Posted in Cozy Wednesday Giveaways Reviews 2013

Cozy Wednesday with Chicken Caccia-Killer Author Liz Lipperman (Giveaway too!)

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!!

My friend, Liz Lipperman, has a new Clueless Cook Mystery out
and you are going to love it!!

I am so happy she could squeeze in time to visit tight before the holidays!!!

DIFFERENT STROKES FOR DIFFERENT FOLKS
By Liz Lipperman

 

liz lippermanFirst of all, I want to thank Dollycas for having me on her blog today. She’s such a diversified reader, and I love her reviews. Now onto the post.

Last week we had an arctic storm blow into the Dallas area that crippled the entire Metroplex for three days. I posted this picture on my Facebook page because it is so funny — and true about Texans and snow. But in our defense, we don’t see many snow/ice storms, and consequently, DOT has a limited number of snowplows to routinely clean up the roads the way you northerners have.

pic for 12182013

Plus we can go from sleeveless one day to ski clothes the next — which is exactly what happened here. It was 80° on Wednesday and 28° on Thursday after the storm arrived.

I tell you this because I had a rude awakening when I went into the grocery store Thursday morning intending to buy the food for our weather-related house arrest.

chickenThe grocery store I use didn’t look as bad as the one above, but it was severely depleted. They didn’t even have green peppers, for heaven’s sake. No red, orange, or yellow either. It made me wonder what people were eating while they were stuck in their houses. Since I live in Texas where we have a large Hispanic population and I was planning on making chicken fajitas and figured everyone else was, too, that explained the no peppers.

All this got me thinking about what stores in different areas around the country would look like in this situation. Would there be no oranges in Florida? No pizza in Chicago? No Kolaches  in West, Texas, where there’s a big Czech population? No hot dogs in New York?

Again this got me thinking — which is dangerous all by itself. Here in the United States, we have so many different cultural groups that influence what is marketed in different areas of the country.

So I did some more thinking about how this might relate to reading books— geez! (It’s a wonder I didn’t blow a brain fuse.) What if everyone only liked to read literary fiction? Or biographies? Or how-to books?

First of all, I would be dead meat, since I write mystery/suspense. But wouldn’t the world be a dull place if you walked into a Barnes & Noble with only those types of books. No Clive Custer, Janet Evanovich, or Nora Roberts. I, for one, would be devastated. Although my TBR pile is composed mostly of mysteries and thrillers, occasionally I venture out into other genres, especially those written by my friends.

Thank heavens we have so many choices, and the world is filled with people like you guys who read a book just because it’s good. Who get invested in the story because you fall in love with the characters and not because it’s a certain genre.

In the New Age of publishing there is so much more out there in all genres. Sometimes it’s even free. And prices have come down on a lot of books, especially digital downloads, all of which is conducive to trying new stuff and new authors.  I love that. It’s really all about good characters and good writing, anyway. The only difference between a paranormal mystery and a regular mystery, for example, is the way the story is presented. A killer is a killer even though he may be a dragon or have supernatural powers. Am I making my point or just confusing you?

I’ll close with a little story about my six-year-old grandson, who always gives me lots of material to work with. We were on a family vacation last summer, and I had popped a bag of popcorn that had been on the shelf for a long time. I followed the microwave directions to a T, but somehow, I ended up with burnt popcorn — and you know how bad that can smell. Anyway here’s the conversation between my grandson and me.

Him: “Nana, why’d you burn the popcorn?”

Me: “I did exactly what they told me to do.”

He crinkled his brow and asked, “Someone told you to burn the popcorn?”

See how words can be interpreted differently? And with that, I’ll end with a question. Are you eclectic with your reading preferences, or do you stick to one or two genres only? One lucky commenter will receive a copy of CHICKEN CACCIA-KILLER, my latest cozy release.

