Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Reviews 2016 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Flashback Friday – #Review / #Giveaway – Doing It at the Dixie Dew by Ruth Moose @MinotaurBooks

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

I am so excited to be reviewing books again for Flashback Friday!
This book was actually on my wish list when the publicist contacting about reviewing the 2nd book in the series. She made my day when she offered to send me both. So be sure to come back next Tuesday for my review of Wedding Bell Blues!

doing it at the dixie dew
Doing It at the Dixie Dew:
(A Beth McKenzie Mystery)

1st in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – North Carolina
Minotaur Books (May 6, 2014)
ISBN-13: 978-1250046383
E-Book ASIN: B00GET8T8Q
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Who says you can’t go home again?

When Beth McKenzie returns to her hometown and attempts to turn an old Southern mansion into a bed and breakfast called The Dixie Dew, her first guest is murdered. Three days later a young priest who looks better in tennis whites than cleric black is found strangled in his chapel. The whole town of Littleboro is turned upside down, inside out, and Ossie Delbardo, the town cop whose job heretofore mainly involved controlling football traffic on Friday nights, is not cut out to solve the murders. Beth fears her newly opened B&B is in danger of failing. She’s even more worried that she is Ossie’s number one suspect. Aided by her friend from high school and trusty handyman, she sets out to discover the truth of the murders.

Littleboro has its share of characters, some of which are helpful and others misleading. There’s Crazy Reba who lives in a tree, bathes in any bathtub she finds empty, and Dumpster dives; Verna, the town know-it-all and affectionate owner of Robert Redford, a huge white rabbit; and Miss Tempie Merritt, music teacher and organist who always wears hat, gloves, and lace-trimmed white socks. When Beth herself is attacked, there’s no more time for baking muffins and stenciling pineapples on the porch. She’s in a race to uncover her neighbors’ secrets before her hometown becomes her burial ground.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Doing It at the Dixie Dew is a divine debut!

Our first home was right next to a PBP (Pepto Bismol Pink) house so the cover grabbed by attention right away. Then when I had the book in my hands and started reading about Beth McKenzie returning to Littleboro, North Carolina, because her grandmother was dying I was drawn right in. She made sure her “Mama Alice” had the best of care until she passed. That left Beth with an old Southern Mansion that needed a lot of work and not enough money to do it all. But she got enough done to open a B&B and The Dixie Dew became a reality.

Lavinia Lovingood arrived as the first guest but sadly she checked out early and permanently from this earth the next day. Three days later a young priest is murdered and we learn Lavinia’s death was murder too! Not a great start for The Dixie Dew. Enter Ossie Delbardo, cop without a clue. Littleboro has a very low crime rate and because Beth is newly back in town it has be all her fault. Well hold on tight, she is not taking is accusations ans insinuations lightly. She will find out whodunit x 2 all on her own.

Classic small town and some of the characters take quirky to an all time high. The basically normal folks include Beth, of course. Ida Plum had known Mama Alice for years and basically hires herself to help Beth with the B&B.  Beth’s contractor is in her corner and willing to help in any way he can. For me he sounds like one “McDreamy” of a guy who wears a tool belt. The rest I will leave for you to read about and classify.

This is a book full of Southern charm and funny moments. The plot ebbed and flowed naturally as Beth pondered and wandered to get the clues to fall in place.  But there were some places where I sat up straight and gripped the book tightly, almost holding my breath until things were resolved for those moments and then again as everything fell into place for Beth at a very scary time and place. My heart was actually racing and for just a second I thought there was going to be a horrible twist. Thankfully I was completely wrong.

I was so surprised to learn the author wrote this story 27 years ago. It had won the Malice Domestic St.Martin’s Press Award for first novel. Then in 2014, she updated it and it was released in the form available today. Next Tuesday, Wedding Bell Blues, will be released picking up where this story left off.  For those of you that have waited all those years to return to Littleboro, your wait is almost over. I am so lucky because I get to read them back to back.

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Check out Ruth’s Webpage Here and on Facebook Here.

GIVEAWAY

I am giving away my Hardcover Review Copy!

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.

