Posted in Cozy Mystery, Guest Post

Guest Post and Blog Tour for Lethal in Old Lace, a Consignment Shop Mystery, by Duffy Brown

This post was contributed by author Duffy Brown. Her cozy mystery, Lethal in Old Lace, is currently on tour with Dollycas Escape into a Good Book


Hi, it’s Regan Summerside from Duffy Brown’s Consignment Shop mysteries and I have to tell you that spring in Savannah is like no other…except this year it’s not all for the good. The Abbott sisters are accused of murder!

I ask you, how could two little old ladies who were once school teachers in a Catholic school of all places and now retired and supplement their income as professional mourners for the best funerals in all Savannah be accused of murder!

Okay, they might have been swindled by that no good Willie Fishbine who doesn’t have a decent bone in his body but to think the sisters did the deed when there are so many others out there who could have done it is plum nuts.

What about Willie’s daughter? She’s the one prancing around with that younger guy. She’s the one who’s had so much plastic surgery it’s hard to tell where her chin ends and her boobs start. And what about Anna and Bella? They want to get their aging and oh-so-rich husbands in Sleepy Pines they are more than willing to kill off a few residents to make room. I see them going in old Willie in a heartbeat.

Auntie KiKi is beside herself with worry that Annie Fritz and Elsie Abbott will go to jail for a crime they didn’t commit. In fact Auntie KiKi has made up a new martini recipe called Get Out of Jail Free. I’m giving it all to you in case you find yourself in such a mess…or in a rousing game of Monopoly.

Wish me luck on finding the real killer. Over and out from Savannah.

Auntie KiKi’s Get Out Of Jail Free Martini

(delish with or without booze)

1 tablespoon finely grated orange chocolate

1 teaspoon sugar

2 orange slices

1/2 cup premium chocolate ice cream, at room temperature for 5 minutes

1 ounce orange vodka (or fresh squeeze orange juice)

Gently stir together the chocolate and sugar and put it on a plate. Run an orange slice around the rim of a chilled martini glass and dip the rim in the chocolate/sugar mix to coat.

Add the ice cream and vodka to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into the prepared glass and garnish with the remaining orange slice.

Posted in Cozy Mysteries, Guest Post, New Releases

Guest Post by Rita Moreau, Author of The Russian and Aunt Sophia

It’s my pleasure to feature a guest post by author Rita Moreau whose new release, The Russian and Aunt Sophia, is currently on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.

One question my readers always ask me is “How do you write a novel?” I usually respond, “You write a novel one page at a time.”

When writing The Russian & Aunt Sophia I did not start out to write a novella. I actually had a 50,000 plus word manuscript about the time I decided to enter the 2017 ScreenCraft Cinematic Short Story Contest.  The entry could not exceed 20,000 words.  It was challenging to take a 50,000 word manuscript and trim it down to less than 20,000 words. But in the process I learned to let go of words.  It was very painful. A lot like downsizing from a house you have lived in most of your life. You have to let go of your grandmother’s china because it won’t fit in your new home and to your surprise no one in the family wants your grandmother’s china. It hurts and if you have that mindset and you are a writer it is painful to let go of those words you cherish but you have no choice if you want to write fiction in today’s market.

Last year I found a new editor when I decided to re-edit my first three novels. Live and learn is part of the life of an indie author.  I have learned quite a bit about the craft of writing through the process of re-editing my first three novels and working with my new editor.  One thing was I tend to write way too much backstory or in other words TMI. Readers get bored and will not finish a book if the plot does not move along and they stop reading and do not finish the novel or worse leave a negative review.

I also learned that my readers don’t need to be spoon fed because they are an intelligent group of individuals not children.  After I entered the ScreenCraft competition my editor suggested publishing it as a novella. So I did and hence The Russian & Aunt Sophia became a novella.

Two of my favorite characters Sister Hildegard and Sister Matilda return in The Russian and Aunt Sophia.  I hope my readers enjoy the book as much as I did writing it. Here’s a short scene:

“I heard a horn honking and turning to look, I saw Sister Matilda driving a big SUV with Sister Hildegard riding shotgun. I grabbed my carry-on bag and jumped into the back seat. Like most airports today loading and unloading means you take a flying leap as the car picking you up passes by.

“Who does this SUV belong to?”

“A friend of Ernie’s,” Sister Matilda said.

“It has diplomatic plates.”

“He’s in the CIA,” Sister Matilda said, “according to your Aunt Anna.”

“Yes,” Sister Hildegard spoke now, “but a lot of good that does picking someone up at the airport. No way would the airport cops let us park and wait. We’ve been circling the airport for a good half hour.”

