First of all I want to say THANK YOU to Simon & Schuster Scout Press & NetGalley for my advanced copy of The Drowning Kind by Jennifer Mc Mahon. Without the wonderful publishers and Netgalley I wouldn’t have the opportunity to review so many fantastic books. I love what I do, and I couldn’t do it without them!
So, let’s talk about this delicious morsel- Not only is this book beautiful, it is a modern day ghost story and that is something I can NOT miss! Jennifer McMahon is the author of one of my favorite books, The Winter People, and from the sound of it, this book is going to be just as good.
Be careful what you wish for. When social worker Jax receives nine missed calls from her older sister, Lexie, she assumes that it’s just another one of her sister’s episodes. Manic and increasingly out of touch with reality, Lexie has pushed Jax away for over a year. But the next day, Lexie is dead: drowned in the pool at their grandmother’s estate. When Jax arrives at the house to go through her sister’s things, she learns that Lexie was researching the history of their family and the property. And as she dives deeper into the research herself, she discovers that the land holds a far darker past than she could have ever imagined.
In 1929, thirty-seven-year-old newlywed Ethel Monroe hopes desperately for a baby. In an effort to distract her, her husband whisks her away on a trip to Vermont, where a natural spring is showcased by the newest and most modern hotel in the Northeast. Once there, Ethel learns that the water is rumored to grant wishes, never suspecting that the spring takes in equal measure to what it gives.
Do you like ghost stories? Paranormal thrillers that will keep you up at night, guessing and checking every noise you hear? If that is your jam, Jennifer McMahon is your girl! I was never really into the paranormal stuff until I read The Winter People, and I was hooked. Not only does she write a kickass ghost story, but the mystery had me reeling! I love a good twisty book.
What is your favorite ghost story?
The Drowning Kind will be published on April 06, 2021, so keep an eye out for it!
Flora Dane is a victim. Flora Dane is a survivor. Flora Dane is reckless. . Lisa Gardner has an exquisite way of storytelling that puts you directly into the mind of Florence Dane, kidnapping victim. Florence has been a survivor for 472 days. She was the girl who fed the foxes, loved the sunshine on her face, the girl who grew up playing on her momma’s farm in Maine. Flora is the girl who was abducted from a Florida beach while on spring break from college. 472 days ago.
This is my first Lisa Gardner book, and I just have one question- where have these books been all my life? I have read a lot of mysteries and psychological thrillers and I tend to figure them out pretty early on. This book was anything but predictable, and even though I did figure out the culprit near the end of the book, it didn’t take away from the story for me at all. This book was a beautiful unraveling with so many symbolic references that complimented the story perfectly. If you like psychological thrillers, and a good, solid mystery you will love this book. This is the 8th book in the Detective D.D. Warren series, who, by the way is a badass, strong female protagonist, which I can’t get enough of! I’m still wondering how I missed the first 7 books, but now I have something to catch up on, because I’m officially a Lisa Gardner fan girl, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Get this book. Read this book- and let’s talk about this book! It’s a fantastic story that is relevant and beautifully told.
My Bookstagram is something that brings me a lot of joy. The people I have met through my insta and blog have been so lovely, positive and supportive. I have made a lot of friends on this journey. I love being able to show support for emerging authors, and those that have been in the game awhile and may not need it, but have an amazing piece of work that deserves nothing less than a blast on social media! I love hearing from authors and it humbles me when an author reaches out to me with kind words and would like me to help promote their work. Honestly, you won’t find a more positive place on social media than Bookstagram, so if you’re feeling down, (hello 2020🙄) go check out all the wonderful bookstagrams on insta, I promise it will brighten your day!
The most recent addition to the Last Kids on Earth series follows June DelToro on a wild, monster slaying ride!
Everyone in my family loves this series, and it’s one of the few series that my son has completely devoured! These awesome graphic novels are quick reads packed with crazy monsters, awesome weapons, and cool kids!
If a zombie-monster apocalypse ever happened, I would definitely want these kids on my team!
Casey McQuiston’s debut novel is a morsel! With a refreshing combination of some of my favorite guilty pleasures-British royals, American politics, and a good sex scandal, I was instantly enamored. Alex is the son of the U.S. president. A charming, driven political up-and-comer. When Alex and his sister June attend the royal wedding, Alex “accidentally” pushes his nemesis Harry (THE PRINCE OF WALES) into the GASP- $75,000 ROYAL WEDDING CAKE! Alex and Harry caused quite the media frenzy, and trying to avoid any international conflict, Alex’s mom (the POTUS, btw😍) and her team start damage control. As Both sides force Alex and Henry into damage control, their friendship blooms into a romance that has Alex questioning his sexuality, and honestly…..YAASSS QUEEN!
