Friday, April 30, 2021

Arsenic and Adobo By Mia Manansala

The first book in a new culinary cozy series full of sharp humor and delectable dishes—one that might just be killer....

When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her life seems to be following all the typical rom-com tropes. She's tasked with saving her Tita Rosie's failing restaurant, and she has to deal with a group of matchmaking aunties who shower her with love and judgment. But when a notoriously nasty food critic (who happens to be her ex-boyfriend) drops dead moments after a confrontation with Lila, her life quickly swerves from a Nora Ephron romp to an Agatha Christie case.

With the cops treating her like she's the one and only suspect, and the shady landlord looking to finally kick the Macapagal family out and resell the storefront, Lila's left with no choice but to conduct her own investigation. Armed with the nosy auntie network, her barista best bud, and her trusted Dachshund, Longanisa, Lila takes on this tasty, twisted case and soon finds her own neck on the chopping block… 

Pick up your copy here...

Mia P. Manansala (she/her) is a writer and book coach from Chicago who loves books, baking, and bad-ass women. She uses humor (and murder) to explore aspects of the Filipino diaspora, queerness, and her millennial love for pop culture.

A lover of all things geeky, Mia spends her days procrastibaking, playing JRPGs and dating sims, reading cozy mysteries, and cuddling her dogs Gumiho, Max Power, and Bayley Banks (bonus points if you get all the references).

Her debut novel, ARSENIC AND ADOBO, comes out May 4, 2021 with Berkley/Penguin Random House and is the first in the Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mystery series.

Find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @MPMtheWriter 

My Thoughts...
I love fun cozy-mysteries so much. And what's even better is a cozy-mystery that evolves food.
This new series Tita Rosie's Kitchen mystery was one you don't want o miss all of the great food made my mouth water and the mystery unfolding made this my new favorite cozy mystery.
I am dying to try some of the recipes included in the back of the book and I already read the first chapter in book number two Homicide and Halo-Halo I can't wait for it to release.
Grab your copy of this fun 4 star read. I highly recommend it.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

The Nature of Fragile Things By Susan Meissner


April 18, 1906: A massive earthquake rocks San Francisco just before daybreak, igniting a devouring inferno. Lives are lost, lives are shattered, but some rise from the ashes forever changed.

Sophie Whalen is a young Irish immigrant so desperate to get out of a New York tenement that she answers a mail-order bride ad and agrees to marry a man she knows nothing about. San Francisco widower Martin Hocking proves to be as aloof as he is mesmerizingly handsome. Sophie quickly develops deep affection for Kat, Martin's silent five-year-old daughter, but Martin's odd behavior leaves her with the uneasy feeling that something about her newfound situation isn't right.

Then one early-spring evening, a stranger at the door sets in motion a transforming chain of events. Sophie discovers hidden ties to two other women. The first, pretty and pregnant, is standing on her doorstep. The second is hundreds of miles away in the American Southwest, grieving the loss of everything she once loved.

The fates of these three women intertwine on the eve of the devastating earthquake, thrusting them onto a perilous journey that will test their resiliency and resolve and, ultimately, their belief that love can overcome fear. 

Pick up your copy here...

Susan Meissner is the USA Today bestselling author of historical fiction with more than half a million books in print in fifteen languages. Her novels include The Last Year of the War, a Library Reads and Real Simple top pick; As Bright as Heaven, which received a starred review from Library Journal; Secrets of a Charmed Life, a 2015 Goodreads Choice award finalist; and A Fall of Marigolds, named to Booklist’s Top Ten women’s fiction titles for 2014. She is also RITA finalist and Christy Award and Carol Award winner. A California native, she attended Point Loma Nazarene University and is also a writing workshop volunteer for Words Alive, a San Diego non-profit dedicated to helping at-risk youth foster a love for reading and writing.
Visit Susan at her website: and on Twitter at @SusanMeissner or at 

My Thoughts...
 Oh My the characters felt like real people, I am not sure if that is Meissner's outstanding writing or if it was just that good of a storyline I'm leaning towards the great writing and character development.
As with all of Meissner's books I read until I could not hold my eyes open any longer. I recommend this 4 star masterpiece and I cant wait for her next book to release.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

A Waterfront Wedding By Leigh Duncan


It’s the wedding of the year…

But who will get to host it?

