May 302018
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to have SASHA SILVERMAN drop by for a visit today!

Escape with Sasha Silverman
by Meg Macy

Hi! I’m Sasha Silverman, manager of my family’s Silver Bear Shop & Factory in Silver Hollow. We’re located in the area around Ann Arbor, Michigan. My Uncle Ross is the supervisor of production, and my sister Maddie, an artist, does all our design work for flyers, promotion, brochures, and ads plus social media. She used to work as our office manager, but Aunt Eve – Uncle Ross’s ex-wife – has returned to take over that job. Maddie hopes to open her own graphic design studio, but right now, she’s busy with her fiberglass bear sculpture. Maddie’s design was chosen for the Parade of Bears, which is part of the village’s annual Oktobear Fest. Yes, Okto-BEAR. My sister and I are hosting a Cranbeary Tea party (parents, kids, teddy bears) to kick off the month’s events.

But Maddie and I plan to escape in between the festival and the busier Christmas season – when teddy bear production and holiday events really crank up the stress! We usually go to Mackinac Island for a fall weekend. This year, we forgot to make reservations at our favorite bed-and-breakfast spots. Oops! And for some reason, it seems everyone is heading up north on the weekend we chose. But the Somewhere In Time weekend at the Grand Hotel had a few spots left, for an exorbitant price – so we figured it might be worth it. What’s on the schedule? Apparently, it’s the 25th anniversary of holding the weekend, and the 35th anniversary of the film. Plus, actress Jane Seymour will be attending! How cool is that? I’m sure we’ll have a few fan-girl moments with her, an autograph or two, and hopefully more than a few selfies as well.

On the schedule is a special screening of the film, which we both loved – but haven’t seen in probably a decade – plus a discussion of how the movie was made, an evening cocktail reception (with mimosas, I hope), a Grand Luncheon Buffet along with their usual full breakfast and scrumptious dinners, and a costume promenade. Uh, oh. We have nothing to wear! That meant a pre-escape-escape to find some 1912 era-appropriate hats, shoes, and costumes. I found an ivory satin gown with tiers of lace cascading at an angle from a shirred Empire waist, with a square neckline; Aunt Eve says I can wear her pearls and above the elbow opera gloves. My hat tipped, also at an angle, is crowed with pale roses and other tiny flowers. Maddie is wearing a vintage green silk gown with an ivory lace overlay, since she’s petite, with a rose silk ribbon at the waist. Her wide-brimmed straw hat covered with feathers is larger than Kate Winslet’s in the Titanic film!

I doubt I’ll enjoy my satin heels for long, however. I couldn’t find a pair wide enough. Ouch! They pinch my toes, but I’ll manage to grit my teeth and maybe slip them off under the table while eating lunch and dinner. Maybe I can tiptoe barefoot back to my room each night, which is supposed to have a glimpse of the Mackinac Straits but faces the gorgeous, huge Victorian cottages on the West Bluff. I’m hoping Maddie and I can squeeze in our annual bicycle ride around the island on Sunday afternoon and buy our favorite fudge flavors in town before we have to catch the ferry back to Mackinaw City.

We’ll need a few days to recover from our weekend escape, I’m sure!

~Sasha

Thank you, Sasha/Meg, for dropping by today!

Now let me tell you all about this book.

 

About the Book 

Bear Witness to Murder (A Teddy Bear Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Michigan
Kensington (May 29, 2018)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496709653
Digital ASIN: B075C38DMD

 

 

As autumn air settles into the quaint small town of Silver Hollow, there’s nothing more popular than Sasha’s teddy bears—and murder in cold blood . . .

Silver Bear Shop and Factory manager Sasha Silverman is cozying up to the fall season by hosting Silver Hollow’s Cranbeary Tea Party, the opening event of the village’s Oktobear Fest—a too-cute celebration themed around teddy bears. She barely has a moment to agonize over the return of her former high school rival, Holly Parker, whose new toy and bookstore in town could spell big trouble for the Silver Bear Shop and her cousin’s small bookstore . . .

