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Frozen Stiff Drink: A Kellan Ayrwick Cozy Mystery (Braxton Campus Mysteries) by James J. Cudney #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Frozen Stiff Drink:
A Kellan Ayrwick Cozy Mystery (Braxton Campus Mysteries)
by James J. Cudney

About Frozen Stiff Drink

Frozen Stiff Drink: A Kellan Ayrwick Cozy Mystery
(Braxton Campus Mysteries)

Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Publisher: Gumshoe – A Next Chapter(March 18, 2020)
Digital Edition – ~270 Pages
ASIN: B0849MJH6H

A winter blizzard barrels toward Wharton County with a vengeance. Madam Zenya predicted the raging storm would change the course of Kellan’s life, but the famed seer never could’ve prepared him for all the collateral damage. Nana D disappears after visiting a patient at Willow Trees, leaving behind a trail of confusion. When the patient turns up dead and a second body is discovered beneath the snowbanks, Kellan must face his worst fears. What tragedy has befallen his beloved grandmother?

 

Kellan’s brother Hampton learns essential life lessons the hard way after his father-in-law accuses him of embezzlement. While trying to prove his innocence, Hampton digs himself a deeper hole that might lead to prison. Sheriff Montague wants to save him, but she receives the shock of her life as the past hurtles forward and complicates her future.

 

Between locating Nana D and solving the scandalous murder of another prominent Braxton citizen, Kellan and April’s worlds explode with more turmoil than they can handle. Too bad neither one of them knows what to do about the psychic’s latest premonition. The suspicious deaths happening around town aren’t ending anytime soon.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Winter in Wharton County is not something to mess with especially when Madam Zenya has predicted the storm would change Kellan’s life. It sure has him worried when his Nana D. goes missing. She was last seen visiting a patient at Willow Trees. Later that patient is found dead. The bodies start to pile up when another is found frozen stiff in a car that had plowed into a snowbank.

In addition to the dead bodies, Kellan’s brother Hampton’s marriage is on the rocks after his father-in-law accuses him of stealing money from his company. Sheriff April Montague is juggling the deaths but her personal life is in flux as she tries to handle something from her past that now has a shot at ruining her future. She is also trying to help Kellan find his grandmother.

A missing person, dead bodies, a surprise visit, embezzlement, some bad reviews, and more. Someone has shaken the Braxton snowglobe and created chaos everywhere. They will all need a good stiff drink to thaw them out of this frozen tundra of mayhem.

______

I have enjoyed every book in this series and Mr. Cudney continues to top himself.

This time my favorite character Nana D. was in peril and I was totally enthralled by the search to find her. Madam Zenya sets the story off with her prediction and she pops up throughout the story to try to help Kellan. Hampton, his wife, and inlaws are center stage in this story. Kellan’s folks have taken the kids to Disney World but their vacay may not end as they had planned. April and Kellan are really trying to move their relationship forward but hit a huge roadblock. The family dynamics in this series continue to evolve and is what draws me in every time. They are authentic and the dialogue pops. I am invested in these characters and always excited to see what is going on in their lives, including the murder and confusion.

Mr. Cudney has written an intricate story that is multifaceted with subplots twisted together and Kellan in the middle of them all. I love that even with serious events the author expertly sprinkles humor in all the right places. Full of twists and misdirections, the pace is at a constant high. The ending was exciting and full of surprises. It was very entertaining to follow each clue and twist. There is one person that really rubbed me the wrong way but you will have to read the book to see if they were actually implicated in any crime.

While new crimes are wrapped up by the end of the book, there are plotlines that carry on from one book to the next. You know you get the feeling of accomplishment when the story ends. Well, I have learned to hold on tight at the end of these books because the author always gets his readers excited for the next book with a cliffhanger and this one rocked the world!! You listen here, James J. Cudney! Book 7 better be released soon!! 

Frozen Stiff Drink was frigidly cold Perfect Escape! Grab a blanket before you start reading this book because a Braxton winter will have you shivering right along with its residents.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About James J. Cudney

 

James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College. I’ve spent twenty years building a technology career in the retail, sports, media, and entertainment industries. I enjoyed my job, but a passion for books and stories had been missing for far too long. I’m a voracious reader in my favorite genres (thriller, suspense, contemporary, mystery, and historical fiction), as books transport me to a different world where I can immerse myself in so many fantastic cultures and places. I’m an avid genealogist who hopes to visit all the German, Scottish, Irish, and British villages my ancestors emigrated from in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind, and my body. I decided to pursue my passion by dusting off the creativity inside my head and drafting outlines for several novels. I quickly realized I was back in my element growing happier and more excited with life each day. My goal in writing is to connect with readers who want to be part of great stories and who enjoy interacting with authors. To get a strong picture of who I am, check out my author website or my blog. It’s full of humor and eccentricity, sharing connections with everyone I follow—all in the hope of building a network of friends across the world.

