Dec 192017
 


A Murder for the Books: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series

Setting – Virginia
Crooked Lane Books (December 12, 2017)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683314394
E-Book ASIN: B072396C2L

 

 

Fleeing a disastrous love affair, university librarian Amy Webber moves in with her aunt in a quiet, historic mountain town in Virginia. She quickly busies herself with managing a charming public library that requires all her attention with its severe lack of funds and overabundance of eccentric patrons. The last thing she needs is a new, available neighbor whose charm lures her into trouble.

Dancer-turned-teacher and choreographer Richard Muir inherited the farmhouse next door from his great-uncle, Paul Dassin. But town folklore claims the house’s original owner was poisoned by his wife, who was an outsider. It quickly became water under the bridge, until she vanished after her sensational 1925 murder trial. Determined to clear the name of the woman his great-uncle loved, Richard implores Amy to help him investigate the case. Amy is skeptical until their research raises questions about the culpability of the town’s leading families… including her own.

When inexplicable murders plunge the quiet town into chaos, Amy and Richard must crack open the books to reveal a cruel conspiracy and lay a turbulent past to rest in A Murder for the Books, the first installment of Victoria Gilbert’s Blue Ridge Library mysteries.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Oh, I am excited about this series. It is off to a wonderful start.

Amy Webber has left her job as a college librarian and moved to her aunt’s home in Taylorsford, Virginia. She manages the town’s library which is quite different from her previous job. The residents of Taylorsford are an eclectic bunch. She is thankful her predecessor left her plenty of notes about her new patrons. Sadly, one of those patrons is murdered early in the story. Found on library property Amy finds herself in the middle of the investigation. Some are even pointing their fingers at her.

She also meets her new neighbor Richard Muir, a dancer/teacher/choreographer. He has been renovating the house next door that he inherited from his uncle. He is very interested in his family’s history, especially a murder and a disappearance. He turns to Amy for help researching the archives to find answers. Maybe together they can solve the current case while finding answers in a cold one too.

Ms. Gilbert has created such rich main characters. I felt drawn to them immediately. I wanted to know their family histories and get to know them better as themselves. There is a romantic spark between Richard and Amy. Amy tries to stop or ignore her feelings because it was a broken romantic entanglement that made her quit her last job. Richard is a patient man and is not giving up. Their interplay is touching and real. Amy’s aunt also likes Richard very much and is not beyond a little matchmaking between the two.

There are two mysteries to solve in this story and they are seriously tangled up together.  I did have an inkling about the 1925 case early on in the book, but that did not deter my enjoyment of following each and every clue. The current mystery was total surprising from start to finish. Several suspects had means, motive, and opportunity. The climactic reveal stunned me. It was exciting and action-packed. The suspense was at a high level.

Victoria Gilbert walks that fine line keeping this cozy from jumping into the thriller lane. She has created a mystery story with great substance, tempered it with the beginnings of a romance and the exact right amount of humor. The characters are genuine and really shine throughout the entire book.

I loved this story and wish I had Shelved Under Murder in my hot little hands right now. My escape to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains ended much too soon. I have my virtual bags packed for a return trip mid-July 2018. 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

 


About the Author

Victoria Gilbert, raised in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, turned her early obsession with reading into a dual career as an author and librarian. She has worked as a reference librarian, research librarian, and library director.

When not writing or reading, Victoria likes to spend her time watching films, gardening, or traveling. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers, and is represented by Frances Black at Literary Council, NY, NY.

Victoria lives in North Carolina with her husband and some very spoiled cats. This is her first Blue Ridge Library mystery.

 

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Praise for A Murder for the Books: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
by Victoria Gilbert

What really got me about this one, was how different this book is from a normal cozy. Librarian, Amy, is trying to clear the name of a woman who went missing back in 1925 for her neighbor, Richard. (Is that a potential love interest I see?)

Right there you have something totally unique. It makes this a cold case cozy!
~A Chick Who Reads

Excellent writing with some great new characters all set to make you want to read some more.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

I found this to be a very entertaining mystery that kept me on the edge of my seat. The author does a really good job of keeping the action going throughout the telling of the story.
~Author Teresa Trent

I liked the multiple storylines in A Murder for the Books. Besides the modern day mystery, Amy and Richard are trying to solve a murder that happened years ago.
~The Book’s the Thing

Murder By The Books is a bit of a thriller in that it is about a cold case. And it fits all those things I and most people enjoy about a cozy.
~My Reading Journeys

Full of family history and drama, star-crossed lovers and would-be lovers, secrets, and conspiracies, mysterious deaths and murders, surprises and predictability, greed and hope, ignorance and bigotry, humor and quirkiness, “A Murder for the Books” delivers an entertaining story that began several generations ago and continues to this day.
~Bea’s Book Nook

There are several mysteries and multiple storylines going on as everything unfolds . . . I did enjoy the aspect of the town’s archives being used as a means of finding out information to help solve much of what is going on, especially in regards to a very cold case.
~That’s What She’s Reading

The mystery is well plotted and pairing the current murder with a mystery from the past, along with family secrets, provides an added depth.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

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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.”

