WILD is the WITCH by Rachel Griffin

When eighteen-year-old witch Iris Gray accidentally enacts a curse that could have dire consequences, she must team up with a boy who hates witches to make sure her magic isn’t unleashed on the world.

Iris Gray and her mother run a wildlife refuge in Washington. It’s not where she is from but that place no longer wanted witches nor did her father who stayed behind.

But she loves her days at the refuge and when she gets frazzled, she does what her Grandmother taught her to do. She creates a spell, puts it in some herbs, and burns it. Much like writing a letter but not sending it. No one gets hurt and she feels a little better.

Her life would be fine if it weren’t for the annoying intern, Pike Alder. It’s a mutual hate feeling. And he has made it clear he despises witches.

So she takes her frustrations out in the same way, only this time before she can push the magic into the herbs, an owl dives in front and takes the curse. These birds are amplifiers of magic and unleashing the curse could harm not just Pike, but much further.

The Witch’s Council has already given her a pass once and she knows if she doesn’t get the curse back, she will lose her magic for good. And Pike will probably die turning into a mage.

Pike doesn’t know the real reason she is so bent on finding the owl, but he volunteers to go with her.

Along the way, they both will learn a lot about each other, magic, and themselves.

This is a YA book and I can see why it’s popular.

NetGalley/August 2nd, 2022 by Sourcebooks Fire

BLACK TIDE by KC JONES

Black Tide is described as a character-driven science fiction/ horror novel about what happens after a cataclysmic event leaves a world crawling with nightmares. Cujo meets A Quiet Place.

Beth is a self-described car wreck. Wasting a life wandering. She’s trying to change and so far she is doing well housesitting. On the Pacific Coast where billionaires from Silicon Valley have built massive homes by the beach. This time it’s for a couple who is out of the country. She also is dog sitting. And doing a responsible and safe job of it. Which for her is boring but no one has gotten hurt yet.

Mike is the next-door neighbor. Dealing with his own demons. When he and Beth meet over the fence and share a lot of champagne, they wake up to chaos and the world turned on its head.

They thought it was a simple meteor shower. It was not. And now they are stranded with no help and a lot of screams along with a dog who is not happy!

Aliens, strange lights, people disappearing in horrible ways, all of that, and more. For myself, there were a lot of plot holes, and I would have probably left Beth and the dog!

NetGalley/ May 31st. 2022 by Nightfire



A RIP THROUGH TIME by KELLEY ARMSTRONG

A Rip Through Time #1

With Armstrong finishing up her Rockton series, which we loved, she has given us a new one. A Rip Through Time is the series debut about a modern-day homicide detective from Vancouver who is in Scotland to be with her Nan, who is dying in hospital.

She goes out for a run and in an alley hears a woman scream. She looks but it’s very fuzzy and then she’s attacked herself. Two women, 150 years apart, attacked in the same way.

When Mallory regains consciousness she is in a bed she doesn’t know and being called Catriona. That bump on the head was a doozy because somehow she has traveled back in time to 1869! Figuring that Cat must be the woman who was attacked before and somehow they have switched places.

Now she’s a maid. With a lot of knowledge about dead bodies. Ending up in the home of an undertaker is convenient as she is determined to find out who killed Cat and who did she bring with her into the past that is still killing people?

Lucky for her, the master of the house is also a bit of a sleuth in cahoots with the homicide detective who is impressed and leary of “Cat’s” knowledge and ability to read and write even. But finding this killer won’t be easy because Cat has a bit of a nefarious past and she isn’t well-liked by pretty much anyone.

But Dr. Gray’s sister is interested and here I think we have the beginning of a mystery-solving trio!

Armstrong is a strong writer. Her characters are interesting and strong women. Here we get a mystery, time travel, a little romance and a lot of good characters, and great writing.

NetGalley/May 31st, 2022 by Minotaur Books



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






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


THE LAST HOUSE ON THE STREET by DIANE CHAMBERLAIN

The Last House on the Street

Some history, a little mystery and a lot of prejudice!

Told in two times, this story takes one of the characters, Ellie Hockley, and tells her story from 1965. A time when I watched the world through a child’s eyes. I was a child of the deep south and integration didn’t come for longer that it should have. The Voting Rights Act was passed and the SCOPE program was put into motion to help black people register to vote and to know their rights.

It was dangerous work. Work that did get people killed. Remember Mississippi? But against everyone’s advice and threats, Ellie has joined up to help. Her story and her character were very well done.

In 2010 Kayla and her daughter are moving into the house she designed with her husband. He died before the house was finished in an accident. There seem to be a lot of accidents around. But really this is Round Hill, North Carolina. What could possibly be so frightening about her house?

When a scary-looking old lady tells her not to move into the house, she is already shakey on that so maybe she will sell it.

In the end, they move in. Her next-door neighbor is Ellie Hockley and she is very helpful and welcoming. She also has secrets. A lot of secrets.

This book doesn’t clean up the past. I like that. I lived through this period as a child and it was just this bad. There is a lot of violence and prejudice and just plain meanness in here. And that is okay with me because it happened. And if we ever forget it we will repeat it. And right now this is a good time to read this book!

NetGalley/January 11th, 2022 by St. Martin’s Press

The NATURE of WITCHES by RACHEL GRIFFIN

Climate Change meets Climate Witches in this Contemporary Fantasy/Paranormal Young Adult debut novel.

Witches have been maintaining the climate for a very long time. Their powers are the powers of the seasons. With the sun peaking in the season they are born.

