Posted in Giveaways Guest Posts Spotlights

Special Guest – Carolyn Haines – Author of Rock-a-Bye Bones – #Giveaway too!

special guest blue

I am so excited to welcome Carolyn Haines back to Escape With Dollycas!

Her Rock-a-Bye Bones: A Sarah Booth Delaney Mystery came out on Tuesday! 

Carolyn Haines

 

A LITTLE BIT OF HEAVEN
by Carolyn Haines

As some of you may know, my sleuth in the Sarah Booth Delaney mystery series has several horses. Three to be exact. Reveler, Miss Scrapiron, and Lucifer. They’re all based on my own horses or horses I’ve known and cared about.

rock-a-bye bones jacket - USA TodayTwenty-six years ago, I moved to a small farm in lower Alabama (I was a professor at a local university in the area) and as it happens out in the country in a state without any spay/neuter laws, starving animals began to wander up. I have always been an animal lover, and I can’t stand to see hungry or ill animals.

In 2010, with the help of my very generous and smart friend Aleta Boudreaux, I filed to create Good Fortune Farm Refuge as a 501c3 animal rescue. At the time I had nearly 30 animals I took care of on a daily basis, plus teaching full time, and writing at least two books a year. I don’t know if any of you have ever done rescue work, but it is often heartbreaking and always labor intensive. But the joy of seeing animals who are in hopeless situations revive and become fun-loving pets is worth all the effort.

Animals have taught me many, many lessons. The value of unconditional love. The art of forgiveness. The willingness to play and show joy even when ill. The value of a friend. And also the pain of loss.

sunset sky
Sunset Sky

I’ve had a horse with one eye, and now a one-eyed cat and a one-eyed dog. The vets all told me that an animal doesn’t wake up and miss what has been taken. They wake up and enjoy what they have. That’s very true. Baby, my one-eyed dog, can’t judge distance like she could when she had two eyes, but I think it upsets me a lot more than her. I never knew the horse or cat before they lost the vision in one eye. They lived a full and normal life.

I’ve had sick cats that would cuddle and purr. They taught me how to accept illness with as much grace as I can muster. I do not have the courage of my kitties.

Foggy rainbow at Casa Carolyn
Foggy rainbow at Casa Carolyn

But mostly they have taught me about love.

Some of the hardest things I’ve ever done is rehome a dog or cat or horse that I’ve grown attached to. I have to believe that the new owners will love and care for them as well as or better than I can. That is often the case.

In 2014, some of my loyal friends and readers of the Bones books helped me put together a cookbook based on the Bones characters. It’s called Bonefied Delicious—Recipes from some of Zinnia’s finest chefs. The huge tome is 500 pages and over 700 recipes and my friends collected, organized, and wrote commentary as 13 of the characters in my mystery series. We sold out, reprinted, and sold out again. We have plans for another edition sometime in the future. You can check at www.carolynhaines.com for any updates on when we reprint.

We raised money to spay and neuter dogs and cats and we helped a lot of animals and folks who couldn’t afford this very necessary surgery.

Carolyn and Cojar
Carolyn and Cojar

When Lori Caswell suggested that I might want to write about where I go for a retreat or a vacation, I had to laugh. Because of the animal rescue, I don’t often get away from the farm. But what I do is ride Cogar, my Connemara/TB cross, in the woods where I enjoy nature all around me. The natural world is the place where I replenish myself.

I was riding recently and saw a bald eagle, some wild turkeys, a turtle, three deer, a rabbit, squirrels, and of course the multitude of songbirds. The oak trees are budding out, and when the wind whips through the pines, it makes a sound like a deep sigh.

When I’m focused on Cogar running down a sandy trail, seven of the dogs all coursing beside me, I can let go of the annoying problems of the day and take in the smell of the pine and sunshine. This is my version of Heaven, I guess.

I don’t ride as long as I once did. I have too much to do. Time compresses as we age, or maybe I’m slower. I think back to the days when my friend Gloria and I would ride 14 miles in a loop to Merrill, Mississippi, where the Chickasawhay and Leaf Rivers come together to form the Pascagoula. The singing river. Where legend has it that the Pascagoula tribe of Native Americans, rather than being taken as slaves by a rival tribe, walked into the river holding hands and singing their death chant.

Winter Sunset
Winter Sunset

It’s said on quiet, still nights that you can still hear that sad song, rising from the depth of the water. My grandmother heard it. She told me all about it.

These days I ride closer to home and only for an hour or so. But I still find the peace, the connection to nature and to the power of story. Some wouldn’t think it much of a vacation, but it works for me. And it tires out the dogs, which is another benefit. When they’re asleep I can get a lot of work done.

Next time you read about Sarah Booth going for a ride on Reveler, or Miss Scrapiron, or that black devil Lucifer, you’ll know that the author is hankering to get out of the house and pretend, at least for an hour or so, that she’s free.

Carolyn Haines is the USA Today bestselling author of the Sarah Booth Delaney mystery series. The latest book, Rock-A-Bye Bones, is out today. A native of Mississippi, Haines often writes about the South. She’s an animal advocate and urges everyone to spay and neuter.