Dec 142017
 

The Tulip Shirt Murders – A Delanie Fitzgerald Mystery
by Heather Weidner


The Tulip Shirt Murders
Mystery – Humorous
2nd in Series
Setting – Virginia
Sandpiper Productions (November 15, 2017)
Paperback -246 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-0999459805
E-Book ASIN: B077CSZ53X

 

Private investigator Delanie Fitzgerald, and her computer hacker partner, Duncan Reynolds, are back for more sleuthing in The Tulip Shirt Murders. When a local music producer hires the duo to find out who is bootlegging his artists’ CDs, Delanie uncovers more than just copyright thieves. And if chasing bootleggers isn’t bad enough, local strip club owner and resident sleaze, Chaz Smith, pops back into Delanie’s life with more requests. The police have their man in a gruesome murder, but the loud-mouthed strip club owner thinks there is more to the open and shut case. Delanie and Duncan link a series of killings with no common threads. And they must put the rest of the missing pieces together before someone else is murdered.

The Tulip Shirt Murders is a fast-paced mystery that appeals to readers who like a strong female sleuth with a knack for getting herself in and out of humorous situations such as larping and trading elbow jabs with roller derby queens.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

One of my favorite Private Eyes, Delanie Fitzgerald, returns along with her partner Duncan Reynolds, and their office mascot/rug, Margaret, the bulldog. This time she is investigating everything from murder to counterfeit CDs and what may be a mild home invasion. When her friend appears to be attacked by the man they are hunting in their murder case, things get very personal for Delanie and she will burn the midnight oil until she catches them. She puts herself out there in several disguises and even finds herself mixing it up with roller derby ladies and taking a part-time job.

There is action in the book from beginning to end. Duncan spends most of his time in the office using his computer skills to follow clues while Delanie is out on the streets every day on stakeouts and questioning suspects and other persons of interests. She gets herself into and out of some dicey situations. I will tell you with the story’s brisk pace it is impossible to put down.

Ms. Weidner has created wonderful characters and put them in a story full of drama but with a lot of comedic moments too thanks mostly to the bulldog you just have to love. The cases Delanie and Duncan take on seem true to life with a nice mix of some cases that are easily handled and others where they really have to dig in and search out the clues. I really enjoyed how they are all happening at the same time, the way I think any busy P.I. office would do it.

I hope this becomes a long-running series, I can wait for the next book by this author. This was a fantastic read.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Heather Weidner’s short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series and 50 Shades of Cabernet. She is a member of Sisters in Crime-Central Virginia, Guppies, Lethal Ladies Write, and James River Writers. The Tulip Shirt Murders is her second novel in her Delanie Fitzgerald series.

Originally from Virginia Beach, Heather has been a mystery fan since Scooby Doo and Nancy Drew. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers.

Heather earned her BA in English from Virginia Wesleyan College and her MA in American literature from the University of Richmond. Through the years, she has been a technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, and IT manager. She blogs regularly with the Lethal Ladies and Pens, Paws, and Claws.

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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.”

Dec 062017
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so happy to have Gayle drop by for a visit today! 

Time Traveling –A/K/A Going Through Your Recipe Box
by Gayle Leeson
(Post provided by publicist.)

 

One of the many things I’ve enjoyed about writing the Down South Café series is looking for the recipes to include. With the first book, in particular, I reached out to my readers and received many wonderful suggestions and, sometimes, the stories that went along with the recipes. My own little white and yellow recipe box is filled with stories. Granted, some cards in the box are merely recipes, but other are echoes from the past.

I look at my recipe for turkey dressing and smile because I can remember my grandmother’s words when I asked her for the recipe—you’re afraid I’ll die and you won’t know how to make this—and our shared laughter. Fortunately for me, she didn’t die until many years later…and for the first Thanksgiving afterward, I couldn’t stomach the thought of eating that beloved dressing. Now when I see that recipe card, I smile, remembering all the Thanksgiving Days I stood by her side and helped her determine if the mixture had enough sage before I ran back to the living room to catch another glimpse of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.

“I’m gonna be a Rockette one day, Grandmother,” I’d say, returning to the kitchen to show her how I could kick.

“You will be if you want to be, angel,” she’d say, never once pointing out that Rockettes were tall, skinny, and coordinated, all features I still lack to this day.

I received a wedding invitation from our neighbor—itsy bitsy Laken, who was just ten years old last week, wasn’t she? and five the week before that? Okay, so it only seems that way. Anyway, enclosed with the invitation was a recipe card and a request to share a favorite recipe with the couple. What a wonderful idea. Not only do guests share a recipe, but it’s in the guest’s own handwriting and, most likely, filled with memories.

~Gayle

Thank you so much for visiting today, Gayle!


Honey-Baked Homicide (A Down South Café Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Virginia
Berkley (December 5, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1101990827
E-Book ASIN: B06XJM6VGH

 

 

The owner of a delightful Southern café tastes the sharp sting of suspicion in this delectable comfort food mystery . . .

It’s fall in Winter Garden, Virginia, and business at Amy Flowers’ Down South Café has never been better. So when struggling beekeeper Stuart Landon asks Amy to sell some of his honey, she’s happy to help. The jars of honey are a sweet success, but their partnership is cut short when Amy discovers Landon’s body outside the café early one morning.

