Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Interviews

Special Guest – Nupur Tustin – Author of Murder Backstage: A Joseph Haydn Mystery #Interview / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Murder Backstage: A Joseph Haydn Mystery
by Nupur Tustin


It is my pleasure to welcome Nupur to Escape With Dollycas today!

Hi Nupur, 

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

It’s funny how one’s identity changes over the years. I’m a former journalist with a Ph.D. in Communication and an M.A. in English. Shortly after my daughter was born, I decided to write mysteries. I had no idea whether I would succeed in writing one book, let alone several. But I had the research skills and an intense desire to write books and a passion for mysteries and music. And so were born the Joseph Haydn Mysteries.

I was reading Susan Wittig Albert’s delightful Beatrix Potter Mysteries and Stephanie Barron’s wonderful Jane Austen Mysteries when I decided I’d work on a biographical mystery as well.

As I researched and wrote my first book, I began composing! Then a chance visit to the Getty Museum and Canaletto’s gorgeous paintings reignited a passion for painting. I heard about the unsolved Gardner Museum theft, and decided I needed to solve this mystery! And so the Celine Skye Psychic Mysteries were born.

After all, who better than a psychic to solve a cold case?

Then came COVID and school closures. My three kids hated online school and Zoom meetings, and so I started homeschooling. And that led to the best thing of all—Jesus Christ!

So, I’m a homeschooling mom, a mystery writer, an amateur painter and composer, and a Christian! And, of course, an avid mystery fan!

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

When I first decided to write a mystery, I deliberately chose to write a historical mystery mainly because I—erroneously as it turned out—thought I wouldn’t have to bother with the grisly details of actual murder, the forensic aspects of it, blood spatter, blunt force trauma, so and so forth. Then I came to the first dead body scene in Minor Deception, and I realized I’d have to re-think my aversion to true crime and forensic investigation. I’ve taken courses on FutureLearn, through the Guppy chapter of Sisters in Crime, and read numerous books on the subject of criminal investigation and criminal behavior. All that is necessary to create a plausible murderer.

For the Haydn Mysteries, I’ve also needed to research Haydn’s life and times. That has meant reading about Mozart—a near-contemporary. Leopold Mozart, Wolfgang’s father, was a consummate letter writer and a keen observer of social mores. He writes about the culture of the places they travel to, the food they ate. He talks about music and politics, about hiring maid servants, educating children, and medicine.

Leopold’s informative letters have come in handy on more than one occasion in the Haydn series. And for the latest release, Murder Backstage, Leopold’s letters provided the plot!

For the Celine Skye Psychic Mysteries, I’ve had to investigate psychic investigation, the Gardner theft, the museum itself and the eccentric Isabella Stewart Gardner. And best of all, I’ve been able to read about artists like Vermeer and Rembrandt and the impressionists and indulge in my love of painting!

Do you ever suffer from Writer’s Block?

No. Writer’s block is just another name for having to stop and re-think plot or character issues. If you insist on your characters doing something not in keeping with their nature, they won’t allow you to continue the story until you fix the scene. I’ve noticed mine hate it when I have them do something that they never in a million years would do.

If the plot isn’t working or needs re-thinking, your mind is going to force you to stop and ponder the problem and fix it before you continue.

Sometimes you may think a scene needs to be written a certain way, but somewhere deep within your storyteller brain, you recognize it needs to be written in a different—and a better—way. You’re going to be forced to stop until you give in and write the scene the way it should be written.

What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?

Commit to your path. Don’t fear. Don’t get discouraged or disheartened. Don’t give in. Stand strong.

Claim the promises God gives His people in the Bible; those promises aren’t just for the specific people they were spoken to. They are for you and me today. Claim them for yourself. Trust in them.

In Genesis 12, God says to Abraham: “I will bless you . . . and you will be a blessing.” What does this mean for those of us called to be writers? It means that the Lord will bless you with stories and that those stories will bless your readers.

Have you noticed how rejuvenating and refreshing it is to read a good book? Have you noticed how it draws your mind away from your cares and your troubles? Have you noticed how a good book can inspire you and ignite your own creativity?

This is how you as a storyteller can be a blessing to those who read your books.

Moreover, in Joshua 1:9 and elsewhere God tells His people to be brave and not to fear. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

No matter what obstacle comes your way or how impossible it looks, know the Lord is with you, and He will not fail you.

For as he said to Jeremiah (1:5), so He speaks to us all:

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born, I set you apart;
I appointed you. . .”

Before you were formed in the womb and long before you were born, God set you apart, gave you gifts, and appointed you in the role and tasks you are to fulfill during your earthly life. Having set those tasks aside for you, He will not let you fail.

When you are not writing what do you like to do?

There are any number of things I do when I’m not writing. I homeschool my three children. My daughter and I go on long walks together. We often visit the library—our favorite thing to do. I love painting and playing the piano. I haven’t had much time to compose recently, but there was a time when I composed fairly regularly. The kids and I enjoy baking as well. Surprisingly, the boys enjoy it as much or more than their sister—probably because they get to lick the bowl and sample their efforts fresh out of the oven!