But when Sasha discovers Holly’s shop assistant dead with a knife plunged in her body, the unpleasant woman suddenly looks like a real backstabber. So does Sasha’s ex-husband, rumored to have rekindled the fiery extramarital affair he once had with the victim. Now, before a gruesome homicide case takes the fun out of both the Fest and her personal life, Sasha must identify the true culprit from a daunting suspect list—or risk becoming as lifeless as one of her stuffed bears . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It is time for Oktobear Fest in Silver Hollow, Michigan. The event starts with a Cranbeary Tea Party. Silver Bear Shop has several bears in attendance and Sasha and her sister Maddie are waiting tables. Sasha is surprised to see her high school rival and owner of the new toy shop in town, Holly along with her assistant Gina at one of the tables and even more surprised to see her ex, Flynn arrive and he and Gina rush over to the mayor’s table. They make a huge scene. It wasn’t bad enough the new store was stealing business, now they had to try to ruin this wonderful event too.

The ultimate surprise was Sasha and her dog discovering Gina’s body outside a local eatery early the next morning. At first, she thought it was Holly, because of the clothing. Was the killer confused too? Who was the real target? Gina? or Holly? And is Flynn involved? or heaven forbid the mayor? Sasha finds herself in a beary dangerous place as she tries to catch the killer and save the festival.

There is so much to love in this story. I really loved the idea about the Bears on Parade. You see in Madison, Wisconsin, and Dane County this summer they have a Bucky’s on Parade art event with 85 Bucky Badger statues transformed by 64 artists. People are having so much fun hunting them all down. In this story there are about a dozen bears, Maddie is transforming one and so is her boyfriend Kip. Sasha is also helping to transform another bear. The bear statues have sponsors and both parades will auction off the statues at the end of their events. I hope to see a few before summer is over.

All the characters I enjoyed in the first book are back. I have to say I am not a fan of Sasha’s mother though. She bugged me a bit in the first story, but I think by now she needs to realize Flynn and Sasha are through, finished, kaput! The man cheated on her and his suggestion of marriage in name only to Sasha almost made me lose my mind. For some reason her mom likes Flynn, I can’t imagine how any mom would want her daughter with a man like him. I just hope in the next story she really sees the light and supports her daughter and the man she wants to be with.

Oh, the author has given us a clever mystery. The victim has a past – meaning plenty of suspects, with different motives for wanting her gone. I was “beary” confused at first but soon I had an inkling as to who the culprit could be but then I read further and thought I was totally wrong. Those pages were really flying and so much was happening, there was no way I was going to put this book down until I reached the end. By the way, I was wrong and surprised by the ending. I loved it!

Both books in this series have been excellent reads. I do recommend reading them in order to get to know the characters and the setting.

Bring on Book #3, Ms. Macy! I can hardly wait!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review and another guest post from Meg here

About the Author

Award-winning mystery author Meg Macy lives in Southeast Michigan, close to Ann Arbor, Chelsea, and Dexter — the area she chose for the setting of her new “Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear” cozy mystery series for Kensington. She is also one-half of the writing team of D.E. Ireland for the Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins Mystery series; two books have been named Agatha Award finalists. Meg’s first published book, Double Crossing, won the 2012 Best First Novel Spur Award from Western Writers of America. She’s a graduate of Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction program. Meg loves reading mysteries, historical, and other genre fiction, and also enjoys gardening, crafts, and watercolor painting.

Author Links:      www.megmacy.com      Meg Macy on Facebook      Meg Macy on Twitter

Purchase Links:

Amazon      B&N     Kobo    Google Play   BookBub
Meg also co-writes with Sharon Pisacreta as D. E. Ireland.

