Apr 092019
 


An Artless Demise (A Lady Darby Mystery)
Historical Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – England
Berkley (April 2, 2019)
Paperback: 384 pages
ISBN-10: 045149136X
ISBN-13: 978-0451491367
Kindle ASIN: B07FC7Y6GT

November 1831. After fleeing London in infamy more than two years prior, Lady Kiera Darby’s return to the city is anything but mundane, though not for the reasons she expected. A gang of body snatchers is arrested on suspicion of imitating the notorious misdeeds of Edinburgh criminals, Burke and Hare–killing people from the streets and selling their bodies to medical schools. Then Kiera’s past–a past she thought she’d finally made peace with–rises up to haunt her.

All of London is horrified by the evidence that “burkers” are, indeed, at work in their city. The terrified populace hovers on a knife’s edge, ready to take their enmity out on any likely suspect. And when Kiera receives a letter of blackmail, threatening to divulge details about her late anatomist husband’s involvement with the body snatchers and wrongfully implicate her, she begins to apprehend just how precarious her situation is. Not only for herself, but also her new husband and investigative partner, Sebastian Gage, and their unborn child.

Meanwhile, the young scion of a noble family has been found murdered a block from his home, and the man’s family wants Kiera and Gage to investigate. Is it a failed attempt by the London burkers, having left the body behind, or the crime of someone much closer to home? Someone who stalks the privileged, using the uproar over the burkers to cover his own dark deeds?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Lady Kiera Darby just can’t escape the taint her late husband put upon her. The latest crime wave involves a group killing people and selling the bodies to medical schools and anatomists like Lord Darby. They are calling the killers “Burkers” because they seem to be copying Burke and Hare, Edinburgh criminals, in the way the people are killed. They are preying on young men, “Italian Boys” that were said to be sold by their parents and in hopes, they would have a better life, but that was never meant to be. The boys were abused, many living on the streets. Lady Darby soon finds that people have long memories and some are sure she is involved with these bodysnatchers or at the very least knows who they are.

The newlyweds have also been asked to investigate the murder of the eldest son of Lord Redditch. He was killed close to his home and Kiera and Sabastian were the first on the scene. The killing had similarities with the “burker” death but Kiera and Sabastian believe that is what the killer just wants them to think. Will this murder be pinned on the burkers while the real killer goes free?

I anxiously await each new book in this series because Anna Lee Huber is such a talented storyteller. Her words transport the reader back in time so effortlessly. The scenes come alive from the gritty streets on foggy nights to the amazing homes in all their grandeur.

Ms. Huber also creates wonderful characters. Lady Darby was grown so much over the course of the story. After the death of the husband that kept her captured to illustrate the intricate parts of the body for his textbooks to the strong woman, she is today. Married to the man she truly loves, his partner in many sordid investigations, soon to be the mother of his child. She is intelligent and an independent thinker and his true equal. Very uncommon for the time and place. Sebastian Gage has grown too. He went against his father’s wishes by getting involved with Kiera and then marrying her. Their union has made him a stronger man and she truly brings out the best in him.

They are surrounded by a wonderful supporting cast. Their servants Bree and Anderley, who are much more than servants, they are trusted by Gage and Kiera and step up to take part in the investigation. They can go places and talk to those below floors in ways Gage and Kiera can’t. Add to this the vast cast of the noble realm, the families, the staffs, the Bow Street Runners, The New Police, and more. There are a lot of characters but Ms. Huber gives them great definition making each unique and memorable.

The mystery is very complex encompassing many situations. A true puzzler as clues are revealed and pieced together in many different ways until they all align and fall into place. I enjoyed following along each step of the way. I did have the killer on my radar but was still guessing right up to the final reveal.

These books can each be read on their own but I believe they should be read in order to realize all the character development. Plus they are all excellent stories that shouldn’t be missed by fans of this genre.

Until next year Lady Darby. I am excited for our next adventure!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To Find out more about Anna Lee Huber visit her website here.


Also by this Author

GIVEAWAY

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Follow Berkley Mystery on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End April 23, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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Nov 042017
 

City of Lies (A Counterfeit Lady Novel)
Historical Mystery/Amateur Sleuths
New Series
Berkley (November 7, 2017)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0399586576
Kindle ASIN: B06W9H7BDN

An exciting new series featuring woman-on-the-run Elizabeth Miles—from the beloved national bestselling author of the Gaslight Mysteries.

Every woman plays a part—but some are more dangerous than others…

Like most women, Elizabeth Miles assumes many roles; unlike most, hers have made her a woman on the run. Living on the edge of society, Elizabeth uses her guile to relieve so-called respectable men of their ill-gotten gains. But brutal and greedy entrepreneur Oscar Thornton is out for blood. He’s lost a great deal of money and is not going to forgive a woman for outwitting him. With his thugs hot on her trail, Elizabeth seizes the moment to blend in with a group of women who have an agenda of their own.

