Search results for ‘cate price’

Review: A Dollhouse to Die For by Cate Price

A Dollhouse to Die for  FTC Disclosure:  I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Summary:  Daisy Buchanan thinks of her shop, Sometimes a Great Notion, as more than just a business. For her, it’s a haven of vintage sewing notions and other treasures, excellent coffee, and camaraderie. But when an antique dollhouse provokes some bizarre behavior on the part of a customer, Daisy makes it her business to find out what secrets are hidden behind its tiny doors…

At an estate auction, Daisy is delighted to find the perfect present for a young girl she knows—a charming dollhouse in need of restoration. But when local collector Harriet Kunes tries to strong-arm Daisy into selling it, she’s in for a shocking—and deadly—surprise.

After an intruder breaks in and tries to steal the dollhouse, Daisy wonders why everyone has developed such an obsession over it. As she builds her collection of clues, she suspects that the miniature Victorian holds the key to a second unsolved murder, and soon she stumbles across much more than she bid on…


My thoughts:  I love this series.  Reading this second book in the series was like visiting your hometown. I love all the characters, but of course Daisy is my favorite.

In this installment of The Deadly Notions Mysteries, Cate Price wove a story that kept me guessing until the end. I pride myself on being able to reach the solution before the end of the book, but I also love it when an author stumps me. It makes the story more interesting.

If you like mysteries, especially those set in quaint little towns, I highly recommend this one. Oh, and Price does include vintage notions tips.


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Posted by on June 5, 2014 in Uncategorized


Going Through the Notions – Author Interview and Review

Going Through The Notions

Going Through The Notions

Going Through The Notions by Cate Price

Summary from the author’s web page:

A retired schoolteacher—and yes, daughter of an F. Scott Fitzgerald fan—Daisy Buchanan has finally found her calling in the quaint village of Millbury, Pennsylvania. While her husband Joe endlessly renovates their old house, Daisy happily presides over Sometimes a Great Notion, a quirky shop nearby that sells sewing bits and bobs, antiques, and jewelry.

Daisy has her eye on an antique dollhouse and a classic Singer featherweight at the local auction—until her beloved friend and mentor, auctioneer Angus Backstead, is led away in handcuffs. It appears he bashed in the head of a drinking buddy who stole a set of fancy fountain pens. Daisy’s sure the sprightly old-timer couldn’t have committed such a brutal act. But she soon learns Angus had more than a few enemies … including the detective on the case with a long-held grudge.

As Daisy pursues the truth, she also uncovers some promising leads: a disgruntled heiress hunting for the missing pens; two local farm boys with a grudge against the deceased and the accused; and a twisted estate scam that entangled the dead man. But if Daisy can’t stitch together the bidder truth—and soon—Angus will be going once, going twice… gone forever.

It is my pleasure to welcome Cate Price, author of a wonderful new mystery series “Deadly Notions.”  Cate has graciously agreed to answer a few somewhat random questions.  If you would like to learn more about Cate and her books please check out her website.


If you could have coffee with any author (living or deceased) who would it be and why? It’s tough to pick just one, but I think I’d have to say Nora Roberts. I’ve seen her speak at several conferences and she’s always struck me as a very down-to-earth person with a wonderful, dry sense of humor. I appreciate people who “tell it like it is”. Not only is she amazingly prolific, and a great storyteller, but she writes in different genres, too. I probably wouldn’t say much. Just sit there, drink my coffee, and try to soak up as much knowledge and advice as she was prepared to share.

  • What is your favorite place to read? I usually read in bed before I go to sleep. Otherwise it’s at the table on the brick patio in my little garden, hopefully on a cool day with no mosquitoes.

What is your favorite beverage when reading? Water on the bedside table. Chardonnay in the garden.

Why did you decide to write mysteries as opposed to another genre? Back in 2001, when I made up my mind to finally finish a novel after years of jotting down drivel in myriad notebooks, I joined Romance Writers of America. It’s a great organization with local chapters across the country. With the help of the Valley Forge Romance Writers, I completed a romantic comedy, a romantic suspense and then a murder mystery with romantic elements that landed me my dream agent in 2011 and also the opportunity to write this series. I’ve found that I really enjoy the complex plotting involved in writing a mystery. It’s like a giant puzzle, and I adore puzzles of all kinds – crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, forty-something-year-old bachelors, you name it.

