May 242017
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am excited to have Kathleen Bridge back to Escape With Dollycas!

 

 

The Seeds Planted before a Book Blooms
by Kathleen Bridge

(Guest post provided by publicist.)

As a mystery writer, I’m always ripping out newspaper or magazine articles and copying/pasting links that might someday become an inspiration for a future book. The premise for the first book in my Hamptons Home and Garden Mystery series came from a magazine article I read about writer Sally Quinn purchasing the falling-in-ruin Grey Gardens in East Hampton, New York. In the article, Ms. Quinn talked about the items she’d discovered in the mansion’s attic and how she restored the interior of the house, based on old photographs, to its original splendor. I tore out the article and filed it under, “Story Ideas.” A few years later, I went to my file and found the article. As an antiques dealer and fixer-upper, the thought of treasure in an old attic at an estate where the rich and famous live and die, gave me the idea for Better Homes and Corpses.

The inspiration for my second Hamptons Home and Garden Mystery came from a newspaper article I read in Dan’s Hamptons about Andy Warhol’s estate in Montauk selling for fifty million dollars. I added the article to my file. Voila! A year later it gave me the idea for Hearse and Gardens, whose main storyline is about a wealthy Pop Art broker’s murdered son and a missing Andy Warhol painting of a can of Aqua Net Hairspray.

 

Years ago, I was sitting in my backyard reading a story in The New York Times about F. Scott Fitzgerald, “A Fleeting Era’s Timeless Chronicle” by Patrick J. Lyons. The first sentence in the article had me hooked. “Few places that F. Scott Fitzgerald inhabited over a short and shallow-rooted life infused his writing the way Long Island did.” The article went on to tell how Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby from his rented home in Great Neck, Long Island, a short distance away from where I sat. Also mentioned in The New York Times piece was a short story Fitzgerald wrote that takes place in Montauk, called, “The Unspeakable Egg.” In the file, it went.

As you’ve probably guessed, the article became the inspiration for my third book about what would happen if an unpublished F. Scott Fitzgerald novel surfaced in the Hamptons, and shortly after, the manuscript’s authenticator was found dead. Soon, I was off on a journey that would lead my protagonist, Meg Barrett, to the Bibliophile Bed & Breakfast in the old whaling village of Sag Harbor, rich with history and the home of many famous American authors. The seed was sown and eventually budded into Ghostal Living.

Well, it’s time to write my next book. I’m sure somewhere in my files there’s a seed ready for germination. Right now, what might bloom is a mystery…

~Kathleen

Thank you so much Kathleen for dropping by today! 


Ghostal Living (Hamptons Home & Garden Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New York
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (May 2, 2017)
The Berkley Publishing Group
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425276600
Kindle ASIN: B01KUCY83W

 

 

The first Sag Harbor Antiquarian Book and Ephemera Fair is right around the corner, and interior designer Meg Barrett has her hands full decorating rooms at the Bibliophile Bed & Breakfast for wealthy rare book collector Franklin Hollingsworth. Rumor has it Hollingsworth is in possession of an unpublished manuscript written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. When the Fitzgerald manuscript’s authenticator is found dead at the bottom of a cliff, Meg suspects a killer is on the loose.

Rare books start disappearing from the B & B and Meg sees a connection between the stolen books and the deceased authenticator. With the fair looming, she finds herself caught up in catching a killer and thief before another victim is booked for death.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Welcome to the Bibliophile Bed & Breakfast. Meg Barrett has been working hard to complete all the rooms before the first Sag Harbor Antiquarian Book and Ephemera Fair. Rare book collector Franklin Hollingsworth and owner of the Bibliophile Bed & Breakfast is going to present an unpublished manuscript written by F. Scott Fitzgerald at the fair. Before he can do that the man that authenticated the work is found dead. Also, other rare books have gone missing from the B&B. Meg believes the death and the thefts are connected. She finds herself wrapped right in the middle of another investigation.

Each of the rooms at Bibliophile Bed & Breakfast is decorated around classic authors. Rooms dedicated to Emily Dickinson, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Herman Melville, Edgar Allan Poe, John Steinbeck, Louisa May Alcott, and Edith Wharton. All the furnishings, books and knick knacks are described in detail to give you a clear picture of all the rooms. I really enjoyed the way the authors were mentioned throughout the book.

The author also describes the grounds and people in vivid detail. Even the hurricane that blows through can be almost felt through the pages thanks to her writing style.

