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.”

 

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.”

 

Apr 242018
 


Death by Dumpling: A Noodle Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Ohio
St. Martin’s Paperbacks (March 27, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1250129154
Kindle ASIN: B075DGHHQK

 

 

Welcome to the Ho-Lee Noodle House, where the Chinese food is to die for. . .

The last place Lana Lee thought she would ever end up is back at her family’s restaurant. But after a brutal break-up and a dramatic workplace walk-out, she figures that helping wait tables is her best option for putting her life back together. Even if that means having to put up with her mother, who is dead-set on finding her a husband.

Lana’s love life soon becomes yesterday’s news once the restaurant’s property manager, Mr. Feng, turns up dead—after a delivery of shrimp dumplings from Ho-Lee. But how could this have happened when everyone on staff knew about Mr. Feng’s severe, life-threatening shellfish allergy? Now, with the whole restaurant under suspicion for murder and the local media in a feeding frenzy—to say nothing of the gorgeous police detective who keeps turning up for take-out—it’s up to Lana to find out who is behind Feng’s killer order. . . before her own number is up.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

While not a fan of Chinese food, this cover caught my attention, plus it was the first book in a new series so I added to my Kindle immediately.

Lana Lee has grown up working in her mother’s restaurant but never expected to back working there now. Her mother is quite pleased because having her close means she can work on finding Lana a husband. That is the last thing on Lana’s mind.

The restaurant is part of the Asia Village. A plaza that is part of the original Chinatown area on the east side of Cleveland. It is managed by Mr. Feng, who orders lunch from the Ho-Lee Noodle House all the time. The staff knows his dietary restrictions by heart. So when the man is found dead in his office right after finishing his Ho-Lee dumplings everyone is in shock. The chef becomes the #1 suspect and Lana decides she needs to be the one to serve up the real killer. That is if they don’t kill her first.

Ms. Chien has cooked up a great start for this Noodle Mystery Series. A fresh new idea bringing the Asian culture to cozy readers.

The staff at Ho-Lee Noodle House are family. They have known and worked together for years. The same can be said of most of the store owners in the plaza. The author does an excellent job of introducing the cast and the connections to each other. She also introduces Lana’s roommate/friend, Megan Riley, Detective Trudeau and Lana’s dog Kikko. They are an eclectic cast of characters and very well developed for the first book in a series.

The book had a good pace, my finger was swiping the pages rapidly. Twists and turns, and drama that took us to some unexpected places. Lana was a determined sleuth, no matter how many times Detective Trudeau told her to leave the investigation to him. The author took us on a delightful journey to catch the killer with some hard to figure out clues.

I found the setting very interesting and enjoyed learning how the plaza had evolved over the years and how it was the heart of this community.

An entertaining cozy. Mystery, humor and just a bit of romance served up with noodles and dumplings on the side. Vivien Chien has brought a fresh voice to this genre and I am hungry for more. I have marked my calendar, Dim Sum of All Fears will be released August 28. 

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About the Author

Vivien Chien was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio where she grew up in a mixed-race home, making for some very interesting cultural experiences. She found her love of books and the written word at an early age while writing short stories about her classmates in elementary school. Currently, she writes side-by-side with her toy fox terrier who refuses to sit anywhere else. When she’s not writing the Noodle Shop mysteries, Vivien enjoys frequenting local Asian restaurants, frolicking in the bookstore, and searching for her next donut. (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.”

Mar 022018
 

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.

Irish Stewed (An Ethnic Eats Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Ohio
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Release Date – May 3, 2016
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425274880
Kindle ASIN: B013Q70CVK

 

 

After flopping as a personal chef to a Hollywood movie star, jobless Laurel Inwood finds herself humbled in Hubbard, Ohio, helping her aunt Sophie run her restaurant. Much to Laurel’s dismay, Sophie’s Terminal at the Tracks is not the cozy bistro her aunt would have had her believe—it’s a run-down greasy spoon in an old railroad station. To save the dingy diner, Laurel cooks up a plan to feature alternating ethnic cuisine as specials.

