SOUTHERN LADY CODE by HELEN ELLIS

Southern Lady Code

The bestselling author of American Housewife is back with a fiercely funny collection of essays on marriage and manners, thank-you notes and three-ways, ghosts, gunshots, gynecology, and the Calgon-scented, onion-dipped, monogrammed art of living as a Southern Lady.

Oh the life of a Southern Lady. I can tell you it is not easy. And this funny book of short essays gives those uninitiated in the ways of being a Southern Lady a good look at how it is done.

Ms. Ellis holds back nothing on the topics we all must deal with. How to be a Southern Lady in a time and place where people just don’t know about such things as the thank-you note rules, ghostly happenings, shooting guns and my favorite, monogramming!

We have a saying in our family. If it sits still long enough Momma will monogram it. There are rules. And I for one am happy that the author is fighting the good fight among the Yankees. Keep up the good work and thanks for the laughs and memories! There was not a single story I didn’t identify with!

Netgalley and April 16th 2019 by Doubleday Books

GRANDGHOST BY Nancy Springer

Grandghost: A Haunted House Mystery

When she unearths the bones of a young child, Beverly Vernon’s life is transformed in ways she never expected. 

Beverly Vernon is a widow who moved to Florida and is trying to adjust to the lifestyle, the language and the tea as sweet as candy!

With both of her daughters still living up north, she is on her own, with her art. She illustrates children’s books with lovely, imaginative arts. But boy would she like some grandchildren!

She is trying so hard to make sense of what her place in the world is now and when she unearths a child’s body in her back yard she gets way more excitement than she bargained for!

Obviously the poor thing met with an unkind end and she decides to paint a portrait of what the child may have looked like all those years ago. Only the painting she leaves on the easel is not the one she finds in the morning. It just may be that the child has never left the house and is trying to communicate with her.

With both daughters believing their mother has lost her marbles and her holier than though neighbor trying to get her committed to the loony bin, Beverly charges full steam ahead and tracks down this childs family with the help of some great characters.

Although this could be a ghost story it was more the story of child abuse and secrets. Secrets that ruin entire families and how by reaching out to strangers can change their life and yours. This was a heart breaking tale as well as a heart warming tale of faith, acceptance, love and making a new family.

Very nicely done. Not what I was expecting, but I still enjoyed it!

NetGalley/Severn House August 01, 2018

August 1st 2018 by Severn House Publishers

The Lucifer Chord by F.G.Cottam

The Lucifer Chord

Ruthie Gillespie’s efforts to find out the truth about a mysterious missing rock star lead her on a terrifying journey into the past. 

Researcher Ruthie Gillespie has undertaken a commission to write an essay on Martin Mear, lead singer and guitarist with Ghost Legion, the biggest, most decadent rock band on the planet, before he disappeared without trace in 1975. Her mission is to separate man from myth – but it’s proving difficult, as a series of increasingly disturbing and macabre incidents threatens to derail Ruthie’s efforts to uncover the truth about the mysterious rock star.

Just what did happen to Martin Mear back in 1975? Is he really set to return from the dead, as the band’s die-hard fans, the Legionaries, believe? It’s when Ruthie’s enquiries lead her to the derelict mansion on the Isle of Wight where Martin wrote the band’s breakthrough album that events take a truly terrifying turn …

It is so nice to have Ruthie and company back for a visit. Ruthie has been commissioned to do an essay on Martin Mear and his band, Ghost Legion, as part of a new boxed set and a tour of his music and memorabilia. But something isn’t right about any of this, she discovers as supernatural events force a medium to run for her life and more me she knows to end up dead.

Ruthie is no stranger to the supernatural or the occult forces in the world. She has come up against them before and lived to tell the tale, but will the third time be her last?

Ruthie is one of my favorite characters and I hope we will see more of her! Cottam’s writing draws you into the story and the characters and before you know it you are almost finished, so you slow down to make it last and still end up hurtling towards the end to find out what happens! As a great coincidence I had a text from a friend who is at this minute on the Isle of Wight so this seemed a sign of sorts, but by then I had devoured the entire book!

If you like secret societies, the occult, fact with fiction mixed in and a spooky setting,then you should read the books before this one as well.