In Heart’s Landing, Evelyn wants to prove she’s a good manager of the Captain’s Cottage by the bay—a favorite place for weddings. Meanwhile, Ryan has invested his life savings to remodel the town’s old boatworks into a brand-new wedding venue.

When a Marine and his bride win the Wedding in a Week contest, they have seven days to put together a romantic, all-expenses-paid event. It’ll be written up in Weddings Today magazine. But will they choose Evelyn’s cottage or Ryan’s boatworks?

The rival business owners cozy up to the bride and groom, helping them plan their military wedding. And even though Evelyn and Ryan both grew up in Heart’s Landing, they learn they never truly knew each other until now. But can they trust each other when only one of them can win? 

Pick up your copy here...

Leigh Duncan is the award-winning author of more than two dozen novels, novellas and short stories. Her first full-length book, The Officer’s Girl, was released by Harlequin American Romance in 2010. Leigh went on to write seven more books for Harlequin, including the highly acclaimed Glades County Cowboys series, before she began writing the more complex, heart-warming and emotional stories that have resonated with her readers. One of the lead authors for Hallmark Publishing, an Amazon best-selling author and a National Readers’ Choice Award winner, Leigh lives on Central Florida's East Coast where she writes women’s fiction and sweet, contemporary romance with a dash of Southern sass.

Leigh loves to stay in touch with readers through social media. Find her at, or visit her website at 

My Thoughts...

I loved going back to Heart's Landing . I really loved being invited to the wedding of the year. How in the world can you put an entire weeding together in one week? You have to read this sweet romance to find out.
All the Hallmark feels with this gem.
I gave this 4 stars and I hope that you read the whole series.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

The Amish Cowboy's Homecoming By Ophelia London GIVEAWAY!


What happens when a traditional horse whisperer clashes with an unconventional trainer within the charming Amish community of Honey Brook?

Grace Zook has always held a talent with horses, ever since she was a child growing up in her quaint Amish village of Honey Brook. Now, as an adult, she’s become a master trainer―but still struggles to prove to her father that she is worthy of taking over the family’s horse farm. With a fiery new stallion coming soon, Grace knows this challenge is her chance to prove she can finally take the reins.

When widower and horse whisperer Isaac King is offered the lead training job on a new farm out of town, he’s thrilled to finally make a name for himself and provide some permanent roots for his young daughter. But not only is the stallion seemingly unbreakable, so, too, is the owner’s headstrong daughter Grace, who has drastically different ideas about how to handle the impossible horse. Yet somehow, he can’t seem to get the confident, beautiful woman out of his mind...even though as his boss’s daughter, she is completely off-limits.

There’s too much at stake for Isaac to gamble his future on Grace...even though suddenly, he can’t imagine one without her.

Each book in the Honey Brook series is STANDALONE:
* Never an Amish Bride
* The Amish Cowboy’s Homecoming 

Pick up your copy here...

USA Today bestselling author Ophelia London was born and raised among the redwood trees in beautiful northern California. Once she was fully educated, she decided to settle in Florida, but her car broke down in Texas, and she’s lived in Dallas ever since. She enjoys cupcakes, treadmills, reruns of Dawson’s Creek and obsessing over her Italian Greyhound, Peanut. Ophelia is the author of THE AMISH COWBOY’S HOMECOMING, book #2 in her Honey Brook series! As wells as the Sugar City series, the Perfect Kisses series, the Abby Road series, and other adult, NA and YA sweet romances. Visit her books HERE. But don’t call when she’s streaming The Walking Dead.

My Thoughts...
The Amish Cowboy’s Homecoming by Ophelia London is the 2nd book in The Honey Brook Series. But I read it as a stand alone and I was not lost at all.
It seems as if everyone is writing Amish fiction these days. And most of them are the same stories  just different locations and different names. That was not this case with London's latest. It was a fresh story one that has not been done before and  one that you will not be able to put down. The perfect setting, with likeable characters.
Grab this 4 star Amish book and devour it before her next book makes an appearance on book shelves every where.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own. 

