Saturday, July 14, 2018

BABY TEETH Review & print galley giveaeway!


Did you ever see the old black & white movie, The Bad Seed? I remember watching it with Uncle Jimmy & that pretty lil' blonde girl scared the bejeezus outta me. Let me tell you, she has nothing on Hanna....

Thanks to Jordan at St. Martin's Press I have a print galley to give away to one lucky commenter, sorry contiguous U.S. only. Bad seeds, what do you think? Be sure to leave your email for contact in case you're the winner. Good luck!

A battle of wills between mother and daughter reveals the frailty and falsehood of familial bonds in award-winning playwright and filmmaker Zoje Stage’s tense novel of psychological suspense, Baby Teeth.
Afflicted with a chronic debilitating condition, Suzette Jensen knew having children would wreak havoc on her already fragile body. Nevertheless, she brought Hanna into the world, pleased and proud to start a family with her husband Alex. Estranged from her own mother, Suzette is determined to raise her beautiful daughter with the love, care, and support she was denied.
But Hanna proves to be a difficult child. Now seven-years-old, she has yet to utter a word, despite being able to read and write. Defiant and anti-social, she refuses to behave in kindergarten classes, forcing Suzette to homeschool her. Resentful of her mother’s rules and attentions, Hanna lashes out in anger, becoming more aggressive every day. The only time Hanna is truly happy is when she’s with her father. To Alex, she’s willful and precocious but otherwise the perfect little girl, doing what she’s told.
Suzette knows her clever and manipulative daughter doesn’t love her. She can see the hatred and jealousy in her eyes. And as Hanna’s subtle acts of cruelty threaten to tear her and Alex apart, Suzette fears her very life may be in grave danger…(synopsis from Amazon)
My thoughts, 4 stars
When & how did it all go so horribly wrong?

There's plenty of blame to go around, unfortunately. An unhealthy competition for Alex's time, attention, and love maybe? Suzette, a mother who vacillates between loving, resenting, and hating her child. Seeing her daughter as an intrusion, a mistake, coming between the life she desired and the life she's forced to live because of perceived maternal expectations, and her husbands vision of the perfect happy family. Suzette is too needy and self-centered, and in my opinion, should never have had a child. Hanna, a daughter who despite her young age, is crafty and cunning. Is this behavior innate, learned or something else entirely? Is it a reflection of Suzette's inner feelings about the bonds between a mother and child? Could this have been different? Alex, a father who prefers his rosy familial vision to reality. How long will he be able to hold onto that delusion?
BABY TEETH had my sympathies all over the place & in knots. There were times Suzette got on my nerves with her whining and self-centeredness; understandable or not. Hanna became downright scary. Alex's refusal to believe/understand or acknowledge what was staring him in the face was also understandable, but isn't there a point, before it reaches crisis stage, when you have to take off those rosy glasses?. In all honesty, I can't say I particularly liked any of the characters. The over all feel was creepy and the ending left me filled with dread. 
DEVIOUSLY FUN. STAGE EXPERTLY CRAFTS THIS CREEPY, CAN’T-PUT-IT-DOWN THRILLER.Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)TIGHTLY PLOTTED, EXPERTLY CHOREOGRAPHED.Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)DELICIOUSLY CREEPY…THE AUTHOR KEEPS THE SUSPENSE TAUT.Library Journal (Starred Review)

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

TO CATCH A TEXAS STAR & giveaway



He’ll do what it takes to prove his love


The son of a notorious outlaw, Roan Penny yearns to make his life count…but heroism comes with a price. Left badly injured, only the kindness of a gentle stranger can save him. He longs to be with the captivating beauty—his savior, his Texas star, his Marley Rose McClain—but he knows he’d bring her nothing but trouble.

If only he could convince his heart of that.

Marley’s lived a charmed life, and she’s determined to spend the rest of her days at her quiet hero’s side…but she isn’t what she seems. A life-long secret threatens to destroy everything she knows—and everything she could hope to be. As dangerous men threaten to pull her back into the shadows, a desperate Roan must ride hell-bent for leather to save the other half of his heart…before he can lose her light for good.

Amazon        B&N           iBooks            Kobo  
            

Roan Penny soaked up the sun’s warmth and leaned his head back, his eyes closed. Marley wrapped a warm towel around his face, leaving his eyes and mouth open, readying to shave him.