Praise for Bear Witness to Murder (A Teddy Bear Mystery)
by Meg Macy

I was riveted and worried and really did not see THIS ending happening.
~Laura’s Interests

I loved all the things that were going on in the town, Oktobear Fest and the Cranbeary Tea Party and all the interesting things!
~Valerie’s Musings

I may be biased because I have a huge love for all things teddy bear but this is just the cutest cozy mystery series . . . The characters are all well developed pulling you into the story until you feel like you have known them forever.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Mystery lovers will enjoy this story filled with whimsical themes and fun characters that will have you wanting more.
~Texas Book-aholic

I don’t know what I enjoy more about this series – reading about the teddy bear-themed events, or the mystery itself. Sasha Silverman is such a down to earth, believable character that she makes both of them fun.
~The Book’s the Thing

All the story is told around the Oktobear Feast, it was really original reading about all the bear creations and ideas for kids, really, if this kind of village exists I want the name of the town!
~Varietats

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May 23 – Lisa Ks Book Review – REVIEW

May 23 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

May 24 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

May 24 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

May 25 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

May 25 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

May 26 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

May 26 – Blogger Nicole Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 27 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

May 27 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 28 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

May 28 – Varietats – REVIEW

May 29 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

May 29 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 30 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW

May 30 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

May 31 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

May 31 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 1 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

June 1 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

June 2 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

June 2 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW

June 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

June 3 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW

June 4 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

June 4 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

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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.”

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May 312017
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so excited to have Meg Macy here today for a visit!!

 

Escape with Meg Macy and Her Teddy Bears

 

One would think Meg Macy has loved teddy bears since childhood. Not so! She slept with Jerry the Mouse (of Tom and Jerry) every night. Her love of teddy bears was born as an adult, when Meg visited England. On a visit to Harrods’s, she picked up a Paddington Bear toy and read the tag – “Please look after this bear”. Paddy looked ready for a new adventure to the States, so she tucked him into her suitcase. From there, the bears began to multiply (like rabbits) until she had a houseful. While Meg’s daughter had fun playing with all the bears (and bunnies), she now serves as a beta reader for Mom’s ‘Shamelessly Adorable’ Teddy Bear cozy mysteries for Kensington.

Meg and her daughter often escape every year on a trip around Michigan. (Meg’s husband often tags along, too, depending on his schedule.) Mackinac Island is a favorite for overnight stays at various bed-and-breakfasts – check out the Haan and Metevier Inn websites. Meg and her family love walking along Main Street or renting bikes to ride around the island. The downtown souvenir shops are always fun, as are visiting the Butterfly House, seeing the Grand Hotel, watching the ferries come and go. Meg will even take a day trip to the island if they can’t spend the night. And she’s often found adorable teddy bears, artwork, and teacups in boutiques there for her collections.

Other favorite spots to escape are Ann Arbor’s Tea Haus, Sweet Afton’s tea room in Plymouth, Saugatuck’s Ida Red’s (for breakfast) and Pumpernickel’s (for lunch) plus the art galleries and unique shops. Meg loves Point Betsie and other lighthouse along the Lake Michigan coastline. All of these places serve as inspiration for her writing. She loves studying maps when she can’t escape the house.

For Silver Hollow, the setting of her new series, Meg took bits of one small town and blended in a few others in Southeastern Michigan. Pinterest is another escape – she loves to trawl for new photos to pin to her ‘Rare Teddy Bears’ board, along with what the Silver Bear Shop & Factory interior might look like.

Details, details – for Meg, that’s what makes any book fun to read!

One more escape – springtime means the Malice Domestic author and reader convention. Meg enjoys the author panels, meeting readers, and sharing stories about writing with other authors. Meg is also one-half of the D.E. Ireland team (along with Sharon Farrow) writing the Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins mysteries, and they have been thrilled to be a finalist (twice!) in the Best Historical category.

Meg is thrilled to see how readers enjoy Bearly Departed and will be hosting a book launch event at her local library on June 6th, plus signing books around the area through the summer. She also plans on attending Bouchercon in Toronto later this year – yet another escape, and out of the country to Canada! She recently found a maple leaf bear when visiting Agawa Canyon. And one day, Meg plans to return to England for a Palace Guard teddy bear to keep Paddy company back home in Michigan.

After all, “it’s nice having a bear about the house.” (Michael Bond, A Bear Called Paddington) The more, the merrier!

