Aug 222017
 

Yews with Caution (Flower Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
19th in Series
Setting – Indiana
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (May 30, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451473455
Kindle ASIN: B01LXHM9PI

Flower shop owner Abby Knight is out to help a friend in need but soon finds herself in the weeds…

The Spring of Abby’s Discontent

It’s April in New Chapel, and Abby and her husband, Marco, are off to buy shrubs for their new house. But the owner of the local landscaping company is nowhere to be found. Abby’s best friend, Nikki, meanwhile, believes she unwittingly helped a group of her hospital coworkers conspire to kill the man.

After the police get involved, Nikki becomes a suspect. Abby digs deeper for clues to save her friend only to discover bushels of folks bearing a deep-rooted hatred for the two-faced business owner. Marco attempts to help Abby with the case but soon falls critically ill. Now Abby must find the real culprit on her own before everything goes to pot…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Things get crazy in this 19th installment of the Flower Shop Mysteries. Abby and Marco are settling in to their new home and it is time to do a little landscaping. While shopping for shrubs Abby makes a strange discovery. They then learn the owner of the nursery is missing and Abby’s BFF Nikki may be involved. Nikki begs Abby to help her but Marco is working another case. She starts to do a little investigating on her own and unearths several reasons the man may be missing or dead. Just when Marco is ready to dig into the case Abby finds him unconscious and has to call 911. Now it is up to Abby to plow through all the clues and save Nikki and Marco too.

This was such a fun read.

Kate Collins always delivers a captivating cozy mystery starring characters that are some of my favorites. I was so glad to see Nikki play a prominent role even though I wanted to climb into the book several times and shake her by the shoulders or kick her in the butt. Abby is much more patient that I am but her frustration was very evident to everyone but Nikki.

Marco and Abby are the perfect match. I love the way their relationship continues to grow and grow. Their love just blooms within these pages.

I always love visiting Bloomers. Lottie, Grace and Rosa are such wonderful women with such positive outlooks. Jillian and Abby’s mom drop by the shop to give us some shake your head moments and a few giggles.

Ms. Collins has written a story that moves along at a good clip. The plot in the story was like riding an emotional roller coaster and full of twists.  The drama at times was intense. I was worried about Abby, Marco and Nikki. I couldn’t put the book down. The final twist took me totally by surprise.

This was one of the first cozy mystery series I found way back when and instantly Kate Collins became one of my favorite authors. The stories are always fresh, fun, and entertaining. A difficult job when you get this deep into a series. You can jump into the series anywhere but you are going to want to go back and read them all. I am so looking forward to my next escape to New Chapel. This visit ended way too soon.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Kate Collins is the author of the national best-selling Flower Shop Mystery series and historical romance novels. For her mystery plots, Kate draws upon her own love of flowers and intrigue, and an intimate knowledge of life in a small college town. She states firmly for the benefit of all who live near her that none of the zany characters that populate the fictional town of New Chapel are based on people she knows. Honest. Find out more about Kate on her webpage here.


GIVEAWAY

I am giving my review copy away. 
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.

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 September 5, 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

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.”

Share
May 252017
 


I was planning to review this book today but my review copy has been delayed so I will review this book soon.

Yews with Caution (Flower Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
19th in Series
Setting – Indiana
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (May 30, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451473455
Kindle ASIN: B01LXHM9PI

Flower shop owner Abby Knight is out to help a friend in need but soon finds herself in the weeds…

The Spring of Abby’s Discontent

It’s April in New Chapel, and Abby and her husband, Marco, are off to buy shrubs for their new house. But the owner of the local landscaping company is nowhere to be found. Abby’s best friend, Nikki, meanwhile, believes she unwittingly helped a group of her hospital coworkers conspire to kill the man.

After the police get involved, Nikki becomes a suspect. Abby digs deeper for clues to save her friend only to discover bushels of folks bearing a deep-rooted hatred for the two-faced business owner. Marco attempts to help Abby with the case but soon falls critically ill. Now Abby must find the real culprit on her own before everything goes to pot…

About The Author

Kate Collins is the author of the national best-selling Flower Shop Mystery series and historical romance novels. For her mystery plots, Kate draws upon her own love of flowers and intrigue, and an intimate knowledge of life in a small college town. She states firmly for the benefit of all who live near her that none of the zany characters that populate the fictional town of New Chapel are based on people she knows. Honest. Find out more about Kate on her webpage here.


