Posted in Giveaways Guest Posts Spotlights

Special Guest – Bailey Cates – Author of Spells and Scones – #GuestPost / #Giveaway

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I am super excited to welcome Bailey Cates to Escapes With Dollycas today!
Her new Magical Bakery Mystery, Spells and Scones, was just released this week!

bailey cates

Spells and Scones is the sixth in the Magical Bakery Mystery Series featuring Katie Lightfoot. Along with her aunt Lucy and uncle Ben, she owns the Honeybee Bakery in Savannah, Georgia, which has been welcomed into the community with rave reviews from locals and tourists alike.

Soon after Katie moved to Savannah, Lucy delivered the bombshell that hedgewitchery ran in their family. The term comes from the women who used to cross the literal hedges that surrounded many villages. They would go out into the surrounding fields and forests to collect plants and herbs, which they then used to heal others. The women in Katie’s family also had access to another “hedge,” the veil between this plane and the next, which gives them unusual intuition, especially in relation to their skills with herbs.

spells and sconesOnce Katie accepted this information, Lucy began to train her in kitchen and garden magic. Their new apprentice, Iris Grant, is also learning the Craft, and now almost everything baked at the Honeybee features sprinkles of positive, supernatural intention mixed in with the sweet and savory flavors of their rotating selection of pastries. At the same time, the members of the spellbook club – Katie and Lucy’s informal coven – continue to train Katie in their own magical specialties.

In Spells and Scones, Savannah’s own celebrity psychologist is going to be signing her new book at the Fox and Hound Bookshop next door to the Honeybee. Katie and her aunt and uncle have gladly agreed to cater the event for the bookstore’s owner, Croft Barrow. Katie doesn’t know much about Dr. Dana Dobbs, but her next door neighbor, Margie Coopersmith, is over the moon about getting to meet her idol.

Not everyone cares for the brand of advice Dr. Dana offers. In her most recent book, How to Do Marriage Right, the relationship guru touts the concept of Radical Trust – which turns out to be the exact opposite of what it sounds like. She advises everything from tracking your loved one’s whereabouts via GPS to reading their email. Katie and her boyfriend, Declan McCarthy, have been together for a year now, and they’re horrified at Dr. Dana’s ideas.

At the author event, a couple of people in the audience challenge Dr. Dana, and Katie senses an uncomfortable undercurrent in the air. Still, it’s a shock when Dr. Dana is found poisoned in the back of the bookstore at the end of the evening. The woman who is Detective Peter Quinn’s prime suspect had a history of conflict with the psychologist, and, as she gets more information, Katie develops personal reasons for not wanting to get involved. But when Katie’s adorable familiar, a black Cairn terrier named Mungo the Magnificent, makes it clear that he wants her to investigate the crime, Katie agrees to do her best.

magic and macaroonsAs she sifts through the array of suspects and their motives, Katie is juggling her own relationship with Declan. It doesn’t help that Steve Dawes has returned to town after what happened in Magic and Macaroons. And then there’s her relationship with Mungo, which turns out to be more complicated than she ever expected.

brownies and broomsticksAuthors are inevitably avid readers, so it’s not uncommon for us to want to write about other writers, books, and bookstores. From the beginning, books have always played a significant role in the Magical Bakery Mysteries. Even before the grand opening of the Honeybee Bakery in Brownies and Broomsticks, Katie met Lucy’s book club. It turned out to be a spellbook club which was also a coven, but the members do meet to talk about books. The bakery also boasts a comfy reading area, and those witchy ladies select and supply the library with a strange and eclectic mix of volumes that frequently end up being exactly what a customer needs. Katie herself has benefited more than once from titles she discovered on those shelves.

The owner of the Fox and Hound, Croft Barrow has appeared briefly throughout the series, but this time I was happy to showcase him and his bookstore. Plus, I got to kill an author! (I don’t know why this is delightful to me – I adore other authors, and I certainly wouldn’t want to be poisoned after a reading. Perhaps it’s the irony of the idea that appeals to me.)

One of the recipes in the back of Spells and Scones is for scones – of course! Savory Greek scones with feta cheese, sundried tomatoes, Kalamata olives and rosemary. The second recipe is for pumpkin spice softies. Mmm.

~Bailey

spells and scones

Spells and Scones (A Magical Bakery Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
An Obsidian Mystery (July 26, 2016)
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451467430
E-Book ASIN: B016JPTJYC
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There’s a body in the bookshop in this latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of the Magical Bakery mysteries…
 
When the bookshop next to the Honeybee Bakery hosts a signing for a Savannah radio celebrity’s new self-help book, magical baker Katie Lightfoot is happy to provide some delectable desserts. A big crowd has turned out for the event, curious about the book (and maybe to sample some goodies), but the final chapter comes too soon for the author when she is found dead at the event.

