Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Reviews 2018 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – Death by Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake (A Death by Chocolate Mystery) by Sarah Graves @KensingtonBooks #NetGalley


Death by Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake (A Death by Chocolate Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Maine
Kensington (January 30, 2018)
Hardcover: 240 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496711281
Kindle ASIN: B072812S81

 

 

Life just got a little sweeter in the island fishing village of Eastport, Maine. Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree and her best friend Ellie are opening a waterfront bake shop, The Chocolate Moose, where their tasty treats pair perfectly with the salty ocean breeze. But while Jake has moved on from fixing up houses, she still can’t resist the urge to snoop into the occasional murder.
 
Jake and Ellie have been through a lot together, from home repair to homicide investigation. So when they decide to open a chocolate-themed bakery, they figure it’ll be a piece of cake. With Ellie’s old family recipes luring in customers, they expect to make plenty of dough this Fourth of July weekend. Having family home for the holiday only sweetens the deal for Jake—until the ill wind of an early-season hurricane blows up her plans. When the storm hits, Jake’s grown son Sam is stranded in a Boston bus station, and her husband Wade is stuck on a cargo ship. But as bitter as the storm is, something even more sinister is brewing in the kitchen of The Chocolate Moose—where health inspector Matt Muldoon is found murdered.
 
Ellie never made a secret of her distaste for Matt, who had been raining on their parade with bogus talk of health code violations. Now, with no alibi for the night of the murder, she’s in a sticky situation with the police—and it’s up to Jake to catch the real killer and keep Ellie living in the land of the free.

Includes a Recipe!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sarah Graves ended her Home Repair is Homicide Mysteries back in 2013. To her fans delight, she has brought the characters back in this new Death by Chocolate Mystery series. Jake and Ellie have opened up a bake shop on the waterfront and the town of Eastport still has a murder problem and this murder happens right in their business, The Chocolate Moose. Matt Muldoon has been after them since they opened with one complaint after another, even saying he would report them to his “friends at the Maine State Health Department”. Ellie couldn’t stand the man, but she can’t be the only one. She didn’t kill him but she and Jake will have to find out who did or Ellie may find herself working in the prison kitchen.

These characters were very well developed in the previous series but are now facing new situations as they try to get their new business off the ground. Enough background is given so new readers should not feel lost. They do mention the crimes they have solved before but it is not too much to take over this new story. Jake and Ellie are both strong women and work together very well.

In addition to the dead man in the kitchen, there is a hurricane headed toward Eastport and the town is planning for their huge 4th of July celebration. Jake and Ellie have a huge order for Chocolate Cherry Cheesecakes for the silent auction. Also, Jake’s dad is in the hospital when the story begins. To say these ladies have their hands full is an understatement.

The story rolls along at a great pace as Jake and Ellie find themselves in some dire situations. Twists and turns aplenty keep us readers on our toes. I did enjoy the interaction between the ladies and chief of police Bob Arnold, he trusted them enough to be able to accept their input because they have a history with this type of situation. Jake’s family life added a nice subplot and I was so surprised by Sam’s announcement.

Fans of the previous series will love this spin-off, new readers will fall for these characters too after reading this book. I have to say spin-offs are rare and hard to do in cozy mysteries but Sarah Graves has done a fine job. I am looking forward to future stories with Jake and Ellie.

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Sarah Graves lives in Eastport, Maine, in a 200-year-old house much like Jake Tiptree’s. After 20 years of home repair – and yes, it really does make you think about murder! – she has handed in her toolbox and returned to her first love: chocolate. When she’s not cooking or baking something delectable, or writing about it, she tends a huge garden or shovels snow, depending upon the season.

Also by Sarah Graves


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy 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.

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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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Literary Escapes Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge Reviews 2018 Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – Survival of the Fritters (A Deputy Donut Mystery) by Ginger Bolton @KensingtonBooks #NetGalley


Survival of the Fritters (A Deputy Donut Mystery)
Cozy MysteryMystery
1st in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington (January 30, 2018)
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496711878
E-Book ASIN: B071HKMK38

 

 

Emily Westhill runs the best donut shop in Fallingbrook, Wisconsin, alongside her retired police chief father-in-law and her tabby Deputy Donut. But after murder claims a favorite customer, Emily can’t rely on a sidekick to solve the crime—or stay alive.