This GIVEAWAY is open to those who follow this blog (click the blue follow button on the right hand side)  and leave a comment.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Oliver By Steven Carino


He Was Searching for a Lost Dog. He Found More Than He’d Ever Hoped For.

On Valentine’s Day 2019, someone stole Steven Carino’s dog, Oliver, from his car. Having lost his mother at thirteen and grown up with an alcoholic father, he could always count on his dogs for comfort and company. But now, with his beloved Oliver missing, Steven felt utterly alone.

Then, the miracle. In a series of near-impossible coincidences, people from different walks of life crossed paths with Oliver and with Steven. Hardworking immigrants, wealthy suburbanites, car mechanics, deli workers, old friends, close relatives, street cops, gang members, a TV news reporter, social media followers around the world, and one very gifted hairdresser all played a part in Steven’s desperate journey to find Oliver. In the middle of it all, Steven realized that no one is ever truly alone--and that the power of community can be life-changing.

Oliver is not just a book about a stolen dog. At its core, it’s a story about kindness, friendship, and the power of faith. As Steven says, “This is more than just a dog story. This is an everybody story. This is a love story.” 

Pick up your copy here...

Steven Carino was born in Huntington, New York. The youngest of five children, he graduated from SUNY Brockport with a Bachelor of Science in American History. He worked as a DJ in New York City before launching careers in advertising and real estate and starting his own employment agency. Today, Steven has his own driving business and lives in a cottage in Bedford, New York, with his best friend, Oliver, and an array of sheep, goats, chickens, a horse, a rooster, and a mini-cow named Anna Belle. Oliver is Steven’s first book.

My Thoughts...

Wow, what an emotional read. I cried so much. I can't even imagine what Steven went through. I would not survive  my baby missing.   I love it turned out for the best and I have to tell you this is a book that you will still be thinking about long after you read the last page.
5 stars I HIGHLY recommend this fantastic book.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Friday, April 23, 2021

I'm Waiting For You By Kim Bo-Young


In this mind-expanding work of speculative fiction, available in English for the first time, one of South Korea’s most treasured writers explores the driving forces of humanity—love, hope, creation, destruction, and the very meaning of existence—in two pairs of thematically interconnected stories.

Two worlds, four stories, infinite possibilities 

In “I’m Waiting for You” and “On My Way,” an engaged couple coordinate their separate missions to distant corners of the galaxy to ensure—through relativity—they can arrive back on Earth simultaneously to make it down the aisle. But small incidents wreak havoc on space and time, driving their wedding date further away. As centuries on Earth pass and the land and climate change, one thing is constant: the desire of the lovers to be together. In two separate yet linked stories, Kim Bo-Young cleverly demonstrate the idea love that is timeless and hope springs eternal, despite seemingly insurmountable challenges and the deepest despair.

In “The Prophet of Corruption” and “That One Life,” humanity is viewed through the eyes of its creators: godlike beings for which everything on Earth—from the richest woman to a speck of dirt—is an extension of their will. When one of the creations questions the righteousness of this arrangement, it is deemed a perversion—a disease—that must be excised and cured. Yet the Prophet Naban, whose “child” is rebelling, isn’t sure the rebellion is bad. What if that which is considered criminal is instead the natural order—and those who condemn it corrupt? Exploring the dichotomy between the philosophical and the corporeal, Kim ponders the fate of free-will, as she considers the most basic of questions: who am I? 

Pick up your copy here...                                                                                                                                         I'm Waiting for You: And Other Stories: Kim, Bo-Young: 9780062951465: Books

 My Thoughts...  
I don't usually read short stories, But I am so happy that I was sent a copy of this book. I took my tie reading it because the stories made me really stop  and think. It was an amazing book.
I want to give it as a gift to people I love. 
I have to say 4 stars all the way for this one. I had no idea I would enjoy it as much as I did.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.                                                                                                       

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Love Me In The Waiting By Krystal Ribble

 For times when the world seems to be on pause, Christian leader, mentor, and author Krystal Ribble pairs biblical stories with the current familiar waiting periods of our lives, showing how we can be sure that God is with us while we wait.

