if Staging is Murder won the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Exciting times.

Thank you, Grace, so much for visiting today!

More About Grace Topping

Grace Topping is a recovering technical writer and IT project manager, accustomed to writing lean, boring documents. Let loose to write fiction, she is now creating murder mysteries and killing off characters who remind her of some of the people she dealt with during her career. Fictional revenge is sweet. She’s using her experience helping friends stage their homes for sale as inspiration for her Laura Bishop mystery series. The series is about a woman starting a new career midlife as a home stager. The first book in the series, Staging is Murder, is a 2019 Agatha Award nominee for Best First Novel. Grace is the former vice president of the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime, and a member of the SINC Guppies and Mystery Writers of America. She lives with her husband in Northern Virginia.

Author Links –  Website – Twitter – Facebook – GoodReadsBookBub – 

Purchase Links – Amazon  B&N   Kobo  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
April 5 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 5 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
April 6 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
April 7 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT
April 7 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
April 8 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 8 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 9 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST
April 10 – The Book Decoder – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 11 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 20 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
April 20 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
April 21 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
April 21 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
April 22 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
April 23 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
April 24 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – REVIEW
April 25 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!


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 My Reading Itinerary Monday

My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #15 – 2020

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be visiting New York, Scotland, and California!

Here’s what I read and what I have planned for this week.

Escapes Completed


Wonton Terror: A Noodle Shop Mystery
by Vivien Chien
Release Date – August 27, 2019
Setting – Ohio
My Flashback Friday Read – My Review


Deep Fried Revenge (A Farm-to-Fork Mystery)
by Lynn Cahoon
Release Date – April 7, 2020
Setting – Idaho
My Review will be up tomorrow! 


Staging Wars (A Laura Bishop Mystery)
by Grace Topping
Release Date – April 28, 2020
Setting – Pennsylvania
The Great Escapes Tour stops here this week for Cozy Wednesday!


A Small Town Can Be #Murder (Whistle Stop Mysteries)
by Julie Seedorf
Release Date – December 21, 2019
Setting – Minnesota
The Great Escapes Tour stops here this Thursday!

Scheduled Escapes


This Magick Marmot (An Abracadabra Mystery)
by Sharon Pape
Release Date – April 7, 2020
Setting – New York
The Great Escapes Book Tours stops here next Tuesday!


A Stroke of Malice (A Lady Darby Mystery)
by Anna Lee Huber
Release Date – April 7, 2020
Setting – Scotland
I will feature this book next week for Cozy Wednesday!


Murder in the Secret Maze (A Tory Benning Mystery)
by Judith Gonda
Release Date – February 26, 2020
Setting – California
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Thursday!

Future Escapes

April 6 – 12, 2020


Click Here to check out my Current Giveaways!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading 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

Under the Radar (A Zoe Chambers Mystery) by Annette Dashofy #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour – @Annette_Dashofy @HeneryPress

Under the Radar (A Zoe Chambers Mystery)
by Annette Dashofy

About Under the Radar


Under the Radar (A Zoe Chambers Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
9th in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Publisher: Henery Press (February 25, 2020)
Trade Paperback – 288 pages
ISBN-13: 9781635115758
ISBN-10: 1635115752
Digital ASIN: B08289PJ97

Paramedic and deputy coroner Zoe Chambers responds to a shooting and discovers her longtime friend, Horace Pavelka, has gunned down a man who’d bullied him mercilessly for decades. Ruled self-defense, no charges are filed. When another of his tormentors turns up dead in Horace’s kitchen, Police Chief Pete Adams questions the man’s innocence in both cases…especially after Horace and his girlfriend go into hiding.

 

While fighting to clear her friend, Zoe is handed the opportunity to finally learn what really happened to her long-lost sibling. What starts out as a quick road trip on a quest for answers leads her to an unfamiliar city in the middle of a November blizzard, where she finds way more trouble than she bargained for.

 

Pete’s own search for his missing fiancée and a missing murderer ultimately traps him in a web of deception. Face-to-face with one of the most cunning and deadly killers of his law enforcement career, Pete realizes too late that this confrontation may well be his last.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have enjoyed this series from the start and each book is better than the last and they are all great.

