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Special Guest – Michelle Bennington – Author of Devil’s Kiss: A Small Batch Mystery – #AuthorInterview / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Devil’s Kiss: A Small Batch Mystery
by Michelle Bennington

It is my pleasure to welcome Michelle Bennington
to Escape With Dollycas today.

Hi Michelle, 

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was born and raised in the beautiful Commonwealth of Kentucky. I’m a book hoarder who loves touring distilleries, which is, in part, why I wrote Devil’s Kiss. And I love touring historic sites—even more so if they’re purportedly haunted. I enjoy a wide array of arts and crafts and always take on more projects than I can reasonably manage, but somehow eventually get them done. And in my downtime, I love to watch reruns of The Great British Baking Show while snuggling with my Cockapoo, Maple. As a writer, I have more ideas than I’ll be able to write in my lifetime. Though I start each book with a plot, once I start writing, the plot quickly veers off course into uncharted, but more exciting territory. So, I guess I’m a Plantser, a plotter-pantser hybrid.

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

I don’t do much research before writing. I just dive in and start writing. If I hit a spot where I don’t know something, I leave a note to myself in the manuscript to go back and research it. Depending on the topic, it can take me a few hours to a few weeks. Most of my research comes from online articles. But I also use topic-focused Facebook groups, books, documentaries, and in-person research. The amount of research I do depends on if I’m writing historical or contemporary. Historical work requires a ton of research down to the minutiae of daily life, so I can spend weeks, even months, in research through all stages of the manuscript development. By comparison, contemporary pieces are much easier and lighter in the research area, so I can usually get my questions answered quickly.

Do you ever suffer from Writer’s Block?

Rarely. I work on more than one manuscript at a time, so when I hit a wall with one book, I jump over to another one. I also enjoy a wide variety of arts and crafts which keeps the creative well full. So, when I’m struggling with a scene or a plot point, I do some other artsy thing; this focuses my mind on something unrelated to writing so my subconscious can work out my writing issue behind the scenes. By the time I return to my work, I find the problem is usually resolved. I also use another trick: I stop writing at a point when the writing is flowing rapidly. I make a few notes in the manuscript about where I want the story to go next, then I quit for the day. That way, when I come back to the writing, it doesn’t take as long to warm up and I can resume the flow. However, in the moments when I do have a block I find it’s one of two reasons: I either haven’t plotted enough or I simply need a break. Giving myself permission to stop writing isn’t easy, but it’s important.

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

At the time, I’m only traditionally published so I would say for anyone wanting to be traditionally published, it’s important to understand writing is a business and that’s how the publishers and agents are looking at it, too. When you query a book to an agent or publisher, it’s like going on an interview and it’s always a good idea to present yourself in the most professional manner possible. This means following the submission guidelines, researching how to write a compelling query, conducting yourself with professionalism, understanding who your audience is, what a hook is, and all the other details that go into this career. If possible, connect with a mentor who has experience in the field who can help guide you through the business and finding a critique partner who will tell you the truth about your writing is essential.

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

I work full-time in a non-writing career, so between the two, and my personal obligations, that doesn’t leave much free time. But when I do get free time, I love to read—of course. I read widely across almost all genres. I’m not too picky as long as the story or subject seems compelling. And I love a wide array of arts and crafts: dance, crochet, painting, puzzles—the list goes on—so I’ve always got some project going. And, of course, spending time with friends and family is always high on my list.

Did the COVID pandemic affect you and your writing?

Sometimes it affected my motivation. But I continued to work outside the home, which was probably my saving grace because it kept me pretty close to my normal routine. The thing that bothered me most was that I had planned on attending lots of writers’ conferences and workshops to grow my writing and to meet other writers, but that all fell through. I could’ve done some of them virtually, but I find I don’t get as much out of the virtual programs. I really prefer the in-person events, even though I’m really introverted because there’s just so much more to glean—the little bits of overheard conversations, the energy, the interactions, the vending / shopping experiences—all the things that virtual events can’t really match.

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

I want to be on a beach in the Gulf of Mexico, Hawaii, the Maldives—anywhere quiet and secluded—just me and the ocean. There’s something about being near the ocean that completely recharges my energy, clears out the mental clutter, and helps me forget, if briefly, about the never – completed To Do list.

What is next on the horizon for you?

Lots of work! The second book for the Small Batch Series will be coming out next May, so I’ll be working on those revisions with my publisher soon. I’m also knee-deep in a self-publishing project that I hope to release later this year. Next October, the first book in the Widows & Shadows series—a historical mystery called Widow’s Blush—will be released. In the meantime, I’m working on revising a historical fiction manuscript based on a true crime. I’m also hoping to get out and about to as many conferences and workshops that I can. Of course, I’ll put all this information in my newsletters and on my website / social media as the release dates get closer. More than anything, I really want to meet other writers and readers and talk about what we love most—books!

You are one busy woman! 

Thank you for taking the time to visit with us today.


Now keep reading to learn about Devil’s Kiss!

About Devil’s Kiss

Devil’s Kiss: A Small Batch Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Kentucky
Level Best Books (May 31, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 278 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1685121128
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1685121129
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09Z3G9VZ9

Rook Campbell is broke, divorced, jobless, and in desperate need of steady employment, which is hard to come by in the small town of Rothdale, Kentucky. With the help of her friend and neighbor Bryan, she lands a good job at the Four Wild Horses Distillery and meets an attractive co-worker with lots of dating potential. Her life is finally headed in the right direction until a co-worker dies under suspicious circumstances and a shipment of rare small-batch bourbon goes missing. Worse, her personal life begins to unravel as her beloved grandmother falls ill. Normally she can depend on her ex, Cam, for help, but his new fiancée’s jealousy is getting in the way. As the body count rises, Rook becomes ensnared in discovering who’s committing the crimes—or she might be the next to die.

