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Asbury High and the Thief’s Gamble: (Asbury High YA Cozy Mystery Series) by Kelly Brady Channick #AuthorInterview / #Giveaway

Asbury High and the Thief’s Gamble:
(Asbury High YA Cozy Mystery Series)

by Kelly Brady Channick

About Asbury High and the Thief’s Gamble

Asbury High and the Thief’s Gamble: (Asbury High YA Cozy Mystery Series)
Young Adult Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Purple Milk Publishing (February 1, 2020)
Paperback: 260 pages
ISBN-10: 1734307307
ISBN-13: 978-1734307306
Digital ASIN: B0845LBTQC

Asbury, although a haven to shoobies (tourists) in the summer, is a divided coastal town. With the rich half living in the East, and the rest living in the West, most friendships stay within their boundaries. Luckily for a spunky-smart tomboy, a clever billionaire athlete, a gossipy-in-the-know cheerleader, and a wrong side of the tracks technological genius, boundaries are a foreign concept. In fact, Maddie, Cornelious, Carly and Pilot have been Asbury’s strongest quartet for years, despite their vast differences.


Nevertheless, after a few weeks of starting high school, the foursome’s friendship is tested.


After a string of burglaries in East Asbury, the gang decides to solve the crime as a reason to make time for each other. The further they investigate, the more they find themselves constantly side-stepping tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum-like policemen, outsmarting local bully JB and his gang of misfits, and dealing with Cornelious’ billionaire father and Governor—who has disapproved of his son’s choice of friends for years. In addition to these obstacles, the foursome must also adapt to their evolving friendship with each other and their peers.


With upperclassmen, teachers, and teammates vying for their attention, the gang must work even harder to root out the red-herrings from the true thief. Aided by Carly’s gossip, Maddie’s boldness, Cornelious’ quick-wit, and Pilot’s knack for technology, the gang soon discovers its edge over the local police department.

Hi Kelly,  

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi! My name is Kelly and I’m from South Jersey, where I currently live with my handsome husband, funny nine-month-old, one sneaky cat and two overactive dogs. I’m a lifelong athlete, so I enjoy being active, running, and playing & watching sports. After high school, I worked hard and was fortunate to get a scholarship to play basketball at Holy Family University in Philly. Upon graduating, I taught fifth through eighth grade math and science for three years and LOVED teaching middle school way more than I thought I would. It was around this point that my husband and I got married and moved back to South Jersey from Philly (he’s from Philly).

            Moving back home, I taught first grade for two years, before having my big, little man and choosing to stay at home with him. It was during these past few months that my amazing husband finally convinced me to get my YA Mystery series, Asbury High, published. I have fully committed myself and am excited to say by the end of this year the first three books, of the seven-book series, will be published.

What are three things most people don’t know about you?

  1. I’ve flown a plane before, because my friend in grade school had a small, private plane and her dad let me fly it—with him right next to me of course.
  2. I was voted class clown of my graduating class at Ocean City High School—without attending any parties or ever drinking 🙂
  3. I’ve actually only had one boyfriend, and I married him!

What is the first book you remember reading?

            The first book I remember reading by myself was ‘Three Cheers for Tacky’, I was young too, about four. I think if your parents read to you every day AND you have an older sibling who loves reading, then you’re more apt to start reading at a younger age.

What are you reading now?

            I’m one of those people who read two books at once. I just finished Lisa Matthews’ Death by Curiosity–which is a hilarious, adult mystery book that I highly recommend, and am halfway through the Appearance of Annie Van Sinderen.

What books have most inspired you?

            Without a doubt, the Harry Potter series. Anyone who knows me from grade school will tell you I’m an obsessed Potterhead—but really I’m a JK Rowling fan. All of her stories are extremely well-written and I can’t put them down once I crack them open. If you haven’t read her Cormoran Strike novels, you’re missing out.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries? 

            Honestly, mysteries are my favorite genre, and I’ve always loved problem-solving. I constantly find myself asking questions throughout the day, and sometimes those questions become stories themselves.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

            Not really, and nowadays with a baby, I bring my laptop and notebook wherever I can, whenever I can!

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

            I once heard that the best writers write what they know. Therefore, although I can’t exactly say where the crimes or mysteries come from (I guess that’s just my imagination), a lot of the characters and places in my books are rooted in my experiences. Basically, if you treated me kindly, I probably based a character off you, or used your name… but the opposite is true too though!

