Posted in Giveaways Spotlights

Spotlight/Giveaway – A Vision in Velvet by Juliet Blackwell

 

vision in velvet spotlight
A Vision in Velvet: A Witchcraft Mystery
6th in Series
A Obsidian Mystery
New American Library (July 1, 2014)
Published The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451240903
E-Book File Size: 1236 KB
ASIN: B00HDMM7UY
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Lily Ivory hopes to score some great vintage fashions when she buys an antique trunk full of old clothes. But she may have gotten more than she bargained for.…

As soon as Lily opens the trunk, she feels strange vibrations emanating from a mysterious velvet cloak. When she tries it on, Lily sees awful visions from the past. And when the antiques dealer who sold her the cape is killed, Lily suspects a supernatural force might be behind his death.

Then Lily’s familiar, Oscar the potbellied pig, disappears. Lily will do anything to get him back—including battling the spirit of a powerful witch reaching out from the past. But even with the aid of her grandmother, unmasking a killer and saving Oscar might be more than one well-intentioned sorceress can handle.

Find out more about Juliet Blackwell and her books on her webpage here.

Thanks to the people at Penguin 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.

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

Contest Will End July 11, 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

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
Posted in Literary Escapes Reviews 2014 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review/Giveaway – Thread End by Amanda Lee

thread end Thread End:
An Embroidery Mystery

7th in Series
Cozy Mystery
An Obsidian Mystery (June 3, 2014)
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 326 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451467393
E-Book File Size: 2872 KB
ASIN: B00GSBEDI0
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Embroidery shop owner Marcy Singer is about to have the rug pulled out from under her….

Marcy can’t wait to see the new exhibit at the Tallulah Falls museum on antique tapestries and textiles, including beautiful kilim rugs. But her enthusiasm quickly turns to terror when, the day after the exhibition opens, she discovers a dead body behind her store, the Seven-Year Stitch, wrapped up in a most unusual fashion.

The victim appears to be a visiting art professor in town for the exhibit. Did someone decide to teach the professor a lesson, then attempt to sweep the evidence under the rug? Along with her boyfriend, Detective Ted Nash, Marcy must unravel an intricate tapestry of deception to find a desperate killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Never a dull moment in Tallulah Falls. Marcy finds her way right into the middle of another investigation. At least this time Marcy or her mother is not at the top of the suspect list. In fact this time Ted and Marcy really team up to find the truth.  Their relationship in really evolving in so many ways.

I absolutely love Angus, Marcy’s Irish Wolfhound. I would love to enter the Seven Year Stitch and be greeted by that wonderful dog. Her is so smart and evens obeys a very special visitor to Marcy’s shop. He is such a smart dog and a perfect companion. He graces the cover of the books and I wish I could just reach in a give him a big hug.

This mystery takes a real turn the will leave you thinking. How far would you go to help one of your children? Would you do something you know is wrong if it would allow you to do something right?

As always Amanda Lee has given us a fabulous story. She has introduced us to a few new characters. One who could be very important as the series continues.

Our favorites return as well. Marcy’s mom, Beverly, may be back in California but they stay in touch as much as they can.  Mom’s need to be able to share advice and wise words no matter how many miles they are away from their children.

These stories are so much fun to read. I highly recommend them to all cozy lovers.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Gayle

About The Author
Amanda Lee, also writing as Gayle Trent, is a full-time writer living with her family in Southwest Virginia. She writes the embroidery mystery series as Amanda Lee and writes the cake decorating series and the Myrtle Crumb series as Gayle Trent.

Author Links

http://www.gayletrent.com/,

http://www.gayletrent.com/blog/,

http://www.killercharacters.com/,

http://fatalfoodies.blogspot.com/,

https://twitter.com/GayleTrent,

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/426208.Gayle_Trent

I am giving away my gently read 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.