The prime suspect is Angie Kissel, a former witch whose familiar was once Katie’s own terrier, Mungo. Katie is at first hesitant to help, afraid of losing the little dog who has become so important to her. But after a little nudge from Mungo himself, Katie decides to try to conjure up the real killer—before Angie gets served…
 
RECIPES INCLUDED!

About The Author

Bailey Cates believes magic is all around us if we only look for it. She studied philosophy, English and history and has held a variety of positions ranging from driver’s license examiner to soap maker. She traveled the world as a localization program manager for Microsoft, but now sticks close to home where she writes two mystery series, tends to a dozen garden beds, bakes up a storm and plays the occasional round of golf.

Having apprenticed with a master herbalist for a year, she’s prone to concocting teas and tinctures for family and friends from the stash of herbs stored in the corner cabinet in her office. She owns a working spinning wheel and is on a first name basis with several alpacas and two sheep with questionable dispositions.

Find out more about Bailey and her books on her webpage here. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Written as Bailey Cattrell

Written as Cricket McRae

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

This year I am trying to build my Twitter following so for this giveaway 4 Bonus Entries will be awarded by following me on Twitter. @dollycas

Leave a comment for Bailey for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End August 13, 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

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

Flashback Friday – A Midwinter’s Tail by Sofie Kelly – #Review / #Giveaway?

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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 happy to be catching up on this series. This is why I started Flashback Fridays! 

a midwinter's tail
A Midwinter’s Tail:
A Magical Cats Mystery

Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Minnesota
An Obsidian Mystery (October 7, 2014)
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451414717
E-Book ASIN: B00ISEOMAO
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Kathleen Paulson is snowed under running her library and caring for her extraordinary felines, Owen and Hercules. But when a fund-raiser turns deadly, she’ll have to add sleuthing to her already full schedule….

Winter in Mayville Heights is busy and not just because of the holidays. Kathleen is hard at work organizing a benefit to raise money for the library’s popular Reading Buddies program. She has her hands full hosting the event. And when a guest at the gala drops dead, her magical cats, Owen and Hercules, will have their paws full helping her solve a murder.

The victim is the ex of town rascal Burtis Chapman, but she hasn’t lived in the area in years. And though everybody is denying knowledge of why she was back in town, as Kathleen and her detective boyfriend, Marcus, begin nosing around, they discover more people are connected to the deceased than claimed to be. Now Marcus, Kathleen, and her uncanny cats have to unravel this midwinter tale before the case gets cold.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Owen and Hercules are two of my favorite literary felines. They sure do keep Kathleen on her toes!

Winter has come to Mayville Heights (so nice to read during this heat wave) and it is a perfect time for a fundraiser for the library’s Reading Buddies Program. But when a former resident returns to town and then ends up dead in the middle of the gala, the entire program is at risk. Marcus and Kathleen are both working the case and confiding in each other as much as possible but all the clues are just not adding up. Maybe Owen and Hercules can “see” what they are missing or cause enough mischief to point the humans in the right direction.

The cats are evolving in this series which quite magical. If you are a fan of this series you already know they are extraordinary. They are also still cats, cats that at times just tolerate each other. They antics at times had me laughing out loud.

There is also a lot happening in this story, Marcus and Kathleen romance is moving forward, the friendships of the female characters continue to grow. A wedding is being planned where the groom is a bit “zilla” wanting everything perfect. Then there is the fundraiser, happenings at the library and of course the murder. With subplots galore the pages practically flew. As the final reveal started I truly was on the edge of my seat.

This is a strong series and this was a fine edition. I am so happy Kathleen has decided to stay in Mayville Heights!

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Sofie Kelly and her books here.

Written as Sofie Ryan

Now for a funny story!
I am usually so careful with my review books. I keep them in a safe place when I put them down. I never eat around them. But with my sore back I have been eating in bed with my feet up in the evenings. Mr. Dollycas brought me a delicious dish of his lasagna bake the other night and when I went to put my copy of this book down a couple of the bottom corners of the pages caught a drop of the sauce. I was so upset, trying to clean it up but there are still stains at the book. I want to share this book with one of you but I want to be clear about what you are getting.

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So if you don’t mind a little sauce with your story, please Click Here To Enter

Maybe I can even get Mr. Dollycas to share his recipe 🙂
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 It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 2016 Week #30

It's Monday! What Are You ReadingIt’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
Hosted by Book Date

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

Happy Monday Everyone!!

Are you ready to Escape into some Good Books?

Here’s what I read and what I have planned for this week.