But first, there’s the problem of the body in the booth. Slumped over a table with a receipt spike in his back is Jack Lancer—“the Lance of Justice”—an investigative reporter for local TV news. Assisted by the drop-dead gorgeous owner of the neighboring Irish store—who may or may not be a suspect—Laurel sets out to track down a killer who had no reservations about impaling a newshound. But as she turns up the heat, will she end up in the soup herself?

INCLUDES RECIPES

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Laurel Inwood arrives in Hubbard, Ohio to find two surprises.

  1. Her aunt Sophie’s restaurant is in nowhere close to what she expected – more greasy spoon – less cozy bistro cafe.
  2.  There is a dead body in a booth with a receipt spike stuck in his back.

What can Laurel do? her “aunt” is having surgery tomorrow and needs Laurel to run the restaurant. Maybe she can make a few “minor” changes. . . but how will business really be after someone was murdered there? She has a prime suspect in mind but can that handsome man really be a murderer. He also wants to help her track down the killer. She doesn’t trust him but he knows the residents of Hubbard better than she does. She may need the Luck of the Irish to get her out of this mess. Save the restaurant and find the killer . . . maybe Hollywood wasn’t that bad.

Reading this book was a delightful way to spend my Saturday. It brought back memories of my mother’s restaurant and the one she worked at while I was growing up. The later was called “the greasy spoon” by everyone. It is always hard to keep businesses like this thriving especially today with so many options. I loved Laurel’s idea and loved that she started her ethic eats concept with Irish comfort foods.

Laurel is smart and can cook virtually anything. She is given a recipe for Irish Stew and she takes it and runs with it. Her upbringing as a foster child gives her an interesting way to look at life and the relationships she makes. Laurel holds nothing back when she confronts her aunt about her deception about Sophie’s Terminal at the Tracks and that she may not be sticking around. She is a tough cookie on the outside and in this first story in this series, just a little bit of the softer inside begins to show. There is a potential for a lot of character growth and I want to get to know her better and Sophia too.

Laurel’s relationship with Declan, the hunky manager of The Irish Shop, is pretty complex. There is romantic tension, but she doesn’t trust him, and their arguments were very couple-ish. He also has a wonderful family that accepted Laurel immediately.

The man who was murdered Jack Lancer—“the Lance of Justice” was a local reporter that appeared to be loved by everyone, until Laural started really digging into his life and the stories he featured. I really enjoyed this way this progressed throughout the book. There were so many surprises in addition to a few twists that kept my eyes riveted to the page.

This series is off to a terrific start. Well-written, nicely plotted and characters I want to know better. I am looking forward to reading French Fried soon.

Your Great Escapes 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!
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 March 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.”

Feb 272018
 

Lethal Licorice (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Ohio
Kensington (February 27, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496706416
Kindle ASIN: B07178STN6

 

 

Too many sweets spoil the murder . . .
 
Harvest, Ohio, is a long way from New York City, where Bailey King left a coveted job as a head chocolatier to take over Swissmen Sweets, her Amish grandparents’ candy shop. Now, while caring for her recently widowed grandmother, she plans to honor her grandfather’s memory by entering the annual Amish Confectionery Competition. But between lavender blueberry fudge and chocolate cherry ganache truffles, Bailey may have bitten off more than she can chew when the search for a missing pot-bellied pig turns up a body suffering from sugar overload—the fatal kind . . .

A candy maker from a neighboring town who wanted Englischer Bailey disqualified for being an outsider, Josephine Weaver died from an allergy to an essential licorice ingredient. The suspects include Josephine’s niece, a young woman going through her rumspringa, or running around time, and Bailey herself. Now it falls to Bailey, who’s sweet on the local sheriff’s deputy, to clear their names and entice a killer with a cast-iron stomach for cold-blooded murder . . .
Recipe Included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The Amish Confectionery Competition has come to Harvest, Ohio and Bailey King has been allowed to participate even though she is not Amish. There are some contestants not happy that she is competing against them.  Especially Josephine Weaver and she loudly voices her opinion. But before the judges even taste Bailey’s licorice, she finds Josephine’s body. She was just trying to find Juliet Brody’s pot-bellied pig, the last thing she needed to see was another dead body. When the police hear about her argument with Josephine she knows she is going to be their prime suspect. Deputy Aiden Brody is sweet on Bailey, but she knows she is going to need to find the real culprit on her own.