If Emily has learned anything from her past as a 911 operator, it’s to stay calm during stressful situations. But that’s a tall order when one of her regulars, Georgia Treetor, goes missing. Georgia never skips morning cappuccinos with her knitting circle. Her pals fear the worst—especially Lois, a close friend who recently moved to town. As evening creeps in, Emily and the ladies search for Georgia at home. And they find her—murdered among a scattering of stale donuts . . .

Disturbingly, Georgia’s demise coincides with the five-year anniversary of her son’s murder, a case Emily’s late detective husband failed to solve before his own sudden death. With Lois hiding secrets and an innocent man’s life at stake, Emily’s forced to revisit painful memories on her quest for answers. Though someone’s alibi is full of holes, only a sprinkling of clues have been left behind. And if Emily can’t trace them back to a killer in time, her donut shop will end up permanently closed for business . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Set in fabulous Wisconsin this book gets this series off to a wonderful start.

We meet widow Emily Westhill and her father-in-law Tom, owners of the local donut shop lovingly named after her tabby cat Deputy Donut. When one of their regulars fails to show up to meet her knitting circle her friends get worried. By the end of the day, Emily tags along with the group to see if something happened to Georgia at home. When they find the woman dead on the floor surrounded by donuts from Emily’s shop, Emily has to draw on her dispatch training to get them through the aftermath of their discovery. The woman’s son died on the same day 5 years ago. A case that stuck with both her husband and his partner. Since her husband’s death, Emily has steered clear of his partner Brent, but this new murder has brought them back together. Emily used to be a good sounding board for her husband. Can she and Brent work together to solve this murder?

This author also wrote the Threadville Mysteries as herself, Janet Bolin. A series I absolutely loved. So when I heard she was writing a series set in my home state I was over the moon.

This new set of characters is very captivating. The idea of Emily working with her father-in-law/retired police chief is such a fun idea. Everyone knows how much police officers love their donuts. Emily and Tom work well together and the shop has a set up where Deputy Donut “Dep” can watch over the whole place without getting in trouble with the health department. He is a very special cat too, attentive, inquisitive and very important to Emily, the donut shop, and this story. Emily’s friends, Misty, a police officer and Samantha, an EMT, have Emily’s back no matter what. Emily is a wonderful protagonist. You know right away she has a caring heart, but it is a little closed off dealing with the grief of losing her husband and guilt thinking had she been working the dispatch when the call came in that maybe he would still be alive.

The mystery itself is pretty complex. The suspect pool was very small until Emily did a lot of snooping in both in the cold case and the new one. To say I was shocked at the big killer reveal would be an understatement. I really enjoyed the ending, it sure got my heart rate escalating.

As I said, the story is set in Wisconsin, but it was Emily’s Fallingbrook home and yard that were very intriguing. Her place and her neighbors are connected in a unique way, and she didn’t know it until this mystery begins.

The author writes with a delightful descriptive style that makes the story flow so well. She drew me in quickly and I was actually sad when I reached the final page. I want to know these characters better. I am excited to see what happens next in their lives. Goodbye Cruller World hits bookstores August 28 and I can’t wait. 

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Ginger Bolton writes the Deputy Donut mystery series–cops, crime, coffee, donuts and one curious cat. When Ginger isn’t writing or reading, she’s crocheting, knitting, sewing, walking her two rescue dogs and generally causing trouble. She’s also fond of donuts, coffee, and cafes where folks gather to enjoy those tasty treats and one another’s company.

 

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Ginger has joined Killer Characters!


Written as Janet Bolin


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy 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.

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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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge Reviews 2018 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – Class Reunions Are Murder (A Poppy McAllister Mystery) by Libby Klein @KensingtonBooks #ClassReunionsAreMurder #NetGalley

Class Reunions Are Murder (A Poppy McAllister Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New Jersey
Kensington (January 30, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496713032
E-Book ASIN: B072HS2JGM

 

 

For fortysomething Poppy McAllister, taking a stroll down memory lane in Cape May, New Jersey, isn’t just awkward—it’s deadly.