FINISHED

Luck, Love & Lemon Pie
My Review
Wisconsin Author and Wisconsin Setting
Release Date – July 12, 2016
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All You Need Is Fudge (A Candy-coated Mystery)
Release Date – July 26, 2016
For Review will be up tomorrow! 
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Live and Let Growl (A Melanie Travis Mystery)
Release Date – July 26, 2016
Laurien Berenson will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday this week!
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CURRENTLY READING


A Most Curious Murder: A Little Library Mystery
Release Date – July 12, 2016
For Review
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ON DECK THIS WEEK


A Midwinter’s Tail: A Magical Cats Mystery
Release Date – October 7, 2014
My Flashback Friday Book
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Grilling the Subject (A Cookbook Nook Mystery)
Release Date – August 2, 2016
The Great Escapes Book Tour stops here August 1!
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Death at the Day Lily Cafe: A Mystery (Rosalie Hart)
Release Date – July 26, 2016
Wendy Sand Eckel will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday next week!
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escapeClick Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Happy Reading!!
Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Posted in Giveaways Guest Posts Spotlights

Special Guest – Victoria Laurie – Author of A Grave Prediction – #Spotlight / #Giveaway

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I am pleased to welcome Victoria Laurie to Escape With Dollycas today! 

Her new book A Grave Prediction will be released July 26! 

(Guest Post Provided by Publicist)

Victoria Laurie Author PhotoLately, I’ve been feeling a lot of “Stop the world, I wanna get off!” You know what I mean? It seems the world—an already mad-mad-mad place to begin with—has gone from being like that crazy drunk uncle no one wants to sit next to at Thanksgiving to full-on Freddy Krueger. We seem to be living in a time of nightmares instead of dreams, and it’s had me so down. Which is why I’m doing what I always do when I can’t take one more tragic, horrific, terrible news story or politically charged hyperbolic speech. I’m diving deep into a manuscript, and I’m not coming out till the end of November! Or when the book is finished. Whichever comes first.

The voice I always seem to revert to when seeking some comfort is my favorite protagonist: Abby Cooper. And, oddly, when I’m feeling the most blue is usually when she becomes her most clever, snarky, and fun.

It helps to laugh. It helps a lot. It’s a tiny, sweet high when I come up with the perfect zinger for Abs to either give or receive. (Full disclosure: It also helps the book sales, *wink* *wink*.) 🙂

This past December, I was in such a terrible funk; two months earlier I’d learned that someone I dearly, dearly love—a member of my own family—has a very rare terminal illness that there is neither a cure nor a protocol for. It was a blow that was completely unexpected for psychic me. Here’s the part where I confess that I didn’t see the diagnosis coming; although, now, looking back, I can also see that there were so many clues in the ether. I think I just couldn’t face even the thought of losing him.

I still can’t.

a grave predictionAnyway, during that time in December, my mood went dark—like dark—and I dove into a funk that literally took months to come out of. The thing that got me through was writing A Grave Prediction. Irony of ironies—it’s the funniest book I’ve written. In fact, it’s the only book I’ve read six times (throughout the editing process) and didn’t get sick of by the fourth pass. Seriously, I can honestly say that I’d totally read it again, and I don’t ever say that about any of my books, mostly because if you read a book six or seven times, especially one that you’ve written, you’re so, “Been there, read that. Next!”

But this little gem is different. A Grave Prediction is just light, and funny; it made me laugh and laugh during a time when that seemed impossible. And the fact that it’s release date is coming up here in the next few weeks (July 26, to be exact) makes me so happy. I think it might be exactly what most of my fans need right now. A good laugh. A good escape. A few hours’ reprieve from all the madness.

I sorta can’t wait for it to hit the shelves and do a little healing for anyone who could really use a moment of levity. My fondest wish this summer is for Abby to either get someone else through a tough time, or bring as many readers as possible a little giggle, or even just a few smiles. I’d die a happy woman if all of my efforts to bring her to life on the page resulted in just a couple of chuckles, knowing head shakes, and one or two grins. It would fill my heart with pride and gratitude.

Truly.

Huge, supportive hugs, my friends,

Victoria

a grave prediction

A Grave Prediction (Psychic Eye Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
Release Date July 26, 2016
14th in Series
An Obsidian Mystery
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by Penguin Random House LLC
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451473882
E-Book ASIN: B016JPTNIY
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In Victoria Laurie’s new Psychic Eye mystery, Abby Cooper learns that following the money often leads to murder . . .

Professional psychics learn to deal with skeptics, but Abby has to prepare herself for one steep uphill battle when she’s sent to San Diego to help train FBI officers to use their intuition. Her first challenge: a series of bank robberies in which the thieves made off with loads of cash but left no clues.