~Liz

Liz is one busy author with several books coming in 2014 too!! Check out her webpage here to find out more about Liz and all her books.

chicken
Chicken Caccia-Killer
(A Clueless Cook Mystery) (Volume 4)

4th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Self Publshed (December 5, 2013)
Paperback: 236 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1494286064
E-Book File Size: 498 KB
ASIN: B00H2DZLHA
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Forced to fight to keep her job as the culinary reporter at the Ranchero Globe, Jordan must cover the International Italian Festival coming to town. But along with the festivities and great Italian food, she has to deal with meeting her boyfriend Alex’s mother and sister for the first time.

When an arrogant Italian playboy falls to his death from a suite at a swanky hotel during a pre-festivities party and Alex’s sister Kate is charged with his murder, Jordan springs into action to find clues that could prove her innocence. But the real killer doesn’t appreciate that she getting too close. Can Jordan and her motley crew of friends thwart his efforts and catch the killer before he succeeds?

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Liz Lipperman writes some of the funniest stories I have ever read and this one is no exemption. She puts Jordan is some of the craziest predicaments, dangerous and hilarious. Jordan is always right in the middle of the trouble, even when she doesn’t even have to cook.

Meeting Alex’s mother and sister had her nervous to begin with but then his sister just happens to have a fight with a guy right before he topples to his death. Jordan knows there has to be more to the story so she has to get involved in the investigation. She just can’t help herself. She also has a sidekick to help her investigate, Alex’s mother, which both hastens and hampers her efforts. Natalie is a hoot!!

This whodunit has plenty of twists and turns. Secrets are revealed and there are plenty more suspects that just poor Kate. It seems the dead guy’s playboy status more than rivals Hugh Hefner’s. He was one busy fella!  Although some of enemies were also male! 

Chase away those winter blues with this wonderful cozy. Be sure to try out recipes too!! Carlita’s Italian Cake Balls sound scrumptious. There is also one for Ginny’s Braided Spaghetti Bread made with Rhodes Dinner Rolls. This put quite a smile on my face as this reviewer worked for Rhodes for almost 15 years 🙂

a perfect escape
5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the author I have 1 copy to give away!

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

Answer Liz’s Question!

Are you eclectic with your reading preferences,
or do you stick to one or two genres only?

One lucky commenter will receive a copy of CHICKEN CACCIA-KILLER, my latest cozy release.

Contest Will End January 1, 2013 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.

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 2013

Review: Snowflakes and Coffee Cakes by Joanne Demaio

snowflakes and coffee cakes
Snowflakes and Coffee Cakes
Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 14, 2013)
Paperback: 208 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1492933175
E-Book File Size: 473 KB
ASIN: B00FXXY4UG
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Vera Sterling has gone home to Addison Cove for her sister’s wedding. There is really no reason to return to the “big city”. She has lost her job as a journalist and doesn’t know what she wants to do next. Then she passes this big old house and barn on her way out of town and it has a FOR SALE sign in front of it. She impulsively turns around and uses most of her severance pay to purchase the house. Her sister thinks she has lost her mind but likes the idea of having her sister close by.

It isn’t long before a course of events change Vera’s life and that of a few others in Addison Cove in unexpected ways.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Heartwarming is the very best way to describe this book. I had to be careful in my synopsis of this book because some times they just seem to give too much away. Part of the magic of this book is discovering the connections and the relationships and the lives of the characters as you read the story.

Vera’s relationship with her dad just plain made me smile. He is a meteorologist who loves winter and will have you looking at snowflakes in a whole different way. Yes, we know no 2 are alike and when piled together they can be used to make snowmen and snow angels. They can also drift together and be back breaking to move. But this story shines them in a whole new light. I am not a winter person but I love watching it snow and snowflakes coming down  can be beautiful.

Addison Cove is full of wonderful people and there is something special that brings them together at this time of year. Vera finds there is a way for her to make the occasion even more special.