When I completed the first book, Watching Glass Shatter, I knew I’d stumbled upon my passion again, suddenly dreaming up characters, plots, and settings all day long. I chose my second novel, Father Figure, through a poll on my blog where I let everyone vote for their favorite plot and character summaries. It is with my third book, Academic Curveball, the first in the Braxton Campus Mysteries, where I immersed myself in a college campus full of so much activity, I could hardly stop thinking about new murder scenes or character relationships to finish writing the current story. I can’t believe I’ve finished writing the sixth book in this series. Come join in the fun…

Author Links

Website    Blog

Amazon    Twitter    Author Facebook    Series Facebook

Bookbub    Instagram    Goodreads    LinkedIn    Pinterest

 

Braxton Campus Mysteries – Purchase Links 


Author’s Other Books

 

List of Published Books

Watching Glass Shatter (Contemporary Fiction / Family Drama)

The wealthy Glass family lost its patriarch, Benjamin Glass, sooner than expected. Benjamin’s widow, Olivia, and her 5 sons each react to his death in their own way while preparing for the reading of his will. Olivia receives a very unexpected confession from her late husband about one of their sons that could shatter the whole family. Prior to revealing the secret to her children, Olivia must figure out which boy Ben refers to in the confession he left her in his will. While the family attorney searches for the mysterious Rowena Hector whom Ben says holds the answers, Olivia asks her sons to each spend a week with her as she isn’t ready to let go of the past. When Olivia visits her sons, she quickly learns that each one has been keeping his own secret from her. Olivia never expected her remaining years would be so complex and life-altering, but she will not rest until her family is reunited after Ben’s untimely death. We all need family. We all want to fit in. We’re all a mix of quirky personalities. Will Olivia be able to fix them, or will the whole family implode? What will she do when she discovers the son behind Ben’s secret? Check out this ensemble cast where each family member’s perspective is center stage, discovering along the way who might feel the biggest impact from all the secrets. Through various scenes and memories across a six-month period, you’ll get to know everyone, learning how and why they made certain decisions. Welcome to being an honorary member of the Glass family where the flair for over-the-top drama pushes everyone to their limits. Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)

Father Figure (Contemporary Fiction / Family Drama)

Between the fast-paced New York City, a rural Mississippi town and a charming Pennsylvania college campus filled with secrets, two young girls learn the consequences of growing up too quickly. Amalia Graeme, abused by her mother for most of her life, longs to escape her desolate hometown and fall in love. Contemplating her loss of innocence and conflicting feelings between her boyfriend and the dangerous attraction she’s developed for an older man, Amalia faces life-altering tragedies. Brianna Porter, a sassy, angst-ridden teenager raised in New York City, yearns to find her life’s true purpose, conquer her fear of abandonment, and interpret an intimidating desire for her best friend, Shanelle. Desperate to find the father whom her mother refuses to reveal, Brianna accidentally finds out a shocking truth about her missing parent. Set in alternating chapters two decades apart, the parallels between their lives and the unavoidable collision that is bound to happen are revealed. FATHER FIGURE is an emotional story filled with mystery, romance, and suspense. Father Figure (April 2018)

BRAXTON CAMPUS MYSTERY SERIES

Academic Curveball: Death at the Sports Complex (#1)

When Kellan Ayrwick, a thirty-two-year-old single father, is forced to return home for his father’s retirement from Braxton College, he finds the dead body of a professor in Diamond Hall’s stairwell. Unfortunately, Kellan has a connection to the victim, and so do several members of his family. Could one of them be guilty of murder? Then he finds a second body after discovering mysterious donations to the college’s athletic program, a nasty blog denouncing his father, and a criminal attempting to change student grades so the star baseball pitcher isn’t expelled. Someone is playing games on campus, but none of the facts add up. With the help of his eccentric and trouble-making nana weeding through the clues, Kellan tries to stay out of the sheriff’s way. Fate has other plans. Kellan is close to discovering the killer’s identity just as someone he loves is put in grave danger of becoming victim number three. And if that’s not enough to wreak havoc on his family, everything comes crashing to a halt when his own past comes spiraling back to change his life forever. In this debut novel in the Braxton Campus Mystery Series, readers discover a cozy, secluded Pennsylvania village full of quirky, sarcastic, and nosy residents. Among the daily workings of Braxton College and the charming Ayrwick family, Kellan weighs his investigative talents against an opportunity to achieve a much sought-after dream. When this first book ends, the drama is set for the next adventure in Kellan’s future… and it’s one you won’t want to miss. Academic Curveball – #1 (October 2018)