Abby’s sixth sense leads her team to a tract of land recently cleared for development. But instead of finding clues to the cash, Abby gets a vision of four buried bodies. A site search turns up some bones and pottery from an American Indian tribe, but that’s still enough to delay construction for years.

With a furious developer and dubious FBI agents on her back, Abby is losing credibility fast. But unlike the best laid plans, Abby’s talent rarely leads her astray. And if the bodies aren’t there yet, that means that four deaths can still be stopped. She’ll just have to dig a little deeper . . .

You can find out more about Victoria and her books on her webpage here. Join her fan group on Facebook here.


Also by Victoria Laurie

GIVEAWAY

The publisher is giving 1 Hardcover copy away!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for Victoria 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 August 6, 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

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
Posted in Spotlights

#SPOTLIGHT – The Cat, The Collector and the Killer

Coming August 2, 2016

I will be reviewing this book on August 11!
the cat, the collector and the killer

The Cat, The Collector and the Killer (Cats in Trouble Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – South Carolina
An Obsidian Mystery
An Imprint of New American Library
Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451477408
E-Book ASIN: B01839Q396
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

In the latest mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of The Cat, the Sneak and the Secret, a cat collector is suspected of murder.
 
Jillian Hart and police chief Tom Stewart are enjoying peaceful, newly wedded bliss in Mercy, South Carolina, until a woman is found wandering the streets one night. She’s in her night clothes, disoriented, and carrying a kitten in a tote bag. A search of the woman’s house reveals many more cats, a maze of cardboard boxes—and a dead man.

Although the evidence suggests the frail woman is the killer, Jillian doesn’t believe she’s capable of such a crime. The dead man had many enemies in town, which means finding the real murderer may prove to be its own cat and mouse game…

leann sweeney

 Find out more about Leann and her books on her webpage here.  She is also on Facebook and Twitter.

Also by Leann Sweeney

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
Posted in Crafty Cozy Challenge 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 / #Giveaway – The Cat, The Sneak and the Secret by Leann Sweeney

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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.

cat sneak secret

The Cat, the Sneak and the Secret: A Cats in Trouble Mystery
7th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – South Carolina
An Obsidian Mystery (August 4, 2015)
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451415431
E-Book ASIN: B00PT4IWZC
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

 

Jillian Hart and Tom are finally tying the knot, but first they need to make sure Tom’s stepson, Finn, is as comfortable as possible in the lake house they will all call home. So when it becomes clear that Finn has fallen for a pretty cat from the Mercy Animal Sanctuary, Jillian and Tom readily agree to make room for one more—even though the tortoiseshell kitty is a notorious kleptomaniac.

So far, the cat has sneaked out of the adoption center time after time, bringing back trinkets, shoelaces, and socks. But when she brings back an antique locket, Finn enlists Tom’s and Jillian’s sleuthing skills. They hope to return the treasured item to its owner, but their search for answers is
sidetracked when a body is found. Still, their sneaky cat’s find may just lead them to a killer.…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I just love this series! I have no idea how I missed this book last year. It was the installment I had been waiting for.

Tom and Jillian are getting married! Tom’s stepson, Finn, is moving in with them, when not at college, along with his rat terrier, Yoshi. Finn is also adopting a very clever kitty from the Mercy Animal Sanctuary. While the kitten is cute as can be she is also a kleptomaniac and that has earned her the name of Magpie. She is an escape artist too. Tom and Jillian are going to have their hands full when added to their felines, Syrah, Merlot and Chablis.

The story starts out with Magpie trapped in an old love seat with a mysterious stain. Magpie has one her “treasures”, an old locket which Finn hopes can be returned to the owner. but a body found at a construction site takes top priority. So now Jillian and Tom have to add sleuthing to their list while trying to getting ready for the wedding. Maybe Magpie can help them find the killer.

Leann Sweeney writes stories where her characters shine, all her characters, human and animal. I fell head over heels for Magpie. A little ball of furry energy and a little thief 🙂 Jillian and Tom are well suited to each other. Their relationship has continued to grow throughout the series and this wedding came to be at the perfect time.

There are 2 murders in this story. The first is a local builder, the other hits very close to home, especially for Tom. My heart was breaking for him as he stepped up to the plate to find the killer. There are plenty of suspects but connecting these deaths is difficult. Someone is definitely hiding something.

I like the way Jillian is very methodical in her investigations, she tries to help her friend and police deputy Candace and Tom as much as she can but coroner, Lydia Monk, has to make things as difficult as possible. I think with the upcoming nuptials she is finally realizing she has no chance with Tom. 🙂

Each new installment of this series becomes by favorite as the author keeps topping herself. She writes stories that completely stop the real world around me. I become involved on a very personal level. I love following the clues and the drama leading up to the reveal. The ending this time was so surprising.

