Aug 162017
 


I am so happy to have Victoria stop by for a visit today!
Muffin to Fear was released July 25, 2017!

Do You Believe in Ghosts?
By: Victoria Hamilton
(Guest Post provided by publicist.)

There has been, lately, a proliferation of ghost, paranormal and haunting shows on TV, shows like Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures, Ghost Brothers, Paranormal Survivor and many more. It’s a sub-genre of reality programming that can be summed up by saying the crews go looking for proof of haunting at a home, inn or public building and generally find ‘unexplained’ noises, voices and shadows.

I’m fascinated by the TV shows. I’m open minded to the supernatural; my feeling is that we know so little of what is actually possible with energy, the human spirit and the natural world. Who knows if the energy in our bodies is released by death and allowed to inhabit the world? On these shows they often sort the paranormal guests into categories like ‘residual haunting’, where the activity is just like a psychic imprint of things that happened in the past, ‘intelligent haunting’, which is spirits that are still among the living, and ‘poltergeist activity’, that is, commotion that occurs because of energy built up by human activity. It’s all very interesting.

But Muffin to Fear is not really about ghost hunting. As always, what interests me is human interaction among the living. So that was the premise of my novel and what started me on this plot line; these ghost hunting reality TV crews, like any work group, must have their share of tensions and infighting, cliques and quarrels.

Merry’s best male friend, Pish Lincoln, invites the Haunt Hunt crew to check out Merry’s Wynter Castle, much to Merry’s chagrin. She comes back from her honeymoon to find the castle infested with TV folk. But there is more infighting and intrigue going on than hunting for haunts, and, inevitably, there is murder.

Full disclosure; I think that most ‘hauntings’ likely have logical explanations, but in truth, I don’t know for sure. So… I had a lot of fun writing about fake mediums and hunting ghosts with EMF readers and DVR cameras, but I still wonder, how many people believe in ghosts? And if you believe in them, what do you think they are?

~Victoria

Muffin to Fear
(A Merry Muffin Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (July 25, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425282595
Kindle ASIN: B01MXHV4KT

In the latest from the national bestselling author of Much Ado About Muffin, newlywed baker Merry Wynter has some unwanted guests looking for ghosts at Wynter Castle…

While Merry is distracted by her quickly planned marriage to Virgil Grace and a blissful honeymoon in New York, her friend Pish invites the ghost-hunting crew from the TV show Haunt Hunt to investigate Merry’s home, Wynter Castle. Merry soon discovers that not only is the crew out of sync, there are so many feuds and squabbles, it’s a miracle they get a show produced at all.

It all goes from bad to worse when the show’s psychics claim to have contact with people murdered on Merry’s property. When two cast members are found dead, Merry and Virgil must figure out who’s picking off the Haunt Hunt team before their hard-earned happily ever after is cut short.

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES!

About Victoria Hamilton:

Victoria Hamilton is the national bestselling author of two bestselling series, the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and Merry Muffin Mysteries. She is also the bestselling author of Regency and historical romance as Donna Lea Simpson.

Victoria loves to cook and collects vintage kitchen paraphernalia, teacups and teapots, and almost anything that catches her fancy! She loves to read, especially mystery novels, and enjoys good tea and cheap wine, the company of friends, and has a newfound appreciation for opera. She enjoys crocheting and beading, but a good book can tempt her away from almost anything… except writing!

Website    Facebook         Merry Muffin Mysteries Facebook Page           Pinterest        Twitter


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
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.

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Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

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If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End August 30, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
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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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Nov 062013
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640
Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am happy to welcome Victoria Hamilton and
her Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour here today!

The Beauty of Useful Things:

How kitchen utensils are art, and why I display them.

By: Victoria Hamilton

VictoriaThe highest form of art, to me, is when something useful is also beautiful. But here we confront a dilemma… beauty is very much in the eye of the beholder.

This is especially true when applied to my collections.