Broken Heart Attack: Death at the Theater (#2)

When an extra ticket becomes available to attend the dress rehearsal of Braxton’s King Lear production, Kellan tags along with Nana D and her buddies, sisters-in-law Eustacia and Gwendolyn Paddington, to show support for the rest of the Paddington family. When one of them appears to have a heart attack in the middle of the second act, Nana D raises her suspicions and asks Kellan to investigate who killed her friend. Amidst family members suddenly in debt and a secret rendezvous between an unlikely pair, Kellan learns the Paddingtons might not be as clean-cut as everyone thinks. But did one of them commit murder for an inheritance? Kellan is back in his second adventure since returning home to Pennsylvania. With his personal life in upheaval and his new boss, Myriam, making life difficult, will he be able to find a killer, or will he get caught up in his own version of stage fright? Broken Heart Attack – #2 (November 2018)

Flower Power Trip: Death at the Masquerade Ball (#3)

Braxton College is throwing the Heroes & Villains Costume Extravaganza to raise money for renovations to the antiquated Memorial Library. While attending, Kellan stumbles upon a close family friend standing over a dead body that’s dressed as Dr. Evil. Did one of Maggie’s sisters kill an annoying guest at the Roarke and Daughters Inn or does the victim have a more intimate connection to someone else on campus? As Kellan helps the school’s president, Ursula, bury a scandalous secret from her past and unearth the identity of her stalker, he unexpectedly encounters a missing member of his own family who’s reappeared after a lengthy absence. When all the peculiar events around town trace back to the Stoddards, a new family who recently moved to Wharton County, the explosive discovery only offers more confusion. Between the special flower exhibit that’s made an unplanned stop on campus and strange postcards arriving each week from all around the world, Kellan can’t decide which mystery in his life should take priority. Unfortunately, the biggest one of all has yet to arrive at his doorstep. When it does, Kellan won’t know what hit him. Flower Power Trip – #3 (March 2019)

Mistaken Identity Crisis: Death on the Cable Car (#4)

A clever thief with a sinister calling card has invaded Braxton campus. A string of jewelry thefts continues to puzzle the sheriff given they’re remarkably similar to an unsolved eight-year-old case from shortly before Gabriel vanished one stormy night. When a missing ruby is discovered near an electrified dead body during the campus cable car redesign project, Kellan must investigate the real killer to protect his brother. Amidst sorority hazing practices and the victim’s connections to several prominent Wharton County citizens, a malicious motive becomes more obvious and trickier to prove. As if the latest murder isn’t enough to keep him busy, Kellan partners with April to end the Castigliano and Vargas crime family feud. What really happened to Francesca while all those postcards showed up in Braxton? The mafia world is more calculating than Kellan realized, and if he wants to move forward, he must make a few ruthless sacrifices. Election Day is over, and the new mayor takes office. Nana D celebrates her 75th birthday with an adventure. A double wedding occurs at Crilly Lake on Independence Day. And Kellan receives a few more surprises as the summer heat settles in Wharton County. Mistaken Identity Crisis – #4 (June 2019)

Haunted House Ghost: Death at the Fall Festival (#5)

It’s Halloween, and excitement is brewing in Braxton to carve jack-o’-lanterns, go on haunted hayrides, and race through the spooky corn maze at the Fall Festival. Despite the former occupant’s warnings, Kellan renovates and moves into a mysterious old house. When a ruthless ghost promises retribution, our fearless professor turns to the eccentric town historian and an eerie psychic to communicate with the apparition. Meanwhile, construction workers discover a fifty-year-old skeleton after breaking ground on the new Memorial Library wing. While Kellan and April dance around the chemistry sparking between them, a suspicious accident occurs at the Fall Festival. Soon, Kellan discovers the true history and dastardly connections of the Grey family. But can he capture the elusive killer – and placate the revenge-seeking ghost.   Haunted House Ghost – #5 (October 2019)

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Great Escapes Praise for Frozen Stiff Drink:
A Kellan Ayrwick Cozy Mystery (Braxton Campus Mysteries)
by James J. Cudney

5 out of 5 stars
This was a really great book! The suspense was just right and I had only a small inkling of who the villain MIGHT be.
~Valerie’s Musings

The story is well-written and James Cudney does a great job pulling all the storylines together to give us a wonderful conclusion.
~Carla Loves to Read

Frozen Stiff Drink by James J. Cudney is a complex plot with multiple crimes and intriguing characters.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit every stop. 
March 18 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT
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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.”