As Amy tries to figure out who could possibly have wanted to harm the unassuming beekeeper, she discovers an ever-expanding list of suspects—and they’re all buzzing mad. She’ll have to use all of her skills—and her Southern charm—to find her way out of this sticky situation…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Fall in Winter Garden, a perfect time to visit the Down South Café. Amy Flowers has just made a honey of a deal with beekeeper Stu Landon to sell his honey and use it in her recipes. The first batch was selling quickly so she went to visit him in hopes of a few more jars to sell. She arrived to find Stu upset with his neighbor for using a pesticide on his crops that is killing his bees. Amy leaves with the promise of a delivery of more jars in the morning and Stu ready to face off with his neighbor.

When she arrives at the café the next day, Stu is there waiting for her in his truck. When she walks up to his truck she notices something is wrong and when she opens the door to help him she realizes she is too late, the man is dead and it wasn’t from natural causes. The town is soon abuzz about his death and she can’t believe the long list of suspects. It is going to take some sweet skills to catch the killer and Amy finds herself right in the middle of another murder investigation.

The author has created a unique band of characters. Amy Flowers has a huge heart, she always wants to help people so she is in the perfect business.  The Down South Café has its daily regulars like Dilly and Homer, but people like Stu, Chad Thomas, and Mr. Dougherty from Ives Oil and Gas are new visitors. Stu has lived near town for many years, but he keeps to himself so people don’t know too much about him. Chad Thomas is Stu’s neighbor and he brings his wife to the cafe for the very first time. Mr. Dougherty is in town on business and has been using the café as his place to meet with people. We also meet Stuart’s children and nephew after his death. Their interactions with Amy at the café are complicated. All the other characters we have come to love have returned in this installment too.

The murder mystery is complex and unfolds at a steady pace with plenty of drama. Amy becomes the center of attention for two characters wrath and she handles it much better than I would.  I found myself drawn to the most obvious suspect and was surprised when the final twist blew my entire thought process out of the water.

Gayle Leeson has written a honey of a mystery and I “bee-lieve” it is the best one so far in this series. She also includes several recipes to whet your appetite. The descriptions within the story had my stomach growling.

Southern charm, fabulous characters, and a fantastic mystery come together for a great read. It can be read on its own, but I suggest you read all three in order to get to know these characters.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


About the Author

Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. I also write as Amanda Lee. As Gayle Trent, I write the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, I write the Embroidery Mystery series.

The cake decorating series features a heroine who is starting her life over in Southwest Virginia after a nasty divorce. The heroine, Daphne, has returned to her hometown of Brea Ridge to open a cake baking and decorating business and is wrestling with the question of whether or not one can go home again. She enjoys spending time with her sister, nephew, and niece, but she and her mother have a complicated relationship that isn’t always pleasant. Daphne has also reconnected with her high school sweetheart and is pursuing a rekindled romance while desperately trying to put her past behind her.

Kerry Vincent, Hall of Fame Sugar Artist, Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show Director, and Television Personality says the series is “a must read for cake bakers and anyone who has ever spent creative time in the kitchen!”

Says Dean Koontz, #1 New York Times bestselling author, “One day I found myself happily reading . . . mysteries by Gayle Trent. If she can win me over . . . she’s got a great future.”

The Embroidery Mystery series features a heroine who recently moved to the Oregon coast to open an embroidery specialty shop. Marcy Singer left her home in San Francisco, along with the humiliation of being left at the altar, in order to move to Tallulah Falls and realize her dream of owning her own shop. She takes along her faithful companion, a one-year-old Irish wolfhound named Angus O’Ruff. She makes many new friends in Tallulah Falls, but she also makes a few enemies. Thankfully, her best friend Sadie MacKenzie and her husband Blake run the coffeehouse right down the street from Marcy’s shop, the Seven-Year Stitch; and Detective Ted Nash always has her back.

Publishers Weekly says, “Fans of the genre will take kindly to Marcy, her Irish wolfhound, Angus O’Ruff, and Tallulah Falls. This is a fast, pleasant read with prose full of pop culture references and, of course, sharp needlework puns.”

Pat Cooper of RT Book Reviews says, “If her debut here is any indication, Lee’s new series is going to be fun, spunky and educational. She smoothly interweaves plot with her character’s personality and charm, while dropping tantalizing hints of stitching projects and their history. Marcy Singer is young, fun, sharp and likable. Readers will be looking forward to her future adventures.” (RT Book Reviews nominated The Quick and the Thread for a 2010 Book Reviewers’ Choice Award in the Amateur Sleuth category)

I live in Virginia with my family, which includes her own “Angus” who is not an Irish wolfhound but a Great Pyrenees who provides plenty of inspiration for the character of Mr. O’Ruff. I’m having a blast writing this new series!

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Writing as Gayle Trent



Writing as Amanda Lee



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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.”
Nov 282017
 

Not a Creature Was Purring
(A Paws & Claws Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Virginia
Release Date – November 7, 2017
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1101988589
Kindle ASIN: B06W2J8BCT

 

 

Inn owner Holly Miller finds it ruff staying cheerful over the holidays when the dead body of a beloved businessman turns up in the pet-friendly town of Wagtail, Virginia.
 
