Jul 222019
 

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be visiting Rhode Island and Massachusetts!

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

Escapes Completed


Toxic Toffee (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery)
by Amanda Flower
Release Date – June 25, 2019
Setting – Ohio
My Review will be up on Thursday!


A Genuine Fix (An Allie Cobb Mystery)
by J.C. Kenney
Release Date – July 16, 2019
Setting – Indiana
The Great Escapes Tour stops here tomorrow!


The Pawful Truth (Cat in the Stacks Mystery)
by Miranda James
Release Date – July 16, 2019
Setting – Mississippi
Miranda James will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday this week!


The House on Xenia (A Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery Series)
by Rita Moreau
Release Date – April 29, 2019
Setting – Ohio
The Great Escapes Tour will stop here on Friday!

Scheduled Escapes


Murder at Crossways (A Gilded Newport Mystery)
by Alyssa Maxwell
Release Date – July 30, 2019
Setting – Rhode Island


Let’s Fake a Deal (A Sarah W. Garage Sale Mystery)
by Sherry Harris
Release Date – June 30, 2019
Setting – Massachusetts
I will feature this book next week for Cozy Wednesday!


You’ve Been Volunteered: A Class Mom Novel
by Laurie Gelman
Release Date – July 23, 2019
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Thursday!

Future Escapes

Release Dates – July 22 – July 28, 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

 

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May 212019
 

Caught Up in It
(Blu Carraway Mystery)
by David Burnsworth

About the Book


Caught Up in It (Blu Carraway Mystery)
Hard-Boiled Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – South Carolina – Trips to Malaysia, Hollywood, and Las Vegas
Henery Press (April 23, 2019)
Hardcover: 286 pages
ISBN-10: 1635114780
ISBN-13: 978-1635114782
Digital ASIN: B07N7LW9WS

The award-winning diva, C, has got a big problem: someone wants her dead. A team of mercenaries attempts to gun her down in Kuala Lumpur. Lucky for her, Lowcountry Private Investigator, Blu Carraway, is already on the job there for a different client.

Double-lucky for C, they make their move when she’s chit-chatting with him in a bar. Unlucky for the mercenaries, four of them end up dead.

The hunt is on now for the mega-pop star. Where does she go to hide out? The sleepy islands around Charleston, South Carolina—Blu’s backyard. He’s already proven himself once, so C hires the Blu Carraway Investigation Agency to protect her for real.

The job takes Blu halfway around the world and several cities in between. The search for the truth reveals what could drive a person to want someone else dead.

And Blu Carraway ends up right in the way.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Private Investigator Blu Carraway is in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia protecting pop star “C” from an unknown element who wants her dead. Believing she is being watched by another team Blu is taking some downtime in a local bar. Then C walks in and soon the bad guys follow. Blu takes control and leaves four bodies behind.

He returns home to the Lowcountry and is surprised when the diva shows up on his turf begging him to protect her again. He takes her on with some rules of his own. Before long he is using all his resources to keep her safe. Over the course of just a few days, chaos ensues. Blu starts to question who he can trust. He and his team travel hither and yon trying to ascertain who is behind the hit put out on C. Amidst all the action Blu is also dealing with a very sick horse.

When I pick up a David Burnsworth novel I know I am in for non-stop action and more than a few dead bodies. This series was originally was a spin-off of the author’s other series, but by the end of this story the two series are now completely blended together. This made me very happy because Brack from the Heat Series and Blu from this series are both such strong characters working around and out of Charleston, South Carolina and I had no idea how the author could keep both series going. Brack and Blu have worked together and characters from the other series have crossed over to this one. Bringing Blu, Brack, Crome, and the ladies in their lives together makes perfect sense and makes this series so strong and compelling.

These characters are so well written, they are intriguing and we learn more about them throughout the story and in each new book. Readers can see their growth and witness their life’s journeys. The dialogue is fantastic and realistic for people who have known each other for a long time and who have seen what they have seen.  The relationships are strong and understanding.  They are not just teammates, they are friends and they care about each other. The accepted their client into their fold and went to extreme lengths to keep her safe at their own peril and I would expect no less from the characters we have come to know over the course of these stories.

Mr. Burnsworth also knows how to set a scene. His island home, complete with his herd of wild horses and swarms of mosquitos, along with every location his characters travel is vividly described. His words take readers right there on the front lines of the mayhem that seems to follow Blu and his team everywhere they go.

