Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge E-Book Challenge Reviews 2015 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review/Giveaway – Too Quiet In Brooklyn by Susan Russo Anderson Great Escapes Book Tour

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Too Quiet In Brooklyn
by Susan Russo Anderson

too quiet in brooklynToo Quiet In Brooklyn (A Fina Fitzgibbons Brooklyn Mystery Book 1)
Mystery/Psychological Thriller
Setting – New York
Self Published (February 10, 2015)
Paperback: 412 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1497361508
E-Book ASIN: B00HFEY5PU
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A Murder, A Child Missing, & A Young Woman Determined To Find The Truth …

Something weird is happening. It’s too quiet, at least for Brooklyn, so twenty-two-year-old Fina Fitzgibbons is not surprised when she stumbles upon a throttled woman in the heart of Brooklyn Heights and discovers that the dead woman’s four-year-old grandson is also missing. She begins a wild hunt for the strangler-kidnapper, Ralph. During the chase, she resists falling in love with her boyfriend, Denny, an NYPD patrol officer, steps on the toes of Detective First Grade Jane Templeton, and uncovers secrets about her own past. In the end, Ralph has a deadly surprise for Fina.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

First I must say Fina Fitzgibbons seems much older than 22. She found her mother dead on their doorstep 5 years ago and now she finds another dead woman in the exact same place. She handles it much better than a woman in her 50’s like me would. She runs a cleaning business and is a private investigator. She lives with her boyfriend, Denny, an NYPD patrol officer, but is hesitant about the relationship but she has no trouble going toe to toe with Detective First Grade Jane Templeton. She has definitely been scarred by things in her past.  I will just say she reads more closer to 30 and is a heck of a protag.

All the characters in this story are very well crafted and develop well throughout the story. Ralph is downright creepy and Denny is just plain dreamy. I also like that Jane is a strong woman detective in charge but open to taking him from Fina. I was impressed by the variety of characters and that they were all flawed in some way with battles of their own, big and small. It made them all very interesting and real.

The author is very descriptive in not only characters but the settings. I had a clear picture of Brooklyn areas and Jersey too.

The storyline starts slowly but the tempo increases at a perfect pace until it peaks. It has many layers and connections that play out throughout the entire book. The bad guys are really bad guys with no conscience whatsoever. There are several places when the point of view switches from Fina to Ralph and I would just cringe at his thoughts. The change of POV made the story even more powerful.

The was a great debut for this series and now that I have met Fina I want more. I am happy to see that 2 more books in this series are already available, Missing Brandy and Whiskey’s Gone have been added to my wish list.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

susanAbout This Author

Susan Russo Anderson is a writer, a mother, a member of Sisters in Crime, a graduate of Marquette University. She’s taught language arts and creative writing, worked for a publisher, an airline, an opera company. Like Faulkner’s Dilsey, she’s seen the best and the worst, the first and the last. Through it all, and to understand it somewhat, she writes. Too Quiet in Brooklyn, the first book in the Fina Fitzgibbons Brooklyn mystery series, published December 2013. The second book in the series, Missing Brandy, about a missing teen, published September 2014, and Whiskey’s Gone, about the abduction of a single mom, completes a trilogy. The working title of the fourth is Dead in Brooklyn.

 
Author Links:

Website

Facebook
Twitter: @SusanRussoAnder

Amazon

GIVEAWAY
I have 1 e-copy to give away!!!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Following the new Google+ Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book Fan Page
will earn you 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 6, 2015 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in Thoughts

Special Guest – Linda Crowder – Author of the Jake and Emma Mysteries (Giveaway too!)

special guest blueStill playing catch up 🙁

I am excited to welcome Linda Crowder as my Special Guest Today!

Cropped head shot

I love reading cozy mysteries. I started with Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, worked my way up to Cherry Ames, Student Nurse then hit the jackpot with Agatha Christie. I also enjoy reading Lilian Jackson Braun, Rita Mae Brown, Steve Demaree and Debora Garner. Cozies often feature ordinary people who, when they find themselves in the middle of a crime spree, take matters into their own hands instead of waiting for the police to solve the case.

Winter in Wyoming
Winter in Wyoming

Reading cozies is a great escape from the gritty reality of everyday life. There’s a little danger, a little romance, a little humor and a great puzzle to solve. What you won’t find in a cozy is gore, graphic sex or strings of profanity and that’s another reason I love to read them.