More About Michelle Bennington

Born and raised in the beautiful Bluegrass state of Kentucky, Michelle Bennington developed a passion for books early on that has progressed into a mild hoarding situation and an ever-growing to-read pile.

When she’s not creating contemporary or historical fictional worlds full of mysteries, she obsesses over all things British and historical. In rare moments of spare time, she can be found engaging in a wide array of arts and crafts, dance, and attending ghost tours.

Author Links

Website   Facebook   Instagram     Twitter       Pinterest      YouTube    GoodReads Link 

Purchase Links:

Amazon – Barnes and Noble

Great Escapes Praise for Devil’s Kiss: A Small Batch Mystery
by Michelle Bennington

Bottom Line: For thirty years, I lived in the area where this story takes place, or at least the area it’s modeled after, and I loved revisiting it on the pages of Devil’s Kiss by Michelle Bennington.
~Reading is my Superpower

Devil’s Kiss by Michelle Bennington is a great first book in a new series. Ms. Bennington does an excellent job of writing this book. Just realize that with any good Southern mystery book, you should be excepting to have lots of snacks by you.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

Devil’s Kiss is an entertaining and lighthearted read that kept my interest from the first page to the last with all those elements of small-town communities I absolutely adore. I highly recommend this book to readers who love small-town communities as I do!
~Novels Alive

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
August 10 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
August 10 – Books Blog – SPOTLIGHT
August 11 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 12 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
August 13 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
August 13 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 14 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
August 15 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT   
August 15 – Baroness Book Trove – REVIEW
August 16 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 16 – Novels Alive – REVIEW – SPOTLIGHT
August 17 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
August 17 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
August 17 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 18 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
August 18 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
August 19 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
August 20 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
August 20 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 21 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
August 22 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT  
August 23 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  

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Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Guest Posts

Special Guest – Cheryl Hollon – Author of Death a Sketch (A Paint & Shine Mystery) #GuestPost / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @CherylHollon.


Death a Sketch (A Paint & Shine Mystery)
by Cheryl Hollon

It is my pleasure to welcome Cheryl Hollon
to Escape With Dollycas today!

I Love Independent Bookstores
by Cheryl Hollon

 

It’s already August! It is day 220 out of 365 days in the year 2022. Yikes, that means that this year is more than half done – how did that happen? I haven’t written down my goals for this year, but that’s another story.

This has been a year of change for me—significant changes. We sold our house and moved to a condo apartment in downtown St. Petersburg. Locally, it’s called DTSP, St. Pete, or the Burg. But in any case, we love the urban lifestyle and embrace the freedom that comes with owning a small but big enough space with a screened-in balcony for morning cups of coffee and dining outdoors.

I’m not the only one in my circle who has moved. A local bookstore that has been a champion for my books and a friend to cozy readers, Books @ Park Place, has moved to a new location at 6800 Gulfport Boulevard S., Unit #113, in the South Pasadena Shopping Center, Pasadena, FL.

I’m excited because their new location is much closer to the beaches and has a higher rate of walk-by traffic. This is good for a local bookstore. I’ve known the owner, Nancy Alloy, for several years now. She’s the perfect bookseller. She knows what I like to read and has several new recommendations each time I visit.

She also has book signing events that feature various authors ranging from poets, horror, self-published, rescue organizations, board game night, and movie book night. The store is on Facebook, and the bookstore phone number is (727) 388-9093

Another champion for local authors is a relatively new establishment called Tombolo Books. They have a curated selection of the best contemporary fiction and nonfiction titles worldwide. After a successful crowdfunding campaign, the owners opened a unique brick-and-mortar store in the Grand Central District at 2153 1st Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL.

Founder Alsace Walentine was the longtime events director of Malaprop’s Bookstore in Asheville, NC, before moving to St. Petersburg with her partner and store co-owner Candice Anderson. I was delighted to launch DEATH A SKETCH at Tombolo Books on July 26, 2022, from 6:00-7:00 pm. Visit their website.

The newcomer to downtown St. Petersburg is another type of bookstore altogether. It calls itself a bookstore with wine and a wine bar with books. They have coffee and snacks, too. You can work from the bar or meet some friends for happy hour.

Owner Terra Dunham worked for 14 months on the debut of Book + Bottle, a dream-turned-reality wine bar in downtown St. Pete. She opened two days before the mandated pandemic shutdown. The timing couldn’t have been worse, but she needed to figure something out.

They pivoted from in-house wine bar operations to a delivery service that offered two shelter-at-home staples: books and wine. Through tenacity and creative persistence, the store is thriving. I’m hosting an author event in August. This is their website.

I encourage you to visit your local independent bookstore if you’re lucky enough to have one within driving distance. The hard times are not over for these precious bookstores. Let’s support them in any way we can.

Thank you, Cheryl, so much for visiting today! 

Keep reading for the details about Cheryl’s new book. 

About Death a Sketch


Death a Sketch (A Paint & Shine Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Kentucky
Kensington (July 26, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 149672528X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496725288
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09KP3TJ8F

In eastern Kentucky, Miranda Trent runs a unique tour company called Paint & Shine, but sometimes the peaceful mountains play host to murder . . .

