Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Guest Posts Literary Escapes Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

Special Guest – Terry Korth Fischer – Author of Double Dipped (One Scoop or Two) #GuestPost / #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @terryiswriting


Double Dipped (One Scoop or Two)
by Terry Korth Fischer

It is my pleasure to welcome Terry to Escape With Dollycas today!

Inspiration
by Terry Korth Fischer

Flannery O’Connor claims that those who survive to the age of fifteen have enough material to write stories for the rest of their lives. Yet, a frequent question I get at workshops is, how do I come up with story ideas. Comments usually start with, “If I write from experience, I have nothing to write about; my life is boring.” Or ordinary, or dull, or average… Yet, none of us live dull lives. Every day combines physical activity, amazing people, complex situations, and fleeting fears. Take any one of these, and you have the makings for a story. As author Orson Scott said, “Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.”

So, you aren’t a mass murderer, internet influencer, or brothel madam; you are a complicated person with plenty to draw on when drafting a story. But, just in case you don’t know, what you know, here is a list of five advantages you start with when you sit down with an idea.

    • Intellect. You can learn. You use your intelligence to pick up knowledge in classes, daily life, books, and conversations with friends or mentors. You are continually trying to figure out what life is all about. Did you discover something new today? Something that led you to seek more information, ask questions, and feel amazed? Include that curiosity in your writing.
    • Intentions, willpower, and dreams. Your life is an unfolding adventure. You direct your efforts, focus your thoughts, and get where you want to go—or try to. Give these traits to your characters. Recall the determination you summoned to finish a job, win an award, or solve a puzzle? Or desiring something so badly it hurt? Your characters, too, need goals.
    • Emotions. You express a range of feelings. You’re not only serious, motivated, and eager, but sometimes silly, fierce, generous, sad, optimistic, and stubborn. And more often than not, you experience many of these feelings simultaneously. So, you know how they feel, what they do to your voice and body. Remember how you felt in the waiting room before taking the dentist’s chair? Or sitting in the dark waiting for electricity to be restored? The tingle of a kiss?
    • Experience. Memories of significant events color the present. Your experiences have expanded your knowledge and widened your perspective. Personal history shapes a unique point of view. Where did you attend grade school? Where were you when Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon, or Hurricane Harvey hit? The journey from birth to now shapes your stories and makes them uniquely yours.
    • Senses. You have instincts, inherited characteristics, a gender, and a general state of health. You have experienced cold weather, sweltering days, sleepless nights, physical pain, aching muscles, and a blinding headache. Did you escape first love, embarrassment, the feeling of failure, or hear a bump in the night? You’ve been there—done that.
  • Thank you, Terry, for visiting today.

Keep reading for my thoughts about Double Dipped.

About Double Dipped


Double Dipped (One Scoop or Two)
Cozy Mystery Novella
Setting – Wisconsin
Part of: One Scoop or Two (50 books)
The Wild Rose Press, Inc (June 29, 2022)
Print length ‏ : ‎ 137 pages
ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09W8RLJ4X

Accepting second best is good for her career, but first-grade teacher, Retta Curt, delays signing up for the disappointment. Given two weeks to reconsider her contract, she retreats to Gram’s cottage on Moon Lake, the last place she felt contentment. But the cottage is derelict; Cousin Julie, distant; childhood beaux, Dean, bitter; and Sweet Picks, the family ice cream stand, in danger of folding. Magruder, a surly newcomer, is buying and then neglecting properties until nothing remains of the idyllic lakeside community she remembers. When vandals target Sweet Picks, Retta’s dreams to recapture her happy childhood collapse, and the return to Moon Lake becomes a decision worse than accepting her teaching contract. Star-crossed, can she save the family business and rediscover happiness, or is Retta destined for a second-best future?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Can you ever really go home again?

First-grade teacher, Retta Curt feels like her life is at a crossroads. There are some changes coming to the school where she teaches meaning her contract is now for a higher grade and she just isn’t sure if that is what she wants. She has just two weeks left to make her decision so on the spur of the moment she packs a bag and heads for Moon Lake. She has so many great memories of her time there with Gram and other friends and family.

When she arrives her heart just drops. The cottage is in bad shape, as is Sweet Picks, her family’s ice cream stand. So much more has changed as well. Family cottages are being bought up and turned into rental properties. The businesses are being bought too. A man named Magruder has big plans for the area turning it into a place Retta will no longer recognize.

Can she take the man on and try to return the charm to a place she loves so much or should she sign her contract and go home? She doesn’t have a lot of time to discover her bliss but she is going to use her time at Moon Lake to try to figure out how to get to her happy place.


Retta Curt is an excellent main character. She is dealing with real-life issues. She is easy to relate to and I found her very engaging. It is tough to go back and see people she hadn’t seen in years. There are emotions in play that have been brewing for years and like her, her friends have some challenges and sorrow in their lives. The author does a nice job of giving all the characters layers to peel away.

There was definitely something fishy going on at Moon Lake. Vandals have been targeting the ice cream stand and other places but there is something more. Retta is completely in the dark about what happened years ago but is quickly brought up to speed and works with her friends to solve the current crimes. The author portrayed the true complications of dealing with something huge in a small town where everyone knows each other and most of their business.

I loved the way the community supported Retta and her cousin Julie after so many things went wrong at Sweet Picks. It is something you used to see in a lot of small towns and it gave the story such a positive ending. It gave me the feelings I had growing up as a child when I played outside until the street lights came on and if I needed anything I could go to any house on the block.

Double Dipped is a fast read at only 137 pages but the characters developed nicely and the mystery was interesting. It is a sweet summer read that I found totally entertaining. I know this book is part of a compilation of books but I do hope we get to visit these characters again including a very lovable long-haired dachshund named Herman.