~Carolyn

rock-a-bye bones jacket - USA Today

Rock-a-Bye Bones: A Sarah Booth Delaney Mystery
Cozy Mystery
16th in Series
Setting – Mississippi
Minotaur Books (May 17, 2016)
Hardcover: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1250085160
E-Book ASIN: B01772VVVK
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Sarah Booth Delaney knows the perfect way to begin recovering from both the recent attack on Scott Hampton’s blues club and her broken heart. She’s going to host a Thanksgiving feast for all of her friends at her ancestral home in Zinnia, Mississippi. But one bitterly cold night with the holiday just around the corner, Sarah Booth awakens to the insistent ring of her doorbell. She opens the door to find a newborn baby in a basket sitting on her front porch…and a pool of blood slowly seeping out from the basket. Before she can respond, an engine guns and a dark vehicle takes off.

After the police and a doctor ensure the baby is otherwise safe and healthy, Sarah Booth calls Tinkie Richmond, her partner at the Delaney Detective Agency. They know they need to do everything they can to find the baby’s mother…even if they are starting to fall in love with the baby themselves. But as they track the baby’s mother, Sarah Booth soon begins to suspect the woman might have been in danger; in fact, she might have been running for her life. And following in the woman’s footsteps, Sarah Booth might find her own life on the line next.

To learn more about Carolyn or to sign up for her newsletter, please go to www.carolynhaines.com or find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram………


Click on book covers for more info or to order from Amazon.

GIVEAWAY
The author is giving away A HARDCOVER COPY!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for Carolyn for 5 Bonus Entries.
Sign Up For Her Newsletter for 5 More Bonus Entries!
http://www.carolynhaines.com/newsletter.aspx

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End June 2, 2016 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

Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Reviews 2015

Review/ #Giveaway – Cinnamon Toasted by Gail Oust – Great Escapes Book Tour

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Cinnamon Toasted
by Gail Oust

cinnamon toasted
Cinnamon Toasted: A Spice Shop Mystery
(Spice Shop Mystery Series)

Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Georgia
Minotaur Books (December 15, 2015)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1250011060
E-Book ASIN: B00Y7S5222
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Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Case in point: Piper Prescott’s former mother-in-law Melly. Beneath her twin sets and pearls beats the heart of a geek―a geek whose programming changes for the point-of-sale software in Piper’s shop have the owners of the program ready to make her an offer she can’t refuse. “Trusty” Rusty Tulley and Chip Balboa swing by Brandywine Creek―just in time for the town’s annual Oktoberfest, which has cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom flying off Piper’s shelves in record numbers. News spreads faster than a text message, and Melly is the toast of the town.

But it isn’t long before Melly’s status changes to public enemy number one when Chip’s body is found at the foot of her basement stairs. Questions start to pile up when handsome police chief Wyatt McBride arrives on the scene and the coroner sets the time of death for the previous evening. McBride wants to know why it took Melly so long to report the incident―especially after she admits to arguing with Chip about the contract he wanted her to sign. Piper knows Melly would never hurt a fly, so she enlists the help of her BFF Reba Mae to clear her name―but can they find the real killer before Melly gets sent away for good? A mouth-watering entry in Gail Oust’s delicious Spice Shop series, Cinnamon Toasted is sure to delight cozy fans of all stripes.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this third Spice Shop Mystery Piper’s ex mother-in-law gets to spend a lot more time with Piper. You see a dead man has been found at the bottom of Melly’s basement stairs and her home is a crime scene so she is forced to move in with Piper in her apartment above her shop. Of course she could go stay with her son in his McMansion but he his fiancee is doing a bit of redecorating. Then there is the fact that Melly is the prime suspect. The dead man was in town with his partner to buy an upgrade she had designed for their point-of-sale software. It seems Melly is a computer whiz. The fact that the man had died the night before and Melly called Piper first before the police has Chief McBride pretty suspicious. It doesn’t take long for Piper to enlist Reba Mae’s help in trying to find out what really happened.

Fall is a busy time in Brandywine Creek with Oktoberfest, high school football and a production of Steel Magnolias at the opera house. Piper is stocking up on spices for all the upcoming festivities, including a huge party featuring German cuisine, her daughter is a cheerleader who is sweet on the quarterback and Reba Mae has been cast to Truvy in the play. Now the have to add a murder investigation.

Gail Oust has created a mystery that is spiced up with quite a bit of humor too. Piper and Reba Mae’s hi-jinks will have you laughing out loud.

All the characters have grown since the start of the series. It was a joy to get to know Melly better. She really is quite a lady. Piper is so self assured. She has a great relationship with her former mother-in-law and her ex husband too, even though he left her for Amber, a much younger woman.  She does struggle with her daughter wanting to spend so much time with Amber but they are pretty close in age. 🙂 Her relationship with Doug, the veterinarian is starting to warm up although she and McBride have a little vibe too. Everyone needs a best friend like Rebe Mae. She follows Piper lead and they get in some crazy situations.