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

            Just making the time to write! There seriously aren’t enough hours in the day.

What do you think makes a good story?

            Interesting characters, set in a well-described scene or setting, with an unpredictable plot. I don’t want to know exactly where the book is heading after the first few pages.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

            I like to think each of my characters have a little bit of me inside of them (whether it’s the good traits or the not so good ones), but a lot of people close to me have pointed out that (or asked me point blank), that Maddie is a lot like me. I take that as a compliment seeing as she’s the class valedictorian, and best female athlete in town— not to mention pretty fearless.

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

            I wrote this book and the series outline when I was 18. At the time there were a lot of paranormal or overly romanticized books out there. I wanted to write a good, old-fashioned sleuthing novel—with four main characters instead of one, so everyone can have a chance to relate.

            Honestly, I feel like a lot of YA novels have pretty graphic scenes in them, or are trying to make a political statement with dystopian futures and real-life issues many face every day—which is fine because I truly like reading those types of books too— BUT I wrote my series to take a break from all of that, and help the reader forget about scary, real-world issues. In fact, my series is more of a cozy mystery series, in which you can read with friends and family, and discuss the whole book without feeling awkward. And, seeing as I love JK Rowling, I made sure to sprinkle clues and little pieces of seemingly insignificant information throughout each of my books. Therefore, the reader might not even know something is important until a few books later! Basically, I set out to create the small, but believable town of Asbury, and I honestly think readers of all ages and preferences will enjoy this.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

            Asbury High and the Thief’s Gamble was published in February, with the next two books in the series coming out in May and September respectively. After that, the final four books will be published 2021, and possibly 2022 (the fifth book is currently underway as we speak). I’ve also written an adult crime novel, and will be editing and redrafting that this year as well.

Thank you, Kelly, for visiting today!


More About Kelly Brady Channick


For as long as she could remember, Kelly Brady Channick loved making up stories and leaving her listeners/readers on the edge of their seats.

Perhaps that’s why she always managed to talk herself out of trouble…

After graduating from NJ’s own Ocean City High School, Kelly accepted a basketball scholarship to Holy Family University, in Philadelphia. As a lifelong athlete, Kelly understands the importance of teamwork and overcoming adversity, something she hopes translates into her books.

Before writing page-turners, she taught first, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grade — like a dessert menu, she simply had to test them all out. But her favorite job is the one she’s now doing full time: writing. Kelly loves to craft whodunit mysteries, leading readers through various twists and turns filled with red-herrings, hidden clues, and more peculiar characters than a reality show.

Kelly lives in South Jersey with her handsome husband, energetic baby boy, two cookie-stealing dogs, and an awfully smart cat.


INSTAGRAM: @KellyBradyChannick


Purchase Link – Amazon 

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Great Escape Book Tours Praise for Asbury High and the Thief’s Gamble:
(Asbury High YA Cozy Mystery Series)

by Kelly Brady Channick

The final twist at the end was fun and I enjoyed how the group put the pieces together to solve the full mystery. I recommend this book to young mystery lovers, but I also enjoyed this story as it brought back some great memories.
~Carla Loves To Read

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
April 15 – I’m All About Books  SPOTLIGHT
April 16 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 17 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW
April 18 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
April 19 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 20 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 21 – Reading Is My SuperPower – GUEST POST
April 22 – Diane Reviews Books – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 23 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW, GUEST POST
April 24 – t’s stuff – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
April 25 – Diary of a Book Fiend – REVIEW
April 26 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
April 27 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
April 27 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW
April 28 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

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Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Spotlights

Selah’s Stolen Dream (Dream Horse Adventures) by Susan Count – Lori Sanford (Illustrator) #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Selah’s Stolen Dream (Dream Horse Adventures)
by Susan Count – Lori Sanford (Illustrator)

I am thrilled to welcome Susan Count to Escape With Dollycas today! 

Hi Susan,

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

The major influence in my life was growing up an Army Brat. We moved frequently and when my family was blessed to be assigned to Hawaii—my personal journey with horses began. While my friends were at the beach, I was riding horses through the cane fields on the side of the mountains of Oahu.