FrenchFryCutterI collect vintage kitchen utensils and bowls, among other things. Some of the items I will never use. Case in point is the French fry cutter pictured here. I found it at a garage sale and it is pretty old. We had one when I was a kid, but it was the horizontal kind, and this one is different. It’s… well, it’s vertical. And I like it. I appreciate the design – the neat shape it makes – and the red handles and everything about it. I’ll never use it, but it is up on a shelf on display.

And yet, as I take a picture of it and examine it, I notice how battered it is, how worn the metal. But I still think it’s beautiful, maybe even more so. It has a grace of form, it tells a tale of family life… a family the apparently loved French fries! It has lived out the useful part of its life, and now deserves to be an ornament.

When folks get old their hands get age spotted and wrinkled, their veins stand out, blue traceries under their skin. Their nails are brittle and the pads of their fingers flatten out. Cheeks and jowls sag, eyes become rheumy and the skin gets so thin and soft it’s like silk. I find old folks beautiful. Their life shows on their face and their hands: the years of hard work and worry, the kids they raised, the people they loved, the pain they have suffered and tragedies endured… the personality that life has crafted in them. Their face and hands tell a story, the story of their life.

And it’s the same with old furniture and kitchen utensils. If it is battered and worn, it means that it was well loved and used often. These things have soul and the kind of beauty you only get from time. That’s better to me than pristine and unused.

~Victoria

~::~

About Victoria Hamilton

Victoria Hamilton, nationally bestselling author of the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series, is the pseudonym of Donna Lea Simpson, bestselling author of romance and historical mystery novels.

Victoria starting reading mystery novels at the age of 12 and devoured Agatha Christie mysteries, as well as those of Dorothy L. Sayers and Ngaio Marsh. She still adores mysteries, especially the cozy mysteries of Janet Bolin, Krista Davis, and others.

She loves to cook, and collects teapots and teacups, as well as vintage kitchen utensils and bowls. She also enjoys crafts, especially cross-stitching and crocheting, and spends summer days in the garden, drinking tea or wine. Besides the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series Victoria also writes the Merry Muffin Mystery series (Bran New Death – September 3rd) and the Teapot Collector Mystery series which debuts with Tempest in a Teapot, out June 3rd, 2014.

 

FreezerMed nov
Freezer I’ll Shoot
(A Vintage Kitchen Mystery)

3rd in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Mystery (November 5, 2013)
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425252376
E-Book File Size: 1815 KB
ASIN: B00BDQ3AP2
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

About Freezer I’ll Shoot:

Trying to escape her overbearing mother, vintage kitchenware enthusiast and soon-to-be columnist Jaymie Leighton retreats to her family’s cottage on Heartbreak Island. While there she hopes to write an article about the Ice House restaurant, owned by good friends and neighbors, siblings Ruby and Garnet Redmond. Once and actual icehouse, the restaurant is charmingly decorated with antique tools of the trade, including a collection of ice picks.

One night, while working on her article, Jaymie overhears an argument, and, ever the sleuth, sets out to explore. But when she stumbles upon a dead body, her blood runs cold. It’s Urban Dobrinskie, whose feud with the Redmonds is no secret, and he’s got an ice pick through his heart. Now Jaymie’s got to sharpen her sleuthing skills to chip away at the mystery and prove her neighbors’ innocence – before someone else gets picked off…

Dollycas’s Thoughts
This installment of the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries takes place mostly on Heartbreak Island. Again Jaymie finds herself in the middle of a very well plotted whodunit. I really enjoy the way the author weaves in the history of the vintage antiques our amateur sleuth  loves. This time the ice houses (ice storage) and the implements used before the modern appliances that came later.