Fast-paced, action, suspense, and drama. Burnsworth keeps the reader’s eyes glued to the pages hardly giving us time to come up for air. I loved it. While the story reached a great ending I was sorry to see the book come to an end. These characters really grab ahold, it’s hard to let them go.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Click on the links below to read my reviews for other books by this author.
IN IT FOR THE MONEY
BAD TIME TO BE IN IT
SOUTHERN HEAT
BURNING HEAT
BIG CITY HEAT

About the Author

David Burnsworth became fascinated with the Deep South at a young age. After a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tennessee and fifteen years in the corporate world, he made the decision to write a novel. He is the author of both the Brack Pelton and the Blu Carraway Mystery Series. Having lived in Charleston on Sullivan’s Island for five years, the setting was a foregone conclusion. He and his wife call South Carolina home.

Author Links

Website   Facebook  Twitter   GoodReads

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKobo


a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
May 20 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 21 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
May 22 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
May 23 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
May 24 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
May 25 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
May 26 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST
May 27 – 4covert2overt ☼ A Place In The Spotlight ☼ – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 28 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
May 28 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
May 29 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 30 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
May 31 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 31 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
June 1 – ❧Defining Ways❧ – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 2 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT

 

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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.”

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May 202019
 

Better Than Nun
(A Giulia Driscoll Mystery)
by Alice Loweecey

Hi Alice, 

Welcome back to Escape With Dollycas. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

—I’m your typical Italian mom: I cook almost everything from scratch, feed my sons with their favorite goodies when they visit, and yes, I make sauce. I will share any recipe with anyone who asks. I don’t understand people who won’t share recipes. Good food is better when shared!

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

—I like dogs only when they belong to other people.

—I once gave 5 dozen slugs a happy death when I set out 3 pie plates of beer in my garden. They were drowned in beer the next morning. (I have a large veg garden. Slugs are the enemy.)

—I once crocheted amigurumi of the entire cast of Firefly as a wedding present for a friend.

What is the first book you remember reading?

Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag. I still love this book.

What are you reading now?

The Elder Sister-Like One vols. 1-3, by Pochi Iida. It’s one of the best mangas I’ve read in years by one of the few authors who took a god from Lovecraft’s pantheon and made it their own. So much fun.

What books have most inspired you?

The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet, by Eleanor Cameron

Patricia Wentworth’s Miss Silver series

Lord of the Rings

—“The Colour out of Space,” by HP Lovecraft

All for both the same reason and different reasons. The same: all the MCs moved me deeply and the plots made me reread the books more than once. The different: Mushroom Planet was written when male MCs had the exciting adventures in kids’ books, and I had to get my adventure where I could. LotR for much the same reason. “Colour” because it scared me in broad daylight and still gives me shivers when I reread it. Miss Silver: Wentworth writes light mysteries with a touch of romance. When I started to write mysteries, her style was my inspiration.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

Back when I was querying my first book (The Redeemers, published in 2015 under my pen name Kate Morgan with Dark Recesses Press), part of my query letter mentioned I used to be a nun. The agent rejected Redeemers but mentioned how he’d like to see a book with a crime-fighting ex-nun. I dismissed the idea because “I’m a horror writer.” But the idea kept nagging me, and within the year I’d written Force of Habit. I sent the first 3 chapters to that agent—and he rejected it. You have to laugh. I eventually found an agent who sold the book as a 3-book deal in 2010 to Midnight Ink.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

—Outside on our deck by our koi pond. The waterfall is soothing, the frogs and birds carry on conversations. It’s an escape. Of course, since I live in Buffalo, I have to grab every moment I can out there before the snow hits.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

—Everywhere. Everything is fodder for a story. The idea for the MacGuffin in Better than Nun came from a morning conversation at the Malice Domestic conference a few years ago. The ideas for others came from dreams (and nightmares). My brain is a strange place.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

—Carving out time. I work full-time and take care of my house. Sometimes it’s difficult to get creative after a long day. But deadlines aren’t forgiving, so I power through.

What do you think makes a good story?

—A compelling main character. I’ll read almost any genre if the writer makes me root for the MC. Worldbuilding, research, plot, secondary characters—they’re all important, but a main character who grabs me is essential.