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Contest Will End September 2, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
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Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Reviews 2016 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – Grace Sees Red by Julie Hyzy @penguincozies

grace sees red

Grace Sees Red
(A Manor House Mystery)

7th in Series
Cozy Mysteries
Setting – North Carolina
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (June 28, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425281628
E-Book ASIN: B016JPTLDQ
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Grace Wheaton, curator and manager of Marshfield Manor, and her benefactor, Bennett Marshfield, are discussing how to help her roommates Bruce and Scott with their wine shop troubles when Grace’s trusted—if testy—assistant, Frances, calls, saying she needs some assistance of her own. Arriving at the address Frances has given them, they find a coroner’s van and police cars parked outside an upscale assisted-living facility called Indwell.

One of the elderly residents has been found dead under suspicious circumstances, and Frances, seen arguing with the man earlier that day, is now a person of interest. It’s up to Grace to clear her assistant’s name and find the real killer—before another Indwell resident checks out early…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Oh this story was sooooooo goooooood!

In this installment the action takes place away from Marshfield Manor. Grace’s assistant, Frances needs help. We finally get a close look at Frances’ life away from work and it was quite surprising. Also Grace’s roommates, Bruce and Scott have a major problem and it could be the end of their business.

I love these characters. The relationship between Bennett and Grace always warms my heart and now that the news is out that they truly are related there are many new t’s to cross and i’s to dot. They are both amazing people. The world needs more people like them. I loved that Frances was front and center in this story and I always enjoy catching up with Scott and Bruce.

Hyzy introduces us to a great group of quirky characters as we venture to Indwell, an assisted living facility. We meet patients, their families, staff and even a couple of local detectives. The descriptions made it so easy to picture every one of them. They sure are an interesting bunch.

The mystery this time was quite puzzling. Several twists had me changing my mind on the real culprit too many times to count. As we neared the conclusion I could see I was completely wrong and I was totally surprised.

When you reach the 7th book in a series the characters have become comfortable. As a reader you are engaged from the start and totally invested into finding out what happens next. That is so true for this series. Frances may not be the easiest woman to get along with but I was thrilled to know more about her personal life. I am excited to see what the author has planned for my fictional friends in upcoming installments.

Each visit to Emberstowne passes too quickly. Of course that is because the story keeps those pages flying. As usual I read this one all in one sitting.

I highly recommend everything Julie Hyzy writes and this story is a prime example as to why.

perfect 2016

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.




GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy 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. 

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 23, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Literary Escapes Reviews 2016 TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Flashback Friday – Played by the Book by Lucy Arlington – #Review – #Giveaway

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

My reading schedule was all messed up last year
and I was unable to read and review this book then.

played by the book
Played by the Book (A Novel Idea Mystery)
4th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – North Carolina
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (February 3, 2015)
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Art by Julia Green
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425276631
E-Book ASIN: B00LMGK52O
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The owner of the Novel Idea Literary Agency is thrilled when former local boy and popular television show host Damian York returns to Inspiration Valley, North Carolina, to launch his new gardening book. But Lila is less than excited about the hubbub when she sees her mounting to-do list. Between planning York’s gala and sprucing up her yard for another event, she’s spread too thin—especially after she finds a skull buried in her flowerbeds.

As Lila’s macabre discovery leads to other secrets hidden in Inspiration Valley’s past, a member of the local garden club is found slumped over her prize roses—murdered. Now it’s up to Lila to dig through old mysteries and new clues to unearth a murderer before someone else is found pushing up daisies…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Lila Wilkens has my dream job.  I would even love to do a bit of sleuthing.

We return to Inspiration Valley for the 4th time and Lila is helping to organize a grand affair to help launch Damian York’s new gardening book. As part of the event Lila’s own garden is to be featured but when she is pulling out some old shrubs she makes a terrible discovery. A human skull, thought to be a young woman. As if that isn’t enough across town another woman is found dead/murdered in her garden. So in addition to her workload Lila now needs to get down and dirty to solve an old mystery and a new one.

The first three books in this series were written by a writing team of Ellery Adams and Sylvia May. Susan Furlong becomes Lucy Arlington for this story and I truthfully didn’t notice much of a change in writing style, which is good, but not an easy feat, so kudos to Ms. Furlong.

I really enjoyed the behind the scenes look at an book agent’s job and the joy Lily has when she can tell an author she has sold their book to a publisher. Then the way she helps their stories shine with some really good advice and nurturing. In a time when big publishers are cutting back on their cozy mystery contacts Lila gives us insight to the publishing process. I just hope this series continues to survive the cuts.

