Dec 062018
 


How to Knit a Murder (Seaside Knitters Society)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series (with this publisher)
Setting – Massachusetts
Kensington (November 27, 2018)
Hardcover: 272 pages
ISBN-10: 149671105X
ISBN-13: 978-1496711052
Kindle ASIN: B07B74TCK6

A mysterious woman arrives in picturesque Sea Harbor, Massachusetts, and the Seaside Knitters welcome her into their cozy world of intricate patterns and colorful skeins. Unfortunately, nothing frays a warm introduction like cold-blooded murder . . .

With her shy manner and baggy jeans, Rose Chopra becomes an unlikely superhero the night she stumbles into Izzy Perry’s shop and inadvertently saves a shipment of yarn from water damage. When the Seaside Knitters help the enigmatic handywoman settle into town and find work at a popular real estate company, Rose proves she can fix just about anything—until a potential homebuyer is killed and she becomes entangled in murder . . .

The moment controversial entrepreneur Spencer Paxton is found dead in a pricey ocean-side house, accusations fly at the last person on the property—Rose. But the Seaside Knitters have their doubts. After all, Spencer’s political aspirations as well as his company’s plans to pave over Sea Harbor’s historic art district with luxury apartments earned him some very real enemies . . .

Now, Izzy, Birdie, Nell, and Cass must swap knitting for sleuthing as they struggle to move the needle on a twisted homicide case causing turmoil across town. As tensions build in the sleepy New England community and Rose’s secret past unravels, the ladies face an unsettling realization—true victims aren’t always the ones buried six feet under . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Back in Sea Harbor amongst some of my favorite cozy ladies was exactly where I needed to be the night I started reading this book. A stranger comes into Izzy’s shop and solves a huge problem and almost immediately Rose Chopra is moving into to the apartment above the shop, has a job she loves and friends that care about her. But Rose has a secret, a secret that has to come out, especially after Spencer Paxton is murdered and Rose appears to be the last person to see him alive. The man had made plenty of enemies in the seaside town. Izzy, Birdie, Nell, and Cass decide it is time to knit together some clues to solve the murder and try to protect their new friend whose life will never be the same.

I do love this series. It is very character driven. The core group of characters is close and heavily involved in each other’s lives every day, so when a pesky murder pops up they are all in. The ladies and their significant others band together to solve the case but also comfort the victim’s family and the person wrongly accused. It is like a big warm blanket that surrounds them that always includes food, shoulders to lean on and ears ready to listen. Rose and Stella blend into this group nicely and benefit from the big blanket of comfort.

I didn’t like the victim from the moment he was introduced. A snide man, greedy and feeling entitled, pushed all my beware buttons. If I lived in Sea Harbor I would have been on the suspect list.

The author takes on the big hot topic of bullying. A big topic in life and schools today but bullying has always been around. We see how it changed the life, the long-lasting effect, it has on a victim.

The mystery she has laid out is very well done. I did catch a key clue very early on that explained the how, but the who and the why took me quite a bit longer. Twists unraveling, turns to misdirect, knit the clues together, purl to see them in a different way. Following along with the characters as a pattern emerges to get us on the right path. This was such a fun mystery to read.

Sea Harbor is a wonderful place no matter the time of year. The mansion where the murder takes place wouldn’t be somewhere I would want to live but it sure has all the bells and whistles. At the end of the story, it does find the perfect owner.

This is another fantastic story from Sally Goldenbaum. She gives plenty of detail for the story to stand on its own. I have been blessed to read the story of the Seaside Knitters from the beginning and highly recommend them all.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Murder Wears Mittens here

About The Author

Sally Goldenbaum was born on the shores of Lake Michigan, in Manitowoc, WI, to a homemaker mother and a ship-building father. Although she now lives in landlocked Prairie Village, KS, her longing for lakes and the sea is satisfied in part by writing the USA Today bestselling Seaside Knitters Mystery series, set on Cape Ann, MA. She is a sometime philosophy teacher, a knitter, and an editor, and the author of more than thirty novels. Her fictional knitting friends are teaching her the intricacies of women’s friendship, the mysteries of small-town living, and the very best way to pick up dropped stitches on a lacy knit shawl. Murder Wears Mittens is the first book in the Seaside Knitters Society series. How to Knit a Murder was just released. A continuation of the Seaside Knitters Mystery Series.

Follow Sally

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Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.
Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

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Contest Will End December 20, 2018, 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.”

Nov 302018
 

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

Mischief in Moonstone Series, Novella 2: Misbehavin’ in Moonstone
Romance Novella
2nd in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Writers Exchange E-Publishing (March 14, 2017)
Print Length: 93 pages
Kindle ASIN: B06XNPQLJ3

This delightful series focuses on the humorous mystery and romantic adventures of the kind folks who live in the environs of a small village nestled on Lake Superior in northern Wisconsin. Along the way in the series, silkie chickens, a giant prehistoric beaver skeleton, a kidnapped reindeer, and other flora and fauna contribute to the amusing mischief and mayhem.