She rested a hand on his shoulder. Her touch gave him such a calm feeling. “I’m going to be very careful and avoid the cut around your throat. If I cause you pain, let me know right away.”

“You can be sure of that.” He closed his eyes and enjoyed the pampering. His thoughts wandered to this ranch, the McClain family, and to Marley. They’d shown him there were still kind people in the world. Minutes passed and she removed the towel.

The razor strokes were smooth, never hard or jerky. Marley’s skill amazed him. Was there anything she couldn’t do? He lay back, soaking up the sounds of the windmill, horses nickering in the corral, and the light scrape of the razor against his jaw. Except for Marley’s closeness, he could doze off.

But she made sleep impossible. The faint scent of something flowery encircled his head. He relaxed and enjoyed her presence, wishing he could tell her how much sharing these days meant to him.

Still, what use would it be to voice feelings that could never go anywhere. His thoughts drifted until he felt her lean over him, felt a strand of hair brush his shoulder. He opened his eyes to find himself staring into her pretty brown ones just inches away. For a second, he barely breathed for fear it was a dream and she’d vanish.

Her close proximity did strange things to his heart.

Dark curls framed her face and her eyes glistened like diamonds shimmering in a stream. Air got trapped in his lungs and the wanting was so powerful it sent throbbing pain through him.
Like a man wandering too long alone, he reached to capture a strand of hair between his thumb and forefinger. The texture was like satin and he couldn’t move, couldn’t think, couldn’t speak.

Her soft breath whispered against his newly shaved cheek and hunger rose.

Awareness sizzled between them. He became aware of the length of her eyelashes, her heartbeat, the pulse in the hollow of her elegant neck. He’d long searched for a woman like Marley, never once thinking she existed.

Her mouth was so close. Just a slight move forward…

But to what end? He wouldn’t tease her, make her think they could have more when in truth they could have no future at all.

Marley Rose McClain was everything a man like him could never have and to even wish for a life with her was a big mistake that could only lead to bitter disappointment. Best to remember his place and that he had nothing to offer—not to her or any woman.

Maybe just for a moment he could pretend.

“You have the silkiest hair I’ve ever felt.” His voice was low and full of yearning. He released the strand and brushed a finger lightly across her cheek. “I’m afraid you got a poor bargain when you patched up my rotten hide.”

“Let me be the judge of that and there is nothing wrong with your hide.” Her soft statement wound around his heart like a stubborn trumpet vine.

She adjusted her angle, cleared her throat, and moved back a fraction. Her attention once again on his jaw, she applied the razor’s edge to his stubble. “I’m glad I found you,” she murmured.

“Me too.” Roan glanced toward the barn, a safe place to turn his gaze, feeling the need to apologize. “I’m sorry. I don’t know what came over me.”

“Good heavens, Roan. You didn’t do anything wrong and I like being with you. We have an easy kind of relationship and over the days and hours we’ve spent together, we’ve become true friends.” She lifted the razor and wiped it with the towel.

Friends. Well, that put him in his place. He should thank her for the reminder of how she saw him.

“You’re easy to be around, Marley, and I’ve enjoyed being with you.” He’d remember this time for the rest of his life. When he sat around a lonely campfire, he’d recall Marley McClain and how tempted he’d been to kiss her.

A minute later, she wiped away the remaining shaving cream and handed him a mirror. “What do you think?”

“You’ve worked a miracle. I feel like a new man and, except for the bruises and black eyes, I look almost human.”

She stood back with a smile. “I think you’re very handsome.”

Roan thought about that later as he sat with her in the sun, listening to the lazy windmill, imagining a life here for real—the place of belonging he’d searched for. He watched her scribbling in her story book, a grin curving her lips. She was an amazing woman with so much to give the world.

He had nothing to offer except bad luck—and grief to Mose’s killers.

But if one day he had the opportunity again to ride near the Aces ’n Eights, he would stop in a heartbeat. For sure, the lovely Marley McClain would fill his dreams for a long time, her gentle touch lingering in his heart. 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

SMALL TOWN RUMORS & Top 5 Biggest Scandals & Giveaway w/ Carolyn Brown




Top 5 Biggest Scandals in Bloom, Texas by Carolyn Brown

Welcome to Bloom, Texas, where the gossip is hotter’n than the peppers in Rick’s garden. Bloom is located just north of Sweetwater where the land is so flat that you can see all the way to where the earth curves. Well, maybe not that far but it goes out there for miles until it finally meets the sky. It always reminds me of a child’s drawing. He/she makes a line on their paper. Above it is sky with fluffy clouds. Below it is grass with wild flowers. The streets are wide and the bus comes through on the way to Sweetwater once a day.

