"All the best stories in the world are but one story in reality -- the story of escape. It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape."
--Author Christopher Benson



Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A DEADLY ROW by Casey Mayes

A Mystery By The Numbers
Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Release Date September 7, 2010
First in a Brand New Series

Savannah Stone is a math whiz and makes her living creating puzzles that are syndicated daily in many newspapers throughout the United States for others to solve.  Her agent constantly pushes her to come up with some of the most difficult puzzles she can.

Zach Stone, her husband, is a retired police chief from Charlotte, North Carolina.  When he retired they left the big city behind for a small mini farm in Parson's Valley in the beautiful foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Zach's retirement was not his idea, unfortunately he was shot in the line of duty and had to retire for medical reasons.  He keeps his hands in on police work by doing consultant work for various police departments in North Carolina and sometimes across the country.

Zach was feeling very unsettled one day putzing around the house trying to keep busy when a call came in from his old department.  Savannah told the new chief that Zach was too busy to help him and basically hung up.  Savannah is a terrible liar and when she told Zach the call was a "wrong number" he did not believe her at all.   She ended up telling him who it really was and after one short phone call they were packed up and in the car headed back to Charlotte.

There was a killer on the loose in Charlotte and the mayor was receiving threatening messages saying he would be the next victim.  The mayor was their friend, how could they not go to help.  Savannah was basically along for moral support and thought she could catch up with old friends while Zach helped with the police investigation.  Little did she know that she would be enlisted to help solve one of the most difficult puzzles of her life, and if she failed to solve the puzzle in time someone else would die.

This was a fun, quick read.  The puzzle element was very intriguing and kept the pages turning.  I found myself trying to solve the puzzle just like Savannah, of course she figured it out first. These are definitely two characters I want to read more about.  I just think it may be strange if every case Zach is called in to consult on involves a puzzle for Savannah, so I am very interested in how the author will continue to have these characters evolve and unfold.  I will be patiently awaiting the next book in this numerically inspired series.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Berkley Prime Crime, a division of Penguin Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

New From Penguin Publishing INCLUDES GIVEAWAY!!!

Today, Penguin Group launches a new monthly radio series called The Literary Life.  Completely written, produced, and hosted by Penguin employees, The Literary Life features literary fiction and nonfiction from bestselling, critically acclaimed authors and fast-rising newcomers. It’s hosted by Jake Morrissey, Executive Editor at Riverhead Books.  Each episode will debut on the last Tuesday of the month.  

In addition to candid interviews with authors, regular segments on The Literary Life include: Inside Publishing, featuring a publishing personality giving a behind-the-scenes look into the book industry; Writer’s Rant, where authors are given the floor to vent; and Penguin Mix Tape, featuring interviews and performances by musicians-turned-authors. 

In this debut episode, singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash, author of the new bestselling memoir Composed, answers questions and performs “The World Unseen.”  

Maile Meloy, author of the bestselling collection Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It, and Doug Dorst, author of The Surf Guru and Alive in Necropolis, discuss the art of the short story. 

Sloane Crosley, author of the bestselling essay collections I Was Told There’d Be Cake and How Did You Get This Number, rants about punctuation.

To celebrate the launch, Penguin is hosting a giveaway for one of the 4 new books featured on this month’s show:
Rosanne Cash’s ComposedComposed: A Memoir,
 Maile Meloy’s Both Ways is the Only Way I Want ItBoth Ways is the Only Way I Want It 
Doug Dorst’s The Surf GuruThe Surf Guru  
Sloane Crosley’s How Did You Get This Number How Did You Get This Number

 This giveaway is open only for a very short time.  
Contest Ends At 8:00 a.m. CST on Friday!!

Open to U.S. Residents

You do not need to be a follower of Dollycas's Thoughts to enter,
but hope you will check out the blog and 
find something you like and decide to become one.

Be sure to tune into the podcast and enter the giveaway!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

It's Monday!! What Are You Reading???

This great meme is hosted by Sheila at "Book Journey".

 It's a great way to start the week and 
find out what other bloggers are reading.  
My To-Be-Read pile has grown to an 
unbelievable number thanks to this meme.

Driven to Ink: A Tattoo Shop Mystery 
Driven To Ink
by Karen E. Olson
Release Date September 7, 2010

Don't Blink
by James Patterson (ARC)
Review and Giveaway Announced This Week
A Deadly Row (A Math Puzzle Mystery) 
by Casey Mayes
Watch for review this week!