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

Cozy Wednesday with Joyce Tremel – Author of To Brew or Not To Brew #Giveaway too!

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to welcome Joyce Tremel to Escape With Dollycas.
Her first novel, To Brew or Not To Brew, was released yesterday!!

Joyce Tremel 1

First, I’d like to say thank you to Lori for letting me be her guest for today. It’s an honor to be here!

If someone had told me even ten years ago that I’d be writing cozies, I’m not sure I would have believed them. Back then, I was the part-time secretary for my local police department and the book I was writing was more of a police procedural, and my main character was an ex-cop who taught martial arts. It was definitely NOT a cozy in any way, shape, or form. It made sense to me to “write what you know.” I knew cops and I knew martial arts—I had a second degree blackbelt in Taekwondo.

Then in 2008, I was let go from that job and I wondered what to do next. Did I find another part-time job? Or should I take the opportunity to write full time and see what happened? Fortunately we didn’t need the tiny bit of income I’d had so I chose the latter and started a new book. The new story featured a police secretary named Irma Jean. She was a bit of a smart aleck. I let myself write without putting a label of “procedural” or “cozy” or anything else on the book. I just wrote the story. When it was finished I sent out queries and an agent liked it enough to work on revising it with me. She had me restructure the book and soon it was ready to submit to publishers.

Except…she dropped a bombshell on me. She was leaving to take her dream job with a publishing company. Eventually I found another agent who started submitting the book. Then she left agenting to go back to school, but the good news was another agent at the same agency took me on. Whew.

to brew or not to brewTo make this long story a little shorter, In Spite of Murder ended up on the desk of an editor at Berkley. She liked the story but the book wasn’t cozy enough for their line. She liked my voice and wanted to know if I’d be interested in writing a cozy.

Well, YES.

I’d been reading a lot of cozies and I realized deep down that was what I wanted to write. That was the genre I had the voice for. I just had to figure out what my book would be about. I didn’t do crafts. I did help hubby with some home improvement type things, but there were already cozies that covered that topic. I tried to think up unusual occupations, but it seemed like most had been done. It finally dawned on me ( I may have been drinking a beer at the time) that there were no cozies with a craft brew theme.

Max O’Hara, my protagonist would be a female brewmaster and I’d set it in my hometown of Pittsburgh. She’d have five older brothers and her dad would be a homicide detective. Her romantic interest would be her childhood crush—the best friend of one of her brothers. I wrote a proposal for what I was calling the Brewing Trouble Series. The proposal included a synopsis of the first book, To Brew Or Not To Brew, plus ideas for following books. I sent the proposal along with the first three chapters to my agent.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

I am so thrilled to be able to finally share this book with readers. I can’t wait for you to meet and spend some time with all my characters. I hope you’ll love them as much as I do. Someone recently asked me if I had a favorite character and I think they were surprised it wasn’t the hunky ex-hockey player-chef, Jake. (An early reader said she needed more Jake in her life, lol.) I happen to adore Elmer, the ninety-two year old World War II vet. He says anything and everything that’s on his mind and doesn’t care who hears it!

I feel very comfortable in the world of writing cozies. Right now, I can’t imagine doing anything else!

~Joyce

to brew or not to brewTo Brew or Not to Brew:
A Brewing Trouble Mystery

Brand New Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Pennsylvania
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (December 1, 2015)
In Imprint of Penguin Ransom House LLC
Cover Illustration by Bruce Emmett
Cover Design by Jason Gill
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425277690
E-Book ASIN: B00U5KNT3K
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

An all-new mystery series set in a Pittsburgh craft brew pub, featuring a brewmaster with a head for sleuthing.

The Allegheny Brew House is a dream come true for Maxine “Max” O’Hara, who went all the way to Germany for her brewmaster certification, and is now preparing to open her own craft brew pub in a newly revitalized section of Pittsburgh. But before she can start pouring stouts and lagers to thirsty throngs, there’s trouble on tap. Suspicious acts of sabotage culminate in Max finding her assistant brewmaster and chef Kurt Schmidt strangled in one of the vats.