She never expects to like or understand these privileged women, but she soon comes to respect their intentions, forming an unlikely bond with the wealthy matriarch of the group whose son, Gideon, is the rarest of species—an honest man in a dishonest world. Elizabeth knows she’s playing a risky game, and her deception could be revealed at any moment, possibly even by sharp-eyed Gideon. Nor has she been forgotten by Thornton, who’s biding his time, waiting to strike. Elizabeth must draw on her wits and every last ounce of courage she possesses to keep her new life from being cut short by this vicious shadow from her past.

About Victoria Thompson
You can find Victoria at www.victoriathompson.com. Follow her on Facebook at Victoria Thompson.Author or on Twitter @gaslightvt.

Edgar® and Agatha Nominated author Victoria Thompson writes the Gaslight Mystery Series, set in turn-of-the-century New York City and featuring midwife Sarah Brandt. She also contributed to the award winning writing textbook MANY GENRES/ONE CRAFT. Victoria teaches in the Seton Hill University master’s program in writing popular fiction. She lives in Indiana with her husband and a very spoiled little dog.


Click on cover for more book info or to order from Amazon.

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End November 17, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

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Sep 172016
 

special guest blue

I am so happy to welcome Jessica Estevao to Escape With Dollycas today!

jessica-estevao

Don’t you just love serendipity?

Several years ago my husband and I were looking for a summer place near the water. I had no idea that our search would lead to a new series and a love of historical mystery writing. After looking at places all over the state of Maine we found the perfect spot in Old Orchard Beach. We spent that first summer renovating the house and basking on the beach. By the end of the first month we were utterly charmed.

After all, what’s not to love about seven miles of sandy beach and the last remaining seaside amusement park in New England? But while the kids were building sand castles and perfecting their body surfing technique, I found myself visiting the Harmon Historical Museum and buying antique post cards at Cottage Decor. Slowly, but surely, the history of Old Orchard worked its way into my affections and on my imagination.

whispers-beyond-veilI was intrigued to discover our property used to be part of a Methodist campground. While it now has different owners, the natural amphitheater they used for sermons and speakers is still in operation just up the street from our house.

I learned about the different incarnations the town had experienced. In the Victorian era it hosted wealthy families for the entire season at the grand hotels like The Hotel Velvet as well as day-tripping mill girls from neighboring Biddeford.

By the early 1900s Grand Beach was popular with early auto racers as well as pioneering pilots attempting the first trans-continental flights. A few years later the big band era and dance marathons drew the crowds. Soldiers returning from WWII brought their families in droves throughout the middle of the twentieth century.

It was inevitable, I suppose, that all that information would work its magic on the story-telling part of my brain. Before I knew it, I started imagining the buildings and vehicles and amusements from the past still lining the streets. Then, of course, the buildings filled with imaginary people with all their intrigues and peculiarities.

Before long, the influence of Old Orchard had concocted Ruby Proulx, the protagonist for my latest book, Whispers Beyond the Veil. The Gilded Age hotel where she lives and works, her friends and family all invented themselves as I walked along the sand or imagined a trolley car trundling down the street beside me as I strolled to the shops. Reasons for murder and mayhem swooped into my brain like marauding seagulls making a play for picnic lunches.

Just like that, an historical mystery had snuck up on me. I had never intended to turn my hand to historical writing but thanks to a little serendipity it had.

~Jessica

(Guest Post provided by publicist)

whispers-beyond-veil

Whispers Beyond the Veil
(A Change of Fortune Mystery)
New Series
Historical Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Mystery
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425281604
E-Book ASIN: B0191X353U
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

First in a dazzling new historical mystery series featuring Ruby Proulx, a psychic with a questionable past who suddenly finds her future most uncertain…

Canada, 1898. The only life Ruby Proulx has ever known is that of a nomad, traveling across the country with her snake-oil salesman father. She dreams of taking root somewhere, someday, but, until she can, she makes her way by reading tarot cards. Yet she never imagined her own life would take such a turn…

After one of her father’s medical “miracles” goes deadly wrong, Ruby evades authorities by hiding in the seaside resort town of Old Orchard, Maine, where her estranged aunt, Honoria, owns the Hotel Belden, a unique residence that caters to Spiritualists—a place where Ruby should be safe as long as she can keep her dark secret hidden.

But Ruby’s plan begins to crumble after a psychic investigator checks into the hotel and senses Ruby is hiding more than she’s letting on. Now Ruby must do what she can to escape both his attention and Aunt Honoria’s insistence that she has a true gift, before she loses her precious new home and family forever…

 

About The Author

Jessica Estevao writes the Change of Fortune Mysteries.The first in the series, Whispers Beyond the Veil, has just been released. She loves the beach, mysterious happenings and all things good-naturedly paranormal. While she lives for most of the year in New Hampshire with her dark and mysterious husband and exuberant children, she spends summers on the coast of Maine where she keeps an eye out for sea monsters and mermaids.

 As Jessie Crockett she’s the author of the nationally bestselling Sugar Grove Mysteries and the Daphne du Maurier Award winner, Live Free or Die.