Newly widowed and stuck in a middle-aged funk, Poppy has been running on cookies, infomercials, and one-sided chats with her cat for months. There’s no way on earth she’s attending her twenty-five-year class reunion—especially after receiving a very bizarre letter from Barbie, the popular cheerleader who taunted her all through high school. At least, not until Poppy’s best friend practically drags her to the event . . .

Using the dreaded homecoming as an excuse to visit her eccentric Aunt Ginny, Poppy vows to leave Cape May with pride and Spanx intact. Too bad Barbie is still the queen of mean at the reunion. And worse, that her dead body is lying right in front of Poppy’s old locker. Singled out as the killer, it’s up to Poppy to confront her past and clear her name. But between protecting her aunt from disaster and tackling a gluten-free diet, can Poppy crack the case before she’s voted “Most Likely to Die” by the murderer?

Includes Seven Recipes from Poppy’s Kitchen!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This was a fresh, fun, and very entertaining read!

Poppy McAllister has been dealing with the grief of her husband’s death. She hardly leaves her house and is in no hurry do so. She and her cat are just fine. Then she receives an invite to her class reunion including a letter from Barbie, one of the popular crowd of which Poppy was never ever part of. She has no desire to attend but her best friend begs her to come.

“Friday afternoon dawned bright and early and my alarm clock let out a loud meow, letting me know I had overslept and his belly was a quart low.”

Poppy really does need to visit her Aunt Ginny so she packs herself and her cat Figaro “Fig” in the car and heads to Cape May. What could go wrong? She arrives at the reunion and Barbie is in rare form, insulting almost everyone she sees. When Poppy finds her dead body and right in front of her old locker she is found guilty by her peers even before the investigation even begins. She can’t leave town, plus she has to help her aunt out of a huge mess, so she might as well work to find the real killer.

I loved this book! Poppy is a great protagonist. I identified with her on so many levels. Her Aunt Ginny is a spitfire too, so I know where Poppy gets it. Both women are dealing with personal crisis’ in addition to trying to catch a killer. I have also fallen hard for Fig. They all cracked me up several times.

The plot really has two mysteries, Barbie’s murder and Aunt Ginny’s fight to remain in her home. They flow nicely side by side and together. The murder has so many suspects, almost anyone at the reunion could have put the cheerleader out of their misery. 🙂  Ginny’s problem is puzzling because someone has decided she is unable to care for herself and Poppy, a murder suspect, is not viewed as a good guardian. Both mysteries are complex, I had a hint as to what was happening to Ginny because something similar happened to someone I know. Barbie’s murder was a doozy to solve and I was completely surprised when the killer was revealed.

I also enjoyed the fact that a high school boyfriend was still sweet on Poppy and a handsome barista was interested in her too. I am looking forward to seeing which of these romances Poppy pursues in the future.

Everything about this book appealed to me. I love it when stories make me laugh out loud and the characters seem like people I would want to be friends with. Ms. Klein has written a superb story and scores my first Paradise Rating, (deserves more than 5 stars) of 2018.

Midnight Snacks Are Murder comes out July 31 and I already have it scheduled on my reading calendar!

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Libby Klein dabbles in the position of Vice President of a technology company which mostly involves bossing other people around, making spreadsheets, and taking out the trash. She writes culinary cozy mysteries from her Northern Virginia office while trying to keep her cat Figaro off her keyboard.
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January 30 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
January 31 – Readeropolis – INTERVIEW
January 31 – Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW
February 1 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
February 2 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 2 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
February 3 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
February 4 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 5 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW
February 6 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT
February 7 – Maureen’s Musing – SPOTLIGHT
February 7 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 8 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW
February 9 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
February 10 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW  
February 11 – The Montana Bookaholic – 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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Reviews 2018 What's In A Name Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – Murder Borrowed, Murder Blue (A Wedding Planner Mystery) by Stephanie Blackmoore @KensingtonBooks #NetGalley


Murder Borrowed, Murder Blue (A Wedding Planner Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Kensington (January 30, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496704825
Kindle ASIN: B0725F8BYD

 

 

A celebrity couple getting hitched on Valentine’s Day would be a big boost for Mallory Shepard’s wedding planning business, but someone’s got cold feet: a corpse . . .

Actress Dakota Craig is set to tie the knot with her famous musician boyfriend at Mallory’s Pennsylvania B&B on the most romantic day of the year. Best of all, the whole thing will air on the reality TV show I Do. But the maid of honor has dropped out of the wedding party—by dropping dead.

