The Anxiety Fairy is here. She brought friends.


Monday. Not my favorite day. It should be in the high 60’s today so I am not complaining.

I cracked my Goodreads Goal. 205! Never again. This weekend I read a most touching and informative book called Hill Women. This is the fourth book this year I have read within the Appalachians. Powerful and strong women getting things done with very few resources. It was humbling.

I also binge-watched The Witcher and now will wait a year for more!  But I loved it. Especially the Witcher. A man of few words and a lot of Hmmm. Every once in a while he just pops up with a good “Hmmm”. Since men of few words are my favorite type of men, I loved it.

That pesky Anxiety Fairy popped her head in this weekend heralding my fancy holiday anxiety that is now in full swing. Who knows why? Sometimes it’s a specific thing and other times it’s just a general buzz under my skin just thinking about holidays and expectations. Not to mention crowds. At least I shall be spared the fiasco at OU Boy’s family gathering as they are still not speaking to us since the great summer vacation scandal where I aired all of their dirty laundries. Their words, not mine. I never mentioned names and I assumed they knew their son was a tweaker and drug addict. Especially since they had an intervention a few weeks later. He’s still tweaking.

My family is up in the frozen tundra of the Dakota’s. I love you but I have no intention of going north of Oklahoma. Ever. I don’t have that type of blood. And I’m probably not invited there either after this weekend group text where my one sister asked what we were all doing for Christmas Day. Apparently, my reply of Not Being Impeached did not go over well with my Border Patrol sister.

I have one Blog Tour left this year and it is for J.T.Ellison’s Good Girl’s Lie. Wicked good fun! Have a great whatever you celebrate and tune in tomorrow for our favorite reads of 2019.

xx P





Set in London and covering a decade in the life of Selina Lennox, one of the bright young people whose life is one party after another without thought to consequences or propriety, and whose life is turned upside down by a chance meeting with Lawrence Weston. A painter who aspires to be a famous photographer.

Selina has a wild affair with the man but she understands that she must marry for money and not love. And she does. But she has a special gift from Lawrence that will forever change all of their lives.

There was a lot of truth in this beautiful and moving story of love, loss, and redemption. I am not ashamed to admit I cried more than a little. The characters were flawed and real, with a backdrop of one war over and another about to begin.

A truly beautiful story from a talented author!

NetGalley/ December 10th, 2019 by Thomas Dunne Books

thumbnail_Glittering Hour Blog Tour - Twitter


The Kill Club by Wendy Heard

Jazz is a bad-ass. She’s had a hard life and now she is doing everything in her power to protect her little brother from their foster mother, Carol, a religious nutjob who decides the boy doesn’t need his diabetic medication as God is going to heal him.

As Jazz takes on beatings and sneaks the boys’ meds to his teacher or through the bars of his window, things are getting worse. Then she gets a call from an unknown number and learns that she isn’t alone and there could be an end to Carol’s reign of terror.

All she has to do is kill someone. Can she do that? Learning about an underground group calling themselves The Blackbirds, they kill a stranger and a stranger kills their problem. Sound familiar?  Strangers on a Train?

There is a lot at stake in this thriller and the author has made Jazz very real and vulnerable, but also very brave.

Heard is so great at the build-up that by the end of the book you hope you have a fingernail left!

Well Done!

NetGalley/ December 17th, 2019 by MIRA

Today is our stop on the Blog Tour for The Kill Club by Wendy Heard! Here is a little taste!

