Jul 092019
 

This book will be released on July 30!! 


Penne Dreadful (Italian Chef Mysteries)
1st in Series
Setting – New York
Poisoned Pen Press (July 30, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
ISBN-10: 1492684252
ISBN-13: 978-1492684251
Kindle ASIN: B07NVT2Z56

Tomato sauce isn’t the only thing that runs red…

Local chef Tessa Esposito is struggling to get back on her feet following her husband’s fatal accident. And when the police knock on Tessa’s door, things just get worse. They’ve discovered Dylan’s death wasn’t an accident after all, and they need Tessa to start filling in the blanks. Who would want her beloved husband dead, and why?

With the investigation running cold, Tessa decides it’s time to save her sanity by reconnecting with her first love-cooking. And maybe the best way back into the kitchen is to infiltrate Dylan’s favorite local pizza parlor, which also happens to be the last place he was seen before he died. But the anchovies aren’t the only thing that stink inside the small family business, and with suspects around every corner, Tessa finds that her husband’s many secrets might land her in hot water.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Was local chef Tessa Esposito’s husband not the man she thought he was? A few weeks have passed since he was killed in a fatal accident and now police have decided he may have been murdered. Her cousin, Detective Gino Mancusi brings her the news and has an idea for her to help solve the case. He wants her to apply for a job at her husband’s favorite pizza place, a place he spent quite a bit of time,  and work undercover keeping her eyes and ears open. Tessa agrees but she does more than that. She starts asking questions and nosing around on her own. Her husband was a successful accountant, why would anyone what him dead?  She better be careful or she could be next.

I am shocked to see this is the first book I have read by this author. It sure won’t be the last.

Catherine Bruns has created wonderful three-dimensional characters. Tessa is a protagonist I get really get on board with. A chef with a dream of having her own Italian restaurant for families. She loves to cook for others. Her dream was shared by her husband Dylan and his death rocked her to her core. When she learns his death was not an accident she turns into a woman with such strength and courage to bring his killer down. She does make some poor decisions but she is hellbent on getting justice for her husband even as she learns the man had more secrets than she ever could ever imagine.

Her cousins Gino and Gabby play a major part in her life. Gino’s quest is to keep her safe and best friend Gabby is a great partner and sounding board. They stick together through thick and thin and scary.

The story the author has created has more of an edge than your typical cozy mystery. Right after one scene occurred I had to check to see if the story was actually classified as cozy. After that scene though we mostly get back to that cozier feel. I would rather have a scene like that in my cozy than the curse words that are seeming to pop up more and more these days in this genre.

Ms. Bruns does set a lively pace with plenty of action and twists. The closer we get to the end the pace accelerates more making it impossible to put this book down until the last page is reached. Tense moments prevail that truly did keep me right on the edge of my seat.

Oh my goodness, the food described throughout this mystery was absolutely mouthwatering. From pizzas to Tessa’s Tantalizing Tomato Sauce I was craving Italian food for days. Thankfully my husband has some great recipes up his sleeve. The author does include some recipes at the end of the story too.

I love the theme and these characters. I am beyond excited for the next book in this series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Catherine Bruns

Catherine is the USA Today bestselling author of the Cookies & Chance mysteries. She lives in New York with her very patient husband, three sons, and several spoiled pets. Catherine has a B.A. in English and is a former newspaper reporter and press release writer. She also writes the Cindy York real estate and the Carrie Jorgenson (Aloha Lagoon) culinary mysteries. Penne Dreadful, the first book in her Italian Chef Mysteries, debuts in July 2019.

Follow Catherine on Facebook and Twitter and check out her Website too!

Also by Catherine Bruns



I am giving away my Advance Review Copy!
The 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.

Follow Catherine Bruns on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

Follow Catherine Bruns on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End July 23, 2019, 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.”

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Jun 182019
 


Clause & Effect (Deadly Edits)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – New York
Kensington (June 25, 2019)
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1496712579
ISBN-13: 978-1496712578
Kindle ASIN: B07HVYPQH9

As a professional editor, Mikki Lincoln is used to crimes against the English language. As an amateur sleuth, she’s finding catching criminals a lot more dangerous than catching typos . . .

Nestled in the picturesque Catskills, the village of Lenape Hollow prepares to celebrate the 225th anniversary of its founding. Freelance book editor Mikki Lincoln has been drafted to update and correct the script, left over from the town’s bicentennial, which is housed at the historical society.

The building is being renovated for the first time since that last celebration. But when construction reveals a shocking discovery—human remains walled up in a fireplace—Mikki shifts focus from cold-reading to solving a cold case.

Just as her investigation seems to have hit a brick wall, a new murder rattles the townspeople. Clearly, someone is hiding a few skeletons in the closet. Now Mikki will need to go off script to make a connection between the bicentennial bones and the current homicide. But if this book editor isn’t careful, she may be the next one sentenced to death . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Mikki Lincoln finds herself reluctantly tasked with editing and basically rewriting the script for the play the was performed 25 years ago at the town’s bicentennial celebration so it can be performed for the Quasquicentennial this year. The problem is the old script is kept at the historical society and can’t be checked out. Mikki is forced to work in the archives room while construction on the building continues so it can be completed before the celebration.

While the contractor is working on the renovation one of the walls crumbles on top of him revealing an old fireplace. He has minor injuries but another body is found in the rubble. One that was murdered and closed up in the wall presumably during the last renovation before the bicentennial. Mikki can’t get the body out of her mind and finds herself spending more time trying to solve the cold case that her regular editing work or the Lenape Hollow founder’s day script. When a new murder is added to the mix, Mikki finds herself editing her time to do it all. She may be asking her last question, writing her last paragraph, final sentence, period, end of story, if she finds herself in the killer’s sights.

I love that Mikki Lincoln is an older lead character, retired teacher, set in her ways, working so that she can live in the house she grew up in. She wears hearing aids that come in handy for some stealth eavesdropping. Mikki is smart, a great multitasker, with keen insight. All qualities that make her a great amateur sleuth. We also continue to meet the residents of Lenape Hollow. Ms. Dunnett does a wonderful job fleshing out her characters and connecting them to Mikki is a believable way.