.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Terry Korth Fischer

Terry Korth Fischer writes short stories, memoirs, and mysteries. Her debut mysteryGone Astray, introduced Detective Rory Naysmith, a seasoned city cop relocated to small-town Winterset, Nebraska. The Rory Naysmith Mysteries continued with Gone Before, January 2022. Transplanted from the Midwest, Terry lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and two guard cats. When not writing, she loves reading, gardening, and basking in sunshine. Yet, her heart often wanders to the country’s heartland, where she spent a memorable—ordinary but charmed—childhood. Learn more about Terry at her author website: https://terrykorthfischer.com

Author Links

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
July 11 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
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July 12 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
July 12 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 13 – Novels Alive – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT
July 14 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 15 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
July 16 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT
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July 18 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
July 19 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
July 20 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee – SPOTLIGHT
July 21 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GUEST POST
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July 23 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Interviews New Release Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

Mysteries, Midsummer Sun and Murders: A Cozy Mystery Anthology – Loch Ness Murder by Michele Pariza Wacek – #Review #CharacterInterview #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Mysteries, Midsummer Sun and Murders: A Cozy Mystery Anthology
by Hillary Avis, Benedict Brown, Catherine Coles, Paula Darnell, Connie B. Dowell, Ellen Jacobson, Joann Keder, Patti Larsen, Cate Lawley, Gayle Leeson, Daisy Linh, Rimmy London, R.B. Marshall, Megan Mayfair, Wendy Meadows, Phillipa Nefri Clark, Michele Pariza Wacek, Erin Scoggins, Cathy Tully, Victoria LK Williams and Carly Winter

About Mysteries, Midsummer Sun and Murders


Mysteries, Midsummer Sun and Murders: A Cozy Mystery Anthology
Aye Alba Publishing (June 21, 2022)
Number of Pages ~1600
Digital B09K9NN64X

Poisonous picnics, burgled barbeques, deadly deckchairs… and midsummer mayhem!

From a brilliant bunch of amazing authors, including multiple prizewinners and USA Today best sellers, comes this wonderful collection of 21 summer-themed cozy mysteries.

Featuring peril at the pool, blood on the beach, and felony at the festival, these fabulous stories—21 brand new and exclusive tales—will keep you entertained until long after the sun has set.

With stories from Hillary Avis, Benedict Brown, Catherine Coles, Paula Darnell, Connie B. Dowell, Ellen Jacobson, Joann Keder, Patti Larsen, Cate Lawley, Gayle Leeson, Daisy Linh, Rimmy London, R.B. Marshall, Megan Mayfair, Wendy Meadows, Phillipa Nefri Clark, Michele Pariza Wacek, Erin Scoggins, Cathy Tully, Victoria LK Williams and Carly Winter, you’ll surely find some of your favourite authors and discover some great new writers within the ~1600 pages of this set.

This collection will only be available for a limited time so don’t miss out – grab yourself a bargain today!

Today I am focusing on Loch Ness Murder by Michele Pariza Wacek.

It wouldn’t be Redemption without something weird going on in one of the lakes.

Part of The Charlie Kingsley Mysteries, a cozy mystery series set in the 1990s.

Redemption, Wisconsin, is a charming little town that has a haunted past. Back in 1888, all the adults disappeared. Only the children were left, and they all swore they had no idea what happened to the adults. 

Since then, Redemption had been a hotbed of strange and mysterious events. 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Two men arrive in Redemption to research Locky, a monster similar to the famed Loch Ness Monster, believed to be inhabiting Angel Lake. They believe the creature is more likely to be a naiad or water nymph but also admit there could be nothing in the cold deep lake where bodies are rarely recovered.

Will both men survive to publish their research or will Redemption and Angel Lake be more than they can handle?


A superfast fun read from Michele Pariza Wacek.

A trip to the beach has Charlie rescuing one of the men in town to investigate the creature in the water. From there the short story quickly unfolds with lies and deception and some interesting teeth marks.

It was great to have a short visit with Charlie and Pat and whatever creature may or may not be in the lake.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

And now I am thrilled to welcome Michele Pariza Wacek and Charlie Kingsley to Escape With Dollycas!

Meet Charlie Kingsley: A Character Like No Other

Of all the characters I’ve written about, I can honestly say that Charlie Kingsley is in a league of her own.

When she first came to me, she didn’t even have a name—she was simply the dead aunt who left Becca her house in her will in the beginning of It Began With a Lie (Book 1 of the
Secrets of Redemption
series).

Eventually, I gave her a name, Lottie, which wasn’t right (she definitely gave me an earful about it). And even though I don’t write paranormal books, she still ended up becoming a force to be reckoned with, appearing in Becca’s dreams to guide her and give her advice.

As I wrote the first three books in the series, Charlie informed me I needed to write her story, about how she first came to Redemption, Wisconsin. So, that became Books 4-5.

Once I published those, I assumed I was done with Charlie.

That was not the case.

A few months later, I got the idea for a Christmas murder mystery starring Charlie. The Murder Before Christmas was published on November 9, 2021, and it launched a whole new cozy mystery series called The Charlie Kingsley Mysteries. (Of course!).

Currently, there are three books published in the series, with two more set to be released in 2022, along with a couple of novellas, including Loch Ness Murder, which is included in the Mysteries, Midsummer Sun and Murder cozy mystery anthology.

So, if you’d like to get to know this powerhouse character, keep reading for a little heart-to-heart.

MPW: Thanks for doing this with me.

CK: Of course. You and I are in this together, after all.

MPW: That is true. So, when did you first realize I was … ‘underutilizing’ you? I guess that would be the best way to describe it …

CK: (Chuckles.) So, first off, I think ALL characters feel underutilized. But what it comes down to is the lengths the characters are willing to go to get noticed. For me, it was about persistence. You kept wanting to stray, and I had to keep reigning you back. Remember that fairy tale retelling project that went nowhere for ten months?

MPW: Um …

CK: You spent ten months writing the first book, and you barely got halfway through the first draft!

MPW: That isn’t one of my prouder ‘moments.’

CK: That’s an understatement. And you were just so stubborn. It took you getting an eye infection during the pandemic before you would slow down long enough to realize the project you should be working on was my story in the Secrets of Redemption series.

MPW: Okay, but give me some credit. I pivoted last summer to start on The Murder Before Christmas pretty quickly.

CK: Yes, you’re improving. Not perfect yet, but definitely getting better.

MPW: Speaking of The Murder Before Christmas, when did you realize the spin-off series was going to be a cozy?

CK: I always knew it was going to be a cozy. I’m not sure why it took you so long to get on board.

MPW: Well, for one, the original series was a psychological suspense.

CK: Yeah, but there are cozy elements in it. Especially in Book 2, This Happened to Jessica. But they’re all mystery-driven—they take place in a small town with a repeating cast of characters, and they’re clean.

MPW: That’s true.

