Jun 152018
 

On FlashbackFridays 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.

With this book, I will be caught up on this series and ready to review The Spook in the Stacks next week!

Reading Up a Storm (A Lighthouse Library Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – North Carolina
Berkley (April 5, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 0451470958
ISBN-13: 978-0451470959
ASIN: B011IVP8Q0

Misfortune blows into North Carolina’s Outer Banks when a dead body in a boat on the shore leaves local librarian Lucy Richardson racing to solve a strange new mystery….

After a successful party at Bodie Island’s Lighthouse Library, librarian Lucy Richardson is ready to curl up with her cat, Charles, and a good book. But her R and R is cut short when she notices some mysterious lights leading a small boat to crash into the coast.

The two shipwrecked seafarers survive the ordeal—but one of them shows up dead ashore a few days later. Lucy finds herself again roped into a murder investigation and navigating a sea of suspects, all of whom had motives to deep-six the deceased. And this time, she has a sinking feeling that finding the real killer won’t be so easy…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Lucy Richardson loves her view from her apartment on the 4th floor of the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library especially at night with the rhythm of the light flashing in intervals out to the sea even during a storm. Tonight though, with the rain pouring down and the waves crashing she notices lights that appear to be coming from the beach. She also notices a boat in trouble not far from shore. She calls 911 so the Coast Guard can be called to help the passengers of the boat. The passengers do survive and even show up at Lucy’s book group. Then one of them is found dead in a boat washed up on the shore. Lucy is on the scene and then finds herself caught up in another murder mystery. She would rather read mysteries than solve real ones, but she thinks those lights she saw on the beach are a key piece of evidence everyone else is ignoring.

Each story in this series tops the last. The author asks us at the beginning of each story to suspend reality because there is no way all the wonders of the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library could fit into a normal lighthouse. I have to say she makes suspending that reality very easy. Her descriptive writing pulls us in and there is never any thought that it all can’t be real.

This time Lucy gets so involved that it takes her away from her job at the library a lot. Her co-workers and boss completely understand and fill in for her when necessary. Even with the time off she is still able to take part in a fun surprise. She is also trying to make a decision about her love life. She can’t keep stringing two men along.

The supporting cast adds so much to the story. Louise Jane continues to try to insert herself into the library staff. She has been after Lucy’s job even before Lucy arrived. She has all her ghost stories about the library in the Nags Head area. She tries so hard to frighten Lucy away but it is not working.  Research Librarian Charleen has a fantastic idea for promoting the upcoming election and the community really gets involved. And of course, Charles, the library cat always warms my heart.

This story has a really nice flow. It mixes mystery, romance and life at a library in perfect amounts. The characters are appealing and genuine. The setting is delightfully picturesque.

When this book was released back in 2016, the publisher had decided to discontinue the series. Thankfully the author didn’t take their decision to heart, because it has now found a new home at Crooked Lane Books. The Spook in the Stacks was released June 12. I will be reading and reviewing that one soon.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than twenty-five books:  clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. She is currently writing three cozy mystery series: the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series for Crooked Lane, the Year Round Christmas mysteries for Penguin Random House and, under the pen name of Eva Gates, the Lighthouse Library series, for Crooked Lane Books.

Vicki lives and writes in bucolic Prince Edward County, Ontario. She is the past president of the Crime Writers of Canada.  Her work has been nominated for the Derringer, the Bony Blithe, the Ontario Library Association Golden Oak, and the Arthur Ellis Awards.

Visit Vicki at www.vickidelany.com. On Facebook at www.facebook.com/evagatesauthor. Twitter @vickidelany@evagatesauthor


Written as Vicki Delany

GIVEAWAYI am excited to give my review copy away.
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.

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 June 29, 2018, 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.”

Apr 202018
 

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.


Booked for Trouble (A Lighthouse Library Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in the Series
Setting – North Carolina
Berkley (September 1, 2015)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451470942
Kindle ASIN: B00S75OK8I

 

 

In Booked for Trouble Lucy has finally found her bliss as a librarian and resident of the Bodie Island Lighthouse. She loves walking on the beach, passing her evenings with the local book club, bonding with the library cat, Charles, and enjoying the attention of not one, but TWO eligible men. But then her socialite mother, Suzanne, unexpectedly drops in, determined to move Lucy back to Boston—and reunite her with her ex-fiancé.

To make matters worse, Suzanne picks a very public fight at the local hotel with her former classmate Karen Kivas. So, when Karen turns up dead outside the library the next morning, Suzanne is immediately at the top of the suspect list. Now Lucy must hunt down a dangerous killer—before the authorities throw the book at her poor mother…

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This cover is absolutely gorgeous!!