When the men of Moonstone suddenly seem to be off fishing a lot in the evenings, thus cutting down on her new restaurant’s business, chef Kirsten Peplinski becomes suspicious. She discovers a topless touring boat has set up business in Lake Superior, just outside the jurisdiction of Moonstone. She sets out to give a “dressing down” to the boat’s owner, but Jonathon VanBrocklin kidnaps her, having “undressing” and marrying her on his mind.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Our last visit to Moonstone was at Christmastime, this time a floating topless touring boat creates havoc as all the male residents have “gone fishing” several days in a row. The female population had no idea what they were really up to until they promoted Kirsten Peplinski to temporary mayor and send her out to see what exactly “is biting”. What she finds is Jonathon VanBrocklin and he just may be too hot to handle.

This was a fun mini escape on a Sunday afternoon. The characters were engaging and funny. The romance sizzled at just the right temperature. Again, as with the first novella of this series, When Rudolph was Kidnapped, this story has a Lifetime or Hallmark movie feel. Being set in my home state of Wisconsin was just the thing to hook me from beginning to end. 

I enjoyed Christine DeSmet’s cozy mysteries as well.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Christine DeSmet author picAbout The Author
Christine DeSmet writes the Fudge Shop Mystery Series (Penguin Random House/NAL/Obsidian). She’s also an award-winning scriptwriter and teaches writing at University of Wisconsin-Madison Continuing Studies where she directs the annual June Write-by-the-Lake Writer’s Workshop & Retreat. You can find her on Facebook or at her website, www.ChristineDeSmet.com.

GIVEAWAY
I am giving away 1 Kindle copy sent directly from Amazon!

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.

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

Contest Will End December 14, 2018, 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

*Book was purchased from Amazon for my private collection.

Oct 162018
 

A Crafter Knits a Clue: A Handcrafted Mystery
by Holly Quinn

 

About the Book

A Crafter Knits a Clue: A Handcrafted Mystery
NEW COZY MYSTERY SERIES
Setting – Wisconsin
Crooked Lane Books (October 9, 2018)
Hardcover
ISBN-10: 1683317718
ISBN-13: 978-1683317715
Digital ASIN: B078LZ5ZM5

For fans of Betty Hechtman and Maggie Sefton, the latest craft frenzy is Holly Quinn’s Handcrafted series debut.

Sammy Kane just moved back to her hometown to run a craft store. But when the owner of a nearby yarn shop is murdered, Sammy will needle little help finding the killer.

When a heartbroken Samantha “Sammy” Kane returns to her hometown of Heartsford, WI, for her best friend Kate’s funeral, she learns that Kate’s much-loved craft store is in danger of perishing with its owner. Confounding all her expectations of the life she would live, Sammy moves back home with her golden retriever and takes over Community Craft. A few doors down Main Street, fellow new arrival Ingrid Wilson has just opened the Yarn Barn, a real “purl” of a shop. But when Sammy strolls over to see if Ingrid could use a little help, she finds Ingrid’s dead body—with a green aluminum knitting needle lodged in her throat.

Detective Liam Nash is thrown for a loop as every single citizen of Heartsford seems to have a theory about Ingrid’s murder. And nearly everyone in town seems to be a suspect. But the last time Sammy did any sleuthing was as a little moppet. And this is not fun and games. Sammy is eager to help the handsome Liam—who seems to be endlessly inventive in finding reasons to talk with her—and when Liam arrests affable woodworker Miles Danbury, Sammy puts everything on the line to help clear Miles.

As the case comes dangerously close to unraveling, Sammy must stitch the clues together. But the killer has other plans—and if Sammy’s not careful, she may wind up in a perilous knot in A Crafter Knits a Clue, the first warm and woolly yarn of Holly Quinn’s new Handcrafted mysteries.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Knit one, purl MURDER!

Sammy Kane has returned to Heartsford for her best friend Kate’s funeral and when she hears the craft store will close without a new owner Sammy decides to stay and take over the store. Community Craft has become a gathering place for the crafters in the area and also allows them to sell their creations.

There is also another new shop owner in town. Ingrid Wilson has opened a store selling the most beautiful barn. While Sammy is happy to have The Yarn Barn in town, the owner is always needing help in one way or another. She has no problem calling Sammy’s employee, Kate’s little brother, with tasks she says she just handle. Carter and Sammy are trying to get Community Craft ready for the annual Spring Fling when Ingrid calls Carter for help. Sammy tells Carter to keep doing what he is doing while she handles a couple of things and then she will go over to help Ingrid. When she arrives, she finds yarn shop order dead on the floor, a knitting needle the killer’s weapon of choice.

Heartsford also has a new police detective. Sammy meets Liam Nash when he arrives on the scene. He learns right away about a tragedy in a small town – Everyone has an opinion and are not afraid to point fingers at any other resident they think committed the crime. Sammy has a little experience as a sleuth herself. S.H.E. was detective club of Sammy, her sister Elle, and their cousin Heidi had in their childhood. Like Nancy Drew, they solved several “crimes”. The group reunites when they think Detective Liam Nash is not solving Ingrid’s murder fast enough. They realize it’s not as easy as they thought especially when Sammy is threatened physically to back off.