I enjoyed that a cold case connects to a new one. It allows readers to not only follow the clues but get to know about the village’s past. Much has changed in 25 years but many things remain the same. The mystery unfolds in a very intriguing and interesting way. There were plenty of twists and a wonderful moment when the last clue falls into place. I was so surprised when I realized where the story was leading. It is so much fun when that happens.

The subplots tangled within the mystery were great too. I was really drawn by the character researching their family history. They have a big secret and they learn something they wouldn’t have found out if they hadn’t made the trip to Lenape Hollow.

Another strong story for this series. Well-written, relatable characters, set in a place with a long history. An entertaining read! I hope to visit Mikki and her friends again soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Crime and Punctuation here.

About the Author 

Kaitlyn Dunnett writes the Liss MacCrimmon Mystery Series and now the Deadly Edits Mystery Series. You can find out more about her and her books on her website here.

Also by Kaitlyn Dunnett


Coming in January 2020


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 Copy to give away!
The 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.

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 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 July 2, 2019, 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.”

 

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Jun 172019
 


Life After Suicide: Finding Courage, Comfort & Community After Unthinkable Loss
Happiness Self-Help/Suicide/Love & Loss
William Morrow (May 7, 2019)
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 0062906038
ISBN-13: 978-0062906038
Kindle ASIN: B07FSQ42H1

From the chief medical correspondent of ABC News, an eloquent, heartbreaking, yet hopeful memoir of surviving the suicide of a loved one, examining this dangerous epidemic and offering first-hand knowledge and advice to help family and friends find peace.

Jennifer Ashton, M.D., has witnessed firsthand the impact of a loved one’s suicide. When her ex-husband killed himself soon after their divorce, her world—and that of her children—was shattered. Though she held a very public position with one of the world’s largest media companies, she was hesitant to speak about the personal trauma that she and her family experienced following his death. A woman who addresses the public regularly on intimate health topics, she was uncertain of revealing her devastating loss—the most painful thing she’d ever experienced. But with the high-profile suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, Dr. Ashton recognized the importance of talking about her experience and the power of giving voice to her grief. She shared her story with her Good Morning America family on air—an honest, heartbreaking revelation that provided comfort and solace to others, like her and her family, who have been left behind.

In Life After Suicide, she opens up completely for the first time, hoping that her experience and words can inspire those faced with the unthinkable to persevere. Part memoir and part comforting guide that incorporates the latest insights from researchers and health professionals, Life After Suicide is both a call to arms against this dangerous, devastating epidemic, and an affecting story of personal grief and loss. In addition, Dr. Ashton includes stories from others who have survived the death of a loved one by their own hand, showing how they survived the unthinkable and demonstrating the vital roles that conversation and community play in recovering from the suicide of a loved one. The end result is a raw and revealing exploration of a subject that’s been taboo for far too long, providing support, information, and comfort for those attempting to make sense of their loss and find a way to heal.

*After seeing Dr. Ashton on several television programs I wrote to the publishers and requested a copy of this book to review. 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Losing my eldest son to suicide on March 15, 2015, has been devastating for me, our family, and everyone that loved him. I thought enough time had passed that I could read this book to help me on my grief journey and help me see things more clearly with the help of a woman dealing with grief herself. It took me longer to finish this book than I had originally thought.  I found that I was not going to be able to read this book like any other book I have read. So, I challenged myself to read 1 chapter each day. Sometimes I needed more than 1 day in between. It actually took me 21 days to complete the book.

I could see right away that my experience was totally different than Dr. Ashton’s. First, because she lost a husband not a child, but it was more than that. Dr. Ashton had resources I never had and most people don’t. She is a wealthy woman and a celebrity for her work as an ABC News medical correspondent. She was easily able to find therapists for herself and her children. A therapist she could call at any time day or night. Where I live, grief therapists are few and you can wait weeks or months to even get an appointment if you find one accepting new patients. My family physician did his best. Being disabled and being unable to drive added roadblocks for me. Thankfully I found an online group that helped me so much.

A few chapters into the book I started to see things from a different point of view. My son’s ex-wife had much more in common with Dr. Ashton than I did. Divorced, was finally working out the co-parenting necessary to raise a happy and healthy child, and the devastation she now faces as the only parent in their child’s life. She has the added burden of finding the right balance of how to explain to her daughter her father’s death because she was just under 3 years old when her dad died. Each year explaining just so much and answering her daughter’s questions. My granddaughter is now 7 and the explanations get harder and harder. I plan to share this book with my daughter-in-law because while Dr. Ashton’s children were older she may glean some knowledge to help her with my granddaughter.

One thing I loved was the way Dr. Ashton’s daughter Chloe, 17 at the time of her father’s death saw signs of her father’s presence in her life. Once, a song that randomly played at one of her hockey games as the players took the ice to battle in overtime, a song they always played when he was taking her to hockey games. She knew it was a sign her dad was watching over her. Chloe’s team won the game. I have had a few things that most people would call coincidences, I just know it’s my son sending me a message.

The author does share 2 stories of women she has met that had lost their children. I identified with a lot of things one of the moms went through.  Knowing your child is struggling, happy when they reach out and agree to get help, thinking the help is working, and then getting that call or in my case the knock on the door and hearing that your child took his own life and was gone forever. The pain, the numbness, the tears, the darkness.

Like the mom in the book, I was moved by the funeral service and all the people that came, that loved Kris, were his friends, his classmates, his workmates and all the people that came that knew me, my husband, my 3 other children. If only our son’s had realized that while being released from their current pain they were leaving so much pain behind. Since my son’s death, I have used this quote often “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem”.

Dr, Ashton is in a good place when the book ends but points out continued communication is necessary. Because of her status, she was able to write this book. She was able to give me more hope. While everyone’s grieving process is different, she understands what suicide survivors feel and think because she has been there. The important take away is YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I really learned this through my online support group, but it is something that needs to be reinforced every day. Some days are good, some are even great, but sometimes that grief raises up and smacks you in the face, even years after your loved one’s death. Together we can go on.