A lot of people insist the show must go on, so Mallory’s investigation keeps getting sidetracked by everything from a meddling mother to a foot of snow to a side project making arrangements for a high school Winter Ball. But if she doesn’t catch the noxious culprit, the bride might wind up with a funeral wreath instead of a bouquet . . .

Recipes Included

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Mallory and Rachel have their hands’ full preparing for a celebrity wedding that will be airing on television and the Winter Ball for the local high school. The B&B is full of the crew from I Do, the show featuring actress Dakota Craig and her famous musician boyfriend, Beau Wright’s wedding set to take place on Valentine’s Day. One problem, the maid of honor is found dead right in the middle of the Winter Ball. The bride decides to go through with the ceremony but her mother, the show’s host and it’s producer all have demands Mallory doesn’t know if she can fulfill, especially because it seems the bride’s wishes are being ignored. And of course, there is a murder investigation that could put a halt to everyone’s plans.

This is a fantastic twisted up mystery story.

You may need a scorecard to keep track of all the players. Dakota Craig grew up and attended school in Port Quincy. Her school friend,  Ginger Crevecoeur is to be her maid of honor, Ellie Barnes, and her sister Leah the bridesmaids. Ginger is the headmistress of Dunlap Women’s Academy and Ellie is the drama teacher. They all attended the academy and Leah is a current student. Ellie and Leah’s mother, Iris, owns a nursery with several greenhouses and will be providing special flowers for the wedding events. Mallory’s almost mother-in-law Helene is on the academy board and she is the one who forced the Winter Ball into Mallory’s hands. Adrienne, the host of I Do, also happens to be Summer’s mother, ex of the man Mallory is dating. Adrienne left when Summer was a baby and they have just recently reconnected. Xavier, the show’s producer has a past linked to Roxanne, Dakota’s very overbearing mother, and the reason why the wedding is being broadcast. Xavier has also made Mallory and Rachel an offer that may be too good to pass up.

While there are a lot of characters, the mystery is so worth the time to get everybody straight. It is very well written and plotted. Twists on top of twists kept me guessing from beginning to end. How Mallory kept her cool and keep things straight was just amazing to me. The murder takes place when the B&B is full of all the guests at the Winter Ball. Recent events have Mallory thinking she knows who the killer is, she just has to prove it and while doing so more suspects come to light. I escaped right into this book and had my own thoughts about the guilty party. I was so close, but I was wrong again.

I enjoyed all the author’s descriptions are the people, their clothes and the places they went. She makes it so easy to picture everything clearly. Thistle Park B&B is much larger than I originally thought and sounds like under Mallory and Rachel’s care it has become an amazing place.

This is a wonderful cozy series. I have loved every book and do recommend reading them in order for maximum enjoyment.

I am excited about what is coming up with these characters. There is a teaser chapter for Gown With The Wind at the back of the book.

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

A native Pittsburgher, Stephanie Blackmoore now lives in Missouri, with her husband, son and two-spirited cats. She was an attorney in Pittsburgh and a librarian in Florida before becoming a writer. Stephanie is a fan of everything black-and-yellow. She is hard at work on her next Wedding Planner mystery. Connect with Stephanie at the links below.

Social Media Links:  Website    Facebook    Twitter

Kindle Copy of Murder Wears White is just $1.99 on Amazon.

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy 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
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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 My Reading Itinerary Monday

My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #47 2017 – Ohio, Virginia, New York

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

This week I am traveling east before heading back to the midwest.

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

Escapes Completed

The Mayor’s Son Release Date – August 30, 2017
Setting – My Home Town – Columbus, Wisconsin
Personal Purchase – My Review


A Fatal Collection (A Keepsake Cove Mystery)
Release Date – November 8, 2017
Setting – Maryland
Review will be up tomorrow.


A Late Frost (An Orchard Mystery)
Release Date – November 7, 2017
Setting – Massachusetts
Sheila will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday this week!