Miranda’s business—combining Appalachian adventure tours with art and a bit of moonshine—is the perfect place for an outdoor sporting goods company to hold an employee retreat. It’ll be a challenge, but the money they’re paying will definitely help with building her new distillery.

Miranda has lots of teamwork-fostering activities planned, from sketching classes to Southern cooking, but the executive running things prefers a more competitive spirit. In fact, after the workers are split into teams, they’re told that only the winners will keep their jobs, and tensions begin to spike. Even after a participant is found dead, the contest continues—while Miranda starts drawing her own conclusions about the ambitious attendees. Now she just has to find the proof . . .

About Cheryl Hollon

Cheryl Hollon now writes full-time after she left an engineering career designing and building military flight simulators in amazing countries such as England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, and India. Fulfilling the dream of a lifetime, she combines her love of writing with a passion for oil painting and creating glass art. Cheryl and her husband live in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. Visit her online at http://cherylhollon.com, on Facebook or on Twitter @CherylHollon.

Purchase Links
AmazonB&NKoboGoogle PlayIndieBoundKensington

Also by Cheryl Hollon

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
August 1 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT
August 1 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 1 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
August 2 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
August 2 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
August 3 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
August 3 – Books Blog – SPOTLIGHT
August 4 – The Mystery of Writing – GUEST POST
August 4 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
August 4 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
August 5 – Baroness Book Trove – REVIEW
August 5 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
August 6 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
August 6 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
August 6 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – GUEST POST
August 7 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
August 7 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT  
August 8 – Novels Alive – REVIEW, RECIPE
August 8 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 9 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
August 9 – Celticlady’s Reviews = SPOTLIGHT
August 10 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  
August 10 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Deserts, Driving, and Derelicts (A Camper & Criminals Cozy Mystery Series) by Tonya Kappes #Review / #Giveaway

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.


Deserts, Driving, and Derelicts (A Camper & Criminals Cozy Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Kentucky
Independently published (June 26, 2018)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 192 pages
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8746786456
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 196 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1723010863
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1723010866
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07CJK17LS

SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY WITH A SMIDGEN OF HOMICIDE

USA Today Bestselling author Tonya Kappes brings you southern and quirky characters in her mystery series. Her stories are charged with humor, friendship, family, and life in small southern towns.

Welcome to Normal, Kentucky where NOTHING is normal.

Mae West is getting settled into the RV lifestyle as the owner of a campground in Normal, Kentucky.

Happy Trails Campground, located in Daniel Boone National Park, has started to attract late summer vacationing families who love to hike, swim, fish, and enjoy being outdoors.

Betts Hager, owner of several small businesses, is swamped with work and desperate for help with her cleaning business. Mae offers her services, happy about the prospect of a little extra cash. Heiress Tammy Jo Bentley’s mansion is the first one on her schedule.

Mae makes sure Tammy Jo’s house is spotless because the Kentucky Kennel Association’s annual meeting is going to be held at the mansion. Fifi, Tammy Jo’s high pedigree, insured poodle, is going to be on display and Tammy Jo will be evaluating potential suitors to sire Fifi’s offspring.

Before the annual meeting, Camille Braun, Fifi’s nanny, is stabbed to death.

Everyone knows that Camille would put her life on the line *or* lay down her life for Fifi and, apparently, she did.

Mae tries her best to stay out of it. Tammy Jo begs Mae to help her; after all, she did find the last killer in Normal. Plus, it’s not good for business – or Normal’s revived economy – when a murderer is on the loose.

Mae has grown to love her RV community and now that she’s found a place to call home, she’s not going to let anybody ruin it. Mae throws all of her heart and amateur sleuthing skills into bringing the real killer to justice.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We are back in Normal, Kentucky. Mae West has done a lot to get the Happy Trails Campground back on track while repaying those her ex-husband scammed. She gets a little blast from the past when Bobby Ray Bond shows up at the campground. He is her foster brother that helped her move to New York for a fresh start 12 years ago. Now it may be her turn to help him out.

Mae is also helping Betts Hager with her cleaning business. The extra cash she will earn always comes in handy. Her first assignment takes her to Tammy Jo Bentley’s mansion to make sure the place is immaculate for the annual meeting of the Kentucky Kennel Association. Tammy Jo dotes on her prize pup and is hoping to find a perfect sire for the poodle.

Realizing she forgot to get payment for her services, Mae returns to the mansion for the check. Instead, she makes a ghastly discovery. She finds the pampered pooch’s nanny has been stabbed to death. Tammy Jo is taken into custody and she is reminded that Mae caught the town’s last killer. She begs Mae to do the same for her. Mae agrees because a murderer on the loose isn’t good for business and she isn’t going to let a pesky killer ruin all the progress she has made.


The characters in this series are so much fun. They are quirky and genuine and full of charm. Mae has been accepted now as everyone sees she is trying hard to right the wrongs done by her ex. She has also grown so much as a person in just two books. She seems always ready to help anyone she can whether it be helping them find a job, lend a sympathetic ear, or sleuth out a killer.

The mystery this time had me stumped the entire way. Ms. Kappes entangled some nice red herrings to misdirect and I think I fell for all of them. I really enjoy the humor she includes heavily within her stories. It makes the characters and their situations feel more real. At under 200 pages, the pace is quick but everything is well detailed.

I really enjoy the way Mae pursues the truth while juggling everything else going on in her life. She has two romantic interests, a campground to run, odd jobs here and there, a foster brother showing up out of blue, and a new house guest, all as she tries to solve a murder case. I envy all of her energy.