Kate’s Historical Romance Novels

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away. 
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.

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

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 June 8 , 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


Share
Apr 072017
 


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.

This is one of favorite series.
I have no idea how I got a book behind.

Moss Hysteria (Flower Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
18th in Series
Setting – Indiana
An Obsidian Mystery (April 5, 2016)
New American Library
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451473448
Kindle – ASIN: B011IVP5UY

 

 

 
Flower shop owner Abby Knight and her husband, Marco, are ecstatic to finally be moving into their new home, despite the prospect of unpacking a seemingly infinite number of boxes. After all, Brandywine—their new subdivision—seems like an oasis with its welcoming neighbors and beautifully manicured lawns.

But their idyllic community is suddenly uprooted when a body is found floating in a nearby pond. The police think Abby and Marco’s helpful next door neighbor is the culprit, but the newlyweds aren’t convinced.

Meanwhile, Marco distrusts his mother’s slick new boyfriend, and Abby’s cousin Jillian has agreed to decorate their new home, resulting in comic chaos. Even worse, as Abby and Marco dig through Brandywine’s secrets in search of a killer, they discover that some flowers come from very bad seeds…and danger stalks even the sunniest small-town streets.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Abby and Marco Salvare are getting all moved in to their new Brandywine home. The neighbors is the subdivision show up at their door with food and invitations to join their book clubs, Their next door neighbor, Theda, has been quite helpful since they started construction. Theda is 60ish and seems to know all about the area and the neighbors. While taking Abby, Marco and of course their dog Seedy on a stroll through the neighborhood they find themselves near the pond that backs up to their lots. Seedy’s snifter is working overtime and he tugs them right over to body floating in the mossy water. Not again! At least the police and the Salvares have worked together before. The problem is the police think their helpful neighbor is the murderer, seems she has a history with the dead man. But Abby’s gut is telling her they are barking up the wrong tree. She is out to dig up the real killer and learn a lot more about her new neighbors.

I love this series. A trip to Bloomers or Down the Hatch is like meeting up with old friends. Abby, Lottie, Grace and Rosa will pull together a fabulous floral arrangement all while you enjoy a cup of tea and a scone. Need something a little harder to drink and a bigger bite to eat, head down the street to Down the Hatch and Marco, Rafe and Gert will serve you up the perfect meal.

Of course, we also have to check in on Abby’s parents, her mom is working on a new project. Marco’s mom is giving him fits because she has a new gentleman friend and Marco just doesn’t like the man. Abby even asks Jillian for help decorating their new home.

Then we meet the new characters. The residents of the Brandywine subdivision and the construction workers and land developer or as I like to call them “the suspects”.

Kate Collins never disappoints. Each new story is as good or better than the last. After 18 books this series is still as fresh as a daisy and going strong. The characters are always genuine, the have flaws and strengths. Some are a little quirkier than others. They all blend together nicely to draw us in to their stories. She gave us another strong mystery to follow which leads to a very exciting ending. Even Marco was doubting Abby’s gut, but she stuck to her convictions.

Awesome characters, a beautiful setting, and a fantastic and well written plot make this a must read!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Kate Collins is the author of the national best-selling Flower Shop Mystery series and historical romance novels. For her mystery plots, Kate draws upon her own love of flowers and intrigue, and an intimate knowledge of life in a small college town. She states firmly for the benefit of all who live near her that none of the zany characters that populate the fictional town of New Chapel are based on people she knows. Honest. Find out more about Kate on her webpage here.

Coming May 30, 2017

Kate’s Historical Romance Novels

GIVEAWAY

I am giving my copy away
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.

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

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 21, 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

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.”

Share
Oct 282015
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am always excited when Kate Collins comes to visit!!
Florist Grump was just released yesterday!

 

kate collins

SO LET IT BE WRITTEN:
WHEN MY MYSTERY GOT REAL

By Kate Collins

Eighteen books ago, I had just finished writing MUM’S THE WORD and was seeking a plot for the second book in the Flower Shop Mystery series. I had a title, SLAY IT WITH FLOWERS, and a general idea, but needed a big plot twist to make it all happen.