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

Contest Will End June 27, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

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

Posted in Giveaways Just For Fun Challenge Reviews 2014

My June Just For Fun Read – Cross Stitch Before Dying by Amanda Lee (Giveaway too!)

just for fun 2014This is a challenge to help us get some of those books on out To-Be Read stacks read without the pressure of a review (unless we want to) or meeting any other challenge. These books are read totally Just For Fun.  I have given just a brief review because I read the book JUST FOR FUN!!

cross stitchCross-Stitch Before Dying: An Embroidery Mystery
6th in Series
Cozy Mystery
An Obsidian Mystery (August 6, 2013)
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451240071
E-Book File Size: 475 KB
ASIN: B00A30S7QG
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Embroidery shop owner Marcy Singer is about to find out that show biz and sew biz don’t mix!

Marcy’s mom Beverly is the costume designer for a lavish, Bollywood-style production…and she suggests Tallulah Falls as a great place to shoot part of the film. Everyone at the embroidery shop, and around town, is in a flutter that a glamorous movie production is taking place in their midst. But when the star of the film is found murdered, the police suspect Marcy’s mom, who made it no secret she did not care for the diva’s attitude regarding her wardrobe.

Marcy might as well issue an open call for suspects, because the star had a long list of enemies. To save her mom’s career and keep her from accessorizing with handcuffs, Marcy and her friends will need to stitch together the clues to catch one crafty killer who may have designs on Marcy next…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I love this series and this book has been screaming from my shelf since it arrived. When the next installment, Thread End came out this month I knew I needed to get my butt in gear and catch up on what was happening with Marcy and Angus, her Irish wolfhound right away.

This time Marcy’s mom brings Hollywood to Tallulah Falls and all heck breaks loose. Before they even arrive Ted, Marcy’s cop boyfriend, is chasing a gunman through the streets. Then the movie people come to town and a young starlet is found dead shorty after arguing with Beverly, Marcy’s mom.

It isn’t long before the Seven Year Stitch Sit and Stitch area becomes command central for the Marcy, the Inch High Private Eye, and her friends to try to stitch all the clues together. With all the movie people in town there are plenty of suspects, the murder definitely has to be one of them right??

Amanda Lee has crafted another great story.

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Stay tuned my review of Thread End will be up later today!!

I am giving my gently read copy
of Cross Stitch Before Dying 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 June 27, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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

Posted in Giveaways Reviews 2014 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review/Giveaway – The Goodbye Witch by Heather Blake

THE GOODBYE WITCHThe Goodbye Witch:
A Wishcraft Mystery

4th in the Series
Cozy Mystery
An Obsidian Mystery (May 6, 2014)
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451465870
E-Book File Size: 1571 KB
ASIN: B00FX7LWNO
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As Enchanted Village’s resident Wishcrafter, Darcy Merriweather has the power to make other people’s wishes come true, but what she really wishes is that she had the power to uncloak the invisible man who’s stalking her best friend….

Darcy’s closest friend and fellow witch, Starla Sullivan, hoped she’d never see her ex-husband, Kyle, again. Two years ago he tried to kill her, and he has been a fugitive ever since. Now Starla claims to have seen him back in Enchanted Village, but it seems she’s the only one who can see him. To everyone else, her ex is invisible.

Darcy only wishes his motives were as transparent as the rest of him. Since the police can’t arrest someone they can’t see, it’s up to Darcy to find the secret behind Kyle’s latest disappearing act—before he does something they can’t see coming….

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have been totally and utterly fascinated by this series since the beginning but this one topped them all. Blake has created the ultimate world to escape into. The Enchanted Village is a magical place that wishes can come true. I wish I could live there myself.

The series has a wonderful cast of characters. Darcy is not only a wishcrafter, she is a strong woman. She has a great relationship with Police Chief Nick who understands her craft because his daughter is a wishcrafter too. Aunt Ve is helping Darcy learn more about her gift along with Darcy’s sister Harper. The all believe everything Starla is telling them, they just need to figure out how Kyle is doing it. They are assisted by some truly magical characters, Pepe, a mouse who can sure thread a needle, and Archie, a talking parrot who can remember any line from almost any movie ever made.

My favorite character though was Mrs. P.  (Mrs. Pennywhistle) This lady touched by heart. She wanted to do anything she could to help Starla and all her friends even when she wasn’t physically able.