THE CEILING ABOVE the crowd sparkles with strings of golden lights. They twinkle just bright enough to
illuminate the faces. I adjust a microscopic issue with my toms and run my fingers through my bangs,
straightening them over my eyes. The guys are tuning up, creating a clatter of discordant notes in the
monitors. When they’re done, they approach my kit for our usual last-minute debate about the setlist.
Dao humps his bass in his ready-to-play dance, black hair swishing around his shoulders. “Dude, stop,”
Matt groans and readjusts the cable that connects his Telecaster to his pedalboard.
“Your mom loves my dancing,” Dao says.
“You dance like Napoleon Dynamite,” Matt retorts.
“Your mom dances like Napoleon Dynamite.”
Andre raises his hands. “Y’all both dance like Napoleon Dynamite, and so do both your moms, so
let’s just—”
I wave a stick at them. “Guys. Focus. The sound guy is watching. We’re three minutes behind.” I
have no patience for this shit tonight. This all feels extra and stupid. I should be doing something to help
Joaquin. His dwindling supply of insulin sits at the front of my brain like a ticking clock.
The guys get into their spots, the distance between them set by muscle memory. Andre leans
forward into the mic and drawls, “Arright DTLA, lez get a little dirty in here.” His New Orleans accent
trickles off his tongue like honey.
The room inhales, anticipates, a sphere of silence.
“Two three four,” I yell. I clack my sticks together and we let loose, four on the floor and loud as
hell. I’m hitting hard tonight. It feels great. I need to hit things. My heart beats in tempo. My arms fly
through the air, the impact of the drums sharp in my joints, in my muscles, the kick drum a pulse
keeping the audience alive. This is what I love about drumming, this forcing of myself into the crowd,
making their hearts pound in time to my beat.
Dao fucks up the bridge of “Down With Me” and Andre gives him some vicious side-eye. The
crowd is pressed tight up against the stage. A pair of hipsters in cowboy hats grabs a corresponding pair
of girls and starts dancing with them. I cast Dao an eye-rolling look referring to the cowboy hats and he
wiggles his eyebrows at me. I stomp my kick drum harder, pretending it’s Carol’s face.
The crowd surges back. Arms fly. A guy in the front staggers falls. A pair of hands grip the
stage and a girl tries to pull herself up onto it.
Matt and Dao stop playing. The music screeches to a halt.
“What’s going on?” I yell.
“Something in the pit,” Dao calls back.
Andre drops his mic and hops down into the crowd. Dao and Matt cast their instruments aside
and close the distance to the edge of the stage. I get up and join them. Together, we look down into the

A clearing has formed around a brown-haired guy lying on the floor. Andre and the bouncer
squat by him as he squirms and thrashes, his arms and legs a tangle of movement. Andre’s got his phone
pressed to his ear and is talking into it urgently. The bouncer is trying to hold the flailing man still, but
the man’s body is rigid, shuddering out of the bouncer’s grip. He flops onto his back, and I get a good
look at his face.
Oh, shit, I know this guy. He’s a regular at our shows. He whines and pants muffled words
gargling from his throat. Some of the bystanders have their phones out and are recording this. Assholes.
The man shrieks like a bird of prey. The crowd sucks its whispers back into itself, and the air
hangs heavy and hushed under the ceiling twinkle lights.
Andre is still talking into his phone. The bouncer lifts helpless hands over the seizing man,
obviously not sure what to do.
I should see if Andre wants help. I hop down off the stage and push through the crowd. “Excuse
me. Can you let me through? Can you stop recording this and let me through?”
I’m suddenly face-to-face with a man who is trying to get out of the crowd as hard as I’m trying
to get into it. His face is red and sweaty, his eyes wild. “Move,” he orders me.
Dick. “You fucking move.”
“Bitch, move.” He slams me with his shoulder, knocking me into a pair of girls who cry out in
protest. I spin, full of rage, and reverse direction to follow him.
“Hey, fucker,” I scream. He casts a glance over his shoulder. “Yeah, you! Get the fuck back
He escalates his mission to get out of the crowd, elbowing people out of his way twice as fast.
I’m smaller and faster, and I slip through the opening he leaves in his wake. Just before he makes it to
the side exit, I grab his flannel shirt and give him a hard yank backward. “Get the fuck back here!” I’m
loose, all the rage and pain from earlier channeling into my hatred for this entitled, pompous asshole.
I know I should rein it in, but he spins to face me and says, “What is your problem, bitch?” And
that’s it. I haul back and punch him full in the jaw.
He stumbles, trips over someone’s foot and lands on his ass on the cement floor. His phone goes
clattering out of his hand, skidding to a stop by someone’s foot. “The hell!”
“Oh, shit,” cries a nearby guy in a delighted voice.
“Fucking bitch,” the guy says, and this is the last time he’s calling me a bitch. I go down on top of
him, a knee in his chest. I swing wild, hit him in the jaw, the forehead, the neck. He throws an elbow; it
catches me in the boob and I flop back off him with a grunt of pain. He sits up, a hand on his face, and
opens his mouth to say something, but I launch myself off the ground again, half-conscious of a chorus
of whoops and howls around us. I throw a solid punch. His nose cracks. Satisfaction. I almost smile.
Blood streams down his face.
“That’s what you get,” I pant. He crab-shuffles back, pushes off the ground and sprints for the
exit. I let him go.

