The Woman in the Mirror: A Novel by Rebecca James

The Woman in the Mirror: A Novel

They wanted her land. She didn’t want to give it. He made her fall in love with him. And then he labeled her a witch. She can hear the horses coming. She knows he has betrayed her. But if she is to die, it will be on her own terms and heaven help Ivan de Grey’s family and the cursed land where he will build his enormous Gothic home, Winterbourne Hall. On the bluff overlooking the sea, where once a woman had lived, loved and died.

And so it stood in Cornwall in isolation, looking gloomy and slightly scary.

In 1947, Alice Miller is living in London but can’t wait to get away. Memories of horrible things haunt her. When she sees the advert about a governess position at Winterbourne, she jumps at the chance. Her job will be to care for Captain Jonothan de Grey’s children. Twins, a boy and a girl, 8 years old and motherless.

Alice falls in love with the children as well as their father. The children seem to adore her but when they start behaving alarmingly like little demons and turn on her she is suspicious. The house seems to be cursed. When her one night with her boss leaves her pregnant and half-crazed, Jonothan tells her they are going to Paris. He drops her off with the nuns and hopes she will be safe there.

In the present day, Rachel Wright, just opening her gallery has also just received a letter for solicitors that her Aunt Constance has died and left Winterbourne and everything to her, her niece. Rachel is stunned. She was adopted as an infant and has been searching for her mother for a long time. She sees this as a chance to find out what happened to her mother and who was her father?

The answers she finds are alarming and sad. The house itself is dark and foreboding and you just know there is a dead body or two waiting to be found!

There are multiple timelines here. And we hear Alice’s and Rachel’s and someone or something else. Something malicious that wants them all to die.

Rachel gets answers and decides to stay in Winterbourne. After all, they have destroyed the mirror and the house does seem lighter, but you can bet this isn’t the end!

The timelines were a bit much but looking back, it was the only way the story could be told. And Oh what a story it is!

A good old fashioned ghost story! Witches, Curses, Women driven mad, Scary Children, I would say this one had it all!

NetGalley/March 17th, 2020 by Minotaur Books

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The BORGIA CONFESSIONS by ALYSSA PALOMBO

The Borgia Confessions

‘Under Palombo’s skillful hand, the entangled world of the Borgias comes vividly to life, exposing the dark facets of class structure and the all-consuming greed that comes with ambition–and love.” – Heather Webb, internationally bestselling author of Last Christmas in Paris and Meet Me in Monaco

 

This is my favorite type of historical fiction. The players are real and the facts are real. Palombo has taken the players and the facts and woven them together with what could have happened and created a book I couldn’t put down.
Rome, in 1492, Rodrigo Borgia has been named Pope Alexander. Never mind how he got the job when he had multiple illegitimate children and a mistress living next door. The Borgia family was known for being greedy, ambitious to a fault, and eliminating the competition as this mockery of a pope is intent on one thing. Making sure his children, as well as himself, are all-powerful and wealthy is the goal.
There have been many attempts to explain the Borgias. And while Lucretia is in reality not such an awful person, she has been painted with an ugly brush as a lover of both her brother and her father. Although I nor the author saw any evidence of that.
There was not one redeeming character in this story. They were all equally easy to hate.
Even so, the writing was superb and the story, while not pretty, was fair and informative.
I loved it and would have no problem recommending it.
NetGalley/February 11th, 2020 by St. Martin’s Griffin

behind every lie by Christina McDonald

Behind Every Lie

Remember The Night Olivia Fell?  Welcome to the author’s next domestic suspense thriller!

If you can’t remember it, how do you prove you didn’t do it?

Highly charged suspense and a feeling of urgency, make this a great read and I wouldn’t have expected otherwise given her prior work!

Eva Hansen remembers blood and pain. When she wakes in the hospital to discover she has been struck by lightning and she can’t remember a thing. She was found in the street covered in blood, close to her own mother’s home, where police have discovered her mother murdered.

Told from the points of view of Eva and Kat, this was intense. With everyone looking at her suspiciously and thinking she must have killed her mother, Eva leaves Seattle for London, where her mother’s story began. But someone is following her every move and she may be the next to die. At this point with her memory in tatters, she even doubts herself.

Family secrets. Oh my what a tangled web they can be and these were deadly! A twisty, twisted, horrible, edge of your seat read! I can’t wait to see what is next for Ms. McDonald!

I loved every twisted moment of it!

NetGalley/ February 4th, 2020 by Gallery Books

 

 

 

Bigelow’s Benefits Teas!