~Meg

Thank you Meg for stopping by today! 


Bearly Departed (A Teddy Bear Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Setting – Michigan
Kensington (May 30, 2017)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496709639
E-Book ASIN: B01LJKQI7I

The Silver Bear Shop and Factory might be the cutest place around, but there’s nothing warm and fuzzy about murder . . .

As manager of the family teddy bear shop and factory, thirty-one-year-old Sasha Silverman leads a charmed life. Well, except for the part about being a single divorcée with a ticking biological clock in small-town Silver Hollow. And that’s just kid’s stuff compared to Will Taylor, the sales rep who’s set on making drastic changes to the business her parents built from scratch—with or without Sasha’s approval . . .

But before Will digs his claws in, someone pulls the stuffing out of his plan . . . and leaves his dead body inside the factory. Reeling from shock, Sasha’s hit with more bad news—police suspect her hot-tempered Uncle Ross may have murdered him. Sasha knows her uncle would never do such a thing, and she’s launching her own little investigation to expose the truth. As she tracks Will’s biggest rivals and enemies for clues, Sasha can’t get too comfy—or she’ll become the next plaything for a killer . . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Things at The Silver Bear Shop and Factory are not “beary” delightful. After the sales manager Will Taylor announces manufacturing of the teddies will be moving overseas the staff is in uproar. Especially Sasha, Maddie and their Uncle Ross. The girl’s parents started this business and have basically retired and have left the shop and factory in their hands. Their parents/brother never would do something so major without talking to them first.

Before they can even contact their father Sasha and Maddie find Will’s dead body next to the stuffing machine. To make matters worse the police have pegged Uncle Ross as the prime suspect. Seems his threats to Will were taken seriously by some people. The factory and store are shut down, the upcoming teddy bear parade may have to be cancelled, her uncle may soon be behind bars and her parents are not returning their calls. Sasha just can’t bear any more drama so she starts investigating on her own not realizing she may be the next “bearly departed”.

This was a fabulous read.

The Silver Bear Shop and Factory sounds like such a fun place. I know there is a national chain that allows you to stuff you own teddies and other creatures but The Silver Bear Shops sells a very unique bear. Also Maddie and Sasha make a great team, creative to think of all sorts of events to coordinate with the seasons and holidays drawing visitors to Silver Hollow.

Macy has created a charming cast of characters. Sasha is divorced but her ex has moved back to Silver Hollow bringing a bit of added drama. She is a very determined woman and very loyal to her family and their business. Maddie takes care of the office work, paying bills, working with vendors, and the financial reports. She also has a very creative side. Uncle Ross runs the factory and can be a little prickly but like his brother, the girl’s father, he is a real teddy bear behind all the bluster. Their mother is a little tougher and ready for life to slow down. We also meet their employees and other shopkeepers like Will’s wife. Being the first book in the series the author has left plenty of room for the characters grown in future installments.

The author has written a tale with a number of twists. The clue that seemed to be missed by the police was one I grabbed onto and was pleasantly surprised that I was right about its relevance.  I was still surprised by the way the story played out.

Meg Macy has penned a wonderful debut for this series. It checks all my boxes for an absolutely perfect escape. I can “bearly” wait for my next visit to Silver Hollow. Bear Witness to Murder will be released in 2018.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Award-winning mystery author Meg Macy lives in Southeast Michigan, close to Ann Arbor, Chelsea, and Dexter — the area she chose for the setting of her new “Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear” cozy mystery series for Kensington. She is also one-half of the writing team of D.E. Ireland for the Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins Mystery series; two books have been named Agatha Award finalists. Meg’s first published book, Double Crossing, won the 2012 Best First Novel Spur Award from Western Writers of America. She’s a graduate of Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction program. Meg loves reading mysteries, historicals, and other genre fiction, and also enjoys gardening, crafts, and watercolor painting.

Author Links:      www.megmacy.com      Meg Macy – Teddy Bear Cozy Mysteries      Meg Macy on Twitter


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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.”

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