Tag Archive | Escape with Dollycas

Cozy Prizes Friday: Melinda Mullet Guest Posts on her Death Distilled Book Tour

Today we are honored to have a guest post by Melinda Mullet talking about strong women in fiction and her new cozy mystery Death Distilled. After making it through Hurricane Harvey here in Houston (ah, the alliteration fairly trips off the tongue today), the idea of a murder mystery taking place around liquor seems like a fine idea.

After you enjoy Melinda’s insights, be sure to scroll down and find the Prize Guy.  Enter for your chance to win an e-copy of Death Distilled!

 

Take it away, Melinda!

 

Melinda Mullett

Someone asked me the other day if I had a favorite toast when raising a glass of fine whisky.  My response was this:

 

To strong women.

May we know them,

May we be them,

May we raise them.

 

I love reading about strong women and I love writing about them.  Women who refuse to be defined by others and insist on defining themselves.  The protagonist in the Whisky Business Mystery series is one of those women.  Abi Logan spent years fighting for acceptance as a female war correspondent, and eventually became a celebrated photographer and journalist.  But breaking through one barrier didn’t make it any easier for her to approach the next one – distillery owner in Scotland.  Facing threats and even murder, she stands her ground and refuses to be intimidated or defined by tradition, eventually earning the grudging respect of the whisky fraternity.

 

Art mimics life, and today a significant number of women are taking on the traditionally male dominated distilling world.  Spirit producers and blenders often have backgrounds in chemistry and engineering, and as women worldwide are being encouraged to pursue degrees in STEM fields more and more of them are finding their way into the spirits industry. Now we see female distillers, master blenders, distillery managers, engineers and brand ambassadors where ten years ago there were virtually none. For me, one of the most enjoyable parts of researching the Whisky Business series has been getting to know some of these ladies and watching them pursue their dreams and passions.

 

Abi Logan had to fight for respect in her professional life, but oddly enough stepping up to help find a killer was a less controversial move. Intelligent, insightful and shrewd, fictional female detectives are refreshingly common in the mystery genre.  These women have refused to be defined by their male counterparts and have brought their own unique skill sets to the sleuthing business.  From classics characters like Miss Marple, Harriet Vane, Nancy Drew, Adela Bradley, and Miss Fisher, to the more contemporary ladies like Lisbeth Salander, Precious Ramotswe, Modesty Blaise and Kinsey Millhone, every one of them is a fabulous model of tenacity, grit, insight, and reason.

 

I am lucky to have been inspired by all of these ladies real and fictional.  When I left my day job to try my hand at writing mystery fiction, I had no practical experience at all, just desire and inspiration.  As many of you know, it takes a certain inner strength to throw your work open to the scrutiny of others. There’s always someone eager to make you feel incompetent or inadequate to the task.  It can be a real blow to your confidence, but it’s also a valuable lesson in dogged perseverance.  This is where our role models real and fictional inspire us to stand tall and be strong.  To forge ahead even in the face of steep odds.   Perseverance, a sense of humor and a thick skin worked for me and I try to share that message with my children – when I can get them to listen.

 

As the proud mother of two wonderful teenage girls I can tell you getting them to listen can be tough.  They are witty, intelligent and creative, but it saddens me that they still often lack confidence in themselves and in their own gifts and abilities.  I try to boost their sense of self worth and to teach by example, but they still accuse me of seeing them through a mother’s rose-colored glasses.  Fortunately, there are plenty of great female, ‘non-Mom’ role models in all aspect of their lives; business, politics, science and art.  Even pop culture, once a place where women were lauded mainly for their decorative selves, is stepping up to the plate and helping to redefine how women are seen and appreciated.

 

Earlier in the summer I took my daughters to see the new Wonder Woman movie.  It wildly exceeded my expectations not just because of the first class special effects, but for the depiction of a physically and emotionally strong female superhero.  The scriptwriters did a great job of crafting a leading lady of moral fortitude and admirable physical strength without resorting to a single shot of cleavage.  The girls were inspired and so was I.  And after more than 50 years, the Doctor of Doctor Who fame will at last be a woman.  The possibility has always been there, but for many years the producers argued that the time wasn’t right.  Finally, it seems, it is.  Rock on ladies!

