Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Reviews 2016 TBR Pile Challenge What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Flashback Friday – Review – Macaroni and Freeze by Christine Wenger #Giveaway

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

MACARONI AND FREEZE
Macaroni and Freeze:
A Comfort Food Mystery

4th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – New York
An Obsidian Mystery (July 7, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451474087
E-Book ASIN: B00PT4J1UW
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When the library roof collapses from the harsh winter weather, diner owner and comfort food chef Trixie Matkowski decides to organize a mac-and-cheese cook-off to raise funds for repairs. Priscilla Finch-Smythe, famous TV chef and former Sandy Harbor resident, is not only available to judge the contest—she’s offering an appearance on her show as the grand prize.

Trixie hopes that winning first place in the cook-off will help boost publicity for her Silver Bullet Diner. But when another winner is announced, and Priscilla is later found frozen in a snowbank, Trixie starts getting attention from the police instead. Now she’ll have to noodle over this mystery before everything really goes to pot….

Includes Delicious Home-Style Recipes

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Never a dull moment when Trixie is around. That woman get herself into all kinds of predicaments. This time too much snow collapses the roof of the local library. Everyone got out safe but it is going to take a lot of money to repair the building and replace the damaged books and equipment. Trixie’s mouth gets ahead of her brain and before she knows it she is planning a Macaroni and Cheese cook-off fundraiser. Things snowball and soon famous chef, Priscilla Finch-Smythe is on her way to Sandy Harbor to judge the competition and offering the winner a guest spot on her tv show. Trixie had no idea the woman was from Sandy Harbor. The woman has all kinds of demands and a big motor home. She also has her staff of two, one is her stepson, along for the ride and they sure don’t see eye to eye on anything. Trixie just hopes they can make enough money for the library and get a little bit of publicity for the diner.

The contest brings a slew of cooks to town including a couple of professional chefs looking to win and gain or regain a little fame with the grand prize. Soon after the winner is named, a stiff is found in the parking lot. Priscilla Finch-Smythe’s life has come to a chilly end and there are plenty of suspects. Who killed the tv cook and left her out in the cold? Trixie plans to find out but she may end up getting a deep freeze herself.

Reading this book during a cold snap here in Wisconsin I was literary feeling the “freeze” in this story and it was funny, my hubby had whipped up a batch of his homemade mac and cheese for supper. He saw the cover of the book and we had a little chuckle.

The cover of the book is wonderful but the Sandy Harbor Library sounds like it was a truly beautiful place, complete with some stained glass. I loved the way the town rallied together to make this fundraiser happen even when it was snowing and blowing and travel was a bit treacherous at times.

This time Trixie is one of the suspects, of course, hunky Sheriff Ty Briscoe doesn’t think she had anything to do with it but he basically puts her under house/diner arrest with Antoinette Chloe Brown (ACB) as her gatekeeper. He really just wants to keep Trixie safe and out of his investigation, like that is going to happen.

Christine Wenger has the perfect recipe for an absolutely delightful cozy mystery. The residents of Sandy Harbor are like old friends and the welcome us in with open arms and delicious food. The new characters make a nice offset to the gang we have come to love. The plot is tight and the twists are plentiful. The romantic tension is palpable. I can’t be the only one that wants to see Trixie grab Ty and just kiss him already 🙂 I also want to get ACB a pair of boots with flips flops painted on them. Flip flops in the snow?? Girl you are going to lose some toes!!

This was a fun read from start to finish. I am glad I had some Mac & Cheese to snack because damn, a girl can get hungry when reading these stories!

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
Find out more about Christine and her books on her webpage here.

GIVEAWAY
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.

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 February 26, 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 – February 2016

NEW RELEASE TUESDAY 2014

Welcome to New Release Tuesday!

January went by so fast,
I can’t believe it is February already!

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


For Cheddar or Worse: A Cheese Shop Mystery
We had a bit of a head start. 
Avery was here last week for Cozy Wednesday!
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A Turn for the Bad: A County Cork Mystery
Sheila will be here for Cozy Wednesday tomorrow!
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The Flood Girls
I will be reviewing this one on Thursday!
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Darned if You Do: A Needlecraft Mystery
Monica will be visiting on Saturday.
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A Disguise to Die For: A Costume Shop Mystery
Diane will be her for Cozy Wednesday on February 10!
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Scene of the Brine: Pickled and Preserved Mystery
Mary Ellen will be my Special Guest on February 16!
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A Familiar Tail: A Witch’s Cat Mystery
Delia will be my guest on February 17 for Cozy Wednesday!
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Books Also Being Released Today

Coming on February 8


Coming February 23

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

Flashback Friday – Review/ #Giveaway – Diners, Drive-ins and Death by Christine Wenger

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
I have wanted to catch up on this series for awhile!

diners driveins and death
Diners, Drive-Ins, and Death:
A Comfort Food Mystery

Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New York
An Obsidian Mystery (January 6, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451415103
E-Book ASIN: B00KWFZ73S
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

 

For Sandy Harbor’s tastiest comfort food, venture to the Silver Bullet Diner. But head next door to the new drive-in theater if you have an appetite for murder….