Deserts, Driving, and Derelicts is a wonderful cozy mystery filled with fantastic characters and Southern charm. The Laundry Club ladies always crack me up. The gossip runs wild and I love it!

I know I am way behind on this series so I hope to visit again soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has published numerous mystery and romance titles. Known for her hilarious plot lines and quirky characters, she has earned thousands of followers and a devoted street team of fans.


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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.”

Posted in 2021 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Kill All Your Darlings by David Bell #Review @BerkleyMystery @DavidBellNovels

Kill All Your Darlings
Psychological Thriller
Setting – Kentucky
Berkley (July 6, 2021)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 416 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593198662
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593198667
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08MBPPXC3

When a student disappears and is presumed dead, her professor passes off her manuscript as his own—only to find out it implicates him in an unsolved murder in this new thriller from the USA Today bestselling author of The Request.

After years of struggling to write following the deaths of his wife and son, English professor Connor Nye publishes his first novel, a thriller about the murder of a young woman.

There’s just one problem: Connor didn’t write the book. His missing student did. And then she appears on his doorstep, alive and well, threatening to expose him.

Connor’s problems escalate when the police insist details in the novel implicate him in an unsolved murder from two years ago. Soon Connor discovers the crime is part of a disturbing scandal on campus and faces an impossible dilemma—admit he didn’t write the book and lose his job or keep up the lie and risk everything. When another murder occurs, Connor must clear his name by unraveling the horrifying secrets buried in his student’s manuscript.

This is a suspenseful, provocative novel about the sexual harassment that still runs rampant in academia—and the lengths those in power will go to cover it up.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this David Bell thriller English professor Connor Nye is still grieving the loss of his wife and child while the college is pushing the “publish or perish” mantra. A couple of years ago one of his students disappeared right after turning in her novel thesis. The man clearly was not thinking rationally when he submitted the student’s book for publication as his own. Then he gets a major surprise after the book is released – the student has returned and she gives him an ultimatum. If he doesn’t give her what she wants she vows to expose him and blow up his life. Then things get worse when the police arrive at his door questioning him about an unsolved murder that happened exactly like the murder in his book. So he has a huge decision, out himself, admitting he didn’t write the book and face unemployment or stick to the lie and try to convince the police of his innocence. As he ponders his decision another person is murdered and he starts to dig into the deaths himself and uncovers some surprising connections that all seem to lead back to the college.


Each year I anxiously await David Bell’s next book and as always he has created a very complicated mystery.

Again he introduces readers to some very interesting characters. I really wanted to like Connor Nye and pull for him. I understand the sudden loss of a loved one and losing two people you love has to be twice as hard, but he made a horrible decision. A decision that truly had me questioning his intelligence. It was bad enough to submit that novel as his own but was crazy stupid to submit that novel without changing a single word. Change some names. Change some locations. Make even just a little bit of effort just to give yourself a chance. Even if had not been ripped from an actual murder, even a much less educated person would have changed something.

I did feel for Madeleine almost immediately because I knew there was more to her story. She was so close to graduating when she disappeared. I really needed to know her involvement in the traumatic events that happened in her book especially when we learned it pertained to an actual murder.  Was she responsible or did she just see something she shouldn’t? Was it a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time or was she actively investigating the murder?

Telling the story from each of the character’s points of view and going back and forth in time really gave the story depth and the pages rapidly turning. Another student enters the narrative later as events start to get even more disturbing. Because of the way the author presented the book, there are some repetitive passages but it didn’t really detract too much from the flow.

This mystery really takes a real warped journey before it wraps up. As Connor continues to struggle he continues to make bad decisions. Bell has always used supporting characters to move the story along and he does that here in a compelling way. He also shines a light on the pains and pressure of academia and the ways it pushes both professors and students and the ugly underbelly that can arise when stress takes over.

Kill All Your Darlings was a thriller that kept me entertained and had me physically moving to the edge of my seat a couple of times. David Bell continues to be one of my favorite authors in this genre. I am excited to see what he will bring his readers next summer.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out more about David Bell and his books visit his webpage here



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

Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Guest Posts

Cozy Wednesday with Miranda Trent – Owner of Paint and Shine from Draw and Order by Cheryl Hollon @CherylHollon #Giveaway


Draw and Order (A Paint & Shine Mystery)
by Cheryl Hollon

I am excited to welcome Miranda to Escape With Dollycas today!

It’s almost Independence Day! I’m Miranda Trent, owner of Paint & Shine, a brand new business. It’s a newfangled type of cultural touring business set in Eastern Kentucky right smack dab in the middle of the Daniel Boone National Forest. It’s only been about a few months ago now that I inherited my uncle’s farmhouse along with forty acres, some outbuildings, a spring-fed well, and a weathered tobacco barn.

The barn represents my dream vision for a moonshine distillery. Of course, that barn has been a problem since my first day at the farmhouse. It’s old and needs a lot of work to upgrade it to support the heavy equipment, water flow, and sanitary conditions required.

The plan for my business is to take clients up into the Natural Bridge State Park on a hiking trail so they can paint one of the spectacular sandstone cliffs overlooks as a group activity. Then, we’ll all have a traditional southern meal in the farmhouse dining room, with each course paired with a moonshine cocktail. Thus the inspiration for the name of my business: Paint & Shine.

Eventually, I will serve those cocktails from the secret moonshine recipes that my uncle hid in his underground brewing cave next to the creek out back of the barn on my property. That shine has a legendary reputation for being the best in these here hills.