 

So raise a glass and toast the strong women real and fictional that inspire us and our daughters.   Ladies, channel your inner wonder woman and have fun defining your own role in this changing world.

And now, more about Death Distilled

Photojournalist by trade, distillery owner by blood, and amateur sleuth by necessity, Abigail Logan learns that murder can’t stay bottled up forever in this charming Whisky Business Mystery.

It’s been three months since Abi Logan last checked in on Abbey Glen, the celebrated whisky distillery she inherited. With her oversize wheaten terrier, Liam, by her side, Abi returns to the quaint Scottish village of Balfour. But her relaxing Highland homecoming takes a stressful turn when she unearths an unseemly bit of village history, welcomes a group of Japanese whisky enthusiasts, and becomes shepherdess to an unexpected flock of sheep—all within the first twenty-four hours. Still, nothing’s more stressful than murder. . . .

Local celebrity Rory Hendricks is the hotheaded, hard-rocking former frontman of the Rebels—and Abi’s girlhood crush. After meeting him in person, Abi can’t say no to anything he asks, like photographing his upcoming show . . . or figuring out who’s trying to kill him. Turns out someone’s been bumping off his old bandmates, with the drummer dead under mysterious circumstances and the keyboardist in a coma following a hit-and-run. Now a series of threatening messages leads Rory to think he’s next on the chopping block. And the band has a devil’s share of broken hearts and bitter disputes in their past, leaving Abi a huge batch of suspects to sift through—all before the killer takes another shot.

Melinda Mullet’s delightful Whisky Business mysteries can be read together or separately. Enjoy responsibly:
SINGLE MALT MURDER | DEATH DISTILLED

Purchase Links

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CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY FOR AN E-COPY OF DEATH DISTILLED

 

About the Author:

Melinda Mullet was born in Dallas and attended school in Texas, Washington D.C., England, and Austria. She spent many years as a practicing attorney before pursuing a career as a writer. Author of the Whisky Business Mystery series, Mullet is a passionate supporter of childhood literacy. She works with numerous domestic and international charities striving to promote functional literacy for all children. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her family.

You can find Melinda at these locations:

Webpage – http://melindamullet.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/mulletmysteries/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/mulletmysteries

 

Book Blast Tuesday: Murder Wears Mittens

We have more knitters solving mysteries! Let’s head to autumn in New England–something I’ve always wanted to see– and catch up with the Seaside Knitters.

Two more things before you get to the book description. This book also has a knitting pattern and be sure to look for the prize guy at the bottom of this post to enter for your chance to win a print copy of Murder Wears Mittens.

As autumn washes over coastal Sea Harbor, Massachusetts, the Seaside Knitters anticipate a relaxing off-season. But when murder shatters the peace, the craftiest bunch in town must unravel a killer’s deadly scheme . . .

After retrieving fresh lobster nets from a local Laundromat, Cass Halloran rushes to attend a last-minute gathering with her knitting circle. But Cass can’t stop worrying about the lonely boy seen hanging around the dryers, and the school uniform he left behind in a hurry. When the ladies return the lost clothing the next day, they find the child and his younger sister alone, seemingly abandoned by their mother . . .

The knitters intend to facilitate a family reunion, not investigate a crime. But the death of Dolores Cardozo, a recluse from the edge of town, throws the group for a loop. Especially when the missing mother and one of their own become tied to the victim’s hidden fortune—and her murder . . .

Before scandalous secrets break bonds and rumors tear Sea Harbor apart, the Seaside Knitters need to string together the truth about Dolores—while preventing a greedy murderer from making another move!