“You didn’t park in the cell phone lot?”

“We forgot our cell phone,” Sister Hildegard said looking sternly at Sister Matilda who made the sign of the cross. “So, we’ve been driving in a loop.  Your plane was late,” Sister Hildegard said.

“You don’t need a cell phone to park in the cell phone lot,” I said prompting Sister Hildegard to give Sister Matilda an even sterner look. Sister Matilda was a walking encyclopedia of information. She apparently missed this one.”

The Russian & Aunt Sophia was chosen as a Quarter-Finalist in the 2017 SCREENCRAFT Cinematic Short Story Contest.

“The Russian & Aunt Sophia is a very unique and delightfully quirky tale of mystery and murder.  The locations are vivid and fun, the characters are engaging, and the plot is very solid and effective. The Russian & Aunt Sophia would work immensely well as a cinematic adaptation.”  SCREENCRAFT

Check out the Amazon Kindle Countdown for the novella and 1st book of the series here:

Posted in Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery

Spotlight and Giveaway for new Cozy Mystery, Playing with Bonbon Fire, by Dorothy St. James

Playing With Bonbon Fire: A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery
by Dorothy St. James

About the Book

Playing With Bonbon Fire: A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (March 13, 2018)
Hardcover: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683314684
Digital ASIN: B074MBXLWX

Chocoholic Charity Penn must smoke out the killer to stop her newly inherited beachside chocolate shop from going up in flames in Dorothy St. James’ decadent follow-up to Asking for Truffle.

Chocolate shop owner Charity Penn is finally settling into life in the quirky South Carolina seaside town of Camellia Beach cooking up chocolate treats. She’s even helped organize the town’s lively beach music festival which has brought rollicking crowds eager to dance the Carolina shag. That is, until one of the band’s lead singers is found dead beside a beach bonfire.

While also trying to balance the amorous attention of music star Bixby Lewis, in town for the festival, and her quest to perfect a new hot flavored bonbon, Charity dives into the investigation. Though it’s more spice than sugar when she discovers a threatening note, comes across decades of age-old secrets, and Bixby comes into the line of fire when a gas grill explodes on the deck of a beachfront house.

Now Charity must turn up the heat and catch the killer before her chance melts away in Playing With Bonbon Fire, the delightful second Southern Chocolate Shop mystery served up just right for fans of JoAnna Carl and Joanne Fluke.

About the Author

Mystery author Dorothy St. James was born in New York but raised in South Carolina. She makes her home on an artsy island community in South Carolina with her husband, a neurotic dog, and fluffy cat. Though writing has always been a passion for her, she pursued an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology and a graduate degree in Public Administration and Urban Planning. She put her educational experience to use, having worked in all branches and all levels of government including local, regional, state, and federal. She even spent time during college working for a non-profit environmental watchdog organization.

Switching from government service and community planning to fiction writing wasn’t as big of a change as some might think. Her government work was all about the stories of the people and the places where they live. As an urban planner, Dorothy loved telling the stories of the people she met. And from that, her desire to tell the tales that were so alive in her heart grew until she could not ignore it any longer. In 2001, she took a leap of faith and pursued her dream of writing fiction full-time.

Known for the White House Gardener Mystery series, Dorothy is going back to her roots and setting a mystery series in a Southern beach town much like the one she’s called home for the past 20 years. The Southern Chocolate Shop Mysteries combine her love of fine chocolates, quirky Southern charm, with a dash of danger.

* Dorothy St. James is the alter-ego of the award-winning multi-published author, Dorothy McFalls. She enjoys writing in several different genres. Her works have been nominated for many awards including Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, Reviewers International Organization Award, National Reader’s Choice Award, CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Award, and The Romance Reviews Today Perfect 10! Award. Reviewers have called her work: “amazing”, “perfect”, “filled with emotion”, and “lined with danger.”

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Posted in Author Spotlight, Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery

Author Spotlight of Tonya Kappes, author of Six Feet Under, a Kenni Lowry Mystery

I’m pleased to have author Tonya Kappes from Crestview Hills, Kentucky here to speak about her writing and new release, Six Feet Under, which is on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.

Welcome, Tonya. Please tell us how long you’ve been published and what titles and/or series you write.

I’ve been published for nine years. My publishers include Henery Press, HarperCollins, William Morrow, and Crooked Lane. I’ve self published over twenty novels.

That sounds like quite a productive career.

Tell us a little bit about your books — if you write a series, any upcoming releases or your current work-in-progress.