Meg is a unique character, strong and doesn’t let her hearing disability hold her back. In fact, because of it she can read lips which comes in quite handy when trying to catch a killer. Her romantic life is a bit of a mess but that doesn’t take over the mystery.

We are given several viable suspects with many twists. Greed, lies and secrets lead us to an eventful ending.

Take a little trip to the Hamptons and enjoy some time with Meg and her friends.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Kathleen Bridge started her writing career working at the Michigan State University News in East Lansing, Michigan. She is the author and photographer of an antique reference guide,  Lithographed Paper Toys, Books, and Games, and the author of Revenge of the Sports Widows—How to Cope with a Sports Fanatic. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and has taught creative writing classes at the William Cullen Bryant Library in Roslyn, New York. Kathleen is also an antiques dealer in Long Island, New York, and has contributed to Country Living magazine.

Find out more on her webpage here.


Thanks to the publisher 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.

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

Leave a comment for the author 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 June 7, 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

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May 252016
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so happy to Kathleen Bridge back to Escape With Dollycas! 

kathleen

Montauk – Separating Fact from Fiction…

by Kathleen Bridge

 

I chose Montauk to be the main setting for my Hamptons Home and Garden Mysteries because it fulfills all the prerequisites readers look for in a cozy or traditional mystery. As an author, I have used poetic license in creating Meg Barrett’s Montauk, while not veering too far from reality.

The Montauk Point Lighthouse is an amazing structure that sits on the easternmost tip of Long Island and was commissioned by George Washington. Montauk’s nickname, THE END, refers to the piece of land jutting into the Atlantic, where the lighthouse sits. How cozy is that?

pic 1

The hamlet of Montauk is nestled between the ocean and the Long Island Sound. On the ocean side you have white sandy beaches and one of the top surfing destinations in the country–Ditch Plains Beach. During the summer season you can find a fantastic gourmet food truck parked at the entrance to the beach. The ocean cottages I talk about in my books are real. They are perched on cliffs overlooking the ocean, sometimes referred to as the Montauk Moors and during hurricane and nor’easter season you might think you were in Cornwall, England.

pic 2

On the northern part of Montauk, lies a thriving fishing community. Montauk boosts more saltwater fishing records than any other port in the world–not just the U.S.–the world!

pic3

Because of its beauty and closeness to Manhattan (116 miles due west) and East Hampton (16 miles due west), it has had its share of celebrity residents: Andy Warhol, Dick Cavett, Ralph Lauren, Annie Leibovitz, Billy Joel and Julianne Moore just to name a few. Montauk has been the setting of the television series, Royal Pains, Revenge, and The Affair. Also filmed in Montauk, are the movies, Still Alice and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote a short story that takes place in Montauk, The Unspeakable Egg, and James Patterson uses Montauk as the setting in some of his novels. The Rolling Stones really did hang out in Montauk, and the Memory Motel, a title of one of their songs, still sits on Main Street.

In my second book, Hearse and Gardens, I talk about the “Montauk Monster.” The Montauk Monster was real. In my first book, Better Homes and Corpses, I told about German spies who swam to shore during WWII and were apprehended by the local Coast Guard–also true. Theodore Roosevelt spent time in Montauk with his troops after the Spanish American War as they recovered from yellow fever. Teddy also hung out at Deep Hollow Ranch, the oldest working cattle ranch in the United States. I try to weave all of Montauk’s’ rich history into my books.

horses

Now for fact vs. fiction: A Tale of Two Sisters Books in Montauk is a thinly disguised The Old Man and the Sea Books in my series.

pic 5

In my books, I based the vintage store Rockin’ Retro, on a real shop I used to visit every time I came to Montauk, called Whoa Nellie.

pic 6

Mickey’s Chowder Shack is my fictitious amalgamation of The Clam Bar, Lunch, and The Dock Bar and Grill. And Paddy’s Pancake House is my version of Mr. John’s Pancake House on Main Street.

pic 7

Another fact is: I LOVE MONTAUK! If you are interested in seeing photos or learning more about the “real” Montauk, please check out my “Montauk–The End” board on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/KathleenBridgeG/montauk-the-end/ .

~Kathleen

What a great post! Love to have a reference when I am reading to clearly form pictures in my mind. 

Thank you Kathleen for being my guest today! 

About The Author

Kathleen Bridge started her writing career working at the Michigan State University News in East Lansing, Michigan. She is the author and photographer of an antique reference guide,  Lithographed Paper Toys, Books, and Games, and the author of Revenge of the Sports Widows—How to Cope with a Sports Fanatic. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and has taught creative writing classes at the William Cullen Bryant Library in Roslyn, New York. Kathleen is also an antiques dealer in Long Island, New York, and has contributed to Country Living magazine.