To find out more about Jessica and her books visit her Webpage. Like her on Facebook,  Follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest


Written as Jessie Crockett


Click on the covers for more book info or to order from Amazon.

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

This year I am trying to build my Twitter following so for this giveaway 4 Bonus Entries will be awarded by following me on Twitter. @dollycas

Leave a comment for Jessica for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End October 1, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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Aug 242016
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so excited to Welcome Alyssa Maxwell back to Escape With Dollycas! 

murder at rough point 1

Murder at Rough Point by Alyssa Maxwell

Has a place ever captured your imagination to the point that you became just a little bit obsessed with it? This happened to me over thirty years ago, when I had my first glimpse of Rough Point, tucked away at the southern end of Bellevue Avenue in Newport, RI. Back then, Rough Point was mostly obscured from view by solid iron doors at the bottom of the driveway.

Who lived there? Why those solid doors? Well . . . Doris Duke, tobacco heiress, inherited the estate in the mid-1920s at the age of 12 and owned it until her death in 1993. You could say she was one of the last of the Gilded Age elite. In the last decades of her life, she continued to use Rough Point as well as other estates she owned, but lived a reclusive existence while secrets and rumors swirled around her name. I’m sure you’re wondering what those rumors were. I invite readers to investigate on their own. Suffice it to say here that we owe Doris Duke a great debt for her lifelong commitment to philanthropy and historic preservation. Her efforts, which included establishing the Newport Restoration Foundation in 1968, rescued numerous 18th and 19th century Newport properties that might have fallen prey to the wrecking ball if not for her.

Here’s more about Doris and the Foundation: http://www.newportrestoration.org/about/doris_duke

Originally built for Frederick and Louise Vanderbilt and completed in 1892, Rough Point is aptly named for its secluded, rocky headland that juts out into the turbulent currents where the Atlantic Ocean wraps around the southern tip of Aquidneck Island to eventually feed into Narraganset Bay. The house itself, sprawling and gabled, was designed with English county manors in mind. In Frederick Vanderbilt’s day, the interior was defined by stone and dark, coffered woodwork. In short, this very Gothic house is the perfect setting for a murder mystery.

After building the house, Frederick and Louise decided they didn’t care for Newport – I know, go figure! They started renting the house out, and this gave me a perfect opportunity to introduce an eccentric cast of characters, i.e., a hodgepodge group of artists (an opera singer, sculptor, choreographer, etc.) visiting from Paris – or are they escaping Paris? They’re definitely hiding something. And though they call themselves friends, they thrive on conflict and competition and lots of drama. Added to that is the kind of autumn storm that often pounds the New England coastline, rendering roads impassable and interrupting what tenuous telephone service existed in 1896. There’s no way out, no way to call for help, and a killer is on the loose.

Are we having fun yet?

GIVEAWAY

I’ll admit I channeled a bit of Agatha Christie’s AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, but with my own special Newport twist. It was a fun book to write and I’m very excited to share this story with readers. So much so, I’m giving away a signed hardcover copy here today to a random commenter. So…are you or have you ever become obsessed with a destination? If so, have you visited there and did it live up to your expectations? Share in the comments section and be entered for the drawing! (Due to shipping charges, open to U.S. residents only). Alyssa will choose a winner on Sunday. Be sure to leave an email address so we can contact you. 

 

murder at rough pointIn glittering Newport, Rhode Island, status is everything. But despite being a poorer relation to the venerable Vanderbilts, Emma Cross has shaped her own identity—as a reporter and a sleuth.

As the nineteenth century draws to a close, Fancies and Fashion reporter Emma Cross is sent by the Newport Observer to cover an elite house party at Rough Point, a “cottage” owned by her distant cousin Frederick Vanderbilt that has been rented as an artist retreat. To her surprise, the illustrious guests include her estranged Bohemian parents—recently returned from Europe—as well as a variety of notable artists, including author Edith Wharton.

But when one of the artists is discovered dead at the bottom of a cliff, Rough Point becomes anything but a house of mirth. After a second murder, no one is above suspicion—including Emma’s parents. As Newport police detective Jesse Whyte searches for a killer, Emma tries to draw her own conclusions—with the help of Mrs. Wharton. But with so many sketchy suspects, she’ll need to canvas the crime scenes carefully, before the cunning culprit takes her out of the picture next . . .

Coming August 30th – i will be posting my review tomorrow!  

alyssa maxwellAlyssa Maxwell is the author of the Gilded Newport Mysteries and A Lady and Lady’s Maid Mysteries. She lives in South Florida in the current year, but confesses to spending most of her time in the Victorian and post WWI eras, as well as other periods of history. In addition to fantasizing about wearing Worth gowns and strolling the gardens of her manor house, she loves to watch BBC and other period productions and sip tea in the afternoons. And each year, she and her husband take a trip up to Newport to visit family, and so Alyssa can “shop” for the next mansion to be featured in her Newport series.