Lethal Licorice picks up almost where Assaulted Carmamel leaves off. Bailey’s grandmother is still adjusting to life without her beloved, Jebediah. Bailey is honored to take his place in the Amish Confectionery Competition hoping to bring some sunshine back into her Maami’s life. Bailey also learns she has a new cousin Charlotte. Charlotte is going through the Amish tradition of rumspringa before making her decision to join the church. Her family, which includes the newly deceased, is not happy about her musical decision. This also lands her on the list of suspects.

I so enjoy the characters in the series. Bailey finding her way among the Amish is so interesting. She is strong and smart and committed to helping her grandmother in any way she can. A romance in her life is just on the cusp. Everyone seems to think she and Deputy Aiden Brody would make the perfect couple.

The characters all have a certain charm that made me what to know them all better. A young Amish woman, Emily Esh, really resonated with me. We have just barely touched on her life story and I hope we get to know her better in a future story.

Now this mystery was a fun one to solve. I am not a fan of licorice at all, but to have it be part of a murder was just fantastic. I had never heard of a licorice allergy but I suppose people can be allergic to just about anything. The victim owned a candy store in a nearby town and Bailey quickly learns of several new motives for her death and people not so sorry the woman is dead. There was also another woman entered into the competition who was pretty shifty so she is on Bailey’s list as well. But when the real guilty party is revealed I was completely shocked and surprised. I sure didn’t see it coming.

This story is a fantastic addition to this series. I love the peek that this author gives us into Amish life and the Englischers. Both books in this series are must reads.  Book 3, Premeditated Peppermint will be released September 25. 

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

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!
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.

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 March 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.”

Jan 262018
 

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.

I scheduled myself for the Murder of a Good Man Great Escapes tour today which didn’t leave enough time to read a Flashback Friday book today, so I hope you enjoy this giveaway. 

The Silence of the Flans
(An Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Ohio
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Release Date – March 7, 2017
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425280904
E-Book ASIN: B01H17UCGG

Baker Winnie Johnson does her best work when the heat is on. As owner of the Emergency Dessert Squad, she has a deft touch in the kitchen and a soft spot for lost causes. So when her business professor beau, Jay Morgan, expresses misgivings over having to fail one of his fourth-year students, Winnie cooks up a sweet solution.

She’ll offer an extra credit opportunity in exchange for a little help with her growing business. But when her protégé’s first dessert delivery poisons a student journalist, the publicity threatens to burn Winnie’s business to a crisp. Now the entrepreneur-turned-detective must uncover the ingredients behind a recipe for murder before she crumbles under pressure…

RECIPES INCLUDED

About The Author

Laura is the national bestselling author of several mystery series, including the Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries, the Amish Mysteries, the Jenkins & Burns Mysteries, and the brand new Tobi Tobias Mysteries. She is a former Agatha Award nominee and the recipient of an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award in romance. When she’s not writing, Laura enjoys making memories with her family, baking, and being an advocate for those living with Multiple Sclerosis.

To learn more, visit her website: www.laurabradford.com, or hang out with her on Facebook at:  https://www.facebook.com/laurabradfordauthor/?fref=ts. She can also be found occasionally tweeting at: @Bradfordauthor.

 

Also by Laura Bradford

Click here for more books by Laura Bradford.

Click Here for books written as Elizabeth Lynn Casey.

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway on 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 9, 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

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jan 102018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am always happy when Laura Bradford drops by for a visit! 