My chest is heaving, and I have the guy’s blood on my hand, which is already starting to ache
and swell. I wipe my knuckles on my jeans.
His phone lights up and starts buzzing on the floor. I pick it up and turn it over in my hand. It’s an
old flip phone, the kind I haven’t seen in years. The bright green display says Blocked.
Back in the pit, the man having a seizure shrieks again, and then his screams gurgle to a stop. I
put the phone in my pocket and push through the onlookers. I watch as his back convulses like he’s
going to throw up, and then he goes limp. A thin river of blood snakes out of his open mouth and trails
along the cement floor.
The room echoes with silence where the screams had been. A trio of girls stands motionless,
eyes huge, hands pressed to mouths.
The flip phone in my pocket buzzes. I pull it out, snap it open and press it to my ear. “Hello?”
A pause.
“Hello?” I repeat.
A click. The line goes dead.
A set of paramedics slams the stage door open, stretcher between them. “Coming through!”
They kneel down and start prodding at the man curled up on the concrete. His head flops back. His eyes
are stretched wide and unseeing, focused on some point far beyond the twinkling ceiling lights.
Next to him on the concrete lies something… What is it? It’s rectangular and has red and—
It’s a playing card.

Excerpted from The Kill Club by Wendy Heard, Copyright © 2019 by Wendy Heard. Published by MIRA



CHAR Cover Image

When we first meet Ailsa Rae, she is dying. She has lived with a heart condition since her birth and is waiting for a transplant. She has a blog and has blogged about her experience as a patient on the organ registry. She has also had a best friend, boyfriend and a fellow patient in Lennox.

Just as Lennox dies, a heart becomes available for Ailsa. And this is the story of how she learned to live instead of existing.

Months later, she is doing well physically but not so much emotionally. It is going to take a bit of time to stop feeling fragile and stretch her limits. She has ups and downs and uses her blog to ask her followers advice in poll form. She’s missed out on so much and now she needs to learn to be healthy and alive.

I loved her mum. What a woman she is! And she has always been there for her only child. Now they both have to figure out what their new roles and lives will be.

Her new heart is strong and thumping along and it makes itself at home in her chest, she must learn to not only protect it but to listen to it and claim it as her own.

A good story. There were a few discrepancies, but all in all a good story.

NetGalley/ St. Martin’s Press  October 29th, 2019 by St. Martin’s Griffin


6 October 2017
Hard to Bear
It’s 3 a.m. here in cardio-thoracic.
All I can do for now is doze, and think, and doze
again. My heart is getting weaker, my body bluer. People
I haven’t seen for a while are starting to drop in. (Good to
see you, Emily, Jacob, Christa. I’m looking forward to the
Martinis.) We all pretend we’re not getting ready to say
goodbye. It seems easiest. But my mother cries when
she thinks I’m sleeping, so maybe here, now, is time to
admit that I might really be on the way out.
I should be grateful. A baby born with Hypoplastic Left
Heart Syndrome a few years before I was would have
died within days. I’ve had twenty-eight years and I’ve
managed to do quite a lot of living in them. (Also, I’ve had
WAY more operations than you everyday folk. I totally win
on that.) OK, so I still live at home and I’ve never had a
job and I’m blue around the edges because there’s never
quite enough oxygen in my system. But –
Actually, but nothing. If you’re here tonight for the
usual BlueHeart cheerfulness-in-the-teeth-of-disaster,
you need to nd another blogger.
My heart is failing. I imagine I can feel it floundering
in my chest. Sometimes it’s as though I’m holding my
breath, waiting to see if another beat will come. I’ve been