Today I am owned by three equine blessing. The only thing more fun than riding might be writing horse adventure stories. I write because I must. A day without writing is a bit less joyful.

What are two things most people don’t know about you?

If you met me at church, you would never guess that I drive a truck and my #1 Christmas gift request was a battery-powered reciprocating saw.

What is the first book you remember reading?

When your grandmother is a librarian, you are going to grow up with books in your hands. The summer my father was deployed to Vietnam, we lived with my mother’s parents in Falls Village, Connecticut. My father’s mother worked as the town librarian. After she gave me The Black Stallion, I spent the rest of the summer in a hammock reading through the series.

What are you reading now?

When I start writing something new, I find I want to re-read my pile of craft books. I’ll work my way through Super Structure by James Scott Bell, Save the Cat by Jessica Brody, On Writing by Stephen King and about six others. What is it about writing that I never feel like I can just rock back as if I’ve got this? Tonight—Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass.

What books have most inspired you?

You should see my bookshelf! They are filled with horse books even after starting the process of gifting them to my granddaughter, Selah. There is something profoundly moving about our relationship with horses and many writers have created beautiful tributes to that relationship.

What made you decide you wanted to write middle-grade?

I couldn’t write a picture book for anything and I consider it the most difficult of genres. I bow to those that can. I’ve attempted chapter books, but the over simplification of language is more difficult to do than one might imagine.

I didn’t consciously choose to write for upper middle-grade readers, but as the stories unfolded it was my natural voice.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

As long as it is quiet, I will carry my laptop anywhere. I have a desk that belonged to my Grandmother Count that has secret compartments. I’ve always believed story ideas haunt it. In a sunroom that feels tucked into the forest, I have a standing desk and a daybed. In a room with a picture window into the barn and over the pasture is a writing table. On the deck overlooking the pasture is a comfy couch and a rocker, making it difficult to choose between them.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

I believe God is the author of all creativity. That He delights in us and in our creative expressions. Ideas and plot points come from life experiences. I take truth and twist it into fiction.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

For me, the process of writing requires solitude. Interruptions are the enemy of story.

What do you think makes a good story?

A great story is filled with conflict and tension and has an ending you didn’t expect. A great story reveals a character through action. Knowing that and pulling it off are two completely different things. I believe as I have evolved as a writer and gotten better at my craft, each book has gotten better.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

I’m probably most like the horse. Selah named her beautiful black mare—Sweet Dream. But the horse is difficult to train and highly opinionated.

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

The first three novels in my series are firmly middle-grade, which is an impressionable age. While many believe middle-grade novels should form a child’s worldview, I’m more inclined to protect a child’s heart and mind just a little longer. But in Selah’s Stolen Dream, Selah is a bit older and therefore exposed to disagreeable elements. Even yet, a parent can confidently put the book in their child’s hands, knowing they will learn to take care in the world even as they ride off on a wholesome adventure.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

I’m in the last stages of preparing for publication an ecology story for my grandboys. The Firefly Warriors Club is the story of two young warriors thrust into battle to save the last firefly family.

I’m also working hard on the first draft of a series of novellas. Each story is about a horse girl struggling through what makes her life impossible.

About Selah’s Stolen Dream 

Selah’s Stolen Dream (Dream Horse Adventures)
Young Adult
4th in Series
Publisher: Hastings Creations Group (January 1, 2020)
Paperback: 262 pages
ISBN-10: 0997088389
ISBN-13: 978-0997088380
Digital Publisher: Hastings Creations Group (March 1, 2020)
Print Length: 217 pages

One girl’s victory is another’s tragic defeat.


Thirteen-year-old Selah’s perfect life unravels when her beloved horse is stolen. Then ten-year-old Emma buys the dream of a lifetime at a horse auction. When she learns the horse was stolen, even removing her hearing aid won’t drown out the voice telling her to make it right.


But two girls can’t divide the horse they both adore. So will life surprise them with an answered prayer?


About Susan Count

How many twists and turns can one person take before they figure out what they were born to do? Susan Count’s degree is in Applied Science–nothing in that prepared her to write novels for children. But one day, she began to write with no preconceived ideas. No one could have been more astounded than she was when it turned into a middle-grade equine series. As a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Texas Association of Authors, she takes the craft of writing seriously and considers revision to be her super-power.

