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.”

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2014

Cozy Wednesday with Linda Joffe Hull – Author of Black Thursday (Giveaway too!)

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am happy to welcome Linda Joffe Hull today as my guest!

Lin 42

On the Journey with Mrs. Frugalicious

Hi, it’s Linda Joffe Hull here, author of ETERNALLY 21 and the newly released BLACK THURSDAY, the first two titles in the Mrs. Frugalicious mystery series. I’m delighted to have been asked to contribute to Cozy Wednesdays at Escape with Dollycas!

We all know that mystery readers are a clever group. By definition, the whole experience of reading crime fiction revolves around looking for clues planted by the author to figure out whodunit, hopefully before the end of the book. As a writer, it’s my job to make sure that’s not an easy task. When I came up with the idea for my series, my more seasoned mystery writer friends warned me to be sure I plotted out not only the details for each murder, but the overarching story for the series as a whole. Otherwise, I would hear about plot holes and errors from, and I quote, “a bunch of really smart readers who get your story better than you do.”

And then I chanced upon the Venn diagram below:

AuthorMeaning

ETERNALLY 21

Daunted to say the least, I did tons of research to make sure my story would be as accurate as possible. I plotted, planned, outlined, and voilá (eventually that is) ETERNALLY 21, the first book in my series, was born.

Maddie Michaels, my protagonist, is a formerly well-heeled housewife, whose husband, TV financial guru, Frank “Finance” Michaels, has lost all of their money in a Ponzi scheme. To make ends meet, she not only becomes a coupon clipper, but starts a blog called Mrsfrugalicious.com to share her tips with others who love to bargain shop. The blog goes viral, but Maddie can’t let anyone know she is Mrs. Frugalicious or Frank will lose his job. While shopping at her local mall, Maddie witnesses the death of an unpleasant store manager and finds herself in the midst of a murder investigation where the suspects range from the food court servers to a husband-and wife team with a wandering monkey, to the prime suspect– Maddie herself. She has to take matters into her own hands in order to clear her name and solve the murder.

Seeing as my contract was for three books, I decided that Maddie, along with couponing, crime solving, and dealing with the daily dilemmas of raising teenagers, needed a bigger overarching problem that could stretch through the series. Specifically, she suspects that her husband, Frank, is a philanderer.

BLACK THURSDAYI won’t give things away entirely, but in book two, BLACK THURSDAY Maddie has been revealed as Mrs. Frugalicious. That’s the least of her issues, though. It’s Thanksgiving, and Frank has invited his entire family to spend the holidays trying to talk Maddie out of divorcing him after his exploits in book one. Anxious to get out of the house, Maddie accepts an offer to bargain shop on camera during the Black Thursday shopping frenzy. In the midst of the commotion, a pallet of toasters falls on one unlucky shopper and kills her. Maddie soon discovers that the victim was none other than CC, her online heckler, and that the ‘accident’ was, in fact, murder.

ETERNALLY 21 came out to positive reviews and a notable lack of emails criticizing my methods of murder, sleuthing techniques, or other possible freshman mistakes. The good comments gave me a boost that helped me finish BLACK THURSDAY and turn the manuscript into my publisher.

I was well into book three, tentatively titled SWEETHEART DEAL, when the advance reviews for BLACK  THURSDAY began to appear. The story is actually an ideal fit for this blog as Maddie, who has transitioned from a popular blogger into the reality TV star of “The Family Frugalicious” finds herself down in Mexico at a fabulous resort investigating the vexing world of timeshares and, of course, murder.

The feedback for BLACK THURSDAY was positive and encouraging once again. This time, however, two separate reviewers leveled a similar observation. One of them said, “I really liked this book, even if I didn’t agree with some of the things going on. For one thing, I personally don’t believe every man cheats.”

My first and second thought were WHAT???