It has been a hot minute since we talked about some tea! And I received more than my share for the holidays!

Let’s talk about the Refresh.  Why is it great? It contains Dandelion, thought to promote healthy harmony. Nettle, a unique plant traditionally regarded to help support a healthy lifestyle. Turmeric, brilliant yellow root commonly thought to help keep the body on track. Turmeric is something we have every day in food and teas. It has a ton of good uses. I even brush my teeth with it. Chili/Black Pepper supports your well being. Matcha, traditional green tea known to energize the body. It’s my own opinion that they each have a lot to offer health-wise. Plus it’s really good!

My friend Casey and I have a huge love of anything tea and this weekend we shared our stashes in pictures. Now she wants my tea cart. You can pick one up at a restaurant supply company for a song. Each of the rows has space for 6 boxes of tea. So in every row you see, there are 5 or more teas behind the lead tea. And that isn’t including the Harney and Sons Royal Palace Collections. The box underneath is an antique French hot chocolate set with matching cups, plates and spoons.

The only bad weather we had was rain and we really needed that. Our daffodils are about 6 inches out of the ground and the sun is saying “It’s Spring!”But the wind is saying, “Wanna bet?”

Jerome the gnome is overseeing this rich, smoky Lapsang Souchong from Harney and Sons Teas and I loved this ARC so much I read it twice. And cried. The smokiness of the tea smells like a campfire and was perfect with this tale!

Happy Monday Y’all!

Be Nice!

xx P

The Look-Alike by Erica Spindler

The Look-Alike

Thriller, Psychological Drama, and Mental Illness. It sounds like a recipe for staying up past your bedtime!

Erica Spindler is a master at twisty, mental thrillers.

Ten years ago Sienna Scott was taking a shortcut from the library at college. Wearing a white coat with the hood pulled low, she could barely see for all of the snow coming down. Until she sees the red that shouldn’t be there, and a dead girl wearing the same coat as Sienna.

Sienna’s mother has had mental health issues since shortly after Sienna’s birth. Paranoid delusions, fear of someone hurting her child. She has been locked up in her own house since Sienna left and is getting worse. But what if they really are out to get you? Are you still paranoid?

Sienna is still dealing with the thoughts she has that the girl’s death was meant for her. She just can’t shake that feeling and when her mother agrees with her, the seed is planted.

Shortly after the murder, she was sent to London to live with her aunt. Her father afraid she would turn out like her mother, asked her half-brother to look after her after his death. Since Sienna has been gone so long, he has mainly been taking care of her mother, but now he needs help and Sienna returns.

This was one crazy ride! I suspected everyone at some point. Compulsively readable, a cast of great characters and a great ending!

Well Done!

NetGalley/ January 28th, 2020 by St. Martin’s Press

 

 

 

New Releases for the New Year!

Great Book Releases on the last day of the year!

The Moonshiner’s Daughter by Donna Everhart debuts today!

Sealed Off by Barbara Ross debuts today!

The Beautiful Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn debuts today!

Matchmaking Can Be Murder by Amanda Flower debuts today!

And do not forget Good Girls Lie by J.T. Ellison which came out yesterday!

Our last day of the year for reviews. But don’t worry because January starts out with a Bang!

xx P)

Hill Women: Finding Family and a Way Forward In The Appalachian Mountains by Cassie Chambers

Hill Women: Finding Family and a Way Forward in the Appalachian Mountains

Cassie  Chambers is proof that a determined woman can do anything. Raised in Owsley, Kentucky by an entire family whose lives have been rooted deep in the Appalachians.

Her grandmother had married and had seven children and she worked from sun up to sun down to put food on the table for her family. Her daughter Ruth was the best tobacco worker in the fields. Besting any man. Her other daughter, Cassie’s mother, took a different path and while she married young, her family helped raise Cassie so her parents could get an education and get out of the cycle of poverty.

They did such a good job that Cassie followed their footsteps and ended up graduating with two Ivy League degrees. And while the opportunities were endless, Cassie decides to go home. She has seen what the courts do to women in the hills and she wants to help.

Owsley County is one of the poorest counties in Kentucky and the entire country. There is no more coal, no more tobacco, and yet these Hill Women are finding new ways to keep their families fed and healthy. These women are subjected to more domestic violence, lack of healthcare and education.

This book broke my heart so many times. Even my husband was hooked on the story and ended up digging into the state and the county. I learned a lot and I felt humbled. This was a well researched and well-written book. I think everyone should read it!

NetGalley/January 7th, 2020 by Ballantine Books