* Includes a knitting pattern *

Pick Up This Book on Amazon

 

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Click Here to Enter Sally’s Giveaway for a Print Copy of Murder Wears Mittens

About the Author

 

Sally Goldenbaum

 

 

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

 

Cozy Prizes Friday: Knot What You Think

 

Okay, stitchers! Today we have a quilting mystery, Knot What You Think on Cozy Prizes Friday.  I always love how quilting mysteries are so good at tying up all the loose ends!  Be sure to scroll down and find the Prize Guy to enter to win a print copy of Knot What You Think.

 

The newest member of Martha’s close-knit quilting circle has an eye for couture. But when the designer’s fingerprints are found blanketing a crime scene, Martha must prove that he didn’t have a hand in homicide! 
 
Martha Rose is alarmed by the discovery of Dolleen Doyle’s dead body, especially when evidence suggests a fellow quilter committed the crime.  Set on clearing her pal, Martha searches for answers—but with ties to a convicted fraudster’s stolen millions and a secret office room, the victim’s past raises even more questions. As Martha inches towards the culprit, she learns that wrapping the case up—and living to baste another square—will be trickier than she ever imagined . . .

Pick This Book Up at These Locations

Amazon – B&N   Google Play  Kobo

 

 

 

Click Here For The Chance to Win a Print Copy of Knot What You Think

About the Author:  Born and raised in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, Mary Marks earned a B.A. in Anthropology from UCLA and an M.A. in Public Administration from the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. In 2004 she enrolled in the UCLA

Mary Marks

Extension Writers Program. Her first novel, Forget Me Knot, was a finalist in a national writing competition in 2011. She is currently a reviewer of cozy mysteries for The New York Journal of Books at www.nyjournalofbooks.com.

 

Readers can visit her at www.marymarksmysteries.com and https://www.facebook.com/mmarks2013

Cozy Prizes Friday: Dadgummit

I am so excited to have Maggie Toussaint back again with her new book Dadgummit! That’s what I said–Dadgummit!

Maggie was kind enough to be interviewed for the book, so here is a little visit with Maggie, one of my favorite Georgia girls.

Don’t forget to look for the Prize Guy to enter to win a choice of any book from Maggie Toussaint’s Backlist – Print or e-copy – Print U.S. Only

Maggie Toussaint

How did you come with an idea for your book?

Thank you for having me here, Teresa. It’s always a pleasure to visit your place. Sometimes an idea appears fully formed in my head, other times a hint of the idea worries at me for days, and still other times, each small idea cascades into the next. For the book on tour now, Dadgummit, I knew I wanted my sleuth to go away on vacation because we’d already killed a pile of people in her fictional home town. And since she lived at the shore, what better vacation than going to the mountains? She’s on a fixed budget, so it had to be camping or borrowing an RV, and it couldn’t be too far because then the gas would be too much. So, the Georgia mountains. Just like that I had my setting, but what paranormal events would happen in the mountains? Then I remembered that many Native Americans remained in that area, and that the Cherokee had a wealth of folklore and legends that would work with my series. These connected ideas occurred to me much as I’ve recorded them here. One idea led to the next.

What scene do you hope your readers enjoy the most?

Choosing between scenes in a favorite book is very hard, but I particularly love the scene where the Nunnéhi kidnap my sleuth and her friends. It’s the first time Baxley has heard of realms being located between the living and the dead and she’s in for a big surprise.

What other things have you written or what projects might we see in the future?

My muse doesn’t need encouragement to stray! You’re talking to a writer who started in romance, then wrote romantic suspense, cozy mystery, paranormal mystery, short fiction, and futuristic mystery. I’m really enjoying mystery as a writing genre right now. In addition to the Dreamwalker Series that includes Dadgummit, I’m working on novella sequels to my Cleopatra Jones Cozy Mystery Series. No Quarter, a 26,000 word novella, will be out in the Sleuthing Women II anthology this fall. Also, the last installment of my Lindsey & Ike cozy novella series will be out this fall.

If you could write any other genre what would that be?

I think I’m right in the pocket now. I do not need more writing genres.

Is there a giveaway or promotion with this book?

Yes. There is a giveaway that spans the entire Great Escapes blog tour.

