Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Claire at Edisto - Review

Idgie Says:
This is a very gentle book.  Sad theme, but gentle people, affirmative initiatives, caring relationships.  You won't find any harsh angst or sordid issues in this clean, wholesome novel about finding your true "you" and love again. 

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Book 1 in a 3 book series
April, 2019
Mountain Hill Press


Set against the alluring backdrop of coastal South Carolina, CLAIRE AT EDISTO takes the reader on a sweet and gentle journey showing that love and new beginnings can often bloom from the deepest sorrows. 

Standing in grief and shock at the grave of her young husband, Claire Avery wonders what she and her young daughters will do now. They live in the church parsonage they need to vacate. She hasn’t worked since her marriage twelve years ago. Old issues and complications hinder relationships with her family. Struggling for answers, Claire accepts her brother-in-law’s offer to stay at his beach house at Edisto to give her a season to heal and think.  But even the peace and beauty of the coastal island bring new problems along with unexpected joys as Claire seeks to find her way.

Parker Avery always promised his brother Charles he would look after Claire if anything happened to him. Charles stood by him three years ago when his wife Ann died and Parker is determined now to be a help to Claire and the girls. As time passes, instead of feeling like a hero, he feels like a heel instead as he realizes he’s developing feelings for his own brother’s widow. To make things worse, he watches with pain and jealousy as Miles Lawrence waltzes into Claire’s life. What can he expect though? It hardly seems right that Claire, even after a season of mourning, would ever fall in love with her own brother-in-law.

Friday, March 29, 2019

The Magnetic Girl - Review

Idgie Says:
This is a fascinating story of a young girl who feels deep guilt over an incident that occurred with her baby brother.  She takes that guilt and turns it into intense "therapy" to be able to communicate and help her brother.  Her father sees this skill and hones it for his own personal goal of getting her into the public eye, and of course, earning money from her skills.

The novel tells the story of the father in his younger days and what drives him in the present to push his daughter in the manner that he does, and also tells Lulu's story of struggling with guilt, adolescence and the desire to be what her father wants her to be.

I recommend this novel. 

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The Magnetic Girl
Jessica Handler
Hub City Press
April, 2019

Hub City Press announces the forthcoming publication of Atlanta author Jessica Handler's debut historical novel The Magnetic Girl in May of 2019.

In rural north Georgia two decades after the Civil War, thirteen-year-old Lulu Hurst reaches high into her father’s bookshelf and pulls out an obscure book, The Truth of Mesmeric Influence.  Deemed gangly and undesirable, Lulu wants more than a lifetime of caring for her disabled baby brother, Leo, with whom she shares a profound and supernatural mental connection.

“I only wanted to be Lulu Hurst, the girl who captivated her brother until he could walk and talk and stand tall on his own. Then I would be the girl who could leave.”

Lulu begins to “captivate” her friends and family, controlling their thoughts and actions for brief moments at a time. After Lulu convinces a cousin she conducts electricity with her touch, her father sees a unique opportunity. He grooms his tall and indelicate daughter into an electrifying new woman: The Magnetic Girl. Lulu travels the Eastern seaboard, captivating enthusiastic crowds by lifting grown men in parlor chairs and throwing them across the stage with her “electrical charge.”
While adjusting to life on the vaudeville stage, Lulu harbors a secret belief that she can use her newfound gifts, as well as her growing notoriety, to heal her brother. As she delves into the mysterious book’s pages, she discovers keys to her father’s past and her own future--but how will she harness its secrets to heal her family?

Gorgeously envisioned, The Magnetic Girl is set at a time when the emerging presence of electricity raised suspicions about the other-worldly gospel of Spiritualism, and when women’s desire for political, cultural, and sexual presence electrified the country. Squarely in the realm of Emma Donoghue's The Wonder and Leslie Parry’s Church of Marvels, The Magnetic Girl is a unique portrait of a forgotten period in history, seen through the story of one young woman’s power over her family, her community, and ultimately, herself.

Jessica is the author of Braving the Fire: A Guide to Writing About Grief and Invisible Sisters: A Memoir, which was named one of the “Twenty Five Books All Georgians Should Read” and Atlanta magazine’s “Best Memoir of 2009.” Jessica writes essays and nonfiction features that have appeared on NPR, in Tin House, Drunken Boat, Full Grown People, Brevity, Newsweek, The Washington Post, and More Magazine. Learn more at [www.jessicahandler.com](http://jessicahandler.com/.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Tomorrow's Bread - Review


Idgie Says:
 I absolutely adored Anna Jean's first book, The Dry Grass of August.  Such a touching story.  I was very excited when I saw that she had another novel coming out and demanded an ARC immediately.  Yes, I did say demand.  :)

I was not disappointed in any way.   The characters continue to be richly alive and I love the way she shared several families lives that were living in this threatened neighborhood.  The sense of place was strong and you could envision yourself watching how the story unfolds from the neighborhood street corner.  

The novel touches on those ever so delicate race issues that arose/continued to be after segregation was ended on paper - as we all know this doesn't mean it ends in real life. 

I highly recommend this book.

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From the author of the acclaimed The Dry Grass of August comes a richly researched yet lyrical Southern-set novel that explores the conflicts of gentrification—a moving story of loss, love, and resilience.

In 1961 Charlotte, North Carolina, the predominantly black neighborhood of Brooklyn is a bustling city within a city. Self-contained and vibrant, it has its own restaurants, schools, theaters, churches, and night clubs. There are shotgun shacks and poverty, along with well-maintained houses like the one Loraylee Hawkins shares with her young son, Hawk, her Uncle Ray, and her grandmother, Bibi. Loraylee’s love for Archibald Griffin, Hawk’s white father and manager of the cafeteria where she works, must be kept secret in the segregated South.

Loraylee has heard rumors that the city plans to bulldoze her neighborhood, claiming it’s dilapidated and dangerous. The government promises to provide new housing and relocate businesses. But locals like Pastor Ebenezer Polk, who’s facing the demolition of his church, know the value of Brooklyn does not lie in bricks and mortar. Generations have lived, loved, and died here, supporting and strengthening each other. Yet street by street, longtime residents are being forced out. And Loraylee, searching for a way to keep her family together, will form new alliances—and find an unexpected path that may yet lead her home.
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington (March 26, 2019)

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Murder Once Removed - Spotlight

S.C. Perkins' Murder Once Removed is the captivating first mystery in the Ancestry Detective series, in which Texas genealogist Lucy Lancaster uses her skills to solve murders in both the past and present.

Except for a good taco, genealogist Lucy Lancaster loves nothing more than tracking down her clients’ long-dead ancestors, and her job has never been so exciting as when she discovers a daguerreotype photograph and a journal proving Austin, Texas, billionaire Gus Halloran’s great-great-grandfather was murdered back in 1849. What’s more, Lucy is able to tell Gus who was responsible for his ancestor’s death.

Partly, at least. Using clues from the journal, Lucy narrows the suspects down to two nineteenth-century Texans, one of whom is the ancestor of present-day U.S. senator Daniel Applewhite. But when Gus publicly outs the senator as the descendant of a murderer—with the accidental help of Lucy herself—and her former co-worker is murdered protecting the daguerreotype, Lucy will find that shaking the branches of some family trees proves them to be more twisted and dangerous than she ever thought possible.


Print Length: 336 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books (March 19, 2019)
Publication Date: March 19, 2019