You can read more about Miranda in the new Paint and Shine Mystery, Draw and Order.

 

About Draw and Order


Draw and Order (A Paint & Shine Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Kensington (June 29, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496725263
ISBN-13: 978-1496725264
Digital ASIN: B08KKMYPCT

Appalachian artist and local guide Miranda Trent opens a new murder investigation after her Paint & Shine tour group discovers the remains of a missing hiker along an ancient trail . . .

 

For her latest excursion, Miranda is thrilled to take a close-knit group of rock climbers, the Risky Business Adventurers, up the challenging Battleship Rock Trail to paint and sample moonshine. But the outing is cut short when they discover a skeleton near the trailhead. Even more startling, the bones belong to Howard Cable, Miranda’s cousin…and a former classmate of the Risky Business group.

 

The sheriff chalks it up to a hiking accident, but Miranda isn’t convinced that Howard, an experienced woodsman, died within sight of a well-marked trail. So, with the help of Ranger Austin Morgan, Miranda sets out on her own investigation and discovers that the Risky Business group is keeping plenty of secrets. But is one of them hiding the truth about Howard’s death?

 

About Cheryl Hollon

Cheryl Hollon now writes full-time after she left an engineering career of designing and building military flight simulators in amazing countries such as England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, and India. Fulfilling the dream of a lifetime, she combines her love of writing with a passion for creating glass art. In the small glass studio behind her house in St. Petersburg, Florida, Cheryl and her husband design, create, and produce fused glass, stained glass, and painted glass artworks. Visit her online at http://cherylhollon.com, on Facebook or on Twitter @CherylHollon.

Purchase Links: Amazon    B&N    Kobo     Google Play  IndieBound 

Also by Cheryl Hollon

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Posted in 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Beaches, Bungalows, & Burglaries: A Camper and Criminals Cozy Mystery Series by Tonya Kappes #Review / #Giveaway

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.


Beaches, Bungalows, & Burglaries: A Camper and Criminals Cozy Mystery Series
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Kentucky
Publisher: Independently published (May 25, 2018)
Hardcover: 206 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8714027734
Paperback: 210 pages
ISBN-10: 1721977740
ISBN-13: 978-1721977741
Kindle ASIN: B07C4NT6BS

Welcome to Normal, Kentucky where NOTHING is normal.

Mae West, a far cry from the Hollywood actress, has been thrown for a loop. Her plush lifestyle in the big city of New York comes to a screeching halt after the FBI raids her mansion and arrests her husband, Paul West, for a Ponzi scheme that rips people out of millions of dollars.

Mae finds herself homeless, friendless, and penniless. All hope isn’t lost. . .the only thing Mae got to keep that the government didn’t seize is a tourist campground, Happy Trails, in Normal, Kentucky, and an RV to live in. One problem, Mae’s idea of camping has room service.

By the look of the brochure, Happy Trails has plush Kentucky Bluegrass, a crystal clear lake, a beach chair with her name on it, and thoughts of how much money it could bring her after she sells it. Mae figures she’ll take a couple of weeks’ vacation with her toes dipped in the lake. Things aren’t always as they appear. The Kentucky Bluegrass is nothing but dirt and the crystal clue lake is murky with green slime on top.

Mae quickly finds out that Happy Trails and the citizens of Normal were also victims of Paul’s schemes, making her lower than the lake scum in the residents’ eyes. Mae doesn’t think things could get much worse, but as luck would have it, Paul West has escaped from prison and is found dead, murdered, floating in the Happy Trails mucky green lake.

Mae is the number one suspect on Detective Hank Sharp’s shortlist. After all, Mae has the perfect motive as a kept wife who has been scorned to ashes, embarrassed to death and seeking revenge.

Time is running out for Mae to prove that she’s innocent and nothing like her husband. If only she could get someone to believe her and talk Detective Sharp into looking at other residents who’ve lost all their savings to Paul’s Ponzi scheme before the curtain is closed on this Hollywood namesake.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Mae West has had her life turned inside out. You see her husband was scum, scamming hard-working people and senior citizens out of their hard-earned cash and the FBI has finally caught up with him. Sadly Mae had no clue what he was up to and is now broke and homeless and without a motor vehicle. Then she meets with her lawyer where she finds herself the new owner of a used RV and a campground in Normal, Kentucky that was somehow in her name only. Seeing the brochure she immediately sees dollar signs, thinking how much can she sell it for. In the meantime, a little beach vacay sounds pretty good.

When she arrives at the Happy Trails Campground she thinks there must be some kind of mistake. The place looks nothing like the brochure. The sights are rundown, the lake is full of green slime and algae, and the beach is far from blissful. She learns her husband has struck here as well. Not taking care of upkeep and maintenance, not paying his manager, and worst of all he scammed the people here as well. She is not totally surprised to find his body in the slimy lake following his escape from prison. As the scorned wife she becomes the prime suspect. Sadly she needs to build a little trust with the people of Normal while she proves she did not murder anyone and had nothing to do with his schemes. Maybe then she will be able to get her life back on track.


I really enjoyed my first visit to Normal, Kentucky. The residents are some really quirky characters but most of them have huge hearts and are full of Southern hospitality. Mae is just 30 years old, Paul was 61, she thought she had a good life and never imagined things would turn out this way. I did come to admire the way she handled herself after her little pity party. She makes a real transformation over the course of these pages. I enjoyed the development of all the characters although I did have a few issues with the behavior of a certain FBI agent. It just felt off for that position. He seemed more a folksy small-town sheriff instead of a serious Special Agent for the FBI.