I really love Jaymie and her dad, her mom just seems to push my buttons and I can understand why Jaymie feels the need to escape away sometimes. I wasn’t a big fan for Daniel in this story and his mother drove me crazy. Ruby and Garnet had me rooting for them though and their story was the real highlight of this book. Cozy mysteries need that wide variety of crazy quirky characters, the ones we love, the ones we hate, and the ones that make us want to jump into the pages and slap upside the head. Victoria Hamilton has delivered them all in Freezer I’ll Shoot. Plus Hoppy is one of my favorite pooches in the cozy mystery realm.

I am really looking forward to my next visit with Jaymie as I am sure she will again be up to her neck in a murder mystery. I also hope she she opens her heart and her eyes to the right man.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

U.S. MAILING ADDRESSES ONLY

U.S. MAILING ADDRESSES ONLY

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great escape tour banner large freezer ill shoot 640

Tour Participants

November 2 – rantin’ ravin’ and reading – Review, Interview, Giveaway
November 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Spotlight, Interview
November 4 – My Recent Favorite Books – Spotlight
November 5 – According to Squenn – Interview
November 6 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review, Guest Post
November 7 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – Review, Interview, Giveaway
November 8 – Queen of All She Reads – Review, Giveaway
November 9 – A Chick Who Reads – Review, Interview
November 10 – Kaisy Daisy’s Corner – Review
November 11 – A Date with a Book – Spotlight
November 12 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – Review
November 13 – Community Bookstop – Review
November 14 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review, Giveaway
November 15 – Mochas, Mysteries and More – Review

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

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Sep 042013
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome To Cozy Wednesday!!

I am super excited to welcome Victoria Hamilton here today!!

Cozy Is As Cozy Does
by Victoria Hamilton

 

VictoriaHamilton-WebWhen I started writing mysteries I wasn’t really aware of sub-genres. I wrote what I wanted to write, disregarding what I considered arbitrary rules.

And I couldn’t get published to save my life.

I happened upon a great agent who, just before she went on hiatus from accepting any more proposals for a matter of months, gave me some tips, the most important of which was to read some of the cozies she represented. It was the best advice I’ve ever gotten. I ‘got’ it after reading a few.

BranNewDeathcover mediumHere are my conclusions:

– Cozies don’t focus on the guts and gore of the murder itself, thought the body may be examined and the death may be gruesome.

– Cozies may, but do not have to, focus on the protagonist (the main character) and the complicating factors in his or her life.

– Cozies may have elements of suspense and action, but these must not overwhelm the working-out of the puzzle by the protagonist.

And that’s about it. I don’t believe that writing in the cozy genre necessarily means you cannot have a sexually active main character, nor does it have anything to do with race, religion or sexual orientation.

But not everyone agrees with me. I had one ‘reviewer’ on Amazon give my book A Deadly Grind one star because he/she said, and I quote: “I like my cozy mysteries to be a true definition of cozy. I felt that having Homosexual characters was not necessary to the plot. Did the author really intend for it to be in there or is the editor trying to push an agenda? If homosexuality is going to be in a book, shouldn’t it be under “Gay/Lesbian” and not “Mystery”?”

So… disregarding that she was factually incorrect about A Deadly Grind, and the crack about an editor pushing an agenda (something that has never happened to me), what about her ‘true definition of cozy’ remark? Is there a true definition of a cozy?

If you asked a hundred cozy readers, you’d probably come up with a wide range of opinion as to what is a ‘true’ cozy, and maybe that’s the way it should be. Some say that a police detective or officer should not be the main character, but Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache mysteries are considered cozy by most. Some, like the quoted ‘reviewer’, feel that there shouldn’t be any gay characters in a cozy mystery, but what, then, do you say about Monica Ferris’s Needlecraft Mysteries and her protagonist’s needlework shop employee, Godwin?

I say it’s individual. Your cozy is not necessarily the next reader’s cozy. Of course there are parameters and conventions, but rules were made to be bent, and the guidelines are malleable. I like stretching them a bit, and I enjoy reading mysteries that will not be bound by the rules. But I think we’re each allowed to make up our own guidelines and decide what cozy is for us.