Inspired by her German heritage, Holly’s grandmother has arranged for Wagtail to have a Christkindl Market packed with goodies and decorations for the howliday tourists. But Holly’s mood takes an unseasonable turn when she learns that her old flame and childhood friend Holmes Richardson has brought his fiancée home—and she’ll be staying at the Sugar Maple Inn…

A love triangle becomes the last thing on Holly’s mind when her Jack Russell Trixie’s nose for trouble leads her to the corpse of a pet clothing tycoon. Now Holly and her dedicated detectives—Trixie and Twinkletoes the cat—must sniff out the killer to keep Christmas from going to the dogs…

Delicious recipes for owners and pets included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Welcome to Wagtail, Virginia! The perfect escape for dogs, cats, and their persons! That is until one of the Sugar Maple Inn’s guests ends up dead.

The town is celebrating the holidays with a Christkindl Market. Food and gifts can be found in several kiosks around the green. The homes are all decorated too. Some with the usual holiday fare but there is one who has taken the decorations to new heights, including some holiday music.

Christmas has also brought a pet clothing business owner to the inn with his whole family. This also brings Holmes Richardson to town with his fiancée. Holly still has feelings for Holmes but she knows she has to remember the woman is a guest at the inn, so she tries to put a smile on her face and attend to the woman’s needs, no matter how outlandish they are.

To say that the Thackleberry family tree is full of crazy may be putting it mildly. They are a couple of good souls in the bunch but most feel quite entitled due to the family’s wealth. Holmes’ bride to be is by far the worse. When their patriarch is killed it is easy to put them all high on the suspect list.

All my favorite characters have returned including Gingersnap, Twinkletoes, and Trixie. Krista Davis does such a great job of character development, pet or person. They come alive in these pages. The series characters continue to evolve and the guest characters fit into the mix so well. They are all lifelike and easy to like or dislike as the case may be.

Visiting Wagtail at Christmas would be spectacular. They do know how to throw a holiday, even with a dead body. The town tries to not let a murder investigation slow them down. The author has described every setting in such detail that is very easy to imagine you are there.

The plot weaves together a fantastic mystery and an interesting romantic triangle. There are plenty of suspects with a motive that singling out one is very difficult. It was fun chasing down the clues in a little winter wonderland. Holly treads lightly into Holmes relationship with Norma Jean. As his friend, she wants him to be happy, as a woman falling in love with him she wants him to be with her.

If I had a tail it would be wagging. This is an excellent mystery and perfect to curl up with on those wintery, blustery days ahead.

If you are new to the series, start at the beginning and enjoy. The book/series would also make a great gift for the pet-loving reader on your list.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author 

New York Times Bestselling author Krista Davis writes the Paws and Claws Mysteries set on fictional Wagtail Mountain, a resort where people vacation with their pets. Her 4th Paws and Claws Mystery is MISSION IMPAWSIBLE, which releases on February 7th. Krista also writes the Domestic Diva Mysteries. Like her characters, Krista has a soft spot for cats, dogs, and sweets. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with three dogs and two cats.

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Coming May 18, 2018

GIVEAWAY
 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.

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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.”

Apr 132017
 

 
Silence of the Jams (A Down South Café Mystery) 
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Virginia
Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (April 4, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House

Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1101990803
E-Book ASIN: B01IAUG44C

 
 
 
 
 

In the latest Southern cozy from the author of The Calamity Café, small-town chef Amy Flowers can’t take her freedom for granted when she’s served up as a murder suspect… 

It’s Independence Day in Winter Garden, Virginia, and the residents are gearing up for their annual celebration. The Down South Café is open and flourishing, and Amy Flowers is busy making pies and cakes for the holiday. The only thorn in her side is Chamber of Commerce director George Lincoln, who is trying to buy the café so he can tear it down and build a B&B on the site.

When George collapses while eating at the Down South, everybody assumes it’s a heart attack—until the autopsy declares it to be poisoning. Now, it’s up to Amy to prove her innocence before her liberty is lost.

Includes delicious Southern recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have been excited to read this story since I finished The Calamity Cafe back in December! I donned my Down South Café T-shirt and started reading as as soon as the book arrived.

We have returned to Winter Garden just in time for their Independence Day Celebration but before the fireworks even start there is drama at The Down South Café. Chamber of Commerce director George Lincoln has been a real pain in the butt for Amy. He is still burning about his inability to buy her building just so he can tear it down. But today he finds himself permanently silenced. He keels over right at the counter while eating his breakfast. At first look it seems to be a heart attack but the autopsy points to murder. Poisoning to be exact. This is not good for Amy or her business. Sensible people know there is now way she could be responsible but Amy needs to move fast before she gets so jammed up she loses everything.

Amy Flowers is the perfect protagonist. She is liked by everyone. She is friendly and caring. She also has the right business to keep up with all the happenings around Winter Garden. I love the way her family works together to help the cafe succeed and still deal with all the commotion of a murder and Aunt Renee swooping in for a visit. Amy’s mom, her cousin, Jackie and Aunt Bess are all fabulous supporting characters. I enjoyed Amy’s moments with Homer as well. I can’t forget Amy’s beau, Deputy Ryan. He is an excellent match for Amy.

This story is very fast paced. The clues kept circling round and round. I had an early inkling about the murderer but the clues just weren’t adding up. The Aunt Renee subplot also drew my attention. I really felt bad that she and Jackie were not close. Renee was not the mother Jackie needed but her Granny (Aunt Bess) did her best to raise the girl right while Renee just floated in and out of their lives. Amy does get herself in a little trouble for being too trusting and Renee is dealing with something everyone around her hopes she can start to make headway on. I applaud the author for the way these issues were handled in this book.

