Jun 292017
 

The House of Memory (Pluto’s Snitch)
Paranormal Historical Mystery/Suspense
2nd in Series
Setting – Alabama
Thomas & Mercer (June 27, 2017)
Paperback: 316 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1477819937
Kindle ASIN: B01NCIKAQX

 

Raissa James not only sees the dead but she’s caught the ears of the living—especially now that she’s solved her first case. Word of Pluto’s Snitch, her private-investigation agency specializing in the occult, has spread far and wide. It’s even come to the notice of Zelda Fitzgerald, the nation’s most celebrated flapper. And Zelda’s in need of its services.

Along with Reginald Proctor, her partner in detection, Raissa travels to Montgomery, Alabama, where Zelda’s friend Camilla has suddenly become prone to violent fits and delusions. Has Camilla gone mad…or has she been possessed?

Raissa and Reginald soon discover that Camilla’s not the only young lady in the area to fall victim to something unnatural. Now it’s up to the Snitches to follow the clues and save Camilla, locked away behind the walls of the formidable Bryce Hospital asylum. But the key to her rescue might not lie among the living at all. Because Raissa knows that the dead have their secrets, too.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this second book of this series Pluto’s Snitch is called on by the famous Zelda Fitzgerald. She has asked partners Raissa James and Reginald Proctor to help her friend Camilla. After two unexplainable episodes Camilla’s mother has sent her to the Bryce Hospital asylum thinking that she has gone insane. Her mother gives permission of any and all treatment the will make her daughter docile enough to get married. Raissa and Reginald quickly find this is a difficult case that may involve many more young girls. Putting themselves in danger they are determined not only to save Camilla but as many other girls as they can.

The author takes us back to the roaring 20’s with flappers, prostitution, prohibition, possession, ghosts and more. A time when women were seen but not heard and many were treated a property. She even includes Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald and Tallulah Bankhead in the story. The author brings true history into her stories making them very believable.

What makes the story so interesting is that Raissa has a gift. She can see and hear the dead. Sometimes what she sees is quite graphic and scary but she soldiers on to get the answers she seeks. She has dead people in her dreams too, sometimes they give her more questions than answers but they almost always move her investigation forward.  While Reginald cannot see spirits (yet) he is a critical thinker and has Raissa’s complete trust. Together they make a fine detective team.

Carolyn Haines is very descriptive in everything from the characters to the settings. She has to be for this story to be a success. Pictures were painted in my mind of both the human characters and the spirits. I could also clearly picture everywhere Raissa went from the Sayre house to the asylum.

There was evil at play in this story both in the living and the dead. The plot would make an excellent movie but it would be one I probably would watch peeking through my fingers over my eyes.

A fast read, hard to put down, a chilling story. You may want to read The Book of Beloved first to start this series from the beginning. I highly recommend both.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

USA Today bestselling author Carolyn Haines has published over 70 books in a number of genres, both dark and light. She is an animal advocate and a former muckraking journalist. THE BOOK OF BELOVED, a Pluto’s Snitch mystery, is the first book in a new series. The latest book in the Sarah Booth Delaney series is ROCK-A-BYE BONES.

To learn more about Carolyn or to sign up for her newsletter, please go to www.carolynhaines.com or find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram


Click on book covers for more info or to order from Amazon.

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

 

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Jun 192017
 

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will really be traveling this week…Connecticut…Alabama…Minnesota. 

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

Books Completed


Fatal Facade (An Allison Campbell Mystery)
Release Date – June 13, 2017
Setting – Italy
My Review

The Deadly Art of Deception (Caribou King Mysteries)
My Flashback Friday Book
Release Date – September 30, 2016
Setting – Alaska
My Review

Murder at the Puppy Fest (A Melanie Travis Mystery)
Release Date – June 27, 2017
Review will be up tomorrow!

Grace to the Finish (A Manor House Mystery)
Release Date – June 27, 2017
Setting – North Carolina
Review will be up Thursday!

Books Scheduled

The Beach at Painter’s Cove: A Novel Release Date – June 13, 2017
Setting – Connecticut
For Review


The House of Memory (Pluto’s Snitch)
Release Date – June 27, 2017
Setting – Alabama
For Review


Booked 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery)
Release Date – June 27, 2017
Setting – Arizona
J.C. Eaton will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday next week!

Click Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

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

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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Aug 092016
 

special guest blue
I am so happy to welcome Carolyn Haines back to Escape With Dollycas!
She has a new series and this first book is absolutely AMAZING!!