CK: So, with The Charlie Kingsley Mysteries, it just made sense to step fully into the cozy world.

MPW: When you put it that way, it does make sense. So, there are now three books in the series: The Murder Before Christmas, Ice Cold Murder and Murder Next Door

CK: Don’t forget about the prequel short story, A Grave Error.

MPW: Yes, that too. Also Loch Ness Murder. Do you have a favorite?

CK: Hmmm. I like them all, but for different reasons. I was excited we were finally writing a Christmas mystery … I know we both wanted to do that for a long time.

MPW: That’s true.

CK: But Ice Cold Murder was a lot of fun, as well. After all, what’s more intriguing than being trapped in a supposedly haunted house with a dead lawyer and a dysfunctional family in the middle of a snowstorm? At least when it comes to solving a mystery.

MPW: I can’t think of anything better.

CK: Although if you ask Claire, she might have a different answer.

MPW: Yeah, that’s why we’re not asking her.

CK: And, Loch Ness Monster was great because it takes place in the summer, and I very much prefer Wisconsin in the summer.

MPW: I think you’re in very good company there. And that leads me to my last question—do you ever get upset with me for all the bad things that happen to you?

CK: That question assumes you’re the one coming up with the bad things.

MPW: Wait … what?

CK: I mean, has it occurred to you that our stories are our stories and you’re just the one writing them down? Honestly, you’re kind of like a glorified secretary.

MPW: Um …

CK: Now, that isn’t to say I don’t get upset with you. But it’s mostly when you get stubborn and start working on other projects and listening to other characters when you should be paying attention to me.

MPW: Okay then. Good to know.

About Michele Pariza Wacek

When Michele was 3 years old, she taught herself to read because she wanted to write stories so badly. It took some time (and some detours) but now she does spend much of her time writing stories. Mystery stories, to be exact. They’re clean and twisty, and range from psychological thrillers to cozies, with a dash of romance and supernatural thrown into the mix. If that wasn’t enough, she posts lots of fun things on her blog, including short stories, puzzles, recipes and more, at MPWNovels.com. For a free prequel to her cozy mystery series, The Charlie Kingsley Mysteries, visit https://mpwnovels.com/freebies/

Michele holds a double major in English and Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently, she lives in the mountains of Prescott, Arizona with her husband Paul and southern squirrel hunter Cassie.

Author Links
Website FacebookLinked InTwitter Instagram

Release Date – June 21, 2022
Also by Michele Pariza Wacek

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

Check out stories in the anthology from the rest of these authors!

About Ellen Jacobson

Ellen Jacobson is a writer, cat lover & obsessed with chocolate. She writes cozy mysteries and romantic comedies including the Mollie McGhie Mysteries and the Smitten with Travel Rom-Coms.

You can find out more on her website (ellenjacobsonauthor.com), sign up for her newsletter (https://www.subscribepage.com/m4g9m4).

About Patti Larsen

I’m a multiple award-winning writer with a passion for the voices in my head. With many (many!) titles across many (many!) genres, all in happy publication, there’s no end in sight…

That being said, I’m short (permanent), happy (I have the best life ever) and blonde (forever and ever). I love to talk one on one about the deepest topics and can’t seem to stop seeing the big picture. I happily live on Prince Edward Island, Canada, home to Anne of Green Gables and the most beautiful red beaches in the world, with my multiple cats, pug overlord and lady and Gypsy Vanner gelding, Fynn.

About R.B. Marshall

Like my amateur sleuth, Izzy, I’m a dressage-riding computer geek who loves coffee – but there the similarity ends. She is far smarter than me, and a lot younger! I hope you’ll join me in discovering where her curiosity leads to next…

Pretty much all my books are set in my native Scotland, and my mystery stories are no exception. You’ll meet colourful characters solving perplexing puzzles in the most glorious landscape imaginable. Throw in a castle or two, the occasional royal, and maybe even a delicious cake shop, and you’ll have the recipe for my new series.

I also write fantasy and clean romance/women’s fiction, as Roz Marshall: http://viewAuthor.at/RozMarshall

and Historical Romance telling the story of Mary Queen of Scots, as Belle McInnes: http://viewauthor.at/BelleMcInnes

About Hillary Avis

Hillary Avis writes cozy mysteries about smart women who persist until they uncover the truth—about themselves, about their communities, and of course about any unsolved murders.

She grew up in a small town on the west coast, went to college in a small town on the east coast, and now lives in beautiful Eugene, Oregon. She has two charming children, three fluffy dogs, and two practically perfect felines named Mystery and Intrigue. She also has too many chickens and one very patient husband.

When Hillary’s not reading, writing, or editing, she bakes bread, makes pottery, drinks coffee, and streams The Great British Bake-Off, but not all at the same time.

About Cate Lawley

Cate Lawley writes humorous, action-filled mysteries that frequently contain a paranormal twist.

When Cate’s not tapping away at her keyboard or in deep contemplation of her next fanciful writing project, she’s sweeping up hairy dust bunnies and watching British mysteries.

Cate is from Austin, Texas (where many of her stories take place) but has recently migrated north to Boise, Idaho, where soup season (her favorite time of year) lasts more than two weeks.

She’s worked as an attorney, a dog trainer, and in various other positions, but writer is the hands-down winner. She’s thankful readers keep reading, so she can keep writing!

Paranormal cozy mystery series:

Vegan Vamp Mysteries

Night Shift Witch Mysteries

Death Retired Mysteries

Cursed Candy Mysteries

Cozy mystery series:

Fairmont Finds Canine Cozy Mysteries

Cate’s sweet romance series:

Love Ever After

Lucky Magic

For bonus materials and updates, visit her website to join her mailing list: www.CateLawley.com

About Rimmy London

Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways TBR Pile Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Dead in the Water (A Mattie Winston Mystery) by Annelise Ryan #Review / #Giveaway @ryan_annelise

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 in the Water (A Mattie Winston Mystery)
Hard-Boiled Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington (February 28, 2017)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 149670665X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496706652
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 368 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496706668
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496706669
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B01GBAG70E

As a single mom and deputy coroner of Sorenson, Wisconsin, Mattie Winston is used to her life being a juggling act. But now that she’s moved in with Detective Steve Hurley and his teenaged daughter, and has started planning their wedding, her home life is looking more like a three-ring circus. At least her workload at the Medical Examiner’s office is lightened by the new hire Hal Dawson. But before Hal can even cash his first paycheck, he’s murdered on a fishing trip with his girlfriend, who’s gone missing. To keep her life from going completely under, Mattie will have to dive deep for clues. But a killer is just as determined to keep the truth from ever surfacing . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Mattie and Hurley have moved into together to raise their son, Matthew now that they have his teenage daughter Emily’s approval. A wedding will happen soon if they can squeeze it in around their hectic jobs. Mattie had thought her part-time schedule would free up some time but her new co-worker Hal Dawson was just found dead on his boat and his girlfriend is missing. On top of that her boss, Izzy is having some serious medical issues and a temporary Medical Examiner has stepped in. Mattie finds herself working closely with Hurley to find out why Hal was found Dead in the Water but the killer seems to be quite elusive and the bodies are piling up.


