THE DARK LAKE BY SARAH BAILEY

 

The Dark Lake (Gemma Woodstock) by [Bailey, Sarah]

Rose was lit by the sun, her beautiful face giving nothing away. Even back then, she was a mystery that I wanted to solve.

The lead homicide investigator in a rural town, Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock is deeply unnerved when a high school classmate is found strangled, her body floating in a lake. And not just any classmate, but Rosalind Ryan, whose beauty and inscrutability exerted a magnetic pull on Smithson High School, first during Rosalind’s student years and then again when she returned to teach drama.

As much as Rosalind’s life was a mystery to Gemma when they were students together, her death presents even more of a puzzle. What made Rosalind quit her teaching job in Sydney and return to her hometown? Why did she live in a small, run-down apartment when her father was one of the town’s richest men? And despite her many admirers, did anyone in the town truly know her?

Rosalind’s enigmas frustrate and obsess Gemma, who has her own dangerous secrets—an affair with her colleague and past tragedies that may not stay in the past.

 

Rose comes across as beautiful, talented and with her wealthy father, it looks like she has it all. But she doesn’t. As we find out more about her, from her mother dying right after her birth, her manipulative behavior, and rumors about inappropriate behavior with her students.

There are no shortage of suspects here. I even suspected Gemma herself for a long while. And then she began getting threats. When her own son is targeted, things get kicked into overdrive and she literally is chasing down a killer.

A very nice thriller that had me questioning if people ever leave the events of high school behind them successfully? It is all in the perception.

Well Done Ms. Bailey!      Netgalley/Hatchette Book Group  Release Date October 3, 2017

WE WERE EIGHT YEARS IN POWER: AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY BY TA-NEHISI COATES

We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy

This was a difficult book to review. It was also difficult to read and to know that what I was reading was truth. If you don’t know it as truth, you need to go way back and look at how we became America and who the people were that made up the rules that some people, based on their sex or skin color, were considered less than.

I’ve studied slavery and the Civil War for a long time. I worked with the Middle Passage Museum and met John Lewis, Coretta Scott King, and many other leaders of the rights movement and survivors of the what is still a racist South and North. Some people are just more blatant about it.

I along with a lot of other people expected Obama to stand up for race inequalities. But as it turned out he wasn’t going to rock the boat either way.

This journalist does. Here you get the unvarnished truth about all sides. In my humble opinion this should be a must read for all high school students. Especially places like Mississippi which in some towns have only in recent years, or make that year, have been forced to stop segregating blacks to the other side of the track schools.

There is no such thing as white supremacy. There are just insecure people who need to have someone to be better than so they aren’t the ones on the bottom.

Thank you for this book Netgalley and Random House! Due to release October 3, 2017

Forgive. Sounds Good. Forget. I don’t think I could.

Pour yourself a cup and let’s chat! Today I’m thinking of forgiveness. Something easier said than done. If you really have forgiven someone you also should have let that go.

Not being a saint my own self I can hardly pass judgement on other people’s behavior. A long time ago I was in confession with Monsignor. I had a notebook with a full-page and he just looked at me and laughed. ” Why don’t you tell me what you feel guilty about instead of holding up the line for 2 hours.”  So I told him the one thing I felt guilty about was the fact that I was unable to have a relationship with my Mother. That even though I had forgiven her and let it go, I knew I absolutely could not be around her.

His response helped me a great deal. “You can forgive someone and love them but for your own self-preservation you can love them from afar”. So that is what I have done and continue to do. If you hurt me, I’ll forgive you. But I’ll love you from a few states over. Or I may not love you at all. I can say I’ll never trust you again. And I will not.

 

I compare it to sugar. I love sugar. But it doesn’t love me. It makes me violently ill. So I avoid it like the plague. But I still love it. It just doesn’t fit in my life. I forgive you sugar for tempting me but I’m keeping you out of my house. And I will not forget how sick you made me. Because remembering the pain is what keeps the pain from coming back.

