2#Giveaways and a Guest Post: Voodoo Doughnuts

Gwen and Nora are infiltrating a long list of dirty deeds, including fraud and illegal gains. — Playing Possum (The 2 Sisters Pet Valet Mysteries) by @mccaslin_dane

Thanks to the baking show craze, America now has a plethora of great places to sample specialty items such as cupcakes, macaroons, and cookies. 

And doughnuts.

Yes, I know that doughnut shops have been around for eons. Winchells, Dunkin, and Bosa come to mind. In fact, you don’t even need to add the descriptor word “doughnut” after each name. Just say Winchells and we’ll know you mean a lemon-filled or glazed. 

But what about Voodoo Doughnuts?

It’s hard for me to imagine that this Portland original has only been around since 2003. Since then, it’s become a cult classic up and down the West Coast, making appearances from Universal Studios Hollywood to Buffalo Heights in Houston. It’s been featured on The Amazing Race and The Travel Channel, and it holds weekly Swahili lessons as well as legal weddings. (Yes, you can get married between a case of Voodoo Doll Doughnuts and Bacon Maple Bars, standing under the shop’s “holy” doughnut.)

If you decide to search out the original Voodoo Doughnuts Portland site, be prepared for long lines. In fact, I call it the Disneyland of Donut Shops. The lines, though, are worth waiting in to have a chance to sample a Captain, Oh My Captain (topped with Cap’n Crunch Cereal) or the Memphis Mafia, a delectable concoction of fried dough, bananas, chocolate chips, and peanut butter drizzle.

How about you? What food is your town’s signature taste? Do some research and tell me about it: I might use it in an upcoming book (Gwen and Nora need to travel)! Email me at danemccaslin@gmail.com

I’d love to hear from you.

In book three of this series Nora and Gwen have made a fairly successful go at their Pet Valet business. They are comfortable leaving their young employees on their own and even contemplating hiring more help. Things seem to be going great until Nora gets a letter from a lawyer. She has been named the executor of her third ex husband’s will.  Upon further investigation she discovers that he has been missing for years and his kids (whom she not so affectionately calls step monsters) want to declare him dead. Since there seems to be not much corroboration of the man’s death and not trusting her former stepkids, Nora drags Gwen (or does Gwen convince Nora)  into snooping out the truth of the situation. They are led into twisty subplots, a money laundering laundry service and shifty bad guys.

The ladies are dogged in their pursuit of answers and take risks that maybe they shouldn’t take.  It is easy to see how they have been friends since kindergarten. Their friendship even through irritation and annoyance shines through brilliantly. The little spurts of romance here and there in the book are fun, but I just don’t get the relationship between Marcus and Nora. Obviously with so many exes she has a bit of a man issue, but their relationship seems toxic and unnecessary. I do think Roger is a doll who is perfect for Gwen.

This is a solid story that is going to appeal to fans of the series.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I received an advance review copy for free through Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, and I am leaving this review voluntarily

The 2 Sisters Pet Valet Service is purring along, thanks to the entrepreneurial talents of retired schoolteacher Gwen Franklin and her bestie and business partner, Nora Goldstein. But whenthe fur starts to fly, they become partners in crime detecting as well . . .

At Nora’s request, Gwen is happy to accompany her to a meeting with ex-hubby #3’s lawyer. Much to Nora’s surprise—and dismay—she’s been named executor of said ex’s will. The fact that the man has been missing for years and was just declared legally dead only makes an already complicated process more so. And besides, is he really dead? What’s not a surprise is that Nora’s twin ex-stepchildren are pressing for access to their father’s dry cleaning fortune . . .

With Gwen’s assist, it’s time for Nora to do a little digging. It turns out that the twins’ catering business is failing—and that their dad’s business was laundering more than clothing. Soon, Gwen and Nora are infiltrating a long list of dirty deeds, including fraud and illegal gains. And the perpetrators are all too close to home. The police may want Gwen and Nora to stick to their own line of work, but the pair are determined to make sure the truth comes out in the wash—before someone ends up in the discard bin . . .

Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N – Kobo – Google Play

McCaslin began a life-long love of mysteries at a very young age. She bypassed Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden and went straight for Agatha Christie, thanks to her mother’s library books. Dane is retired from a twenty-plus-year career in teaching high school and college English, and she uses her newfound freedom to read for pleasure, write mysteries, and smell the roses.

Author Links

Website – https://www.danemccaslinbooks.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/dana.esquer.10

Twitter – https://twitter.com/mccaslin_dane

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/danemccaslinbooks/?hl=en

GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7835071.Dane_McCaslin

BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/dane-mccaslin

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3 Comments

  1. I loved the mentions of Voodoo donuts in the story and I have enjoyed reading about them in your guest post. The place sounds just yummilicious.

    Here in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the signature taste is Coney dogs. As a Cali girl I had no idea that Coney dogs were found outside of Coney Island NY, but around here there is a Coney dog shop in every neighborhood. In a city that was established in 1794 there are bound to be some businesses that have been around a while. The second oldest restaurant in town is Coney Island Wiener Stand. It has been doing brisk business from a hole in the wall store front since 1914, though it opened first in a different location in 1913. In the seventies there was a dispute between business partners resulting in a rival Coney shop, with the same recipe, opening up across town. Both cater to a first name basis group of loyal multi-generational customers and set the bar for the Coneys in town– maybe even the state.

    Personally, I go there for the flat iron grilled burgers and “the floor show”. The place has like three parking spots (in the alley — you enter through the kitchen past vats of cooking chili) but the foot traffic through the front is nonstop. Oodles of staff mill around in an area no bigger than a large walk-in closet- facilitating hundreds of dogs to fly out the door every hour (along with burgers and chili, and chips and sodas served directly from their shipping boxes since they move out in such volume there is no point in stocking them behind the counter), all made to order grilled in the front window for any and all passers by to watch. They all take the orders without ever writing anything down. I have never seen a wrong order. It is pure poetry in motion.

    Like

    1. Talk about yum overload! I think it would be a blast to do a ‘local taste’ tour and visit random places throughout the country. I’d certainly put Ft. Wayne on my list, followed by Coney Island. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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