Part of the charm of a cozy is identifying with the characters and trying to guess who the murderer might be before the author reveals it. Have you ever wondered if you have what it takes to star in your own cozy mystery? Let’s find out!

1. When taking a walk, you stumble across the body of a man. Quick, what is the first thing you do?
a. Run away, screaming at the top of your lungs.
b. Step away from the body to avoid contaminating the scene and calmly call 9-1-1.
c. Check the body for clues, one of which you absently put in your pocket, thinking it has nothing to do with the murder.

2. When told by the police to keep your nose out of the investigation, what do you do?
a. Pack a suitcase, them go visit your mother out of state until the murderer is behind bars.
b. Agree to comply, then go back to work, trying to forget the horror of finding a body.
c. Promise to comply, but spy on the person you think is the killer when you see them acting suspicious.

3. Who do you turn to when you need help breaking into the suspected murderer’s office?
a. Are you kidding? I’m staying out of town until the murderer is behind bars!
b. I would never break into someone’s home or office. I’d leave it to the police, who would have a search warrant.
c. My BFF, of course! If she can’t come, I’d drag along my reluctant husband (or boyfriend or ex-boyfriend – you get the idea).

4. What kind of job do you have?
a. Job? Who cares about jobs when there’s a murderer loose? I’ll get a new one when I get home.
b. I work in an office, Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm with an hour off for lunch at Noon.
c. I own a specialty shop with really wonderful a clerk who always watches the store for me when I have to rush off to pursue a clue.

Sparky, Miss Too Cute herself
Sparky, Miss Too Cute herself
Reese, my beautiful chocolate retriever
Reese, my beautiful chocolate retriever

5. How many pets do you have and what kind?
a. I have a goldfish. I brought him with me to my mother’s house.
b. I don’t have pets. They are such a big responsibility.
c. I have an amazing cat who always knows who the murderer is before I do. If only she could talk!

6. The murderer is onto you! He’s got you cornered and is threatening to kill you! What do you do?
a. OMG – this is why I left town! How did he know where to find me? I’m gonna faint!
b. Thank goodness I kept up my Karate training until I reached black belt. That murderer doesn’t stand a chance.
c. Keeping my phone out of sight, I secretly dial my BFF. I trick the murderer into confessing, while my BFF listens and alerts the police. They break in just as the murderer finishes confessing and grabs for me!

How’d you do? If your answers were mostly:

A. Congratulations! You are perfect for a cozy. You’ll offer comic relief as a minor character who needs to be constantly reassured by the heroine, who becomes increasingly annoyed with your drama as the story progresses. You have a heart of gold and an endearing charm that might eventually win your way into the inner circle. Since the growth of characters from one book to the next is a hallmark of a cozy mystery series, you might find yourself out of the minors by the time you get to the third or fourth book.

B. Congratulations! You are perfect for a cozy. You’ll be an invaluable right arm to the wacky, impulsive heroine, keeping her from getting into too much trouble on the way to solving the murder. Depending on gender, you will be the BFF or reluctant romantic partner who injects the voice of reason, only to have the heroine sweep it away with a wave of her hand. With your devotion to her, plus your common sense and self-defense skills, you’ll be keeping her safe for many installments to come.

C. Congratulations! You are perfect for a cozy. You’ll be just the right mix of strong will and sweetness to track down a killer while keeping yourself out of his clutches. You’re going to have to rely on quick thinking friends and your own resourcefulness to get out of trouble, but you’ll always make it home safe to your wise and wonderful fur baby. You’re going to need a hefty helping of luck, because in a cozy series, dead bodies are going to pop up wherever you go and you don’t want to be the next victim!

~Linda

Linda grew up in Loveland, Colorado, the youngest of six children. She moved with her parents to California when she was 16 and spent the next 16 years of her life in the Bay Area before moving home to Colorado and finally to Wyoming.

In her writing, Linda draws from her vast and varied experience with people facing domestic violence, hunger, homelessness, mental illness and suicide. Her nonfiction is full of practical strategies and her fictional characters leap off the page with all the nuances, strengths and frailties that draw readers to her work.

Her current projects include the third Jake and Emma Mystery, “Justice for Katie,” now out and a new edition of “Life Isn’t Just Luck” to give readers even more real-world advice and activities. Linda is also working on a series of inspirational short stories and exploring a humorous new series called “It’s a Gift” about a young woman determined to make the most of every day of her life.