This time there is a lot happening in Zoe’s life.

Zoe and Pete are now engaged and Zoe’s mother is determined to take over all the wedding plans. She is also not pleased that the farmhouse she gave to her daughter is not further along in its renovations.

The highly contested Coroner’s race is just a few days away. If the current coroner is not reelected Zoe will lose her part-time job.

An old friend has come to town with news about a brother Zoe recently found out she has.

And on top of all that a high school friend, Horace Pavelka, fatally shot a man that had been bullying him for years. That was ruled self-defense but when another bully is found dead in Pavelka’s kitchen authorities including Pete believe they may have ruled on the first death too quickly and Horace is getting revenge taking down both men. The fact that both Horace and his girlfriend are missing sure doesn’t help his case.

So with all that on her plate, some that take her away from Pete, things get interesting. And before the story wraps up both Pete and Zoe find themselves in danger. Could this be the end for both of them?

_____

Twists, twists, and more twists! One that almost gave me whiplash!

These characters continue to evolve and get stronger in every book. Ms. Dashofy has created such wonderful characters and gives them all purpose and believable, realistic events and tasks to handle within each story. In Under the Radar, she really turns things inside out and tests the characters we have come to love.  It is an emotional roller coaster ride for Zoe but another character has a surprising awakening.

The pace of this story is incredibly quick with plenty of action and suspense that takes the characters traveling around Pennsylvania to get answers. Dashofy is an expert at running right up to the line between cozy mystery and thriller. She gives readers an exciting story while keeping the small-town feel and the amateur sleuth Zoe trying to save her friend while keeping the local law in the loop, at least most of the time. Readers are truly kept on their toes from the start to the finish and then wishing the next book in the series was already out so we could stick with the characters we are not ready to leave.

Under the Radar is an excellent addition to this series. Well-written and skillfully plotted. Once I started reading it was impossible to put down.

The author gives new readers plenty of background to read this book on its own, but to experience that vast character development and drama over the series you really need to start from the beginning.

 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Check out my reviews for previous books in this series.
Circle of Influence
Lost Legacy
Bridges Burned
With A Vengeance
No Way Home
Uneasy Prey
Cry Wolf
Fair Game

About Annette Dashofy

Annette Dashofy is the USA Today best-selling author of the Zoe Chambers mystery series about a paramedic and deputy coroner in rural southwestern Pennsylvania. A former EMT and lifelong resident of the area about which she writes, Annette lives with her husband and one very spoiled cat on what was once her grandfather’s dairy farm. UNDER THE RADAR (February 2020) is the ninth in her series.

Author Links

Website – Blog –  Facebook – 

Twitter– @Annette_Dashofy 

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKobo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
February 17 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
February 17 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW
February 17 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
February 18 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
February 18 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  
February 18 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 19 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
February 19 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
February 19 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 20 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 20 – I’m All About Books– SPOTLIGHT
February 20 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
February 21 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
February 21 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
February 21 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHTS
February 22 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW
February 22 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 22 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW  
February 23 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 23 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – REVIEW
February 23 – Christa Reads & Writes – REVIEW

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

 


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 My Reading Itinerary Monday

My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #8 – 2020

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be visiting Kansas and New York!

Here’s what I read and what I have planned for this week.

Escapes Completed


Under the Radar (Zoe Chambers Mystery)
by Annette Dashofy
Release Date – February 25, 2020
Setting – Pennsylvania
The Great Escapes Tour stops here tomorrow.


Death By Baguette: A Valentine’s Day Murder in Paris (Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series)
by Jennifer S. Alderson
Release Date – February 7, 2020
Setting – France
The Great Escapes Tour stops here this Cozy Wednesday!

The Antidote for Everything
by Kimmery Martin
Release Date – February 18, 2020
Setting – South Carolina
My Review will be up Thursday!

Current Escape


Murder Lo Mein (A Noodle Shop Mystery)
by Vivien Chien
Release Date – March 26, 2019
Setting – Ohio
My Flashback Friday Read!