If you want to hear the local gossip, just stop by the Main Street Café. You’ll love the burger baskets and sweet tea, but if you listen closely, you can learn who didn’t come to church on Sunday and why, who died, who had a baby and whether or not she was married. The list goes on and on, so don’t bypass the café as you wander up and down Main Street. Oh, and ask Elaine, the owner, to fix you up with a large sweet tea to go when you leave.

A couple of doors down, you’ll see a used book store. Go right on in and Amos will tell you the whole history of Bloom. If you have a seat on the sofa inside the front door, he’ll entertain you until all that sweet tea is gone with stories about the folks in town. Don’t be shy, now. He loves company.

As a stranger, you probably won’t be invited to one of the Sweetwater Belle’s club meetings, but even their exclusive meetings aren’t so secret in Bloom. After all everyone knows everything about everyone. They know what they did with whom, where it happened and what time they got home afterwards. Then they read The Bloom Daily News to see who got caught!

After all, gossip is the life blood of the community. It’s what drives the people to get out in the blistering hot sun and go to town. It’s what sets the phone lines to smoking, and why there’s more than one cell tower pretty close to the town.

There were, have been, are will be many scandals in Bloom. But five come to mind. First is the fact that Jennie Sue’s dad has been having affairs for years and every year the mistress gets younger and younger. He has his reasons but Jennie Sue doesn’t know them until she comes home. Second would be the fact that she arrives in town, right there on Main Street on a bus. Not in a rented car from an airport. Not even in her own little fancy sports vehicle, but a bus! That alone will put a strain on the phone company. Third is that she intends to be independent and since her father won’t give her a job in the oil company, she agrees to clean houses for two elderly sisters, Lettie and Nadine, who are the biggest gossips in Bloom, Texas. Fourth is that she’s seen with Rick, a local farmer, and even worse that she’s working on his farm for no money but for vegetables as pay. And number five that she has a baby buried in an unmarked grave at the Bloom cemetery. Now when that last one hits the gossip vine, it really will be hotter’n the peppers in Rick’s garden!


Website        FB       Goodreads 


Everyone is talking about Jennie Sue Baker and the mess she made of her life in New York. The former high school queen bee—and wealthy darling of Bloom, Texas—has returned home after all these years, riding on a common bus and bearing two bounced alimony checks. In a town that thrives on gossip, Jennie’s fall from grace has shamed her mother, set the town buzzing, and caused old, jealous enemies to whisper in delight. They say she’s taken a job as a housekeeper, gotten a garage apartment, and might be crushing on Rick Lawson, a simple farmer with modest dreams.

As romance starts to bud, Jennie relishes what it means to follow her heart, find real new friends, and finally be herself—regardless of all the lying town chatter. But fate has another twist in store. Rumor has it that Jennie now stands to lose what matters most . . . unless she can convince Rick of one true thing—and that’s love.

Carolyn Brown is a New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and a RITA finalist with more than ninety published books, which include women’s fiction and historical, contemporary, and cowboys-and-country-music romance. She and her husband live in the small town of Davis, Oklahoma—where everyone knows everyone else and knows what they’re doing and when—and they read the local newspaper on Wednesday to see who got caught. They have three grown children and enough grandchildren to keep them young.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

THE LOST FOR WORDS BOOKSHOP Review

 The Lost for Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland is a compelling, irresistible, and heart-rending novel, perfect for all book lovers.

"In The Lost for Words Bookshop, Stephanie Butland has created a bibliophile's delight. Witty and irreverent, funny and sad, this is a charming tribute to stories on the page and in our lives--and the powers they can hold over us."—Matthew Sullivan author of Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
"Burns fiercely with love and hurt. A rare and beautiful novel."—Linda Green, bestselling author of While My Eyes Were Closed
Loveday Cardew prefers books to people. If you look carefully, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin. But there are some things Loveday will never, ever show you.
Into her hiding place - the bookstore where she works - come a poet, a lover, and three suspicious deliveries.
Someone has found out about her mysterious past. Will Loveday survive her own heartbreaking secrets? (synopsis from Amazon)


My thoughts....4 Stars
THE LOST FOR WORDS BOOKSHOP is a wonderful place to visit.