****

Heartsford, if it was an actual town would be a short drive from where I live in Wisconsin. I know the author lives nearby too because she has captured Springtime in Wisconsin perfectly. It is one of the places you can experience all four seasons in one day. Mother Nature is very fickle in the Spring. It can be snowing in the morning, the sun comes out in the early afternoon with rising temps, then later the wind picks up and by night she will throw a good old fashioned thunderstorm at us. Heck, there are days when it rains in the front yard while the sun is shining brightly in the backyard.  😎

Holly Quinn has inhabited Heartsford with fantastic residents too! So many crafters. I liked that in addition to the shops in town we see how important the school is to this community. School events play a huge part to the people in Heartsford and Wisconsin in general. Carter is on the basketball team and Big Ten scouts are at the game watching him and other players with scholarships hopes. The Spring Fling is more than just a shopping event, there is a parade that reminded me of the usual homecoming parade but for the winter sports. It was heartwarming that the town came together to support its own even with a murderer on the loose.

The investigation had many facets. Sammy is a very observant person but so is the good detective. He found several ways to come in contact with Sammy, even sharing some unknown details while she filled him on things she had uncovered. Of course, he wants her to leave everything to him, but that was never going to happen. It was fun to follow along with S.H.E. and watching Sammy spar with Liam.

This book follows what almost all first books in series’ do. It’s pace, in the beginning, is a little slow because the author has to introduce all the characters, their relationships and where they fit into the landscape of the town.  The pace picks up nicely in the second half as clues start to fall into place and suspects are honed in on or eliminated. The murder mystery was wrapped up nicely at the end but there is a cliffhanger leading to the next story. Love that!

This series is off to a splendid start. The story has a real hometown feel with characters I want to get to know better. I love that Sammy’s golden retriever is welcome and spends days with her at the store. The community was realistic. The mystery was well-plotted and executed. As a former crafter, I love the theme. All my cozy boxes were checked. I am excited about the next installment.

*There are two sock patterns too after the story.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Holly Quinn is both an avid reader and crafter. Holly sells her artistic creations locally and dreamed of one day opening a gift shop to sell local artist’s handiwork. Instead, she began writing about it and thus her journey of the Handcrafted Mystery series was born. Visit her @ www.authorhollyquinn.com

Author Links – Website – Facebook GoodReads 

Praise for A Crafter Knits a Clue: A Handcrafted Mystery
by Holly Quinn

Great start to this new crafty cozy mystery series.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

A Crafter Knits a Clue is an engaging cozy mystery . . . I liked the author’s writing style (conversational) which made the story easy to read especially with its steady pacing.
~The Avid Reader

Holly Quinn knits together a cozy town, relatable characters, romantic tension, and a well-plotted mystery in the debut Handcrafted Mystery novel – A Crafter Knits a Clue.
~Reading Is My SuperPower

I enjoyed this book. It was easy to read and fits the bill of a traditional cozy mystery. It is full of small-town humor and charm.
~A Cozy Experience

I think the thing I liked best about this book is the caring relationships that Sammy has with so many family and friends. You can tell that the core characters love each other and enjoy spending time with each other.
~MJB Reviewers

Purchase Links
Amazon          B&N       IndieBound          BAM      Powell’s       Walmart      BookBub

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
October 8 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
October 8 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT
October 9 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
October 9 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 10 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
October 10 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
October 11 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
October 11 – A Cozy ExperienceREVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 12 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
October 12 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
October 12 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – RECIPE POST
October 13 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
October 13 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
October 14 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 14 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST
October 15 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
October 15 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
October 16 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
October 16 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW
October 17 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
October 17 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 17 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW
October 18 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW
October 18 – Readeropolis – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
October 18 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
October 19 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
October 19 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
October 20 – The Book Diva’s Reads – GUEST POST
October 20 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 21 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
October 21 – StoreyBook Reviews – 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.”

Oct 102018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am always thrilled to have Kathleen Ernst drop by for a visit.

Immigrant Stories
by Kathleen Ernst

People sometimes ask why I so often write about 19th-century immigrants.  My fascination began in the 1980s when I worked at an outdoor ethnic museum called Old World Wisconsin. The museum features over 50 historic structures which have been moved to the site and restored.  Working as an interpreter and curator there provided tantalizing glimpses into the lives of some of the state’s first Yankee and European immigrants.

An even stronger motivation is simply my ever-growing admiration for the everyday people who made the monumental decision to leave everything familiar and gamble on a new life in Wisconsin.  I created the Chloe Ellefson Mysteries to give myself the opportunity to share some of what I’ve discovered.  Chloe is a curator at Old World Wisconsin, and as the series progresses, she visits other special historic sites and museums.  Different books have featured different ethnic groups.