I enjoy reading—both fiction and non-fiction. And these days, I especially enjoy listening to Dr. David Jeremiah expound the Bible on Turning Point.

Did the COVID pandemic affect you and your writing?

Paradoxically enough, it made me more productive. I found myself writing better and faster and painting several times a week! I’ve also enjoyed experimenting with healthy desserts and treats. That the kids love things like banana nice cream—no cream, just frozen bananas, peanut butter, and cocoa—and smoothie ice cream bowls are absolutely stunning and extremely gratifying to me. I’ve been experimenting with vegetables like cauliflower and eggplant as well.

All the while that libraries were closed, my mother-in-law and I exchanged books. I think I’ve turned her into a mystery fan, and while I’m not exactly a romance fan, I do enjoy a good romantic suspense novel!

What was meant as a curse turned out to be a blessing.

If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why?
I’m torn between two choices. First, to travel to Haydn’s Austria and see him at work. How wonderful that would be! But second—because I write the Celine Skye Psychic Mystery Series based on the unsolved Gardner Museum theft—I’d love to travel back in time to the day of the theft and see who did it, for whom, and why. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to solve that mystery?

What is next on the horizon for you?

Again, I’m torn between two difficult choices: write another Joseph Haydn Mystery or start on the fourth—if you’re counting the prequel—Celine Skye Psychic Mystery. I have the research for both. I suppose I could stay in Haydn’s world for a little while longer. We’ll see.

 

Thank you, Nupur for visiting today!

Keep reading for details about Nupur’s new book Murder Backstage.

About Murder Backstage

Murder Backstage: A Joseph Haydn Mystery
Historical Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – In Vienna’s Burgtheater in the eighteenth century.
Foiled Plots Press (July 6, 2022)
Print length ‏ : ‎ 348 pages
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0B34548N5

When murder propels him backstage, Haydn is forced to confront a deadly killer. . .

When the Burgtheater’s impresario unexpectedly meets his maker, Joseph Haydn is relieved to learn no one expects him to look into the matter. The impresario was murdered—and the Salzburger believed to be the killer is already behind bars.

But the impresario’s untimely death is not without consequences. Haydn’s employer insists he take over the dead man’s duties. Handling the tedious technical details of putting on an opera is bad enough. Confronting the suspicious behavior backstage is even worse.

Is an innocent man being sent to the gallows? Haydn is plagued by the question when his brother Michael confirms his worst fears. The Salzburger arrested for the murder is none other than Leopold Mozart—father of the well-known child prodigy currently in Vienna.

Now, egged on by Michael—a close friend of the Mozarts—Haydn must prove Leopold innocent. Or risk his brother’s ire forever!

Praise for the Joseph Haydn Mysteries:
“Tustin orchestrates a concerto of intrigue and deception . . .”
– Anna Lee Huber, Lady Darby Mysteries

“A standout in the genre of historical mysteries . . .”
– Midwest Book Reviews

More About Nupur Tustin

A former journalist, Nupur Tustin misuses a Ph.D. in Communication and an M.A. in English to orchestrate mayhem in Joseph Haydn’s Austria and to paint intrigue in her Celine Skye Psychic Mysteries about a psychic who takes on the outrageous and still unsolved Gardner Museum theft! In addition to being a storyteller and avid mystery fan, Nupur is a wife and homeschooling Mom who’s recently become a Christian.

Author Links
Website:
Get Two Complimentary Mystery Anthologies and two 50% Off Coupons When You Sign Up!

Blog    GoodReads Link    BookBub   Facebook Author Page

Purchase Links:

NTUSTIN/SHOP: https://ntustin.com/product/murder-backstage

Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Apple iBooks   Kobo

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
August 3 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT
August 3 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 4 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
August 4 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 5 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT
August 5 – Eskimo Princess Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 6 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
August 6 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 7 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT  
August 8 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT
August 8 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT
August 9 – Cozy Up With Kathy – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT
August 9 – Books Blog – SPOTLIGHT
August 10 – Christa Reads and Writes – SPOTLIGHT
August 10 – Nellie’s Book Nook – REVIEW
August 11 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 11 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
August 12 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
August 12 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT

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#FlashbackFriday / Review Rewind / #Giveaway – A Daughter’s Doubt by Richard Audry

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

My reading time didn’t allow for a true #FlashbackFriday Read for this week so I am pulling from the way back machine to give you
a Review Rewind and Giveaway!

DaughtersDoubtcoverwebversA Daughter’s Doubt
(Mary MacDougall Mysteries)

3rd in Series following 2 Novellas
Historical Cozy Mystery
Setting – Michigan
Conger Road Press (March 15, 2016)
Print Length: 204 pages
ASIN: B01BFNWBYS
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Synopsis

Mary MacDougall’s first case of 1902 seems simple enough.

