OLD LOVEGOOD GIRLS by GAIL GODWIN

 

Old Lovegood Girls is the story of two women and the complicated friendship they share over years and years. The type of friendship where you don’t have to talk every day, but when you do, you just pick up where you left.

Feron Hood and Merry Jellicoe are as different as night and day. But in 1958, the dean of Lovegood Junior College for Girls pairs them up as roommates. Feron, has a much darker past than Merry and yet they click. Bonding quickly as best friends. From the outside they are a perfect set.

But there are some bonds not based on sharing rooms. Secrets, professional rivalry, and with all of Merry’s money and influence, things are about to go south for her and she may lose everything.

Feron wants to write. She wants to be an author. Ten years later and she hasn’t spoken to Merry since school. They have lived different lives. And when Feron reads that Merry has been writing, that old rivalry returns, along with a need for each other and once they are back, things begin to happen and their lives will change.

This is not a typical boarding school read where there is a poor girl and a rich girl. This is a literary work that will have you thinking and asking questions about life and friendship. About the bonds women form and the complications of friendships.

This was a book I savored. Understanding the emotions and desires of both of them. Excellent Work!

May 5th, 2020 by Bloomsbury Publishing

A SIDE of MURDER by AMY PERSHING

A Side of Murder (Cape Cod Foodie Mystery #1)

A Cape Cod Foodie Mystery #1

A food writer must investigate the death of an old enemy in this witty and exciting new cozy mystery series set in beautiful Cape Cod, Massachusetts, known for seafood, sand, surf, and, now…murder.

Samantha Barnes loves food. Instead of heading off to college, she headed off the the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and left the Cape for New York City. After working hard, she is a rising star in the food arena. Unfortunately her feud with another chef, also her ex, gets put on the internet and just like that, she’s out.

Finding out she has inherited her Great-Aunt Ida’s home on the Cape, she heads there to lick her wounds and disappear for a while. Before she can do much with the old house, she’s asked to do restaurant reviews for the local paper.

Poor Samantha has not only inherited a falling down house, it comes with a dog. Well, a puppy, but a huge one. Neither of these does she want.

While she is happy to be among friends, when a horrid old lady from her teenage days turns up dead, there are so many people acting sketchy, it was hard to decide who did it! Now she’s covering a murder story being led by an old crush and he is still looking good, but he isn’t looking at her.

I loved the foodie parts. The first of a series is always uncertain, but I think this one has good bones. I look forward to more from this author.

NetGalley/  February 23rd, 2021 by Berkley Books




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Long Island Iced Tina by Maria DiRico

Long Island Iced Tina

This is the second in the Catering Hall Mystery Series. Mia Carina is back in Queens, in charge of the family catering hall, Belle View Banquet Manor. The Family’s legal enterprise.

Mia’s friend, Nicole is having that baby! And the Nonnas are planning showers like mad. One is to be held at Belle View but when Nicoles stepmother throws one at the fancy Versaille. Of course Mia has to attend and she is left with a lot of questions. How can Nicole’s father afford all of this? And what do we really know about this tart Tina?

While no blood was shed between the nonnas and the new wife, she is highly upset when Nicole opens a gift with a tag from her and it turns out to be a stolen painting. Shocking, right?

And later when Mia finds Tina’s body floating in the marina and Nicole’s father is arrested, Mia is not going to let that happen. With help from the family and The Family, she may be able to find out who the killer is and what else is going on at that fancy Versailles.

I laughed through the entire book. Every character is so well thought out and adds something to the tale. I think this one is a winner!

NetGalley/ February 23rd, 2021 by Kensington Publishing Corporation

SHUCKED APART by BARBARA ROSS

Shucked Apart (A Maine Clambake Mystery Book 9)

A Maine Clambake Mystery #9

Always a pleasure to be back in Busman’s Harbor, Maine. The Snowden Family Clambake Company is gearing up for the season and Julia Snowden is busy preparing and hiring. Julia is also a bit of a crime solver on the side, so when one of the oyster farmers, Andie, comes to her for help, of course she is going to say yes.

Robbed of two buckets of oyster seed, Andie isn’t sure if someone is trying to sabotage her business or one of the summer people who don’t like seeing the cages. Before Julia can even ask a few innocent questions, Andie is dead and there are more than enough suspects to go around.

As she starts digging into the lives of the residents and her own family, she may not live to see another clambake!

This series keeps evolving and adding new characters which keeps it fresh and all of us on edge!

NetGalley/ February 23rd, 2021 by Kensington Publishing

A CALLER’S GAME by J.D.Barker

A Caller's Game

DIE HARD meets TALK RADIO in this heart-pounding, relentlessly fast-paced thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Fourth Monkeyβ€”master of suspense, J.D. Barker.

β€œI’m going to offer you a choice.”