Carolyn and CojarRaissa James and the Spiritualist Movement

I love ghost stories. All kinds of ghost stories. But there are a few which have stayed with me over the years. Some by Edgar Allan Poe, or Sheridan Le Fanu, or M.R. James, or even Henry James, whose “Turn of the Screw” is an epic ghost story that scared the socks off me.

I’m a fan of Stephen King, Sarah Waters, and the wonderful Barbara Michaels. AMMIE, COME HOME is a classic. I put Daphne du Maurier’s REBECCA in the same category.

Why am I so compelled to read and write about the shadow land? The truth is, I see dead people. Not all the time, and certainly not when I want to. And not often. But in my life, I’ve seen a few ghosts.

And it’s a phenomena that has drawn me to the “other side” in my reading and research. And in my writing.

the book of belovedWhen I first thought to write THE BOOK OF BELOVED, I had assumed it would be contemporary, a mystery with a bit of a ghost story. Didn’t happen. Sometimes a story knows best its setting, time period, and focus. When I finally listened to the story, I realized the protagonist was a young, modern woman, but a modern woman of the 1920s. Raissa James is a WWI widow who teaches school in Savannah, Georgia but takes a summer break to visit her uncle in his fabulous estate in Mobile, Alabama.

Raissa is putting her life back together since her husband was killed in Europe in the war, and her ambition is to become a “woman scribbler.” As outrageous as that is in 1920 when women were thought not to have the intellect to write, Raissa takes it a step further. She wants to write ghost stories like the Victorian writers she reads, teaches, and adores. It’s at Caoin House, her uncle’s impressive home, that she realizes ghosts are present.

I wasn’t certain why the 1920s insisted on being the setting for my story until I began the research. In 1920, spiritualism was rife in America and England. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, was a believer in the abilities of “true” mediums to contact the spirit world. He wrote and lectured on the topic.

To that end he did much research on which mediums were real and which were fakes, because there were many fakes, charlatans who saw an opportunity to capitalize on the loss and heartbreak of others.

This spiritualist movement was a world of séances, spirit visitations, messages from the Great Beyond. Some of the more famous were the Fox sisters from upstate New York. They created a sensation when they were able to communicate with the dead via knocks and raps.

It was later revealed by two of the Fox sisters that they were fakes—they had begun their games to torment their older sister. It’s a fascinating story if you want to explore it.

But there were mediums who connected with spirit on the other side and were able to bring back messages. Doyle was a firm believer, as am I.

In our day, television shows have featured John Edward in CROSSING OVER. James van Praagh was the consultant for GHOST WHISPERER. There are several shows such as LONG ISLAND MEDIUM and A HAUNTING where contemporary mediums explore psychic phenomena and attempt to resolve energetic disruptions. Good television or real—you have to decide.

When I was working on HALLOWED BONES, I went to Reinbeck, NY, to the Omega Center for a weekend on Soul Survival. I heard Dr. Raymond Moody talk about near-death experiences.

Another speaker talked about mind, body, and spirit healing. Dr. Brian Weiss took 400 people on a past life regression. The final day was van Praagh, and he channeled a dozen people who’d died in 9/11.

I grew up on Victorian ghost stories, and if you’d like to sample Le Fanu’s story, “Green Tea,” here’s a link. https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/l/lefanu/green/prologue.html Remember, it’s from the Victorian era so the language is dense, but the mood is delightful.

I confess I have an active imagination. But I’ve also have strange experiences. One night when I outside late looking for my kitty, I saw someone in my pickup truck in the driveway.

He was a tall, thin man with dark hair and eyes. He wore a blue plaid shirt, and he was somehow connected to my red pickup that I bought at auction. This gentleman sat gripping the steering wheel, a strange aquatic blue light filling the cab. He wanted to talk to me, but I was too afraid. Every time I saw him I ran in the house and locked the door (like that would really help).

I became afraid of my truck at night. I wouldn’t even walk near it, which was an extreme inconvenience.

I finally gritted up the courage to speak to him. So I went out to the truck and asked him what he wanted and I offered to help him. That was all it took. He disappeared and hasn’t been seen since. I think he simply wanted an offer of help, then he could let go.

Tell me some of your experiences with ghosts or psychic phenomena.