Just before the 19-year-old heiress leaves for a summer holiday on Mackinac Island with her Aunt Christena, she’s hired to stop in a little town along the way and make inquiries. Did Agnes Olcott really die there of cholera? Or were there darker doings in Dillmont?

Mary’s mentor, Detective Sauer, thinks it’s merely a case of bad luck for the dead woman. But Mrs. Olcott’s daughter suspects her detested stepfather played a hand in her mother’s untimely death.

With the reluctant help of her aunt and her dear friend Edmond Roy, the young detective struggles to reveal the true fate of Agnes Olcott. As she digs ever deeper, the enemy Mary provokes could spell disaster for herself and the people she loves. But in the end, it’s the only way to banish a daughter’s doubt.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Having read the first two installments of this series last month I was anxious to read this one. Just as expected it is a superb story.

Detective Sauer gives Mary her first case. When he hears she is going to Mackinac Island he asks her to find details about a woman who died in Dillmont, a small town on the route to the island. Agnes Olcott died while traveling with her new husband but her daughter doesn’t believe her mother died of cholera as she has been told. She thinks her stepfather had something to do with her death. Sauer has asked Mary to investigate a little and see if there is more to the story. What she finds out will have you glued to this pages.

Richard Audry has created a super strong main and supporting characters. Mary MacDougal is just 19 years old but she is very independent and knows what she wants for her life. Other women her age are getting married and having children. She wants to be a detective. Her millionaire father is not happy about this choice. Her Aunt Christena, another very strong woman, is single and travels the world. Mary and Tena are very close and they often travel together. They have planned to spend several weeks on Mackinac Island. They also stop to visit  Mary’s friend Edmond Roy on the way to the island and invite him and one of his friends to join them for a few days.

The author has also constructed a great plot. Mary’s little investigation turns into something bigger than she ever imagined and she is going to need both her aunt’s help and Edmund’s to prove her theory. Each time she figured something out there was another twist. My only problem was her timing. I wanted her to rush into things but she is more of planner. In this case that was probably good and bad. Good because she had someone looking out for her and bad because you can’t plan for everything.

I read this book on Sunday, not wanting to even take a break for dinner. I was so engaged by Mary and her plan and as the suspense built the pages flipped amazingly fast.

I  really don’t want to give anything away but if you like historical mysteries, you will love this story. No motor cars, no cell phones, just horse, buggies, trains, and the brains God gave her Mary does everything she can to expel A Daughter’s Doubt and it was a perfect escape for me!

perfect 2016

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RichardAudryAbout The Author –

Richard Audry is the pen name of D. R. Martin. As Richard Audry, he is the author of the King Harald Canine Cozy mystery series and the Mary MacDougall historical mystery series. Under his own name he has written the Johnny Graphic middle-grade ghost adventure series, the Marta Hjelm mystery, Smoking Ruin, and two books of literary commentary: Travis McGee & Me; and Four Science Fiction Masters.

Visit D. R. MARTIN & RICHARD AUDRY BOOKS
LIKE Richard Audry on
Facebook

Purchase Links

Also by Richard Audry

Amazon B&N

I am giving away 1 Print Copy!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End on August 12, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For the Entry Form

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

Posted in Spotlights

The JOY of Murder: A Daiyu Wu Mystery by Gloria Oliver #Spotlight


It is my pleasure to shine my spotlights on Gloria Oliver’s
The JOY oF Murder!!
It is available today!


The JOY of Murder:
A Daiyu Wu Mystery

by Gloria Oliver
Historical Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Dimension Palace Publishing (July 21, 2022)

A socialite accused of murder, planted evidence, and mysterious enemies challenge blind detective Daiyu Wu in her new sleuthing adventure.

When a highly respected member of the ‘Little Mexico’ community is killed in 1930 Dallas, all the evidence points towards Grace Pierce, wife of a local businessman and a former member of the Ku Klux Klan. Grace’s son Truman turns to Daiyu Wu and her unique detective skills for help, but Dai quickly discovers that nothing about this case is what it seems.

With her companion Jacques and canine bodyguard Prince Razor, Dai must navigate a family in turmoil, racial tensions, and shady business deals to find the actual killer before Truman’s mother is sentenced to death.

About the Author

Gloria Oliver lives in Texas, making sure to stay away from rolling tumbleweeds, freak storms, and bowing to the wishes of her feline and canine masters.

She is the author of nine published novels in the genres of fantasy, YA fantasy, urban fantasy, science fiction, and cozy mysteries. Her first cozy mystery novel and first series book, “Black Jade – A Daiyu Wu Mystery” was released in June 2021. The second book in her first ever series, “The JOY of Murder – A Daiyu Wu Mystery”, it is available today!

She’s also a member in good standing of EPIC and BroadUniverse but hasn’t yet made it onto the list for Cat Slaves R Us.

Sign up to her newsletter at www.gloriaoliver.com/subscribe and choose a gift!

Sample chapters and more info on Gloria and her books can be found at www.gloriaoliver.com

Author Links 

Webpage – Amazon – Goodreads – LibraryThing – Smashwords – Blog – Newsletter – Facebook – Twitter – Pinterest – Instagram 

Purchase Links
AmazonB&NKoboApple 

The first book in the series!