So yeah, I’m all for forgiveness. Forget? That’s another thing altogether.

Reading, Movies and Strip Clubs!

Sharing a few of the books I’m reading this week. The Fiction ones. It’s still raining here. Second day in a row and we can definitely use the rain and it makes for good reading and sipping hot tea weather.

For those of you paying attention to the loss of my beloved bed and the battle of the a/c vent I can tell you that last night I slept better than I have in years! No coughing, sneezing or nose blowing going on at all! And I woke up this morning feeling great. So I guess it was the a/c vent that was giving me problems.

I love mornings like these when it’s quiet and dark and rainy. The house smells like a pine Christmas tree and I am content. This afternoon we are going to the movies. It really is the best time to go. During the week no one is there. Unlike the strip club we drove by on Monday where the parking lot was full at noon. I wanted to stop and just take a look and see what type of folks are in the strip club at lunch time, you know? And it said Ladies Free on the sign. I didn’t even know they charged you to go in! But OU Boy wasn’t having any of that. Him: Are you out of your mind? Me: But maybe we’ll see someone we know and we can say Hey why are you in a strip club at noon? Do they have a buffet?

It’s not like New Orleans where they stand in the door and welcome you in and everyone is chatting and happy. Or maybe that was the Junior League. Anywhoooo I did not get to see inside the strip club. Which is hiring by the way.

I hope you are well today. I wish you lots of love and contentment and if you need some rain just ask, I’ll send the Rain Fairy your way!

xx Patricia

Reading, but not much Writing

1490452918633

It’s been raining all day. I didn’t wake up until almost noon and while I wish I could say it was the rain, it was more of me being totally wiped out from yesterday.

The allergy season here in Oklahoma has been intense this Fall. According to the weather experts it won’t get any better until we get a hard freeze. I don’t think we had one last winter so I’m not hopeful. Anyway….I’ve been waking up in the morning and instantly having asthma attacks for hours. Yesterday’s being the worst. And then there come the breathing treatments that leave me feeling like I’m holding a live wire! I hate that feeling. So we set about to try to see what was setting it off only at that time of day.

I am fairly certain it has something to do with the a/c vent blowing right in my face. I hate a/c and would never turn it on if I lived alone. Today a couple of things happened. I woke up and OU Boy had me a cup of coffee ready, as that usually works as well as a burst from my inhaler without all the Albuterol shakiness. Caffeine makes me sleepy and today I was sore from coughing and all I wanted to do was stay in bed. On to part two.

I love my bed. It is old and antique and huge. A sleigh bed with an enormous headboard and footboard. OU Boy has re-enforced the undercarriage several times because I love this bed so much but today he came in and sat on the end of my bed and the entire thing collapsed. It was time to face facts. The bed was dead and there was no coming back from it. Since it took me years to actually pick out a bed I assume it is going to take me a while to find a new bed. So we bought a temporary bed frame and said good-bye to my old friend. And by doing this, we had to rearrange the rest of the furniture, and now the a/c vent is nowhere near me! So maybe my bed was trying to fix the problem for me.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day. Or I may have to move to Arizona! I’m pretty sure it’s drier there than it is here.

I’ll get to all of your blog posts tonight I hope!

xx Patricia

It’s Sunday! What are you reading this week?

Happy Sunday! Here it is going to be a hot one again. I am reading Christmas books today and just couldn’t get into it. So I lit a Pine candle and now the house smells like a Christmas Tree and the reading is rolling along just fine.

Today is also my little munchkin Corbins fifth birthday! So this afternoon and into the night we will be celebrating him out at GiGi’s house in the country. With all the cousins and Aunts and Uncles. And of course, Spiderman! This little boy brings me more joy than I ever thought possible. He has the most incredible imagination and you are likely to find us wearing capes and running in the yard being superheroes or having chocolate milk mocktinis at tea time.

Like me, he is a solitary soul. He is totally happy playing by himself and making up stories about fairies or super heroes.