Ms. Sweeney write classic cozies, quirky and realistic characters, set in a small town, a marvelous mystery, and a group of fabulous felines. I highly recommend the entire series! There is a new one coming next month, The Cat, The Collector and the Killer, I promise I won’t miss this one! 

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 Find out more about Leann and her books on her webpage here.  She is also on Facebook and Twitter.

Also by Leann Sweeney

GIVEAWAY

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.

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 22, 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 Cozy Wednesday Crafty Cozy Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2016 What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Isabella Alan – Author of Murder, Handcrafted – #Review / #Giveaway

cozy wednesday 2013 640

I love when Isabella Alan/Amanda Flower stops by for a visit!! 

Amanda Flower photo

Bigfoot Came to Town
By Amanda Flower / Isabella Alan

When it came time to write the fifth Amish Quilt Shop Mystery, Murder, Handcrafted, I was convinced that I had the perfect hook. Bigfoot. That’s right; I wanted to put a Sasquatch in my Amish mystery. As far as I know, I am the first author to do this. It isn’t, of course, the most obvious direction to go when writing an Amish novel. However, I knew it would be a perfect addition to the world of Rolling Brook, which already had Angie the well-meaning quilt shop owner and sleuth, Oliver the French bulldog afraid of birds, Petunia the head-butting goat, Nahum the rogue Amish hermit, and Willow Moon the New Age tea shop owner. With that gang, Bigfoot would fit right in, or so I thought.

9780451475039Not surprisingly, I had a problem; my agent and editor both thought I’d finally gone off of the deep end. They asked me if I was “sure” I wanted to do this in a tone of voice that told me that they weren’t sure of it themselves. I begged and pleaded and finally they relented and said I could give it a try. Worst case scenario, I would have to write Bigfoot out, which would be more work for me than anyone else. What I love about my editor and my agent is they agreed because they trust me and my instincts when it comes to my books, especially those quirky humorous twists that I love to add.

In the final novel, Bigfoot is a subplot that is interwoven with the mystery. The main plot revolves around the murder of an electrician who is working at the home of Angie’s parents. Angie has to investigate because the murder impacts her parents and because she can’t keep her nose out of any murder investigation in Rolling Brook if she tried. One of the eye witnesses, who was near the scene close to the time of the murder, claims to have seen Bigfoot nearby. The question remains, was a Sasquatch or a very real human killer? That’s what Angie is determined to find out, much to the chagrin to her longtime boyfriend Sheriff James Mitchell.

By the time the book was finished, my agent and editor were happy with how I used Bigfoot in the story and agreed it was just what the series needed. I hope you will enjoy the end result just as much!

Happy Reading!

About The Author

Amanda Flower, a four-time Agatha-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. Amanda is librarian for in northeast Ohio. She also writes as USA Today Bestselling Author Isabella Alan.

Author Links:

Website            Pen Name Website

Facebook     Twitter

Goodreads     Pinterest

Purchase Links
Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series (writing as Isabella Alan)

Writing as Amanda Flower


Prose and Cons: A Magical Bookshop Mystery – Coming in December.

 

9780451475039
Murder, Handcrafted (Amish Quilt Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th Book in Series
Setting – Ohio
An Obsidian Mystery
Published by New American Library
An Imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451475039
E-Book ASIN: B015DLUS4S
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

Amish quilt shop owner Angie Braddock crosses wires with a killer in the latest from the national bestselling author of Murder, Plainly Read

Spring has arrived in Holmes County and Angie couldn’t be happier. She’s got great friends, a thriving business, and is in the perfect relationship with Sheriff James Mitchell. The only thing raining on her parade is her mother drafting her into a massive home renovation project—and using their sudden mother/daughter bonding time to comment on Angie’s ticking biological clock.

The house’s repairs and upgrades between the Amish craftsmen and their Englisch counterparts are proceeding well until a tremendous shock comes to the workers when the electrician is found dead on site. With the sheriff suspecting foul play, it falls to Angie to root a killer out of the woodwork. . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Another amazing read from Isabella Alan.

Angie Braddock life is so good, you just know something is going to go wrong. That’s is just what happens when her dad starts a huge kitchen redo and injures himself. Angie asks her friend Jonah to take over the remodeling while her dad heals but the Amish man ends up in the middle of a murder investigation when the electrician for the job is found dead outside her parent’s home. Angie knows it is up to her to find the real killer and proving Jonah’s innocence sure sparks her resolve. Hopefully she can do it without making her boyfriend, Sheriff James Mitchell too upset or getting herself right in the killer’s sights.

