Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley

A dazzling novel about a young black woman who walks the streets of Oakland and stumbles headlong into the failure of its justice system–the debut of a blazingly original voice that “bursts at the seams of every page and swallows you whole” (Tommy Orange, best-selling author of There There)

When I saw that the author wrote this at 17 and lived on the streets of Oakland, I was floored.

The language is what I would expect from a teenager. All the feels are there.

Kiara and her brother, Marcus, live in East Oakland. A roach-infested hovel. That is all they can afford and they honestly can’t afford that. While Marcus is pretending to make a rap record, Kiara is hustling all over the dirty streets of Oakland looking for money. Their family fell apart long ago when her mom went to prison. Just teenagers themselves, Kiara also looks out for the little boy next door whose mother is an addict and never home.

After one drunk misunderstanding with a man turns into a career on the streets called night crawling. And since the johns are the cops, she is in it until they say she isn’t.

But then her name is connected to an internal investigation in the police department. A huge scandal involving officers and prostitutes.

The last thing Kiara wants is to be in any kind of limelight. She just wants to live.

This book was not pretty to read. It was raw, ugly, and made me cry and cringe quite a bit. But I am glad I read it and I hope we hear from this author again!

NetGalley/  June 7th, 2022 by Knopf Publishing Group



JUST LIKE MOTHER by ANNE HELTZEL

Well, this one started with a bang! Two children, little girls, cousins, walk into the woods and one turns into something insane.

The last time Maeve saw her cousin Andrea was when she fled the weird cult they were being raised in. The police moved in pretty quick and arrested all of the ‘mothers’. And from there the girls’ lives took many different turns.

Maeve wants to forget. She has walls securely built and isn’t letting anyone in. And when Andrea finds her again, Maeve is conflicted but Andrea is the only family she has.

Andrea seems to have it all. The house in the Catskills, a perfect husband and a brand built on having babies. It’s almost cult-like followers are about as crazy as they come. And soon Maeve is bowing to the wishes of her cousin, and spending almost all of her time at her cousin’s house with a bunch of nuts.

All they talk about are babies. The only reason we exist. Helping women have babies is a noble cause but this is not that. As happy as Andrea seems, she can’t have the one thing she wants. A child. She expects Maeve to lend her an egg or two and that is when Maeve finds her spine and refuses.

The weirder things get, the more memories Maeve is finding. Of what their past was really like and what they hid behind locked doors. Will she make it out alive?

Talk about your scary reads! This was some seriously messed-up stuff that was going on in this book. And the ending was a bit shadowy.

NetGalley/May 17, 2022, Tor MacMillan Forge


THE GHOSTS OF ROSE HILL by R.M.ROMERO

Magic will burn you up.

Ilana Lopez is a biracial Jewish girl of immigrant parents who want more for her. A stable career, a good man, and a good income.

Ilana dreams of becoming a violinist. And she is talented. But her parents don’t believe she understands how difficult the life of an artist can be. So to teach her that they send her to Prague for the summer to stay with her artist aunt. There she is to study hard for her SAT exam and hopefully learn a lesson.

And she does. She learns about history and music and ghosts and more.

Behind her aunt’s house is an old Jewish cemetery. Overgrown with weeds and left to nature. She is determined to clean the cemetery and while there she meets Benjamin. A boy her own age. Except he is rather dead.

But they talk and while she cleans his grave, he shows her a different side of Prague. One where ghosts live. Everyone is enchanted by her and none so much as the old man Rudolph, who has no shadow, which is odd. He is obsessed with her and her music, even giving her a violin. He then offers to share his magic so she and Benjamin can be together. But Ilana finds out a secret and she is willing to lose this boy she has come to love if it means he can be free.

This is a very different story. A bit of magic, myth, and just a brilliant writing style.

NetGalley/May 10th, 2022 by Peachtree Teen






THE CHANGE by KIRSTEN MILLER

Big Little Lies meets The Witches of Eastwick–a gloriously entertaining and knife-sharp feminist revenge fantasy about three women whose midlife crisis brings unexpected new powers–putting them on a collision course with the evil that lurks in their wealthy beach town.

Well, that certainly describes this book!

Mattauk is an oceanfront community, where three midlife women are about to make some noise!

Nessa James is alone now that her twin daughters are off to college. In her neat house close to the ocean. A nurse who also sees the dead. A gift inherited from her grandmother. The voices in her head are screaming for help and she has no idea what to do.

Harriett Osborne has had enough of men taking what she has worked hard for. Now her husband has left her for a younger woman and her career has imploded. She returns to her home in Mattauk, and finds her power.

Jo Levison has an 11-year-old daughter and a husband. She’s happy with both. But she is at war. With herself. Her body and what is happening to it. Hot flashes have taken on a whole new meaning.

When the voices Nessa hears lead her to a remote beach by an exclusive housing development for billionaires only, they are there when they find the first body. The police are not part of the solution, but the problem. And the normal rules don’t apply to the sick and fabulously wealthy men who have a lot of secrets.

So the women pool their talents and get to work. Women’s work. Cleaning up the mess of men.

What a thrill of a tale! I loved these women. A strong story of women who are tired of men getting away with murder and are about to turn the tables!

NetGalley/ May 3rd,2022 by William Morrow & Company






THE VANISHING TYPE by ELLERY ADAMS

A Secret, Book, and Scone Society Novel #5

Welcome to Miracle Springs, NC. The snow is falling, a new year has begun, and Nora Pennington is still inviting people in for a good book and some treats. Nora runs her shop and also does bibliotherapy sessions. So she’s a busy lady. But she always has time for friends so when Deputy Andrews asks Nora to help her plan a surprise wedding proposal for Hester, she knows just what to do.

