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

LADIES of the HOUSE by LAUREN EDMONDSON

Ladies of the House: A Modern Retelling of Sense and Sensibility

A very modern spin on Sense and Sensibility that I adored. Daisy, Wallis, and their mother Cricket never expected the sudden death of father and husband Senator Gregory Richardson. And they certainly never imagined it would be in such a salacious way. The media is all over this juicy headliner and Daisy just wants to disappear.

What they know is bad. What they don’t know is worse. They can’t afford their Georgetown home now and they must sell it and move into much smaller accommodations. While Cricket clings to her former life, and Wallis finds a man and is ready to move on that, Daisy is just trying to support them and protect them. Yes, the journalists are camped out on their doorstep but the worst part is the journalist writing the expose’ on her father.

Atlas has always been her best friend and to be honest she wants more. The question is can she trust him? Is this story only going to bring more pain to her family?

Those Richardson women. My grandmother would say they come from strong stock. And they do. They may have been gobsmacked in the most public and sordid way possible, but they get right out there and figure out who they are and make a new path in the world for themselves.

A very engaging book that I loved. It is so refreshing to not see simpering females in a story like this. Well Done!

NetGalley/Harlequin-Graydon Trade February 09, 2021






HOW THE ONE-ARMED SISTER SWEEPS HER HOUSE by CHERIE JONES

A GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK

“Searing . . . In affluent Baxter’s Beach, the gentry of Barbados maneuver around their servants with velvet gloves and steel nerves, exposing fault lines of resentment, love as ephemeral as a tropical breeze.โ€ (O Magazine)

We begin in Baxter’s Beach, Barbados. Wilma tells her headstrong granddaughter, Lala, a story. One of those cautionary tales or warnings about what happens to girls who don’t listen to their parents and go places they should not.

The next thing we see is a grown up Lala living on the beach with her husband, Adan, who is an absolute horror of a man. Lala is pregnant now and scared she is losing her baby. Looking for her errant spouse, she comes upon a house on the wealthy side where she hears a gunshot and a scream and sees her husband running out of the gate.

That gunshot sets into motion some incredibly horrible things. Things that made my heart ache. A woman loses her husband and a new mom loses her daughter. One is wealthy and one is not. But the grief they have is the same.

A story of race and class systems and the vast differences between them. And what some of them will do to be on top.

Beautifully written and emotionally charged, it’s hard to believe this is a debut!

Well Done

NetGalley/ February 02, 2021 Little, Brown, And Company

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

SCOT ON THE ROCKS by CATRIONA McPHERSON

Scot on the Rocks

A Last Ditch Mystery #3

What is our favorite Scot up to now?

The town is up in arms after the bronze statue of Mama Cuento is stolen. And on Valentine’s Day! While everyone is scratching their heads over how such a large statue could just be gone, someone finds one bronze toe and a ransom note. Give them what they want or the other nine toes will follow.

As if that wasn’t enough, Bran turns up. Bran being the ex-husband of Lexy for all of five minutes before he went back to his Brandee. So there is no love lost there. He gives her a pitiful story of Brandee being kidnapped, along with one fake fingernail and a sketchy ransom note.

A very odd coincidence? Or is there a serial kidnapper on the loose?

Does she even want to find Brandee? Probably not.

Lexy is still getting used to the language, which is always funny and her band of merry (okay, some not so merry) helpers are determined to find out who did what and why?!

This series is so funny. But also it’s about fitting in, this group of crime solvers are all a bit outside of the norm and that only makes them more lovable.

What in the world will happen next?

Well Done!

NetGalley Review/ February 2nd. 2021 by Severn House Publishers






We’re All in this Together..Right?

The last day of January. It feels eerily similar to last January. People are still complaining about wearing masks. The newest thing is fake cards saying the person doesn’t have to wear a mask because of lung cancer. Total fake. We have had several people at the hotel trying to use these. Fortunately for us we aren’t dumb.

The DOJ put out a warning about these fake cards in July. Read a paper. We just cancel their reservation and move on. Better to wear a mask than a ventilator. OU Boy is still dealing with his weird after Covid symptoms. But at least nothing is worse. We bought industrial masks and double up on them. We order groceries. Our meds are delivered.

I haven’t been out of my house except for doctor appointments. My neighbors think I am rude. My elderly nun neighbor moved back to Boston today. And much like the day Biden was sworn in, my stomach stopped hurting. I don’t care how old you are or what you do, but I will not have negative energy in my life and this lady talked crap about all our neighbors so I haven’t seen her since before Christmas when she brought a package over and gave it to OU Boy. That is important because I was in the bath. I would not have accepted a gift from her. She is on a fixed income and we just don’t do that gift thing. But HE answered the door and I feel he is the one who should have told her no. He opened it. It was a $250 beach themed cuckoo clock and every hour on the hour a seagull comes out and what is supposed to sound like waves and gulls just comes off as a ghost in your wall. Scared the living daylights out of us. So it is in it’s box. Don’t know what to do with it.

We have binge watched The Ranch with Sam Elliot and cried and laughed so much the people we tell about it are mad at us for getting them involved in the emotional roller coaster that is The Ranch. Loved it. We tore through Bridgerton, The Queen’s Gambit, The Magicians and lots of serial killer documentaries. I gave up on the gym because no masks were worn so I bought a bike like the one I use at the gym. OU Boy bought a kayak. For two.