What about you? As a reader, do you have any guidelines as to what YOU think a cozy is or should be?

~::~

BranNewDeathcover medium
Bran New Death
(A Merry Muffin Mystery)

BRAND NEW SERIES
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (September 3, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Ben Perini
Cover Design by Lerley Worrell
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425258835
E-Book File Size: 1071 KB
ASIN: B00BDQ39E4

goodreads-badge-add-plus

When Merry Wynter discovered that she inherited a genuine American Castle in the ‘wilds’ of upstate New York, her first reaction was to contact a real estate agent to sell it, sight unseen. Things were a little complicated, what with a lunatic employer making her life miserable. But after losing her job and with the castle not sold, Merry decides to trek to Wynter Castle to see what the problem is.

One barrier to selling is immediately evident; someone is digging giant holes on the property! Merry accuses local Tom Turner of being her late night gopher and warns him to stay off her property, or else, but it happens again. Merry storms out to confront whomever is doing the damage, but doesn’t count on finding a dead man at the bottom of the hole.

What is going on at Wynter Castle and in Autumn Vale? How can Merry convince hunky sheriff Virgil Grace that she is not the one who bashed the victim over the head?

Dollycas’s Thoughts
When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. Or in Merry Wynter’s case if life gives you questions you make muffins while you try to find the answers.

She has not recovered from her husband’s death, she has lost her job, and she has inherited A CASTLE!! A castle that needs a lot of work before it will be ready for sale. Plus Autumn Vale is not your normal small town.  Just a couple of people welcome Merry, she gets an icy reception from most of the residents. Then she find one of them dead on her property.

Victoria Hamilton has written an extraordinary story featuring some very eccentric characters in some unique situations. This story twists more than Chubby Checker.  These characters all have so much depth and we learn so much about them in this series debut but I feel like we are just starting to scratch the surface to their stories. Plus in addition main mystery there are many subplots intertwined and the story flows effortlessly. The reader is drawn right into Autumn Vale and into this wonderful castle and into all the drama that ensues.

I want to visit this castle. It sounds like a place I would love. If Merry is baking I will probably never want to leave. Plus is sounds like in Autumn Vale you never what is going to happen next.

~There are yummy recipes included too!

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Victoria Hamilton, nationally bestselling author of the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series, is the pseudonym of Donna Lea Simpson, bestselling author of romance and historical mystery novels.

Victoria starting reading mystery novels at the age of 12 and devoured Agatha Christie mysteries, as well as those of Dorothy L. Sayers and Ngaio Marsh. She still adores mysteries, especially the cozy mysteries of Janet Bolin, Krista Davis, and others.

She loves to cook, and collects teapots and teacups, as well as vintage kitchen utensils and bowls. She also enjoys crafts, especially cross-stitching and crocheting, and spends summer days in the garden, drinking tea or wine. Besides the Merry Muffin Mystery series (Bran New Death – September 3rd) Victoria writes two other mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime, the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series (Book 3, Freezer I’ll Shoot debuts November 5th) and the Teapot Collector Mystery series which debuts with Tempest in a Teapot, out June 3rd, 2014.

Author Links:

Victoria Hamilton Mysteries

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/AuthorVictoriaHamilton

Merry Muffin Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/MerrysMuffinsMysterySeries

Twitter: @MysteryVictoria

 

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for Victoria for 5 Bonus Entries !

What about you? As a reader, do you have any guidelines as to what YOU think a cozy is or should be?

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

Contest Will End September 18, 2013 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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

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Mar 212013
 

cozy wednesdayThere were just not enough Wednesdays this month for all the authors to visit so…
Welcome to this Special Thursday Edition of Cozy Wednesday!
I am thrilled to welcome Victoria Hamilton back to Escape With Dollycas.

