Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Spotlights

Gambling with Murder: A Southern California Mystery by Lida Sideris #Spotlight / #Giveaway @lidasideris – Great Escapes Book Tour


It is my pleasure to shine my spotlight on Gambling with Murder: A Southern California Mystery
by Lida Sideris today!

About Gambling for Murder


Gambling with Murder: A Southern California Mystery
Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – California
Level Best Books (March 29, 2022)
Paperback, 260 pages
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09QYW2VYG

A late-night call is all it takes for rookie lawyer Corrie Locke to kiss her day job at the movie studio goodbye, and do what she does best: flex her sweet P.I. skills and go undercover to find a senior who’s missing from a posh retirement community. One small stumbling block: skirting past security to gain inside access to the exclusive Villa Sunset. Time to call in the heavy artillery. Besides former security guard turned legal assistant—now wannabe P.I.—Veera, Corrie relies on a secret weapon: her mother, a surprisingly eager addition to Corrie’s team. Armed with enough pepper spray to take down a band of Navy Seals, Mom impersonates a senior to infiltrate the Villa, Corrie and Veera in tow. Turns out the job’s not as easy as they’d thought. These seniors have tricks tucked up their sleeves and aren’t afraid of using them.

 

The action gets dicey when the missing senior case turns into attempted murder by a criminal mind who’s always one step ahead. Corrie’s hot on the trail, but finds more than she bargained for…when her mother becomes a target.

 

About Lida Sideris

Lida Sideris’ first stint after law school was a newbie lawyer’s dream: working as an entertainment attorney for a movie studio…kind of like her heroine, Corrie Locke, except without the homicides. Lida was one of two national winners of the Helen McCloy Mystery Writers of America Scholarship Award and a Silver Falchion Award Finalist. She lives in the northern tip of Southern California with her family, rescue dogs and a flock of uppity chickens. To learn more, please visit: www.LidaSideris.com

Author Links

Website   Facebook   BookBub    Twitter: @lidasideris   Instagram: @lida_sideris

Purchase Links – Amazon

 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
March 29 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 29 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – GUEST POST
March 30 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT  
March 30 – Books Blog – SPOTLIGHT
March 31 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
March 31 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
April 1 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 1 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 2 – StoreyBook Reviews  – GUEST POST
April 2 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
April 3 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT WITH RECIPE
April 3 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
April 4 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 5 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
April 5 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
April 6 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 7 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
April 7 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FollowMe for Murder: A Trending Topic Mystery by Sarah E Burr #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @SarahEBurr


#FollowMe for Murder: A Trending Topic Mystery
by Sarah E Burr

About #FollowMe for Murder


#FollowMe for Murder: A Trending Topic Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – In the fictional, seaside town of Central Shores, Delaware.
Level Best Books (February 15, 2022)
Print length ‏ : ‎ 300 pages
ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09MYP1GGM

Meet 28-year-old influencer and celebrity blogger Coco Cline, who has started her own social media consulting firm in her hometown of Central Shores, Delaware. Her new clients, Sean and Olivia Chen, are ten days away from the grand opening of their specialty consignment shop when Coco stumbles across their store clerk Stacy dead behind the register.

Worried that a cloud of suspicion will ruin their chances of a successful business launch, the Chens ask Coco to work alongside the inexperienced Central Shores police force to speed up the investigation. Using her celebrity status and social media savviness, Coco realizes Stacy’s seemingly ordinary life was all an act. Following a trail of cryptic online posts, confusing timelines, and muddied gossip, Coco and her friends discover Stacy’s questionable relationships just might be the reason for her untimely demise.

Murder is about to go viral in #FollowMe for Murder, a Trending Topic Mystery.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Coco Cline has been a blogger and Instagram influencer for quite a while. She is now adding social media consultant to her resume. Her first clients are opening a consignment store and want their grand opening to be a rousing success. They are banking on Coco to boost their online presence. Sean and Olivia Chen have also hired a clerk to help them get everything set up and to help them man the store after it opens.

Coco has done a lot of work for the couple and when she arrives at the store for yet another meeting her clients are running late. She lets herself in with a key they provided and finds Stacy, their clerk dead on the floor. The Chens seem to be more worried about how the murder will affect their grand opening than they are about their dead employee. They ask Coco to work with the police to get the store cleared as quickly as possible so they will be ready to open as planned.