Now more than ever, Sit and Wait seems to be on everyone's agenda. Weaving stories of waiting from familiar Bible characters, Love Me in the Waiting helps readers to consider that the waiting times in life are always full of purpose, even if they aren't seen or felt. In Love Me in the Waiting readers will be encouraged as they wait, learning how they can benefit from the timeless wisdom of those who waited before us. In doing so, they can draw strength and comfort from these collected stories and know they're not alone in the waiting seasons.

A companion to the waiting you're sitting through right now or have experienced in the past, Love Me in the Waiting takes readers through ten different biblical passages, focused on:
  1. Waiting for the Storm to Pass
  2. Waiting for New Life
  3. Waiting for Love
  4. Waiting for Reconciliation
  5. Waiting in the Wilderness
  6. Waiting for the Future
  7. Waiting for your Troubles to Pass
  8. Waiting for Deliverance
  9. Waiting on the World to Change
  10. Waiting for the Resurrection, Here and Now

These passages including the stories of Noah, Sarah, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, Job, Daniel, Habakkuk, and Lazarus help anyone yearning for meaning to understand their seasons of waiting and answer questions like:
  • Why is the Lord taking so long to give me the ending He s promised?
  • What is He doing or teaching me while I'm waiting?
  • How do I wait on a promise that I can't see?
  • How can I support my loved one who is in a season of waiting?

When your patience has worn thin or you're beginning to doubt God will be around for you, take heart from the pages of scripture. This book shows that modern experiences of waiting are similar in many ways to those who have come before, and that we have more in common with our spiritual ancestors than we realize. God will never waste a minute of your waiting, and Love Me in the Waiting provides a reminder of that truth for us all. 

Pick up your copy here...

Krystal Ribble is a freelance writer and author of The Church’s Orphans. She aims to breathe new life into and bring a modern understanding to the stories we’ve read about in the Bible all our lives, showing readers how those stories are still relevant today. Her writing builds on experiences mentoring college-aged students and advocating for orphans and vulnerable children across the United States.

Krystal earned a Bachelor of Science in Gerontology and Health Care Management from North Greenville University and Master of Arts in Christian Leadership from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and Graduate School. She now lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, Jared, and their three boys. Love Me in the Waiting is Krystal’s second book.

Find out more about Krystal at and by following @krystalribble on Instagram.

My Thoughts...
If you are like me and hate waiting then maybe you would like to dive into this new book. Maybe even get a small group of like minded friends to join you in a small group setting for this study.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

The Perfect Daughter By D.J. Palmer


Penny Francone, age sixteen, is a murderer. Her guilt is beyond doubt: she was found alone in the victim’s apartment, covered in blood, holding the murder weapon. The victim’s identity and her secret relationship to Penny give Penny the perfect motive, sealing the deal. All the jury needs to decide now is where Penny will serve out her sentence. Will she be found not guilty by reason of insanity, as her lawyer intends to argue? Or will she get a life sentence in a maximum-security prison?
Already reeling from tragedy after the sudden passing of her beloved husband a few years before, now Grace is on her knees, grateful that Massachusetts doesn't allow the death penalty.

As Penny awaits trial in a state mental hospital, she is treated by Dr. Mitchell McHugh, a psychiatrist battling demons of his own. Grace’s determination to understand the why behind her daughter’s terrible crime fuels Mitch’s resolve to help the Francone family. Together, they set out in search of the truth about Penny, but discover instead a shocking hidden history of secrets, lies, and betrayals that threatens to consume them all. 

Pick up your copy here...

D.J. Palmer is the author of numerous critically acclaimed suspense novels. A former e-commerce entrepreneur, D.J. Palmer now resides in New Hampshire and is currently at work on a new book.

My Thoughts...

What in the world, I just read a thriller that has me shaking my head and I never saw the murderer until I was hit in the face with him. This was the best book I have read by Palmer to date. I loved the characters and the whole story was fantastic. This is not one to be missed. You are going to be blown away with this book.
 You will never see it coming. I really enjoyed this 5 star thrill ride.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Crescent City Moon By Nola Nash


Things put underground in New Orleans don’t often stay there. Even things that should - like bodies, and secrets.

How do you fight an enemy you can’t see that can kill on a whim? In 1820s New Orleans, on the eve of her twenty-first birthday, Zéolie Cheval discovers the mangled body of her father murdered in his bed and a maniacal voice haunting the recesses of her mind. When the priest sent to comfort her is killed while the house is swarming with police, Zéolie becomes entangled in a web of mystery that takes her from the French Quarter, to the Ursuline Convent in the Ninth Ward, and deep into the Louisiana swamps.