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

—Ana, the narrator of a book I haven’t yet found a home for. She’s strong-willed, likes to knit, and is all about family. Naturally, I throw her into a sink-or-swim situation completely outside anything she’s experienced. Writers are evil.

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

—Perhaps it’s how Giulia handles sleuthing with ghosts. She’s always practical, so when she discovered ghosts were real, and they wanted her to help them solve their murders, she chose to create a new dimension to her detective agency. Kids need college funds. Giulia is all about justice—and paying the bills—so any ghost wanting her help has to have humans who can meet her fee schedule.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

—I’m writing the book I’ve been wanting to write for years. Now that I’ve had a dozen books published I figure I have the chops. It’s a retelling of the Oresteia set in a modern-day traveling carnival. Some people think ancient Greek drama is boring. Not on your life! This book has drugs, sex, murder, backstabbing business deals, and possibly the most dysfunctional family in the literary world. I’m having a ball writing it. I also get to go to carnivals again in the name of research. Whee!

Thank you, Alice, for visiting today!

Keep reading to learn about Alice’s new book!

Better Than Nun (A Giulia Driscoll Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Henery Press (May 21, 2019)
Hardcover: 284 pages
ISBN-10: 1635114829
ISBN-13: 978-1635114829
Paperback: 284 pages
ISBN-10: 1635114799
ISBN-13: 978-1635114799
Digital ASIN: B07P687GDG

Ghosts for Mardi Gras!

Giulia Driscoll used to say running a detective agency was the busiest job she’d ever had. Then the ghosts showed up, and she figured now she’s the busiest ever. This of course challenged the Universe to say, “Hold my beer.”

Today she’s running the agency, sleuthing on behalf of the ghosts, and being the mother of a two-month-old. At last she understands those 5-Hour Energy commercials.

The Universe then dropped two clients in her lap for Mardi Gras: a family greedy to find hidden money and the son of her least-favorite person, Ken Kanning of The Scoop. The positive: a date night! The not-so-positive: it’s a working date night. Driscoll Investigations is joining the big Mardi Gras costume charity gala to search for potential thieves. Kanning Junior will be at the party showing off his tame ghost.

The Scoop, a few hundred drunk revelers, a mercenary family, and a ghost who isn’t as tame as the kid thinks. What could possibly go wrong?

Did someone just hear the Universe say, “Hold my beer”?

More About the Author

Alice Loweecey is a baker of brownies and tormenter of characters, Alice Loweecey recently celebrated her thirtieth year outside the convent. She grew up watching Hammer horror films and Scooby-Doo mysteries, which explains a whole lot. When she’s not creating trouble for her sleuth Giulia Driscoll or inspiring nightmares as her alter-ego Kate Morgan, she can be found growing her own vegetables (in summer) and cooking with them (the rest of the year).

Website: aliceloweecey.net

Facebook: facebook.com/GiuliaDriscoll

Twitter: @AliceLoweecey

Goodreads: Alice Loweecey

Purchase Links

Amazon  B&N 

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
May 20 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
May 20 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 20 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
May 21 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
May 21 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
May 21 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW, GUEST POST
May 22 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
May 22 – Readeropolis – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 22 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
May 23 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 23 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
May 24 – Author Teresa Watson – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
May 24 – I’m All About Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

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May 202019
 

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I did a lot more traveling last week that I thought I would.
David Burnsworth’s book took me all the way to Malaysia and across the U.S.!
This week I visit Georgia, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania.

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

Escapes Completed


Caught Up In It (A Blu Carraway Mystery)
by David Burnsworth
Release Date – April 23, 2019
Setting – South Carolina
The Great Escapes Tour stops here tomorrow!


Murder in the Reading Room (A Book Retreat Mystery)
by Ellery Adams
Release Date – April 30, 2019
Setting – North Carolina
I will feature this book this week for Cozy Wednesday!


Drowning Lessons (A Red Frog Beach Mystery)
by Rachel Neuburger Reynolds
Release Date – May 21, 2019
Setting – Bocas del Toro, a remote chain of islands off the Caribbean coast of Panama
The Great Escapes Tour stops here Thursday!


Killing Thyme (A Spice Shop Mystery)
by Leslie Budewitz
Release Date – October 4, 2016
Setting – Washington State
My Flashback Friday Read!