First Suspend, Then Fun

By Laura Bradford

Author of Dial M For Mousse,
an Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery

When you write a cozy mystery you have certain aspects you must adhere to, not the least of which is the whole small-town/amateur sleuth backdrop. In and of itself, basing a story in a small town provides lots of background fodder—gossip, connections, fights, secrets, etc.  But when it comes to the mystery component and the fact that murder must happen in this small town again and again (and again), you need your readers to be willing to suspend reality to an extent. Still, just as they need to accept the fact that ten murders have happened in quaint little Nowheresville, Ohio in as many (or less) years, you, as the writer, must make your sleuth’s reason for getting involved believable. Because really, why is the average-Joe bookseller going to keep putting herself in harm’s way to solve yet another murder?

It’s that challenge that I find particularly fun about writing a cozy mystery. I like seeing how the main murder plot can draw my main character toward it, rather than away from it like most normal people would go.

Just by the very nature of my Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries, my main character, Winnie Johnson, is on the go—delivering her emergency themed desserts to college dorm rooms, businesses, personal residences, and even local politicians. So the potential for her to stumble across something out of the ordinary is higher than, say, a bookseller who stays in one place. But even if she comes across a body, there has to be a reason she’d want to get involved rather than just go home, detox with a hunk of chocolate, and let the local cops do their job.

In Éclair and Present Danger, the debut book in the series, grief propels Winnie to get involved when her elderly neighbor is murdered.

In The Silence of the Flans, book #2 in the series, desperation propels Winnie to get involved when the victim dies while eating one of her desserts.

And in Dial M for Mousse, the latest book in the series, anger propels Winnie to get involved when a routine delivery is manipulated into an alibi for murder.

So while it may be hard to fathom stumbling across dead bodies on a routine basis, everyone, on some level, knows grief…and desperation…and anger. And as long as we can identify on some level, suspending reality for our small town backdrop isn’t all that difficult. In fact, it’s actually kind of fun…

~Laura

Thank you for visiting today, Laura!


Dial M for Mousse (An Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Ohio
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (January 2, 2018)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425281253
Kindle ASIN: B06Y573L55

 

 

Murder takes the cake in an irresistible Emergency Dessert Squad mystery from the national bestselling author of The Silence of the Flans.

The Emergency Dessert Squad business is booming, with owner and baker Winnie Johnson working overtime to satisfy the emergency cravings of Silver Lake, Ohio. Her latest order, a plate of motivational desserts for an artists’ retreat, is just what she needs to keep her mind off her own relationship woes.

But Winnie’s problems seem like trifles when she discovers the body of retreat owner Sally Dearfield mere inches away from five oh-so-eccentric and viable suspects. Now, this baking detective must uncover the inspiration behind Sally’s murder before another creative genius is iced.

RECIPES INCLUDED

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Winnie’s business continues to grow. With all her friend’s help, she creates delectable desserts to rescue her customers from things like a bad breakup, loss of a job, and anything else you can imagine. In this story, she has been asked to bake up motivational treats for a group of artists with different talents at a local retreat. After she delivers the goodies she goes to tell the owner and finds her dead on the floor with all the artists standing nearby. The police immediately suspect foul play and Winnie has a dessert connection with all the viable suspects which lands her right in the middle of another murder investigation.

The author has created a very unique theme for this series. After the expenses of having a bakery in a storefront became beyond what Winnie could afford she started a home-based business and uses an old ambulance she inherited to deliver her desserts to her customers. The treats even arrive on a stretcher complete with icing IV’s. She also inherited a cat that goes along for each delivery.

The characters are all very well developed. Most of Winnie’s friends are senior citizens and she has a real bond with them. They along with her best friend Renee are her taste testers and her confidants. Renee is also Winnie’s only employee.  Her romantic relationship with a local college professor, who she met when making a delivery to him, is a little murky. His teenage daughter does not like her father giving anyone else attention and she has done everything she can to break them up.

I thought solving the murder this time would be easy as we knew from the start there were only five suspects, but it turned out to be very complex. None were very forthcoming and all appeared to be hiding something. Winnie didn’t give up though and I really enjoyed following each little hint and clue right along with her.

The clever theme of this series, interesting characters, and a very imaginative plot kept this reader very entertained. All the dessert talk and descriptions made my mouth water. I loved the names Winnie gave her goodies.