Officer Louis Saucier, who is losing his heart to Zéolie and his grip on logical reality, helps her find the pieces to her puzzle. The mother superior of the Ursulines offers assistance from a mediumistic nun and a voodoo priestess, blurring the lines between the spiritual and the supernatural.

After opening the family crypt to find it uninhabited, Zéolie realizes that her father lied about her mother’s death – amongst other things. Now, Zéolie must come to terms with magic she inherited from her grandmother and the price that comes with it.

Step inside the magic and mystery of the 1820s French Quarter to see if an unlikely menagerie can help Zéolie take down a murderous maniac while she shields the officer she loves. Can she harness powers she didn’t know she had? Or, will she make the ultimate sacrifice? 

Pick up your copy here...

Originally from south Louisiana, Nola Nash now makes her home in Brentwood , Tennessee, with her three children. Growing up in Baton Rouge, she spent long hours onstage or backstage in the local community theaters. Her biggest writing inspiration was the city of New Orleans that gave her at an early age a love of the magic, mystery, and history.

When she isn’t writing, Nola is teaching middle school English or hosting The Second Line Show - A bookish live talk show on Facebook and YouTube. She also considers tacos and coffee major food groups.

My Thoughts...
Set in New Orleans. A mystery, Historical. Fast read. This checks all the boxes of what you want in a book. I read this book so fast and was so sad to see it come to an end. 
I will say I am want to read more from Nash now.
I gave this book 4 stars.. I recommend it.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Sunflower Sisters By Martha Kelly

 Georgeanna “Georgey” Woolsey isn’t meant for the world of lavish parties and the demure attitudes of women of her stature. So when war ignites the nation, Georgey follows her passion for nursing during a time when doctors considered women on the battlefront a bother. In proving them wrong, she and her sister Eliza venture from New York to Washington, D.C., to Gettysburg and witness the unparalleled horrors of slavery as they become involved in the war effort.

In the South, Jemma is enslaved on the Peeler Plantation in Maryland, where she lives with her mother and father. Her sister, Patience, is enslaved on the plantation next door, and both live in fear of LeBaron, an abusive overseer who tracks their every move. When Jemma is sold by the cruel plantation mistress Anne-May at the same time the Union army comes through, she sees a chance to finally escape—but only by abandoning the family she loves.

Anne-May is left behind to run Peeler Plantation when her husband joins the Union army and her cherished brother enlists with the Confederates. In charge of the household, she uses the opportunity to follow her own ambitions and is drawn into a secret Southern network of spies, finally exposing herself to the fate she deserves.

Inspired by true accounts, Sunflower Sisters provides a vivid, detailed look at the Civil War experience, from the barbaric and inhumane plantations, to a war-torn New York City, to the horrors of the battlefield. It’s a sweeping story of women caught in a country on the brink of collapse, in a society grappling with nationalism and unthinkable racial cruelty, a story still so relevant today. 

Pick up your copy here...

Martha is a native New Englander who lives in Litchfield County Connecticut. She worked as an advertising copywriter for many years, and raised three wonderful children who are now mostly out of the nest. Her debut novel Lilac Girls, about Connecticut socialite Caroline Ferriday who championed a group of Ravensbruck Concentration Camp survivors known as The Rabbits who survived WWII Nazi experiments, was her first novel and an instant New York Times bestseller. The prequel to Lilac Girls, Lost Roses, was also an instant NYTimes bestseller. It features Caroline's mother Eliza Ferriday and her fight to save a group of Russian women, former aristocrats who lost everything in the Russian Revolution. The Lost Roses paperback published March 3rd, 2020 and the third book in the series, a Civil War novel about Caroline's great grandmother's family, arrives spring 2021. You'll find more info about both books on Martha's website: and on Pinterest. 

My Thoughts...
Did you enjoy “Lilac Girls” and “Lost Roses,” if you said yes then you are going to love the final book in the  Lilac Girls series. 
I have to say Kelly has a knack for writing historical in a such a way its like you are living it out.
I might just go as far as to say she is the queen of historical fiction.
Sunflower Sisters is not to be missed. You might as well read the whole series if you have not yet. 
4 stars and highly recommended.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Friday, April 16, 2021

The Last Writer By Adriane Leigh GIVEAWAY!


