MOSAIC by CARO RAMSEY

Mosaic

Oh my! What a puzzle this was. A true mystery of Why?, When?, Who? What??

Set in Scotland on a huge estate bordering the Brenbrae and the Tentor Woods, dark, dangerous fairy pools that will suck you in and never let go. The rumors in town are that the family is all mad. Maybe too much inbreeding in the past. There are so many suicides there is always a rope on the hanging tree.

For the Melvick’s life has been good. They have a mansion and all the money in the world. But they are all just a bit off.  Megan is deaf from some mysterious thing that happened to her as a child. So we think. Melissa is out of control crazy. Her mother left when Megan was 17 and hasn’t been heard from since.

Megan left for the city and a job her father set her up in and a shrink he also set her up with.  Now she must return home. After three years because her sister, Melissa, is dying. Her sister manages only one word before she passes. Sorry. But for what? Being a horrible sister and an all-around jerk? Or for something more sinister.

This tale has more secrets than a priest! You could feel the tension from page one and it didn’t let up. I was late for an appointment because I couldn’t stop reading.

Told in Megan’s voice as well as Carla’s voice. Carla was Megan’s only friend as well as a protector. And on Melissa’s wedding night she was killed.

There was a lot of gaslighting going on here and I wasn’t sure if any of them were stable! Is Megan truly losing her mind in the family tradition? Or is someone making her believe she is?

Full of chilling secrets, backstabbing, murder, child abuse and some magic this was one I will read again!

Very Well Done!

NetGalley/ Severn House Publishers October 1,2019

 

 

 

 

OKLAHOMA BOOK FEST 2019

Since I am not a native Oklahoman, but a Georgia/Mississippi girl, I couldn’t imagine any authors of note coming all the way to Oklahoma. At the same time as the State Fair, which always means days of rain. But boy was I in for a surprise! So in the pouring down rain and winds, off we went to the Boathouse District, hoping people would come out. Well you know book people, we don’t care if it’s a tornado, we’re going to get our books signed!

I’ve been looking forward to this for months now. As soon as I heard Scott Pelley and Anne Hillerman were going to headline, brought to us by the lovely Jane Anne Jayroe, an Oklahoma native who has had a huge impact in many areas. She met Scott Pelley working as a young on-air reporter in Dallas. He also married a Jane from a small Oklahoma town. She has been Miss Oklahoma, Miss America and worked for former Governor Frank Keating. She’s involved in everything and is a beautiful person.

    Here is Jane introducing Scott and his book. He was such a good sport about the weather! And he made me cry like a baby, but so did his book. We were sitting between the former governor and Jane. At the end of his reading and chat he said, “I’ve never been to a tent revival, but I guess now I have!” And then proceeded to be gracious and had people standing in a long line for books. I did not stand in line as I had the book.

Then look who I bumped into! Our own author from Norman,OK, Eileen Hobbs who writes great children’s books.

   She is used to our crazy weather and wasn’t in the least fazed! The grands love this series!

Since I had just finished Sheila Robert’s “A Christmas From The Heart”, I had to go see Sheila!

What a sweetheart. All the way from Seattle, she’s used to rain but I was thrilled that she came to again, Oklahoma! What a gracious and lovely lady!

I had two ulterior motives for throwing in with this festival. The red double-decker coffee bus and the 100% Vegan food truck. And I was not disappointed!

   Plato’s Provisions is a truck I’ve been trying to pin down for a bit now. Now I have a schedule. The food is fresh, plentiful and delicious! And the people are so nice! Now you know OU Boy isn’t eating this. Oh no, he went to the hotdog truck, which doesn’t deserve a picture.

   Our version of a London double-decker bus! And yes you can sit up top! Junction Coffee. Seriously the best coffee I have ever had! Better than Starbucks. And again, I got their schedule!

We ran by the Farmer’s Market on the way home to change out of rain clothes and into “it’s hot as hell and humid” clothes.

Wildflowers from Urban Co-op 

The Urban Agrerion sells produce and products from local sources only. OU Boy found a perfectly ripe cantaloupe and I grabbed a gorgeous little bouquet of wildflowers, sunflowers, and herbs. Smells delish!

And finally, I tried doing a video. Just scanning the entire area and apparently, I forgot it was on. So that part at the end was some college kid staring me down over my FSU hoodie. If you didn’t already know my first language is sarcasm, you will shortly.

“Cilka’s Journey” by Heather Morris, author of The “Tattooist of Auschwitz”

Cilka's Journey

The Tattooist of Auschwitz #2

From the author of the multi-million copy bestseller, The Tattooist of Auschwitz comes the new novel based on an incredible true story of love and resilience.

Her beauty saved her life – and condemned her.

Cilka is mentioned in the first book and now we have facts of her life blended with some fiction to fill in the question of Who was Cilka Klein?

She was only sixteen when she and her mother and sisters were taken. In 1942, she arrives at Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp. Already a beautiful young woman, her looks do not go unnoticed by the Commandant, Schwarzhuber, who separates her from the other women. Her job is to look after the sick and dying women who will be taken to the gas chamber. She knows these women hate her. She hates herself. In this place, in order to survive, you had to use whatever power you had. And hers was her beauty and ability to compartmentalize everything she had to do.

When the camp is liberated Cilka is sentenced to prison for sleeping with the enemy. Literally. This did not sit well with me. How unfair was that? At 16 you do what you need to do to stay alive. After all of the suffering and now she is being sent to Siberia for 15 years.