Black Jade:
A Daiyu Wu Mystery

by Gloria Oliver
Historical Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Dimension Palace Publishing (May 11, 2021)

Could a gorgeous old ballgown be used to commit murder?

Deep in the heart of Texas, Chinese immigrant Daiyu Wu discovers a mysterious ballgown in her family’s laundry business. It reeks of burned garlic and there is money pinned to it to pay for the cleaning. But no one knows who left it there.

Harnessing her instincts, knowledge, and determination, Dai sets out to learn everything she can about this strange green dress. Who wore it? Who left it at the laundry?

As she unravels the mystery behind the dress, Dai discovers a lot more than she bargained for. Someone has committed a murder using arsenic. Dai believes the dress is the key and that the murderer is trying to use the laundry to hide this crucial piece of evidence, the green ballgown.

Many factors conspire against Dai, but she remains undeterred. The police don’t even know about the murder. People think her blindness stops her from doing things. It’s Dallas in 1930, and Chinese people like Dai are not welcomed by the white residents of the city. Pushing these factors to one side, Dai turns detective. With Prince Razor, her canine best friend, and Jacques Haskins, her human one, she knows she must take on the challenges posed by a spoiled popinjay, his jealous self-appointed girlfriend, and Dai’s overprotective parents.

Time is ticking, but even though the killer is unaware that Dai is on their trail, they are destroying any evidence of their foul deed. Can she and her friends work out the mystery despite all the obstacles stacked against them?

I truly enjoyed this unique engrossing mystery. Touching on subjects not often seen in cozies, BLACK JADE looks at class, race, and relationships while providing an intelligent, well-plotted mystery.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

. . . the book takes us on a detailed and fascinating investigation to find and identify, first the victim, then the villain . . . obstacles at every turn, but this gal is persistent and clever, and inspires those around her to not give up no matter what.
~Here’s How It Happened

 

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Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Spotlights

A Bride’s Guide to Marriage and Murder (A Countess of Harleigh Mystery) by Dianne Freeman #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


A Bride’s Guide to Marriage and Murder
(A Countess of Harleigh Mystery)

by Dianne Freeman

I am delighted to shine my spotlights on
A Bride’s Guide to Marriage and Murder today!

About A Bride’s Guide to Marriage and Murder


A Bride’s Guide to Marriage and Murder (A Countess of Harleigh Mystery)
Historical Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Victorian England
Kensington (June 28, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496731611
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496731616
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09HRC11G9

Frances Wynn, the American-born Countess of Harleigh, returns in Dianne Freeman’s charming, lighthearted mystery series set in Victorian England, and finds her wedding day overshadowed by murder . . .

 

On the eve of her marriage to George Hazelton, Frances has a great deal more on her mind than flowers and seating arrangements. The Connors and the Bainbridges, two families of American robber barons, have taken up residence in London, and their bitter rivalry is spilling over into the highest social circles. At the request of her brother, Alonzo, who is quite taken with Miss Madeline Connor, Frances has invited the Connor family to her wedding. Meanwhile, Frances’s mother has invited Mr. Bainbridge, and Frances fears the wedding may end up being newspaper-worthy for all the wrong reasons.

 

On the day itself, Frances is relieved to note that Madeline’s father is not among the guests assembled at the church. The reason for his absence, however, turns out to be most unfortunate: Mr. Connor is found murdered in his home. More shocking still, Alonzo is caught at the scene, holding the murder weapon.

 

Powerful and ruthless, Connor appears to have amassed a wealth of enemies alongside his fortune. Frances and George agree to put their wedding trip on hold to try and clear Alonzo’s name. But there are secrets to sift through, not just in the Bainbridge and Connor families, but also in their own. And with a killer determined to evade discovery at any cost—even if it means taking another life—Frances’s first days as a newlywed will be perilous indeed . . .

 

About Dianne Freeman

Dianne Freeman is the acclaimed author of the Countess of Harleigh Mystery series. She is an Agatha Award and Lefty Award winner, as well as a finalist for the prestigious Mary Higgins Clark Award from Mystery Writers of America. After thirty years of working in corporate accounting and finance, she now writes full-time. Born and raised in Michigan, she and her husband split their time between Michigan and Arizona. Visit her at www.DiFreeman.com.