Love, loss, forgiveness, understanding, friendship and the power of a snowflake come together to make this magical season oh so special, You just have to believe “because snowflakes can grant very special wishes …”

A perfect holiday book. One that you will want to read every year about this time. Definitely one for the “keeper shelf”.
a perfect escape
5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

About This Author

Joanne DeMaio is the award-winning author of Snowflakes and Coffee CakesBlue Jeans and Coffee Beans and the bestselling novel Whole Latte Life, which won First Place in the 2012 Discovery Awards and was named a Kirkus Reviews Critics’ Pick. It has also been featured in USA Today, The Huffington Post and other outlets. Blue Jeans and Coffee Beansis her second novel. Both books explore the intricate relationships between mothers and daughters, sisters and friends. In addition, her music essays have appeared in literary journals, celebrating her passion for song. Joanne lives with her family in Connecticut and is currently at work on her next book.

Find out more at her webpage here.

Connect with her on: 25 (2)

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 Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Reviews 2013 Virtual Book Tour

Murderous Matrimony Virtual Book Tour Stop!! (Giveaway too!)

great escape tour banner large MURDEROUS MATRIMONY640

The Murderous Matrimony Book Tour stops here today!!

I have been looking forward to this book since
I finished reading Perilous Pranks back in August.

Murderous Matrimony book cover
Murderous Matrimony
(Renaissance Faire Mystery)

6th in the Series
Cozy Mystery
Self Published
E-Book File Size: 367 KB
Print Length: 206 pages
ASIN: B00GOA74N6
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In just 2 weeks Jessie Morton and Chase Manhattan will become man and wife in one of the biggest Adventureland events ever. That is if Jessie can get Wanda’s ghost to behave and leaver her alone, get pass the fact that Chase’s family thinks she is all wrong for him and solve a murder or two. Maybe she and chase should just elope.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I love these books. I have never been to an actual Renaissance Faire but because of these books I hope to attend one in the future. What a great ESCAPE from reality! Where else can you see Kings, Queens, Lords, Ladies, madmen, fairies, mermaids, dragons, Robin Hood and hundreds of people in full costume walking about enjoying the fantasy of it all? Plus the food, don’t forget the food.

Joyce and Jim Lavene take us there and they add the suspense of a murder or two in each installment. The descriptions are so vivid. I can see Sherwood Forest, the castle, the dungeon, the streets, the shoppes and every colorful character. Their words paint beautiful pictures in my mind. Even the curmudgeonly outsiders who enter the village who don’t believe. It is usually the outside police that come in to assist Chase but this time it includes Chase’s family as well.

 This story has a great mystery with plenty of suspects to keep us guessing – Fabulous characters including a ghost – Takes place in a fantastic setting. I love reading stories that leave me smiling at the end with a few giggles throughout and anxious for the next book.

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!) While I would recommend reading the series from the start the authors do a wonderful job making each book read well all on its own. Congrats Joyce and Jim and thank you for inviting me to the spectacular wedding!!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

clip_image001MurderousMatrimony_JimLavene-biopic
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


Giveaway: The authors are giving away to one winner a copy of each of the 5 print books in the Ren Faire mystery series as well as the E- novella, Perilous Pranks. and an E- copy of Murderous Matrimony.

The entire collection, for now, of our Ren Faire Mysteries. Plus a Ren Faire Mystery tote bag to hold all of them.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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 2013

Review: The Critical Element (A James Becker Suspense/Thriller)

critical element
The Critical Element
(A James Becker Suspense/Thriller)

5th in Series
Mystery/Suspense
Self Published
Paperback: 326 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1491243572
E-Book File Size: 485 KB
ASIN: B00EARNQ2I

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FROM AN AMAZON TOP 100 AND NOOK TOP 100 AUTHOR.

James “Beck” Becker has retired from a twenty-year career serving his country as a military intelligence operative and now practices law in his childhood hometown of Red Wing, Minnesota.  His wife, Beth, a retired CIA code-cracker, takes care of things at home. They have worked out a comfortable routine for their retirement. That is until the call comes call for a little of their expert assistance.

This time their help is needed just down the road with a unusual finding but it quickly turns into so much more. Rodney Holton,  a local farmer, comes to Beck for some advice regarding a “meteor strike” on his land. Beck knows Holton will do anything to make a buck so he is quite skeptical about this “meteor”.  But then the FBI comes to town and before they even get to see it the “meteor” disappears. This is just the tip of the iceberg as Holden’s cows start to get sick, and this so called “meteor” may have something to do with North Korean “weather satellite” that everyone thought was just a piece of junk floating in space.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
This is one of my favorite series. John Betcher just keeps getting better and better. I love these characters. This mild mannered retired couple, Beck and his wife Beth, kicking back on the porch enjoying the beautiful Minnesota views one minute, tracking down terrorists the next. This time the target is practically in their own backyard. Beth works her magic electronically with her computer and Beck tracks down the leads. A fabulous team. 

Betcher has a talent of writing stories the draw you in and don’t let go. He takes his characters and drops them into these unbelievable situations and makes you believe them. The world today is a dangerous place but those of us in the Midwest always feel pretty safe.  All of  Betcher’s books have that ripped from the headlines feel.  This one will have you looking at one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world in a whole new light and may have you rethinking your plans to about many places we travel without a second thought.

Suspense, thrills and chills. This book delivers all. It also includes a touch of humor that keeps all the drama from from getting overly intense. We also see a compassionate side of Beck surface more in this installment.  The plot and subplots are tight and perfectly paced. I highly recommend you grab this book today and escape into it as quickly as possible. My Beck fix has been filled for the moment. I can’t wait for the next adventure!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To find out more about this author and his books visit his webpage here.

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 Reviews 2013

Review & Giveaway: Retirement Can Be Murder by Susan Santangelo

retirement can be murderRetirement Can Be Murder — Every Wife Has A Story
A Baby Boomer Mystery
1st in Series
Cozy Mystery
Baby Boomer Mysteries Press (April 1, 2009)
Paperback: 231 pages
E-Book File Size: 402 KB
ASIN: B004KKZ40C
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Carol Andrews and her Beloved Husband, Jim, are members of the fastest growing demographic in history, the Baby Boomer generation. Jim has started thinking about retiring because he isn’t really happy with all the new changes at work. Carol has her own routine and the last thing she needs is Jim hanging around the house all day. During a lunch with her friends Carol learns about retirement coaches. She thinks this is just what Jim needs to convince him retirement is just not the best option for him right now. She finds a retirement counselor online and using her years of experience being married to “her Beloved” she makes him think it was his idea to contact the guy. Carol is thrilled until the coach ends up dead and Jim becomes Murder Suspect #1.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Being a “Baby Boomer” myself I was very interested to learn about this series so I have started from the beginning. What a treat!!

Santangelo has created some interesting characters and put them in a situation many of us could be facing in the not too distant future. I think Jim is kind of a jerk and thank my lucky stars “my Beloved” is nothing like him, but he and Carol seem to be quite compatible and that makes for a great story even without the dead guy 🙂

A healthy dose of humor is injected throughout the entire story. The chapters each start with a retirement joke or phase. I found myself giggling several times. Carol knows how to handle her husband and at times he even knows it too! Having an adult child move back home added another nice element to the tale.

The mystery was light and enjoyable as Carol slowly found each piece to the puzzle. This would be a good book to take to the beach this summer. A very fast read, those pages just kept turning.

This was a very pleasant debut for this series. I definitely want to read Moving Can Be Murder to see what Carol is up to next.

just you and a friend
4 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


About The Author

Susan Santangelo has been a feature writer, drama critic and editor for daily and weekly newspapers and magazines in the New York metropolitan area, including a stint at Cosmopolitan magazine. A member of Sisters in Crime and The Cape Cod Writers Center, she shares her life with her Personal Beloved and one very spoiled English cocker spaniel, Boomer. She divides her time between Connecticut and Cape Cod.
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 I would love to share my review copy with one lucky winner!!

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.

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

Contest Will End August 23, 2013 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.”

Posted in Giveaways Literary Escapes Reviews 2013

Review: Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans By Joanne DeMaio (Giveaway too!)

BLUE JEANS

Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 1, 2013)
Trade Paperback: 330 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1479262779
E-Book File Size: 510 KB
ASIN: B00BORGOVC

Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans


Escape to Stony Point, cuff your jeans and walk along the water’s edge in this nostalgic story bringing old friends, and their lives, back to the sea …

Designer Maris Carrington has returned to Stony Point to get her family home ready for sale after he father passes away. A home movie tucked inside a dusty attic box leads to an unexpected summer as she discovers a family secret.

She reconnects with old friends and finds inspiration for her new denim clothing line. Her friends lives are all in a state of flux and one has passed away. As memories are shared and remembered Maris starts to wonder about her life in Chicago. What is really holding there? Is she leading a life that makes her happy?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This was the perfect story for me to read while we were going through the stress of moving. When things were getting too tough or tempers were flaring I could tune out and “escape” into the pages of Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans. I absolutely loved Whole Latte Life so was excited when I was asked to review this one. I still can’t believe this is only this author’s second book. She as woven together the lives of the characters with the hand of a master.

I think every reader will find they can identify will at least one of the characters. Eva, Matt, Kyle, Lauren, Jason and Maris are full, rich characters that all bring their own special qualities to this story of friendship, the choices made, love and regrets. Together they lean on each other and help each other heal, move forward and rebuild their lives. ?

All the characters are extraordinary but Jason really touched my heart, maybe because we both have leg issues 🙂 Truthfully he has been carrying a huge weight on his shoulders and seeing him start to deal with his misplaced guilt was empowering.

The beach setting was a character in itself as so many answers were found just looking at the water and walking along the shoreline. I could smell the salt water and hear the surf and even find solace myself.

This is a very moving story that takes you on an emotional roller coaster but is comfortable like your favorite pair of blue jeans. I was sad to reach the last page. I highly recommend this captivating story that will stick with you long after you close the book. a perfect escape 5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author

Joanne DeMaio is the award-winning author of Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans and the bestselling novel Whole Latte Life, which won First Place in the 2012 Discovery Awards and was named a Kirkus Reviews Critics’ Pick. It has also been featured in USA Today, The Huffington Post and other outlets. Blue Jeans and Coffee Beansis her second novel. Both books explore the intricate relationships between mothers and daughters, sisters and friends. In addition, her music essays have appeared in literary journals, celebrating her passion for song. Joanne lives with her family in Connecticut and is currently at work on her next book.

Find out more at her webpage here.

Connect with her on: 25 (2)

 

 

 

I am giving away my gently read review copy!!

U.S. and CANADIAN RESIDENTS
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.

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

Contest Will End May 16, 2013 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.”

BLUE JEANSreadalattechallenge_zps01d248d02013where are you reading

Posted in E-Book Challenge Giveaways Literary Escapes Reviews 2013 Virtual Book Tour

A Bullet For Carlos by Giacomo Giammatteo Virtual Book Tour with Giveaway

BulletCarlos_banner.png

This is my second tour for Giacomo Giammatteo.
He is definitely an author I am keeping my eye on.

Bullet_Cover_377x595

A Bullet For Carlos:
Blood Flows South, Book 1
Mystery/Thriller
Inferno Publishing Company (October 18, 2012)
Paperback: 420 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0985030247
E-Book File Size: 713 KB
ASIN: B009SYML7Y

A Bullet for Carlos

Detective Connie Giannelli’s life has been torn apart several times. First when her mother died and then years later when she found out her Uncle Dominic was in the mob. Her life is about to be shredded again, and this time it could destroy her.

Connie’s love of family and her badge are both threatened when an undercover drug bust leaves two cops dead and the drugs missing. Internal Affairs is looking for any excuse to take her badge, but she’s not worried about them finding the missing drugs—her secrets could prove to be far worse.

Now Connie’s racing against the clock to figure out who killed her partners and took the drugs—dirty cops or Uncle Dominic’s friends. And she has to do it before IA pins the whole damn thing on her.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am so impressed with the strong female character that Giammatteo has written. Connie Giannelli is formidable woman you don’t want to mess with. Even when sent away from New York to Texas she is determined to get her man or men and bring them to justice. What a crazy life she has had and continues to lead!

He has also written some dynamo supporting characters from her uncles to the cops she works with both in New York and Houston to the cartel in Mexico. They are so fully developed and well described that you feel like you are watching a movie or television drama instead of reading a book.