 

 

Author Links:

Webpage      Twitter

GoodReads     Facebook

Also by Alyssa Maxwell

Just Click on Cover to Order from Amazon.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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Aug 092016
 

special guest blue
I am so happy to welcome Carolyn Haines back to Escape With Dollycas!
She has a new series and this first book is absolutely AMAZING!!

Carolyn and CojarRaissa James and the Spiritualist Movement

I love ghost stories. All kinds of ghost stories. But there are a few which have stayed with me over the years. Some by Edgar Allan Poe, or Sheridan Le Fanu, or M.R. James, or even Henry James, whose “Turn of the Screw” is an epic ghost story that scared the socks off me.

I’m a fan of Stephen King, Sarah Waters, and the wonderful Barbara Michaels. AMMIE, COME HOME is a classic. I put Daphne du Maurier’s REBECCA in the same category.

Why am I so compelled to read and write about the shadow land? The truth is, I see dead people. Not all the time, and certainly not when I want to. And not often. But in my life, I’ve seen a few ghosts.

And it’s a phenomena that has drawn me to the “other side” in my reading and research. And in my writing.

the book of belovedWhen I first thought to write THE BOOK OF BELOVED, I had assumed it would be contemporary, a mystery with a bit of a ghost story. Didn’t happen. Sometimes a story knows best its setting, time period, and focus. When I finally listened to the story, I realized the protagonist was a young, modern woman, but a modern woman of the 1920s. Raissa James is a WWI widow who teaches school in Savannah, Georgia but takes a summer break to visit her uncle in his fabulous estate in Mobile, Alabama.

Raissa is putting her life back together since her husband was killed in Europe in the war, and her ambition is to become a “woman scribbler.” As outrageous as that is in 1920 when women were thought not to have the intellect to write, Raissa takes it a step further. She wants to write ghost stories like the Victorian writers she reads, teaches, and adores. It’s at Caoin House, her uncle’s impressive home, that she realizes ghosts are present.

I wasn’t certain why the 1920s insisted on being the setting for my story until I began the research. In 1920, spiritualism was rife in America and England. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, was a believer in the abilities of “true” mediums to contact the spirit world. He wrote and lectured on the topic.

To that end he did much research on which mediums were real and which were fakes, because there were many fakes, charlatans who saw an opportunity to capitalize on the loss and heartbreak of others.

This spiritualist movement was a world of séances, spirit visitations, messages from the Great Beyond. Some of the more famous were the Fox sisters from upstate New York. They created a sensation when they were able to communicate with the dead via knocks and raps.

It was later revealed by two of the Fox sisters that they were fakes—they had begun their games to torment their older sister. It’s a fascinating story if you want to explore it.

But there were mediums who connected with spirit on the other side and were able to bring back messages. Doyle was a firm believer, as am I.

In our day, television shows have featured John Edward in CROSSING OVER. James van Praagh was the consultant for GHOST WHISPERER. There are several shows such as LONG ISLAND MEDIUM and A HAUNTING where contemporary mediums explore psychic phenomena and attempt to resolve energetic disruptions. Good television or real—you have to decide.

When I was working on HALLOWED BONES, I went to Reinbeck, NY, to the Omega Center for a weekend on Soul Survival. I heard Dr. Raymond Moody talk about near-death experiences.

Another speaker talked about mind, body, and spirit healing. Dr. Brian Weiss took 400 people on a past life regression. The final day was van Praagh, and he channeled a dozen people who’d died in 9/11.

I grew up on Victorian ghost stories, and if you’d like to sample Le Fanu’s story, “Green Tea,” here’s a link. https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/l/lefanu/green/prologue.html Remember, it’s from the Victorian era so the language is dense, but the mood is delightful.

I confess I have an active imagination. But I’ve also have strange experiences. One night when I outside late looking for my kitty, I saw someone in my pickup truck in the driveway.

He was a tall, thin man with dark hair and eyes. He wore a blue plaid shirt, and he was somehow connected to my red pickup that I bought at auction. This gentleman sat gripping the steering wheel, a strange aquatic blue light filling the cab. He wanted to talk to me, but I was too afraid. Every time I saw him I ran in the house and locked the door (like that would really help).

I became afraid of my truck at night. I wouldn’t even walk near it, which was an extreme inconvenience.

I finally gritted up the courage to speak to him. So I went out to the truck and asked him what he wanted and I offered to help him. That was all it took. He disappeared and hasn’t been seen since. I think he simply wanted an offer of help, then he could let go.

Tell me some of your experiences with ghosts or psychic phenomena.

~Carolyn

 

the book of beloved

The Book of Beloved
(Pluto’s Snitch)

Paranormal Historical Suspense Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Alabama
Thomas & Mercer (August 9, 2016)
Paperback: 330 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1503938069
E-Book ASIN: B01BXSFGDS
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

As a young woman widowed by World War I, Raissa James is no stranger to ghosts. But when an invitation arrives from Caoin House, her uncle’s estate in Mobile, Alabama, she’s finally ready to cast off the shadows of her past. And what better way to do so than with a grand party in her honor? An aspiring authoress, Raissa’s eager to soak up more of life—and immerse herself in the dark history that haunts the estate.

