Nov 202013

cozy wednesday 2013 640
Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!!
It is my pleasure to welcome Krista Davis back here today!!!

How Smart Is Your Dog or Cat?
by Krista Davis

Krista_Buttercup4 smallMany years ago, as I prepared to leave on a date, I told my dog I would be home in a few hours. Apparently, that upset my date. At dinner, he began with, “You know your dog doesn’t understand what you say, don’t you?” Then he launched into a lengthy lecture. He told me dogs have brains the size of walnuts and can’t think. He explained in some detail that dogs merely react to tones of voice. According to him, they can distinguish between angry and happy tones, but nothing more.

I recall trying to be polite. I remember trying to change the subject. But the guy would not let go. It must have really bothered him that I talked to my dog. When he persisted, I finally asked the big question, “Have you ever had a dog?”

Available December 3

Available December 3

Of course he hadn’t! You can imagine my laughter when he confessed. It was our one and only date. Clearly, we weren’t right for each other. No big loss. He was a pretty bright guy (about other things) whom I saw at social occasions now and then, but the dog conversation is the only thing I remember about him.

Anyone who has ever had a dog can tell you how smart they are. My golden retriever tricks one of my dogs when he’s sleeping where she wants to be. She stares at him first. I can see the annoyance building. Next, she goes to the door and asks to go outside. The minute she’s outdoors, she barks. The other dog wakes, rushes outside and before he’s fully out the door, my golden retriever races back in and makes herself comfortable where he was sleeping. What amuses me so much about this little trick is that it takes planning. She knows exactly what she’s doing.

Researchers at the Max Plank Institute determined that a dog understood about 200 words. And now there’s another dog, named Chaser, who understands over 1,000 words. That probably won’t come as a surprise to dog owners. Or to cat owners, for that matter. My cats know what “squirrel” and “bird” mean.

My dogs know people’s names, too. There are names I can’t say without all the dogs barking and running to the front window to look for that person. I think they’re much smarter than we give them credit for. In my new book, Murder, She Barked, the animals don’t speak, but they help the protagonist solve crimes.

What clever things do your dogs and cats do?

street crew 1

To celebrate the launch of Murder, She Barked, Krista’s dogs and cats are looking for dogs and cats to join their street crew. They’re giving away Murder, She Barked bandanas to two lucky dogs or cats who leave comments here today (it’s okay if their people leave comments for them)! Photos of winners (hopefully wearing their new Murder, She Barked bandanas) will be posted on Krista’s website ( and on Pinterest ( so your dogs and cats can share with their friends.

Krista Davis’s new series for animal lovers debuts on December 3rd, with Murder, She Barked. Like her characters, Krista has a soft spot for cats, dogs, and cupcakes. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with three dogs and two cats. The Diva Frosts a Cupcake  is the seventh book in her Domestic Diva Mystery series. Three of those books have been nominated for Agatha awards and three have made the extended New York Times Bestseller list.

murder she barked dec Murder, She Barked:
A Paws & Claws Mystery (A Paws and Claws Mystery)

Brand New Series
Release Date: December 3, 2013
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Mary Ann Lasher
Cover Design by Diane Kolsky
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425262559



The Sugar Maple Inn in Wagtail, Virginia, is the country’s premiere vacation hot spot for pet owners who can’t bear to leave their furry friends behind. But this tourist town smells trouble when a killer goes on the prowl….

Holly Miller’s life has gone to the dogs. She has no job and her boyfriend’s old girlfriend wants him back and since she is his boss’s daughter she is always around.  Then she gets a phone call to return home to Wagtail from her grandmother’s friend saying her grandmother needs her. She wastes no time, hops into her boyfriend’s car, tells him she will call when she knows more and heads to Virginia.  She makes a quick stop for gas before heading up the mountain and picks up a “hitchhiker” –  A Jack Russell Terrier who has been left behind by someone makes himself right at home in the car. 

When they reach Wagtail both are welcomed with open arms.  Her grandmother seems fine but Holly decides to stick around. It’s been a long time since they have spent time together and she thinks her grandmother is keeping something from her.

Then she learns there was a hit and run accident and one of the Inn’s employees was killed. Holly thinks it may not have been so much of an accident. She is like a dog with a bone as she and her furry friends do their best to sniff out the killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 
What a wonderful idea for a cozy mystery series – Paws & Claws!! Wagtail sounds like an animal lover’s paradise. Imagine a town dedicated to pets and their humans. Because you know we don’t own out pets, they are part of our family and they each have their own person/s. My husband is definitely our 2 dogs person. They tolerate being left here with me while he is at work but when he gets home I no longer exist unless they want to lick my ice cream bowl. The Jack Russell and a cute little calico kitten have both chosen Holly as their person.

Krista Davis has created a wonderful setting in Wagtail. There is no way to describe this idyllic place in this review, you will just have to read the book. I would love to live there 365 days a year.

She has also given us a wonderful group of characters both 2 legged and 4 legged. Unique, colorful and real and they span all ages.  Add to that a well-plotted mystery that keeps us guessing to the finish.

