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 Author Spotlight, Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery, New Releases

Author Spotlight of Lena Gregory, author of Clairvoyant and Present Dancer: A Bay Island Psychic Mystery

I’m pleased to have author Lena Gregory, a fellow Long Islander, here again to speak about her writing and new release, Clairvoyant and Present Danger, which is on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas Into a Good BookI chatted with Lena previously about Scone Cold Killer.

Hi, Lena. Nice to have you here again. For those who may have missed your first appearance here and those who need a refresher, can you please tell us what titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher?

My first cozy mystery, Death at First Sight released on November 1, 2016 with Berkley Publishing. I currently write the Bay Island Psychic Mysteries series (Death at First Sight, Occult and Battery & Clairvoyant and Present Danger) with Berkley Publishing and the All-Day Breakfast Café Mysteries series (Scone Cold Killer, Murder Made to Order & Cold Brew Killing) with Lyrical Press.

Quite a big list. Tell us a little bit about those books and your new release.

My most recent book, Clairvoyant and Present Danger, Bay Island Psychic Mysteries book three, is due to release today, February 6, 2018 and follows the story of Cass Donovan and her small psychic shop on the boardwalk.

Scone Cold Killer, the first book in the All-Day Breakfast Café Mysteries series, released on January 23, 2018 and is about Gia Morelli, a woman from New York City who flees her home to move to Boggy Creek, Florida and open a café. Unfortunately, trouble follows.

Congratulations on your new releases.

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 biggest goal is to keep writing cozies! I hope to continue the series’ I am currently writing as well as start two new series’, one paranormal and one contemporary. As a cozy reader, which do you prefer?

Commenting for myself, I like contemporaries but paranormals can be interesting, too. My Cobble Cove series is a contemporary cozy. I hope readers will share their preferences.

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

I think people who enjoy cozy mysteries would be most interested in my books, people who enjoy reading about small towns and trying to solve the mystery along with the sleuth. I also think people who enjoy psychics, ghosts, and a touch of the paranormal will enjoy my Bay Island Psychic Mysteries series.

Both sound very interesting.

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

I would say, “Never give up!” It’s definitely not an easy road, and there is plenty of rejection along the way, but achieving your dream is so worth it.

I agree completely and hope to have a large publisher myself one day.

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

I think figuring out what genre to write was my biggest hurdle. I originally wrote romance, and while I do enjoy some romance in my cozies, I’m definitely not a romance writer. It took me a little while to figure out what I’d be good at writing and enjoy. After romance, I tried fantasy and children’s books. I do have stories published in all of those genres, but it was tough. It wasn’t until I started writing cozies that I really found my niche.

I feel like cozies are my niche, too, although I have also written other genres.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

Unfortunately, not right now. I’d love to join some, but right now I just don’t have time. Between working during the day, freelance editing, taking care of the house, kids, dogs…I’m lucky I find time to write.

I hear you. I have a 13-year old daughter and a cat and work full-time as a librarian.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I love spending time with family. I’m a huge superhero fan, and I love watching superhero movies with my husband and kids. I also enjoy taking long walks with my dogs through the nearby nature preserve.

I love walking, too, although I don’t have a dog. I look forward to the spring when I can do more of it. I think it helps clear your head and inspires your writing.

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

I enjoy everything about being an author. I think the thing I enjoy most, though, is celebrating my releases with facebook parties. I love getting to know my readers and other authors and have made some great friends that way. My least favorite part is writing the first rough draft. I definitely struggle with that. My toughest challenge is finding the discipline to sit down and write every day.

Yes, reaching readers is a wonderful part of being an author, and finding time to write as well as market your book is definitely the hardest challenge in my opinion.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

I really enjoy the recurring characters. Each time I sit down to write, it’s like visiting with old friends.

I feel that way, too. I’d love to sit in the Cobble Cove library with Alicia or have tea and muffins at the inn with Dora and Mac or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with John. Cozy characters really grow on you whether you read or write about them.

Can you share a short excerpt from your latest title or upcoming release?

This is from Clairvoyant and Present Danger. Bee LOVES Beast, just not when he’s covered in mud and poised to greet him, usually by jumping up on him:

Stephanie was probably still sleeping, but Bee might not have gone to bed yet. Since he worked on his designs all night, he usually didn’t go to bed until seven or eight. Definitely a better option than running into Tank and having to explain why she was so frazzled. She headed for Bee’s house.