Victoria
Vintage Finds Inspire Cozy Mysteries
By: Victoria Hamilton

When I set out to plan a mystery series, I quickly decided to center it around my collection of vintage kitchen bowls and utensils. I don’t have the largest collection—I just don’t have the space—but I’m always on the lookout for interesting pieces, and I love reading about the history of kitchen implements, so it was a natural fit.

I especially love bowls. I don’t know why! I suppose that they unite the best in beauty, utility and color… all of the things that make an item not only collectible, but perfect for display. When it comes to bowls, I have a full set of vintage Pyrex Primary Colors bowls, and a few random pieces from the seventies. DepressionGlassBowl2But then a friend gave me a fascinating vintage Depression glass bowl; it’s big and clear with an odd, heavy square bottom and grooved indentations down from the curled lip to the base. She didn’t know anything about it, so I looked it up. The square base intrigued me; had it been used as a stand mixer bowl, perhaps?

I found out that not only was the square bottom not for any utilitarian purposes, I had stumbled upon another bowl set obsession! These bowls were sold in graduated sets from the size of mine (I think my clear one is an example of the largest) to a teeny cutie of a bowl! Now I am determined to get one in every size, and… wait for it… in every color. Yes, they come in colored glass and I love colored glass.

IM000459.JPGThis is how I first figured that out; I was haunting a thrift shop, as I often do, and I saw a small green one very similar, though the square base has a different shape. Well, you know I had to buy it. It’s adorable! Now I learn that they come in many colors: pink, amber, amethyst and the brilliant green of my new acquisition.

But how did I get from the receipt of a lovely bowl from a friend to picturing it as a murder weapon? Well, there isn’t much that I haven’t tried to imagine used as an instrument of death, as bad as that makes me sound. I’m a mystery writer. It’s my job to see things differently, I guess, so as I hefted that weighty bowl in my hand, I thought, ‘That is one sturdy bowl. It could do some serious damage. In fact… it could kill someone!’

bowled overAnd so the bowl shows up in Bowled Over as the murder weapon, provided unwittingly by poor Jaymie.

Wait until you see what I use as a murder weapon in the next Vintage Kitchen Mystery, Freezer I’ll Shoot, coming out in November of this year. Here’s a hint: though a kitchen utensil, it is a well known and oft used tool that is still considered a lethal weapon by police departments everywhere!

So next time you peruse the kitchen utensil aisle imagine me, looking up and down that row and wondering, ‘Now, what could I use to kill my next victim?’ Potato masher? Electric Mixer? Corkscrew?? The choices are endless.

~Victoria::~

About This Author

Victoria Hamilton is the pseudonym for author Donna Lea Simpson. As Victoria she writes the bestselling Vintage Kitchen Mystery series (Book 1 – A Deadly Grind– May 2012) –  (Book 3 Freezer I’ll Shoot – November 2013) and the upcoming Merry Muffin Mysteries, also from Berkley (Book 1 – Bran New Death – September 3rd, 2013)  Victoria loves cooking and collecting vintage kitchen utensils, as well as reading and writing mysteries.

Check out her webpage for all the latest: http://www.victoriahamiltonmysteries.com

Find her on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorVictoriaHamilton

bowled over

Bowled Over
(Vintage Kitchen Mystery)

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (March 5, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Robert Crawford
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425251928
E-book File Size: 561 KB
ASIN: B0099CUTGK

Bowled Over

Stirring up trouble…

Vintage kitchenware and cookbook collector Jaymie Leighton and her high school friend Kathy Cooper have been at odds for years but Jaymie has no idea why. She decides it is time to find out what she did that makes Kathy hate her so much. She needs to confront her so they can put whatever happened behind them.

But when she finds Kathy dead after the 4th of July fireworks along with her Depression era glass bowl she realizes there will not be any reconciliation. With her fingerprints all over the bowl and their rocky past she is not surprised to be the prime suspect of her murder.

Did the killer frame her on purpose? If so, she is ready to mix it up, because solving crimes is vintage Jaymie Leighton…

Dollycas’s Thoughts
I was “Bowled Over” by this marvelous mystery. This story had so many twists I almost got whiplash. So many secrets, so many suspects. I Loved It!