  • Who is your favorite author? For cozy mysteries, it’s Diane Mott Davidson. I love her culinary mysteries and own every single book in the series.

What is your favorite TV show? American Pickers.

When you write do you follow a plan or is it more stream of consciousness? I used to write scenes as they came to me, almost like seeing scenes in a movie, whether they were in order or not. I’d start with an idea for a plot, or a character, and go back and forth between writing and plotting until I reached the end. With this series, I have to submit three chapters and a synopsis to my editor as a proposal for each book, which means I have to be much more structured. It was hard for me at first, because I wasn’t used to working that way – at all – but now I appreciate the value of writing the synopsis. It’s so much easier to see the plot holes and gaps in logic in the bare bones of an outline before you waste time writing yourself into a dead end. And when you’re on a tight deadline, it’s comforting to have a road map.

What is your favorite way to relax? I have two dogs, and we go for a long walk every day, and several times a day on the weekends. People in my town comment on how much I walk them, but we all look forward to it. A tired dog is a good dog!

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? Australia, except I’m not sure I could stand to be on a plane that long.

Name a guilty pleasure. Naps. I hardly ever take them, because I always feel like I should be doing something else, like cleaning the house. But occasionally a cold, rainy Saturday will come along, and if I’m really tired, I’ll cuddle up on the couch with the dogs and snooze for an hour or two. It’s absolute heaven!

Thanks Cate for visiting today. I loved learning more about you and can’t wait to read the next Deadly Notions mystery.

Going Through the Notions Review (FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

This book was a very enjoyable read. I’ve said before that I’m often wary of taking on a new mystery series. I already have so many favorites and as an elementary school librarian who tries very hard to read and review as many of the books in the school collection as possible, I don’t really have all that much “free” reading time.  However, something about Going Through the Notions caught my attention and I’m very glad I added it to my out of control reading list. Cate has created a wonderful small town community with interesting (and likable, perhaps even lovable) characters.  I also enjoyed the way she seamlessly wove the back story into the current one. The plot will keep you guessing.  I love Daisy. She’s a tad bit older than I am, but I really connected with her.  Must be that educator thing.  Daisy is a sensible, down to earth character that I believe most readers will connect with.

If you are looking for a new Cozy Mystery series, I highly recommend this one. The bad thing is you are going to have to wait until 2014 for the next installment, but I’m convinced it will be worth the wait.



Posted by on September 4, 2013 in Uncategorized


Great Escapes Tour: Yarned and Dangerous by Sadie Hartwell – Guest Post


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

It is my pleasure to welcome Sadie Hartwell, author of Yarned and Dangerous to the blog today.

Hi, Booklady! Thanks for having me here today and letting me meet your readers.

Do you love the cat on the cover of Yarned and Dangerous? (See how she’s winking at you?) In my story, she was a stray, and my heroine/sleuth, Josie Blair, took her in and named her Coco, after her favorite classic fashion designer, Coco Chanel. Anyone who’s familiar with the habits of cats knows that they love hidey-holes. Enclosed spaces, particularly if they’re lined with carpet or fake fur or a fleece blanket.

But it isn’t just cats who love warm and snuggly places. This time of year, I love my fleece pajama pants and wrapping up in hand-crocheted afghans. Yes, I live in the Northeast and snow’s a-comin’, LOL! I’m fortunate that if I want to, I can do my work—which now consists of writing mystery stories and editing romance novels, making up and testing knitting patterns, as well as keeping touch with my readers, without leaving the comfort of my fuzzy little world.