She writes at an antique secretary desk that occupies a glass room with a forest view. Fittingly, it once belonged to the same wise grandmother who introduced Susan to the love of reading via Walter Farley’s horse books. That desk has secret compartments that hold memories, mysteries and story ideas.

Susan is a lifelong equestrian and is owned by a Rocky Mountain Horse. She is convinced that the only thing more delightful than riding the forest trails might be writing horse adventure stories. She invites you to saddle up and ride along.

Author Links – Website Facebook Twitter Instagram – 

Purchase Link – Amazon 

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Great Escapes Tour Praise for Selah’s Stolen Dream (Dream Horse Adventures)
by Susan Count – Lori Sanford (Illustrator)

Ms. Count has a whimsical way with her writing that makes the reader believe that they are there with the characters. I loved this book from beginning to end.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
April 1 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
April 1 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
April 2 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
April 3 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW
April 4 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
April 4 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
April 6 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
April 6 – Nadaness in Motion – SPOTLIGHT
April 7 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 8 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT
April 8 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
April 9 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
April 10 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

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Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Interviews

#SpecialGuest – Rosalind Barden- Author of Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case – Great Escapes Book Tour #Giveaway

Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case
by Rosalind Barden

Welcome, Rosalind! 

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m hopelessly creative, with a whimsical way of looking at the world, when I’m not looking at the world with a pair of satirical glasses, that is.

What are three things most people don’t know about you?

Yes, my hair is real; 2) I’m a decades-long vegetarian/mostly vegan; 3) No, I don’t understand why I’m not thin.

What is the first book you remember reading?

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” by Dr. Seuss, and “Put Me in the Zoo,” by Robert Lopshire. In a burst of de-cluttering awhile back, I gave away “Put Me in the Zoo,” and have regretted it ever since.

What are you reading now?

I typically read several books at the same time. The first book I’m reading is the short story collection “Arithmophobia” by Ruschelle Dillion. It’s published by Mystery and Horror LLC, which also published “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case.” I’m enjoying the darkly humorous, well-constructed stories in “Arithmophobia” that weave around the theme of numbers. Intriguing stuff.

I’m also re-reading two books I picked up on a whim from the Homer Bookstore: “Tails of a Dogsitter” by Karen Roush, and “Invisible Ink,” an anthology of short stories by Homer authors edited by Joyce Baker Porte. I think these two books have possessed me. By the way, it’s worth going to Homer, Alaska for this bookstore, in my opinion. Homer is an interesting place.

I regularly re-read books that I’ve enjoyed in the past. That’s why I find it so hard to give them away even though I probably should be “de-cluttering” them. I like being surrounded by interesting books.

What made you decide you want to write?

I always assumed I’d be a writer. I liked telling stories and reading stories from as far back as I remember. My Mom was a big influence on me. She was a creative person who did some writing too. She always encouraged my creative pursuits and believed in me. I remember our frequent trips to the library where me and my siblings camped out in the children’s section, while she headed to the biographies, her favorite section. She’d buy us kids plenty of books too, even though we lived on a tight budget (“Put Me in the Zoo,” for example). I was raised with books. Not everyone is, so I’m really lucky to have had a Mom like that.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

I have my laptop on a table where it fits. I write where I can. I also write long-hand in paper notebooks if I’m out and about. Got tired of lugging my laptop around. Plus, I worry about someone snatching my laptop (and all my writing-in-progress!). There’s not a lot of resale value in used paper notebooks, so less snatching worries there. I do have a fantasy of a dedicated writing office with a sublime view, lots of shelf space for my books, and a couch where I can drowsily dream of new ideas.

Do you write at the same time every day?

No. For me, that’s not practical. I write when I can.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Everywhere. The seed of an idea will come into my head, and then I let my mind wander from there. I usually don’t remember where the original little bit of an idea came from. There are exceptions. For “American Witch,” I vividly remember watering the backyard where I used to live, and it was like the character of George came right up beside me. So, of course, I had to write his story. I’ve never had another character come to me so strongly. “American Witch” probably is the best I’ve written, and I wish it’d gotten a wider readership. But that’s the challenge of self-publishing. It’s tough to promote, which is something I learned from that book. I’m making more of a promotion effort nowadays!

What books have most inspired you?