Current Escape


Life After Suicide: Finding Courage, Comfort & Community After Unthinkable Loss
by Jennifer Ashton
Release Date – May 7, 2019
I will be reading this book over the next several days.

Scheduled Escapes


Southern Sass and Killer Cravings (Marygene Brown Mysteries)
by Kate Young
Release Date – May 28, 2019
Setting – Georgia
For Review


Seeing Red (A Red Herring Mystery)
by Dana Dratch
Release Date – May 28, 2018
Setting – Washington D.C. / Virginia
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Wednesday!


A Daughter’s Truth
by Laura Bradford
Release Date – May 28, 2019
Setting – Pennsylvania
For Review

Future Escapes

May 20 – 26, 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

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May 142019
 

Staging is Murder
(A Laura Bishop Mystery)
by Grace Topping

About the Book


Staging is Murder (A Laura Bishop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Henery Press (April 30, 2019)
Hardcover: 268 pages
ISBN-10: 163511490X
ISBN-13: 978-1635114904
Paperback: 268 pages
ISBN-10: 163511487X
ISBN-13: 978-1635114874
Digital ASIN: B07N96J65X

Laura Bishop just nabbed her first decorating commission—staging for sale a 19th-century mansion that hasn’t been updated for decades. But when a body falls from a laundry chute and lands at Laura’s feet, replacing flowered wallpaper becomes the least of her duties.

To clear her young assistant of the murder and save her fledgling business, Laura’s determined to find the killer. Turns out it’s not as easy as renovating a manor home, especially with two handsome men complicating her mission: the police detective assigned to the case and the real estate agent trying to save the manse from foreclosure.

Worse still, the meddling of a horoscope-guided friend, a determined grandmother, and the local funeral director could get them all killed before Laura props the first pillow.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Grace Topping starts this book/series out with a big thump. While curbing the clutter in the huge 19th-century mansion, her protagonist Laura Bishop heads to the cellar with a box only to have her client’s body fall from the laundry chute right at her feet. Victoria Denton was difficult but who would have done such a thing?

The police decide Laura’s assistant, Tyrone is their prime suspect. He accidentally broke a vase sending Ms. Denton into a tizzy. She also is on the committee holding Tyrone’s fate in her hands as he waits to hear if he will be awarded a college scholarship. The woman threatened to basically blackball him everywhere and police assume he retaliated. Laura defends the young man but when his grandmother begs for her help she knows she has to do more. Detective Alex Spangler thinks he has his man so Laura grabs her friend Nita Marino and tries to use all the knowledge she has gleaned from reading cozy mysteries to start investigating.

There are such strong characters in this debut. Laura Bishop has left her IT career behind and opened her own business staging homes to help home sellers get the best price and the quickest sale of their homes. She is also new to investigating and admits it which was a big plus for me. She is a very kind person and for the most part, makes really good decisions. Her best friend Nita is the Watson to Laura’s Holmes and they make a good team. The character I liked best was Tyrone. He’s a college student studying design and clearly has talent. He is a hard worker. He has 3 jobs earning money both for school and to help his grandmother. He has such a positive attitude even when things are going wrong. Even behind bars, he was a breath of fresh air. I also loved meeting Inky, Laura’s rescue kitty.

The story flowed well for me. There are several suspects and some great twists. Tossing the victim down the laundry chute was a bit eerie. I love big old homes that have them. My aunt had one in her newer home but the opening was nowhere near large enough to stuff a body through. I enjoyed following along with Laura and her investigation while she continued to work on the mansion to get it ready for an open house. The mansion needed a lot of help and I was surprised by all Laura did with the help of so few people. The author found a nice balance between solving the mystery and everyday life. Humor was also incorporated in a very thoughtful way.

Each chapter starts with a staging tip and the staging theme was super interesting to me. Not that I’ll ever need to stage a home, but several tips made sense to brighten up the home I have.