~Carolyn

 

the book of beloved

The Book of Beloved
(Pluto’s Snitch)

Paranormal Historical Suspense Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Alabama
Thomas & Mercer (August 9, 2016)
Paperback: 330 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1503938069
E-Book ASIN: B01BXSFGDS
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As a young woman widowed by World War I, Raissa James is no stranger to ghosts. But when an invitation arrives from Caoin House, her uncle’s estate in Mobile, Alabama, she’s finally ready to cast off the shadows of her past. And what better way to do so than with a grand party in her honor? An aspiring authoress, Raissa’s eager to soak up more of life—and immerse herself in the dark history that haunts the estate.

But the revelries come to an abrupt end when one of her uncle’s guests takes a deadly plunge. And when a ghost from the property’s past, a Confederate soldier, reveals himself to Raissa, she’s more determined than ever to get to the heart of the mysterious deaths that plague Caoin House. Enlisting the help of Reginald Proctor, a self-proclaimed medium, she holds a séance to shed light on old secrets. But she discovers that some secrets, even those long dead, still have a startling hold on the living…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It has been a while since I have had an honest to goodness book induced hangover. The Book of Beloved is responsible for my latest. I started reading it after finishing another book and thought I will just read a couple of chapters and it was almost 3 a.m. when I put the book down after reading the whole thing.

Main character Raissa James travels to Caoin House, her uncle’s estate, which has been said to be haunted. There have been a few mysterious deaths there over the years. She is not there long when she sees her first ghost, a Confederate soldier. Her sighting happens shortly after a man falls to his death at a party at the estate. It is ruled accidental, maybe a suicide, but Raissa thinks it was murder. Raissa uses her desire to become an author to dig deeper into the recent death and those from the past. She thinks the ghosts are key to finding out the truth.

The suicide element of this story should have been a trigger for me after my son’s death and there was a lynching in part of the book as well, but after a couple of short pauses and skimming past a few lines I just kept going. Something just a few months ago that would have made me drop the book and stop reading in an instant, but I am starting to heal more every day and the story had me so enthralled that I just couldn’t stop, I had to know how this story played out. (This may not always be the case but was with this story.) Seances also play into the mystery, trying to get answers, learning more about the people that haunt Caoin House, a way to communicate with those who have passed on. This is something that has really piqued my interest since my son’s death. I truly wish I could communicate with him, maybe someday that wish will come true. So until now I have not been able to read a story with these topics, this one brought them all together in a way my mind and soul could handle.

The reason I was able to read this story is because Carolyn Haines has written it with the hand of a master. She draws the reader in almost timidly. A niece visiting her uncle at an old estate after losing her husband in World War I, then a man falls to his death and the suspense builds, then ghosts begin to appear and secrets starts to be revealed, the suspense builds a little more and things start to get scary. I should have stopped reading then but knew there was no way I was going to sleep then so I kept on reading. Then Raissa makes a startling discovery and I was reading at lightning speed. I can’t say more because I don’t want to ruin the story for anyone. Needless to say I didn’t get much sleep even after I finished the book. I would advise you not to read before bedtime.

I will say I really like Raissa. She is an intelligent and independent woman that I can see being very involved in the causes of the time period, the 1920’s, like woman getting the right to vote. I also see her becoming a very successful author. I am interested to see where the author takes this character in the future.

I rarely give a Paradise Rating to the first book in a series because usually the plot takes a lesser role as the author needs introduce us to all the characters and the setting and time period. In this case Carolyn Haines does all that and gives us a fantastic mystery too.

paradise 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

USA Today bestselling author Carolyn Haines has published over 70 books in a number of genres, both dark and light. She is an animal advocate and a former muckraking journalist. THE BOOK OF BELOVED, a Pluto’s Snitch mystery, is the first book in a new series. The latest book in the Sarah Booth Delaney series is ROCK-A-BYE BONES.

To learn more about Carolyn or to sign up for her newsletter, please go to www.carolynhaines.com or find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram


Click on book covers for more info or to order from Amazon.

GIVEAWAY
The author is giving away 1 Copy of Book of the Beloved!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Print Copy U.S. Only – E-Copy International.

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.

Leave a comment for Carolyn for 5 Bonus Entries.
Sign Up For Her Newsletter for 5 More Bonus Entries!
http://www.carolynhaines.com/newsletter.aspx

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End August 23, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form
 

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

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Aug 012016
 

It's Monday! What Are You ReadingIt’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
Hosted by Book Date

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

Happy Monday Everyone!!

I am looking forward to a wonderful week of reading and enjoying this summer days! 

Are you ready to Escape into some Good Books?