I do love that the series is set very close to where I actually live and that when they say someone is on their way to or from Madison or Milwaukee I can easily visualize the trip. It is fun when other landmarks are mentioned too.

I am so happy that Mattie, Hurley, Emily, and Matthew are all under one roof and they have come up with a plan to try to juggle everything in their complicated lives. They all seem really happy and I am excited about their future. I am concerned about Izzy and Dom. They are still finding their way with a new baby in the house and Izzy’s judgemental mother in the guest house. Izzy has a serious medical episode in this story and it was very scary. As you can see, I have become invested in these realistic genuine characters Ms. Ryan has created. The unique family dynamic is what really drives the books in this series.

This story grabbed me from the start. Mattie is in court testifying about a gruesome discovery she made when called to a scene for a suspicious death. Then as soon as she is done she is set to another scene for another death that has some unusual facets. Then she has to deal with Izzy which is followed quickly by the dead body found Dead in the Water. Are all or some of these cases related? That is up to Mattie and Hurley with a little assistance to figure out all while dealing with the joys of daily family life.

I really enjoyed the way the author plotted out this story. She mixes together mystery, suspense, family, and humor with such a talented hand. The story flows so well that it is almost impossible to put down due to some hair-raising twists and deadly turns. The ending just rocked me to the core. We have definitely moved from the cozy Stiff part of this series to the edgier hard-boiled Dead part of this series and I am more than fine with that.

Dead in the Water is my favorite book in this series so far. I am excited to dive into Dead Calm soon!

Your Escape Into A Good Book 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

New Series Starting September 13, 2022

Also by this Author

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

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

Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies New Release Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

Long Overdue at the Lakeside Library (A Lakeside Library Mystery) by Holly Danvers #Review


Long Overdue at the Lakeside Library (A Lakeside Library Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (February 8, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1643858904
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1643858906
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B094GN61WT

An icy cold murder and a library patron collide in Holly Danver’s second Lakeside Library Mystery.

A glowing wood stove, a cozy log cabin, and shelves full of books are all Rain Wilmot needs to ride out the Wisconsin winter, now that she’s made her family’s Lofty Pines library her year-round home. But the warm-hearted librarian’s blood runs cold when local man, Wallace Benson, is found dead during the annual Ice Fishing Jamboree.

After Benson’s body is found in his ice shanty, Rain recalls that she recently saw the victim in her library, borrowing a few cookbooks to prepare for the fishing tournament’s communal “chili dump.” She later finds these same books returned to the library’s drop box, with an enigmatic note from Benson to Rain.

As Rain seeks to understand the message, the prime suspect becomes Rain’s friend Nick, who was the last person to see Wallace alive and who returned to the Jamboree with a nasty cut on his hand. The knife found in his tackle box only makes Nick’s troubles worse. But Rain keeps fishing for other suspects. Was the killer Danny, who lost his arm to a logging accident involving Wallace? Or Danny’s bitter father, whose dreams of retirement were dashed by his son’s accident?

With the help of her friends Julia and Jace, Rain sets out to hook the real culprit and clear Nick’s name. But can her sleuthing skills protect her from a killer who’d like to take her out of circulation?

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Winters in northern Wisconsin can be brutal and definitely aren’t for everyone but Rain Wilmot decides it is the perfect place for her. She plans to make it her year-round home and keep her family’s Lofty Pines Library open so that everyone in the area will be able to check out books to snuggle up with on the cold winter days and nights. She is already meeting new people like Wallace Benson. Wallace plans to take part in the annual chili dump that takes place during the Ice Fishing Jamboree. He just needs to find the right recipe and Rain shows him the library has plenty of cookbooks to choose from. She sends him on his way promising to check his entry out on the big day.

The Ice Fishing Jamboree opens with plenty of ice shanties out on the lake and Rain notices Wallace’s prime spot. But soon chaos erupts when a woman breaks through the crowd claiming her husband has been murdered and she points her finger at Rain’s friend and neighbor Nick as the murderer. Rain soon realizes the woman is saying that her new friend Wallace is dead. Why would Nick kill Wallace? Heck, Nick wouldn’t kill anyone. Looking around she sees a whole crowd of suspects. She has to help her friends. Nick’s wife Julia needs support especially when her brother Jace has been pulled off the case. Hopefully, the three of them can cast a line and catch the real killer, and set Nick free. That is if the killer doesn’t catch her first . . .


After living here my whole life it is not hard to imagine the weather the characters experienced in this book. This year we had a pretty mild winter where I live in Wisconsin but I know that wasn’t the case up north. It was fun to slip into Rain’s world while snuggled up in a comfy chair with a blanket knowing I wasn’t going to have to deal with the blustery wind, blowing snow and frigid temperatures she was dealing with while crossing my fingers we are really headed to spring and have no big storms in our future. Aside from the weather outside, Rain’s family cabin and library would be a place I could easily call home. Ms. Danvers’s descriptions really take her readers inside this marvelous place effortlessly. The fire in the fireplace, the books on the shelves, the coffee brewing. A grand place in the woods perfect for a booklover.

In the last book, Murder at the Lakeside Library, I thought Julia was a really pushy woman. This time, because her husband is the prime suspect, she is a bit more subdued by the shock of what is happening around her. I liked seeing this vulnerable side and her letting Rain be the strong one. Don’t get by wrong, Julia still pushed, just not as hard or the over the top way she had before. Marge, who usually heads south for the winter just couldn’t stay away knowing the library was open. I loved that she returned. Both Rain and Julia needed her.