Find out more on her webpage here.

hearse and gardens
Hearse and Gardens (Hamptons Home & Garden Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – New York
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (May 3, 2016)
The Berkley Publishing Group
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425276594
E-Book ASIN: B013Q70DGY
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

A Hamptons interior designer deals with skeletons in the closet in the new mystery from the national bestselling author of Better Homes and Corpses.

To keep her mind off the legal battle over the oceanfront cottage she’s trying to buy, Meg agrees to help her friend inventory and clear out furniture from the massive Montauk estate of wealthy art broker Harrison Falks. But the job takes a terrifying turn when Meg discovers a skeleton in a hidden room in one of the estate’s many bungalows. The remains turn out to be those of Harrison’s son, who went missing nearly twenty years ago—along with one of his father’s Warhol paintings.

As Meg delves into the Hamptons’ pop art past, she gets drawn into the sketchy goings-on and family drama at the estate. But when Meg makes no bones about solving the crime, she just might become the subject of the killer’s next installation.

INCLUDES RECIPES AND DECORATING TIPS

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Escape to Montauk with interior designer Meg Barrett. She is excited to help her friend Elle Warner inventory and move the furnishings of some bungalows on the Harrison Falks estate. They end finding more than they bargained for when they find a skeleton in a secret room. It isn’t long before the remains are identified as the son of Harrison Falks. Rumor had him leaving the area 20 years ago in possession of a well known piece of art created by Andy Warhol. Meg just can’t help but to insert herself into the investigation and the family drama. Her bones may be the next ones found as she is installing herself right on the killer’s radar.

I really like Meg. She may be hearing impaired but she knows how to deal with that and most of the time the disability doesn’t present any problems…but, of course…there are those times…where it gets her into a bunch of trouble. I like the way she works together with Elle and that they each know their strengths and weaknesses and really balance each other. The house that Meg is working on sounded wonderful before she decorated it but amazing after so worked her magic on the place.

We meet Harrison Falk, his family, caretaker and staff. Eclectic is a great way to describe this bunch. Old money, a huge estate, with so many secrets. Great descriptions by this author make is so easy to visualize the vast estate and these characters.

I really like the way the author weaves history into this story and introduces us to Montauk residents of the past and their stories. This time I found the information about pop art and artists very interesting.

The plot has some nice twists and the pacing is absolutely perfect.  There is a good dose of humor and a bit of romance sprinkled throughout the story too.

This was a fun read and I can’t wait to return to Montauk.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the publisher 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 Kathleen 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 June 8, 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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Aug 192015
 
cozy wednesday 2013 640It is always fun to welcome new authors to Escape With Dollycas.
My guest today is Kathleen Bridge. Her new Hampton Home & Garden Mystery Series debuted on August 4 with
Better Homes and Corpses.

 

KATHLEEN BRIDGEHow I got my Oceanfront Cottage in Montauk without Spending a Dime

The first time my husband, infant son, and I traipsed 120 miles due east from Manhattan to Montauk, it was love at first sight. As a transplanted Michigander, Montauk, on the easternmost tip of Long Island, became my touchstone. The town embodied all the things I loved about laid-back summers on the Great Lakes and as an added perk it was only sixteen miles away from glitzy East Hampton—summer home of the rich and famous.

Walking the beach toward the lighthouse, I would fantasize about which rickety steps might lead upward to my new cottage.

Then I found it.

Through a set of newly purchased binoculars, I saw that the cottage was modest. It had three-sided ocean views and an upstairs balcony the size of a ship’s crow’s nest. There were twenty seven wooden steps leading up from the secluded beach. I pictured myself reading mysteries on the screened porch or sipping a glass of local Long Island wine on the swing that gently swayed under the eaves.

BETTER HOMES AND CORPSESSold.

There was only one problem. The cottage wasn’t for sale. And even if it was, we couldn’t afford it. We lived in Manhattan in a wonderful apartment and we both had careers—but the price of an oceanfront cottage, even the small cozy one I fell in love with, would’ve been way beyond our means.

But that didn’t stop me.

On our weekend jaunts to Montauk, I would wake at sunrise and walk a mile east from our hotel toward the lighthouse, a beach chair strapped across my back, a thermos of coffee, and a book in my beach bag. Then, I’d set up camp at the bottom of the steps leading up to my cottage. The wonderful thing about Montauk’s beaches was the fact that they had public access. You could own a multimillion dollar cottage on a cliff, but the beach belonged to everyone.