But the revelries come to an abrupt end when one of her uncle’s guests takes a deadly plunge. And when a ghost from the property’s past, a Confederate soldier, reveals himself to Raissa, she’s more determined than ever to get to the heart of the mysterious deaths that plague Caoin House. Enlisting the help of Reginald Proctor, a self-proclaimed medium, she holds a séance to shed light on old secrets. But she discovers that some secrets, even those long dead, still have a startling hold on the living…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It has been a while since I have had an honest to goodness book induced hangover. The Book of Beloved is responsible for my latest. I started reading it after finishing another book and thought I will just read a couple of chapters and it was almost 3 a.m. when I put the book down after reading the whole thing.

Main character Raissa James travels to Caoin House, her uncle’s estate, which has been said to be haunted. There have been a few mysterious deaths there over the years. She is not there long when she sees her first ghost, a Confederate soldier. Her sighting happens shortly after a man falls to his death at a party at the estate. It is ruled accidental, maybe a suicide, but Raissa thinks it was murder. Raissa uses her desire to become an author to dig deeper into the recent death and those from the past. She thinks the ghosts are key to finding out the truth.

The suicide element of this story should have been a trigger for me after my son’s death and there was a lynching in part of the book as well, but after a couple of short pauses and skimming past a few lines I just kept going. Something just a few months ago that would have made me drop the book and stop reading in an instant, but I am starting to heal more every day and the story had me so enthralled that I just couldn’t stop, I had to know how this story played out. (This may not always be the case but was with this story.) Seances also play into the mystery, trying to get answers, learning more about the people that haunt Caoin House, a way to communicate with those who have passed on. This is something that has really piqued my interest since my son’s death. I truly wish I could communicate with him, maybe someday that wish will come true. So until now I have not been able to read a story with these topics, this one brought them all together in a way my mind and soul could handle.

The reason I was able to read this story is because Carolyn Haines has written it with the hand of a master. She draws the reader in almost timidly. A niece visiting her uncle at an old estate after losing her husband in World War I, then a man falls to his death and the suspense builds, then ghosts begin to appear and secrets starts to be revealed, the suspense builds a little more and things start to get scary. I should have stopped reading then but knew there was no way I was going to sleep then so I kept on reading. Then Raissa makes a startling discovery and I was reading at lightning speed. I can’t say more because I don’t want to ruin the story for anyone. Needless to say I didn’t get much sleep even after I finished the book. I would advise you not to read before bedtime.

I will say I really like Raissa. She is an intelligent and independent woman that I can see being very involved in the causes of the time period, the 1920’s, like woman getting the right to vote. I also see her becoming a very successful author. I am interested to see where the author takes this character in the future.

I rarely give a Paradise Rating to the first book in a series because usually the plot takes a lesser role as the author needs introduce us to all the characters and the setting and time period. In this case Carolyn Haines does all that and gives us a fantastic mystery too.

paradise 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

USA Today bestselling author Carolyn Haines has published over 70 books in a number of genres, both dark and light. She is an animal advocate and a former muckraking journalist. THE BOOK OF BELOVED, a Pluto’s Snitch mystery, is the first book in a new series. The latest book in the Sarah Booth Delaney series is ROCK-A-BYE BONES.

To learn more about Carolyn or to sign up for her newsletter, please go to www.carolynhaines.com or find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram


Click on book covers for more info or to order from Amazon.

GIVEAWAY
The author is giving away 1 Copy of Book of the Beloved!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Print Copy U.S. Only – E-Copy International.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for Carolyn for 5 Bonus Entries.
Sign Up For Her Newsletter for 5 More Bonus Entries!
http://www.carolynhaines.com/newsletter.aspx

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End August 23, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form
 

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

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Jun 242016
 

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

a study in death

A Study in Death (A Lady Darby Mystery)
Historical Cozy Mystery/Historical Romance
4th in Series
Setting – Scotland
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (July 7, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Larry Rosant
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425277522
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages – (July 5, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-0425281246
E-Book ASIN: B00OQSF8OU
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Scotland, 1831. After a tumultuous courtship complicated by three deadly inquiries, Lady Kiera Darby is thrilled to have found both an investigative partner and a fiancé in Sebastian Gage. But with her well-meaning—and very pregnant—sister planning on making their wedding the event of the season, Kiera could use a respite from the impending madness.

Commissioned to paint the portrait of Lady Drummond, Kiera is saddened when she recognizes the pain in the baroness’s eyes. Lord Drummond is a brute, and his brusque treatment of his wife forces Kiera to think of the torment caused by her own late husband.

Kiera isn’t sure how to help, but when she finds Lady Drummond prostrate on the floor, things take a fatal turn. The physician called to the house and Lord Drummond appear satisfied to rule her death natural, but Kiera is convinced that poison is the real culprit.

