Nov 112017
 

That Olde White Magick (An Abracadabra Mystery)
by Sharon Pape


That Olde White Magick (An Abracadabra Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – New York
Lyrical Underground (November 7, 2017)
Paperback: 240 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1516100583
E-Book ASIN: B06X3TLCLH

 

 

It’s time to work her crime-solving magic again . . .

Kailyn Wilde enjoys running her shop, Abracadabra, in the quaint New York hamlet of New Camel, where she lives with her six cats. Her family’s been here for centuries, and she’d like to keep up the tradition. But the place may never be the same if a big hotel gets built, so she does her civic duty and attends a town meeting along with her aunt Tilly . . . and Merlin. Yes, that Merlin—though he gets introduced to folks as her “distant English cousin.” The wizard is pretty grumpy about being transported here, but there are things about the modern world he doesn’t mind—like pizza.

Kailyn was prepared for a heated debate about the hotel, but she wasn’t expecting murder. When Tilly finds the body of a board member outside the schoolhouse, Kailyn doesn’t want any suspicion cast on the wrong person. She plans to crack this case, even if she has to talk to every living soul in town—plus a few departed ones . . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Two sorcerers and a wizard walk into a town meeting . . . and before the meeting starts one of them finds a dead body.

Kailyn Wilde is back and finds herself right in the middle of another murder investigation. Between trying to hone her magickal skills and taking care of the customers flowing into Abracadabra she really doesn’t have the time she needs to devote to catching a killer so she needs to wrap of this case quickly. She ends up casting a few spells to keep herself safe as she questions almost the whole town, past and present. Someone has to know something.

I so enjoy the way Sharon Pape brings a story to life. These characters are amazing. Kailyn is missing her mother and grandmother but they do “pop” in to visit frequently, encouraging her to learn more about her craft along with some other mostly unwanted advice. Aunt Tilly stays busy with her tea shop and readings and does her best to keep wizard Merlin from conjuring up any trouble. He definitely brings the comedy to the story. Folks around town know him as the “distant English cousin”. He loves pizza and television but he still wishes he could go back to his own time.

The mystery this time centers around a hotel being built that could change everything about the New Camel tourists and residents have come to love. The suspects could be anyone wanting to stop the project or someone wanting to be sure the project is pushed through. I loved the twists and was shocked by the ending. The author has a very descriptive way of writing that made me as the reader feel I was there every step of the way but I must have missed a crucial clue 🙂 I figured it out the same time as Kailyn.

The was another magickal story for this series. There is a fun paranormal theme that entertains from start to finish. I am excited for the next book, Magick Run Amok will be released May 1, 2018. I am looking forward to another Great Escape! 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About The Author

Sharon describes her writing career as having two stages. Back in the dark ages, before computers were in every household, she had three paranormal books published. The first one was condensed by Redbook Magazine, the first paperback original they ever condensed. Then life brought her an unexpected challenge, by the name of breast cancer. After treatment she and her oncologist started a not-for-profit to provide information and peer support to breast cancer patients. With the organization up and running, she returned to her first love – writing. This time around she’s been writing cozy mysteries with a paranormal twist. That Olde White Magick is the second book in her Abracadabra Mysteries.

Author Links

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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.”

Oct 172017
 

Murder on the Toy Town Express: A Vintage Toyshop Mystery
Cozy Mysterry
2nd in Series
Setting – New York
Crooked Lane Books (October 10, 2017)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683313090
E-Book ASIN: B06XWDQYJW

 

 

Liz McCall has come to love running her father’s vintage toyshop back home in East Aurora, NY, so when the Train and Toy Show comes to town, she’s all aboard for a fun toy-filled weekend. The only hitch is that her childhood bully Craig McFadden, now local business rival, has set up a booth next to hers. But the fun and games are over when Craig falls from the ceiling in a publicity stunt gone wrong.

What was initially thought to be a fatal accident proves much more sinister. Pulled into the case by her feelings for both Ken, the police chief, and Jack, her high school sweetheart whose brother is one the prime suspects, Liz dives headfirst into the investigation. But as she digs deeper, she’s shocked to learn her father may have been the intended target.

The trouble train is barreling down and Liz may have just bought herself a first class ticket in Murder on the Toy Town Express, Barbara Early’s delightful second installment in her Vintage Toyshop mysteries.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Choo! Choo! All Aboard for another fun mystery from Barbara Early!!

The toy and train show has come to East Aurora, New York and Liz McCall and her family have a booth to sell their vintage toys.  Liz McCall is a little nervous because an awful blast from her past,  Craig McFadden, has the booth right next to hers selling his comic books. It is bad enough that he has a store across the street from their toy shop, Well Played, does she have to see him for the whole weekend. She quickly meets his clerk and learns she will be running the booth, because Craig has something special planned. I don’t think dying was what he had in mind, but that is what happened. Accident… publicity stunt… one moment he was on the catwalk, then he was in the air and then he laid among the rubble of the disaster he created to a model train town. Was it murder?? Her dad, the retired police chief finds himself in the middle of the investigation and so does Liz when her high school boyfriend’s brother becomes a prime suspect and she finds her dad may have been the original target.

All the characters I loved in the first story are back. The relationship between Liz and her dad is heartwarming and uplifting. The whole family pulls together to help with the shop and the booth. It is a true family business. They also have many loyal customers that show up for their nightly board game events. Well Played is a family gem in a day of the big box stores.