I’m a cozy mystery author. All of my books are set in the south in the great Bluegrass state of Kentucky. They are funny with globs of southern charm. Six Feet Under is the fourth book in a ten book deal with Henery Press.


A paranormal cozy mystery

Kenni Lowry Mystery Series

Book 4

Too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth. And let me tell you, this broth is in trouble. Get ready for a Southern showdown.

The residents of Cottonwood, Kentucky are sent into a tizzy when the Culinary Channel comes to town to film an episode of Southern Home Cookin’ with celebrity chef Frank Von Lee.

Especially Sheriff Kenni Lowry.

Her mama’s award-winning chicken pot pie is what brought Frank to town, and they don’t make hair in the South bigger than her mama’s ego after the news.

When Frank Von Lee is found dead from food poisoning and the most likely culprit is Mama’s chicken pot pie, Kenni’s poppa, the former sheriff, comes back from the Great Beyond to assist in the investigation.

But nothing’s prepared Kenni for such a personal tie to a case, and she finds herself pushing the limits of the laws she’s sworn to protect.

This book’s so delicious it’ll make your mouth water and leave you hankerin’ for more.

Sounds like a great book.

Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?

My only goal as a writer is to write the next book. I stay on a written plan to accomplish my daily writing word count that helps me get there. My WHY as a writer is much different than my goal. My WHY is to write a fun book that helps the reader escape from their daily life.

Excellent goals, and it looks like you’ve been achieving them.

What type of reader are you hoping to attract?  Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?

I attract readers who love cozy mystery with some fun and quirky characters.

Yes, quirky characters are a main draw for cozy readers. I like to think the residents of my Cobble Cove fit that bill, too.

What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?

Write every day.

Good advice. I believe that writing is like anything else you wish to master, you have to keep at it to make it a habit.

What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?

I first published with self publishing and when it was just not considered cool to do. I just blocked out all the noise and continued down my side of the street and I’ve not done so bad for myself.

I self-published my first book and then became published with Indie publishers. I’m still trying to break into larger publishers with an agent, but I’m very happy with what I’ve accomplished so far and am hopeful I will reach my ultimate goals. In the meantime, I’m learning a lot and am very thankful for the support of other authors and my publisher.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I have four boys in college…no time for hobbies! I’m all family all the time.

Wow! I only have a teenage daughter. I have no idea how you do it with four kids.

What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?

I love it all. I love writing and getting into my character’s heads and I love meeting with readers at my annual Two Dames on a Mystery Train event where I rent a different train somewhere in the USA.

The mystery train event sounds awesome. I admire authors like you who are able to think outside the box to find such creative ways to interact with readers.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

I like how the setting and the secondary characters are just as important as the mystery.

I agree. Setting and characters are very important in cozies. I love creating characters and seeing them grow from book to book in my series.

Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you or your books?

If they have a hankerin’ to find out more, just check out my website. You can sign up for my newsletter there and also connect with me on social media.

Facebook at Author Tonya Kappes:

Kappes Krew Street Team





Thank you so much, Tonya, and best wishes on your new release and blog tour.



Posted in A Stone's Throw, Cozy Mystery, Freebies and Special Offers, Solstice Publishing

Celebrate the Book Birthday of My First Cozy Mystery with a Free e-Copy

The first book of my Cobble Cove cozy mystery is free on Monday, March 5; Tuesday, March 6; and Wednesday March 7. You can get it here on those days:

If you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, all my eBooks are free. check them out on my author page:

Widowed librarian Alicia Fairmont needs answers…

After her husband is killed in a hit and run accident, Alicia travels upstate to his hometown of Cobble Cove, New York. She hopes to locate his estranged family and shed light on his mysterious past. Anticipating staying only a weekend, her visit is extended when she accepts a job at the town’s library.

Secrets stretch decades into the past…

Assisted by handsome newspaper publisher and aspiring novelist, John McKinney, Alicia discovers a connection between her absent in-laws and a secret John’s father has kept for over sixty years. Her investigation is interrupted when she receives word her house has burned and arson is suspected, sending her rushing back to Long Island, accompanied by John.

Back in Cobble Cove, cryptic clues are uncovered…

When Alicia returns, she finds a strange diary, confiscated letters, and a digital audio device containing a recording made the day her husband was killed. Anonymous notes warn Alicia to leave town, but she can’t turn her back on the mystery—or her attraction to John. As the pieces fall into place, evidence points to John’s involvement in her husband’s accident. The past and present threaten to collide, and Alicia confronts her fears…

Has she fallen in love with her husband’s killer?