The Central Shores police have never really handled a crime like this and call in county reinforcements but they don’t seem to have much of a clue either. This leads Coco to use all her assets to investigate the murder herself. It isn’t long before she learns Stacy has some interesting relationships that just may have led to her death. Now Coco just needs to follow the clues to nab the culprit that made murder go viral in quiet Central Shores.


I love Coco Cline. She is an internet maven and can dig through social media threads to get the information she needs to track down a killer and the truth about the victim. It is amazing what she can find but she needs to use her keen intellect to put all the clues together. She is very relatable, professional, and understanding, so much so it could get her in trouble. She is like a breath of fresh air in the cozy world.

The author has also surrounded Coco with a great supporting cast. Charlotte and Jasper are true friends that have her back. They have their flaws but felt true to life. I am a little concerned about Coco’s boyfriend, Hudson though. The romance was the only part of this story that really didn’t work for me. I hope there is more to Hudson under the surface or Coco moves on.

The author has taken on a fresh theme. Police use the internet to solve crimes but these officers and staff have nowhere near the knowledge and capability of Coco. She does try to share everything she can with the cops but are they really following through.

Ms. Burr has plotted out a very convincing mystery with plenty of twists and turns to keep us readers on our toes. The story was well-paced leading up to a very exciting reveal. I made the mistake of starting this book late one night and only made it through about 20% when I had to put it down. I was excited to get back to it the next evening and I never left my seat until I read the last word.  The reveal and ending were fabulous and surprising.

I found #FollowMe for Murder to be a very entertaining read and a nice debut for this series. With so many people glued to their phones and social media accounts, this series is so timely. Even though I really enjoyed this book I may not be the perfect demographic for it. I think millennials will love it and maybe it will be their introduction to cozy mysteries and I am all for that!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Sarah E. Burr

Sarah E. Burr lives near New York City. Hailing from the small town of Appleton, Maine, she has been dreaming of being Nancy Drew since she was a little girl. Since Sarah wasn’t stumbling across any crime scenes in corporate America, she left her career in healthcare technology to write mysteries of her own.

Her novel #FollowMe for Murder, first in the Trending Topic Mysteries, shines the spotlight on a social media PR expert after she discovers a dead body in her clients’ store, forcing her to untangle a web of secrets in her small, beach-side town.

Sarah is also the author of the Court of Mystery series and the Glenmyre Whim Mysteries. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, currently serving as the New York Tri-State Chapter’s social media guru. When she’s not spinning up new stories, Sarah is off seeing Broadway musicals, reading up a storm, video gaming, and enjoying walks with her dog, Eevee.

Author Links 

Webpage    Facebook    Instagram    Twitter    Goodreads    BookBub    Pinterest    YouTube    LinkedIn

Purchase Link: Amazon  

Also by Sarah E. Burr

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
February 23 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
February 23 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 24 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 24 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
February 25 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 25 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
February 26 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 26 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
February 27 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 28 – Books Blog – SPOTLIGHT
March 1 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE
March 1 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 2 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
March 2 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
March 3 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
March 3 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
March 4 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  
March 4 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW

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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 My Reading Itinerary Monday

My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #8 – 2022

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be traveling to California, Indiana, and Italy!

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

Escapes Completed


Live, Local, and Dead (A Vermont Radio Mystery)
by Nikki Knight
Release Date February 8, 2022
Setting – Vermont
I will feature this book this week for Cozy Wednesday!


The Secret in the Wall: A Novel (Silver Rush Mysteries)
by Ann Parker
Release Date – February 15, 2022
Setting – California
The Great Escapes Tour stops here this Thursday!


#FollowMe for Murder: A Trending Topic Mystery
by Sarah E Burr
Release Date – February 15, 2022
Setting – Deleware
The Great Escapes Tour stops here this Friday!


Fit For Murder (Adina Donati, Accidental Sleuth)
by Cassidy Salem
Release Date – October 25, 2019
Setting – Washington D.C.
My review will be up on Saturday!

Scheduled Escapes


Murder Faux Paws: A Nick and Nora Mystery
by T. C. LoTempio
Release Date – February 22, 2022
Setting – California
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Tuesday!


Batter Off Dead (A Country Store Mystery)
by Maddie Day
Release Date – February 22, 2022
Setting – Indiana
I will feature this book next week for Cozy Wednesday!


