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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!   On Twitter, @GaPirate  Email me at piratepatty@hotmail.com. Have your Marketing people or Publisher contact me for reviews. Top 1000 Reviewer for Amazon. Vine Voice on Amazon. Follow along on Instagram @PatriciaFairweatherRomero

THE APPEAL by JANICE HALLETT

The Appeal

IN A TOWN FULL OF SECRETS
SOMEONE WAS MURDERED.
SOMEONE WENT TO PRISON.
AND EVERYONE’S A SUSPECT.
CAN YOU UNCOVER THE TRUTH?

When your boss dumps a ton of emails, texts, and police records on your desk and asks you to go through it and see if there is something that points to the wrong person being in prison, it’s a daunting task. They also must communicate with said boss in emails.

So, yes this book is written entirely out of emails. This is going to be one of those books that you either love or didn’t finish. It is a debut novel, but I found myself not caring about any of the characters at all because we didn’t “know” them. I was just not invested in the outcome at all.

You may like it if you give it a read.

NetGalley/January 25, 2022, Atria

THE ACCOMPLICE by LISA LUTZ

The Accomplice

Everyone has the same questions about best friends Owen and Luna: What binds them together so tightly? Why weren’t they ever a couple? And why do people around them keep turning up dead? In this riveting novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Passenger, every answer raises a new, more chilling question.


This is the story of Owen, charming, well-off, and a bit dysfunctional, and Luna, who is closed off, and as different as Owen as a person can be. But in college, they form a bond that will last longer than either of their other relationships.

Years go by and still it’s the Luna and Owen show. Even after they are both married to other people. Still living close to each other. And then…Owen’s wife is murdered, dragging up old feelings from college where a classmate had mysteriously died.

As the investigation turns over even more secrets, Luna is wondering if she ever knew Owen at all. And to find out she is going to have to face her own secrets. When does your life become more important than keeping friends secret?

There were so many secrets in this one. I felt sorry for Luna because of her past. I do wish we had heard more from Luna’s husband. That was an odd relationship.

Secrets have a way of coming out when you least expect them. And that is exactly what happens. A thrill ride the entire read!

NetGalley/ January 25th, 2022 by Ballantine Books



How to Love your Neighbor by Sophie Sullivan

How to Love Your Neighbor

Girl on her own struggling with an absent mother and an almost degree in interior design, inherits beach house from unknown grandparents.

Rich developer next door keeps asking her to sell. She is keeping the house and the back and forth between them is predictable and you knew it was going to end up with her in his bed and her designing his house and poof, problems solved.

Not a fan of romance if it’s the struggling girl meets rich bachelor type.

NetGalley/ January 18th, 2022 by St. Martin’s Griffin

JOAN IS OKAY by WEIKE WANG

Joan Is Okay

Joan is Chinese-American. At 36, a doctor at NYU. She has met her parents expectations and she works all the time. Taking all the shifts she can.

She thinks a lot and a lot of this story is played out in her head. There were not a lot of ups and downs. The book was interesting to a point and then it was just flat. It felt like a disconnect with the character.

After reading it, I wasn’t interested in reading it again. It just didn’t feel personal at all.

NetGalley/January 18th, 2022 by Random House

SUCH A PRETTY SMILE by KRISTI DEMEESTER

Such a Pretty Smile

I finished this book in one sitting. With the lights on and the doors locked.

This is for all the women who don’t want to sit still and look pretty. For the women and girls who have been patronized and marginalized by men.

Told by two rather unreliable narrators. Caroline and her daughter Lila. In 2004 Caroline is living in New Orleans. Girls have been disappearing and the bodies are found mutilated with horrific bites and scratches that leave the media calling the killer The Cur. All are young girls who won’t sit still and look pretty. The ones who refuse to be put in a box. They are opinionated and will not conform to what society wants them to be.

Caroline is having a hard time sleeping. She hears packs of dogs everywhere and loses time. Her fiance’ is also an artist and rather a jerk. Caroline has begun sculpting and the sculptures are disturbing but also gallery-worthy. With her father who is dying and a husband who is a narcissist, she has a lot of stress. Her doctor is patronizing and tells her to take a pill and it will be fine. It is not fine. Not fine at all.

