Posted in Cozy Wednesday Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2013

Cozy Wednesday with Author Victoria Hamilton (Giveaway too!)

cozy wednesday 2013 640
Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am happy to welcome Victoria Hamilton and
her Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour here today!

The Beauty of Useful Things:

How kitchen utensils are art, and why I display them.

By: Victoria Hamilton

VictoriaThe highest form of art, to me, is when something useful is also beautiful. But here we confront a dilemma… beauty is very much in the eye of the beholder.

This is especially true when applied to my collections.

FrenchFryCutterI collect vintage kitchen utensils and bowls, among other things. Some of the items I will never use. Case in point is the French fry cutter pictured here. I found it at a garage sale and it is pretty old. We had one when I was a kid, but it was the horizontal kind, and this one is different. It’s… well, it’s vertical. And I like it. I appreciate the design – the neat shape it makes – and the red handles and everything about it. I’ll never use it, but it is up on a shelf on display.

And yet, as I take a picture of it and examine it, I notice how battered it is, how worn the metal. But I still think it’s beautiful, maybe even more so. It has a grace of form, it tells a tale of family life… a family the apparently loved French fries! It has lived out the useful part of its life, and now deserves to be an ornament.

When folks get old their hands get age spotted and wrinkled, their veins stand out, blue traceries under their skin. Their nails are brittle and the pads of their fingers flatten out. Cheeks and jowls sag, eyes become rheumy and the skin gets so thin and soft it’s like silk. I find old folks beautiful. Their life shows on their face and their hands: the years of hard work and worry, the kids they raised, the people they loved, the pain they have suffered and tragedies endured… the personality that life has crafted in them. Their face and hands tell a story, the story of their life.

And it’s the same with old furniture and kitchen utensils. If it is battered and worn, it means that it was well loved and used often. These things have soul and the kind of beauty you only get from time. That’s better to me than pristine and unused.

~Victoria

~::~

About Victoria Hamilton

Victoria Hamilton, nationally bestselling author of the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series, is the pseudonym of Donna Lea Simpson, bestselling author of romance and historical mystery novels.

Victoria starting reading mystery novels at the age of 12 and devoured Agatha Christie mysteries, as well as those of Dorothy L. Sayers and Ngaio Marsh. She still adores mysteries, especially the cozy mysteries of Janet Bolin, Krista Davis, and others.

She loves to cook, and collects teapots and teacups, as well as vintage kitchen utensils and bowls. She also enjoys crafts, especially cross-stitching and crocheting, and spends summer days in the garden, drinking tea or wine. Besides the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series Victoria also writes the Merry Muffin Mystery series (Bran New Death – September 3rd) and the Teapot Collector Mystery series which debuts with Tempest in a Teapot, out June 3rd, 2014.

 

FreezerMed nov
Freezer I’ll Shoot
(A Vintage Kitchen Mystery)

3rd in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Mystery (November 5, 2013)
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425252376
E-Book File Size: 1815 KB
ASIN: B00BDQ3AP2
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About Freezer I’ll Shoot:

Trying to escape her overbearing mother, vintage kitchenware enthusiast and soon-to-be columnist Jaymie Leighton retreats to her family’s cottage on Heartbreak Island. While there she hopes to write an article about the Ice House restaurant, owned by good friends and neighbors, siblings Ruby and Garnet Redmond. Once and actual icehouse, the restaurant is charmingly decorated with antique tools of the trade, including a collection of ice picks.

One night, while working on her article, Jaymie overhears an argument, and, ever the sleuth, sets out to explore. But when she stumbles upon a dead body, her blood runs cold. It’s Urban Dobrinskie, whose feud with the Redmonds is no secret, and he’s got an ice pick through his heart. Now Jaymie’s got to sharpen her sleuthing skills to chip away at the mystery and prove her neighbors’ innocence – before someone else gets picked off…

Dollycas’s Thoughts
This installment of the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries takes place mostly on Heartbreak Island. Again Jaymie finds herself in the middle of a very well plotted whodunit. I really enjoy the way the author weaves in the history of the vintage antiques our amateur sleuth  loves. This time the ice houses (ice storage) and the implements used before the modern appliances that came later.

