Feb 072018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to have R. L. Syme drop by today! 


Guest Post
by R. L. Syme

One of the hotly contested issues in the Vangie Vale Fan Club (we call it Becca Nation, but the VVFC is really what it’s become) is the issue of who will Vangie end up with, romantically. Right now, she is dating a biker and mechanic named Derek, but he does not have the support of the majority in the VVFC. That honor goes to the local sheriff, Malcolm Dean.

My assistant said to me once that when she thinks of Malcolm, she imagines him like Walt Longmire from the show Longmire. Tall, strong and silent, obsessed with justice, and ruggedly handsome. While I tend to see Malcolm as Kevin McKidd (the actor), I would absolutely buy that description of the local sheriff in Saint Agnes, Montana.

Part of the argument about any good love triangle, of course, is about the person who has to choose between the two lovers. In this case, that person is Vangie Vale, the main character of these books. I always maintain that, in a love triangle, each of the choices represents something about the person who has to choose, and they’re really choosing between two sides of themselves when they’re making the choice about who to love.

Choosing between Derek Hobson and Malcolm Dean, for Vangie, is about choosing which version of herself she wants to be. I do think that she will, at some point, choose Malcolm as well, but I’m still not sure that he’s who she will end up with in the end of the series, and here’s why.

In the world of Vangie Vale, Derek represents adoration. He adores her. She is up on his pedestal, and he has no plans to bring her down off that pedestal anytime soon. Sure, he sees her flaws, but he loves her because of them. Not in spite of them. He is the president of her fan club. While still being annoyed when she runs into danger. But he’s not going to prevent her from investigating crimes. That’s one of the things he loves about her.

Malcolm, on the other hand, represents challenge. He respects her. He sees her as an equal, and he knows that she has the tools it takes to help find justice. But he is not giving her the easy way out. He wants to protect her, instead of send her off into danger. He would never say that he’s okay with her putting herself in danger.

So you have to decide, when you’re thinking about who Vangie will end up with, what kind of person is Vangie?

Is she the kind of woman who needs to be adored? Or is she the kind of woman who needs a challenge? Does she need complete loyalty? Or does she like to be protected? Does she want to be loved for who she is? Or who she could be?

Or… if I’m being really evil… is there a third option? Maybe a guy we haven’t even met yet?

I don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see…

~R. L. Syme

Thank you so much for visiting today!


Vangie Vale & the Strangled Strudel (The Matchbaker Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Montana
Hummingbird Books (January 4, 2018)
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1983480997
Kindle ASIN: B077GK124B

 

 

You could call it the straw that broke the camel’s back but it was more like a Montana forest timber.

Just when Vangie Vale’s life was getting back to normal after a murder that rocked her little Rocky Mountain tourist town, she found herself in the middle of another murder… as the chief suspect.

Vangie stood shocked on the side of the curb as the sheriff stretched yellow crime scene tape around the front of her new bakery. Wouldn’t this make a lovely headline in next week’s paper: Local Baker Kills Parishioner With Pudding. Vangie’s road back to good graces as a part-time pastor was bumpy enough already. This would be a roadblock. Can’t have that.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Vangie has had a rough time making herself at home in Montana, being part of two police investigations, but she has been offered a contract by her church so some of the pressure is off. That is until a woman dies after eating at her bakery. Crime scene tape marks the spot across the door and that is not going to make the church council happy. She knows she didn’t kill anyone but someone with access to her place apparently did. Now she just needs to figure out who before the investigation puts her out of business and behind bars.

This third installment of this series is packed to the brim. In the last book, Vangie told the church council about what brought her to Montana. In this story, we learn much more as people from back in North Carolina are contacting Vangie. People she is not supposed to have contact with. She is also dealing with the death of a mother who looks to have died after eating at Vangie’s shop. Malcolm knows she isn’t responsible, but he has to find proof and find the person who is and that is not easy. He has to admit, that while he doesn’t want Vangie involved in the investigation, people do open up and talk to her in a way they never do with him. Maybe together they can get to the truth, that is if Vangie can survive long enough.