in hospital for four months, almost non-stop, because
it’s no longer tenable for me to be at home. I’m on a drip
pumping electrolytes into my blood and I have an oxygen
tube taped to my face. I’m constantly cared for by peo-
ple who are trying to keep me well enough to receive
a transplanted heart if one shows up. I monitor every
icker and echo of pain or tiredness in my body and try
to work out if it means that things are getting worse. And
yes, I’m alive, and yes, I could still be saved, but tonight
it’s a struggle to think that being saved is possible.
Or even likely. And I’m not sure I have the energy to
keep waiting.
And I should be angrier, but there’s no room for anger
(remember, my heart is a chamber smaller than yours)
because, tonight, I’m scared.
It’s only a question of time until I get too weak to sur-
vive a transplant, and then it’s a waste of a heart to give
it to me. Someone a bit better, and who would get more
use from it, will bump me from the top of the list and
I’m into the Palliative Care Zone. (It’s not actually called
that. And it’s a good, kind, caring place, but it’s not where
I want to be. Maybe when I’m ninety-eight. To be honest,
tonight, I’d take forty-eight. Anything but twenty-eight.)
I hope I feel more optimistic when the sun comes
up. If it does. It’s Edinburgh. It’s October. The odds are
about the same as me getting a new heart.
My mother doesn’t worry about odds. She says, ‘We
only need one heart. Just the one.’ She says it in a
way that makes me think that when she leaves the ward
she’s away to carve one out of some poor stranger’s


body herself. And anyway, odds feel strange, because
even if my survival chances are, say, 20 percent, what-
ever happens to me will happen 100 percent. As in,
I could be 100 percent dead this time next week.
Night night,
BlueHeart xxx
P.S. I would really, really like for one of you to get your-
self a couple of goldsh, or kittens, or puppies, or even
horses, and call them Cardio and Thoracic. My prefer-
ence would be for puppies. Because I love the thought
that, if I don’t make it to Christmas, somewhere there
will be someone walking in the winter countryside, let-
ting their enthusiastic wee spaniels off the lead, and
then howling ‘Cardio! Thoracic!’ as they disappear over
the brow of a hill intent on catching some poor terried
sheep. That’s what I call a legacy.

From The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by
Stephanie Butland. Copyright © 2019 by
the author and reprinted by permission
of St. Martin’s Publishing Group.



The Family

Becky was the only survivor of the horrific and ritualistic killing of her entire family. Injured and terrified she saw her opportunity to run and she did. Rescued by a man in the woods.

Adult Becky is doing everything she can to find out who the killer was and why he hasn’t been found. But when her digging starts getting people who help her killed in horrible ways, she doesn’t stop, she just goes harder. Not knowing who to trust may just get her killed herself before she can find out the truth.

This was a very explicit and horrifying read. As a character I didn’t care for Becky. But I did not see that ending!

NetGalley/ May 2nd 2019 by Aria

A Small Peek:


I See Life Through Rose’ Colored Glasses By Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella Blog Tour and Excerpt

I See Life Through Rosé-Colored Glasses by Lisa Scottoline

If you only know Lisa Scottoline from her Thrillers, then you are in for a treat when she joins her daughter in this humorous series of true life stories of a mother and daughter and the way they view life as two adult women in different stages of life.

From Lisa we get the stuff a lot of us are dealing with. They make the every day hilarious and you can’t help but laugh along as you are saying, ” Oh my lord, I thought that was just me!” Well, it isn’t just you and from the built-in bra dress to the napkin on her head I laughed so hard people came over and asked what I was reading. Of course I shared.

There is nothing Lisa won’t tell you. Nothing. Including her obsession with Bradley Cooper and her aversion to air conditioning. It’s fun to see Francesca’s view as she navigates the dating scene and tries to face time her mother.

We desperately need a laugh these days, so I would recommend picking this up and posting up by the pool!

Netgalley/St.Martin’s Press   July 10, 2018

Here is an excerpt of some of the hilarity!