Rain’s sleuthing did make me a little nervous but she really shined in this story. She is still finding her way and reconnecting with people but she seems much more comfortable now. She has more confidence. I love that she is making the cabin her home and I love all the ideas she has for the library including a new wood stove.  A stove that has bought a new young man into Rain’s life setting up the dreaded romantic triangle found in most cozy mysteries. Some people hate them but I enjoy them when done right. I really like Jace but Ryan is very nice too. Time will tell where these romantic ties will go and if I will be Team Jace or Team Ryan.

I was sad that Wallace was our victim. He seemed like such a nice man that was clearly working through something. He was so excited about both the chili and ice fishing contests. The mystery surrounding his death evolved slowly over the course of the book with Rain and Julia taking some real risks and making Jace a little crazy. The killer wasn’t thrilled by their actions either and tried to make that known. I solved this one pretty easily but was still very entertained following all the clues with the girls. The ending was super exciting and had me at the edge of my seat. I loved it!

Long Overdue at the Lakeside Library was a delightful addition to this series. The characters continue to evolve and become even more engaging. The Wisconsin setting is a big draw for me too. I am really looking forward to the next book in this series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Holly Danvers 

Holly Danvers grew up devouring every mystery novel on the shelf of her local library. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and 3 chickens, where she’s already plotting her next novel.

Author Links
Website –   GoodReads –  Facebook 


Written as Holly Quinn

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

Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

Murder Next Door (Charlie Kingsley Mysteries) by Michele Pariza Wacek #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @MichelePW


Murder Next Door (Charlie Kingsley Mysteries)
by Michele Pariza Wacek

About Murder Next Door 

Murder Next Door (Charlie Kingsley Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Love-Based Publishing (April 19, 2022)
265 Pages
Digital ASIN: B09QZ476FW

Everyone knows vampires don’t exist.

So when Mildred Schmidt, one of Charlie’s customers, is convinced that her next-door neighbor’s housesitter is actually a vampire, Charlie of course has to step in to see what is really going on.

What she finds is … disturbing. The house sitter DOES have some peculiar habits—like digging holes in the backyard in the middle of the night.

Surely, they aren’t … graves.

But then Polly, a local teenager, goes missing.

Of course, teenagers DO run away from time to time.

Less explainable is the dead body that then appears in the “vampire’s” yard.

Luckily, Charlie is hot on the case, and not a moment too soon as she races to not only find Polly, but to discover the killer before the bodies start to pile up.

Meet Charlie. Better known as “Aunt Charlie” from the award-winning Secrets of Redemption series. She’s back, making teas and solving cases in this funny, twisty, cozy mystery series set in the 1990s in Redemption, Wisconsin.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Did you say, vampire?

Yes, and he’s digging holes in the backyard in the middle of the night!

Well, it is Redemption, Wisconsin and strange things seem to happen there. But vampires?

Soon Charlie is caught up in finding a missing mailman, a missing teenager, a murder, a psychic, and yes, a vampire who everyone believes is responsible for it all.


We are back in Redemption, Wisconsin and I have to keep reminding myself this series is set in the 1990s when I wonder why Charlie doesn’t have a cell phone. But when that memory kicks in I find myself easily immersed in the quirky small town and its eccentric residents.

Redemption is a peculiar place and the perfect setting for a cozy mystery. Readers quickly learn that is more than just a place though. The residents believe the town has power and like the Hotel California, once you check-in, you can’t check out unless the town is willing to let you go. This gives an overshadowing eerieness to the whole story which makes it different from most traditional cozy mysteries.

This time we meet Mildred, one of Charlie’s tea customers who is worried about what is happening next door. It seems her longtime neighbor has disappeared and someone else is living in his house. The “housesitter” is a very unusual man with some unusual habits and it has poor Mildred completely twitterpated. We also learn that across town a teenager from a large family has gone missing. Then a dead body is found in the missing man’s yard and the entire town is in an uproar. Charlie arrives just in time to stop the surge ready to take the housesitter/vampire down.

The author really plotted this story well. It had a really good flow. Again, Charlie’s friend Pat becomes her sleuthing partner with Pat thinking that a visit to the new psychic in town will get them off to a great start in finding what is going on around town and if anyone truly is in danger. Well, that didn’t go as planned.

I enjoyed how Charlie encouraged and finally was able to convince Mildred to talk to the police. Officer Brandon Wyle listened patiently to Mildred’s outlandish report and then turned to Charlie after Mildred left the room to find out if the woman was truly delusional. Then he tells Charlie to butt out and leave everything to him. Later he realizes it may be beneficial to keep Charlie involved. What was even better is they get together several times to compare notes and by the end appear to be on common ground and maybe more in the future.

All the mysteries were solved by the end of the book although one happened very abruptly when all the clues finally slipped into place for Charlie. I was surprised, the ending could have gone two ways. All I will say is Charlie is one lucky woman.

Murder Next Door is an entertaining story containing several mysteries tangled together in an intriguing way that kept the pages rapidly turning.  I can’t wait to escape into the next Charlie Kingsley Mystery and 1990s Redemption, Wisconsin. It is quite the place and she is quite the protagonist. I also to check out the author’s Secrets of Redemption series where Charlie was first introduced.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Michele Pariza Wacek

When Michele was 3 years old, she taught herself to read because she wanted to write stories so badly. It took some time (and some detours) but now she does spend much of her time writing stories. Mystery stories, to be exact. They’re clean and twisty, and range from psychological thrillers to cozies, with a dash of romance and supernatural thrown into the mix. If that wasn’t enough, she posts lots of fun things on her blog, including short stories, puzzles, recipes and more, at MPWNovels.com. For a free prequel to her cozy mystery series, The Charlie Kingsley Mysteries, visit https://mpwnovels.com/freebies/

Michele holds a double major in English and Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently, she lives in the mountains of Prescott, Arizona with her husband Paul and southern squirrel hunter Cassie.

Author Links
Website FacebookLinked InTwitter Instagram

Purchase Link – Amazon 

Also by Michele Pariza Wacek

 

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

Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways TBR Pile Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – The Murder Before Christmas (Charlie Kingsley Mysteries) by Michele Pariza Wacek #Review / #Giveaway

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


The Murder Before Christmas (Charlie Kingsley Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Love-Based Publishing (November 2, 2021)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 205 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1945363320
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1945363320
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 205 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1945363304
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1945363306
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09H22K7LJ

If you’ve got a problem, Charlie Kingsley probably has a tea that’ll help make it right.