Vangie Vale & the Strangled Strudel is a roller coaster ride from start to finish with corkscrew twists and turns. Vangie is absolutely wonderful. She has such a big heart, wanting to help everyone she can and this time puts her in a lot of danger. While figuring out “the how” of the murder early on, “the who” and “the why” was really tough. I was clearly taken aback as they were revealed. I sure didn’t see the “WHY” at all.

This author has a talent for drawing readers in, holding on tight, and then giving us a shocking twist. She gives her characters many layers that are slowly pulled away. For Vangie, that means secrets she has been keeping from her friends in Montana. They are being revealed sparingly on top of trying to solve the murders. She also has two complicated men in her life. One that she is dating and one that she probably should be dating. Both have ways of making her a little nuts, but this triangle is so much fun to read and speculate about which one she will actually choose.

Well written, fast-paced, great characters, intriguing, relevant, fresh, entertaining, all words that can be used to describe this story. I was sad to see it end. I am anxiously awaiting Vangie Vale and the Larcenous Lava Cake.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


Rebecca Syme writes small town romance as Becca Boyd and cozy mystery as R.L. Syme. She is a long-time foodie and loves fancy cheese. Becca calls the mountains of Montana her home and draws inspiration from the beautiful vistas and heartwarming people. She is the USA Today bestselling author of the Line of Fire series of sweet romances and part of the Chick Tales series set in Somewhere, TX. You can find her on Twitter talking #fancycheese or #Chopped, and on Facebook with her fans in Becca Nation.

Click on covers to purchase.

Praise for Vangie Vale & the Strangled Strudel (The Matchbaker Mysteries)
by R.L. Syme

This is a terrific addition to a great series and I enjoy how Vangie’s compassion helps solve a crime and brings comfort to the town.
~Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder

The book is well-written and the plot line was great. I had no real ideas about who had done the crime until it was revealed at the end.
~Valerie’s Musings

VANGIE VALE AND THE STRANGLED STRUDEL drew me in with its fast-moving plot and interesting characters.
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews

I truly savored The Strangled Strudel! The fast-moving plot is captivating, with never a dull moment.
~Jane Reads

I found this book to be a very quick read that kept me guessing throughout the entire story and I must say, I was shocked by the whodunit, once the murderer was revealed.
~The Montana Bookaholic

. . . the main character Vangie is firmly established and I am quite hooked on her antics I must say. The combination of her being a part-time pastor and full-time baker makes for some interesting twists to this story. . .
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

This is one cozy that you won’t be able to put down. Heck, the other two books were just as good, so go grab them as well.
~A Chick Who Reads

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

January 29 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW
January 30 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
January 30 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW
January 31 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
February 1 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW, GUEST POST
February 1 – Jane Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 1 – Queen of All She Reads – GUEST POST  
February 2 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW
February 3 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 3 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
February 4 –A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
February 5 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
February 6 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 7 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GUEST POST
February 8 – My Reading Journeys – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 9 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW


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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.”

Feb 022018
 

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.


Vangie Vale and the Corpseless Custard (The Matchbaker Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Montana
Hummingbird Books (September 18, 2017)
Paperback: 364 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1977524669
Kindle ASIN: B074RP5CHZ

 

 

Mystery, murder, missing people, and Bunco. Who could ask for anything more? 

When Vangie brings a few fancy custard tarts to her Bunco group, she’s hoping to impress the guest of honor with her pastry skills. But when the guest of honor never shows up and her body is discovered, everyone at the Bunco group is a murder suspect. Wrong place at the wrong time.

Vangie Vale finds herself in another predicament trying to solve a murder in a neighboring small town before her mugshot shows up in the local anonymous gossip blog. And just when she hoped her Sherlocking days were done. No rest for the wicked…or the clergy.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Book 2 in the Matchbaker series finds Baker/Pastor Vangie Vale joining a Bunco group. She really wants to show off her baking skills to one of the members. Sadly that member missed the meeting, but she did learn how to play Bunco. Everyone gets a little worried when Fenna doesn’t show up to play but she did send a weird text message to everyone saying she is leaving town. Vangie thinks there is more to the story. Days later when a dead body is found the whole group of Bunco players finds themselves suspects in the murder. Sheriff Malcolm tells Vangie to stay out of the investigation because it is out of his jurisdiction and he can’t protect her, but again she finds herself right in the middle of it.  The church council is not going to like her involvement either especially with her review just a few days away.