J.D. Barker is truly a master of suspense and horror! Makes my black little heart all fluttery whenever I see his name on a book. This one is really scary because I can see this happening at any time.

Jordan Briggs is the female Howard Stern. Brash, in your face, controversial. A total bad-ass. She has no filter and doesn’t care in the least what she has to do to stay at the top of the ratings board. But this single- minded dedication to success has cost her. Her husband is now her ex. She hasn’t spoken to her mother in years. If not for Charlotte, her eleven -year -old daughter, she would be alone and she doesn’t seem too bothered about that.

If you get the impression she’s a pretty shallow and unpopular human being then you are correct.

Until… one day a caller asks if she would like to play a game. Angry because her boss has scheduled an interview with a rather shady senator, she decides to play along. And that sets into motion a series of events that lead to her past and the present colliding in awful ways.

Jordan has made some bad decisions in this business. Not very moral or ethical. And now she is about to pay for all of those. Consequences are always there waiting.

Is it odd to say I felt worse for the killer than Jordan? I understood his motivation although I didn’t agree with his deeds. You never know how your words and actions ripple out into the world until they find that one unstable person who is going to show you how much they matter.

Dare I say that I’ve replaced James Patterson with Barker? Well, I have.

NetGalley/ February 22nd, 2021 by Hampton Creek Press

Living on the Prairie

Well, it finally made good on the snow promise. It snowed, and snowed, and snowed some more. I personally did not care because I don’t go outside if it’s under 74. You have to draw a line. So, I watched as it piled up. It was the pretty snowman making type of snow. Dry. The good news was there was little wind which is odd for Oklahoma. It tickled my dark little heart to watch everyone lose their minds over snow. No ice. Just a few feet of snow.

We couldn’t get out so OU Boy pretty much stayed at the hotel. Until Thursday when this happened.

All the fire sprinkler lines in the ceiling busted sending tons of water down. There was at least 5 inches just in the lobby. The elevator shaft was full. Needless to say, we called the Fire Department and the Insurance guys and they came fast. Everyone on all three floors were evacuated, since we have no fire equipment working we had to close. But trying to find places for guests in the middle of the night was a pill. Most of them were here from Texas, where they had no power or heat and they never wear masks so I felt no sympathy.

Only problem was all 3 of our hotels were flooding. In the end after OU Boy stayed two days at work to oversee the remediation work,he was able to catch a nap.There were about 30 or more water main breaks so we had no power or water at home. Yesterday we were filling crab pots with clean snow just to flush the toilets. I’m one of those people who always have 6 or 7 gallons of water in case of emergency. I did share with my friend Sonya since she has been feeding me for a long time. Today we have water, power and hot water. The hotels will be closed for at least a month. So Texans, go home and take your Ted Cruz germs with you.

Tommy actually found 16 Mexicans hiding out on the third floor this morning. Scared the crap out of him.

Tommy has never been around for the morning ritual that is Sonya, who is full-on Russian, and her dad works with Putin. She is the best pastry chef I have ever met and we adore each other. So he finally was awake to see the past few days. Picture it. Front door. A gentle knock. I open the door and hand her an empty plate and she hands me back a full one. Air kisses and boom, breakfast. This week we had PAVLOVA… With pistachios she ordered 3 months ago from Turkey.

And Medvik, or Honey Cake.

For dinner tonight she brought over a Lamb Dish with fresh Thyme and a loaf of warm home-made bread.

She also told me not to cook a cake for Tommy’s birthday tomorrow as she is making him a giant Pavlova. I was not even planning on making a cake, so that’s nice.

Other than that I’ve just been reading and waiting on packages that never seem to arrive. I don’t know about you but I have been adding to cart everyday! Swimsuits, camping gear, scuba gear, floats. Yep, I’m skipping straight to summer.

Enjoy your Saturday and stay warms!!

xx P

Spread Love, Not Germs. XOXO

I just finished a week of long-hauler syndrome. Again. It seems my new normal is one week out of the month I will be feeling exactly as I did with Covid. It’s horrible. The unending fatigue. Fever. Coughing and breathing treatments. But am I complaining? Well, yes. Do you know me? But seriously I’ll take that over OU Boy’s weird after effects. Blood Clots are not on my bucket list. At least I am off the steroids now and not biting any heads off.

After cruising through December and January in shorts, February is coming in cold. It started as a small shower that froze and people lost their minds. There were 30 car pile-ups on the interstates. Dead cows on the highway and people in no way prepared for this. Today we have cold again. 19 degrees. Plus little snow flurries now and again.

I have been hibernating and dealing with Covid. Deaths of our grandmothers. Deaths of friends and the unmitagated gall of Texans refusing to wear masks in the Marriott. Marriott is very good about standing by their employees however so now you can’t get in without a mask. Can’t. Open. The. Door. One of our residents who was recovering away from his house from Covid is now back in hospital with liver failure and gall bladder surgery. This is not something to take lightly.

