The Hour of the Witch

This is one you don’t want to miss!


A little teaser for you for an amazing novel that is set to be released May 4, 2021. I would DEFINITELY go ahead and preorder this and quick! Cheating spouses, lies, and a good old witch trial… sign me up! 😁

Absolutely riveting historical fiction that carries the thick, atmospheric suspense used in most thrillers. This slow built drama is led by its compelling heroine Mary Deerfield, a young wife who finds the physical and moral courage to stand up for herself in a time when women could be hung as witches… Hour of the Witch is a woman’s story, a romance, a history lesson, and a legal thriller, while also illustrating
how rough justice can get when religion and institutional sexism meet and become bitterly entwined.

This is a book I will absolutely recommend.

This is another amazing display of talent by a fabulous story teller who excels when writing from the perspective of a woman.

Special thanks to NetGalley, Chris Bohjalian, and Doubleday Books for sharing this ARC with me in exchange my honest opinions.

Later

Well, once again Mr. King has proven that he is the master of the horror genre, and an overall brilliant story teller. This short novella once again is a coming of age story, an area in which his talents as an author truly shine, that is such an engrossing and fast paced tale that will suck you in and drag you along until returning you breathless back to your own home, a completed novel in your hand, and missing time that you feel like never happened.

Your engineer on this runaway mining train from hell is none other than James (or Jimmie), the son of a literary agent that has one hell of a tale to tell. You meet him at age 6, and will be whipped and spun through his childhood and young adult life, seeing and cringing from all that he does. This is a horror story after all. Though I could tell you so much about his haunts, to do so would lessen your experience with Later. So trust me, sit back, strap in, and kiss your loved ones as you climb aboard this crazy, rocket fueled ride that is the latest from the mind of a true horror legend. Be sure to run (don’t walk) and grab your copy of LATER now! Enjoy my friends!

See you, Later!

The Patient

An out of the way, unnamed, dark, bleak asylum contains a dangerous patient who is rumored to be able to ruin, haunt, or even snuff out the lives of the people try to cure him. A young idealist psychiatrist, still grappling with his own childhood trauma is driving to his first assignment after graduating from school. When these two things collide, you have a chillingly haunted tale that you should not pass over.

If that isn’t enough to grab you by the arm and pull you close, how about the combination of the plot’s beginning resembling A Silent Patient, the story’s intricately built world reminding you of Stephen King, mashed with Peter Straub’s creepy, eerie, blood freezing stories as a comparison for your horror addled brains. You will absolutely go mad when you jump in to read this novella and devour it in one sitting, biting your nails, holding on to your favorite stuffed animal, feeling like something is watching you yet trying to remain brave. You will want to stop reading, scared but not wanting to admit it, it’s okay- just leave the light on … in EVERY room in the house. Go on, pick up your book and let’s start at the beginning.

The story is told through Parker’s (full name redacted of course, for privacy sake) entries to an internet message board describing his time working at the asylum (which of course also has just a pseudonym – we wouldn’t want Parker to be sued now would we?) and meeting with patient named Joe who hasn’t been diagnosed properly in the THREE DECADES he has been housed there. Mysteriously, other patients crossing paths with him end up committing suicide or suffering from mental breakdowns. Parker has volunteered to take on Joe’s case (as he carries a deep remorse that he couldn’t save his schizophrenic mother from herself and her mistreatment in her asylum,) thinking he will be the one to solve the mystery of Joe. But of course this poor young man has no idea what he’s getting into!

Joe has been in the hospital since he was six. His parents brought him because of extreme night terrors and wild tales of monsters in his walls. Did he have a complex, thrilling imagination? Did someone abuse him? What was happening to that boy? Nobody found it including his dead cellmates.

When Parker finally meets and interviews him, Joe insists there is nothing wrong with him and he is being held at this place without his consent and nobody wants to believe him.

Who is telling the truth? Has Parker put himself and other people’s lives in danger with his obsession to treat this “untreatable” patient? This is where you’ll have to run and grab your copy of this amazing novella fo find out!

This was attention keeping, nail biting, fast past reading with a dark and intense ending to the story. Believe me, it’s worth the read. Definitely a 4/5 star read for me and I will be on the lookout for more books by the talented Jasper Dewitt!