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

FINISHED


A Midwinter’s Tail: A Magical Cats Mystery
Release Date – October 7, 2014
My Review 
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Grilling the Subject (A Cookbook Nook Mystery)
Release Date – August 2, 2016
The Great Escapes Book Tour stops here today!
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Death at the Day Lily Cafe: A Mystery (Rosalie Hart)
Release Date – July 26, 2016
Wendy Sand Eckel will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday this week!
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Homicide in the House (Washington Whodunit)
Release Date – June 15, 2016
The Great Escapes Tour stops here Thursday!
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ON DECK THIS WEEK

Murder in the Secret Garden (A Book Retreat Mystery)
Release Date – August 2, 2016
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The Book of Beloved (Pluto’s Snitch)
Release Date – August 9, 2016
Carolyn Haines will be my Special Guest on August 9!
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Clock and Dagger (A Clock Shop Mystery)
Release Date – August 2, 2016
Julianne Holmes will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday next week!
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escapeClick Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Happy Reading!!
Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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Dec 172014
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am excited to have a new to me author stop by today!
Please help me give Helen Smith a warm welcome!

helen smith

Guest Post from Helen Smith
——————-

It’s getting cold in London, with snow forecast again this year. Thank goodness for my electric blanket and my log fire! Every year, about this time, as the nights get longer and the days get colder, I promise myself that I will try to escape the worst of it somehow, by going away somewhere warm and returning to London in the spring, just as the daffodils are coming out. It never happens, of course…

Then last year, just after Christmas, I got the chance to do it! My neighbor down the road needed to rent somewhere for her family to live for three months while they had some building work done on their house. She wanted to be close to the children’s school and near enough to her home to keep an eye on the work going on there. She sent an email round to the people in our street. She knew it was a long-shot, but did anyone know of anywhere she could rent in January, February and March… the coldest, most miserable months of the year. Well, as it happened, I did!

IMG_11792So we came to an arrangement: she swapped her house for mine, and I swapped my house for a cruise ship! When she first contacted me, I spent hours – literally – deliberating over where I should go for those three months. I had thought I would rent a little apartment somewhere by the sea in the off season, take my computer with me and write. But little places by the sea are rather expensive when you’re renting them by yourself. I did some calculations and decided it would cost about the same to stay in a single cabin on a ship, heading for California, where I had been invited to appear on a couple of panels at a crime writing convention called Left Coast Crime in Monterey.

IMG_11762In January 2014 I left Southampton en route for San Diego via Jordan, Burma, Hong Kong, Hawaii and several points in between. What an adventure! I had found a ship that would get me to California the day before Left Coast Crime began so, again, it seemed as if it was “meant to be.” Instead of taking a day to fly there, I would arrive, free from jet-lag, after taking the long way round. And I would have plenty to talk about when I got there!

Beyond Belief 978-1477849729My most recent Emily Castles mystery, Beyond Belief, was published while I was on board the ship – we had just passed through the Suez Canal. I celebrated by giving a reading for some of the passengers. When we were at sea, I spent my days at my desk in my cabin, writing. When we stopped at a port, I got out and explored. In total we had twenty-two stops on our itinerary, many of them at places I had never visited before, although I also had the chance to meet up with some old friends along the way. And I made some new friends – that was one of the things I hadn’t anticipated before I set off. But one of the nicest things about my trip was the people I met on board the ship. I would definitely like to travel that way again, if I get the opportunity.

IMG_08312And this year? This year I will be staying at home, writing. You can probably guess what I will be writing about, can’t you? Yes! My next Emily Castles mystery will be set on a cruise ship. So although I will be here in London, tucked up in my house with the log fire blazing, I will get the chance to go traveling again in my imagination. And when the book is published, I hope my readers will have the chance to share in my adventures when they open the book.

~Helen

***
Real Elves by Helen SmithHelen Smith has a short Christmas mystery called Real Elves available in the Kindle store and as a paperback. It features her amateur sleuth, Emily Castles, and can be read as a standalone story. The books can be read in any order, but readers wanting to start at the beginning should start with the novella-length Three Sisters.

Helen Smith’s blog: http://www.emperorsclothes.co.uk
Helen Smith’s website: http://helensmithbooks.com
Helen Smith on Twitter: http://twitter.com/emperorsclothes
Helen Smith’s books on Amazon: http://smarturl.it/helensmithbooks

There is some bonus material, including fantasy casting and locations for my books, over at Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/emperorsclothes

The author is giving away a copy of

Winner’s choice of format!

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

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

Leave a comment for Helen for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End Devember 31, 2014 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

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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Gore in the Garden (A Washington Whodunnit) by Colleen ShoganGet Your Copy Today!
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