Loveday gets by, grows up, and recovers from her traumatic childhood with a little help from her friends; even those she doesn't realize she has.

Most people get complacent in their daily lives and routines. It's comfortable. But, you never know what you're missing until you allow yourself to move outside your comfort zone, shake it up a bit, push yourself. And so it is with Loveday. Her journey of discovery begins with a found book of poetry.

I'm so glad I joined Loveday and her circle, and while there were certainly times my heart broke, both with and for her, it was time well spent.

If you enjoy character driven stories without graphic sex or violence, or just need a change from those, THE LOST FOR WORDS BOOKSHOP is certainly that.

If you believe in books, judiciously selected words, and their power to offer escape, shape, and healing. This is the book for you.




Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Shana Galen's AN AFFAIR WITH A SPARE & giveaway


a Rafflecopter giveaway
In this excerpt from an Affair With a Spare Rafe Beaumont rescues Collette Fournay from an out of control carriage.

     Collette smiled, looking down to hide the expression. When she looked back up, a scream lodged in her throat. The three of them had been forced very near the street because of the people passing them on their way to the museum. And on the street, headed straight for them, was a large cart, the sort used to move heavy items, and it careened toward them at breakneck pace. It seemed something had spooked the team pulling it because the horses were wild eyed and out of control. The driver half stood, whip in hand, hollering at the top of his lungs, but the horses paid no attention. They headed straight for the walkway. Straight for Collette, who had been walking on Beaumont’s other side, closest to the street.
     She barely had a moment to react, and her reaction was quite ridiculous. She stopped, crouched, and covered her head. She knew the defensive posture was ridiculous, but she couldn’t seem to summon the will to run, which would have been smarter, although probably just as useless. Collette closed her eyes and said a prayer, waiting for the bone-jarring impact of the carriage on her person.
     Instead, she felt strong arms lift her by the waist and drag her away. Then she was falling, something heavy falling beside her.
     When she opened her eyes, she realized she must have been killed. The most beautiful man was looking down at her, his violet eyes only inches from hers. And he spoke, but she couldn’t hear him over the high-pitched ringing in her ears. The sunlight lit him from behind. He looked over his shoulder and more people gathered, blocking out the light.
     People. Not angels.
     This was not heaven but London, and the angel had been Rafe Beaumont.
     She tried to speak, but her lungs burned and she could not find her voice.
     “Just lie still, Miss Fournay,” Beaumont said. She could hear him, hear everything around her, the sound returning slowly like each piece of an orchestra added one after another.
     “You’ve had quite a scare,” he said.
     She nodded, still unable to speak. Then she remembered Lady Ravensgate and looked about frantically for the woman. Though Collette did not particularly like her sponsor, she needed the woman to stay in contact with the royalists who had her father.
     “She is fine,” Beaumont said, seeming to read her thoughts. “I shoved her aside and then went back for you. I think she may have hurt her ankle. A woman and a man who claims to be a physician are with her. Are you hurt anywhere?”
     She didn’t know. She couldn’t feel her body.
     “Just stay still, then. I will take you home and see to everything. If you’ll excuse me for one moment.”
     “No!” She grabbed his hand, holding on tightly so he could not move away. Her voice sounded strained, as though she had pushed it through a tight opening. “Stay with me.”
     “I won’t leave you, sweetheart.” He touched her cheek with one gloved hand. “But I must see to Lady Ravensgate. I promise I will be right back.”
      Collette knew she should release his hand, but she could not seem to manage to uncurl her fingers.
      “I won’t leave you,” he said. “I won’t ever leave you. Do you believe me?”
     She did. His eyes, his beautiful eyes, were so sincere.
     Though it terrified her, she let him go. As soon as he moved away, feeling seemed to come back to her body. Everything hurt. Her back, her arms, her head. She had fallen hard, and though she didn’t think anything was broken, every bit of her felt battered and bruised. She closed her eyes against the sting of tears. She could hear the people around her whispering and murmuring about her. How she wanted to move away, to have her privacy back. The whispers and the crowds looking at her reminded her too much of Paris. But then the crowds had not murmured with sympathy. They’d whispered out of fear.
     She felt a cool hand on her cheek and opened her eyes again. Beaumont was there, his bare hand on her skin. “Can you stand, sweetheart?”
     “Yes,” she whispered. She tried to rise, to make her body do as she commanded, but when she lifted her head, the world spun. “Give me a moment,” she said, putting her fingers to her temple.
     “Don’t move,” Beaumont said. “I have you.”
     Collette tried to protest when he lifted her into his arms. She did not need to be carried, especially not in front of the prying eyes, but there was no point in arguing. He was already carrying her and doing so with very little effort. He seemed to behave as though she weighed nothing, carrying her as one might carry an infant.
     And there was another reason she did not object. She liked being in his arms. The scent of him—spices and musk—tickled her nose. She leaned her head against his strong shoulder and breathed him in. His arms tightened around her, strong arms, powerful arms that cradled her against a muscled chest. For all his appearances, this was not a man given to idleness. She wondered if he would look like the men the Greeks had sculpted. If his legs would be as shapely, his torso as defined, his buttocks as round. And then because the very thought of him naked made her blush, she closed her eyes again.
     He carried her into the hackney. When the door closed and Beaumont called out the direction, she opened her eyes again. He hadn’t set her down, and she found herself on his lap, her arms around his neck. Across from them, the seat was empty.
     “Lady Ravensgate!”
     “I sent her with the physician and his wife. They had a private carriage, and I thought she would be more comfortable.”
     “I see. That was thoughtful of you.” Except that it left the two of them alone.
He's turned seduction into an art form...
Rafe Beaumont, fifth son of an earl, uses his irresistible charm with the ladies to glean dangerous war secrets. Now he's putting those skills to the ultimate test: capturing an elusive assassin by seducing his daughter. The problem? She's entirely immune to Rafe's flattery.