I can’t review these books without talking about the food. Thank goodness, there are recipes in the back of the book. The Fudgy Chocolate Cake as well as the Beef and Cheese Pasta Bake had my mouth watering. And yes, there is a Strawberry Jam recipe too!

Gayle Leeson has whipped us up a fine cozy mystery in Silence of the Jams. A great plot featuring fantastic characters filled with mystery, suspense, humor and a little bit romance.  A delicious way to spend an afternoon or two. I know y’all will enjoy this one.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Gayle&CooperAbout The Author –

Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. I also write as Amanda Lee. As Gayle Trent, she writes the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, she writes the Embroidery Mystery series. I live in Virginia with my family, which includes her own “Angus” who is not an Irish wolfhound but a Great Pyrenees who provides plenty of inspiration for the character of Mr. O’Ruff. I’m having a blast writing this new series!

Webpage – Gayle Trent Webpage – FacebookTwitter – GoodReads 
 
 
 

Writing as Gayle Trent



Writing as Amanda Lee



Just click on covers for more book information or to order from Amazon.GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy 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.

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Be sure to check out the giveaway on the Great Escapes Book Tour!!
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.”

Mar 102017
 


Laura’s Dream: A Cape Harriet NovellaWomen’s Fiction/Romantic Comedy
4th in Series
Setting – Virginia
Self Published
Print Length: 152 pages
ASIN: B01N9QAXAZ

 

 

Connor Brown’s life has turned upside down. All he wants now is a week of solitude at the Rising Tides Inn. Amy’s trying to dodge the curve balls life has thrown at her. She has no time to spare for anyone.

When Connor plows into Amy’s house, he unwittingly wrecks the garden she’s toiled at for months. Neither Amy nor Connor imagine their paths will cross again.

Laura’s Dream is the story of two strangers brought together by fate. They discover a new side of each other’s life every time they meet, only to find they have a lot in common. Will they take a second chance at love?

Book 4 of the much loved Cape Harriet series promises clean sweet romance in a beach setting, yummy food with recipes and small town charm.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Pete and Zadie Strathmore own the Rising Tides Inn and they bend over backwards to make their guests feel at home. Zadie is also something of a matchmaker. Connor Brown comes to the Rising Tides just hoping to escape his life for a while. He meets Amy when his car smashes through her gate and garden and into her house. She wants nothing to do with Connor but they just keep running into each other.

Roma Brooks has given us another wonderful novella to escape into. Another one perfect for a Hallmark movie. She breathes such life into all of her characters. From the main characters to the residents of this small beach town, they are all so real.  The author surprises us too with twists that take the story in different ways that you imagine with just a bit of mystery. Romance builds slowly with delightful ending.

All the stories in this series can be read on their own. I recommend you read them all.

I wish I could visit The Rising Tides Inn and meet Pete and Zadie. The place sounds so relaxing and the food sounds amazing!!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

BONUS RECIPE FROM LAURA’S DREAM – from Amazon Page
Zadie’s Spicy Salsa
Ingredients
10-12 ripe tomatoes
1 jalapeno or Serrano pepper
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1-2 limes, juiced
¼ tsp ground cumin
Salt to taste
Method
Roughly chop 5-6 tomatoes and blend them using food processor or blender. Transfer to a bowl.
Finely chop the remaining tomatoes and add to the bowl.
Season the tomatoes with salt.
Add minced jalapeno (per taste), cilantro and lime juice to the bowl. Add in the ground cumin and mix well.
Refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.
Serve with chips or as condiment with eggs, burritos, sandwiches, wraps etc.

 
 
 

About The Author
Roma Brooks writes stories featuring real life characters, the kind you would come across in your own family. Her books will make you laugh, cry, love, hate and bite your nails. She dreams of retiring to a seaside town like Cape Harriet where the gentle waves of the ocean lull you into sweet dreams.


Click the covers to order from Amazon.
Laura’s Dream is just 99 cents!

Coming April 18, 2017 – Full Length Novel.

Pre-Order today just 99 cents.

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.”

Nov 222016
 

I reviewed the 2nd book in this series back in September and loved it so I jumped at the chance when the author asked me to review this one.

christmas-morning
Christmas Morning: A Cape Harriet Novel
Women’s Fiction – Romance- Holiday
Setting – Virginia
Self Published
Print Length: 334 pages
ASIN: B01M3U4FBO
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A cozy, heartwarming Christmas Story, full of holiday cheer – Christmas Morning will make you believe in the power of true love

Christmas has come to Cape Harriet, and this year, it’s all about second chances! Christmas Morning is an emotionally gripping novel that will light a fire in your heart and make you want to fall in love again.

James & Sandhya have found unexpected love, but their future will be decided by a tormented child. A newly married couple find their vows tested to the limit. A wounded vet finds himself in a Christmas nightmare.

Zadie’s dishing up special Christmas treats, and the town is decked up for the holidays. As the mercury dips, everyone eagerly awaits Christmas Morning.

Stoke up the fire, have a warm drink at hand, and snuggle up to enjoy this sweet contemporary romance, spiced up with a dash of intrigue.