In the ninth book, The Lacemaker’s Secret, Chloe travels to northeast Wisconsin. She’s been hired to create a furnishings plan for a Belgian-American farm being restored at Heritage Hill State Historical Park in Green Bay.  She’s on the hunt for insight into the lives of Belgian immigrants (and after discovering a body in an old brick bake oven, she’s soon on the hunt for a killer as well).

I knew little about the Belgians’ experience before beginning research for this book.  The immigrants, most of whom arrived in the 1850s, faced a brutal struggle to turn old-growth forest into farmland.  A devastating cholera epidemic swept through the settlements.  And in 1871, what is remembered locally as The Great Fire (which burned simultaneously with the Peshtigo Fire across the bay) blazed through many of the Belgian communities.  Over two hundred people died; over five thousand lost everything they owned.

But the Belgian immigrants’ story is not defined by tragedy.  It’s defined by strength and persistence, by faith and courage.  Today many of their descendants still live in northeast Wisconsin because their ancestors did not give up or give in.  I find that inspiring.

So does Chloe Ellefson in The Lacemaker’s Secret.  I hope that readers do as well.

~Kathleen

Thank you, Kathleen, for being my guest today! 

Now let me give you my thoughts on The Lace Maker’s Secret.

The Lace Maker’s Secret (A Chloe Ellefson Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
9th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin/Belguim
Midnight Ink (October 8, 2018)
Paperback: 408 pages
ISBN-10: 0738753548
ISBN-13: 978-0738753546
Kindle ASIN: B0795R5H4C

Greed, Uncertainty, and Death Get Tangled in the Mystery of a Rare Piece of Belgian Lace

Curator Chloe Ellefson needs distraction from the unsettling family secret she’s just learned. It doesn’t help that her boyfriend, Roelke McKenna, has been troubled for weeks and won’t say why. Chloe hopes a consulting job at Green Bay’s Heritage Hill Historical Park, where an old Belgian-American farmhouse is being restored, will be a relaxing escape.

Instead she discovers a body in a century-old bake oven.

Chloe’s research suggests that a rare and valuable piece of lace made its way to nearby Door County, Wisconsin, with the earliest Belgian settlers. More importantly, someone is desperate to find it. Inspired by a courageous Belgian woman who survived cholera, famine, and the Great Fire, Chloe must untangle clues to reveal secrets old and new . . . before the killer strikes again.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This installment of this wonderful series takes Chloe Ellefson on the road to Green Bay’s Heritage Hill Historical Park. They are restoring a historic Belgian-American farmhouse and have asked her to consult on its furnishings. She recently learned some upsetting news about her family and something is definitely bothering her boyfriend. Roelke McKenna, so maybe a week away, doing the thing she loves will do them both some good. She is meeting a woman there who she has worked with in the past. The woman is a lace expert and she has been told a valuable piece of lace is part of Heritage Hill’s collection. Both women are excited to learn about the lace and its origins.

It is winter in Wisconsin and driving north Chloe encounters some slippery conditions. Just before she reaches the B&B where she will be staying she notices a summer kitchen building right off the road.  She pulls over quickly to check the place out, but she makes a grisly discovery. A dead body has been stuffed into the old bake oven. This is not the way she planned to start her week. The death has nothing to do with her. Maybe she can leave everything to the police and just do what she came to Green Bay to do. But she knows that is not going to happen, she is going to find herself right in the middle of another investigation and her favorite police officer is many miles away.

I know when I pick up a book by Kathleen Ernst I am in for a delightful read. This book was no exception. I have spent my whole life in Wisconsin and every time I read a book by this wonderful author I still learn something new. I knew the basics of the historical events that take place in this story but her fictional telling of the time period resonates and makes the time, place, and people come alive.

The historical part of the story begins in Belguim in 1848 when 12-year-old Seraphine Moreau’s father dies and she and her twin sister, Octavie are taken by their uncle to a convent school in Bruges.  She leaves her friend Jean-Paul Lejeune behind but he doesn’t forget her, he visits her and the convent often and they pledge their love to each other. While at the convent both Seraphine and Octavie learn to make the beautiful bobbin Belgian lace. In 1854, Jean-Paul returns to ask Seraphine to be his wife and travel with him to America where there are new opportunities for farmers. The story then follows their lives in Wisconsin and joins together with the current story which is set in the 1980’s.

Again, Ernst really shows her storytelling chops by marrying these two time periods together seamlessly. Both time periods feature strong women in Chloe and Seraphine and even Octavie who remains in Belguim. We see through the letters to her sister what is happening across the Atlantic. Seraphine and the immigrants struggle to just survive at times was both heartbreaking and inspirational, the perseverance shown throughout their lives was remarkable. Chloe shows her strength time and time again and she strives the find the truth even while putting herself in danger.

In Chloe’s timeframe, I always need to remind myself, 1980’s, no cell phones, no easy access to the internet, no text messages. I love the nightly phone calls between Chloe and Roelke, the calling collect, and reversing the charges. Something the current generation of kids and young adults will never know. For them, both parts of this story would be historical. I know Ms. Ernst’s books would be a great way for them to learn about history. She makes it personal and her stories stick with her readers. Her stories are well-researched but fictional so she does juggle the dates sometimes to fit her narrative while still giving an accurate picture of the things her characters endure.