Where can readers leave reviews of your book?

Everywhere they can think of! Amazon, Goodreads, B&N, for starters. Mentioning a review you wrote on Facebook or Twitter is always appreciated. Maybe you have a blog – those are great places to post reviews. I love to see reviews, and I look forward to hearing what readers say about my books.

Add Dadgummit by Maggie Toussaint to your Goodreads Reading List 

If you want to find Maggie on the web, here are some places to start looking!

Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Goodreads | LinkedIn | Pinterest | Booklover’s Bench | Amazon Author Central Bookbub Website 

Thank you, Maggie!  Now here’s a little more about her new book!

 

Amateur sleuth Baxley Powell is on vacation at Stony Creek Lake in the north Georgia mountains. Her parents, best friend, and ten-year-old daughter are camping with her. Almost immediately, a young man’s body is found beside the lake. Strangely, there’s no apparent cause of death. The local police have heard about Baxley’s skill at closing unusual cases, and at their urging she agrees to help.

Her psychic sleuthing leads the police to a halfway house. There they encounter eight comatose victims and an odd man named Jonas, who also has supernatural abilities. Baxley senses Jonas cruelly drained their life force energy. Jonas escapes, taking the sheriff as a hostage. Deputy Sam Mayes, a Native American, leads the manhunt, and he keeps Baxley close, knowing she’s the key to capturing this powerful criminal.

Baxley’s paranormal talent of dreamwalking, which she uses to traverse the veil of life, draws the unwanted attention of beings believed to be Cherokee folklore. Jonas stole a treasured artifact from them, and they want it back. They hold Baxley’s best friend and two others because they know Baxley can help them. As the clock ticks, Jonas taunts this crime-fighting duo and proves to be a wily adversary.

With the body count rising, Baxley and Mayes realize they are up against an entity who appears to be invincible. Do they have the power to subdue an energy vampire, turn the tide of evil, and save the day?

Click Here to Pick Up Your Copy of Dadgummit on Amazon

 

 

 

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Cozy Prizes Friday: Dead Air and Double Dares

I’d like to welcome my guest today, Crystal Cropper. She is the main character in the new book by Janis Thornton, Dead Air and Double Dares and agreed to answer a few of my questions.  Crystal is a spunky reporter who is trying to knock something off her bucket list!  Don’t forget to look for the Prize Guy! Enter to win a free copy of Dead Air and Double Dares in print or ebook form.

 

And now, Crystal tells all…

Crystal Cropper, editor of the Elmwood Gazette, has added incentive in finding out who killed Horace Q. Ogilvie, owner of the local radio station and the most reviled man in town. Horace turns up dead minutes before he is supposed to broadcast his next malicious editorial, designed to destroy yet another Elmwood luminary. Fortunately for the police department, Horace’s list of future targets provides an abundant pool of suspects. Unfortunately for Crystal, her name is at the top!

Please tell us about your latest adventure.
The only “adventure” I had planned for Memorial Day was a quick ride in a powered-parachute, so I could (1) fulfill a double dare, and (2) cross it off my bucket list. Unfortunately, plans went terribly awry when the pilot crash-landed on the courthouse lawn in the middle of the Memorial Day ceremony, slightly injuring Horace Q. Ogilvie, the most detested man in town. By the next morning, he was dead — murdered! Ogilvie, owner of the local radio station, had made a game of ruining the lives of Elmwood luminaries by revealing their secrets in his on-air editorials. As editor of the Elmwood Gazette, I naturally wanted to “help” the sheriff determine the identity Ogilvie’s killer, which shouldn’t have been difficult, considering his editorials had wrought no shortage of suspects. But the problem was, I was one of them.