We return to the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library shortly after the last book, By Book or By Crook ends. The Jane Austen books are still on exhibit but the crowds have died down and the Lucy has had time to really settle into her new job. That is until her mother, Suzanne,  shows up for a surprise visit intending to convince Lucy to leave the Outer Banks and return to Boston. Her mother’s plans get sidetracked when she runs into a couple of former high school classmates. One seems to forget she is married and wants to date her and another has a few terse words for the socialite. Karen Kivas is now a hotel maid and their little argument just happened in front of a bunch of witnesses. They do make up just a bit at a book club meeting but then the only witness is Lucy. So when Karen’s body is found outside of the library the next morning, Suzanne is the prime suspect. Not one to sit idly by, Lucy checks out every other person that could have wanted the maid dead trying to catch the real killer before her mother is forced to check in to the state prison.

I am so happy I was able to read this book within a week of reading the first book in the series. I had hated for the last book to end so it was pure pleasure to jump right into this one.

Lucy is enjoying her job, but not everyone is still convinced she should have the job. There is even someone that wants to shut down the entire library.  The last thing Lucy needs is a surprise visit from her mother, but she will make the best of it and try to get it through to her mother that she is not leaving her job. I loved the addition of Suzanne to this mix of characters. She is really not a friendly woman. She holds herself in very high regard and cannot fathom that she is a murder suspect. Her interactions with Lucy’s friends, co-workers, and other people in her sphere really drives this story in several directions. Some had me scratching my head and others had me laughing out loud.  Oh, and, Suzanne is not a cat person, but Charles was not holding back any of his kitty attentions 🙂

The mystery portion of the story had several twists that drew me deeper and deeper into the story. There weren’t too many suspects, but I just couldn’t pin the real culprit down until it was spelled right out for me in the text. Just the way I like it.

Again, the setting of the library in a lighthouse means the reader has to stretch their imagination. The author admits that with an Author’s Note at the beginning of the book, and I had no trouble with that at all. She has created a wonderful masterpiece in the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library.

Even with Suzanne’s efforts to curb and romantic notions for Lucy, the romantic triangle between Lucy, the mayor, and the detective continues to press forward. In fact, on the final page of this book, Lucy realizes something that could have her needing to make a big decision. Luckily, the next book, Reading Up A Storm is on my TBR shelf and I hope to be reading it soon.

Another delightful cozy mystery from Eva Gates! I loved it!

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than twenty-five books:  clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. She is currently writing three cozy mystery series: the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series for Crooked Lane, the Year Round Christmas mysteries for Penguin Random House and, under the pen name of Eva Gates, the Lighthouse Library series, for Crooked Lane Books.

Vicki lives and writes in bucolic Prince Edward County, Ontario. She is the past president of the Crime Writers of Canada.  Her work has been nominated for the Derringer, the Bony Blithe, the Ontario Library Association Golden Oak, and the Arthur Ellis Awards.

Visit Vicki at www.vickidelany.com. On Facebook at www.facebook.com/evagatesauthor. Twitter @vickidelany@evagatesauthor


Written as Vicki Delany

GIVEAWAYI am excited to give my review copy away.
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.

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 May 4, 2018, 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.”

Apr 132018
 

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.

By Book or By Crook (A Lighthouse Library Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – North Carolina
Berkley (February 3, 2015)
Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451470935
Kindle ASIN: B00LMGLZW8

 

 

Get bound up in murder in the first Lighthouse Library mystery!

For ten years Lucy has enjoyed her job poring over rare tomes of literature for the Harvard Library, but she has not enjoyed the demands of her family’s social whorl or her sort-of-engagement to the staid son of her father’s law partner. But when her ten-year relationship implodes, Lucy realizes that the plot of her life is in need of a serious rewrite.

Calling on her aunt Ellen, Lucy hopes that a little fun in the Outer Banks sun—and some confections from her cousin Josie’s bakery—will help clear her head. But her retreat quickly turns into an unexpected opportunity when Aunt Ellen gets her involved in the lighthouse library tucked away on Bodie Island.

Lucy is thrilled to land a librarian job in her favorite place in the world. But when a priceless first edition Jane Austen novel is stolen and the chair of the library board is murdered, Lucy suddenly finds herself ensnared in a real-life mystery—and she’s not so sure there’s going to be a happy ending…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Two of my favorite things, libraries, and lighthouses, so when they are combined it really gets me excited.