Posted in Author Spotlight, Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery

Author Spotlight of Caroline Fardig, Author of Southern Discomfort, First of the Southern B & B Series


I’m pleased to have author Caroline Fardig from Indiana here to speak about her writing and new release, the first of her Southern B & B cozy mystery series, Southern Discomfort,  which is on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas Into a Good Book.

Welcome, Caroline. Please tell us how long you’ve been published and what titles and/or series you write.

I’ve been traditionally published since 2016 with Random House.

Java Jive series

Southern B&B series

I’ve been self-published since 2013.

The Lizzie Hart Mysteries series

Ellie Matthews Novels

That’s great. Tell us a little bit about your books and your new cozy series.

My series are all mysteries, but all have their own personalities.  The Lizzie Hart series and the Java Jive series are fun and modern, with sassy heroines and plenty of romance—not your mama’s cozy mysteries.  The Southern B&B series is more traditionally cozy.  My Ellie Matthews series is vastly different from anything I’ve ever written before.  The books in that series are forensic police procedurals—dark and thrilling with a definite edge.

Southern Discomfort, the first book in the Southern B&B series was just released.

Wonderful. Best wishes with that. Can you describe your goals as a writer? What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?

I’d like to continue to keep writing as my full-time job and produce two to four books a year.  My next project will be a psychological suspense novel, which will be a new genre for me.  Right now I’m researching for that story and working on my outline.

Very nice. I’ve written a psychological thriller myself, Sea Scope, that I’m hoping to publish soon.

What type of reader are you hoping to attract?  Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?

Mystery readers in general would be interested in my books, but I hope to reach a wider audience with my upcoming psychological suspense novel.

It’s always a good idea to reach a different audience. From my experience as a librarian, I know that there are many readers who enjoy several genres.

What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?

Never give up.  Write daily, and always strive to make your work the best it can be.  Take constructive criticism from knowledgeable people and use it to make your writing better.

Excellent advice.

What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?

First and foremost, I worried if my writing was good enough.  I didn’t even want to tell my husband that I’d written a book!  But as I let a few people I trusted read it and give me feedback, I realized I could do it and worked to make that dream a reality.  On the business side of things, it was difficult at the beginning as an unknown author to get enough traction and interest to get my name out there and to get an agent.

I think most beginning authors and even those who have published such as myself struggle with both those issues, feeling confident enough in their writing and landing an agent. I’m currently querying agents for my new cozy series.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

Yes, I’m a member of the Midwest Writers Guild and Evansville Local Authors.

I think writing groups are great for authors for support as well as constructive criticism.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I love to play guitar, sing, write songs, cook, travel, and watch movies.

Those are a nice variety of interests.

What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?

I like creating characters most of all.  I like marketing the least.  My toughest challenge is trying to figure out what marketing approach works best to get my books noticed in the sea of books that are out in the world.

I think most authors would agree with that. Marketing is so time consuming, and it’s hard to pinpoint what works and what doesn’t. It also takes you away from the main work of creating.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

I like creating characters with quirky traits and not having to be too serious.

Yes, I also like creating interesting characters and having fun with them.

Can you share a short excerpt from your new release?

“Do you realize that you put the lavender-colored sheets on the bed in the red room and the peach sheets in the blue room?” my sister Delilah asked.

I slapped my forehead. “Cheese and crackers. I’m sorry, D. I’ll fix it.”

She came over and plopped down on her stomach on my bed, facing me. “It’s totally normal for you to be off your game. It may take a long time to bounce back.”

“I know, but . . . I’ve actually got other things on my mind. Sort of.”

Cocking her head to the side, she asked, “What could possibly be bigger than finding a dead body?”

“Finding a way to get Drew out of jail.”

She snorted. “Short of a professionally planned jailbreak, I don’t think you’ve got much of a chance.”

I’d expected that kind of response out of my sister. She was the more pessimistic of the two of us, plus, as she’d alluded to before, she didn’t seem convinced of Drew’s innocence. But she always listened and offered great advice—and I could use some advice right about now. Granted, she might call me crazy and several other not-so-nice things for taking on this kind of dangerous endeavor, which was why I’d kept it from her until now. That aside, I knew she’d be in my corner once she finally came around.

I replied, “Actually, there’s another way I can help Drew, but I doubt you’re going to like it.”

“Let’s hear it.”

“Okay. Here goes. Yesterday Drew and I came up with a list of people who might have had a reason to want to kill Jason.”

“Okay . . . that doesn’t sound so bad. What are you going to do with the list? Give it to the police?”

“I tried that. No luck. Rufus wasn’t in a listening mood.”