Soar Adam Soar!

Adam Prashaw’s life was an adventure from the moment he was born. Assigned female at birth, he spent years living as “Rebecca Danielle Adam Prashaw” before coming to terms with being a transgender man and sharing that with the world openly. Adam captured hearts with his humor, compassion, zest for life. and his intensity for life itself. After a tragic accident while swimming cut his life short, he left a legacy of changed lives and a plethora of social media posts documenting his life, relationships, transition, and struggles with epilepsy, all with remarkable transparency, boldness, bravery, and directness. Your foray through Adam’s life also shows you that despite pure love for your child, the distance that “growing up” (never mind “growing up” with gender identity issues) creates between parent and child, and how hard it can be for parents to supress their protective urges when it comes to their children and allowing them the room to grow into their own person, whomever that may be. It spotlights a deeply emotional relationship between a father and son, and the oceans of support and unconditional love always present in Adam’s life. 

This is a powerful tale of not just strength, resilience, and hope, but also of acceptance, grace, and the ever present legacy we leave behind with family, friends, and the world as a whole. 

I extend my utmost gratitude to NetGalley, Tantor Audio, and the author Rick Prashaw for this audiobook ARC in exchange for my unbiased review. 

Initially I did find the narrator off putting, robotic, and sometimes inappropriate, however when I read the note from the publisher, that the narrator is the recipient of Adam’s heart, how can you find fault in what you hear. It’s coming from that deep place of love allowing part of Adam to continue on. Definitely worth the read (or listen if you don’t mind an audiobook narrated by someone with a few “quirks” to their speech patterns!) A 3.5 star audiobook for me.

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

A beautifully crafted tale to add to your TBR list!

Sarah Penner’s debut novel is a dual timeline story moving between 1791, with apothecary Nella dispensing cleverly disguised poisons to women desperate to stop the abusiveness of the men in their lives, and modern day, with Caroline, a woman who had dreams of becoming a historian, but who set aside her dreams so her husband could achieve his dreams. When Caroline finds out her husband is cheating on her a few days before their 10th anniversary trip to London, she decides to go to London by herself. When she finds a blue vial with an unusual etching on it, she decides to delve deeper and find out what the vial is. It is then that her life intersects with the life of the 1791 apothecary.

Penner has written an atmospheric and well-paced novel that takes her readers to 1791 where they can almost feel the despair and desperation of the people, especially women, in the back alleys of London. The characters are well drawn and likable and readers will quickly feel like they know them. As the author switches between the timelines, readers will find one timeline as engrossing as the other.

This is a story of secrets, revenge, betrayal, poisons and potions, and a network of women who are determined to control their fates. This is a fast paced debut novel rich in historical detail with unforgettable characters that will keep you turning the pages until the final chapter!

If this is your first foray into historical fiction or if you’re a long-time fan of historical fiction, put this book at the top of your to-be-read list.

I will be anxiously awaiting the next breathtaking novel written by the amazing Sarah Penner. 

So many thanks to Harlequin Park Row and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my complete and unbiased review. 

An Anonymous Girl

The next time you consider signing up for a research study, you might want to think twice—and, in my opinion, you will after reading this book!

You’re Invited: Seeking women aged 18 to 32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality conducted by a preeminent NYC psychiatrist. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed. Call for more details.

Jess is a makeup artist who came to New York dreaming of a career in the theater. When she overhears a client thinking about not showing up for a research study she was supposed to participate in—and it pays $500—Jess decides there’s nothing wrong with pretending to fill in for the young woman since $500 would really help with her rent.

Jess figures all she’ll need to do is answer some questions, collect her money, and leave. She wasn’t expecting the questions to be difficult, like Could you tell a lie without feeling guilty? Describe a time in your life when you cheated, or Have you ever deeply hurt someone you care about? But more than that, she wasn’t expecting the psychiatrist conducting the study—whom she never met—to give feedback on her answers and encourage her to be more honest and more in-depth. She has no idea that she’s enlisted to be a pawn in someones psychological warfare to test their husband’s fidelity.