EXCEPT when it comes to love. She does NOT do love potions.

Not even for Courtney, her pregnant new client who showed up three weeks before Christmas seeking a love potion because her husband was cheating on her.

So, Courtney asked about poison, instead.

She said she was joking. That’s what happens between wives and husbands. They get angry and talk about killing each other. They don’t really mean it.

It seems to make sense … until Courtney’s husband turns up dead on Christmas Eve.

He was poisoned, of course.

And who is the number one suspect? Courtney. Of course.

But did she actually do it? Or is she being set up?

It’s up to Charlie to sort through all the twists and turns in a case that gets more complicated the deeper she digs.

Meet Charlie. Better known as “Aunt Charlie” from the award-winning Secrets of Redemption series. She’s back, making teas and solving cases in this funny, twisty, cozy mystery series set in the 1990s in Redemption, Wisconsin.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I read the second book in this series as part of a Great Escapes Book Tour and enjoyed it but felt like I needed to get to know Charlie better. So I purchased this book to read before the third book in the series is released in April. Now I know Charlie a little bit better. She is a very smart woman with many talents. When she starts something she doesn’t give up.

Reading Ice Cold Murder I thought Charlie ran a tea shop in this series, I learned that is not the case, she runs a tea and tincture business out of her home. This is where a very pregnant Courtney comes and asks Charlie to create a love potion to make her husband fall back in love with her. After Charlie explains that she doesn’t make love potions Courtney turns the conversation sideways when she asks about poisons. But then quickly tells Charlie she was kidding. Charlie shakes it off until she learns that Courtney’s husband died on Christmas Eve and that he was poisoned. Courtney swears up and down she didn’t do it but can Charlie believe her? It would be quite a fluke if someone else did the deed but Charlie decides to investigate the crime herself. Either Courtney will end up behind bars or the real killer will. Charlie just needs to be careful or she could be the killer’s next victim.


Pat is the perfect sidekick for Charlie. She tries to reel her in if necessary but it is just as happy to jump in the car and tag along as Charlie visits her suspects. They work well bouncing ideas off each other too. I also liked the way Charlie bantered with Officer Wyle and the fact that he didn’t really tell her to butt out of his investigation and welcomed her input.

We also meet all the people in Courtney’s world. They developed satisfactorily over the course of the book. Some made really nice suspects.

The author has plotted out quite a mystery for Charlie. Courtney wants her help but doesn’t tell her the whole story. Courtney’s mother is happy Charlie is looking into the case but holds back important information. And that continues with almost everyone Charlie talks to, no one tells the full story and in many cases the truth or their observations are faulty. I felt for Charlie as she truly was running in circles and doing aerobics to get to the truth. It sure was fun to read though. I enjoyed all the twists and turns as everything was revealed and that the real culprit was a surprise.

Set in the 1990s it is great to harken back to the time when phones were hooked to the wall or on a desk and not in everyone’s pockets and to get somewhere you need actual directions.

The Murder Before Christmas is a fine holiday mystery that you can read at any time of the year. Charlie is a determined amateur sleuth and I am looking forward to seeing what kind of twisty mystery she gets wrapped up in next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent  

About the Author

When Michele was 3 years old, she taught herself to read because she wanted to write stories so badly. It took some time (and some detours) but she does spend much of her time writing stories now. Mystery stories to be exact, ranging from psychological thrillers to cozies, with a dash of romance and supernatural thrown into the mix. If that wasn’t enough, she also hosts a virtual book club you can check out and join (for free!) at MPWNovels.com.

Michele holds a double major in English and Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently, she lives in the mountains of Prescott, Arizona with her husband Paul and southern squirrel hunter Cassie.

Author Links
Website FacebookLinked InTwitter Instagram

Purchase Link – Amazon

Also by Michele Pariza Wacek

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy.

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something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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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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Remembering Rosie: Memories of a Wisconsin Farm Girl by Nadine A. Block #Review / #Giveaway


Remembering Rosie: Memories of a Wisconsin Farm Girl
Biography/Memoir
Setting – Wisconsin
Page Publishing, Inc. (June 22, 2021)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 220 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1662430507
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1662430503
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08Z5FZ8GD

Remembering Rosie is about Block’s childhood on a Wisconsin dairy farm in the mid-twentieth century. Growing up on the homestead with her parents and siblings was often idyllic. Still, it never stopped Block from dreaming of making a different life for herself despite many obstacles she’d face in trying to leave the land her German great-grandparents settled in the 1880s.

Block and her siblings experienced long hours of tedious and dangerous work. Educational opportunities were limited, and the Ludwig children’s one-room school had poorly trained teachers and few books. There was no expectation of girls going on to higher education. Block’s observations of her depressive mother, the drudgery of farm life, and the short, cruel lives of farm animals were driving forces that made her take a path less followed. During a time when going against the grain was difficult, Block’s restlessness and desire to see a world outside her sheltered community catapulted her into a life that the blue-eyed, blond-haired farm girl never could have imagined.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Nadine Block grew up on a family farm in Medford Wisconsin. Within the pages of this book, she shares her family’s history, her memories, and the way rural life made her who she is today.


I am definitely an advocate for recording family history for future generations so I was happy to read Nadine’s account. She gives a true look at farm life in the 1950s with a look back at how her family first came to Wisconsin. I was disappointed when I learned the identity of Rosie but that was clearly a major point in the author’s life. She also went into some depth about a company she and her husband had that imported quilts from China. I felt this really took away from the folksy feel of the book. I wish she just would have ended the chapter with her memories of the quilts and quilting bees from her time on the farm.

I enjoyed her stories about electricity coming to the farm and listening to the radio, the chores each member of the family had. I wasn’t born until 1961 but I remember the clothes hanging out on the line in cold weather. Sheets and clothes coming back into the house frozen stiff and having to be thawed and allowed to dry again before anything could be done with them. I also identified with the strictness of the Catholic religion of the time. I was touched by the way got her mother to reveal some interesting facts about her life too. Good ole brandy, tee hee.