Author Links

GoodReads Link A Bride’s Guide to Marriage and Murder by Dianne Freeman | Goodreads

Website: Dianne Freeman | Historical Mystery Writer (difreeman.com)

Facebook: (2) Dianne Freeman Author | Facebook

Twitter: (1) Dianne Freeman (@Difreeman001) / Twitter

Instagram: Dianne Freeman (@diannefreemanwrites) • Instagram photos and videos

Purchase Links

AmazonB & N

A Bride’s Guide to Marriage and Murder a book by Dianne Freeman (bookshop.org)

A Bride’s Guide to Marriage and Murder (A Countess of Harleigh Mystery #5) | IndieBound.org

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
July 5 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 5 – Baroness Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
July 6 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 6 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
July 7 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT
July 7 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW
July 8 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
July 8 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 8 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 9 – Just Another Teen Reading Books – REVIEW
July 9 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
July 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
July 10 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT
July 10 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
July 11 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
July 11 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW  
July 11 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
July 12 – Cozy Up WIth Kathy – REVIEW
July 12 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT
July 13 – The Mystery of Writing – CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 13 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – REVIEW
July 13 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
July 14 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  
July 14 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
July 14 – Reading Is My SuperPower – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Giveaways

Saturday Giveaway – A FATAL OVERTURE by Kathleen Marple Kalb #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks

Welcome to Saturday Giveaway! 

This week we are sponsored by the
wonderful people at Kensington Cozies!

There will be 3 Winners! 

Each will receive

1 Print Copy of A FATAL OVERTURE by Kathleen Marple Kalb

A Fatal Overture (An Ella Shane Mystery)
by Kathleen Marple Kalb
Historical Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New York
Kensington (March 29, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496727258
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496727251
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B098KNWW34

During the first winter of the twentieth century, Gilded Age trouser diva Ella Shane refuses to dim the lights on her dazzling show business career for marriage—even to a dashing British duke. But the versatile mezzo-soprano may have to put it all on the line once murder takes centerstage . . .

New York City, 1900. Renowned opera singer and theatre company owner Ella may have both much to gain and much to lose by getting engaged to her courtly long-distance love, Gil Saint Auburn. But there’s little time for romance or resolutions with Gil’s aristocratic mother and aunts visiting Greenwich Village—especially when the ladies discover a dead man in the bathtub of their hotel suite.

The victim’s disturbing background and subsequent demise at the elegant Waverly Place Hotel leave the group puzzled beyond the obvious certainty of an unnatural death. Adding to the confusion and mounting fear, danger explodes through Ella’s close-knit circle after a friend makes a stunning confession and Gil becomes a fresh target for violence.

Now, with a London tour run fast approaching, prenuptial worries weighing heavily on her heart, and an intricate Joan of Arc aria to rehearse, can Ella decide what she’s willing to sacrifice before confronting a relentless criminal bent on watching her entire life go up in smoke?

About The Author

Kathleen Marple Kalb is the author of the Ella Shane Mystery series, set in Gilded Age New York and including A Fatal Finale and A Fatal First Night. She’s also a weekend morning anchor at New York’s 1010 WINS Radio, capping a career she began as a teenage DJ in rural Western Pennsylvania. Kalb is a member of the Sisters in Crime New York Chapter and the Author’s Guild and is active in media organizations as well. She lives in Cheshire, Connecticut with her family and is at work on her next book. Please visit her online at KathleenMarpleKalb.com and Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

Follow Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

 Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End June 25, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For the Entry Form

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Interviews

Special Guest – Kate Parker – Author of Deadly Broadcast: A World War II Mystery (Deadly Series) #AuthorInterview / #Giveaway @Author.Kate.Parker


Deadly Broadcast: A World War II Mystery
(Deadly Series)
by Kate Parker

It is my pleasure to welcome Kate Parker to Escape With Dollycas today!

Hi Kate, 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m Kate Parker and I have the best job in the world. I love writing mysteries and entertaining readers. I’m a mother, a grandmother, and a dog owner (although I think the dog owns me). I’ve lived most of my life in Virginia and the Carolinas, and while it’s lovely here, I love to travel. I get the best story ideas when I travel.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

To research, I like to go to the “scene” to visit museums and city streets. I like to read books written in and about that time period, and I have a subscription to the British Newspaper Archives which is great source material. I do more research while I’m writing than before I start a book, because I never know what I’ll need to know when I start writing.

Do you ever suffer from Writer’s Block?

No Writer’s Block, but I do have to stop and rethink when I realize I’ve put things in the wrong order in a story.

What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?

If you want to become a published writer, you need to love to read in your chosen genre and you have to love the solitude of actually writing the story.

When you are not writing what do you like to do?

When I’m not writing, I like to read, eat (someone else’s cooking. Trust me, never eat my cooking), and travel.

How has the COVID pandemic affected you and you’re writing.

Covid has affected my travel, but it hasn’t affected my writing. I’m naturally solitary when I write, so a lockdown is the perfect condition for my writing.

If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

It’s more a question of where do I want to travel next. I have two trips planned, one to the Netherlands and Belgium, and the other across the route of the Shetland Bus from WWII and then around the British Isles. I plan to get good research from both of these trips. I’d like to go to Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Israel, Jordan, Turkey…the list goes on and on. I’m naturally curious.

What is next on the horizon for you?

Next is the ninth book in the Deadly Series, Deadly Rescue. I have a Regency mystery in a magical realism village for an anthology that should come out soon. I hope to write some stories for my Victorian/Edwardian mystery series. I hope to get a lot done between here and the horizon.

Deadly Broadcast is the eighth book in The Deadly Series of World War II mysteries by Kate Parker.