Netgalley/SevernHouse September 01, 2018

F.G. Cottam

Reading is a cheap and totally effective way of being transported to another world. The same is true of writing. Mundane concerns only afflict your characters if you decide you want them to.
University was where I first thought seriously about fiction; hearing about Hemingway’s iceberg theory and Eliot’s objective correlative and having the luxury of time to ponder on the mechanics of the novel.
My first writing was journalism and pieces for I-D, Arena and The Face brought me to the attention of mainstream magazine publishers. In the ’90’s I edited FHM when it still majored on sport and fashion rather than Hollyoaks starlets and weather girls. Then I launch-edited the UK edition of Men’s Health magazine and then came to the conclusion that if I didn’t try to write some fiction it was never going to happen.
I read all kinds of fiction, but write stories with a paranormal element I think really because history fascinates me and ghosts allow the past to resonate shockingly, scarily and I hope convincingly, into the present.
I got off to an encouraging start but have suffered a few disappointments since then. I wouldn’t in honesty want to do anything else, though. If I write a terrible novel it’s my fault entirely. If I write a good novel, it’s entirely my achievement.

AFTER ANNA by LISA SCOTTOLINE

After Anna

Nobody cuts deeper than family…

Noah Alderman, a doctor and a widower, has remarried a wonderful woman, Maggie, and for the first time in a long time he and his son are happy. But their lives are turned upside down when Maggie’s daughter Anna moves in with them. Anna is a gorgeous seventeen-year-old who balks at living under their rules though Maggie, ecstatic to have her daughter back, ignores the red flags that hint at the trouble that is brewing. Events take a deadly turn when Anna is murdered and Noah is accused of the crime. Maggie must face not only the devastation of losing her only daughter, but the realization that her daughter’s murder was at the hands of a husband she loves. New information sends Maggie searching for the truth, leading her to discover something darker than she could have ever imagined.

It’s always a wild ride with Scottoline! And After Anna is no exception.

The book is told Before Anna and After Anna. Maggie had a hard time after giving birth to Anna and had bad postpartum psychosis. While she was receiving help her husband divorced her and took the baby off to France. There has been no contact since. When out of the blue a girl calls and says she is her daughter and her father is dead now.

Maggie is ecstatic to get a second chance at motherhood with Anna. Which I’m assuming is why she is completely oblivious to the Danger! Danger! signs. Feeling her own guilt for not having been a part of Anna’s life she overlooks things that the rest of saw coming a mile off.

The pace is fast and it is a page turner. Anna is about as unlikable and shady as one could be. Manipulative as heck and you will have to read it to find out why!

NetGalley/St.Martin’sPress  April 10, 2018

 

SCHOOL FOR PSYCHICS by K.C.ARCHER

School for Psychics (School for Psychics, #1)

Book One.

An entrancing new series starring a funny, impulsive, and sometimes self-congratulatory young woman who discovers she has psychic abilities—and then must decide whether she will use her skills for good or…not.

Teddy Cannon isn’t your typical twenty-something woman. She’s resourceful. She’s bright. She’s scrappy. She can also read people with uncanny precision. What she doesn’t realize: she’s actually psychic.

When a series of bad decisions leads Teddy to a run-in with the police, a mysterious stranger intervenes. He invites her to apply to the School for Psychics, a facility hidden off the coast of San Francisco where students are trained like Delta Force operatives: it’s competitive, cutthroat, and highly secretive. They’ll learn telepathy, telekinesis, investigative skills, and SWAT tactics. And if students survive their training, they go on to serve at the highest levels of government, using their skills to protect America, and the world.

In class, Teddy befriends Lucas, a rebel without a cause who can start and manipulate fire; Jillian, a hipster who can mediate communication between animals and humans; and Molly, a hacker who can apprehend the emotional state of another individual. But just as Teddy feels like she’s found where she might belong, strange things begin to happen: break-ins, missing students, and more. It leads Teddy to accept a dangerous mission that will ultimately cause her to question everything—her teachers, her friends, her family, and even herself.

While a lot of readers are calling this a fantasy YA book, I’m not sure that is the correct genre for this book.