Never before has Collette Fortier met a man as attractive as Rafe. But her father's life is at stake, and succumbing to Rafe would be disastrous. But when Rafe turns the tables on her, offering support and friendship instead of a fleeting affair, Collette finds herself tempted in ways she never could have imagined...
"Bright, funny, poignant, and entertaining―everything historical romance fans could ask for." ―Kirkus Reviews Starred Review for No Earls Allowed

Amazon       B&N         Apple        Kobo 

Monday, June 18, 2018

BRING ME BACK Review


She went missing. He moved on. A whole world of secrets remained—until now.

36600116


Finn and Layla are young, in love, and on vacation. They’re driving along the highway when Finn decides to stop at a service station to use the restroom. He hops out of the car, locks the doors behind him, and goes inside. When he returns Layla is gone—never to be seen again. That is the story Finn told to the police. But it is not the whole story.
Ten years later Finn is engaged to Layla’s sister, Ellen. Their shared grief over what happened to Layla drew them close and now they intend to remain together. Still, there’s something about Ellen that Finn has never fully understood. His heart wants to believe that she is the one for him...even though a sixth sense tells him not to trust her.
Then, not long before he and Ellen are to be married, Finn gets a phone call. Someone from his past has seen Layla—hiding in plain sight. There are other odd occurrences: Long-lost items from Layla’s past that keep turning up around Finn and Ellen’s house. Emails from strangers who seem to know too much. Secret messages, clues, warnings. If Layla is alive—and on Finn’s trail—what does she want? And how much does she know?
A tour de force of psychological suspense, Bring Me Back will have you questioning everything and everyone until its stunning climax. (Synopsis from Amazon)


My thoughts....3.5 stars

Even though she's only written three books at this point, personally speaking there're some common themes they share...

-How well do we know those we invite to share our lives? The ones we intend to be most intimate with, do we ever truly know them?

-She makes the implausible, plausible.

-She keeps me guessing right to the end. Every time I think I know, I don't. That's such a thrill to me, the unpredictability and anticipation of the next twist. Where are we going & how are we getting there?  

-There's always a sense of justice being served, one way or another.

Ms. Paris delivered on the first two in BRING ME BACK. However, a page or two into Part Two and I knew with certainty who the "culprit" was. Never had a doubt. That being said there was one reveal at the end I hadn't guessed, but it didn't make a difference when all was said & done. Nor did I feel justice had been served, though I'm sure there are other readers who'll disagree.