Follow Linda on Twitter https://twitter.com/LJCrowder

Check out her Author Site www.lindajcrowder.com for news and snippets of upcoming books.

Find her on Facebook – She loves to share books she’s read and recommends and she enjoys chatting with readers. www.facebook.com/lindajcrowderauthor

I am a bit behind on my reading due to my son’s death but was able to read the first two Jake and Emma Mysteries and plan to get to the third book as soon as I can.

Too Cute To Kill (A Jake and Emma Mystery Book 1)
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Wyoming
Self Pulished
Print Length: 137 pages
ASIN: B00CJDM4Z0
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In this short, cozy mystery, Jake and Emma Rand discovered each other after they both left painful first marriages. Their idyllic life together in the shadow of Casper Mountain is shattered when they stumble across the frozen body of a woman after an early blizzard. When the police investigation stalls, Jake and Emma set out to unravel the puzzle of who she is and how she met her lonely fate. What they uncover will rock this small western town to its core.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
A nice short mystery to kick off this series. I like Jake and Emma. They are so in love it was almost sad to see the murderer leave the body at their wonderful place. They work together to catch the culprit, I was surprised by the outcome but it did make sense. There are still some questions to be answered though…

still at the beach but not as tranquil
3 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Main Street Murder (A Jake and Emma Mystery Book 2)
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Wyoming
Self Pulished
Print Length: 191 pages
ASIN: B00NB85G5C
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Accidental detectives Jake and Emma Rand are back in their second adventure. Spring is coming to their home in the shadow of Casper Mountain and Emma can’t wait to see tulips and daffodils crowd out the snow that has covered her flower beds all winter. Then the May Day Blizzard hits, trapping the citizens of Casper, Wyoming in their homes, closing roads and shutting down highways out of town.

When murder strikes in spite of the snow, Detective Matt Joyner of the Casper Police Department quickly turns up the heat on his prime suspect – Emma’s friend, Kristy Castle! As Casper celebrates the annual Summer Solstice Parade and Rodeo, Jake and Emma fight to prove Kristy’s innocence. She’s hiding a terrible secret, but is she a killer?

Dollycas’s Thoughts
I read this right after the first book in the series and they really flowed right together. That final snowstorm of the year had me shivering as we were having freezing rain here.

This time we meet more residents of Caspar and the plot was even more developed with the longer length of the story. There were plenty of twists too. I was very impressed with the author’s storytelling from book 1 to book 2. She really breathes life into both her characters and setting. She also sets us up to read book 3, Justice for Katie. I am thankful I do not have to wait like others did for this installment. I will be reading it just as soon as I can squeeze it in.

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

The author is generously giving away 2 copies of

Winners can choose between Print or an E-copy!
Print U.S. Only
Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.
Must be 18 to Enter

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.

Following the new Google+ Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book Fan Page
will earn you 3 Bonus Entries.

Leave a comment for Linda for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End April 14, 2015 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

 

 

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

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Reviews 2015

Cozy Wednesday with E. Hepner – Author of Deadlines – Giveaway too!

cozy wednesday 2013 640Elise Hepner usually writes Erotic Romance Fiction but she is now crossing over to Cozy Mysteries. I am pleased to introduce you to her new book Deadlines: A Written to Death Mystery.

Elise’s guest post has not arrived yet but I will add it as soon as it does!

About this author

E. Hepner is the cozy mystery pen name of erotica and erotic romance author Elise Hepner. She writes small town heroines with an alternative edge put in big time situations where death, hijinks, and overall shenanigans ensue on a daily basis. Also a little romance–which they may or may not be ready for, given the pile up of dead bodies.

Some of her favorite cozies are ones by Kate Carlisle, Ali Brandon, Janet Evanovich, and Gemma Halliday. When not thinking about corpses and trickery she’s planted in front of the TV petting her demanding cat or looking up things on Google that she really doesn’t want on her internet history.

deadlinesDeadlines:
A Written to Death Mystery

Cozy Mystery
Setting – Maryland
Self Published
386 Pages
E-Book ASIN: B00OBRHGFK
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Ainsley Moss never thought she’d become a representative for the dead. But as a newbie obituary writer for the Aurora Fall’s Guardian, she gets a sneak peek at her new profession. Her ex-best friend and rival newspaper worker turns up blue and stiff as a board in the women’s bathroom—after they’ve had a less than civil confrontation.

Ainsley’s in the habit of memorializing the dead, not finding them. But now she’s saddled with a motive for murder—killing to drum up obituaries in order to further her career in a dying newspaper business where everything is going digital.

When another victim meets his maker with a connection to the first victim, Ainsley has to make nice with a hard ass, bombshell Detective who’s dead set on closing the case or risk the calm of their cozy town. Ainsley’s charming, ex-boyfriend turned roommate Gage Sullivan comes to her aid as they throw themselves into deadly research. Every obituary interview brings them that much closer to finding a killer connection. While fighting her new rep as a prime suspect, her matchmaking, Stepford mother is intent on keeping her daughter’s dirty laundry under wraps and her sex addicted wealthy grandparents want to buy her way out of jail. Or at least help her learn how to make a shiv.

None too thrilled with the idea of making friends with a cell mate named Betty the Bruiser, she’ll wade knee deep into a cesspool of the town’s secrets, gossip, and lies. But with a whacky cast of characters hell bent on keeping the peace, no bit of personal information is sacred. They have to find a killer—before Ainsley loses her freedom and her chance to make peace with a fate that scares her more than anything else in life.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

First I have to say Ainsley’s mother is super domineering and she is the one that sent her daughter’s into this mess. 🙂 Ainsley returns to Aurora Falls and her mother not only has arranged for job at the local newspaper but also set it up so she becomes her ex-boyfriend’s tenant. She is at her “interview” and she runs into ex-best friend who she then finds dead.

The characters in this story cozy worthy quirky. Ainsley’s mother would drive me out of the house too. Then there are her grandparents. It is nice they are so in love at their age but their public displays of affection are creepy and funny at the same time. Gage Sullivan, the ex, seems to have his head on straight but he really wants to rekindle his relationship with Ainsley.

The obituaries that are written in the Aurora Fall’s Guardian are well researched and detailed, more like short life stories that try to shine the best light on the deceased. I am more used to the ones we see in the papers here which basically just state the facts unless it is for someone noteworthy where there would be a separate article. Ainsley’s predecessor took his job very seriously and she is still finding her way but her files help her in more ways than one. She will do anything to clear her name and catch the real killer.

This book sets the foundation for a series with much promise while giving the reader a solid mystery to follow. I look forward to where the author takes her characters next.

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


GIVEAWAY

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

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.

Following the new Google+ Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book Fan Page
will earn you 3 Bonus Entries.

Leave a comment for Elise for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End March 25, 2015 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Reviews 2014

Review – Volunteer For Murder by Tim Myers

volunteer for murderVolunteer for Murder
Mystery
E-Book File Size: 347 KB
Print Length: 182 pages
ASIN: B004I43TKM
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When Vera Hobart stumbles into the soup kitchen, most folks think she’s drunk. When they take a closer look though, they realize that she’s been stabbed. As volunteers Seth Jackson and Gillian Graywolf dig into the murder, they find more than they ever could have imagined, or bargained for.

 

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I was looking for a book to complete my Alphabet Soup Challenge and found this book by Tim Myers. I have enjoyed books he has written as himself and under his various pseudonyms so I grabbed this one.

When Vera Hobart is killed the police turn immediately to the homeless community the soup kitchen serves for suspects because the knife used looks like one Penny, a soup kitchen regular carries. When Penny doesn’t show up that day for her meal it makes her look even more guilty. Seth, a retired cop and Gillian can’t believe Penny would kill anyone and with the help of a homeless man, Penny’s friend Ace, they are going to prove it.

Myers takes us into the homeless world but also into Vera’ Hobart’s richer world where they find quite a few more suspects. He has created characters with many layers. I really enjoyed Seth and Gillian’s relationship.  Gillian’s father was a cop too and he taught her well. The make a fantastic investigating  team much to the dislike of the detective assigned to the case. Seth retired early from the force after he had been shot on the job and that happened around the same day his first wife passed away and you can tell the wounds are still deep.  The rest are the characters are fully developed too.

Tim Myers is an expert at keeping us readers guessing.I changed my mind on the guilty party several times.

He does add this caveat an the Amazon for this book: This traditional mystery is just a little racier than my standard fare, but it still should be acceptable to many of my cozy readers! and he is right but it was more than acceptable. I really enjoyed this story. This is a stand alone book but I would love to revisit Seth and Gillian when they return from their vacation. This book was written back in 2011 so that is probably pretty unlikely. I an glad I “met” them for this story.

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Tim Myers and his stories on his webpage here.



*This book was from my personal collection.

Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Reviews 2014

Undertaking Irene by Pamela Burford – Great Escapes Book Tour – Review/Giveaway

undertaking irene large banner 640Today I am thrilled to host the stop for Undertaking Irene on
the Great Escapes Book Tour!

undertaking-ireneUndertaking Irene
(Jane Delaney Mysteries Book 1)

Cozy Mystery
Self Published
E-Book File Size: 821 KB
Print Length: 260 pages
ASIN: B00MD5VDNS
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Jane Delaney does things her paying customers can’t do, don’t want to do, don’t want to be seen doing, can’t bring themselves to do, and/or don’t want it to be known they’d paid someone to do. To dead people.

Life gets complicated for Jane and her Death Diva business when she’s hired to liberate a gaudy mermaid brooch from the corpse during a wake. Well, a girl’s got to make a living, and this assignment pays better than scattering ashes, placing flowers on graves, or bawling her eyes out as a hired mourner.

Unfortunately for Jane, someone else is just as eager to get his hands on that brooch, and he’s even sneakier than she is. Just when she thinks her biggest problem is grand theft mermaid, things take a murderous turn.

But hey, when you’ve teamed up with a neurotic seven-pound poodle named Sexy Beast, how can you go wrong?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

There are so many things I liked about this book. Quirky characters, an intriguing mystery, and snappy dialogue all drew me in to this story.

Jane Delaney is quite a character and she has a very interesting job. She is a Death Diva. I had heard of hiring mourners to cry at funerals but never a Death Diva. She has quite a vast array of services that she offers, like stealing a brooch off of a dead lady during the wake. She has one client that keeps her quite busy or has in the past. If you think these are unusual characters there are more, a “priest” who is very easy on the eyes, a concierge doctor named Jonah, Patrick O’Rourke, son of the deceased who happens to have a huge secret, his daughter, his wife and let’s not forget Sexy Beast, a tiny apricot poodle who needs a trip to a groomer and soon.

The mystery starts when Jane finds a dead body that is ruled as a death from natural causes, but Jane just can’t accept that and decides if the police are not going to investigate she will. The plot is full of twists and diversions. At times I wasn’t sure if  it was really a murder or not, but Jane kept digging and then the chase was on to figure out just which suspect was guilty.

This was a quick read, told from Jane’s point of view, and I enjoyed very much! The author has laid a firm foundation for the series to unfold. I look forward to the next  job Jane undertakes!

just you and a friend

4 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

pam-burford

About This Author

Pamela Burford is the best-selling author of 15 works of mystery, contemporary romance, and romantic suspense. She has received four RITA and Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award nominations and is a frequent speaker at writers’ conferences and workshops. Her books have sold millions of copies, received outstanding reviews, and been translated into more than a dozen languages. Pamela is the founder and past president of Long Island Romance Writers, a chapter of Romance Writers of America. Fun fact: her twin sister Patricia Ryan, a.k.a. P.B. Ryan, is also a published novelist

Author Links

http://www.pamelaburford.com

http://www.facebook.com/pamelaburford

https://twitter.com/PamelaBurford

https://www.goodreads.com/PamelaBurford

http://pinterest.com/pamelaburford

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to check out the rest of the tour!!
Tour Participants

August 18 – readalot blog – Review
August 19 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview
August 20 – Queen of All She Reads – Review
August 21 – Kelly P’s Blog – Interview
August 22 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review
August 23 – Mystery Playground – Interview
August 24 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review
August 25 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – Interview
August 26 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review
August 27 – rantin’ ravin’ and reading – Review
August 28 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – Interview
August 29 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Interview
August 30 – deal sharing aunt – Spotlight
August 31 – Dalene’s Book Reviews – Review

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 Finish The Series Challenge Giveaways Reviews 2014 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review/Giveaway – Class Reunions Can Be Murder by Susan Santangelo

class reunionsClass Reunions Can Be Murder –
Every Wife Has A Story. A Carol and Jim Andrews Baby Boomer Mystery