 Wicked Weaves (Renaissance Faire Mysteries, No. 1) 
Wicked Weaves 
by Joyce and Jim Lavene

Ghastly Glass (Renaissance Faire Mystery) 
Ghastly Glass
by Joyce and Jim Lavene
 Deadly Daggers
by Joyce and Jim Lavene
Release Date September 7, 2010

In the Fullness of Time 
In The Fullness of Time
by Vincent Nicolosi
I didn't get as much reading done last week as I would have liked.  I took most of Thursday cleaning and organizing my workspace here.  Check out my Feel Good Friday! post below to see what I mean.  

Feel Good Friday! is a great meme Hosted by: Erika,  the girl next door grows up  and it is for all kinds of blogs, not just books, I find it a wonderful way to close out the week and get ready for the weekend.  You may want to try it sometime.

August Book Giveaway ends tomorrow night at MIDNIGHT! If you haven't entered follow the link in the left sidebar and enter today.

I want to remind everyone that September 
is going to be a big month
here at Dollycas's Thoughts, 
in addition to many good books being released.

  • We will be kicking off the month on September 2 with a giveaway for James Patterson's new book DON'T BLINK!!!
  • Hannah Reed, author of Buzz Off returns September 8.
  • Wendy Lyn Watson, author of the Mystery a la Mode series will be here September 9.
  • BlogFest 2010 is September 10-12 and I will be having some AWESOME giveaways!!
  • Book Blogger Appreciation Week is September 13-17 and there will be MARVELOUS giveaways!!
  • Plus my monthly book giveaway!!!!
  • I will also be introducing a new MEME to replace Movers & Shakers on Thursdays.  I hope you will all stop by and participate!!!
So be sure to mark your calendars and visit often because it's going to be a honey of a month!!!!
(September is National Honey Month)


Friday, August 27, 2010

Welcome to Feel Good Friday! 

Laura had found that a lot of her bloggy friends reading posts about being positive, so she thought she might try her very own meme.  She just wanted everyone to feel good and have some happy thoughts as you begin the weekend.  

It is never too late to join!!! 
 I have posted the prompts here to give you some idea of what this meme is about:
Pick one of these prompts and write about it on your blog!  You can: 
  • Just make a list. List 5 things that made you really happy this week. No matter how bad or boring you think your week was, I bet you can find 5 things.  
  • Write about something that happened to you this week that really made you smile.  Was it your child, husband, or maybe a complete stranger did to you?
  • Write about something that YOU did for someone else that really made them happy or laugh.
  • Is there something you treasure so much that every single time you look at it, it brings you happiness?  Post a pic and tell everyone about it.
  • Having a hard week and can’t find one good thing about it?  Well then, what is your happy place?  What do you think of that makes you happy? A past vacation?  A childhood memory?  We want to know!
Then head over to 
and link your blog so everyone can visit and see all about what made you 

Feel Good!!!

Here's what made me smile this week...
Yesterday, I just couldn't stand it anymore, I could barely find the keyboard through the clutter I had accumulated since I started this blog.  Don't get me wrong most of it was good clutter, books, mailing envelopes I had saved to reuse, bookmarks, giveaway prizes, etc.  I should have taken a before picture but this one is pretty accurate, if you change the coffee cups to Mountain Dew cans, and change the Dodgers pennant to pictures of my grandson.

It took me awhile, having to rest a few times, (with my bad leg, I can't stand very long), but after I got started I couldn't stop.  Not only did I clean the top of the desk, I organized my 2 drawer file cabinet and all four of my desk drawers.  A friend had given me a desk set for my birthday that holds pens and pencils but also has spots for business cards, plus 3 other spots that were probably for paper clips, etc, but is holding my return address stamp, a camera and miscellaneous stuff.  She also gave my a file organizer for the top of my desk and I finally set up the files and the extra openings are perfect for bookmarks, postcards, etc.

Here is the after picture, (not bad for taking it with one hand) the mailing envelopes are in a square wash basket all arranged by size, on the floor next to the desk just out of the picture.

When my husband came home he thought he was in the wrong house.  He was convinced he would come home one day and find me on the floor buried under books and papers. :)

That's what put a smile on my face this week, now tell me what made you smile.


IT IS HOSTED BY:  Jennifer at Crazy For Books

In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word!  This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books!  It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read!  So, grab the logo, post about the Hop on your blog, and start HOPPING through the list of blogs that are posted in the Linky list below!!

The Hop lasts Friday-Monday every week, so if you don't have time to Hop today, come back later and join the fun!  This is a weekly event!  And stop back throughout the weekend to see all the new blogs that are added!  We get over 300 links every week!! 

Your blog should have content related to books, including, but not limited to book reviews.