Scheduled Escapes


Stayin’ Alive (The Country Club Murders)
by Julie Mulhern
Release Date – February 25, 2020
Setting – Missouri
For Review


Here Comes the Body (A Catering Hall Mystery)
by Maria DiRico
Release Date – February 25, 2020
Setting – New York
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next week for Cozy Wednesday!


In an Instant

by Suzanne Redfearn
Release Date – March 1, 2020
Setting – ???

Future Escapes

February 17 – 23, 2020


Click Here to check out my Current Giveaways!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in My Reading Itinerary Monday

My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #7 – 2020

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I seem to be visiting South Carolina a lot these days!
This week I also jet to Paris and stop by Pennsylvania!

Here’s what I read and what I have planned for this week.

Escapes Completed


The Great Iowa Caucus Casserole Mystery: A Cozy Potluck Paradise Cafe Mystery
by Rae Katherine Eighmey
Release Date – October 31, 2019
Setting – Iowa
The Great Escapes Tour stops here tomorrow!


The Book of Candlelight (Secret, Book, & Scone Society)
by Ellery Adams
Release Date – January 28, 2020
Setting – North Carolina
I will post my Review on Cozy Wednesday!

Bitter Alpine: An Emma Lord Mystery (Emma Lord Returns)
by Mary Daheim
Release Date – February 4, 2020
Setting – Washington State
The Great Escapes Tour stops here Thursday!


Plum Tea Crazy (A Tea Shop Mystery)
by Laura Childs
Release Date – March 6, 2018
Setting – South Carolina
My Flashback Friday Read!

Scheduled Escapes


Under the Radar (Zoe Chambers Mystery)
by Annette Dashofy
Release Date – February 25, 2020
Setting – Pennsylvania
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Tuesday.


Death By Baguette: A Valentine’s Day Murder in Paris (Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series)
by Jennifer S. Alderson
Release Date – February 7, 2020
Setting – France
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Wednesday!

The Antidote for Everything
by Kimmery Martin
Release Date – February 18, 2020
Setting – South Carolina
For Review

Future Escapes

February 10 – 16, 2020


Click Here to check out my Current Giveaways!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!
Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Ghosts of Painting Past (An Aurora Anderson Mystery) by Sybil Johnson #Review / #Giveaway @HeneryPress – Great Escapes Book Tour

Ghosts of Painting Past (An Aurora Anderson Mystery)
by Sybil Johnson

About Ghosts of Painting Past

Ghosts of Painting Past (An Aurora Anderson Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Henery Press (November 19, 2019)
Paperback: 264 pages
ISBN-10: 1635115590
ISBN-13: 978-1635115598
Digital ASIN: B07XC3DXGN

>

It’s Christmastime in the quiet Los Angeles County city of Vista Beach, home of computer programmer and tole-painting enthusiast Aurora (Rory) Anderson. The magic of the season fills the air as residents enjoy school concerts, a pier lighting ceremony and the annual sand-snowman contest.

During the weeks leading up to Christmas, Rory plans on painting ornaments to sell at the local craft fair and joining in on the holiday fun. But she finds the season anything but jolly after the house across the street is torn down, revealing a decades old crime. Past meets present when her father is implicated in the murder.

Fearing for her father’s future, Rory launches her own investigation, intent on discovering the truth and clearing his name.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Christmas in California should be bliss for Rory Anderson but all the holiday magic is sucked out of the atmosphere when a skeleton is found on the property across the street from her house and another is found on the beach. It appears the deaths are connected and Rory’s father is right in the middle of it. Rory is bound and determined to show her father is not involved. Clearing his name means digging up his past which he has always painted with a pretty broad brush. She learns a lot about her parents but knows her father is no killer.

____

This time Rory’s family, friends, and neighbors all get in on the investigation. There were a few funny moments as Rory and the rest of the nosy neighbors tried to see what the big discovery was on their street. When they found out it was a skeleton and again when the skeleton was identified the story took a more somber tone. The situation really tugged on this mother’s heartstrings.

Ms. Johnson has created a wonderful cast of characters. The recurring characters continue to grow while the new characters bring new energy to the story. I really enjoyed reading about how Rory’s parents met and their love story. Rory has the perfect job for an amateur sleuth, working from home, in charge of her own time, allowing her to drop everything at a moment’s notice to follow a lead.