In steps my hairdresser and her colleagues, who, while I was having my hair cut, complained about men using their parking lot and then scurrying across to the business next door. The sign out front of this business said KINGS SPA, with the word MASSAGES and a telephone number underneath. There was no other advertising, and the building, an old white wooden house, had butcher paper covering the windows. Suspicious, you say? Oh, it gets better.

florist grumpThe hairdressers’ lament had prompted one of their clients to go next door to make an appointment. She was told by an unfriendly Chinese receptionist that women were not welcome. At a massage parlor? Seriously?

Then there were the masseuses, a group of Chinese women in tight silk dresses, who would come to the beauty salon to buy hair products. They didn’t speak. They would point to a product and toss money onto the counter from a thick wad they carried in their, well, you know.

Being a crusader for justice through my character Abby Knight, I suggested ways to stop the men from using the salon’s parking lot. Snap their photos and license plates and hang them in the big front windows. Call the Chief of Police. Write letters to the Mayor.  I even volunteered to stand across the street with a camera.

And then the proverbial light bulb went off. I had my plot twist! Would my feisty, redheaded sleuth Abby Knight NOT get involved if such a thing were happening in her hometown? Of course not. Her last name isn’t Knight for no reason. So my mantra became: What Would Abby Do? And in my book, she did it, resulting in this shady business, called EMPEROR’S SPA, to be raided. Naturally, this didn’t happen without peril to Abby, but that’s why we all love Marco.

A month after SLAY IT WITH FLOWERS was released, the police in my hometown raided KINGS SPA, rounding up a group that was part of a Chinese prostitution ring working out of Chicago. Naturally, I had to boast that my story had helped bring light to the situation. Whether it really did is something I’ll always wonder.

What would you have done if you’d discovered such a situation in your hometown? Would you shrug your shoulders and hope someone else did something, or are you the type that would do something? In other words, are you an Abby Knight?

~Kate

About The Author

Kate Collins is the author of the national best-selling Flower Shop Mystery series and historical romance novels. For her mystery plots, Kate draws upon her own love of flowers and intrigue, and an intimate knowledge of life in a small college town. She states firmly for the benefit of all who live near her that none of the zany characters that populate the fictional town of New Chapel are based on people she knows. Honest. Find out more about Kate on her webpage here.

Kate’s Historical Romance Novels

Coming APRIL 2016

florisst grumpFlorist Grump:
A Flower Shop Mystery

17th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Indiana
An Obsidian Mystery
New American Library
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451473431
E-Book ASIN: B00S75OKBA
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

From the New York Times bestselling author of A Root Awakening, feisty florist Abby Knight is back with another knotty murder to solve in the next Flower Shop Mystery…

Life in Bloom

Stopping to smell the roses should be a must for flower shop owner Abby Knight, but stress has turned her into a major grump. While their house is under construction, Abby and her new husband, Marco, are living with her parents, who are driving her nuts. Not to mention that everyone has babies on the brain, with her cousin Jillian’s bundle of joy popping up in every conversation, and Marco’s mother dropping hints that she expects a new sprout from Abby and her son—as soon as possible!

But things get even thornier after a flashy former banker pushes up daisies. With a beloved window washer the prime suspect in the murder, other New Chapel shop owners rally around Abby and Marco to prove his innocence. With Abby’s energy wilting, she has to be on high alert—or she and Marco may not live to see their new home…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Abby Knight Salvare is one grumpy florist these days but frankly I can see her point. Moving into your parents house as an adult no matter how temporary can cause some major drama. You’re an adult and have lived on your own and suddenly your parents are treating like a teenager wanting to know what time you will be home and tracking you down when you stay out until what they consider is too late. When you are investigating a murder that can have dire consequences. Jillian is not handling motherhood well and she expects Abby to drop everything and help. Pretty hard to do when Bloomers is so busy they may have to hire more help, Down the Hatch is packed almost every night and Salvare Detective Agency has a new case. Abby’s mom also has a new project that she wants Abby to help her with. If I was Abby I would be grumpy too and probably pulling my hair out.

So much happens in this story and I enjoyed every minute of it. Kate Collins has rolled up her sleeves and has topped herself. This series has always been one of my true favorites. I anxiously await each new story and I am always delighted with the story. This one is my new favorite in the series.

We have watched Abby and Marco’s love blossom and now they are married and will soon have a brand new home. The talk about babies has already begun but not by Abby and Marco but all their friends and family. These characters are some of the best in the cozy mystery world right now. They are all people I wish I could meet in real life.