I never saw anyone coming down those twenty-seven steps. No one sat on the swing or stood on the deck gazing out at the Atlantic. I fantasized that the cottage was uninhabited, the family fighting over whether or not to sell. (Sell, darn it!) My husband thought I was bordering on the obsessive but I was determined to have my cozy four-room cottage. (I knew it had four rooms because I’d stalked a local real estate agent until she showed me photos of the no frills cottage from when it’d been sold years before.) I had all the realtors in town on speed dial, they had me on their blocked list.

One day, I opened my laptop, typed: BETTER HOMES AND CORPSES—A Hamptons Home and Garden Mystery. A few pages later, I got the cottage of my dreams. It was everything I’d imagined, right down to the flagstone fireplace, wide-planked wood floors, and a vintage turquoise fridge…

I got my cottage in Montauk without spending a dime.

~Kathleen

About The Author

Kathleen Bridge started her writing career working at the Michigan State University News in East Lansing, Michigan. She is the author and photographer of an antique reference guide, Lithographed Paper Toys, Books, and Games, and the author of Revenge of the Sports Widows—How to Cope with a Sports Fanatic. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and has taught creative writing classes at the William Cullen Bryant Library in Roslyn, New York. Kathleen is also an antiques dealer in Long Island, New York, and has contributed to Country Living magazine.

Find out more on her webpage here.

BETTER HOMES AND CORPSESBetter Homes and Corpses
(Hamptons Home & Garden Mystery)

Brand New Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – New York
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (August 4, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Marjorie Muns
Cover Design by Diane Kolsky
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425276587
E-Book ASIN: B00QH831XM
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

 

After Meg Barrett found her fiancé still had designs on his ex-wife, she decided it was time to refurbish her life. Leaving her glamorous job at a top home and garden magazine, she fled Manhattan for Montauk, only to find decorating can sometimes lead to detecting…

In between scouring estate sales for her new interior design business, Cottages by the Sea, Meg visits the swanky East Hampton home of her old college roommate, Jillian Spenser. But instead of seeing how the other half lives—she learns how the other half dies. Jillian’s mother, known as the Queen Mother of the Hamptons, has been murdered. Someone has staged a coup.

When she helps a friend inventory the Spensers’ estate for the insurance company, Meg finds herself right in the thick of things. Cataloging valuable antiques and art loses its charm when Meg discovers that the Spenser family has been hiding dangerous secrets, which may have furnished a murderer with a motive. As Meg gets closer to the truth, the killer will do anything to paint her out of the picture…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am really taken with this new protagonist. Meg Barrett has inherited a investigative gene from her dad, a retired police officer. And he may be retired but doesn’t mind using his connections to help her with her queries. She has left her job in Manhattan and is starting her own home decorating business in Montauk with the help of her friend Elle. A part of her past is in  Montauk  though. Her old college roommate, Jillian Spenser. It was only for one semester so when Jillian’s mother, the Queen Mother of the Hamptons, invites her to stop by their huge mansion she is quite surprised. When she arrives for her appointment she walks in to find Jillian on the floor cradling the Queen Mum’s very dead body. Jillian is a mess and making no sense. The police are called and an investigation is launched. At the same time the insurance company for the family hires Elle to inventory the home’s property to be sure nothing has been stolen. She asks Meg to help her and puts Meg in the perfect position to do a little investigating on her own.

This was a fun debut. The Spensers, their staff, and those that live on the property are quite an interesting bunch. Most are keeping something secret or hiding something. Just when I thought I figured out who had means, motive and opportunity there would be a twist that would knock my theory all out of whack. The ending turned out to be quite a surprise. I would say my speculations were about 10% right.

The Spenser home is quite a spectacular place. Four floors including an attic full of junk, a few treasures and a stuffed beast that would be gone so fast if I lived there. The living areas are beautifully furnished with the exception of Jillian’s room who had a rebellious streak and removed her antique furniture for things that were probably purchased at a discount store.

The author has a writing style that feel very familiar, a bit Christie – ish. She draws us in and holds us tight with a mystery that is ideally paced. She gives us detailed descriptions to set the time and the place and then she drops a clue here and a clue there as the reader follows along with Meg still trying to solve the mystery first.

This is a great start for the series. I am hoping to get to know Meg, her family and friends better in future installments. Meg is starting a new adventure and I can’t wait to see how it all turns out.

just you and a friend4 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 Kathleen 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 September 2, 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.”

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