Now the victim, he was a bully from back in grade school right up until the day he died. He didn’t have any friends and Liz even questioned if he would be missed. He was the perfect victim and while I never wish anyone dead, I was not sorry to see him go.

Ms. Early has written quite a puzzling mystery and I may be off my “game” but she had me so twisted, turned, and off the “track” that I pulled in the station right along with Liz. I had an OMG moment when I read that final twist. The plot was very exciting but the author threw in some funny instances too. There is also a bit of a romantic triangle going on. Liz is dating her high school crush and the new police chief. Her dad is giving her more than a little nudge to finally decide between the two. The author had me on board from the first page to the last.

So we have wonderful characters, a fun theme, an excellent mystery, with humor and romance. For me that chugs this story right into the depot as an absolutely perfect escape. Climb aboard, this is a story you don’t want to miss.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About The Author

Barbara Early earned an engineering degree, but after four years of doing nothing but math, developed a sudden allergy to the subject and decided to choose another occupation. Before she settled on murdering fictional people, she was a secretary, a school teacher, a pastor’s wife, and an amateur puppeteer. After several years living elsewhere, she and her husband moved back to her native Western New York State, where she enjoys cooking, crafts, classic movies and campy seventies television, board games, and posting pictures of her four cats on Facebook. She writes the Vintage Toyshop series and the Bridal Bouquet Shop Mysteries (as Beverly Allen).

Praise for Murder on the Toy Town Express: A Vintage Toyshop Mystery
by Barbara Early

MURDER ON THE TOY TOWN EXPRESS was an exceptional mystery…when I finally reached the end of the line in this story, I couldn’t have been more surprised. Game well played, Ms. Early.
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews

The characters were well defined and developed. There was a whole cast of characters that added depth to the story…The mystery was well done and multi-faceted.
~Writing Pearls

The crazy investigation was a hoot with both her and her dad really getting into it which adds several layers to the overall story. This is an excellent cozy mystery that I highly recommend to fans of that genre.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Murder on the Toy Town Express, #2 in Barbara Early’s Vintage Toyshop series, is a fun, relaxing mystery to curl up with – just that you’d expect in a traditional cozy mystery.
~The Power of Words

Charmingly delightful. The reader (at least this reader) can’t help but fall in love with the daddy daughter team of Lizzy and Hank.
~My Reading Journeys

Author Links – WebpageFacebook TwitterGoodReadsAuthor Newsletter – Cozy Café – Killer Characters

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Written as Beverly Allen

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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.”

Sep 012017
 


A Catered Costume Party (Mystery With Recipes)
Cozy Mystery
13th in Series
Setting – New York
Kensington (August 29, 2017)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1617733376
Kindle ASIN: B01MXUG66E

When sisters Bernie and Libby Simmons agree to cater an extravagant Halloween party in their little upstate New York town of Longely, they figured a ghost or two and a blood curdling scream might be part of the menu, but they never expected to be haunted by the deadly specter of murder . . .

Halloween is coming, and Darius Witherspoon isn’t giving up on his plan for a catered costume party—despite the recent disappearance of his wife, Penelope. He may be heartbroken, but perhaps throwing a big shindig in her honor will boost his spirits. He’s going to hold it at his stylish new co-op apartment at the Berkshire Arms, where the couple had dreamed of moving in.

Darius hires Bernie and Libby to provide the treats. They’d prefer to avoid the festivities altogether. As far as they’re concerned, the Berkshire Arms is a haunted house—or at least haunted by the memory of the murder that happened on the site, when it used to be The Peabody School. But as always, there are bills to be paid, so they accept the job. And in the midst of the celebration, Darius is discovered hanging from a noose outside one of the ballroom’s French doors . . .

Was it suicide, induced by despair over his missing spouse? Bernie and Libby think not, once they read the note he left—which includes a sum of money and a request for them to “do something” if anything should happen to him. Now, once the serving trays have been cleared and the decorations taken down, it’s time for the sisters to unmask a killer . . .

Includes Original Recipes for You to Try!

Find out more about Isis Crawford and her books on her webpage here.

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.

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Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

May 242017
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am excited to have Kathleen Bridge back to Escape With Dollycas!

 

 

The Seeds Planted before a Book Blooms
by Kathleen Bridge

(Guest post provided by publicist.)

As a mystery writer, I’m always ripping out newspaper or magazine articles and copying/pasting links that might someday become an inspiration for a future book. The premise for the first book in my Hamptons Home and Garden Mystery series came from a magazine article I read about writer Sally Quinn purchasing the falling-in-ruin Grey Gardens in East Hampton, New York. In the article, Ms. Quinn talked about the items she’d discovered in the mansion’s attic and how she restored the interior of the house, based on old photographs, to its original splendor. I tore out the article and filed it under, “Story Ideas.” A few years later, I went to my file and found the article. As an antiques dealer and fixer-upper, the thought of treasure in an old attic at an estate where the rich and famous live and die, gave me the idea for Better Homes and Corpses.

The inspiration for my second Hamptons Home and Garden Mystery came from a newspaper article I read in Dan’s Hamptons about Andy Warhol’s estate in Montauk selling for fifty million dollars. I added the article to my file. Voila! A year later it gave me the idea for Hearse and Gardens, whose main storyline is about a wealthy Pop Art broker’s murdered son and a missing Andy Warhol painting of a can of Aqua Net Hairspray.