I really treasure the relationship Lila has with her son Trey. I will not lie, it made me miss my son Kris a lot.

In addition to the mysteries there is some romance with Sean and Lila and Makayla and Jay. Sean may not be moving fast enough in the direction Lila would like but Jay has pulled out all the stops to move his relationship with Makayla forward.

The mysteries themselves are very interesting. Are the connected in some way? or is it just a coincidence that the skull/skeleton was found as another murder happened. Lila wants to get justice for the young girl buried on her property but she is also invested in finding the killer that left a garden club member smelling her roses for the last time.

I was completely captivated by this cozy. We are given just a little tease for the next what to expect for Lila in the next installment. The good thing about reviewing this book right now is that Off the Books was released this past February and it on my shelf calling me. I see some juggling in my reading schedule happening soon. 

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author

Lucy Arlington is the pen name of Susan Furlong. The concept for the Novel Idea Mysteries was originated by the New York Times bestselling author Ellery Adams and Sylvia May. Together, they penned the first three novels of the series. Susan continues their legacy with the new books in the series. Susan also writes the Georgia Peach Mysteries.


GIVEAWAYI am giving away my review copy!

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.

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 20, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in Spotlights

Spotlight – The Sharyn Howard Mystery Series by Joyce and Jim Lavene

I just love this picture of Joyce and Jim

This year Jim Lavene is re-releasing the first series he and Joyce wrote together.

In January, Last Dance, the first Sharyn Howard Mystery was released again.

When the prom queen is found brutally murdered, Sheriff Sharyn Howard recalls that a similar murder occurred on the night of her prom ten years ago. Her father was the sheriff of Diamond Springs, and the man he sent to prison for the murder now sits on death row awaiting his execution. But Sharyn’s convinced there are too many similarities between the two murders and that the true killer is still at large.

Her move to reopen the first case pits her against the community and her mother, who feels she’ll destroy her father’s reputation in the process. But Sharyn is determined to discover the truth and catch the real killer before he can strike again.

Last Month, Book 2 – One Last Goodbye – returned.
Sheriff Sharyn Howard has her hands full. The county commission wants to cut her staff. Colonel John Metzger wants his brother’s killer yesterday. And the Navy wants to be sure she comes up with the “right” answers to the town’s new mystery.

Add to that a lovesick deputy and her mother dating Senator Caison Talbot, one of Sharyn’s least favorite people.

But what really has her puzzled is the mystery everyone in town is talking about. Someone shot WWII Navy Captain William “Billy” Bost as he dipped his plane’s wings to his sweetheart. The secret’s been hidden for over half a century. Is it possible that the person who killed Billy Bost, Diamond Springs’ most famous hero, is also the same person who killed the Pulitzer prize-winning author looking for the truth?

Tomorrow Book 3 – The Last To Remember – Will land on e-readers everywhere.
On one of the stormiest, busiest night of the year, a prominent businessman stumbles into the sheriff’s office, confessing to a 40-year-old murder. Just a few hours later he’s found hanging from the ceiling of the conference room. The district attorney is soon on the warpath and all the clues point to one man.

Sheriff Sharyn Howard begins to search for the key to unlock a secret shared by three men for forty years. A district court judge, a prominent businessman, and her own deputy, Ernie Watkins, believe that they were responsible for a child’s death at the old Jefferson Training School for Boys when they were just teenagers.

But now someone is after all the men, and it’s up to Sheriff Howard to unravel 40 years of cover-ups, blackmail, lies, and guilt. But with so many suspects and such little time, can she find the real killer before an innocent man is convicted of murder or before the real killer can stalk and kill his prey?

joyceI was so honored to have Joyce Lavene as a friend. We never met in person but our lives met through the computer screens. It is a wonderful tribute to both her and Jim to have these stories released again. I know Joyce is smiling in heaven as we enjoy her stories. It brings her close to us that knew her and introduces her work to so many new fans. If you haven’t read this series, now is the perfect time to start. If you are like me you will be reading them again for pure enjoyment. Just click on the covers to order.