Trixie Matkowski has a tall order to fill this fall. Aside from dishing out delicious fare at the Silver Bullet during peak fishing season, she’s helping her friend—Antoinette Chloe Brown, or ACB for short—open a drive-in movie theater in the vacant lot beside her diner. It’s just the thing to take ACB’s mind off Nick, her missing biker beau.

But their plans are fried after Nick’s body is discovered during the groundbreaking for the drive-in. And when the police connect the murder weapon to ACB, she becomes the prime suspect in eighty-sixing Nick. With the fate of her innocent friend and her business on the line, Trixie must make the guilty party pay up before someone else gets stiffed….

Includes Delicious Home-Style Recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Trixie Matkowski owns the Silver Bullet Diner and summer rental cottages. She also has a bit of land that came in handy when her friend’s significant other is found in a shallow grave. Antoinette Chloe Brown, or ACB for short, owns a restaurant in town and she wants to build a drive-in on land next to Trixie’s. Her biker boyfriend, Nick, has taken off without a word to anyone, her ex-husband, the boyfriend’s brother, is rotting in jail, and she is organizing a beauty pageant, so why not jump in with both feet to another venture. She is so worried about Nick she asks Trixie to help her find him but he turns up before they do much looking. His body is discovered during the groundbreaking for the drive-in and there is enough evidence at the scene to arrest ACB and haul her off to jail.

What follows next is a nifty mystery served up with a bowlful of humor. ACB and her colorful mumus and fascinations just crack me up. Seeing her in a motorcycle sidecar must be a hoot! She and Trixie are the best of friends. Trixie even put up the bail to get her out of jail. She also let her move right into her house. The antics of these two are absolutely hilarious but Trixie does keep them on track as they try to find the real killer.

I have grown comfortable with these characters and I appreciate the comfort food served at the Silver Bullet. I don’t know how I got behind on this series but that will be remedied soon. I am so glad I started Flashback Friday to help me catch up on great series like this one. Macaroni and Freeze has moved to the top of the To-Be-Read stack and It’s A Wonderful Knife comes out February 2.

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
Find out more about Christine and her books on her webpage here.

GIVEAWAY
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.

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 February 12, 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 Great Escapes Book Tours Reviews 2016 What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Bailey Cattrell – Author of Daisies For Innocence – #Giveaway too!

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am pleased to welcome Bailey Cattrell to Escape With Dollycas today!

McRae_Cricket pic

 

Daisies For Innocence is first in the Enchanted Garden Mystery series and features Elliana Allbright, aromatherapist extraordinaire and owner of Scents & Nonsense. A thirty-something recent divorcee, Ellie has lived in Poppyville, California her entire life.

In fact, her great, great grandfather was one of the founders of the town – along with Pauline “Poppy” Thierry, the local madam in 1849. Originally settled in order to cater to the miners headed into the Sierra Nevada Mountains during the California Gold Rush, modern-day Poppyville is a tourist town chock full of Old West flavor and offering nearby hot springs, mountain biking, horseback riding, and fly fishing.

Ellie lives with Dash, her Pembroke Welsh corgi, in a super-efficient Tiny House at the back of the Scents & Nonsense property. The shop is guarded day and night by a Russian blue shorthair named Nabokov who regularly attracts clusters of blue butterflies when he ventures out to sun himself in the garden. By the end of the book, Ellie’s growing menagerie is joined by a beta fish named Leonard.

daisies for innocenceThe space between Ellie’s home and work is packed with garden beds connected by winding stone paths. There are seating areas and cozy alcoves interspersed with fairy houses, gnome doors and miniature tableaus tucked in surprising nooks and crannies. An etched boulder in the center of the space declares it The Enchanted Garden, and over time it has gained a reputation as a place for children to come explore the tiny “fairy” worlds while their parents have a cup of tea and nibble on the cookies Ellie’s best friend, Astrid Moneypenny, brings into the shop each morning.

However, the Enchanted Garden also provides the flowers and plants Ellie distills down into custom “perfumes” that do more than just smell good. She learned about plants and their essences from her gamma, who left behind a dog-eared but beautifully illustrated garden journal and an ancient, copper alembic. An alembic is a kind of still (think moonshine), but much smaller and used for distilling essential oils.