Most of the characters are twenty-somethings and all have some type of special ability. Being a huge fan of the X Men, it felt a lot like that. A special school full of young adults learning to control their gifts and learn to use them in a productive way. In other words, working for the government.

There have been rumors for years that the government has experimented with using telekinetic powers and more to their advantage. While this can be a positive thing, you just know that some nut job is going to abuse the power.

Teddy is sarcastic and definitely her own person. Adopted, she has never known who or what she really is. It’s only through dreams that she receives messages and hints of them.The question is what happened to them and why is there so much secrecy?

I personally enjoyed the story and am glad to see that there will be more.

NetGalley/SimonSchuster  April 03, 2018

Really Good Releases This Coming Week!

More Than True: The Wisdom of Fairy Tales National Book Award-winning poet and author of the internationally best-selling Iron John, Robert Bly revisits a selection of fairy tales and examines how these enduring narratives capture the essence of human nature. Coming March 27th!

Worth Killing For Detroit newspaper reporter Julia Gooden returns in a twisting, superbly assured new mystery, where a brutal murder and a father’s sudden return may provide the answers she’s spent decades searching for . . . or lead deep into a fatal trap. Coming March 27th!

The Uninvited Corpse (Food Blogger Mysteries #1) Leaving behind a failed career as a magazine editor and an embarrassing stint on a reality baking show, newly divorced lifestyle entrepreneur Hope Early thought things were finally on the upswing—until she comes face-to-face with a murderer . . .Coming March 27th!

Til Death Do Us Party (A Liv And Di In Dixie Mystery #4) Las Vegas knows how to party, and for once, event planner Liv McKay won’t be entirely behind the scenes. The Dixie gang is in Sin City to celebrate Mama and Earl’s rockin’ Elvis-themed wedding. And between juggling the botched bachelorette party and a problem-plagued soirée back home, Liv’s ready to double down on some fun. Coming out March 27th!

Last Night There’s blood on the windscreen and bonnet – but it’s not hers and there’s no sign of anything or anyone she might have hit. The last thing she remembers is being in a hotel on a business trip but now she’s miles away. Coming March 28th!

Do you have a lot of good books releasing this week? Let me know! I enjoyed all of mine!

xx Patricia

WORTH KILLING FOR by JANE HASELDINE (Julia Gooden Mystery #3)

Worth Killing For

Detroit newspaper reporter Julia Gooden returns in a twisting, superbly assured new mystery, where a brutal murder and a father’s sudden return may provide the answers she’s spent decades searching for . . . or lead deep into a fatal trap.

This is the third Julia Gooden mystery.

Julia is a crime reporter. She sees things every day that haunt her. Not the least of which is her own childhood. A con man father who abandons them, a mother who climbs into a bottle and neglects her children. And the most haunting of all, the disappearance of her brother Ben when she was 7 and he was 9. He was more that a brother. He was her protector, her person.

After the drama of everything that has happened to this point, Julia has found a man who she loves and trusts. Her two sons are still raw from the death of their father and his secrets. But with help from a new love and a few good friends, they’re getting by.

When Julia starts investigating the murder of a young man, the nephew of a city councilman, she uncovers a string of murders that all look the same and suddenly her very life as well as her children’s are in danger.

And after 30 years her father has slithered back on the scene, setting them all up to be murdered unless Julia can figure out what really happened all those years ago and what really happened to Ben.

I really enjoy these Julia Gooden mysteries. She is such a strong, intelligent woman and at the same time such a loving and capable mother.

This is a must read!

NetGalley/March 27th 2018 by Kensington Publishing Corporation

GODS OF HOWL MOUNTAIN by TAYLOR BROWN

Gods of Howl Mountain

In Gods of Howl Mountain, award-winning author Taylor Brown explores a world of folk healers, whiskey-runners, and dark family secrets in the high country of 1950s North Carolina.

Bootlegger Rory Docherty has returned home to the fabled mountain of his childhood – a misty wilderness that holds its secrets close and keeps the outside world at gunpoint. Slowed by a wooden leg and haunted by memories of the Korean War, Rory runs bootleg whiskey for a powerful mountain clan in a retro-fitted ’40 Ford coupe. Between deliveries to roadhouses, brothels, and private clients, he lives with his formidable grandmother, evades federal agents, and stokes the wrath of a rival runner.

