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Let’s talk about books. What type of book do you like to read? Do you stick to the same authors or are you willing to take a chance on something radically different from your norm? I have a cluster of authors that I gobble up the new books they put out like a binge eater…all in one sitting. And in between waiting for said authors to put out the next book, I have a group of “fill in” authors. And then there are the ones I read because I am so very curious about everything. It has been pointed out to me that my reading list is probably linked to Homeland Security but how can you have an opinion on anything if you haven’t fully researched it?

On my bookshelf you will find every James Patterson novel, every Laurell K. Hamilton, every Stuart Woods, Harlan Coben, Catherine Coulter, Iris Johansen, Anne Rice, Laura Childs, Tom Clancy, George R.R.Martin, Kim Harrison, Kathy Reichs, Patricia Cornwell, Lisa Scottoline, Lisa Unger, Karin Slaughter, Don Winslow, Sara Blaedel along with all the classics. I don’t do romance books, no heaving bosoms or glistening abs for me.

Reading is a magical thing that can take you places you would never have access to in the living world. I love everything about books. The cover, the feel, and smell of the paper, it all has to come together for me.  Books are like a good friend who stays around.

So here we are going to be talking about books. What we’ve read, what we are reading and what we hope to read. I find it so interesting that two people can read the same book and have totally different takes on it. But that is the fun of books and imagination. Everyone is different and I am intrigued by those different opinions.

Stick around for some really good, new authors I have found and feel free to make suggestions and comments!  Join us on Facebook for free books, authors looking for reviewers and new releases and giveaways! On Twitter, @GaPirate  Email me at piratepatty@hotmail.com. Have your Marketing people or Publisher contact me for reviews.

MOSAIC by CARO RAMSEY

Mosaic

Oh my! What a puzzle this was. A true mystery of Why?, When?, Who? What??

Set in Scotland on a huge estate bordering the Brenbrae and the Tentor Woods, dark, dangerous fairy pools that will suck you in and never let go. The rumors in town are that the family is all mad. Maybe too much inbreeding in the past. There are so many suicides there is always a rope on the hanging tree.

For the Melvick’s life has been good. They have a mansion and all the money in the world. But they are all just a bit off.  Megan is deaf from some mysterious thing that happened to her as a child. So we think. Melissa is out of control crazy. Her mother left when Megan was 17 and hasn’t been heard from since.

Megan left for the city and a job her father set her up in and a shrink he also set her up with.  Now she must return home. After three years because her sister, Melissa, is dying. Her sister manages only one word before she passes. Sorry. But for what? Being a horrible sister and an all-around jerk? Or for something more sinister.

This tale has more secrets than a priest! You could feel the tension from page one and it didn’t let up. I was late for an appointment because I couldn’t stop reading.

Told in Megan’s voice as well as Carla’s voice. Carla was Megan’s only friend as well as a protector. And on Melissa’s wedding night she was killed.

There was a lot of gaslighting going on here and I wasn’t sure if any of them were stable! Is Megan truly losing her mind in the family tradition? Or is someone making her believe she is?

Full of chilling secrets, backstabbing, murder, child abuse and some magic this was one I will read again!

Very Well Done!

NetGalley/ Severn House Publishers October 1,2019

 

 

 

 

OKLAHOMA BOOK FEST 2019

Since I am not a native Oklahoman, but a Georgia/Mississippi girl, I couldn’t imagine any authors of note coming all the way to Oklahoma. At the same time as the State Fair, which always means days of rain. But boy was I in for a surprise! So in the pouring down rain and winds, off we went to the Boathouse District, hoping people would come out. Well you know book people, we don’t care if it’s a tornado, we’re going to get our books signed!

I’ve been looking forward to this for months now. As soon as I heard Scott Pelley and Anne Hillerman were going to headline, brought to us by the lovely Jane Anne Jayroe, an Oklahoma native who has had a huge impact in many areas. She met Scott Pelley working as a young on-air reporter in Dallas. He also married a Jane from a small Oklahoma town. She has been Miss Oklahoma, Miss America and worked for former Governor Frank Keating. She’s involved in everything and is a beautiful person.

    Here is Jane introducing Scott and his book. He was such a good sport about the weather! And he made me cry like a baby, but so did his book. We were sitting between the former governor and Jane. At the end of his reading and chat he said, “I’ve never been to a tent revival, but I guess now I have!” And then proceeded to be gracious and had people standing in a long line for books. I did not stand in line as I had the book.