4th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Baby Boomer Mysteries Press (June 30, 2013)
Mass Market Paperback: 240 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0985779917
E-Book File Size: 2947 KB
ASIN: B00DVLLK0Y
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Class Reunions Can Be Murder — Every Wife Has A Story continues the humorous Baby Boomer mystery series featuring Carol Andrews and her beloved husband, Jim, as they navigate their way along life’s rocky highway toward their twilight years. In this fourth book, Carol has no interest in her upcoming fortieth high school reunion. Her memories of days at Mount Saint Francis Academy are mixed, to put it mildly. But BFF Nancy convinces her to join the reunion planning committee, so she’ll have some say in how the event is organized. All is going smoothly until the dead body of one of their classmates is found the night before the reunion — in Carol and Nancy’s room!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I recently attended my 35th Class Reunion so it was easy to relate to this story. Thankfully no dead bodies were found at our party so it was much more fun than Carol’s.

Satangelo tells the story from Carol’s point of view, in fact Carol talks directly to reader throughout the story.

Jim and Carol are finding their way through retirement. They each sort of do their own thing, but Jim is a little put out when he finds spouses are not invited to the reunion. It was an all girl’s school but he did know one of Carol’s classmates, he even dated her for awhile, so he kind of wanted to see her, and there must be other husbands that wanted to attend too. When the reunion starts with a dead body Jim is more concerned with keeping Carol from sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong.

Santangelo tells a fine story. We have gotten to know these characters quite well over the span of the series. I really didn’t like Jim at first but he has grown on me.  Carol doesn’t seem to call him her “Beloved” as often and that really helps. I really enjoy Sister Rose. She reminds me of Sister Paulette that I knew during my teenage years. Those sisters can lay on guilt and get us to do almost anything. I have almost forgiven Carol for not letting us share in her daughter’s wedding in Marriage Can Be Murder. She was a little more forthcoming this time about the reunion.

This has been an entertaining series, I think baby boomers will enjoy all four books.

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Susan Santangelo on her webpage here.

I am giving away my review copies of
Marriage Can Be Murder and Class Reunions Can Be Murder.

There will be 2 Winners!!

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.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. 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 Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Reviews 2014 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Bewitching Boots by Joyce and Jim Lavene Great Escapes Book Tour – Review/Giveaway

bewitching boots large banner640I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS SERIES!!

BEWITCHING BOOTSBewitching Boots
(Renaissance Faire Mystery)
(Volume 8)

Paperback: 222 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1500683412
E-Book File Size: 381 KB
ASIN: B00M9NZN4E
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Jessie Morton is thrilled when she finds Bill Warren, an old fashioned shoemaker, and he agrees to come back to Renaissance Faire Village with her. She’s not so thrilled when claims to have elf magic, and he falls for Princess Isabelle. The dancing slippers Bill makes for Isabelle make him a suspect when the princess takes a leap from the castle terrace. Now, Jessie must find the lady or lord who helped the princess with her last dance before she loses her star attraction.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Do you believe in magic? Bill Warren believes and after this story you may believe magic really happens at the Renaissance Faire.

This is one of my favorite cozy series. I love visiting Adventureland’s Ren Faire because there is always fun mixed in with the mystery.

This story starts out after Jessie and Chase’s wedding and already rumors are spreading that they are breaking up. Chase is training new knights and Jessie is wrapped up with the museum but as soon as they find time they are going to nip those rumors in the bud.  When Princess Isabelle is found dead catching the killer becomes their #1 priority. Detective Almond is trying to catch a killer with Chase’s assistance but Jessie is doing her own investigation.

All our favorite characters are back including Wanda, the blue ghost, and they are joined by some great new characters too! It is that time of year when new people are auditioning to became actors or acts at the faire and there are some very unusual “creatures” roaming the cobblestones.

The story is so well written and contains such vivid detail that you feel like you are right there and all the drama is happening right around you. You can almost taste the jumbo turkey legs and ale,  hear the minstrels playing all over the grounds and smell the bread the monks are baking.   I can clearly see the jousting matches and the secret tunnels in the castle. There are also some things that only certain people can see like a certain dragon and we get to see them all through Jessie’s eyes.

The Lavenes are excellent storytellers. Mystery, humor, romance, with a bit a paranormal are all blended together perfectly. This entire series has been pure pleasure to read.

I recommend highly everything written by these authors. You just can’t go wrong with a Joyce and Jim Lavene mystery. (Or a J.J. Cook or an Ellie Grant, yep, that’s them too!)

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the authors:
Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, best-selling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family. Visit them at www.joyceandjimlavene.com.
Plus
Website: http://www.renaissancefairemysteries.com/
Blog: www.romanceofmystery.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joyceandjimlavene
Twitter: @authorjlavene
Amazon : amazon.com/author/jlavene

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Check out the rest of the tour!!!

Tour Participants

August 5 – Booklady’s Booknotes – Review, Guest Post
August 6 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review
August 7 – readalot blog – Review
August 8 – deal sharing aunt – Interview, Giveaway
August 9 – a chick who reads – Review
August 10 – Books-n-Kisses – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
August 11 – Bea’s Book Nook – Review
August 12 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review
August 13 – Chloe Gets A Clue – Interview
August 14 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review
August 14 – Victoria’s Pages of Romance – Guest Post
August 15 – Back Porchervations – Review
August 15 – Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – Guest Post
August 16 – Brooke Blogs – Review
August 17 – Teresa Trent Author Site – Interview
August 18 – Community Bookstop – Review
August 19 – Cicero’s Children – Interview
August 20 – dru’s book musings – Guest Post

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 Literary Escapes Reviews 2014

Review – Dakota Blues by Lynee M. Spreen

DAKOTA BLUESDakota Blues
Women’s Fiction
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 17, 2012)
Paperback: 306 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1475191332
E-Book File Size: 2240 KB
ASIN: B008RCZGU2
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Workaholic Karen Grace is fired after attending her mother’s funeral in her Midwestern hometown. Now Karen is fifteen hundred miles from home, just one more middle-aged worker out of a job in a tough economy. To make matters worse, her husband recently left her for his pregnant girlfriend.

At a crossroads, Karen must find the courage to change her life. Needing time to think, she agrees to take an elderly neighbor on one last road trip, but on a deserted highway in Wyoming, Karen is forced to make a lethal and life-changing decision.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It is hard to believe that someone can be fired for attending their mother’s funeral and taking care of final details but it happens and it happens way too often. Thankfully Karen is a strong woman and confident in her skills. Losing her job gave her a huge wake-up call. Life was passing her by and she was just letting happen. Her marriage fell apart and her mother passed away. How many other things did she miss while she buried in work and at her boss’s beck and call? She was a caring person but she forgot to care about herself and her family.

It does take courage to move on and courage to take some time for yourself and help someone you barely even know. Frieda was quite a woman and truthfully she reminded me a bit of my mother. There are things woman over 80 can get away with.  Frieda at 90 was a woman with a mission and just because her best friend had died wasn’t going to stop her from getting where she wanted to go. I love the way she just kept at Karen until she got her way.  The trip was short and did have a few challenges and a scare but both women grew on this journey.

This story really touched me personally. As many of you know I am paralyzed on my right side and several years ago there was an added complication where the doctor told me to live each day like it could be my last. Thankfully I am still here and there is still time. Unfortunately I am unable to take off the way Karen does in this story but she sure has given some hope and ideas.  There is a group of ladies in this story I wish I could join. Maybe someday.

This book won the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Finalist Award for Women’s Issues. It was well deserved. I can’t believe this was Lynne Spreen’s debut novel.  She has written a wonderful story. I enjoyed the German references, several immigrants ended up here in Wisconsin, including my ancestors. She also gave me a different picture in my mind of North Dakota.  I was inspired by the book and think you will be too!!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To Find out more about Lynne visit her blog here.

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 Reviews 2014

Review: Marriage Can Be Murder by Susan Santangelo

Marriage Can Be Murder, Every Wife Has A Story
3rd Book in Series
Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Baby Boomer Mysteries Press (July 1, 2012)
Mass Market Paperback: 237 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0985779900
E-Book File Size: 455 KB
ASIN: B008LC1OK4
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Empty-nester Carol Andrews is thrilled when daughter Jenny announces her engagement. She’s dreamed of planning her daughter’s wedding since the day Jenny was born. But with only two months to pull together a destination wedding on Nantucket, Jenny insists on hiring Cinderella Weddings to organize the event. Father-of-the-bride Jim objects to the cost, and Carol objects to having her opinion ignored. When Carol finds the wedding planner dead at the bottom of a creepy staircase at a Nantucket inn, and the cheating husband of Carol’s BFF Nancy is accused of her death, Carol has more to worry about than getting to the church on time!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have really enjoyed the Baby Boomer Mystery Series. I really enjoyed this one until the last few chapters too.

Carol Andrews is a great character and her “Beloved” Jim wasn’t even driving me crazy this time as he had in previous installments.  I enjoy that the story is told from Carol’s point of view and the reader is even treated to what she is thinking. She also converses directly with the reader at times. This really makes her sense of humor shine and makes us chuckle as well.

I love the idea of a destination wedding and Nantucket sounds like an ideal place to have one.

Santangelo crafted a great murder too and was very clever to connect the current murder to another death that happened  in the exact same place many years ago. The book was well written and was flowing perfectly.

Then suddenly the topic of cyber-bullying is introduced and the whole thing started to fall apart for me. I just didn’t believe the final outcome of the mystery. This theme needed to be developed more and sooner in the story to make it credible for me.

But the thing that really turned me off was the way two very important parts of the story, events that were building throughout  the entire book are wrapped up in the final chapter with Carol basically telling us what happened or what her “beloved” allowed her share with us. I really felt cheated. Like I was one of the wedding guests cut from the final list of invitations but was invited over to look at the pictures months after the event happened. This isn’t meant to be a spoiler but it really fits one of the two important things that happened.

I have the next book in the series, Class Reunions Can Be Murder, coming up in my reading schedule soon and I sure hope it doesn’t end like this one. I really like Carol and her family including her canine kids.

still at the beach but not as tranquil3 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


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

Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge E-Book Challenge Reviews 2014 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review: Organized For Murder by Ritter Aames

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00001]Organized for Murder:
Organized Mysteries book #1 (Volume 1)

New Cozy Mystery Series
Gemma Halliday Publishing (February 23, 2014)
Paperback: 254 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1495379956
File Size: 1728 KB
Amazon – ASIN: B00ILBRNXC
BN ID: 2940148290353
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Organization expert Kate McKenzie is on track to make her new business, STACKED IN YOUR FAVOR, a hit in small-town Vermont. But when her first client, the wealthy Amelia Nethercutt, is found dead, the job takes a decidedly sinister turn.

Kate thought she and her family were making a fresh start in her husband’s hometown, but she quickly learns that small towns can hold big secrets. When her first client is poisoned just after Kate leaves her mansion, she knows she’s gotten off to a bad start. But things only get worse when the police find Kate’s fingerprints on the murder weapon, suddenly putting her in the position of suspect number one. The stopwatch is ticking for Kate to prove she had nothing to do with the murder, and the odds are further stacked against her when items stolen from the Nethercutt mansion start showing up in the McKenzie home. Now, Kate must trust her methodical skills and expert eye to sort out who is trying to frame her and to find the real killer before she’s organized right into a jail cell.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A nice start for this new series!

Kate is a very likeable protagonist. Her first organization job turns out to be huge and she needs to bring in her friend Eve and her nemesis Valerie as well to help her inventory the vast collections at the Nethercutt mansion. I enjoyed Eve and Kate friendly relationship and the way they dealt with Valerie, who was really there as a spy for Sophia, Amelia Nethercutt’s stepdaughter. The entire Nethercutt family are all very interesting characters. They all made viable suspects.

The plot was well paced and I enjoyed the way Kate followed the clues in a very organized fashion. The author added some great twists, I was surprised by the actual murderer.

I enjoyed all the organizational tips that started each chapter. They could easily be spun off into another book. Several will be introduced into my own household.

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About The Author

Ritter Ames lives in a small town in the middle of America, but spends each day globe trotting the art world from her laptop, with her cat riding shotgun and Pandora blasting from the speakers. COUNTERFEIT CONSPIRACIES is her first full-length fiction. A second cozy mystery series, starting with ORGANIZED FOR MURDER will be released by Gemma Halliday Publishing in January 2014. She tries to blog regularly at http://ritterames.wordpress.com/ and uses her Pinterest boards at http://www.pinterest.com/ritterames/ to capture great places and ideas she wants to use in both series. Follow her blog and boards to learn more about Ritter and her upcoming books.

Author Links:

Web page: http://ritterames.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ritter.ames

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RitterAmes

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/ritterames/


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.”