As the sessions continue, and the payoff increases, Jess can’t help but wonder what the study really is all about (and rightly so!). While she is utterly unsettled when the psychiatrist asks whether Jess would be willing to expand her participation in the study, she starts to contemplate it. But when Jess learns that the compensation would be significantly higher, there’s no way she can turn the request down.

Or is it?

Expanding her participation in the study is definitely not what she expected. The psychiatrist (the world-renowned Dr. Lydia Shields) starts to tell Jess where to go, how to dress, and whom to meet—and in some cases, that entails striking up a conversation with a specific man. Jess begins feeling uncomfortable and wonders exactly what Dr. Shields wants to accomplish (I mean, at this point, wouldn’t you?). More and more, she questions whether she can trust the doctor—and then Jess finds something she needs to hide from her, or the doctor could destroy her life.

She better, or this one just may destroy her!

An Anonymous Girl is a wild book, full of twists and turns. You wonder how you might react in the same situation, but at the same time, I found myself shaking my head in disbelief almost as if I was watching a predictable horror movie “don’t go up the stairs alone” moment at times. An Anonymous Girl is a so much more nuanced than a B movie though. The pacing of the book was terrific, and I was hooked from start to finish. Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen are on their way to becoming co-author psychological thriller legends. Their first novel together The Wife Between Us came out in 2017 and now with An Anonymous Girl this year, they are quickly establishing themselves as a power writing duo.

And the verdict is…

This was a strong 4.5 out of 5 stars read for me, and I highly recommend you get your copy today! The only disappointment you will feel is when the novel is finished.

The Line That Held Us

Darl Moody is just a regular guy trying to fill his freezer with deer meat before winter comes. When he’s sure he has seen a colossal buck roaming another man’s land, he needs to find it. He knows that poaching is wrong, and he knows it’s even worse when you’re hunting off the land of a man who is out of town for his sister’s funeral, but this buck could provide enough for him and his family to eat. Although the massive buck proves elusive, he spots a wild hog and takes aim. He doesn’t expect to accidentally bring down a human—and he definitely doesn’t expect to fell Carol Brewer of the infamously violent Brewer family, a clan that even “Jesus Christ couldn’t have saved.” Despite his attempts to cover his tracks, this mistake conjures a revenge tornado in the form of the murderous Dwayne Brewer, brother of Carol Brewer, whose grief will only be tempered when he delivers vengeance in the form of grotesque and unspeakable acts to Darl and those closest to him.

This isn’t a happy read, but it is powerful—even gut-wrenching at times—and you probably can predict how the story will unfold. But David Joy is an exceptional storyteller, and even the commonplace becomes more fascinating when seen through Joy’s unique lens for storytelling. He so accurately evokes the mounting sense of dread, the fear, the unhinged madness that his characters feel, and he draws you into a story and keeps you turning the pages of this tale faster and faster towards the bloody and cringeworthy conclusion.

Fair warning: this is a book with some graphically depicted violence (mostly toward humans and once toward an animal) and some pretty detailed descriptions of the process a body goes through once a person’s life ends. If those things are triggers for you, you’ll probably want to pass this one by.

But if you’re down with a hair raising, stomach churning, action packed read, then this book is for you! What do I mean? Think Cormac McCarthy or your favorite Quentin Tarantino film. That’s the kind of oh-shit-what’s-gonna-happen-next ride you’re in for here. This is also a surprisingly philosophical book. Who gets to mete out justice? Isn’t “an eye for an eye” fair? For all its homespun wisdom, though, what The Line That Held Us really nails is the plot—and what could be filled more with plot than the woodland disputes of trigger-happy vigilantes? So get this book, find a quiet place with your favorite blanket, hunker down, and enjoy this 4.5 star book by the talented Mr. Joy! You won’t be sorry you did.

Walking Alone

Do you know what is the best part about Fall? It’s definitely not the pumpkin spice over here, y’all! It’s the horror, horror, horror fests! That’s right! The creep me out, scare me so bad I want to cry, and please impress me haunts of the season that get THIS girls blood pumping! And who knows how to spot horror better than just about anyone you ask? Why that would be my friends over at Cemetery Dance Publications, and boy do they have some doozies in the pipelines!

