The Day Lincoln Lost by Charles Rosenberg

The Day Lincoln Lost

I love historical fiction. However, there also must be some attempt to follow history in some fashion. There should also be a reliable timeline.

I wanted to like this but it just felt flat and uninteresting. I didn’t feel anything for the characters.

 

NetGalley Review/August 11th, 2020 by Hanover Square Press

 

 

 

 

We Need a Little Kindness

Monday again. New numbers coming out for Covid. Oklahoma just can’t seem to get their shit together and make people follow the rules.

Last week we lost Grandma Mary. Covid. My in-laws, who are trumpettes, all have it! Karma is a bitch.

After the attempted coup at the Capital we found out who the racist bigots are! The county over one from us was represented by the Sheriff! Now we understand how these kids are getting shot in the back. And you know what? He is still in his job. I want answers. Why didn’t they just shoot them? You come in someones home uninvited you are going to face consequences or a bullet.

During all of this time OU Boy has blood clots in both legs. Strange bruises appearing daily and memory issues. Long haulers symptoms. Bad thing is we don’t know when, why or how we got this stuff. I’m still doing breathing treatments every day and not leaving my house. It’s a mess. Our doctor told us last week that we still aren’t taking the vaccine. Why? Because all the trials were with people who had no underlying conditions and until we see more evidence we won’t take it.

On the book front however, I am knocking those suckers back like tequila! Between drinking tea and reading I try and rest but I’m not good at it. I took all the ornaments off the Christmas tree and just moved the lighted tree into my office. Now it’s a Valentine tree. I have no time or patience for more. My moods are up and down and I may have told a *friend to take a hike and lose our number after spouting QAnon crap. He may have also been OU Boy’s boss. (He was and I did).

I tried the sourdough bread fad and three times ended up with moldy flour looking stuff that smelled bad. So I made chocolate no-bake cookies and used the jar for those. Perfect.

I still try and call my momma every day. I’m still in that denial phase. I didn’t realize how often I text her or send her a picture. It was a lot. Now I just want to know who’s in charge. Who do we tattle to? Apparantly it’s me. So far I’ve been asked health questions, marriage and birth record questions and if that is as bad as it gets I’ll live.

I sure hope this year brings us much needed peace and healing. And Justice, let’s not forget that one. Where were all the bullets and tear gas they used on the BLM peaceful march? As I sit here I just can’t quite believe all of this is real. Plagues, terrorists, racists, I swear if a hippo on a float went by I would just wave.

Praying for peace for all of you and your loved ones.

xx P

THE WOMAN OUTSIDE MY DOOR by RACHEL RYAN

The Woman Outside My Door

Georgina has had a rough time of it lately. Her mother dying, work, her suspicions about her husband having an affair with an Ex.

So when her son, Cody, begins talking and giggling with his ‘imaginary’ friend more and more, even calling her New Granny, her instincts tell her something is off here.

Sure children have imaginary friends. But they aren’t known for giving them candy and chatting on the phone.

There is really no communication between Georgina and her husband, Bren. He keeps lying and thinks his wife may be off her rocker.

But a mother knows these things and she will do anything she has to in order to protect her child. Even though her husband thinks there is nothing wrong and she should let it lie, she isn’t going to.

The wrap up was totally shocking! So I’ll let you enjoy that!

Well Done.

NetGalley/ January 5th, 2021 by Gallery Books





FIND ME in HAVANA by SERENA BURDICK

Find Me in Havana

A novel based on the dazzling story of one of Hollywood’s most celebrated Hispanic actresses and her daughter’s search for closure.

Estelita Rodriguez is just nine years old when she begins singing in Havana, Cuba clubs. It is 1936 and her life will never be the same.

During the Cuban Revolution in 1933, her father lost everything and left them to join Batista. The family is now living in poverty, but Estelita’s mother sees how talented her daughter is and moves her to America.

Here she will sing at the Copacabana, meeting famous men and getting offers to go to Hollywood. With her mother by her side and her daughter, Nina, they get caught up in the craziness that is the entertainment business.

But things aren’t as rosy as they would seem. She has the worst taste in men and has her heart broken many times.

Told to the author by Nina. When Nina’s mother dies, she has a lot of questions. The story is told in letters written from Mother to Daughter and Daughter to Mother.

What she finds will tell a story of the sacrifices, the humiliation, the ugly side of not only Hollywood, but the ugliness of Cuba and the rebels who kept them hostage and did unspeakable things to them.