With a great plot and subplots that work Oust has given us an upbeat story cozy readers will truly enjoy. We learn more about spices too. There is also a gingersnap recipe in the back of the book I can’t wait to try.

enjoyable 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

gailAbout The Author

Friends often accuse Gail Oust of flunking retirement.  While working as a nurse/vascular technologist, Gail penned nine historical romances under the pseudonym Elizabeth Turner for Avon, Pocket, Berkley, and Kensington.  It wasn’t until she and her husband retired to South Carolina that inspiration struck for a mystery.  Hearing the words, “maybe it’s a dead body,” while golfing with friends fired her imagination for the Bunco Babe Mystery series originally published by NAL.  In conjunction with Beyond the Page Publishing, the Bunco Babe series has  been republished in digital format as the Kate McCall Mysteries complete with new titles and a whole new look.  Gail is currently writing the Spice Shop Mysteries for Minotaur/St. Martin’s.  When she isn’t reading, writing, or sleeping, she can usually be found on the golf course or hanging out with friends.

Author Links

Links:  www.gailoust.comGail Oust Author on Facebook, and Goodreads.

Purchase Links
Amazon B&N  Google Play

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Tour Participants

January 4 – Brooke Blogs – Review
January 5 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Guest Post
January 6 – Mallory Heart Reviews – Review
January 7 – Jane Reads – Review, Guest Post 
January 8 – A Chick Who Reads – Review
January 9 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – Review
January 10 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review
January 11 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review, Guest Post 
January 12 – View from the Birdhouse – Interview
January 13 – Griperang’s Bookmarks – 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 Thoughts

Dollycas’s Best Reads 2015

best reads 2015
2015 was a great year for books. All the books below received my Paradise rating, meaning I wanted to give them more than 5 stars. Some were the first books in a new series, while others were from series I have loved for years. This year a short story even makes the list.

I read almost 200 books again this year. So many received 5 star reviews. The authors continue to impress me with their fantastic stories. 

2015 was also a year of shock and sadness. My son passed away in March and my friend, author Joyce Lavene, passed away in October. Both are hardly ever out of my thoughts. I have found some comfort escaping into good books like these. 

My Top 13 Books of 2015

Dead to the Last Drop: A Coffeehouse Mystery

My Review
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Move Your Blooming Corpse: An Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins Mystery

My Review
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Looking for Mr. Good Witch (Retired Witches Mysteries)

My Review
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The Reckoning Stones: A Novel of Suspense

My Review
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A Fatal Chapter: A Booktown Mystery


My Review
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Death & the Redheaded Woman (An Auction Block Mystery)

My Review
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Suspendered Sentence (An Amish Mystery)

My Review
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One Garish Ghost & Blueberry Peach Jam (Dead by the Numbers Mysteries Book 1)

My Review
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The Glassblower’s Wife

Short Story
My Review
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The Paris Key

My Review
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Miss Ruffles Inherits Everything: A Mystery (Miss Ruffles Mysteries)

My Review
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Murder Fir Christmas (Christmas Tree Valley Mysteries) (Volume 1)

My Review
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Bridges Burned (Zoe Chambers Mystery Series Book 3)

My Review
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What were your favorite books this year? Please share them in the comment section below so we can all see them and add them to our wish lists!

Looking ahead to 2016 I see so many wonderful books in our future. New stories from our favorite authors and new authors bringing us their stories. Sadly some of my favorite series have ended or we will see the last books in 2016. The publishing world continues to evolve. I used to think I would only read print books, but this year I read more than 70 books on my Kindle and some of them made this list.

I hope you have enjoyed my reviews, recommendations, and giveaways. It has been a pleasure being your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent this year. I am excited for the new year as I start my 7th year blogging! I hope to book many more literary escapes for you all to enjoy!

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
Posted in Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Reviews 2015 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review/Giveaway – Miss Ruffles Inherits Everything by Nancy Martin

miss rufflesMiss Ruffles Inherits Everything: A Mystery
(Miss Ruffles Mysteries)

Cozy Mystery
Setting – Texas
Minotaur Books (November 3, 2015)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0312573744
E-Book ASIN: B00W1E16WY
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Rich and flamboyant Honeybelle Hensley, the most colorful character in Mule Stop, Texas, dies a suspicious death and enrages the whole town by leaving her worldly fortune to the most undeserving recipient-her dog. The incorrigible Miss Ruffles is a Texas Cattle Cur, not a cuddly lapdog, and when Honeybelle was alive, Miss Ruffles liked nothing better than digging up Honeybelle’s famous rose garden after breakfast, chasing off the UPS man before lunch and terrorizing the many gentleman callers who came knocking at cocktail hour.

But now Miss Ruffles is in danger, and it’s up to Sunny McKillip, the unwilling dogsitter, to keep her safe. Sunny is new to Texas, and sometimes she feels as if she’s fallen into an alien world. If it isn’t the pistol-packing football fans and the sweet-talking, yet ruthless ladies of the garden club who confound her, it’s the rowdy rodeo hounds and the tobacco-spitting curmudgeon at Critter Control who have her buffaloed. With a killer on the loose and a cowboy lawyer keeping a suspicious eye on her every move, Sunny needs all the help she can get understanding how Texans think. There’s more to Honeybelle’s death than meets this Yankee’s eye, and Sunny has Miss Ruffles to protect, too. It’s a bucking bull ride of an adventure for Sunny, and if she’s not careful she might just get killed . . . or her heart lassoed.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I absolutely loved this story!