Jump to 2019 and Caroline and her daughter Lila are living close to Atlanta where Caroline is now teaching and sculpting. But she is still haunted by whatever is in her past. And now girls are disappearing and found dead in the same manner as before.

Lila is hiding who and what she is from everyone. Her father and his wife in New Orleans, the school psychologist, and her mother. She feels like there is something inside of her, snarling and begging to be let out, but when she does, it backfires horribly.

I am not going any further with this story because you really need to experience it for yourself. Let me just say it has been a long time since I was this terrified for an entire book!

I can’t wait to see what comes next for this author. Look out, Stephen King!

NetGalley/ January 18th, 2022 by St. Martin’s Press





OUR KIND of PEOPLE by Carol Wallace

Our Kind of People

Welcome to the Gilded Age in New York City. The war is over and the elite of the city are getting back to balls and debuts and other pursuits. In Helen Wilcox’s case, it means finding suitable matches for her two daughters on a shoestring budget.

While Helen comes from money, She has married for love. And boy were those people snobby and just plain mean.

But it is 1874 and the times were different. Classes were important and old money trumped the new money. So how will Helen find suitable men for her two daughters? Her husband has dreams of an elevated rail in NYC. It’s a genius idea but it will take a lot of money! When it lead to financial ruin, Helen is questioning her husband’s dream but not his love for her or hers for him.

And as their fortunes change, they along with daughters Jemima and Alice must take a hard look at the world as it is, not as it was and think long and hard about what they want.

To Marry an English Lord was written by Wallace. The inspiration for Downton Abbey so if you are missing it or Bridgerton, this should hold you until Mr. Fellowes brings us more! And thank goodness he will bring The Gilded Age to life!

NetGalley/January 11th, 2022 by G P Putman’s Sons

THE LAST HOUSE ON THE STREET by DIANE CHAMBERLAIN

The Last House on the Street

Some history, a little mystery and a lot of prejudice!

Told in two times, this story takes one of the characters, Ellie Hockley, and tells her story from 1965. A time when I watched the world through a child’s eyes. I was a child of the deep south and integration didn’t come for longer that it should have. The Voting Rights Act was passed and the SCOPE program was put into motion to help black people register to vote and to know their rights.

It was dangerous work. Work that did get people killed. Remember Mississippi? But against everyone’s advice and threats, Ellie has joined up to help. Her story and her character were very well done.

In 2010 Kayla and her daughter are moving into the house she designed with her husband. He died before the house was finished in an accident. There seem to be a lot of accidents around. But really this is Round Hill, North Carolina. What could possibly be so frightening about her house?

When a scary-looking old lady tells her not to move into the house, she is already shakey on that so maybe she will sell it.

In the end, they move in. Her next-door neighbor is Ellie Hockley and she is very helpful and welcoming. She also has secrets. A lot of secrets.

This book doesn’t clean up the past. I like that. I lived through this period as a child and it was just this bad. There is a lot of violence and prejudice and just plain meanness in here. And that is okay with me because it happened. And if we ever forget it we will repeat it. And right now this is a good time to read this book!

NetGalley/January 11th, 2022 by St. Martin’s Press

RECKLESS GIRLS by RACHEL HAWKINS

Reckless Girls

Remember The Wife Upstairs? Well, Ms. Hawkins is back with another movie worthy book!

It took me a bit to warm up to Lux and Nico. Okay, I never liked Nico. Lux was a very sympathetic character. So let’s see what all the fuss is about.

Lux has spent a few years caring for her dying mother. Her parents divorced long ago and her father found a new family. She has a lot of bad energy about that. After her mother dies, she is adrift. Having nothing and no prospects,she is at her lowest when she meets Nico.

Nico is a rich and troubled playboy who is about surface deep. When he asks Lux to go to Maui with him aboard his boat she jumps at the chance. And you just know she should not do this.