Once there, a young, female doctor takes her under her as an apprentice nurse. Cilka is good at this work and forms bonds with the doctor and the nurses. Using her privileged position to help the other women in her hut. She is especially taken with one man in the ward. But will she ever be free? Will she ever know the love she deserves?

This story is part true, part fictional. But the facts are there. It was difficult to read and the images in my head will always be there. The brutality of the enemy along with the equal brutality of fellow prisoners. It was heartbreaking and beautifully written and I will never forget Cilka’s Journey!

NetGalley/ October 1st, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press

 

 

 

 

The BAKESHOP at PUMPKIN and SPICE by Donna Kauffman, Kate Angell, Allyson Charles

The Bakeshop at Pumpkin and Spice

Every autumn, Moonbright, Maine, is the picture of charm with its piles of crisp leaves, flickering jack-o’-lanterns … and a touch of the sweetest kind of enchantment.

This was such a magical read. All happening in one town, Moonbright, Maine, affectionately known as Halloweentown! They pull out all the stops for the parade and festivals. Everyone is involved and at the center is Bellaluna’s Bakeshop. A magical bakeshop passed down from mother to daughter for generations, now being run by Bree and her Grandmother.

Three stories set in the same town at the same time. One starring Bree herself, who is beginning to think the magic gene has skipped her, along with two other ladies who thought they knew what they wanted until a bit of magic snuck into their lives.

This was a charming collaboration from three very talented women and it works so well. It is one of those curl up with a Pumpkin Spice Latte’ and a sugar cookie and feel all the warm feels!

Well Done!

NetGalley/  August 27th, 2019 by Kensington

An Unorthodox Match: A Novel by Naomi Ragen

An Unorthodox Match: A Novel

An Unorthodox Match is a powerful and moving novel of faith, love, and acceptance, from author Naomi Ragen, the internationally bestselling author of The Devil in Jerusalem.

Lola/Leah had it all. Or so she thought. A tragic love story, a new love along with a great career, but while her eyes were elsewhere, her lover hops into bed with the boss and the boss has destroyed the business leaving Lola/Leah with no job, no boyfriend, and no place to go.

Although her mother is Jewish, she rebelled against her parents and the faith early on and led her own non-believing life. She has taught her daughter that religion is a cult and she should make her own rules. But Lola/Leah is broken. And curious about her faith.

When she enters a program for newly practicing Orthodox Jews, she finds it hard and rewarding. She knows this is how she wants to live her life. And when love finds her, the same people who showed her the path will try to push her out of it.

There was a lot of writing in this book. A bit too much. But the story. The words. A lot of them hit too close to home. Oh, how we love to convert someone to a believer or bring back a lamb that has strayed. But we still think we are better than you. I was humbled by this book.

A beautiful and powerful look at true faith and love. Well Done!

NetGalley/ September 24th, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press

RAINY DAYS AND BOOKS AND TEA EQUALS BLISS!

It was raining when I went to bed and it just now stopped. More is forecasted and we do really need some rain. And it’s Friday the 13th so it’s a mood setter.

This morning I’m sipping on this lovely new tea I found at Barnes and Noble when I was picking up my copy of The Testaments by Margaret Atwood. This Harney & Sons tea is so delicate and full of ginger and lemon flavor. Great for the tummy and the book, well, we’ve waited a long time for this one!

  

So I’m all set for the weekend. What will you be doing? Or reading?

Miss Charli Ava is coming over today to try on a dress and see her new bedroom. I’m so excited. I’ve been working hard on this room and it all came together last night. Charli and I are going to buy scrapbook supplies to make her a book of her life. As most of you know, we didn’t get her until she was two, so no baby pictures at all. But never fear, I found someone to send me those and I can’t wait for her to see them. This is on her second birthday. The day we met her.

One of the loves of my life! It’s going to be a fun day! I hope yours is as well. Enjoy your weekend and be kind today. It’s free.

xx P

THE LIES WE TELL BY DEBRA WEBB

The Lies We Tell (The Undertaker's Daughter #2)

THE UNDERTAKER’S DAUGHTER #2  Sometimes the truth will get you killed.

The first book in this series is a novella titled ” The Undertaker’s Daughter”, followed by ” The Secrets We Bury”. Both books are important to the third.

Dr. Rowan Dupont knows death. Living above her family funeral home she shared her home with it. She knew how to embalm a body before most of us had kissed a boy.

Her story begins as she is working with the Nashville police as a psychiatric consultant. She has a nose for killers and in return, they are very interested in her. But when she fails to recognize that someone very close to her is one, she runs home to Winchester, Tennessee. She is still haunted by dreams of her twin sister’s death, her mother’s suicide and the serial killer who followed her home.

Along with her life long pal Chief Billy, who I love, she is trying her best to stay out of the crosshairs of Julian Addington, a prolific serial killer who wants her more than anything. But why? When a body comes into the funeral home with a tattoo of her mother’s name on his back, Rowan knows this means something, she just isn’t sure what. Then the body disappears and the Feds are back to following her around.

This is the main story. Rowan’s fight to find the truth about her sister’s death and her mother’s suicide. Her mothers’ journals are cryptic and full of death. Was she obsessed with serial killers or was she one herself?  As the bodies continue to stack up, nothing makes any sense. And of course, it doesn’t because there is another story inside of the main one.

I would suggest you read the first two books first. Just so you know who all of the players are.  I absolutely love this series and Rowan and Billy need to quit dancing around each other and get together. IMHO.

Very Well Done!

NetGalley/Expected publication: September 17th, 2019 by MIRA