 

Years ago, I was sitting in my backyard reading a story in The New York Times about F. Scott Fitzgerald, “A Fleeting Era’s Timeless Chronicle” by Patrick J. Lyons. The first sentence in the article had me hooked. “Few places that F. Scott Fitzgerald inhabited over a short and shallow-rooted life infused his writing the way Long Island did.” The article went on to tell how Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby from his rented home in Great Neck, Long Island, a short distance away from where I sat. Also mentioned in The New York Times piece was a short story Fitzgerald wrote that takes place in Montauk, called, “The Unspeakable Egg.” In the file, it went.

As you’ve probably guessed, the article became the inspiration for my third book about what would happen if an unpublished F. Scott Fitzgerald novel surfaced in the Hamptons, and shortly after, the manuscript’s authenticator was found dead. Soon, I was off on a journey that would lead my protagonist, Meg Barrett, to the Bibliophile Bed & Breakfast in the old whaling village of Sag Harbor, rich with history and the home of many famous American authors. The seed was sown and eventually budded into Ghostal Living.

Well, it’s time to write my next book. I’m sure somewhere in my files there’s a seed ready for germination. Right now, what might bloom is a mystery…

~Kathleen

Thank you so much Kathleen for dropping by today! 


Ghostal Living (Hamptons Home & Garden Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New York
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (May 2, 2017)
The Berkley Publishing Group
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425276600
Kindle ASIN: B01KUCY83W

 

 

The first Sag Harbor Antiquarian Book and Ephemera Fair is right around the corner, and interior designer Meg Barrett has her hands full decorating rooms at the Bibliophile Bed & Breakfast for wealthy rare book collector Franklin Hollingsworth. Rumor has it Hollingsworth is in possession of an unpublished manuscript written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. When the Fitzgerald manuscript’s authenticator is found dead at the bottom of a cliff, Meg suspects a killer is on the loose.

Rare books start disappearing from the B & B and Meg sees a connection between the stolen books and the deceased authenticator. With the fair looming, she finds herself caught up in catching a killer and thief before another victim is booked for death.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Welcome to the Bibliophile Bed & Breakfast. Meg Barrett has been working hard to complete all the rooms before the first Sag Harbor Antiquarian Book and Ephemera Fair. Rare book collector Franklin Hollingsworth and owner of the Bibliophile Bed & Breakfast is going to present an unpublished manuscript written by F. Scott Fitzgerald at the fair. Before he can do that the man that authenticated the work is found dead. Also, other rare books have gone missing from the B&B. Meg believes the death and the thefts are connected. She finds herself wrapped right in the middle of another investigation.

Each of the rooms at Bibliophile Bed & Breakfast is decorated around classic authors. Rooms dedicated to Emily Dickinson, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Herman Melville, Edgar Allan Poe, John Steinbeck, Louisa May Alcott, and Edith Wharton. All the furnishings, books and knick knacks are described in detail to give you a clear picture of all the rooms. I really enjoyed the way the authors were mentioned throughout the book.

The author also describes the grounds and people in vivid detail. Even the hurricane that blows through can be almost felt through the pages thanks to her writing style.

Meg is a unique character, strong and doesn’t let her hearing disability hold her back. In fact, because of it she can read lips which comes in quite handy when trying to catch a killer. Her romantic life is a bit of a mess but that doesn’t take over the mystery.

We are given several viable suspects with many twists. Greed, lies and secrets lead us to an eventful ending.

Take a little trip to the Hamptons and enjoy some time with Meg and her friends.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Kathleen Bridge started her writing career working at the Michigan State University News in East Lansing, Michigan. She is the author and photographer of an antique reference guide,  Lithographed Paper Toys, Books, and Games, and the author of Revenge of the Sports Widows—How to Cope with a Sports Fanatic. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and has taught creative writing classes at the William Cullen Bryant Library in Roslyn, New York. Kathleen is also an antiques dealer in Long Island, New York, and has contributed to Country Living magazine.

Find out more on her webpage here.


Thanks to the publisher I have 2 copies to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

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Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

May 092017
 

A Perfect Manhattan Murder (A Nic & Nigel Mystery)
by Tracy Kiely

A Perfect Manhattan Murder (A Nic & Nigel Mystery) by Tracy Kiely
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New York
Midnight Ink (May 8, 2017)
Paperback: 240 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738745244
E-Book ASIN: B01LXJQVDI

The play’s the thing, but it’s the star-studded after-party that sends sparks flying

Thrilled that their friend’s Broadway debut was a rousing success, Nic and Nigel Martini, along with Nic’s college pal Harper, are trying to enjoy the exclusive after-party. Unfortunately, all the champagne and repartee in the world aren’t enough to overlook the churlish behavior of Harper’s husband, Dan. Nic is shocked the next morning when she learns that Dan’s been murdered. Nigel thinks the world may be a better place without him.

Still, Harper’s their friend and they’re intent on helping her any way they can. The Martinis will stop at nothing—with the possible exception of cocktails and walks with their bull mastiff Skippy—to see that the killer ends up behind bars.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This is one of my all-time favorite series!

I was so excited to get this book. Nic, Nigel, and Skippy are so much fun to be around. The characters are loosely based on the characters from The Thin Man Series by Dashiell Hammett but you don’t need to read the books or watch the movies to enjoy these stories although fans will love the similarities.

This time they are in New York for a Broadway debut. After a critic gives a scathing review he is found dead. The critic happens to be married to Nic’s friend Harper. Nigel is not too sorry the man is dead but he joins Nic to help find the killer and support her friend any way they can.