Lucy Richardson is the newest librarian at The Bodie Island Lighthouse Library but her hiring has some people quite twitterpated. One thought the job should have been hers, others didn’t think the position was necessary, and even the head of the library board wants to get rid of her.  The head librarian and the staff at the library are thrilled to have her join them, especially with the Jane Austen exhibit and programs starting.

An event took place for friends of the library to see the exhibit before it was opened to the public. Just as Bertie, the head librarian, is ready to announce a special addition to the exhibit the head of the board is found dead. Because of his position to get rid of Lucy, she becomes a suspect but Bertie is the one that leaps to the top of the police’s list. Then one of the Austen novels goes missing.

Did Bertie remove the book to throw suspicion away from herself? Or is the real killer a thief too? Or are there 2 criminals on Bodie Island? Lucy hopes to close the book on the case by answering all those questions.

First, the author starts the book saying there would not be enough space in a real lighthouse to include all the books, staircases and rooms she has written into this book, so on the basis of the library’s structure the reader must suspend reality and I was fine with that. I just imagined a huge lighthouse, bigger than I have ever seen. Think of it  – each level has a special purpose. The main floor for the usual adult fiction and non-fiction with a special alcove and program areas. The next floor is filled with children’s books and programs. The third level for rare books, maps, etc. And the fourth floor a unique living space where Lucy has made herself at home. There is also a working lamp at the top. What a glorious setting with wonderful views! I would love to suspend the reality far enough to take me there.

Ms. Gates introduces us to fine characters. The library staff is made up of Bertie, Lucy, Ronald, the children’s librarian, Charlene, research librarian, and Charles, the library cat in residence. Lucy’s aunt, uncle, and cousin, along with the mayor, a nice detective and a not so nice detective round out what I assume will be the regular supporting cast. We also meet some unique friends of the library.  Some were easy to like, others took some warming up and others were written to be not very likable. The author did a great job with this cast.

The murder mystery was not easy to solve. There was an entire room of suspects with an opportunity to commit the crime. The missing book mystery was also difficult because it could have been anyone from library regulars to someone off a bus that brought tourists in for the Austen exhibit. The library really should have had some kind of security person watching over the priceless items, but I don’t think there ever imagined the number of people that would pass through their doors for this event. I had a certain library patron at the top of my list but it was just a feeling. As the proof was all revealed I was surprised I actually was right.

I enjoyed everything about this story. Thee characters were very engaging, the mystery was very well written, and the setting was to die for.

I am late to the party on this series, but I am going to get all caught up before the fourth installment, The Spook in the Stacks, comes out on June 12.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than twenty-five books:  clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. She is currently writing three cozy mystery series: the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series for Crooked Lane, the Year Round Christmas mysteries for Penguin Random House and, under the pen name of Eva Gates, the Lighthouse Library series, for Crooked Lane Books.

Vicki lives and writes in bucolic Prince Edward County, Ontario. She is the past president of the Crime Writers of Canada.  Her work has been nominated for the Derringer, the Bony Blithe, the Ontario Library Association Golden Oak, and the Arthur Ellis Awards.

Visit Vicki at www.vickidelany.com. On Facebook at www.facebook.com/evagatesauthor. Twitter @vickidelany @evagatesauthor


Written as Vicki Delany

GIVEAWAYI am excited to give my review copy away.
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.

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 April 27, 2018, 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.”

Feb 222018
 

Death by a Whisker: A Cat Rescue Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – North Carolina
Crooked Lane Books (February 13, 2018)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683314875
Digital ASIN: B072395VJN

 

 

Getting used to life back home in Deer Park, North Carolina, Sydney McCall and her right-hand tabby, Toby, are helping her sister Kat run the local animal shelter. Syd and Kat are all excited about the prospect of the shelter’s newest fundraiser: shopping channel queen Ulla Townsend. Shelter admin Maggie Shayne vehemently refuses to have anything to do with the woman, but the fundraiser ensues as planned. That is, until Ulla turns up dead in the middle of the event.

The cause of death is determined to be an allergic reaction, but Syd and Toby are sniffing out something fishy. When Syd met Ulla, it was clear she was distasteful and rude. And right before the event, Syd spotted some behind-the-scenes drama between Ulla and her manager. As they begin to investigate, they realize there is no shortage of suspects, and Maggie is at the top of the list.

Now Syd and Toby must claw their way to the truth before everything goes paws up at their animal shelter in Death by a Whisker by national bestselling author T. C. LoTempio.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Syd and her sister Kat are gearing up for another fundraiser for their Friendly Paws Animal Shelter. This time Ulla Townsend, shopping channel queen and former resident of Deer Park will be the special guest with a book signing. There will also be cats playing nearby that are all up for adoption.