The story was filled with twists and moved along nicely. I loved that the past and present were tied together in a top-notch mystery.

Celebrating Christmas without any snow would be hard for me but it was fun to read about all the festivities. The author does an excellent job of bringing the various scenes to life. The lighted trees lining the pier, the snowman contest on the beach and even the craft sale.

Ghosts of Painting Past is a great addition to this series. It checks all my cozy boxes and left me excited for the next book in the series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About Sybil Johnson

Sybil Johnson’s love affair with reading began in kindergarten with “The Three Little Pigs.” Visits to the library introduced her to Encyclopedia Brown, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and a host of other characters. Fast forward to college where she continued reading while studying Computer Science. After a rewarding career in the computer industry, Sybil decided to try her hand at writing mysteries. Her short fiction has appeared in Mysterical-E and Spinetingler Magazine, among others. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in Southern California where she enjoys tole painting, studying ancient languages and spending time with friends and family.

Author Links

Website       Facebook Author page       Twitter
GoodReads       Publisher

Purchase Links – Amazon KindleAmazon PaperbackKobo 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
November 18 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
November 19 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
November 20 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
November 21 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT
November 21 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
November 22 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 23 – My Reading Journeys – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 24 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
November 25 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
November 26 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
November 27 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 27 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 28 – Thanksgiving
November 29 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW
November 29 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
November 30 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW
December 1 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
December 2 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!


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 My Reading Itinerary Monday

My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #47 2019

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be headed abroad this week, Bocas del Toro and England!

Here’s what I read and what I have planned for this week.

Escapes Completed


Turkey Basted to Death (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)
by Jodi Rath
Release Date – November 15, 2018
Setting – Ohio
The Great Escapes Book Tour stops here tomorrow!


A Murderous Tangle (Seaside Knitters Society)
by Sally Goldenbaum
Release Date – November 26, 2019
Setting – Massachusetts
I will feature this book this week for Cozy Wednesday!


Ghosts of Painting Past (An Aurora Anderson Mystery)
by Sybil Johnson
Release Date – November 19, 2019
Setting – California
The Great Escapes Tour stops here this Thursday!


Nuts and Buried (Nut House Mystery Series)
by Elizabeth Lee
Release Date – November 3, 2015
Setting – Texas
My Flashback Friday Read!

Scheduled Escapes


The Wipeout Affair (Red Frog Beach Mystery Series)
by Rachel Neuburger Reynolds
Release Date – October 17, 2019
Setting – Bocas del Toro
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Tuesday!


Potions Are for Pushovers (An Eleanor Wilde Mystery)
by Tamara Berry
Release Date – November 26, 2019
Setting – England
I will feature this book next week for Cozy Wednesday!


Fields’ Guide to Fog (The Poppy Fields Adventures)
by Julie Mulhern
Release Date – September 30, 2019
Setting – England
For Review

Future Escapes

November 18 – 24, 2019


Click Here to check out my Current Giveaways!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!
Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
Posted in Thoughts

My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #46 2019

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be visiting Ohio, Massachusetts and California!

Here’s what I read and what I have planned for this week.

Escapes Completed


Penny for Your Secrets (A Verity Kent Mystery)
by Anna Lee Huber
Release Date – November 1, 2019
Setting – England
My Review will be up tomorrow!


Shot Through the Hearth (A Fixer-Upper Mystery)
by Kate Carlisle
Release Date – October 29, 2019
Setting – California
Kate Carlisle will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday this week!


The Chocolate Shark Shenanigans (Chocoholic Mystery)
by JoAnna Carl
Release Date – November 5, 2019
Setting – Michigan
My Review will be up on Thursday!


Whack ‘N’ Roll: A Bunco Babes Mystery
by Gail Oust
Release Date August 4, 2009
Released titled Murder is Dicey (Kate McCall Mysteries) August 9, 2015
 Setting – South Carolina
My Flashback Friday Read!