,In Maui Nico is approached by two young women who offer a lot of money to be taken to Meroe Island. Yes, it is as creepy as the name implies. Supposedly used during WWII and the subject of a lot of suspicious stories, this island is anything but inviting.

But they could use the money to repair the boat and the girls, who say they are college friends, seem friendly, so on they go.

On arrival they find they aren’t alone. Meet Eliza and her boyfriend,Jake. They have a beautiful boat and plenty of booze and food. Very quickly they become close. Until someone else arrives and threatens to break up their idyllic vacation. And when he and his boat disappear they are relieved. And that is when everything goes awry.

Everyone here has secrets. Some deadly. No one is really who they say they are. And some of them are more than willing to kill to keep them.

This was a twisty, mind screw! And I loved every page of it!

NetGalley/January 4th, 2022 by St. Martin’s

Saying Goodbyes

The last day of a bad year. I hope you all had a good Christmas! It’s been a bit wild here.

Friday, Christmas Eve, we packed up the truck with food, gifts, and clothes. I had been staying at the farm and came to town for supplies. Christmas Eve was quiet and beautiful. The weather was warm and there was no wind. I sat outside late at night and listened to the coyotes sing. Along with the donkey. By that time Grandpa was not good. Hospice came late that night and things went quickly after that.

Christmas morning we thought he had rallied a bit while opening his gifts. But if you have been through this you know that is not what it means. He left this earth at 1 p.m. Monday. With his wife and family by him. This family was born and died on the land they claimed in Indian Territory. It was sad and we were really tired and cried out. After everyone left, Grandma and I talked and cried some more. Arrangements were made on Tuesday and we held the wake on Wednesday and the funeral yesterday. It was a beautiful service and I made it through my reading with just a few pauses and deep breaths.

All of the grandsons were pallbearers and each wore one of his favorite caps. After all had gone, we came home and slept 10 hours.

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We sent the funeral home over 200 pictures and they created a video that made us sob and laugh. His boots were there along with a bottle of wine from his own vineyard and his wedding ring. We went with his wishes for music. The Old Rugged Cross, Rainbow by Kacey Musgraves, The Tennessee Waltz and to finish off…Prop me up beside the jukebox if I die by Joe Diffie. His love of dancing was legendary.

I hope we honored him in a way he would love. Then we all went to Cemetary which is a block from the farm on an old dirt road. The kids ran the four-wheelers and the rest of us popped some more wine and toasted him one last time. His was a life well-lived. I will miss him terribly but I’m sure he and his Australian Shepherd are headed to the fishing pond!

Happy New Year and thanks for listening!

xxP

THE SORORITY MURDER by ALLISON BRENNAN

The Sorority Murder

A popular sorority girl. An unsolved murder. A campus podcast with chilling repercussions. 

Lucas Vega seems to be a bit obsessed with the death of sorority girl, Candace Swain. Candace was at a party one night and nowhere the next. And while her body was found two weeks later, it was discovered she didn’t drown in the lake she was found in. And she had been alive quite a bit of time.

Now Lucas is creating a podcast for his capstone project and re-opening the case and asking for people to call in with anything they remember about that night. Lucas has a bit more insight into the case as he worked in the medical examiner’s office and knows some unreleased information. But the cops aren’t listening and the Sorority has closed ranks. Threatening any member who talks to him.

When his advisor introduces him to Regan Merritt, a former US Marshall and a mother who recently had her child murdered. She isn’t home to help anyone but herself. However, something about Lucas and his podcast captures her attention. She agrees to be interviewed and review the case.

Then people start dying. Someone is desperately trying to cover something up. And when tips begin coming in they know they have something. Especially when a caller ends up dead. The cops seem to be sketchy as well. With the help of Regan, Lucas may be able to share his own secret and help figure out who is killing people and why?

I enjoyed the way we would hear Rachel’s voice in her journal. There was just enough there to make you wonder. I made a lot of wrong guesses and would never have guessed that ending. What a fresh and twisty new murder mystery to solve.

It kept me up way past my bedtime!

NetGalley/December 28th, 2021 by MIRA