As the author, I’ve never, ever thought such a thing. In fact, the message I was trying to convey over the course of the series was that Maddie, as a loyal wife and mother, when faced with personal lemons makes lemonade. More important, Maddie, as a character, evolves from a plucky housewife into a strong empowered lady. The confusion, I believed, came from Maddie’s over-the-top, wacky mother-in-law who makes the comment while admitting her son has acted like a dog. She also encourages Maddie to make him pay, literally, for the rest of the marriage in the form of apology gifts.

So, here I am halfway done with book three. Maddie still has a secret–she and Frank are married in name only and only for the sake of their TV show. Never mind I’ve gone and killed off a handsome, sweet-talking, south-of-the border lothario, who, is, in fact, a married man.

Really? Did I really do that again?

While my motivation for making him married was to provide a very likely suspect (his wife), I couldn’t exactly continue to weave such a plot point in the book. Not without more well-placed and legitimate comments, that is…

So, I owe a debt of gratitude to modern technology and a thank you to some astute early readers for helping me clarify the overarching story in the Mrs. Frugalicious series. The inadvertent message I never, ever meant to convey has now been edited out of book three.

Writing in the modern age truly is a group effort!

~Linda

To find out more about Linda and her books visit her webpage here. You can also be her Fan on GoodReads. Follow her on Twitter and Follow her on Facebook.

BLACK THURSDAYBlack Thursday
(A Mrs. Frugalicious Shopping Mystery)

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Published by MIDNIGHT INK (October 8, 2014)
Trade Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738734903
E-Book File Size: 2286 KB
ASIN: B00MMMCQS8
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A bad deal for Mrs. Frugalicious  

When Maddie Michaels, AKA Mrs. Frugalicious, is invited to take a local news crew with her on a Black Friday shopping expedition, she’s excited to show viewers at home how to score the season’s best savings. Despite a negative comment from Contrary Claire— the sole naysayer in her growing Frugarmy—Maddie is hopeful her first TV appearance will be a bargain-savvy success.

But Black Friday eve takes a bleak turn when a shopper is crushed beneath a pallet of toasters. After learning that the victim could be Contrary Claire, it becomes clear that Claire has made more than one enemy. Maddie finds herself dealing once again with a murder investigation. Will she catch the killer before someone else is slashed like a sale price?

Includes couponing tips!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I fell for Maddie in Eternally 21. A wife and mother trying to clean up a huge mess her husband is responsible for in a very creative way, blogging as Mrs. Frugalicious. What a wonderful protagonist!

Frank is trying to make amends but I don’t think Maddie is buying what he is selling. Her teenage sons are fantastic. Now that their mother’s secret is out they are super supportive even trying to help her with her site and helping her find her cyber enemy Contrary Clare.

On the other hand I hated most of Frank’s family, just as the author intended. I wouldn’t put murder past a couple of them. Yes, they say they are trying to support her but descending upon her house at the busiest time of the year for a shopping expert is just not cool, but again Maddie handles it all. She is even trying to clip the culprit that set that pallet of toasters in motion but let’s face it she would have done anything to get away from those people. But I think the search ended up much more than she bargained for…

I really enjoyed this story. Linda Joffe Hull has let these characters continue to grow and brought back some very special characters from the first story for a very surprising event.

She has also written quite a mystery. It may have you thinking twice as you head out for the holiday sales this year and looking up much more often as you shop those big box stores.

I also love and appreciate all the tips she provides about sales, shopping and coupons throughout the book.

My only complaint is with the e-copy formatting which is not the author’s fault and since I am reviewing from an uncorrected proof I am sure the problem was fixed in the final edition. Tips like this are easy to put at the top or bottom of a printed page but when you take it digital wonky things can happen, like these tips landing in the middle of a paragraph, which messes with the rhythm of the story.

A marvelous mystery to pick up and enjoy now so you are ready to shop and save this holiday season!

 

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Thanks to the people at Midnight Ink  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.