This book is everything, and TOTALLY worth the book hangover. The politics give me hope, and the love story is perfection. READ.THIS.BOOK.
Sidenote- Casey Mc Quiston’s next book “One Last Stop” will be out next year, and for those of you who fell as in love with Alex and Harry as I did, Casey McQuiston has said, and I quote….”I would be surprised if you’ve seen the last of Alex and Henry.” It’s not over guys!
Go buy this book, I hope you love it as much as I did.
Hello Friends! It’s Monday, and I know Mondays are tough! If you, like me have spent the last few days at home trying to avoid every other living person on planet earth, I KNOW you are getting some serious cabin fever! I am with you, friends!
Today I am going to shine a spotlight on Lisa Matthews’ DEBUT novel, Death by Curiosity, which is one of my favorite reads this year! If you are into magical realism, witches, cults and enjoy a good mystery with fun characters, you have to pick up this book! Death by Curiosity is the first book in the Armitage Black series, and GOOD NEWS- the sequel will be released next year!!! EEK!
Lisa Matthews is not only an amazing storyteller, she is a lovely person that I always look forward to talking to, so I’m really excited to share my interview with all of you!
Everyone knows that witches aren’t real. And yet when the sleepy village of Habely is rocked by a series of bizarre murders and James Pettyfer is arrested after being caught whilst disposing of the bodies, he claims that he was made to do it by Elodia Knight – a lady who’s capable of magic and can get into other people’s souls.
Armitage Black is a very relatable, witty protagonist. She is a police typist that will stop at nothing to solve the mystery of the dead bodies that keep appearing in the woods of her sleepy town. Elodia Knight is a local witch with a devious plan, AND a coven of people who worship her, and stop at nothing to see her plan through.
I enjoyed this book, and what I enjoyed most was the witty banter between Armitage and, well everyone. I related to Armitage, she was a very real protagonist that had me laughing out loud several times throughout the book.
I am giving this book a solid 4 stars. It had a strong premise and a fun story. At some points during the book I felt overwhelmed with detail, and to get through a scene sometimes took paragraphs and paragraphs of detail, which wore me out a bit. The magical realism in the book fell flat for me, but I don’t think that took away from the story.
This is a solid mystery with a great cast of relatable characters, and I will definitely be reading the next installment in the Armitage Black series!
SO, lets talk about your debut novel, “Death by Curiosity”, the first book in the Armitage Black series. I just recently finished it, and it was a fun read! I like the way Armitage’s character developed throughout the book. Where did you get your inspiration for her character?Believe it or not, Armitage was actually inspired by Sherlock Holmes! I have to admit, I’ve never read any of the actual books – not for lack of trying – but I absolutely loved the first Robert Downey Jr film and the modern show starring Benedict Cumberbatch. I remember watching both and thinking how much I’d love to write something like that. I had a vague idea about what I wanted to write for a few years, but it wasn’t until I started working in the Typing Pool for my local Police Force that I realised how Armitage would find a way in to the case – I’m not sure Armitage would’ve had her story told if it wasn’t for that job! This is your debut novel, which blew my mind, because it was so well written, and so incredibly witty! At times I was laughing out loud! How did writing/publishing your first book change your writing process?Thank you very much! I’m really glad you enjoyed it 🙂 I actually wrote the book about eight years ago now, and this has been its third (and final) rewrite. I think my own life experiences have helped in reshaping Armitage – I’ve grown up a lot since the first version – but I also think it helped to really know the characters. I’ve hand-written three sequels so far, which has allowed more development of the characters, and Armitage & Co have been in my life for so long that I know how each of them would act and react much more now than I did when I first started writing about them. I loved the supernatural realism in Death by Curiosity, and let’s be honest, witches and cults make fun reading too! Do you live in an area with a lit of witchcraft history, or is that just something you are interested in? What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?Unfortunately, I don’t! The nearest place with a supernatural history is Whitby, which is much more about Dracula than witches. I’ve tried a few stories about witches over the years, but this is the first one that really found its way. One of the things I really enjoyed about writing the book was that I didn’t have to do any research whatsoever – I spent most of my teenage years writing about twins who were the Presidents’ kids, so that took a lot of Googling about High School grades and American politics. Because Habely and the surrounding areas are only based on my own home town and region, and because of the witch element, it was such a breath of fresh air to just get stuck in and write whatever I wanted to.