Welcome to Mule Stop where football is king and Honeybelle Hensley is queen. She is a very rich lady that is very generous with her money. She also has the most wonderful dog, a Texas Cattle Cur, named Miss Ruffles. Miss Ruffles can be a handful so Honeybelle has hired Sunny McKillip to be her assistant/dogsitter. Sunny hails from Ohio and is still learning the ways of Texas. When Honeybell dies suddenly Sunny is the only one who thinks it is suspicious. Is it a Southern thing? When the will is read and the terms are revealed Sunny has even more on the line and she needs to know if there if Honeybelle was killed for her money because if she was there is so much more at stake.

Nancy Martin has scored a touchdown with Miss Ruffles Inherits Everything! I love Honeybelle, Sunny, Ten, and even curmudgeonly Mae Mae and Mr. Carver, but I adore Miss Ruffles most of all. These characters jumped right out of the pages and into my heart.

I was so sad when Homeybelle died but that set up all the high jinx that would soon follow. In addition to trying to find the killer Sunny has to deal with two guys following her trying to collect a debt of her dead mother’s, deal with the crazy people at the university because Miss Ruffles is the team mascot, and deal with Honeybelle’s family who are upset about her will and much, much more. The pace throughout the entire book is pretty brisk and so entertaining. The final twist is spectacular!

I have to just say Honeybelle’s home and garden sounds just amazing. I had a very clear picture in my mind. I could even smell the roses.

Nancy Martin written almost 50 novels so she know how to tell a story.  Things may be big in Texas but I am a pretty big fan up here in Wisconsin. This is one I am shouting from the rooftops about!!

 paradise

5 STARFISH

5 STARFISH

Dollycas

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the people at Minotaur I have 3 copies to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End November 26, 2015 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

You can find out all about Nancy on her Webpage Here.

Find More of Nancy’s Books Here!

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

Posted in It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You ReadingIt’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

For many years Sheila at Book Journey has hosted It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? meme. At this point in time she believes it is time to pass it on. The Meme will now be hosted by Book Date.  

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

Hope you had a fun weekend.

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

FINISHED

Flipped For Murder (Country Store Mystery)

Release Date – October 27, 2015
Maddie Day will be my guest this week for Cozy Wednesday!
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Olive and Let Die (A Greek to Me Mystery)

Release Date – November 3, 2015
Review will be up Thursday
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Then No One Can Have Her

Release Date – October 27, 2015
Author’s Blog Tour stops here November 6.
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Dead Tease (Loon Lake Mystery Book 12)

Release Date – February 18, 2012
Wisconsin Author and Setting
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Death Changes Everything (A Jake and Emma Mystery Book 4)

Release Date – November 1, 2015
For Review
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ON DECK THIS WEEK

Trimmed with Murder: A Seaside Knitters Mystery

Release Date – November 3, 2015
Sally will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday next week.
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Miss Ruffles Inherits Everything (Miss Ruffles Mysteries)

Release Date – November 3, 2015
For Review
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Stabbing in the Senate (A Washington Whodunit)

Release Date – November 15, 2015
For Review
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escape

Click Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Happy Reading!!
Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
Posted in Cruisin Thru Cozies Reviews 2015 Spotlights You Read How Many Books Challenge

Early Review – The Cracked Spine by Paige Shelton

early review

Paige Shelton has a new series, The Scottish Bookstore Mysteries. The first book, The Cracked Spine, will be released March 29, 2016. I was blessed to receive an advanced copy. Let me tell you about it…

the cracked spine
The Cracked Spine
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Edinburgh, Scotland
Minotaur Books (March 29, 2016)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1250057485
ISBN-13: 978-1250057488
E-Book ASIN: B0151U7X3A
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In need of a good adventure, Delaney Nichols takes the leap and moves to Edinburgh, Scotland to start a job at The Cracked Spine. She doesn’t know much about what she’s gotten herself into, other than that the work sounds exciting, and that her new boss, Edwin MacAlister, has given her the opportunity of a lifetime. Edwin has promised that she’ll be working with “a desk that has seen the likes of kings and queens, paupers and princes,” and Delaney can’t wait to get started.

When she arrives, she meets her new Scottish family; also working at The Cracked Spine are Rosie, perpetually wrapped in scarves, and who always has tiny dog Hector in tow; Hamlet, a nineteen-year-old thespian with a colored past and bright future; and Edwin, who is just as enigmatic and mysterious as Delaney expected. An unexpected bonus is Tom the bartender from across the street, with his piercing eyes, and a rolling brogue — and it doesn’t hurt that he looks awfully good in a kilt.

But before she can settle into her new life, a precious artifact — a previously undiscovered First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays — goes missing, and Edwin’s sister is murdered, seemingly in connection to the missing folio. Delaney decides to do some sleuthing of her own, to find out just what the real story is behind the priceless folio, and how it’s connected to the tragic death, all without getting harmed herself.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am in awe of Delaney Nichols. She answers an unusual ad and within days is leaving Kansas behind and is off to Edinburgh, Scotland and The Cracked Spine. The Cracked Spine is an “humble book and rare manuscript shop”. Truly though it is an amazing place full of nooks, secret spaces, library ladders and books, so many wonderful books.