I really love Jaymie and her dad, her mom just seems to push my buttons and I can understand why Jaymie feels the need to escape away sometimes. I wasn’t a big fan for Daniel in this story and his mother drove me crazy. Ruby and Garnet had me rooting for them though and their story was the real highlight of this book. Cozy mysteries need that wide variety of crazy quirky characters, the ones we love, the ones we hate, and the ones that make us want to jump into the pages and slap upside the head. Victoria Hamilton has delivered them all in Freezer I’ll Shoot. Plus Hoppy is one of my favorite pooches in the cozy mystery realm.

I am really looking forward to my next visit with Jaymie as I am sure she will again be up to her neck in a murder mystery. I also hope she she opens her heart and her eyes to the right man.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

U.S. MAILING ADDRESSES ONLY
U.S. MAILING ADDRESSES ONLY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

great escape tour banner large freezer ill shoot 640

Tour Participants

November 2 – rantin’ ravin’ and reading – Review, Interview, Giveaway
November 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Spotlight, Interview
November 4 – My Recent Favorite Books – Spotlight
November 5 – According to Squenn – Interview
November 6 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review, Guest Post
November 7 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – Review, Interview, Giveaway
November 8 – Queen of All She Reads – Review, Giveaway
November 9 – A Chick Who Reads – Review, Interview
November 10 – Kaisy Daisy’s Corner – Review
November 11 – A Date with a Book – Spotlight
November 12 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – Review
November 13 – Community Bookstop – Review
November 14 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review, Giveaway
November 15 – Mochas, Mysteries and More – Review

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 Cozy Wednesday Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2013

Cozy Wednesday with Author Dawn Eastman (Giveaway too!)

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled to Welcome Dawn Eastman here today!!

What’s in a name?

headshot dawn eastmanThank you, Lori, for inviting me to Cozy Wednesday! I’m glad to be here.

PALL IN THE FAMILYMy debut novel, Pall in the Family, was released on August 6.  Because I use my maiden name as my pen name, I get a lot of questions about why I chose to use something other than my “real” name. The short answer is that my married name is hard to spell and pronounce. But the questions got me thinking about names, and how they are chosen.

When I was eight years old, I wanted a different first name. Dawn was too simple and too plain for me. I wanted something substantial like Samantha or Alexandra. Something with more syllables. However, I planned to shorten the name to Sam or Alex as a nickname. There’s no nickname for Dawn. It’s probably the same desire to pretend to be a fireman or a princess. What would life be like with a different name?

Now that I am a writer, I get to be all sorts of people with different names – at least in my head. I can be a pet psychic who longs for adventure when I blog as Violet Greer. I have adventures and live in a lovely small town when I write as Clyde.

Reflecting my childhood name-changing desires, many of my characters have changed their own names. Clytemnestra Fortune shortened her name to Clyde, much to her mother’s dismay. Mac McKenzie is actually named Phillip McKenzie. And Clyde’s sister married a man named Proffit after she discovered her talent for predicting the stock market.

Then there’s Diana. A few years ago, when I was working on Pall in the Family, a writer friend sent me a link to a website where you can enter your name (or any phrase) and it will kick out an anagram. Since there’s nothing a writer likes more than a distraction that can be called “work,” I quickly clicked on the link. (Try it for yourself here: http://www.arrak.fi/en/ag – I’ll wait) My married name produced a whole list, but one of them jumped out at me: Diana Moonward.

I loved the way it tied the name Diana to the moon, since Diana is the moon goddess. Moonward, as if she is leaning toward the moon. At the time, Clyde didn’t have a best friend who was a Wiccan and owned a witch supply store. But what else would a person name Diana Moonward do?

One of my favorite authors is JK Rowling. The names she uses in her Harry Potter series are so fantastic and they are like a little treasure hunt. Sirius is the dog star and her character Sirius Black changes into a large black dog. If someone is lupine, they are wolf-like and Professor Lupin turns into a werewolf. Luna Lovegood is a little on the crazy side but loyal to her friends.

