Goodbye January! Books, Cows, Chickens, and Pickles, Oh My!

Well, it’s hard to believe tomorrow is February. This has been such a chaotic winter so far and I don’t see Miss February being much different. It seems we always have an ice event sometime this month. Normally I am out of town in the warmth by now. But again, Covid. The unwanted houseguest just keeps popping back in. All of my neighbors are down with it. They are also unvaxxed.

Closing out January today as I have so many books coming out tomorrow. So here is what I read for February.

A beautiful story of family and secrets.

This contains: Circus of Wonders Elizabeth Macneal PDF, Circus of Wonders Elizabeth Macneal Epub, Circus of Wonders Elizabeth Macneal Audiobook, Circus of Wonders Elizabeth Macneal Read Online, Circus of Wonders Elizabeth Macneal VK, Circus of Wonders Elizabeth Macneal Epub VK, Circus of Wonders Elizabeth Macneal Kindle, Circus of Wonders Elizabeth Macneal PDF Free Download ➡ Hardcover, 368 pages
Expected publication: February 1st 2022 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books
ISBN 1982106794
File Size 36.8Mb
Historical Fiction with an unlikely heroine.
The Violin Conspiracy | Brendan Slocumb | 9780593315415 | NetGalley

A tale of race, poverty, hope, and family

This contains: The Christie Affair PDF, The Christie Affair Epub, The Christie Affair Audiobook, The Christie Affair Read Online, The Christie Affair VK, The Christie Affair Epub VK, The Christie Affair Kindle, The Christie Affair PDF Free Download ➡ Hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: February 1st 2022 by St. Martin's Press
ISBN 1250274613 (ISBN13: 9781250274618)
Language English
File Size 32Mb

A fictional account of Christie told by her husband’s mistress

The Black Agenda | Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman | 9781250276872 | NetGalley

Non-Fiction and Highly recommended

Two women. A history of witchcraft. And a deep-rooted female power that sings across the centuries. Once there was a young woman from a well-to-do New England family who never quite fit with the drawing rooms and parlors of her kin. Called instead to the tangled woods and wild cliffs surrounding her familys estate, Margaret Harlowe grew both stranger and more beautiful as she cultivated her uncanny power. Soon, whispers of witch dogged her footsteps, and Margarets power began to wind itself with

Can’t go wrong with Hester Fox. A really good one!

Love & Saffron: A Novel of Friendship, Food, and Love: Fay, Kim: 9780593419335: Amazon.com: Books

I absolutely loved this story of friendship, food, and love

"A great new voice in suspense...Perfect for fans of Big Little Lies who thrive on stories of deceit in the suburban world.  J. T. Ellison, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Her Dark Lies "Pitch perfect suspense...The best debut Ive read this year.--Allison Brennan, New York Times bestselling author An intriguing and twisty domestic suspense about loyalty and deceit in a tight-knit Texas community where parents are known to behave badly and people are not always who they appear

Not as good as I had hoped

City of the Dead (Alex Delaware, #37)

It’s Kellerman. It’s good!

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post PDF, The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post Epub, The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post Audiobook, The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post Read Online, The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post VK, The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post Epub VK, The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post Kindle, The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post PDF Free Download ➡ Hardcover, 400 pages Expected publication: February 15th 2022 by Ballantine Books ISBN 0593355687 File Size 40Mb

Loved it!

by JJ Bola, PRINT ISBN: 9781982175566 E-TEXT ISBN: 9781982175580

Not my cup of tea

Batten Down the Belfry (House-Flipper Mystery #4)

Another winner in this series

Batter Off Dead (A Country Store Mystery #10)
Another cozy series I love

These are my February release reads. Most are long read before we get to this point. I’m on to August at the moment and was pleasantly surprised to receive ARCs from James Patterson, Harlan Coben, and Stuart Woods. James Patterson wrote with Dolly Parton and that was surprising.

We had that cold snap with horrible winds a couple of weeks ago but this week was sunny so all the cows decided to go ahead and pop those babies out. One after the other. All weekend. I felt so bad, I wanted to give them all an epidural. That big heifer on the left is trying like heck to deliver what looks like triplets! We did see a set of twins. So, yeah, farm life. No better place to be.

We also checked out the new Chicken and Pickle place. No, I thought we were going to be having chicken and pickles. Nope. Not a pickle on the plate. The place is huge! So many cars I almost didn’t go in. But there was plenty of space inside and out. We snagged a small sofa in its own niche and watched Kansas City lose. Still not happy with that one.