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 Linda 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 October 22, 2014 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 Reviews 2014

Review – The Question of the Missing Head by E.J. Copperman and Jeff Cohen

missing headThe Question of the Missing Head
(An Asperger’s Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
First in Series
Publisher: MIDNIGHT INK (October 8, 2014)
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738741512
E-Book File Size: 2245 KB
ASIN: B00NJ2U6HI
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Samuel Hoenig answers questions for a living. And as a man with Asperger’s Syndrome, his unique personality helps him ferret out almost any answer there is. But his latest question is a rather odd one–who stole a preserved head from the Garden State Cryonics Institute?

Arriving at the scene of the crime accompanied by his new colleague, Ms. Washburn, Samuel finds that what started out as a theft has escalated to murder. With suspects and motives emerging at a rapid rate, one final question remains–can Samuel’s powers of deduction uncover a killer in the face of overwhelming odds?

Before I review this book I want to give you a little information about Asperger’s Syndrome. A member of my extended family was diagnosed with this disorder very early in his life so I am not an expert but know a little bit.

Aspergers according to Wikipedia is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication, alongside restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. It differs from other autism spectrum disorders by its relative preservation of linguistic and cognitive development. Although not required for diagnosis, physical clumsiness and atypical (peculiar, odd) use of language are frequently reported.

The author Jeff Cohen has written 2 books on the topic from a very personal standpoint, as a parent with a child that living with the disorder. In this new mystery series he showcases it in a fun way while at the same time bringing awareness to a disorder we are still learning about every day. The exact cause is still unknown and families with children need help understanding how to help their child.

Because of this the authors have started the MISSING HEAD CHALLENGE: Buy a copy of THE QUESTION OF THE MISSING HEAD on its publication day (October 8). Then take a picture of yourself with the book (or your e-reader with the title page showing) and post it on Facebook or Twitter. Be sure to tag E.J. Copperman and Jeff Cohen in your posts.

For each picture seen by me or Jeff Cohen, we’ll donate $3 to ASPEN, the Autism Spectrum Education Network, up to $300. And HSG Agency, which represents us, will match the donation! So you get to help families with at least one member who has a spectrum disorder, and you don’t have to spend an extra dime!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This is an absolutely wonderful story that features a great whodunit too!

Samuel Hoenig has Asperger’s Syndrome and in fact is quite a genius. When you first start reading you may think he is like Adrian Monk of television fame and the books by Hy Conrad and Lee Goldberg, but Mr. Monk has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and that is very different from Asperger’s.

Samuel has opened up a business, Questions Answered, and his new client has a doozy of  question – Who took the head of a woman from my cryogenics lab? Another woman, Mrs. Washburn, had come in to ask Samuel a question herself but this newcomer’s question definitely takes precedence. In fact she tags also as Samuel’s assistant in his endeavor to find this “missing head”.

I love Samuel. I love the way he takes care of his mom and she takes care of him. I love how quickly he gets close to Mrs. Washburn and they way she understands his unique personality. These characters a flashed out and real and they jump off the pages.

Then we have the characters at Garden State Cryonics Institute. They are a very interesting group from the CEO that asked the “question” to the Security Commander who thinks everyone is pointing figures his way for the missing cranium.

We also meet Detective Lapides who is really in uncharted waters with a case of this magnitude. Nothing like this have ever taken place for him to investigate. Plus he needs to deal with Laverne and Arthur Masters, the mother and brother of the woman whose head was being preserved at the institute and is now missing.

Most of the story takes place at the cryogenics lab and it is quite a place. It seems to give Samuel more questions than answers at first. The reader gets to follow him through his process of interviewing suspects, identifying clues and following where they lead and basically getting to understand the way Samuel evaluates things to answer the question.

The authors have also shown us a bit of the funny side to Samuel’s life, things that those around him have grown to love about him. So  truthful as those who have loved ones with this disorder will recognize. It affects people differently and at different levels but I feel the authors are created a wonderful protagonist and written a great mystery around him while at the same time creating  awareness about Asperger’s.