Edwin MacAlister owns the place and the man responsible for hiring “Delaney from Kansas in America”. He also employs young Hamlet, an aspiring actor with a troubled past, and Rosie, who takes her little dog everywhere she goes. We also meet Elias, the taxi driver, who picked up Delaney at the airport. He introduces her to his wife and they all quickly become friends.  We also met Tom, a handsome bartender at a local pub.

Before Edwin can even share all the plans he has for Delaney in her new position tragedy strikes. His sister, Jenny, is murdered and a previously undiscovered First Folio of Shakespeare’s Plays disappears. With a little help from her new friends Delaney finds herself traveling all over the city tracking down clues trying to find the folio and a killer. This is definitely something Delaney can’t write home about or she may be back in Kansas faster than she can click her heels together.

I knew Paige Shelton was a fantastic storyteller from her Farmer’s Market Mysteries and Country Cooking School Mysteries so it is no surprise that I love, love, love, this story. Complete with the Scottish accents, words, and phrases these characters come alive in these pages. She also paints a clear picture of The Cracked Spine itself and the beautiful city with its castles, alleyway and stores and shops. I was laughing out loud as she fought to get used to the traffic and the cars “on-the-other-side-of-the-road thing”.

The missing folio and the murder may or may not connected so the suspects were very widespread. Could she have been killed by someone she knew? Someone who had nothing to with The Cracked Spine? Or was it a collector that would do anything to obtain Shakespeare’s plays?

Through Shelton’s writing I was able to completely escape to Scotland right along with Delaney and all the new people she meets. Delaney is a strong woman ready for an adventure and I am delighted to accompany her on her journey.  What a impressive debut for this series! This story is a pure treasure!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
paigeAbout The Author

Paige Shelton is the New York Times Bestselling author of the Farmers’ Market Mysteries and the Country Cooking School Mysteries. She’s lived lots of places but currently resides in Arizona. Find out more at www.paigeshelton.com

This book is available to be pre-ordered. Just click the cover below.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. 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 E-Book Challenge Giveaways Guest Posts Literary Escapes Reviews 2015 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Special Guest D. E. Ireland – Author of Move Your Blooming Corpse – Review & Giveaway too!

special guest blue

I am over the moon to have D.E. Ireland visit today. Before I started reading Move Your Blooming Corpse the whole My Fair Lady movie with Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison ran through my head so I was hearing their voices loud and clear as I escaped right into this book. I may have to use this line in my review 🙂

 

Eliza’s Escape

Move-Your-Blooming-Corpse 500 copyWhen Eliza and Professor Higgins aren’t solving crime, they spend much of the week teaching their pupils how to properly speak the King’s English. On their days off, Higgins spends his free time wandering about London, notebook in hand, jotting down every interesting turn of speech he overhears. Eliza, however, prefers shopping, visiting sweet shops, and going to the cinema. Here are a few places where Eliza is certain to be found when she’s not correcting a student’s poor diction at 27A Wimpole Street.

whiteleysWHITELEYS – While the popular PBS series has made Selfridges a recognizable name to Americans, it is Whiteleys that is mentioned in Shaw’s Pygmalion. Indeed, after Eliza moves to Wimpole Street, Colonel Pickering replaces her few raggedy clothes with a lovely new wardrobe from Whiteleys, as this exchange from the play proves.

HIGGINS: Where does one buy a lady’s gown?
PICKERING: Whiteleys of course.
HIGGINS: How do you know that?
PICKERING: Common knowledge.

And why shouldn’t Pickering know that? After all, Whiteleys was the first department store in London. By 1913 it had been in operation for decades. Due to a series of fires, Whiteleys was rebuilt four times; following the fourth fire, the business was moved to Queens Road, reopening in 1912. The new Whiteleys was the world’s largest British store, as well as the most luxurious building in London. It even boasted a roof-top golf course, elevators, and a theater. When Eliza shopped there, she would be greeted by a tiered atrium, glass domes, a splendid sweeping staircase, and marble floors. Taking up an entire city block, Whiteleys offered Eliza the pleasure of shopping for everything from the latest lingerie to furniture. In fact, the elegant department store was such a retail prize that Selfridges, their greatest rival, purchased Whiteleys in 1927.

1913-Picturedrome-programmeTHE ELECTRIC CINEMA & PICTUREDROME – Perhaps even more than shopping, Eliza loves going to the cinema. Pictures of her favorite silent screen performers decorate her bedroom walls, and she is an avid reader of Photoplay. In 1913, the two most famous movie palaces in London were the Electric Cinema in Notting Hill and the East Finchley Picturedrome, which boasted a café and full orchestra. Eliza would have been thrilled not just by the movie, newsreel, and live music which accompanied the screenings, but by the impressive Art Deco architecture of both theatres.

It wasn’t all as fancy as it sounds however. Many movie palaces initially did not have rest rooms, which was problematic when children attended the shows. And because many male patrons brought cigarettes and cigars to the showing, Eliza would often watch the film through a cloud of tobacco smoke. This may have been why many cinemas of that era were rather odiferous, requiring theatre attendants to regularly spray the air with disinfectant fluid. Still Eliza tries to attend the cinema every Friday, where she sits gazing up at the screen, riveted by such stars as Dorothy and Lillian Gish and matinee idol Max Linder.