There are several subplots marvelously woven into the main storyline. The Goodbye theme is carried throughout the entire story. I don’t want to say more because you need to read this and discover it yourself. Just keep a tissue handy. This is the first cozy mystery I can remember reading that made my cry.

Heather Blake has written a wonderful, sensational, awesome story.  It deserves way more than 5 stars!!

paradise5 STARFISH5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author
Heather Blake (aka Heather Webber) is the author of over a dozen novels. She’s a Dr Pepper enthusiast, total homebody who loves to be close to her family, read, watch Reality TV (totally addicted, especially to competition shows), crochet, occasionally leave the house to hike the beautiful mountains in the northeast, bake (mostly cookies) and dreams of owning a house at the base of Mt. Mansfield in Stowe, VT. Heather grew up in a suburb of Boston, but currently, she lives in the Cincinnati area with her family and is hard at work on her next book. Find out more at http://www.heatherblakebooks.com/

I 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.

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

Contest Will End June 12, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in Giveaways Reviews 2014 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review/Giveaway – Murder, Plain and Simple by Isabella Alan

murder plain andsimpleMurder, Plain and Simple:
An Amish Quilt Shop Mystery

1st in Series
Cozy Mystery
An Obsidian Mystery (September 3, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451413635
E-Book File Size: 807 KB
ASIN: B00BDQ3B56
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

When Angela Braddock inherits her late aunt’s beautiful Amish quilt shop, she leaves behind her career and broken engagement for a fresh start in Holmes County, Ohio.

With her snazzy cowboy boots and her ornithophobic French bulldog, Angie doesn’t exactly fit in with the predominantly Amish community in Rolling Brook, but her aunt’s quilting circle tries to make her feel welcome as she prepares for the reopening of Running Stitch.

On the big day, Angie gets a taste of success as the locals and Englisch tourists browse the store’s wares while the quilters stitch away. But when Angie finds the body of ornery Amish woodworker Joseph in her storeroom the next morning, everything starts falling apart.

With evidence mounting against her, Angie is determined to find the culprit before the local sheriff can arrest her. Rolling Brook always appeared to be a simple place, but the closer Angie gets to the killer, the more she realizes that nothing in the small Amish community is as plain as it seems….

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I really enjoyed this debut from Isabella Alan. One of the things I miss most since my accident is not being able to create all the quilt designs in my head. It is books like this that make things a bit easier. I quilt vicariously through the characters in the book.

While our protagonist visited her Aenti often she is still an outside and an Englischer. It would take time for everyone to adjust under normal circumstances but with the question of the shop’s true ownership hanging over her head and the man questioning it dead in the store room things are far from normal. Her Aunt’s friends rally around her but there are others in the community both Amish and English that believe she really killed the man.

Alan has surrounded Angie with some great supporting characters including her dog, Ollie, who happens to be deathly afraid of birds. There are also the friends she made on those summer visits who are now all grown up and these friends really add depth to the story and maybe a bit of romance in the future. Then again her mother hopes Angie will sell the store and come back to Texas and marry the man she broke up with. We just have to wait and see what happens 🙂

The author has patched together quite a mystery too.  There are several threads to follow before the real murder is caught and everything is all sewn up. She kept me guessing all the way.

I am very excited to read Murder, Simply Stitched. It comes out June 3 and Isabella Allen will be her for Cozy Wednesday on June 18.

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Isabella Alan (Also Know As Amanda Flower) on her webpage here.

 

I am giving my review 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 June 6, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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

Posted in Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2014 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Special Guest – Sally Goldenbaum – Author of Murder in Merino (Giveaway too!)

special guest blue

SALLYThank you, Dolly, for inviting me back to one of my very favorite places to spend time. A warm hello to those I’ve ‘met’ in this cozy corner before, and a welcome to those who are new to me. Thanks so much for dropping in.

1. sea harbor 2 copyThe release of Murder in Merino (#8) this week has made me think more about the seaside knitters’ town—a place that has become very dear to me. My home is in land-locked Kansas, but I live in another home, another town, in my imagination (it’s the perfect way to get a second home without having to buy one!).

Sea Harbor is where my friends Nell, Birdie, Izzy, and Cass live and love and solve mysteries. I love being with them, walking the streets of Sea Harbor, stopping in at the bookstores and cafes, walking the miles and miles of beaches that surround Cape Ann.