Dead Loudmouth (A Loon Lake Mystery)
Release Date – June 1, 2016
Setting – Wisconsin
My Flashback Friday Book

Current Escape


Assault and Buttery (A Popcorn Shop Mystery)
Setting – Ohio
For Review

Scheduled Escapes


Not a Creature Was Purring (A Paws & Claws Mystery)
Release Date – November 7, 2017
Setting – Virginia
For Review


Hark the Herald Angels Slay (A Year-Round Christmas Mystery)
Release Date – November 28, 2017
Setting – New York
Vicki will be my guest next week for Cozy Wednesday


The Plot Is Murder (Mystery Bookshop)
Release Date – November 28, 2017
Setting – North Harbor on the shores of Lake Michigan
For Review

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Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!
Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Reviews 2016 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review/ #Giveaway – Drawing Blood by Deirdre Verne – Great Escapes Book Tour

DRAWING BLOOD large banner640

Drawing Blood
by Deirdre Verne

drawing blood
Drawing Blood
(A Sketch in Crime Mystery)

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – New York
Publisher: Midnight Ink (February 8, 2016)
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738742281
E-Book ASIN: B019KKTX0I
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Synopsis

CeCe Prentice returns with her band of Dumpster-diving pals in this fast-paced mystery that puts the eco-friendly heroine back on top—of a pile of trash.

When Big Bob, manager of the town dump, goes missing, CeCe is worried about more than where she’ll score her next salvaged car. First at the scene when Bob’s body is recovered from under the weekly recycling haul, CeCe is quick to identify potential witnesses and provide crucial scene sketches. But when CeCe is uncharacteristically startled by an unidentified woman at Bob’s abandoned house, her artistic talents are challenged, and her drawings, much to her frustration, come up short.

With CeCe’s observational talents on the fritz, Detective Frank DeRosa, CeCe, and her network of Freegans are forced to recreate Big Bob’s life from the garbage up. The team is soon thrust into the underworld of recycling where what appears to be junk could actually be the clue that saves a life.


Dollycas’s Thoughts

As I ended my review of Drawing Conclusions, the first book in this series, I was wondering how this author was going to keep up to the excellence she reached in that story. I just finished Drawing Blood and let me tell you she a drawn up another story that will keep you totally entertained.

Cece and her friends are “freegans“, a unique lifestyle. They dumpster dive for food, have a huge garden, and visit the local recycling center and thrift stores for most of their needs. In this installment Cece’s friend and housemate Katrina is due to have her baby any day, her friend, Big Bob, manager of the local recycling center in missing, and Cece is looking for a child that could be hers that would have been carried by a surrogate. And that is just how the story starts, there is so much more. The synopsis tells you Big Bob’s body is found under a pile of garbage and that Detective Frank DeRosa in on the case but when Cece and her friends join the investigation it all leads to something you have just have to read for yourself. I really enjoyed that Frank knows he can ask for and get help from Cece and the others.

As with the first story, this author’s distinct writing  style shines. The plots and subplots twist all together throughout the story and each twist has its own little “wow” factor.  Cece’s  unique ability to see people in her mind so clearly and pick up their nuances and put the images down on paper is key to solving the case. She has trouble with the facial details for one person that she knows is so important. She works so hard to try to grasp that image. The investigation seems to be turning up more questions than answers but Frank, Cece, Charlie and even a very pregnant Katrina each help to put things together and details start to fall into place. This sets up a very suspenseful and dramatic ending that had me sitting up straight in my chair.

Excellent from start to finish. A story that deserves more than 5 stars!

This story does build on the first book so I do recommend reading that one first. In fact a perfect winter weekend curled up with both books is something I recommend wholeheartedly.

I will not wonder about Verne’s next book because I just know if will be as amazing as the first two. I just hate that we will probably have to wait a year for it.

paradise 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

deidre

About This Author

Deirdre Verne (Lower Westchester, NY) is a mystery writer, college professor, and an active college blogger. Deirdre’s interest in green living inspired her to create an off-the-grid character who Dumpster dives her way through the “Sketch in Crime” mystery series. Verne’s second book, Drawing Blood, is available in February 2016. “A dysfunctional functional family to die for…[CeCe Prentice’s] second case is every bit as twisty and surprising.”-Kirkus Reviews.

A member of Sisters in Crime, Deirdre’s short stories appear in all three New York chapter anthologies – Murder New York Style, Murder New York Style: Fresh Slices and Family Matters. Visit her online at DeirdreVerne.com.