This story is a really quick read. The pace is fast, the dialogue is snappy, and humor runs profusely throughout.

If you are new to this series you need to know that Skippy is not a small dog. He is a bull mastiff and he goes almost everywhere with Nigel and Nic. When people see him for the first time there is usually quite a reaction.

As we approached, her gaze dropped to Skippy: seconds later, her jaw followed suit. “Dear God, is that a dog?” she asked.

Nigel put his fingers over his lips. “Yes,” he said in a hushed voice, “but we haven’t told him yet. We’re waiting until he is older.”

I really enjoy the way Tracy Kiely writes. I feel like I am right with the “in crowd” tagging along with the Martinis. I can picture everything so clearly from the setting to the drinks to what everyone is wearing. She also gives us a fine mystery with plenty of suspects. The plot is lighthearted and has a breezy feel. You know like the movies from the days before I was born that remain some of my favorites today. I easily read it in an evening and found it absolutely entertaining.

A Perfect Manhattan Murder is the perfect spring/summer read, including recipes for some perfect cocktails. I highly recommend the entire series!!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About The Author –

Tracy Kiely is a self-proclaimed Anglophile (a fact which distresses certain members of her Irish Catholic family). She grew up reading Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, and watching Hitchcock movies. She fell in love with Austen’s wit, Christie’s clever plots, and Hitchcock’s recurrent theme of “the average man caught in extraordinary circumstances.”

After spending years of trying to find a proper job that would enable her to use her skills garnered as an English major, she decided to write a book. It would, of course, have to be a mystery; it would have to be funny; and it would have to feature an average person caught up in extraordinary circumstances. She began to wonder how the characters in Pride and Prejudice might fit into a mystery. What, if after years of living with unbearably rude and condescending behavior, old Mrs. Jenkins up and strangled Lady Catherine? What if Charlotte snapped one day and poisoned Mr. Collins’ toast and jam? Skip ahead several years, and several different plot ideas, and you have her first mystery Murder at Longbourn.

While she does not claim to be Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, or Hitchcock (one big reason being that they’re all dead), she has tried to combine the elements of all three in her books.

 

Author Links:    Webpage      Facebook       Twitter    Blog

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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.”

May 052017
 


This Flashback Friday needs a bit of a clarification.
The author first released this book back in 2015,
but it was released it with a new cover in March 2017 preceding the release of Written in Stone, the 3rd book in the series. I added the book to my wish list last year when the 2nd book in the series tour with Great Escapes.

A Stone’s Throw
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New York
Solstice Publishing (March 8, 2017)
Paperback: 322 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1625265463
Kindle ASIN: B06XGNXQCS

 
 
 

 

Widowed librarian Alicia Fairmont needs answers…

After her husband is killed in a hit and run accident, Alicia travels upstate to his hometown of Cobble Cove, New York, hoping to locate his estranged family and shed light on his mysterious past. Anticipating staying only a weekend, her visit is extended when she accepts a job at the town’s library.

Secrets stretch decades into the past…

Assisted by handsome newspaper publisher and aspiring novelist, John McKinney, Alicia discovers a connection between her absent in-laws and a secret John’s father has kept for over sixty years. But her investigation is interrupted when she receives word her house has burned and arson is suspected, sending her rushing back to Long Island, accompanied by John.

Back in Cobble Cove, cryptic clues are uncovered…

When Alicia returns, she finds a strange diary, confiscated letters, and a digital audio device containing a recording made the day her husband was killed. Anonymous notes warn Alicia to leave town, but she can’t turn her back on the mystery—or her attraction to John. As the pieces begin to fall into place, evidence points to John’s involvement in her husband’s accident. The past and present threaten to collide, and Alicia confronts her fears…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Alicia Fairmont is struggling to move on after her husband’s death. She didn’t know much about his family and they didn’t show up for the funeral. She thinks that if she connects with them it will bring her the peace she needs to get on with her life. She knows he considered Cobble Cove his home she she hopes to find some answers there.

Soon after arriving she meets John McKinney, publisher of the local newspaper and he agrees to help her find out her husband’s mother and his sister. She also meets his father and the library director. The director hears that Alicia is a librarian and quickly offers her a job. While considering the offer she receives a call from home that her home has been burned to the ground. John accompanies her back to deal with all the aftermath. But her mind is still back in Cobble Cove. She wraps up what she can and returns back there to try to get the answers she needs.

Instead of a simple meeting of her in-laws she uncovers secrets, clues and evidence that turn the whole thing into quite a mystery. Many things are not what they seem and everything she learns takes her in a new direction until the last clue puts everything in order.

This is a complex mystery that is very well written. I had a couple of issues about how quickly certain events take place but as I delved further into the story those became minor glitches.

Cobble Cove is an unusual town and not typical for a cozy mystery. It felt very dark to me at times. The town is full of cottages with whimsical street names but there was just a pallor over the town. People are hiding something from Alicia and the story was getting a more suspenseful feel, but never truly veered into the thriller genre.

I liked Alicia but my verdict on John was out until almost the very end of the story. In fact I wasn’t trusting of anyone in Cobble Cove until the final pages. There is a wide variety in the personalities of all the characters, the bubbly townspeople that are on every committee, the shut-ins who have books from the library delivered to them, the detective that was downright rude, Dora,who runs the only place to stay in town, and of course John, his father and Sheila, the director of the library.