Heat Wavering
I found out something bad about myself and I’m here to
I’m an air-conditioner tyrant.
Let me explain.
We begin when Francesca comes home from New York
so we could record the audiobook of I Need a Lifeguard
Everywhere but the Pool, so you can listen to it when you drive
around, and you have not known bliss until you have our two
Philadelphia accents in your ear on a long car ride.
You’re welcome.
Anyway, when Francesca comes home, in the middle of a
weeklong heat wave, the first thing she notices is that I don’t
have the air-conditioning on.
That was a surprise ending, wasn’t it?
You thought I was going to say that I do have the air conditioner
But in fact, one of the quirky things about me is that I don’t
like air-conditioning.
Quirky means adorable.
I don’t know why I started hating on air-conditioning,
053-73817_ch01_4P.indd 129 5/1/18 7:57 AM
130 d Scottoline and Serritella
but I always have. Even though I have central air-conditioning,
I never use it.
Please allow me to defend myself.
I don’t like feeling like I live inside a refrigerator. I like
being the same temperature as my surroundings. And I love
to throw open all the windows in the house and let in not
only the breeze, but the chirping of the birds and the fresh
green smell of mown grass.
I know, I’m so poetic.
Never mind that I’m sweating my ass off.
It’s a poetic ass.
I don’t know what to tell you, but I just like fresh air, and
the most I do to get cool is put on a fan.
It’s a $20 Lasko fan that you can buy at Home Depot, and
I own approximately eight of them. I know it’s not a classy
look for the house. When I take a picture for my author page
on Facebook, I make sure the fans don’t show.
For my fans.
Plus I’m nostalgic about fans because they remind me of
Mother Mary, and she and I used to have a famous fight,
wherein she would claim that the fan should be in the window
and turned blowing out, so the hot air was sucked out
of the room.
Which sucked.
We sweated inside the house, cooling the backyard.
She also believed that you could put two fans in opposite
windows and create cross-ventilation, but if you’re relying
on The Flying Scottolines for physics, you’re in
So when I grew up, I decided that I would have the fans
facing the way God intended, blowing air right at you. And
then I got the brilliant idea that a fan didn’t need to be in a
window at all, but can be sitting right on the kitchen island
next to you while you eat dinner.
Never mind that the fan will send tomato sauce spraying
on to your T-shirt.
Think of it as a sea breeze, only Italian.
So as soon as Francesca comes home, she starts lobbying
for me to turn on the air-conditioning, and I refuse. I tell her
about the fans and Mother Mary and how great it is to feel
the wind in your face, even if you bought the wind at Home
Francesca lets me have my way until the temperature turns
92° outside, a fact she proves by pointing to the air-conditioner
thermostat. “Mom, do you see this? This is very hot. We need
to turn on the air conditioner.”
“No we don’t. I feel fine. Sit in front of the fan.”
“I am and I’m still hot.”
“But I hate air-conditioning.”
“I love air-conditioning. Mom, can’t you compromise, just
a little?”
“No,” I tell her, meaning it. I hate compromising, too. I’ve
spent my whole life compromising and now I avoid it at every
And it feels great.
Even if I’m sweaty.
And you are, too.
You might think I’m a bad person, but I’m just a woman
who has put everyone else first for a long time, and now it’s
my turn.
If you’re a woman reading this, perhaps you identify. And
if you don’t, you’ve lived your life better than I have.
But then Francesca said to me, “Mom, look at the dogs,
they’re panting.”
So I looked over on the kitchen floor, and Francesca was
right. All six dogs had their tongues out, even though they
had their own fan. And then I realized I could give my dogs
heatstroke inside my own house.
So I compromised and turned on the air-conditioning.
And I learned something bad about myself.
That I compromised for my dogs, but not for my daughter.
A fact which I pointed out to Francesca, who just laughed.
But I learned a lesson.
Sometimes compromising is okay.
But don’t make a habit of it.
And don’t compromise a lot.
Only by degrees.