What do you think? Do you notice character names and look for deeper meanings? Do you have any favorite character names? Are you happy with your name, or do you wish for something different? I’d love to discuss it in the comments!

~Dawn

_____________________________

O.K. Dawn, that site is addicting, :p

 Result:

My married last name produced

slew lac    
lews lac    
well sac    
well sac    
sell caw    
cell was    
cell saw    
calls we    
call sew    This one jumped out at me. Before my accident I loved to sew!!

Result:
First and Last name produced:
scowler lila     willer coals     carlisle low     closer willa     recoil walls
swiller cola     wile collars     solacer will     slier callow     collier slaw
swiller coal     rowel scilla     oracles will     lollies craw     collier laws
wiles collar     rowel lilacs     oracles will     allelic rows     collier laws
lewis collar     rowel lilacs     rallies cowl     oracle wills     collier awls
slower lilac     orwell salic     recoils wall     oracle swill     collier awls
roswell laic     lower scilla     slicer allow     coaler wills     relic sallow
lowers lilac     lower lilacs     relics allow     coaler swill     relic allows
waller coils     lower lilacs     relics allow     locale swirl     cello aswirl
willer socal     carlisle owl     cresol willa     recoil walls     rollie claws
None of these struck me but I do love lilacs.

Result:
Dollycas Produced:
scylla do    slay clod    as coldly    sold clay    
scaly old    sally doc    codys all    sold acyl    
clays old    sally cod    scold lay    dolls cay    
clays old    lays cold    colds lay    dolls cay    
scald loy    lays clod    clods lay    
sac lloyd    days coll    clods lay    
sac dolly    days coll    cods ally    
sadly col    lads cloy    solly cad    
ladys col    sad colly    sly acold    
slay cold    ads colly    sold lacy
Nothing here better than Dollycas~
_______________________
Back to business!! Dawn, THANK YOU! I hope you will come back soon and often!!

About Dawn Eastman

Dawn Eastman lived in Michigan for many years, in a house full of animals, unusual people, and laughter. She now lives in Iowa with her husband, son, daughter, and one extremely bossy small dog. Pall in the Family is her first novel.

Links:

http://www.dawneastman.com/

http://familyfortunemysteries.wordpress.com/

Twitter: @DawnAEastman

 

PALL IN THE FAMILYPall in the Family
(A Family Fortune Mystery)

A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (August 6, 2013)
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Daniel Craig  – AWESOME COVER!!
Cover Design by Judith Lagerman
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425264270
E-Book File Size: 662 KB
ASIN: B00A6WV6S2

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The aptly named Crystal Haven is the destination for tourists seeking psychics, séances, and the promise of contacting the spirit world. In this small western Michigan town, everyone knows the Fortune family. Rose is gifted with tarot card readings. Her sister, Vi, is a self-proclaimed pet psychic. And Rose’s daughter Clyde is… …

A cop. She has returned home from Ann Arbor on a “leave of absence”. No one really knows the whole story.  Her mom and aunt think she has come home because she is ready to join the family business and use her psychic gift.  Clyde would just like to relax and reflectand is happy walking some of her Aunt Vi’s clients and spending time with her nephew Seth.  But when a local psychic ends up dead Clyde finds herself right in the middle of the investigation and when the killer thinks she may “know” more than it seems her own life is danger.  Her trip home is definitely not a good fortune.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Clytemnestra, oh what a name, (Clyde) is quite a character! Trying to remain “normal” in a family of psychics is tough. It has already cost her one romantic relationship and maybe her job, but she is trying to hold it all together in a town where she is definitely in the minority. Crystal Haven is known for its psychics and is a major tourist destination for that reason.

She wants to let the police handle the investigation but her family wants her to “help””. Her father doesn’t have any “gifts” but he has his police scanner handy and will do almost anything Rose tells him to do. The way he deals with the women in his family just cracked me up.  Clyde, Rose, Vi and even Seth are all using crystals, pendulums, and following suspects around town to try and catch the killer. Hilarity ensues!!

From the first pages when a bat is chased around the house and out an open window until the last page when a question asked long ago is answered, this book will have you fully engaged and captivated. I would classify this as paranormal light. You don’t need to believe  to enjoy this story but you may believe a little by the end.