This series is off to a great start. The characters have plenty of room to grow. The theme provides endless possibilities. I am really looking forward to book #2.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

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 as inspiration for her Laura Bishop mystery series. The first book in the series, Staging is Murder, is about a woman starting a new career midlife as a home stager. Grace is the current 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 – GoodReads – 

Purchase Links – Amazon  B&N   Kobo  

Praise for Staging is Murder (A Laura Bishop Mystery)
by Grace Topping

The writing flows smoothly in this well-paced story and the characters are well drawn. . . .There’s plenty of suspects and red herrings, and the murderer’s identity wasn’t easy to solve.
~The Power of Words

Staging is Murder was a fun and exciting mystery that was a sheer delight for this reader.
~Moonlight Rendezvous

Wow! The planning and misdirections in this first book remind me of the Golden Age murder/mystery writers!
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

STAGING IS MURDER sets the stage for a solid mystery series. There’s an interesting plot and engaging characters, with just enough zaniness to promote laughs, but keep things real.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

Staging is Murder by Grace Topping is a fun mystery with a reluctant amateur detective. This book is a wonderful start to a new series. I can’t wait to see what Laura and Nita get into next.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

Staging is Murder has a friendly protagonist, a charming town, witty commentary, good friends, a frisky feline, a client who has gone to meet her maker, and one cunning killer.
~The Avid Reader

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
Part One
April 25 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
April 25 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
April 26 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW
April 26 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
April 27 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 28 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 28 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
April 29 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

Part Two
May 6 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
May 6 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT
May 7 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 8 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
May 8 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 9 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
May 9 – Carole’s Book Corner – SPOTLIGHT
May 10 – Teresa Trent Author Site – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 11 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
May 11 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 12 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST
May 13 – That’s What She’s Reading – CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 14 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – 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.”

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May 132019
 

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I am traveling to the Carolinas and then to Bocas del Toro!

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

Escapes Completed


Staging is Murder (A Laura Bishop Mystery)
by Grace Topping
Release Date – April 30, 2019
Setting – Pennsylvania
The Great Escapes Tour stops here tomorrow!


Knit One, Die Two (A Knit & Nibble Mystery)
by Peggy Ehrhart
Release Date – April 30, 2019
Setting – New Jersey
I will feature this book this week for Cozy Wednesday!


Dying for Devil’s Food (Cupcake Bakery Mystery)
by Jenn McKinlay
Release Date – May 7, 2019
Setting – Arizona
My Review Will Be Up Thursday!

Current Escape


The Coloring Crook (Pen & Ink Book 2)
by Krista Davis
Release Date – November 27, 2018
Setting – Washington D.C.
My Flashback Friday Read

Scheduled Escapes


Caught Up In It (A Blu Carraway Mystery)
by David Burnsworth
Release Date – April 23, 2019
Setting – South Carolina
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Tuesday!


Murder in the Reading Room (A Book Retreat Mystery)
by Ellery Adams
Release Date – April 30, 2019
Setting – North Carolina
I will feature this book next week for Cozy Wednesday!


Drowning Lessons (A Red Frog Beach Mystery)
by Rachel Neuburger Reynolds
Release Date – May 21, 2019
Setting – Bocas del Toro, a remote chain of islands off the Caribbean coast of Panama
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Thursday!

Future Escapes

May 13 – 19, 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

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May 082019
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to welcome Annette Dashofy to Escape With Dollycas today!

 


Hi Annette,

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I write the Zoe Chambers Mystery Series about a paramedic/deputy coroner in rural southwestern Pennsylvania, where I’ve lived all my life. Cry Wolf, the seventh in the series, is an Agatha Award nominee for Best Contemporary Novel of 2018 (my fourth nomination). My newest release is Fair Game, the eighth in the series.

What are three things most people don’t know about you? That’s a hard question. I’m largely an open book, which drives my husband crazy because he’s ultra-private. Does that count as one? Okay, two more. I once owned and operated a photo studio, Dashofy Photography, with my husband. And I once shook hands with our local SWAT team’s bomb robot. That’s three.

What is the first book you remember reading? Oh, my. Cat in the Hat, perhaps. Or Green Eggs and Ham. I started young!

What are you reading now? Hank Phillippi Ryan’s Trust Me.

What books have most inspired you? In addition to those by Mary Higgins Clark and Agatha Christie, which I mention below, I deeply admire those by Julia Spencer-Fleming (the Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne series) and Craig Johnson (the Walt Longmire series). I love their use of language and emotion.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries? As a kid, I was writing all genres until I read Where Are the Children by Mary Higgins Clark. From that point on, I was hooked on crime fiction. And I fell in love with Agatha Christie’s mysteries. After a failed attempt at writing romantic suspense, I discovered a passion for creating puzzles for my readers to solve.