But if I had my wish, I’d take it further. I’d have a tiny house. Oh, I couldn’t live in one year round; I have too much stuff for that and I imagine eventually it would get to be too confining. And I have a son and husband I do enjoy seeing once in a while! But wouldn’t it be wonderful to have your own little hidey-hole to escape to occasionally, maybe in your backyard? Or maybe overlooking a beautiful lake or stream or beach or mountain range? When those television shows about people building tiny houses, or those deluxe-o treehouses, come on, I always get a bit wistful. People who live in those have, by necessity, only what they need. Or what they consider a necessity here in twenty-first century America, anyway. No clutter. They always seem so free and evolved.

And then I look around. Could I really give up my books? Or my five complete sets of china (all of which get used and have special meaning, I swear!)? Or all my pots and pans and baking dishes? Or my yarn and fabric hoards? Or my full-size bathroom, LOL? Still, it’s fun to think about. I don’t have a dedicated office in my house, so maybe what I really need is a Tiny Office. Yeah, a Tiny Office! 

How about you? Are you ready to give up your stuff? Or are you comfortable where you are? Does a tiny house—or office—appeal to you?


Yarned and Dangerous Book Description:

Josie Blair left Dorset Falls twelve years ago in hopes of making it big in New York City. But after earning an overpriced master’s degree and getting fired by a temperamental designer, she finds herself heading back to her hometown. Her great-uncle was injured in a car accident, and newly unemployed Josie is the only person available to take care of him. Uncle Eb’s wife didn’t survive the crash, so Josie is also tasked with selling the contents of her Aunt Cora’s yarn shop. But the needling ladies of the Charity Knitters Association pose a far bigger challenge than a shop full of scattered skeins. And when one of the town’s most persnickety knitters turns up dead in a pile of cashmere yarn, Josie realizes there’s something truly twisted lurking beneath the town’s decaying façade…
Includes original knitting patterns!


Yarned and Dangerous:



Sadie Hartwell’s Yarned and Dangerous Gang:

Twitter: @sadiehartwell


Bio: Sadie Hartwell grew up near the Canadian border in northern New York State, where it’s cold, dark, and snowy almost half the year—a perfect environment for nurturing a simultaneous love of mystery fiction, cooking, and needlework. She attended St. Lawrence University, graduating with a degree in history, and has worked as a waitress, handbag designer/manufacturer, office person, and copy editor before turning to writing full time. Now she gets to play with recipes and yarn and make up stories whenever she wants, and wishes everyone had a job as much fun as hers.


Thanks Sadie for joining us today. I always enjoy learning more about the authors I read.  Sometimes, I too think I would like to have a tiny house, but I also have way too much stuff and my book collection alone would probably spill out the windows.

My thoughts on Yarned and Dangerous:  This is the first book in a new series: The Tangled Web Mysteries.  I signed up to be a part of this tour because I enjoy yarn mysteries. I’m not a knitter, I crochet. However, there’s just something about yarn mysteries in general that appeals to me.

The yarn aspect may have been what peaked my interest, but it’s the characters and the town of Dorset Falls that will keep me coming back.  The author builds the mystery slowly, craftily drawing the reader in as she introduces us to Josie, Uncle Eb and the other inhabitants of Dorset Falls.   There are plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing. But, to be honest, it’s Uncle Eb that I like most. He reminds of some of my favorite family curmudgeons. I’m looking forward to reading more about him.

I wish I was a knitter as there are some wonderful knitting patterns included at the end of the book.  My friend Sue has just taken up knitting again, maybe I can convince her to try a pattern or two.

If you are looking for a good read and a new series to add to your standing reading list, then I recommend you check out Yarned and Dangerous.

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Posted by on December 11, 2015 in Uncategorized


Gilt By Association by Karen Rose Smith – Guest Post and Review

It is my pleasure to welcome Karen Rose Smith, author of the Caprice De Luca mysteries to the blog today.

great escape tour banner large gilt by association 640

The Best Places to Visit in my Cozy Town 

by Karen Rose Smith


Since my sleuth Caprice loves animals and takes in strays, PERKY PAWS is one of her favorite businesses in Kismet to shop in. The shop is animal friendly. The front case carries an assortment of biscuits: peanut butter nuggets, gingerman-sized ginger biscuits, pumpkin biscuits, and cheese and bacon biscuits. Colorful dog cookies also decorate the case and are adorned with yogurt icing. Her pup, Lady, notices them, too, and stands at the case as if she expects one to jump out at her and she could eat it. At PERKY PAWS, Caprice can pick up anything she needs from a kitty bed to good food for her furry friends to eat.