If I had a tail it would be wagging in pure delight. I loved this story!!  A fantastic series debut!! I cannot wait for my visit to The Sugar Maple Inn. 

a perfect escape



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In addition to Krista’s giveaway I have 2 copies of Murder, She Barked
courtesy of Penguin 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 Krista for 5 Bonus Entries and an entry to win a bandanna!

What clever things do your dogs and cats do?

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

Contest Will End December 4, 2013 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.


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.”

Jun 092012

The Diva Digs Up the Dirt
(A Domestic Diva Mystery)

6th Book In Series

A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group

Cover Illustration by Teresa Fasolino
Cover Design by Diane Kolsky

The Diva Digs Up the Dirt (A Domestic Diva Mystery)

All Sophie wants to do is sit back and relax and enjoy her one week of vacation. Natasha is not going to let that happen. She has plans to become a television star and she is going to use Sophie’s backyard to put her plan in motion. She has entered Sophie to be on the show Tear It With Troy and Sophie has won a backyard makeover.

Natasha has things under control and is driving the host Troy absolutely crazy. It is the perfect time for Sophie to make her getaway. She decides she is going to hideout, I mean head over, to her boyfriend Wolf’s house to replace a dead rose bush that she was planning to do to surprise him before all the hoopla landed at her house.

Sophie quickly learns “no good deed goes unpunished” when she digs up more than a dead rose bush. She also digs up a purse and according to the information inside it belongs to Wolf’s wife, his wife that has been missing for years.

Things don’t look good for Wolf. Of course he is the number one suspect. His mother-in-law running around town saying he murdered her daughter doesn’t help matters. Our Domestic Diva is on the case. She will dig up the clues to lead her to the real culprit.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have to admit I was laughing out loud for many parts of this book. This is not your typical murder mystery or even typical cozy mystery. It is so freaking good!!:) It is a little dark in places and has crazy twists and turns. I was even a little tearful a couple times.

I just love Sophie. She is an independent woman that doesn’t back down to a challenge and she knows when to pick her battles. The last thing she wanted was her backyard bulldozed but decided a makeover may not be an awful idea. Plus it kept Natasha busy, she really needs to get her house keys back from that woman.

There were a few interesting characters in this installment but Desdemona was by far the most curious. I won’t call her a stalker but she definitely was a lurker. Showing up in unexpected places.

There is also more than murder happening around this town, a expensive piece of art goes missing, a plethora of poisoning seems to be occurring, and what the heck is that smell.

Krista Davis has a winner on her hands. The Diva Digs Up the Dirt is a fresh and exciting who-dun-it you won’t be able to put down.


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To Find Out More About Krista Davis check out her website.

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.”


Review: The Diva Cooks A Goose by Krista Davis

 Reviews From Dollycas's Thoughts  Comments Off on Review: The Diva Cooks A Goose by Krista Davis
Oct 172011

Berkley Prime Crime Mystery

A Division Of Penguin Publishing

4th in the Domestic Diva Mystery Series

Available Now!
The key characters in this series are Sophie and Natasha.  Natasha happens to be the girlfriend of Sophie’s ex-husband Mars (short for Marshall) and they each offer us wonderful household tips from their syndicated newspaper columns at the start of each chapter.

This book revolves around the Christmas Season and brings all the families and neighbors together.  All is cherry and bright until a Grinch steals all of the Christmas presents from one neighborhood as all the neighbors are gathered for the annual holiday celebration.  They even took the food.  Sophie tries to stem the neighbors from turning against each other as they try to figure out who is responsible and she succeeds in getting them to work together to come up with toys so the children have gifts in the morning.
One crisis down, another arises when Sophie’s sister-in-law’s father shows up at a family gathering with a diva all his own.  He and his wife had only been separated for a very short time and this guest’s arrival does not sit well with anyone at all.  When the new diva becomes victim of some well thought out foul play, Sophie’s relatives of  course considered prime suspects.  Sophie’s detective boyfriend in out of town visiting his parents so it’s up to Sophie to save the holidays.


First of all I apologize for the tardiness of this review.  Life some times get in the way of best laid plans.
This is such a fun series and the last book had more adventure that most series have in all the books together.  It was definitely hard to put down.  There were so many people that could have committed both the robberies and the murder that it truly came down to the very last chapter before all the clues came together to provide all the answers to nab the criminals.  Sophie put it all together literally in the “nick” of time before her “goose” was literally cooked and she almost had her sister baked too.

This was the perfect mystery, every time you thought you had it figured out another clue sent you in another direction.  It was not only well written, but wonderfully staged and plotted.  The new characters added a whole new dimension to this story, I hope some of them reappear in future editions, especially Ginger.  

I have to mention the pets that add the important feature necessary in every great mystery, including this one.  Daisy, the dog with the keen senses of smell, hearing and the ability to know the good guys from the creeps :).  Mochie, the cat with the attitude and the knack of knowing just when to pounce and when to just walk away.  Plus the two little ragdoll kittens, Alice and Jasper, cute, cuddly and key to some clues in the mystery. 