Not everyone is excited about the guest of honor so when she is found dead in the bathroom in the middle of the event there are quite a few suspects including Maggie Shayne from the shelter. Seems the author/queen of shopping left behind some upset people behind when she left Deer Park and the people she has been working with lately aren’t her biggest fans either.  With a bit of help from her lovable tabby Toby, and her friend Leila, Syd purr-sues the truth to get Maggie off the hook and the real killer pawing around in prison.

This was a very entertaining read. Cat lovers, rejoice. The felines in this story are super special and I love the pop-up events Syd and Kat host to get these wonderful animals into their fur-ever homes.  I am so glad Syd has stayed in Deer Park to work at the shelter.

Ms. LoTempio creates fantastic characters, both 2-legged and 4-legged. They are immediately engaging and readers quickly become invested in their well being. She also gives us those characters that rub us the wrong way. Ulla is quite a diva, and the people she surrounds herself with have secrets, affairs that are not so secret and other reasons to get rid of the woman. They all make great suspects in her murder.

The story starts out slow to refresh the reader’s memory and introduces the new characters but after the body is found the pace really picks up and the pages quickly turning. I was patting myself on the back for figuring everything out only to have a twist and turn send my theory out with the kitty litter. But that is the joy of a cozy mystery, and the reason I love them.

Toby has found a place deep in my heart. His antics with Melvin the Marvelous Mouse made me laugh out loud, especially when taking the empty threats of his new person, Syd. She loves that cat and spoils him rotten, just as she should. 🙂

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About the Author

While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic.  She (and ROCCO, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime – the first volume, MEOW IF ITS MURDER, debuted Dec. 2, 2014. Followed by #2, CLAWS FOR ALARM.   #3, CRIME AND CATNIP, was released in December. She, Rocco and Maxx make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York. Catch up with them at www.tclotempio.net and www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com

Where to find them:

ROCCO’s blog      Website     Facebook 

Twitter: @RoccoBlogger

Purchase Links:

Amazon    B&N    Google Play

Also by this author:

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Praise For Death by a Whisker: A Cat Rescue Mystery
by T. C. LoTempio

The opening scene alone will pull cat loving mystery readers right into the book as Syd discovers yet another headless Melvin the Marvelous Mouse toy on the kitchen floor and she threatens to stop buying the expensive toy for Toby if he doesn’t stop mutilating them!
~Melissa’s Mochas, Mysteries, and Meows

Full of realistic characters the story has lots of twists and turns until I get only thought I knew who the killer was.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

This book has been a quick read, easy to be inside the plot and love the main characters since the beginning . . .
~Varietats

The suspects and motives were varied and believable.
The cats add details to the mystery and helped us better relate to the characters.
~Laura’s Interests

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

February 12 – Mochas, Mysteries, and Meows – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 12 – Books Direct – GUEST POST
February 13 – Mysteries with Character – INTERVIEW
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February 21 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – GUEST POST
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February 25 – The Montana Bookaholic – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 26 – Melina’s Book Blog – 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.”

Feb 152018
 

The Queen of Hearts
Women’s Fiction/Friendship/Medical
Setting – Kentucky/North Carolina
Berkley (February 13, 2018)
Hardcover: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0399585050
Kindle ASIN: B071NYSR9W

 

 

A debut novel set against a background of hospital rounds and life-or-death decisions that pulses with humor and empathy and explores the heart’s capacity for forgiveness…

Zadie Anson and Emma Colley have been best friends since their early twenties when they first began navigating serious romantic relationships amid the intensity of medical school. Now they’re happily married wives and mothers with successful careers–Zadie as a pediatric cardiologist and Emma as a trauma surgeon. Their lives in Charlotte, North Carolina are chaotic but fulfilling until the return of a former colleague unearths a secret one of them has been harboring for years.

As chief resident, Nick Xenokostas was the center of Zadie’s life–both professionally and personally–throughout a tragic chain of events in her third year of medical school that she has long since put behind her. Nick’s unexpected reappearance during a time of new professional crisis shocks both women into a deeper look at the difficult choices they made at the beginning of their careers. As it becomes evident that Emma must have known more than she revealed about circumstances that nearly derailed both their lives, Zadie starts to question everything she thought she knew about her closest friend.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Kimmery Martin takes us into the lives of best friends Zadie Anson and Emma Colley. She alternates between their points of view and the present and the past. Emma, a trauma surgeon, and Zadie, a pediatric cardiologist, have faced grueling schedules to get to where they are in their lives, married with families and successful careers. Then Nick Xenokostas, Dr. X,  transfers to North Carolina and turns their lives upside down. That third year of medical school comes back to haunt them and when secrets are revealed it could rip these two best friends apart.