The BLUE MOON GRILLE holds memories for Caprice. She shared a romantic date there with Dr. Seth Randolph. The line for seating sometimes stretches through its reception area on the first floor of an arts and crafts mall and practically out the front door. Stairs lead to the second floor dining area and the deck outside. Chatter in the main dining room is loud sometimes around the bar but there is a gas fireplace that makes it cozy on wintry nights. Sliding glass doors open to the outside deck. There is always a vase of wildflowers on the tables. Black wrought iron chairs with rounded backs have cushy cushions tied to the backs and the seats. The glass-topped tables hold white placemats, silverware and crystal. The outside deck is lovely on a moonlit night. The night Seth and Caprice have dinner there, Seth arranges for a guitarist to play Caprice’s favorite music from the 60’s and 70’s. The restaurant is especially known for its huge soft pretzels with crab and cheese topping.


The De Lucas are Catholic and Caprice’s faith is important to her. They attend Mass and other services at St. Francis of Assisi Church. Behind the church there is a garden with a statue of St. Francis of Assisi, who is considered the patron saint and protector of animals. Caprice’s admiration for St. Francis must play a part in her love for animals. Her sister calls her a “stray magnet” and she finds homes for the strays she takes in. When Caprice needs to think through a situation, she sometimes sits in the St. Francis garden. The statue always has seasonal flowers planted around it from daffodils and hyacinths in spring, to geraniums in summer to mums in the fall. It’s a peaceful and relaxing spot with a cement bench that fits three.


Caprice is a retro girl. Her house was built in the 1950’s. She has decorated her house with 1950’s furniture and 1960’s colors. Her Nana Celia collected Fostoria crystal through the years and handed it down to Caprice’s mom. Caprice often uses antiques in house stagings. One of her favorite shops to peruse–from furniture to antique jewelry is OLDER AND BETTER owned by Isaac Hobbs. Isaac often gives Caprice important gossip and information about collectibles that helps her solve murder cases. In his shop she can weave in and out of primitive cupboards, pie safes, and hand carved rockers.


ALL ABOUT YOU is a unique dress shop opened by Caprice’s good friend Roz Winslow. In the first book of the series STAGED TO DEATH, Roz was a suspect in her husband’s murder investigation. Once all the dust settled, she decided to use her fashion sense to open a store where all women (not just those who are a size 2) can find fashions they like. In book 3, GILT BY ASSOCIATION, Caprice finds a forties style fuchsia dress for the Valentine’s Day dance.

All About You is located in what Kismet residents called Restoration Row. It is a street of row houses in an old section of town. Officially a developer named the street Bristol Row when his company refurbished the houses, sand blasting brick, refacing the fronts, putting siding over clapboard, adding black shutters, and making the street respectable once again. Roz rented one of the houses for All About You.

The store has an unusual layout, with two stories and separate rooms for specific types of fashions. The back entrance has an inside stairway with a chair lift for anyone disabled who wants to shop there. There is a ramp out back, too, for the first floor, and limited parking. Roz has gone to a lot of trouble to make this boutique exactly the way she wanted with women shoppers in mind.

You can read more about Caprice, her family and her penchant for solving murders in the Caprice De Luca Home-stager Mystery series—STAGED TO DEATH – December 2013, DEADLY DECOR – June 2014, and GILT BY ASSOCIATION – February 2015, DRAPE EXPECTATIONS – August 2015, all published by Kensington Books.

 Meet the author

Award winning and best-selling author, Karen Rose Smith’s plots are all about emotion. She began writing in her early teens when she listened to music and created stories to accompany the songs. An only child, she spent a lot of time in her imagination and with books–Nancy Drew, Zane Gray, The Black Stallion and Anne of Green Gables. She dreamed of brothers and sisters and a big family like her mother and father came from. This is the root of her plotlines that include small communities and family relationships as part of everyday living. Residing in Pennsylvania with her husband and four rescued cats, she welcomes interaction with readers on Facebook at KarenRoseSmithBooks, on Twitter @karenrosesmith and through her website

Karen, thank you so much for joining us today. I loved learning more about Kismet. It certainly sounds like some place I would like to visit.