Her whole life, Ellie always had a fine-tuned sense of smell, which, combined with a natural ability to know how scents can help other people, uniquely qualifies her to create her special perfumes. When Astrid calls it a superpower, Ellie just laughs, but it turns out Astrid might be more right than Ellie realizes!

In Daisies For Innocence, Ellie’s part-time employee, Josie Overland, confesses that she has been dating Ellie’s ex-husband for a month or so. Ellie is surprised and worried at this news, as she doesn’t want Josie to get hurt the same way she did. But when she finds Josie dead on the boardwalk in front of Scents & Nonsense the next morning, she is unable to convince Detective Max Lang that she had no motive to kill Josie. After all, Max and Ellie’s ex, Harris, are best friends, and Harris has painted Ellie to be a jealous shrew.

Fortunately, Max’s partner, Detective Lupe Garcia is open to looking for other suspects. Unfortunately, Garcia’s new to town, and so it’s up to Ellie and Astrid to ferret out the real killer. Ellie also gets help from members of the Greenstockings, her women’s business group, and Ritter Nelson, an old high-school crush who is back in town visiting his sister.

And then there’s the mysterious plant that sprouted under the birdbath the same day Josie was killed – a plant that grows faster than anything Ellie has ever seen and that she can’t identify anywhere except in her gamma’s journal. As she looks into the life of a woman she thought she knew while hunting for her murderer, Ellie waits for the chance to distill the strange plant’s heady essence – and whatever memories it might bring – for herself.

The book includes a recipe for Astrid’s Chewy Double Chocolate Chunk Hazelnut Cookies, aromatherapy tips, and essential oil blends for things like relaxations and concentration. There’s also the first chapter of Brownies and Broomsticks, the first of the NYT bestselling Magical Bakery Mysteries that I write as Bailey Cates.

Next up? Spells and Scones, the sixth Magical Bakery mystery, will release in July, 2016, and I’m currently working on the second Enchanted Garden Mystery, Nightshade for Warning.
For more information about all my books, please visit www.baileycates.com, Like my page on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter.

~Bailey

daisies for innocenceDaisies For Innocence:
An Enchanted Garden Mystery

New Cozy Mystery Series
Setting – California
An Obsidian Mystery
Published by New American Library (January 5, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451476883
E-Book ASIN: B00W2ZKKM4
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Shop Indie Bookstores

From Bailey Cattrell—who writes the New York Times bestselling Magical Bakery Mysteries as Bailey Cates—comes the first Enchanted Garden Mystery featuring custom perfume maker Elliana Allbright…

The Enchanted Garden behind Elliana Allbright’s perfume shop draws people of all ages with its fragrant flowers and lush greenery. But when the magical serenity is interrupted, it’s up to Ellie to sniff out a killer.

Ellie’s life has blossomed in Poppyville, California, since she opened Scents & Nonsense, a custom-made-perfume store. Her skills with aromas and botanical essences—some from her very own garden—seem almost…supernatural. Her perfumes can evoke emotions,  bring about change, or simply make people happy. Customers are flocking to the store to buy her wares or just to sit in her beautiful garden, sip tea and enjoy homemade cookies.

But she smells trouble when she learns that her part-time assistant Josie is dating her ex. And before she can tell the young woman to beware of his charms, she finds Josie dead in the Enchanted Garden. Now the prime suspect in Josie’s murder, Ellie must search for the real culprit in Josie’s past—because it’ll take a miracle to nip this problem in the bud….

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Elliana Allbright has a fantastic place in Poppyville, California. At the front of her lot is Scents & Nonsense, her store, where she sells items scented from the flowers in her very own garden. The Enchanted Garden fills the side and back yards right up to the front of her tiny house. I can picture it so clearly in my mind with her bird bath and other whimsical touches surrounded by flowers that bloom all year. Even a few extra special varieties.

Ellie has a gift of matching the right scent to each person for any occasion and her Gamma’s journal is the guidebook to everything growing in the garden.  Everything is coming up roses until her friend and employee, Josie Overland, is pushing up daisies, dead in the garden. Not so enchanting.

The was a fun read. Because of the location of the body, Elliana is the prime suspect. One of the officers on the case is best friends with her ex so she knows she isn’t going to get much help there but his partner, Detective Lupe Garcia, has a more open mind and actually investigates. I liked that Ellie didn’t just jump into the investigation. She stayed in touch with Garcia and they shared infomation. We meet several unique characters throughout the book. Friends from her high school days, friends that Ellie made before her divorce and new friends since opening her store. Ellie shop also has a resident feline and she has a Welsh Corgi named Dash too.