“Together we can put an end to the mental illness and suicide stigmas that have caused an obscene amount of undeserved pain. Together we can make a difference, in honor of those we have loved and lost.”

Myself, I use my online presence to try to raise awareness. People have told me my messages have helped them. I want to stop any other family for sharing the pain that suicide leaves behind. I have struggled and had dark days myself. I know I am not alone in those feelings either. Support from friends, family, and other moms who understand help me more than words can say.

If you are struggling with the loss of a loved one to suicide you may find comfort in reading this book. Just prepare head and your heart. I recommend reading it slowly as I did. Have a tissue handy and reach out to friends if you need to talk.

None of our stories are exactly the same. It is hard to share our stories with people we have known forever. I applaud Dr. Ashton for sharing hers and those of others she knew with the public. I am sure she will help a vast number of people.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.

About the Author

Dr. Jennifer Ashton is the two-time Emmy Award Winning Chief Medical Correspondent for ABC News and Good Morning America. A popular guest speaker and moderator, she is among the leading voices in the country on Women’s Health, and the only doctor with a national television platform who is also a nutritionist and double board certified in Ob-GYN and Obesity Medicine. Dr. Ashton received the prestigious Columbia Alfred I. Dupont Award for Excellence in Journalism, is the author of three books: Eat This Not That When Expecting, The Body Scoop for Girls, and Your Body Beautiful, in addition to a monthly column in Cosmopolitan Magazine and has finished her fourth book due out in early May. Dr. Ashton is a graduate of Columbia College, Columbia University, She received her medical degree from Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons and her Master of Science in Nutrition from Columbia’s Institute of Human Nutrition. Her private medical practice is located in Englewood, NJ. Dr. Ashton is committed to improving the lives of girls and women by increasing health literacy and busting myths that have spread through folklore with little medical or scientific basis.


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.”

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Apr 242019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so happy to share this book with you today as part of the book’s
Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour! 

 

About the Book


Magickal Mystery Lore (An Abracadabra Mystery)
Paranormal Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – New York
Lyrical Underground (April 16, 2019)
Pages: 317 (including a sneak peek into book 5)
ASIN: B07FS2GCW3

This spells trouble . . .

The New Camel Day Fair is a fun-filled event for residents of this upstate New York town. Kailyn Wilde, a modern-day witch of ancient lineage, leaves her potion shop, Abracadabra—and her feline familiar, Sashkatu—to attend with her fortune-telling Aunt Tilly. Joining them is legendary wizard Merlin, who’s discovering new pleasures of time-traveling to the modern world, including curly fries and kettle corn—but the appeal of the Tilt-a-Wheel is beyond his mystical imagination.

The real wild ride begins later, when neighboring sweet shop owner Lolly rushes into Abracadabra with news about a dead body. The victim has one of Lolly’s fudge knives stuck in her back, but in spite of the sticky evidence, Lolly is only one of several suspects with ample motive and opportunity. Meanwhile, Merlin’s research into old family scrolls and electromagnetic ley lines is causing some unusual mix-ups. As the two investigations collide, Kailyn will have to do everything in her power to prevent disaster…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Kailyn, Tilly, Merlin, and Sashkatu are back and it’s time for the New Camel Day Fair. Kailyn and Tilly hope Merlin will be on his best behavior now that they are giving him a little more freedom. He is still pushing for a town name change but the Tilt-a-Wheel and all the tasty treats at the fair are keeping him occupied except for all my one little magical slip.

Kailyn agreed to open Abracadabra for just a couple of hours so customers in town for the fair could do a little shopping. Buy she barely arrives back to the shop when Lolly, owner of the nearby sweet shop, drags her out to show her the dead body. The dead body in the backyard of Lolly’s shop with one of Lolly’s fudge knives stabbed into it’s back. Kailyn will do her best to help Lolly but she also has to help Tilly keep track of Merlin. Through his research, he has found information about electromagnetic ley lines and he thinks that may be what is messing with Kailyn and Tilly’s powers. Soon both problems connect and attract deadly attention.

I absolutely love Merlin! His experiences at the fair were funny and heartwarming. Do you remember your first ride on the Tilt-a-Wheel? or the first time you had carnival food? Or the waiting in lines for samples? The way Merlin handled a stressful situation just cracked me up and was so unexpected. I know Kailyn and Tilly should own gold medals for taking care of him but he has become special to me, plus there could be no Abracadabra Mysteries without him. He sometimes steals the story 🙂

All the characters Ms. Pape has created for this series are terrific. I love that Kailyn’s deceased mother and grandmother “pop in” often and not always at the perfect time. They are there to encourage and remind her to hone all her powers so they are available when she needs them. And she is going to need them. I enjoy the relationship between Tilly and Kailyn. I also am so happy that Travis knows her secret and has met all of her family. In fact, he thinks it is time she meets his parents. I can’t forget the furry characters, Sashkatu, and a dog that Merlin introduces to the family, along with several others visit within these pages. They are all cleverly written.

The mystery was hard to solve and had some darker moments. The pace was quick but I had to slow down in some places to totally grasp how the pieces were fitting together. As everything fell into place it was quite exciting and had elements that would fit an investigative television show, without the magic, of course.

This was a very entertaining book. I love the way the author inserts the humor in the right amounts and in all the proper places never taking away from the feast of the mystery. Without that the story would be overly intense. Sharon Pape knows how to walk the like between cozy and thriller so well. A real mystery to sink our teeth into with characters that make us smile and sometimes laugh out loud. They are characters I am always excited to read and see what the author has in store for them.

This book can stand on its own, but reading them in order is a great way to spend a weekend.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Sharon Pape 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 had ever condensed. Around the same time, Redbook published her first short story.

Then life brought her an unexpected challenge that went by the name of breast cancer. When her treatment was over, she became a volunteer for the American Cancer Society’s Reach to Recovery Program and went on to be the program’s coordinator for Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island. Several years later, with the help of her surgical oncologist and two other survivors, she started her own not-for-profit organization to provide information and peer support to newly diagnosed breast cancer patients.

Once the organization was running smoothly and didn’t require as much of her time, she returned to her first love – writing. During this second stage of her career, she’s been writing cozy mysteries with a paranormal twist and a splash of humor.