Gilt By Association

by Karen Rose Smith

Gilt By Association Mech.inddGilt by Association
(A Caprice DeLuca Mystery)

• Series: A Caprice DeLuca Mystery
• Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
• Publisher: Kensington (January 27, 2015)
• ISBN-13: 978-0758284884





Between training her new puppy, helping her sister with her baby, and searching for the perfect vintage dress for Kismet’s Valentine’s Day dance, home-stager Caprice De Luca has a lot on her to-do list.  But she’s never too busy to do a little staging, and she’s looking forward to thawing February’s frozen real estate market with her Hearts and Flowers Open House.  Her client Louise Downing’s romantically decorated home practically staged itself.  But when Louise is found murdered, Caprice is forced to turn her attention from sweethearts to suspects.  And as the truth comes out in stages, she discovers that Louise had more secrets than a box of chocolate truffles…



About This Author

Award winning and best-selling author, Karen Rose Smith’s plots are all about emotion. She began writing in her early teens when she listened to music and created stories to accompany the songs. An only child, she spent a lot of time in her imagination and with books–Nancy Drew, Zane Gray, The Black Stallion and Anne of Green Gables. She dreamed of brothers and sisters and a big family like her mother and father came from. This is the root of her plotlines that include small communities and family relationships as part of everyday living. Residing in Pennsylvania with her husband and four rescued cats, she welcomes interaction with readers on social media.



Author Links:







My thoughts: I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is my first visit to Kismet and my first introduction to Caprice and her family/friends. This is the third book in the series, yet it is easy to follow along without having read the previous books.  However, I’m sure that like me, you will want to go back and read the first two books if you have not done so already.  I’d like to learn a bit more about Caprice’s family and her relationships with Grant and Dr. Seth.

Gilt by Association is an engaging read.  There are plenty of twists and turns to keep you on your toes.  I love that Caprice is an animal lover and is in to vintage/retro style. The love theme Caprice is incorporating in to the home staging makes this a great February read. If you are looking for a good solid cozy mystery read, then I recommend you read Gilt by Association. And you might want to join me in checking out the first two books in the series:  Staged to Death and Deadly Decor.

If you would like to win a print copy of this book, visit the Great Escapes Tour Page for a chance to win.



Posted by on February 1, 2015 in Uncategorized


February Book Club Read: Night Road by Kristen Hannah – Spoilers


Night Road by Kristin Hannah

Summary from Goodreads:  For a mother, life comes down to a series of choices.
To hold on…
To let go..
To forget…
To forgive…
Which road will you take?

For eighteen years, Jude Farraday has put her children’s needs above her own, and it shows—her twins, Mia and Zach—are bright and happy teenagers. When Lexi Baill moves into their small, close knit community, no one is more welcoming than Jude. Lexi, a former foster child with a dark past, quickly becomes Mia’s best friend. Then Zach falls in love with Lexi and the three become inseparable.

Jude does everything to keep her kids safe and on track for college. It has always been easy– until senior year of high school. Suddenly she is at a loss. Nothing feels safe anymore; every time her kids leave the house, she worries about them.

On a hot summer’s night her worst fears come true. One decision will change the course of their lives. In the blink of an eye, the Farraday family will be torn apart and Lexi will lose everything. In the years that follow, each must face the consequences of that single night and find a way to forget…or the courage to forgive.

Kristen Hannah’s Night Road is the February read for my face to face book club.

I enjoyed the book, but it’s another tough emotional read.  So many lives were tainted by one mistake.  The loss of a child, a sibling, and best friend all because of a bad choice.  Of course Hannah treats a tough issue with great care and superb writing.

Because I read this book for book club I thought I would take a different approach to my review.  I’m going to post some of the discussion questions and my answers.  These questions are from Kristen Hannah’s website.