De Louise is an excellent storyteller. Her descriptions of time and place took me right into the pages. She includes many twists and turns to keep us as readers motivated to keep those pages turning. Everything wraps up nicely by the end of the story. If I didn’t know this was the first book in the series I would have thought it was a stand alone novel.

This story was different and so much more than I expected when I started reading. It is a very entertaining mystery coupled with a unlikely romance. I will definitely be checking out the next two installments.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

debbie

About The Author

Debbie De Louise is an award-winning author and a reference librarian at a public library on Long Island. She is a member of Sisters-in-Crime, International Thriller Writers, and the Cat Writer’s Association. She has a BA in English and an MLS in Library Science from Long Island University. Her published novels include Cloudy RainbowA Stone’s Throw, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, and Written in Stone. Between a Rock and a Hard Place (Cobble Cove Mystery #2) has been on the Amazon bestseller list for cozy mysteries. Debbie has also written articles and short stories for several anthologies of various genres and a romantic comedy novella, When Jack Trumps Ace. She is currently seeking agent representation for her psychological thriller, Sea Scope. Debbie lives on Long Island with her husband, daughter, and two cats.

Author Links:   

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Amazon Author Page    Website/Blog/Newsletter Sign-Up

 

betweenarockandahardplacesolsticecover
Between A Rock and a Hard Place by Debbie De Louise

Publisher: Solstice Publishing (October 12, 2016)
Paperback: 316 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1625264534
E-Book ASIN: B01M59PPBY
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Synopsis – Book 2

Librarian Alicia McKinney has put the past behind her…

Two years ago, Alicia discovered both a terrible truth and lasting love with John McKinney in the small town of Cobble Cove, New York. Now a busy mother of twin babies and co-author of a mystery series, Alicia couldn’t be happier.

Alicia’s contentment and safety are challenged…

Walking home alone from the library, Alicia senses someone following her, and on more than one occasion, she believes she is being watched. Does she have a stalker? When the local gift shop is burglarized, the troubling event causes unrest among Alicia and the residents of the quiet town.
John and Alicia receive an offer they can’t refuse…

When John’s sister offers to babysit while she and John take a much-needed vacation in New York City, Alicia is reluctant to leave her children because of the disturbances in Cobble Cove. John assures her the town is safe in the hands of Sheriff-elect Ramsay. Although Alicia’s experience with and dislike of the former Long Island detective don’t alleviate her concern, she and John take their trip.

Alicia faces her worst nightmare…

The McKinneys’ vacation is cut short when they learn their babies have been kidnapped and John’s sister shot. Alicia and John’s situation puts them between a rock and a hard place when the main suspect is found dead before the ransom is paid. In order to save their children, the McKinneys race against the clock to solve a mystery more puzzling than those found in their own books. Can they do it before time runs out?

Written in Stone
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Solstice Publishing (April 3, 2017)
Print Length: 215 pages
ASIN: B06Y1JTHJ8


Alicia McKinney is confused . . . .

Was the strange email her husband received from the fictional detective in their mystery series a threat? Did the killer mistake the woman shot in the library for Alicia or the victim’s twin sister?

Cat vs. Dog . . .

After Sneaky goes missing from the library, will he turn up before a young girl becomes ill with worry over his disappearance? And will he return in time to outsmart Fido by being first to find the perpetrator’s smoking gun?

Alicia is worried . . .

While waiting for the killer’s next move, Alicia has other concerns. An old flame of John’s is in town and her friend, Gilly, has adopted the role of Miss Marple to aid her sheriff boyfriend in his investigation.

When all clues point to one of her co-workers, Alicia joins Gilly in searching for the answers to the mystery.

Will they survive . . . .

or is their ending written in stone?

 

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Tour Participants

May 5 – My Journey Back – SPOTLIGHT
May 5 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
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May 9 – Cozy Up With Kathy – SPOTLIGHT
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

May 032017
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
Sharon Pape is busy touring her new book Magick & Mayhem with
Great Escapes Book Tours

so lead character Kailyn Wilde is dropping by for a visit!

 

Hi there! I’m Kailyn Wilde, proprietor of Abracadabra, the magick shop that’s been run by my family for centuries. By centuries I mean before this country was even a twinkle in the eyes of its creators. My ancestors left England seeking freedom from persecution as so many others have over the years. They settled in the wilderness of upstate New York in what eventually became the little tourist town of New Camel.

No one ever told me how hard dating can be when you’re a sorcerer and you work in the family business  As you might imagine, a magick shop attracts a lot more women than men, so I figure the odds of meeting Mr. Right through my business are fairly low. I dated a number of guys when I was away in college, but the relationships all fizzled before I ever told them about my lineage. I wound up with a great education though, and a degree in botany. Sounds highfalutin, I know, but I use a lot of what I learned to create better products for my shop. In spite of what you may have heard, we don’t really use bats’ wings and newts’ eyes. Yuck!  Those are just fanciful names for plants, names intentionally meant to sound arcane and awful to lay-people. You’ll never find a newt’s eye or a bat’s wing in my shop.

A nosy customer once asked me why I didn’t just conjure up the man of my dreams.  Well, magick doesn’t work that way— at least not white magick. Although members of my family, including yours truly, may have tiptoed over the line into grayish magick a time or two, black magick has never been an option for us. So I’ll just have to wait and see what fate has in store for me.