Evil Under the Tuscan Sun (A Tuscan Cooking School Mystery)
by Stephanie Cole
Release Date – February 1, 2022
Setting – Italy
For Review

Future Escapes

February 20 – 26, 2022



Click Here to check out my Current Giveaways!

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

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in My Reading Itinerary Monday

My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #7 – 2022


Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be traveling to Vermont, California, and Deleware!

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

Escapes Completed


A Dash of Death (A Cocktails and Catering Mystery)
by Michelle Hillen Klump
Release Date – February 8, 2022
Setting – Texas
The Great Escapes Tour stops here this week for Cozy Wednesday!


Strong Suspicions: A Sophie Strong Mystery
by Amy Renshaw
Release Date – September 9, 2021
Setting – Wisconsin
My Review will be up Thursday! 


Night Shift (A Helping Hands Mystery)
by Annelise Ryan
Release Date – July 28, 2020
Setting – Wisconsin
My Flashback Friday Read!


Remembering Rosie: Memories of a Wisconsin Farm Girl
by Nadine A Block
Release Date – June 22, 2021
Setting – Wisconsin
I will be reviewing this book next Tuesday!

Scheduled Escapes


Live, Local, and Dead (A Vermont Radio Mystery)
by Nikki Knight
Release Date February 8, 2022
Setting – Vermont
I will feature this book next week for Cozy Wednesday!


The Secret in the Wall: A Novel (Silver Rush Mysteries)
by Ann Parker
Release Date – February 15, 2022
Setting – California
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Thursday!


#FollowMe for Murder: A Trending Topic Mystery
by Sarah E Burr
Release Date – February 15, 2022
Setting – Deleware
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Friday!

Future Escapes

February 13 – 19, 2022


Click Here to check out my Current Giveaways!

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

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in My Reading Itinerary Monday

My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #5 – 2022

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be traveling to Ohio, Connecticut, and back to Wisconsin!

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

Escapes Completed


Honey Roasted (A Coffeehouse Mystery)
by Cleo Coyle
Release Date – February 1, 2022
Setting – New York
The Great Escapes Tour stops here this week for Cozy Wednesday!


On Borrowed Crime: A Jane Doe Book Club Mystery
by Kate Young
Release Date – October 6, 2020
Setting – Georgia
My Flashback Friday Read!


The Twist and Shout Murder: A Swinging Sixties Mystery
by Teresa Trent
Release Date – January 4, 2022
Setting – Texas
The Great Escapes Tour will stop here on next Tuesday!

Scheduled Escapes


A Killer Sundae (An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery)
by Abby Collette
Release Date – January 4, 2022
Setting – Ohio
The Great Escapes Book Tour stops here next week for Cozy Wednesday!


Show Me the Bunny (A Melanie Travis Mystery)
by Laurien Berenson
Release Date – January 25, 2022
Setting – Connecticut
For Review


Stiff Competition (Mattie Winston Mysteries)
by Annelise Ryan
Release Date – February 1, 2016
Setting – Wisconsin
My Flashback Friday Read and
for the Alphabet Soup Mini Challenge

Future Escapes

January 30 – February 5, 2022


Click Here to check out my Current Giveaways!

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

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in My Reading Itinerary Monday

My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #4 – 2022

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be traveling to New York, Georgia, and Texas!

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

Escapes Completed


Wolf Hollow (A Lew Ferris Mystery)
by Victoria Houston
Release Date – January 11, 2022
Setting – Wisconsin
I will feature this book this week on Cozy Wednesday!


Ice Cold Murder (Charlie Kingsley Mysteries)
by Michele PW (Pariza Wacek)
Release Date – January 25, 2022
Setting – Wisconsin
The Great Escapes Tour stops here this Thursday!


Yoga Pant Nation: A Novel (Class Mom)
by Laurie Gelman
Release Date – July 13, 2021
Setting – Kansas
My Flashback Friday Read!


Bake, Borrow, and Steal: A Bakeshop Mystery
by Ellie Alexander
Release Date – December 28, 2021
Setting – Oregon
For Review

Scheduled Escapes


Honey Roasted (A Coffeehouse Mystery)
by Cleo Coyle
Release Date – February 1, 2022
Setting – New York
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next week for Cozy Wednesday!


On Borrowed Crime: A Jane Doe Book Club Mystery
by Kate Young
Release Date – October 6, 2020
Setting – Georgia
My Flashback Friday Read!