Jude Farraday is obviously a tenacious and committed mother. She very clearly tries to do anything and everything she can to keep her children safe. Do you think all of this effort makes her a “good” mother? Or is she over-invested in her children’s lives? Does this kind of micro-managing keep kids safe, or put them in a position where they don’t trust their own judgment? Jude Farraday is the ultimate helicopter mom. I think she is too invested in the lives of her children. Parents should be involved in the lives of the children, but micro-managing them does allow them to grow or to learn.

 One of the powerful themes in this novel is the delicate balance a mother must find between holding on to her children and letting them go. How does Jude succeed in finding this balance? How does she fail?  I don’t think Jude ever does find that balance. I believe that played a big part in what happened to Mia. She can’t even let go of her grief and care for what is left of her family.  I’m not saying that grief over the loss of a child isn’t devastating, but if Jude had found some balance with her children, then she might have been better able to deal with her grief and care for those that survived.

On page 71, Jude observes that her husband accused her of being a helicopter parent, all noise and movement, hovering too close to her children, but if that were true, he was a satellite, positioned so far up in the sky he needed a telescope to track the goings on his own home. How does this sentence illustrate Jude’s view of motherhood? Is she right? Is Miles unaware of what’s going on in his children’s lives? How does Jude render Miles ineffective and what is the price for that? I don’t think Miles’ character was quite as well developed as the others.  Most of the story focuses on Jude, the twins and Lexie. I think Miles is certainly on target when he refers to Jude as a helicopter mom. As for him being just a satellite parent, I think that’s the only role that Jude allows him to take. She forces him into that role –  yet gets irritated with him about it. I don’t think Miles is unaware of what’s going on in  the twins’ lives – it’s just that Jude has pushed him so far to the sidelines.

Jude seems to make all the rules for her children. Why does she ignore Miles’ suggestions and advice? Why does he let her? I couldn’t figure out why Miles let Jude make all the decisions. Was it because he’s a busy doctor – works outside of the home and Jude is a stay at home mom with her whole life tied up in the children? Was Jude’s personality so forceful that Miles just decided it was simply easier to let Jude make all the decisions?  He does make some weak attempts to reel her in, but he is not successful.

For years, Jude promised her children than they could “tell her anything, that she would pick them at night up no questions asked.” But when put to the test, she fails. Can you understand why she disciplined her children for drinking? What would you have done? This is a tough one. I don’t want my children to drink. I don’t want them to get in the car with someone who does. If they do drink, I want them to call me so I can pick them up, but if there are no repercussions for the underage drinking, then isn’t the same as condoning it? I understand why Jude made the deal with them and I understand why she disciplined them. I think telling them there would be no questions asked was a mistake. It’s seems like a commitment that would be impossible to keep. As a result the twins didn’t trust her and that played a big part in what happened.

Lexi pays a very high price for her actions that night. Did she do the right thing by admitting guilt? Yes she did the right thing. I felt a lot of sympathy for Lexi, but while I think everyone was guilty for what happened, Lexie

Jude says at one point that she is seeking “justice” from the court. Is she? Did she find it? I don’t think that she was looking for justice. I think she was looking for revenge. And she certainly got that, but it wasn’t enough.

Assign blame for what happened on that tragic night. How much of what happened is Lexi’s fault? Zach’s? Jude’s? Mia’s? They are all guilty. But as sorry as I felt for Lexi and even though at times I do think the punishment she received was rather harsh, the bottom line is that her mistake cost the life of her best friend. She was the one was the most sober. 

I found this to be a very good book. It’s certainly not an easy read. All of the characters, with the exception of Miles are very well developed.  I loved Lexi, Zach, Mia, Grace and Aunt Eva.  I did not like Jude. She was too overbearing and I had a serious problem with the fact that she was unwilling to accept any blame for what happened.  It was also hard for me to read about the way she treated Grace.  The story does have a happy ending and I’d like to think that in the part of the story that we don’t read, Jude becomes more likeable.

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Posted by on February 18, 2012 in Uncategorized