It’s challenging to narrow my list down, because I read so much and am inspired and impressed by so many books and writers. I may have a different answer tomorrow, but today, here goes: “King Rat” by James Clavell and “Catch-22” by Joseph Heller for their dark satire. Same for “Bonfire of the Vanities” by Tom Wolfe. Tom Wolfe’s writing style amazes me. His words bounce off the page with impertinent glee. I confess I have been known to “borrow” some of his favorite style bits. Douglas Adams and P.J. Wodehouse inspire me for their satire of the lighter variety. The first two “Harry Potter” books by J.K. Rowling are my favorites from the series. “Five Children and It” by Edith Nesbit because it’s slyly subversive. I enjoy older humorous books and short stories, like Robert Benchley’s essay collection, “My Ten Years in a Quandry,” Josephine Dodge Daskam’s short story “A Study in Piracy,” and cozy mystery “The Haunted Bookshop” by Christopher Morley. “Ghosts, A Treasury of Chilling Tales Old and New” selected by Marvin Kaye also comes to mind. Douglas Clegg’s books are dark and impossible to put down. Going back to my early reading years, “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak influenced me. I desperately wanted to take that boat to the island with the Wild Things. I did rig up a “boat” and hoped I’d have the same result as Max in the book, but no such luck. Maybe I’ll try again later.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Finding the time. That’s the toughest. Not many people understand that a writer needs a lot of time to sit down, create, revise, plus daydream about the concept in the first place. It’s hard to tell a friend I can’t do something over the weekend because that’s the only free weekend I’ve had in awhile and I desperately want to stay in to write. People tend to become upset.

And the promotion. In this day and age, writers also have to be marketers. It eats up precious writing time, and to me, it’s harder than doing the writing itself. The exception is meeting readers in person at book signings. That’s fun. But trying to puzzle out promotion dos and don’ts? Not so fun. Because I write in different genres, my “brand” is elusive, which is a big frowny-face in book marketing. I remain hopeful that readers with a sense of humor will discover my work and be patient that I don’t fit neatly within a brand.

What do you think makes a good story?

Wanting to turn the page and keep going. Also thinking about the book, the characters, the scenes long after I’ve finished reading. Deciding to give the book another read after a couple of years, or couple of months. Third read, then fourth read. I once told another writer that I’d read “Bonfire of the Vanities” twenty times. She didn’t believe me, but it’s true. Tom Wolfe is a word master and I love his sentences!

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

I’m in every story I write, sometimes more, sometimes less. For “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case,” there’s a lot of Sparky in me. Sparky is resourceful, adventurous, but misunderstood, which I think describes me.

Why did you pick your particular genre?

I’ve been toying with mysteries for a long time. They’re challenging to write, because they have the puzzle solving element. But that’s what makes mystery writing interesting. “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case” grew out of my short story “The Monkey’s Ghost,” which appears in the short mystery anthology, “History and Mystery, Oh My!” published by Mystery and Horror LLC in 2015. Some of the characters are the same, though I made Marigold older in “Sparky.” The main characters in “Sparky” are new, except silent screen vamp, Tootsie, who is pulled from another, unpublished short story of mine. That story explains Tootsie’s early, pre-stardom days that are only eluded to in “Sparky.”

Of course, I also write horror and sci-fi, because I enjoy reading them. My novel “American Witch” is dark satire because, again, I enjoy reading satire. I love picture books, which explains why I wrote and illustrated “TV Monster.” Picture books are an art form in their own right. I love to read many types of books, which leads me to write many types!

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

I don’t think there’s another humorous, noir, 1930s, Los Angeles, Young Adult mystery novel out there besides “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case.”

What’s next on the horizon for you?

I’m currently writing book two in the “Sparky of Bunker Hill” series, tentatively titled, “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the No Nose Knucklehead.” After that, “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Monkey Island Murder.” Sparky bumps into one challenge after another in both books.

In “No Nose Knucklehead,” life gets really real, really fast for Sparky. Bobby, the bum, is out of town with his cozy family so is no help whatsoever. She’s got to handle the mess (it’s a big mess) on her own. And find out who the real cannibal is.

In “Monkey Island Murder,” she goes back to school, which is tough for independent, smarty-pants Sparky. Will any of the other kids ever talk to Sparky? And what’s with the escaped gorilla?