Thank you Kate for visiting today!

Now, keep reading to learn about Kate’s latest, Deadly Broadcast!

About Deadly Broadcast

Deadly Broadcast: A World War II Mystery (Deadly Series)
Historical Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – London, from just after Christmas, 1939 until mid-January, 1940
JDP Press (March 8, 2022)
Number of Pages ~320
ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09PWNXQW7

The phony war has dragged out past Christmas into a dark and dreary New Year, 1940.

In the blackout, someone murdered BBC engineer Frank Kennedy, making him more popular dead than alive. A blackmailer and bully, he sold out his friends, assaulted his Broadcasting House colleagues, and sabotaged his employer.

Kennedy was also a government informant against the IRA. Despite arrests of members, the IRA is still planning more attacks against British civilians. Attacks Frank Kennedy might have been involved in.

Britain’s counterintelligence spymaster orders newspaper reporter Olivia Redmond to find Kennedy’s killer and learn which of the many motives led to his murder. Olivia quickly learns how vicious Frank Kennedy was and halfway hopes his killer escapes hanging.

Until his killer strikes again…

A clean read. No blatant sex, violence, or bad language.

More About Kate Parker

 

Since she was unable to build a time machine in her backyard, Kate Parker immerses herself in research and then creates the world that lives inside each book that she writes. Her favorite place is London and her time travel destination is anywhere from the late Victorian era through World War II. Since she lives in the Carolinas with her daughter and a 95-pound puppy, the practical side of her is thankful for air conditioning and all the modern comforts of life. Comforts she will take with her if she ever figures out how to build her time machine.

Author Links – Website – Facebook – GoodReads – Deadly Series WebsiteDeadly Series FacebookBookBub – 

Purchase Links – AmazonAppleB&NKobo – 

The Rest of the Series


Also by Kate Parker

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The Secret in the Wall: A Novel (Silver Rush Mysteries) by Ann Parker #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour –


The Secret in the Wall: A Novel (Silver Rush Mysteries)
by Ann Parker

About The Secret In The Wall


The Secret in the Wall: A Novel (Silver Rush Mysteries)
Historical Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – California
Poisoned Pen Press (February 15, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 400 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1464214948
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1464214943
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B096L9XZ73

Sometimes you can’t keep your gown out of the gutter…

Inez Stannert has reinvented herself—again. Fleeing the comfort and wealth of her East Coast upbringing, she became a saloon owner and cardsharp in the rough silver boomtown of Leadville, Colorado, always favoring the unconventional path—a difficult road for a woman in the late 1800s.

Then the teenage daughter of a local prostitute is orphaned by her mother’s murder, and Inez steps up to raise the troubled girl as her own. Inez works hard to keep a respectable, loving home for Antonia, carefully crafting their new life in San Francisco. But risk is a seductive friend, difficult to resist. When a skeleton tumbles from the wall of her latest business investment, the police only seem interested in the bag of Civil War-era gold coins that fell out with it. With her trusty derringer tucked in the folds of her gown, Inez uses her street smarts and sheer will to unearth a secret that someone has already killed to keep buried. The more she digs, the muddier and more dangerous things become.

She enlists the help of Walter de Brujin, a local private investigator with whom she shares some history. Though she wants to trust him, she fears that his knowledge of her past, along with her growing attraction to him, may well blow her veneer of respectability to bits—that is, if her dogged pursuit of the truth doesn’t kill her first . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Inez Stannert and her ward Antonia have moved from Colorado to San Francisco in this 8th book in the Silver Rush Mysteries. Inez owns D&S House of Music and Oriental Curiosities and she invests in businesses run by women like Moira Krause’s and her boardinghouse. They have purchased the joined home next to her existing property and Moira hopes to be able to double the number of tenants she can host. Moira insisted on a special ceremony to complete the sale and knock the wall that will connect the two properties but the event didn’t quite go as planned. When the sledgehammer broke through the wall a skeleton and a bag of gold coins cascaded out of the wall. When the authorities put all their attention on the coins Inez decides to investigate the body. Why would someone hide a body within the walls? What secret was that person hiding? Working with a PI from her past they try to get the answers before it is too late.


I first have to say this is the 8th book in the series and the first I have read but I escaped right into it very easily. The author gives enough backstory for new readers to understand the characters and their relationships without giving away too much that would deter those readers from going back and reading the previous books.

Inez Stannert is a unique individual, especially for a woman in the late 1800s. Savvy and street smart she makes herself at home with men and women alike. She is respected and driven to help others to succeed. She is also is doing her best to raise a strong-willed pre-teen ward who tests her a lot in this story. I really enjoyed the young amateur sleuths of Antonia and Moira’s daughter Charlotte and their scheming ways to spend time together to search the Treasure House. I really felt for Antonia when she made a horrific discovery and did her best to keep a stiff upper lip when you know a 12-year-old should never have to see such a thing even back in the 1800s.  All of Ms. Parker’s characters are dynamically written with multiple layers some of which are kept well hidden or slowly revealed.