*includes festive recipes from Zadie’s kitchen

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This story brings back together the couple the met at the Rising Tides Inn in the novella that started the series, Clipper Beach. (A story I intended to read before I jumped into this one but completely forgot to do. I caught up pretty fast.) James & Sandhya return to Cape Harriet to celebrate the holidays with owners Pete and Zadie Strathmore. The Inn has a few other guests too including a young couple with a baby and a man recovering from some injuries. Sandhya’s 12 year old daughter also comes to the cape for the holidays. Zadie and Pete try to give them all the best Christmas they can including them in some Cape Harriet traditions.

This is one of those stories perfect for the Hallmark Network. A new romance with some bumps to endure that can bring a couple even closer. A man with a traumatic event in his past trying to recover not only from his physical injuries but his emotional ones as well. A young family with a secret that could tear them apart or bring them together. Pete and Zadie standing by with comfort, advice and so much delicious food.

Roma Brooks brings her characters to life in such a realistic way. They are all engaging and people I wanted to get to know better. Pete and Zadie seem to be salt of the earth type people who take everything in stride. So warm and welcoming, Pete spends a lot of time with Leena, Sandhya’s daughter who had been living with her grandmother while single mom Sandhya focused on her career. The Strathmore’s know her coming to Virginia is stressful on not only her and her mother but James as he wants them to all be a family. Zadie and Pete also try to get Dylan to open up about his pain and maybe open his heart just a little bit. They don’t butt in to what Trey and Muffy are struggling with but let them proceed at their own pace and be available to them if needed, well maybe just a little push here and there. We get to know these characters on such a personal level thanks to some excellent writing by Ms. Brooks.

In addition to the wonderful people at at inn, the story focuses on the food they are eating. Whether Zadie is cooking up something delicious or they stop by a local eatery, the descriptions had my mouth watering. There are recipes included in the book but like Sandhya cooking is not my strongest talent so I probably wouldn’t do them justice.  Zadie does have some interesting foodie ideas for Christmas too.

It seems the Rising Tides Inn is a wonderful getaway no matter what time of the year. It is a place I would love to visit in reality but these little virtual excursions will have to do. I am ready to pack my things and head there right now. I am sure Thanksgiving is a great time in Cape Harriet, but I am willing to travel there at anytime. I hope the author doesn’t make us wait too long for our next escape to the cape!

Fantastic location, believable characters, and food, glorious food! If you need a story to get you in the holiday spirit this one is absolutely perfect!

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author
Roma Brooks writes stories featuring real life characters, the kind you would come across in your own family. Her books will make you laugh, cry, love, hate and bite your nails. She dreams of retiring to a seaside town like Cape Harriet where the gentle waves of the ocean lull you into sweet dreams.


Click the covers to order from Amazon.
Christmas Morning is just 99 cents!

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.”

Sep 282016
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640

LETHAL LIFESTYLES large banner640
Lethal Lifestyles
by LynDee Walker

I always get excited when a new Headlines in High Heels Mystery is released
and even more excited when LynDee Walker drops by for a visit!

LynDee headshotAnatomy of a fictional murder:
from inspiration to the bookshelf

by LynDee Walker

It all started with a polo mallet.

I think I can speak for most mystery authors when I say inspiration for murder often comes out of nowhere—and sometimes it has less than ideal timing.

In the spring of 2014, my darling and I were at a gorgeous vineyard nestled against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge mountains in central Virginia, excited to celebrate the wedding of our friends Kyle and Mandy. After the ceremony (it was fantastic: so to the point we all stood for the whole thing), we wandered out to the wide porch behind the property’s main building, enjoying a cocktail reception while the photographer had the happy couple (and their golden retriever, how cute is that?) occupied.

I nodded to the stables in the distance. “They have horses?” I asked a friend more familiar with the vineyard.

“They have a polo match every Sunday afternoon. Y’all should come watch tomorrow, it’s a big event,” he said.

My writer brain clicked into high gear.

“Polo? Like Prince William, sport of kings, actual POLO? In Virginia?” I asked.

lethal lifestylesOur friend nodded.

“How great of a murder weapon would a polo mallet be?” I mused (this isn’t a spoiler, because the story ended up taking a different turn. But it was the catalyst for this whole thing), excusing myself to prowl around the property looking for places to hide a body. Which prompted poor darling to begin an hour long refrain of “she’s not crazy, she writes mysteries,” since we didn’t know everyone there and I was laser-focused on the story developing in my head, chattering to myself about decomposition, smells and physical limitations as I roamed.

By the end of the evening, I was pretty darned excited about a quasi-destination wedding for the Telegraph gang.

COVER SHOTSince this whole thing happened before I’d even written 5,000 words of COVER SHOT, I had a mission pretty early on in that one: one way or another, by the end of the book, somebody was getting engaged.

Parker and Mel turned out to be the perfect choice. We’d reached a point in the story where they’d been serious for about a year, and we knew he was completely gone over her. Of course, Nichelle would get to be maid of honor, because she set them up on their first date way back before BURIED LEADS.

buriedOnce I had that pegged, the whole story fell so neatly into place it was a little scary. I was so excited to dig into this wedding, I didn’t even take much of a break between these books.

Nichelle must always have someone to help, and this time she’s helping her friends out of a mess with stakes higher than the peaks in the Blue Ridge. Plus, I got to bring back some favorite characters from earlier books. As a reader, I love few things more in a series than catching up with old friends, and this was a perfect venue for that. Words poured onto the page.