MURDER IN MERINOI’d love to have you join me there. My friends would welcome you warmly with a glass of wine or tea, or maybe dinner on Nell and Ben’s deck. They’d take you to Izzy’s yarn shop, maybe a sail on Sam and Ben’s prized Hinckley, or a stroll along the beaches that surround Cape Ann.

Recently that’s what Jules Ainsley did in Murder in Merino—appeared in my home away from home. She slipped into Sea Harbor like a ghost in the night, checking in at Mary Pisano’s B&B. She was seen every day, running through the streets and along the beaches, embracing the town, talking to strangers. But who is she? the townsfolk asked. And why is she there? No one was sure…

Now that you’re here with me in this beautiful place, let’s follow Jules, see the town through her eyes, and just maybe figure out what she’s up to…

2. drivewayJules is a jogger. Today she’s up early for breakfast, then heads down the long B&B drive. When she sees Birdie in the driveway that leads up to her home 3. Main-Streetabove the sea, She stops to say hello, but soon she’s off again, running along Harbor Road, stopping first to talk to Harry Garozzo outside his deli, and then slowing to look into shop windows or pick up a book.

She stops at a yarn shop and is lured inside by a display of the most beautiful merino yarn she’s ever seen. Izzy welcomes her—and you—and introduces everyone to Purl, her shop kitten, before showing us around. Noticing Jules’ is on a jog, Izzy suggests a new running path—along a beach near a house Izzy used to live in.

“But run by and say hi to my friend Nell first,” she says.

4. deckAnd so we follow Jules to the airy house in the shady neighborhood just a short jog away. Nell invites us to sit on the deck and brings out tray of iced tea, some blueberry scones, and listens patiently as Jules asks a million questions about the town, its history, the people who live there. And when the questions end, we all fall in love with Nell’s garden, just down the deck steps—the backyard where Izzy married Sam, and to a pathway near the edge of the woods.

It’s a shortcut to the beach, Nell says, so we follow Jules through the pines and maples, along the well-worn path to the sea.

5. muffy's beachSoon we’re following her along the tide-tended beach, the sand as smooth and silky as some of Izzy’s yarn. Jules waves at a fisherman, pushing his boat into the ocean, and then she continues on until the beach ends at an outcropping of giant granite boulders. She heads up a small windy hill.

And then she stops. Suddenly, staring up the side of the hill. A car honks at her and she moves slowly to the side of the road, her eyes still glued to something we can’t see.

We move closer. Through the tangle of grasses and bushes and scrub trees, a row of small houses hug the top of the hill, their backyards just barely visible. A neighborhood.

Jules is frozen in place, her expression a mixture of awe and shock.
We look again—and again we see scrap trees, tangled vines, stunted trees.

And then we look at Jules, and a strange sensation passes through us, a cold wind. Whatever it is that Jules Ainsley sees through those branches—she is changing before our eyes.

And we don’t know why.

We head back to Nell’s for lunch, leaving Jules still staring up the hill. And we’ll wonder along with the seaside knitters what has shaken this mysterious woman. We’ll wonder why she has come to Sea Harbor.

We’ll wonder who or what she saw in the small hill beside the sea. And perhaps, as you sip a glass of wine and watch the gulls dip into the sea, you’ll help Nell, Cass, Birdie, and Izzy discover the secret to Jules’ strange behavior.

And they’ll welcome you warmly to your new home away from home.

When Jules Ainsley is implicated in the murderer of a well-loved bartender, the seaside knitters are pulled into the murder that shakes the whole town. In their search, Nell, Birdie, Cass, and Izzy spare no one—not neighbors or friends, not visitors or shopkeepers—as they probe into a past long buried, seeking a murderer who may be walking right alongside them on Harbor Road.

~Sally

About This Author

Sally Goldenbaum is a philosophy teacher, knitter, editor, and the author of more than two-dozen novels.

Please visit her on Facebook.