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes Reviews 2016 TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Flashback Friday – Review – A Slice of Murder by Chris Cavender – #Giveaway

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

Going way back for this one off of my To-Be-Read shelf!

slice of murder
A Slice of Murder
(Pizza Lover’s Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – North Carolina
Kensington (August 1, 2009)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0758229489
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0758229496
E-Book ASIN: B003IYI7PU
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Not too much happens in the sleepy little town of Timber Ridge, North Carolina–which is fine with pizza-purveyor extraordinaire Eleanor Swift. The spunky owner of A Slice of Delight is trying to mend her broken heart and could use a little quiet time. But when a late night delivery customer turns up dead, she’s in for just the opposite in this delicious mystery series debut, featuring pizza as the prima character . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have read several books by this author, under his many pseudonyms, (Tim Myers, Casey Mayes, Melissa Glazer) so I knew would like this story.

Eleanor Swift and her husband owned A Slice of Delight. He has passed away and she and her sister now run the pizza joint with the help of a few part-timers. Eleanor takes a late pizza order and delivers it on her way home. But when she arrives at the address the door is ajar and her customer is dead on the floor. She does the right thing and calls 911 but when the police arrive she becomes the prime suspect. Before she loses everything she and her husband worked so hard for she needs to catch the real killer and knock the pepperoni out of them.

I love pizza and I bet you do too. This tasty mystery will delight your mind and put your taste buds on high alert.  Ellie is a wonderful woman still trying to get used to life without her husband and several people think she needs to be out there dating. She has one admirer that practically begs to date her on a daily basis. Her sister, Maddy, is pushing her to accept but with a murder on her plate she doesn’t have time to think about dating. The police chief happens to be an old boyfriend from her younger days and she can’t believe he honestly thinks she could kill someone. His son even works for her or at least he did before this investigation when his dad made him quit. He was one angry teenager when that happened. So with some help from Maddy they start the own investigation and what they find is quite surprising. Now if they can just get her old flame to open his eyes to what really happened she can get back to serving some of the best pizzas in town.

Cavender has a great grasp on these characters. Ellie struggle to move on feels very real and her relationship with her sister is very believable. Police chief Kevin Hurley and the rest of the residents of Timber Ridge that actually thought Ellie was guilty really surprised me. I am glad she had some support and others came around to realize her true nature. But not the police chief.  For me the jury is still out on him. This being the first book in the series I am holding out hope that he is better at his job in the future.

We were given a good mystery to solve. Several twists but I figured this one out a bit before Ellie. I did enjoy the way it all played out.

I love this pizza theme for a series. Each time Ellie knuckled out that dough, loaded on the toppings and sending those pizzas through the oven my mouth was watering.

Will definitely be reading the next book in the series, Pepperoni Pizza Can Be Murder, soon.

enjoyable 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

CHRIS CAVENDER is the pseudonym for an Agatha Award Nominated Author who has appeared on the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association national bestseller list multiple times.

GIVEAWAY
I am giving my hard cover copy 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.

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

Contest Will End March 18, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Reviews 2015 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review/ #Giveaway – Writing All Wrongs by Ellery Adams

WRITING ALL WRONGSWriting All Wrongs
(A Books by the Bay Mystery)

7th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – North Carolina
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (November 3, 2015)
An Imprint of Penguin Ransom House LLC
Cover Illustration by Kimberly Schamber
Cover Design by Rita Frangie
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425270844
E-Book ASIN: B00SI026LU
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

The New York Times bestselling author of Lethal Letters returns to the North Carolina Coast, where aspiring novelist and amateur sleuth Olivia Limoges discovers crime doesn’t take a vacation . . 
 
After Olivia and Chief Rawlings enjoy a brief honeymoon on Palmetto Island, they’re joined by the rest of the Bayside Book Writers for the Coastal Carolina Crime Festival. The festival’s highlight is Silas Black, celebrity screenwriter and television producer, who is currently working on a popular television show in North Carolina.

As the festival gets under way, a trickster seems to be bringing famous local ghost stories to life. But when the body of a woman close to Black is found on the beach, Olivia and her friends must deduce who on the island could resort to murder—before the sands of time run out for someone else…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Olivia and Chief Rawlings are finding the way in the marriage department. They were both used to their alone time and solitary space. Hard to learn how to live with a person day in and day out when you are pretty set in your ways, but I have faith they will work everything out. Taking a honeymoon on Palmetto Island seems like a good start. They are joined after a couple of days by their friends, the Bayside Book Writers, as the Coastal Carolina Crime Festival starts. Celebrity, Silas Black, is the main draw to the festival but when local ghost stories start to come to life and a woman is found dead on the beach the fun the group was having comes to an end. When the main suspect is someone they know it’s all hands on deck to find the real killer.