The Twist and Shout Murder: A Swinging Sixties Mystery
by Teresa Trent
Release Date – January 4, 2022
Setting – Texas
The Great Escapes Tour will stop here on February 8, 2022

Future Escapes

January 23 – 29, 2022


Click Here to check out my Current Giveaways!

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

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

Lies of Omission: A Hanneke Bauer Mystery by Kathleen Ernst #Review


Lies of Omission: A Hanneke Bauer Mystery
Historical Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Level Best Books (November 30, 2021)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 260 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 168512027X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1685120276
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09K4LWGL8

When Pomeranian immigrant Hanneke Bauer reaches Wisconsin in 1855, she believes her dearest dreams are coming true. After reuniting with her husband Fridolin at his farm near Watertown, she will help create a true home. Instead, she receives the shocking news that he is dead.

Hanneke quickly learns that Wisconsin life is not as bucolic as it seems. Alone and destitute, she is determined to discover the details of Fridolin’s death. Her efforts prompt animosity from his friends, anger the deputy sheriff and entangle her in the rising tide of anti-immigrant sentiment. Finding herself in danger, Hanneke races to learn the truth about her husband’s secrets and lies…before a killer can silence her forever.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Like many Pomeranian immigrants, Hanneke Bauer is coming to America full of dreams for her future. She has traveled a long way to reunite with her husband Fridolin and has finally reached Wisconsin. But he wasn’t there to meet her when she got off the ship so she makes her own way to Watertown anxious to start their life together. Her search leads her to a local hotel. There she learns her husband was killed in a freak farming accident and that he never mentioned to anyone about having a wife. The sheriff even tells her to get out of his town. Scared and unsure how to proceed she befriends a young pregnant woman who gives her a job and a place to rest. She quickly learns that America is not the safe haven she sought. She also knows in her heart her husband’s death was not an accident. As she tries to get to the truth she finds that her husband omitted much about his life in Wisconsin. She puts herself in danger to find out what he was hiding and why.  An investigation that could get her killed as well.


Kathleen Ernst is an amazing storyteller. In this first book in the Hanneke Bauer Mystery Series following the wonderful Chloe Ellefson Mystery Series, she takes her readers back to a tumultuous time in Wisconsin. In 1855 it was the height of the nativist movement where people were up in arms by all Irish and German Catholic immigrants flowing into the country. It was also the time of the Fugitive Slave Act and slaves who had escaped bondage traveled through Wisconsin north for freedom. We see this time through Hanneke’s eyes as she tries to make her way in her new world. The author has fictionalized this time but I think she captured it realistically.

Hanneke is a strong courageous woman, she had to be. She had no idea who she could trust especially when no one believed she was Fridolin’s wife. She also had no money to return home. Her friend Angela was a strong woman as well as she was dealing with making a life for herself after her brother left her. Both women are so well crafted. They are easy to identify with and root for. Ms. Ernst has surrounded these women with a real menagerie of supporting cast that ran the gambit of creepy, frightening, and mean. By the end, thankfully, a few helpful folks enter the story showing there were good people in the area. 

The mystery of Fridolin’s death was very complex. The title fits the story perfectly. Lies of Omission were the driving force behind all of Hanneke’s experiences. Her drive to delve for the truth was something I really admired. She made some wrong assumptions and walked dangerous lines which came from the perfectly timed twists the author plotted out so well. She also painted such vivid pictures with her words to set every scene whether Hanneke was walking down a dirt road or watching protestors marching through the town, or when she made an unbelievable discovery. With the story being set so close to home for me I felt even closer to Hanneke and her struggle.

Lies of Omission was a fantastic read. I am very excited about this series. The author draws from all her historical studies to write stories that stick with her readers. This one will surely stick with me until we get to visit Hanneke Bauer again. You will definitely find Lies of Ommission on my Best Reads List for 2022. I am giving it my Paradise Rating. Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Kathleen Ernst is a social historian, educator, and bestselling author. Kathleen’s forty-one published books encompass mysteries, historical fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. The Chloe Ellefson Mysteries feature a museum curator whose knowledge of the past helps solve contemporary crimes. Her children’s books include twenty titles for American Girl. Honors for Kathleen’s work include multiple Agatha nominations, an Edgar nomination, a Lovey Award for Best Traditional Mystery, the American Heritage Women in the Arts Recognition Award for Literature from the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, a Major Achievement Award from the Council for Wisconsin Writers, the Sterling North Legacy Award for Children’s Literature, and an Emmy Award for Children’s Instructional Programming. Kathleen lives in Middleton, Wisconsin, with her husband Scott (AKA Mr. Ernst) and feline muse Eliza.