Then look who I bumped into! Our own author from Norman,OK, Eileen Hobbs who writes great children’s books.

   She is used to our crazy weather and wasn’t in the least fazed! The grands love this series!

Since I had just finished Sheila Robert’s “A Christmas From The Heart”, I had to go see Sheila!

What a sweetheart. All the way from Seattle, she’s used to rain but I was thrilled that she came to again, Oklahoma! What a gracious and lovely lady!

I had two ulterior motives for throwing in with this festival. The red double-decker coffee bus and the 100% Vegan food truck. And I was not disappointed!

   Plato’s Provisions is a truck I’ve been trying to pin down for a bit now. Now I have a schedule. The food is fresh, plentiful and delicious! And the people are so nice! Now you know OU Boy isn’t eating this. Oh no, he went to the hotdog truck, which doesn’t deserve a picture.

   Our version of a London double-decker bus! And yes you can sit up top! Junction Coffee. Seriously the best coffee I have ever had! Better than Starbucks. And again, I got their schedule!

We ran by the Farmer’s Market on the way home to change out of rain clothes and into “it’s hot as hell and humid” clothes.

Wildflowers from Urban Co-op 

The Urban Agrerion sells produce and products from local sources only. OU Boy found a perfectly ripe cantaloupe and I grabbed a gorgeous little bouquet of wildflowers, sunflowers, and herbs. Smells delish!

And finally, I tried doing a video. Just scanning the entire area and apparently, I forgot it was on. So that part at the end was some college kid staring me down over my FSU hoodie. If you didn’t already know my first language is sarcasm, you will shortly.

“Cilka’s Journey” by Heather Morris, author of The “Tattooist of Auschwitz”

Cilka's Journey

The Tattooist of Auschwitz #2

From the author of the multi-million copy bestseller, The Tattooist of Auschwitz comes the new novel based on an incredible true story of love and resilience.

Her beauty saved her life – and condemned her.

Cilka is mentioned in the first book and now we have facts of her life blended with some fiction to fill in the question of Who was Cilka Klein?

She was only sixteen when she and her mother and sisters were taken. In 1942, she arrives at Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp. Already a beautiful young woman, her looks do not go unnoticed by the Commandant, Schwarzhuber, who separates her from the other women. Her job is to look after the sick and dying women who will be taken to the gas chamber. She knows these women hate her. She hates herself. In this place, in order to survive, you had to use whatever power you had. And hers was her beauty and ability to compartmentalize everything she had to do.

When the camp is liberated Cilka is sentenced to prison for sleeping with the enemy. Literally. This did not sit well with me. How unfair was that? At 16 you do what you need to do to stay alive. After all of the suffering and now she is being sent to Siberia for 15 years.

Once there, a young, female doctor takes her under her as an apprentice nurse. Cilka is good at this work and forms bonds with the doctor and the nurses. Using her privileged position to help the other women in her hut. She is especially taken with one man in the ward. But will she ever be free? Will she ever know the love she deserves?

This story is part true, part fictional. But the facts are there. It was difficult to read and the images in my head will always be there. The brutality of the enemy along with the equal brutality of fellow prisoners. It was heartbreaking and beautifully written and I will never forget Cilka’s Journey!

NetGalley/ October 1st, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press

 

 

 

 

Craftedleaf Tea Review!

Recently I was introduced to Craftedleaf-Tea on IG. They sent me so many great samples and the packaging is wonderful. I have been searching for a good Puerh that doesn’t taste like dirt. The tea in our area is almost always in a bag looking like dust and tasting like dust.

Not this company! The type of tea is handwritten on each resealable pouch. The leaves are big and plentiful. My first try was the 2017 Ba Da Shan Wild Tree Raw Puerh. On the back is a label telling me this came from Yunnan. Picked in the Spring of 2017 at an altitude of 1800m. The bud to leaf ratio is 1 bud: 1/2 leaf. Caffeine is less than 20 percent of coffee.

There are directions for the Gong Fu Style and the Western Style. I followed the directions and let it steep 3 minutes. Took a sip and let it steep for another minute.