Basic and Proud of It
In the summer I drink rosé.
In the fall I drink Pumpkin Spice Lattes.
In the winter I wear Uggs.
All year long, I wear black yoga pants to do everything
but yoga.
I watch every show on Bravo.
I’m basic and proud of it.
I don’t remember exactly when I became aware of what
“basic” meant as it refers to women. Probably whatever belated
point new slang passes through black culture, then gay
culture, then teen culture, before coming to rest among millennial
white women.
Basic means mainstream, lame, unoriginal. It is used most
frequently in reference to women, often with an expletive:
Basic bitch.
I can see how, among a marginalized group, “basic” as a
putdown expresses an empowering reversal of power in an
unjust social hierarchy.
If society doesn’t accept you the way you are, screw them,
they’re just basic.
I love it used that way!

But as often happens, something got lost in translation
when the term was appropriated by a wider audience. Now
it seems the term “basic” has become a sexist dig used to undermine
women and mock those things that women enjoy.
Specifically, those things we enjoy without men’s agreement
or approval.
They don’t like how we look in Uggs.
They don’t prefer sweet, flavored coffee.
They don’t drink pink wine.
(Or they do, and they have to pretend like they don’t,
because that’s girl stuff.)
I think they’re missing out. Women have excellent taste.
There’s an irony, of course, in using the notion of generic
“basicness” of women against them, when women are otherwise
pilloried for not fitting into the narrow parameters society
lays down for us.
Everything about women is more unique than society would
like us to be. We’re too many diferent shapes and sizes, our
hair too many diferent textures, our opinions too loud and
too varied, our orgasms too complicated.
Why should we apologize for our preferences? If many
women, in all our glorious variations, agree that something
is pretty great, maybe it is.
Uggs are comfortable. I don’t care if they’re ugly. Neither
do Uggs, they tell you so right in the name.
Do you know how many women’s fashion items privilege
comfort over appearance? One: Uggs.
That’s hardly basic; it’s downright subversive.
Same with yoga pants. Do you know how much a woman
can get done in a day? On any given Saturday, she needs to
run across town, and bend to pick up the kids, and stretch to
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I See Life Through Rosé-Colored Glasses d 275
reach the top shelf at the grocery, and sit working on the
They expect us to do all that in skinny jeans?
Believe me, namaste or not, a woman’s life warrants a performance
Perhaps the most absurd assumption about the “basic bitch”
is a beverage choice or a love of elastic tells you everything
there is to know about her.
The idea that the superficial explains the interior is straight
out of the sexist playbook, and women should reject it, not
use it against each other.
The patriarchy is the original basic bitch.
Case in point: I was recently on the dating app Bumble, and
I saw a guy whose bio read, “My type: NOT a girl wearing
yoga pants and Uggs with a PSL attached to her hand.”
Mind you, this man’s profile also said he worked in finance,
went to Cornell, and enjoyed hiking, travel, and “good food.”
A true original!
I swiped right only to message him: “Finance bros in glass
office buildings shouldn’t throw stones.”
He did not reply.
Sadly, I didn’t have to wonder about the strategy of putting
down the basic girl in his dating profile. Dating apps allow
wannabe pickup artists to neg with a wide net, in other
words, use the ploy that denigrating a swath of women will
attract one via our competitive spirit and our desire to prove
ourselves worthy of his approval.
Pick me, I’m not like other women, I’m diferent and better.
Too often, it works.
When sexism in our society communicates to women,
you’re interchangeable, you’re replaceable, you’re disposable,
you’re basic, we’re inclined to defend ourselves by saying,
“Not me.”
But a better answer to that nonsense is, “Not us.”
Otherwise, we’re playing by the rules they give us, even
as we know the game is rigged. When women adopt the tactics
men use to diminish us, we all lose.
I once asked an old boyfriend to stop using the word “slut”
because it offended me. His defense was that it shouldn’t
because the word didn’t apply to me, I was classy and deserving
of respect, unlike some women.
This is some basic bullshit.
Sisters, beware. Beware the trap of elevating yourself by
trampling on other women. First, it’s wrong. And second, it
doesn’t work. What undermines one of us undermines all.
The only solution is sisterhood.
And that doesn’t mean sameness. Sisterhood means less
judgment of each other, less negative comparison. It means
greater acceptance, compassion, and expression of all our different
And some shared ones.
Pass the rosé.