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Dropping in as one of my all time favorites is none other than the man Stephen King has called “a master of the macabre,” Bentley Little himself! This amazing author has had books that have been the stuff of my nightmares for YEARS, and his short story collection ‘Walking Alone’ does not disappoint. This gem provides twenty-seven tales in a time walk of terror, spanning from 1985 – 2017. That’s THIRTY-TWO YEARS of mind bending, spine tingling, horror inducing writing sure to please just about ANY horror fan!

giphyDo you like horrible, misshapen, deformed, killer attack babies? Oh yeah, he has a story for you! What about killer snowmen? Check! Haunted carwashes? Killer grandparents? Twisted children’s hospital patients? He definitely had MY curiosity peaked!

sourceThen, if you dare, you can creep into tales like “The Maid” which made me question whether I ever wanted to travel again, and if I did, would I think twice about calling for more towels, or… anything really.

giphy1One of my favorite stories may just be the shortest story in the book called “A Random Thought From God’s Day.” Makes you stop and think about what all would constitute going straight to hell.

sins3This is a collection that no horror enthusiast should pass by! Many thanks to Cemetery Dance Publications for the ARC they provided, and to you, the avid reader, make your way to Cemetery Dance Publications and look for this as well as their other terrifying tales for all your nightmare needs! I can’t wait to see what they put out next!

giphy2

Cemetery Dance Publications

 

Catching up…

So, I am working on a blog to catch up on my absence, but while I am writing I thought I would share what happens when you combine the love of books and the love of art. My beautiful, artistic daughter is starting an Etsy store, so this is one of my contributions to help her. Book Folding Art

Go check it out! This is the BEST surprise gift for any occasion. I’ll be adding new patterns to her store soon! Help support this artsy little girl in her first quest to become a business owner. (And she has some CRAZY talent!)

https://www.etsy.com/listing/594378889/folded-book-art-completed-heart

This Is How It Always Is

This was a 5 out of 5 stars read for me!

 

“This is Claude. He’s five years old, the youngest of five brothers, and loves peanut butter sandwiches. He also loves wearing a dress, and dreams of being a princess.”

Don’t we all? Aren’t we all looking for that fairy tale ending?

But this is a story of more than just a five-year-old little boy who wants to be a girl. This is a story about a family that has learned to keep a secret, but this secret has the capacity to blow the family apart.

Rosie and Penn have a wonderful marriage. They were in love from the start. Four boys later, they decide to try once more for a girl and they get Claude, their smart, quirky, fifth son who longs to be a girl.

This causes a conundrum in their lives. Rosie and Penn aren’t sure what to do. Do they nurture their youngest son’s wish, stares and cruel comments from society, or do they explain to Claude that boys don’t wear dresses, and he is really a boy despite how he feels on the inside?

 

For a while, Claude settles for dressing as a boy for school and changing into girl clothes when he returns home, but that really doesn’t make him happy. He wants to be a girl.

“How did you teach your small human that it’s what’s inside that counts when the truth was everyone was pretty preoccupied with what you put on over the outside too?”

 

As Claude grows, he becomes Poppy, and Rosie and Penn encourage her to be true to her feelings and who she is. But is that the right parenting choice for a child so young in age, and when society doesn’t agree? What are the next steps in this journey, not only for Poppy and her parents but her brothers as well, who weren’t given a choice?

What choice is the right one? How will Penn and Rosie know if they’re acting in their child’s best interests or the best interests of all of their children? How do they protect their child from what they know the world always seems to have in store for people who are different?

This amazing tale is not preachy about the subject of transgendered people and their journey, and I found it to be so well written that I fell in love with Claude and his journey. There is no pretense that this journey is perfect for anyone, and the biggest message I found was that it is just as easy to make mistakes by doing and saying things to others in their journey as it is by not doing or saying them. Everyone’s journey is their own, and we all deserve support no matter where or what our journey holds.

This is a book that everyone should read. It is moving in merely its presence. It carries a message that we all should learn.

 

“For my child, for all our children, I want more options, more paths through the woods, wider ranges of normal, and unconditional love.”  

Do yourself a favor and read this book today!

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