Between rescuing a stray gray tabby she names Hops and considering a handsome ex-hockey player as her new chef, Max doesn’t have a lot of time to solve a murder. But with a homicide detective for a dad, she comes to criminal investigation naturally. And if someone is desperate enough to kill to stop her from opening, Max needs to act fast—before her brand-new brew biz totally tanks…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This series is off to an exceptional start. This author has a strong cozy voice and she has written quite a mystery.

Hometown girl, Maxine “Max” O’Hara, comes back from Germany ready to open The Allegheny Brew House. But clearly someone is doing everything they can to prevent her from opening. The acts of vandalism were troublesome but finding her chef Kurt Schmidt dead in one of her precious vats made her wonder if her dream was ever going to come true. Her dad, a police detective, thinks Kurt’s death may have been an accident. Max knows it was murder and she is going to prove it.

I like these characters. We only meet Kurt briefly but I really liked him too and was sad he was the victim. But as Kurt exits, Jake enters. He is a friend of Max’s brothers and she had a huge crush on him. Max comes from a big family, 5 older brothers. We are also introduced to a kitten Max rescues and quickly names Hops.

Brew pubs are popping up all over and I am overjoyed that they have entered the cozy scene. The author educates us just enough without getting too technical about a how craft brews are made. We also learn a little brewing history as the building housing the The Allegheny Brew House was once a part of a large commercial brewery.

I did figure out the guilty party a bit before Max but that did not take away from my enjoyment. I wanted to see what happened with Jake and Max and see Max realize her dream. I think the two of them make a great team. She also needs someone to have her back because she does speak her mind even when she could be talking to a killer. I guess it is good she not only has Jake but her family and friends there when she needs them.

We are given a couple recipes at the end of the book and just a taste of Tangled Up In Brew, the next book in the series. I will be ready to belly up to the bar as soon as it is released.

just you and a friend

4 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author
Joyce Tremel was a police secretary for ten years and more than once envisioned the demise of certain co-workers, but settled on writing as a way to keep herself out of jail. Her flash fiction has appeared in Mysterical-e, and her non-fiction has been published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police magazine. She lives in a suburb of Pittsburgh with her husband and a spoiled cat. Her novel, TO BREW OR NOT TO BREW is the first in the Brewing Trouble mystery series. The second book in the series, tentatively titled TANGLED UP IN BREW, will be released late next year.

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
1 copy goes to the Fan of The Month

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

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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.”

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

Cozy Wednesday with Laura Bradford – Author of Suspendered Sentence – Giveaway too!

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy that Laura Bradford is visiting today. Shunned and Dangerous made my Best Reads of 2014 list, Hearse and Buggy won the Best New Cozy Series Ribbon in 2012, and I gave Assaulted Pretzel 5 Starfish too! I love this series!!

buggy1 - laura

The Chill That Started It All
By Laura Bradford

Nineteen years ago, Sadie Lehman simply up and disappeared during her Rumspringa in the Amish community of Heavenly, Pennsylvania. Led to believe her daughter had gotten caught up in the English world by the girl’s peers, Waneta clung to hope that one day Sadie would come back.

Yet while Waneta prayed for a reunion, Sadie’s friends hoped for something very different—that Sadie’s body would never be discovered.

It’s funny how an entire story can grow from just one thought, but that’s exactly how the plot for Suspendered Sentence (the 4th book in my Amish Mysteries) was born—on that very premise I just shared with you.

And from that one thought, came consternation (how could Sadie’s friends say nothing for nineteen long years?), anger (Waneta was left to hope for something that would never be!), a quest for answers (how did Sadie die?), and a desire for justice (for Sadie, for Waneta, and for…well, I’ll let you read the book to find that out).

I love it when a plot line fires me up the way this one did. I love the way my research of the law for this particular crime left me stunned. And I love the way those two emotions came together into a story that ends up affecting the lives of so many people in Heavenly. In fact, it’s safe to say, that some lives in this quiet, picturesque community will never be the same.

Because of a secret…

A secret that didn’t need to be kept…

A secret that ultimately cost someone their life, and another person their wife

Honestly, I’m getting goose bumps just thinking about this story all over again. So if you’ve been waiting to try one of my Amish Mysteries, I hope you give Suspendered Sentence a try.  If you’re already a fan of the series, then fasten your cozy seatbelt and enjoy the ride!