Author Links – Website – Facebook –  Pinterest – TwitterGoodReads

Praise for Magickal Mystery Lore (An Abracadabra Mystery)
by Sharon Pape

It’s a fun read that kept me emotionally engaged and open to the vast possibilities of the universe.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

The writing style flows smoothly and the book is a quick easy read. The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and these descriptions pulled me into the story from the first page.
~MJB Reviewers

Purchase Links – Amazon  –  B & N

Also by Sharon Pape


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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
April 15 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
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April 17 – Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST
April 18 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
April 19 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT
April 19 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
April 20 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
April 21 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW
April 22 – Nadaness In Motion – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 23 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
April 23 – Sneaky the library cat’s blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 24 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
April 24 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – 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.”

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Mar 282019
 


Trouble on the Books: A Castle Bookshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New York
Crooked Lane Books (March 12, 2019)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1683319818
ISBN-13: 978-1683319818
Kindle ASIN: B07H7R7GVP

Rookie bookstore owner Shelby Cox must hit the books to learn the ropes before she loses a killer in the stacks.

Shelby Cox never intended to become a bookseller, so when the former editor returns to her hometown of Alexandria Bay, nestled in upstate New York’s breathtaking Thousand Islands region, to take over her aunt’s bookstore, she has no idea what to expect. To her amazement, she discovers that she now owns a fifty-percent share in Bayside Books, and will also run the store’s second location in the majestic castle on nearby Blye Island.

But just as Shelby is gearing up for the start of the tourist season, the Castle volunteer coordinator is found murdered in the nearby Grotto. Castle caretaker Matthew Kessler is suspect number one, but Shelby thinks the killing may be connected to an earlier era, when violence among Prohibition-era smugglers was rampant in the region. As Shelby launches her own investigation, handsome and unnerving Special Agent Zack Griffin of the Coast Guard Investigative Services tries to quell her smuggling theory and keep her safe. But Shelby is determined to summon all her savvy as a book editor to plot the murder—and find the killer before he strikes again.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Her aunt has just had knee surgery so Shelby Cox arrives in Alexandria Bay to help manage her aunt’s bookstore and open a satellite store in the castle on Blye Island. She is surprised when her aunt informs her that she, in fact, owns fifty-percent of Bayside Books. She has a lot to learn but she is surrounded by a great staff. The island is a popular tourist attraction so her main focus is getting the castle bookshop open as before the tourists start arriving by the busload.

After a busy grand opening Shelby is excited about her new life as a bookseller. That is until she finds a dead body floating in the Grotto. She knows immediately that it is the prickly volunteer coordinator for the Castle. The police quickly peg Matthew Kessler, the Castle caretaker as their prime suspect. When the Coast Guard gets involved Shelby starts to think the murder may be linked to smuggling, something the island was used for during Prohibition. She can’t stop herself from sticking her nose into the investigation much to the dismay of Coast Guard Special Agent Zack Griffin. She is determined to solve the case and Zack is determined to keep her safe.

The setting of this story grabbed my attention right away. A bookshop in a castle on one island that is part of the Thousand Islands area off New York. A truly perfect setting for a cozy mystery series.

Shelby Cox is an interesting protagonist. She has her work cut out for her. She admits she isn’t a people person and knows that has to change if she is going to be a success in her new profession. She is curious, a trait every amateur must have. She is also intelligent and detail oriented so I know she is going to succeed in both of these endeavors. In addition to trying to solve a murder, Shelby hopes to learn more about her mother. She was quite young when she lost her and has so many questions.

Ms. Lang has surrounded Shelby with a great supporting cast. Aunt Edie was my fave. She is a strong woman too who hates being still and away from her shop. Her recovery is moving quickly and I am excited to get to know her better when she isn’t hindered at all.  Romance is two-fold in this story. Caretaker Matthew Kessler is very important to Edie and Agent Zack appears to be very interested in Shelby.

The murder happens early in the story. Shelby’s first investigation is a bit clunky as to be expected, it is her first, but it messed with the story flow in places. When she found her rhythm so did the story. Clues fell into her path and the twists and turns kept her and the reader guessing.

The subplot of Shelby’s mother blended in nicely, but I must confess I was almost more interested in it than murder. I feel this is a credit to the author because I was invested in her main character and cared about her and her feelings very early in this first book. She has left so much room for all the characters to grow.

This is a fine start for this series. Endearing characters drew me in and their lives and the mysteries thrown into their paths kept those pages turning. I am excited to learn more about these characters and to see what the author has in store for them next.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Essie Lang has been nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel and has also been short-listed for an Arthur Ellis Award from Crime Writers of Canada for Best Short Story under other pen names. She is a former mystery bookstore owner and still loves reading all the mysteries she can get her hands on. She also loves choral singing, which is not always so pleasant for her Siamese cat, Keesha, who must endure hours of practice. This is her first Castle Bookshop mystery.

Written as Linda Wiken

Written as Erika Chase

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.”

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Mar 272019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

Husband James E. Clapp and wife Ann I. Goldfarb make up the writing team of
J.C. Eaton and I am so happy to have them visit today as part of their Great Escapes Book Tour!

Tell us a little bit about yourselves.

We’re both from upstate New York in the Finger Lakes but now call the Valley of the Sun (Phoenix) our home. Ann is a retired teacher and school principal, Jim worked most of his life in construction before taking a position as tasting room manager for a major winery on Seneca Lake and enjoying it for over a decade before retiring.

Rescuing cats and dogs has been a passion for us and we happily admit we are foster failures. We now have five kitties and one very spoiled Chiweenie, who became the inspiration for Streetman in our Sophie Kimball Mysteries. As for the goat and the Plott Hound in the Wine Trail Mysteries, they were inspired by Ann’s brother’s pets!

What are three things most people don’t know about you?

We collect rocks and minerals and have them stashed everywhere. We make up silly songs and sing them to our dog. (Seriously!) We bought our first slow cooker this year and have had enough pot roast to last a century. Also, Jim has had Parkinson’s Disease for a number of years but it hasn’t slowed him down. He exercises all the time and has a terrific sense of humor. When he tried the Dragon Speak software for writing and it kept mixing up his words, he couldn’t stop laughing. Finally, he went back to legal pads and pencils!