Ellery Adams takes her characters on a bit of vacation and where they go trouble seems to follow. Palmetto Island sounds like a beautiful place. I can understand the residents wanting to keep part of the island in its original state and the anger as another developer comes in to put up another hotel. The character of Jan is not afraid to protest or rile people up to protect the habitat. We also meet a man who lived his whole life, 90 years, on Palmetto Island. He is quite a storyteller too. Adams draws such dynamic characters, new and old and even dogs. They are all so engaging.

The mystery itself has many moving parts. The ghost stories being reenacted, the sale of a large piece of land, the festival, a book release, and more. They are all blended together with a very fine hand. The words and the images they formed were so captivating. It was quite an adventure.

Adams is an extraordinary storyteller. In this series she writes the main story but also because the cast are writers themselves she has to write pieces of their stories too. In this installment one of them actually has had a book published and while it probably isn’t my cup of tea I almost expect it to pop up on my Amazon feed. She adds even more stories this time as we hear the Palmetto Island ghost stories.

I have loved this series from the start and I want more, more, more!!

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

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.

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 December 4, 2015 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Reviews 2015 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review/Giveaway – Looking for Mr. Good Witch by Joyce and Jim Lavene

looking for mr. good witchLooking for Mr. Good Witch
(Retired Witches Mysteries)

2nd in Series
Paranormal Cozy Mystery
Setting – North Carolina
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (October 6, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Mary Ann Lasher
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425268261
E-Book ASIN: B00SI0279Q
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

Everyone’s favorite retired witches from Spell Booked have returned and are diving into troubled waters to find a sinister sea witch…

WITCHY WOMAN

A sea witch has been leaving bodies in her wake up and down the Carolina coast, baffling authorities who are finding drowning victims with no water in their lungs. The fin-icky female will continue to kill young male witches until she finds her perfect man—the one who survives her mating ritual—so she can live for another hundred years. And now coven hopeful Brian Fuller is about to be ensnared in her net.

Retired witches Molly and Elsie, along with the ghost of Olivia and her daughter Dorothy, need all the help they can get to stop the sea witch. Aided by a selkie and a crème puff–craving mermaid, they’re determined to keep Brian out of her murky clutches. But are they all about to get in over their heads?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Molly, Elise Olivia, and Dorothy are back and trouble is brewing. Their spell book is still missing, Olivia is not happy as a ghost, and young male witches are dying at the hands of a very feisty witch. Even their own Brian may not be immune. The elderly witches are still hoping to retire and were hoping that with Brian and Dorothy they only needed to recruit just one more witch to join their coven. They need to free the coast from this wet witch and hang her out to dry but they may seal their own fate in the process.

Fantasy has never been my genre and things like werewolves and selkies would usually have me running for the hills but Joyce and Jim Lavene eased me into their paranormal stories slow and easy, a ghost or two here, then a witch or two there, then Larry the werewolf in this series, how could you not like a werewolf named Larry.  The witches in this story are charming as well. They are like Samantha and Endora on the old Bewitched television show. Living and even working in the world among us mere mortals. There powers are to be kept secret but with a shop like Smuggler’s Arcane and all the events taking place it is easy to forget to keep their abilities on the Q.T.

This story was fun and entertaining. I must say my favorite character was a mermaid named Muriel who is quite fond of pastry, even her sharp little teeth didn’t scare me away. But Muriel is just one of many amazing characters the Lavene’s bring to life on these pages, even though a few of them are dead 🙂 or living their second or third or more lives in other bodies.

So much happens in this story but the pace isn’t rushed. I usually spread a book over 2 evenings but I couldn’t do that with this one. I kept thinking, just one more chapter, just one more and soon it was way past my bedtime but I couldn’t stop until I reached the end. To say I was totally engaged would be an understatement. This story had me spellbound.

Kudos to Joyce and Jim, they had me completely captivated!

paradise

5 STARFISH5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
I just love this picture of Joyce and Jim
I just love this picture of Joyce and Jim

About The Authors –

Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family.

Author Links

www.joyceandjimlavene.com 

www.facebook.com/joyceandjimlavene 

http://amazon.com/author/jlavene 

https://twitter.com/AuthorJLavene

GIVEAWAY
Our Fan of the Month receives a copy of this book
so I have one more copy 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.