I do love that the stories in this series take place in actual destinations near where I live. As my grandchildren get older these are places I would love to take them. According to their website, “Heritage Hill has earned a reputation as a jewel of the Midwest for guests from within the area and those visiting the community.” I really thank the author for bringing this treasure to my attention.

The Lacemaker’s Secret is a fantastic story filled with characters that are truly believable. They will draw readers deep into their lives. The theme of Belgian lace and the setting in Wisconsin really shows the author’s love of the history of our state. This was an amazing read!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

The last book in this series also received a Paradise Rating.
Check out my review of Mining for Justice here.

About the Author

Kathleen Ernst is a social historian, educator, and author. Her Chloe Ellefson mysteries reflect the decade she spent as a curator at a large outdoor museum, and feature historic sites in the Upper Midwest.  Library Journal says, “Ernst keeps getting better with each entry in this fascinating series.” Kathleen has also written many mysteries for young readers.  Honors for her work include a LOVEY Award and Agatha and Edgar nominations.  Kathleen lives and writes in Wisconsin.
Webpage Facebook – Blog 

Thanks to the author I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

Sign up for Kathleen’s Mailing List for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End October 24, 2018, 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.”

Aug 172018
 

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

Dead Spider (A Loon Lake Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
17th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Gallery Books (May 23, 2017)
Hardcover: 208 pages
ISBN-10: 1440598800
ISBN-13: 978-1440598807
Paperback: 208 pages
ISBN-10: 1507204566
ISBN-13: 978-1507204566
Kindle ASIN: B01MYCJ8LL

In the next installment of the Loon Lake Mystery series, Lewellyn Ferris and Doc Osborne must solve a murder that shatters the picturesque Wisconsin lake town community at the height of summer.

On a lovely Sunday afternoon in late June, the annual Loon Lake Youth Fishing Tournament is coming to a close. People are happy, kids are full of ice cream, and teenagers are setting off firecrackers so loud that no one hears the gunshot.

But when the crowd thins out, an attractive young wife makes a grisly discovery: A single bullet to the head has killed her much older husband—the richest man in Wisconsin.

Meanwhile, as the murder investigation gets underway, Police Chief Lewellyn Ferris’s good friend and deputy coroner, “Doc” Osborne, is alarmed to hear that his oldest grandchild, fifteen-year-old Beth, has been caught in a drug sting.

And Loon Lake’s idyllic summer is further shattered when numerous elderly patients in the local nursing home discover they have been robbed.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Chuck Pfeiffer owns Pfeiffer’s Fishing, Golf, and Shooting Sports and is said to be the richest man in Wisconsin. He is the primary sponsor of the Loon Lake Youth Fishing Tournament. The final judging is underway and some fool is lighting off fireworks. As Doc Osbourne, his daughter and granddaughter are leaving they hear screams and rush back to find a man dead. Doc places a call to Police Chief Lewellyn Ferris, “Lewellyn, the richest man in Wisconsin just took a bullet to the brain.”

I have enjoyed all of my virtual trips to Loon Lake and this one was no different. No matter how busy Lew is trying to solve crimes she always finds time to get in the water for a little fly fishing with Doc. Sometimes they are joined by one or more other characters. The solitude she finds there shows the author’s love of fishing and being on the lake. My grandfather loved to fish and took me with him several times and every time I open one of these books memories of him just flood my mind.

The murder this time happened in a crowd of people, but no one seemed to see anything. Thankfully everyone including the people in the Pfeiffer tent were filming the day on cameras or their phones. Of course, no one actually caught the murder while it was happening, or did they? Lew calls in an expert to help them go through the tapes and really tune in to what they are seeing and it started to bring some suspects to light.

Doc also had another crime on his mind and that one takes a scary and horrific turn. It kept me right on the edge of my seat.

Ms. Houston drew me right into this story. After 17 books in the series, I am invested in these characters and care about what happens to them. She gave me a mystery that held my attention. I realized the killer just a little before Lew and Osbourne but the final reveal wasn’t what I hoped or imagined, but it was understandable.

Set in my home state I love reading the descriptions of the area and the mentions of familiar places. I think it is time to take a real live trip to loon lake instead of these virtual ones 🙂

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To find out more about Victoria Houston visit her webpage here.

GIVEAWAY
I am giving my paperback review copy away!
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.
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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.”

Jul 062018
 

Laugh, Cry, Reflect: Stories from a Joyful Heart
Memoirs / Parenting & Relationships
HenschelHAUS Publishing, Inc. (June 1, 2018)
Paperback: 200 pages
ISBN-10: 1595986073
ISBN-13: 978-1595986078
Kindle ASIN: B07CWYC9SF

Laugh, Cry, Reflect is a collection of short yet powerful personal stories. Some will make you laugh—like when you find out why the author’s 12-year-old daughter requested a home pregnancy test. Other stories may tug at your heartstrings—like when you learn what item was placed on a beloved relative’s casket. Many of these poignant essays will prompt you to reflect on moments from your own life. All are offerings of hope, wonder, and joy.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I started reading this book one or two short stories a night but on the third night, I just kept reading until the end.