The mystery was pretty straight forward and I ferreted out the guilty party quite quickly but I continued to read the story all in one sitting and was very entertained. I did enjoy how the killer was revealed, it had an exciting few moments.

For me, Beaches, Bungalows, & Burglaries was a fresh, light read and a great way to spend a couple of hours.

Tonya Kappes is a writing machine. I have wanted to read this story/series since it was released but got discouraged as more and more books came out and I kept getting further behind. It will probably take me forever to catch up but I was very excited when a mini reading challenge gave me the opportunity to read this book and get started. Now I want to keep reading them all but with my reading commitments that is going to take time. I really want to delve deeper into the craziness of Normal so I am going to squeeze them in when I can.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has published numerous mystery and romance titles. Known for her hilarious plot lines and quirky characters, she has earned thousands of followers and a devoted street team of fans.


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy 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 Following 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 share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive 5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End June 25, 2021, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Giveaways Literary Escapes Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Layover by David Bell #Review / #Giveaway @BerkleyMystery @DavidBellNovels


Layover
Psychological Thrillers
Setting – Kentucky
Berkley (July 2, 2019)
Hardcover: 416 pages
ISBN-10: 0440000866
ISBN-13: 978-0440000860
Kindle ASIN: B07J47PGXN

Joshua Fields takes the same flights every week for work, his life a series of departures and arrivals, hotels and airports. During yet another layover, he meets Morgan, a beautiful stranger with whom he feels an immediate connection. When it’s time for their respective flights, Morgan kisses Joshua passionately, lamenting that they’ll never see each other again.

As soon as Morgan disappears in the crowd, Joshua is shocked to see her face on a nearby TV. The reason: Morgan is a missing person.

What follows is a whirlwind, fast-paced journey filled with lies, deceit, and secrets as Joshua tries to discover why Morgan has vanished from her own life. Every time he thinks one mystery is solved, another rears its head—and his worst enemy might be his own assumptions about those around him.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A chance meeting at an airport. Joshua feels an instant connection to Morgan. She gives him a killer kiss good-bye, but he can’t just let her go. He chucks his plan to meet his father to close a business deal and follows Morgan. He knows she is on the run and hiding something huge but he just can’t leave her behind. Joshua is soon mentally trapped into Morgan’s web and he could end up making the ultimate sacrifice all the be with a girl he met on a LAYOVER.

David Bell is one of my favorite authors but this one didn’t blow me away as others have.

Joshua Fields appears to be a very intelligent young man who may need a vacation from work but he keeps making bad decisions. I understand being in a rut and wanting change but I had a hard time believing the lengths he went to for a woman he just met and knew for all of a few minutes. He is a good guy but his first move was almost stalkerish. After that, though I realized Morgan was a master manipulator who knew just how to pull Joshua’s strings as soon as he continued to follow wherever she led.

I realize the premise of this book from an encounter the author actually witnessed but I just couldn’t get on board with it all. Maybe if the woman was a someone from his past, that he hadn’t seen in years I would have found it believable because they would have had a smidgen of history to build on.

Putting their meeting aside the story itself was complicated as Morgan’s story was revealed piece by piece from several viewpoints. The key was learning the true story and for that to come out there were several twists. Readers are treated to some suspenseful moments as the chase of Morgan and now Joshua continues. The author’s writing style of short chapters with mini-cliffhangers and alternate points of view worked very well. Those little teasers had me doing the just one more chapter thing over and over again. For me, the ending was unexpected and made me glad I had kept reading.

Aside from wanting to jump into the book several times to try to stop Joshua making stupid choices, this was a largely entertaining read.

Of course, I am looking forward to David Bell’s next thriller.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out more about David Bell and his books visit his webpage here



GIVEAWAY

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Sign Up for David Bell’s Newsletter 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 July 19, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Reviews 2018 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review – Batter Off Dead: A Southern Cake Baker Mystery by Maymee Bell @crookedlanebks

Batter Off Dead: A Southern Cake Baker Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Kentucky
Crooked Lane Books (December 11, 2018)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1683318781
ISBN-13: 978-1683318781
Kindle ASIN: B07D2GWH2S

Sophia Cummings may be unlucky in love, but she knows that the way to a man’s heart is through his sweet tooth. This evening, she plans to use that knowledge—and her skills as a New York City-trained pastry chef—to open the hearts and wallets of Rumford, Kentucky’s richest men. Sophia, proprietress of For Goodness Cakes, has been commissioned to cater the Heart of the Town Library charity fundraiser at Grape Valley Winery. She’s spent all her dough to make this a successful event, raise her profile, and win more plum catering jobs.

At first, the going is as smooth as an elegant chocolate ganache. After nibbling Sophia’s tasty treats, Ray Peel, the winery’s landlord, announces he will pay off Rumford’s library loan. But the evening soon turns decidedly frosty when Ray is murdered—before he can make good on his promise, and before he can pay Sophia for her catering services.

For Goodness Cakes will collapse if Sophia can’t collect what she’s owed. So Sophia once again puts on her sleuthing apron to figure out who iced Ray.

With authentic Southern recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

For Goodness Cakes is open for business and Sophia Cummings is doing everything to build her clientele and bring in customers. She is thrilled to be catering the desserts at the Heart of the Town Library charity fundraiser at Grape Valley Winery.  The library is planning a huge addition and most of the money has been pledged by Ray Peel. He is the winery’s landlord and has his hands in many other businesses in the area.