 

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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 E-Book Challenge Literary Escapes Reviews 2016 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review – The Flood Girls by Richard Fifield

the flood girlsThe Flood Girls
Contemporary Fiction
Setting – Montana
Gallery Books (February 2, 2016)
A Division of Simon & Schuster
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1476797380
E-Book ASIN: B010MH9ZO2
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Welcome to Quinn, Montana, population: 956. A town where nearly all of the volunteer firemen are named Jim, where The Dirty Shame—the only bar in town—refuses to serve mixed drinks (too much work), where the locals hate the newcomers (then again, they hate the locals, too), and where the town softball team has never even come close to having a winning season. Until now.

Rachel Flood has snuck back into town after leaving behind a trail of chaos nine years prior. She’s here to make amends, but nobody wants to hear it, especially her mother, Laverna. But with the help of a local boy named Jake and a little soul-searching, she just might make things right.

In the spirit of Empire Falls and A League of Their Own, with the caustic wit of Where’d You Go, Bernadette thrown in for good measure, Richard Fifield’s hilarious and heartwarming debut will have you laughing through tears.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Needing a little change from the mysteries I usually read I jumped at the opportunity to review this book and am I glad I did.

Growing up in a small town, my family owned and operated a tavern and we even sponsored a baseball team so I felt right at home in Quinn and The Dirty Shame. We meet Rachel who has come home to make amends to the people she wronged in her past. Yes, she’s in Alcoholics Anonymous. Since letters didn’t work she has decided to do them in person. She is not welcomed with open arms but a spot on the baseball team and meeting a boy named Jake may help her to complete this very important step.  She also attends a local AA meeting and receives support from some surprising people.

Rachel left a bit of chaos when she left town. She slept with a lot of guys, single and married. I know growing up in a tavern environment can be difficult, thankfully I had strong, loving parents guiding my way but I gave them some gray hairs too. Rachel’s life was nowhere close to mine. Her mother worked a lot and was emotionally unavailable and Rachel took an unsurprising path. She gets a second chance. The people of Quinn are a tight knit group. Will they accept Rachel’s apologies?

Richard Fifield has hit a home run with this debut. All of these characters, and there are many, are so well developed they positively leap off the pages. At first I had a little trouble keeping everyone straight but soon the vast personalities grew and it became easy. From the main characters to the bar patrons, the ladies on the baseball team, the firemen and everyone Rachel came in connect with, they were all believable characters. They are a pretty rough and tumble bunch. Their lives have not been easy and some tough times take place within the pages. The young man Rachel befriends has been struggling with his identity mostly because of his home life. His step father just can’t accept that he is gay and things take a huge and and very unexpected, at least by me, dark turn. I was afraid something was going to happen and when it did, it stopped me cold.

Fifield also knows to set the scene, the bar, the baseball fields, the trailer parks, his descriptions were fantastic.  His pacing was perfect. The dialogue was great too, whether a phrase filled with sarcasm or a heart warming talk, or anywhere in between.

I enjoy reading stories that make me feel an abundance of emotions and this story truly did that. I can’t say I laughed out loud or say it “hilarious”, but there were some funny moments. There were some uplifting moments as well. It is the heartbreaking ones that are going to stick with me. I have a picture in my head that will be in there a long time. I think this story would be an outstanding choice for a book club. I know there would be some great discussions. I wish I belonged to one because I would love to talk about this book with others.

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Richard Fifield earned his MFA from Sarah Lawrence College in upstate New York. For the past twenty years he has worked as a social worker for adults with intellectual disabilities, while volunteering as a creative writing teacher in Missoula, Montana. Find out more on his webpage 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 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!

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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 Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes Reviews 2015 What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

A Killer Retreat by Tracy Weber Great Escapes Book Tour – Giveaway

great escape tour banner large A KILLER RETREAT640As I told you back on the 3rd I was excited for stop and I am happy to share this second Downward Dog Mystery with you!

Killer RetreatA Killer Retreat:
A Downward Dog Mystery #2 (Downward Dog Mysteries)

Cozy Mystery
Setting: Washington
Midnight Ink (January 8, 2015)
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738742090
E-Book ASIN: B00QVLB9MA
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Yogi Kate must clear her name of murder in this charming yoga mystery

When Kate Davidson gets an offer to teach yoga classes to wedding guests at the Elysian Springs resort, she jumps at the opportunity, even though it means being forced to endure the wedding ceremony of the center’s two caretakers.