I loved it. And I’m so proud of this book.

midnight-mysteriesNot long after I finished it, I got an invitation from my wonderful friend Ritter Ames to contribute a Nichelle story to a Halloween-themed anthology—what better way to tie COVER SHOT and LETHAL LIFESTYLES together? Frightening Features appears in the collection MIDNIGHT MYSTERIES, and follows Nichelle (trailed by Parker and Mel) on a trip to the Virginia countryside to write a puff piece on a ghost hunting TV show filming in an abandoned renaissance fairground. Things go sideways when a real corpse turns up on set, and Nichelle and her friends find themselves stuck in the woods with a killer.

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, so this added to what’s been a fun writing year for me—I so hope it translates into a fun reading getaway for y’all.

Thanks so much for having me, Lori!

~Lyndee

LynDee Walker’s award-winning journalistic work has appeared in newspapers and magazines across the nation.

Her debut novel, FRONT PAGE FATALITY, is an amazon and Barnes & Noble #1 bestseller, and was nominated for the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. DEVIL IN THE DEADLINE is the fourth in LynDee’s Headlines in High Heels mystery series. The fifth COVER SHOT is available now.

LynDee adores her family, her readers, and enchiladas. She often works out tricky plot points while walking off the enchiladas. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, where she is either playing with her children, working on her next novel, or admiring beautiful shoes she can’t wear.

 

Author Links

Webpage    Facebook      @LynDeeWalker

Books in the Headlines in High Heels Mystery Series:

front page fatalityburied leadsheartbeat hotel
small town spindevil in the deadlinecover shot

lethal lifestyles

Lethal Lifestyles (A Headlines in High Heels Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Virginia

Henery Press (September 27, 2016)
Paperback: 262 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635110654
E-Book ASIN: B01HOS85XE
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Synopsis

Wedding bells are ringing at the Richmond Telegraph, and maid of honor Nichelle Clarke is determined to give her friends the perfect fairytale beginning to their happily ever after. So when a corpse crashes rehearsal weekend, Nichelle ditches her wedding coordinator shoes for her crime reporter ones, and a little poking around turns up a big problem: the victim and the groom have a history, and it’s not a pretty one.

Evidence against groom Grant Parker piles up, leaving Nichelle wishing a hostile bridesmaid was still her biggest worry as she tries to fend off Richmond’s favorite TV reporter—and her own scheming publisher. At odds with the cops, her beloved editor, and the ticking clock, Nichelle races to uncover the truth and save the day before this perfect wedding turns into a funeral.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Our star reporter has been bustin’ her tail to give Grant and Mel the wedding of their dreams. We are just one week from the big day when a dead guy in found at the wedding venue right before the rehearsal festivities are about to start, and the dead guy has a connection to the groom. HOLY MANOLOS!! Nicey’s heels hit the ground running as she tries save the wedding, keep Charlie, her arch nemesis, off the trail, keep her and her boss employed and pull off this wedding on time. Hold on tight, this is one story that will knock your high heels right off.

Why do I love this series so much? The author writes a fantastic mystery filled with drama but filled with humor too. She always tops herself and leaves me wanting more.

Nicey is an unforgettable heroine not only because she is independent, smart, and wears some of the best footwear in the world but because she is a true friend. She will fight for her friends until she gets to the whole truth and she refuses to publish anything sketchy even when the publisher is holding her beautiful feet to the fire. She also tries to hold her temper in the toughest of times. She has integrity and in today’s world it is sometimes hard to find reporters like her. She has the right connections and because of the woman she is they will step up to help her whenever they can. Even her ex. She also is learning to listen to her heart just a bit more in this installment too and they made this reader very happy.

LynDee Walker gives us a story the flows quickly with plenty of twists to keep us on our heels. The mystery is complex, the characters continue to evolve and the new characters are memorable and all seem to be hiding something.

This series is best if you start with Front Page Fatality and read the series in order to understand the characters and their history. Also for me each one is better than the last and becomes my new favorite in the series.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAY
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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.”

Sep 132016
 

 

wicked-summer

Wicked Summer: A Cape Harriet Novel by Roma Brooks
Women’s Fiction
Setting – Virginia
Self Published
Print Length: 307 pages
ASIN: B01I962GVM
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

Wicked Summer follows the Bloom family as they spend a once in a lifetime vacation at Cape Harriet, a charming seaside town on Virginia’s scenic Eastern Shore.

All Mary Bloom ever wanted was to celebrate her 60th birthday at the beach. The extended Bloom family converges at the Rising Tides Inn, where their slightest whim is catered to.

Forty something Iris is the perfect suburban mom, holding her four kids and husband on a tight leash. 36 year old Hyacinth is single, successful and the self-proclaimed brains of the family. At 26, Poppy is a top travel blogger, wandering across countries most people only dream of visiting.

The rivalry among the sisters is as strong as ever, and each sister is dealing with it in her own way. So while Iris taunts and needles, Hyacinth takes the high road and shows disdain. Poppy suffers silently, lost in her own inner turmoil. None of them has an inkling of the storm that is about to break loose in their lives.

Soft shell crabs and salt marshes will be forgotten as shocking secrets are revealed. Everyone seems to be guilty of hiding something.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I really needed a great beach read for the end of the summer and this book filled the bill nicely. While it is Women’s Fiction there is a little bit of mystery and secrets too and that made me like the story even more.