I wish my family would have had someone write down our history. My mother and father took so many stories with them when they passed. This book is a treasure for the author’s family and I am sure will be greatly appreciated by future generations of her family for years to come. Those looking for some Wisconsin history from this timeframe will find some nice little nuggets too.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Nadine Block has ceaselessly and successfully fought for children’s rights for more than three decades. She was a teacher, a school psychologist, and the founder and director of a non-profit organization that fought to end school corporal punishment. She led a group of 50 statewide organizations in getting a ban on school corporal punishment in OH in 2009. In her retirement, she continues to support ending corporal punishment of children through writing and personal contacts. She believes that children have the right all adults have to be free from physical harm.

Block has published three books, This Hurts Me More Than It Hurts You: Children Share in Words and Pictures How Spanking Hurts and What To Do Instead (2011) and Breaking the Paddle: Ending School Corporal Punishment (2013). She privately published Our Family, Wisconsin Pioneers, and many stories for her grandchildren using personal travel photos and illustrations, including ” Casey the Cat in Kathmandu” and ” Corey the Camel in Timbuktu.”

Block’s latest book is Remembering Rosie: Memories of a Wisconsin Farm Girl. Page Publishing Inc. 2020

Her website and blog is at www.nadineblock.com


I am giving away my review copy!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

Contest Will End March 8, 2022, 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 author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Night Shift (A Helping Hands Mystery) by Annelise Ryan #Review / #Giveaway

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.


Night Shift (A Helping Hands Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington Cozies (July 28, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 368 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496719441
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496719447
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07ZPLB14V

When social worker Hildy Schneider commits to an after-hours side job, she finds herself drawn into the darker side of small-town Sorenson, Wisconsin—and the twisted mind of an unnamed killer . . .

Strange things have been happening since Hildy started moonlighting with local police, but a desperate late-night call involving a former patient from Sorenson General Hospital tops the list. Although Danny Hildebrand has been tormented by hallucinations for years, he swears he’s being haunted for real by the victim of a grisly murder . . .

The rambling ghost story seems like another delusion. But after a body turns up in a neglected farmhouse crawling with secrets, Hildy and the magnetic Detective Bob Richmond rush to explain Danny’s knowledge of the incident. As the crime-solving partners unwittingly grow closer while examining a series of eerie leads, they realize that surviving past sunrise means shedding light on a criminal willing to do whatever it takes to stay in the shadows . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We are back in Sorenson, Wisconsin but this time we are tagging along with Social Worker Hildy Schneider in this second book in Annelise Ryan’s spinoff series from her Mattie Winston Mysteries.  Hildy is just starting her new side job working directly with the police on the night shift. Her first call involves a man she has worked with before. Danny Hildebrand has been taking medications to keep his hallucinations at bay for years.  When he stops taking them properly or they are no longer working as expected he needs to go into the hospital to get him back on track. Hildy expects that is what she is walking into with the police for this disturbance call. She knows her dog Roscoe has calmed Danny in the past so she convinces the police to let her take the lead. Roscoe does his magic but soon Danny is telling Hildy he isn’t having his normal issues, he swears he is being haunted by a real murder victim.

After getting Danny checked in to the hospital Hildy and her police partner find a horrific murder scene at a rundown farmhouse when sent to do a welfare check. A quick inspection of the scene looks eerily like Danny’s hallucination right down to a particular item. Detective Bob Richmond and Hildy start to work together and even have to call in some alphabet agencies when they discover something truly scary and above their pay grade on the dead farmer’s property. Just how deep is Danny involved in all this illegal activity? Can he be the key to finding the killer? Will Hildy help solve the murder? Or will she become another victim?


Hildy Schneider is a complex leading character. Peel back her layers and you will see how her troubled past has led to her Helping Hands present. She really is an amazing character with a unique way of seeing things others don’t. Her therapy dog Roscoe is fantastic too.

Another complex character is PJ, an autistic pre-teen that lives next door to Hildy and takes Roscoe on walks while Hildy is at work. The girl is brutally honest in all the best ways.

There are several characters that crossover from the other series. The most noteworthy is Detective Bob Richmond who has changed quite a bit over the course of that series and is now pursuing a deeper relationship with Hildy. Hurley makes a cameo at the end of the book and Mattie is mentioned a couple of times in the story.  All the characters are well crafted with plenty of room for growth.

The mystery ended up being much more expansive than one dead body. There was a major plan afoot and finding a dead Arthur Fletcher at his kitchen table was just part of a cover-up. I really enjoyed the way the author plotted out this story. Hildy’s keen observation skills and her willingness to really get involved with Danny and his care as she continued to piece everything together really was fun to read. One character felt off to me a few times but I kept discarding it until their behavior became more glaring. My attention still kept being diverted up until the very end.

Again, this story takes place in my home state. I love the local references and overall Wisconsin feel I get when reading books by this author.

Sadly there hasn’t been a 3rd book in this series. I really like the focus on Hildy that this series brings. She is unique and I would love to see more stories featuring her.

If you like your cozy mysteries with a bit of an edge and plenty of humor you will enjoy all the books by this author and those she writes as Allyson K. Abbott.

Your Escape Into A Good Book 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

Also by this Author

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy.

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
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If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will
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Contest Will End March 4, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
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Winner Will Be Notified By Email
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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.”

Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways New Release Challenge paradise rating You Read How Many Books Challenge

Strong Suspicions: A Sophie Strong Mystery by Amy Renshaw #Review / #Giveaway


Strong Suspicions: A Sophie Strong Mystery
Historical Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Lilac Bower Media LLC (September 6, 2021)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 334 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1737353318
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1737353317
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09C3YFB7C

A notorious woman is murdered, and reporter Sophie Strong stumbles onto the story. Does she have what it takes to find the killer before it’s too late?

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, May 1912: As the only female reporter at the Milwaukee Herald, twenty-two-year-old Sophie Strong is thrilled when she’s invited to cover the party of the season. Soon she’s swept into the opulent world of the city’s wealthy brewing families. But before she can even get to her typewriter, she discovers a murder victim. The intriguing Detective Jacob Zimmer warns her to leave sleuthing to the police, while Sophie’s editor insists she focus on tea parties and fashion shows. But when her friend and fellow suffragist Clara Elliot comes under suspicion, Sophie is determined to uncover the truth—even if she risks her own life along the way.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sophie Strong works at the Milwaukee Herald covering women’s topics like teas and fashion while what she really wants is to become a hard news reporter. Her current assignment is to cover a gala hosted by one of Milwaukee’s famous families. The Wolff’s own a huge brewery and love to show off their wealth and flex their high society muscles. Sophie is enjoying the party, taking careful notes, and even getting a turn on the dance floor. Shortly before dinner is set to be served a bunch of marauders disrupts the party calling out the way Wolff treats his workers. Sophie thinks reporting on the crime for the newspaper may be her big break but before she can even file the story she finds a body outside the Women’s Sufferage office. Warned to leave the investigation to the police Sophie just can’t especially when her friend Clara Elliot finds herself in the detective’s crosshairs. Using her profession as a reporter for the Herald she starts her own investigation and what she finds could cost her her life.