It was so mellow. The grassiness with the floral notes was perfect. It was the best I have ever tried. I was able to get 6 steepings out of it without any of the quality of flavor being lost. So yes, this is a winner!

And so is this book Ascenders by C.L.Gaber!  A high school for the undead? Yep!

Have a great Thursday and try something new today!

xx P

The BAKESHOP at PUMPKIN and SPICE by Donna Kauffman, Kate Angell, Allyson Charles

The Bakeshop at Pumpkin and Spice

Every autumn, Moonbright, Maine, is the picture of charm with its piles of crisp leaves, flickering jack-o’-lanterns … and a touch of the sweetest kind of enchantment.

This was such a magical read. All happening in one town, Moonbright, Maine, affectionately known as Halloweentown! They pull out all the stops for the parade and festivals. Everyone is involved and at the center is Bellaluna’s Bakeshop. A magical bakeshop passed down from mother to daughter for generations, now being run by Bree and her Grandmother.

Three stories set in the same town at the same time. One starring Bree herself, who is beginning to think the magic gene has skipped her, along with two other ladies who thought they knew what they wanted until a bit of magic snuck into their lives.

This was a charming collaboration from three very talented women and it works so well. It is one of those curl up with a Pumpkin Spice Latte’ and a sugar cookie and feel all the warm feels!

Well Done!

NetGalley/  August 27th, 2019 by Kensington

An Unorthodox Match: A Novel by Naomi Ragen

An Unorthodox Match: A Novel

An Unorthodox Match is a powerful and moving novel of faith, love, and acceptance, from author Naomi Ragen, the internationally bestselling author of The Devil in Jerusalem.

Lola/Leah had it all. Or so she thought. A tragic love story, a new love along with a great career, but while her eyes were elsewhere, her lover hops into bed with the boss and the boss has destroyed the business leaving Lola/Leah with no job, no boyfriend, and no place to go.

Although her mother is Jewish, she rebelled against her parents and the faith early on and led her own non-believing life. She has taught her daughter that religion is a cult and she should make her own rules. But Lola/Leah is broken. And curious about her faith.

When she enters a program for newly practicing Orthodox Jews, she finds it hard and rewarding. She knows this is how she wants to live her life. And when love finds her, the same people who showed her the path will try to push her out of it.

There was a lot of writing in this book. A bit too much. But the story. The words. A lot of them hit too close to home. Oh, how we love to convert someone to a believer or bring back a lamb that has strayed. But we still think we are better than you. I was humbled by this book.

A beautiful and powerful look at true faith and love. Well Done!

NetGalley/ September 24th, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press

I LIKE THE WAY YOU WORK IT…Sing Along!

Good Tuesday Morning! So many really good books releasing today! Most of you know I don’t do Sci-Fi or YA. But this book looked so interesting that when the author asked if I wanted a copy I immediately said yes! I mean they go to a high school for the dead! And the lovely postman not only brought me this book but also TEA!

These came all the way from Hong Kong! And they weren’t kidding about sending samples! I received 8. You can check them out HERE 

They come in resealable packets and are all loose leaves. Each one tells you when it was picked and where, what altitude, the bud to leaf ratio. It gives you brewing instructions for the Gong Fu Style and Western Style. I received:

2019 Sping Dong Ting Lake Bilouchun Green Tea

2019 Spring Organic Wild Balmudan White Tea

2019 Spring Premium Anxi Tieguanyin Oolong

2017 Ba Da Shan Wild Tree Raw Pu-erh

2019 Spring Song Dynasty Milan Dancong Oolong

2019 Spring Golden Tip Lapsang Souchong Black Tea

Whew! I was really interested in raw pu-erh. It’s the one tea I haven’t had in its pure form. Here in the USA, most of it is in teabags and it just tastes like dust. Today we’ll be trying said pu-erh and letting you know how it fares!

Other than that I read a really good cozy yesterday and did some shopping on the sofa!

  

I saw them on a friend’s site and had to have them for the kids and I. They were super fast too. I paid $27 for the two for the kids including shipping and half that for mine.

Then I dragged out the Fall stuff. Michael’s was having a super great sale yesterday on all Fall and Halloween items, so I found this lovely long tray and filled it with those tiny gourds and pumpkins as well as a jar candle, which were 5 for $10.

Today is book release day, so we will all be busy. I hope your Tuesday is good. Encourage just one person today!

xx P