A fun read that stands on its own but the series is better served if you start at the beginning.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Laura Bradford is the national bestselling author of many mystery series, including the Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries, the Amish Mysteries, and the brand new Tobi Tobias Mysteries. Her first women’s fiction novel, Portrait of a Sister, will release in June 2018. When she’s not writing, Laura enjoys making memories with her family, baking, and being an advocate for those living with Multiple Sclerosis.

To learn more, visit her website: www.laurabradford.com, or hang out with her on Facebook. She can also be found occasionally tweeting at @Bradfordauthor.

 

Also by Laura Bradford

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Click Here for books written as Elizabeth Lynn Casey.


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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.”

Nov 252017
 

Assault and Buttery
(A Popcorn Shop Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Ohio
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (November 7, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425280935
Kindle ASIN: B06W549M59

 

 

Repairs are under way at Rebecca Anderson’s gourmet popcorn shop. With production of her tasty treats on hold, Rebecca has plenty of time to read the old diary she discovered hidden in the shop’s walls. It’s a fun peek into her town’s history…until the diary’s abrupt ending leaves Rebecca wondering whether she’s actually stumbled upon a cold case.

Unfortunately for Rebecca, mysteries are popping up right and left. When local busybody Lloyd McLaughlin is found dead, the police suspect he was poisoned by Rebecca’s popcorn. But Rebecca has only made one batch of popcorn recently, and it wasn’t intended for Lloyd. Nothing about Lloyd’s death makes sense—until Rebecca discovers a startling connection between the missing diary-writer and the murdered man.

Now, with her reputation on the line, Rebecca must discover who’s been cooking up murder—both in the past and in the present.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Kristi Abbott takes a unique approach for the third book in this series. We find our protagonist, Rebecca Anderson in jail. She then uses flashbacks to tell how the gourmet popcorn maker ended up there. Between her shop being under construction to repair the damage that happened in the last book, a found dairy from the 50’s, a town council race and a dead body Rebecca has her hands full. It seems her habit of popping herself into police business has pushed Sheriff Dan way too far, he may be her best friend and brother-in-law, but right now he is not her favorite person.

I loved the way this story was told! Rebecca in jail, in a town surrounded by friends, was fun and at times laugh out loud funny. Antics portrayed in this story could only happen in a small town. We learn the details of her incarceration as she tells her story to the woman in the cell across from hers. The why was understandable, the how and the who was surprising, and the prosecutor’s case and the judge’s orders made me a bit upset. It was stereotypical of an earlier time in history. It fit with the story and set forth more than a few comedic scenes, so I understand the reason the author went the way she did for the story.

The story has an even pace, the first half of the book takes us through the past and then catches up to present day. At this point, the pace picks up as we start to look closer at the suspects and their motives. Secrets revealed and more than a few twists had me totally captivated to the last page.

The story is well written and the characters really “POP”. This is my favorite book of the series and I hope it isn’t the last. I am excited to read more about Rebecca and her friends and family.

There are also recipes in the back of the book. The S’mores Popcorn Bars will popping up in our home soon.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out more about Kristi on her webpage here. Like her on Facebook.  Follow her on Twitter.  Contact her here with recipes ?

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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.”

 

 

 

Oct 132017
 


Death by Eggnog (A Bookstore Cafe Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Kensington (September 26, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496708878
Kindle ASIN: B01N9NDYSU

Krissy Hancock is staying in her adopted hometown of Pine Hills, Ohio, for Christmas this year—and she even has a whole week off from her combination bookstore-café. But a killer is about to dampen her spirits . . .

Unfortunately, Krissy’s been roped into filling in for a sick elf in the local holiday musical extravaganza. With a demanding director, backstage gossip, and two men in fierce competition for the starring role, it isn’t all sweetness and Christmas lights. Then a murder puts a stop to the production, and Krissy is faced with a pageant of suspects.