I truly can not wait to read the next story in this series. These authors have hit it out of the park on this one! and I think Samuel has answered his baseball question as well!!

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

For more information about E. J. Copperman and his books check out his website here.

For more information about Jeff Cohen and his books check out 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 Literary Escapes Reviews 2014 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review – The White Magic Five and Dime by Steve Hockensmith with Lisa Falco

White Magic Five and Dime cover FINAL
The White Magic Five & Dime
(A Tarot Mystery)

New Series
Cozy Mystery
MIDNIGHT INK (July 8, 2014)
Trade Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738740225
E-Book File Size: 17221 KB
ASIN: B00KWEY794
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Alanis McLachlan has not seen her mother in 20 years so when she is summoned to Berdache, Arizona to collect her inheritance she is very surprised. Her con-woman mother has left her The White Magic Five & Dime, a small shop where her mother has her tarot card reading business.  Unsure what to do with the place she decides to temporarily open the store to try to figure out how and why her mother died. She assumes one of her mother’s cons was run on the wrong person and she ended up paying for it with her life.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Alanis McLachlan (the name she is currently using) has quite a life which makes her a very interesting protagonist. Her mother has been a con-woman Alantis’ whole life and as soon as she was old enough she ran away and left that world and her mother behind.  Arriving in Arizona with a long list of unanswered questions she finds her mother had a teenage roommate. Did her mother replace her with this girl to help her with her con games? She hopes by reopening the shop and meeting with her mother’s customers she may get some answers to her questions and find out who killed her mother. Alanis is very cynical but with her upbringing it is easy to understand why. She truly is a good person and wants to do right for a mom who really did a lot of things wrong. I was engaged by her story immediately.

The authors also gave us some great supporting characters. Clarice, who seems to be Alanis’ mother’s apprentice, and Josh Logan, the officer in charge of her mother’s investigation. The dialogue between Josh and Alanis is absolutely fantastic.

The mystery was well written and well plotted. All the information about Tarot Cards was very interesting. While this area of Arizona is know for psychics and its energy vortex the paranormal part of the story is very mild. Alanis starts out feeling it is just another of her mother’s con’s but  the story has a nice twist that makes her question her theory.

I can’t believe how quickly I read this story. I was captivated from beginning to end!! I can’t wait for Book 2.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About This Author

Steve Hockensmith’s first novel, Holmes on the Range, was a finalist for the Edgar, Shamus, Anthony and Dilys awards. He went on to write four sequels as well as a pair of bestselling follow-ups to the international publishing sensation Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. More recently, he wrote (with collaborator “Science Bob” Pflugfelder) the middle-grade mysteries Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab and Nick and Tesla’s Robot Army Rampage.

Author Links:
http://www.stevehockensmith.com
https://www.facebook.com/steve.hockensmith.7
https://twitter.com/MrHockensmith
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/146628.Steve_Hockensmith
http://www.amazon.com/White-Magic-Five-Tarot-Mystery/dp/0738740225/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396625839&sr=8-1&keywords=the+white+magic+five+and+dime

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 Reviews 2014 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review – The City by Dean Koontz with A Very Special Giveaway!

the city
The City: A Novel
Suspense/Thriller
Publisher by Bantam Books(July 1, 2014)
A Random House Publishing Group
Hardcover: 416 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0345545930
E-Book File Size: 1852 KB
ASIN: B00GQAETIC
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The city changed my life and showed me that the world is deeply mysterious. I need to tell you about her and some terrible things and wonderful things and amazing things that happened . . . and how I am still haunted by them. Including one night when I died and woke and lived again.
 