Author Links

Amazon Profile  Goodreads Profile  LinkedIn Profile  YouTube Channel  Facebook Fan Page 

News Page  Blog Postings  Calendar  Programs  


Also by this Author
Not all are available for Kindle or purchase but you may be able to find them at your local library.

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 My Reading Itinerary Monday

My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #3 – 2022

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be traveling to nearby places in Wisconsin, then off to Kansas!

Here’s what I read and what I have planned for this week.
I had to switch one book up from last week’s schedule.
I will be reading and reviewing Death by the Finish Line soon.

Escapes Completed


Laughing Can Kill You: A Hazel Rose Book Group Mystery
by Maggie King
Release Date – November 25, 2021
Setting – Virginia
The Great Escapes Tour stops here this week for Cozy Wednesday!


Lies of Omission: A Hanneke Bauer Mystery
by Kathleen Ernst
Release Date – November 30, 2021
Setting – Wisconsin
My Review will be up Thursday.


Pup Fiction (A Melanie Travis Mystery)
by Laurien Berenson
Release Date – June 29, 2021
Setting – Connecticut
My Flashback Friday Read


Up to No Gouda (Grilled Cheese Mysteries)
by Linda Reilly
Release Date – January 25, 2022
Setting – Vermont
My Review will be up next Tuesday!

Scheduled Escapes


Wolf Hollow (A Lew Ferris Mystery)
by Victoria Houston
Release Date – January 11, 2022
Setting – Wisconsin
I will feature this book next week on Cozy Wednesday!


Ice Cold Murder (Charlie Kingsley Mysteries)
by Michele PW (Pariza Wacek)
Release Date – January 25, 2022
Setting – Wisconsin
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Thursday!


Yoga Pant Nation: A Novel (Class Mom)
by Laurie Gelman
Release Date – July 13, 2021
Setting – Kansas
My Flashback Friday Read

Future Escapes

January 16 – 22, 2022


Click Here to check out my Current Giveaways!

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

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Guest Posts

Cozy Wednesday with Author Lori Robbins – Author of Murder in Second Position – #GuestPost / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @lorirobbins99

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am thrilled to welcome Lori Robbins to
Escape With Dollycas today!


Hi Lori,
Welcome to Escape With Dollycas! 

Hi Lori,
I hope your readers enjoy this guest post.

Fiction That’s True to Life
by Lori Robbins

 

People often ask how I come up with my plots. It’s a reasonable question since my life would appear to offer little in the way of crime-related inspiration. Nonetheless, commonplace events, past and present, fuel my stories. Everything that happens on a typical day, from standing in line for a Covid test to struggling with a difficult coworker, is fodder for my crime fiction. In other words, everything I write is true, but none of it is real.

On the other hand, writing amateur sleuth mysteries poses a creative challenge of no small proportion. The only way to credibly place a teacher, a dancer, a bookseller, or a baker at the heart of a murder investigation is to somehow make the impossible seem inevitable. For me, the best way to solve the problem is to imagine myself in the protagonist’s place. That’s why both my mystery series are inspired by my lived experience.

My first career was as a dancer. It’s a world I know intimately, and because it’s filled with inherent conflict it works well as a dramatic framework for a murder mystery. A ballerina’s professional life is brutally short, even without a fictional crime thrown into the mix, and this vulnerability makes dancers extremely susceptible to all kinds of pressure.  An added element of tension is embedded in the fact that dancers aren’t simply in competition with each other. They’re also in competition with themselves: their own bodies and their own frailties. The stresses dancers face on an everyday basis didn’t need much in the way of exaggeration to provide plenty of motivation for murder. The emotions are real, even if the situation is fiction.

Leah, the protagonist of the On Pointe Mystery series, is a thirty-something ballerina who is battling the limitations of her own body when she is thrust into a murder investigation. Her fraught relationships with food, with her own body, and with her fellow dancers are all grounded in reality. I’ve read and watched many fictionalized accounts of life in a professional dance company, and it really bothers me when the details aren’t true to life. Those elements are something I very much wanted to get right in my books.