The mystery the author wrapped her characters in was so well-plotted laced with well-referenced historical facts of California’s part in the Civil War. It really brings an authentic feel to the book and the secrets many people were holding. Moira’s boardinghouse and the house next door were right in the middle of so much of that history. The discoveries made by Inez and the girls were so enveloping. Ms. Parker really brought the place to life with her descriptive style. I truly felt as if I was taking each step right along with the characters. I could also tell she weighed each word to make sure they presented each scene perfectly.

Ann Parker takes her readers on quite an adventure in The Secret in the Wall. If you like historical mysteries I think you would enjoy this story and encourage you to pick it up. I also think the author would have no trouble creating a young adult series featuring Antonia. She is a character that I would love to keep reading about. That girl could have a wild future.

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About Ann Parker

Ann Parker is a science writer by day and fiction writer by night. Her award-winning Silver Rush Mysteries series, published by Poisoned Pen Press, a Sourcebooks imprint, is set primarily in 1880s Leadville, Colorado, and more recently in San Francisco, California, the “Paris of the West.” The series was named a Booksellers Favorite by the Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association, and Ann is listed in the Colorado Authors’ Hall of Fame. The Secret in the Wall is the eighth and newest entry in the series.

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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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Lady Takes the Case (Manor Cat Mystery) by Eliza Casey #Spotlight / #Giveaway @BerkleyMystery


Lady Takes the Case (Manor Cat Mystery)
Historical Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – England
Berkley (November 26, 2019)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1984803883
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1984803887
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07L7SYDZH

When a dinner party turns deadly, the feisty Lady Cecilia Bates and intuitive cat Jack are on the case, in this first entry to an exciting new historical mystery series.

England 1912. Danby Hall is the only home Lady Cecilia Bates has ever known. Despite the rigid rules of etiquette and her mother the Countess of Avebury’s fervent desire to see her married off, Lady Cecilia can’t imagine life anywhere else. But now, with an agricultural depression sweeping the countryside, the Bates family’s possession of the hall is suddenly in peril.

A possible solution arrives in the form of the imperious American heiress Annabel Clarke. The Earl and Countess of Avebury are determined that Cecilia’s brother, Patrick, will win Annabel’s hand in marriage—and her fortune along with it. To help the lackluster Patrick in this pursuit, the Bates and their staff arrange a grand house party upon the heiress’s arrival.

When a guest dies after sipping from a glass meant for Annabel, it’s clear the Bates have a more poisonous problem on their hands than a lack of chemistry. As the scandal seizes Danby, Cecilia sets out to find the culprit, with help from Annabel’s maid, Jane, and Jane’s curiously intelligent cat, Jack.

After the poison that someone had stashed away inside the manor is discovered, Cecilia is left with two possibilities: Either a resident of Danby snapped and tried to kill the arrogant heiress, or the threat is coming from one of their guests, who would love to see the Bates family’s decline become permanent.

About Eliza Casey

Eliza Casey is a pseudonym for a multi-published author. Her books have been nominated for many awards, including the RITA Award, the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Booksellers Best, the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the Holt Medallion.

I am giving away 1 paperback copy!

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads
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Contest Will End January 22, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
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and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Book will be sent by Escape With Dollycas.

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Murder at Kingscote (A Gilded Newport Mystery) by Alyssa Maxwell #Review @KensingtonBooks @Alyssa__Maxwell


Murder at Kingscote (A Gilded Newport Mystery)
Historical Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – Rhode Island
Kensington (August 25, 2020)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496720733
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496720733
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496720768
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496720764
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B082WQVX6D

In late nineteenth-century Newport, Rhode Island, journalist Emma Cross discovers the newest form of transportation has become the newest type of murder weapon . . .

On a clear July day in 1899, the salty ocean breeze along Bellevue Avenue carries new smells of gasoline and exhaust as Emma, now editor-in-chief of the Newport Messenger covers Newport’s first-ever automobile parade. But the festive atmosphere soon turns to shock as young Philip King drunkenly swerves his motorcar into a wooden figure of a nanny pushing a pram on the obstacle course.

That evening, at a dinner party hosted by Ella King at her magnificent Gothic-inspired “cottage,” Kingscote, Emma and her beau Derrick Andrews are enjoying the food and the company when Ella’s son staggers in, obviously still inebriated. But the disruption is nothing compared to the urgent shouts of the coachman. Rushing out, they find the family’s butler pinned against a tree beneath the front wheels of Philip’s motorcar, close to death.

