Jul 092019

This book will be released on July 30!! 

Penne Dreadful (Italian Chef Mysteries)
1st in Series
Setting – New York
Poisoned Pen Press (July 30, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
ISBN-10: 1492684252
ISBN-13: 978-1492684251
Kindle ASIN: B07NVT2Z56

Tomato sauce isn’t the only thing that runs red…

Local chef Tessa Esposito is struggling to get back on her feet following her husband’s fatal accident. And when the police knock on Tessa’s door, things just get worse. They’ve discovered Dylan’s death wasn’t an accident after all, and they need Tessa to start filling in the blanks. Who would want her beloved husband dead, and why?

With the investigation running cold, Tessa decides it’s time to save her sanity by reconnecting with her first love-cooking. And maybe the best way back into the kitchen is to infiltrate Dylan’s favorite local pizza parlor, which also happens to be the last place he was seen before he died. But the anchovies aren’t the only thing that stink inside the small family business, and with suspects around every corner, Tessa finds that her husband’s many secrets might land her in hot water.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Was local chef Tessa Esposito’s husband not the man she thought he was? A few weeks have passed since he was killed in a fatal accident and now police have decided he may have been murdered. Her cousin, Detective Gino Mancusi brings her the news and has an idea for her to help solve the case. He wants her to apply for a job at her husband’s favorite pizza place, a place he spent quite a bit of time,  and work undercover keeping her eyes and ears open. Tessa agrees but she does more than that. She starts asking questions and nosing around on her own. Her husband was a successful accountant, why would anyone what him dead?  She better be careful or she could be next.

I am shocked to see this is the first book I have read by this author. It sure won’t be the last.

Catherine Bruns has created wonderful three-dimensional characters. Tessa is a protagonist I get really get on board with. A chef with a dream of having her own Italian restaurant for families. She loves to cook for others. Her dream was shared by her husband Dylan and his death rocked her to her core. When she learns his death was not an accident she turns into a woman with such strength and courage to bring his killer down. She does make some poor decisions but she is hellbent on getting justice for her husband even as she learns the man had more secrets than she ever could ever imagine.

Her cousins Gino and Gabby play a major part in her life. Gino’s quest is to keep her safe and best friend Gabby is a great partner and sounding board. They stick together through thick and thin and scary.

The story the author has created has more of an edge than your typical cozy mystery. Right after one scene occurred I had to check to see if the story was actually classified as cozy. After that scene though we mostly get back to that cozier feel. I would rather have a scene like that in my cozy than the curse words that are seeming to pop up more and more these days in this genre.

Ms. Bruns does set a lively pace with plenty of action and twists. The closer we get to the end the pace accelerates more making it impossible to put this book down until the last page is reached. Tense moments prevail that truly did keep me right on the edge of my seat.

Oh my goodness, the food described throughout this mystery was absolutely mouthwatering. From pizzas to Tessa’s Tantalizing Tomato Sauce I was craving Italian food for days. Thankfully my husband has some great recipes up his sleeve. The author does include some recipes at the end of the story too.

I love the theme and these characters. I am beyond excited for the next book in this series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Catherine Bruns

Catherine is the USA Today bestselling author of the Cookies & Chance mysteries. She lives in New York with her very patient husband, three sons, and several spoiled pets. Catherine has a B.A. in English and is a former newspaper reporter and press release writer. She also writes the Cindy York real estate and the Carrie Jorgenson (Aloha Lagoon) culinary mysteries. Penne Dreadful, the first book in her Italian Chef Mysteries, debuts in July 2019.

Follow Catherine on Facebook and Twitter and check out her Website too!

Also by Catherine Bruns

I am giving away my Advance 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.

Follow Catherine Bruns on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

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

Contest Will End July 23, 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.”

Jul 012019

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!


Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be visiting New York, Georgia, and Massachusetts!

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

Escapes Completed

Mistaken Identity Crisis: Death On The Cable Car (Braxton Campus Mysteries)
by James J. Cudney
Release Date – June 30, 2019
Setting – Pennsylvania
The Great Escapes Tour stops here tomorrow!

Strangled Eggs and Ham (A Country Store Mystery)
by Maddie Day
Release Date – June 25, 2019
Setting – Indiana
The Great Escapes Tour stops here for Cozy Wednesday!

by David Bell
Release Date – July 2, 2019
Setting – Kentucky
Review will be posted later this week! 

Scheduled Escapes

Penne Dreadful (Italian Chef Mysteries)
by Catherine Bruns
Release Date – June 30, 2019
Setting – New York
For Review

Peach Clobbered: A Georgia B&B Mystery
by Anna Gerard
Release Date – July 9, 2019
Setting – Georgia
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Wednesday!

Murder’s No Votive Confidence (Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery)
by Christin Brecher
Release Date – June 25, 2019
Setting – Massachusetts

Future Escapes

July 1 – 7, 2019

Click Here to check out my Current Giveaways!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!

Click the Link below to enter to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card!
Winner will be selected July 6.


Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent


Jun 032017

I am so pleased to welcome Jane Tesh to Escape With Dollycas today!

Worth the Wait


            It’s been a long trip for me to get published, and I want to encourage everyone out there who’s wondering if it will ever happen to keep trying!  So escape with me back to the Sixties B.C. — Before Computer—to see how it happened for me.

           I’ve been writing all my life and started sending out manuscripts when I was 18. Here’s what you had to do. You typed your novel, made a copy at the local copy shop, found a box the manuscript would fit in, and mailed it to New York City.  Then you waited for months and months, and when it came back, if it looked okay, you sent it to the next publisher or agent on your list.  Self publishing was very expensive, and the product did not look as good as it does today, so that was not an option for me, plus I wanted to be traditionally published.

            Wow, was I happy when computers arrived!  Now I could cut and paste and delete!  It was like magic!  No more re-typing pages or using correcting tape or white out goo.  Now I could send my queries by email, save tons of money on postage, and have a rejection in weeks instead of months.  And still I persisted.  Finally, I got an agent!  I was on my way!  Money!  Fame!


             My agent was certain she could sell my book if I changed my hero to a woman.  Women detectives had become a hot trend, so I understood where she was coming from.  However, my entire Grace Street Mystery series, twelve books, all written, all ready to go, involve a private investigator, David Randall, dealing with the death of his little daughter; his best friend, a reluctant psychic named Camden who owns a boarding house at 302 Grace Street in the fictional city of Parkland, North Carolina where all the characters live, including many colorful Southern types who move in and out; Randall’s love interest, Kary Ingram, a young woman unable to have children due to a disastrous teen pregnancy; and Camden’s girlfriend, high-powered career woman, Ellin Belton, head of the Psychic Service Network.  I think you can see the relationship problems I’d need to solve if Randall suddenly became a woman.  So I wrote another book with a female detective, ex beauty queen Madeline “Mac” Maclin and her con man boyfriend, Jerry Fairweather. I set this book in a small fictional North Carolina town much like my town of Mt. Airy.  Besides having trouble being taken seriously as a detective, Mac had to deal with Jerry’s sketchy friends who often showed up to complicate her investigations.

           I think you can guess what happened. My agent didn’t like it. So I had long hard talks with myself.  Did I want to change Randall to a woman?  Change his relationship with his best friend, his love interest, his entire world?  Did I want compromise that much to get published?  The hardest decision I’ve ever had to make was telling the agent no, thanks, and we parted ways.  Back to square one.  Back to the endless lists and emails.

        That’s when I found Poisoned Pen Press.  I didn’t need an agent to submit to them.  After the manuscript went through several readers and revisions, it was accepted.  I got the contract two months after I had retired from thirty years as a media specialist at Jones Elementary School.  I was 55.

        Since then, PPP has published ten of my mystery novels, five in the Grace Street series (male PI), and five in the Madeline Maclin series (female PI).  I’ve also had three fantasy novels published by Silver Leaf Books.  Both companies are great to work for and exactly what I had hoped to find.

          Would I have liked to have been published at 18?  Of course.  But I’m a better writer now than I was then, and wise enough to know that some things are deal breakers, and you have to be true to your characters and the world they live in.

        So to all the writers out there who are hoping to get published, you will!  There are so many opportunities available now.  I’ve learned how to manage a web page, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube—things that weren’t around when I was younger, things that reach more people than I can imagine.  These days, writers can afford to self publish, write ebooks, record their own audio books, or even start their own online publishing companies.

            Speaking as someone who decided to never give up, whatever route you choose or however long it may take, I assure you it will be worth the wait.


Jane’s latest book was just released in April.

Baby, Take a Bow (Grace Street Mysteries Book 5)
Poisoned Pen Press (April 4, 2017)
Hardcover: 238 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1464207969
Paperback: 238 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1464207983
Kindle ASIN: B01N3COR8U

Camden’s friend Rufus Jackson receives a letter from his ex-wife, Bobbi, and he’s surprised to learn he’s the father of a baby. When Bobbi is found murdered in her home and her baby stolen, Rufus becomes suspect number one. PI David Randall immediately takes the case.

But Randall is almost sidetracked from the case by a series of what appears to be never-ending favors. When he takes his friend Cam to the Carlyle House to sing for a concert, Cam encounters Delores Carlyle, a troubled spirit trapped inside a huge mirror, who wants to see her daughter, Beverly, one last time. Beverly Carlyle will come to the house on one condition: that Randall find a home for her surly teenage son, Kit, and a band for her obnoxious daughter, Frieda. Kit is welcome at 302 Grace, but to secure a spot for Frieda, Randall has to get a local girl group a gig at a local nightclub. The owner agrees, if Cam will pose as a teenager and spy on a rival club. Cam agrees if Randall will take him to Green Valley to answer some questions about his past. And another ghost is haunting the hot dog restaurant, refusing to talk to Cam.

In addition to the tangle of deals, Randall has to contend with Rufus being hell-bent on revenge, the return of Cam’s telekinesis, and growing concern that if the baby-a girl named Mary Rose, as it turns out-is found, Rufus, might not want to keep her.

But where is Mary Rose?

About The Author

Jane Tesh, a retired media specialist, lives in Mt. Airy, North Carolina, Andy Griffith’s hometown, the real Mayberry.  She is the author of the Madeline Maclin Mystery series featuring former beauty queen, Madeline “Mac” Maclin and her con man husband, Jerry Fairweather, as well as the Grace Street series, featuring struggling PI David Randall, his friend Camden, a reluctant psychic, and an ever-changing assortment of tenants who move in and out of Cam’s boarding house on Grace Street. Her mysteries are set in fictional North Carolina towns and are on the light side with a little humor and romance.  They are published by Poisoned Pen Press. She is also the author of three fantasy novels, Butterfly Waltz, A Small Holiday, and The Monsters of Spiders’ Rest, published by Silver Leaf Books.  When she isn’t writing, Jane enjoys playing the piano and conducting the orchestra for productions at the Andy Griffith Playhouse.

Jane’s website is www.janetesh.com

The Facebook page for the series is www.facebook.com/GraceStreetMysterySeries

Jane’s Amazon author page is www.amazon.com/author/janetesh

Jane’s blog can be found at www.janetesh.wordpress.com

I don’t tweet often, but when I do I tweet at www.twitter.com/janetesh

Follow Pearl, my spokesdog’s adventures on Instagram at tesh.jane

Watch trailers for Jane’s books on her YouTube channel Jane Tesh

The author is giving one signed paperback copy of Baby, Take a Bow away!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Leave a comment for the author 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 June 17, 2017 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


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


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