Now, armed only with her knowledge of the macabre and her convictions, Kiera intends to discover the truth behind the baroness’s death—no matter what, or who, stands in her way…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Lady Darby has left the planning of her upcoming nuptials to her sister who needs something to keep her mind on during her confinement waiting for her baby to be born. With no pending inquires with husband to be Sebastian Gage, Kiera takes a commission from Lord Drummond to paint a portrait of his wife.  Sadly Lord Drummond is much like most men in this era and view their wives as property and are abusive. This strikes very close to home for Kiera. Before she can help Lady Drummond the woman is dead. Cause of death, Apoplexy. Back in this time period many peoples cause of death was Apoplexy or what is now called a stroke. The term was used widely when when doctors didn’t know the cause. Without an autopsy it truly couldn’t be challenged but Kiera knows the woman was murdered so she convinces Gage to start an inquiry, much to the dismay of many.

This is definitely a series that needs to be read in order as each new book builds from the last. Gage and Kiera’s relationship had a rocky start that has changed and evolved in each book always surrounded by a top-notch mystery.  Kiera still needs to build a feeling of trust with Gage. She was treated horribly my her first husband. Meeting his father in this installment shakes the security they had built, especially when she know Gage is keeping parts of his past a secret.

I enjoyed the subplot of Kiera’s sister Alana and her husband Phillip. Her pregnancy wasn’t an easy one and Phillip could be a typical man of this time period or could be the wonderful husband he seemed to be in past books.

As for the mystery, Gage and Kiera are interviewing everyone that had contact with Lady Drummond, including her husband, the staff, and her friends. The investigation also takes they to the dark and dangerous streets of the city as they try to determine what caused her death. Kiera is strong and independent and doesn’t appreciate being told she can’t go or do something. Gage tries to protect her but sometimes he even needs help from a certain unsavory character.

Anna Lee Huber continues to impress me with her storytelling.  As a reader I am engaged almost even before I start reading because I know what to expect from this author. She has never disappointed me.  I love the imagery of Scotland her words create. Her depiction of characters across all social classes is exceptional. Her plot lines are tight and the dialogue is excellent.

My reading schedule was messed up last year which made this book stay on my To-Be-Read shelf for far too long. That will not be the case with A Death Draws Near out July 5.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To Find out more about Anna Lee Huber visit her website here.

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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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Mar 222016
 

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SECRETS IN THE STONES
Secrets in the Stones (Dr. Thomas Silkstone Mystery)
Historical Mystery
6th in Series
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Kensington (February 23, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-0758293411
E-Book ASIN: B00Y6RB0SY
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Synopsis

Within the mysteries of the body, especially those who have been murdered, 18th-century anatomist Dr. Thomas Silkstone specializes in uncovering the tell-tale clues that lead towards justice…

Newly released from the notorious asylum known as Bedlam, Lady Lydia Farrell finds herself in an equally terrifying position–as a murder suspect–when she stumbles upon the mutilated body of Sir Montagu Malthus in his study at Boughton Hall.

Meanwhile Dr. Thomas Silkstone has been injured in a duel with a man who may or may not have committed the grisly deed of which Lydia is accused. Despite his injury, Thomas hopes to clear his beloved’s good name by conducting a postmortem on the victim. With a bit of detective work, he learns that Montagu’s throat was slit by no ordinary blade, but a ceremonial Sikh dagger from India–a clue that may be connected to the fabled lost mines of Golconda.

From the mysterious disappearance of a cursed diamond buried with Lydia’s dead husband, to the undying legend of a hidden treasure map, Thomas must follow a trail of foreign dignitaries, royal agents–and even more victims–to unveil the sinister and shocking secrets in the stones…

Praise for Secrets in the Stones

The characters and storyline are so inviting and captivated from the start.
~Shelley’s Book Case

Copyright Maureen McLean 2011

Copyright Maureen McLean 2011

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Since leaving Oxford University with a History degree, Tessa Harris has been a journalist and editor, contributing to many national publications such as The Times and The Telegraph. She has also acted as a literary publicist for several well-known authors. Readers can visit her website at tessaharrisauthor.com.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Purchase Links

Amazon   B &N          GoodReads        IndieBound

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I have 1 copy to giveaway!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US 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.

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Leave a comment for Miranda for 5 Bonus Entries.

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Contest Will End April 5, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

 

Tour Participants

March 16 – Mythical Books – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

March 17 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

March 18 – Melina’s Book Blog – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

March 19 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

March 20 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

March 21 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW

March 22 – Nadaness In Motion – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

March 22 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book –   SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

March 23 – Author Annette Drake – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY (REVIEW)

March 24 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

March 25 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

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Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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Mar 192016
 

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THOSE WHO WALK IN DARKNESS
Those Who Walk In Darkness
(Jacks Jackson Mystery Book 1)

Historical Mystery
Print Length: 266 pages
Publisher: J. Lavene (March 8, 2016)
ASIN: B01AS8NN6Q
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Synopsis

Three years ago, Julia Jackson was a well to do young woman from Boston whose fiancé, Jonathon, was killed right before her eyes. Obsessed with finding the killer, a man whose face she saw only in a flash as he walked up and shot Jonathon, she leaves her family and her life behind. She starts a new life as ‘Jacks’ Jackson—a cigar smoking, dead eye, female Pinkerton agent…pretending to be a man.