The characters continue to evolve in this story. We find out more about the event that led Vangie to move to Montana from North Carolina. We get to know the good sheriff much better too. I was totally surprised by something very important in his life. Derek also returns and he and Vangie get closer. The romance and romantic tension ramps up and I loved it.

The mystery was so entertaining. Missing persons, murders, and mayhem as several suspects had motive and opportunity. A questionable police force also kept things very interesting. This book was impossible to put down. I had to know whodunit as soon as possible and the final twist caught me completely off guard.

R. L. Syme has created a cozy mystery chick lit mashup and she has done it so well. Mystery, romance, humor, delectable desserts, with characters that endearing and engaging. This was a “perfect escape”.

This is a fun series. I am reading the 3rd book, Vangie Vale and the Strangled Strudel, right now, so stay tuned for that review.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

R.L. Syme will be my guest next week for Cozy Wednesday!
She is also touring
Vangie Vale and the Strangled Strudel
with Great Escapes Book Tours.

About The Author

Rebecca Syme writes small town romance as Becca Boyd and cozy mystery as R.L. Syme. She is a long-time foodie and loves fancy cheese. Becca calls the mountains of Montana her home and draws inspiration from the beautiful vistas and heartwarming people. She is the USA Today bestselling author of the Line of Fire series of sweet romances and part of the Chick Tales series set in Somewhere, TX. You can find her on Twitter talking #fancycheese or #Chopped, and on Facebook with her fans in Becca Nation.

I am giving away a Kindle copy!

Winner’s Choice of the 3 books in this series. 

Book will be sent directly from Amazon.

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.

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 February 16, 2018, 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

*This book was from my private collection.

Jan 292018
 

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I am starting from home this week in Wisconsin then back to Montana before I head to Maine. 

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

Escapes Completed


Murder of a Good Man (A Piney Woods Mystery)
Release Date – January 15, 2018
Setting – Texas
My Review 


Killer Choice
Release Date – January 30, 2018
Setting – Michigan
Review will be up tomorrow. 


Murder Borrowed, Murder Blue (A Wedding Planner Mystery)
Release Date – January 30, 2018
Setting – Pensylvania
Review will be posted Thursday! 


Class Reunions Are Murder (A Poppy McAllister Mystery)
Release Date – January 30, 2018
Setting – New Jersey
The Great Escapes Tour stops here this Thursday!


Vangie Vale and the Corpseless Custard (The Matchbaker Mysteries)
Release Date – September 18, 2017
Setting – Montana
My Flashback Friday Read!

Scheduled Escapes


Survival of the Fritters (A Deputy Donut Mystery)
Release Date – January 30, 2018
Setting – Wisconsin
For Review


Vangie Vale and the Strangled Strudel (The Matchbaker Mysteries)
Release Date – January 4, 2018
Setting – Montana
R. L. Syme will be my guest next week for Cozy Wednesday!
The Great Escapes Tour starts today!


Death by Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake (A Death by Chocolate Mystery)
Release Date – January 30, 2018
Setting – Maine
For Review

Click Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

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

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Aug 082017
 

Vangie Vale and the Murdered Macaron (The Matchbaker Mysteries Book 1)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Montana
Hummingbird Books (July 21, 2017)
Paperback: 362 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1548024437
E-Book ASIN: B073ZLKBZT

 

 

Small towns and gossip go together like flaky crust and sweet pastry cream. Between the police scanners, social media, and the senior center, it’s like a zombie apocalypse where the undead consume people’s secrets instead of living flesh.

But Vangie Vale wants nothing more than to stay under the radar…especially the police radar.

So when her new bakery becomes linked to a murder investigation, nothing will stop the gossip mill from connecting her to the dead body. Can’t have that.