I dove right into this story thinking it would be a combination of Grey’s Anatomy and other medical television dramas, but it was so much more. You know immediately the author is a physician by all the details she brings to this story. From medical terms to the struggle medical school, residency and beyond can be. I drank it all in and was riveted by Zadie and Emma’s stories. These characters were very realistic in both the bond they have and the lives they have created for themselves.

The underlying drama and tension runs throughout the story with little humorous breaks usually by Zadie’s 3-year-old Delaney. Her “Hi, beloved dear!” always broke through and made me smile. I was following along closely knowing something major had taken place in these women’s lives. Something they had tried to forget about. But when the event was revealed I became totally overwhelmed. Not exactly the same as an event that rocked my life but close enough that I had to stop reading for some time before I could pick it back up again. I still had to skip or just skim a few pages but I had to see how the story ended. I am so glad I did because there was yet another shocking twist that I didn’t see coming.

I was moved by this novel. I can’t believe it is the author’s debut. She is an excellent writer, she carries off the switching points of view and times, along with all the medical jargon so well. Her descriptive style puts readers right into each moment. Except for the one point I mentioned above I totally enjoyed the story, and that is on me. If you haven’t dealt with a similar traumatic event, you will absolutely love this story.

I am excited by this author and can’t wait to see what she writes next.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Kimmery Martin is a doctor, book reviewer, author interviewer, traveler, and obsessive reader. Her debut novel, The Queen of Hearts, was a huge hit among three of her friends before being picked up by Penguin Random House. Kimmery lives in North Carolina with her husband, three children, and the world’s most obstinate dog. You can read more of her writing, including travelogues, book reviews, and social commentary at www.kimmerymartin.com.

 


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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 March 1, 2018, 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.”

Oct 312017
 

The Secret, Book & Scone Society
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Setting – North Carolina
Kensington (October 31, 2017)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496718563
Kindle ASIN: B01N4W09GF
Audio CD ISBN-13: 978-1520079691

 

 

From New York Times bestselling author Ellery Adams comes the first in an intriguing new series set within a quirky small-town club where the key to happiness, friendship—or solving a murder—can all be found within the pages of the right book . . . 

Miracle Springs, North Carolina, is a place of healing. Strangers flock here hoping the natural hot springs, five-star cuisine, and renowned spa can cure their ills. If none of that works, they often find their way to Miracle Books, where, over a fresh-baked “comfort” scone from the Gingerbread House bakery, they exchange their stories with owner Nora Pennington in return for a carefully chosen book. That’s Nora’s special talent—prescribing the perfect novel to ease a person’s deepest pain and lighten their heaviest burden.

When a visiting businessman reaches out to Nora for guidance, she knows exactly which novels will help. But before he can keep their appointment at Miracle Books, he’s found dead on the train tracks.

Stunned, Nora forms the Secret, Book, and Scone Society, a group of damaged souls yearning to gain trust and earn redemption by helping others. To join the society, members must divulge their darkest secret—the terrible truth that brought each of them to Miracle Springs in the first place.

Determined to uncover the truth behind the businessman’s demise, the women meet in Nora’s cramped and cozy bookstore to share stories and trade support. And as they untangle a web of corruption, they also discover their own courage, purpose, and a sisterhood that will carry them through every challenge—proving it’s never too late to turn the page and start over . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Nora Pennington has come to Miracle Springs, North Carolina to escape a terrible tragedy. She feels safe in her bookstore helping her customers find their own healing in the books she chooses for them. Hester runs the Gingerbread House bakery. Customers tell her a little bit about their lives and what brought them to Miracle Springs. Then she bakes them up a “comfort scone”. She and Nora work together by sending their customers to each other’s stores. June works at the hot springs spa where people come to rejuvenate themselves and Estella is a beautician who tries to help her clients find their true selves. These 4 women were very introverted, had no friends, and barely knew each other until a man left Hester’s bakery on his way to Nora’s bookstore and never arrived. Soon after, he is found dead on the railroad tracks. The local police quickly rule the death a suicide but these ladies can’t believe that is true. Together they form the Secret, Book & Scone Society and decide that together they can find the truth and get justice for a man they didn’t even know.

This is such a special story, so much more than a cozy mystery, but a story where the characters bring hope to others while examining their own lives. They are each in places of needing healing themselves and over the course of this story a heartwarming bond is formed. These characters are written with a loving hand as we learn throughout the book the traumas they have endured to become the woman they are today. At first they read as timid characters but their strength grows with the turn of each page. Ellery Adams is known for creating characters that readers want to know better. These character are absolutely wonderful. They are compassionate, engaging and relatable and believable. Characters you would want to be friends with if you could jump into the book.  I want to join their society.