Jaymie has a huge heart and that always leads her right in the center of trouble. She needs to clear her name.  With her many odd jobs she comes into contact with almost everyone in town. She has Valetta for backup, who knows the skinny on just about everyone in the area. Even Anna has info to help Jaymie find the killer. Jaymie just has to put all the clues together.

There’s also a bit of romance in this story but unfortunately Jaymie’s romantic path is a bit cloudy. Her sister Becca’s path is pretty clear yet again.  Jaymie has given herself a six month deadline to decide how she feels about the men in her life. The next book should be very interesting!

Victoria Hamilton has dished up another fun and entertaining winner! 

Freezer I’ll Shoot (A Vintage Kitchen Mystery) will be released November 5th and I want it today!!!

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the people at Penguin
I have 2 copies to giveaway!!

PLUS Victoria is giving away
one (1) copy of Bowled Over,
as well as a Vintage Kitchen Mysteries pen, notepad and magnetic calendar.

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

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

Leave a comment for Victoria for 5 Bonus Entries!!

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

The first name chosen that
has left a comment will win Victoria’s prize!!!!

Contest Will End April 4, 2013 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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

readalattechallenge_zps01d248d0mystery challenge2013where are you readingWIN6

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May 162012
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!


Today my very special guest is the author of a brand new cozy mystery series, the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries. But Victoria is not a brand new author, this may be her first venture into the cozy genre but she has written several bestselling romance novels. I am thrilled to welcome her today to tell us about her crossover to the genre that I absolutely love! Help yourself to a cup of tea and join me in welcoming Victoria.

Hi  Victoria!!

Hi Everyone!

The Ultimate Game of Pretend
By: Victoria Hamilton

A couple of years ago I approached a wonderful agent, one I was hoping to interest enough that she would represent me as an author. I had a mystery series idea, and had already written one book, and was a good way though a second in that series. I was devastated – crushed! – when she read my proposal, but just didn’t find it compelling enough to offer me representation. And then she went on hiatus, and was not accepting proposals for about five months. Ack!!

I was sending around to other agents, but not a one of them was my ‘dream’ agent like Jessica was (and still is). So I did something rare for an author. I asked for – and took! – her advice. Read some of the ‘first in a cozy series’ books by authors she represented, she told me. And I did. I read Hannah Reed, Sarah Atwell, Betty Hechtman, Joyce and Jim Lavene, Sheila Connolly and many others.

And I got it!! I finally got it.

To create a cozy mystery series that people would love, I had to take something I was passionate about and find a way to incorporate it into a set of characters and a town that was both fun and entertaining. I created a concept, wrote a proposal, presented it to my dream agent, and voila! She loved it as much as I did. Within weeks I had a three book contract with Berkley Prime Crime, my dream publisher.

That was how my Vintage Kitchen Mystery series was born. I’ve been collecting vintage kitchen stuff since… well, since the stuff wasn’t even vintage. I have some of my mom’s Pyrex refrigerator dishes, old tablecloths, and even her handwritten recipe book from way back when. Since then I’ve added to my collection with a set of Primary Colors Pyrex bowls, bought one piece at a time so it cost me less than a whole set. I have vintage cutlery, Depression glass bowls, old cookbooks… more than I really should have.

Then I imagined a town I’d like to live in, one where Americans and Canadians could mingle. And so Queensville, Michigan popped onto the map along the St. Clair River, which is the border between Michigan and Ontario. I invented an island – Heartbreak Island – with an interesting history, and a neighboring Canadian town, Johnsonville. I built an old yellow brick house in Queensville, and peopled it with a youngish vintage collector – Jaymie Leighton – and her two fur friends, Hoppy, a three-legged Yorkie-Poo of indomitable character, and Denver, the crabby tabby.