~Laura

 About This Author

Laura Bradford is the national bestselling author of the Amish Mysteries. The fourth book in the series, Suspendered Sentence, just released. You can learn more about Laura and her books by visiting her website: www.laurabradford.com.  Laura is also on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/laurabradfordauthor, and occasionally tweets @bradfordauthor.

cover suspendered sentence
Suspendered Sentence
(An Amish Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Pensylvania
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (March 3, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Mary Ann Lasher
Cover Design by Sarah Oberrender
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425273029
E-Book ASIN: B00LMGK6L4
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

The national bestselling author of Shunned and Dangerous returns to the Amish community of Heavenly, Pennsylvania, where shop owner Claire Weatherly has come to appreciate a simpler, more peaceful way of life. But dark secrets are about to complicate things—and lead to murder…

After the Stoltzfus barn catches fire, Claire is awed by the response of the community. Hundreds of Amish men gather together to raise a new barn for the family in a matter of days. But in the midst of the work, a human skeleton is unearthed. Found with the remains is half of a friendship bracelet last seen on Sadie Lehman, an Amish teen long believed to have left her strict upbringing for the allure of English ways.

Now Detective Jakob Fisher—once a member of the Amish community himself—is determined to solve the young woman’s murder. With Claire’s help, he must dig into the past and bring to light long-buried secrets—secrets that someone is willing to kill to protect…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Laura Bradford continues top herself again and again.

In this story Clare is awed by the Amish community as the all turn out to replace a barn in just a few days. I am in awe of the way Bradford makes these characters so real, so genuine, so inspiring and heartwarming. The Amish community is rocked when a the remains of a girl are found. You can’t help grieving for her parents. Claire and Jakob try so hard to figure out what happened and it takes them right into the heart of the community that has shunned Jakob.

The author continues to go delve into a culture most people don’t know much about and she does it in almost a loving way. Like her character Claire she is looking in from the outside and her fascination shines through each and every page.

Like all of her stories the mystery is thought out and well plotted. The reader almost hangs on every word. The twists this time are take a very troubling path and to me were heart wrenching. My emotions ran the gambit. That to me that is the true determination of a great story.  I was moved by this story and it will stick with me.

In addition to the main plot there is also a subplot where Jakob and Claire are exploring or starting more of a romantic relationship. I was delighted by this.

Suspendered Sentence can be read as a stand alone by why deprive yourself from the reading this fantastic series from the start. This one will be on my Best Reads of 2015 list like Shunned and Dangerous was a Best Read last year. Every book in this series is outstanding!

 paradise5 STARFISH5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAYBecause Mary is the Fan of the Month she gets a copy of this book!

I have my review copy yet to giveaway!

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

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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.”

Posted in E-Book Challenge Literary Escapes Reviews 2014

Review: Circle of Influence by Annette Dashofy

circle of influence
Circle of Influence
A Zoe Chambers Mystery
Published by Henery Press
Release Date: March 25, 2014
Paperback: 294 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1940976006
E-Book link Available Soon!
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Zoe Chambers, paramedic and deputy coroner in rural Pennsylvania’s tight-knit Vance Township, has been privy to a number of local secrets over the years, some of them her own. But secrets become explosive when a dead body is found in the Township Board President’s abandoned car. As a January blizzard rages, Zoe and Police Chief Pete Adams launch a desperate search for the killer, even if it means uncovering secrets that could not only destroy Zoe and Pete, but also those closest to them.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
A great debut!!!

This one grabbed me from the start. Zoe Chambers is such a multidimensional character. Her life has had many bumps in the road so far. Living in a small town she was able to keep a few secrets but after a dead body is found all her secrets come out and even land her on the suspect list. Her life intersects with basically the entire town and relationships are tested as the investigation continues and she learns she is not the only one with secrets.

The supporting characters from Police Chief Pete Adams to Zoe’s friend Rose, along with Rose’s mother-in-law and teenage kids are all so strong and all play pivotal roles. The author has a very descriptive way of writing not only her characters, but also time and place. It was like watching a movie in my mind. I found the entire story very compelling and amazed myself at how quickly I read it.

This book has all the elements of a cozy mystery but it has an edgier feel with some graphic detail but is does not reach the level of the suspense/thriller genre.

I am excited to read Lost Legacy set to be released later this year. Dashofy has given us a wonderful start to what I hope is a very long series.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out about Annette Dashofy on her webpage here.

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