Coming up on the anniversary of The Eye thing. 5 years. 4 years today since the first surgery. Still have 12 stitches in there. Not too worried about them. My eye feels great and although it hurt to give up the contacts, I’d rather keep the eye.

Between reading and watching The Magicians again, we are pretty content. I made a huge crock of Irish Stew this morning and it is simmering in the oven beside a loaf of whole grain bread I made.I figured out that baking heats up the house.

So Sunday is Valentine’s Day. But not in our house. Every husband and child was born on that day so it’s not my day. We made reservations at the Tea Room for the Valentine Chocolate High Tea on Monday. We love that.

Everyone still hanging in there? I sure hope so. Stay warm and safe and be nice. Seriously.

xx P

LADIES of the HOUSE by LAUREN EDMONDSON

Ladies of the House: A Modern Retelling of Sense and Sensibility

A very modern spin on Sense and Sensibility that I adored. Daisy, Wallis, and their mother Cricket never expected the sudden death of father and husband Senator Gregory Richardson. And they certainly never imagined it would be in such a salacious way. The media is all over this juicy headliner and Daisy just wants to disappear.

What they know is bad. What they don’t know is worse. They can’t afford their Georgetown home now and they must sell it and move into much smaller accommodations. While Cricket clings to her former life, and Wallis finds a man and is ready to move on that, Daisy is just trying to support them and protect them. Yes, the journalists are camped out on their doorstep but the worst part is the journalist writing the expose’ on her father.

Atlas has always been her best friend and to be honest she wants more. The question is can she trust him? Is this story only going to bring more pain to her family?

Those Richardson women. My grandmother would say they come from strong stock. And they do. They may have been gobsmacked in the most public and sordid way possible, but they get right out there and figure out who they are and make a new path in the world for themselves.

A very engaging book that I loved. It is so refreshing to not see simpering females in a story like this. Well Done!

NetGalley/Harlequin-Graydon Trade February 09, 2021






HOW THE ONE-ARMED SISTER SWEEPS HER HOUSE by CHERIE JONES

A GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK

“Searing . . . In affluent Baxter’s Beach, the gentry of Barbados maneuver around their servants with velvet gloves and steel nerves, exposing fault lines of resentment, love as ephemeral as a tropical breeze.” (O Magazine)

We begin in Baxter’s Beach, Barbados. Wilma tells her headstrong granddaughter, Lala, a story. One of those cautionary tales or warnings about what happens to girls who don’t listen to their parents and go places they should not.

The next thing we see is a grown up Lala living on the beach with her husband, Adan, who is an absolute horror of a man. Lala is pregnant now and scared she is losing her baby. Looking for her errant spouse, she comes upon a house on the wealthy side where she hears a gunshot and a scream and sees her husband running out of the gate.

That gunshot sets into motion some incredibly horrible things. Things that made my heart ache. A woman loses her husband and a new mom loses her daughter. One is wealthy and one is not. But the grief they have is the same.

A story of race and class systems and the vast differences between them. And what some of them will do to be on top.

Beautifully written and emotionally charged, it’s hard to believe this is a debut!

Well Done

NetGalley/ February 02, 2021 Little, Brown, And Company

The Unwilling by John Hart

The Unwilling

Set in the South at the height of the Vietnam War, The Unwilling combines crime, suspense and searing glimpses into the human mind and soul in New York Times bestselling author John Hart’s singular style.

This book had a little bit of everything in it. The Vietnam War, family secrets, misunderstandings,coming of age,gun running and even murder.

Gibson is the youngest of three brothers. His brothers Robert and Jason are twins. Robert and Jason both were drafted in the war and only one comes home. It’s not the one their mother wanted to come home and now Gibson is on lockdown. His mother controls his entire life. And isn’t about to let him get mixed up with Jason.

Jason wants a relationship with Gibson, but has no idea how to go about it. So they go behind their parents backs. Gibson is drawn to Jason and is determined to find out all he can about him. Spending an entire day with him and two young ladies seems like a good way however, one of whom is certifiable crazy. The day goes from bad to worse when the pass a prison bus and Tyra literally shows her bum. One person on the bus however, recognizes Jason and knows who will pay for that information.

Soon after Tyra is savagely murdered. And I do mean Savagely. There is nothing spared here. Jason is immediately a suspect and Gibson is under suspicion as well.

His brother does have a dark side and when he is caught with a lot of cash and weapons, he goes back to jail.

While he is there things become much clearer. There is a puppet master behind all of this and Jason will get out of jail when X says he can.

This was so twisty and insane I do hope there will be a follow up!

Well Done!

NetGalley/ February 2nd, 2021 by St. Martin’s Press