What is the first book you remember reading?

Ann remembers the Bobbsy Twins and Nancy Drew. Jim remembers the Hardy Boys and Mark Twain stories.

What are you reading now?

Ann – Rosemary Simpson’s Gilded Age Mysteries – What the Dead Leave Behind,   Jim – C. J. Box’s The Disappeared

What made you decide you want to write?

Ann cannot remember a time when she wasn’t writing and somehow, Jim caught that bug, too!

Do you have a special place you like to write?

Ann is very particular. It must be in our office/spare bedroom and must be absolutely quiet. Jim can write anywhere and does – the living room, the kitchen table, and anyplace he can find. He is oblivious to noise, too!

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

The Wine Trail Mysteries were easy. We lived in NY’s wine country most of our lives. When we moved to Arizona and settled in a senior community, we couldn’t resist poking fun at all the goings on. That started the Sophie Kimball Mysteries. Both of us have always wanted to spend time in Minnesota, but since we never did, we created a mystery series there. (Marcie Raynor Mysteries). Our ideas come from everyday life  – news, chit-chats with friends, and our daily routines.

What books have most inspired you?

Ann – One Hundred Years of Solitude and anything by Charles Dickens. Jim is a Mark Twain aficionado and that’s where his inspiration came from.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Yes – the constant grammatical changes from the Chicago Manual of Style. Just when we think we’ve gotten it right, we find out we didn’t!

What do you think makes a good story?

Believable characters, a solid plot, a setting that draws the reader in, and a flow that keeps things moving.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

There’s a little bit of Ann in Norrie Ellington, Sophie Kimball, and Marcie Raynor. As for Jim…guess, we’ll still have to keep writing.

Why did you pick your particular genre?

Life is tough enough and handling human angst is not something we wanted to tackle. We want to entertain. We want to put a smile on our readers’ faces and make them guess whodunit while we’re at it. Cozy mysteries offer all the suspense without the blood, guts, and gore.

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

We take full advantage of hyperbole and must infuse our mysteries with humor. We offer sleuths of all ages in our series – 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 70 plus if you consider the book club ladies in our Sophie Kimball Mysteries.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

We’ll continue juggling our series and hoping someone decides to put something on the big screen!

Ann and Jim, thank you so much for stopping by today! It is so much fun to learn about authors who write the books we love! 

Now let me give you my thoughts on J.C. Eaton’s latest, Pinot Red or Dead?

 

About the Book


Pinot Red or Dead? (The Wine Trail Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New York
Lyrical Underground (March 26, 2019)
Paperback: 206 pages
ISBN-10: 1516108035
ISBN-13: 978-1516108039
Digital ASIN: B07F5XDH41

There’s a lot of noir surrounding this rare pinot.

As the vineyards in Seneca Lake, New York, prepare for the seasonal “Deck the Halls Around the Lake” festivities, someone is determined to keep pinot noir off the wine list. Hijacked trucks and sabotaged ingredients have made it a hard-to-acquire vintage for the six local wineries—including Norrie Ellington’s Two Witches Winery.

The case of the stolen and spoiled wines gets stranger when Arnold Mowen, owner of the company distributing the wine, is found dead, the apparent victim of a hunting accident. As Norrie tries to find the connections between the pinot’s problems and Arnold’s death, she uncovers a conspiracy among many locals whose hatred for the wine distributor was bottled up for far too long . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We return to Two Witches Winery in Seneca Lake, New York, right before the big holiday event Deck the Halls Around the Lake. This time pinot noir is the featured wine and someone wants to be sure there is a shortage of this fine vintage. Sabotaged barrels and stolen bottles are making local vintners amp up security and press for answers. Then their wine distributor in murdered. His body is found between Norrie’s winery and Don and Theo’s winery by her dog. The police try to play it off as a weird hunting accident but Norrie knows that isn’t the case. She again teams up with Don and Theo to save their wine and catch the killer.

Book 3 has Norrie’s sister and brother-in-law still in Costa Rica hunting down the rare insect but she is in contact with the head of their program in New York much more this time as he can get her into the places she needs to investigate. You see Mr. Arnold Mowen seems to have promised a lot of people he would bequeath all his worldly possessions to them upon his death. It seems someone couldn’t wait for that event to happen naturally. Some of those people reside in a place that is having a pest control problem and have called in an expert, Norrie’s new friend. Now she needs to find the evidence to tie either these individuals or one of her other suspects to not only the murder but the tampering and stealing of the pricey rare pinot noir.

Norrie continues to impress me, especially when she, Theo and Don mix themselves up in a police investigation. They dig into everything, no matter how far-fetched.  Norrie puts herself out there too, where she could get in a lot of trouble. It is so much fun following her around, sometimes in circles to get to the truth.

J. C. Eaton had offset our regular characters this time with some really quirky characters. Lavettia Lawrence, the deceased girlfriend seems to think she has become Norrie’s new best friend and Norrie handles it with grace and uses it to her advantage too. But Lavettia is just one in a rather long list of suspects. The mystery had many components and twists too. Arnold’s will was crazy, not the craziest I have ever heard of but it was out there.  It all leads up to a great reveal.

I have enjoyed all three escapes to the Two Witches Winery. The characters are well rounded and engaging, the location is somewhere I would love to actually visit and as a wine novice, I love learning something in every story. Pinot Red or Dead? was a cleverly written mystery with the perfect amounts intrigue and humor. I loved it and am looking forward to more books in this series.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of A Riesling to Die – just click here.

Read my review of Chardonnayed to Rest just click here.