Ms. Collins also creates fantastic and believable story-lines.  The subplots flow flawlessly amid the main plot. Again she has given readers a book they will not be able to stop reading once they start. The problem is I didn’t want the story to end. It seems my visits to New Chapel are just way too short. Thankfully Moss Hysteria comes out April 5, 2016. That’s not too long to wait 🙂 well it is but that’s the way it has to be.

a perfect escape5 STARFISHDollycas

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
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.

Leave a comment for Kate for 5 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 11, 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.”

Share
Oct 132015
 

tea book
Tea Time With The Cozy Chicks
(Cozy Chicks Kitchen series)
(Volume 2)
Self Published – October 6, 2015
Paperback: 228 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1517385781
E-Book ASIN: B014OE31SA
goodreads-badge-add-plus

The Cozy Chicks realized that tea was such a perfect complement to cozy mysteries that we decided to write a book about it. Not only does Tea Time with the Cozy Chicks have delicious recipes, but it also includes themed tea menus, fascinating articles, fun facts, curious quotes, and helpful hints on how to host the most memorable tea parties ever! And for an extra treat, a few of us have included excerpts of our work as well! Read, cook, drink tea, savor, and most of all enjoy!

guest post

Tea parties have been around for well over 3,000 years. People on all parts of the earth have tea parties every day. So sit down, pour yourself a cup of tea, and let me tell you about Tea Time With the Cozy Chicks.

First of all who are the Cozy Chicks? If you haven’t visited our blog before, please pop by http://www.cozychicksblog.com. It’s a great way to get to know us and to catch a glimpse at the crazy life of a mystery writer. The Cozy Chicks are…Ellery Adams, Lorraine Bartlett, Duffy Brown, Kate Collins, Mary Kennedy, Mary Jane Maffini, Maggie Sefton, Leann Sweeney.

We write cozy mysteries and in our books characters often gather around the table to discuss cases. They drink a staggering amount of caffeinated beverages and seem to be surrounded by an endless array of mouth-watering sandwiches, cookies, pastries, and chocolate. In short, these gals in our books have a pretty good time…unless theyre chasing the killer…and we thought it would be fun to spend a little time in their world.

The result is Tea Time With The Cozy Chicks filled with the lore of tea in so many of its incarnations. The book offers an assortment of tea parties like how to have a Bon Voyage tea, bachelorette tea, proper Yorkshire Tea, Chocolate Lovers tea etc. There are menus for each party, invitation suggestions, decorations, flowers, table settings, recipes galore and all hosted by characters from our books to add to the fun.

An afternoon tea party is suitable for many celebrations and isn’t as involved as a dinner party. Often a tea party can be the answer to friends just getting together. It’s an ideal format for a simple elegant party where the food is prepared before your guests arrive and is either presented buffet style, or by passing plates of goodies at the table. The best thing about a tea party is that the only thing you need to serve is the tea itself, leaving you plenty of time to relax and enjoy your guests.

There is more in Tea Time With the Cozy Chicks than just tea parties. There are ideas on tea paring, tea towels, antique teapots and cups, reading tea leaves and the book gives favorite tearooms that we’ve discovered. These are tearooms that Duffy Brown came across in Savannah and on Mackinac Island. These tearooms are filled with charm and delicious tea, pastries and delicious sandwiches and are just for you here and not included in the book.

Tea Rooms of the South:

 DSCN1827

Gryphon’s Tea Room

337 BULL ST., SAVANNAH, GEORGIA | 912.525.5880

Gryphon’s is located on Savannah’s Madison Square one of the 23 delightful oak and Spanish moss covered squares in the city. It boasts a 1926 Scottish Rite architectural profile and alluring café menu. The white-clothed tables, carved-mahogany bookcases, and original stained-glass panels convey warmth and graciousness and provide a front row seat to the iconic Bull Street. The lovely selection of teas and delicate sandwiches complete the experience. Herb-encrusted goat cheese medallions, sliced pear, toasted almonds, and dried cranberries on baby greens with a Vermont maple vinaigrette is a small sample of the delicious offerings inside.

The Serenity Tea Room

140 Abercorn Street
Savannah, GA 31401

Transport yourself with Serenity House Tea Society and leave your passport at home – that is the owner’s motto.