Right before the question is popped, Nora finds all her copies of The Scarlet Letter have been damaged by an angry someone who has dug out the name Hester on all the pages.

Nora doesn’t think this is a coincidence as she is one of only a few people, fiance’ not included, who know that Hester has a painful secret. The guilt of which is overwhelming. As if that weren’t enough a body of a hiker is found with a rare book in his pocket. Nothing about any of it makes sense. But Hester is spooked.

The Secret, Book, and Scone Society has taken on the case. Trying to find out how the man is connected to Hester. Someone is determined to get Hester’s attention and they are not above killing to get it.

Always a pleasure to read about Nora and the adventures of the Society.

NetGalley/ April 26th, 2022 by Kensington




THE PARIS APARTMENT by LUCY FOLEY

Such a good mystery here!

From the New York Times, bestselling author of The Guest List comes a new locked room mystery, set in a Paris apartment building in which every resident has something to hide…

Jess is ready to leave London. She has no money, and now, no job. She reaches out to her half-brother, Ben, in Paris, and he doesn’t seem overjoyed to have her come and stay for a bit, but he says yes and gives her the address, promising to pick her up at the station.

Ben is only half listening to Jess on the phone. He’s about to break a major story!

But Ben never shows up. Jess makes her way to the apartment building and wonders just how well he is doing to be living here in this huge space. She rings the bell but no one answers so she sneaks in and picks Ben’s lock. The apartment is huge but sparse and the cat seems to have blood on his fur which goes along with a spot on the floor.

When she discovers his phone and wallet, she is worried. So, she starts knocking on the doors of the other apartments. She finds a mixed bag of weirdness! Six apartments are in the building. As she knocks on their doors the reception she gets is one of shock and rudeness. Except for one seemingly nice guy. But no one admits to knowing Ben or where he may be.

The longer he is gone, the stranger things become. There is a little old lady living in a shed in the backyard. They call her the concierge. There is a socialite living in the penthouse with her husband. There is a timid and odd girl with a loose woman living with her. There is a drunk. And there is Nick, seems nice. Knew Ben in school and Jess feels that even he is hiding something.

Full of sketchy characters, hidden rooms, secret doors, and a whole lot of lies and liars. Everyone has something to hide and some are willing to kill to keep their secrets safe.

This was quite the puzzle! And I love that. Thrilling with nonstop action. Just my type of read.

IN A GARDEN BURNING GOLD by RORY POWER

In a Garden Burning Gold (Argyrosi, #1)

First in the Argyrosi Series

Before anything can we talk about the stunning cover art on this book? I have to admit this was one time I judged a book by its cover and it was great!

This is a Fantasy/YA/LGBT and much more. I went in knowing nothing and I figured out a lot very quickly.

The book focuses on twins Rhea and her brother Lexos. They have a brother and a sister, all with special gifts. The twins have spent lifetimes serving their father and their house. They control the seasons, the tides, the skies all while trying to keep their unstable father happy.

Every season Rhea must choose a consort that will die with that season. It’s unimaginable. All the different factions are looking to unseat them and take their land and their powers. Until Rhea chooses an unlikely consort and discovers all of the lies she has been fed her entire life. While her brother is off trying to doublecross the other factions, she is returning to open the gates for war. But who will she end up at war with?

This was a beautiful story I thought. The characters were so well done that even the bad ones were interesting.

NetGalley/  April 5th, 2022 by Del Rey

http://www.piratepatty.com



A SAFE HOUSE by STUART WOODS

A Safe House (Stone Barrington #61)

Number 61 in the Stone Barrington Novels

I have read all of the Stone Barrington books. This one has Stone and Dino being interrupted by Lance Cabot at dinner. Lance needs a favor. A safe house for a congressional witness. And right now, if you please.

Of course, Stone hops in a plane with a beautiful former model who is about to be divorced from a Texas senator. A real peach of a guy.The only problem is this witness pretty much does what she wants. As we follow them to almost all of the homes Stone owns, they of course tumble into bed and the bad guys come and beat him up and Joan saves the day.

Of all of the books in this series I would say this was my least favorite. Very shallow. More like a fun romp through the lives of the rich and messy.

Maybe we need a new hero.

NetGalley/ March 22, 2022 G.P. Putnam-Ballentine

A LULLABY FOR WITCHES by HESTER FOX

A Lullaby for Witches

Two women. A history of witchcraft. And a deep-rooted female power that sings across the centuries.

With that blurb, I couldn’t resist. What has the gothic author created for us this time?

The story is told by two voices. One in the present, Augusta Podos, and one in the past, Margaret Harlowe. Their stories are linked across time.

Margaret was born into a time when her wealthy and oh so concerned about their reputations parents could not figure out why she was so different. Wandering the woods at all hours. Women showing up for help. What was going on with her? She had three brothers and none of them seemed odd. At the time. People kept away from her. The word “witch” was mumbled a lot.

In the present time, Augusta is plodding along in a job she isn’t crazy about and living with Chris who she isn’t sure if she is crazy about. But when she is offered a job at Harlow House, she runs to it! And while the art and archives are there very little is written about Margaret. One small portrait could be her and soon Augusta is obsessed with finding out everything she can about her.

Which is fine with Margaret. Oh, yes, Margaret is still at her house. Waiting for Augusta to come. Augusta is positive Margaret is trying to communicate with her but isn’t sure why. But Margaret has old scores to settle and she will not let anyone get in her way.

There is nothing better than a good ghost story. And this one had a few twists I never saw coming. This was one of those books you don’t want to end.

Great Job!

NetGalley February 1st, 2022 by Graydon House


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