The book started a little slow for me but soon I was fully engaged and stayed up until early in the morning  to finish. The mystery has its share of plot twists to keep readers guessing and I was surprised to learn I had picked the right culprit from the bunch.

I loved the aromatherapy theme and was thrilled to see the blends at the end of the story.

Bailey Cattrell has planted all the seeds to get this series off to a blooming start.

enjoyable 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Writing as Bailey Cates


Writing as Cricket McRae


GIVEAWAY

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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.

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 February 3, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST

Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org

Winner Will Be Notified By Email

and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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

Flashback Friday – Review/ #Giveaway – Checked Out by Elaine Viets

9WbGnJTR

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

checked outChecked Out:
A Dead-End Job Mystery

14th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Florida
Release Date – May 5, 2015
An Obsidian Mystery
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by Penguin Random House, LLC.
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451466327
E-Book ASIN: B00O2BKLB6
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Shhh…in the newest hardcover in the national bestselling Dead-End Job Mystery series, Helen Hawthorne quietly goes undercover at a local library to search for a missing masterpiece.

Wealthy socialite Elizabeth Cateman Kingsley has hired Helen to find a missing John Singer Sargent painting, owned by her late father. After his death, many of Davis Cateman’s books were donated to the Flora Park library, and his daughter suspects the small watercolor—worth millions—was tucked away inside one of those dusty tomes.

To search the stacks, Helen applies for a position as a library volunteer and discovers the library director has a catalog of complaints—from a mischievous calico cat named Paris to the mysterious disappearance of various items that some of the more imaginative staff are attributing to a ghost haunting the building.

While her husband Phil sticks his neck out to find a missing necklace, Helen is on her own with no one to lend her a hand. When a dead body turns up in a parking lot, it appears someone is willing to go to any lengths to keep the treasure in the library quiet. Now Helen is bound and determined to find the killer as well as the painting—before she’s taken out of circulation herself.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Elaine Viets just continues to top herself.

In the 14th installment of this very popular series, Helen and Phil are working separate cases. Helen is working as a library volunteer while she search for a very high valued piece of artwork that may have been misplaced in a book donated to the library. Phil is trying to find a very expensive necklace and a golf cart that went missing during a party. Both seem like relatively simple jobs but both of filled with plenty of complications, including teenagers who don’t have a clue… a “ghost”….a dead body….and more.

This was a great read and thought provoking. Helen’s work at the library introduced us to some wealthy women who thought of nothing but themselves. We also met some homeless people who use the library as a refuge. Phil was working for more wealthy people but spent most of his time getting to know the hired help who seemed to get blamed for everything.  I truly enjoyed the twists in the story that showed people’s true colors.

All the characters that live at the Coronado Apartments have returned as well with a couple of additions. The Sunset Salute still takes place every evening by the pool so all the friends can catch up with a drink or two.

Now the settings were amazing. The Flora Park Library was a huge estate that was converted into a library. The Friends of the Library are trying to raise money to shore up the walls and floors to handle the weight of all the wonderful books it contains, otherwise a new library will need to be built without all the rich history of the current library. Phil’s job also takes place at a beautiful estate with a pool and anything else a person could want. And since there is snow on the ground in Wisconsin right now, Florida anywhere sounds delightful.

The reason I love this series is because the recurring characters are real and true to life. The new characters in each story all unique, some work their way into our hearts and some we would like to jump into the pages and slap across the face. Of course there are some that fall in between. Viets puts them all in believable situations and wraps them in mysteries where many become suspects. Trying to solve them before Helen and Phil is the fun part. Usually I figure it out the same time they do.

Each story can be read as a stand alone but you really should read the whole series for maximum enjoyment.

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author

Elaine writes her novels with the help of Harry, a striped cat who sleeps by her computer and lashes the keyboard with his tail. He whips her into a writing frenzy. Harry collaborates on two series, the Dead-End Job Mysteries and the Josie Marcus Mystery Shopper series. She’s won the Anthony, Agatha and Lefty awards.

For more about Elaine check out her web site here.
Book #15 will be out in May!


Click on Cover to Order from Amazon.

GIVEAWAY
I am giving away my hardcover review copy!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End January 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 It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 2016 Week #1

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!! 

I had taken 2 weeks off from the Great Escapes Book Tours. Two weeks without that little bit of stress of promoting was sure nice. Today I am back at with 7 tours and 2 more starting on Friday. I thought the extra time would give me a chance to get caught up on things and do a bit of blog housekeeping. I did get my Ratings graphics updated and a button made for my Literary Escapes Personal Challenge, formerly Where Are You Reading? that was hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. I still need to add all of this years books to the State Pages. I hope to get that done soon and stay on top of it better this year.