About the Authors

Ann I. Goldfarb

New York native Ann I. Goldfarb spent most of her life in education, first as a classroom teacher and later as a middle school principal and professional staff developer. Writing as J. C. Eaton, along with her husband, James Clapp, she has authored the Sophie Kimball Mysteries (Kensington) set for release in June 2017. In addition, Ann has nine published YA time travel mysteries under her own name. Visit the websites at www.jceatonauthor.com and www.timetravelmysteries.com

James E. Clapp

When James E. Clapp retired as the tasting room manager for a large upstate New York winery, he never imagined he’d be co-authoring cozy mysteries with his wife, Ann I. Goldfarb. His first novel, Booked 4 Murder (Kensington) is set for release in June 2017. Non-fiction in the form of informational brochures and workshop materials treating the winery industry were his forte along with an extensive background and experience in construction that started with his service in the U.S. Navy and included vocational school classroom teaching.

Visit their website at www.jceatonauthor.com and Like and follow on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JCEatonauthor/


Just Released

Also by J.C. Eaton

Coming August 27, 2019

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
March 25 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
March 25 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 25 – fundinmental – REVIEW
March 26 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
March 26 – Reading Is My SuperPower – GUEST POST
March 26 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
March 26 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
March 26 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST  
March 27 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
March 27 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 27 – I’m All About Books – CHARACTER GUEST POST 
March 28 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
March 28 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
March 29 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 29 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
March 29 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
March 29 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 30 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
March 30 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
March 30 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 31 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
March 31 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 31 – Rosepoint Publishing – 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.”

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Mar 212019
 


Criminally Cocoa (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3.5 in Series
Setting – New York
Kensington (February 26, 2019)
Print Length: 86 pages
ASIN: B07KNT89SN

A taste for trouble . . .

As if being in New York City for Easter isn’t exciting enough, Charlotte Weaver has another reason to be thrilled. She’s helping her cousin, Bailey, on the set of her first cable TV show, Bailey’s Amish Sweets. Bailey will even be re-creating the delectable hand-woven chocolate Easter baskets she once crafted for the city’s world-famous JP Chocolates. But once things start rolling, Charlotte starts to notice odd things happening—things that seem intended to make Bailey look bad . . .

With Bailey feeling extra nervous about being on camera, Charlotte decides to keep her suspicion of sabotage to herself. But she knows that among Bailey’s fans at the Gourmet Television network lurks a dangerously jealous rival. Now Charlotte will have to find out who that person is—before sour grapes turns one of the sweetest times of the year fatally bitter . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This delightful novella picks up where the last book leaves off, Bailey and Charlotte travel to New York to film Bailey’s Amish Sweets. Both are thrilled to be part of the Gourmet Television Network. Anxious and nervous for everything to go smoothly Bailey tries to do her best but a bunch of freaky things happen. It seems the show may never get off the ground. Charlotte makes some keen observations proving the mishaps are not accidents and she is determined to find out who is trying to keep Bailey off the air. She just needs to keep herself safe in the process.

I loved that this story was told from Charlotte’s point of view. She has a huge decision to make soon and spending part of her rumspringa in New York may help her to make her decision. Seeing New York through her eyes was wonderful, that city is awestriking whether you are Amish or English. I am sure I would have reactions similar to hers.

I enjoyed that Juliet Brody and her comfort pig, Jethro make a surprise appearance to help Bailey out. That Jethro shakes things up wherever he goes.

For a book of this length, there was a good number of suspects and Ms. Flower twisted the clues up nicely. There were some tense moments as everything came to a head. I was partially right in my deductions, I just didn’t get the extra little skewering twist.  Well-plotted Ms. Flower.

This was a nice little interlude as fans wait for Toxic Toffee to be released June 25.

Oh, and there are recipes too!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Check out my review of Assaulted Caramel here and Lethal Licorice here
and Premeditated Peppermint here.

About This Author

Amanda Flower, a two-time Agatha Award-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth-grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. She also writes mysteries as national bestselling author Isabella Alan. In addition to being an author, Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland.

Author Links:

Website  Pen Name Website     Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads    Pinterest

Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series (writing as Isabella Alan)

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy of Criminally Cocoa!
The book will be sent directly from Amazon.

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
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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.”

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Mar 012019
 


On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.


Chardonnayed to Rest (The Wine Trail Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – New York
Lyrical Underground (September 25, 2018)
Paperback: 220 pages
ISBN-10: 1516108027
ISBN-13: 978-1516108022
Kindle ASIN: B078QSQXBF

Finding a murderer requires 100% proof.

In Seneca Lake, New York, Norrie Ellington’s Two Witches Winery has been selected by the local vintner community to host the annual Federweisser, a celebration of the season’s first fermentation of white Chardonnay grapes. But the festivities are spoiled when Norrie learns that landowner Roy Wilkes has raised her neighbor Rosalee Marbleton’s rent so high, she may have to close her vineyard.

Before the rent hike could go into effect, Wilkes is found dead on Roslaee’s property—stabbed by a flowerpot stake—and she becomes the police’s number one suspect. To clear her friend’s name, Norrie conducts her own investigation. But as she gathers clues, Norrie finds herself targeted by a killer, and if she’s not careful, her desire to see justice done may die on the vine . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We are back at the Two Witches Winery just in time for the annual Federweisser celebration. Norrie tries to juggle the preparation for the event along with meeting here screenwriter deadlines. Thankfully the staff of Two Witches has things well in hand because Norrie receives a frantic call from Rosalee Marbleton telling her she has found a dead body on her property. The dead man turns out to Roy Wilkes, the man owns access to the water needed for Rosalee’s winery. He had recently raised the rent so high that it could put her out of business. It’s not bad enough that she found the body but the murder weapon also belongs to her. Rosalee knows it looks bad and begs Norrie to find the real killer. A task Norrie doesn’t take lightly. Neither does the killer as he sets his sights on her.

I really like Norrie. She takes on everything thrown at her. She has become to go to person called to investigate anything shady or nefarious in the Seneca Lake wine community. Heck, they call her before calling the authorities, something that really upsets Deputy Sheriff Gary Hickman. Norrie has a great group of people to support her. These characters are diverse and very well crafted. They have their gifts and idiosyncrasies, but they will do anything for Norrie and the Two Witches Winery. The author has done a great job of making these characters genuine.

J. C. Eaton has fermented a fun mystery for readers to enjoy. A victim no one knows much about except for the fact that he didn’t have any friends and that no one is upset he is gone. A little digging brings more suspects to light but the author also serves up a good share of red herrings to divert and confuse. I enjoyed following along with Norrie, Theo, and Don as they not only did the legwork but online searches too. Even following along I was surprised by the way the big reveal took place. It was exciting and loved that some assistance came from someone truly unexpected.