Happy Birthday my darling boy. I love you to the moon and back!

xx Patricia

SLEEP LIKE A BABY By Charlaine Harris

Sleep Like a Baby (Aurora Teagarden, #10)

#10 in the Aurora Teagarden Mystery Series

In the latest installment of the #1 New York Times Bestselling Charlaine Harris’s Aurora Teagarden series, Robin and Aurora have finally begun their adventure in parenting. With newborn Sophie proving to be quite a handful, Roe’s mother pays for a partially trained nurse, Virginia Mitchell, to come help the new parents for a few weeks. Virginia proves to be especially helpful when Robin has to leave town for work and Roe is struck with a bad case of the flu.
One particularly stormy night, Roe wakes to hear her daughter crying and Virginia nowhere to be found. Roe’s brother Philip helps her search the house and they happen upon a body outside… but it isn’t Virginia’s. Now, not only does she have a newborn to care for and a vulnerable new marriage to nurture, Roe also has to contend with a new puzzle – who is this mystery woman dead in their backyard, and what happened to Virginia? This heart-pounding and exciting next installment of the Aurora Teagarden series will leave fans happy and hungry for more.

Poor Roe and Robin! Trouble is attracted to them like a bear to honey!

Trying to adjust to life as a new mother is proving to be a challenge. Sleep deprived, and now sick, Roe is happy to have Virginia back to help out while Robin is off to Nashville to accept an award.

But when she is jostled out of sleep by the baby monitor and her little girl crying, she can’t find Virginia anywhere. And when she spies a body lying in the backyard that isn’t Virginia she calls the police.

They take care of the body but where is Virginia? Her car is still parked out front and she has disappeared.

So who is this mystery woman in the yard and who killed her? Will life ever be normal in their world? Things happened at such a quick pace that this was a quick and easy read.

I look forward to seeing what is next for Roe and Robin.

Netgalley/St. Martin’s  Release set for September 25, 2017

HANNA WHO FELL FROM THE SKY BY CHRISTOPHER MEADES (Park Row Books)

Hanna Who Fell from the Sky by Christopher Meades

From highly acclaimed, award-winning author Christopher Meades comes a magical, provocative tale of forbidden love and one girl’s struggle for liberation 

Hanna has never been outside her secluded community of Clearhaven. She has never questioned why her father has four wives or why she has fourteen brothers and sisters. And in only one week, on her eighteenth birthday, Hanna will follow tradition and become the fifth wife of a man more than twice her age.

But just days before the wedding, Hanna meets Daniel, an enigmatic stranger who challenges her to question her fate and to follow her own will. Then her mother tells her a secret–one that could grant Hanna the freedom she’s known only in her dreams. As her world unravels around her, Hanna must decide whether she was really meant for something greater than the claustrophobic world of Clearhaven. But can she abandon her beloved younger sister and the only home she’s ever known? Or is there another option–one too fantastical to believe?

With lush, evocative prose, Christopher Meades takes readers on an emotional journey into a fascinating, unknown world–and, along the way, brilliantly illuminates complexities of faith, identity and how our origins shape who we are.

The wolves are closing in on Hanna. And not just the ones that live in the woods near her home.

She has never been beyond this place. The only ones who leave are the boys as they mature. Clearhaven doesn’t have new residents and there is only one church. She never has questioned her life before, but as she matures and is to be wed, she begins to notice more.

Why does shes have 4 mothers and 14 siblings? Why is her father marrying her off to an old man?

Hanna’s mother tells her she is special. She is meant for more than this life. That she fell from the sky and landed unscathed. And she did and has. Her father is a cruel man and if she refuses to go through with the wedding, he will just take it out on her siblings.

Then she meets Daniel. Daniel, who has taken her to other places and the man she loves. Will she have the strength she needs to take what she wants?
A very well written book with interesting characters and the effects of cults and brainwashing.

Good job!

 

Strange Practice: A Greta Helsing Novel by Vivian Shaw

Strange Practice (Dr. Greta Helsing, #1)

Meet Greta Helsing, fast-talking doctor to the undead. Keeping the supernatural community not-alive and well in London has been her family’s specialty for generations.