To say this book is full of “mystery and mayhem” is a understatement. This story is beyond a little chaos and clues, it takes the cozy mystery to a whole new realm and I enjoyed every minute of it and can’t wait for more.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received these books free from Berkley Prime Crime,  a Division of Penguin Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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.”


COZY WEDNESDAY – With Author Krista Davis

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Oct 172011

This post originally appeared on Dollycas’s Thoughts September 7, 2011.

I love Cozy Wednesdays and hope you do too.  Today my special guest, Krista Davis, author of The Domestic Diva Mysteries. is here and I am really excited.  The latest book in the series, The Diva Haunts the House  is the perfect fall read because “This Halloween A Murderer Is Up To Mischief”.
With yesterday being New Release Tuesday and Krista’s book coming out you know she has been extremely busy getting ready for her big day.  I am so happy she is here today to spend some time with us!
Welcome Krista!!!
Thank you for inviting me!
We’re Watching You!

A dear friend gave me a T-shirt that says Careful, or you’ll end up in my novel. I love that shirt. There’s a little bit of truth in that saying. People often ask writers where we get our ideas. We get them from you!

People are fascinating, and writers are people-watchers. We observe the argument between boyfriend and girlfriend at a bar. We notice the adoring smile of a grandmother in the park with her grandchild. We watch the harried mom on her cell phone in the grocery store who doesn’t realize that her three young children are tossing their favorite candies into her shopping cart.
Even animals draw our attention. A baby snake made its way into my house recently. I’m not a snake person, and this little guy was moving fast. I tossed the closest thing, a dog dish, over top of it so it wouldn’t disappear. Ugh. What’s worse than a snake in the house under a dog dish? A snake on the loose in the house! A normal person eventually forgets about that little snake. A writer uses it in a book.
The Diva Haunts the House (A Domestic Diva Mystery)When I was writing THE DIVA HAUNTS THE HOUSE, I came to a part where I needed something spooky to happen. An event that couldn’t be explained, yet, Sophie, my protagonist, had to be able to figure out how it happened. While I was mulling over the possibilities, I heard a creepy voice in my house. I figured out where it came from right away, but no one else was home. What set it off? I won’t spoil the fun — you’ll recognize the event toward the end of the book. It’s something that really happened to me.
The Diva Cooks a Goose (A Domestic Diva Mystery)Of course, we also draw information from the news. In THE DIVA COOKS A GOOSE, Christmas gifts are stolen right out from under the tree. Two days before the book was released, a local man was arrested for stealing wrapped Christmas gifts from someone’s house. They identified him because he dropped his cell phone! Now seriously, aside from the just plain meanness of stealing Christmas gifts, who would steal a wrapped gift? It could be socks or underwear or a talking fish. He was willing to risk jail time for that?
Then there are the fun characters. Do you have some of these in your life? The relative who puts his foot in his mouth every holiday? The co-worker who thinks she’s always right? The boss whose secretary runs the show while he takes the credit? The distant relative who only turns up when he needs a favor? The mom who thinks her angelic child can do nothing wrong, even when the chocolate evidence is smeared all over his mouth?
People are funny, and mean, and deceptive, and clueless, and kind. And since no one is perfect (in spite of the fact that some people think they are perfect), most of us are all of those things at one time or another. Writers are always thinking about what makes people tick because they make life, and mysteries, interesting.
Be careful, writers are watching!!! I Love It!!!
Thank you so much Krista for sharing how authors get their ideas.  If you have a friend that is an author you could end up in their book and it will probably be for something you don’t even know they observed until you read it in a book and you say, “hmmmm, that same thing happened to me once.” and then realize OMG, they are writing about me!!!  
Cover Illustrationby Teresa Fasolino

Cover Design

by Diana Kolsky

5th in the series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Published by The Penguin Group
Domestic Divas Sophie Winston and Natasha Smith are trying to outdo each other with their Halloween plans.  Sophie is in charge of the community haunted house while Natasha is planning a huge Halloween Bash at her home. Sophie is worried the fake haunted house is really haunted and Natasha has costumes and caters on her mind.
Sophie was not really planning to attend Natasha’s party but she ends up there to try to solve a small problem.  When she arrives she discovers a much bigger problem, one a Natasha’s guests, part of an elaborate Halloween display in the front yard, is not just playing dead,  he is actually, really, very dead and he has two puncture marks on his neck!
Is there a vampire loose in Old Town?  As people stock up on garlic, Sophie is going to figure out who is responsible for all this mischief and murder!!


This entire series has been terrific, but The Diva Haunts the House is so much fun. You could say it’s “SPOOKTACULAR”!  I caught myself laughing out loud several times.  All the kids involved in the haunted house brought back some wonderful memories from way back when.
The constant neediness of Natasha to independent Sophie is such a great contrast.  How could the same man have fallen in love with both these women? The dialogue between any of the two or all three together is perfectly written whether serious or hilarious. The mystery my have you laying in a supply of garlic.
I like that this book is being released well in advance of Halloween. There are wonderful tips, recipes and ideas for your own Halloween party, without the dead body in the front yard of course.
Please take a moment to check out Krista’s Web Page. There is even a cool map there of Sophie’s neighborhood!

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Berkley Prime Crime. 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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