And then I let Jaymie loose, looking for that big, elusive prized piece on which to display some of her collection, a Hoosier kitchen cabinet. Jaymie went to an auction, and guess what she found… a Hoosier cabinet! Being a writer is wonderful, like an extended version of that favorite childhood game of ‘Pretend’. Do you remember that? It was my favorite. While other little girls may have treated their dolls like their babies, I treated them all like characters in a story, and made up lives for them.

And I guess I’m still doing that today. Being a writer is the ultimate game of pretend!

Book 1 of my Vintage Kitchen Mysteries, A Deadly Grind, is now out, and I am thrilled with the reception… readers seem to love it! Book Two, Bowled Over, will be published in February of next year.

When I thought of writing another series, guess what? I realized another collecting passion of mine would come in handy!! I love and adore and collect teapots and teacups. So next year will also see the introduction of Book 1 of my Merry’s Muffins series, A Bran New Death.

This really is too much fun!
~::~Victoria

A Deadly Grind is the first book in Victoria Hamilton’s ‘Vintage Kitchen Mysteries’ cozy series. To learn more about the series, check out Victoria’s website: http://www.victoriahamiltonmysteries.com

Read an excerpt from A Deadly Grind, and check out the site for online availability of this and other Victoria Hamilton Mysteries.

Victoria, I am so happy you have been bitten by the cozy bug. You play the game of “pretend” very well :).

Now let me me tell you why I loved this story!
A Deadly Grind
(A Vintage Kitchen Mystery)

Brand New Series!
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group

Cover Illustration by Tim O’Brien
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell

Jaymie Leighton lives in her parents nineteenth century yellow brick home. They have retired to a warmer climate and just visit during the summer. Her sister Rebecca visits on the weekends from London, Ontario, and together they hit the auctions and estate sales. They are both collectors. Jaymie collects vintage cookware and cookbooks. Rebecca china, tea cups and saucers. Rebecca is fifteen years older than Jaymie and sometimes seems like a second mother. She still thinks she knows what is best for Jaymie, but at 32 years of age Jaymie can make her own decisions.

Jayme decides to bid on Hoosier cabinet that made be a little worse for wear but she knows with a little elbow grease she will have a treasure. She outbids the other buyers and is thrilled to get her purchase home. Her sister, not so much. She thinks the house is full enough of Jaymie’s clutter. They get it home and leave it on the summer porch. They are exhausted from the day and enjoying their purchases can wait until morning.

But someone else had other ideas. Becca and Jaymie are woken up in the middle of night by noise downstairs. They are beside themselves when the find a dead body on the summer porch. They don’t recognize the man and even the police have a hard time identifying him. Why their house? Who is this guy? Jaymie needs to know. She starts to do just a little investigating. She had better be careful or she may be the one “who ends up going, going,…gone”.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
I can identify this sibling relationship clearly. My sister is 12 years older than me and she too was like a second mom. We are close today but there have been times when she has made me so mad, thinking she knows best.

Before my accident I loved to attend auctions and estate sales. I was just like Jaymie. I would have killed, not literally, for a Hoosier like the one in this story. Our home has been cluttered over the years with my “finds”. This story hit home for me, really struck my heart.

Jaymie and I could be friends, we would be hitting the sales. Becca would probably be friends with my sister 🙂

The setting of these mysteries is really brilliant. Fictional Heartbreak Island between Michigan and Ontario where both American and Canadian tourists arrive for a variety of celebrations is the perfect backdrop. In this installment, a “Tea With The Queen” fundraiser gives the tourists, residents, and suspects a place to gather.

The author has laid the great foundation for more books in this series, setting us up for many return visits to Heartbreak Island. I hope not too many hearts are broken but with cozy mysteries you never know who the next victim or suspect may be. I just know this author is going to give us a wonderful who-dun-it that will find us Bowled Over!!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the people at Penguin
I have 2 copies to giveaway!!

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Contest Will End May 30, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted 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.”

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