Lately I’ve had something far more important than dating on my mind anyway. Murder has come to New Camel for the first time in its history. The police are on the case, but so am I. I’m determined to catch the killer before my best friend is arrested for the crime and before frightened tourists decide to pass us by for other quaint towns without our sudden notoriety. Between you and me, I jumped at the chance to investigate the case. I’ve been drawn to mysteries ever since I read my first Nancy Drew book. Drove my mom and grandmother crazy. While other kids dreamed of having magickal powers, I dreamed of solving mysteries and bringing killers to justice.

Oh by the way, now that I have too much else on my plate to think about dating, I’ve met a guy who might just be a keeper! Fate can be a perverse little rascal!

~Kailyn


Magick & Mayhem (An Abracadabra Mystery)
Paranormal Cozy Mystery
New Series
Setting – New York
Publisher: Lyrical Underground (May 2, 2017)
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1516100569

Kindle ASIN: B01JWDZSQQ

 

What’s in a murderer’s bag of tricks?

Twenty-something Kailyn Wilde has learned to embrace her unpredictable life as a descendant of small-town New Camel’s most magickal family. She just didn’t expect to inherit her mother and grandmother’s centuries-old shop, Abracadabra, so suddenly. The surprises keep coming when Kailyn goes to finalize the estate at the local attorney’s office—and stumbles over the body of her best friend Elise’s husband . . .

As a brash detective casts the blame on Elise, Kailyn summons her deepest powers to find answers and start an investigation of her own. What with running a business, perfecting ancient spells, and keeping up with an uninvited guest of fabled origins, Kailyn has her hands full. But with the help of her uncanny black cat Sashkatu and her muumuu-clad Aunt Tilly, she’s closing in on a killer—who will do anything to make sure she never tests her supernatural skills again!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This new series from Sharon Pape is off to a magickal start!

We meet Kailyn Wilde who has inherited the family business due to the unexpected passing of her mother and grandmother. Her Aunt Tilly operates the attached tea room and does readings by appointment. When they arrive at their lawyer’s office to tie up a few loose ends they are shocked to find the man has been murdered very recently. Kaitlyn and the attorney’s wife Elise are best friends and she can’t imagine what she will do without her husband. Then Kailyn realizes the detective on the case thinks Elise is his prime suspect. With Aunt Tilly’s help and a little assistance from Sashkatu, a very special black cat, Kailyn is on a mission to catch the real killer before you can say Abracadabra!

What an enchanting read. I liked Kailyn and Tilly from the beginning and when they are joined by a very special guest the story got even better. Kailyn also has some visits from her dearly departed grandmother and mother that were so funny. All the characters are cleverly written. They reminded me of characters created by the late Joyce and Jim Lavene‘s in their Renaissance series. Fun, quirky, unique and a pleasure to follow around.

The story is full of twists, turns, mystery, and comedy. When magick goes awry you need to be prepared for surprises and the author delivers plenty of those.  The final reveal was dramatic and unexpected. As a fan of this author I expected no less. I have been entertained by every story of hers that I have read.

If you are looking for a lighthearted cozy mystery, you need look no further than Magick & Mayhem. For me the visit to New Camel ended much too soon. I can’t wait to go back again for That Olde White Magick coming this November.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


About The Author

I started writing stories as soon as I learned how to put letters together to form words. From that day forward, writing has been a part of my life whether it was my first attempt at a novel in seventh grade or the little plays I wrote for my friends to perform for neighbors and family. After college, when I was busy teaching French and Spanish to high school students, I was also writing poetry — some of it in French.

After several years, I left teaching to be a full time mom, and when my two children started school, I went back to writing. To my delight I found that the muse was still there, still waiting patiently for me to come around. My first novel, Ghostfire, was published at that time. It went on to be condensed in Redbook magazine (the first paperback original the magazine had ever condensed.) Then came The God Children and The Portal. Redbook also published my first short story, which was subsequently sold to several foreign magazines. With two great kids, a golden retriever and a loving, supportive husband (whom I’d met at the beach when I was fourteen — but that’s a story for another day), I felt like I was exactly where I was meant to be in my life. But fate had another plan for me, and it went by the name of “breast cancer.”

Looking back, I realize how fortunate I was that the cancer was discovered at such an early stage, but at the time it was all very overwhelming. Once I was back on my feet, I wanted to help other women who were newly diagnosed, worried and afraid. I became a Reach to Recovery volunteer for the American Cancer Society and went on to run the program for Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island. A number of years later, with the help of my surgical oncologist and two other volunteers, I started Lean On Me, a nonprofit organization that provides peer support and information to breast cancer patients. When Lean On Me celebrated its tenth anniversary it no longer required as much of my time, and I once again found myself free to pursue my first love — writing.

Author Links

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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.”

Mar 162017
 

Beginner’s Luck
by Corinne Scott

This book was great full of adventure and angst of all sorts…
~Community Bookstop

If you enjoy romantic suspense with a bit of heat and Irish brogue, you’ll enjoy BEGINNER’S LUCK and may just have found a new series.
~Christa Reads and Writes

Beginner’s Luck (The O’Briens Book 1)
Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Setting – New York

Camel Press (November 1, 2016)
Paperback: 232 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1603813815
ASIN: B01MAXTV1R

 

As eldest son, Eoin O’Brien is expected to take over the management of his family pub, the Lion O’Brien in the Bronx. Despite his da’s disapproval, he has achieved his dream of becoming a police detective. He also longs to have a family, but his wife Vivian left him three years ago to pursue her own dreams of working in an art gallery.