Avoiding the M-word turns out to be the least of Kate’s problems when a wedding guest is found floating face-down in the resort’s hot tub, shortly after a loud, public (and somewhat embarrassing) fight with Kate. The police pick Kate as their number-one suspect, so she’s forced to team up with boyfriend Michael, best friend Rene, and German shepherd sidekick Bella to find the real killer. But they’ll have to solve the murder before the police arrest Kate, or her next gig may last a lifetime–behind bars.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Deep Breath In, Deep Breath Out. Now get ready for a mystery with several twists and turns and yoga positions.

Kate Davidson is a yoga instructor and in a perfect world her life would be calm and uplifting but Kate’s world is far from perfect. She has been asked to teach yoga classes Elysian Springs Resort. This means she will have to find other yoga instructors to fill in for her at her own studio but that should be easy and she will just be a phone call away. (Yeah, right 🙂 )

She decides to take the job and take her boyfriend Micheal with her. She also invites her best friend Rene and her husband to come along and of course Bella, her newly adopted German Shepherd will come with too. The trip starts out rocky as Kate is worrying about everything from Bella’s food to if her relationship with Micheal is moving too quickly.

Then Rene and Sam arrive and there is definitely tension between them and Rene is sick and puking all over the place.

As if that is not enough drama before the week barely gets started Kate finds the body of a woman floating in the hot tub and the lady has ruined almost everyone’s trip to the retreat so there really are no shortage of suspects – including Kate. She is going to need more than a few yoga sessions to get herself out of this mess. Deep breaths Kate!

Again Tracy Weber draws us right into the story. She introduces us to wide range of characters, guests at the resort, including another pooch who is so overly friendly and we know Bella is not a fan of other dogs in the first place. She certainly has no time for this other non-leashed animal.

The main plot was quite a puzzler until one piece of evidence is found and then all the pieces quickly fall into place.

The story has it all, action, drama, humor and romantic tension. We also learn more about Bella and her disease and how working together Kate and Michael will back sure she has a great life. She really is a sweet dog and very loyal. I think the more time she spends with Kate her behavioral issues will continue to decrease.

I really enjoyed this story and am anxious for the next book because there are many things happening with Kate and her friends and I am sure she is going to get herself in trouble again. Now just another deep breath in and out and relax because we will have to wait until next year for Kate’s next adventure.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Tracy Weber Small Headshot

About This Author

Tracy Weber is the author of the award-winning Downward Dog Mysteries series featuring yoga teacher Kate and her feisty German shepherd, Bella. Tracy loves sharing her passion for yoga and animals in any form possible. The second book in her series, A Killer Retreat, is available January 8, 2015, by Midnight Ink.

Tracy and her husband live in Seattle with their challenging yet amazing German shepherd Tasha. When she’s not writing, Tracy spends her time teaching yoga, walking Tasha, and sipping Blackthorn cider at her favorite ale house.

For more information, visit her online at TracyWeberAuthor.com and WholeLifeYoga.com.

  • Author Links

http://tracyweberauthor.com/

http://www.wholelifeyoga.com/blog/

https://www.facebook.com/tracywe

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7148442.Tracy_Weber

https://twitter.com/TracyWeberTypes

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Be sure to visit all the other stops!

Tour Participants

January 5 – Booklady’s Booknotes – Review

January 6 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review

January 7 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – Review, Interview

January 8 – Christa Reads and Writes – Interview

January 9 – readalot – Review

January 10 – off

January 11 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Review, Interview

January 12 – Traci Andrighetti’s blog – Review

January 13 – Kelly P’s Blog – Guest Post

January 14 – WV Stitcher – Review

January 15 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – Review

January 16 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review

January 17 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – Guest Post

January 18 – Libriamorimiei – Review

January 19- dru’s book musings – Guest Post

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 Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Reviews 2014

Review/Giveaway – Shadow of Doubt by Nancy Cole Silverman – Great Escapes Book Tour

shadow of doubt  large banner640
I have taken the liberty of inserting myself into this tour. I didn’t want to steal a stop from another blogger but really wanted to read this book 🙂