Thank you, Rosalind, for visiting today. 

Keep reading to find out about Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Case Kid


About the Book

Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case
Young Adult Mystery
Mystery & Horror, LLC (October 9, 2018)
Paperback: 216 pages
ISBN-10: 1949281027
ISBN-13: 978-1949281026
Digital ASIN: B07H49P46T

Lots of characters have it bad, in my Bunker Hill neighborhood smack dab in the middle of Los Angeles, but I’ve had it rougher than most.
There may be something to this 13th business.

That’s my birthday, and I’m learning to dread seeing it roll around. My mother died on one birthday. The cousins dumped me on my last. This year, 1932, I found a dead kid on a park bench. It’s my eleventh birthday, and the day me, Sparky, ended up on the run, wanted for murder.

If the dead girl wasn’t enough, the dirty newspapers pinned every body in LA on me, and even blamed me for the Great War. I wasn’t even born then. The price on my head got bigger by the day.

It was up to me to find out who killed the girl and why I got framed, before I ended up dangling from the hangman’s rope.

Praise for Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case
by Rosalind Barden

What a fun, exciting adventure book! . . You just can’t help loving Sparky and her way of thinking and talking.
~Here’s How It Happened

About the Author


Over thirty of Rosalind Barden’s short stories have appeared in print anthologies and webzines, including the U.K.’s acclaimed Whispers of Wickedness. Mystery and Horror, LLC has included her stories in their anthologies History and Mystery, Oh My! (FAPA President’s Book Award Silver Medalist), Mardi Gras Murder, and four of the Strangely Funny series. Ellen Datlow selected her short story “Lion Friend” as a Best Horror of the Year Honorable Mention after it appeared in Cern Zoo, a British Fantasy Society nominee for best anthology, part of DF Lewis’ award-winning Nemonymous anthology series. TV Monster is her print children’s book that she wrote and illustrated. Her satirical literary novel American Witch is available as an e-book. In addition, her scripts, novel manuscripts, and short fiction have placed in numerous competitions, including the Writers’ Digest Screenplay Competition and the Shriekfast Film Festival. She lives in Los Angeles, California. Discover more at

Author Links
Website Amazon Author Page 

Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N

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December 13 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW
December 13 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
December 14 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
December 14 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 15 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 15 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
December 16 – My Journey Back- The Journey Back  – REVIEW  
December 17 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
December 18 – Ruff Drafts – INTERVIEW
December 19 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
December 19 – Varietats – GUEST POST

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Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge E-Book Challenge Reviews 2013

Review: Right Where I Belong by Krista McGee

right where i belong

Right Where I Belong
Young Adult Christian Fiction
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (December 11, 2012)
Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1401684907
E-Book File Size: 502 KB

Right Where I Belong

Natalia’s about to discover her place in the world . . . and it’s not following in her father’s footsteps.

Natalia’s father is about to get divorced again. His business is his top priority and plans for her to take over his business. Her mother is more concerned with her career and doesn’t have much time for her daughter. Natalia has really bonded with her current stepmother. Maureen has introduced Natalia to Christ and Natalia wants to learn more. When Maureen tells Natalia she will be moving home to Florida after the divorce she is devastated. She needs Maureen and actually decides to move from Spain to Florida too. Her parents think living in the States would be wonderful for her college prospects so they put no obstacles in her way. It is not long before Natalia realizes Maureen needs her too. Together they embark on a journey following the paths set by a higher power.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
This was a beautiful story of a woman’s continuing journey with Christ and a young woman’s awakening in the awesomeness of the Lord. The behavior of her parents seriously marred her outlook on life. She never wanted to date or fall in love because she has a bird’s eye view of the heartbreak that occurs when someone falls out of love. Her father treated woman as things not humans with feelings. Moving away was just what she needed to open her eyes and her heart to the joy the world can provide.

Perfect way for today’s teens, Right Where I Belong is loosely based on the Bible’s story of Ruth. Her stepmother brought her the Good News of Christ and Natalia is still learning about her faith. She does want to share her awakening with everyone.

In Florida, she attends a Christian High School that is so different from her school in Spain. There were few Christians in Spain and they rarely discussed their faith. But the real adjustment was the language. Natalia spoke English well but she didn’t speak American teenage slang. It was a treat to learn the ways of American teens from the way they dress to the way the speak including the phases that roll so easily off our tongues but are truly confusing when words are dissected.