Or at her Website: sallygoldenbaum.com

MURDER IN MERINOMurder in Merino:
A Seaside Knitters Mystery

8th in Series
Cozy Mystery
An Obsidian Mystery (May 6, 2014)
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451415363
E-Book File Size: 2193 KB
Amazon: ASIN: B00FFFN7UK
B&N: ISBN-13: 9780698146686
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

It’s autumn in Sea Harbor, and as the tourists leave, a mysterious guest arrives. When she’s implicated in a crime, the Seaside Knitters must quickly table their knitting project and search out a motif for murder.

Julia Ainsley has come to Sea Harbor and she is not your typical tourist. She quickly knits herself into the fiber of this seaside town, even wanting to purchase a house, Izzy’s house, even though she has never set foot inside.

The realtor has already set up an Open House and Julie receives a mysterious call from a man asking her to meet him before the Open House starts. But when she arrives he is nowhere in sight. Deciding to take a quick look around the property Julia finds more the a beautiful view. She finds a dead body in the backyard. Her name and phone number are found on the body and she becomes the police’s prime suspect.

Things take a drastic turn as secrets kept for years are revealed and old friends are linked to both Julia and the dead man. The Seaside Knitters must work to unravel the real reason Julia Ainsley has come to their town—and the tangled and troubled ties from the past that bind friends and townsfolk together.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The characters in this story continue to amaze me. They are so welcoming even when they have a few doubts about a newcomer. They all support each other through life’s daily drama and celebrate together the milestones. This time it was Nell and Ben’s 40th wedding anniversary and young woman who seems just work her way into their lives.  They also pull together to find a killer even when they can’t believe where the clues are leading.

Sally Goldenbaum makes every trip to Sea Harbor pure pleasure with the great characters, the beautiful setting and a top-notch whodunit. I started to see where this story was headed and thought I had to be wrong and with that final twist thankfully I was and I was still knocked for a loop when it all came together.

In addition to being a cozy mystery these stories are also about the powerful friendship this group of people have. They meet each week at Ben and Nell’s for a wonderful dinner. Ben is the chef and everyone brings something to add from a bottle of wine to a pie for dessert. They share their lives and dreams and dilemmas and if there is a murder to solve they talk it out together. If a member is missing everyone worries. If there is a joy to share everyone celebrates. Friendship like this today seems to be rare with everyone having so much to do and no time to relax. Our heads are staring at our phones or computers. We text and email and don’t take time to just stop and enjoy our friends. We could all learn a little something from the wonderful people of Sea Harbor.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies of Murder in Merino
and 1 paperback copy of Angora Alibi 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.

Leave a comment for Sally for 5 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 22, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.


CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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

Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Literary Escapes Reviews 2014 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review: The Whole Cat and Caboodle by Sofie Ryan

cat and caboodleThe Whole Cat and Caboodle:
Second Chance Cat Mystery

Brand New Series
Cozy Mystery
An Obsidian Mystery
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451419941
E-Book File Size: 2017 KB
ASIN: B00F9EZBG0
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

Welcome to the oceanfront town of North Harbor, Maine. Sarah Grayson owns and operates Second Chance, a shop that sells used items that have be given makeovers and some have been totally repurposed.  She even holds classes so people can transform their own pieces.

Sarah’s grandmother holds the mortgage and several of her grandmother’s friends work at Second Chance. Sarah has known them most of her life and they are her friends as well as her grandmother’s. Mac, a retired financial planner, is Sarah right hand. Together they turn some people’s junk into beautiful treasures. Elvis is the store mascot and not your typical cat. Elvis has used up his nine lives but was rescued by Sarah. The big black cat with the scar on his nose from one of his battles goes everywhere with Sarah and seems to understand every word she says and humans in general.

When one of Sarah’s elderly friends fails to show up for a class everyone gets worried. Maddie would never miss a class. When they find her she is in her garden with a man who is very dead. Maddie is the prime suspect, of course, but Sarah and all her friends know she could never hurt anyone. Before the murderer has a second chance to kill someone else they need to clear Maddie and find the real killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

An excellent debut!