The narrative arc of Murder in Second Position doesn’t simply rest upon the murder investigation. It also follows Leah’s growth as a human being as she navigates a perilous path in an unforgiving environment. In the end, she learns there’s more to life, and to her, than being onstage. That’s a lesson, and a challenge, many people face, now more than ever. Others have found themselves outsourced and out of work and have to rebuild their lives in ways they never imagined they could do. Leah’s story is pure invention. Leah’s life is real.

After my dance career ended I became an English teacher. Working in a public high school provided enough material for a library’s worth of murder mysteries.  This is fortunate, for my first novel, Lesson Plan for Murder will be rereleased in June 2022 as the first in a three-part Master Class Mystery series. The mundane events of life as a teacher were fertile ground for life as a writer.

My biggest problem in crafting a realistic backdrop for the story was that the craziest parts of being a teacher seemed too farfetched. I once wrote a passage my editor thought was unrealistic. Except it was toned-down version of an email one of my colleagues actually received from an irate parent. In that case, truth was too strange for fiction.

Within that context, a crime-fighting English teacher feels a lot more reasonable. Liz Hopewell, like ballerina Leah Siderova, is a most unlikely choice as a sleuth. But, not unlike the rest of us, they have to use their wit, their intelligence, and their determination to survive.

I’ll admit that a story about an ex-cop, who has a tortured past and a Glock pistol, may seem more credible. And there’s undeniable appeal in books and movies that follow the adventures of detectives who possess tech skills an MIT grad would envy. It’s thrilling to watch these pros successfully thwart a global conspiracy.

But that’s just not me, or anyone I know. I’ve never been tempted to get into a high-speed car chase. I still get nervous every time I’m stuck in New York City traffic. But the urge to take bold action is within us all.

Really.

Thank you Lori so much for visiting today. 

About Murder in Second Position 


Murder in Second Position: An On Pointe Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Level Best Books (November 23, 2021)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 258 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1685120210
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1685120214
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09FM1JTFL

Ballerina Leah Siderova belongs onstage. Not in an interrogation room at Manhattan’s Twentieth Precinct. And yet, for the second time in less than a year, that’s where she has a starring role. It wasn’t her fault someone killed the autocratic new director of the American Ballet Company. And it wasn’t her job to find the killer.

 

Leah is determined to stay as far away as possible from the murder investigation. After all, if she were going to kill someone, it would have been the woman who’s been relentlessly trolling her on social media. And that’s where things get complicated. Because when dancers say “ballet can be murder” they don’t mean it literally.

 

Most of the time.

About Lori Robbins

Brooklyn-born Lori Robbins began dancing at age 16 and launched her professional career three years later. She studied modern dance at the Martha Graham School and ballet at the New York Conservatory of Dance. Robbins performed with a number of dance companies, including Ballet Hispanico, the Des Moines Ballet, and the St. Louis Concert Ballet. After ten very lean years as a dancer she attended Hunter College, graduating summa cum laude with a major in British Literature and a minor in Classics.

The opening book in her On Pointe Mystery Series, Murder in First Position, won the Indie Book Award for Best Mystery, was a finalist for a Silver Falchion, and is currently on the short list for a Mystery & Mayhem Book Award. Murder in Second Position will be released November 23, 2021. Her debut mystery, Lesson Plan for Murder, won the Silver Falchion for Best Cozy Mystery and was a finalist in the Readers’ Choice and Indie Book Awards. It will be re-released in June 2022. She authored two short stories in 2021: “Accidents Happen” in Mystery Most Diabolical, and “Leading Ladies” in Justice for All. She is an expert in the homicidal impulses everyday life inspires.

Author Links

Webpage      Facebook      Twitter        Instagram       BookBub        Amazon Author Link          Goodreads Link 

Purchase Link – Amazon 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
January 5 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
January 5 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 6 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST
January 6 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
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January 7 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
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January 9 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
January 9 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – CHARACTER GUEST POST
January 10 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
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January 11 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 12 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  
January 12 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – GUEST POST

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Vintage Trailers and Blackmailers – A Jules Keene Glamping Mystery by Heather Weidner #AuthorInterview / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @HeatherWeidner1


Vintage Trailers and Blackmailers A Jules Keene Glamping Mystery
by Heather Weidner

I am very disappointed that my reading calendar was full so I can’t review this book right now but am happy to have Heather Weidner return to Escape With Dollycas for another interview.


Hi Heather.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m Heather Weidner, and I write the Jules Keene Glamping Mysteries and the Delanie Fitzgerald Mysteries. By day, I’m an IT manager, and I live with my husband and a pair of crazy Jack Russell Terriers in Central Virginia.