Here is the riveting, soul-stirring story of Jonah Kirk, son of an exceptional singer, grandson of a formidable “piano man,” a musical prodigy beginning to explore his own gifts when he crosses a group of extremely dangerous people, with shattering consequences. Set in a more innocent time not so long ago, The City encompasses a lifetime but unfolds over three extraordinary, heart-racing years of tribulation and triumph, in which Jonah first grasps the electrifying power of music and art, of enduring friendship, of everyday heroes.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I haven’t read a Dean Koontz novel since I have started blogging and this was a great one for my venture back into his unique way of storytelling. Sometimes his stories have just scared me to death but this one drew me in with its almost fantasy feel.

Jonah Ellington Basie Hines Eldridge Wilson Hampton Armstrong Kirk takes us back in time and gives us an “oral history” of his life. And what a life it was. The key character to the whole story is “the city” and that doesn’t mean what you think but there will be no spoilers here.  Jonah’s story is very complex and includes some characters them seem very ordinary at the beginning but become extraordinary in the end. I was shocked that the adult Jonah and I have something in common. This story then evoked some totally new emotions.

Let’s face it Koontz is a master storyteller. He creates plots that so intricate and multifaceted that grip the reader so tightly while examining hard issues. His characters come to life right off the page and his descriptive talents bring the time and place alive as well. There is so much going on in this story readers need to slow down and savor the words. There are several elements interwoven with the main theme that all add up to make this an outstanding story.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To find out more about Dean Koontz and his books visit his webpage here.
There is also a Reading Group Guide for The City.

Now For The Giveaway!!
One lucky reader will win signed copies of The City for their ENTIRE book club (maximum 20 copies), and Dean will give the winning book club a Facebook shout out to his 1.4 million Facebook fans!

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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 Reviews 2014 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review – Murder at Honeychurch Hall by Hannah Dennison

Murder At Honeychurch Hall
Murder at Honeychurch Hall:
A Mystery

New Cozy Mystery Series
Minotaur Books (May 13, 2014)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1250007797
E-Book File Size: 1030 KB
ASIN: B00H6EOJNW
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Kat Stanford is just days away from starting her dream antique business with her newly widowed mother Iris when she gets a huge shock. Iris has recklessly purchased a dilapidated carriage house at Honeychurch Hall, an isolated country estate located several hundred miles from London.

Yet it seems that Iris isn’t the only one with surprises at Honeychurch Hall. Behind the crumbling façade, the inhabitants of the stately mansion are a lively group of eccentrics to be sure—both upstairs and downstairs —and they all have more than their fair share of skeletons in the closet.

When the nanny goes missing, and Vera, the loyal housekeeper ends up dead in the grotto, suspicions abound. Throw in a feisty, octogenarian countess, a precocious seven year old who is obsessed with the famous fighter pilot called Biggles, and a treasure trove of antiques, and there is more than one motive for murder.

As Iris’s past comes back to haunt her, Kat realizes she hardly knows her mother at all. A when the bodies start piling up, it is up to Kat to unravel the tangled truth behind the murders at Honeychurch Hall.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
I knew before I finished the first chapter I was going to love this story.

Iris is a very independent woman especially now that her husband has passed away. She also has a couple of secrets. Her relationship with her daughter Kat reminded me so much of my relationship with my own very independent mother. All are stubborn women and hate having anyone tell them what to do. The dialogue between Iris and Kat was spot on and at time absolutely hilarious.

Kat has come to Honeychurch Hall to help her mother but to also find out why she left London and where this leaves their plans to go into business together. Kat has left her job on the telly for a few reasons but she thought she was leaving to follow her dream of opening an antique shop. Her mother can’t seriously want to live in this broken down carriage house surrounded by a bunch a crazy people. The nanny has already left, the child has quite the imagination, he pretends he is Biggles, is a fictional pilot and adventurer, and spends his days chasing down missing pilots and hiding from the enemy. The matriarch of Honeychurch Hall may be in the early stages of dementia or is she just trying to pull one on her family. Her son has his own ideas on what to do with Honeychurch Hall. The maid had a heck of a shoe obsession and she is the one Kat finds dead in the garden tunnel.