A trip to the Serenity is a mini vacation to India with the taste of a real Chai with cardamom pods, cloves and more – or perhaps a visit to Morocco with Nana -Mint; drop into China with Heaven’s Green and a Sencha from Japan, Mate from South America and Rooibos and Honeybush from South Africa or flavor a tea at home with fresh organic Lavender from France. Or you can spiritually enhance your mood with Spiritual Energy –relieve your stress with Stressless.

 Mackinac Island:

High Tea at the Grand Hotel is not to be missed

In keeping with more than 100 years of Grand Hotel tradition, Afternoon Tea is served each day in the Parlor. Guests enjoy tea, sherry and champagne, petite finger sandwiches, fresh-baked scones, and an array of pastries, accompanied by a chamber music recital. High tea dress is required in the sundrenched parlor of green brocade couches, pink club chairs, sparkling chandeliers and a view of the Grand Hotel porch, the largest porch in the world that is two-football fields long and adorned with 2500 germaniums. 

Fort Mackinac Tea Room

7127 Huron Road, Mackinac Island

One of the most delightful and scenic settings on Mackinac Island to enjoy tea. Tour this historic fort then relax afterwards under bright yellow umbrellas with a cup of delicious tea and light fare. The tea room offers a full view of the town below, boats bobbing in the harbor and the busy port.

So tell us about your favorite place to have tea. Do you have a special blend for the summer and one for winter? A tea for when you’re sick or have a cold? Tell us about your tea and we’ll give away two adorable teapot teabag holders and some of our favorite peach tea from the answers.

~The Cozy Chicks

GIVEAWAY

tea measuring tapes

The Cozy Chicks Are Giving Away 2 adorable teapot measuring tapes!!  

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

I will announce the winners on Saturday!! 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

 

Share
Feb 112015
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

My guest today is the fabulous Kate Collins!

kate collins

CREATIVITY ON THE RUN, ER, WALK

By Kate Collins

Brains are fascinating organs. They’re the original computers, processing whatever they take in and spitting it out when you need it – hopefully. They’re inventive, too, making up all kinds of stories to amuse, soothe, or scare us out of a night’s sleep. For me that inventiveness started at a very young age when I was certain my chest of drawers turned into a big hairy gorilla at night. I also convinced the neighbor kids that a monster lived in the crawlspace of our house. That backfired on me, however, because I told the story so often I came to believe it and wouldn’t go anywhere near that part of the house. There’s a price to be paid for being too creative.

root awakeningRecently I read an article* about how brains function better and are less prone to dementia when the body is exercised. What especially caught my attention was the paragraph that said exercise boosts creativity and helps a person come up with new solutions to problems. As a mystery writer, my ears perked up. I’m constantly solving problems, mostly of my own making, but still, sometimes I back a character into a corner and then have to figure a way out of it.

When that happens, when I’m staring at the words on my monitor and nothing is coming, I have to escape. For me that means taking a walk and letting the wayward scene play in my head like a movie and allowing my characters to talk about what’s happening. It also means that if you see me out walking and my lips are moving, pay no attention. I’m just working out their dialogue.

I wasn’t surprised, therefore, when I read in the article that researchers at Stanford University found that walking can increase creativity up to sixty percent. I’ll vouch for that! Even a casual stroll around the house or office can be beneficial, anything to step away from the words – or lack thereof – on the computer screen.

According to the researchers: “Four experiments demonstrate that walking boosts creative ideation in real time and shortly after… Walking opens up the free flow of ideas, and it is a simple and robust solution to the goals of increasing creativity and increasing physical activity.”

So it’s a win-win situation. Creativity goes up, calories burn off, blood circulates, muscles pump, and those feel-good endorphins rise. When I sit back down again, the ideas are there and so are my characters, waiting with a big “Welcome back, Kate. Let’s get this mystery solved.”

~Kate

Kate Collins is a New York Times bestselling author of the popular and long-running Flower Shop Mystery series. A Root Awakening, #16 in the series, is a February, 2015 release. Read about Kate’s mysteries, historical romances, and children’s anthologies at www.katecollinsbooks.com

*Source: www.Mercola.com (1-23-2015) “The Remarkable Effects of Exercise on Cognition and Brain Cell Regeneration.”

root awakeningA Root Awakening:
A Flower Shop Mystery

16th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Indiana
An Obsidian Mystery
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Release Date: February 3, 2015
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451415516
E-Book ASIN: B00LMGK55Q
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

Abby Knight’s marriage may be in full bloom, but house hunting is no bed of roses in latest novel in the New York Times bestselling Flower Shop Mystery series…

Now that they’ve tied the knot, flower shop owner Abby Knight and her husband, Marco, want to put down roots. When it comes to picking a house, Marco can’t wait to get his hands dirty, while Abby isn’t ready for a fixer-upper. But conflict really sprouts when they’re checking out a dilapidated Victorian and watch a construction worker take a life-threatening tumble.