When Emma later receives a message informing her that the butler bullied his staff and took advantage of young maids, she steers the police toward a murder investigation. While Emma investigates the connections between a competing heir for the King fortune, a mysterious child, an inmate of an insane asylum, and the brutal boxing rings of Providence, a killer remains at large—with unfinished business to attend to . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A beautiful day in 1899 Newport brings everyone out to watch the first-ever automobile parade.  A little accident mars the day for the King family but that doesn’t stop Ella King’s plan for her dinner party at the “magnificent Gothic-inspired “cottage,” Kingscote”. Journalist Emma Cross and her beau Derrick Andrews are delighted to attend. Mrs. King is upset that her son has not arrived when dinner is served but she is furious when he staggers in drunk as dessert is being served. Soon after shouts are heard from outside. The fog has set in making it almost impossible to see what is causing the ruckus but as they get closer they see the family’s butler smashed between a tree and the drunken Phillip’s car. He dies soon after being freed and the death was no accident.

Emma is drawn into the case when she receives a message about the butler’s past. There is also plenty of other drama involving the King family so Emma is running herself ragged to fit all the pieces together and find a killer.


I really enjoy this series. Allyssa Maxwell takes us back in times so effortlessly.  This time we were treated to Kingscote, a Gothic-inspired “cottage” and other Newport places.  The book cover starts us off with a vision and then the author’s writing paints the perfect picture of each and every scene.

The character descriptions are also detailed and developed. Emma is an independent free-thinking woman and an excellent sleuth. Her quest to get the truth has no bounds. Phillip King claims he did not drive the car into the butler and the tree and her investigation seems to point in that direction as well. It is so much fun to tag along with her as pursues each clue and theory.

Her relationship with newspaper owner Derrick Andrews is progressing nicely. His mother is still not happy about their courting but he seems to be gaining more independence in each story. They also make a great investigative team.

The entire supporting cast comes truly alive. I envisioned each and every one so clearly. From the clothes they were wearing, the tone of their voices, how they moved, where they went, and everything around them. Ms. Maxwell’s descriptive writing style really is a gift.

The author has written a complex mystery that takes Emma and Derrick beyond the confines of Newport. They make visits to a boxing ring and an insane asylum trying to find the answers they need. The story twists and turns in very interesting ways. Secrets and family connections were revealed. It brought out emotions I don’t usually feel when reading a mystery.  I was on the right track solving the mystery but I was surprised at part of the reveal. The twist at the end was very unexpected.

Murder at Kingscote was a very engaging read. The characters were extraordinary, the mystery was so richly plotted and written, and the setting was ideal. I love stories set in the Gilded Era. Each book in this series has been a pleasure to read. Emma has had some amazing adventures. I am a stickler for reading books in order but each of the books reads very well on its own.

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Alyssa outside (2)

About the Author

Alyssa Maxwell is the author of the Gilded Newport Mysteries and A Lady and Lady’s Maid Mysteries. She knew from a young age that she wanted to write novels. Growing up in New England and traveling to Great Britain fueled a passion for history, while a love of puzzles of all kinds drew her to the mystery genre. She and her husband reside in Florida, where she loves to watch BBC productions, sip tea in the afternoons, and delve into the past.

Author Links
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Also by Alyssa Maxwell

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

Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Spotlights

Deadly Cypher: A World War II Mystery (The Deadly Series) by Kate Parker #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escape Book Tour


Deadly Cypher: A World War II Mystery (The Deadly Series)
by Kate Parker


i am pleased to shine my Spotlight on Deadly Cypher today!

About Deadly Cypher


Deadly Cypher: A World War II Mystery (The Deadly Series)
Historical Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Publisher ‏ : ‎ JDP Press (August 24, 2021)
Print length ‏ : ‎ 211 pages
ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08XSRRQCV

Could a murder at Bletchley Park cost Britain the war?

 

November, 1939. The British government has assembled a small group of intellectuals at an estate north of London as part of a top-secret codebreaking effort. Everything about it is clandestine. The facility is ringed with a veil of silence until one of the young female linguists is murdered.

 

Britain’s counterintelligence spymaster tasks Olivia Redmond with finding the killer and the motive. Olivia is sent in alone, without clues or suspects.

Did the murder victim uncover a mole? Could Britain’s program to break German enigma cyphers be compromised?

 

If Olivia fails, it could mean the destruction of Britain.

 

Deadly Cypher will be on sale until August 30, 2021 when it will be sold at full price.

 

Deadly Cypher, book seven of the Deadly Series, is for fans of World War II era spy thrillers and classical cozy mysteries, of intrepid lady sleuths with spunk and smarts. No explicit cursing, sex, or violence.

 

Preorder your copy today!

 

About Kate Parker

With her love of travel, Kate Parker sets her novels overseas. Once home from her research trips and armed with hot tea and chocolate, she can be found clicking away on her keyboard, hiking the hills of central North Carolina, and spoiling her 90 pound muse puppy. She’d tell you what she did before she retired, but then she’d have to use certain skills to eliminate you. She pens stories to entertain readers who enjoy action and murder in tales about plucky heroines, quirky characters, and difficult situations in a bygone era. Her stories are sweet, as in no graphic sex, violence, or language. Her heroines remain ladylike while chasing murderers and escaping danger. Well, as ladylike as scratching, punching, and kicking can be.

Author Links – Website – Facebook – Twitter – GoodReads – Deadly Series WebsiteDeadly Series FacebookBookBub – 

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