She shrugged. “Oh. Well, I guess you tried . . .”

“I’m going to do more than that, and this is the part I think you won’t like. I know in my heart that Drew didn’t kill Jason. But since his money is all tied up in the restaurant and they’ve had to close the place, he has no way of making bail, or more importantly, no way of hiring a private investigator to look more deeply into his case.”

“So what can you do? Loan him some money you don’t have?”

“No, I can use this list, talk to people around town, and try to find the police a better suspect than Drew.”

Her face screwed up in confusion. “Are you saying you want to sleuth around like some kind of adult Nancy Drew or something?”

I stuck my tongue out at her. “It sounds stupid when you say it like that.”

“Quinn, I’m not belittling your attempt to help your friend. If you want to know the truth, I think it sounds kind of fun, in a dangerous way. But . . . what in the world do you know about investigating?”

“Nothing. In fact, I’m pretty terrible at it.” Ouch. That hurt to admit out loud. “Yesterday I managed to get some information out of a restaurant critic that Jason had fought with, but it was ugly. Today I tried to talk to Valerie, but that went horribly wrong. Then I tried to follow her, and she caught me.”

“Ooh. That couldn’t have ended well. That woman is a viper.”

“You’re telling me. I’ve decided to call that one a learning experience and work a little smarter from now on.”

“Right. And how do you plan to work smarter?”

I threw my hands in the air. “That’s what I have to figure out. And fast.”

She thought for a moment. “If you don’t mind me saying so, you can be a bit . . . gullible. Naïve. If you do decide to go through with this, when you go out and speak with people, you need to not readily believe everything you hear. It stands to reason that people would have things to hide in this particular situation.”

She wasn’t wrong, but it wasn’t something I liked to hear. Straightening in my chair, I said, “I can think more critically. Be more skeptical if I need to be.”

I could see her mulling this over, and just when I thought she wasn’t going to pull her big sister routine, her expression became strained. “Quinn . . . are you sure this is something you should take on? I mean, if Drew didn’t kill Jason, then someone else did. And that someone is still out there running loose. I don’t know if it’s a good idea to insert yourself into the situation. You could get hurt.”

“Drew could get hurt in jail. Who knows what could happen in there?”

“I appreciate that, and I think you’re an amazing friend for even considering taking this on. But you can’t forget about the danger aspect of it. At the end of the day, if it’s someone’s neck on the line, I’d rather it be his than yours.”

There was one more thing I needed to tell her that would eclipse everything else for her. I blew out a breath. “If I don’t figure out who really killed Jason, my neck could be on the line as well. There’s a possibility that the police could find some reason to charge me, too, if they decide Drew and I were in cahoots.”

“What?” she exploded, jumping off the bed so she could pace around the room. “How? Why would they think you’re in cahoots?”

“Because I found the body. And also because of my supposedly flimsy reason to be at a closed restaurant after hours, Detective Flynn told Drew that he thought either Drew and I were in on the murder together, or that I’m covering for him. It may not be just Drew that we need to worry about. Detective Flynn might not have any evidence on me, and I don’t even know that Rufus shares his hunch, but it’s still a valid issue to worry about.”

Delilah’s jaw dropped, and she stopped pacing. “How long have you known about this?”

“Since yesterday morning.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?” she cried.

I looked down. “I didn’t want to worry you.”

Coming over to kneel in front of me, she took my hands. “Quinn, we’re sisters. We’re supposed to weather the hard stuff together.”

“I know. But . . .”

“No buts. I will not stand for my baby sister being accused of any wrongdoing, especially a freaking murder! We’re going to clear your name once and for all, and if we happen to clear Drew’s in the process, all the better.”

I stared at her. “What do you mean ‘we’? What are you saying?”

“I’m saying I’m going to help you find your suspect. I always have your back, and this is no different. You need a cynical sidekick who can think like a delinquent and talk her way out of a messy situation. I’m the perfect woman for the job. Besides, I could use a little excitement in my life. Don’t tell Papa Sal, but the monotony of B&B management has been getting to me lately.”

Tears sprang to my eyes as I broke into a smile. “You mean it? We’re going to do this together?”

She smiled back at me. “The Bellandini sisters are on the case!”

Great excerpt!

Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you or your books?

I write original songs to go along with all of my Java Jive books, since the main characters are singer-songwriters.  The sheet music can be found at the end of each book, and my recordings of those songs can be found at

What a great idea.

Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. and include some book cover graphics and author photos if possible.



Twitter:  @carolinefardig


Thanks so much for the interview, Caroline. It was great meeting you, and I wish you the best on your new series and blog tour.