The Rising Tides Inn sounds like a fabulous place to spend a week. The owners become extended family to Mary Bloom and her daughters, Iris, Hyacinth, and Poppy. They cater to every whim imaginable and always with a smile on their faces.

The Bloom sisters are each so different, it is hard to imagine they all had the same parents. Their father has passed on so it is just Mary and her girls. She always wanted to spend her 60th birthday at the beach and Poppy seems to have found the perfect place. Iris and her family join her mother and her sisters but it not the week Mary had longed for, the girls just really don’t get along with each other. Mary hopes after spending their time at the beach together the sisters will grow closer. That won’t be easy as everyone seems to have their own issues/secrets to deal with.

After I started reading I realized that this is the author’s second book set at the Rising Tides Inn, but the owners seem to be the only overlap so it did read easily on its own. I did enjoy meeting Zadie and Pete so I may have to read the first story, a novella, Clipper Beach, to see if they treat their previous guests as greatly as the blooms. 

The story had a great flow as we delved deeper and deeper into each of the characters. There was also a great deal of description of the wonderful fresh seafood found on the Eastern Shore. In the Midwest we miss out on those fresh catch of the day fish, but I did have a yearning to head to the nearest Red Lobster several times while I was reading or a vacation anywhere along the shore would work too. One is in my price range, the other not so much.

As I stated above their were a few surprises in this story but the last one was a real twist, totally unexpected, taking this story beyond my expectations.

I am excited to learn that this will be a continuing series because I loved this escape to Cape Harriet and want to return soon and often. This was a “wicked” great way to end the summer!

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAY

I enjoyed this story so much I want to share
so I am giving away 1 set of the Cape Harriet Books!

One winner will receive a copy of both books,
delivered directly to them from Amazon.

Easy Entry!
Click on the Like button at the top of this post.
Leave a comment below about something fun you did this summer.
Share the giveaway with your friends.
And Click Here For Entry Form

Winner will be chosen using Random.org on September 27, 2016

I hope you will follow my blog too but that is not a requirement for this giveaway!
Note if the book prices rise you will receive a $4 Amazon gift card instead.

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.”

Aug 062016
 
murder in the secret garden
Murder in the Secret Garden (A Book Retreat Mystery)
3rd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Virginia
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (August 2, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425265611
E-Book – ASIN: B01839Q2M4
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Things really go to seed in the newest novel in the New York Times bestselling Book Retreat mysteries…

There is a hidden garden bordering the grounds of Jane Steward’s book-themed resort—a garden filled with beautiful but deadly plants such as mandrake and nightshade. Tucked away behind ivy-covered walls and accessible only through a single locked door, as described in the pages of Frances Hodges Burnett’s classic novel, the garden is of special interest to Jane’s current group of guests, The Medieval Herbalists. But when one of them turns up dead, Jane must discover whether a member of the group has come to Storyton Hall to celebrate their passion for plant lore or to implement a particularly cruel means for murder.

With thousands of books at her disposal, Jane believes she has the proper materials to solve this deadly problem. If she’s wrong, however, she may lose something far more precious than the contents of Storyton’s secret library…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am so excited to be back in Storyton and to wander the beautiful gardens. No cell phones, no computers, no deadlines, a vacation from the rat race surrounded by books, books and more books.

The Medieval Herbalists are guests at Storyton Hall and when one their bodies is found floating down the river Jane and the Finns are on the case. The suspects are many but they are up to weeding out the murderer.

Ellery Adams continues to create stories that surpass the last. The mysteries of the secret garden at Storyton bring us straight back to the classic The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It makes me want to find my old copy and reread it yet again because I am sure there are more correlations the author referenced that I have since forgotten.

We already know what an amazing place Storyton Hall is from the first two books in this series that now we travel the gardens and a very special garden makes the place even more idyllic. I particularly enjoyed the way Jane’s sons, Hemi and Fitz start out hating helping their mother weed the garden but soon become totally invested when a little cash is offered and they start to learn about the plants and get excited about the bounty the gardens produce. Being covered in dirt from head to toe and having so much fun.

In addition to the Steward family’s life at such a wonderful place Adams gives us a fantastic mystery to sink our teeth into. The suspect pool is pretty full but as each one is eliminated Jane feels she is missing something. The motive just doesn’t seem to be what it appears. She keeps digging until all the clues and secrets are revealed and even then she has a couple of loose ends. This was a tough one to figure out. I also still think there is more to the overall Book Retreat Mystery story. I can’t put my finger on it yet, but there is something there.

It is also interesting that Storyton Hall has its own set of investigators, The Finns, staff members who are more than who they appear to be to the guests. They “work” with the police in their own way but they always seek out answers most times before even alerting the authorities. This time part of the crimes happen out of the local jurisdiction and I was a bit surprised there was more fallout from their actions.

This is a series that needs to be read in order to fully enjoy each story. They are also stories to savor and not rush through because this author knows her stuff and drops hints than can appear to be insignificant at first but can be very important as the mystery continues.

I loved my latest retreat to Storyton. I anticipate some excellent visits in the future. I recommend you book your retreat to Storyton as soon as possible and enjoy your little break from the stress of every day life.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 To find out more about Ellery and all her books visit her webpage here.




GIVEAWAY
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.

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 20, 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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