The mystery itself was a curious one. Neil Parrish was a business man clearly at a crosswords that he was unsure how to handle. Knowing nothing of the man Nora and the rest of Secret, Book & Scone Society had to do some research and legwork including sneaking around in places that put them in danger. For me it was like a huge puzzle with too many pieces. Some information moved their investigation forward, some sent them in circles, or was just interesting but may not have anything to do with Parrish’s death. I was intrigued and entertained following along for each new discovery. I was holding my breath for the climatic scenes. Wow!

Miracle Springs is a very interesting place and a fantastic setting for this series. I think we have barely scratched the surface of the potential stories that can be gleaned from the town and its residents. As someone trying to heal myself from a variety of things in my life I wish I could actually travel there for my “comfort” scone and my bag of books that would set my healing on a clear course.

I have loved everything I have read by this author. She is such a talented writer and she has created something truly magical in this story. I am excited to see where she takes this series. This amazing story was a true trip to PARADISE. What a extraordinary escape!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Sep 162017
 


Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Lyrical Underground (September 12, 2017)
Print Length: 247 pages
ASIN: B01MT0HN6F

Ruby Lake, North Carolina, might be the perfect place to go birdwatching during autumn, but it’s also a habitat for murder . . .

As Birds & Bees owner Amy Simms guides a halfhearted birding group around Ruby Lake, rumors soon start flying about the annual Fall Festival’s classic car and tractor show. Local eccentric Chick Sherman—boasting the hottest ride in town—has ruffled feathers by mysteriously entering the contest, and curious Amy hatches a plan to sneak a glimpse at the phantom automobile before the big event kicks off . . .

But competition turns deadly when Amy finally spots the sleek ’56 El Morocco—and it’s on top of Chick’s very dead body. With her neighbor and business partner framed as the murderer and priceless Audubon prints suddenly missing from Chick’s home, only Amy can identify the telltale markings of a killer before another hapless victim is plucked from the flock . . .

Praise for Chickadee Chickadee Bang Bang (A Bird Lover’s Mystery)
by J.R. Ripley

It is a good ole cozy mystery that will keep the reader interested and wanting more.
~My Reading Journeys

Another hit in my book. I will gladly keep reading this series, and reviewing these books as I know I am always getting a superb set of characters, a well plotted mystery and an ending that makes me satisfied.
~Bibliophile Reviews

About The Author

J.R. Ripley is the pen name of Glenn Meganck, the critically acclaimed author of the Tony Kozol mystery series. As a member of the Mystery Writers of America, he has chaired the Edgar committee for Best Original Paperback novel and served on the Best Short Story Committee. As a member of the International Association of Crime Writers, he has served on the Hammett Award committee for Best Novel. When not writing books, Glenn is writing songs, often singing them to the consternation of his audience and neighbors, or involved in one of his many passions, none of which have involved any of the dead bodies that seem to keep cropping up in his mysteries. For more information about him, visit glennmeganck.com.

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Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jul 272017
 

The Girl Who Was Taken
Suspense Thriller
Setting – North Carolina
Kensington (April 25, 2017)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496701008
Kindle ASIN: B01JEJC8PW

 

 

 

Charlie Donlea, one of the most original new voices in suspense, returns with a haunting novel, laden with twists and high tension, about two abducted girls–one who returns, one who doesn’t–and the forensics expert searching for answers.

Nicole Cutty and Megan McDonald are both high school seniors in the small town of Emerson Bay, North Carolina. When they disappear from a beach party one warm summer night, police launch a massive search. No clues are found, and hope is almost lost until Megan miraculously surfaces after escaping from a bunker deep in the woods.

A year later, the bestselling account of her ordeal has turned Megan from local hero to national celebrity. It’s a triumphant, inspiring story, except for one inconvenient detail: Nicole is still missing. Nicole’s older sister Livia, a fellow in forensic pathology, expects that one day soon Nicole’s body will be found, and it will be up to someone like Livia to analyze the evidence and finally determine her sister’s fate. Instead, the first clue to Nicole’s disappearance comes from another body that shows up in Livia’s morgue–that of a young man connected to Nicole’s past. Livia reaches out to Megan for help, hoping to learn more about the night the two were taken. Other girls have gone missing too, and Livia is increasingly certain the cases are connected.