There is so much happening in this story. We meet some very extraordinary characters and they are all twisted into an incredible mystery. This story was a pure joy to read. I hated to see it end. I can’t wait for the next one. Write fast please Hannah!!!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

hannah

About The Author

Born in England, Hannah relocated to Los Angeles with her daughter and two cats to pursue a career in screenwriting. Along the road to publication she has been an obituary reporter, antique dealer, private jet flight attendant and Hollywood story analyst. Hannah is the author of the Vicky Hill Mysteries (Constable UK) and the first, in her new series, “Murder at Honeychurch Hall” (Minotaur). Now living in Portland, Oregon Hannah continues to teach mystery writing at UCLA, has served on numerous judging committees for the Mystery Writers of America and still works part-time for a west coast advertising agency. She is married to an advertising executive and enjoys hiking, horseback riding, skiing and seriously good chocolate. http://www.hannahdennison.com

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/VickyHillMysteries?ref=hl

Twitter https://twitter.com/HannahLDennison

GoodReads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1165068.Hannah_Dennison

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 E-Book Challenge Reviews 2014 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review: Guidebook to Murder by Lynn Cahoon

guidebook
Guidebook to Murder
A Tourist Trap Mystery
New Cozy Series!
Published by Kensington Trade (April 17, 2014)
Paperback: 226 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1601833044
E-Book File Size: 1128 KB
ASIN: B00FY54N72
B&N ISBN-13: 9781601832382
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South Cove California is a tourist stop along the coast. Jill Gardner owns Coffee, Books, and More  and she just wants to make enough to keep the business open. She is relatively new to the town. It was meeting Miss Emily one day that convinced her to move to South Cove. Miss Emily is an elderly woman who has had a bunch of businesses crop up around her home. Her house needs a lot of work but when she receives a letter telling her the town council is going to condemn her home or force he to sell to a big developer she calls Jill in a panic. Jill calms her down and tells her they will work things out. But before that can happen Miss Emily passes away very unexpectedly. She leaves her home and all its problems to Jill, but Jill thinks Miss Emily was murdered and sets out to prove it even as the killer tries to puts Jill out of business permanently.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I knew I was going to love this book and I sure did. Jill Gardner is a great character. She is down to earth and her confidence while shaky at the start continues to grow throughout the story. She also likes food and she features some tasty treats in her shop. There will be even more if Aunt Jackie has her way.

Aunt Jackie is a lot like my mom was, do things now and get permission for them later. Jill asks Aunt Jackie to help her with the store as she deals with Miss Emily’s house and all that entails and Jackie took “help” to a whole new level. I was laughing out loud.

I was sad that Miss Emily became the murder victim. She was quite a woman and she has a few secrets. I would have loved to spend more time with her.

South Cove is also home to Detective Greg King. A handsome guy that just keeps running into Jill. The sexual tension is thick enough to cut with a knife. It is going to be fun watching this relationship progress.

The mystery is great too, I just wish I had Jill’s energy, not only does she find out what happened to Miss Emily and why, she also makes substantial repairs to Miss Emily house. Of course she has outside contractors to help but just pulling everything together while painting and decorating was miraculous and a joy to read.

There is a lot going on in this book. The pages just flew. I have been trapped by this Tourist Trap mystery and can’t wait to be trapped again by Mission to Murder coming July 31, 2014.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Lynn Cahoon on her 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 Literary Escapes Reviews 2014

Review: Circle of Influence by Annette Dashofy

circle of influence
Circle of Influence
A Zoe Chambers Mystery
Published by Henery Press
Release Date: March 25, 2014
Paperback: 294 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1940976006
E-Book link Available Soon!
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Zoe Chambers, paramedic and deputy coroner in rural Pennsylvania’s tight-knit Vance Township, has been privy to a number of local secrets over the years, some of them her own. But secrets become explosive when a dead body is found in the Township Board President’s abandoned car. As a January blizzard rages, Zoe and Police Chief Pete Adams launch a desperate search for the killer, even if it means uncovering secrets that could not only destroy Zoe and Pete, but also those closest to them.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
A great debut!!!

