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Posted by on August 3, 2015 in Uncategorized


Spotlight: Cancans, Croissants and Caskets by Mary McHugh


The Happy Hoofers series about five lovely women who solve murders while dancing at resorts, on trains and cruise lines. Check out the latest installment (book #3) in the series.

Cancans, Croissants and Caskets
by Mary McHugh

cancansCancans, Croissants, and Caskets
(A Happy Hoofers Mystery)

3rd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Kensington (August 25, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-1617733635


You can’t tiptoe when murder’s afoot…

It’s Bastille Day in Paris. The Happy Hoofers—Tina, Janice, Pat, Mary Louise, and Gini—are all set to kick off the fete by dancing the cancan on a beautiful sightseeing cruise down the Seine. As the leggy ladies soak in the magic of the city of lights, everything is magnifique…until a very important patron goes belly-up on the top deck.

On the heels of their French debut, murder takes center stage. The five daring dancers will need to step lively to stop the crafty killer fast…or their grand finale will turn out far more explosive than the fireworks over the Eiffel Tower…

Includes Fashion Tips And Tasty Recipes

mary mchugh

About This Author

  • Mary McHugh graduated from Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, with a B.A. in English literature and studied at the Sorbonne in Paris. She is the author of the first two books in the Happy Hoofers series, Chorus Lines, Caviar, and Corpses and Flamenco, Flan, and Fatalities; 19 nonfiction books; and two other novels. She was a contributing editor for Cosmopolitan, an articles editor at Woman’s World, Travel Holiday, and Bridal Guide, and has written articles for The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, and Family Circle.  She loves to tap dance and to travel—two passions that inspired her to write the Happy Hoofers series. She lives in the New York area.

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Be sure to visit the Great Escape Tours page for a chance to win a fabulous prize.


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Posted by on September 2, 2015 in Uncategorized


Great Escapes Tour: Killer Run by Lynn Cahoon – Guest Post and Review

KILLER RUN large banner640

It is my pleasure to welcome Lynn to the blog today. I LOVE her books and it’s always a pleasure to talk with her.

Run? Walk? Read?

Hi there! Thanks for having me over to Book lady’s Book notes today. I thought we’d do a top ten list on reasons to visit South Cove, California, the fictional town in my Tourist Trap series. Killer Run, book #5 of the series released August 18th with new town folk and new stores added to the mix.

I put myself into all three categories. And mostly in the last one lately. Oh, I have my excuses, but that’s what they are, excuses. It’s too hot, too rainy, too late, too early (take your choice) to walk. And I only run if someone’s chasing me. Which hasn’t happened recently, (or since grade school.)

So why did I bring a 5K charity walk/run to the most recent release for the residents of South Cove? I love the idea of running, just not the execution.

The boys (my dogs) and I tend to make our walks a little more private. Homer, the younger pom, doesn’t like people much. So he’s antsy when we get around a crowd. Demon, the older one, he’ll walk away with anyone who gives him a pat and a scratch behind the ears. So we go walking the levy by the Mississippi as our treat walk. Most days, it’s just a stroll around the neighborhood.

I’ve done big group walks before. As a breast cancer survivor, I schedule in the Komen Race as often as possible. It’s an emotional day, the mass of pink and people walking brings tears to my eyes as I’m keeping up with the crowd. They block off downtown St Louis streets for this one.

I’ve also completed an Alzheimer’s walk that took place on a greenbelt along the Boise River (kind of like South Cove’s Mission walk). Fewer people and the surroundings were lovely. And I had an old friend there to keep me company as I walked.

South Cove’s Mission walk is held on a greenbelt that runs the edge of the California coastline. The real El Camino is an 800-mile trek and runs from Mission Solano in Sonoma to Mission San Diego. Walking that route is on my someday list.

When the weather’s cool, I take a break in the morning at the day job and sneak in a short walk as well.

So the questions back to you, dear readers. Do you like to run? Or are you more like me, a walker?


Congratulations Lynn on being a breast cancer survivor. I’m getting ready for the Komen 5K at Garden of the Gods in September in celebration of my 5th year as a survivor. Sometime, I’d love to learn more about your Pomeranians. We have three dogs, one of which is a little black Pomeranian. His name is Max (after the boy in Where The Wild Things Are.)  He’s my best buddy.

And now about the new book:

Killer Run
by Lynn Cahoon

Author Lynn Cahoon has smooth and easy writing style that made me want to keep turning page after page. This story had plenty of twists, turns, ups and down to keep me guessing.
~Lisa K’s Book Reviews

I love these characters the author does an excellent job where you just want to see where they go and what they do. You feel like they are your friends.
~Bab’s Book Bistro

The mystery contains twists and surprises…Even when you believe you have the mysteries solved, you’ll second guess your choice and reasons.
~Laura’s Interests

The author perfectly captures the feel of a small town, and the closeness of the residents. Every town should have a place like Coffee, Books, and More!
~Book Babble

I like this series. There are so many familiar characters that make this more than just a mystery story.