Do you have a special place you like to write? I do the bulk of my writing in my home office on my desktop computer, surrounded by forensics books and sticky notes.

Where do the ideas for your books come from? Everywhere! News stories. Overheard conversations. Random thoughts that pop into my head. For instance, the first chapter of Fair Game grew out of a frustrating and sleepless night in a mystery conference hotel room. The walls were paper thin, and our next-door neighbors were having a party. I could quite literally hear every word they said, and some of it was stuff I didn’t think they’d want repeated! I wanted to yell through the wall, “I can hear you!” Instead, I started thinking, what if they were talking about murdering someone? (They weren’t, FYI.) And that’s what inspired the opening to this book!

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging? The beginning. And then the middle. And then the end. It’s all challenging, but that’s what makes it so much fun.

What do you think makes a good story? As a reader, I want interesting, complex characters. They should have flaws, but I want to like them enough to spend time with them. I also want a thought-provoking plot that raises questions and makes me want to turn the page to find the answers. As a writer, I try to create the same things I like as a reader.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you? Zoe, of course. She’s a paramedic. I used to be an EMT. She has a horse. I used to have horses. We’re both farmgirls. However, she’s had a much rougher life than I have. She comes from a troubled family, while my family is quite boring! Oddly enough, although Zoe may be most like me, Pete is the easier character to write.

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre? I believe it’s the paramedic aspect. I don’t know of any other paramedic mysteries out there. If there are, please tell me! I’d love to read them!

What’s next on the horizon for you? I’m finishing up writing the ninth Zoe Chambers Mystery, tentatively titled Under the Radar. It should come out early next year, but I don’t have a release date yet. And I’m noodling with murder possibilities for the tenth in the series.

Thank you, Annette, for taking the time to visit today!

Keep reading for my thoughts on Annette’s new book.

About the Book 


Fair Game (A Zoe Chambers Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Henery Press (May 14, 2019)
Hardcover: 286 pages
ISBN-10: 1635115027
ISBN-13: 978-1635115024
Paperback: 286 pages
ISBN-10: 1635114993
ISBN-13: 978-1635114997
Digital ASIN: B07NSBHMRR

Paramedic Zoe Chambers hoped a week at the Monongahela County Fair, showing her horse and manning the ambulance, would provide a much-needed diversion from recent events that continue to haunt her.

An old friend, a bossy nemesis, and a teenage crush from her 4-H days fail to offer the distraction she had in mind. But ever the caregiver, she soon bonds with a troubled teen and a grieving father.

Back in Vance Township, a missing woman turns up dead, leading Police Chief Pete Adams into a journey through her mysterious final hours. With each new clue, the tragic circumstances of her death grow increasingly muddied.

A cryptic phone call leads Pete to join Zoe for an evening at the fairgrounds where the annual school bus demolition derby concludes with a gruesome discovery and a new case that may or may not be connected to the first.

Pete’s quest for the motive behind two homicides—and Zoe’s stubborn determination to reunite a family—thrust them both onto a collision course with a violent and desperate felon.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

County fairs are so much fun. Zoe Chambers is not only at the Monongahela County Fair as a paramedic, she is also there as a participant, showing her horse, Windstar. She is surprised that someone from her own 4H days is there in the capacity of judge. She also meets the son of another old 4H member. She learns his mother is not the best parent and she tries to take the young man under her wing. Meeting a grieving father also brings out her compassion.

While Zoe is at the fair Police Chief Pete Adams has a case that turns from a missing person to murder after her body is found. The investigation brings Pete to the fair. A fair where a second body is found right after the school bus demolition derby ends. Unsure if the deaths are connected to each other and to other events Zoe and Pete find themselves on a quest to find out and solve all the mysteries.

Annette Dashofy again takes us on a wild ride as she crams all 286 pages full of a mystery the latches on and won’t let go.

Paramedic/Deputy Coroner and Police Chief Pete Adams barely get a moment to breathe. Zoe has her fair activities, an autopsy to view along with all the followup, has been recruited to keep her eyes on a troubled teen, her cousin Patsy Greene, who is also showing her horse, is having man trouble, the farm she inherited still needs a lot of work, and an old crush makes her an offer she may not be able to refuse. Pete is working his case and then another when the second body is found. He is also getting pressure to take a step that could change his life and Zoe’s. He also tries to find time to spend with Zoe at the fair. Oh! and there is an election coming up that could change both their jobs.