Fry's_Chocolate_adBAYSWATER CONFECTIONERY  – Given how much Eliza loves sweets, she usually stops in at Bayswater Confectionery during her day off. Unfortunately, Eliza can no longer go to another favorite spot – the tea pavilion at Kew Royal Botanical Gardens – which was burned down in early March by the suffragettes. That caused an even greater uproar than when they trashed the orchid house. While Eliza supports the cause, she finds it puzzling that suffragettes targeted the tea pavilion. After all, most of the patrons were women. Luckily, London boasts more than enough tea rooms and confectioneries to satisfy Eliza’s sweet tooth.

When Eliza is done shopping at Whiteley’s, she heads for Bayswater Confectionery, only a stone’s throw away from the famous department store. Here she buys her favorite chocolates, particularly Fry’s chocolate creams – dark chocolate with a fondant center, plain, peppermint, and orange. Fry’s were first produced in 1866, and are now made by Cadbury’s. In fact, Cadbury’s milk chocolate bars were introduced in 1913.

SELFRIDGES – Eliza is an Edwardian shopaholic, and retail therapy takes up much of her free time. Although she received her first fashionable wardrobe from Whiteleys, Selfridges might be Eliza’s favorite store. She especially loves their celebrated first floor window displays! Curtains hide the workers whenever a new display design is expected, and patrons eagerly await each unveiling.

www.fanpop.com
www.fanpop.com

She always checks out the millinery department’s latest hats and the perfume counter’s numerous cases filled with lovely atomizers and unique bottles of fragrance. But Eliza – along with other ladies of 1913 – is most excited to visit the cosmetics counter. Queen Victoria believed cosmetics were vulgar and should be used only by creatures such as actresses and streetwalkers. But Gordon Selfridge began selling cosmetics in 1909, believing that once women were able to sample them, they would soon buy. He was right! Powder kept the face pale, and Edwardian ladies applied a touch of rouge on the cheeks to give them a youthful glow. However makeup did not become standard for most women until after WWI.

Of course, Eliza also keeps up with 1913 fashion by visiting the department store displays of dresses, skirts, and jackets. Selfridges offers both “off the rack” clothing and custom made ensembles. They often host “fashion parades” for customers to show off the newest designs. Many well-born ladies of the era still prefer private dressmakers, and the upper class flock to Maison Lucile to see Lady Duff Gordon’s exclusive designs. Selfridges, however, catered to all the social classes; their bargain basement was extremely popular. As a Cockney flower girl turned lady, Eliza bridged the social classes just as Selfridges did. That may be why she views Selfridges as the perfect store.


This is oFinal Meg Sharon V1nly one stop on the MOVE YOUR BLOOMING CORPSE Mystery Virtual Book Tour. For other stops on this tour, CLICK HERE.

You can also read more about Eliza and Higgins in WOULDN’T IT BE DEADLY, the first book in the St. Martin’s Minotaur mystery series.

 

About the authors –

D.E. Ireland is a team of award-winning authors, Meg Mims and Sharon Pisacreta. Long time friends, they decided to collaborate on this unique series based on George Bernard Shaw’s wonderfully witty play, Pygmalion, using the beloved characters from Eliza to Higgins to Pickering, Mrs. Pearce, Freddy Eynsford Hill and his family, while adding a slew of new characters. They both live in Michigan, have patient husbands, brilliant daughters and share a love of good books, tea and history.

For more information, check out their website.

 

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Move-Your-Blooming-Corpse 500 copyMove Your Blooming Corpse:
An Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins Mystery

2nd Book in Series
Mystery
Setting – London, England
Minotaur Books (September 22, 2015)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1250049360
E-Book ASIN: B00V39P99E
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In the second book from talented writing team D.E. Ireland, famous literary characters Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins once again come to life as a hilarious investigative team.  Move Your Blooming Corpse explores the Edwardian racing world and the fascinating characters who people, from jockeys to duchesses, in this delightful traditional mystery that will appeal to fans of British mysteries.

Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins are at the posh Royal Ascot, the biggest horse racing event of the season. Eliza’s father is the new co-owner of a champion racehorse, and Eliza and Henry are excited to cheer the Donegal Dancer on to victory. However, their idyllic outing takes a serious turn when a victim is trampled during the Gold Cup race and someone is found murdered in the stables.

With time running out before the upcoming Eclipse Stakes, she and Higgins investigate jealous spouses, suffragettes and the colorful co-owners of the Donegal Dancer. But can they outrace the murderer, or will there be another blooming corpse at the finish line?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I was chomping at the bit waiting for this book to come out. (A little horse humor ?) But I really was excited to read this. I loved the first book in and the series. My Fair Lady is one of my all time favorite movies, in fact the whole thing played in my head before I started reading so Eliza and Higgins voices were very present in my mind which got me off and running at the starting gate. (too much, sorry.)

As you can tell the story revolves around horse racing and things were “loverly” until people starting dying. Then Eliza and Higgins were right in the thick of things much to dear Freddie’s dismay.