SHADOW OF DOUBT cover 1Shadow of Doubt
(A Carol Childs Mystery Book 1)

Publisher: Henery Press (December 2, 2014)
Hardcover: 252 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1940976563
Paperback: 276 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1940976532
E-Book File Size: 463 KB
ASIN: B00NEON2RM
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When a top Hollywood Agent is found poisoned in the bathtub of her home, suspicion quickly turns to one of her two nieces. But Carol Childs, a reporter for a local talk radio station, doesn’t believe it. The suspect is her neighbor and friend, and also her primary source for insider industry news. After a media frenzy pits one niece against the other—and the body count starts to rise—Carol knows she must save her friend from being tried in the court of public opinion.

But even the most seasoned reporter can be surprised, and when a Hollywood psychic shows up in Carol’s studio one night and warns her there will be more deaths, things take an unexpected turn. Suddenly nobody is above suspicion. Carol must challenge both her friendship and the facts, and the only thing she knows for certain is that the killer is still out there. But the closer she gets to the truth, the more danger she’s in.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Carol Childs is trying to make it as a radio news reporter with a boss that seems to be holding her back. When her neighbor knocks on her door and tells her aunt, a top Hollywood Agent, has been found dead Carol knows a scoop when she hears one. When the niece becomes the prime suspect Carol ends up right in the middle of the investigation and it is a wild ride. Carol’s boyfriend Eric is the FBI agent assigned to lead the case and a psychic, Misty Dawn, plays a key role. When the body count starts to rise time is of the essence and while Carol doesn’t actually trust Misty she follows the clues no matter the source. She just needs to learn to keep her boss in the loop because he really hates surprises.

Nancy Cole Silverman has worked in the radio business so they atmosphere of Carol’s workplace seems not typical but genuine. She has created a protagonist in Carol that is very easy to identify with, a working mom just trying to make a life. A hunky FBI agent for a boyfriend is mighty nice too. He does his best to keep her safe but she doesn’t make is easy.

I have to say my favorite character was Misty Dawn, the psychic. She is an unusual woman but does seem to have a gift.  It was funny how she knew everything Carol was up to in her personal life. That knowledge made Carol take her seriously about her clues in the case, even when Misty herself became a suspect in Carol’s mind, that and the fact the Misty tells her there is a dark cloud all around her that Carol is determined to get rid of.

The mystery was very well written and has plenty of curves to twist up the plot. Plenty of suspects and any of them truly could be the killer. The author keeps us on our toes until the very end when The Bathtub Killer is finally revealed.

Nancy Cole Silverman is off to a great start with this series! BEYOND A DOUBT will be released in July 2015 and I hate that we have to wait that long!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Silverman believes her twenty-five years in radio help her to develop an ear for storytelling. In 2001 she retired from news and copywriting to write fiction fulltime. Much of what she writes she admits is pulled from behind the headlines of actual events that were reported on from some Los Angeles busiest radio newsrooms where she spent the bulk of her career. In the last ten years she has written numerous short stories and novelettes some of which have won awards &/or been picked up for publication. Currently she has three audio books with MindWings Audio. Her first novel, The Centaur’s Promise, was published by Eloquent Press in 2010. In December, Henery Press will roll out the first of Silverman’s new Carol Childs Mysteries, Shadow of Doubt.

Author Links

WEB: www.nancycolesilverman.com

FOLLOW: www.twitter.com/nancycolesilve1

LIKE: www.facebook.com/pages/nancy-cole-silverman

Be sure to check out the rest of the tour!!
Tour Participants

December 8 – Chloe Gets A Clue – Interview
December 8 – Queen of All She Reads – Review
December 9 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review
December 10 – The Gal in the Blue Mask – Review, Interview
December 11 – A Blue Million Books – Guest Post
December 12 – Christa Reads and Writes – Review
December 13 – Brooke Blogs – Interview
December 13 – readalot – Review
December 14 – Mystery Playground – Guest Post
December 15 – Bea’s Book Nook – Review
December 15 – Latte’ Da! – Guest Post
December 16 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview
December 17 – Community Bookstop – Review
December 17 – dru’s book musings – Guest Post
December 18 – deal sharing aunt – Interview

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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.”