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

Surprisingly, a lot of research goes into writing mysteries. I want to make sure that I get the details right. For this series, I did a lot of background research on vintage trailers and tiny houses. I am fascinated by both, and they give Jules an opportunity to show off her decorating skills as she themes each to add to her resort.

Do you ever suffer from Writer’s Block?

Sometimes, but I do a detailed outline for each book, and that helps me as I’m writing. I have an idea of what goes in each chapter. It also helps me not to get bogged down or stuck in the book’s saggy middle. (It also makes it easier when I write the book’s synopsis.)

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

Writing is a lot of work. If you want to be published, you need to be persistent. Make sure that you put the time in to learn your craft and genre, build your author platform (website, email list, social sites), and build relationships.

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

I love to read and kayak at the reservoir near my home. I also love to travel and see new sites. I live in Virginia, so there are so many daytrips to see the sights and taste some amazing food.

How has the COVID pandemic affected you and you’re writing?

It has been a crazy time, but it has also been productive for me. At the beginning when we switched to work-from-home, I committed my daily commute time and lunch to writing (about 2 to 2.5 hours a day). I finished 4 novels, 1 novella, and 2 short stories.

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

I would love to go to Scotland and Ireland with a stop on the way back in Iceland. I’ve been working on my family’s genealogy over the years, and I would like to see where my ancestors came from. Hopefully, we’ll get to travel again soon.

What is next on the horizon for you?

I have finished the next two books in the Jules Keene Glamping series, Film Crews and Rendezvous (October 2022), and Christmas Lights and Cat Fights (October 2023). I’m working on a new series set in a beach community, and the fourth Delanie Fitzgerald mystery should be out next year.

Thank you Heather for visiting today! I hope to read Vintage Trailers and Blackmailers soon.

 

About Vintage Trailers and Blackmailers


Vintage Trailers and Blackmailers – A Jules Keene Glamping Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Level Best Books (October 19, 2021)
Digital – ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09GGBFWT5

There is nothing like finding a dead body, clad only in red satin thong, on your property to jolt you from a quiet routine. Jules Keene, owner of the posh Fern Valley Camping Resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains, is thrust into the world of the Dark Web when one of her guests, Ira Perkins, is found murdered in the woods near her vintage trailers. Jules quickly discovers that the man who claimed to be on a writing retreat was not what he seemed, and someone will go to any length to find what he left at her resort. Jules, along with her Jack Russell Terrier sidekick Bijou, has to put the rest of the missing pieces of a blackmailing scheme together before her business is ruined.

 

Jules’s resort, set in the heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains near Charlottesville in the quaint town of Fern Valley, offers guests a unique vacation in refurbished and upcycled vintage trailers. Hoping to expand her offerings, she partners with her maintenance/security guy to create a village of tiny houses, the latest home DIY craze, but a second murder of a reporter interrupts Jules’s expansion plans. Curiosity gets the best of her, and she steps up her sleuthing to find out what Ira Perkins was really doing and what he hid at her resort.

 

More About Heather Weidner

 

Through the years, Heather Weidner has been a cop’s kid, technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, and IT manager. Vintage Trailers and Blackmailers is the first in her cozy mystery series, the Jules Keene Glamping Mysteries. She also writes the Delanie Fitzgerald mystery series set in Virginia (Secret Lives and Private Eyes, The Tulip Shirt Murders, and Glitter, Glam, and Contraband).

Her short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series, 50 Shades of Cabernet, Deadly Southern Charm, and Murder by the Glass, and her novellas appear in The Mutt Mysteries series.

She is a member of Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia, Sisters in Crime – Chessie, Guppies, International Thriller Writers, and James River Writers.

Originally from Virginia Beach, Heather has been a mystery fan since Scooby-Doo and Nancy Drew. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers.

Author Links

Website and Blog  Twitter    Facebook     Instagram  Goodreads   Amazon Authors   Pinterest   LinkedIn   BookBub   AllAuthor   YouTube

Purchase Link – Amazon – 

Also by Heather Weidner

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
October 19 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
October 20 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
October 21 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
October 21 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
October 22 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
October 23 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, GUEST POST
October 23 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
October 24 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 25 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 26 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
October 27 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
October 28 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST
October 29 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 30 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT WITH RECIPE
October 31 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 1 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  

 

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