Shortly after the fundraiser begins he informs the librarian he will no longer be funding the renovations, insults local realtor and Sophie’s friend, Madison Ridge, has an argument with woman in town for a wine conference, and  tells Giles Dugan owner of Grape Valley Winery that he will not be renewing their lease and plans to shut them down at the conclusion of the night’s event.

Sophia thinks with all the chaos caused by Mr. Peel she’s better get her money for her part of the fundraiser as soon as possible. On her way to the main office, she trips over something and comes face to face with a very dead Ray Peel. She quickly makes a call to boyfriend, Sheriff Carter Kincaid who does his best to calm her down. After looking at the crime scene and interviewing witnesses he decides Sophie’s friend, Madison is his prime suspect.  Seriously?? For Goodness Sakes! This put Sophie into a tizzy and she proclaims she will do everything she can to prove her friend had nothing to do with that man’s demise.

I was having a stressful day, my husband was having a long and complicated surgery and I really needed something to keep my mind off that and watching the clock. I can say this book was just what I needed. Maymee Bell’s (Tonya Kappes) story worked on me just like A Calgon, take me away bath. Of course, I had to keep my giggling internal because the waiting room was full of people, but I did share bits with the woman sitting close to me. She was quick to write down the author and the title as well as some of the author’s other books I told her about.  🙂

Maymee Bell has a distinctive voice and she creates such unique characters. Sophie softens up the suspects with treats from her shop to get them to talk. Carter is not happy with her “help” and sometimes she tells him her plan and then does the complete opposite that frustrates him to no end. At least he knows from the start, she is going to butt in, especially with her best friend involved. Sophia’s mother, Bitsy, just cracks me up. She was my favorite in this story. The dialogue between all the characters is very comfortable which makes the story so easy to read.

Solving this mystery wasn’t easy. It was fun to follow along with Sophie as Operation Merlot was put into effect and suspects were crossed off the “murder board”. The story was very well-plotted with plenty of red herrings. I was totally surprised by the ending.

Engaging characters and a delightful mystery. A truly Perfect Escape for me. Thank you, Ms. Bell, your story was just what the doctor ordered. The pages flew and so did my day.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Cake and Punishment here.

Maymee Bell is the pen name of USA Today Bestselling author Tonya Kappes. She lives in Kentucky with her family and her two schnauzers. She likes strong coffee, slow-country days, and fresh-baked cookies – but she like telling stores best of all.

Visit Tonya:

Facebook at Author Tonya Kappes    Kappes Krew Street Team

Find more wonderful books by Tonya Kappes on Amazon here.

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

Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Reviews 2018 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review – TANGLED UP IN TINSEL (A Kenni Lowry Mystery) by Tonya Kappes @HeneryPress

TANGLED UP IN TINSEL (A Kenni Lowry Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Kentucky
Henery Press (September 25, 2018)
Hardcover: 236 pages
ISBN-10: 1635113997
ISBN-13: 978-1635113990
Paperback: 236 pages
ISBN-10: 1635113962
ISBN-13: 978-1635113969
Kindle ASIN: B07FH6V113

Don’t get your tinsel in a tangle…

It’s Christmastime in Cottonwood, Kentucky, and Sheriff Kenni Lowry is determined to keep the peace. Vivian Lowry, Kenni’s Mama, is having a Christmas-size hissy fit because Kenni plans to spend Christmas in Chicago with her Deputy Sheriff-turned-boyfriend Finn Vincent and his family.

Plus, the snowstorm of the century is headed right toward Cottonwood, leaving the residents in a frantic frenzy and potentially derailing Kenni’s Christmas plans with Finn.

If that’s not enough to dampen the Christmas spirit, the ghost of Kenni’s grandfather—the ex-sheriff—makes an appearance, and that means only one thing: there’s been a Christmas murder, and there’s a tinsel-wrapped victim at the center of it.

Relying on her Poppa more than ever, Kenni uses him as the Ghost of Christmas Past to help solve the murder, but will it be in time for her to save Christmas in Cottonwood and hop on her plane to meet Finn’s family?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sheriff Kenni Lowry only has one thing on her mind, spending the holidays with Deputy Sheriff, now boyfriend, Finn Vincent, and his family in Chicago. No matter what the meteorologists or the rest of Cottonwood says about the huge snowstorm on the way, Kenni is not going to let it dampen her spirits or change her plans. When her grandfather, former sheriff, currently a ghost shows up she realizes MURDER may be the one thing that can tangle up her plans royally.

A young woman goes missing after the Hunt Club Christmas Cantata. Her parents are frantic and her boyfriend is worried. When her vehicle is found all hope is gone when she is found inside. It initially looks like a suicide but Kenni knows that if her Poppa is there the girl did not kill herself.

Kenni with the assistance of her Poppa, Deputy Finn, and the temporary deputy there to fill in for her while she is on her trip, band together to put the killer behind bars before the snowstorm hits. While her mama may be happy she is stuck in Cottonwood Kenni hopes her plans to spend Christmas in the windy city don’t fall through.

Christmas in Cottonwood means family to Vivian Lowry as long as it is her family getting together. She is not happy that her daughter has Christmas plans away from her. As the day gets closer she tightens the screws more and more in hopes that Kenni will change her mind. Of course, a young woman’s death was not in her plan. She just wanted Kenni to stand up to Finn and make him choose not to leave. Vivian Lowry is a woman to be reckoned with, crossing her is not advised. The way that the author has crafted this character and all the others is totally believable. Their Southern charm just rolls off of them. Even Finn is starting to fit right in.