I found part of this memoir to be a delight. Little snippets from the author’s life that could make you Laugh, Cry, Reflect. A set of stories about 3 runner ducks named Huey, Duey, and Louey had me doing all three. I also enjoyed the little peeks into the author’s life as a 4th-grade teacher.  The story about her “Magic Key” game with her grandaughters was my absolute favorite.

For very personal reasons, her Only One Life story had my tears flowing.  You see, there are been two times in my life beyond my control, that objects that hold near and dear memories have been left behind or lost due to moves I wish we had never had to make. That story brought back feelings about the things I didn’t get to “weed through” myself and only learned sometime later precious ones were no longer with me. It is times like these that yes, I know we only have one life to live and I realize yet again how badly I have screwed this one life up. I think I was living my life to the max like this author and God threw a huge monkey wrench into it not once but twice. There are many days I still search for my purpose and wish I could go back in time.

I found Ms. Laundrie’s memoir sent me on a little emotional roller coaster of my own, but my story is not unique. Everyone has memories that make us Laugh – Cry – Reflect. Maybe someday I will be able to put my own memoir together, but I don’t think I would ever be brave enough to share it with the world. Maybe this author’s book will help you reflect on your own life. Maybe you have a book in you that you would like to share with a precious few or the entire world.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

A retired fourth-grade teacher, Amy Laundrie’s first book, Whinny of the Wild Horses, was published in 1990. She went on to publish a total of seven children’s books. Laugh, Cry, Reflect: Stories From a Joyful Heart is her first book for adults. Readers have called the stories poignant, humorous, and heartfelt testimonials to a woman’s life. They have universal truths and emotions that speak to a wide reading audience. All, she hopes, are offerings of hope, wonder, and joy. Find out more about Amy on her website here.

Author Links –   Amazon        Facebook         Blog
 
 

Upcoming Wisconsin Events:

July 10 1:30-2:30, “Laugh, Cry, Reflect: Sharing Stories,” Oak Park Place, 800 Waldo St., Baraboo, WI

July 26 6:00-7:30, “Stories to Tell: Memoirs and More,” Stoughton Public Library, 304 S. 4th St., Stoughton, WI

I am giving my review copy away!
The 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.

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

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

Contest Will End July 13, 2018, 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.”

Jun 302018
 


I am excited to shine the Spotlight on The Port Elspeth Jewelry Making Club today.
Holly Tierney-Bedord is a new to me Wisconsin author.
I hope to be squeezing her books into my schedule soon!

The Port Elspeth Jewelry Making Club
Women’s Fiction / Mystery / Suspense
Independently Published (June 7, 2018)
Paperback: 404 pages
ISBN-10: 1983102954
ISBN-13: 978-1983102950
Kindle ASIN: B07DFTDNXY

From the author of Sweet Hollow Women comes a new novel for fans of Liane Moriarty and Megan Abbott about the secrets that hide in the shadows of even the most ordinary-seeming lives. 

~2013~ Idyllic Port Elspeth, Connecticut is rocked by tragedy. Shortly after their high school graduation, Evangeline Maddingly, daughter of one of the town’s wealthiest old-money families, and Oliver Prescott, son of one of the town’s wealthiest new-money families, are found dead in an isolated cabin in the woods outside of town. The circumstances surrounding their untimely deaths are murky at best, thanks in large part to a sweeping effort from those in power to shut down any negative publicity that could harm the reputation of the pristine, oceanside community.

~Five years later~ A small group of strangers gathers to create jewelry for one of Port Elspeth’s many fundraisers. Before long, friendships are forming and old secrets are being revealed. Along with discovering how to make a perfect pair of chandelier earrings or cabochon necklace, these unlikely sleuths find themselves at the heart of solving the murders that took place half a decade earlier.

 

About the Author

Holly Tierney-Bedord is the author of several novels and novellas including Sweet Hollow Women, Murder at Mistletoe Manor, Bellamy’s Redemption, and Surviving Valencia. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin. Visit her website at www.hollytierneybedord.com where you can connect to her blogs and subscribe to her newsletter.

Follow her on

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Check out all her books! 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jun 122018
 


The Optimist’s Guide to Letting Go
Women’s Fiction
Setting – Wisconsin
Gallery Books (May 15, 2018)
Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 150115494X
ISBN-13: 978-1501154942
Kindle ASIN: B075RV4CQN

Three generations. Seven days. One big secret.

Gina Zoberski wants to make it through one day without her fastidious mother, Lorraine, cataloguing all her faults, and her sullen teenage daughter, May, snubbing her. Too bad there’s no chance of that. Her relentlessly sunny disposition annoys them both, no matter how hard she tries. Instead, Gina finds order and comfort in obsessive list-making and her work at Grilled G’s, the gourmet grilled cheese food truck built by her late husband.