Amy Renshaw took me right back to Milwaukee in 1912 when so many political things were happening. Most importantly giving women the right to vote. She has clearly researched this time in Wisconsin thoroughly to be able to give readers a wonderful story with so much accuracy. I really enjoyed seeing everything happen through Sophie’s eyes.

Sophie Strong is a mighty protagonist with an interesting background and a drive to make things happen and dreams of reporting it to the masses. Raised by her Aunt Lucy, a formidable woman in her own right, Sophie was taught women could do anything they put their mind to. Lucy and Clara Elliot have been inseparable for as long as Sophie can remember and both women introduced her to the suffrage movement. Lucy and Clara are the leaders of the group in Milwaukee with Sophie helping in any way that she can. All three women have loving caring hearts to support women and children. Through Sophie, Lucy meets some very special people and I loved the way she opened her home and heart to them without a second thought, just like she did for Sophie several years ago. The author has created a vast cast of spectacular characters that just leap off the page.

Ms. Renshaw has also crafted an excellent well-plotted mystery filled with twists and clues that our heroine sometimes misses at first but that the reader can stow away for reference as we try to solve the mystery too. Sophie really has no fear and inserts herself in some scary situations. The author ramps up the pace and makes those moments quite suspenseful. I did enjoy Sophie’s never-give-up attitude. Naturally curious she makes a great amateur sleuth.

What I really loved was the author’s descriptive writing style. She can bring a scene to life vividly without getting overly wordy and that is a gift. Each time and place came to life like I was watching a movie. Many of those scenes have stuck with me, especially when the killer was revealed and everything that happened after. I was definitely on the edge of my seat.

I have found Amy Renshaw to be a marvelous storyteller. I loved everything about Strong Suspicions. Strong characters that I cared about immediately, a terrific setting, and a compelling mystery based on historical facts all made this book virtually impossible to put down. And yes, you will find this book on my Best Reads List for 2022. I am excited for this series to continue.

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About the Author
Amy Renshaw loves writing, reading, and sleuthing about history. She’s the Senior Editor at Brilliant Star Magazine and Brilliant Star Online, award-winning publications from the Baha’is of the U.S. Amy lives in Wisconsin, where she hikes in the woods, adores chocolate, and writes historical mystery novels.

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#FlashbackFriday – Stiff Competition (Mattie Winston Mysteries) by Annelise Ryan #Review / #Giveaway @ryan_annelise

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.


Stiff Competition (Mattie Winston Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington (January 26, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 384 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1617734101
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1617734106
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B00X2EOZKC

A coroner must find a killer out to make a point in this hard-boiled mystery by the USA Today–bestselling author of Dead Even.

Every fall, hunting season in Sorenson, Wisconsin, leads to some accidental injuries. Deputy coroner Mattie Winston just hopes the hunters don’t bring any more business to her office. But somebody seems to have declared open season on land developers. One real estate developer who’s recently come to town has been found dead in the woods with an arrow through his neck. Now it’s up to Mattie to get to the bottom of the killing. That might be easier if she wasn’t also hunting for Detective Hurley’s teenage daughter, Emily, who has suddenly disappeared. With a homicidal William Tell out on the loose, Mattie is desperate to find Emily before the killer notches another arrow . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The crisp autumn air in Wisconsin means there are deer hunters in the woods and fields first for bow hunting, later for gun hunting. Accidents are bound to happen but when a land developer is taken down with an arrow it turns out to be murder. Deputy Coroner Mattie Winston returns to work after the birth of her baby just in time to be put on the case. She starts working the case with her baby’s daddy, Detective Hurley but when Emily his teenage daughter goes missing he hands the case off to another detective to search for her. Mattie would love to help him but her relationship with the teenager is pretty icy. But soon she finds herself both on the trail for Emily and the killer.


Mattie’s life is full and complicated. She is trying to find a balance between work and motherhood. Thankfully she has a great babysitter in Dom but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t show up the first day back at work with baby puke in her hair and on her shirt. She is also hoping to bring her little family together but Hurley’s daughter isn’t having it. She is doing everything she can to keep Mattie and Hurley apart.

Maddie’s first days back at work are truly filled to the brim. Any mother can feel the strain of taking care of a newborn while trying to function through a workday. The author gives a true perspective. I identified with Mattie putting everyone and everything else first. Trying to squeeze in a haircut was a monumental task and then she made a poor decision.

Hurley is dealing with a lot as well.  He is in a high-pressure job that requires a lot of hours. His teenage daughter entering his life brings a whole new set of stressors and now he has the baby with Mattie. He is feeling guilty because he feels he is not doing any of the jobs well.

What really drives the books in this series are the many relationships between the characters. There is drama but there is an overwhelming feeling of love. The core characters all care about each other and make up a unique family situation. The characters continue to grow throughout each book and in Stiff Competition, one character has a wonderful awakening. It is so easy to get invested in these characters.

Ms. Ryan gives readers two mysteries to solve. The murder of a shady land developer and the disappearance of Hurley’s daughter. Maddie is up to her neck in both and the author twists both of them together with an expert hand. I was more caught up in Emily’s disappearance because she is a core character but it was fun following the clues to solve the other mystery too. I also enjoy the way humor is placed widely throughout the story. Real true-to-life events befall Mattie time and time again in a funny way.

Of course, this series taking place close to my home always brings extra enjoyment as landmarks and places I know are mentioned. It is easy to see in my mind right where everything is taking place.

Stiff Competition is a nice addition to this series. With the next book, we move out of the “Stiff” phase and into the “DEAD” phase. I am looking forward to continuing on Mattie’s journey with her family and friends. The ending of this book makes me excited to escape into Dead In The Water soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book 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

Also by this Author

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

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receive
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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.”