But the humans or shaders have gotten greedy and off-track wanting more of everything without a thought as to how to it will affect the planet or the weather. They aren’t holding up their end of the bargain. Now the witches control over the weather is getting spotty. Witches are being depleted just trying to hold things together while the weather is acting like an out of control toddler.

But there may be hope. Clara is an Everwitch, she is rare and encompasses all of the seasons. But in Autumn Clara wants nothing more than to lose her magic. The power she has is out-of-control. She has already hurt people she loved. She just wants it gone so no one will be hurt. But the weather is hurting everyone.

When Winter comes and the world is raging as disaster after disaster kills more witches Clara finally understands that only she holds the power and answers that may save them all. But first, she needs to get control of her emotions and her magic.

Sang, is helping her with that. Big problem. He’s hot. She’s hot. He’s training her and he has a strangely calming effect on her magic. But will that keep him safe if she loses control?

And when Summer comes she will have to choose between her powers and love. Her responsibility to her fellow witches and her own personal happiness.

First, I don’t read YA. So much angst. Not so for this book. I could have kept on reading if only the author hadn’t stopped writing. I loved Clara. A strong female lead and strong female characters. I adored every person in this book. I look forward to the next one.

June 1st, 2021 by Sourcebooks Fire/ NetGalley Review



INDEPENDENT BONES by CAROLYN HAINES

Independent Bones: A Sarah Booth Delaney Mystery

A Sarah Booth Delaney Mystery

Carolyn Haines’s Independent Bones is the next novel in the series that Kirkus Reviews characterizes as “Stephanie Plum meets the Ya-Ya Sisterhood” featuring sassy Southern private investigator Sarah Booth Delaney.

It’s so good to be back in Zinnia, Mississippi, with PI Sarah Booth Delaney and her partner, Tinkie. Tinkie is at that I’m about to pop stage of pregnancy, which just makes me like her more. Her southern manners are slipping and as usual it’s hilarious.

Sarah Booth is at the new park that Harold donated and speaking is a woman Sarah Booth doesn’t know. Dr. Alala Diakos is a visiting professor who is at Ole Miss in Oxford for a year, working on a book and inciting men, as she demands women stand up for themselves and demand equal pay and rights. But this is Mississippi, where I don’t think we could vote until not that long ago. And these are some deeply southern bred men, who expect their women in the kitchen or cleaning the house.

One particularly loud man, Curtis, whose wife, Tansy is in the ER regularly because she doesn’t know her place. But try to get her to press charges and she will defend him like a momma bear. As the crowd gets fired up, Sarah discovers a rifle aimed at the speaker. Is it Curtis’s?

Sarah calls boyfriend Sheriff Coleman, who takes this seriously and offers the visiting professor police protection. But Alala isn’t interested in protection or men. And when Curtis is found dead, Alala shows up on Sarah Booth’s porch looking for help in proving her innocence. Only she’s not helping her case when it’s found that she threatened him in a bar. Nor does it look good when more than one man is dead and she is a suspect.

It’s always a good time with this crowd. Sarah Booth is a strong, female who by the way has a friend who happens to be a ghost. All the characters are fully developed by now and I always have a laugh at Tinkie, who may be giving birth in the yard.

Well Done!

NetGalley/ May 18th, 2021 by Minotaur Books





THE LOST VILLAGE by CAMILLA STEN

The Lost Village

I do love Scandinavian Noir! And this one is creepy, scary, and oh so gory! Once I started reading it I could not stop. Okay, I could, but I didn’t.

Alice wants to make a documentary. She’s low on money and equipment but she has a good friend who will put up some money if he can come along. An old friend/enemy has also agreed to come and Alice hated asking her but she is good and interested.

Alice has been a bit obsessed with the residents who just vanished from the old mining town. In 1959 the mine closed and that same year her grandmother’s entire family disappeared. Sure people came in and looked around but all they found were empty houses and in the square one dead woman tied to a pole and in the school, a baby crying. They took the baby and the town was just forgotten. But not by Alice.

When her small team arrives the place is deserted. It looks as if people got up from dinner and never came back. From the first night, they all can feel something isn’t right. They are not alone here. As things heat up they don’t even trust each other. Every one of them has secrets and one is a real shocker.

Reading this book was like watching the Blair Witch Project. You wanted to turn away but you wanted to know the who and why of everything. I loved every scary, gory moment of this one!

NetGalley Review/ March 23rd, 2021 by Minotaur Books

Ghost Ups Her Game by Carolyn Hart

Ghost Ups Her Game

A Bailey Ruth Ghost Novel #9

Bailey Ruth Raeburn is back in Heaven’s Department of Good Intentions. Busy dispatching heavenly emissaries to those in need of a bit of help. Satisfied with herself for doing such a heavenly job matching everyone up, she suddenly gets an emergency call for help from her hometown of Adelaide, Oklahoma.

Bailey wastes no time jumping aboard the train engine, she heads out quickly with Wiggins yelling in her ear!

All she knows is Iris Gallagher is in trouble and Bailey must help her.

A fun twist in this one is that Iris can see Bailey! All the time. And while Bailey Ruth tries to stick to the rules, she is barely skating by on this one. And when her good friend Sam arrests Iris for murder, Bailey does whatever she must to find a killer before he kills again!

Oh, Bailey Ruth! I do love this ghostly character. These characters are so well written and I can’t wait for the next one!

NetGalley Reviews/August 4th, 2020 by Severn House Publishers