This cozy has a really great twist. While Sarah is the main character (with Elvis coming in at a very close second) she is not the one doing the investigating at least at the start. She is more a wrangler of the group who has set up an office in the store and started calling themselves Charlie’s Angels. Senior citizens, Liz, Rose and Charlotte along with a little help from Mr. P. (Bosley) are trying to track back through dead man’s past to see who could have killed him. They happen to turn up plenty of suspects. They also add a whole caboodle of humor to this story too. Elvis also becomes quite an asset as the story plays out.

Added to the character mix is Nick, Sarah’s “old high school flame” who works for the coroner’s office and Michelle Andrews, she and Sarah used to be best friends but not anymore and she is the detective that caught the case. Can old flames reignite? Can old friends come back together and be friends again?

If you have read the Magical Cat Mysteries by Sofie Kelly you will quickly realize the Sofie Ryan is the same author. She has a unique way of writing especially for her feline characters. They jump right off the page and into your heart.

This is a wonderful start to a new series with group of characters I already love. I am looking forward to book #2.

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Sofie Ryan on her webpage here.

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

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2014 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Melissa Bourbon – Author of A Killing Notion (Giveaway too!)

cozy wednesday 2013 640

I am so happy to welcome Melissa here today! When her last book A Custom-Fit Crime back in July she was busy with a huge home remodel and couldn’t drop by. This time she is not only here for Cozy Wednesday she is also touring with Great Escapes Book Tours. You can check out the tour here.

Welcome Melissa!

Melissa-Bourbon-Ramirez-_2The Beauty of a Snow Flake

 

My two book series take place in hot states. The Lola Cruz mysteries take place in Sacramento, California, and A Magical Dressmaking mystery series takes place in the fictional town of Bliss, Texas. Both are cities where you can fry an egg on the sidewalk in the summer and freeze your toes off in the winter.

When we moved to Texas from the Sacramento valley nearly six years ago, we’d been here six months and it snowed!  On Christmas Eve, no less.  It was magical. We’d never lived where it snowed, and while North Texas isn’t known for its snow, we’ve gotten a good dusting almost every year. This year, we’ve had four or five snow days (some of them ice days) and we still love every single one of them.

killing_notionThat first Christmas Eve, we were awestruck by the storm, the falling snow, the breathtaking beauty of it all.  It was fabulous to see, and we fully appreciated the beauty of each snowflake that fell.

Recently, on a snow day and when I was procrastinating, I ended up looking up quotes about snow. “To appreciate the beauty of a snow flake, it is necessary to stand out in the cold.”  I have no idea who said this, or what inspired it.  At first glance I agreed with the statement. Yes, absolutely, you have to be outside catching snowflakes to really see their beauty.

 

But then I remembered a children’s book I have (a Caldecott winner) called Snowflake Bentley.  It is the true story of a man who spent his life photographing snowflakes.  It’s a fabulous book and one we read every holiday season (even now that my kids are older).

If I tried to turn this quote about snow into one about writing, it would read something like: To appreciate the beauty of a book, it is necessary to go through the (sometimes excruciating) process with the writer.

But I don’t agree with that at all!  As a reader, I can absolutely appreciate the beauty of a book without having personally struggled with the plot, the revisions, the character development, or any of the other myriad challenges faced in the book-writing process.  In fact, the best bsnowflakes-908726-mooks are like a gentle snow where the words and plot and characters flow together so seamlessly that before long the whole landscape is dusted in white and fairly sparkles.  I can curl up and enjoy a book like this, getting lost in the magic that an author created.  That’s an amazingly beautiful experience.

Isn’t it the same with a snowstorm?  Do I really have to stand out in the cold to know that no snowflake is identical, to realize that snowflakes are C.O.L.D., to take in the beauty of a flurry of snowflakes?  No!  I can stand at my window and know the truth about snowflakes, and appreciate their beauty (while staying warm).

Now, if I choose to go outside in the snow, my experience will be different (as it was when we all bundled up and went out to build tiny snow people and tried to sled that first year in North Texas–it wasn’t that much snow!).  I’d find a different kind of beauty.  It’s like being Snowflake Bentley and wanting MORE than the beauty of the storm.  He wanted to take the storm apart and look at the pieces.  That’s what writers do when they craft their books. We take one snowflake at a time and piece them together into a sparkling landscape of white.  Our hope is that readers will appreciate the beauty of the flurry and not be able to pick apart the plot, or see it as only pieces of a whole.  It’s my hope with every book I write that I’ve created a landscape that a reader can and will get lost in.