But when Lorraine suffers a sudden stroke, Gina stumbles upon a family secret Lorraine’s kept hidden for forty years. In the face of her mother’s failing health and her daughter’s rebellion, this optimist might find that piecing together the truth is the push she needs to let go…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Gina Zoberski is trying to adjust to life without her husband, May misses her dad like crazy and thinks her mom doesn’t miss her dad enough. Gina’s mom, Lorraine continues to find fault in everything Gina says and does. When Lorraine has a debilitating stroke her real story comes to light and it is surprising.

I know all too well that dealing with the loss of a loved one is hard.  You need to find that balance of grieving in public and in private. My heart ached for Gina and May. Gina put on a brave face and a smile every day as she tried to move forward. Lorraine still took her to task about everything. May had closed herself off from her friends, even those willing to be there for her no matter what.

Amy Reichert has penned an emotional story but it is filled with light moments too. Gina owns a food truck, Grilled G’s, that sells gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. She is always coming up with new recipes and she has a customer that brings her unusual ingredients to try. May also has culinary skills, she excels at baking brownies with some unique twists of her own. This author’s stories always have a food element and I love that!

The author handles the family dynamic very well. I enjoyed how the story unfolded. A big secret is revealed that shines everything that has happened in an entirely new light. I became invested in these characters and that made me very emotional and even had me reaching for a tissue at the end of the story.

Set not far from where I live, Milwaukee and Wauwatosa, I loved all the references to places I knew. She mentions just one of the many Milwaukee festivals, Polish Fest too, but you don’t have to be from Wisconsin to enjoy the book. Her words create the imagery to bring you right here.

This is a wonderful story about mothers and their daughters. Moving and genuine with strong female characters. An absolutely “perfect escape”.

I am so glad I found this Wisconsin author. I have enjoyed her previous books, Love, Life and Lemon Pie, and The Simplicity of Cider. In fact, The Simplicity of Cider was one of my Best Reads of 2017.  The Coincidence of Coconut Cake is waiting not so patiently on my Kindle.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Amy and her books 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.”

May 042018
 

Honor Kills (Angelina Bonaparte Mysteries)
Hard-Boiled Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Dark Chocolate Press LLC (May 1, 2018)
Paperback: 284 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0998755748
Kindle ASIN: B07BH61872

A missing husband. A suspicious obituary. She’s not the only one hunting down a dead man’s footsteps.

As a divorcee, Angelina Bonaparte knows firsthand the lengths some men will go to escape responsibility. When a worried mother wants the private investigator to track down her missing husband, she’s eager to bring the deadbeat dad to justice. But even after she discovers the man’s obituary, she refuses to believe it until she sees the body. Tracking down the nurse who last saw him alive could be the missing puzzle piece to her client’s broken family.

But as she digs deeper, she realizes there’s something darker at play than dodging child support payments. And she may not be the only one hunting the man down. To close the case and reunite her client’s family, she must track down the missing husband without falling prey to the same ruthless hunter.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The long-awaited 3rd installment of this series is here!

Angie Bo-nah-par-tay is back and has new information on an old case. Marcy Wagner hired her six years ago to find her husband, a school teacher that just disappeared. She has been doing the usual checks with no success but now the man’s obituary has shown up in a Steven’s Point newspaper. Angie gets a copy of the death certificate and it states he was “Never Married”. She breaks all this news to Marcy gently but Angie is convinced there is more to the story. Marcy would like more answers too, What has her husband been doing for these six years? In a story that takes us from Milwaukee to Steven’s Point readers follow Angie and her assistant in a quest to get those answers. Surprisingly Angie even finds herself asking her Papa for help. Her investigation may get her killed, but to keep Marcy and her children safe she has to find the truth.

Nanci Rathbun takes us on a wild ride in Honor Kills. I love that this story takes place close to where I live and that an exciting event takes place at Holy HillRoman Catholic shrine dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. I have not been there in years, it is not very handicap accessible, but the author’s descriptions brought back a rush of memories. Of course, our visits there were never even close to exciting as Angie’s were.

Angie is such a strong protagonist. She is tough as nails, cares about her clients, sometimes too much, and a woman that won’t back down even in the line of fire. She has a quick wit and loves hard. A sixty-something woman who is a fast thinker and a classy dresser. The clothing descriptions entered a T.M.I. (too much information) situation for me. We know she is in a relationship with Milwaukee Homicide Detective Ted Wukowski, who might find the descriptions delightful but for me, the unmentionables should stay unmentioned or not mentioned every time Angie changes outfits.

I found the entire story suspenseful and intriguing. Marcy’s husband Hank was not who he appeared to be and as each new piece of information was revealed we come to understand more about the man he truly is/was. We also find out that the local police are not happy with Angie’s involvement in the case or with her relationship with her detective boyfriend and they make a drastic request. How this plays out really had me full of emotions.