Now Vivian is back from California. When the gallery where she works is robbed and vandalized, their paths cross again. It turns out the attack on the gallery was personal. After Vivian is almost run down by a car, it is clear that she herself is the target, though she can’t think of anyone who would wish her harm. Eoin and Vivian circle each other warily, each feeling the pull of the past and their still powerful attraction. But there will be no easy reconciliation. First she find a way back into the O’Brien family’s good graces. Eoin, in turn, sees that he is partly to blame for her flight. Like his father, he is too quick to anger, too domineering. He must learn to give the independent Vivian her space. But above all, he has sworn to protect her. And if he gives her too much space, she may end up dead.

Says Corinne, “My first time in a New York Irish pub, I was struck by the strong feeling of family and tradition. And so the idea of the O’Briens was born. I could picture this big Irish family pouring drinks and sharing stories, all with an adorable brogue. They seemed so real I had to make them come to life.”

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Eoin O’Brien and his wife Vivian married very early in their relationship so that Eoin could get a green card and follow his dream to join the NYPD. Three years ago she left their marriage behind to follow her own dream of working in an art gallery. Now she is back in New York and guess who happens to answer the call when her gallery is robbed? None other than new detective Eoin O’Brien. The attraction is still there but is it enough for a reconciliation? Can than get past all the obstacles in their way?

Sometimes I just need to venture out of my cozy world for something a little steamy. I am not much of a romance reader but when you tangle romance with some mystery and suspense I am all in.

Having a little Irish in my make up and with tomorrow being St. Patrick’s Day, it was the perfect time to read this book.

The O’Brien family immigrated to America when Eoin was just 4 years old and opened their own Irish Pub. Their family grew and while Eoin’s father expected the eldest son to follow tradition and take over the pub when he was ready to retire Eoin has other ideas. His father didn’t take this well and their Irish tempers exploded often about this subject. When Eoin married Vivian and joined the police force their relationship became even more strained. In true fashion, his mother was the peacemaker. His brothers and sister were able to choose their careers, one even wants to run the pub. But there is still a cloud over this father and his eldest son.

Ms. Scott has created vivid characters I cared about right away. She took us deeper into their lives as the story progressed that made them so real. The Irish brogue made them even better. She allowed us to take a seat at the bar and enjoy the pub atmosphere and even the occasional fight. Eoin’s parents really warmed my heart as they both reminded me of my own parents. His father’s stubbornness and mother’s mostly gentle, sometimes forceful, prodding felt genuine and exactly like the home I grew up in. The sibling rivalry was very well written too. Makes me wonder if the author drew from her own life.

The romantic tension between Vivian and Eoin was strong and a few scenes absolutely sizzled. Situations continued to test them and at some points their pain just oozed of the pages.

I was impressed by the mystery. It was very balanced with the romance. Handled aptly by the police it was not easy for them to solve and had me perplexed several times. I thought I knew the “who” but the “why” was not adding up. It turned out I was only partly right when the entire story concluded. The ending had an suspenseful edge of your seat moment that I absolutely loved.

I am excited that this is going to be a series. I love this family. I wonder which O’Brien will be the star of the next story……

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 *Book contains adult language and scenes.

Corinne Scott was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. Her parents were teachers, so of course she grew up to be a teacher as well, proving that the apple does not fall too far from the tree. Corinne has a bachelor’s degree from Texas State University and a master’s from the University of North Texas. She is passionate about books, which led her to her current occupation as a librarian and author. For more information and links to social media, click here.

Website – Facebook –  Twitter – Pinterest – Instagram – GoodReads 

Purchase Links – Amazon

Tour Participants

March 13 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW  
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March 15 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy,  &, Sissy, Too ! – REVIEW
March 16 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
March 17 – Varietats – 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.”

Mar 042017
 


Can’t Buy Forever by Susan Laffoon
Contemporary Fiction
Page Publishing, Inc. (May 17, 2015)
Paperback: 218 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1681393742
Kindle ASIN: B01MUVA2LV

In the early 1950s, Odessa Drake (Dessa) is rescued from a bleak existence with a single mother. She takes a chance on the unknown to work in a boarding house owned by a widowed great aunt in Mineville, New York. Dessa is devoted to Aunt Flo and especially a young man, Nicholas, who appears and takes shelter in the attic, the only available space. Four years pass. She looks forward to each day because of his presence, in spite of the tedious work.

Dessa is now eighteen and knows little more of Nicholas than the day he arrived to work the mines. She knows only he is a remarkable man who has a limp and she trusts Nicholas explicitly. There is a familiarity both recognize and an unshakeable bond develops. Nicholas has reasons to keep his past buried. Dangers loom and become evident when Nicholas gets too close and exposes their bond. What is the mystery behind this threat? To discover the answer, they escape by railway heading West, colliding with treachery and uncovering secrets, mile by mile. Their journey is impossible, but, they are supported by friends who risk their lives to make sure a great love and lineage is preserved. Or is it? None will forget their odyssey as they proceed to their destiny farther than they imagined.

About The Author

Susan Laffoon knows whereof she writes having been raised in Glens Falls, in upstate New York. There, the Hudson River and the boulders that lie in its path, is Cooper’s Cave, a hide-a-way made famous in James Fedimore Cooper’s novel, ‘Drums Along The Mohawk.’ She visited this impressive attraction often growing up and listened to the rushing waters that echoed in the cave. There she decided to one day write romantic adventures. Thus as a young girl, while friends played with dolls, she imagined and scribbled stories of adventure to escape childhood responsibilities and unhappiness. She continued to journal through the years occupied with her husband, Gregg, and seven children. It was discovered her love of storytelling was predisposed from a Scandinavian father who died young, a journalist for the Denver Post, a half century earlier. This passion is being fulfilled by his daughter, since putting aside her stethoscope and career as a registered nurse. “Writing has always been in the shadow of my heart.”