Ms. Dashofy has written a complex mystery with many moving parts and many suspects. I always love following these characters on each and every journey. The excitement of the fair was a great setting. Getting to see Zoe in her horsey element was fun along with meeting the people from her past. The people are strong characters but very flawed and some are dealing with heavy issues that affect not only themselves but other people in their lives. While some heavy topics are addressed the author knows just when to add a little bit of necessary humor.

I also enjoyed learning about showing horses and learning about youngsters joining 4H today. I belonged many years ago, but I was a city kid so my fair entries were more of them craft variety instead of the animals. We have enjoyed many fairs with our family over the years. Mostly the music stars for the adults but we always take a trip through the animal barns with the kids and the food and rides are always a hit.

Well-written and well-plotted. The core characters continue to grow and star in this top-notch mystery. I can’t wait for the next book to be released.

These books are best read in order but the author provides enough background to start with any book in the series.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Annette Dashofy is the USA Today best-selling author of the Zoe Chambers mystery series about a paramedic and deputy coroner in rural Pennsylvania’s tight-knit Vance Township. CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE was a finalist for the Agatha Award for Best First Novel of 2014 and BRIDGES BURNED was nominated for the 2015 Agatha for Best Contemporary Novel.

Author Links

Website–    Blog–  Facebook–  Twitter–  

Purchase Links – AmazonAmazon Hardcover/PaperbackB&NKoboIndieBound

Praise for Fair Game
(A Zoe Chambers Mystery)
by Annette Dashofy

This is a wonderful series with great, realistic characters. I love Zoe and Pete. They are both intelligent, caring, loyal and somewhat emotional.
~Carla Loves To Read

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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.”

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May 062019
 

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I am traveling to New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Arizona!

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

Escapes Completed


Died in the Wool (A Knit & Nibble Mystery)
Release Date – August 28, 2018
Setting – New Jersey
My Flashback Friday Review!


A Deadly Feast: A Key West Food Critic Mystery
by Lucy Burdette
Release Date – May 7, 2019
Setting – Florida
The Great Escapes Tour stops here tomorrow!


Fair Game (A Zoe Chambers Mystery)
by Annette Dashofy
Release Date – May 14, 2019
Setting – Pennsylvania
The Great Escapes Tour stops here this week for Cozy Wednesday!


The Good Detective
by John McMahon
Release Date – March 19, 2019
Setting – Georgia
Review will be up Thursday


Pineapple Upside Down Murder (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery)
by Jodi Rath
Release Date – November 23, 2018
Setting – Ohio
My Flashback Friday Read

I also read an early copy of the first book in a new cozy series.
I will share my review when the author sets it up for release.

Scheduled Escapes


Staging is Murder (A Laura Bishop Mystery)
by Grace Topping
Release Date – April 30, 2019
Setting – Pennsylvania
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Tuesday!


Knit One, Die Two (A Knit & Nibble Mystery)
by Peggy Ehrhart
Release Date – April 30, 2019
Setting – New Jersey
I will feature this book next week for Cozy Wednesday!


Dying for Devil’s Food (Cupcake Bakery Mystery)
by Jenn McKinlay
Release Date – May 7, 2019
Setting – Arizona
For Review

Future Escapes

May 6 – 12, 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

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Apr 292019
 

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I am traveling to New Jersey, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Georgia!

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

Escapes Completed


Wed, Read & Dead (Mystery Bookshop)
by V.M. Burns
Release Date – April 30, 2019
Setting – Michigan
The Great Escapes Tour stops here tomorrow!


Flower Power Trip (Braxton Campus Mysteries)
by James J. Cudney
Release Date – March 30, 2019
Setting – Pennsylvania
My review will be up tomorrow! 


The Scent of Murder: A Mystery (A Jazz Ramsey Mystery)
by Kylie Logan
Release Date – May 7, 2019
Setting – Ohio
My review will be up on Thursday! 

Scheduled Escapes


Died in the Wool (A Knit & Nibble Mystery)
Release Date – August 28, 2018
Setting – New Jersey
My Flashback Friday Read!


A Deadly Feast: A Key West Food Critic Mystery
by Lucy Burdette
Release Date – May 7, 2019
Setting – Florida
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Tuesday!