This one grabbed me from the start. Zoe Chambers is such a multidimensional character. Her life has had many bumps in the road so far. Living in a small town she was able to keep a few secrets but after a dead body is found all her secrets come out and even land her on the suspect list. Her life intersects with basically the entire town and relationships are tested as the investigation continues and she learns she is not the only one with secrets.

The supporting characters from Police Chief Pete Adams to Zoe’s friend Rose, along with Rose’s mother-in-law and teenage kids are all so strong and all play pivotal roles. The author has a very descriptive way of writing not only her characters, but also time and place. It was like watching a movie in my mind. I found the entire story very compelling and amazed myself at how quickly I read it.

This book has all the elements of a cozy mystery but it has an edgier feel with some graphic detail but is does not reach the level of the suspense/thriller genre.

I am excited to read Lost Legacy set to be released later this year. Dashofy has given us a wonderful start to what I hope is a very long series.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out about Annette Dashofy on her webpage here.

Find her on Facebook here and Twitter 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 Literary Escapes Reviews 2013

Review: The Gray Ghost Murders by Keith McCafferty

GRAY GHOST MURDERS

The Gray Ghost Murders: A Novel
2nd in Series
Mystery/Suspense
Viking (February 21, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0670025695
E-Book File Size: 634 KB
ASIN: B008EKMDC6

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Montana’s favorite fly fisherman detective is back on the case in this compelling follow-up to The Royal Wulff Murders…

Two bodies have been found on Sphinx Mountain, and Sheriff Martha Ettinger suspects murder, but she needs more details and some evidence wouldn’t hurt. She again needs the help of private investigator Sean Stranahan. He has already been nosing around the area on another case. He’s been hired by The Madison River Liars and Fly Tiers Club, a group of fly-fishermen, who have reported some very valuable flies stolen. Could the disappearance of a vintage Gray Ghost fly from a riverside cabin in the Madison Valley be connected to the gray ghosts who haunt Sphinx Mountain? Sean is determined to find out even if it means questioning a Congressman and putting himself in the line of fire.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
I love the way Keith McCafferty writes. Last year I reviewed The Royal Wulff Murders, his descriptive style and melodic flow drew me right into the story. He continues right where he left off in this sequel.

“For the wonder of a trout had nothing to do with its spots or the sheen of its flanks, but its ability to pull the angler back through time until he was no longer what the world had made of him, but who he was when the world was new.”

He also crafted a wonderful mystery with full rich characters that jump right off the page. From the young boy to the men nearing the end of their lives, their individual stories shine but still blend together in a story that is about so much more than fly fishing. The strong women in this story are also so well written.

In addition to the beautiful Big Sky Country pictures McCafferty draws with his words there is suspense, chills, and surprises peppered with a bit of humor and even a little romance. You don’t need to know a thing about fly fishing to enjoy this mystery although if you do, you will love this book. I liked this one even more than the last one and the only fish I catch comes from the grocery store. 

I sure hope the author has the third installment in this series in the works. I wish I could start reading it today!!

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author
keith mccaffertyKeith McCafferty is the Survival and Outdoor Skills Editor of Field & Stream. He has written articles for publications as diverse as Fly Fisherman Magazine, Mother Earth News, Gray’s Sporting Journal and the Chicago Tribune, and on subjects ranging from mosquitoes to wolves to mercenaries and exorcism. Based in Montana and working on assignment around the globe–he recently spent a month in India trekking the Himalayas, fishing for golden mahseer and studying tigers–Keith has won numerous awards, including the Robert Traver Award for angling literature. He has twice been a finalist for a National Magazine Award.

Find out more on his blog here. Like him on 25 (2)

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.”

GRAY GHOST MURDERSreadalattechallenge_zps01d248d02013where are you reading2013EbookChallenge