Well written and well plotted, Ms. Rathbun has another fantastic story on her hands. The edge of the seat moments tempered by Angie’s chaotic life that at times made me laugh out loud kept me up reading late into the night. Honor Kills is part of the Angelina Bonaparte Mystery Series but it most definitely can be read on it own.  An excellent story!

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

Nanci Rathbun is a lifelong reader of mysteries – historical, contemporary, futuristic, paranormal, hard-boiled, cozy … you can find them all on her bookshelves.  She brings logic and planning to her writing from a background as an IT project manager, and attention to characters and dialog from her second career as a Congregationalist minister.

Nanci grew up an Army brat, living in Germany, France, and Korea, as well as several states in the U.S. After her dad retired from the service, the family settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There, Nanci raised her daughter and son, while working at AT&T. She never expected to move, but when her second grandchild was on the way, she wanted to be closer. One of her greatest joys is hearing her three granddaughters shout ‘Nana’ when she comes in their front door in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Nanci’s Maltipoo, Teeny, and she now live in Wellington, Colorado. No matter where she makes her home, she will always be a Packers fan.

Author Links

Website     Facebook     Twitter: @nancirathbun

I am giving my signed review copy away! 

The 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.

Follow Nanci Rathbun on Facebook for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End May 18, 2018, 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

Will Return Next Week! 

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 092018
 

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


Frozen Stiff (A Mattie Winston Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington (September 1, 2011)
Hardcover: 368 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0758234568
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0758234575
Kindle ASIN: B008K6GNB6

 

 

Deputy coroner Mattie Winston knows everyone in the charmingly small town of Sorenson, Wisconsin–except the latest body discovered in a desolate field. If a woman this attractive had moved into town, the news would have surely hit the gossip mill in record time. So who was the murdered femme fatale? Whose knife was left planted in her chest? The mystery deepens when detective Steven Hurley takes one look at the body and turns as white as the newly fallen snow… .and excuses himself from the case.

It’ll take all of Mattie’s forensic skills to unravel the increasingly bizarre clues and find the killer… before she herself becomes just another cold case in a frigid Midwest winter!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Winter in Wisconsin can be a pure delight if you like the cold and you don’t find a dead body on the side of the road with a knife plunged into her chest. That is exactly what Deputy Coroner Mattie Winston finds. Detective Steven Hurley catches the case but as soon as he gets there he says he isn’t feeling well and reassigns the case to Bob Richmond, a cranky and almost retired detective. Mattie feels slighted by Hurley as he seems to be avoiding her. That is until he calls her later, swears her to secrecy, and asks for her help. Maddie could lose her job if she agrees, but there is no way she can turn Hurley down.  She just hopes Izzy, her boss and friend can forgive her.

Maddie Winston can sure get herself into trouble. She is independent, leaps, before she thinks things through, will do anything for her friends, an even risk her life to save her ex-husband. She is a fantastic protagonist. Steve Hurley is the detective Mattie usually works with and has feelings for. In this story, she learns that a relationship with him may be impossible. Her ex-husband lives in their house right next door. She caught him in a compromising situation at the hospital with another nurse. That is why she is living in her new boss Izzy’s guest house and why she is no longer a nurse. He keeps trying to win her back but she doesn’t back down, she is moving on. All these characters and the rest of the cast is very well written.

The mystery has a nice twist this time that has Mattie still working with Hurley while working the case at the same time with Detective Richmond. I don’t want to give too much away but I really enjoyed the way the whole thing played out. Maddie even gets closer to Richmond, a man she started out despising. I liked the friendship that blossomed and some of their time together was so funny.

Humor again reigns supreme throughout this book. The story a hunter tells when he arrives in the Emergency Room almost had me rolling on the floor, even though I had heard a similar story somewhere else. The dialogues between the characters are funny. Some situations they find themselves in are funny. After just 3 books in this series, I know that when I am having a bad day, picking up a book by this author can pick me up usually within the first few pages.

While there is humor, there are serious situations too. Mattie does put herself in some very dangerous situations and sometimes her dog, Hoover follows right behind or even runs ahead. There were at least two times that had me on the edge of my seat. The author plotted out a great mystery and threw in some very clever turns. I had my “aha moment” right along with Mattie which was almost too late.

I love this series because it is set in Wisconsin and love to read about places I recognize. But I also love this series because these characters keep me as a reader on my toes.  Annelise Ryan has written a story that makes me think and keeps me entertained from beginning to end.

*Note – This book does contain some explicit language. 

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About the Author

Annelise Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of the popular Mattie Winston mystery series and a pseudonym for Beth Amos, who also writes the Mack’s Bar Mystery series under the pseudonym Allyson K. Abbott. Beth is a real-life emergency room RN living in Wisconsin. She believes laughter is the best medicine, and with the Mattie Winston series, she is hoping to “medicate” the masses.

For more Mattie Winston fun and to keep up with the latest news, visit www.mattiewinston.com


I am giving away my hardcover copy of Frozen Stiff.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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 March 23, 2018, 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

*This was from my personal collection.

A Very Merry Murder (A Professor Prather Mystery)by Mary Angela Order Your Copy Today!
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