Scheduled Escapes


Turkey Basted to Death (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)
by Jodi Rath
Release Date – November 15, 2018
Setting – Ohio
The Great Escapes Book Tour stops here next Tuesday!


A Murderous Tangle (Seaside Knitters Society)
by Sally Goldenbaum
Release Date – November 26, 2019
Setting – Massachusetts
I will feature this book next week for Cozy Wednesday!


Ghosts of Painting Past (An Aurora Anderson Mystery)
by Sybil Johnson
Release Date – November 19, 2019
Setting – California
The Great Escapes Tour stops here Thursday!

Future Escapes

November 11 – 17, 2019


Click Here to check out my Current Giveaways!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!
Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
Posted in Great Escapes Book Tours Spotlights

Better Watch Out (A Merry & Bright Handcrafted Mystery) by Christina Freeburn #Spotlight – Great Escapes Book Tour @ChristinaFreeb1 @HeneryPress

Better Watch Out (A Merry & Bright Handcrafted Mystery)
by Christina Freeburn

I am thrilled to shine the spotlight
on Christina’s new book today!

About Better Watch Out


Better Watch Out (A Merry & Bright Handcrafted Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Henery Press (October 15, 2019)
Hardcover: 252 pages
ISBN-10: 1635115108
ISBN-13: 978-1635115109
Paperback: 252 pages
ISBN-10: 1635115078
ISBN-13: 978-1635115079
Digital ASIN: B07VQST5YT

Making a list. Merry’s life is Christmas chaos. Her divorce is still in question. She’s behind on crafting orders. Ebenezer is an escape artist. And with one day left, she hasn’t completed the line-up for the annual Christmas parade, thanks to one grinch. Once Merry knows the Christmas secret, she realizes Santa isn’t what’s coming to town.

Checking it twice. Santa’s naughty list, courtesy of Jenna Wilcox, will roll down Main Street with names of residents who deserve a lump of coal in their stocking. Saving the parade won’t be easy, but Merry is up to task. Or so she thinks until she discovers Jenna’s body stashed in Santa’s sack.

Going to find out. As facts are unwrapped, Merry finds the line blurred between who’s naughty and nice. As threats are aimed at her and those she loves, Merry dashes for the truth before the murderer puts her on the naughty list and crosses her off for good.

Praise for Better Watch Out (A Merry & Bright Handcrafted Mystery)
by Christina Freeburn

Christina Freeburn has written a wonderful tale of festivities, family, fun ….. and murder!
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

For me, the Christmas setting was the strongest element of the entire book. Imagine finding a body in the midst of a Christmas parade with all the trimmings. That should give you a taste of the story…one of the most delightful Christmas cozy mysteries I’ve read in recent times.
~My Devotional Thoughts

 About Christina Freeburn

Christina Freeburn has always loved books. There was nothing better than picking up a story and being transported to another place. The love of reading evolved into the love of writing and she’s been writing since her teenage years. Her first novel was a 2003 Library of Virginia Literary Award nominee. Her mysteries series, Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery and Merry & Bright Handcrafted Mysteries, are a mix of crafty and crime and feature heroines whose crafting time is interrupted by crime solving.

Christina served in the US Army and has also worked as a paralegal, librarian, church secretary, and golf shop pro. She lives in West Virginia with her husband, dog, and a rarely seen cat except by those who are afraid and allergic to felines.

Author Links – Webpage     Blog     Facebook     Twitter     Goodreads 

 

Purchase Links –

AmazonB&NKobo

Also by Christina Freeburn

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the  stops.
October 15 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
October 15 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY
October 16 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 16 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 16 – My Devotional Thoughts – REVIEW
October 17 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY
October 17 – Diane Reviews Books – GUEST POST
October 18 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
October 18 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW*, GIVEAWAY
October 19 – Reading Is My SuperPower – SPOTLIGHT
October 19 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
October 20 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
October 21 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
October 22 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 22 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT
October 23 – Island Confidential – SPOtLIGHT
October 23 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
October 24 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
October 24 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW
October 25 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
October 25 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT
October 25 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

 

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?
Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Telephone Line (The Country Club Murder) by Julie Mulhern #Review


Telephone Line (The Country Club Murder)
Cozy Mystery
9th in Series
Setting – Missouri
Henery Press (June 18, 2019)
Hardcover: 256 pages
ISBN-10: 1635115507
ISBN-13: 978-1635115505
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-10: 1635115477
ISBN-13: 978-1635115475
Kindle Print Length: 220 pages
ASIN: B07Q4F81FK

A killer is calling, and Ellison’s life is on the line.