Now Allan Pinkerton needs Jacks to find the man who kidnapped the wife and son of a railroad official, David Boyd. Their only clues are the severed finger from the man’s wife, complete with wedding ring, and a map of the Qualla boundary, the Cherokee reservation in North Carolina.

Jacks doesn’t like the way the whole thing sounds from the beginning. David Boyd isn’t important enough to target for a kidnapping. And why travel so far with two hostages?

But Pinkerton tells her that he believes the man responsible for the kidnapping worked with Jonathon’s murderer in a train robbery five years ago. Jacks agrees to go after the kidnapper with hopes of catching him before he can reach his home grounds.

Pinkerton insists that Jacks bring three men with her—Boyd, her new partner, and a Cherokee guide named Running Wolf, who’s always watching her, like he’s trying to figure it out.

Can Jacks catch the kidnapper with her secret—and her life—intact?

Praise for Those Who Walk in Darkness
by Joyce and Jim Lavene

Team Lavene has the Midas touch for fiction!
~Back Porchervations

A great cast of characters and a gripping story line. You will be hooked from the start.
~Shelley’s Book Case

Another great new series from my favorite, most prolific mystery writers…The book is fast-paced and full of surprises.
~Book Babble

The story jumped right into action and kept my interest to the end. I enjoyed the characters, the mystery and the good movement of the story. The writing flows well and is an easy read.
~Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf

It has been a while since I have read a good old fashioned western. Though this is foremost a mystery, it is a great old fashioned western.
~I Read What You Write

Fantastic writing and I would highly recommend Those Who Walk in Darkness by the Lavene’s for a great combination of multiple genres.
~fundinmental

joycejim

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family.

 
 
 
Author Links:
Webpage – www.joyceandjimlavene.com

Facebook – www.facebook.com/joyceandjimlavene

Amazon – http://amazon.com/author/jlavene

Twitter – https://twitter.com/AuthorJLavene

Purchase Link

Amazon

Click here for more books by Joyce and Jim Lavene.
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Tour Participants

March 8 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

March 9 – A. Holland Reads – INTERVIEW

March 10 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW

March 11 – Author Annette Drake’s Blog – INTERVIEW

March 12 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

March 13 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 14 – Book Babble – REVIEW

March 15 – Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf – REVIEW

March 16 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

March 17 – fundinmental – REVIEW

March 18 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST

March 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

March 20 – Deal Sharing Aunt – SPOTLIGHT

March 21 – fuonlyknew – REVIEW

March 22 – Community Bookstop – EXCERPT

 

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Feb 252016
 

speakers of the deadSpeakers of the Dead: A Walt Whitman Mystery
1st in Series
Historical Mystery
Setting – New York
A Plume Book
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Release Date – March 1, 2016
Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0143128717
E-Book ASIN: B010N18IKO
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Speakers of the Dead is a mystery novel centering around the investigative exploits of a young Walt Whitman, in which the reporter-cum-poet navigates the seedy underbelly of New York City’s body-snatching industry in an attempt to exonerate his friend of a wrongful murder charge.

The year is 1843; the place: New York City. Aurora reporter Walt Whitman arrives at the Tombs prison yard where his friend Lena Stowe is scheduled to hang for the murder of her husband, Abraham. Walt intends to present evidence on Lena’s behalf, but Sheriff Harris turns him away. Lena drops to her death, and Walt vows to posthumously exonerate her.

Walt’s estranged boyfriend, Henry Saunders, returns to New York, and the two men uncover a link between body-snatching and Abraham’s murder: a man named Samuel Clement. To get to Clement, Walt and Henry descend into a dangerous underworld where resurrection men steal the bodies of the recently deceased and sell them to medical colleges. With no legal means to acquire cadavers, medical students rely on these criminals, and Abraham’s involvement with the Bone Bill—legislation that would put the resurrection men out of business—seems to have led to his and Lena’s deaths.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

J. Aaron Sanders takes a tragic time in history, bodies being snatched from their graves, and twists it just right with a young Walt Whitman on a quest for justice. Lena Stowe has been accused of killing her husband with not much evidence. Her friend Walt Whitman tries to plead her case but is unsuccessful the Lena is hanged in the prison yard. You need to know about Lena and her husband Abraham. They have opened the Woman’s Medical College of Manhattan. Scandalous because women are not allowed to be doctors and because the students dissect corpses to learn about the workings of the body. These corpses may have been donated to the college or stolen from graves and sold to the school. In those days people believed their loved one could only ascend to heaven if their bodies and organs were intact. There were rallies and demonstrations to close the school and to stop the body snatchers. There was also a bill, the Bone Bill, something the Stowe’s supported, in the works that put an end to the body’s snatchers altogether.