He would not be happy to find her on his doorstep, covered in mud, at just past seven in the morning, but what else could she do? She hadn’t grabbed her bag or her cell phone in her hurry to flee the house . . . uh oh. She lifted her foot off the gas and slowed. What was she going to tell him? If he knew a . . . something had spooked her, he’d never agree to come over.

The drive over was not comfortable. The mud had started to dry and was tightening her skin, and the damp clothes were bringing a chill, but it was better than being alone at home. Of course, nothing was stopping the woman from materializing in the car. She started to look at the—hopefully empty—passenger seat, but thought better of it and kept her eyes firmly on the road until she reached Bee’s driveway and parked. What she didn’t know couldn’t hurt her. Probably.

“Come on, Beast.” She hooked the leash to his collar, stepped out of the car, and started toward the door.

Before she even reached the porch, Bee had opened the door and was doubled over laughing, gasping for air.

“Not funny, mister.” She strode toward him.

He bit back the laughter—sort of—when his gaze landed on Beast. His eyes widened, sending his bushy brown eyebrows straight up beneath his bleached, blond bangs. “Oh, no. Stay right there, missy. Don’t you dare come any closer with that animal.”

She kept walking toward him without slowing her pace.

“Did you hear me, Cass? I’m not kidding. You are not coming up here with that dog until he’s had a bath.” He squinted and eyed Beast more closely. “What on earth happened to you two?”

Cass finally stopped. “I need you to come home with me.”

He lifted a brow, and a smirk played at the corner of his mouth. “That is so not happening, honey.”

Cass held the leash in the air, keeping a firm enough grip so that Beast couldn’t escape—unless he really wanted to.

Beast wagged furiously, spraying mud everywhere.

She cocked a hip and propped her free, mud-covered hand on it. “Either you come home with me, or I’ll let him go.”

Bee’s mouth fell open. He snapped it shut and narrowed his eyes, pinning her with a glare. “You wouldn’t dare.”

She loosened her hold, letting the leash slip just a little.

Beast crouched, practically vibrating with the need to escape, barely able to restrain himself.

Wonderful, and you must ask Beast if he would like to chat with my cat character Sneaky on his blog one day.

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

I enjoy getting to know my readers and can often be found on facebook if you’d like to say hello 😊

That’s great. I’m sure you’ll hear from them.

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



Facebook Page:




 Thank you so much for having me!

Always a pleasure, Lena, and I’m including your blog tour and rafflecopter giveaway below. Best wishes on your new release.

Tour page:


Posted in Cozy Mystery, New Releases, Reviews

Review of The Vanished Bride of Northfield House by Phyllis M. Newman

I am pleased to feature a review of The Vanished Bride of Northfield House by Phyllis M. Newman. This book, recently published by Cup of Tea Books, is on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.

Although the book’s premise seemed promising to me, I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. Ms. Newman’s writing vividly captured the atmosphere of a haunted house in 1922 England. The novel reminded me of a cross between a cozy mystery and the gothic romances I enjoyed as a child by authors such as Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt. I could hardly put it down.

While I suspected who was responsible for the deaths in the book, I was surprised by several twists at the end. The protagonist, Anne Chatham, is an orphan who accepts employment as a “typewriter”at the home of the Wellingtons, a rich family with a terrible secret. Anne has a secret of her own. She can sense spirits and know when there are ghosts about. Arriving at Northfield House, she immediately becomes aware of one. Will this phenomena explain what happened to Mrs. Wellington’s sister who disappeared on the night of her wedding forty years ago?

The cast of characters who occupy Northfield House include the wheelchair-bound father, Henry Wellington, whose two sons both show an interest in Anne. However, Anne is attracted to Owen, the less favored son. Together they team up to try to solve the mystery of what happened to Eleanor Granville Wellington, the young woman who married Henry before she disappeared. Henry later married Eleanor’s sister, Lavinia, who seems displeased with the hiring of Anne.

On the night of a masquerade ball, a tragic death occurs. Events hurtle toward a discovery that spells danger for Anne. Will she escape Northfield House with her life and the man she loves? Read it to find out. You won’t be disappointed. I rate this book Five Stars.

Below are the links to the tour page and rafflecopter:

Tour Page:


Posted in Cozy Series, New Releases

Book Blast: Natural Thorn Killer: A Rose City Mystery by Kate Dyer-Seeley


About the Book

Natural Thorn Killer (A Rose City Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Kensington (March 27, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496705136
Digital ASIN: B073NPHX8Z

Cut down among the flowers . . .