This is the author’s first novel and she has created a divine cozy. I don’t need a fortune teller to know this series has a promising future.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have my review to give away
Plus the author is giving away a copy!!!!

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 Dawn for 5 Bonus Entries !

What do you think?
Do you notice character names and look for deeper meanings?
Do you have any favorite character names? A
re you happy with your name, or do you wish for something different?
I’d love to discuss it in the comments!

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

Contest Will End September 11, 2013 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 Cozy Wednesday Giveaways Guest Posts Literary Escapes Reviews 2013 What's In A Name Challenge

Special Thursday Edition of Cozy Wednesday with Author Victoria Hamilton (Giveaways too!)

cozy wednesdayThere were just not enough Wednesdays this month for all the authors to visit so…
Welcome to this Special Thursday Edition of Cozy Wednesday!
I am thrilled to welcome Victoria Hamilton back to Escape With Dollycas.

Victoria
Vintage Finds Inspire Cozy Mysteries
By: Victoria Hamilton

When I set out to plan a mystery series, I quickly decided to center it around my collection of vintage kitchen bowls and utensils. I don’t have the largest collection—I just don’t have the space—but I’m always on the lookout for interesting pieces, and I love reading about the history of kitchen implements, so it was a natural fit.

I especially love bowls. I don’t know why! I suppose that they unite the best in beauty, utility and color… all of the things that make an item not only collectible, but perfect for display. When it comes to bowls, I have a full set of vintage Pyrex Primary Colors bowls, and a few random pieces from the seventies. DepressionGlassBowl2But then a friend gave me a fascinating vintage Depression glass bowl; it’s big and clear with an odd, heavy square bottom and grooved indentations down from the curled lip to the base. She didn’t know anything about it, so I looked it up. The square base intrigued me; had it been used as a stand mixer bowl, perhaps?

I found out that not only was the square bottom not for any utilitarian purposes, I had stumbled upon another bowl set obsession! These bowls were sold in graduated sets from the size of mine (I think my clear one is an example of the largest) to a teeny cutie of a bowl! Now I am determined to get one in every size, and… wait for it… in every color. Yes, they come in colored glass and I love colored glass.

IM000459.JPGThis is how I first figured that out; I was haunting a thrift shop, as I often do, and I saw a small green one very similar, though the square base has a different shape. Well, you know I had to buy it. It’s adorable! Now I learn that they come in many colors: pink, amber, amethyst and the brilliant green of my new acquisition.

But how did I get from the receipt of a lovely bowl from a friend to picturing it as a murder weapon? Well, there isn’t much that I haven’t tried to imagine used as an instrument of death, as bad as that makes me sound. I’m a mystery writer. It’s my job to see things differently, I guess, so as I hefted that weighty bowl in my hand, I thought, ‘That is one sturdy bowl. It could do some serious damage. In fact… it could kill someone!’

bowled overAnd so the bowl shows up in Bowled Over as the murder weapon, provided unwittingly by poor Jaymie.

Wait until you see what I use as a murder weapon in the next Vintage Kitchen Mystery, Freezer I’ll Shoot, coming out in November of this year. Here’s a hint: though a kitchen utensil, it is a well known and oft used tool that is still considered a lethal weapon by police departments everywhere!

So next time you peruse the kitchen utensil aisle imagine me, looking up and down that row and wondering, ‘Now, what could I use to kill my next victim?’ Potato masher? Electric Mixer? Corkscrew?? The choices are endless.

~Victoria::~

About This Author

Victoria Hamilton is the pseudonym for author Donna Lea Simpson. As Victoria she writes the bestselling Vintage Kitchen Mystery series (Book 1 – A Deadly Grind– May 2012) –  (Book 3 Freezer I’ll Shoot – November 2013) and the upcoming Merry Muffin Mysteries, also from Berkley (Book 1 – Bran New Death – September 3rd, 2013)  Victoria loves cooking and collecting vintage kitchen utensils, as well as reading and writing mysteries.