So, what do you think?  Do you have to be outside in the cold to really appreciate a snowflake?

~ Melissa

About Melissa Bourbon

Melissa Bourbon, who sometimes answers to her Latina-by-marriage name Misa Ramirez, gave up teaching middle and high school kids in Northern California to write full-time amidst horses and Longhorns in North Texas.  She fantasizes about spending summers writing in quaint, cozy locales, has a love/hate relationship with yoga and chocolate, is devoted to her family, and can’t believe she’s lucky enough to be living the life of her dreams.

She is the Marketing Director with Entangled Publishing, is the author of the Lola Cruz Mystery series with St. Martin’s Minotaur and Entangled Publishing, and A Magical Dressmaking Mystery series with NAL. She also has written two romantic suspense novels, a light paranormal romance, and is the co-author of The Tricked-out Toolbox, a practical marketing guide for authors.

Connect with Melissa

Website: MelissaBourbon.com

Facebook: Author Misa Ramirez/Melissa Bourbon

Twitter: @MelissaBourbon

Goodreads: Misa Ramirez / Melissa Bourbon

killing_notionA Killing Notion:
A Magical Dressmaking Mystery (Magical Dressmaking Mysteries)

5th in Series
Cozy Mystery
An Obsidian Mystery (April 1, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451417206
E-Book File Size: 1819 KB
Amazon ASIN: B00F9EZBXS
B&N ISBN-13: 9781101602744
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It’s homecoming time in Bliss, Texas and the girls are working on their mums. Like everything in Texas these mums are big!! Harlow Jane Cassidy, owner of Buttons & Bows, is not only helping with the mums, she is making several homecoming dresses. Gracie has decided to make her own dress. Then when Gracie’s date for the dance is accused of murder Harlow realizes Gracie is going need much more than help with her dress. Harlow needs to patch together the clues and clear the boys name before the whole homecoming celebration is ruined.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

First things first I had to do a little investigating into the Texas size mums, we don’t have anything like it to my knowledge here in Wisconsin. I found some pictures of them on The Style Sisters blog. Why these girls would want to cover up these beautiful dresses or wear this kind of thing around their neck all day is beyond me but it seems to be quite the tradition.

Now Melissa has crafted quite a mystery while her characters were crafting their mums. Gracie has grown up so fast and this story really zones in on her character. Her boyfriend is not only struggling with his father’s death, he is also the cops prime suspect.

This story has a very interesting twist that I started to put together just a bit ahead of Harlow and then another huge twist at the end that took me completely by surprise.

This is one of my favorite series as I too come from a background full of seamstresses and before my accident sewing and crafting were the way I spent all of my free time. I love all the characters and the way all their charms work. MeeMaw continues to make her presence known and she just tickles my heart.

As soon as I finish a Melissa Bourbon story I always want more. These are characters I truly hate to leave behind as I wait for my next trip to Bliss. This is a wonderful series, start at the beginning and sit back and curl up with some great cozy mysteries.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

a Rafflecopter giveaway

PLUS

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.

Leave a comment for Melissa for 5 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 16, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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

 

Posted in Giveaways Spotlights

Spotlight/Giveaway – Why Kings Confess by C.S. Harris

why kings confessAre your participating in the What’s in a Name? Challenge?
This would fulfill the POSITION OF ROYALTY slot!!

Why Kings Confess:
A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery

9th Book in Series
An Obsidian Mystery (March 4, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Hardcover: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451417558
Available For Kindle too!
File Size: 1346 KB
ASIN: B00DMCV160
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The gruesome murder of a young French physician draws aristocratic investigator Sebastian St. Cyr and his pregnant wife, Hero, into a dangerous, decades-old mystery as a wrenching piece of Sebastian’s past puts him to the ultimate test.