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Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Feb 182017
 

The last book in this series, Drawing Blood,
received my Paradise Rating last year.

This one is just as good, maybe even better!



The Drawing Game (A Sketch in Crime Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New York
Gatekeeper Press (February 6, 2017)
Paperback: 300 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1619845725
Kindle ASIN: B01N3CM6P1

 

Synopsis

A lover of all things green, CeCe Prentice is not impressed when a fully-sustainable development, Green Acres, pops up next to her family’s homestead. It’s not so much the ridiculous price tag of the million dollar homes built entirely from re-usable materials and powered by the sun, but rather the new neighbors who think they can simply buy a green lifestyle.

To make matters worse, one homeowner turns out to be CeCe’s high school nemesis, Phoebe Purcell, a hair-tossing vamp who tried to break up CeCe and her long-time boyfriend, Charlie.

Already disillusioned by the so-called eco-friendly development, CeCe’s family home is threatened when a series of power-outages at Green Acres kicks off a rash of home invasions. When neighbors start showing up dead, the mood at Green Acres turns south. But when Charlie, CeCe’s on-again, off-again love interest is implicated in the murders, CeCe springs into action when she discovers the only clue – a portrait she painted years ago.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

CeCe Prentice and her friends, Charlie, and Katrina have a unique lifestyle, they are “freegans“. The grow their own food, dumpster dive for things they don’t grow, and visit thrift stores for other things they need. They try to lives their lives as green as possible. Which is one of the reason they are in her mother’s basement during a power outage. Katrina recently gave birth to baby boy Roon, but all they have are girl clothes, so they head to the basement to find some boy clothes. Before they find what they are looking for the lights go out. This is not the first time that has happened. Since the new eco-development was built next door, it is happening a lot. Ten homes costing over a million dollars each that are supposed to be powered by the sun should not be draining power from other houses. As Cece soon learns, the houses in Green Acres are having the same blackouts and there have even been some home invasions. When a neighbor is found dead things get even darker. When Charlie is pinned as the prime suspect in the murder Cece gets caught between helping her friend or standing by her man, Detective Frank DeRosa. She finds herself trying to help them both.

First, the title to the book is beyond perfect and even the cover has a clue, at least for me.

Simon Fletcher is the developer of Green Acres and he has built the homes with all the latest technology for his fully-sustainable subdivision. Unfortunately all that technology did not keep someone from killing him.

The author gives us a great bunch of suspects. People who were unhappy with the things going wrong in their new homes, his wife, his employees, a bunch of neighborhood kids and even Charlie who was working on a new high tech application with him.

CeCe also knew the man because she had painted a portrait of his wife. She may have even seen the killer from the basement window, but she can’t picture the face good enough to actually draw it. When another witness comes forward Frank asks CeCe to work with them to come up with a sketch both because of her unique talent and because it may spark hew own memory. She has a hyper sense of observation that enables her to catch clues even the good detective missed.

Deirdre Verne takes these characters and intertwines their lives together to give us an outstanding and complex mystery. One that had me paying close attention and glued to the pages. I tried to read it all in one evening but my eyes just would not cooperate. I woke up the next morning mad that I had to work and could not finish it right away. I did grab it as soon as I could and was surprised and delighted with the way the book ended. That is when I realized, yes, the title and cover were absolutely perfect.

To get the most out of this story and the wonderful characters you really should read the three stories in order, but just knowing about “Freeganism” gives you a good start. The characters have grown quite a bit from the first book and are still evolving.

Suspense, drama, a little romance and a touch humor all come together to make this escape Paradise.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Deirdre Verne is the author of Drawing Conclusions (2015), Drawing Blood (Feb 2016) and The Drawing Game (Dec 2017). Deirdre’s interest in green living inspired her to create an off-the-grid character, CeCe Prentice, who Dumpster dives her way through the Sketch in Crime mystery series. “Verne’s mystery is a winner…” Kirkus Reviews.  A member of Sisters in Crime, Deirdre’s stories appear in all three NY chapter anthologies – Murder New York Style, Murder New York Style: Fresh Slices and Family Matters.

Author Links – Webpage – Facebook  – Twitter – GoodReads

Praise for The Drawing Game
by Deirdre Verne

This is a fun series that makes me wonder about the characters and their lifestyles almost as much as I wonder about the mystery itself.
~Michelle’s Romantic Tangle

I really loved reading this book. It’s a great mystery.
~Books, Dreams, Life

This is a really interesting mystery with lots of twists and turns! It is well written with a brisk pace and lots of interesting characters.
~View from the Birdhouse

This was a unique read from the start. CeCe is interesting and complex as a character, and her voice is strong …
~Christa Reads and Writes

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February 8 – Michelle’s Romantic Tangle – REVIEW, GUEST POST
February 9 – Books,Dreams,Life – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT
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February 11 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
February 12 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW
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February 14 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 15 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
February 16 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 17 – Valerie’s Musings – 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.”

Murder on the Toy Town Express: A Vintage Toyshop Mystery by Barbara Early Get Your Copy Today!
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