Since witnesses claim the man shouted for help, suggesting that the fall was no accident, the victim’s flamboyant wife hires Marco to find the person responsible. Meanwhile, Abby keeps secret from Marco her own investigation into the home’s inhabitants, a family whose off-kilter behavior has aroused her suspicions. If only Abby’s very pregnant cousin, Jillian, will stop distracting Abby with false labor pains, she can conclude her own inquiries before Marco finds out…and her case blossoms into a disaster.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

House hunting can be fun but most times it is pretty daunting. Buying a house is a huge decision and Marco and Abby are not exactly on the same page as to the type of house they want. Marco is okay with a fixer upper but Abby knows with them both owning businesses and a private investigating company they are not going to have much time for fixing anything up. But she is willing to look. They arrive to check out a Victorian that is already receiving a bit of a facelift just in time to see one of the workers fall many feet from his ladder to the ground. It looks like an accident but the victim’s wife hires Marco and Abby to investigate. Abby also thinks there is something off about the people renting the house and her brain just can’t let it go so she does a little investigating on her own.

Not sure what their next move is regarding finding a home a very pregnant comes to the rescue and offers to find them the perfect place to purchase. The trick will be finding it before she actually really truly goes into labor and has the baby. Hilarity ensues!

This is the 16th book in this series. That should tell you something right there. This is an excellent series and Kate Collins is a wonderful storyteller. She continues to keep these character fresh and their adventures colorful and entertaining. They are definitely blooming in the place she has planted them.

As someone who has worked on a construction crew the man falling from the ladder sent extra chills through my entire body. Those Victorian homes are tall, my first thought was where was his safety harness but then I quickly became enthralled in the mystery. Did he just lose his balance or was he really pushed? Why? and Who? and was he going to survive? Abby and Marco seem to be getting nowhere in their investigation.

This was one of those books I just couldn’t put down. I knew what Abby was thinking but the author twisted it in a way I didn’t see coming at all. An extraordinary WHODUNIT!

I am a huge fan of this author and I anxiously await each installment and am never disappointed, in fact she always exceeds my expectations. We have already learned #17 is called Florist Grump and it hits stores in November! I truly can’t wait!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
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.

Following the new Google+ Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book Fan Page
will earn you 3 Bonus Entries.

Leave a comment for Kate for 5 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 February 25, 2015 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners 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.”

Share
Feb 062014
 

throw in the trowel
Throw in the Trowel:
A Flower Shop Mystery

Cozy Mystery
15th in Series
An Obsidian Mystery (February 4, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451415509
E-Book File Size: 1018 KB
ASIN: B00DYX9KEC
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

I’m used to buried bulbs, not buried bodies…

The couple that sleuths together…

Abby Knight Salvare and her husband Marco have just returned from their honeymoon. Things went well at the flower shop while they were gone except for some minor adjustments that can be fixed with just a little time.  Marco’s Down The Hatch bar was not so lucky. A clogged drain led to the basement floor being torn up and a very interesting discovery. A skeleton.  It may be from a man who went missing back in the 1970’s. With the local police wrapped up in a current case Abby and Marco decide to solve the cold case themselves. But the deeper the dig the realize the murderer is still in the area and is desperate enough to bury them right where he did the first body.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
I just can’t believe this is the 15th book in this series. I look forward to each and every one. They are always fresh and entertaining but comfortable like a pair of slippers. It is like visiting old friends.

I love the characters. While Abby is definitely my favorite character, Marco’s mom Francesca is runner up because she reminds me so much of my own mother. Grace and Lottie are wonderful. Marco makes my heart beat a little faster. Maureen “Mad Mo” Knight and her craft projects continue to make me laugh out loud. Jillian is in dire need of a psych evaluation. And I can’t forget Seedy, the dog Abby rescued from the pound. He has become the new flower shop mascot.