These characters are so superb, I love them all, even the guilty ones. They go above and beyond the movie and my expectations. They jump right off the page. The dialogue is absolutely delightful. The exchanges between Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins are so blooming funny.

This author team has whipped up quite a mystery too. We go behind the scenes of horse ownership and racing and we also travel to a few suffragette rallies and Eliza gains a new skill. It comes in quite handy too and she and Henry come down the stretch to catch a killer. (sorry, I just can’t help myself.) There were a few pretty suspenseful moments that made by heart race pretty quickly.

As with the first book once I started reading I just couldn’t stop and I was sad that it ended. A marvelous read! Completely captivating! Another one that will be on my Best Reads list for 2015. I will barely be holding my horses until next year for the next installment to the fantastic series. (o.k. I’ll stop now.)

paradise

5 STARFISH5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAYThe authors are giving away 3 Hardcover Copies!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

Leave a Comment for the Authors for 5 Bonus Entries!!!!

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

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

Contest Will End October 8, 2015 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 It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

This great meme is hosted by Sheila at
Book Journey”.
It’s a great way to start the week and
find out what other bloggers are reading.
My To-Be-Read pile has grown to an
unbelievable number thanks to this meme.

What a week! The NASCAR Chase started, NFL football is back, new episodes of the fall shows are starting and the summer ones are wrapping up and the October cozies arrived in the mail. I love everything about Autumn except the colder temps, but if it stayed warm I would miss the colors changing on the trees so I guess I will have to pull out a sweater and just put up with the changes.
fall-leaves-tree (1)

Here’s a recap of what I read last week and a look forward to the week ahead:

FINISHED

The Brooklyn Drop (A Fina Fitzgibbons Brooklyn Mystery Book 4)

Release Date – August 15, 2015
This Great Escapes Book Tour stops here tomorrow.
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Move Your Blooming Corpse: An Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins Mystery

Release Date: September 22, 2015
D.E. Ireland will be my Special Guest on Thursday.
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The Cracked Spine

I am thrilled to have received an early copy of this book that
will be released March 29, 2016.

Review will be posted later this week.
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ON DECK THIS WEEK

For Whom the Bluebell Tolls (A Bridal Bouquet Shop Mystery)

My September Just For Fun Read
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Mission To Kill (a Garcia Girls Mystery)

Release Date – September 11, 2015
For Review
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Looking for Mr. Good Witch (Retired Witches Mysteries)

Release Date – October 6, 2015
For Review
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escape

Click Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Happy Reading!!
Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
Posted in It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

This great meme is hosted by Sheila at
Book Journey”.
It’s a great way to start the week and
find out what other bloggers are reading.
My To-Be-Read pile has grown to an
unbelievable number thanks to this meme.

I am truly blessed with a wonderful family. We participated in the Out of the Darkness Walk yesterday in memory and in honor of my son Kristopher. It was a day of smiles and tears.

Kris' daughter Natalie with her cousin Jackson.
Kris’ daughter Natalie with her cousin Jackson.
Our wonderful family.
Our wonderful family.

Here’s a recap of what I read last week and a look forward to the week ahead:

FINISHED

Lost In America (Book One, Episodes 1-3)

For Review
Release Date – June 4, 2015
Wisconsin Author – Review will be up tomorrow!
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Law and Author (Ashton Corners Book Club)

Release Date – September 1, 2015
Erika Chase will be my guest this week for Cozy Wednesday!
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Threads of Evidence (A Mainely Needlepoint Mystery)

Review will be up Thursday!
Release Date – August 25, 2015
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ON DECK THIS WEEK

The Brooklyn Drop (A Fina Fitzgibbons Brooklyn Mystery Book 4)

Release Date – August 15, 2015
This Great Escapes Book Tour stops here on the 22nd.
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Shepherd’s Crook (An Animals in Focus Mystery)

Release Date – October 8, 2015
Sheila will be my guest next week for Cozy Wednesday!
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Move Your Blooming Corpse: An Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins Mystery

Release Date: September 22, 2015
D.E. Ireland will be my Special Guest on September 24.
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escape

Click Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Happy Reading!!
Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
Posted in Cozy Wednesday Giveaways Guest Posts

Cozy Wednesday with Carolyn Haines – Author of Bone to Be Wild – Giveaway too!

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

My guest today is the fabulous Carolyn Haines!

 

 

safe_image.phpIn the world of Sarah Booth Delaney, the protagonist of my mystery series, there are two things a reader can count on. One—that someone will quote Sarah Booth’s dead Aunt Loulane with a wise saying, often Southern in origin. Two–that Jitty, who is also dead but is very much a lively part of the book, will be sassy.

bone to be wild jacketBONE TO BE WILD is the 15th book in the series, which is set in Zinnia, Mississippi, in the heart of the Delta. It goes on sale May 19 at all bookstores.

In this book, Sarah Booth is on her own again—the engagement with Graf Milieu is broken—and Scott Hampton, the incredibly sexy blues singer (and former lover) from CROSSED BONES has returned to town and needs help. He’s bought a blues club at a famous crossroads and someone is sending threatening messages for him to leave town.