I really love the ghostly presence of Kenni’s grandfather. He can only be seen and heard by Kenni and her lovable dog Duke. With each new installment of this series, it gets harder and harder for Kenni to keep her secret from Finn. So much humor comes from the moments of Kenni with her Poppa, his outlandish comments and her trying to cover up when someone overhears her side of the conversation,

The death of Leighann Graves is heartbreaking and to have it happen so close to Christmas was even more wrenching. The suspects are all residents of Cottonwood. Some secrets come out to twist the case toward one person but then turns another way to incriminate someone else and the twists and turns keep coming right up until the very end. I can’t believe how fast I read this story. I just couldn’t wait to reach the end to find out who killed Leighann? does the storm of the century hit Cottonwood? did Finn and Kenni catch their plane to Chicago?

This book was so enjoyable to read. I am glad I saved it to read during the hustle and bustle this holiday season. It is one I recommend adding to your holiday reading lists as well. Totally entertaining!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

For years, USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has been publishing numerous mystery and romance titles with unprecedented success. She is famous not only for her hilarious plot lines and quirky characters but her tremendous marketing efforts that have earned her thousands of followers and a devoted street team of fans.
Sign up for her newsletter on her website at Tonyakappes.com .

Visit Tonya:

Facebook at Author Tonya Kappes    Kappes Krew Street Team

Kappes Krew Recipe Exchange

Website    Goodreads     Twitter     Pinterest

Purchase Links:

Check out my Reviews of
Fixin’ to Die here.

Southern Fried here.
Ax to Grind here.
Six Feet Under here.
Dead as a Doornail here.

Find more wonderful books by Tonya Kappes on Amazon here.

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

Posted in Flashback Friday Giveaways

#FlashbackFriday – Live and Let Growl by Laurien Berenson #ReviewRewind / #Giveaway

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.

I lost a day of reading on Saturday due to the Walk for Hope, Kaden’s game and dinner out. I was exhausted when I got home and was awakened by my husband a little while later with my Kindle in my hand. So I got ready for bed and was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. Because of that, I am sharing a review will you again from 2016 and I have an Advance Review Copy to give away. 

 

LiveandLetGrowl-lowres


Cozy Mystery
19th in Series
Setting – Kentucky
Kensington (July 26, 2016)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496703385
E-Book ASIN: B017G7HE8U
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

When her Aunt Peg lands a gig as judge at a Kentucky dog show, Melanie Travis welcomes the opportunity for a road trip. Too bad a killer has planned a deadly detour . . .

For a dog lover like Melanie, the opportunity to attend the Kentuckiana Dog Show Cluster is not to be missed. Fortunately, the timing coincides with her spring break from teaching, so she heads for central Kentucky with her sister-in-law Bertie and Aunt Peg, who’s accepted a week-long judging assignment. Once there, Aunt Peg reconnects with an old friend, Ellie Gates Wanamaker, a former Standard Poodle exhibitor and a member of a well-heeled Kentucky family. Miss Ellie has been out of the dog show world for more than a decade, but when Melanie invites her to spectate at the Louisville Kennel Club dog show, she’s eager to accompany her.

Miss Ellie’s presence at the expo center, however, provokes mixed reactions from exhibitors she hasn’t seen in years, including some outright animosity. The following day Melanie learns that Miss Ellie has suffered a fatal accident while exercising her dogs. Aunt Peg, however, suspects foul play. Wishing to avoid any scandal, Miss Ellie’s pedigreed family prefers to let sleeping dogs lie, but as Melanie begins to sniff around, she discovers Miss Ellie had many secrets, both in the dog show world and amongst her Kentucky kin . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Racehorses and dogs come together as Melanie, Bertie and Peg head to the Kentuckiana Dog Show Cluster and to check out Peg’s new inheritance. They aren’t just horsing around either when one of Peg’s old friends, Ellie Gates Wanamaker, is found dead. Accident or murder, Peg is like a dog with a bone to get answers.

I am so late to the Melanie Travis Mystery Party and I still don’t understand how I have missed this series. But let me tell you, Laurien Berenson made me feel right at home. I jumped right into this story and enjoyed it immensely. She gave enough of a backstory that I never felt lost or that I was missing some important details. That is hard to do with a long-standing series as this. I love these characters and want to go back up and read much more about them and find out how this wonderful group came together.

The only hesitation I had was understanding the horse breeding, selling, training processes but that is a very complicated thing unless you live in that world. It was totally on me not on the author’s storytelling.

I so enjoyed learning about the wonderful poodles and the Jack Russell Terriers. As a parent to two Border Collie/Blue Heeler mixes, I understand clearly how each breed has their own tendencies, traits, and idiosyncrasies. No matter what they are we love them and the author’s love was shining from the beginning of this story until the end.

Laurien Berenson writes a heck of a mystery too. Right up until the end we were guessing about what happened and why and who was responsible. It went right down to the wire just like a great horse race.

I am excited to read more of these stories, catching up and going forward.

Thank you, Ms. Berenson, for a delightful story to curl up with.

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author

Laurien Berenson is an Agatha and Macavity Nominee, winner of the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, and four time winner of the Maxwell Award, presented by the Dog Writers Association of America. She and her husband live on a farm in Kentucky surrounded by dogs and horses.

Find out more about her and her books on her webpage here. Find her on Facebook here and on Twitter here.

GIVEAWAY
 I have 1 ARC copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End October 12, 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

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.”