Let’s be honest here, Armitage is kind of a badass, and so is Elodia Knight! How did you select the names of your characters? I love books that have characters with unique names, and I have always been curious about how authors choose the names of their characters! You should see the list of original names I have in the notebook I first wrote Armitage in! I always wanted Armitage to have a unique name, primarily because who she was inspired by. She was originally going to be called Fallon Blackwood, but I can’t say I was every in love with the name. As soon as I stumbled upon the name Armitage, I knew that was the right choice for her. Elodia Knight was much easier – I wanted something that sounded vaguely witchy, and the name just popped into my head. To this day, I have no idea where I got Elodia from – but I think it suits her down to a T. Hadaway was actually the hardest character to find a name for – I have two long lists of names just for him!
Death by Curiosity is a fast paced, fun mystery and I loved every scene! Was there anything that you chose to edit out of the book? Yes, I took loads out this time. In the previous versions, there was a lot of Armitage arguing with herself about Hadaway, and I realised that that was telling more than showing – so I took all of that out and tried to make it more subtle. I moved a couple of scenes around and took a whole scene out, because it didn’t add anything to the story. Luckily for me, I absolutely love editing 🙂 I would think that the magical realism would be a hard thing to write about in a believable way, but you smashed it! What was the hardest scene in the book to write?The fight scenes are always hard to write; I’m not a natural action writer, but I knew that there had to be some scraps in there. I constantly question myself as well, asking myself if what I’m writing is believable in terms of Police procedure – but where it isn’t, I’d like to go ahead and claim poetic license 🙂 Armitage is getting a sequel soon, and I am SO EXCITED about it! How many books do you predict will be in the series, and can you give us an idea of what Armitage will be up to in the next book?Thank you! I’m really excited too 🙂 there will be ten books in Armitage’s series – the first four are already written, and I’m typing up the second book at every chance I can (although admittedly I’ve been distracted by wedding planning over the last couple of weeks). I’m really nervous about the next one – I know I struggled with the handwritten version, so I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself to get it right. I know there’s a lot of waffle in there that needs to come out, so I’m also really excited to see how it turns out. The supernatural realism will continue, but this time it’s a demon instead of a witch. (If it sounds a bit out-there, bear with and all will be revealed.) Hadaway’s got a temporary promotion in this book, and he’s determined that Armitage won’t get any chances to get herself involved in this case. You also get to meet Armitage’s older sister, Coveney, who’ll cause a bit of chaos of her own. After reading Death by Curiosity, and it being your debut novel, it is clear that you have amazing talent when it comes to storytelling. have you always wanted to be a writer?Thank you, that’s really kind! I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember – I’ve always wanted to see my name on the front cover of a book. I wrote my first short story when I was about seven or eight (in bright red Jokerman font on the first computer we had), and I was writing from being ten – mainly the Presidents’ twins mentioned above, but also a few stories that didn’t get past the first chapter. I came up with plenty of ideas as a teenager that I still remember, and I’m planning to revisit them some day. What advice would you give the Lisa that is just beginning her writing journey, and have you gotten any good advice from any other authors along the way?The biggest surprise I got with Armitage – and the thing I enjoyed the most when I was handwriting the first draft – was that the story went in a totally different direction than I originally meant it to. So I guess my advice would be to not put pressure on yourself – just put pen to paper and let it flow, and let yourself enjoy it. Also to develop your own cures to Writers’ Block; it’s going to happen, and everyone’s got their own way through it – what works for one person won’t necessarily work for another. And last but not least, the question I ask every author I interview, What is your favorite under-appreciated novel?Oooo, good question! I don’t know if it’s under-appreciated, but I’m the only person I know who’s read it – so I’m going to say Marley & Me. I absolutely love it, and it’s even better than the film – it’s got more stories than those that made it into the movie. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll coo over the pictures. It’s really well-written, and I never get tired of reading it.
“I can feel the irrationality and anxiety draining my store of energy like a battery-operated racecar grinding away in the corner. This is the energy I will need to get through the next day. But I just lie in bed and watch it burn, and with it any hope for a productive tomorrow. There go the dishes, there goes the grocery store, there goes exercise, there goes bringing in the garbage cans. There goes basic human kindness.” . Bernadette Fox is a gem. I relate to this woman on so many levels. I, too, wear my sunglasses as a mask every single day at pickup so that I do NOT have to make eye contact with gnats, and it truly is a beautiful way to keep that tiny sliver of sanity when surrounded by the buzzing, but I digress. Where’d you go Bernadette was a beautiful, poignant story that made me feel like a fly on the wall hearing the gossip from every angle and it was glorious and fun! Bernadette is a strong, funny, and brave protagonist that exists to show us that we can overcome, we can keep going, we can start again, and we can kick the shit out of life! . .
Side note- I watched the movie after I finished the book, and it was just as good, if not better than the book! It was a fun Bernadette marathon!