Check out her webpage for all the latest: http://www.victoriahamiltonmysteries.com

Find her on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorVictoriaHamilton

bowled over

Bowled Over
(Vintage Kitchen Mystery)

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (March 5, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Robert Crawford
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425251928
E-book File Size: 561 KB
ASIN: B0099CUTGK

Bowled Over

Stirring up trouble…

Vintage kitchenware and cookbook collector Jaymie Leighton and her high school friend Kathy Cooper have been at odds for years but Jaymie has no idea why. She decides it is time to find out what she did that makes Kathy hate her so much. She needs to confront her so they can put whatever happened behind them.

But when she finds Kathy dead after the 4th of July fireworks along with her Depression era glass bowl she realizes there will not be any reconciliation. With her fingerprints all over the bowl and their rocky past she is not surprised to be the prime suspect of her murder.

Did the killer frame her on purpose? If so, she is ready to mix it up, because solving crimes is vintage Jaymie Leighton…

Dollycas’s Thoughts
I was “Bowled Over” by this marvelous mystery. This story had so many twists I almost got whiplash. So many secrets, so many suspects. I Loved It!

Jaymie has a huge heart and that always leads her right in the center of trouble. She needs to clear her name.  With her many odd jobs she comes into contact with almost everyone in town. She has Valetta for backup, who knows the skinny on just about everyone in the area. Even Anna has info to help Jaymie find the killer. Jaymie just has to put all the clues together.

There’s also a bit of romance in this story but unfortunately Jaymie’s romantic path is a bit cloudy. Her sister Becca’s path is pretty clear yet again.  Jaymie has given herself a six month deadline to decide how she feels about the men in her life. The next book should be very interesting!

Victoria Hamilton has dished up another fun and entertaining winner! 

Freezer I’ll Shoot (A Vintage Kitchen Mystery) will be released November 5th and I want it today!!!

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the people at Penguin
I have 2 copies to giveaway!!

PLUS Victoria is giving away
one (1) copy of Bowled Over,
as well as a Vintage Kitchen Mysteries pen, notepad and magnetic calendar.

U.S. and CANADIAN RESIDENTS
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 Victoria for 5 Bonus Entries!!

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

The first name chosen that
has left a comment will win Victoria’s prize!!!!

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

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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

readalattechallenge_zps01d248d0mystery challenge2013where are you readingWIN6

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2012 What An Animal Reading Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Victoria Hamilton (Giveaway too!)


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!


Today my very special guest is the author of a brand new cozy mystery series, the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries. But Victoria is not a brand new author, this may be her first venture into the cozy genre but she has written several bestselling romance novels. I am thrilled to welcome her today to tell us about her crossover to the genre that I absolutely love! Help yourself to a cup of tea and join me in welcoming Victoria.

Hi  Victoria!!

Hi Everyone!

The Ultimate Game of Pretend
By: Victoria Hamilton

A couple of years ago I approached a wonderful agent, one I was hoping to interest enough that she would represent me as an author. I had a mystery series idea, and had already written one book, and was a good way though a second in that series. I was devastated – crushed! – when she read my proposal, but just didn’t find it compelling enough to offer me representation. And then she went on hiatus, and was not accepting proposals for about five months. Ack!!

I was sending around to other agents, but not a one of them was my ‘dream’ agent like Jessica was (and still is). So I did something rare for an author. I asked for – and took! – her advice. Read some of the ‘first in a cozy series’ books by authors she represented, she told me. And I did. I read Hannah Reed, Sarah Atwell, Betty Hechtman, Joyce and Jim Lavene, Sheila Connolly and many others.

And I got it!! I finally got it.

To create a cozy mystery series that people would love, I had to take something I was passionate about and find a way to incorporate it into a set of characters and a town that was both fun and entertaining. I created a concept, wrote a proposal, presented it to my dream agent, and voila! She loved it as much as I did. Within weeks I had a three book contract with Berkley Prime Crime, my dream publisher.