While the sinuous creepy path Ms. Paris led me down made for a good read, the lack of the last two elements, especially the third, kept it from being a stellar read.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

JAR OF HEARTS Review


Jar of Hearts  

This is the story of three best friends: one who was murdered, one who went to prison, and one who's been searching for the truth all these years . . .
When she was sixteen years old, Angela Wong—one of the most popular girls in school—disappeared without a trace. Nobody ever suspected that her best friend, Georgina Shaw, now an executive and rising star at her Seattle pharmaceutical company, was involved in any way. Certainly not Kaiser Brody, who was close with both girls back in high school.
But fourteen years later, Angela Wong's remains are discovered in the woods near Geo's childhood home. And Kaiser—now a detective with Seattle PD—finally learns the truth: Angela was a victim of Calvin James. The same Calvin James who murdered at least three other women.
To the authorities, Calvin is a serial killer. But to Geo, he's something else entirely. Back in high school, Calvin was Geo's first love. Turbulent and often volatile, their relationship bordered on obsession from the moment they met right up until the night Angela was killed.
For fourteen years, Geo knew what happened to Angela and told no one. For fourteen years, she carried the secret of Angela's death until Geo was arrested and sent to prison.
While everyone thinks they finally know the truth, there are dark secrets buried deep. And what happened that fateful night is more complex and more chilling than anyone really knows. Now the obsessive past catches up with the deadly present when new bodies begin to turn up, killed in the exact same manner as Angela Wong.
How far will someone go to bury her secrets and hide her grief? How long can you get away with a lie? How long can you live with it? Find out in Jennifer Hillier's Jar of Hearts. (synopsis from Amazon)


There were parts of JAR OF HEARTS that I skimmed (I'm not that desensitized. There are still places I can't bring myself to go), but it's also a compelling read that made me think about so many things.

-How do you go on, day to day, living with guilt of that magnitude?

-Is Geo the only person Calvin, in his warped way, ever really loved? My conclusion would be a resounding yes. That in itself is creepy and scary. What about her touched him and exactly what part did it reach? Their relationship fascinated me, perhaps like an accident on the highway. You can't help but look and wonder.

-Forgiving, is it the only way to move on? Am I capable of that depth of forgiveness?

-They say, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions", and that's so true in JAR OF HEARTS.

-Nature or nurture?  A bit of both?

-Was there any other choice? How far is too far?

-Do we ever really know what we're capable of until we're up against it?

My imagination is vivid enough, so I would've preferred less of the graphic details, but overall JAR OF HEARTS is thought provoking and compulsive. Just when you think you know, you don't. That's always a good thing for me.
3.5 stars

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Blazing Summer Review


Summer Butler is killing it in the ratings—and all of America is tuning in as New York Timesbestselling author Denise Grover Swank greenlights a new season of TV’s hottest sleuth…


Blazing Summer by Denise Grover Swank



Summer Butler had no idea that Darling Investigations would be such a smash. But ratings don’t lie—fans love watching the former star solve real-life crimes in her hometown. With the first season wrapped, the reality-show PI is feeling the pressure to make the next one an even bigger success.
Though finding a new case won’t be easy—it’s not like another dead body will just fall in her lap—Summer’s willing to give it a try. Besides, reconciling with her family—not to mention her old flame, police chief Luke Montgomery—is a nice way to spend her downtime.
But Summer’s rekindled romance isn’t the only thing burning up Sweet Briar. It seems the town is harboring an arsonist, and all the smoldering signs point to the same culprit: her cousin Dixie. Although this case may be too close for comfort, it seems season two is already bringing the drama—and for Summer it could also be too hot to handle. (synopsis from Amazon)




4 Stars
Stellar second season for Darling Investigations. 
Summer is back for a second season of her hit Darling Investigations reality series. No pseudo cases for Summer. She prefers edgy & puts the real in reality. Nobody said doing the right thing was easy and it's often not likely to win you any popularity contests, that's fine with Summer. 
Summer and crew continue to clean up Sweet Briar; righting old wrongs, ticking off her enemies, and making a few new ones. You gotta do what you gotta do to make amends. 
Fans, among which I count myself, should enjoy Summer and Dixie's second season. Here's hoping for many more.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