This was a truly riveting story. Organ donation and cadavers used for study is common place today, but in 1843 it was a sin and illegal. Walt knows his friend Lena, did not kill her husband and knows there is some deep dark secrets behind the story. He uses the resources he has available writing for the newspaper to ask questions and print articles that will incite the public and help him find the truth. This truth comes at a very high cost.

This is a work of fiction but some of the things that happen actually occurred which can lead you to almost forget it is fiction. Whitman is joined by Edgar Allan Poe at one point in the story too. This is had my scratching my head and trying to remember their writings for things that may have been inspired from these incidents. I must say here you do not have to have read Whitman’s work to enjoy this story. Without the background, you have a young man on a mission, a dangerous mission. The author surrounds him with amazing characters, like his estranged boyfriend, Henry, and Elizabeth Blackwell, a young woman studying to become a doctor who takes over the college when her mentors are killed just to name two. There are also the public officials, students, and the men stealing the bodies and so many more.

This story reminded me a bit of Death of a Schoolgirl by Joanna Campbell Slan. In that story she turned Jane Eyre into an amateur sleuth, just as Sanders does with Whitman here. The story also reminds me of the Lady Darby Mysteries by Anna Lee Huber, as women in this story buck tradition to take on something only males are allowed to pursue.

This mystery gets quite intense and has some wonderful twists so that at times we don’t know the good guys from the bad ones and neither does Walt.  Throughout the story we have political corruption, fights between religion and science, and some organized crime.

This author takes us a quite an adventure. He also gives us a man that goes to great lengths to prove his friends innocence and redeem their names and show the importance of their work. Work he wasn’t totally supportive of when they were alive but came to understand very quickly after their death.

I am excited that this book is the beginning of a series. I really want to see where the author takes this character. He is off to an excellent start. Did I mention this is the author’s first novel? He is a wonderful storyteller.

 perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

*There were a couple of parts of this story that were difficult for me to read due to how my son died last year but I don’t feel that impacted my review in any way.

 

About This Author

Aaron Sanders is Associate Professor of English at Columbus State University where he teaches literature and creative writing. He holds a PhD in American Literature from The University of Connecticut and an MFA in Fiction from The University of Utah. His stories have appeared in Carolina Quarterly, Gulf Coast, Quarterly West, and Beloit Fiction Journal, among others.


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I am giving away my review copy!
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.
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If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End March 10, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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Jul 032015
 

murder at beechwood
Murder at Beechwood
(A Gilded Newport Mystery)

3rd in Series
Historical Cozy Mystery
Setting – Rhode Island
Publisher: Kensington Books (May 26, 2015)
Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0758290861
E-Book ASIN: B00ONTR52K
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For Newport, Rhode Island’s high society, the summer of 1896 brings lawn parties, sailboat races…and murder.

Having turned down the proposal of Derrick Andrews, Emma Cross has no imminent plans for matrimony—let alone motherhood. But when she discovers an infant left on her doorstep, she naturally takes the child into her care. Using her influence as a cousin to the Vanderbilts and a society page reporter for the Newport Observer , Emma launches a discreet search for the baby’s mother.

One of her first stops is a lawn party at Mrs. Caroline Astor’s Beechwood estate. But an idyllic summer’s day is soon clouded by tragedy. During a sailboat race, textile magnate Virgil Monroe falls overboard. There are prompt accusations of foul play—and even Derrick Andrews falls under suspicion. Deepening the intrigue, a telltale slip of lace may link the abandoned child to the drowned man. But as Emma navigates dark undercurrents of scandalous indiscretions and violent passions, she’ll need to watch her step to ensure that no one lowers the boom on her…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I absolutely love this series! Emma Cross is a smart protagonist and I love following her through 1896 Rhode Island. She is a brave woman who sticks up for those in need. This time it is a baby left on her doorstep and she will not rest until she finds his mother, even when it puts her own life in danger.

Gull Manor has become a refuge over the years for prostitutes and abused women wanting a fresh start and Emma has vowed to keep up the tradition even though many do not approve. She never expected a newborn would find its way to her door, a newborn that steals the heart of everyone at Gull Manor. Nor did she realize the sweet child would be connected to such tragedy.

Alyssa Maxwell bases her story on actual families, like the Vanderbilts and the Astors and crafts a tale that will will enthrall you from the first page until the last. She takes us into the world of the elite 400. Their lives, their parties, their indiscretions and their drama. The characters are so well written, the plot is enticing and the setting is described wonderfully. The story is perfectly paced with generous detail.

Each new story in this series becomes my favorite as the author keeps topping herself.

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To find out more about Alyssa Maxwell and her books visit here webpage here.

GIVEAWAYI am giving away by Advance Review Copy!

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 Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End July 17 , 2015 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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

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