Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Lavender Blue Murder (A Tea Shop Mystery) by Laura Childs #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Lavender Blue Murder (A Tea Shop Mystery)
by Laura Childs

About Lavender Blue Murder 


Lavender Blue Murder (A Tea Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
21th in Series
Setting – South Carolina
Publisher: Berkley (March 3, 2020)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 0451489667
ISBN-13: 978-0451489661
Digital ASIN: B07SSQ1X4R

Tea-Maven Theodosia Browning brews up trouble in the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.

 

Tea maven Theodosia Browning and her tea sommelier Drayton Conneley are guests at a bird hunt styled in the precise manner of an English shooting party. Which means elevenses (sloe gin fizzes), gun loaders, the drawing of pegs, fine looking bird dogs, and shooting costumes of tweed, herringbone, and suede.

 

But as gunshots explode like a riff of Black Cat firecrackers, another shot sounds too close for comfort to Theodosia and Drayton. Intrigued but worried, Theodosia wanders into the neighbor’s lavender field where she discovers their host, Reginald Doyle, bleeding to death.

 

His wife, Meredith, is beside herself with grief and begs Theodosia and Drayton to stay the night. But Theodosia awakens at 2:00A.M. to find smoke in her room and the house on fire. As the fire department screams in and the investigating sheriff returns, Meredith again pleads with Theodosia for help.

 

As Theodosia investigates, fingers are pointed, secrets are uncovered, Reginald’s daughter-in-law goes missing presumed drowned, and Meredith is determined to find answers via a séance. All the while Theodosia worries if she’s made a mistake in inviting a prime suspect to her upscale Lavender Lady Tea.

 

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS!

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Theodosia Browning and her tea sommelier Drayton Conneley are on a hunt, a bird hunt. They are guests at an English shooting party. Theo is having a great time and even bagged a quail. Drayton is mostly just along for her company. As they are sojourning across the field they hear shots ring out. Shots very close to them. Theo takes off to check things out and she finds their host Reginald Doyle, bleeding to death in the neighbor’s lavender field. By the time the ambulance arrives there is nothing they can do to save the man.

Reginald’s wife Meredith is distraught and begs Theo and Dayton to stay the night and they can’t refuse. In the middle of the night, Theo wakes up to find the mansion on fire and rushes to clear everyone out of the house. Not trusting the local Sheriff Meredith asks Theodosia to investigate too.

Shortly thereafter, Theo surprising meets Reginald’s daughter-in-law not far from Drayton’s house and she is clearly not herself. She then learns the young woman went missing shortly after their meeting. She was out on her husband’s sailboat and is thought to have drowned and the Coast Guard is searching for her body. Theo starts pressing harder in her investigation ruffling more than a few feathers.


What an awesome story! It starts with a bang and ends with a crash!! Loved it!

All the characters we love are back. Theo, Drayton, Haley, Riley, Miss Dimple, Detective Tidwell and of course Earl Grey fill these pages with drama, laughter, Southern charm, and some exciting action too. This is the 21st book in this series and these characters still are fresh and continue to evolve in fantastic ways. Theo never disappoints as she gets down and dirty smack dab in the middle of another murder investigation. Riley tries to reel her in but that is near impossible. Haley and Mrs. Dimple take care of the Indigo Tea Shop while Theo and Drayton chase down leads. But Theo is still front and center for all the special tea events put on at the shop, like the Lavender Lady Tea. She keeps her ears wide open because you never know who will provide a clue that catapults the case forward.

Ms. Childs has not only created a great group of core characters but she introduces a stellar group of new characters to fit this story. Most are suspects but they are all interesting in their own way. She describes them so vividly they are so easy to visualize.

The author’s vivid descriptions also bring each scene clearly into focus, from the field of lavender, the Doyle Mansion, Drayton’s home and Theo’s, which is undergoing a kitchen renovation, to the tea shop itself with each type of china, silverware, and candlestick used. The descriptions of the scones, soups, and sandwiches will make your mouth water. Ms. Childs has perfected the way to bring each scene alive, never going overboard or getting too wordy.

The mystery builds to a fast-pace with a plethora of suspects. Twists, turns, red herrings, this story has it all. Theo is so smart and thinks on her feet. She has so much experience she knows a crime scene must be protected. I was afraid this time she may have had to get physical to protect that scene. Talk about physical the ending had me breathing hard, my blood pressure rising and me sitting right up at the end of my seat.

Amongst this cozy mystery is all kinds of tidbits of information. I love lavender and have a spray I use on my pillow each night that helps me sleep like a baby. I loved all the lavender facts scattered through this book, I would love to live near a field of lavender. Readers are also treated to tea time tips, Drayton is a very knowledgeable tea sommelier and very creative with his blends. There are more tea tips at the end of the book along with several recipes for food served in the story.

I loved everything about this story. It is one of the best books I have read this year! It is so worth a Paradise Rating.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Laura Childs

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop MysteriesScrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fundraising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

Laura’s Links: Website – Facebook – 

Purchase Links

Amazon   B&N  Kobo   Google Play  IndieBound

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Great Escapes Praise for Lavender Blue Murder (A Tea Shop Mystery)
by Laura Childs

Lavender Blue Murder is an enchanting cozy mystery with a weeping widow, a surplus of suspects, tasty tea, loads of lavender, blaring bagpipes, and a spooky séance.
~The Avid Reader

The mystery was engaging and fun, oh and the teas and recipes! Oh my! I think I look forward to the recipes as much as I do the mysteries.
~A Chick Who Reads

Phew this was a humdinger of a story with a plethora of potential suspects for Theo and Drayton to deal with!
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

. . . a fun mystery that will have you guessing who did it mixed in between the tea and goodies. Makes for a great read. I totally loved it so I give it 5/5 stars.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

As always Laura does a good job of making you feel a part of the story. She also likes to put in just enough twists to keep you guessing until the end.
~A. Holland Reads

Lavender Blue Murder starts out with a bang, quite literally! . . . The mystery was intriguing and well planned, and there are lots of suspects to keep you second-guessing if you think you have it all figured out.
~The Book’s the Thing

LAVENDER BLUE MURDER is an intricately plotted mystery imbued with Southern grace, exemplary food, and fine tea. Sit back with a lavender scone and a cup of steaming Asaam and prepare for a delightful read.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

The writing pace is calming (in spite of the murder lol) and engaging, and you just want to immerse yourself into this world for a while. Especially if it involves lunch at the tea shop (hold the tea… sorry, Drayton) and the yummy food there!
~Reading Is My SuperPower

As I neared the end of this delightful collection of locale, character, and tastiness, I realized that I didn’t expect something different in this release. I expected my Indigo friends, familiar shop chatter, local characters, comfortable teatime, and an all-around good story. Just like all the others in this series. So settle in​ and expect both​.
~The Editing Pen

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops.
March 2 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
March 2 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
March 3 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
March 4 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 4 – My Journey Back – REVIEW (Coming Soon)
March 5 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – GUEST POST
March 5 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW
March 6 – I’m All About Books-SPOTLIGHT
March 6 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
March 7 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
March 8 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
March 9 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
March 9 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
March 10 – The Editing Pen – REVIEW
March 10 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT
March 11 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
March 12 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 13 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT
March 13 – The Book Diva’s Reads – GUEST POST
March 14 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW
March 14 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 15 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
March 16 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
March 16 – This Is My Truth Now – SPOTLIGHT
March 17 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
March 18 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 19 – Laura`s Interests – REVIEW
March 19 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
March 20 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW
March 21 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW

 

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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Read The Printed Word Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Broken Bone China (A Tea Shop Mystery) by Laura Childs #Review / #Giveaway @BerkleyMystery


On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.


Broken Bone China (A Tea Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
20th in Series
Setting – South Carolina
Berkley (March 5, 2019)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 0451489632
ISBN-13: 978-0451489630
Digital ASIN: B07DMZPLWY

Theodosia Browning serves tea and solves crimes in Charleston, a city steeped in tradition and treachery in the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.

 

It is Sunday afternoon, and Theodosia and Drayton are catering a formal tea at a hot-air balloon rally. The view aloft is not only stunning, they are also surrounded by a dozen other colorful hot-air balloons. But as the sky turns gray and the clouds start to boil up, a strange object zooms out of nowhere. It is a drone, and it appears to be buzzing around the balloons, checking them out.

 

As Theodosia and Drayton watch, the drone, hovering like some angry, mechanized insect, deliberately crashes into the balloon next to them. An enormous, fiery explosion erupts, and everyone watches in horror as the balloon plummets to the earth, killing all three of its passengers.

 

Sirens scream, first responders arrive, and Theodosia is interviewed by the police. During the interview she learns that one of the downed occupants was Don Kingsley, the CEO of a local software company, SyncSoft. Not only do the police suspect Kingsley as the primary target, they learn that he possessed a rare Revolutionary War Union Jack flag that several people were rabidly bidding on.

 

Intrigued, Theodosia begins her own investigation. Was it the CEO’s soon-to-be ex-wife, who is restoring an enormous mansion at no expense? The CEO’s personal assistant, who also functioned as curator of his prized collection of Americana? Two rival antiques’ dealers known for dirty dealing? Or was the killer the fiancée of one of Theodosia’s dear friends, who turns out to be an employee—and whistle-blower—at SyncSoft?

 
INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The story opens with Theodosia and Drayton high in the air in a hot-air balloon. They were catering the rally and were gifted to fly in the air themselves. While enjoying the spectacular views and the other balloons the clouds start to roll in and Theo noticed a buzzing and then a strange object flying between the balloons. She soon realizes it is a drone. She doesn’t really get excited at first thinking it is carrying a camera taking pictures of the event. But then the drone crashes into the balloon right next to them. There is a huge explosion and as the rain starts to fall and so does the fiery balloon, crashing to the ground killing the three souls aboard.

Theo and Drayton’s balloon makes a hasty descent followed by a bumpy landing. Theo saw the whole thing and reports the drone’s deliberate attack. It is then she learns one of the people killed was Don Kingsley, the CEO of a local software company, SyncSoft. It later comes out that Kingsley is the owner of a rare Revolutionary War Union Jack flag that was recently part of a bidding war and is now missing. He was also in the process of divorcing his wife who had been spending tons of money to renovate a mansion to open it as a B&B.

After witnessing such a tragic event, Theodosia is driven to distraction. Even though she is warned to leave the case to the police she just can’t stop herself from investigating the deaths herself, pulling Drayton along with her. It doesn’t help that the prime suspect is the fiancée of one of her friends and the evidence is piling up.

____

Wow, this is the 20th Tea Shop Mystery and the author always delivers a fresh and exciting mystery. I mean a drone taking down a hot air balloon, that catches a reader’s attention and the investigation keeps it until the last page.

What makes these stories great is the wonderful cast of characters and the Indigo Tea Shop where everyone seems to gather to pick up their morning tea and scones, or stop by for a lunch of soup and sandwiches or the fantastic tea events that are held there several times a week. The Nancy Drew Tea is one I wish I had been able to attend. While Theo and Drayton venture out to sleuth, most of the key figures find their way to the tea shop eventually and some are there numerous times. Ms. Childs’ descriptive talents really bring time, place, and people to life.

I found the historical information about the Union Jack flag was very interesting. It was a unique element playing a big part in a mystery that was full of twists and turns. Theodosia has built a reputation for solving crimes before the police so expectations are always high and she doesn’t let us down.

The author plots her stories so well and truly fills them with Southern charm. They are perfectly paced and flow so well they are almost impossible to put down. I read this one incredibly fast and totally enjoyed every page.

Broken Bone China is a delightful addition to this long-running series. If you’re not already of fan of this series the author always provides plenty of background so you can jump in the series at any time. Of course, I recommend you read them all 😀

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop MysteriesScrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fundraising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

Laura’s Links:   Website – Facebook 

 

Thanks to the people at Berkley I have 1 copy of Broken Bone China to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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

Contest Will End March 13, 2020, 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

Laura Childs will be touring with Great Escapes Book Tours in March!

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 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Bonbon with the Wind (Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery) by Dorothy St. James #Review / #Giveaway @dorothywrites


Bonbon with the Wind (Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery)
by Dorothy St. James

About Bonbon With the Wind


Bonbon with the Wind (Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – South Carolina
Publisher: Barking Dog Press (December 9, 2019)
Print Length: 251 pages
ASIN: B082L528GS

Join Penn and Stella on their latest adventure!

There’s a legend in the Sea Islands that before a hurricane hits the Gray Lady can be seen walking down the beach warning of doom. Penn doesn’t believe in such silly stories, but she does believe weather forecasters. A powerful hurricane is heading their way. Everyone on the island of Camellia Beach is busy boarding up windows and securing valuables to upper levels of buildings. Joe Davies, a local treasure hunter with an unquenchable sweet tooth, claims to have seen the Gray Lady walking toward him just that morning and is terrified for his life.

After the storm passes everyone returns to survey the damage. As Penn walks her little dog Stella on the beach, she finds Joe Davies’ body washed up onshore. Not only that, it looks as if an exploding transformer caused Joe’s seaside shack to burn to the ground. Did the Gray Lady claim another victim? Many on the island believe that is exactly what happened.

Penn is sure there’s another explanation. She follows the clues and hints of lost gold to discover that the truth behind the treasure hunter’s death is as much of a maze as the boating channels winding their way through the local marshes.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A hurricane is headed for the island of Camellia Beach and everyone is battening down the hatches and getting ready to evacuate. As Penn looks out over the beach she sees local treasure hunter Joe Davies in the distance talking to a woman. He approaches Penn and tells her he is afraid for his life and hurries away. Everyone, except Penn, thinks the woman was the Gray Lady of legend who is known to walk the beach before a storm. Meeting her could mean tragedy is headed to your life.  Penn doesn’t believe in the legend or the stories people are sharing.

Penn and her papillon Stella return to Camilla Beach after the storm passes to assess the damages. Stella runs off and when Penn catches up with her she sees her dog has made a gruesome discovery. Joe Davies’ body has been washed up on the shore and has been mostly covered with sand. She later learns his seaside home had burned to the ground during the storm. Was it the Gray Lady that crossed his path and delivered all this calamity or is there a human to blame. Penn has been asked to find out. Hopefully, that won’t bring death and destruction to her door.

____

After a short hiatus, the Southern Chocolate Shop Mysteries are back and I am so happy they are!

Charity Penn ‘Penn’, Bertie, Harley, Althea, and Stella return in a rich story with a folklore twist. I really enjoyed the bit a paranormal legend that was twisted throughout this story. Hurricanes are scary enough without ghosts predicted doom. It also brought a slew of ghosthunters to Camellia Beach all in hopes to witness the phenomenon which meant more business for Penn’s shop but a lot more craziness.

Character development was key in this story as well. Penn’s candy-making skills are improving but her interpersonal relationships take a real hit. That opens her eyes in many ways. She is still on the outs with her family but she is getting strong enough to deal with them now.  A friend from Harley’s past makes an appearance and that opens his eyes too. Penn and Harley make a great team but Bertie and Althea definitely add their talents to the mix.

The devastation of the hurricane was described vividly.  I appreciated the resident’s perseverance and the way the town pulled together after the storm. Finding displaced people places to live, sign up sheets for those who needed help and volunteers willing to help, locating material and contactors, and for Penn ingredient supplies to keep her shop filled with goodies.

The mystery was quite complex. Along with the Gray Lady and that drama, there was a buried treasure and a murder to solve. There were hurricane twists and turns and clues that really had to be dug up to find. I was totally captivated by the entire story.

Bonbon with the Wind is an excellent addition to this series.  You can’t go wrong when you combine mystery with chocolate. Oh, I almost forgot, the Pumpkin Seed Bonbons had my mouth watering. It is one of the recipes included at the end of the book.

I can’t wait for my next visit to Camella Beach!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Asking for Truffle here
Playing with Bonbon Fire hereIn Cold Chocolate here.

About Dorothy St. Janes

Dorothy St. James is the author of the White House Gardener mysteries. For the past twenty years she made her home on Folly Beach, an artsy island community in South Carolina with her sculptor husband. Dorothy is a member of Mystery Writers of America (MWA), Sisters in Crime (SiNC), and the International Thriller Writers (ITW). This is her fourth Southern Chocolate Shop mystery.

Author Links – Website Facebook Twitter BookBub

Praise for Bonbon with the Wind (Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery)
by Dorothy St. James

Bonbon with the Wind is a fascinating, character-driven mystery . . . The Southern Chocolate Shop is one of my favorite series and I look forward to my next visit to Camellia Beach.
~The Power of Words

I liked how the characters have grown within this series. The scene is wonderfully described. We feel the emotions and struggles and have to pay close attention to gather all the clues subtly salted on each page.
~Laura’s Interests

Purchase Link – Amazon 

Also by Dorothy St. James

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
February 3 – Nadaness In Motion – SPOTLIGHT
February 3 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
February 3 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
February 4 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 4 – Laura`s Interests – REVIEW
February 4 – I’m All About Books – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 5 – Celticladys Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 5 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
February 5 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
February 5 – Reading Is My SuperPower – SPOTLIGHT
February 6 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  
February 6 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 6 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 7 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
February 7 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
February 7 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
February 7 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT
February 8 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
February 8 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, GUEST POST
February 8 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
February 9 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 9 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 9 – My Journey Back – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

 

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

Posted in Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Read The Printed Word Challenge Reviews 2019 TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Whack ‘N’ Roll: A Bunco Babes Mystery by Gail Oust #Review /#Giveaway


On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

I plucked this book off of my To-Be-Read bookshelf to take care of the “O” for my Alphabet Soup – Author Edition Challenge. 

The book was re-released on August 9, 2015, with the title Murder is Dicey. 


Whack ‘N’ Roll: A Bunco Babes Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – South Carolina
Publisher: NAL; Original edition (August 4, 2009)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0451227697
ISBN-13: 978-0451227690
Kindle ASIN: B013PK0K5 (Murder is Dicey (Kate McCall Mysteries))

The Bunco Babes are not your average retirees …

When not rolling the bones, they like to throw themselves into a juicy mystery.

But murder can be a dicey business ….

The sixty-ish set at Serenity Cove Estates in South Carolina certainly knows how to keep active. When not playing Bunco or putting the greens, they are gossiping-and partying. So it’s no surprise that when Kate McCall and her fellow Bunco Babes come across a dismembered arm during a golf game, rumors-and excitement-follow.

The Bunco Babes decide to roll out their own investigation. But some of the suspects are right in their very own manicured backyards. And there’s no forfeiting the game if the wrong roll of the dice sends the killer their way…

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Serenity Cove Estates in South Carolina is the place Kate McCall calls home. It’s where she plays a little golf, watches Law & Order and CSI, and plays a lot of Bunco. It is while the Bunco Babes are on the golf course that they make a gruesome discovery. A severed arm in a Walmart bag. The police arrive but it is clear Kate believes her participation is crucial to solving the case. She has watched Lenny Briscoe in action so she knows she is up for the job especially with the Bunco Babes working with her. Sheriff Wiggins orders her to leave the investigation to him but she can’t help herself. When she learns her neighbor, her favorite waitress, and even one of her bunco group whereabouts can’t be accounted for she is sure the arm belongs to one of them. She decides to roll the dice and go all-in on her investigation. If she’s not careful it could be her body parts her friends find next on the golf course.

Kate McCall is a pushy, direct, and a force to be reckoned with. She dives in with both feet using her “talents” to go many places she shouldn’t and at times drags her friends right along with her. There isn’t much that can keep this sexagenarian down. She does have a few cringeworthy moments when she meets with Sheriff Wiggins and others but after I got to know her a little better she grew on me, but she is definitely an acquired taste. We do have something in common, I love watching Law & Order in all its versions, but don’t think that qualifies me to handle a murder case. She is so lucky to be surrounded by a great group of friends.

The mystery was very well-plotted and I enjoy following along each step of the way. I was surprised at the lengths Kate went to while delving into her investigation by making a special purchase and requesting surprising books from the library. She truly was like a dog with a bone.

I had heard of bunco before but really didn’t know how it was played. The women in this story sure do enjoy it and the fellowship it brings to the group. I love that the winner at the end of the night goes home wearing a tiara.

Whack ‘N’ Roll was an entertaining read with a difficult protagonist. I loved all the humor the author weaved through the story while bringing this reader a very interesting mystery. I will be reading more of this series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent


This series was re-relased digitally.

Also by Gail Oust


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

Posted in Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – Caught Up in It (Blu Carraway Mystery) by David Burnsworth – Great Escapes Book Tour @DavidBurnsworth @HeneryPress

Caught Up in It
(Blu Carraway Mystery)
by David Burnsworth

About the Book


Caught Up in It (Blu Carraway Mystery)
Hard-Boiled Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – South Carolina – Trips to Malaysia, Hollywood, and Las Vegas
Henery Press (April 23, 2019)
Hardcover: 286 pages
ISBN-10: 1635114780
ISBN-13: 978-1635114782
Digital ASIN: B07N7LW9WS

The award-winning diva, C, has got a big problem: someone wants her dead. A team of mercenaries attempts to gun her down in Kuala Lumpur. Lucky for her, Lowcountry Private Investigator, Blu Carraway, is already on the job there for a different client.

Double-lucky for C, they make their move when she’s chit-chatting with him in a bar. Unlucky for the mercenaries, four of them end up dead.

The hunt is on now for the mega-pop star. Where does she go to hide out? The sleepy islands around Charleston, South Carolina—Blu’s backyard. He’s already proven himself once, so C hires the Blu Carraway Investigation Agency to protect her for real.

The job takes Blu halfway around the world and several cities in between. The search for the truth reveals what could drive a person to want someone else dead.

And Blu Carraway ends up right in the way.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Private Investigator Blu Carraway is in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia protecting pop star “C” from an unknown element who wants her dead. Believing she is being watched by another team Blu is taking some downtime in a local bar. Then C walks in and soon the bad guys follow. Blu takes control and leaves four bodies behind.

He returns home to the Lowcountry and is surprised when the diva shows up on his turf begging him to protect her again. He takes her on with some rules of his own. Before long he is using all his resources to keep her safe. Over the course of just a few days, chaos ensues. Blu starts to question who he can trust. He and his team travel hither and yon trying to ascertain who is behind the hit put out on C. Amidst all the action Blu is also dealing with a very sick horse.

When I pick up a David Burnsworth novel I know I am in for non-stop action and more than a few dead bodies. This series was originally was a spin-off of the author’s other series, but by the end of this story the two series are now completely blended together. This made me very happy because Brack from the Heat Series and Blu from this series are both such strong characters working around and out of Charleston, South Carolina and I had no idea how the author could keep both series going. Brack and Blu have worked together and characters from the other series have crossed over to this one. Bringing Blu, Brack, Crome, and the ladies in their lives together makes perfect sense and makes this series so strong and compelling.

These characters are so well written, they are intriguing and we learn more about them throughout the story and in each new book. Readers can see their growth and witness their life’s journeys. The dialogue is fantastic and realistic for people who have known each other for a long time and who have seen what they have seen.  The relationships are strong and understanding.  They are not just teammates, they are friends and they care about each other. The accepted their client into their fold and went to extreme lengths to keep her safe at their own peril and I would expect no less from the characters we have come to know over the course of these stories.

Mr. Burnsworth also knows how to set a scene. His island home, complete with his herd of wild horses and swarms of mosquitos, along with every location his characters travel is vividly described. His words take readers right there on the front lines of the mayhem that seems to follow Blu and his team everywhere they go.

Fast-paced, action, suspense, and drama. Burnsworth keeps the reader’s eyes glued to the pages hardly giving us time to come up for air. I loved it. While the story reached a great ending I was sorry to see the book come to an end. These characters really grab ahold, it’s hard to let them go.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Click on the links below to read my reviews for other books by this author.
IN IT FOR THE MONEY
BAD TIME TO BE IN IT
SOUTHERN HEAT
BURNING HEAT
BIG CITY HEAT

About the Author

David Burnsworth became fascinated with the Deep South at a young age. After a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tennessee and fifteen years in the corporate world, he made the decision to write a novel. He is the author of both the Brack Pelton and the Blu Carraway Mystery Series. Having lived in Charleston on Sullivan’s Island for five years, the setting was a foregone conclusion. He and his wife call South Carolina home.

Author Links

Website   Facebook  Twitter   GoodReads

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKobo


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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
May 20 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 21 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
May 22 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
May 23 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
May 24 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
May 25 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
May 26 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST
May 27 – 4covert2overt ☼ A Place In The Spotlight ☼ – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 28 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
May 28 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
May 29 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 30 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
May 31 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 31 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
June 1 – ❧Defining Ways❧ – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 2 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT

 

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

Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Reviews 2018 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – In Cold Chocolate: A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery by Dorothy St. James – Great Escapes Book Tour – @crookedlanebks

My heart goes out to the people of South Carolina and all states that have suffered the loss of life and damage due to Hurricane Florence.

In Cold Chocolate: A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery
by Dorothy St. James

 

About the Book


In Cold Chocolate: A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – South Carolina
Crooked Lane Books (September 11, 2018)
Hardcover: 350 Pages
ISBN-10: 1683317432
ISBN-13: 978-1683317432
Digital ASIN: B078M3N9TC

In Dorothy St. James’s third delectable Southern Chocolate Shop mystery, a new batch of chocolate and troubles of the heart cause a string of disasters for the Chocolate Box’s new owner, Charity Penn.

The vintage seaside town of Camellia Beach, South Carolina seems like the perfect place for romance with its quiet beach and its decadent chocolate shop that serves the world’s richest dark chocolates. The Chocolate Box’s owner, Charity Penn, falls even further under the island’s moonlit spell as she joins Althea Bays and the rest of the turtle watch team to witness a new generation of baby sea turtles hatch and make their way into the wide ocean.

Before the babies arrive, gunshots ring out in the night. Cassidy Jones, the local Casanova, is found dead in the sand with his lover Jody Dalton—the same woman who has vowed to destroy the Chocolate Box—holding the gun. It’s an obvious crime of passion, or so everyone believes. But when Jody’s young son pleads with Penn to bring his mother back to him, she can’t say no. She dives headfirst into a chocolate swirl of truth and lies, and must pick through an assortment of likely (and sometimes unsavory) suspects before it’s too late for Penn and for those she loves.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Bullets! Missing turtle eggs! Missing chocolate turtles! The quiet seaside town of Camellia Beach, South Carolina is having a crime wave. A local man is dead and someone is stealing sea turtle eggs from the nests on the beach, and Sea Salt Chocolate Turtles are disappearing almost right before Charity Penn’s eyes from her shop. Jody Dalton has accused Penn of lying to get The Chocolate Box Sweet Shop and taunts her almost daily about it, but when she is arrested for Cassidy Jones murder Penn just can’t believe it. Then Jody’s young son begs Penn to help get his mother out of jail. She finds herself quickly promising that she will do just that. There is nothing sweet about the point Penn finds herself in. There are several suspects in addition to Jody, but Penn needs to be careful or she may end up the killer’s next victim.

Penn has so much on her plate in this third Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery. Penn has found her mother, but the family has opened up yet another lawsuit to try to take The Chocolate Shop away from her. The shop is busy so she needs to hire more help and she is still trying diligently to learn all she can about making luscious chocolate treats. She has started observing with the sea turtle watch team her friend Althea Bays is in charge of. Her relationship with Harley, Jody’s ex, is starting to move in a new direction. And on top of all that she has told Harley and Jody’s son, she will get his mom out of jail before school starts next week.

I really enjoy how all the recurring characters not only grow from book to book but within the pages of this story. Penn is getting comfortable in Camellia Beach and is meeting new people and making friends. She is still struggling with the chocolate making but the woman does not give up. She has a great core of support when any sort o trouble arrives, but she is learning to stand up for herself much better when her family tries to take her shop away. She learns something in this story that shakes and bends her but doesn’t break her.

The author has written a dynamic story with a couple of mysteries swirled together with family drama. I really like the way all the subplots flowed together with the main plot almost effortlessly. This seaside mystery does have its share of red herrings and diversions that keep us readers on our toes. Penn seems to hone in on one individual but my mind kept pulling me in another direction. In my mind, the answer really depended on if the mysteries are separate or connected. The family battle over Penn’s inheritance gets a new twist that made me dislike members of that family even more. The ending left me surprised and wondering how I was going to wait the approximately 6 months until the next book comes out. 🙂

It was fun learning about the sea turtles and the great lengths people go to to protect their eggs and the species.

Oh and the chocolate! I have learned to have some nearby while reading this series. It doesn’t come close to what Penn and Bertie create for The Chocolate Box, but it takes care of my cravings.

Ms. St. James has penned another delectable treat for her readers to enjoy.  I hope she writes the next one fast!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Mystery author Dorothy St. James was raised in South Carolina. She makes her home on the outskirts of Charleston, South Carolina with her husband, a neurotic dog, and a fluffy cat. Though writing has always been a passion for her, she pursued an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology and a graduate degree in Public Administration and Urban Planning. She put her educational experience to use, having worked in all branches and all levels of government including local, regional, state, and federal. She even spent time during college working for a non-profit environmental watchdog organization.

Switching from government service and community planning to fiction writing wasn’t as big of a change as some might think. Her government work was all about the stories of the people and the places where they live. As an urban planner, Dorothy loved telling the stories of the people she met. And from that, her desire to tell the tales that were so alive in her heart grew until she could not ignore it any longer. In 2001, she took a leap of faith and pursued her dream of writing fiction full-time.

* Dorothy St. James is the alter-ego of award-winning multi-published author, Dorothy McFalls. She enjoys writing in several different genres. Her works have been nominated for many awards including Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, Reviewers International Organization Award, National Reader’s Choice Award, CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Award, and The Romance Reviews Today Perfect 10! Award. Reviewers have called her work: “amazing”, “perfect”, “filled with emotion”, and “lined with danger.”

Author Links

Website: www.dorothystjames.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/dorothystjames

Twitter: www.twitter.com/dorothymcfalls

Purchase Links

Indie Bound    Amazon      Kobo      Google Play      Barnes & Noble      BookBub


Praise for In Cold Chocolate: A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery
by Dorothy St. James

This was a fun end-of-summer read. I enjoy these Southern Chocolate Shop mysteries a lot.
~Valerie’s Musings

The conflict was tantalizing. I was on the edge of my seat while I was turning through the last quarter of the book. St James threw down and didn’t hold back and I loved every second of it.
~Writing Pearls

This series gets better with every book!! The mix of chocolate and mystery is a combination that I find hard to resist.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

The atmospheric and multilayered In Cold Chocolate is an impressive, compelling, and engrossing read. It not only fulfilled all my expectations for an enjoyable cozy read but took everything several steps higher.
~The Power of Words

Author Dorothy St. James really tugs the heartstrings of readers in this very special South Carolina Lowcountry cozy mystery.
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies

. . . this has Southern Charm and Midwestern tenacity in abundance and I want more!
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

Another delicious 5-star dangerous investigation.
~Laura’s Interests

 

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
September 12 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
September 12 – A Holland Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 12 – Writing Pearls – REVIEW
September 13 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
September 13 – Island Confidential – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 14 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
September 14 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
September 15 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 15 – Community Bookstop – SPOTLIGHT
September 16 – Readeropolis – RECIPE
September 16 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
September 17 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 17 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – RECIPE
September 18 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
September 18 – T’s Stuff – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 19 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
September 19 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 20 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
September 20 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
September 20 – Mysteries with Character – RECIPE
September 21 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
September 21 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 21 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
September 22 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW
September 22 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
September 23 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
September 23 – Handcrafted Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 24 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW
September 24 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 24 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 24 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
September 25 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
September 25 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
September 25 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT

 

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

Posted in Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Reviews 2018 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – Bad Time To Be In It (A Blu Carraway Mystery) by David Burnsworth – Great Escapes Book Tour – @HeneryPress

Bad Time To Be In It (A Blu Carraway Mystery)
by David Burnsworth

About the Book


Bad Time To Be In It (A Blu Carraway Mystery)
Mystery/Suspense
2nd in Series
Setting – South Carolina
Henery Press (July 10, 2018)
Paperback 254 Pages
ISBN 9781635113587

The past is never past. Sometimes it repeats itself. And sometimes it comes back to pay a visit. Blu Carraway, flush with cash and back in business, never had it so good. Or so he thought. The reality is his love life is in shambles, his business partner is spending too much time with women half his age and not enough time on the job, and someone close goes missing. Blu’s business partner goes off the rails, his friends show their true colors, and he realizes that getting closure sometimes means walking away from everything. With a case from the past gone wrong twice, a loved one in trouble, and an unanswered marriage proposal, it’s a bad time to be in it for Blu Carraway Investigations.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A kidnapping sends Crome over the edge and out of control. Blu wants to help his friend and partner but he sure isn’t making it easy. Blu rallies his friends and sources, Tess and Harmony, who are freelance reporters and even calls Brack Pelton in on the case. When a body is found and another kidnapping occurs they pull out all the stops to save the victims and try to figure out who is behind the crimes before anyone else ends up dead.

This series is a spin-off of the author’s Heat series and in this 2nd installment, many characters from that series visit this one. Brack and Blu are similar characters, war vets dealing with the trauma of their service while trying to get on with their lives. Mr. Burnsworth’s characters are so strong and leap off the page. They are a diverse group banded together unconventionally by a series of events. While I have read and enjoyed that series and this one, at times there were just too many characters to keep everyone straight. I did like catching up with Brack and hope he has his own story again soon. He doesn’t seem to enjoy life on the sidelines and it always ready to jump in when Blu calls.

The story starts out with a flashback that will then play into the main events of this story. There is another flashback later in the book but the transition was a little clunky and broke the steady climbing trajectory the book was taking. I enjoyed the way previous events impacted the plot, the transitions just needed to be a little smoother. There was plenty of action and again horses have their moment to shine, bringing a huge smile to my face. Blu again went above and beyond. Crome with his him against the world attitude was crazy. Thankfully his friends did everything they could to save him from himself and his enemies.

The author continues to take us to those dark gritty places with fantastic characters and just the right amount of suspense. Blu’s personal life is still up in the air at the end of this story, setting up interest to see what happens next in the 3rd story. Heaven only knows what trouble Blu will find himself up against as this saga continues. I hope we don’t have to wait too long to find out!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

David Burnsworth became fascinated with the Deep South at a young age. After a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tennessee and fifteen years in the corporate world, he made the decision to write a novel. In It For The Money is his fourth mystery. Having lived in Charleston on Sullivan’s Island for five years, the setting was a foregone conclusion. He and his wife call South Carolina home.

Author Links

Website   Facebook  Twitter   GoodReads

Purchase Links


Amazon    Barnes     iTunes    Kobo

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

June 25 – The Power of Words – SPOTLIGHT
June 25 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 26 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
June 26 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – SPOTLIGHT
June 27 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – GUEST POST
June 27 – The Book’s the Thing – SPOTLIGHT
June 28 – Readeropolis – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 28 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT
June 29 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
June 29 – Rosepoint Publishing – SPOTLIGHT
June 30 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
July 1 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 2 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 2 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 3 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 4 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 5 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
July 6 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 7 – Island Confidential – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 8 – The Montana Bookaholic – CHARACTER GUEST POST

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

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Reviews 2018 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Picked Off (A Brie Hooker Mystery) by Linda Lovely @HeneryPress

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

Linda Lovely is touring with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours to promote her new book Picked Off. Be sure to visit all the stops for reviews, guest posts, interviews, and spotlights. The more you visit, the better your chance to win the giveaway!

Now let me give you my thoughts on Picked Off


Picked Off (A Brie Hooker Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – South Carolina
Henery Press (June 5, 2018)
Hardcover – 270 Pages
ISBN: 9781635113457
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9781635113426
Digital ASIN: B07B9K3FJ9

 

 

It’s been seven months since Brie Hooker, a vegan, moved to Udderly Kidding Dairy to live with her feisty Aunt Eva, a confirmed carnivore.

But tonight there’ll be no family feud over dinner entrees.

Udderly’s hosting a campaign fundraiser for Eva’s best friend, who hopes to be South Carolina’s next governor. The candidate’s son, a pro quarterback, is flying home for the wingding. And Brie’s eager to get a close-up view of the cute tush she’s admired on TV, even though she’s reluctantly sworn off even more tempting local beefcake.

The campaign fundraiser promises to be a huge success until a pitchfork attack turns the goat farm into a crime scene—again.

To protect her friends, Brie puts her sleuthing skills to work. Will she live long enough to find out who’s behind a vicious assault, a kidnapping, blackmail, and murder?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The South Carolina Governor’s race is heating up and Udderly Kidding Dairy Farm is hosting a fundraiser for Senator Carol Strong. A Halloween themed costume party has been set up on the grounds and people have come from all over. The Senator’s son has even flown in from Las Vegas. Zack is the starting quarterback for the Aces. Brie who has told Paint and Andy she values their friendship too much to date them decides she may like to get to know Zack a little better. Before she has the chance he is attacked by someone with a pitchfork in the barn. He survives his injuries but has a long recovery ahead of him. Since it happened on at Udderly and Eva and Carol are best friends, Eva decides Brie needs to find the culprit that brought the party to a complete halt. Was it someone from nearby or did someone follow him from Vegas to make sure the quarterback has thrown his last pass?

This is a very exciting story. Gambling, greed, fame, revenge, jealousy, all play a part in the wonderfully written tale. The first victim is just seriously hurt, then another victim is kidnapped, and then a murder is uncovered. Twists, turns, spins, this story has it all.

The attack of pro quarterback Zack Stone brings not only a lot of press to the area but it also brings the owners of his team, extra security, and his back up quarterback to town. These additional characters take the story in an unexpected direction and really add dimension to the story. Brie, Eva, Mollye, Andy, and Paint have their hands full taking care of some and avoiding others as they all piece together the clues to find out who did what and why. A certain animal plays a pivotal role in one scene that had me both on the edge of my seat and laughing out loud.

I will say everyone seems to be worried about Brie’s love life including Brie. I was excited to see at one point it looked like she had made a huge decision only to backtrack herself a few chapters later. I know romantic triangles are a big part of cozy mysteries, but this one needs to be decided soon. I don’t think the idea Andy and Paint have come up with is tenable for long in the future. I do appreciate the friendship all the core characters have. It is very believable and real.

Linda Lovely’s plot takes on a serious issue in a very entertaining way. As with the first book, I enjoy the author’s writing style. Her descriptions create fantastic imagery of time and place. The dialogue is spot on. Brie’s meat and cheese curse words always make me smile. Aunt Eva’s cursing is a little stronger, but she is a strong woman. A huge heart but I wouldn’t want to get on her bad side.

I had a great time reading the story. Another perfect escape from this author. I can’t wait for book #3!!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Linda Lovely finds writing pure fiction isn’t a huge stretch given the years she’s spent penning PR and ad copy. Linda writes a blend of mystery and humor, chuckling as she plots to “disappear” the types of characters who most annoy her. Quite satisfying, plus there’s no need to pester relatives for bail. Her newest series offers goodnatured salutes to both her vegan family doctor and her cheese-addicted kin. She’s an enthusiastic Sisters in Crime member and helps organize the popular Writers’ Police Academy. When not writing or reading, Linda takes long walks with her husband, swims, gardens, and plays tennis.

Author Links

Website   Blog     Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads    Pinterest

Purchase Links

Amazon  B&N 

More Praise for Picked Off by Linda Lovely

This story was full of fun, revenge, murder and a little betrayal. The author did a good job of keeping you guessing until the end.
~A. Holland Reads

The story twists and tangles . . . The action moves forward at a terse, tense, quick pace. . . I can’t wait to see where they all go from here.
~Laura’s Interests

With its rural South Carolina setting, a goat farm (400, to be exact), and quirky characters, Picked Off is a fun cozy mystery.
~The Power of Words

The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and she created a farm setting that was teeming with some incredible animals, especially one special mule.
~MJB Reviewers

Welcome back to the Udderly Kidding Dairy and trust me if you like mysteries with a bit of sass and spice you will love this latest one from Linda Lovely! I hands down love this series and we are only in book two. It has fun characters, a charming farm and hilarious goats that make a reader smile.
~Bibliophile Reviews

Goodness did she leave any crime out? Assault, Kidnapping, Blackmail, and murder? We have all. Along with the twists and turns. A fast-paced story making this a fast page-turning read.
~My Reading Journeys

What a great addition to this wonderful cozy mystery series. . . I have to say that this is very well written cozy that I highly recommend to fans of the genre.
~Books A Plenty Book Reviews

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

May 15 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
May 15 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW
May 16 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
May 16 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
May 17 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
May 17 – Readeropolis – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
May 18 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 18 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST  
May 19 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
May 20 – T’s Stuff – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 21 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 21 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
May 22 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 23 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
May 24 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
May 25 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
May 26 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 27 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 28 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

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Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Reviews 2018 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – Playing With Bonbon Fire: A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery by Dorothy St. James – Great Escapes Book Tour @crookedlanebks

Playing With Bonbon Fire: A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery
by Dorothy St. James


Playing With Bonbon Fire: A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (March 13, 2018)
Hardcover: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683314684
Digital ASIN: B074MBXLWX

 

 

Chocoholic Charity Penn must smoke out the killer to stop her newly inherited beachside chocolate shop from going up in flames in Dorothy St. James’ decadent follow-up to Asking for Truffle.

Chocolate shop owner Charity Penn is finally settling into life in the quirky South Carolina seaside town of Camellia Beach cooking up chocolate treats. She’s even helped organize the town’s lively beach music festival which has brought rollicking crowds eager to dance the Carolina Shag. That is until one of the band’s lead singers is found dead beside a beach bonfire.

While also trying to balance the amorous attention of music star Bixby Lewis, in town for the festival, and her quest to perfect a new hot flavored bonbon, Charity dives into the investigation. Though it’s more spice than sugar when she discovers a threatening note, comes across decades of age-old secrets, and Bixby comes into the line of fire when a gas grill explodes on the deck of a beachfront house.

Now Charity must turn up the heat and catch the killer before her chance melts away in Playing With Bonbon Fire, the delightful second Southern Chocolate Shop mystery served up just right for fans of JoAnna Carl and Joanne Fluke.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Camellia Beach is going to be filled with music and people as the Beach Music Festival begins. Thanks to a little help from her half-sister Tina, Penn is able to book the famous Bixby Lewis to be the headliner of the festival. The event is also going to mean The Chocolate Box is going to have tons of customers. She is still learning to make the perfect bonbon, but with Bertie’s help, they will have enough chocolate treats to serve the masses.

But the first night of the festival brings tragedy. A body is found in the bonfire and Penn can’t help but jump right into the investigation. She is also helping Bixby with a stalker, trying to keep her business open after several freaky occurrences, plus she is dealing with a lawsuit over ownership of The Chocolate Box and oh, she also wants to create her own special spicy hot bonbon while trying to find her birth mother.

We are getting to know these characters better and Penn is opening up more in this story. She is making friends and getting involved in the happenings in Camellia Beach. But top on her list is finding her mother and proving that the chocolate shop left to her should be solely hers. I don’t know how any person could handle everything that she had to deal with in this short time span. Thankfully she had her friends and her sister to lean on and step in while she was running all over town chasing down leads and trying to keep the festival on track.

The author really blends two mysteries together in this book. A murder mystery and the search for Penn’s mother. They coexist very naturally together. Both have surprising twists. The main mystery, the murder, had many topsy-turvy turns. There was so much going on and I was not sure how the whole plot was going to come together, but when we reached the end, it all did.

I usually read a book like this over 2 evenings, but I was having a very hard time putting this book down the first night. Finally, my body made the decision for me, when I could no longer keep my eyes open. I hated having to work the next day because I would have rather been reading, but I escaped back into it before supper was even on the table. The ending was surprising and not what I was expecting at all. Fantastic storytelling by this author.

I can’t forget to mention the bonbons, the truffles and all the other goodies for sale at The Chocolate Box. You may want to have some chocolate on hand while reading this story because the descriptions will have you drooling.

I enjoyed everything about this story. Dorothy St. James has packed these pages full of mystery, drama, action, and chocolate. I am excited for the continuation of this series.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About the Author

Mystery author Dorothy St. James was born in New York but raised in South Carolina. She makes her home on an artsy island community in South Carolina with her husband, a neurotic dog, and fluffy cat. Though writing has always been a passion for her, she pursued an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology and a graduate degree in Public Administration and Urban Planning. She put her educational experience to use, having worked in all branches and all levels of government including local, regional, state, and federal. She even spent time during college working for a non-profit environmental watchdog organization.

Switching from government service and community planning to fiction writing wasn’t as big of a change as some might think. Her government work was all about the stories of the people and the places where they live. As an urban planner, Dorothy loved telling the stories of the people she met. And from that, her desire to tell the tales that were so alive in her heart grew until she could not ignore it any longer. In 2001, she took a leap of faith and pursued her dream of writing fiction full-time.

Known for the White House Gardener Mystery series, Dorothy is going back to her roots and setting a mystery series in a Southern beach town much like the one she’s called home for the past 20 years. The Southern Chocolate Shop Mysteries combine her love of fine chocolates, quirky Southern charm, with a dash of danger.

* Dorothy St. James is the alter-ego of the award-winning multi-published author, Dorothy McFalls. She enjoys writing in several different genres. Her works have been nominated for many awards including Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, Reviewers International Organization Award, National Reader’s Choice Award, CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Award, and The Romance Reviews Today Perfect 10! Award. Reviewers have called her work: “amazing”, “perfect”, “filled with emotion”, and “lined with danger.”

Author Links

Website   Facebook    Twitter

Purchase Links

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Praise for Playing With Bonbon Fire: A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery
by Dorothy St. James

A good plot, with just enough twists and turns to keep me guessing, PLAYING WITH BONBON FIRE, was a quick, enjoyable read.
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews

Swirls of complications at every step as Penn tries to build a life and business for herself and understand her beginnings.
~Laura’s Interests

I was loving the emotional depths that this book took and the mystery itself was more involved than most as well. I think that all chocolate lovers should read this book/series and the cozy mystery fans in general.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

This book has really made an impression on me. It’s getting harder and harder to find books as well done as this one.
~Writing Pearls

This story had plenty of unique characters that readers will enjoy. It was as though you were truly visiting a festival, allowing yourself to people watch.
~Bibliophile Reviews

A story to be savored and enjoyed like a fine piece of chocolate. Playing with Bonbon Fire is sure to leave you craving more from this hit series by Dorothy St. James.
~A Cozy Experience

Even when all the chocolate has been eaten (oh, woe is me!), this delicious story will tickle and tempt your tastebuds! There is enough sugar to make this a sweet story, but not so much that it becomes cloying. Bonbon Fire is just right.
~Back Porchervations

Dorothy St. James is an amazingly talented author who paints a picture of a town and characters so well that you get lost in the story, only fully emerging upon turning the last page.
~The Montana Bookaholic

The town is filled with fun and quirky characters that care of each other and help solve the mystery in their own unique way.
~My Reading Journeys

I loved the story and I didn’t want to see it end. . . My advice is to get a copy and get comfy. The story is a page-turner and one you will not forget.
~Texas Book-aholic

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

March 11 – Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST
March 11 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
March 11 – La libreria di Beppe – SPOTLIGHT
March 12 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
March 12 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
March 13 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
March 13 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW
March 13 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT
March 14 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 14 – Writing Pearls – REVIEW
March 14 – Sapphyria’s Books – SPOTLIGHT
March 15 – Queen of All She Reads – SPOTLIGHT
March 15 – A Cozy Experience – REVIEW
March 16 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
March 16 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
March 17 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW
March 17 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
March 18 – A Holland Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST
March 18 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
March 18 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT
March 19 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
March 19 – Jane Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST
March 20 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST
March 20 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
March 21 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 21 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW
March 22 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
March 22 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
March 23 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
March 23 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
March 24 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Reviews 2018 TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Bones To Pick (A Brie Hooker Mystery) by Linda Lovely #Review / #Giveaway @HeneryPress

My first Read of 2018!

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.


Bones To Pick (A Brie Hooker Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – South Carolina
Henery Press (October 24, 2017)
Paperback: 286 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635112597
Kindle ASIN: B0748LL8V8

 

 

Living on a farm with four hundred goats and a cantankerous carnivore isn’t among vegan chef Brie Hooker’s list of lifetime ambitions. But she can’t walk away from her Aunt Eva, who needs help operating her dairy.

Once she calls her aunt’s goat farm home, grisly discoveries offer ample inducements for Brie to employ her entire vocabulary of cheese-and-meat curses. The troubles begin when the farm’s pot-bellied pig unearths the skull of Eva’s husband, who disappeared years back. The sheriff, kin to the deceased, sets out to pin the murder on Eva. He doesn’t reckon on Brie’s resolve to prove her aunt’s innocence. Death threats, ruinous pedicures, psychic shenanigans, and biker bar fisticuffs won’t stop Brie from unmasking the killer, even when romantic befuddlement throws her a curve.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this new cozy mystery series, we meet Brie Hooker when she arrives to help her Aunt Eva with her farm after her Aunt Lilly passes away. Brie, a chef, and a vegan is sure her diet choices are going to be fodder for many jokes and make meals very interesting, but that is the least of her worries when her aunt’s pig, Tammy, digs up a human skull right in the middle of Aunt Lilly’s wake.

It is soon determined that the bones belong to Aunt Eva’s husband that had been declared dead after he went missing many years ago.  The sheriff is quick to try to pick Eva as his prime suspect. But Brie is going to prove him wrong even if she may get killed in the process. Thankfully she has a couple handsome men ready to stay by her side to protect her, even if she knows she can take care of herself.

I liked main character Brie right away. Her relationship with her aunt and her parents was very caring and loving. While being a vegan is very important to her she understands that lifestyle is not for everyone. She can cook anything and makes delicious meals but always has a vegan dish for herself and others to try. She gets that she is working on a goat farm and they sell goat milk items. She also realizes she needs to learn a lot more about goats if she is going stay on the farm.

We also meet Andy and Paint, two young men, friends of Aunt Eva, and very interested in a romantic relationship with Brie. For the first book in a new series, I found all the characters very well developed. The dialogue was spot on and Brie’s meat and cheese curse words cracked me up. Her aunt holds her weight in the comedic department too but her minimal cursing in a little stronger than Brie.

The murder was a real cold case happening so long ago. It turned out there were quite a few suspects and took a lot of more digging after Tammy’s discovery to wrap this mystery up. There were several exciting moments as Brie got closer to the truth.

I really enjoyed all the “pet’s” names. The author explains some of them at the beginning of the book. I also enjoyed Ms. Lovely’s writing style. It is very descriptive.  I felt right in the middle of all the drama, but especially at the end when Brie and her friend were in so much danger. I was on the edge of my seat.

This book was a perfect escape for me. Great characters, a strong plot, Southern charm and a wheelbarrow full of humor.  I am not sure when the next book will be released but it can’t be soon enough for me.

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out about Linda Lovely and her books on her website here.

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