Do you have any friends/sidekicks helping you out?
I have the most wonderful friends — Auggie Stillwater, the Elm County Superior Court judge; Shay Nichols, director of the Elmwood Chamber of Commerce; and Richelle Evers, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church. They’re the best, and we’ll do anything for one another. In addition, there’s Gertie Tyroo, Elmwood’s premier freelance cleaning lady and my most trusted, confidential informant. Even at 80-something (she won’t tell me her exact age), she’s the best, most experienced crime-buster I’ve ever known. I have reason to suspect she’s been in the FBI’s witness protection program since 1963, but she won’t tell me that either.
Do you have any special skills to fight crime?
I spent several years as the crime beat reporter for the Los Angeles News-Tribune, I have a certificate of completion in a ladies’ self-defense course, but most useful of all, I’m persistent.

Are you a full-time detective or do you do something else?
Oh, yes, I’m definitely “something else.” My buddy, Sheriff Verlin Wallace, huffs that at me all the time. But in answer to your question, no, I’m not a full-time detective; yes, I do something else. As previously noted, I’m a full-time newspaper reporter and editor, and inherent in that job is a host of skills, including good instincts for news and a nose made to sniff out crime.

What are you most frightened of in this story?
To tell you the truth, there is a revelation in this story that utterly terrifies me, and it has nothing to do with the murder of Horace Ogilvie. Without giving away too much, I will say only that is has to do with the unexpected appearance of a person I never knew existed and never would have believed I could love so completely and so unconditionally.

Is there anything funny that happens to you or another character in this story?

You might think it’s funny, but I don’t find crash-landing on the courthouse lawn amid 500 men, women and children, the community band, and the American Legion firing squad particularly amusing.

If I were to choose an actor or actress to play your part in a movie, who would that be? Do you see any other characters in your story as actors or actresses that our readers might know?
As you know, I am a Boomer-aged woman, who is strong, independent, intelligent, confident, fun loving, a tad snarky, somewhat attractive, and infinitely humble. I’ve always considered myself a cross between Meryl Streep, Helen Mirran, and Cher. As for my spunky sidekick, Gertie Tyroo, I think of her as a hybrid of Ruth Gordon and “The Golden Girls’” Estelle Getty. And finally, if J.K. Simmons (of Farmers Insurance fame) would pack on a hundred pounds, he’d be a perfect Verlin Wallace.

Do you have other mysteries you would like to tell us about? Is this the first book in the series, or have you cracked a few other cases?
“Dead Air & Double Dares” is Book 2 in the Elmwood Confidential series. Book 1, “Dust Bunnies & Dead Bodies,” was released in the fall of 2014. Crime solving is second nature to me, and I will continue to “crack cases” for as long as I am breathing. So, stay tuned. Book 3 is as near as Elmwood’s next homicide.

Do you have any final words you would like to leave with our readers?
Well, yes… There’s one lesson I took away from this case, and it’s this: Give people a chance, even those who seem beyond redemption, as did the despicable Horace Q. Ogilvie. Life is complicated, and it may be impossible to know what another person has been forced to endure or what dwells at the core of their soul. Oftentimes, when you take a moment to look deeper, you will find that all they need is a little understanding and forgiveness.

Janis Thornton

Let’s give your author a chance to speak. Anything you would like to add?

Yes … Thank you, Teresa, for inviting Crystal and me to stop by. We are thrilled about our new cozy and enormously grateful for this opportunity to tell you and your readers a bit about it. We hope you all enjoy it. Thanks again!

 

Click Here to Enter the Giveaway for a free copy of Dead Air and Double Dares. Print or Ebook. You Choose! 

The Masquerading Magician: A Review

Gigi Pandian headshot 38 b&w vertical crop

Gigi Pandian     Author of the Accidental Alchemist Series

 

I have the great opportunity to welcome Gigi Pandian with her second book in her Accidental Alchemist Series, The Masquerading Magician. There are magical elements to the story as Zoe Faust must find the solution in alchemy for her best friend Dorian who just happens to be a gargoyle. A gargoyle who cooks and rips off French phrases all the time.  You will need a snack when you read the book because the story involves descriptions of so many tasty dishes, but good news, the author included recipes in the back. Now I just need a little stone guy to cook it for me.

The Masquerading Magician has a giveaway for you to enter so scroll down and find the prize guy!