I love, love, love this series. I love the way Angie and James’ relationship is progressing even when getting a major push from her mom. I love Angie’s relationship with Jonah. Friends since childhood, their relationship could have gone several ways. But it has grown into a platonic true friendship and certain people just have to deal with it. I also love the way the author’s knowledge of Amish life is told in these stories. There are some conflicts between the Amish and the Englisch but Angie plays the perfect co-between so most things can be resolved.

Where this story tops previous installments in the unexpected character the author introduces. BIGFOOT!! in Ohio!! Could it be??? No spoilers here! You are going to have to read the book yourself!!

As always, Ms. Alan gives us a great mystery that kept me guessing right up to the end. It was filled with plenty of action too.

An awesome story with fantastic characters, humans and their 4 legged friends.

I am so upset this is the last book in the series. I definitely wanted more trips to Holmes County. Thank you to the author for leaving us with a happy ending.

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

This year I am trying to build my Twitter following so for this giveaway 4 Bonus Entries will be awarded by following me on Twitter. @dollycas

Leave a comment for Isabella for 5 Bonus Entries.

Subscribe to Amanda/Isabella’s newsletter for 4 Bonus Entries.
http://amandaflower.com/

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

Contest Will End June 22, 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 New Release Tuesday

New Release Tuesday – June 2016

Are you ready to go shopping!! 

Make your lists and get cozy with some great reads! 

NEW RELEASE TUESDAY 2014

Welcome to New Release Tuesday!

I am so excited about all the new books!

These wonderful books are available today
wherever fine books are sold.
Click on the book covers below to order from Amazon.com

The Calamity Café (A Down South Café Mystery)
1st in Series
My Review
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Murder at Fontainebleau (An Elizabethan Mystery)
Spotlight/Giveaway
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Murder, Handcrafted (Amish Quilt Shop Mystery)
Isabella Alan will be my guest tomorrow for Cozy Wednesday!
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Éclair and Present Danger (An Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery)
First in Series
I will post my review on Thursday!
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Shelley Freydont has 2 books being released today!

A Golden Cage (NEWPORT GILDED AGE)
I will post my review on Saturday!
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Plus

Forever Beach: A Novel
My Review
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Murder at the Mansion
Janet Finsilver will be my Special Guest on June 21.
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Until Our Last Embrace (A Sharyn Howard Mystery)
From Joyce and Jim Lavene

More Books Out Today!

Coming Tomorrow

Coming June 14

Coming June 21

Coming June 28

Another month of awesome reading ahead!
HAPPY READING EVERYONE!!
Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


Note: I am an Amazon Associate. If you click on most book covers and links on the blog and make a purchase I will receive a small commission on that purchase. These commissions are used to purchase prizes that I then giveaway here.

Posted in Giveaways Guest Posts Spotlights

Special Guest – Amanda Carmack – Author of Murder at Fontainebleau – #Giveaway too!

special guest blue

I am so happy to welcome Amanda Carmack to Escape With Dollycas today.
Her new book Murder at Fontainebleau will be released this coming Tuesday!

AMANDA CARMACK

A Tale of Two Palaces
(Guest Post provided by publicist.)

One of the best perks of writing historical mysteries is the research! I am a library junkie, and love spending time digging through dusty old books in search of just the right historical detail. (Of course, this also means sometimes it’s hard for me to stop researching and actually, y’know, use the research in writing!). Travel is also a fun way to immerse myself in a period, to imagine how my characters might have actually lived in Elizabethan times. Murder at Fontainebleau uses a sense of place even more than other stories I’ve written. We glimpse two palaces in the story, one the is long demolished and one that still exists to be toured, and they were a perfect example of the differences between English and French life in the 16th century, which Kate Haywood discovers for herself when she’s sent to Fontainebleau on a mission for Queen Elizabeth….

The English palace, Greenwich, was originally built in 1433 by Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, a brother of Henry V. It was a convenient spot for a castle, 5 miles from London and Thames-side, and was popular with subsequent rulers, especially Henry VIII. His father, Henry VII, remodeled the place extensively between 1498-1504 (after dispatching the previous occupant, Dowager Queen Elizabeth, to a convent). The new design was after the trendy “Burgundian” model, with the facade refaced in red Burgundian brick. Though the royal apartments were still in the “donjon” style (i.e. stacked rooms atop rooms), there were no moats or fortifications. It was built around 3 courtyards, with the royal apartments overlooking the river and many fabulous gardens and mazes, fountains and lawns.