It ‘s an enjoyable, fun and fast-paced read, the mystery is riveting, the characters are realistic and engaging. As soon as I started reading this one, I could not put it down. The plot had me hooked from the first page.

I’m still enjoying this light, breezy, sometimes humorous cozy series…
~The Bookwyrm’s Hoard

Jill is a very likable character and so are the supporting cast, like her eccentric aunt. Jill just can’t seem to quit finding dead bodies.
~Melina’s Book Blog

The pace is steady and the characters well-developed. Not surprising, mixed in with the mystery is romance.
~Christa Reads and Writes

killer runKiller Run (A Tourist Trap Mystery Book 5)
Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Lyrical Underground (August 18, 2015)


Jill Gardner—owner of Coffee, Books, and More—has somehow been talked into sponsoring a 5k race along the beautiful California coast. The race is a fundraiser for the local preservation society—but not everyone is feeling so charitable…

The day of the race, everyone hits the ground running…until a local business owner stumbles over a very stationary body. The deceased is the vicious wife of the husband-and-wife team hired to promote the event—and the husband turns to Jill for help in clearing his name. But did he do it? Jill will have to be very careful, because this killer is ready to put her out of the running…forever!

CahoonAbout The Author

New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, Lynn Cahoon is an Idaho native. If you’d visit the town where she grew up, you’d understand why her mysteries and romance novels focus around the depth and experience of small town life. Currently, she’s living in a small historic town on the banks of the Mississippi river where her imagination tends to wander. She lives with her husband and two fur babies.

Author Links

Goodreads –

Twitter –

Facebook –

Website –

Amazon Author Page –

Purchase Links:
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FTC Disclosure: I received a free e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My thoughts: Visiting South Cove is always a treat. I’ve been a fan of this series ever since I read the first book: Guidebook To Murder. While Killer Run is the 5th book in the series, it could easily be read as a stand alone. However, if you haven’t read the other books in the series, you should.

As with the other books in the series, Killer Run has a well developed plot that will keep the reader engaged. The characters are lovable, especially Jill. I’m not a big fan of South Cove’s mayor, but he stayed out of things this time. This is a great lazy Sunday afternoon read (well, actually it’s a great read any time) for anyone who loves a mystery and would like to take an arm chair trip to a charming coastal town.  I highly recommend you add it to your TBR pile.

If you’d like a chance to win an e-copy of the book visit the tour page at Escape With Dollycas.

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Posted by on August 26, 2015 in Uncategorized


Books ‘n’ Bloggers Swap


It’s time for one of my favorite activities – Chaotic Goddess Swaps’ Books ‘n’ Bloggers Swap!

The objective is to get to know your fellow book-loving partner and send them a fantastic bookish package.
The packages include:
  • A book from your partner’s wishlist.
  • A book you have read and loved.
  • A book you haven’t read, but think looks interesting.
  • *Optional* Other book-related goodies.  

I always look forward to this swap because it’s a great opportunity to meet new people and find about new books. And you know I’m all about the books!

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Posted by on August 24, 2015 in Uncategorized


Book Spotlight: Jack Templar and the Lord of the Demons (The Templar Chronicles #5)

Originally posted on Booklady's Booknotes:

Jack Templar 5

Jack Templar and the Lord of the Demons (The Templar Chronicles #5).

With two of the Jerusalem Stones in hand, Jack and his friends must race the clock to find the remaining Stones as Ren Lucre’s Creach forces gather strength. With two of their group now with Creach blood flowing in their veins, the team will be tested as never before. They must unite together if they have any hope of surviving their journey to the Underworld and their battle with the vicious Lord of the Demons. The fate of the entire world hangs in the balance.

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add to goodreads

jeffAuthor Jeff Gunhus

Jeff Gunhus is the author of the Amazon bestselling supernatural thriller, Night Chill, and the Middle Grade/YA series, The Templar Chronicles. The first book of the series, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year old son excited about…

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Posted by on August 14, 2015 in Uncategorized


Great Escapes Tour: Crushed Velvet by Diane Vallere


Crushed Velvet
by Diane Vallere

If I had material like CRUSHED VELVET to read all the time, I could zip through books faster than running my nylons or snagging my cotton blends.
~Lisa K’s Book Reviews

The mystery in Crushed Velvet is interesting. There are bunches of red herrings and lots of new discoveries and the mystery goes along.
~I Wish I Lived In a Library

With the twists, action and humor you can not go wrong with this book. The delightful character Polyester Monroe will have to wishing you were in the town with her.
~Babs Book Bistro

crushed velvetCrushed Velvet (A Material Witness Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
Series: A Material Witness Mystery (Book 2)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Berkley (August 4, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-0425270585
E-Book ASIN: B00QH832E0

“Diane Vallere has stitched up an engaging new series.”—Sofie Kelly, New York Times bestselling author of the Magical Cats Mysteries

Fabric shop owner Polyester Monroe is back in business—this time getting wrapped up in a diabolical but crafty case of murder.

