TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE by Carola Lovering

Too Good to Be True

From the author of Tell Me Lies, comes a new and twisty story of lies, revenge and love.

Three points of view here, Heather, Burke and Skye. Three people who could not be more different and yet are joined by a bond that only two of them know about.

Heather had a hard life and blames Skye’s mother for that and the death of her little brother years ago. But Heather can hold a grudge! Even her husband, Burke, isn’t sure about her. But she has a plan and for better or worse she drags Burke in.

Skye is trying to live her life on her own terms. With unlimited funds, you would think that would be a piece of cake. It is not. And when she meets Burke, well sparks fly.

But is any of it real? And how far is Heather willing to go in order to exact revenge on a dead woman?

Twisty and full of flawed characters just trying to get by in life. The ending was very satisfying.

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

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

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

IN A TOWN CALLED PARADOX by MIRIAM MURCUTT AND RICHARD STARKS

In a Town Called Paradox

“I wasn’t looking for Marilyn Monroe when I bumped into her, even though I knew she was in town filming River of No Return…”

So begins In a Town Called Paradox, which asks the question: If each of us has a life story, then who determines how it unfolds and how it should end?

Set in the mid 1950’s, in Utah. Around the time when Hollywood and Westerns were being filmed on location in old western towns or ones just built to look like an old town.

Corin Dunbar. After her mother died young, her father ships her off to her Aunt Jessie in Utah. On a cattle ranch with few cattle and a lot more projects than money.

Corin is angry that her father sent her away and has been letting that fester for a while now. Aunt Jessie seems very religious and has rules. Corin is the main person telling this story.

First she hates Utah. She hates her circumstances. Until Hollywood arrives putting money into the town and bringing all the hot stars to town. The studios are in love with the scenery so almost overnight Paradox becomes something of a Paradox.

She isn’t interested in being in the movies. Not a fan of the casting couch, she instead decides to save the ranch. As she falls in love with the area, she also is falling for a stranger. A man raised by missionary parents who wants to see the West. Throw in the mix an escaped Native American, put in jail for a crime he never committed and there is some excitement going on.

I enjoyed this book so much. It asked some very interesting questions and I admit I pondered on them a lot. Through tragedies and surprise announcements, this had everything from police corruption, the good old boy network, how little power women had in this time and the question.

Who does control my future choices? And everyone has an agenda.

Very Well Done!

NetGalley/ February 3rd, 2021 by Independent Book Publishers Association



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 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

AFTER ALL I’VE DONE by MINA HARDY

After All I've Done

Writing as Mina Hardy, New York Times bestselling author Megan Hart delivers a thrilling new psychological suspense for fans of The Woman in the Window and When the Lights Go Out.

Diana Sparrow was in a car accident five months ago that left her broken and missing quite a bit of her memory. She’s beginning to have nightmares that don’t make sense about that night. Nightmares that are so real they make her doubt everything she is told. 

The official story is she hit a deer and totaled her car. She is lucky to be alive. They say she has anesthesia amnesia. Maybe her memory will return and maybe it won’t. 

She has so many questions. Why is her best friend, Val, ignoring her? Everyone acts like they know something she doesn’t. And they do. Even her husband and his mother.

But Diana is not believing any of it. As fragments of her memory return, she also finds that everyone is lying to her. And she also finds out she isn’t a very nice person.
But then not one of them is. Harriet, the mother in law was terrifying to me. You could see crazy written all over her but I had no idea how this would end.  WHAT????

Well Done!

NetGalley/ November 10th, 2020 by Crooked Lane Books

Happy Sunday! I hope you are all healthy and safe.

Oklahoma is having a second surge that is worse than the first one. Also troubling is that this week we added 2 more categories of positive age groups. Under 2 and 6 to 10. Our major positive spreaders are in the 18 to 35 group and next the 35 to 49 group. I’m not in any of those groups so I guess my natural tendency to stay at home is finally paying off. OU Boy and I are perfectly fine at the moment.

His heart is working just fine and for once no one is hurting anywhere. I swear when you hit 40 your entire body just says, ” That’s it. All systems shutting down.” I have found the way to encourage OU Boy is to keep telling him how cute he looks after losing ten pounds. He’s awfully vain and it seems to be working.

We may get Fall today! At least for a day or so. It’s 11 a.m. and still grey outside and nothing is moving. This is suspicious behavior for OKC. The wind is always blowing. For the past couple of days it has been so bad I was not allowed outside due to the eye thingy. So instead I caught up on reviews, and binge watched The Haunting of Bly House which I liked less than the Haunting of Hill Manor. Even with the Stephen King Easter Egg in one of the scenes. I saw that, Stephen!

The election smack talk is heating up on Twitter but now that he is out of Twitmo, he is being careful. As I explained to him, it is possible to read something you disagree with and just move on.

I bought this book for my granddaughter and then read it myself. She loves mysteries. Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, all the old ones. But now Sherlocks daughter and Watson’s son are hooking up solving crimes and it’s one of the best YA series!

The Covid thing is putting holidays in jeopardy. I don’t care for my relatives enough to travel 12 hours to eat turkey and get infected. North Dakota, I’m talking to you! Get your shit together and stop infecting people so we can go to Canada.

As I sit here in my flamingo pajamas looking out the window I am totally grateful that we are here and in good health. And I wish that for all of you. No holiday or gift giving event is a good enough reason to be foolish and infect grandma and grandpa with a deadly virus.

Now I am off to feed my squirrel that I have befriended during isolation. She had triplets 2 weeks ago and is chowing down now. What is the weirdest thing you have done during lockdown?

xx P

OU Boy goes to Jail!

Okay, so it’s Twitter Jail. Or as he calls it Twitmo. He is addicted to Twitter. So when he woke up yesterday to discover he was in jail for 7 days, I couldn’t’ believe it. I mean I’ve been told to take a post down before, but never been in lockdown before. Donald Trump blocked me.

I tell you he was like an addict having withdrawals. He can see everything but he can’t comment or retweet. Finally I broke down and explained to him that if you are going to be spouting off about how Rand Paul’s neighbor should have kicked his butt all the way down the street, well you are going to get punished. But the seven day thing had me stumped. Normally it’s about 24 hours. Then I find out it is not his first violation.

So now he knows about shadow accounts and that you need to have one if you can’t control your mouth. Shadow accounts are a different account in a different name. I personally have a few. Two are private. So, now he is happy again and taking the orange thing in the people’s house to task for endangering lives. Once again there is peace in the kingdom.

As for me, I had two stitches removed this week from the eye. Only 10 left! My corneal surgeon says my transplant is beautiful but I’m not producing enough tears. She gave me a prescription for Restasis eye drops. I called my sister who has been through this 5 times and she said, “NO! Doesn’t she know you have Crohn’s? I was on that and all I did was sit in the bathroom in pain!” Then my trusty pharmacist called and said it was $635 after insurance. So they called in a different one. New. Only available at one independent pharmacy that doesn’t take insurance and it is $748. Side effects? Burning, redness and swelling of the eye. Nope.

Did some research and am upping my intake of Omega 3 which helps a lot with tear production and using warm compresses. Spoke to my pharmacist and she said I was doing the right thing. I knew my body better than anyone. So here we are back on a schedule of drops every other hour. Anti-rejection drops, pressure drops and antibiotic drops along with the new Syolane drops that we all agree are great.

Now I’m off to do nothing because for two weeks I can’t bend, lift or rub. Another surgery down and more to go but the great news is after the stitches came out my vision was 20/30! Guess I’ll stop whining about it.

Stay Safe and Vote!

xx P