The story is brilliantly written with rich, warm, real characters. It is a Christian novel but it doesn’t preach. It is a perfect book for teenagers and those of us who are young at heart. It was an amazing fast read and I recommend it highly. I found JOY within the pages of Right Where I Belong. and think you will too.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

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About This Author
Krista writes for teens, teaches teens, and more often than not, acts like a teen. She and her family have lived and ministered in Texas, Costa Rica, and Spain. Her current hometown is Tampa, FL.

Find out more on her webpage here.

Be her Fan on GoodReads here.

Like her Author Page on Facebook here.

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

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Posted in Literary Escapes Reviews 2012

Review: Bras Boys and Blunders by Vidya Samson

Bras, Boys, And Blunders in Bahrain
(Young Adult Romantic Comedy Set in the Middle East)

E-Book File Size: 484 KB
Print Length: 222 pages
ASIN: B0089P7G14

Bras, Boys, and Blunders: Juliet & Romeo in Bahrain


What’s a girl gotta do to get her first bra, her first kiss, her first love?

If you thought the Middle East was all about fatwas and burkhas, think again. Join the fun as Veena, a naive teen from India, bungles her way through adolescence on the island of Bahrain.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A great escape filled with laughter and teenage angst. Girls in the Middle East aren’t very different than girls in the U.S. The girls in the story had to live with a few more rules but like girls everywhere they find ways to get around the rules.

Veena is a 15 year old Indian girl living in Bahrain. She goes to a multicultural Catholic school with Arab, White, Indian and Pakistani students. Boys and girls. Venna calls it like the United Nations. It is very interesting to see the interaction between the students. Problems or conflicts between the home countries are not felt in this story. The kids are just kids with kid type issues.

Veena is a really smart teen with a mother who would drive anyone let alone a teenager crazy. Her mother is the reason Veena seems to have more than her share of issues. Bras, haircuts, boys, the normal teenage things, her mother just doesn’t get it and this just adds to the laughs.

It is fun to step away from the heavier fiction of thrillers and mysteries to pick up this lighthearted quick read. From the school play of Romeo and Juliet to the “No-No Club”, from “crushing” on boys to learning to love the bodies they are blessed with, this story was a joy to read. Young teens to grandmas will enjoy Veena’s story.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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 Reviews 2012

Review: Dollhouse by Kourtney, Kim & Khloe Kardashian


William Morrow
An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Meet the Romeros, Mom Kat, sisters, Kassidy, Kamille and Kyle.  The Romero’s life is turned upside down when husband/dad David Romero dies suddenly and they have to sell their house for something more modest. A life insurance policy allows Kat to buy a defunct restaurant in West Hollywood. Then she marries Beau, a retired Dodger pitcher,  and he add his kids, Benjy and Bree, to the family.

Then one of the sisters is “discovered” and becomes a model which forces the entire family into the spotlight. It doesn’t take them long to realize that being a celebrity in L.A.’s  “gilded dollhouse” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I know what you are thinking, this is just another spin-off from the Kardashian television series and you are right, but don’t we always say authors write about what they know. This is what these girls know.

Seriously, I do enjoy their t.v. show, one of my little guilty pleasures, but I really hadn’t planned on reading this book until my twenty year old daughter said “Mom, you have to read this book!” She loved it!!!! So I read it. It is a very fast read and at first I thought I was wasting my time until the dialogue started sounding just the way they talk to each other on the show and the way my daughter talks to her friends.  Then I started to realize that if the authors were not the famous Kardashians with all the hype, the story wasn’t bad. A Young Adult novel about a dysfunctional family trying to function in the Hollywood spotlight.

Yes, Kassidy is based on Kourtney, Kamille is based on Kim, Kyle is based on Khloe, Kat is based on Kris Jenner but this is a fiction story. Perfect and fun for those older teens and twenties girls to read and enjoy. Like my daughter they would love it. So my daughter would give it five stars, an old lady like me would give it a three so I’ll average that out.

**One small gripe but this is the publisher’s fault not the authors. The book jacket shows the family name as the Rameros and the book has the name as Romeros. This should have been caught before it hit the shelves.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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.”