At the east side of the palace lay the chapel; to the west the privy kitchen. Next door was the church of he Observant Friars of St. Francis, built in 1482 and connected to the palace by a gallery. This was the favorite church of Katherine of Aragon, who wanted one day to be buried there (of course, that didn’t turn out quite as she planned…)

murder at fontainebleauThough there are paintings and drawings of the exterior, not much is known of the interior decorations. The Great Hall was said to have roof timbers painted with yellow ochre, and the floors were wood, usually oak (some painted to look like marble). The ceilings were flat, with moulded fretwork and lavish gilding, embellished with badges and heraldic devices (often Katherine’s pomegranates and Henry’s roses). The furniture was probably typical of the era, carved dark wood chairs (often an X-frame design) and tables, benches and trunks. Wool or velvet rugs were on the floors of the royal apartments only, but they could also be found on tables, cupboards, and walls. Elaborate tiered buffets showed off gold and silver plate, and treasures like an gold salt cellar engraved with the initials “K and H” and enameled with red roses.

It was a royal residence through the reign of Charles I (1625-49), but under the Commonwealth the state apartments were made into stables, and the palace decayed. In 1662, Charles II demolished most of the remains and built a new palace on the site (this later became the Royal Naval College), and landscaped Greenwich Park. The Tudor Great Hall survived until 1866, and the chapel (used for storage) until the late 19th century. Apart from the undercroft (built by James I in 1606) and one of Henry VIII’s reservoir buildings of 1515, nothing of the original survives.

Fontainebleau, on the other hand, can be seen in much the state Francois I left it in. On February 24, 1525 there was the battle of Pavia, the worst French defeat since Agincourt. Many nobles were dead, and king was the prisoner of the Holy Roman Emperor in Madrid. He was released in May, but only at the price of exchanging his sons (Dauphin Francois and Henri, duc d’Orleans) for his own freedom. In May 1526, Francois created the League of Cognac with Venice, Florence, the Papacy, the Sforzas of Milan, and Henry VIII to “ensure the security of Christendom and the establishment of a true and lasting peace.” (Ha!!) This led to the visit of the delegation in 1527, seeking a treaty of alliance with England and the betrothal of Princess Mary and the duc d’Orleans.

chateau-fontainebleauAfter his return from Madrid, Francois was not idle. Aside from plotting alliances, he started decorating. Having finished Chambord, he turned to Fontainebleau, which he loved for its 17,000 hectares of fine hunting land. All that remained of the original 12th century castle was a single tower. Francois built new ballrooms, galleries, and a chapel, and called in Italian artists like Fiorentino, Primaticcio, and Vignola to decorate them in lavish style (some of their work can still be seen in the frescoes of the Gallery of Francois I and the bedchamber of the king’s mistress the duchesse d’Etampes). The marble halls were filled with artworks, gold and silver ornaments, and fine tapestries. Unlike Greenwich, this palace was high and light, filled with sunlight that sparkled on the giltwork.

I know it’s hard to comment on a research-type post, but I’m curious–after reading about both palaces, which would you prefer to live in? (I’m torn, but I lean toward Fontainebleau, just because I was so awestruck when I visited!). Where would you like to see a book set?

For more behind-the-scenes history tidbits, and info on the Kate Haywood Elizabethan Mysteries, please visit me at http://amandacarmack.com

~Amanda

murder at fontainebleau

Murder at Fontainebleau (An Elizabethan Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
An Obsidian Mystery (June 7, 2016)
Published by New American Library
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451475701
E-Book – ASIN: B015DLUR1C
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In the latest Elizabethan mystery by the author of Murder at Whitehall, amateur sleuth Kate Haywood investigates deadly machinations unfolding behind the scenes in the magnificent French court.

1561. Queen Elizabeth’s throne is threatened as Mary Queen of Scots—pushed in every direction by opposing and powerful forces—declares herself the rightful Queen of England. To discover her rival’s next unpredictable move, Elizabeth dispatches a party of trustworthy intimates to Mary’s court at Fontainebleau. Chief among them is Kate Haywood, who finds that the glittering balls and genial banquets conceal a web of poisonous ambition that soon turns deadly.

When a beautiful and disruptively flirtatious member of the visiting party is murdered, Kate suspects that the man who stands accused has been set up to discredit Elizabeth. She vows to find the real killer, but the French court is a labyrinth unlike any she has ever navigated before—and at every turn there are more traps set to spring.

About The Author

Amanda has been in love with the Tudors ever since an accidental viewing of “Anne of the Thousand Days” on TV as a kid!  Now she just wishes she could live with them all the time–but there has to be time for writing about them too.

She also writes as Amanda McCabe and Laurel McKee, and her books have been nominated for many awards, including the RITA Award, the Romantic Times BOOKReviews Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Booksellers Best, the National Readers Choice Award, and the Holt Medallion. She lives in Oklahoma with a menagerie of two cats, a Pug, and a very bossy miniature Poodle, along with far too many books.