In the mill town at the foot of the mountains – a hotbed of violence, moonshine, and the burgeoning sport of stock-car racing – Rory is bewitched by the mysterious daughter of a snake-handling preacher. His grandmother, Maybelline “Granny May” Docherty, opposes this match for her own reasons, believing that “some things are best left buried.” A folk healer whose powers are rumored to rival those of a wood witch, she concocts potions and cures for the people of the mountains while harboring an explosive secret about Rory’s mother – the truth behind her long confinement in a mental hospital, during which time she has not spoken one word. When Rory’s life is threatened, Granny must decide whether to reveal what she knows…or protect her only grandson from the past.

With gritty and atmospheric prose, Taylor Brown brings to life a perilous mountain and the family who rules it.

It’s the 1950’s in Howl Mountain,North Carolina. Rory is back from the Korean War, minus one leg, but alive. Living with his grandmother up on the mountain, making a living running shine and trying to evade the government men and the competition.

His mother is in a mental institution and hasn’t spoken a word since she was sentenced there. Only she knows what really happened to put her there. There are many stories and secrets that everyone would just like to see stay buried. And Granny is one of those.

How far will things go before she may have to take action?

This is the first of Brown’s books that I have read, but not the last. Great Job!

NetGalley/St.Martin’s Press March 20, 2018

KILLING IN C SHARP~A Gethsamane Brown Mystery~ by ALEXIA GORDON

Killing in C Sharp (Gethsemane Brown Mysteries #3)

Gethsemane Brown fought off an attack by a sleazy hotel developer who wanted to turn her Irish cottage into a tourist trap. Now she must face a vengeful ghost determined to exact revenge for her murder centuries ago.

This ghost’s wrath spares no one—not Gethsemane’s students, Inspector Niall O’Reilly, fellow teacher Frankie Grennan, or a group of ghost hunters descended on Dunmullach to capture proof ghosts exist.

Proof Gethsemane has to quash to keep Eamon, her resident ghost and friend, from becoming an internet sensation.

As if a spiteful specter wasn’t bad enough, a crooked music reviewer turns up dead in the opera house orchestra pit, a famous composer is arrested for the crime, and Gethsemane must team up with a notorious true-crime author to clear his name.

If she doesn’t, friends will die, a ghost she cares about will never know peace, and she’ll star in a final act gruesome enough for any opera.

Gethsemane Brown and her very dead friend, Eamon are just settling back into life at the cottage when Billy tosses her the news that he has invited a group of Ghost Hunters and their entire television crew to set up shop and try to find Eamon.

Looking forward to the arrival of Aed Devlin to liven up the village with his new opera based on an old tale and a curse. When the critic who ruined his career is found dead in the orchestra pit and all the men start falling like dominoes, Gethsemane isn’t the only one seeing a terrifying apparition on stage.

Teaming up with Eamon and true crime writer Venus, she sets out to find out exactly who is involved and why before there are more deaths.

I enjoy every character in this series. Smart, strong woman teaching music and learning to live with a ghost? Yes please, I’m in!

Well Done!

Netgalley/Henery Press  March 06, 2018

Scandal by Sasha Morgan *Blog Tour*

Scandal

As the new custodian of the ancestral home, Treweham Hall, Tobias Cavendish-Blake soon discovers exactly what he’s inherited. Instant financial action is needed if the Hall is to survive the mounting debts it’s racking up. Adding insult to injury the family is forced to sell the Gate House on the estate to lottery winners Gary and Tracy Belcher – not the kind of neighbours Tobias was hoping for.

Megan Taylor inherits her grandmother’s country cottage in the village of Treweham and decides to make a fresh start there, taking a job at the local country pub.

When Megan meets Tobias, the attraction is clear, but she is determined to resist his charms, put off by his reputation and that of his best friends – the rakish Seamus Fox, son of a millionaire race horse trainer and dastardly jockey Dylan Delany. But Tobias is a hard man to resist…

This was a sweet story. The descriptions of the characters and the Cotswolds was very well done.