When the bartender is gunned down in back of the club, Sarah Booth realizes the threats are deadly. Any band member, including Scott, could be next.

Sarah Booth and her partner, Tinkie Bellcase Richmond (a true Daddy’s Girl who can manipulate men like putty) are on the case. They have to find out who is behind the threats before more people die.

Jitty, who is known for being a decade-hopping fashionista and the ‘haint’ who goads Sarah Booth to settle down and have a family, shows up in this book as famous blues divas. She is more than an annoying ghost, though. She has come back to Dahlia House (Sarah Booth’s home) to serve as a guide and protector, as well as tormenter.

I thought it might be fun to explore some of the sayings that Jitty is prone to quote from Aunt Loulane, the woman who took care of Sarah Booth after her parents were killed. A wise woman and a proper lady, Aunt Loulane wasn’t above putting it on the line when necessary.

If a person was quite satisfied with their lot in life, Aunt Loulane might say, “She’s as happy as a one-eyed dog on a gut wagon.” The meaning here is that a one-eyed dog, while not able to scrap effectively for food, would have plenty to eat on a gut wagon. (I don’t make this stuff up, I just repeat it.)

Aunt Loulane was very fond of saying of Mrs. Hedgepeth (an old crank) that she was “half a bubble off plumb.” Meaning she isn’t level, or sane.

Another expression from the old South—“Somebody beat her (or him) with an ugly stick.” This person is not attractive.

ATT00003Aunt Loulane never trusted anyone whose eyes were close together. She might paint the picture this way. “If his eyes got any closer together he could play Cyclops in the school drama.”

And poor old Lewis Felts was so thin “he’d have to stand up twice to cast a shadow.”

Another way of calling a person thin is to say, “You’ve about fell off to nothin’.”

For the young men who get into it in a local juke joint, the dire threat to hurl is always, “I’m gonna punch you in the mouth so hard your teeth march out your ass like little white soldiers.” Wow. Now that’s a visual.

Or, the second bad boy threat—“I’m gonna stomp a mud hole in your ass and walk it dry.”

Of course, these threats often came about if two men were “drunker than Cooter Brown.”ATT00001

For ladies who weren’t careful with short skirts or how they sat, you would hear other ladies say, “Well, Lulu Belle won’t be single long, I can see clear to the Promised Land.”

Or, the highest compliment a Southern girl can hear. “Girl, you look so good I’m gonna take you home and sop you up with a biscuit.”

The colorful expressions of the South are only one of the things that make it so unique. The landscape can range from sandy white beaches, to the flat pine barrens, up to the Mississippi Delta, where the topsoil is the richest on earth. But there are also mountainous areas and white-water rivers. It’s a land of great diversity of topography and of character.

In the books Aunt Loulane’s wisdom is repeated by any number of characters who knew her. While she would never be so crass as to tell someone to “shut yourATT00004 pie hole,” she might say, “You should close your mouth before your ignorance falls out and ruins the carpet.”

My grandmother had her own sayings, and a word of wisdom she told me all the time—warning me to the dangers of being bossy and independent. “A whistling girl and a crowing hen will never come to a good end.”

She warned me, but it didn’t take. And Sarah Booth has yet to heed that bit of wisdom herself.ATT00002

~Carolyn

About The Author

Carolyn Haines is the author of over 70 books in a number of genres. She has been honored with the Harper Lee Award for Distinguished Writing and the Richard Wright Award for Literary Excellence. The Sarah Booth mystery series was named “Top Amateur Sleuth” by Romantic Times. Carolyn also runs the Good Fortune Farm Refuge, which is an animal rescue where she cares for dogs, cats, and horses. For more information, go to www.carolynhaines.com to sign up for her newsletter.  You can also join her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Bone to Be Wild: A Sarah Booth Delaney Mystery
15th in Series
Publisher: Minotaur Books (May 19, 2015)
Hardcover: 368 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1250046147
E-Book ASIN: B00OXEL8HI
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Sarah Booth Delaney is heartbroken: her fiancé Graf Milieu has decided to move to Hollywood permanently, leaving their relationship in shambles. Sarah Booth has a perfect distraction, however, in the form of the Black and Orange Halloween ball her best friends are throwing in New Orleans. Sarah Booth plans to dance the night away to the swinging tunes of her old flame Scott Hampton’s blues band. But just as the party gets going, Scott receives a mysterious message that threatens his life and the lives of his bandmates. Sarah Booth knows that a new case is just what she needs to take her mind off her failed relationship with Graf, and she’s ready to help Scott investigate. And then the message turns from threat to reality when the bartender from Scott’s club is gunned down in a drive-by. Enlisting Sheriff Coleman Peters and the rest of her friends from Zinnia, Mississippi, Sarah Booth is caught in a race against the clock as she tries to stop a killer from striking again.

With a twist around every corner, Carolyn Haines will delight readers with Sarah Booth Delaney’s latest zany adventure in Bone to be Wild.

GIVEAWAY

The author is giving 1 copy of Bone to Be Wild away!!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Following the new Google+ Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book Fan Page
will earn you 3 Bonus Entries.

Leave a comment for Carolyn for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End June 3, 2015 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

 

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent