Posted in Giveaways Spotlights

Saturday Giveaway – The O’Malley Adventures by Ted Mulcahey #Spotlight / #Giveaway

It is my pleasure today to shine my spotlight on
The O’Malley Adventures by Ted Mulcahey

Bearied Treasure
1st in Series
Independently Published (September 3, 2020)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 236 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1735493228
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1735493220
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08HHGFVV5

Some Adventures Leave You Questioning, “How Did I Get Here?”

What do you get when you mix a 1920’s cult, a couple of interior designers, the Pacific Northwest, a small fortune in gold, and a Kodiak bear?

You get this clever and adventurous “what if” story weaving real-life historical characters with the imagination of Ted Mulcahay–Bearied Treasure.

Are you struggling in life? Maybe you have an addiction or you’re in a bad marriage. Perhaps you simply need a new beginning…

Brother XII is waiting for you on DeCourcy Island, just off the coast of British Columbia where he is the remnant of a cult that resided on the island in the 1920s. There he is recreating the idyllic setting his grandfather started with the Aquarian Foundation.

But rumors abound about a stash of gold hidden somewhere on the island from the commune’s founding days.

And with those rumors come scammers in search of the treasure.

Join interior design husband and wife Kevin and Jenne O’Malley, along with commune members and con men as they search for hidden fortune in an otherwise unassuming Pacific NorthWest refuge.

This tongue-in-cheek tale of fiction is based loosely on real people and places.

Will the con artists make off with the gold?

Will the O’Malleys be able to help stop them?

What will become of Brother XII and the other members of the cult?

What’s the deal with the bear?

Teed Up for Terror
2nd in Series
Independently Published (August 9, 2020)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 216 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1735493201
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1735493206
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08FCW3S83

Jewel thieves, hero dogs, white separatists and interior designers make for a tongue in cheek tale of murder and mayhem among the members of a not so exclusive country club.

The story, sarcastic and irreverent at times, revolves around interior designers Kevin and Jenne O’Malley who seem to have a knack for attracting trouble. In this light-hearted parody of the membership of a private golf club, located in Bellevue, Washington, they stumble upon a gruesome murder. The incident is only the beginning of a seemingly unrelated sequence of events so heinous that it eventually attracts national attention.

Little Dirt Road: Bad Men on Whidbey Island
3rd in Series
Independently Published (January 21, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 250 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1735493244
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1735493244
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09QFLG6PR

The O’Malleys are doing what? How is it possible that dangerous complications arise from their simple vacation in wine country? With their recent move to South Whidbey Island, only the O’Malley’s would stumble upon drug smugglers, embezzlers, and murderers amongst the locals. The quirky, pastoral island, reachable by a less than speedy ferry from Mukilteo or the narrow, deteriorating Deception Pass bridge, is no match for the wicked men about to visit.

A notorious drug lord and a nondescript enforcer with freakish hell-raising skills invade the peaceful Pacific Northwest island—where not even the friendly locales and free-roaming long-eared rabbits can soften his homicidal heart.

Weeding through the facts and surprisingly connected characters with their trusted friend, Bellevue Detective Bill Owens, the narrative swirls from Mexico to Canada and throughout Puget Sound. It’s a heart-racing and outrageously offbeat adventure for two innocent people, proving once again that trouble will find the O’Malleys without the slightest amount of effort on their part.

Juiced: A Whidbey Adventure
3rd in Series
Independently Published (March 22, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 258 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1735493260
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1735493268
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09VJPNDCF

Juiced is a fun, thrilling adventure involving secret, breakthrough research.

An invention that can save the planet?

Somehow, someway the O’Malleys have found themselves in the thick of things once again. On peaceful, bucolic Whidbey Island, they become entangled in a corporate plot to stifle a paradigm-shattering discovery, one that promises to upend conventional thinking, topple markets, and create an entirely new industry.

Kevin and Jenne, along with scientists from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, find themselves pitted against a band of bumbling criminals who will stop at nothing to get what they want—including arson and murder.
It’s another rollicking adventure for the retired interior designers ably assisted by their favorite detective, the FBI, and Emma, their ever-vigilant German Shepherd Dog.

About the Author 

Ted Mulcahey

I’ve lived throughout the US, mostly in the Pacific Northwest including Whidbey Island. I’m an Army vet, sales and marketing VP, entrepreneur, business owner, avid reader, one of nine children, former caddie and lover of dogs and golf. The last twenty-five years were spent in partnership with my wife Patte as the owners of highly respected and published hospitality interior design firm in the Seattle Area. We’re now back living on Whidbey Island and loving it.

Thanks to the author I am giving away the entire set of
The O’Malley Adventures!

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 Following My Facebook Fan Page.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

The contest Will End on October 29, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
The winner Will Be Chosen By
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For the Entry Form

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

*Author responsible for mailing books to the winner.

Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday featuring The Sleep Tight Motel (Dark Corners Collection) by Lisa Unger #Review / #PrimeFree

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.

The Sleep Tight Motel (Dark Corners Collection)
2nd Book in the Dark Corners Collection
Amazon Original Stories (September 27, 2018)
Print length ‏ : ‎ 50 pages
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07GB1TLYL

A woman on the run finds refuge in a motel at the edge of the woods, with plenty of vacancies. Check-in for the night with New York Times bestselling author Lisa Unger.

Eve has a fake ID, a .38, and a violent lover receding in the rearview mirror. He’ll never find her at the isolated motel, and its kindly manager is happy to ease her fears. But if Eve is the only guest, whom does she keep hearing on the other side of the wall? Eve won’t get a good night’s rest until she finds out.

Lisa Unger’s The Sleep Tight Motel is part of Dark Corners, a collection of seven heart-stopping short stories by bestselling authors who give you so many new reasons to be afraid. Each story can be read in a single sitting. Or, if you have the nerve, you can listen all by yourself in the dark.

An Edgar Award nominee.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I don’t usually read books that venture into the horror genre but I enjoyed a short story I read by Lisa Unger last year that I thought I would give this one a whirl hoping it didn’t give me nightmares. Well, it did, but they have passed now.

This is a classic tale of a woman on the run checking into an isolated hotel in the dead of night and then she hears strange noises and some bumps in the night. Of course, the manager does his best to ease her fears but then . . .  Come on, I can’t tell you the whole spooky story.

At only 50 pages the author provides an incredible amount of detail. I was quickly pulled right into the story and easily visualized every scene. (Probably why I had the nightmare.)

This is the only book in the Dark Corners Collection I have read but I may get gutsy enough to try another.

If you like pint-sized creepy stories be sure to check this one out.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

If you have Amazon Prime you can read or listen to this story and the whole Dark Corner Collection for FREE! If you don’t have Amazon Prime you can buy this book and others in the collection for $1.99 each. 

The Dark Corners Collection

About the Author

Lisa Unger is the New York Times bestselling author of Confessions on the 7:45 and the Edgar Award–nominated short story The Sleep Tight Motel. Her books have been published in twenty-six languages and her essays have appeared in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal and on NPR.
Find more of Lisa Unger’s books here.

*This book was from my private collection. Received using Amazon’s Prime Free Program.



Posted in 2022 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Literary Escapes paradise rating You Read How Many Books Challenge

The Recovery Agent: (A Gabriela Rose Novel) by Janet Evanovich #Review

Available Today!

The Recovery Agent: (A Gabriela Rose Novel)
Humorous Fiction/Women Sleuths/Suspense
1st in Series
Setting – Peru – Costa Rica – New York – California – South Carolina
Atria Books (March 22, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1982154918
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1982154912
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08LDXJC6N

Lost something? Gabriela Rose knows how to get it back. As a recovery agent, she’s hired by individuals and companies seeking lost treasures, stolen heirlooms, or missing assets of any kind. She’s reliable, cool under pressure, and well trained in weapons of all types. But Gabriela’s latest job isn’t for some bamboozled billionaire, it’s for her own family, whose home is going to be wiped off the map if they can’t come up with a lot of money fast.

Inspired by an old family legend, Gabriela sets off for the jungles of Peru in pursuit of the Ring of Solomon and the lost treasure of Lima. But this particular job comes with a huge problem attached to it—Gabriela’s ex-husband, Rafer. It’s Rafer who has the map that possibly points the way to the treasure, and he’s not about to let Gabriela find it without him.

Rafer is as relaxed as Gabriela is driven, and he has a lifetime’s experience getting under his ex-wife’s skin. But when they aren’t bickering about old times the two make a formidable team, and it’s going to take a team to defeat the vicious drug lord who has also been searching for the fabled ring. A drug lord who doesn’t mind leaving a large body count behind him to get it.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Recovery Agent Gabriela Rose finds lost treasures and she is an expert at what she does. Now it is her own family that needs her help. Their town has been destroyed by a recent storm and they have to act fast if they are going to save it. According to an old family legend, they are connected to the Lost Treasure of Lima which includes The Ring of Solomon. Finding it could bring a huge payout for her family. She agrees to use her talents to find it but first, she needs to locate the map she needs to start her quest. That means she needs to go to the home her ex-husband received in the divorce. As soon as he learns of her plans he decides to accompany her on the adventure. In between fighting like an old married couple and fighting off a dangerous drug lord they do make a pretty good team. Now they just need to find the treasure and live long enough to save the little South Carolina town where they grew up.

Snakes! Snakes!! SNAKES!!!

I love Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series so I was excited to see her take on another strong woman’s adventures. She exceeded all my expectations. Gabriela Rose is a fantastic protagonist with guts and grit. She is strong, smart, determined, and courageous. A female Indiana Jones! She goes into places most people can’t even imagine and she absolutely loves it. She is joined on her current quest by her ex-husband Rafer. He is strong and smart as well but a bit of a slob. He is “disturbingly hot” though at “six feet two and nicely muscled”. They have their issues but they have each other’s back and make a terrific team. They also take their family’s needs to heart and it drives them to succeed. I really like these characters and am anxious to see how their relationship continues to play out as the series continues.

They travel to the jungles of Peru and Costa Rica and on to California to find their treasure with side stops in New York and South Carolina and come in contact with a variety of people. Some very bad people who have no problem killing people to get what they want or people at random. Some mostly good people who want to help them but have questionable occupations and histories. Then you have the SNAKES!!  They seem to be everywhere. The human characters are very well crafted. Some are slimy as the snakes while others will have you rooting for them along the way.

This story is a true adventure and action-packed, I was completely captivated by the history of the missing treasure and how many people had searched and were still searching for it.  I really enjoyed the underwater descriptions but each place Gabriela and Rafer traveled was wonderfully described to paint a vivid picture. You would never catch me on a trip to most of these places but I sure had a good time tagging along virtually with these characters, well except for the snakes.

Ms. Evanovich threw in some fantastic twists. With all the explosions and bullets flying the suspense was kept at a high level. A gripping novel it was almost impossible to put down. I only took two very short breaks and stayed up late to finish it all in one sitting not even worrying about the book hangover I would have the next day.

It wouldn’t be an Evanovich novel without her signature humor and this book has it in spades. Whether in the downtime or in the most stressful situations she places the funny absolutely perfectly.

The Recovery Agent was a spectacular story and a sensational debut for this series. I am looking forward to many more escapades with Gabriela Rose. This one was entertaining and fun and I can’t wait for more. Maybe with fewer Snakes! You will find The Recovery Agent on my Best Reads List for 2022. Did I mention there were a lot of snakes?

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Over the last twenty-five years, #1 New York Times bestselling author Janet Evanovich has written a staggering twenty-five novels in the Stephanie Plum series. In addition to the Plum novels, Janet has co-authored the New York Times bestselling Fox and O’Hare series, the Knight and Moon series, the Lizzy and Diesel series, the Alexandra Barnaby novels, and the graphic novel, Troublemaker (with her daughter, Alex Evanovich).


Also by Janet Evanovich

Find more books by Janet Evanovich here.

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

Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

The Match by Harlan Coben #Review

The Match
Domestic Crime Thriller
2nd in Wilde Series
Setting – New Jersey
Grand Central Publishing (March 15, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1538748282
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1538748282
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B096RVLPV8

From the creator of the #1 hit Netflix series Stay Close comes a gripping new thriller in which Wilde follows a tip that may finally reveal the truth behind his abandonment—only to end up in the sights of a ruthless killer.

After months away, Wilde has returned to the Ramapo Mountains in the wake of a failed bid at domesticity that confirms what he’s known all along: He belongs on his own, free from the comforts and constraints of modern life.

Suddenly, a DNA match on an online ancestry database brings Wilde closer to his past than he’s ever dreamed, and finally gives Wilde the opening he needs to track down his father. But meeting the man brings up more questions than answers. So Wilde reaches out to his last, most desperate lead, a second cousin who disappears as quickly as he resurfaces, having experienced an epic fall from grace that can only be described as a waking nightmare.

Was his cousin’s downfall a long time coming? Or was he the victim of a conspiracy as cunning as it is complex? And how does it all connect to the man once known as The Stranger, a treacherous fugitive with a growing following whose mission and methods have only turned more dangerous with time?

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

We first met Wilde in The Boy From The Woods. He has tried the domestic life and failed. He now returns from Costa Rica to the Ramapo Mountains to his mainly solitary life in the woods. Then he receives news of a DNA match at one of the many ancestry sites. Will this match be what he needs to find the answers he has been searching for? Will he finally find out how he ended up in the woods alone? or will his search be thwarted by uncooperative relatives? or sources outside his control? And how will his connections affect others?

I am so happy Mr. Coben has returned to add to Wilde’s story. Hester Crimstein, Laila, Matthew, Sutton, and Oren have all returned as well. But we are introduced to a group of new characters as well that all connect with Wilde’s life in some way. A character from one of Coben’s other books makes an appearance too. All the characters develop nicely over the course of the story in good ways and bad. It was intriguing to see the relationships evolve, expand and play out.

While Wilde searches for his biological connections he comes up against cyberbullying, internet bots and trolls, vigilantes, a reality show and its fallout, a missing person or two, murders, and a search for a serial killer. Wilde also reconnects with people very important in his life. The pace isn’t fast as much as it is constant, there is always something happening, drama somewhere. Coben plotted this story out precisely. His descriptions of time and place allowed the reader to be right in the middle of every scene.  I did find the DNA information and explanations very interesting.

As a mom, I did have issues with the way a key event played out and was explained. The character’s actions just didn’t feel right and were accepted too easily. Maybe this will be addressed if there is a third book in this series. I hope so. I was loving the book until this point and it really stopped me in my tracks. This is the first time I will be giving this author who is one of my favorite authors less than 5 stars.

The Match was an enjoyable read with plenty of twists and a huge surprise of a reveal. The author does give enough information about Wilde for this book to be read on its own but I feel you should really read The Boy From The Woods first because you will meet Wilde and know his story from the start but it is also an excellent and compelling read. One of my Best Reads of 2020.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent


About the Author

Harlan Coben is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and one of the world’s leading storytellers. His suspense novels are published in forty-five languages and have been number one bestsellers in more than a dozen countries, with seventy-five million books in print worldwide. His Myron Bolitar series has earned the Edgar, Shamus, and Anthony Awards, and five of his books have been developed into Netflix original series, including his adaptation of The StrangerThe InnocentGone for GoodThe Woods, and Stay Close, which was released on December 31, 2021. He lives in New Jersey.

Find out more about Harlan Coben and his books on his webpage here.

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

Posted in 2022 Reviews

We Are 100 by Nathan Timmel #Review

We Are 100
Independently published (March 19, 2021)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 259 pages
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8749990232
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 259 pages
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8561728617
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08YS3HNJX

After losing his wife, Evan Francart is depressed. He has an ax to grind with the pharmaceutical company that jacked up the price of her medications but feels powerless against a billion-dollar corporation.

Then he meets Cassandra.

She shows Evan a way to both end his life and become a hero. With her guidance, Evan interrupts a company board meeting and blows the building sky-high.

As FBI agents Susan Chamberlain and Michael Godwin discover, Evan is the first of many. Ninety-nine more like him wait anonymously in the wings, their targets just as personal as Evan’s: the prosecutor who lets rapists walk free, the inept surgeon who maims patients yet keeps operating, the phony evangelist preying on those seeking solace… and that’s just the beginning.

Will the FBI unearth Cassandra’s identity before all 100 have carried out their plans?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sadly, Evan Francart lost his wife because in part, because of high drug prices, which leaves him very upset with the responsible pharmaceutical company. That is when Cassandra enters his life and gives him a way to make the company pay. Her plan leaves him and several others dead.

FBI agents Susan Chamberlain and Michael Godwin are assigned to Evan’s case and what they find is mind-blowing. Evan is the first of a group of 100 that have connected to Cassandra with various unknown targets. Scared by all the possible tragedies in the future their mission is to find Cassandra and the other 99 people before more people are killed. Unfortunately, more souls are lost before they even get organized. Every minute counts if they have any hope of stopping the carnage.

The 100 are sick of getting screwed, the short end of the stick, the rich get richer, and the guilty getting off. It is time to do something but is following Cassandra’s instructions the right thing?

Evan Francart’s plight grabbed a hold of me right away especially after the past two years of my cancer treatments. Drug costs are crazy! The man was clearly pushed to his limits. I have to say the suicide element triggered me a little bit but looking at the big picture that had to be a feature of Cassandra’s plan. Mr. Timmel did a great job of presenting Evan as a character most people would be moved by, he is very human, with natural feelings after suffering such a loss. Someone easy for someone to prey on and force their agenda. We get snippets of other people connected to Cassandra but not as in-depth as Evan. Their reasons for vengeance are varied and some even more harrowing. The 100 are dealing with corruption on so many levels and the author has written the story in a way that really makes the reader evaluate life through their eyes.

The FBI agents are presently realistically too. It was very interesting to follow their process and thinking. You can feel their drive to solve this case and the way they banter theories around to try to make sense of what is happening is eye-opening. Susan and Michael are new partners and I really enjoyed their dialogues. Serious when warranted but some funny conversations as well.

We Are 100 is full of action right from the start. The pace slows as the agents work the case but rachets right back up again as danger mounts. Mr. Timmel has constructed his story with a nice balance told from several points of view in a way that makes the book impossible to put down. The ending was fantastic. I can tell he did a ton of research to make the entire drama plausible and real. It is a book that will stick with you long after you reach the final page. I can easily see this story adapted for a movie of the week.

I know this is stand-alone suspense and this is the author’s first fiction novel but agents Chamberlain and Godwin were very smart and entertaining. I would definitely read another story or more featuring them.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Nathan Rimmel

Not as serious as Plato, but lighter than Socrates. Not as edgy as Clinton, but livelier than Nixon. Not as heavy as GWAR, but deeper than Culture Club.

Nathan Timmel has been writing since he could scribble using crayons. As a comedian, he has released six albums—four of which are in rotation on Sirius/XM radio—and has appeared on The Bob & Tom Show.

Nathan currently lives in Iowa with his wife, daughter (who was born on his wedding anniversary. Neat, eh?), son, and their annoying cat (named Turtle). Nathan Timmel is originally from Madison, Wisconsin.

Find out more on his website here.

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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Dark Night: A Mystery (Alaska Wild Series) by Paige Shelton #EarlyReview @MinotaurBooks @AuthorPaige

I had planned on reading this book closer to its release date of December 7 but I kept seeing it pop up on Facebook and on my Kindle so I just had to read it now.

Dark Night: A Mystery (Alaska Wild Series)
3rd in Series
Setting – Alaska
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Minotaur Books (December 7, 2021)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 125079627X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1250796271
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08R2KMM3M

Dark Night marks the third book in the gripping, atmospheric Alaska Wild series from Paige Shelton, in which Benedict, Alaska is met with some unexpected visitors…and then disappearances.

Winter is falling in the remote town of Benedict, Alaska, and with the cold comes a mysterious guest. The dreaded “census man,” seemingly innocuous, is an unwelcome presence to those members of this secretive community who would prefer to keep their business to themselves. Meanwhile, thriller writer Beth Rivers has received her own unexpected company: her mother. The last Beth heard, Mill Rivers had gone underground in the lower forty-eight, in search of Beth’s kidnapper, and Beth can’t help but be a little alarmed at her appearance: If Mill was able to track down her daughter, who knows who else might be able to?

Beth doesn’t have time to ponder this for long after a battered woman stumbles into the town bar one night, and her husband is found dead the next morning. Suspicions immediately turn to the census man, but when he, too, goes missing, everyone in Benedict—including the police chief—is suspected, and Beth and Mill must work to uncover the truth.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The days are getting darker and colder and winter comes to Benedict Alaska. The ferry and aircraft come and go less frequently so making the trek to Juneau is hit or miss depending on the weather. Some of the residents handle the darkness, cold, ice, and snow better than others. People who have lived in Benedict for years all have their own ways of coping and for most, it is just their daily lives.

Residents were surprised when the “census man” arrived in town and he definitely was not welcomed with open arms. He made a definite impression with his visit to Ned and Claudia Withers. After the man left their home Ned beat up his wife and by the next morning, Ned was dead.

Also making the trip to Benedict is Mill Rivers. Her daughter Beth has been hiding in this faraway town since recovering from the injuries sustained when she was kidnapped while her captor is still at large. He was injured when her mother found and shot him but he got away again. She was charged for her actions but has gone on the run. So Beth is both shocked and scared that her mother tracked her down after all her efforts to stay safe.  If her mother found her can her kidnapper be far behind?

So with a murder to solve, a couple of fugitives in town, a census man wandering around, and the probability of a kidnapper stepping off the ferry and day now, Police Chief Gril has his hands full. Maybe Beth and her mom can assist him or will they die trying? Who knows when everyone in town and beyond are on a very long suspect list.

Again, I was thrilled to receive an early copy of this book for review and I couldn’t wait to start reading. The first two books in this series, Thin Ice and Cold Wind really stuck with me and I have been really looking forward to this installment for some answers and another suspenseful adventure with Beth Rivers.

Ms. Sheldon doesn’t disappoint. So much happens within these pages, it is the kind of book that has you opening it up and holding on tight until you reach the end.

First, the setting of Benedict, Alaska is a character in itself. It is a living and breathing place. The weather is frigid, a blizzard can blow through quickly or take up residence and drop multiple inches of snow, or it can be a clear cold day where business can go on as usual. It can have secrets and reveal them at its will. The author describes the place so well I had shivers running up my spine and was tingling when its residents ventured out in the vastness of Alaska.

Beth has survived a horrific experience that left her scarred physically and mentally. She is a powerful character but she still has demons she needs to remember and face before she can truly start to heal. She does have a heartwrenching breakthrough in this story. She also gets several answers thanks to her mother showing up in Benedict.

Her mother is a hard woman due to the life she has lived and her need to track down Beth’s father and now her abductor. She is also a bit of a loose cannon as you never know what she is going to say or do.

These two women are surrounded by a vast supporting cast. I am in awe of the way the author has created so many characters with so many layers and so much depth. And not everything about their lives has been revealed. The characters are well-developed but still have room to continue to evolve.

Yes, there is a murder mystery to be solved in this book but there are a plethora of mysteries swirling within these pages. Secrets abound. Delving into people’s lives to find a murderer opens doors that lead to astounding revelations. Masterfully plotted this is a story that is impossible to put down.

The Alaska Wild Series is a series that truly should be read in order. Readers need to follow Beth’s path. Her leaving Missouri on the run, her arrival in Benedict, and all the things she encountered in Thin Ice lead to the continuation of her adjustments to Alaska life, and all her experiences in Cold Wind, and that builds to what happens in Dark Night and hopefully future books. There is a large cast of characters and reading the series from the start will enable readers to meet them and follow their journeys.

I have totally escaped into every book in this series. They have held me spellbound and kept me thoroughly entertained. I finish one and get immediately excited for the next installment. Dark Night like the book before it moved me to feel it deserves more than 5 stars. Dark Night has earned a place on my Best Reads of 2021 and receives my Paradise Rating.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of Thin Ice here. and my review of Cold Wind here.

Dark Night is available for pre-order now and will be delivered to your inbox on December 7.
You can also pre-order a print copy as well.

About The Author

PAIGE SHELTON had a nomadic childhood as her father’s job as a football coach took the family to seven different towns before she was even twelve years old. After college at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, she moved to Salt Lake City where she thought she’d only stay a few years, but she fell in love with the mountains and a great guy who became her husband. After a couple of decades in Utah, she and her family recently moved to Arizona. She also writes the Scottish Bookshop Mystery series.

Paige Shelton is also the New York Times Bestselling author of the Farmers’ Market Mysteries and the Country Cooking School Mysteries. She’s lived in lots of places but currently resides in Arizona. Find out more at

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 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Let Her Be (Hush Collection) by Lisa Unger #Review / #PrimeFree

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.

Let Her Be (Hush Collection)
Thriller & Suspense Short Reads
1 of 6 Books in This Series (Book 6 0f 6)
Setting – New York
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Amazon Original Stories (July 30, 2020)
Print length ‏ : ‎ 56 pages
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08BTZT8HS

A writer’s misguided suspicions ruined his life once before. This time he plans to prove he’s right in a New York Times bestselling author’s haunting short story of what happens when seeing is not believing.

Will, an aspiring novelist, can’t stop parsing his ex-girlfriend’s popular social media accounts for clues that her ideal new rural life with the perfect man has a dark side. After all, nobody he knows has actually seen the blissful blogger in the flesh for nearly a year. When Will draws a wary friend into his “investigation,” the real question becomes who’s truly in danger.

Lisa Unger’s Let Her Be is part of Hush, a collection of six stories, ranging from political mysteries to psychological thrillers, in which deception can be a matter of life and death. Each piece can be read or listened to in one truly chilling sitting.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Will is an aspiring author who recently survived a suicide attempt following the breakup with her girlfriend. He just can’t stop checking her social media accounts and blog showing she is living her best life with the perfect man. She not only left him behind but her friends and family behind. He meets up with one of her friends and they decide to try to find her but this investigation doesn’t go the way he thought it would.

I had a book by Lisa Unger a couple of years ago that I really enjoyed so when this book popped up in my Amazon feed as a “book you may like” I added it to my wish list and recently saw I could read it for free with my Amazon Prime I decided to use it for my “U” author for my Alphabet Soup – Author Edition Challenge. Due to the suicide element, I had to prepare myself to read it and was finally able to do the last week. I am so glad I did!

This is a short story of just 56 pages and wow, the author packed a lot into those pages. After getting through the first few pages I was totally engrossed in this story.

Will is a totally flawed individual. He is still extremely upset that he drove his girlfriend away. After the breakup, he moved into a stalker phase so much so that he received a restraining order. He was clearly struggling, hence the suicide attempt but now he is seeing a counselor and trying to get his life in order but that girlfriend is always filling his thoughts.

Ms. Unger rachets it up the suspense when Will wonders if Anise is really safe? Is she living her ideal life? Let me just say there should have been steam coming out of my Kindle because of how fast I was reading to get those answers.

Wow, all I can say is the ending was awesome.

Let Her Be is a fast read made faster by the content. It was a Perfect Mini Escape. I need to read the other five short stories in the Hush Collection as well as some longer content by Lisa Unger.

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If you have Amazon Prime you can read or listen to this story and the whole Hush Collection for FREE! If you don’t have Amazon Prime you can buy this book and others in the collection for$1.99 each. 

About the Author

Lisa Unger is the New York Times bestselling author of Confessions on the 7:45 and the Edgar Award–nominated short story The Sleep Tight Motel. Her books have been published in twenty-six languages and her essays have appeared in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal and on NPR.

*This book was from my private collection. Received using Amazon’s Prime Free Program.
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An Untidy Affair: A David Blaise Mystery by MB Dabney #AuthorInterview / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @mbdabney27

An Untidy Affair: A David Blaise Mystery
by MB Dabney

I am so happy to welcome MB Dabney
to Escapes With Dollycas today!

Hi MB, 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a native Hoosier, born, raised and educated in Indiana, and a retired journalist. During a 20-year portion of my career, I worked in Philadelphia, where, among other things, I covered the 1985 police bombing of the MOVE compound in West Philly. Because of my background as a reporter, I’m most comfortable writing in third-person, although I have won professional awards for editorial writing, which are in first-person, plural.

I wrote the first draft of a Star Trek novel in the mid-80s – I really love Star Trek – and throughout the 90s and early 2000s dabbled with writing a thriller. But I didn’t really focus on writing fiction until about 15 years ago and it was because I wanted a new writing challenge. The first major challenge of An Untidy Affair is that it’s in first-person. That was considerably out of my comfort zone. The next major challenge I faced with Affair was that I completed the first draft in 18 days during National Novel Writing Month. So, as it turns out, my years of deadline writing for United Press International and later for the Associated Press, in addition to two daily newspapers, came in handy.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I tend to generally follow some advice I read by Stephen King, and that is in fiction, if you don’t know something, make it up. Research is very important but if you stay close to your main interests, there are fewer things you have to research. I read lots of murder and crime fiction and thrillers, so that’s mainly what I write. I also rarely write the major portion of a novel in a location I haven’t lived in or visited extensively.

Through attending conferences and networking, I know lots of people who, for example, specialize in areas I am unfamiliar with, such as poisons or strangulation. So, when needed, I can consult with them on those areas. And lastly, there is the Internet. With what you can learn from the Internet, you can write a credible novel set in contemporary Indianapolis, or in the Old West, or 1760s London, or on Mars.

For a variety of health reasons that caused me to delay research for the novel I intended to write, I didn’t decide to write Affair until a week before I started writing it. So, I didn’t have time for much research before I started. It’s why it’s set in Philadelphia in the mid-1980s and involved MOVE. I was there at the time and covered it. What little research I did do was during the writing to confirm things I wasn’t sure I remembered correctly.

 Do you ever suffer from Writer’s Block?

Sometimes, if I don’t know enough about the story before I start writing it, or don’t understand how to get to the end. But with a novel that’s only happened once. Generally, when I get to a stumbling block and struggle with it for a while, I realize I’m boring the reader – me. And if I’m boring me, I will bore other readers. So, I simplify whatever I’m writing to one or two sentences and move on.

But another handy trick I use is to stir things up. There was a point in one of my upcoming novels when I didn’t know what to do next with my protag. So, one night as he was about to enter this apartment, I had him attacked by someone who jumped out of the bushes, and was wearing a clown mask and carrying a knife. Scary, right? Being attacked by a clown. But it opened up lots of possibilities.

Or, when I feel a block coming on, I might write a scene in which someone walks into a room holding a loaded gun. Nothing shakes things up in fiction, or in real life, more than someone walking in with a gun. Whether the person is there with good intentions or not – and the people in the scene won’t exactly know that when the person walks in – the gun changes the dynamic.

If you suffer from a writer’s block, write something surprising and dramatic. It will help get you off your butt. And you can always delete it later.

What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?

Don’t give up once you start writing, continue to develop your craft and learn about the industry. Network with published writers and learn from them. Chatting with other authors over cocktails at a conference is a major source of knowledge and inspiration, as much so as merely attending the conference. Join a critique group and take the advice that is the most useful for you and disregard the rest. And never, ever give up hope.

When you are not writing what do you like to do?

I like to read. I enjoy walking and playing tennis, though I haven’t found much time for tennis lately. I still have – but don’t use, of course – the wooden racket I first learned tennis with nearly 60 years ago. I love watching Star Trek, and I love auto racing, especially Formula 1 and Indycar. I attend the Indianapolis 500 every year, and other races when possible. And lastly, I love to travel.

How has the COVID pandemic affected you and you’re writing?

The greatest impact is in not meeting with other writers in person. My critique group meets over Zoom but it’s not the same as in person. And just last week while I was on vacation, the organizer of a regional crime writers conference called me to say that the conference scheduled for October is postponed until April. And I hope I can still attend. (Read below.)

If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

I came up with an answer to this question but before I wrote it down I asked my wife what she thought.  She said Fiji, which, amazingly enough, was exactly what I was thinking. Years before we retired, we started socking away money in a travel account, so we have funds for traveling once the country and the world are more open to it. But due to the distance and the expense, I doubt we will ever visit Fiji, though I’d love to. The sandy beaches and clear blue water seem so attractive and beckoning.

We had a trip to China planned for October/November 2020 that was postponed and then planned to go to Rome in March 2021. I would have arrived in Rome on my 70th birthday. But that trip was postponed until next March/April. And I hope it doesn’t conflict with the conference I mentioned above.

What is next on the horizon for you?

I am working on a prequel to Affair and plan to deliver it to my editor by the end of the year. If I’ve made sufficient progress on the prequel by late-October, I will write a novel in November during National Novel Writing Month. And, most likely, it will be the racing story I intended to write just before I wrote Affair.

Thank you, MB for stopping by today. 

Please keep reading to learn about MB’s book.

About An Untidy Affair

An Untidy Affair: A David Blaise Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Per Bastet Publications LLC (June 25, 2021)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 280 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1942166761
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1942166764
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B097YPJYWN

Struggling Philadelphia private eye David Blaise gets two routine but unrelated cases on the same day in May 1985 – the day city police firebombed the MOVE house, which killed 11 people and destroyed an entire neighborhood. When Blaise starts following a cheating husband and searching for a missing person who may not actually be missing, he also discovers his cases may be related, and that he is being followed. When his tail is murdered, implicating the P-I, Blaise must find the true killer before he is literally buried alive.

About MB Dabney

MB Dabney is an award-winning journalist whose writing has appeared in numerous local and national publications, such as Indianapolis Monthly, NUVO, Ebony magazine, Black, the Indianapolis Recorder, and the Indianapolis Business Journal. A native of Indianapolis, Michael spent decades as a reporter working at Business Week magazine, United Press International and the Associated Press, the Indianapolis Star, and The Philadelphia Tribune, the nation’s oldest continuously published Black newspaper, where he won awards for editorial writing. He has co-edited two anthologies — Decades of Dirt: Murder, Mystery and Mayhem from the Crossroads of Crime; and MURDER 20/20 — and has published numerous short mystery stories, including Miss Hattie Mae’s Secret (Decades of Dirt) , Callipygian (The Fine Art of Murder), and Killing Santa Claus (Homicide for the Holidays). An Untidy Affair is his first novel.·         The father of two adult daughters, Michael lives in Indianapolis with his wife, Angela.

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Great Escapes Praise for An Untidy Affair: A David Blaise Mystery
by MB Dabney

This is a new author for me but I must say his writing style is highly enjoyable . . . a great read as the clues keep you guessing at every turn while you are being immersed in a time that really comes to life on the page.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Blaise is streetwise with an innate understanding of human nature yet he is socially awkward, single-minded to a fault, and beautifully damaged. The book is peopled with wonderfully vivid archetype characters that could, but definitely do not come across as cliche.
~I Read What You Write!

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Posted in 2021 Reviews E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Choir Loft Murder: Frankie Shep Suspense Novellas by Karen Randau #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @klrandau

Choir Loft Murder: Frankie Shep Suspense Novellas
by Karen Randau

About Choir Loft Murder

Choir Loft Murder: Frankie Shep Suspense Novellas
3rd in Series
Setting – Wyoming
Independently Published – June 22 (print) and August 24 (ebook)
Print Length – 134 Pages
Digital ASIN: B08XY8HW26

Her fiance a murderer? As she digs for the truth, she must fight to survive a plot to frame the man she loves.


Frankie Shep has endured too many tragedies in her life. When she finally dares to love again, a revengeful plot threatens to cancel her wedding plans and send her fiance to death row. But this feisty modern-day rancher won’t stand for it.


A member of the church choir dies from a blowgun dart to a vital artery, and the murder weapon implicates Quint. Frankie is shocked to discover Quint was a champion blowgun competitor but quit the sport after a family disaster. And now he’s refusing to talk about his fate.


So she takes it on herself to track down the killer before Quint accepts a life-altering plea deal. She’s devastated when she unearths his motive for the crime. But someone else lurks in the shadows, and that’s who she’s determined to find. Little does she know the killer follows her every move, ready to strike her down when she gets too close.

Can she unravel the vindictive plot before she becomes a crazed killer’s next victim?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This third book in the series has Frankie and Pastor Quint planning their life together when a choir rehearsal goes horribly wrong. A new member of the choir with an angelic voice that can hit those amazing high notes is struck down by a dart from a blowgun. The murderer opens the door just wide enough to do the deed and disappears as the resulting chaos ensues.

Frankie is stunned when her fiance is arrested for the crime. She had no idea the man had mad skills with a blowgun and could have easily made the precise shot. He seems to accept his fate but Frankie knows the man she loves is no killer and she is going to prove it. She knows he is being set up but she learns he did have a viable motive.

The trouble is the real killer is watching her every move and is never going to let her find the truth and if she does what’s one more body. Can Frankie free her fiance? Or will she be the next person the kills blows away?

I was on the edge of my seat for most of this story. At just 134 pages the pace is brisk and revenge is on the songchart.

Frankie works tirelessly to follow every clue even if it means traveling miles before she sleeps. She does not give up even when things she uncovers do not make sense. She battled on through each twist and turn. I admired the way she kept investigating even when Quint was about to give up and take a plea. I was a little disappointed in Quint’s behavior but don’t want to say too much and ruin the book for anyone.

Ms. Randau plotted an excellent mystery which led up to a very suspenseful reveal. I was totally blindsided when the killer was revealed. I am embarrassed because I fell into a trap I shouldn’t have and that led me astray.

The author knows how to pack the pages full of intrigue and excitement. I read this story incredibly fast and I never had a moment when I wanted to put it down.

Choir Loft Murder was a true Perfect Escape. I am looking forward to visiting these characters again soon.

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About Karen Randau

Karen Randau authors fast-paced mystery, suspense, and thriller books featuring intricate plots, told from the point of view of strong female protagonists. In addition to the Frankie Shep Suspense series set on a fictional ranch in Wyoming, her Rim Country Mystery Series are set in the quaint fictional mountain town of Rim Vista, Arizona. She is also one of seven authors of novellas in the Tawnee Mountain Mystery Series. She lives in the mountains of Arizona with her multigenerational family.

Author Links

Website    Facebook     Twitter     GoodReads     BookBub

Purchase Links

Choir Loft Murder
Also by Karen Randau

Entire Series Page

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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 2021 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Bitterroot Lake: A Novel by Alicia Beckman #Review @LeslieBudewitz

Bitterroot Lake: A Novel
Setting – Montana
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (April 13, 2021)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1643855808
ISBN-13: 978-1643855806
Kindle ASIN: B08D8J49DP

When four women separated by tragedy reunite at a lakeside Montana lodge, murder forces them to confront everything they thought they knew about the terrifying accident that tore them apart, in Agatha Award-winning author Alicia Beckman’s suspense debut

Twenty-five years ago, during a celebratory weekend at historic Whitetail Lodge, Sarah McCaskill had a vision. A dream. A nightmare. When a young man was killed, Sarah’s guilt over having ignored the warning in her dreams devastated her. Her friendships with her closest friends, and her sister, fell apart as she worked to build a new life in a new city. But she never stopped loving Whitetail Lodge on the shores of Bitterroot Lake.

Now that she’s a young widow, her mother urges her to return to the lodge for healing. But when she arrives, she’s greeted by an old friend–and by news of a murder that’s clearly tied to that tragic day she’ll never forget.

And the dreams are back, too. What dangers are they warning of this time? As Sarah and her friends dig into the history of the lodge and the McCaskill family, they uncover a legacy of secrets and make a discovery that gives a chilling new meaning to the dreams. Now, they can no longer ignore the ominous portents from the past that point to a danger more present than any of them could know.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sarah lost her husband to cancer and her mother encourages her to come home to the lodge to help her make some decisions. The lodge holds a lot of heartbreaking history. Twenty-five years ago a weekend turned deadly and ripped Sarah and her closest friends including her sister apart. The fact that Sarah had a dream that could have changed the weekend’s outcome still haunts her today.

Sarah does return to the lodge and the dreams along with her friends are back too. Another person connected to that weekend is killed and one of the friends becomes a prime suspect. While trying to prove her innocence the group of women delve into the history of the lodge and the family that owns it. What they uncover changes everything. Danger lurks nearby as they try to make sense of everything they learn.

What a fabulous cover, it drew me to the book before I ever read the synopsis of the story. Learning that the author was one of my cozy mystery faves made my desire to read it even stronger.

This is a very complex mystery with a lot of threads that entwine in and out with each other. I enjoyed the bit of paranormal included within the pages as it really enhanced the story and gave it some new depth. I liked the lodge setting and all the treasures found within.

Sarah is dealing with so much and this reunion truly tests her but she needs answers. She is grieving, counting the days since her husband’s death but her visions need to be explained along with learning what she may have missed all those years ago. I was drawn to Sarah, she was very relatable and felt genuine to me. All the characters she interacted with developed nicely over the course of the story too. They all have their flaws which make them believable.

This is a story you can not just plow through to find the killer, in fact, that turns out to be a minor part of the story. There is a lot of nuance in these pages. There are situations that could be called chilling and there are situations that really drive the story forward. I found the way the author blended history with modern-day incredible and the part secrets play through both periods very intriguing. From an attempted rape to the loss of a loved one and broken friendships this book will hit readers on many levels. There were a couple of areas where I thought the text needed to be tightened up because the flow seemed a little off but these instances were few and far between.

Bitterroot Lake lets the author explore a darker mystery than she can in the cozy realm and she excelled at it. As this is a stand-alone title we will not meet these characters again but I am very interested in where Ms. Beckman takes us in the future.

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About the Author

Alicia Beckman adored living in Seattle as a college student and young lawyer, but is happiest back home in her native Montana, where she lives with her husband, a musician, and doctor of natural medicine, and their full-figured gray tuxedo cat. As Leslie Budewitz, she’s the bestselling author of the Seattle Spice Shop and Food Lovers’ Village mysteries. A three-time Agatha Award winner, for Best Short Story (2018), Best First Novel (2013), and Best Nonfiction (2011), she is a past president of Sisters in Crime and a current board member of Mystery Writers of America.

Written as Leslie Budewitz

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.”