Greta Helsing inherited the family’s highly specialized, and highly peculiar, medical practice. In her consulting rooms, Dr. Helsing treats the undead for a host of ills – vocal strain in banshees, arthritis in barrow-wights, and entropy in mummies. Although barely making ends meet, this is just the quiet, supernatural-adjacent life Greta’s been groomed for since childhood.

Until a sect of murderous monks emerges, killing human and undead Londoners alike. As terror takes hold of the city, Greta must use her unusual skills to stop the cult if she hopes to save her practice, and her life.

As the first in this new urban fantasy genre featuring Dr. Greta Helsing, this was quite unlike any I had read before. Yes, the Helsing is from the Van Helsing, but instead of hunting down vampires and sending them to the great beyond, Greta is a physician to the undead. Vampires, Vampyres ( yes there is a difference), ghouls, banshees, demons, mummies,werewolves, you name it and she probably treats it.

The core group of  undead in the book are a colorful and mostly likeable group. When one of their own is attacked and is unable to heal himself, Greta is called in. He has been stabbed with an odd cross-shaped blade containing some type of poison.

There are  a few things going on here at the same time. A killer is loose in London, leaving bodies with cheap rosaries in their mouths. What do these murders have to do with the rogue group of monks murdering undead and human? And what kind of power do these so-called monks have with their weird glowing eyes and murderous ways?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and all of the characters. Greta was a bit of a hard one to read in the beginning but by the middle I was enjoying each and every one of them. I mean who knew there were little ghoulettes? Baby ghouls! And making functioning limbs for mummies. There was a lot of fun reading going on with this one and having read the tease for the next one, I will be reading it too!

Well done Ms. Shaw!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life, Miracles and an Eye Update!

The saying above is so very true. Life is a series of thousands of tiny miracles. And we should be noticing them. Being mindful, being engaged with the moment you are in and not thinking ahead to what’s next.

June 28 was a year since I woke up with a corneal ulcer and totally blind in one eye. When we finally got it uninfected, I had to wait while the thing healed. Then the end of February I had surgery to remove the scarring and the cornea and have a transplant.

2 months ago I had 2 stitches taken out. I didn’t see or feel anything then. Yesterday I spent hours with different cameras taking pictures of the little fellow clinging to my eyeball and the 14 stitches left holding it in place. And then my surgeon took one more out. This time I saw all of the equipment and I was amazed how tiny scissors and a needle can be! I’m progressing very well. My vision in that eye is still wonky but improves a few days after these stitch removals. Not as in good enough to drive or anything like that, but it’s improving. Now we shall start removing them every 6 weeks and then I’ll have another surgery.

My surgeon asked me what this past year has been like for me. Scary, full of anxiety, a lot of whining and moaning dramatically. But I also don’t rely on my sight completely anymore. My sense of smell and awareness of the things around me are heightened. I am extremely mindful of every thing I do. What the people around me are doing. I do one thing at a time. I let people help me. Pride has gone who knows where.

While my husband has to leave the room for every procedure as he is squeamish, my doctor and I do a lot of talking. About books, tea, especially tea. And yesterday he said,” You know through this whole thing, you’ve never complained to me. Never said no to me. You sit still as a statue and let us hurt you and learn from you and you never say a word. How do you do that?”  Me: “I trust you”. And that is the truth. I trust this man who is the best in his field. It’s just that simple. I trust him and the gratitude I feel for him and his residents is enormous. I have had tiny miracles every step of the way. When things should have gone bad from the beginning, they didn’t. When I had no idea how I was going to come up with $30,000.00 up front for the surgery, it just showed up in my mailbox the day before Christmas Eve.

Today will be a rather uncomfortable day but that’s to be expected. I’ll still be able to read because I have one good eye. And that’s more than some people have. Notice the tiny miracles around you. Seek them out. Make them happen.

Thank you all for supporting me on this journey. Now, go be someone’s miracle worker!

xx Patricia