That was how my Vintage Kitchen Mystery series was born. I’ve been collecting vintage kitchen stuff since… well, since the stuff wasn’t even vintage. I have some of my mom’s Pyrex refrigerator dishes, old tablecloths, and even her handwritten recipe book from way back when. Since then I’ve added to my collection with a set of Primary Colors Pyrex bowls, bought one piece at a time so it cost me less than a whole set. I have vintage cutlery, Depression glass bowls, old cookbooks… more than I really should have.

Then I imagined a town I’d like to live in, one where Americans and Canadians could mingle. And so Queensville, Michigan popped onto the map along the St. Clair River, which is the border between Michigan and Ontario. I invented an island – Heartbreak Island – with an interesting history, and a neighboring Canadian town, Johnsonville. I built an old yellow brick house in Queensville, and peopled it with a youngish vintage collector – Jaymie Leighton – and her two fur friends, Hoppy, a three-legged Yorkie-Poo of indomitable character, and Denver, the crabby tabby.

And then I let Jaymie loose, looking for that big, elusive prized piece on which to display some of her collection, a Hoosier kitchen cabinet. Jaymie went to an auction, and guess what she found… a Hoosier cabinet! Being a writer is wonderful, like an extended version of that favorite childhood game of ‘Pretend’. Do you remember that? It was my favorite. While other little girls may have treated their dolls like their babies, I treated them all like characters in a story, and made up lives for them.

And I guess I’m still doing that today. Being a writer is the ultimate game of pretend!

Book 1 of my Vintage Kitchen Mysteries, A Deadly Grind, is now out, and I am thrilled with the reception… readers seem to love it! Book Two, Bowled Over, will be published in February of next year.

When I thought of writing another series, guess what? I realized another collecting passion of mine would come in handy!! I love and adore and collect teapots and teacups. So next year will also see the introduction of Book 1 of my Merry’s Muffins series, A Bran New Death.

This really is too much fun!
~::~Victoria

A Deadly Grind is the first book in Victoria Hamilton’s ‘Vintage Kitchen Mysteries’ cozy series. To learn more about the series, check out Victoria’s website: http://www.victoriahamiltonmysteries.com

Read an excerpt from A Deadly Grind, and check out the site for online availability of this and other Victoria Hamilton Mysteries.

Victoria, I am so happy you have been bitten by the cozy bug. You play the game of “pretend” very well :).

Now let me me tell you why I loved this story!
A Deadly Grind
(A Vintage Kitchen Mystery)

Brand New Series!
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group

Cover Illustration by Tim O’Brien
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell

Jaymie Leighton lives in her parents nineteenth century yellow brick home. They have retired to a warmer climate and just visit during the summer. Her sister Rebecca visits on the weekends from London, Ontario, and together they hit the auctions and estate sales. They are both collectors. Jaymie collects vintage cookware and cookbooks. Rebecca china, tea cups and saucers. Rebecca is fifteen years older than Jaymie and sometimes seems like a second mother. She still thinks she knows what is best for Jaymie, but at 32 years of age Jaymie can make her own decisions.

Jayme decides to bid on Hoosier cabinet that made be a little worse for wear but she knows with a little elbow grease she will have a treasure. She outbids the other buyers and is thrilled to get her purchase home. Her sister, not so much. She thinks the house is full enough of Jaymie’s clutter. They get it home and leave it on the summer porch. They are exhausted from the day and enjoying their purchases can wait until morning.

But someone else had other ideas. Becca and Jaymie are woken up in the middle of night by noise downstairs. They are beside themselves when the find a dead body on the summer porch. They don’t recognize the man and even the police have a hard time identifying him. Why their house? Who is this guy? Jaymie needs to know. She starts to do just a little investigating. She had better be careful or she may be the one “who ends up going, going,…gone”.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
I can identify this sibling relationship clearly. My sister is 12 years older than me and she too was like a second mom. We are close today but there have been times when she has made me so mad, thinking she knows best.

Before my accident I loved to attend auctions and estate sales. I was just like Jaymie. I would have killed, not literally, for a Hoosier like the one in this story. Our home has been cluttered over the years with my “finds”. This story hit home for me, really struck my heart.