Following the new Google+ Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book Fan Page
will earn you 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 October 16, 2015 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Reviews 2015 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review – Fatal Fairies by Joyce and Jim Lavene – Great Escapes Book Tour

Fatal Fairies large banner640

FATAL FAIRIES
by Joyce and Jim Lavene

 

FATAL FAIRIESFatal Fairies
(Renaissance Faire Mystery Book 8)

Cozy Mystery
Release Date: July 7, 2015
Print Length: 181 pages
ASIN: B00X8DUQ3W
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Synopsis:
When a fairy named Apple Blossom is found dead in the Good Luck Fountain at Renaissance Faire Village, Jessie Morton makes a wish she lives to regret–that her husband, Chase Manhattan, is no longer the Village Bailiff. She doesn’t want him to look for the fairy’s killer and ruin their plans to go away for their first wedding anniversary.

Trapped in a timeless ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ experience, Jessie is transported to a different Village to face the consequences of her wish where Chase isn’t the Bailiff, and he’s not married to her.

Jessie’s fairy godmother who granted the wish tells her that she must find a way to make Chase fall in love with her again, and they must discover who killed Apple Blossom, if she ever wants to go back to the life she knew.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A fairy tale at the Renaissance Faire complete with a fairy godmother! Be careful what you wish for!

Jessie and Chase are getting ready to take a honeymoon when a fairy is killed and throws a kink into their plans. Jessie wished Chase was not the Bailiff at the Renaissance Faire Village and her wish was granted. Sadly that one wish had very adverse effects even erasing their whole relationship their marriage. The fairy that granted wish, Jessie’s fairy godmother, quickly explains that she has to make Chase fall in love with her again and solve the murder of the fairy to have things go back to the way they were.

Another fabulous story from Jim and Joyce Lavene. I must admit I started out being a little mad at this twist at first. I love Jessie and Chase together and I really hate the things that keep them apart. But I really became intrigued by parts of the new village Jessie was in.  Some characters that had died were brought back and at the same time had some of the new shops and characters from the last story. It really was a village in limbo that let us see a different side to some of the characters we are familiar with from previous installments and how their lives would have changed had they not met Jessie. The authors label it as an It’s a Wonderful Life experience and it is very easy to see their inspiration play out on the pages.

The Laveve’s have written a charming story that is so much fun to read.  Great characters, wonderful mystery, idyllic setting, with humor, romance, and a bit of make believe too.

The entire series is absolutely delightful. Start at the beginning or start with this one. You are going to want to read them all.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

joycejimAbout These Authors

Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family.

 

Author Links

www.joyceandjimlavene.com
www.facebook.com/joyceandjimlavene
http://amazon.com/author/jlavene
https://twitter.com/AuthorJLavene

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Tour Participants

July 7- Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview
July 8 – fuonlyknew – Review
July 9 – Books-n-Kisses – Review
July 10 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review, Guest Post
July 11 – dru’s book musings – Guest Post
July 11 – Community Bookstop – Review
July 12 – deal sharing aunt – Interview
July 13 – A Chick Who Reads – Review
July 14 – Escape With Dollycas – Review

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

Posted in Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Guest Posts Literary Escapes Reviews 2015 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Special Guest – Julie Hyzy – Author of Grace Cries Uncle – Giveaway too!

special guest blueI am thrilled to welcome Julie Hyzy back to Escape With Dollycas.
Grace Cries Uncle was released this week!

julie hyzy

Grace Cries Uncle
Julie Hyzy

The time has come. Finally.

For those who have followed the Manor House series from the first book, Grace Under Pressure, you know that there’s a very big question that hasn’t been answered yet: Is Grace, the young woman who came to work at Marshfield Manor a few years ago, truly related to billionaire Bennett Marshfield? Could Bennett actually be Grace’s half-uncle? And if so, could this new information inspire Bennett to change his Will?

There are two things in Grace Cries Uncle that I guarantee. One is that the above questions will be answered, and two is that there’s much more to the story than results from a DNA test can offer.

Readers who met Grace in Book #1 know that her younger sister, Liza, is trouble. When she shows up in this new adventure, Liza is down on her luck (again) and eager to enlist Grace’s help. Grace knows better than to trust her, but because an FBI agent recently came looking for Liza’s estranged husband Eric, and because that FBI agent turned up dead, Grace believes she has no choice but to offer her conniving sister a safe place to stay.