Could her ex-boyfriend, a fellow elf, really be the culprit as the police are claiming? Or will the actor playing Santa be trading his red suit for an orange jumpsuit? When her behind-the-scenes investigation starts getting dangerous, the only thing Krissy really wants is to make it to Christmas dinner alive. But first she’ll have to finish wrapping up this case . . .

About the Author

Alex Erickson has always wanted to write, even at a young, impressionable age. He’s always had an interest in the motive behind murder, which has led him down his current path. He’s always ready with a witty—at least in his opinion—quip, and tries to keep every conversation light and friendly. Alex lives in Ohio with his family and resident felines, who provide endless amounts of inspiration. You can visit him on Twitter  and on Facebook.


Coming June 26, 2018

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Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Aug 312017
 

Assaulted Caramel (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Setting – Ohio
Kensington (August 29, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496706393
Kindle ASIN: B01MQSAI6E

 

 

Sometimes you need a sweet tooth to take a bite out of crime . . .

Bailey King is living the sweet life as assistant chocolatier at world-famous JP Chocolates in New York City. But just when Bailey’s up for a life-changing promotion, her grandmother calls with news that her grandfather’s heart condition has worsened. Bailey rushes to Harvest, Ohio, where her grandparents still run Swissmen Sweets, the Amish candy shop where she was first introduced to delicious fudge, truffles, and other assorted delights.

She finds her grandfather is doing better than she feared. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for a local Englisch developer, whom Bailey finds dead in the candy shop kitchen—with Jebediah King’s chocolate knife buried in his chest. Now the police are sweet on her grandfather as the prime suspect. Despite the sincere efforts of a yummy deputy with chocolate-brown eyes, Bailey takes it on herself to clear Jebediah. But as a cunning killer tries to fudge the truth, Bailey may be headed straight into a whole batch of trouble . . .

Recipe Included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Wow! What a fantastic start for this series!

Bailey King is up for a huge promotion at JP Chocolates in New York City, but she receives a call that her grandfather is very ill in Harvest, Ohio. Her grandparents are the ones that introduced her to everything chocolate at their Amish candy shop, Swissmen Sweets. Hoping it will be a quick trip she rushes to be with them. Her grandfather pushes away any concern but she can see he is failing.

Adjusting to their Amish ways she has to charge her cell phone in the shop kitchen as their are no outlets in their living quarters above the shop. When she sneaks downstairs in the middle of the night to retrieve it she almost trips over the dead body of an Englisch developer, a man with a grand scheme to buy all the shops in Harvest. There should be plenty of suspects but the police have decided that Bailey’s grandfather is their prime suspect. His shop – his knife – case closed – almost. A very handsome deputy has a special relationship with the King’s. Bailey doesn’t know what it is but she knows she isn’t going to take her sweet time jumping into his case. Her grandfather is innocent and she is going to prove it or fudge things up royally 🙂

I loved this story. The characters are very believable and very engaging.  Maami, Clara King and Daadi, Jebediah King are such wonderful people with huge hearts. Even with his heart condition, Jebediah puts the needs of others first and never loses his strong work ethic. Clara, a strong woman in her own right is the perfect helpmate. While Bailey is not Amish, she clearly has the same values as her grandparents. Their close bond remains even though she has been away in New York.

The story moves right along not only trying to catch a killer but following the King’s as they deal with not being able to use their kitchen. Commitments have been made and must be fulfilled. Bailey takes on providing the desserts for a wedding she is surprised is still taking place. With this event we meet more characters, Amish and Englisch, from the bridal couple and the bride’s mother to the ladies of the church plus a cute little kitten and a potbellied pig too.

The mystery was a twisty one. I thought I had it figured out but at the big reveal I was completely surprised. They may not have chocolate covered red herrings in the candy shop but this story is full of those buggers.

Amanda Flower and her unique writing style has given her readers a terrific story to savor. She has blended captivating characters, a marvelous mystery, a charming town, and scrumptious chocolate in a way that is sure to please every cozy reader!

Pure bliss – this book plus anything chocolate!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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.

Lethal Licorice (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery) will be released February 27, 2018.




Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series (writing as Isabella Alan)

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
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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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