I reviewed another book my this author last September, Murder Takes Time: Friendship & Honor Series, Book One (Volume 1), so I knew he created fabulous characters. In fact one crosses over to this book. The author tells his story from multiple points of view and while a tad confusing in that book he has ironed out all the issues in this one with clever icons to start each chapter and better transitions.

The story is full of action,  suspense, and has engaging dialogue giving you that hold on tight/edge of your seat feeling. The book is graphic and does have some strong language that would be expected in a book of this type.

I am thrilled this book is the first in a series because I want to know more about Connie and her unconventional family and the choices she makes going forward. I hated to see this book end. I anxiously await A Bullet For DominicMurder Has Consequences (Friendship & Honor, Book 2) is available now in E-book (Kindle) format. Giacomo Giammatteo is definitely an author to watch. I expect to see his books on bestseller lists everywhere very soon!

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Giacomo Giammatteo lives in Texas, where he and his wife run an animal sanctuary and take care of 41 loving rescues. By day, he works as a headhunter in the medical device industry, and at night, he writes.

 

Visit Giacomo on his website:  
or:     

 

The author is giving 1 e-book copy away!!

Enter using Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest Ends March 29 at 12:00 a.m.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author for tour. 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.”

 

readalattechallenge_zps01d248d0mystery challenge2013where are you reading2013EbookChallenge

Posted in E-Book Challenge Reviews 2013 Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting

Review: Murder in Death’s Door County by Elizabeth Rose

door county

Murder in Death’s Door County
(An Annie Malone Cozy Mystery)

First in Series
Cozy Mystery
Publisher: J.M. Schertz
E-Book File Size: 396 KB
ASIN: B00APPXD90

Murder in Death's Door County

Annie has a job she hates but moonlights as a ghostwriter and she loves that job. Unfortuately she doesn’t make enough to pay the bills. When she gets an offer to ghost write a book for a client her editor warns her is a challenge she has a decision to make. The money offered is higher than she ever imagined and it would allow her to quit her day job. The one stipulation is that she must move to Door County to work with the client. Decision made, she quits her job, packs a bag and heads to The Lighthouse Inn hoping she hasn’t made a huge mistake.

Just a few days after she arrives her editor comes for a visit and within hours he is found dead in his room at the inn and Annie becomes the prime suspect. With the help of her new Door County friends Annie will try to find the killer before she finds herself at Death’s Door.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This is a fun debut for the Annie Malone series.  Annie is a unique protagonist. She has wonderful intentions but when she gets in a bit of hot water or when she sees something a little unpleasant she faints dead away. She also has a tendency to babble on when she is nervous or in awkward situations. She is not the smoothest amateur sleuth out there but she is really easy to love both by the reader and a certain gentleman who comes to her rescue more than once.  

One of my favorite places to visit in Wisconsin is Door County. Elizabeth Rose has captured the setting perfectly. It was so easy to picture exactly Annie was or where she was going.

Rose also added a very clever twist to the story in addition to the usual red herrings found in a mystery like this.  A interesting surprise and a great foundation for moving the series forward.  It is also written in a way that will have you unable to put it down. It is fast paced and easily read in one sitting.

Cozy readers will enjoy this trip to Wisconsin’s Door County, I sure did.

just you and a friend

4 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


About This Author
Elizabeth Rose was born in Wisconsin. She has lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the Fox Valley region of Wisconsin. After working as a technical writer, desktop publisher, ghostwriter, and waitress, she decided to put pen to paper for herself. The book “Murder in Death’s Door County” is very loosely based on a bizarre ghostwriting project she had (names, specific circumstances, and situations have been changed significantly). In addition to continuing with the Annie Malone mystery series, Elizabeth loves to write children’s literature, and draw and paint. In her spare time, Elizabeth enjoys spending time in Door County, which really is one of the most beautiful places.

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.”
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Posted in Reviews 2013

Review: A Rendezvous To Die For by Betty McMahon

rendezvous to die for

A Rendezvous to Die For
Cozy Mystery
Self Published (June 14, 2012)
Trade Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1257931323
E-Book File Size: 408 KB
ASIN: B007JZT0MS

A Rendezvous to Die For

Exciting action on the Rez! A brand new sleuth sorts out clues from an 1830s world!

Photographer Cassandra Cassidy has left her big city life behind in New York and is just getting settled in a small town in Minnesota.

She wasn’t really sure what she would find at the Prairie River Trappers’ Rendezvous but was hoping to take enough good pictures to sell so she could pay her rent. The last thing she expected to find was a dead body. A body of someone she knew and really hated. Then to find herself as one of the suspects really put things in a new light. She decided it was up to her to track down the killer before she found herself totally out of the picture.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A very interesting mystery with a historical twist. The Rendezvous took us back in time and gave us a glimpse of traditions of days gone by.  The re-enactors try to remain in character but after a body is found their true character is revealed giving Cassandra a plethora of suspects.

Cassandra came alive to me but Deputy Shaw drove me crazy. Young and new to the job is no excuse for his bubbling stupidity. I really liked Marty, I would love to have him for my landlord. There is plenty of room for all the characters to evolve and a little romance to be added to future installments.

This debut is a light, quick, entertaining whodunit from an author that shows much promise. I look forward to more of Cassandra Cassidy’s escapades. 

just you and a friend

4 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out about Betty McMahon and become her fan at GoodReads!

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

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Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2013 Wisconsin Setting

Special Guest Dan Chabot Author of GodSpeed – A Love Story (Giveaway too!)

special guest heart

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

When I “met” Dan and we discussed his book we both thought today was the perfect day to share his book with you. I was excited when he agreed to stop by today too.

Writing A Novel
by Dan Chabot

Dan chabot

The best thing about writing a novel is that you actually get to create people — a privilege normally reserved to a much higher power. You can create nice people, evil people, funny people, unhappy people, regular people, irregular people.

The second best thing about writing a novel is picking names for them. What should they be called?

One of the characters in Godspeed: a love story, is named Harold Dunser. A fairly common, solid name, you might think, except that Harold Dunser was the name of my imaginary childhood friend. He lives again!

godspeed

Another character is named Ossie Puddo. An unusual name, with an unusual pedigree: He was the imaginary friend of my older brother. I often wonder if Harold and Ossie ever met. After all, they lived in the same house…

Every author has his or her own favorite method for picking character names. Mine is to reach into my past and retrieve names that meant something to me. Sometimes I combine familiar names. And sometimes I just see a name in a newspaper or on the web that has a nice ring to it and borrow it for my story.

But possible character names can pop up just about anywhere. Out on the freeway, for example, I like to watch for the signs that tell the names of the towns coming up at the next exit. Some of them when used together have a distinctive ring. That’s how Dawson Steele became a character in my book.

My wife and I had three boys. We wanted a girl, too, but it was not to be. We even had a name picked out — Amedee. Our Amedee never arrived, but a fictional one did…

And if you’re a vindictive sort, you can get even with old adversaries. A very disagreeable character in the book has the same name of somebody who tormented me in the second grade. Take that, John!

Like characters, story ideas themselves can come from unlikely places. For example, the words funeral and love story are not often found together in the same sentence, but the idea behind Godspeed: a love story is based on a tragic real-life incident that had troubled me for years.

I was a young newspaperman when a good friend wound up in the situation that confronts Derry in my novel. My friend was engaged to a lovely young woman who was struck down without warning by ovarian cancer. She had no family to speak of, so it was left to him to make funeral arrangements. In his grief and the daze induced by tranquilizers, he watched helplessly as a shabby funeral home staged an embarrassing service. The rent-a-minister mispronounced her name, fumbled her biographical details, and in general presided over an ignominious travesty. Another friend, on leaving the humiliating ceremony, hissed in his wife’s ear, “Don’t ever let this happen to me.”

As I thought about my friend’s experience, turning it over in my mind and speculating on what I would have done in that situation, the idea for a novel began to take shape. I embellished and embroidered it considerably, added some interesting characters patterned after people I knew in the newspaper business, came up with some surprising twists, and created what I hope is an inspirational, sentimental story about the resilience of the human spirit, love beyond the grave, and a faith in tomorrow.

Because of the serious theme, I had to leaven the story with some doses of humor. Much of it was provided by Derry’s stable of eccentric newspaper colleagues. One of them relates how as a little girl she asked her father why people like Charlie Chaplin walked so jerkily in those old movies, and he told her it was because that’s the way people walked in those days. In another incident, when Derry invites Amedee up to his apartment, she makes friends immediately with his dog, who is scratching furiously at an ear. “Oh, now I get it,” she says impishly. “You lured me up here, an innocent maiden, to see your itchings.” And Derry’s encounter with an earthy, profane, inner-city minister also adds some counterbalance to the overall message

But writing the book took a while. I dabbled at it here and there, writing a chapter now and then, revising it, rewriting it, but the progress was pretty slow. Then one day I read a quotation that got my attention. It said, “Most people die with their music still inside.”

That comment inspired me to finally finish the book. I certainly don’t pretend to have written a symphony, but at least I whistled a little tune! And if any of you have an idea for a book, or a poem, or a song, or any kind of a project, my advice to you is: Get going! Go do it! Sing your song!

In this era of self-publishing it’s not difficult to turn your manuscript into a finished product. The hard part is getting it noticed, because you don’t have a big publishing house and its promotional resources behind you. After you tell your friends and family about your new adventure, you’re on your own to promote it.

That’s why a lot of authors turn to reviewers like Lori. You ask them to take a look at your book, and in a perfect world maybe they’ll like it and tell others about it. A lot of authors have been ignored by agents and the big publishing houses, and yet went on to write best-sellers because bloggers like Lori noticed their work and spread the word.

So thank you, Lori, for the chance to put my book out there before your many followers. I hope they come away from it with both a smile and a tear.

~Dan

Dan, you are so welcome!! Now let me tell you more about this book!

godspeed

Godspeed: A love story
Self Published (June 20, 2012)
Contemporary Fiction/Romance
Paperback: 306 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1477435366
E-Book File Size: 469 KB
ASIN: B009JLYDDQ

Godspeed: A Love Story

Derry and Amedee meet during her first day on the job at the Milwaukee Ledger. Their love affair is intense and pure and should last forever. Life throws us curves and Derry receives a big one. Will he survive? 

Dollycas’s Thoughts
I purposely gave you a very short synopsis. I think the reason I such a powerful reaction to the story was because I read it cold, with only scant details of where the story would lead.

It is a love story of an enduring love, told in a ingenious way that really leaves the reader solving a bit of a mystery. A rich tender story filled with emotion but tempered with humor and uplifting moments that balance out what could have turned this into a very heavy story. There is a message  –  an inspirational one  –  but this really is a story about life and how one man deals with the cards he is dealt.

Beautifully written, clever characters and the stories within the story, the testimonials,  really moved me. My only criticism was when the author tried to take this old fashioned love story to a steamy place for a few paragraphs.  The story is so strong he really didn’t need to go there at all.

Have some tissues handy,  pour a nice glass wine and curl up with Godspeed. It is a love story you will truly love.

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


About This Author
Chabot spent 35 years in the newspaper business as a writer, editor and columnist, so he is comfortable writing about big-city newsrooms, the primary setting for his inspirational tale of love and loss, despair and redemption.

He grew up in Ontonagon, Michigan, and worked for several newspapers before joining the staff of the Milwaukee Journal. For many years he was the editor of the Journal’s popular and beloved Green Sheet feature section.

Chabot and his wife, Mary Ellen, now reside in Florida. They are the parents of three grown sons and just recently welcomed a fifth grandchild.

For more information check out his webpage www.godspeed-lovestory.com

 

 

Would you like to win a copy of Godspeed?

I am giving away my review copy!!!

U.S. and CANADIAN RESIDENTS

Leave a comment for Dan for 5 Bonus Entries !

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

Contest Will End February 28, 2013 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.”

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