When not writing or reading, she loves taking dance classes, yoga, collecting cheesy travel souvenirs, and watching the Food Network–even though she doesn’t cook.


This novella came out in October.

Click on covers for more book info or to order from Amazon.
GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the publisher I have 2 copies to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.
Duplicate entries will be deleted.
Void where prohibited.

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

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

This year I am trying to build my Twitter following so for this giveaway 4 Bonus Entries will be awarded by following me on Twitter. @dollycas

Leave a comment for Miranda for 5 Bonus Entries.

Add this book to you Want To Read Shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End June 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

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

#Review / #Giveaway – The Calamity Cafe by Gayle Leeson

The Calamity Cafe
The Calamity Café (A Down South Café Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Setting – Virginia
An Obsidian Mystery (June 7, 2016)
Published by New American Library
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1101990780
E-Book ASIN: B015DLUS8E
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

 
First in a new cozy mystery series featuring Southern cooking that is to die for.

Aspiring chef and small-town Virginia native Amy Flowers is ready to open her own café offering old-fashioned Southern food. But her dream may go up in smoke when someone kills the competition…

Tired of waiting tables at Lou’s Joint, Amy Flowers doesn’t just quit—she offers to buy the place from her bully of a boss, so she can finally open the café of her dreams. Amy can’t wait to serve the kind of Southern, down-home treats and dishes that her grandmother always loved to the kooky cast of regulars at the restaurant. She knows her comfort food will be the talk of the sweet, small town of Winter Garden, Virginia.

At first Lou Lou refuses to sell, but when she seems ready to make a deal, she tells Amy to come see her.  Showing up at the eatery ready to negotiate, Amy is shocked to find her former employer murdered. As the prime suspect, Amy will have to clear her name by serving up the real killer—and with Lou Lou’s stack of enemies, that’s a tall order.

Includes delicious Southern recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I started reading and just couldn’t stop. Love, love, LOVE this story!!

There is a lot of history at Lou’s Joint, it has been in the family forever. After working there just a short time Amy Flowers knows it is the perfect place for her restaurant but if Lou Lou won’t sell she is ready to start from scratch with a brand new building. Lou Lou does turn her down and it totally surprised when her son calls to say sure has changed her mind and wants to meet with Amy as soon as possible. But when Amy arrives she finds Lou Lou had a previous visitor, one that killed her and left her for Amy to find. While Lou Lou had lived in Winter Garden her whole life she wasn’t the friendliest of entrepreneurs and there are quite a few people that may have wanted her dead. Because Amy is the one that found her, opportunity. And she wanted the joint and was turned down, motive. And the murder weapon is still to be determined, means. She is one of the prime suspects.

Gayle Leeson is off to a fantastic start with this series. I liked Amy right away and enjoyed meeting all the people that pull together to make her dream come true while she tries to clear her name and find a killer. I really enjoyed that friendships that grew throughout the story. The way Amy knew people needed her to keep up with their daily routine was touching.

The plot had some very clever twists. and some suspenseful moments. The real world around me just drifted away and I was right there in Winter Garden. I was not only following the clues, but enjoying the food, and supervising the changes taking place to Amy’s new restaurant. I loved the dashes of humor and the smidgen of romance. Note – I would love a Down South Cafe t-shirt or apron 🙂 Great idea Jackie!

This novel is so well written and didn’t seem to be fast paced but I did read it very quickly. The pages were flying. I couldn’t wait to see what happened next.  The final reveal was totally unexpected. I hated for the story to end but then we had made it to the recipes! I want to try them all.

A fun read that was an absolutely perfect escape.  I am looking forward to returning to the Down South Cafe. I hope it is soon!

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Gayle&CooperAbout The Author –

Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. I also write as Amanda Lee. As Gayle Trent, she writes the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, she writes the Embroidery Mystery series. I live in Virginia with my family, which includes her own “Angus” who is not an Irish wolfhound but a Great Pyrenees who provides plenty of inspiration for the character of Mr. O’Ruff. I’m having a blast writing this new series!

Authors Links:

Webpage – Gayle Trent Webpage – FacebookTwitter – GoodReads 

 

 

Purchase Links

Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Books-a-Million – Kobo  

Writing as Gayle Trent



Writing as Amanda Lee



Just click on covers for more book information or to order from Amazon.GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the publisher I have 2 copies to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.
Duplicate entries will be deleted.
Void where prohibited.

 

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

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.
Sign up for Gayle’s Newsletter for 5 Bonus Entries.
http://www.gayleleeson.com/

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

 

Contest Will End JUNE 16, 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.”