I was captivated from beginning to end. A real character-driven mystery with just a blossom of romance and glass or two of humor. This Wine Trail Mystery gives us a peek at winemaking and running a successful winery along with an entertaining story. Pinot Red or Dead? will be out March 26 and I am impatiently waiting 🙂

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of A Riesling to Diejust click here.

About the Authors

Ann I. Goldfarb

New York native Ann I. Goldfarb spent most of her life in education, first as a classroom teacher and later as a middle school principal and professional staff developer. Writing as J. C. Eaton, along with her husband, James Clapp, she has authored the Sophie Kimball Mysteries (Kensington) set for release in June 2017. In addition, Ann has nine published YA time travel mysteries under her own name. Visit the websites at www.jceatonauthor.com and www.timetravelmysteries.com

James E. Clapp

When James E. Clapp retired as the tasting room manager for a large upstate New York winery, he never imagined he’d be co-authoring cozy mysteries with his wife, Ann I. Goldfarb. His first novel, Booked 4 Murder (Kensington) is set for release in June 2017. Non-fiction in the form of informational brochures and workshop materials treating the winery industry were his forte along with an extensive background and experience in construction that started with his service in the U.S. Navy and included vocational school classroom teaching.

Visit their website at www.jceatonauthor.com and Like and Follow on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JCEatonauthor/


Coming March 26, 2019

Also by J.C. Eaton

Coming August 27, 2019


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy of Chardonneyed To Rest.
It will be sent directly from Amazon.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End March 15, 2019, 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.”

Share
Feb 222019
 


On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.


A Riesling to Die (The Wine Trail Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New York
Lyrical Underground (March 27, 2018)
Paperback: 220 pages
ISBN-10: 1516108019
ISBN-13: 978-1516108015
Kindle ASIN: B073NP1VDY

A deadly search for sour grapes . . .

Norrie Ellington is a successful screenwriter living in New York City. She’s also been a silent partner for her family’s winery upstate—until her sister and brother-in-law take a year-long sabbatical. With an experienced staff doing the work, Norrie figures Two Witches Winery will run itself while she enjoys the countryside and writes in peace and quiet.

Unfortunately, there’s a sour grape in the town of Penn Yan who doesn’t care for vineyards. Bed and breakfast owner Elsbeth Waters complains to everyone who’ll listen that the local wineries are bad for her business. But when Elsbeth’s body is found on Norrie’s property, the victim of foul play, the screenwriter-turned-vintner dons a sleuthing cap to uncover the identity of a killer who told the B&B proprietress to put a cork in it—permanently . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We arrive at the Two Witches Winery in upstate New York with Norrie Ellington. A family-owned winery that her sister, Francine, and brother-in-law, Jason, run as she is a very silent partner. Her brother-in-law has been given a research grant that will take the couple out of the country for a year and they have asked Norrie to take over while they are gone. Norrie has a job, a full-time job, as a screenwriter and really doesn’t want to step in, but her sister assures her the staff handles most everything. She just needs Norrie to oversee things, attend a few meetings, and handle any emergencies that arise. There will be plenty of time to work on her screenplays and make her deadlines.

Before Francine and Jason even arrive at their, no cell signal, out in the sticks, Costa Rican destination one of those rare emergencies arises in the form of a dead body among the Riesling vines. A woman Norrie had the displeasure of meeting upon her arrival. Elsbeth Waters was the owner of the nearby bed & breakfast and constant complainer of almost everything that happened in the town of Penn Yan and all the surrounding wineries. Let’s just say there is no shortage of suspects.  There is also a couple of businessmen trying to buy up all the Penn Yan wineries so that they can open their own mega-winery business. Not really an emergency, because there is no way they are selling, unless they have something to do with Elsbeth’s death.

Norrie feels like she is in the middle of one her drama filled movies. With the body found on her land, and the police are eyeing her as a suspect, she has a vested interest in seeing the killer brought to justice and she doesn’t have a lot of faith in the local law enforcement. She hasn’t been around in a long time so as she gets to know everyone she decides to do a little snooping too.

I am late to the party on this series and am upset with myself. I have been enjoying the author’s Sophie Kimball Mysteries while this one was screaming from my Kindle. I am determined to get Chardonnayed to Rest read too before Pinot Red or Dead? hits stores.

I liked Norrie immediately and Francine too for the short time we got to spend with her. We are also introduced to a large cast of characters that make up the staff at Two Witches Winery, the other local winery owners, the victim, and her niece, and the businessmen that could crush not only grapes but the dreams of everyone in the area. The author’s do a great job of making each character unique so it is very easy to keep everyone straight. Cammy runs the tasting room and she and Norrie become fast friends, as do the men that own the nearby winery. Theo and Don are good friends with Francine and Jason and Norrie knows she can trust them. They really have her back and help her in many ways. I truly enjoyed the way so many rallied around to help Norrie get her feet under herself with the winery and in her mission to catch a murderer.

Two characters I can’t fail to mention and they need their own paragraph is the dog and the goat on the cover. Charlie is a Brindle Plott Hound and Alvin is a Nigerian Dwarf goat. Charlie stole my heart, even if he does need a bath almost every day. Alvin and Norrie don’t get off to a good start but he played a major part when he needed to.

The mystery itself was a real treat. Plenty of suspects and some crazy theories kept me guessing the entire story. I was kinda on the right trail, but some red herrings diverted my attention more than once. Norrie took some huge risks and while scary, the authors added some comic relief at the perfect times and in the perfect amounts.