Britta Johnston might be a late bloomer, but after leaving her deadbeat husband and dead-end job, she’s finally pursuing her artistic passion at her aunt Elin’s floral boutique, Blooma, in Portland, Oregon. It’s on the banks of the Willamette, in a quaint district of cobblestone paths and cherry trees. The wine bar featuring Pacific Northwest vintages is a tasty bonus, offering another kind of bouquet to enjoy. But things aren’t as peaceful as they look.

For one thing, someone’s been leaving dead roses around—and a sleazy real estate developer who wants the waterfront property has put a big-money offer on the table. Then, after a contentious meeting of local business owners, he’s found on the floor of the shop, with Elin’s garden shears planted in his chest. And before the police decide to pin the crime on her beloved aunt, Britta will have to find out who arranged this murder . . .

About the Author

Kate Dyer-Seeley aka Ellie Alexander writes multiple mystery series, all with a Pacific Northwest touch. She lives in the PNW with her husband and son, where you can find her hitting the trail, at an artisan coffee shop, or at her favorite pub. Better yet—at all three.

Author Links

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Amazon B&N Hudson Booksellers IndieBound BAM

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in Horror, New Releases, Science Fiction, Short Story, Solstice Publishing

New Sci-Fi, Horror, and Paranormal Romance Stories

I’m proud to announce the release of two new stories  — a Science fiction tale about a future world where there are no libraries and a horror story about a scary honeymoon in Venice.

THE LAST LIBRARIAN – Can society exist without libraries?

In the year 2050, Dorina Reinhardt, employed as an Information Tutor after her job as a librarian became obsolete secretly shares print books after the Technology War declared them illegal. When a lost kitten turns up on her doorstep and a boy comes to claim him, Dorina is caught up in a dangerous mission in which the stakes may be too high and those who seem to be on her side may be the ones she should distrust.

HAUNTED HONEYMOON – Ghost cat. Don’t honeymoon without one.

Francesco and Gina are not your typical engaged couple. They met in a cemetery and spent their dates watching horror movies. But when Francesco suggests they honeymoon in a haunted house in Venice, Gina is shocked when she learns the place may actually be Francesco’s childhood home where his parents were murdered.

Don’t forget about my paranormal holiday romance that was released on January, 7th about a woman who travels back to San Francisco at the time of the great earthquake.

THE LAST MISTLETOE -Time travel via Victorian mistletoe.

After her divorce, Anna moves to San Francisco where her sister Emily and her brother-in-law Tom live. Emily, a real estate agent, locates a beautiful Victorian home for Anna. The house’s history dates back to before the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. Emily has decorated Anna’s new house with festive decorations she’s purchased and others she found in a box in the attic. The only item she couldn’t find was a mistletoe. When Anna nearly trips on one of the steps to the second floor, she finds a mistletoe hidden in a recess underneath the stair. Hanging it up as her sister holds the ladder, she becomes dizzy and falls. When she awakes, Anna finds herself in 1906 San Francisco the day before the earthquake is scheduled to hit. The occupants of the house cannily resemble her relatives and her ex-husband and his girlfriend. Can she find a way to return to her own time before the earthquake strikes, or should she warn these strangely familiar people of the imminent danger?

Posted in New Releases, Solstice Publishing

New Release by K.C. Sprayberry: Thunder and Lightning, a Psychological Thriller

Welcome to the release of a brand new psychological thriller from K.C. Sprayberry. Thunder & Lightning is a new adult story suitable for mature young adult readers. It explores the dark world of false rape allegations, how they destroy lives, and leave people wondering what is right and what is wrong.


The gridiron rivalry between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Auburn Tigers runs deep. Auburn has a knack of ruining Georgia’s perfect season at the worst possible moment…

The same can be said about Tarit ‘Lightning’ Berenson and his twin, Taren ‘Thunder’ Berenson. Tarit’s a running back for the Dawgs; his speed is legendary. Taren prefers online gaming; her skills are awesome.

Brad Weaver seeks justice for those falsely accused. He’s attempting to make up for his brother’s false arrest and subsequent “suicide” that evidence points to being a murder. Yet, proof of someone else’s involvement is hard to come by and he’s soon running at full speed to rescue Tarit from the same fate.