1.  Enter your book blog link in the Linky List below
In your link, please state the main genre that you review:  eclectic, contemp. fiction, ya, paranormal, mystery, non-fiction, etc.  Please do not list every genre you review - if you are review a variety, please put eclectic!  The Hop gets jumbled up if the title is too long, so please limit to one genre.  I will be limiting the number of characters in the title to ensure the Hop doesn't look messy!  Thank you!
Example:  Crazy-for-Books (literary fiction)
NOTE:   You no longer have to enter the length of time you've been blogging, but do let us know if this is your first time hopping with us!

2. Post about the Hop on your blog.  Spread the word about the book party!  The more the merrier!  In your blog post, answer the following question (new question each week!).  If you have a question that could be used in a future Hop, leave it in the comments!  Thanks!

This week's question comes from:
Books Are A Girl's Best Friend

Do you use a rating system for your reviews and if so, what is it and why?
Yes, I do, it is in the upper right sidebar.  I designed it myself, using the star type system most online booksellers use because I post my reviews there in addition to my blog.  I love the girls faces and as soon as I saw them, my whole rating system just came together.


So head over to
add your link and
Visit other blogs in the Linky List! 
Make new friends!  
Follow new book bloggers! 
Talk about books!  
Rave about authors!  
Take the time to make a quality visit!  
Check out other posts and content, make a new friend! 
Don't randomly follow someone if you never intend on actually following them!  
No spamming please!  (Please do not leave your link and not visit other blogs - 
it's just not cool and not in the spirit of the Hop!)

So, have fun HOPPING and enjoy your BOOK PARTY weekend!!!
 Please check out the Kohl's Cares
links at the top of my blog. 
It would be great if you could vote for our schools 
but you can also 
follow the links to find and support 
your own home town schools too.  


Thursday, August 26, 2010


Kaitlyn of

Today's Winner Receives: 
250 2x3.5 Hang Tags w/ Hole Drilling   
14pt Card-stock Gloss   
3/16" Hole Drilling   
4 Color Both Sides Printing  

I will be forwarding your email address to Giveaways.com 
and they will contact you directly.

Thank you to everyone that entered.
Winner was chosen using Random.org

September will be a big month here!!
Visit often to get in on the fun!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Driven To Ink by Karen E. Olson

A Tattoo Shop Mystery
Obsidian Mystery
Release Date September 7, 2010
3rd Book In Series

This series features tattoo artist, Brett Kavanaugh, who owns The Painted Lady tattoo shop that caters to high class clientele, she doesn't do "flash".  Her shop is in a ritzy mall in Las Vegas and from the outside looks more like an art gallery than a tattoo parlor. She lives with her brother who is a detective for the Las Vegas police.

Her employees include Bitsy who is a little person, but acts 10 feet tall, you don't want to mess with her.  Joel is a big man, very overweight and always on a diet, with a long braid that reaches his waist, and a soft voice.  You may picture him on a Harley until you hear him talk. And Ace, who is a frustrated artist, doing tattoos to earn the money he needs to live while creating comic book style paintings, some of which grace the walls of The Painted Lady.

This edition doesn't take long to grab your attention. In the very first paragraph Brett finds a dead body in the trunk of her treasured Bullitt Mustang.  Las Vegas is the home of the quickie wedding ceremony and Brett had lent her car to an elderly friend, Sylvia, a former tattoo shop owner, to use for her Drive-Thru Wedding. She never expected it to come back with a trunk full of trouble.  The body is identified as a Dean Martin impersonator from the wedding chapel, That's Amore. The elderly newlyweds are nowhere to be found, and than dead man had been strangled with a "clip cord", a power cord for a tattoo machine, that may have come from Brett's shop.

Before the "ink" is dry on the police report Brett jumps right into investigating the murder, much to the dissatisfaction of her brother and the detective assigned to the case.  She even teams up with the competition, Sylvia's son, who has taken over her business, and goes undercover posing as a couple wanting to get married to find out what is really going on at the wedding chapel.  They need to be careful or instead of crooning out Dean's famous tune "That's Amore" they maybe singing another of his famous tunes "Ain't That a Kick in the Head?".

I didn't expect to like this series or this book as much as I did, tattoos have never been my thing, but I really enjoyed these books. The stories are face paced, the characters are quirky but lovable, and the plots believable. The references to Sister Mary Eucharista, whenever Brett is lying, breaking and entering or doing anything unsavory just cracked me up.  I can't wait to see what Brett becomes "inkvolved" in Ink Flamingos coming out next June, I am sure it will include some cool new body art. 

You can find out more about this author, The Tattoo Mystery Series and her Annie Seymour Mysteries at her website.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Obsidian, a division of Penguin Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”