Is this a mistake? Or an incredibly shrewd move on Grace’s part? And what does all this have to do with Bennett? Because—as it becomes clear—Eric may be more involved in Bennett’s business than anyone realizes. A prestigious antique collectors’ convention has descended on Emberstowne just as Bennett reveals he’s hoping to acquire a specific, unnamed antique. Could Liza’s lowlife husband know something about the item’s whereabouts?

Grace Cries Uncle is my favorite book in my Manor House series thus far because we get to meet the troublesome Liza and her unsavory husband, Eric. We also begin to understand why Grace longs to be part of a real family—Bennett’s family. I hope you enjoy reading this latest installment as much as I enjoyed writing it!

~Julie

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.

grace uncleGrace Cries Uncle
(A Manor House Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – North Carolina
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (July 7, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Kimberly Schamber
Cover Design by Rita Frangie
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425259689
E-Book ASIN: B00Q5DLVYA
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The New York Times bestselling author of the Manor House Mysteries and the White House Chef Mysteries shows how a blast from the past can spell trouble for Grace Wheaton…

When Grace’s estranged sister Liza shows up on her doorstep, the timing couldn’t be worse. Grace’s beloved boss and benefactor, Bennett Marshfield, has finally gotten her to agree to a DNA test to establish if he is, in fact, her uncle. If so, Grace would move from being the trusted curator and manager of Marshfield Manor to Bennett’s heir. And her duplicitous sister would be right behind her in the line of inheritance.

Liza is not the only mysterious visitor to arrive in town. A man claiming to be an FBI agent has shown up, and a swarm of avaricious antique collectors have descended on Emberstowne for a prestigious convention. When Bennett reveals he’s in mind to acquire a secret antique and the FBI agent turns up dead, the plot thickens. And Grace can’t help but wonder if Liza is at the center of it all…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Julie Hyzy continues to amaze me. Each new story tops the last an then some.

This time we split our time between Marshfield Manor and Grace’s Painted Lady. Grace’s sister, Liza, makes a return appearance and she has trouble preceding her too. The part I was most excited for was something readers of this series have been waiting so long to find out. Are Grace and the wonderful Bennett Marshfield truly related? Liza’s visit may throw a wrench into that whole situation. As always Frances, Grace’s assistant, is on hand to help and give her own unique spin to all the antics.

Hyzy has created a group of wonderful and quirky characters. They all jump right off the page and into our hearts. I truly wish I had a Bennett Marshfield in my life and not because of his money. He is a true gentleman and will love Grace whether or not the tests show she is his niece. He cares about all the people around him and treats his employees very well. Grace worries about him and loves him no matter what the future holds. It is very refreshing to see a wonderful friendship like theirs.

Their story is joined by one heck of mystery that not only brings Liza back to town but Grace’s ex, and Liza’s husband, Eric, too with the FBI hot on their tail. Emberstowne is hosting a convention that brings a bunch of lofty antique collectors to town as well. It seems everyone is talking about a very precious artifact and some would actually kill to have it in their collection. Be prepared for whiplash as the twists and turns to this mystery will send you reeling.

I love this series! I love the characters! I love the setting! I hated for this story to end. I am sad that I have to wait until next summer to visit Marshfield Manor and Emberstowne again. It is a place I would love to spend much more of my time 🙂

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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.

Following the new Google+ Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book Fan Page
will earn you 3 Bonus Entries.

Leave a comment for Julie for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End July 23, 2015 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2014

Special Guests Joyce and Jim Lavene – Authors of Spell Booked – Giveaway too!

special guest blueTwo of my favorite authors on this planet are Joyce and Jim Lavene. I have loved their books and organized book tours for them and rarely ever steal a spot for myself. When their publicist offered me a chance at a guest post for this book I jumped at it. I am so excited to have Joyce drop by today!

joyce and jimWriting about witches
By Joyce Lavene

When my husband and I first thought about writing the Retired Witches Mysteries we considered what kind of witches we wanted our ladies to be. Obviously they each needed a distinct personality and lifestyle.

We knew they would be good witches, of course, but a big question was that of magic. What kind of magic would they have? Were we thinking Bewitched or something a little more realistic?

We decided we didn’t want nose-twitching or magic that appeared too stereotypically on TV and in movies. We wanted to stay within certain bounds of witches who took their power from the elements—earth, fire, air and water. Olivia, Elsie, Dorothy, and Molly get their abilities from a natural side of them. They know their magic comes from inside and is then expressed outwardly.