There is no bond stronger than the one between mothers and daughters. This was a beautifully told account and I cried and laughed and was just in awe of the strength of these women.

This is a story that hurts. There is no attempt to make it into a fairy tale. And that raw emotion is what made my heart ache for these women. There was no attempt to ‘pretty’ this up. It was honest and I loved it.

Very Well Done

NetGalley/January 12th, 2021 by Park Row Books







The Sunday Potluck Club by Melissa Storm

The Sunday Potluck Club (The Sunday Potluck Club, #1)

A story of four friends bound by grief and loss. All putting their own lives on hold to care for a parent with cancer.

All four of them dealt with their grief differently and they agreed to allow each other that experience. Some throw themselves into mindless work giving them little time to deal with their grief. And of course, there are the ones who think they know how you should handle it.

This is the point in the story where I felt a connection. Having just lost my own mother a few weeks ago. I learned everyone does grieve not only for the lost parent but also for the life they had that can never be again.

And then it turned into the standard boy meets girl in a fender bender and lo and behold he has recently lost his wife. One falls in love with the oncology nurse. And they all live happily ever after.

I was hoping for more of the healing process and I just don’t think a man is an answer.

Happy Holidays To You All

‘Twas the night before Christmas and we were all happy about that because it brings us one day closer to 2020 being in the past. I for one don’t even want to count it as a year. Like Trump, it deserves an asterisk next to it. *2020 (Shite Year).

These past couple of weeks have been hard. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve picked up the phone to ask my mother a question about a Christmas recipe and then I sob. I am processing the loss of Momma and it’s hard. A tip: Clean your stuff out before your children have to go through it. Good Lord!

This week in the mail I received a lot of photos of my parents and all of the photos I had sent them over the years. Plus my first attempt at cross-stitch when I stitched their wedding announcement and had it framed. I cried and put them all on the dresser. At which point OU Boy said, ” Well I guess we aren’t having sex in here ever again.” Which was funny but in the night the largest one fell over!

I have baked so much bread and bars and cookies and cupcakes and cake cakes this week in an effort to distract myself. The company Christmas Party was the grateful recipient of all that sugar. In a few hours we will be on our way to a secret getaway. I have no idea. It’s my surprise. Please don’t let it be camping.

OU Boy’s grandmother who has Alzheimer’s now has Covid. She is in a facility for Alzheimer patients. Numbers keep climbing and yet our Governor doesn’t believe in vaccines or wearing a mask and just made a new commercial inviting people to come visit. Don’t. Not worth dying for. We have had several people die at the hotel after being discharged from hospital.

Stay safe. Don’t put yourself in danger of catching anything. I wish you a peaceful and healthy holiday.

xx P

A Curious Incident by Vicki Delany

A Curious Incident (Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery, #6)

It’s up to Gemma and Jayne to root out the killer in national bestselling author Vicki Delany’s sixth Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery when the winner of a garden tour trophy is left pushing up daisies.

There is always something exciting going on at the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium, as well as at the tearoom next door.

Gemma is always busy. She is also well known for poking about in things that don’t concern her. And putting herself in danger. When she finds little Lauren Tierney perched on the stool in the shop, she has no idea that things are about to get even more hectic.

As Gemma tries to explain to Lauren that she is not an actual detective, Lauren begs her to please help her find her missing cat, Snowball. Gemma may not know much about sniffing out cats, but her dog Violet does! When Violet drags Gemma into the back of a garden, they find the cat shut into the shed. By accident?

With Snowball back in Lauren’s arms, Gemma is able to give herself a quick pat on the back for that quick find. But when a few days later Lauren is back looking to hire her again, Gemma doesn’t know what to say. Since Lauren would like to hire her to clear her own mother of murder charges.

This is one of my favorite series. A bookshop and a teashop right next to each other? Yes, please! While Gemma tries hard to stay out of trouble, she seems to be a magnet for it. Do people seriously murder their competition in a garden club? I’m sure they do. Remember the cheerleader mom? These are some seriously good characters. I was even suspicious of the old people.

Another excellent addition to the series!

NetGalley/ January 12th, 2021 Crooked Lane Books



THE WIFE UPSTAIRS by RACHEL HAWKINS

The Wife Upstairs

Jane is new to Alabama, running from a past she won’t discuss.

Sharing an apartment with a creepy guy and walking dogs in the ritzy neighborhood of Thornfield Estates. Your typical Macmansion homes with bored, gossipy, nosy housewives with way too much time on their hands to notice if a shiny thing or two goes missing.