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So they have Pickle Ball courts. Inside and outside. Plenty of stuff for parents with kids in The Yard. Corn Hole, and other games I am not familiar with. The food was good but that bowl is about the size of a salad plate and there were exactly four pieces of pulled pork. If you don’t have kids, you may want to go somewhere else for brunch because it is loud!

I received my government Covid tests in the mail. Now I have 6 of them. We have the Republicans coming to the hotel this week so I’m sure we will need to test after that. $5,0000 a plate. They are eating short ribs and baked potatoes so I think someone is making a profit. Much different than our favorite Cattlemen’s Association. Those cowboys ate T-Bones and eggs! For breakfast! That is a man there.

We are learning to live without Grandpa at the farm. He had that John Wayne presence. Grandma is still feeling a bit lost and unsteady. She allows herself to be emotional but she also has a steel spine and this will be a long journey for her. Luckily she has us to hold her hand through it.

We are supposed to get lots of snow and bad weather this week. They say this every week and still nothing. We are desperate for rain or moisture.

Thanks for stopping by and let me know what you are reading! Stay warm and happy reading!

xxP

THESE DEADLY GAMES by DIANA URBAN

These Deadly Games

Let’s play a game.

You have 24 hours to win. If you break my rules, she dies. If you call the police, she dies. If you tell your parents or anyone else, she dies.

Are you ready?

And this sets the stage for a YA thriller/gamer story.

Crystal is not just a gamer. She is obsessed with the game Mortal Dusk and is gearing up for the biggest game of her life. With millions in prize money, she and her friends will compete against each other for spots. Getting in game time is the only thing that matters to these kids.

When a message comes across her phone telling her that her sister is tied up and will die if she doesn’t agree to play a game. Some of it was just dares. Steal a test, bake some brownies, things that seem random and a bit bizarre. But the video of her sister is so real, she can’t stop.

When she realizes her actions are killing her friends, she has to question why this is happening. Is it another gamer trying to eliminate her team? Or is something much worse at play?

This was a YA book and I do not normally read that genre. There were twists and turns and even I wasn’t ready for that ending!

Well Done!

NetGalley/ February 1st, 2022 by Wednesday Books

CIRCUS OF WONDERS by Elizabeth Macneal

Circus of Wonders

Macneal takes us back to Victorian England. It is 1866 and everyone is a bit manic over the circus life. The freaks, the oddities, the animal tamers, and of course those human wonders.

Jasper Jupiter has a plan for his Circus of Wonders. To be the biggest circus anywhere. He believes it is his destiny and he will do anything to keep it. As they set up their tents in small poor towns, people come to gawk and take advantage.

In one of those towns lives Nell. Nell has vitiligo, a disease no one knew back then. It causes the loss of skin color in patches. She is made fun of, shunned, and then the worst of betrayals. Her father sells her to Jupiter. Calling her the “leopard girl”. Nell is crushed. Surely her brother will come for her. But as time goes by and she bonds with the performers, she isn’t so sad anymore.

Nell is transformed into a human wonder. She is the Queen of the Moon and Stars. Flying high over the crowds and becoming famous. A little too famous for Jasper.

Jasper and his brother Toby have a co-dependent relationship that has something to do with what happened during the war. Jasper holds it over Toby’s head until the truth comes out and everyone runs.

I am not embarrassed to say I cried so hard in this book. Nell is a courageous and determined character. She goes from wanting to fade into the background to knowing her worth and following her own star.

Macneal is a genius at pulling on our heartstrings as well as giving us looks at Victorian England in all of its ugliness at the time.

Well Done!

NetGalley/ February 1st, 2022 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books

Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson

Black Cake

In this moving debut novel, two estranged siblings must set aside their differences to deal with their mother’s death and her hidden past–a journey of discovery that takes them from the Caribbean to London to California and ends with her famous black cake.

This story begins in the present with siblings, Byron and Benny dealing with their mother, Eleanor Bennett’s death. Once very close, the siblings have barely spoken since Benny walked out the day she tried to explain who and what she was to her family.

Neither of them wants to be sitting with their mothers’ long-time friend and lawyer listening to what their mother has left for them. Recordings of a story. Of her past and how they all came to be what they are now. A story that starts on an island and goes to London and California. A story of a girl who loved the sea. A girl whose drunken father sold her to a horrible excuse of a man. A girl who runs into the sea in her wedding dress to escape.

It is also about friendships, race, and betrayal. About long-held secrets and even a secret child. And of course, the black cake. Their inheritance. The cake they will share with their sister when they find her. Full of misunderstandings, secrets, and injustices, this is one of the most beautifully written books I have read. What a joy to have read this debut novel!

NetGalley/February 1st, 2022 by Ballantine Books




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