Fair Game (A Zoe Chambers Mystery)
by Annette Dashofy
Release Date – May 14, 2019
Setting – Pennsylvania
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next week for Cozy Wednesday!


The Good Detective
by John McMahon
Release Date – March 19, 2019
Setting – Georgia
For Review

Future Escapes

April 29 – May 5, 2019 – In addition to those above, these books are being released this week!


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

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Mar 072019
 

As Directed
(A Maggie O’Malley Mystery)
by Kathleen Valenti

About the Book


As Directed (A Maggie O’Malley Mystery)
Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Midwest, United States
Henery Press (March 12, 2019)
Hardcover: 286 pages
ISBN-10: 1635114705
ISBN-13: 978-1635114706
Digital ASIN: B07LB6N22B

In the shadow of a past fraught with danger and tainted by loss, former pharmaceutical researcher Maggie O’Malley is rebuilding her life, trading test tubes for pill bottles as she embarks on a new career at the corner drugstore.

But as she spreads her wings, things begin to go terribly wrong. A customer falls ill in the store. Followed by another. And then more.

The specter of poisoning arises, conjuring old grudges, past sins, buried secrets and new suspicions from which no one is immune.

As Maggie and her best friend Constantine begin to investigate, they discover that some of the deadliest doses come from the most unexpected places.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Customers are dropping like flies and Maggie O’Malley is always the one to find them. She thought things would be calm and routine at the local drug store where she is working as a pharmacy technician, but instead, murder victims are falling at her feet. They have been poisoned and both Mallory and her boss have been questioned. Her boss has closed down his store until the answers are found and the person responsible is in custody. Without having to work every day, Mallory and Constantine (Gus) have plenty of time to investigate but the path is twisted and secrets are uncovered.

Maggie is still recovering from an injury that occurred in an earlier book, but she doesn’t let the headaches and memory lapses keep her down. Also on her plate in her wedding to Constantine. No date yet but his aunt and hers are bulldozing as many plans forward as they can, even inviting themselves to a cake tasting Mallory hoped she and Gus could handle on their own. An old foe is stalking her and she has acquired a new one. A “TWO-FER” as Gus calls it. She also brings home a four-legged furry friend who worms his way into her heart. She drives a 1962 Studebaker Lark too. I like everything about Miss Maggie O’Malley.

As with the previous stories in this series, the author has put forth a very complex mystery with tangents going in several directions. The deaths are scary, was there tampering? Did Maggie or her boss make a mistake? When another customer is found dead at home, the local news guy is pointing fingers, trying to get the scoop, and being a real pain. That presses Maggie to work harder and faster to get answers. Nothing is really clear and the case has a lot of moving parts. At times it feels like she is going in circles but I was captivated every step of the way.

The story has a real ripped from the headlines feel (remember the Tylenol murders) and the ending packs a real punch. Action, danger, drama, are tempered with just a little bit of humor in the proper places. The book is balanced with Mallory’s real-life experiences. I really love the way Ms. Valenti tells a story. It’s not straight forward in your face. There are layers that need to be peeled and each little reveal moves the story along at just the right pace until everything tragically falls into place.

For me, this story was just what the doctor ordered, a Perfect Escape!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Kathleen Valenti is the author of the Maggie O’Malley Mystery Series, which includes her Agatha- and Lefty-nominated debut novel, Protocol. When Kathleen isn’t writing page-turning mysteries that combine humor and suspense, she works as a nationally award-winning advertising copywriter. She lives in Oregon with her family where she pretends to enjoy running. Learn more at www.kathleenvalenti.com.

Author Links – Website – Facebook – Twitter – GoodReadsBookBubInstagram 

Purchase Links – Amazon Barnes & Noble  iTunes  Kobo

Protocol is on sale for $1.99 right now.

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Contest Will End March 15, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
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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.”

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
March 1 – Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST  
March 1 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
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March 4 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
March 5 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
March 6 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – GUEST POST
March 7 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 7 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
March 8 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
March 9 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT
March 10 – The Book Diva’s Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST  
March 10 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 11 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
March 11 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 12 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW
March 12 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
March 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 13 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 14 – Maureen’s Musings – REVIEW
March 15 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 15 – The Montana Bookaholic – SPOTLIGHT

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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.”

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Remembering the Dead: A Penny Brannigan Mystery by Elizabeth J. DuncanGet Your Copy Today!
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