Although I am allowed to go to Curacao now, I just don’t feel safe flying into Florida. So my poor sister is having to do everything down there by her self. She’s doing well though. As for me, I still try and text my Momma everyday. Yesterday I received some honey with the honeycomb and I was so excited to call and tell her. She made honeycomb ice cream and we loved it. I hung her huge portrait in the living room so I can just talk to her like that. She agrees with me a lot more now that she can’t talk.

Let’s all hope February treats us better. In Oklahoma we had our first tornado of the year yesterday. WTAF? At least we have no snow. Just endless wind blowing across the prairie like a sand blaster.

Have a good one!

xx P

A STRANGER IN TOWN by KELLEY ARMSTRONG

A Stranger in Town (Casey Duncan Novels Book 6)

A Rockton Novel Number 9

We’re back in Rockton with Detective Casey Duncan and Sheriff Eric Dalton, along with all the characters we’ve grown to love! But this time the entire town may be in danger.

When a badly injured tourist from a group of four bursts out of the forest screaming and hysterical, Casey and Eric take her back to Rockton’s clinic for April to examine her. At the same time a new resident shows up who understands the woman is speaking Dutch. Hm…

Are the hostiles at work again? Or is this something more sinister?

When one of the original founders flies in, they are suspicious that they aren’t being told everything. Why have they not had any residents in quite a while? Why is no-one getting an extension?

I am not about to tell you anymore, except we finally find out how Rockton began and if it will continue or not.

Kelley’s books are always a solid read with capable female leads and great stories. I can’t wait to see what comes next.

NetGalley/ Minotaur February 02,2021

IN A TOWN CALLED PARADOX by MIRIAM MURCUTT AND RICHARD STARKS

In a Town Called Paradox

โ€œI wasnโ€™t looking for Marilyn Monroe when I bumped into her, even though I knew she was in town filming River of No Returnโ€ฆโ€

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



INK and SHADOWS by ELLERY ADAMS

Ink and Shadows (Secret, Book, & Scone Society, #4)

A Secret, Book and Scone Society Novel

This is the fourth in this excellent series! My three favorite things are in the name. Secrets, Books, and Scones! So what has our Nora been up to?

Nora owns the bookstore in Miracle Springs, North Carolina and her window displays are always amazing. This Halloween Nora and her band of helpers decide on a showcase of strong, female heroines. Think Circe through Matilda! It’s a magical display and people are loving it. Well, not everyone. It seems the preacher’s wife has decided to be the moral police and has riled up some of her friends to force Nora to take down the display. And she isn’t the only one on their radar, one of the new businesses in town, owned by the mysterious Celeste, is also being targeted simply because she sells CBD oil products.

Nora isn’t going to let anyone push her around, but she is very worried about Celeste and her daughter. This is where the secrets come in. These ladies have some. And someone is willing to kill over them it would seem.

When Nora finds an odd paper under her mat full of strange symbols, a body is not far behind. Surely the church ladies aren’t behind this?

Nora and the Society are going to have to dig into Celeste’s background and figure out the who, why and how before any more harm is done.

Oh, how I love this series! All the characters are so real. And there is always laughter. Okay, so there is also always murder, but the laughter and friendships these characters have are what keeps me coming back for more.

Grab a cup of tea and a scone and start reading!

January 26th, 2021 by Kensington Books/ NetGalley Review





One Poison Pie by Lynn Cahoon (A Kitchen Witch Mystery)

One Poison Pie (Kitchen Witch Mysteries #1)

In the first in New York Times bestselling author Lynn Cahoonโ€™s Kitchen Witch series, Mia Malone is starting over in Magic Springs, Idahoโ€”where murder is on the menu . . .

We are very excited about Ms. Cahoon’s newest series. The Kitchen Witch!

Mia Malone is a kitchen witch. And when her kind of fiance’ leaves her she is not only alone, but unemployed, with her ex taking credit for all of her recipes. Well, most of them. And he wants to get his greedy little hands on all of them and is not above breaking a few laws to do it.

Mia moves back in with her grandmother in Idaho, where being magical is not a punishable offense, instead it is right out in the open and all magicals are welcome.

Mia is running a gourmet delivery business, with a dash of magic, to kick off her business. A bit overwhelmed, it seems like a blessing when her nasty ex-fiance’s sister, Christina comes needing a place to stay. Mia loves Christina and has no qualms about bringing her in to the fold.

At her first catering job her client is found dead. Stabbed and stuffed under a table. Shocked to find out she is a suspect, when one of her knives disappears she is also looking pretty good at being the next body under the table.

With Christina, her grandma and her grandma’s connections, she sets out to find a killer and solve a mystery before she or someone she loves ends up dead.

Grandma was just the right amount of meddling in Mia’s affairs. There is a sub-plot with Christina and the Ex going on and a lot of miscommunication.

This is the first of a new series for Lynn Cahoon, who is a master at cozy mysteries. She is one of those writers whose works I read before they come out to the public every time.

Congrats on a winner!

NetGalley/ January 26th, 2021 by Kensington Publishing Corporation