Megan learns two things. Her boyfriend is an ass and her Grandmother has died, leaving her cottage in the Cotswolds to her. A change of scene is just what she needs. Moving into her Grandmother’s cottage, she gets a job at the local pub, meets her neighbors and gets gobsmacked by the hunky Lord of the manor!

But is it Megan he wants or does she simply remind him of his dead fiancee?

I really enjoyed this story. The setting, the characters. There were some hilarious moments and some sad moments and a really big secret!

I have no problem recommending this book. What I had a problem with was the cover. What was the big Scandal? And who is the blonde? Where is that pool? Please stick another cover on this because it really deserves it! And hopefully we will get to see more of these characters! I can see this being a lovely series!

Netgalley/Aria

Exclusive Excerpt:

It was day break. A rosy, warm sunrise glowed over the vall

ey. Galloping through the

early morning mist, Tobias Cavendish-Blake finally slowed his h

orse to survey the

sight before him. Treweham Hall stood proud and majestic agai

nst the smooth, rolling

hills. The imposing building was made of sandstone with four co

rner turrets and

sturdy buttresses that gave it a castle-like appearance. Gothi

c windows with stained

glass twinkled in the sunlight. He sighed heavily: would it alway

s remain so resilient,

the fortress of his family?

That seemed dubious, going through the estate accounts. His fa

ther, the late Lord

Richard Cavendish-Blake, had looked after the place well

too well. All the

contingency funds had haemorrhaged, bled completely dry re

lentlessly maintaining

the upkeep of the Hall. The outgoings far outweighed the incom

ings. The payroll of

the staff alone made Tobias

eyes water, not to mention the colossal energy bills.

Tobias had suggested shutting down the many vast unused rooms, but

his mother

wouldn

t hear of it. Lady Cavendish-Blake had been sheltered by

her late husband,

leaving her totally oblivious to the fact that her home was a m

oney pit and the current

state of affairs could only be described as dire. As the

new custodian, it was down to

Tobias to keep the place running. He was responsible not only for

the staff, but the

village tenants too. Feeling the burden weighing down on his broad

shoulders, he

realised it was time to grow up. Time to settle down. The future

meant kissing

goodbye to the wild parties for which he was notorious.

His thoughts turned back to his thirtieth birthday bash, making hi

m wince. It hadn

t been so much a party, more a two-week brawl around Europe

with a few friends,

including his oldest childhood chum, Seamus Fox, son of a m

illionaire racehorse

trainer. The two of them together had been a lethal c

ombination, each egging the

other on, the more daring and outrageous the exploits the

better, resulting in the

occasional brush with the tabloids. The picture of him an

d Seamus plastered over the

fr

ont page of a newspaper showing them tumbling out of a St Tr

opez nightclub,

legless (and trouserless) with a beauty on each arm, was

one he couldn

t forget. His

father wouldn

t let him. They

d been dubbed

the Heir and the Fox

. Ironically,

Tobias wasn

t a natural wild child, the opposite in fact.

His one true love, Carrie, had been a local girl from t

he village. They

d always

been close. Even when he had been sent to Eton they

d written, phoned and

constantly made arrangements to meet. When Tobias had tur

ned twenty-one he had

proposed, claiming she was the only thing he wanted. Both families

had been happy

with the arrangement. Carrie

s parents were glad that being married to Tobias meant

she would stay in the village close to them and obviously be well l

ooked after.

Tobias

parents were just plain relieved he wanted to settle down wit

h a sensible,

local girl, instead of turning to drink and drugs like so many of hi

s peers. Then one

year after their spectacular engagement celebration, C

arrie had been hit by a drunken

driver and killed instantly. Tobias had been inconsolable; no

t even the Fox could calm

him. He turned his back on society and locked himself away, refus

ing to talk or open

up to anyone. His mother had been sick with worry, every a

ttempt to reach him futile.

Then, as if overnight, he completely changed. After twelv

e months of grieving,

Tobias stopped being angry with the world and everyone in it

and decided to rip the

hell out of it instead. He forced himself to live life to the

max, which meant spending

his considerable allowance on any substance necessary to ge

t the highs he craved, not

to mention a string of stunning girlfriends who were more th

an happy to be

showcased on the arm of a lord