With opening day of Material Girl approaching, Poly is stocking up on lush fabrics, colorful notions, and best of all, a proprietary weave of velvet. But upon delivery, it’s not quite the blend she expected, being ninety-percent silk and ten-percent corpse. Crushed under a dozen bolts of fabric is Phil Girard. His wife, Genevieve, local tea shop owner and close friend of Poly, is the prime suspect.

Granted, Phil may not have been the perfect husband, but surely Genevieve had no reason to kill him! There’s just the small matter of Genevieve’s own incriminating confession: I’m afraid I killed my husband. Now, as Material Girl’s grand opening looms, Poly is torn between a friendship pulling apart at the seams—and finding a smooth killer with a velvet touch…


DianeVallereAuthorPhoto_color_croppedAbout the Author 

After two decades working for a top luxury retailer, Diane Vallere traded fashion accessories for accessories to murder. SUEDE TO REST, the first book in the bestselling Material Witness Cozy Mystery Series, was a Lefty/ Best Humorous Mystery nominee. CRUSHED VELVET, book two, comes out August 4. Diane is the current president of Sisters in Crime Los Angeles, and was co-chair of the 2015 California Crime Writers Conference. She also writes the Madison Night and Style & Error Mystery Series. Diane started her own detective agency at age ten and has maintained a passion for shoes, clues, and clothes ever since.

Author Links




Purchase Links
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FTC: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My thoughts:  Crushed Velvet is the second installment in the Material Girl mysteries series. It reads well as a stand alone, but I’ve read the first book (Suede to Rest) and it’s a good read, too. What makes Crushed Velvet such a good read is the main character Polyester “Poly” Monroe.  She’s a creative young designer with a heart of gold. You can’t help be like her. Diane has created an interesting community with strong, likable characters that readers want to visit again and again. Crushed Velvet has plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader engaged all the way to the end.

There are lots of cozy mysteries out there with almost any thing you can think of, but if you want an exciting, entertaining read with characters you will want to know more about, I highly recommend you add Crushed Velvet to the top of your reading list.

The author is offering an exciting giveaway on the tour page. Two yards of custom made fabric based on the covers of Suede to Rest and Crushed Velvet. For your chance to win check out the tour page at Great Escape Tours.

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Posted by on August 10, 2015 in Uncategorized


Review: My Hometown by Russell Griesmer


FTC Disclosure: I received an e-copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Summary:  Every town has a story. Experience small-town life and American history with this nearly wordless picture book. A magical newspaper takes a young boy on a journey through the history of a beloved hometown, from the 1860s to present day.

My Thoughts: Warning! For those of you who don’t understand the concept of wordless picture books, this book isn’t for you. I’ve seen a couple of negative reviews of this book because it didn’t have any words. I think I will have to write a blog post on just wordless picture books in general. But that is a post for another time.  This is a beautiful  book. The illustrations are stunning and will have great appeal to elementary and adult readers as well. The pictures tell the story/history of a small town via a magical newspaper. It is a great book to use for compare/contrast lessons as well as for helping students develop their critical thinking skills.

This is one I will certainly be publishing for the library collection and my personal collection, too.

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Posted by on August 7, 2015 in Uncategorized


Two New Picture Books

FTC Disclosure:  I received e-copies of these books from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

As an elementary school librarian, I am responsible for keeping the library collection up to date. It is difficult to do this on a shoestring budget. NetGalley helps me to make sure I spend my book funds wisely.

teaparty in the woodsThe Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi

Good Reads Summary:  Kikko sets out after her father with a forgotten pie for Grandma. When she arrives at a strange house in the wintry woods, a peek in the window reveals that the footprints Kikko had been following did not belong to her father at all, but to a bear in a long coat and hat! Alice in Wonderland meets Little Red Riding Hood in this charmed tale.

My thoughts: As with a lot of picture books, I chose this book because of the cover. A good cover is essential for a picture book. And while the story was a nice story, it’s the illustrations that make this a great book. The charcoal drawings with just a hint of color are stunningly beautiful. Even though I was reading this delightful book on  my iPad, I almost expected to find charcoal on my fingers as I swiped from page to page. As for the story – this year I will be focusing on fairytales during several library lessons and this will make an excellent companion to the traditional Red Riding Hood tale – and a bit less scary.

I will be certainly be purchasing this for the library collection.

Stanley at schoolStanley at School by Linda Bailey

Goodreads Summary:  Stanley knows school is for kids, not dogs. But every day he grows more and more curious. What did the kids do in that school all day? Stanley rounds up his pals from the dog park to take a closer look. Will they find the answers they’re looking for? One thing is for certain: School + Stanley = TROUBLE!

My thoughts: This is a cute little back to school story. Students who love dogs will enjoy the whimsical story. The illustrations are bright, engaging and sure to bring a smile to the reader’s face. Students will also be able to sympathize with Stanley and his friends when they get called to “the top dog’s office.”

This is another book I will be adding to our library collection.

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Posted by on August 6, 2015 in Uncategorized


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