I probably will never travel to Finger Lakes Wine Country in upstate New York and their 3 Wine Trails, but I sure had fun on my first literary trip there. J.C. Eaton gave us a bird’s eye view and I am excited about my next visit. Chardonnayed to Rest is queued up as one of the next books on my Kindle, just waiting for me to get started. Stay tuned for my review.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Authors

Ann I. Goldfarb

New York native Ann I. Goldfarb spent most of her life in education, first as a classroom teacher and later as a middle school principal and professional staff developer. Writing as J. C. Eaton, along with her husband, James Clapp, she has authored the Sophie Kimball Mysteries (Kensington) set for release in June 2017. In addition, Ann has nine published YA time travel mysteries under her own name. Visit the websites at www.jceatonauthor.com and www.timetravelmysteries.com

James E. Clapp

When James E. Clapp retired as the tasting room manager for a large upstate New York winery, he never imagined he’d be co-authoring cozy mysteries with his wife, Ann I. Goldfarb. His first novel, Booked 4 Murder (Kensington) is set for release in June 2017. Non-fiction in the form of informational brochures and workshop materials treating the winery industry were his forte along with an extensive background and experience in construction that started with his service in the U.S. Navy and included vocational school classroom teaching.

Visit their website at www.jceatonauthor.com and Like and Follow on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JCEatonauthor/


Coming March 26, 2019

Also by J.C. Eaton

Coming August 27, 2019


Are you new to this series?
I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy.
It will be sent directly from Amazon.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End March 8, 2019, 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.”

Share
Feb 202019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so thankful this series has found a new home at Crooked Lane Books!

Murders and Metaphors: A Magical Bookshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New York
Crooked Lane Books (February 12, 2019)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1683318994
ISBN-13: 978-1683318996
Kindle ASIN: B07D2H5M28

Niagara region booksellers Violet Waverly and Grandma Daisy sleuth the slaying of a sommelier whose book signing turned into her sayonara.

January means ice wine season in the Niagara Falls region, but the festivities leave Charming Books owner Violet Waverly cold, still reeling from a past heartbreak. A past heartbreak who will be present at the annual midnight grape-harvest festival, and no magic in the world or incantation powerful enough could get Violet to attend. But Grandma Daisy, an omniscient force all on her own, informs Violet that she’s already arranged for the mystical Charming Books to host celebrity sommelier Belinda Perkins’s book signing at the party. Little do either Waverly women know, the ice wine festival will turn colder still when Violet finds Belinda in the middle of the frozen vineyard—with a grape harvest knife protruding from her chest.

Belinda grew up in Cascade Springs, but she left town years ago after a huge falling-out with her three sisters. One of those sisters, Violet’s high school friend Lacey Dupont, attends the book signing in the hope of making amends with her sister, but Belinda and Lacey end up disrupting the signing with a very public shouting match and Lacey quickly becomes the prime suspect in the sommelier’s murder.

Violet is sure Lacey is innocent, and to keep her friend out of prison, Violet asks for guidance from her magical bookshop. The shop’s ethereal essence points her to Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, but what have the four March sisters to do with the four Perkins sisters? If she can’t figure it out, Violet, herself, may turn as cold as ice. Violet, Grandma Daisy, Emerson the tuxedo cat, and resident crow Faulkner are back on the case in Murders and Metaphors, USA Today bestselling author Amanda Flower’s enchanting third Magical Bookshop mystery.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I was very upset when this unique series ended after just 2 stories. I am so happy that the people at Crooked Lane Books saw its promise and gave the series new life.

This 3rd story takes place in January and Violet and her Grandma Daisy will be selling books at a book signing for Belinda Perkins, a well-known sommelier, and author. The event is taking place at Morton Vineyard right before their midnight ice grape harvest. That means Violet will not be able to avoid her ex and the mayor of Cascade Springs, Nathan Morton or his mother.

The author’s estranged sister and Violet’s best friend Lacey is also present for the party, helping her husband with the catering. But Lacey can’t just stay in the kitchen. She badly wants to reconnect with her sister, but her sister creates a scene and demands Lacey be removed from the premises. From there the event quickly goes downhill when the upset author leaves the event.

But Violet makes a chilling discovery outside the winery. Belinda Perkins’ dead body at the edge of the vineyard and the standoff with her sister and evidence at the scene make Lacey the number one suspect. Violet knows her friend is innocent and plans to find the real killer and her magical bookshop is going to help her.

If you are new to this series I do recommend starting at the beginning with Crime and Poetry and Prose and Cons but the author does give some background in this book so new readers won’t feel lost. The series revolves around a wonderful, magical bookshop, where the right book will find you. There is a magical live tree in the middle of the shop and the female members of Violet’s family have always been the caretakers of the shop and the tree. Violet has recently replaced her Grandma Daisy as the caretaker. The shop and its “essence” is truly one of the starring characters.

This time to solve the murder, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women plays a key role. Violet just has to figure out which part of the tome will help her get the answers she needs.

________

The characters the author has created are excellent. Violet, Grandma Daisy, Emerson the tuxedo cat, and the very verbal crow Faulkner all return to draw us into a story that is both enchanting and intriguing. Violet is growing into her job as caretaker and Grandma Daisy is at a bit of loose ends. Violet does need to fine tune her sleuthing skills a bit and Daisy needs to find new ways to fill her time. The relationship between the two women is getting stronger as they find their way in their new roles. I love sneaky little Emerson and who wouldn’t love an intellectual crow. The supporting cast all have a purpose and have grown right along with the main characters.

I found the ice wine and winter midnight harvest to be very interesting even though I was no fan of the entitled Morton family.

Charming Books is my favorite bookstore out of all the cozy bookstores I have fictionally visited. It is unique, magical and memorable. I love everything about it. To avoid spoiling anything for new readers I can say more but it is a true treasure.

The story is very well-plotted with the main plots and subplots falling easily together. There were several suspects and I was on the trail of the correct person but the climatic finish still surprised me. I enjoy the book group that meets at Charming Books too. It really adds to the story.

I call this series “paranormal light” due to its magical setting. Ms. Flowers has taken a very imaginative idea and run with it all while making readers believe what happens within the pages real and believable.

What a marvelous mystery! I am so excited for the next book in this series after the little cliffhanger at the end. Looks like Grandma Daisy is going to shake things up.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author

Amanda Flower, a two-time Agatha Award-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth-grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. She also writes mysteries as national bestselling author Isabella Alan. In addition to being an author, Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland.

Author Links:

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Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series (writing as Isabella Alan)

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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.”

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