It all begins at a game, a win and revenge against a tough rival for University of Georgia Bulldogs.

“Dawgs, this is for you!”

Tarit’s words set up a mighty cheer on the night of the SEC Championship football game. His rejection of a girl’s advances at a party later that night turns the last half of his senior year of college into a nightmare without end.

Taren does her best to help her twin despite a lack of support from everyone, even their own parents. Her allegiance to him never wavers, nor does she stop searching for answers no matter what she has to do.

Time is running out…

Evidence mounts against him…

Until Taren makes a startling discovery…

Is it too late to save Tarit?


“We’re in the last quarter of the SEC final game of this season.” The announcer’s voice is barely audible over the roar of the crowd. “Tarit ‘Lightning’ Berenson prepares to receive the ball. Auburn’s Tigers are all over this talented running back, ready to stop him. But nothing has stopped Tarit all season. Will tonight be when ‘Lightning’ learns he’s not invincible?”

The voices echo in my head, reminding me the night that should have been my greatest triumph. The memory is the only thing I have left of what was once a stellar college career. Since the after-game party, when I turned down her advances and walked away alone, I’ve had to justify my every action. Juliana Mullins has been treated like a queen, given all kinds of sympathy and brought horror to my family.

“What can I do to stop this?”

About K.C. Sprayberry

Born and raised in Southern California’s Los Angeles basin, K.C. Sprayberry spent years traveling the United States and Europe while in the Air Force before settling in northwest Georgia. A new empty nester with her husband of more than twenty years, she spends her days figuring out new ways to torment her characters and coming up with innovative tales from the South and beyond.

She’s a multi-genre author who comes up with ideas from the strangest sources. Those who know her best will tell you that nothing is safe or sacred when she is observing real life. In fact, she considers any situation she witnesses as fair game when plotting a new story.

Find out more about my books at these social media sites:


Twitter: @kcsowriter





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Instagram: @kcsowriter







Posted in Mysteries, New Releases, Novella

New Release: The Lost Macaw by B.L. Blair

The Lost Macaw by B. L. Blair

The Lost Macaw is the fourth novella in the Lost and Found Pets series. Alexandra Prescott is a licensed private investigator specializing in finding missing animals. Reuniting pet and owner is more than just a job.

A former client hires Alex to find her lost parrot. The bright colored bird has flown away before, but this time there is evidence that Molly was kidnapped. The demand is simple—the bird for the pictures.

When her client suffers a stroke, Alex is left with a ransom note, a missing bird, and some very incriminating photos. She is in a race against time to solve the mystery of the lost Macaw.


“Your little old lady is quite interesting, Alex,” Halie said.

“What do you mean?”

“She didn’t exist until about thirty years ago.”


“I did a preliminary background search on her. In general, she is clean. No debt. The house is paid off as is her car. The one thing that jumped out at me was the fact that she had a safe deposit box at four different banks.”

Luke raised one eyebrow. I got a sinking feeling. I had noted the bank accounts but hadn’t really given them much thought.

“Yeah,” I said, “I saw those.”

“So why does an eighty-year-old woman need four safe deposit boxes?”

“Why does she need more than one?” Luke muttered.

“Exactly,” Halie said. “So I dug a little deeper.”

“What did you find?”

“About thirty years ago, Joseph and Trudy Kearns purchased the house on Carriage. Back then, it was a new neighborhood, and the prices were cheap. They paid cash. They also opened a bank account, and Joe got a job working for the city. Those are the first records I can find for either one of them.”

“Trudy would have been fifty at that time. Her husband probably a few years older. What about birth certificates? Social security cards?”

“They had them, but conveniently, they were issued from a small county in Virginia where a massive flood destroyed all their records. The county office was in the process of moving the old paper records to electronic when the flood hit.”

“Let me guess. The Kearns’s records did not survive the flood.”


“So the only records for them are the ones they had in their possession.” I paused a moment. “Do they look real?”

“Yes,” Halie replied.

“So they could be authentic.”

“Or really good forgeries. In some ways, it was easier back then.”

“Anything else?” I asked.

“Not really. Lives on a fixed income of social security and a small pension from her husband’s job. It isn’t much because he only worked for the city for twelve years before he had to retire.”

“Okay, thanks Halie.”

After ending the call, I looked at Luke. He had a perplexed look on his face that I had a feeling mirrored mine.

“Who the hell is Trudy Kearns?”

Available on Amazon, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, and Smashwords.