Jane both looks down on them and wants to be them. The curse of the have nots.

There is a sadness in the little cul de sac, however. Two of the women have recently disappeared and are presumed drowned. Having been best friends for life they go out for a night boat ride and never return.

When Jane meets Eddie Rochester, whose wife Bea was one of the women who presumably drowned, she is in love. Here is a man who could give her everything she wants. And when he asks her to move in, odd things start happening. Thumps from upstairs. Feeling as if she is not alone and is being spied on she digs into Bea’s past and her friendship with her bestie.

What she finds will shock her and may just kill her!

A story with a wife in the attic?? You may think you know what and why, but I can assure you it is much worse!

Delightfully evil!


NetGalley/ January 5th, 2021 by St. Martin’s Press

And Just Like That..You’re an Orphan

I’m assuming that is what we are now. Four sisters with no parents.

My mother passed away Saturday morning. She was not alone which I am grateful for, but it also says a lot about North Dakota’s lax Covid response.

This was nothing like when my father died. That left me gutted on the floor for a solid year. I thought I was logically prepared for Momma to leave. We had said our good-byes over the phone. In the end she did what she always does. Exactly what she wanted. To be left alone to die.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around that fact. Today we wrote her obituary. There is a fine line between an obituary and a 5 page pamphlet. We decided to stick to the facts. She died. She left family. We debated on adding more, we used our mother’s sisters obituary and it said things like “She loved gardens and her grandchildren.” V: “Are we supposed to say she loved her wine?” In the end it was just the facts.

I am still conflicted. Trying to forgive someone who never asked for forgiveness. But the logical part of me says, let it go. Then you walk into the market and they are playing Christmas music and on comes The Christmas Shoes song and suddenly you’re a puddle in the coffee aisle. I expect more of that. Last night we roasted chestnuts and without thinking I sent her a picture.

Some advice to anyone living. Go through your stuff sooner rather than later and make sure your children know what to do. We found out so much stuff I just didn’t want to hear anymore. Who was this woman? She didn’t even have a birth certificate. They were all born at home and she was listed as stillborn. If I don’t know who my mother was do I even know who I am?

She was cremated and wants to go home to be buried. I asked my sister how is she getting there with the Covid and all? S: “Pony Express?” She’ll get there when she gets there.

So we are pretty much finished now. There is a lot that goes into closing out a person’s life. Questions are asked. Mine was ” What about her Christmas package? What do I do with that stuff?” I personally am keeping everything except the Lily Pulitzer sweater and if you are an XXS, it could be yours.

I appreciate y’all letting me ramble on. I don’t know what comes next, but I’m ready.

xx P

December is getting off on the wrong foot!

It’s been a bit. Things are crazy here. It’s been summer until Monday and then we had rain and cold and now it’s settled on an even temperature with sunshine.

Oklahoma is no where near following CDC guidelines. Our governor called for a day of prayer and fasting in groups in churches instead of a mask mandate so now our numbers are through the roof.

My mother is in hospital in North Dakota and I am strongly questioning their abilities. Pretty much anyone can come in and they didn’t even test her for Covid. Now she weighs 60 pounds, has multiple blood clots in her legs, lungs, and a shaky brain bleed. Yesterday the doctor said she is in multiple organ failure and has fluid in her lungs and pneumonia. So this morning they took her to have a procedure to put something in her body to keep the clots from entering her heart.

Makes no sense to me to do this to an 85 year old woman who just wants to die with out all of this mess. The palliative care nurse came in and said she was clear in the head, which she is most definitely not as she has been taking Oxycontin, Fentanyl patches and more. Who in their right mind prescribes those to an woman of her age living alone??? And why? There was absolutely nothing wrong with her but a bruised rib from 5 years ago.

It’s a frustrating situation made worse by the fact that I can not go there. So that is where I am. Even talking on the phone to the nurse was frustrating. But hopefully today we will know something.

I am very conflicted about the entire thing. How is one supposed to feel when the person who has physically abused her daughters until we left home and then just used emotional and verbal abuse? As for me, when they told me she was dying, I couldn’t even cry. I just felt hope. That soon I’ll be free. Heck, my sister MJ, just got on a plane and went to Curacao. She is not conflicted. She is fed up.

I hope no one is thinking I want her dead. I don’t. I just want her to go away and let us be calm for a few years.

Anyone else have this conflict?

Let me know, I’m stuck at home still so give me your best advice.

xx P