I did spend a lot of time with family and some late nights reading. With the holidays and Mr. Dollycas home on vacation my schedule was all messed up. How did you spend the holidays?

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

FINISHED

Cinnamon Toasted: A Spice Shop Mystery

Release Date – December 15, 2015
The Great Escapes Book Tour starts today and my review will be up soon!
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To Helvetica and Back: A Dangerous Type Mystery

Release Date – January 5, 2016
Paige will be my Cozy Wednesday guest this week!
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Murder Most Malicious (A Lady and Lady’s Maid Mystery)

Release Date – December 29, 2015
The Great Escapes Book Tour stops here Thursday!
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Checked Out: A Dead-End Job Mystery

My Flashback Friday book for this week.
Release Date: May 5, 2015
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ON DECK THIS WEEK

Death Goes to the County Fair (An Ogallala Mystery)

Release Date – October 15, 2015
The Great Escapes Book Tour stops here Saturday!
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Karma’s a Killer (A Downward Dog Mystery)

Release Date – January 8, 2016
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Tuesday!
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Foreign Éclairs: A White House Chef Mystery

Release Date – January 5, 2016
Julie Hyzy is my guest next week for Cozy Wednesday!
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Kingdom Come: An Elizabeth Harris Mystery

Release Date – January 5, 2016
Jane Jensen will be my Special Guest next Thursday!
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escape

Click Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Scroll Down for the Blogoversary Giveaways!!

Happy Reading!!
Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
Posted in Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Reviews 2015 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review/ #Giveaway – The Candy Cane Cupcake Murder by Livia J. Washburn

candy cane cupcake killerThe Candy Cane Cupcake Killer:
A Fresh-Baked Mystery

Cozy Mystery
10th in Series
Setting – Texas
An Obsidian Mystery (November 3, 2015)
Published by New American Library
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Trade Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451416711
E-Book ASIN: B00SI028H2
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

 

In the latest from the national bestselling author of Trick or Deadly Treat, Phyllis Newsom returns with a festive Christmas recipe that’s to die for…

‘Tis the season in Weatherford, Texas, and everyone in town is gearing up for the annual holiday parade and tree-lighting ceremony in the town square, where Phyllis Newsom will be serving her much-anticipated candy cane cupcakes. Local rancher Barney McCrory manages to charm one away from her before the ceremony begins. But unfortunately, when the minty confection is finished, so is he.

This isn’t the first time someone has dropped dead after eating one of Phyllis’s treats. But when the paramedics determine the rancher was shot, suspicion swiftly falls on McCrory’s daughter and her husband—who both stand to reap some sweet rewards from his death. Though Phyllis doesn’t want to get mixed up in another murder investigation, something about this case doesn’t sit right with her. With a little help from a tabloid TV news crew, Phyllis must unwrap the truth and restore good cheer to Weatherford before it’s too late…

Includes recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It’s Christmastime in Weatherford and it starts with the annual holiday parade. The crowd has turned out but a Grinch destroys the day. Barney McCrory, a local rancher, whose horse team is pulling Santa’s sleigh drops dead after the parade just gets started and Phyllis panics, Barney has just eaten one of her cupcakes. When the chaos clears it is determined Barney was shot. Who would benefit with the rancher out of the picture?  His daughter and her husband seem to gain the most landing them in the hot seat. Phyllis soon finds herself in the middle of another investigation. This time she gets help from a very surprising group but can they save Christmas and save Barney’s family?

I purposely saved this book to read closer to Christmas because a trip to Weatherford always puts a smile on my face.

After 10 stories these characters feel like old friends. Phyllis, Eve, Carolyn and Sam live together in a good size home and it seems the door is always open. Not only do visitors get a nice meal or a cupcake, they also get a shoulder to cry on, or a hug, but they also get an amateur sleuth in Phyllis or as the tabloids call her “Texas’s Elderly Angel of Death”. But calling her that will get the door slammed in your face, as Felicity Prosper from Inside Beat quickly found out. I would love to visit them myself without anyone having to be dead.  They may be retired but they definitely aren’ t tired. They are always on the go doing something.

This story started out with a bang that no one heard and continued its quick pace right up to the last page. I thought I had the who of the whodunit figured out a time or two, but I was completely wrong. That is the way it is supposed to be, right. Phyllis had her own way of investigating and sometimes she has all the clues she just needs to think things through a few times to get them to all fall together. Sam makes a great sounding board and sometimes even goes off on his own to chase down a clue.

This author tells a great story with dialogue that rings true and the characters’ wit comes shining through. Weatherford is the perfect setting too for this wonderful mystery. This was an exciting  story and so much fun to read.

We are given just a hint of what is in store for this cast of characters and I am excited to see it play out.

Now I think I need to bake some Candy Cake Cupcakes. Our family truly believes in the saying “Eat Dessert First” and these cupcakes will do nicely.

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Livia J. Washburn on her webpage here.

GIVEAWAY
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.

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 January 7, 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 It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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!! 

74502_10151319013369316_244639468_n12122420_10153026276711249_6674006808554867946_nYesterday was my grandson Remi’s 3rd Birthday!
Funny when he was born we had a huge blizzard here is Wisconsin and today we have not even 1 flake of snow. My neighbor mowed his yard yesterday!

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

FINISHED

Snow Way Out (A Snow Globe Shop Mystery)

Release Date – January 6, 2015
December Just For Fun Read
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The Iced Princess (A Snow Globe Shop Mystery)

Release Date – December 1, 2015
Christine will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday this week!
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The Candy Cane Cupcake Killer: A Fresh-Baked Mystery

Release Date – November 3, 2015
Review coming soon! 
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Almost Always

Release Date – January 12, 2013
Catch up book for my Just For Fun Challenge
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ON DECK THIS WEEK

Angels Burning

Release Date – January 5, 2016
For Review
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I have that book scheduled for review on January 2.
With the holidays and my Blogoversary on December 31 I am going to just grab whatever book strikes my fancy at the moment for the rest of the week.

escape

Click Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Happy Reading!!
Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
Posted in Cozy Wednesday Cruisin Thru Cozies Guest Posts Reviews 2015 Wisconsin Author You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Sally Goldenbaum – Author of Trimmed for Murder #Giveaway too!

cozy wednesday 2013 640
Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am always so happy when Sally stop by for a visit!

SALLY

 

Visiting Dolly’s cozy corner is like coming home in a way. She and I have been sharing books and lives for years now. Thank you for inviting me back.

 

And in the beginning there was . . .

 

The release of the tenth seaside knitters mystery this month (Trimmed with Murder) has me feeling nostalgic (TEN books. That means ten plus years of hanging out with Nell, Izzy, Cass and Birdie—ten years of friendship with these ladies, ten years of following them around and asking them to share their lives with me).

It has me thinking about the very beginning of the series when I had nothing but a vague idea that I wanted to write a mystery series revolving around four smart, curious women of different ages, four women with four unique personalities—just like the wonderful readers who have come to share them with me.trimmed for murder

Here’s how they came about. I sat down in front of a blank computer screen and began writing four essays about the women I’d like to have as friends. I decided on an age span that I found interesting—30s, 40s—60 and Birdie, who is Sea Harbor’s wise and wonderful grande dame, somewhere around 80. The essays included things that might never appear in the books, but allowed me entry into their lives, telling me where they were born, went to school, what they studied, their first romantic encounters, first jobs. Astrological signs. Hobbies and idiosyncrasies.

  • Izzy and Nell came from the Midwest where I now live. Izzy headed to Boston to college, just as my daughter did. Nell loves to cook (me, too).
  • Birdie is an easterner who has always lived in the Cape Ann area, but she was actually inspired by a Midwestern woman, a mentor of mine— a wonderful woman who taught me philosophy years ago, who marched at Selma and who is an infinitely wise and wonderful friend.
  • And Cass, my favorite lobsterwoman, was inspired by several books I read about a lobsterwoman who was raised in New England and worked on Cape Ann. I loved the idea of a woman overseeing crusty fishermen – and then sitting in Izzy’s back room and learning how to knit.

And the place? That was easy. My daughter lives on Cape Ann, and about the time I was developing the series, she was beginning her family. Grandchildren on Cape Ann. A place I would want to visit often.

  • Sea Harbor, the seaside knitters’ town, is culled from all that I love about Cape Ann and Boston’s North Shore. Charming New England villages, wonderful little stores and restaurants, and interesting personalities and nationalities forming communities that live and love and work together.

Ten years. Happy anniversary Nell, Izzy, Cass, and Birdie. Those long-ago essays were a start, and in each book, I hope to delve a little deeper into their lives, finding out what makes each of them the woman she has become. In TRIMMED WITH MURDER we learn a little more about Izzy’s family. I hope you enjoy meeting Charlie….

Until next time, thank you for joining me in this wonderful Cozy Corner. And thank you Dear Dolly.

~Sally

About The Author

Sally Goldenbaum is a sometime philosophy teacher, a knitter, and an editor, and the author of more than thirty novels. Sally became more serious about knitting with the birth of her first grandchild and the creation of the Seaside Knitters mystery series. Her fictional knitting friends are teaching her the intricacies of women’s friendship, the mysteries of small-town living, and the very best way to pick up dropped stitches on a lacy knit shawl.

Follow Sally

Webpage

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trimmed for murderTrimmed with Murder:
A Seaside Knitters Mystery

10th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Massachusetts
An Obsidian Mystery (November 3, 2015)
New American Library
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451471628
E-Book ASIN: B00SI02B2Y
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In this holiday yarn from the USA Today bestselling author of A Finely Knit Murder, all Izzy Chambers Perry wants for Christmas is to keep her brother out of jail….

In Sea Harbor, the holidays mean cozy fires, festive carols, and soft skeins of yarn waiting to become hats and sweaters and scarves. And this year, Izzy and the other Seaside Knitters are also knitting tiny ornaments to decorate a tree for the first annual tree-trimming contest.

Their holiday cheer is multiplied when Izzy’s younger brother, Charlie Chambers, unexpectedly arrives to volunteer at a local clinic. He brings with him outspoken hitchhiker Amber Hanson, who is returning to Sea Harbor to claim an inheritance. She quickly reacquaints herself with the area—and forms an unlikely friendship with Charlie. But their bond is shattered when her body is found beneath the undecorated trees on the Harbor Green.

Charlie is a suspect in the murder, so Izzy and her fellow Knitters step in to uncover the truth. Their journey takes them into Charlie’s past and tests their fierce love for him. But it’s only by peeling away long-buried secrets that they can hope to restore joy to the season and enjoy the shining lights of the newly decorated trees….

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have been looking forward to this book since I finished A Finely Knit Murder in the Spring and it is even better than I had hoped!

Charlie Chambers, Izzy’s brother, returns to Sea Harbor very unexpectedly and just happens to pick up Amber Hanson along the way. Charlie is there to start work at a free clinic and Amber has some papers to sign regarding an inheritance. They become fast friends knowing that neither of them plans to stay in town for long. Sadly Amber’s visit is cut short when she is found dead on the Harbor Green. Charlie may have been the last person to see her alive and quickly becomes the prime suspect. So Izzy and the Seaside Knitters are plowing through the clues to prove his innocence. They are also hoping he stays in Sea Harbor well past the holidays.

Curl up in front of the fire with a class of wine and enjoy the latest Seaside Knitters mystery. I sure did.

Sally Goldenbaum breathes such life into these characters it is hard to remember they are not real. Izzy, Nell, Cass and Birdie are the Seaside Knitters. They meet each week at Izzy’s shop to work on their projects, enjoy some delicious food and discuss everything from knitting to families and  sometimes even murder. They also gather at least once a week at Nell’s along with their families and friends for a potluck dinner and some adult beverages. The current crime is also a hot topic. After 10 years we have met so many wonderful characters. I have given up trying to choose a favorite because I love them all.

It was so easy to envision Sea Harbor at Christmastime. The annual tree decorating contest is an awesome idea. All the trees recently planted on the Harbor Green and each business or group trimming with specially made ornaments all to raise money for charity.

Several plotlines, Charlie’s return after so many years, Amber’s life that was tear jerking as we came to know more and more, the holiday events. They all converge when Amber is murdered. The killer strikes several chapters into the story so Amber has found her way into our hearts. Charlie’s pain at the loss was just so sad.

Like all the earlier installments friendship is the main theme of this book. The people we meet in these stories are one big family. The celebrate the highs and are so supportive in the lows. There are shoulders to cry on, hugs are passed out freely and ears are always open to listen. Great food and drink and yarn entangles them altogether. And vicariously we get to go along for the ride.

It has been an amazing 10 books and I truly can’t wait for trip #11.

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas

GIVEAWAY

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for Sally 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 November 25, 2015 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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

Cozy Wednesday with Kate Collins – Author of Florist Grump – Review & #Giveaway too!

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am always excited when Kate Collins comes to visit!!
Florist Grump was just released yesterday!

 

kate collins

SO LET IT BE WRITTEN:
WHEN MY MYSTERY GOT REAL

By Kate Collins

Eighteen books ago, I had just finished writing MUM’S THE WORD and was seeking a plot for the second book in the Flower Shop Mystery series. I had a title, SLAY IT WITH FLOWERS, and a general idea, but needed a big plot twist to make it all happen.

In steps my hairdresser and her colleagues, who, while I was having my hair cut, complained about men using their parking lot and then scurrying across to the business next door. The sign out front of this business said KINGS SPA, with the word MASSAGES and a telephone number underneath. There was no other advertising, and the building, an old white wooden house, had butcher paper covering the windows. Suspicious, you say? Oh, it gets better.

florist grumpThe hairdressers’ lament had prompted one of their clients to go next door to make an appointment. She was told by an unfriendly Chinese receptionist that women were not welcome. At a massage parlor? Seriously?

Then there were the masseuses, a group of Chinese women in tight silk dresses, who would come to the beauty salon to buy hair products. They didn’t speak. They would point to a product and toss money onto the counter from a thick wad they carried in their, well, you know.

Being a crusader for justice through my character Abby Knight, I suggested ways to stop the men from using the salon’s parking lot. Snap their photos and license plates and hang them in the big front windows. Call the Chief of Police. Write letters to the Mayor.  I even volunteered to stand across the street with a camera.

And then the proverbial light bulb went off. I had my plot twist! Would my feisty, redheaded sleuth Abby Knight NOT get involved if such a thing were happening in her hometown? Of course not. Her last name isn’t Knight for no reason. So my mantra became: What Would Abby Do? And in my book, she did it, resulting in this shady business, called EMPEROR’S SPA, to be raided. Naturally, this didn’t happen without peril to Abby, but that’s why we all love Marco.

A month after SLAY IT WITH FLOWERS was released, the police in my hometown raided KINGS SPA, rounding up a group that was part of a Chinese prostitution ring working out of Chicago. Naturally, I had to boast that my story had helped bring light to the situation. Whether it really did is something I’ll always wonder.

What would you have done if you’d discovered such a situation in your hometown? Would you shrug your shoulders and hope someone else did something, or are you the type that would do something? In other words, are you an Abby Knight?

~Kate

About The Author

Kate Collins is the author of the national best-selling Flower Shop Mystery series and historical romance novels. For her mystery plots, Kate draws upon her own love of flowers and intrigue, and an intimate knowledge of life in a small college town. She states firmly for the benefit of all who live near her that none of the zany characters that populate the fictional town of New Chapel are based on people she knows. Honest. Find out more about Kate on her webpage here.

Kate’s Historical Romance Novels

Coming APRIL 2016

florisst grumpFlorist Grump:
A Flower Shop Mystery

17th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Indiana
An Obsidian Mystery
New American Library
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451473431
E-Book ASIN: B00S75OKBA
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From the New York Times bestselling author of A Root Awakening, feisty florist Abby Knight is back with another knotty murder to solve in the next Flower Shop Mystery…

Life in Bloom

Stopping to smell the roses should be a must for flower shop owner Abby Knight, but stress has turned her into a major grump. While their house is under construction, Abby and her new husband, Marco, are living with her parents, who are driving her nuts. Not to mention that everyone has babies on the brain, with her cousin Jillian’s bundle of joy popping up in every conversation, and Marco’s mother dropping hints that she expects a new sprout from Abby and her son—as soon as possible!

But things get even thornier after a flashy former banker pushes up daisies. With a beloved window washer the prime suspect in the murder, other New Chapel shop owners rally around Abby and Marco to prove his innocence. With Abby’s energy wilting, she has to be on high alert—or she and Marco may not live to see their new home…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Abby Knight Salvare is one grumpy florist these days but frankly I can see her point. Moving into your parents house as an adult no matter how temporary can cause some major drama. You’re an adult and have lived on your own and suddenly your parents are treating like a teenager wanting to know what time you will be home and tracking you down when you stay out until what they consider is too late. When you are investigating a murder that can have dire consequences. Jillian is not handling motherhood well and she expects Abby to drop everything and help. Pretty hard to do when Bloomers is so busy they may have to hire more help, Down the Hatch is packed almost every night and Salvare Detective Agency has a new case. Abby’s mom also has a new project that she wants Abby to help her with. If I was Abby I would be grumpy too and probably pulling my hair out.

So much happens in this story and I enjoyed every minute of it. Kate Collins has rolled up her sleeves and has topped herself. This series has always been one of my true favorites. I anxiously await each new story and I am always delighted with the story. This one is my new favorite in the series.

We have watched Abby and Marco’s love blossom and now they are married and will soon have a brand new home. The talk about babies has already begun but not by Abby and Marco but all their friends and family. These characters are some of the best in the cozy mystery world right now. They are all people I wish I could meet in real life.

Ms. Collins also creates fantastic and believable story-lines.  The subplots flow flawlessly amid the main plot. Again she has given readers a book they will not be able to stop reading once they start. The problem is I didn’t want the story to end. It seems my visits to New Chapel are just way too short. Thankfully Moss Hysteria comes out April 5, 2016. That’s not too long to wait 🙂 well it is but that’s the way it has to be.

a perfect escape5 STARFISHDollycas

GIVEAWAY

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for Kate 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 November 11, 2015 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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