Regency England, January 1813: When a badly injured Frenchwoman is found beside the mutilated body of Dr. Damion Pelletan in one of London’s worst slums, Sebastian finds himself caught in a high-stakes tangle of murder and revenge. Although the woman, Alexi Sauvage, has no memory of the attack, Sebastian knows her all too well from an incident in his past—an act of wartime brutality and betrayal that nearly destroyed him.

As the search for the killer leads Sebastian into a treacherous web of duplicity, he discovers that Pelletan was part of a secret delegation sent by Napoleon to investigate the possibility of peace with Britain. Despite his powerful father-in-law’s warnings, Sebastian plunges deep into the mystery of the “Lost Dauphin,” the boy prince who disappeared in the darkest days of the French Revolution, and soon finds himself at lethal odds with the Dauphin’s sister—the imperious, ruthless daughter of Marie Antoinette—who is determined to retake the French crown at any cost.

With the murderer striking ever closer, Sebastian must battle new fears about Hero’s health and that of their soon-to-be born child. When he realizes the key to their survival may lie in the hands of an old enemy, he must finally face the truth about his own guilt in a past he has found too terrible to consider….

Find out about author C.S. Harris on her webpage here.

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 1 Hardcover 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.

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

Contest Will End April 12, 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

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
Posted in Reviews 2014

Review: A Second Helping of Murder by Christine Wenger (Release Date – April 1)

2nd helpingA Second Helping of Murder:
A Comfort Food Mystery

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
An Obsidian Mystery (April 1, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451415097
E-Book ASIN: B00F3KX112
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

Trixie Matkowski is warming up to running her family’s diner in the small town of Sandy Harbor in upstate New York. But the only thing more demanding than serving up piping-hot comfort food twenty-four hours a day is getting to the bottom of a double homicide….

Trixie fondly remembers summers as a child spent visiting the shores of Lake Ontario. Not much has changed—there are still vinyl booths at the Silver Bullet Diner, families eating home-cooked comfort food, and days of swimming in the lake.

But before Trixie can say “Order’s up,” someone’s summer is abruptly cut short. One of the cottage residents is found dead, and Trixie suspects the crime might be linked to an unsolved disappearance in the picturesque town’s past.

As Trixie works with Deputy Ty Brisco to solve both mysteries, their shocking discoveries will shake up the small town. And when word gets out that she’s on the case, Trixie’s in trouble—after all, the murderer won’t spare her life just because she makes a killer corned beef sandwich….

Includes Delicious Home-Style Recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am so excited! I received an advance copy of this book and I quickly devoured it!!!

The Silver Bullet reminds me of my own past. My family ran a local diner type restaurant and all the lingo and comfort food brings back such wonderful memories. The camaraderie of the staff rings true to everything I saw growing up. We disagreed occasionally but always had each others back no matter what.

Trixie is trying so hard to make things work so she can keep up her payments to her aunt who has retired to Florida. Getting the housekeeping cabins ready for the tourist season has kept her handymen Clyde and Max quite busy. Plus she has decided to bring back the Saturday night dance tradition started by her aunt and uncle. Things are really looking up until she finds her first guest in Cabin #8 murdered.  Funny, that is the same cabin a girl who disappeared 25 years ago was staying in.

Wenger has plotted a fantastic mystery linking a cold case to a new one. She has also added some intriguing characters to the mix.  The Van Plank family is quite an interesting group. I really like new busboy/dishwasher/computer genius Ray. I am thrilled that Trixie hired him, looking past his little hacking episode. I hope to see much more of him in the future. Deputy Ty may just be the man to make Trixie forget about Deputy Doug which puts a big smile on this reader’s face.

I loved this story, awesome characters, a mystery that kept me guessing right to the end, fabulous food and a dance that featured a polka band!!! I know this is set in New York but this Wisconsin girl enjoyed this book from the first page to the last!! I think I will try that easy pulled pork recipe and impatiently wait for the next book in this wonderful series!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author

She worked in the criminal justice field for more years than she cares to remember! It seems like she was forever going to school while working full time, but in the end, received a dual master’s degree in Probation and Parole Studies and Sociology from Fordham University.

Unfortunately, the knowledge gained from way too many years in night school, didn’t prepare me for what she loves to do the most – writing romances and cozy mysteries.

Find out more 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.”