Here is my review of the Masquerading Magician:

Masquerading Magician by Gigi Pandian COVER webres4 Stars

I am not someone who normally reads about alchemy, but  a mystery combined with a shady magician and a desperate search for a cure for a friend, I found it very engaging. I loved the characters of Dorian the gargoyle, Max the cop and of course, Zoe. It was fun getting into the head of a person who had been around for centuries, although her wardrobe choices were questionable.  Gigi Pandian creates a mystery complete with red herrings and colorful cast while we enter into the world of alchemy and backward alchemy. Enjoyable Read!

Click on Me for Signed copies of both books in the series (The Accidental Alchemist and The Masquerading Magician), an Accidental Alchemist mug, and a set of recipe postcards.

Click on Me for Signed copies of both books in the series (The Accidental Alchemist and The Masquerading Magician), an Accidental Alchemist mug, and a set of recipe postcards.

Second to Nun Author Alice Loweecey Visiting Today!

I am so happy to have author Alice Loweecey visiting us today to talk about her writing and her new book Second to Nun.  I’ll admit it. I love books about nuns and priests, even former nuns!  I don’t know why I find these kinds of characters so fascinating. I used to love the old Father Brown series. I think I am particularly intrigued by a character who makes decisions based on faith.

Alice sat down an answered some questions for me. One thing I learned? She’s a middle school teacher! She needs prayers just for that alone.Loweecey author pic 2015 cropped

Tell us a little about yourself.

Thanks, Teresa. I’m an Italian mom from a long line of Italian moms. We cook! We grow our own veggies and make homemade sauce. I have an Italian cheesecake recipe that I make only once every few years because it’s death by sweet, gooey goodness. 

I do have a Day Job, so I block out very early mornings and after supper in the evenings for writing. I have a degree in English Lit and have been a middle-school teacher, but I really use my degree and skills in freelance copyediting and my own writing. 

Like many writers, I have trunked books in addition to my Giulia Driscoll series (five and counting, whee!). One of them, The Redeemers, was published this past August with Dark Recesses Press. I use the pen name of Kate Morgan for it to separate it from my mystery brand.

I loved your Ouija board session in the story, the lighthouse and the woman in white. This is a great combination! How did you research this?

I have a vague recollection of fooling around with a Ouija board in grade school with a friend. Two Catholic school girls deliberately disobeying the nuns, oh my! Nothing came of it but much giggling and disappointment. I’ve seen many movies with psychics and demons, both real and fake (within the plots), so I knew when I created the haunted lighthouse I had to have a Ouija session. I do have to give credit to the TV show Supernatural for giving me the idea for the Woman in White. She wasn’t high up on my haunting list at first, but her multi-country legend fit my plot so well.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

Stone’s Throw B&B was inspired by an actual historic lighthouse B&B my husband and I stayed at one summer. It was a fabulous place, filled with antiques and with a spectacular view. I knew when we walked in that a book opportunity had dropped in my lap, so I took dozens of pictures. When the time to outline Second To Nun arrived, I saw that folder of pictures and the bones of the plot followed a moment later.

Who is your favorite character to create scenes for in the book?

SECOND TO NUN cover I have so many colorful characters in Second To Nun, but my favorites are Solana and Cedar. They’re enigmas: Are they for real? Are they shysters? Just because they know how to run their psychic business doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not for real. I love characters who reveal layer after layer as I get deeper into the story. Cedar also has one of my favorite lines in the book: “I picked the wrong day to quit heroin.” 

Running a close second in the whole series is The Scoop, the local TMZ wannabees. They’re opportunistic, amoral, and indefatigable, and I visit so much deserved humiliation upon them.

How can readers find your books and are there more coming in this series?

My books are on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and Google Play. They’re also in Barnes and Noble stores across the country, and in libraries as far away as New Zealand. Someday I want to visit all the places that have my books!

 

The next book in the Giulia Driscoll series is Nun But The Brave. Giulia’s been hired to locate a missing twin, and gets involved with Doomsday Preppers and The Scoop. It gets bumpy!