But Megan knows more than she revealed in her blockbuster book. Flashes of memory are coming together, pointing to something darker and more monstrous than her chilling memoir describes. And the deeper she and Livia dig, the more they realize that sometimes true terror lies in finding exactly what you’ve been looking for.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Charlie Donlea is a new author to me and I am so happy I found this book.

Emerson Bay is rocked when two high school seniors go missing. Nicole Cutty and Megan McDonald were not friends but they hung in the same crowd. They were both at a summer beach party when they disappeared. No clues were found even after a massive search. But then, 2 weeks later Megan is found walking down a highway. She has no idea who took her or why or where Nicole could be. Her physical injuries healed but she is emotionally tattered. She starts seeing a therapist and together they release a book about her trauma. Sadly Nicole is hardly mentioned.

Nicole’s sister Livia has never given up on finding Nicole. She is a fellow completing her training as a forensic pathologist knowing that any day her sister could appear on her autopsy table. Instead a young man from Nicole’s past shows up first and after he is identified she thinks he is connected to her disappearance. Livia reaches out to Megan hoping that together they can bring Nicole home.

The story is broken down into several parts and alternates between past and present. The separate plot lines blend together so well and are easy to follow.

Livia is the main character and most of the story is from her point of view. I was a little surprised at the actions she took while just being a fellow. She was driven to find answers even if that meant meeting with medical examiners from other states when girls had gone missing. She also tracked down and spoke to witnesses even before bringing the police in. She was gutsy and lucky.

With flashbacks we were able to get Nicole’s point of view and Megan was remembering more and more under hypnosis with her therapist. Megan’s parents wanted to see that she was healing and getting back to her old self so she put on a happy face around them but she was hurting inside.

The story has a real ripped from the headlines feel with a steady pace until Megan has a vital memory. From that point on the pages flew and the suspense ramped up to a extreme pace. The real world fell away and I was right there with Livia and Morgan. The author twisted the story in an incredible way that took me completely by surprise and I had that OMG moment.

Much of the story is procedural but so compelling. As it continues is becomes riveting, gripping, exciting, intense and the final twist was mind blowing.  There are some creepy parts and Livia’s autopsies are vividly described. This story is not for the faint of heart but if you enjoy thrilling suspense this is the book for you.

I am excited to have found this author. I will be watching to see what he brings us next.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About The Author

Charlie Donlea lives in Chicago with his wife and two young children. He spends a part of each year fishing with his father in the far reaches of Canada, where the roads end and lakes are accessible only by floatplane. These majestic trips to “God’s Country” inspired the setting for his novels. Readers can find him online at charliedonlea.com


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

Jun 222017
 

Grace to the Finish (A Manor House Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
8th and Last in the Series
Setting – North Carolina
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (June 27, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425281635
Kindle ASIN: B01M0ODZPA

 

 

Now that Grace Wheaton has officially been named heir to Bennett Marshfield’s fortune, her usually busy schedule has become a juggling act. In addition to her duties at Marshfield Manor, she’s bankrolling her roommates’ refurbished wine shop, Amethyst Cellars. Grace is excited to check out the rustic space with Bruce and Scott. But that excitement turns to dismay when they stumble upon the body of the banker involved with the sale.

Grace wants to get to the bottom of this mystery quickly so that her friends’ new venture isn’t overshadowed by an unsolved murder, but she’s got even more to balance when her troubled sister, Liza, is released from prison early. Liza’s first stop is Marshfield Manor and her first priority is grabbing a bite of Bennett’s fortune for herself. Grace has to keep her greedy sister at bay and catch a killer before her new life comes crashing down around her.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Grace Wheaton is learning her new role as heir to Bennett Marshfield’s fortune. She and Bennett work together so she can become familiar with everything in his life especially Marshfield Manor. She is also the not so silent partner in her roommates wine shop, Amethyst Cellars. They have purchased a building and are just starting on their plans to not only open their wine store again but opening a restaurant in the building too. Add to that her sister, Liza, is being released from prison early and plans to stake her claim for her share of Bennett’s money immediately. As if that isn’t enough Grace, Bruce and Scott find find a dead body in their new building. So even though Frances seems to think Grace needs a new man in her life, she is going to have to solve the murder and straighten out her sister before she can even think of anything like that.

Julie Hyzy has created truly wonderful characters in this series. They are characters that are so engaging that it is easy to become involved in everything they do. Grace, Bennett and even Frances’ relationships have grown so much since the beginning.  Bruce and Scott have really evolved too.  Aunt Belinda and Liza bring their own craziness to this story. We learn their real backstory and more about Grace’s family in this installment and it is quite interesting.