Kate Collins has created quite a mystery this time. It had me guessing right up until the end and I was on the edge of my seat as it all came together. Wow, that was close!!!

If you are a cozy lover you probably are already a fan of Kate Collins’ work. If you are new to Kate this is a perfect book to start with but I guarantee you are going to want to read all the others.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About Kate Collins

Kate Collins is the author of the national best-selling Flower Shop Mystery series. Her books have made the New York Times Extended Bestseller List, Barnes & Noble best-seller lists, the Independent Booksellers lists, as well as lists in Australia and England. All of Kate’s mysteries are available in print, digital, and large-print editions both in the U.S. and in the UK. Kate’s historical romances are also available in digital format at Amazon, B&N, and other e-book sellers. For more information visit Kate at: www.katecollinsbooks.com. Kate loves for fans to visit her on her Facebook page, too.

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.”

Share
Aug 082013
 

special guest blueI am super excited to Welcome Kate Collins to Escape With Dollycas Today!

The Flower Shop Mysteries always put a big smile on my face and this time Dollycas even made the Praise Page so this girl was chair dancing!!

Follow Your Bliss

By Kate Collins

katecollinsI almost titled this, “Paralyzed by Fear”, but that sounded too negative, and I want this to be a positively uplifting blog.  Just so you know, I’m using the word bliss to reference what makes us happy in life, what makes us want to get up in the morning, what fulfills us as human beings.

Stalled careers are a big problem among writers both published and unpublished. I’ve met people who want to be published, who have the ability to write, but can’t bring themselves to send their work out to a publishing house for fear of rejection. I’ve met talented musicians and artists with the same problem. The only thing keeping them from achieving their bliss is fear. They are afraid to trust their talent. They’re afraid of how bad rejection will feel. They’re afraid they’ll be humiliated. Ask successful writers/artists/musicians about those fears and they will tell you they had to let go of them or they never would have made it.

Seed No Evil coverBeing out in the public as much as I am, I encounter so many people who are stuck in a cloud of fear and negativity — from stalled careers, money troubles, relationship issues, parenting problems, and on and on. But then I see others who have had the same or worse tribulations and still found ways to find their bliss. I’ve heard unbelievably touching stories of people who’ve come from some of the worst conditions in the world – impoverished villages in Africa, dangerous ghettos, prisons—who made their dreams happen against all odds. Their secret was that they never stopped believing in themselves. 

Believing in yourself gives you the power to achieve. Letting fear take hold keeps you from achieving. You have to ignore fear, push it aside, and say to yourself, “I want to do this. I will do this. If I get rejected, that doesn’t mean I failed. It means I have to do better. I will learn from this and try again.” That’s what I call success. After all, what is the worst that can happen? You may discover that your talent lies elsewhere. But how will you know unless you try?  As in a quote I read recently, failure isn’t trying and not succeeding, failure is not trying at all.

Write down your goals on a piece of paper and post them where you can see them. Meditate or pray about them every day. If your gut is telling you to go for it, if a little whisper in your mind is saying, “Write that book!” or “Get that song published,” don’t ignore it. Those gut feelings, or whispers, are coming from a higher power. Listen. Let go of your fears and seek your bliss.

Sunset in Key WestIf you haven’t found your bliss, what fears are holding you back?

 ~Kate

Kate, this is inspirational and just what I needed to read today 🙂 Lori

About Kate Collins

Kate Collins is the author of the national best-selling Flower Shop Mystery series. Her latest mystery, SEED NO EVIL, #14 in the series, hits the shelves on August 6, 2013.Her books have made the New York Times Extended Bestseller List, Barnes & Noble best-seller lists, the Independent Booksellers lists, as well as lists in Australia and England. All of Kate’s mysteries are available in print, digital, and large-print editions both in the U.S. and in the UK. Kate’s historical romances are also available in digital format at Amazon, B&N, and other e-book sellers. For more information visit Kate at: www.katecollinsbooks.com. Kate loves for fans to visit her on her Facebook page, too. www.facebook.com/authorkatecollins/

 

Seed No Evil coverSeed No Evil:
A Flower Shop Mystery

14th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Obsidian (August 6, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451415493
E-Book File Size: 569 KB
ASIN: B009GSFZTI
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

It’s finally time to say, “I do!” As long as I can keep my mom
out of jail long enough to get her to the ceremony….