Jaymie and I could be friends, we would be hitting the sales. Becca would probably be friends with my sister 🙂

The setting of these mysteries is really brilliant. Fictional Heartbreak Island between Michigan and Ontario where both American and Canadian tourists arrive for a variety of celebrations is the perfect backdrop. In this installment, a “Tea With The Queen” fundraiser gives the tourists, residents, and suspects a place to gather.

The author has laid the great foundation for more books in this series, setting us up for many return visits to Heartbreak Island. I hope not too many hearts are broken but with cozy mysteries you never know who the next victim or suspect may be. I just know this author is going to give us a wonderful who-dun-it that will find us Bowled Over!!

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the people at Penguin
I have 2 copies to giveaway!!

U.S. and CANADIAN RESIDENTS
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.

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Contest Will End May 30, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST
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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 Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Literary Escapes Reviews 2012 Virtual Book Tour

Peter Leonard – Voices of the Dead – Virtual Blog Tour


Voices of the Dead

Published by The Story Plant

The year is 1971. The place is Detroit. Harry Levin, a scrap metal dealer and Holocaust survivor, has just learned that his daughter was killed in a car accident. Traveling to Washington, DC to claim the body, he learns that the accident was caused by a German diplomat who was driving drunk. This is only the beginning of the horror for Harry, though, as he discovers that the diplomat will never face charges – he has already been released and granted immunity. Enraged and aggrieved, Harry discovers the identity of his daughter’s killer, follows him to Munich, and hunts him down. What Harry finds out about the diplomat and his plans will explode his life and the lives of everyone around him.

 

Dollycas Thoughts
This is quite a suspenseful piece of fiction. We travel back and forth from 1971 to one of the most horrific times in history, Detroit to Germany to Florida. The author takes us on a odyssey with personal accounts so real it is almost like watching a movie. I actually jumped when the guns were fired. I really enjoy Leonard’s writing style, the main characters were vivid and well developed. The story keeps you on the edge of your seat and the pages rapidly turning.

This book would appeal to anyone who likes a good suspense read but also history buffs as well. It has a ripped from the headlines feel like this story from 2011.

My only problem with this book was the coincidence that put this whole story in motion. Situations just fell together just a little too easily for me. For that reason I give the story 4.5 Stars. Not quite a perfect escape! But well worth your reading time.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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.”

About This Author
Peter Leonard’s debut novel, QUIVER, was published to international acclaim in 2008 (“A spectacular debut…you will be holding your breath until the final page.”– The New York Sun). It was followed by TRUST ME in 2009 (“TRUST ME is fast, sly and full of twists.” – Carl Hiaasen, New York Times bestselling author). The Story Plant will publish Leonard’s newest novel, ALL HE SAW WAS THE GIRL, in the spring of 2012.  Check out his website.

Posted in Literary Escapes Reviews 2012

Murder Grins and Bears It by Deb Baker

Murder Grins and Bears It: A Gertie Johnson Murder Mystery
Print

Murder Grins and Bears It : A Gertie Johnson Murder Mystery
Kindle

A Gertie Johnson Mystery
2nd book in the Series

It’s Bear Season is Yooper Country!! That is Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and the bears aren’t the only thing being hunted. A game warden is murdered right under Little Donny’s tree stand and Little Donny is no where to be found. Gertie is upset, her son, the sheriff, is wasting time trying to catch her driving without a license when he should be trying to catch a killer and find Little Donny. Does she have to do everything herself?!

Dollycas’s Thoughts
This story will leave your sides aching from laughter!!

Gertie is an absolute gem!! Driving all over God’s creation without a license, tramping through the woods, questioning suspects who answer the door with sawed off shotguns, she does it all. She is quite a woman and you don’t want to mess with her. You never knows what she is going to pull out of that handbag. The woman is fearless!!!

In addition to Gertie there is man-hungry Cora Mae, Carl who is willing to coat himself in chicken grease to bag a bear, Grandma Johnson who just loves to cook and good ole’ Blaze who is just trying to his job. Add in a few more wacky friends and relatives, a dead body or two, and you are in for a wild ride courtesy of Deb Baker’s vast imagination.

I have loved everything I have read by this awesome author! A master storyteller!! KUDOS DEB!!!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


This book was from my personal collection.