The murder mystery is very well plotted and timely for the world today. Grace is like a dog with a bone as she tries to fit all the pieces together. A homeless man may have the final clue to help everything fall into place. A subplot to this mystery is that Joe is holding something back from Grace. She doesn’t know if she can trust him and she may just have to give up on the relationship they have been working hard to build.

I was and still am sad that the author announced earlier this month that this is the last book in the series. I understand she wants to take her writing in a different direction. She does leave everyone in a good place but not everything is complete. I would love to be at the grand reopening for Amethyst Cellars, or see how more of Marshfield Manor is opened to the public, and find out if Grace did find that forever love. I know the door is closed for now, but I can hope Julie may revisit the Manor someday in the future. If not we say goodbye to some amazing characters and are blessed by the short time we got to spend with them.

Another perfect escape from Julie Hyzy!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About Julie Hyzy

Julie Hyzy is the New York Times bestselling author of the White House Chef Mysteries and the Manor House Mysteries. She’s won the Anthony, Barry, Derringer, and Lovey Awards for her novels and short stories. Her first Manor House Mystery, Grace Under Pressure, earned a Starred Review from Publishers Weekly. Find out more about Julie Hyzy and her books on her webpage here.




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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 102017
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
Today I am featuring the last book in the Books By The Bay Mystery Series.


Killer Characters (A Books by the Bay Mystery)
8th and Final Book in Series
Setting – North Carolina
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (May 2, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Ransom House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451488442
Kindle ASIN: B01K1ATZHM

Restaurant owner and aspiring novelist Olivia Limoges is happily enjoying her new marriage. Sadly, the same doesn’t hold true for Laurel, a fellow Bayside Book Writer. While struggling with a demanding job, twin boys, and a terminally ill mother-in-law, Laurel learns that her perfect marriage is mostly fictional. When she catches her husband fooling around with his mother’s hospice nurse, she issues impassioned threats that will later come back to haunt her.

After the nurse meets a deadly denouement, Chief Rawlings is forced to take Laurel into custody. While Olivia protests the arrest, the rest of the Bayside Book Writers become a group divided, with Rawlings and Harris on one side and Olivia and Millay on the other. Now the women must race against the clock to prove that Laurel’s not the sort for murder before her story ends in tragedy…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this final installment to this beloved series we see Laurel struggling to hold things together. Her husband is basically absent from her life and she is trying to raise her twins, hold down her job, and dealing with a terminally ill mother-in-law that has never liked her. When Laurel finds out how her spouse has been occupying his time she explodes with some verbal remarks that could end up costing her everything. Olivia and the Bayside Book Writers pull out all the stops to prove her innocence.

First, I need to say this series was ended by the publisher, not the author. She has stating publicly that this book was very hard for her to write. Readers have built a connection to these characters but she was the one that gave them life. Whatever we are feeling is nowhere near the pain she felt and is still feeling about ending their journey. She chose to end it in a way for me that very surprising at first but when I took a step back I totally understood why she did this. This story invoked strong emotions for me and will for all fans of these characters. I recommend you have some tissues handy because you will need them for the ending.

That being said, she gives us a mystery we can sink our teeth into as it splits the Bayside Book Writers apart. Chief Rawlings is too close to Laurel to take the lead on the investigation and there is only so much he can pass on to Olivia and Millay. Harris is still working the case but he too has to be careful not to overshare and put the investigation in jeopardy. This doesn’t sit well with Olivia or Millay. So needless to say situations can get tense. There are twists and turns and suspense that really upped my heart rate.

These characters have grown so much since the first book in a way that was believable. Olivia as the main character brought this wonderful group together and readers fell for them almost immediately. Starting with the lovable Capt. Haviland, always by Olivia’s side. Chief Rawlings and Olivia’s relationship spanned the series bringing two very independent people together. Laurel, Millay, Harris round out the writer’s group and their lives intermingle within the pages. We also met Chef Michel and the fabulous roller skating waitress Dixie. Each of the characters have worked their way into my heart and I treasure the time I got to spend with them whether at the lighthouse, Grumpy’s Diner, The Boot Top Bistro or out and about in Oyster Bay.

This series is binge-worthy if you haven’t started it yet or are a book or two behind. Fans will be emotional and moved by this final book.

Thank you Ellery Adams! You are a master storyteller. We are all blessed for the time we spent in Oyster Bay.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 To find out more about Ellery and all her books visit her webpage here.






Follow Ellery Adams on Amazon and find more of her books here.

GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the people at Penguin 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.

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 May 24, 2017 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.”

A Soufflé of Suspicion: A French Bistro Mystery by Daryl Wood Gerber (7/10)Pre - Order Your Copy Today!
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