With her wedding just 2 weeks away the last thing Abby Knight needs is for anything else to go wrong. The cooler in her shop is leaking all over the floor and she knows it will be an expensive part that needs to be fixed, her glands are swollen and it looks like she is getting a rash, her preggers cousin is “rehearsing her pregnancy”, Marco is acting distant and the actual place to hold the ceremony is still up in the air. Enough already!!!

But then Abby’s mother finds a dead body. Abby was so excited when her mother started working at the animal shelter. It gave her something to do besides create the “masterpieces” Abby had to try to sell in her store. Why did she have to be the one to find the director of the Protecting Animal Rights charity killed suspiciously in one of the cages? The woman trying to save animals from being euthanized has someone put her lights out permanently and Abby’s mother is the main suspect.

Abby just doesn’t have time for this, but she and Marco are going to find the real killer so her mother can be at their wedding, wherever it takes place, and not behind bars!!

Dollycas’s Thoughts
This is one of the best cozy mystery series being published today!!

I love everything about this series. It has a strong cast of characters and it is set in a place that could be my hometown or many hometowns throughout the country. I can see myself having my morning tea with Grace at Blossoms while Abby is in the back filling orders, lunch at Down The Hatch and bumping into Francesca, Lottie and even Jillian while out running my own errands. I can even see myself at the animal shelter rescuing a puppy or kitten. I have done it several times in the past. I may even adopt a very special canine like Seedy. He is a very important part of this story.

Kate Collins writes these characters in such a way that they can’t but help work your way right into your heart. She puts them in what could be very real situations with all the twists and turns necessary to root out the real culprit making the pages just fly.

Snappy dialogue, a clever mystery, the perfect amount of humor and a wonderfully happy ending. I have called more than one book my favorite of this series. To Catch a Leaf was my favorite book out of almost 200 that I read  in 2011, but Collins has topped herself with this one. This is definitely the best one!! yet……

If this series is new to you the author does give you enough depth to be able to read this one as a stand alone but I recommend you start at the beginning. These books are like a beautiful fragrant floral bouquet and each stem deserves to be thoroughly enjoyed one at a time.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 1 copy to give away!

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.

Leave a comment for Kate for 5 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 22, 2013 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.”

readalattechallenge_zps01d248d02013where are you reading

Share
Oct 092012
 

Kate will be here for Cozy Wednesday on November 7
but I couldn’t wait until then to tell you about this book!

Nightshade on Elm Street: A Flower Shop Mystery
13th in Series
RELEASE DATE: November 6, 2012
An Obsidian Mystery
Published by New American Library
A Division of The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451238504

Abby Knight is one busy lady! Running her flower shop, planning a wedding and her bridal shower. Her mom and Marco’s mom would love to host the shower but Abby knows exactly what she wants and barring any disasters she is going to get it.

Things are going well until Abby’s cousin Jillian makes a request. Abby and her private detective beau, Marco, just have to help find a woman that has gone missing from her in-laws beach house. The woman just happens to be the fiancée of Pryce Osborne, the drip that broke Abby’s heart when he dumped her right before their own wedding several years ago.  Pryce becomes the number one suspect when a body surfaces. The last place Abby wants to be is anywhere near Pryce but with Marco by her side they can solve this case and she can get back to planning her shower. Icing on the cake would be seeing Pryce behind bars.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I love the the way Kate Collins writes! I finish one story and can’t wait for the next one to be released.

These characters are wonderful. In my review of To Catch a Leaf I wrote that Marco’s mom Francesca reminded me of my own mom. That feeling continues in this story. She has quickly become a character I want to follow. She has a huge heart and man that lady can cook!

Abby and Marco are the perfect couple and all the supporting characters are strong and continue to grow where they have been planted. Some drive us a little crazy but they are all clever and add so much to each story.

Kate writes a smart mystery with plenty of “red herrings” to keep us guessing. This story is packed with action as well with a truly surprising ending.

This is the 13th book in the series and the author has kept each installment fresh and entertaining and always leaves me wanting more.  Kate Collins just keeps getting better and better!!! Fans of the series will already have this one pre-ordered but if the series is new to you or you need to catch up on a couple of the stories I don’t know what you are waiting for. This one hits bookstores November 6 and it should be a the top of your shopping list!!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. 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.”

Share
Whiskers in the Dark: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery by Rita Mae BrownGet Your Copy Today!
+ +
%d bloggers like this: