Jul 262019
 

The House on Xenia
(A Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery Series)
by Rita Moreau

 

About the Book 


The House on Xenia (A Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery Series)
Paranormal Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Ohio
Independently Published (May 8, 2019)
Paperback: 332 pages
ISBN-10: 1096120712
ISBN-13: 978-1096120711
Digital Print Length: 209 pages
ASIN: B07R9Q682Y

A government conspiracy. A life-threatening secret. Can a psychic accountant balance the books of justice?

Mary Catherine “MC” Mahoney prefers numbers to her supernatural powers. But when a cold-case corpse shows up under her cousin’s family home, the only calculations that add up are paranormal. And deep within the floorboards of the house on Xenia, MC and her madcap Greek family uncover evidence pointing to visitors from another planet…

Pursued by military agents intent on keeping the secrets buried, MC will have to play by the house’s rules to expose the alien mystery. And there’s only one member of the family who can get to the hidden truth…

Can MC reveal the cover-up, or will a dangerous hush job close her books forever?

The House on Xenia is a standalone novel in the Mary Catherine Mahoney cozy mystery series. If you like psychic female sleuths, crazy family antics, and long lost aliens, then you’ll love Rita Moreau’s quirky tale.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

While there are recurring characters the author states each book in this series can be read on its own. Intrigued by the synopsis I decided to read this book without reading the prior books. What I found was a very bizarre mystery. You see for me the main character was not Mary Catherine “MC” Mahoney or any of the other human characters. For me, the main character was the House on Xenia. Generations of Mary Catherine “MC” Mahoney’s family have lived in the House. A House that vowed to protect the family from anything. In the book, it is described as a YaYa (Greek grandmother), nurturing, caring, with a huge heart and protective qualities. Also, unusual is that no one is living in the house and keeping up with the maintenance. The house is said to be dying, but it still holds some important secrets.

Several characters have psychic abilities, some are in Ohio where the house is and others are in Florida. When a body is found under the family home everyone’s focus is the House. Not just the family but the military too and talk turns to aliens and secrets that need to be kept. But the House wants to talk and to only one person. MC is caught in the middle. Does she reveal all or does she keep her mouth shut and move on?

The author has presented a very interesting mystery. One that kept my attention even though it was very unique from most mysteries I read. The House has answers so the investigation evolves in an unconventional way. Several people gave input and there were those acting in an underhanded way to keep people from finding out the truth. That deception put people in danger.

Using a real place in this fictional story added extra credence. The Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is where UFO investigations dating from the 1940s to the 1960s with all the conspiracy theories. Theories that people still talk about today like Area 51.

This story was not what I had expected it to be but I was entertained from the first page to the last. I found The House on Xenia to be an enjoyable read and a nice escape.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Rita Moreau is the author of the Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery series.

A workaholic by nature, upon retirement, Rita Moreau began work on her bucket list, writing a book. Traveling the national parks with her husband George in a vintage Bluebird motor home, (on George’s list), Rita completed her first novel Bribing Saint Anthony. Back home she completed Nuns! Psychics! & Gypsies! OH! NO, Feisty Nuns, The Russian & Aunt Sophia and The House on Xenia. Rita and her husband live in a postcard called Florida where he has fun telling everyone he is the author’s husband. When not writing she joins PatZi Gil on the Joy on Paper radio program with Book Buzz Mysteries or you can find her teaching fitness classes and doing her best to keep busy. She loves connecting with readers.

Praise for The House on Xenia
(A Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery Series)
by Rita Moreau

The House on Xenia, a full-sized YaYa (Greek grandmother). It’s also very much extraordinary . . .
~INTO THE ABYSS

This was just so much fun to read. There are fun, zany characters, house included, and more than one mystery to figure out. Made me grin enough my face hurt.
~ fuonlyknew

Author Links

Website Facebook Blog GoodReads 

Purchase Links – Amazon 

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

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Jul 252019
 


Toxic Toffee (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Ohio
Kensington (June 25, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496722027
ISBN-13: 978-1496722027
Kindle ASIN: B07HVYLW18

A sweet tooth for murder . . .

Bailey King’s in New York wrapping up a six-week shoot on her first cable TV show, Bailey’s Amish Sweets, when she gets a call from her Ohio town’s resident busybody. With Easter around the corner, Bailey’s been recruited to create a giant toffee bunny for the weeklong springtime festival that will also feature live white rabbits. But back home in Harvest, death becomes the main attraction when Stephen Raber keels over from an apparent heart attack—with Bailey and Raber’s pet bunny as witnesses.
.
Except it wasn’t Raber’s heart that suddenly gave out—a lethal dose of lily of the valley was mixed into a tasty piece of toffee. Who’d want to poison a jovial rabbit farmer who reminded Bailey of an Amish Santa Claus? To solve the murder, she and her sheriff deputy boyfriend Aiden must uncover a twenty-year-old secret. She’ll need to pull a rabbit out of a hat to keep a healthy distance from toxic people, including one venomous killer . . .

Recipe Included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Rabbits! Rabbits! Rabbits!

Bailey King returns from New York just in time for “Easter Days”. A new festival created to bring more tourists to Harvest, Ohio. While there will be plenty of live rabbits hopping around, Bailey has been asked to make a huge sweet bunny featuring tons of toffee. While trying to get all the details Bailey meets rabbit keeper Stephen Raber and his special bunny, Puff. In the middle of the conversation, Mr. Raber falls to the ground. Bailey shouts for help, but the man is dead. Everyone assumes he had a heart attack, but the coroner finds evidence Stephen Raber was poisoned.

Bailey finds Mr. Raber was very well-liked in the community, why would anyone want to kill him? The victim’s son begged Bailey to find the killer as she had before for others. Then when she learns the murder weapon was a piece of toffee she feels she has no choice and pushes Aiden, her boyfriend/Deputy Sheriff to let her in on his investigation. He knows the Amish will open up with her more than they would with him so he agrees. They may go down a few rabbit holes to solve the case of the Toxic Toffee, but as long as they solve the case, it’s worth it.

I love these characters. Even with a murderer in their midst, they still know what’s important. Keeping a special bunny safe, constructing a giant toffee rabbit, keeping the sweet shop’s shelves full for customers, and in Juliet Brody’s case, getting Aidan and Bailey hitched in a summer wedding. (They have barely started dating and are definitely not engaged.) 🙂 All the characters are fleshed out and believable. The interactions and dialogues are true to life. The animals are absolutely delightful too. The author also sweetens the story with plenty of humor in all the right places.

The mystery is a real puzzler. Stephen Raber’s is new to us readers but has been a resident of the Harvest area for a long time as part of the Amish community. Bailey and Aiden could ask almost anyone in town about his life and how it has changed since he lost his wife. The fact that Bailey has become the caretaker of the victim’s pet rabbit named Puff is an interesting twist and felt like it gave Bailey an added push to solve the crime. Unfortunately she also on the killer’s radar and she finds herself in some very dangerous situations. Ms. Flower plotted out this story so well. There is always something happening and there are some fantastic twists. I had no idea “whodunit” until Bailey did.

I really enjoy the way Amanda Flower uses her Amish knowledge to build stories that show the two cultures coming together in so many ways. Bailey and her Amish grandmother have such a wonderful relationship. She also has an amazing relationship with Charlotte who has not yet been baptized into the faith. It is truly heartwarming the way the entire community comes together in good times and in bad.

Each visit the Harvest is unique and they always end too soon. I can’t wait to return in December for the premiere of Amish Matchmaker Mystery Series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Check out my review of Assaulted Caramel here and Lethal Licorice here
Premeditated Peppermint here, and Criminally Cocoa here.

About This Author

Amanda Flower, a two-time Agatha Award-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. She also writes mysteries as national bestselling author Isabella Alan. In addition to being an author, Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland.

Author Links:

Website  Pen Name Website     Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads    Pinterest

Coming December 31, 2019!
A New Series Also Set in Harvest, Ohio.

Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series (writing as Isabella Alan)

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

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

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.

Subscribe to Amanda’s Newsletter for 5 Bonus Entries.

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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 8, 2019, 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.”

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Jun 262019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 
I am so excited to have Jodi Rath visit today!

Hi Jodi,

Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

I’m a wife, cat lover with nine cats in our home, educator, writer, artist, and kickboxer who is obsessed with Tom Waits.

What are three things most people don’t know about you?

I have a brown belt in kickboxing;

I have curly hair that I perm in my kitchen every three months;

I would never leave the house if I could realistically make that happen—and I very rarely leave my house.

What is the first book you remember reading?

Any of the Choose Your Own Adventure books—those were my favorites!

What are you reading now?

Death Al Dente by Leslie Budewitz

What books have most inspired you?

Anything Agatha Christie, Sweet Valley High Series when I was a teen, Judy Blume books as a pre-teen, poetry of all sorts—I used to check out as many poetry books as the librarian allowed me too in 5th through 9th grade.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

I believe it all began with the Choose Your Own Adventure books. I liked picking an ending then trying them all and guessing what the other endings would be.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

Any room in my house, on my screened-in porch or on my deck overlooking our woods.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

From my community, my family, the news, songs, movies, TV shows, art, people I don’t like—LOL.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

I really do love all parts of the writing process. I was a HS English teacher and taught the process regularly. For me as a writer, the first draft is fun—the revision can be cruel at times—especially when I think I got something right and my editor is like, “Um, wow, that really sucks!” LOL—she doesn’t say that—but you get the drift!

What do you think makes a good story?

It has to be universal—things everyone can relate too. There needs to be someone to root for and someone to hate and someone to feel sorry for and someone who we love to hate—characters are important.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

The protagonist, Jolie Tucker.

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

There aren’t many Cast Iron Skillet culinary cozies out there. I only know of one other cast iron mystery series.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

Currently working on book 2.5 a Thanksgiving holiday book called Turkey Basted to Death that comes out 11/18/19. In 2020, I will begin two spin-off series to The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series—one is Peggy’s Purse Boutique series set in Tri-City (which comes up a lot in The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)—the second series is Gemma’s Bohemian Gems Series that is a spin-off as well.

Thank you, Jodi, so much for dropping by today!

Keep reading for my thoughts about Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Murder.

About the Book 


Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Murder (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in the Series
Setting – Ohio
MYS ED LLC (June 21, 2019)
Print Length – 185 Pages
Digital ASIN: B07Q1K4DN3

Financial fraud of elderly villagers in Leavensport, an urban sprawl threat to the community, disastrous dates, cross-sell marketing gone wrong, and another murder? Jolie Tucker is ready to try dating again. Well, she has no choice—since her family auctioned her off to the highest bidder. Her best friend, Ava, has agreed to a double date, but both friends find out hidden secrets about their partners as well as deception by one of the village’s own, who will soon be found dead. This plot is sure to be spicy!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We are back in Ohio at Cast Iron Creations where things are getting jalapeno hot!! A new restaurant has opened and Jolie hopes to work a cross-promotion deal as she has with other businesses, she also is finally going to go on her auction date with Detective Meiser, (her family auctioned off at a fundraiser in the last book), residents are worried about urban sprawl, oh, and there is another dead body.

Ms. Rath’s characters are fun and entertaining. Again, there is a large cast but I was very comfortable after getting to know most of them in the first book. I enjoyed the continued character development.  The new characters were all key to the new mystery. The interactions were all realistic and the dialogue was crisp.

I continue to be amazed by how much drama and action this author brings a reader in less than 200 pages. She does a fabulous job of blending intrigue and everyday life. The daily grind plus secrets, twists, turns, and a surprising ending are all baked together wonderfully by the time we reach the last page. It is a quick read and impossible to put down.

I am not a fan of peppers especially jalapenos but I loved the way that ingredient was incorporated into the story. I also appreciate that cast iron skillet recipes are included for readers to try.

Together Pineapple Upside Down Murder and Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Murder equal the length of 1 standard cozy mystery, so I do recommend reading both in order so you can really get to know the characters. I am really looking forward to more books in this series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

More About Jodi Rath

 

Moving into her second decade working in education, Jodi Rath has decided to begin a life of crime in her The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series. Her passion for both mysteries and education led her to combine the two to create her business MYS ED, where she splits her time between working as an adjunct for Ohio teachers and creating mischief in her fictional writing. She currently resides in a small, cozy village in Ohio with her husband and her seven cats.

Author Links:  Webpage FB Author Page: Author Jodi Rath Twitter @jodirathGoodreads   Bookbub    Pinterest
Purchase Links: Amazon    All other e-platforms

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

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May 102019
 


On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

Pineapple Upside Down Murder (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Ohio
MYS ED llc (November 23, 2018)
Print Length: 130 pages
Digital ASIN: B07GXDPPSP

Introducing Jolie Tucker, an introverted yet passionate restaurant co-owner of Cast Iron Creations, who, at her best friend Ava’s request, steps out of her comfort zone which leads her into the shade of a killer in the small, cozy village of Leavensport, Ohio. The victim is the villages beloved Ellie Siler who runs the village sweet spot, Chocolate Capers. Jolie finds her grandma Opal is a prime suspect and goes on a search for answers only to find out that her families secret recipes may not belong to the Tucker family at all. Jolie’s job, family, and livelihood are all on the line. The answers are assuredly lethal.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

When Jolie Tucker finds out her Grandma Opal is the top suspect in the death of her friend and owner of Chocolate Capers, Ellie Siler Jolie jumps from the cast iron frying pan into the fire to prove her innocence. What she learns could bring her very short-lived dream as co-owner of the Cast Iron Creations Restaurant to an end. She could also be the killer’s next victim . . .

A dead body, stolen recipes, and family secrets highlight this delightful cozy novella.

Jolie Tucker and her best friend Ava own Cast Iron Creations that features old family recipes made in cast iron skillets. Something her grandma Opal always wanted to do but was never able to do so. Jolie handles the kitchen because she is a real introvert and readers get a little bit of the backstory as to why. Joining Jolie is this story is a big cast. Her best friend Ava, other friends Lydia, Bradley, and Keith, Ava’s girlfriend Delilah, Grandma Opal and her daughter’s, along with Roxi who works at the restaurant and her brother Rex. We also have Detective Meiser, the investigator in charge of the case. At first, I felt like I needed a scorecard to keep everyone straight. It also felt like too many characters for a story of this length. But the author did a good job of making each unique and soon I had a handle on all the players.

This mystery was really twisted up. I did want to reach into the pages and slap the detective a few times. Jolie had a long list of suspects, essentially anyone that wasn’t her grandmother. She has a lot of good theories but the visiting detective in charge wasn’t interested in anything except maybe Jolie herself. The killer reveal was a surprise for me and a nice twist.

I really enjoyed the cast iron skillet theme and I am looking forward to getting to know these characters better and in more depth in the next book, Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Murder, out June 21.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Moving into her second decade working in education, Jodi Rath has decided to begin a life of crime in her The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series. Her passion for both mysteries and education led her to combine the two to create her business MYS ED, where she splits her time between working as an adjunct for Ohio teachers and creating mischief in her fictional writing. She currently resides in a small, cozy village in Ohio with her husband and her seven cats.

Author Links:  Webpage FB Author Page: Author Jodi Rath

Twitter @jodirathGoodreads   Bookbub    Pinterest
Purchase Links: Amazon    All other e-platforms

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread Murder – Coming June 21, 2019.


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
The book will be sent directly from Amazon.
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

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

Contest Will End May 24, 2019, 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.”

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May 022019
 

This book will be released on Tuesday, May 7!


The Scent of Murder: A Mystery (A Jazz Ramsey Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
Brand New Series
Setting – Ohio
Minotaur Books (May 7, 2019)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1250180619
ISBN-13: 978-1250180612
Kindle ASIN: B07J4W96GX

First in a new series from national bestselling author Kylie Logan, The Scent of Murder is a riveting mystery following Jazz Ramsey as she trains cadaver dogs.

The way Jazz Ramsey figures it, life is pretty good. She’s thirty-five years old and owns her own home in one of Cleveland’s most diverse, artsy, and interesting neighborhoods. She has a job she likes as an administrative assistant at an all-girls school, and a volunteer interest she’s passionate about—Jazz is a cadaver dog handler.

Jazz is working with Luther, a cadaver dog in training. Luther is still learning cadaver work, so Jazz is putting him through his paces at an abandoned building that will soon be turned into pricey condos. When Luther signals a find, Jazz is stunned to see the body of a young woman who is dressed in black and wearing the kind of make-up and jewelry that Jazz used to see on the Goth kids back in high school.

She’s even more shocked when she realizes that beneath the tattoos and the piercings and all that pale make up is a familiar face.

The lead detective on the case is an old lover, and the murdered woman is an old student. Jazz finds herself sucked into the case, obsessed with learning the truth.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

What a great start for this series by Kylie Logan!

Jazz Ramsey trains cadaver dogs and works at St. Catherine’s Preparatory Academy, an all-girls school as an administrative assistant. Her two worlds collide when she finds the body of a former student while putting a dog through its paces. The tragic find also brings former lover, Detective Nick Kolesov back into her life. Pulled in many different directions Jazz needs to find the truth.  What was Florie Allen involved in? and who thought killing her was the answer?

I liked Jazz Ramsey right away. She is smart, thoughtful and driven whether working at the school, training dogs, or searching for a killer. Best friend, Sarah Carrington, is an art teacher at the school and a great sounding board for Jazz, both in her investigation and in life. She knows what happened between Jazz and Nick and tries to steer Jazz through the fire of dealing with him again. Detective Nick is not over Jazz at all, he wants to be around her but he doesn’t want her digging into his case. These characters are very well developed for the first book in the series but the author has left plenty of room for growth.

Ms. Logan’s writing style is descriptive and informative. I am not familiar with Cleveland but her words pulled me there and I was able to visualize and get the feeling of each setting from St. Catherine’s to the dilapidated building where the body was found, the new school Florie was attending and even the office of a group Florie was working for. The descriptions were also clear for the characters. I envisioned every one clearly. They were distinct and believable.

The mystery was very entertaining but I was able to focus and pull out the killer well before Jazz or Nick. A set of clues were found in an interesting and unexpected way, but I was already on the “scent” of the correct person.  Complex mysteries are hard to have in the first book of a series because the author has a huge lift by introducing the characters, some of the back history, and all their connections along with setting the time and place. She did an excellent job of this.

I really enjoyed the training for cadaver dogs. I wish there had been a few more sessions between the dog Jazz was currently working with, Luther. Hopefully, there will be more in future books.

I absolutely loved the ending and can’t wait for book two of this series.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Kylie Logan is the national bestselling author of The League of Literary Ladies Mysteries, the Button Box Mysteries, the Chili Cook-Off Mysteries, and the Ethnic Eats Mysteries, among others.

Visit her at – WebsiteFacebookTwitter

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 print copy to giveaway!
The 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.

Follow Kylie Logan on Twitter for 2 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 May 16, 2019, 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.”

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Dec 082018
 

Pineapple Upside Down Murder
(The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)

by Jodi Rath

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Hi Everyone,

I’m so excited to be a part of Escape With Dollycas Into a Good Book blog tour! Writing my first fictional book has been an amazing journey and this is the PERFECT way to end it as I move into writing book two of The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series, Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Murder. I have found that the writing community is one the most gracious and helpful communities out there. I should know as I’ve worked in Advertising, Communications (writing speeches for local city CEO’s), Vice President of a Credit Union, insurance, and now my 21st year in education—which I LOVE with a passion! I have to say all of my years in different fields have all contributed and helped me to be able to run the business I run today. So, even though some of those jobs were jobs I did not enjoy, I learned a lot and was able to take all of those lessons and apply them to what I do today! I wouldn’t change anything at all because I am thrilled with where I am right now!

Writing this series was so much fun, I feel like I’m friends with all my characters. I don’t know if that is normal or not? LOL! There will be fourteen books in this series and I have some overarching themes that will develop as the series continues that I’m very excited about! One of them deals with family and close friends and the paradox that exists with love/hate relationships: how we all navigate through that. My protagonist, Jolie Tucker, always says, “Why is it my family can push my buttons so easily? Oh, yeah, they installed them!” SO TRUE! I love my family to death, but no one can rile me up faster than them. BUT if anyone says one bad thing about them, WATCH OUT!

~Jodi

Thank you, Jodi, for visiting today!

Read on to find out all about Jodi’s book, Pineapple Upside Down Murder!

 

About the Book

Pineapple Upside Down Murder (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
MYS ED llc (November 23, 2018)
Print Length: 130 pages
Digital ASIN: B07GXDPPSP

Introducing Jolie Tucker, an introverted yet passionate restaurant co-owner of Cast Iron Creations, who, at her best friend Ava’s request, steps out of her comfort zone which leads her into the shade of a killer in the small, cozy village of Leavensport, Ohio. The victim is the villages beloved Ellie Siler who runs the village sweet spot, Chocolate Capers. Jolie finds her grandma Opal is a prime suspect and goes on a search for answers only to find out that her families secret recipes may not belong to the Tucker family at all. Jolie’s job, family, and livelihood are all on the line. The answers are assuredly lethal.

Praise for Pineapple Upside Down Murder (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)
by Jodi Rath

With a quirky population of characters who have known each other for many years, this small town cozy is full of surprises.
~Laura’s Interests

 

About the Author

Moving into her second decade working in education, Jodi Rath has decided to begin a life of crime in her The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series. Her passion for both mysteries and education led her to combine the two to create her business MYS ED, where she splits her time between working as an adjunct for Ohio teachers and creating mischief in her fictional writing. She currently resides in a small, cozy village in Ohio with her husband and her seven cats.

Author Links:  Webpage FB Author Page: Author Jodi Rath  Twitter @jodirath

Goodreads   Bookbub    Pinterest

Purchase Links:

Amazon 
   All other e-platforms

Thanks to the author I have 1 e-copy to giveaway! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
December 6 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 6 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
December 7 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 7 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY
December 8 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 8 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
December 9 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW, RECIPE
December 10 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 11 –Valerie’s Musings – GUEST POST
December 12 – Handcrafted Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY
December 13 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
December 14 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY
December 14 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
December 15 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
December 16 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 16 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, GUEST POST
December 17 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 18 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 18 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
December 19 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

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Oct 022018
 

Premeditated Peppermint (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Ohio
Kensington (September 25, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1496706439
ISBN-13: 978-1496706430
Kindle ASIN: B078QSP1VH

Someone’s sweet on revenge . . .

Christmas is Bailey King’s favorite time of year. For her first Yuletide in Harvest, Ohio, the former big-city chocolatier is recreating a cherished holiday treat: peppermint combined with molten white chocolate. But her sugar high plummets when her former boyfriend walks into the candy shop she now runs with her Amish grandmother. New York celebrity chef Eric Sharp and his TV crew have arrived to film an authentic Amish Christmas. Bailey’s not about to let her beloved town—and Swissmen Sweets—be turned into a sound bite. Unfortunately, she gets more publicity than she bargained for when Eric’s executive producer is found strangled to death—and Eric’s the prime suspect.

With Bailey’s sheriff deputy boyfriend out to prove Eric’s guilt, her bad-boy ex tries to sweet-talk her into helping him clear his name . . . and rekindle their romance to boost ratings for his show. Now, between a surplus of suspects and a victim who wasn’t who she seemed, Bailey’s edging dangerously close to a killer who isn’t looking to bring joy to the world—or to Bailey—this deadly Noel . . .

Recipe Included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Everything is not Merry this Christmas season in Harvest, Ohio. Eric Sharp, Bailey King’s ex has shown up with a camera crew to catch on film an authentic Amish Christmas for his new television show just in time for annual Harvest Christmas Market.  Seems his producers need the celebrity chef to be more human/friendly and they think this episode will do the trick. The problem is that he wants to showcase Swissmen Sweets and just expects Bailey to go along with his plan, never thinking about her grandmother, an Amish woman that has no desire to been seen on camera. The Amish community itself shuns any type of photographic participation.

Early the next morning as Bailey is on her way to tell the producer that it is unlikely that her grandmother will approve any filming in the sweet shop, she notices something that draws her to the gazebo in the park. As she arrives she finds the producer dead and Eric Sharp standing over the body. Of course, he is the prime suspect but Bailey can’t wrap her head around Eric as a killer. She quickly finds herself involved in several Christmas Market events and she plans to use that as a way to try to clear Eric from the suspect list. She is no longer sweet on him, but she hopes to keep him out of jail for the holidays.

Peppermint, peppermint, and more peppermint. I was craving it throughout this whole book and it is darn hard to find peppermint bark or fudge or canes this time of year. I had to settle for the hard candy and that didn’t really curb my cravings. 🙂 Can’t wait for Christmas candy to hit the stores, probably any day now.

The characters in this series are so much fun. Amish and Englishers do their best to coexist in Harvest. Bailey and her grandmother have hired Charlotte to work with them at Swissmen Sweets. This way Bailey has time to get caught up in her investigations. Her relationship with Deputy Aiden Brody gets just a little bit closer. His mother already has them engaged and headed down the aisle. She and her pet pig, Jethro are involved again in the whole story and that leads to some very humorous moments. She thinks Jethro needs to make his television debut and someday have a show of his own.

The mystery was pretty complex. Who would want Rocky Rivers dead? Are they Amish or Englisch? and what was she hiding? I loved that Bailey’s BFF hopped on a plane and flew to Harvest to be at Bailey’s side when she heard Eric had come to town. Cass thinks on her feet and not only helped with the investigation but played a big part in getting Bailey an offer that may be just too hard to refuse. They work well together and find some huge clues the police had missed.

Well written and plotted, Amanda Flower has given her readers one sweet treat to devour this holiday season. Christmas in Harvest sounds delightful, sans the murder, of course. A perfect escape for when the temps get lower and the snow starts to fly.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Check out my review of Assaulted Caramel here and Lethal Licorice here.

About This Author

Amanda Flower, a two-time Agatha Award-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. She also writes mysteries as national bestselling author Isabella Alan. In addition to being an author, Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland.

Author Links:

Website  Pen Name Website     Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads    Pinterest




Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series (writing as Isabella Alan)

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
The 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.

Subscribe to Amanda’s Newsletter 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 October 16, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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Aug 232018
 

Trust Me
Suspense/Mystery
Forge Books (August 28, 2018)
Hardcover: 400 pages
ISBN-10: 0765393077
ISBN-13: 978-0765393074
Kindle ASIN: B078X31CP2

Trust Me!

An accused killer insists she’s innocent of a heinous murder.

A grieving journalist surfaces from the wreckage of her shattered life.

Their unlikely alliance leads to a dangerous cat and mouse game that will leave you breathless.

Who can you trust when you can’t trust yourself?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Former journalist Mercer Hennessey is still trying to deal with the car accident that took her husband and 3-year-old daughter when her former editor, Katherine pitches her a true-crime book idea. Ashlyn Bryant is on trial for murdering her 2-year-old daughter. Bryant has proclaimed her innocence since she was arrested. Katherine wants Mercer to watch the trial and write about having the book ready shortly after the trial ends. Mercer agrees hoping it will help her start to move on from her grief but the trial and aftermath effect her in ways she never imagined.

As a mom who has lost a child, an adult child, not a toddler, I felt Mercer’s grief really resonated with me and as the story continued by heart just broke for this character. I know that pain and the author brought it out in her words with an expert hand. Mercer has a little ritual that was very similar to one I have which gave me a link into her “new” normal.

The author also created a very unlikable character in Ashlyn Bryant. Totally shady and more twisted as the story continues. While she has a problem telling the truth she came across as very real.

The book is broken into 3 parts and Ms. Ryan takes us on quite a journey as we work our way through a complicated story. I liked the step by step process of part 1 very much and seeing Mercer’s start on the book. I am a big fan of courtroom drama. The story takes a huge turn at the start of Part 2. I admire Mercer for her strength to take on a true crime novel and stick with it until the end and all she has to endure. I would not have been able to deal with half of what Mercer did. The characters in this story are full of depth.

In the midst of what really is a dark story, there is just a little thing that does cut through. On the feeds that Mercer is watching there is a man, a “voice” that announces what will be happening at the trial at the beginning of the day, breaks in if need be with announcements, and signs off at the end of the day. It is just his voice, he is never seen on camera, but he does his best to put a smile on people who are watching the feed.

I hesitate to give too many details because to get the full impact of this story you must read it fresh for yourself. The author not only manipulates the characters she manipulated my thinking too. The story is a true psychological mystery that is so twisted you don’t know who to trust. But TRUST ME, this is a book you will want to read, preorder so you have it immediately when it is released next Tuesday!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out more about Hank Phillippi Ryan and her books on her website here.

Click on the cover to order from Amazon.

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.”

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Jul 112018
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am delighted to welcome Kylie Logan back to Escape with Dollycas!

Guest Post | ITALIAN ICED by Kylie Logan
(Provided by Publicist)

 

Writing cozy mysteries is a funny thing.

After all, I’ve been told by numerous readers that they come back to a mystery series book after book because they love the world the author creates.  Whether it’s a sweet little button shop in Chicago (like in my Button Box mysteries) or the idyllic island in Lake Erie where my League of Literary Ladies live, there is something about the people and the setting and the atmosphere an author creates that often appeals to readers even more than the mystery.

But, aha!  That last word in the above sentence is the key.

Mystery.

It’s tricky.  We create these great characters and often, they’re friends or family of our main character, people she loves and people she deals with every day.   And as authors, we grow to love these people, too.

And then we have to make bad things happen to them.

Sigh.

It’s true, every single time and with every single book.  If it wasn’t, there would be no story.

In my Ethnic Eats mysteries, it takes a bit for my heroine, Laurel Inwood, to warm up to her cozy family.  Laurel grew up in the foster system and she doesn’t trust easily.  When she finds herself out of a job (she was the private chef of a Hollywood super-star) and in Hubbard, Ohio with her foster’s mother’s sister, Sophie, she’s got a whole new world to get used to.  Trust me, she settles in eventually, even after she meets handsome, maddening, enticing Declan Fury and his huge Irish family.

And then I make terrible things happen to these really nice people.

In book #1 of the series, “Irish Stewed,” a local investigative TV reporter is killed at the restaurant Sophie owns.  In book #2, “French Fried,” the victim is a beloved neighbor.  And now in book #3, “Italian Iced,” Laurel’s old Hollywood crowd shows up.  Obviously, one of them is bound to end up dead!

Through it all–the egotistical Italian race car driver, the twit of an assistant, the teen with a chip on his shoulder–Laurel knows she’s got friends to stand by her side.

And that, I think, is the real appeal of the cozy.  These characters we know and love will come through it all, and there’s always a happily ever after waiting for them on the other side.

~Kylie

Thank you so much, Kylie, for visiting today! 

Now let me tell you more about Italian Iced!


Italian Iced (An Ethnic Eats Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Ohio
Berkley (June 26, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 042527490X
ISBN-13: 978-0425274903
Kindle ASIN: B07693J4WL

 

 

Hot pasta and a cold corpse make for quite a combination in the latest book in the Ethnic Eats mystery series.

When Laurel Inwood features Italian cuisine on the Terminal at the Tracks menu, she knows she’ll need to stock the shelves, the fridge, and the freezer with plenty of wonderful delicacies. She just never expected one of them to be her former employer, Hollywood superstar Meghan Cohan.

And one day, when Laurel is at the restaurant early to get ready for the regular rush of customers, that’s exactly what she finds–Meghan dead in the Terminal freezer.

What’s a Hollywood A-lister doing in Hubbard, Ohio?

For Laurel, that’s the real question, because the first question she’d ask in any other murder investigation–who would want the victim dead?–seems pretty much a no-brainer in this case.

Who would want Meghan dead?

Just about anybody who had ever met her.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I really love this series. Growing up in a family that owned and operated a restaurant much like the Terminal at the Tracks before Laurel arrived I know the author’s depiction of how hard it is to keep an eatery open with enough customers to turn a profit is true. My mother sold the restaurant not long after my father passed and no one else has been able to take it over and replicate the success she had. I love Laurel’s idea of a different type of cuisine every month while still keeping customer favorite’s on the menu. It keeps the menu fresh and fun both for the customers and the cooks.

By this third book in the series, Laurel has decided to stay in Hubbard and Sophia is back to work. A new waitress adds a bit of drama, but the staff works together like a well-oiled machine. The characters this author has created are so realistic. I feel like I could take a little trip to Ohio and walk right into the Terminal at the Tracks. The dialogue rings true. The relationships have developed naturally. This cast has worked their way right into my heart.

The idea of Hollywood superstar Meghan Cohan, Laurel’s former employer showing up in Hubbard would never have crossed my mind. I was totally surprised at how she made her appearance. To have her be the victim brought a wonderful new group of characters to the story. Her assistant, her son, her ex-husband and more. So many likely suspects all with the motive to cause her icy demise.

Ms. Logan plotted this story out with knife-like precision. Twists and turns with a real mystery not only of “whodunit” but why they “dunit”. Laurel has a heck of a time figuring this one out even after she ends up out cold and headed to the hospital. I was totally in the dark until the very end. I love the way all the suspects were brought together for the grand reveal.

I did enjoy how the events in the story allowed Laurel to look back at her life in California and even back to being a foster child. This made it possible to really open herself up to opportunities that were staring her right in the face.

This is an excellent addition to this series. The way the final pages are written I am sad to say I think this is the last book in this series which really upsets me. These are characters I am not ready to say goodbye to and there are so many more countries to visit for ethnic eats. I really hope I am wrong.

I highly recommend all three books in this series!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Check out my review of Irish Stewed here and French Fried here.

You can find out about Kylie Logan and her books on her website here.

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 print copy to giveaway!
The 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 Kylie 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 July 25, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

 

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Jun 292018
 

On FlashbackFridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

 


French Fried (An Ethnic Eats Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Ohio
Berkley (June 6, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0425274896
ISBN-13: 978-0425274897
Kindle ASIN: B01M7NS5N6

 

 

Poison’s on the menu in the second book in the national bestselling Ethnic Eats series featuring Laurel Inwood and the quirky residents of Hubbard, Ohio.

The Statue of Liberty is 130 years old, and for the struggling residents of Hubbard, Ohio, any opportunity to bring in tourists is reason enough for a celebration. Laurel Inwood and her aunt, Sophie, are pitching in. Sophie’s Terminal at the Tracks, a former greasy spoon turned charming ethnic eatery, will be offering French cuisine for the entire week.

For expert help with their quiche and escargot, the ladies turn to Raquel “Rocky” Arnaud, a former French chef and friend of Sophie. What looks like a match made in heaven turns rank as quickly as buttermilk on a summer’s day. Rocky turns up dead and when her nightly red wine shows notes of oak, cinnamon, and poison, Laurel turns from soufflé to sleuth.

INCLUDES A RECIPE

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Laurel Inwood has stayed in Ohio even though her Aunt Sophie is back to work. She has applied for a job as a private chef and hopes it will be her ticket out of town. Until then, Hubbard is celebrating the Statue of Liberty in its quest to bring more tourists to town and Sophie’s Terminal at the Tracks is serving up French cuisine. Sophie’s friend, a former French chef, Raquel “Rocky” Arnaud has shared some recipes and herbs from her garden to make the dishes as authentic as possible.

The city celebration also includes a parade, a signing by a French author, fireworks, and a Statue of Liberty expert will be speaking at the library. Rocky was excited to attend all the events, but she caused a scene at the bookstore and left the parade early. Then she failed to show up for the fireworks. Laurel and Declan are worried about her and with good cause. When they arrive at her little farm, Pacifique (Peaceful), there is loud music playing and Rocky dead in a chair with an open bottle of wine and an empty wine glass on the table next to her. The police arrive and as soon as poisoning is confirmed they decide it was a case of suicide. Both Laurel and Sophie know that can’t be the case. Declan in his efforts to protect Laurel attaches himself to her rogue investigation to prove Rocky was murdered and get Rocky the justice she deserves.

Oh, Kylie Logan has cooked us readers up a delicious story!!

I love the setting of Sophie’s restaurant and Declan’s store nearby. The unique little traintown is doing all it can to bring in business. Celebrating the 130th birthday of the Statue of Liberty, sure why not. It sets of the French theme of this installment of the series perfectly.

The characters are continuing to develop. It was wonderful to see Sophie’s improvement but that gives Laurel the boost to move on. Her coming to help Sophie is just a temporary arrangement. That is why she has worked to keep Declan at arm’s length. But Declan has other ideas. I love the way his whole family supports him in his pursuit of Laurel, even though she isn’t the Irish woman he claims to be looking for.

As for the mystery, it was so well written. I was totally floored when the actual killer was revealed. There were a few red herrings thrown into the pot that really changed things up. Even when Laurel started to really get a “picture” of the killer and revealed it out loud, I was like, “no, that can’t be right”. Then after the reveal, there was another little twist that again rocked me to my core, a shiver went right up my spine.

I so enjoyed the way the entire story flowed. The subplots melded nicely with the mystery and there were some surprises there too. Ms. Logan knows how to keep our attention for all 300+ pages and leaves us more than ready to rush into the next installment of this series. I am so excited to read Italian Iced! It will be released next week.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out about Kylie Logan and her books on her website here.


Coming July 3, 2018

GIVEAWAY

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End July 13, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

 

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