They don’t pop in and out of rooms or snap their fingers to create magic. There are some witches who can do that in these books, but not these ladies. Their spells come from their thoughts and emotions. Dorothy is a little on the emotional side and sometimes indulges in magic that gets out of hand. Elsie’s magic is spontaneous with sometimes laughable ineffectiveness.

Molly is our storyteller through the books. Her voice is the one you hear. She is down-to-earth, careful, and modest. Her magic is the same. She is a water witch in a small area nestled between the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean so her magic is stronger than her friends’ magic. She is influenced by her family and her lifelong friends as well as by the water. The closer she is to water, the stronger she is.

It’s the same with Olivia, an air witch, Dorothy, an earth witch, and Elsie, a fire witch. Each is strongest in their element with the magic tool they possess. Molly’s magic tool is the cauldron. She wears a small replica of one around her neck and has a large cauldron in the basement of their shop, Smuggler’s Arcane.

Olivia’s tool is a runed staff. Elsie’s tool is a sword, and Dorothy’s is an emerald cull. Each tool represents the forces at work in them that they use for good in their lives.

Our witches have had some difficulty getting their magic to work in recent years. As they’ve aged, their magic has too. Sometimes they’re hesitant to use magic at all for fear of what will happen. They are women who lead normal lives with jobs and obligations to their community. They just have a little something extra that has always been there for them since they were born.

It was fun writing this series that begins with Spell Booked. We look forward to writing about our witches in the future!

~Joyce

About Joyce and Jim Lavene

Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family.

Fina Joyce and Jim around the internet:

www.joyceandjimlavene.com 

www.facebook.com/joyceandjimlavene 

http://amazon.com/author/jlavene 

https://twitter.com/AuthorJLavene

sb_final.inddSpell Booked
(Retired Witches Mysteries)

Brand New Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (December 2, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Art by Mary Ann Lasher
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425268254
E-Book File Size: 2640 KB
ASIN: B00JJXV1AM
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Once upon a time in Wilmington, North Carolina, three witches ran a curio shop named Smuggler’s Arcane. But as the years passed, their magical powers started to fade—leaving them no choice but to conjure up a retirement package…  

Before they could blink their eyes or twitch their noses, Molly, Elsie, and Olivia somehow became eligible for AARP. But they can’t fly off to Boca Raton just yet. First they must give up their magic, recruit and train three new witches, and pass on their cherished spellbook.

They’ve barely begun to consider potential practitioners when Olivia winds up dead and their spellbook is stolen. To honor their friend and reclaim their spells, Molly and Elsie are about to go wand-to-wand with a dangerous young witch more powerful than the trio was in their prime. And this time they’re going to need more than magic up their sleeves…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jim and Joyce Lavene have magnificent imaginations! They continue to surprise me. With those imaginations they bring us extraordinary characters and their words paint vivid images in my mind.

In this case the characters are a group of witches whose magic is waning and all they want to do is retire to Boca. Before they can do that the Grand Council of Witches tells them they need to find replacements and to pass along their spell book, since no one in their families has the gift of magic. They barely start their search and one of them is brutality killed and the spell book is stolen. So now  they are not only looking for replacement witches they are hunting down a murderer, a murderer than could be a very powerful witch.

We meet Molly, Elise and Olivia and their first recruit Dorothy, plus Molly’s husband, Joe, a police detective.  Joe has no idea Molly is a witch. We also meet 4 feline characters that are all extra special. These characters are all engaging and fascinating in their own ways. I don’t want to over share and spoil any of their enchanting ways for anyone.

The story takes place in North Carolina and the ladies run a shop, Smuggler’s Arcane, that sells supplies to other witches and those interested in witchcraft. It is quite an amazing place and has some secrets all its own. The town has another group of paranormal residents that I am usually not to fond of but the Lavene’s have written them in a fun and not too scary way that I didn’t mind their presence.

This cozy mystery has everything a good cozy requires and more. The plot really has a spark and I was totally caught off guard as to how the whole mystery played out. That final twist was a doozy!

Spell Booked will keep you Spellbound!!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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.

Following the new Google+ Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book Fan Page will earn you 3 Bonus Entries.

Leave a comment for Joyce for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End December 30, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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