Ellison Russell is planning the event of the season—and she’s stressed. Why not yoga?

Because the yoga instructor gets murdered during class—and Ellison’s stress level rises exponentially. Now, in addition to raising a ridiculous amount of money, she’s babysitting a deranged cat (named after the devil himself), taking ten million phone calls (most of them from Mother), and finding more bodies (they’re popping up like dandelions after a spring rain).

There’s no such thing as balance when the killer makes it personal. Can Ellison catch a murderer or will her next namaste be her last?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I was warned that I may want to skip this book because the manner of death may trigger feelings about my son’s suicide. That is why I didn’t read and review it when it was released back in June. I have enjoyed every book in this series so recently I decided to give reading it a shot. One scene did make me uncomfortable and the image has stuck with me but I forged on and am happy I did so.

Ellison Russell is stressed – her mother is pressuring her to raise an obscene amount of money for an upcoming museum fundraiser and she really needs a break. Yeah right, when Ellison needs a break she usually runs to the love of her life  Mr. Coffee. But this time she has been roped by her friend Libba into attending a yoga class at Winnie Flournoy’s house.

The class is ensconced in the last relaxing moves when they realize the instructor Marigold Applebottom is gone and she has locked them in the attic studio. Ellison comes up with a plan to alert a neighbor but that person leaves quickly and soon thereafter the police arrive and make a horrific discovery. Marigold is dead and there is much more drama to follow involving Winnie Flournoy and her husband, plus one of Grace’s friends is assaulted and Ellison and Grace have some new neighbors.

If Ellison wasn’t stressed before she sure in now. The question seems to be could her deceased husband’s dirty deeds have anything to do with the deaths and drama. Hopefully, Ellison can stay alive long enough to find out.

I am always excited to flashback to the ’70s with the latest book from Julie Mulhern. This time it is with Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) and Telephone Line.

Technically Ellison didn’t find the body this time but she identifies the body and she soon is wrapped right up in another murder investigation and her mother is apoplectic. (The Kansas City grapevine is stellar with its direct line to Frances.) She wants Ellison to focus on raising money and spending time with lawyer Hunter and not Detective Anarchy Jones. Ellison is fine being friends with Hunter but more and more her heart belongs to Anarchy. She also needs to carve out time for her daughter as a hard anniversary rolls around and to help her deal with what happened to her friend.

Ellison has grown so much over the course of this series. Her relationship with her mother continues to make me laugh, I really do see just a little bit of my mother in her mom. Ellison’s housekeeper, Aggie is a gem and is not afraid to voice her opinions. Libba continues to delve where others won’t and again keeps me laughing. The characters all come across as believable and the dialogue is perfectly written.

The murder mystery is complex especially when another person dies and another lands in the hospital. A possible connection to Ellison’s late husband Henry, adds a really nice twist. I did have a guess as to who the guilty party was but didn’t really mesh everything together until closer to the end. I did find myself reading faster and unable to put the book down as clues starting showing me I was on the right track.

Julie Mulhern writes a story full of charm and humor. She also takes on some serious topics. Topics that were hot in the 70s and still hot today. That is not to say she takes these issues lightly. She always strikes the right tone. I was very impressed with the way Ellison handled things. I hope I would be able to do the same if any of my family had to deal with similar situations. The author has a unique voice and a keen knowledge of the time frame. From the country club to Jello molds she has everything down pat.  Humor does fill many pages. The scene with Libba and the cat is absolutely priceless.

 It is always a treat to escape into the books in this series. This entire series is excellent. You truly can’t go wrong with anything written by Julie Mulhern. They are all “Must Reads”!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Books in the Country Club Murders Humorous Mystery Series:


Also by Julie Mulhern

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.”