Forced into the role of investigator, this new-in-town bakery owner has to become the very thing she hates–a nosy, small-town gossip–in order to clear her good name, and keep her face off the front page. But when a dating debacle brings her face-to-face with the Sheriff, Vangie can’t ignore the fact that one of her macarons was involved in a murder. She has to find the who-dun-it.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This series is off to a tasty start.

Evangeline (Vangie) Vail is a part time pastor and a full time baker. The issue that brought her to Montana is a little foggy yet but she is settling in nicely. Her Matchmaker Bakery is a really cute idea. She matches you to the perfect pastry and beverage not the man or the woman of your dreams. She’s an upbeat person and a good listener and she truly wants to help wherever she can. When one her pastry boxes is found at a crime scene she becomes one of the Sheriff’s top suspects.  She and the Sheriff have a very rocky relationship. They are neighbors and he just didn’t like her from the first time they met. The only place near her home that she can get cell phone service is at the corner of his property near a big bush and it just drives him crazy. He reports her trespassing to the parish and she is on thin ice already with them. He has even threatened to arrest her. Let’s just say all this trespassing and murder has not made Vangie’s life easy but she doesn’t give up. I really like her and want to get to know her much better.

The murder mystery is very well plotted out. It all comes down to a very small timeline, alibis for all of the suspects and motive. Vangie takes us down a prickly path until we finally get to the real killer. Vangie can now add sleuth to her resume. Some of the story goes a little off a cozy path, at the end of one chapter my breath was just taken away. The author quickly get us back on track in the cozy realm. It was simply a page turner that kept my attention from the beginning to the end.

I am excited about this series.  This first escape to Montana just gave us a taste of what to expect from this author and these characters. I am very happy to learn there are two more books in the series to be released soon.

**My review was of an Advance Review Copy and was informed that there were some adjustments made to the final edition.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

*There is a tragic death that appears at first to be a suicide within this story.

About The Author

Rebecca Syme writes small town romance as Becca Boyd and cozy mystery as R.L. Syme. She is a long-time foodie and loves fancy cheese. Becca calls the mountains of Montana her home and draws inspiration from the beautiful vistas and heartwarming people. She is the USA Today bestselling author of the Line of Fire series of sweet romances and part of the Chick Tales series set in Somewhere, TX. You can find her on Twitter talking #fancycheese or #Chopped, and on Facebook with her fans in Becca Nation.

 

More Praise for Vangie Vale and the Murdered Macaron
by R. L. Syme

A new to me author and a book that will keep you turning the pages as fast as you can to see what happens.
~Babs Book Bistro

What I wouldn’t give to be in this story. It was fun, imaginative and full of yummy treats.
~Bibliophile Reviews

I liked the neighbourhood friendship all the characters have, they agree and of course disagree, and let me say I can’t wait to discover more characters and more delicacies from Vangie!
~Varietats

It might have been the book cover that drew me in.
But it was the story and plot that kept me and lured me all the way to the end.
~My Reading Journeys

Purchase Links 

Amazon B&N
Coming Soon

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Tour Participants

August 1 – Blogger Nicole Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 1 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW
August 2 – Babs Book Bistro – REVIEW
August 2 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
August 3 – Bibliophile Reviews –  REVIEW, GUEST POST
August 3 – Varietats2010 – REVIEW
August 4 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
August 5 – Bookworm Cafe – REVIEW  
August 5 – My Funny View of Life – REVIEW
August 6 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
August 6 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
August 7 – Sleuth Cafe – CHARACTER GUEST POST
August 7 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
August 8 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 8 – Teresa Trent Author Site – INTERVIEW
August 8 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
August 9 – The Power of Words – SPOTLIGHT
August 9 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW
August 10 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW
August 10 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
August 11 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
August 11 – Book Babble – REVIEW
August 12 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
August 12 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
August 13 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW
August 13 – Girl with Book Lungs – CHARACTER GUEST POST
August 14 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
August 14 – Jane Reads – REVIEW, GUEST POST

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

 

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