THE HIGH TIDE CLUB Review


When ninety-nine-year-old heiress Josephine Bettendorf Warrick summons Brooke Trappnell to Talisa Island, her 20,000 acre remote barrier island home, Brooke is puzzled. Everybody in the South has heard about the eccentric millionaire mistress of Talisa, but Brooke has never met her. Josephine’s cryptic note says she wants to discuss an important legal matter with Brooke, who is an attorney, but Brooke knows that Mrs. Warrick has long been a client of a prestigious Atlanta law firm.
Over a few meetings, the ailing Josephine spins a tale of old friendships, secrets, betrayal and a long-unsolved murder. She tells Brooke she is hiring her for two reasons: to protect her island and legacy from those who would despoil her land, and secondly, to help her make amends with the heirs of the long dead women who were her closest friends, the girls of The High Tide Club—so named because of their youthful skinny dipping escapades—Millie, Ruth and Varina. When Josephine dies with her secrets intact, Brooke is charged with contacting Josephine’s friends’ descendants and bringing them together on Talisa for a reunion of women who’ve actually never met.
The High Tide Club is Mary Kay Andrews at her Queen of the Beach Reads best, a compelling and witty tale of romance thwarted, friendships renewed, justice delivered, and true love found. (synopsis from Amazon)
 4 Stars
I know I’m in for a good time whenever I crack the cover of a Mary Kay Andrews book, and THE HIGH TIDE CLUB is no exception. Reader’s are introduced to Josephine, Millie, Ruth, and Varina in the past, and the survivors or their descendants in the future sections.
With more twists and turns than a Southern back road, the past comes roaring into the future in ways the friends could never have envisioned.
Can you ever make amends for some trespasses?  What’s unforgivable and why is forgiveness so hard sometimes? 
Join Brooke, Liz, Marie, Felicia, Varina, and the indomitable Josephine as they stir up a hornet's nest, forever changing their lives and the lives of those around them.  

THE HIGH TIDE CLUB is as satisfying as a tall glass of sweet iced tea on a hot Georgia summer day.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

REVIEW. THE CURIOUS AFFAIR OF THE WITCH OF WAYSIDE CROSS

 “Witch!” cries the young man after stumbling unexpectedly into the London address of the consulting-detective partnership of Mr. Jasper Jesperson and Miss Lane. He makes the startling accusation while pointing toward Miss Lane . . . then he drops dead. Thus begins the strangest case yet to land—quite literally—on the doorstep of Jesperson and Lane.

According to the coroner, Charles Manning died of a heart attack—despite being in perfect health. Could he have been struck down by a witch’s spell? The late Mr. Manning’s address book leads Jesperson and Lane to the shrieking pits of Aylmerton, an ancient archaeological site reputed to be haunted by a vengeful ghost. There they sift through the local characters, each more suspicious than the last: Manning’s associate, Felix Ott, an English folklore enthusiast; Reverend Ringer, a fierce opponent of superstition; and the Bulstrode sisters, a trio of beauties with a reputation for witchcraft.

But when an innocent child goes missing, suddenly Jesperson and Lane aren’t merely trying to solve one murder—they’re racing to prevent another. been struck down by a witch’s spell? The late Mr. Manning’s address book leads Jesperson and Lane to the shrieking pits of Aylmerton, an ancient archaeological site reputed to be haunted by a vengeful ghost. There they sift through the local characters, each more suspicious than the last: Manning’s associate, Felix Ott, an English folklore enthusiast; Reverend Ringer, a fierce opponent of superstition; and the Bulstrode sisters, a trio of beauties with a reputation for witchcraft. But when an innocent child goes missing, suddenly Jesperson and Lane aren’t merely trying to solve one murder—they’re racing to prevent another.  (synopsis from Amazon)








My thoughts on THE CURIOUS AFFAIR OF THE WITCH OF WAYSIDE CROSS...3 stars 

Two mysteries in one.
What does a missing child in the countryside have to do with the death of a man in London, if anything?
Are the culprit(s) otherworldly or all too human?  
An interesting jaunt through Victorian England, urban and rural, and the striking attitudes and distinctions between the "classes".
I enjoyed the dynamics between Jesperson and Ms. Lane and will have to look up the first book to see how their relationship was established. Ms. Lane struck me as a tad prickly, but not annoyingly so. 
My curiosity about this paranormal sleuthing duo is certainly piqued enough to give the first in the series a read. 
Both mysteries have satisfying conclusions that fit perfectly with no overreaching or omission resolutions. 
Solid and enjoyable, and at this point, well balanced worldly/otherworldly series that should be easy to follow.