When amateur thriller writer Ryn Weaver is accepted for the prestigious writer-in-residence program at New York Public Library, she never expected to stumble into a real-life mystery surrounding the famous children’s book, Lilies in the Cellar. Inspired by Yara and her twin Yarrow Thornberry's eccentric upbringing raised behind the walls of the library, the siblings have long-buried their infamous literary past as Yara now mentors young authors to follow in the footsteps of her best-selling success. But at what price? Before night falls on her first day, Ryn is left with three haunting questions: did the unspeakable horrors that unfolded in the children’s book occur not just in fiction, but in reality too? Is she destined for the same fate? And how did the last writer end up dead? 

Pick up your copy here...

Adriane Leigh is a USA Today and Amazon Top 20 best-selling author of contemporary romance and domestic thriller novels. She was born with a book in her hand and won her first Young Authors Award before the age of ten. She earned a literature degree, created RARE (Romance Author & Reader Events) international book conventions, hosts a podcast for creative entrepreneurs, and lives with her family on Lake Michigan. She enjoys good wine, long walks in the woods, and travel to dreamy destinations.

My Thoughts...
I was hooked from the very beginning, I never put the book down. They say this is this authors first thriller I sure hope it's not her last. 
A must read 5 star book. You will be asking is this Poe's daughter writing this story.
I recommend this one for sure.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own. 

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Beautiful Horseflesh By Karen Bennett


Avarice, deceit, and fleeing the law are the bedrock of Beautiful Horseflesh, a literary fiction, set in 1999. When a Thoroughbred filly arrives at the Smitt family's boarding and water walk farm, she is hailed by teen, Luis Smitt as, "a beautiful piece of horseflesh." Black as satin, she is speedy and shrouded in calamity. Her handsome trainer, Bud, insists on strict privacy in preparing the horse for Tampa's upcoming stakes race, yet finds time to flirt with both the mother and her sixteen-year-old daughter. As Luis unwraps the layers of the horse's mysteries, his family's life is irrevocably shattered. The race's starting bell pulls the Smitt's family forever impacted by deception, to its denouement. Readers of dramatic fiction, with a nod to young adult readers, will enjoy watching racehorses scorch the track. 

Pick up your copy here...

Karen S. Bennett-nee Klebe, was born in Pennsylvania to a PA. Dutch family. You've seen the art representing our heritage: the profile of a distelfink, a goldfinch, along with red hearts and little turquoise flowers decorating items for sale: on cards, towels, and plates. A short description of my idyllic life was that in the 1950's my dad was bent over shallow creeks hunting for bass, and my mother was bent over the open oven seeing to the cakes and pies-a-plenty she provided. Pork chops with sauerkraut, and potatoes in any form were big players.

The first wrinkle was in third grade when my teacher wrote "Dishonesty" on my report card, when all I'd done was to report wishful dreaming and presented the stories as fact. As an adult I learned that written lies were called FICTION. Pow! I was in.

I had many interests as a young person and started life by attending a NYC art school. Although I was well suited to be an artist I was also starving. Then, on to many non-art jobs, a husband and three kids. In the interest in having food money, I attended nursing school and wound up many years later as a retired nurse practitioner with time to write. From Fibs to Fiction. No truth-telling for me.

I've lived in PA., NY., GA., and MD, and have traveled to the usual places across the pond with my most recent travel to Russia, Vietnam, and South Africa. My last six cars have been hybrids which allow me to drive away without worry about the cost.

In 2006, I won first place for my first novel, through The Maryland Writer's Assn., and have four other books behind that one with semi-finalist or finalist. My books go from Horseracing to Ballet, to Choir, to Prison, and to The Farewell Tour. It's fiction, but I'm in there.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

The Gravedigger's Guild By Susan Farris


Alice Matins is dead. With the passing of this Mississippi matriarch, estranged sisters Maggy and Quinn collide over the course of Alice's wake and funeral amidst a motley band of gossiping church ladies and feuding gravediggers.As storm clouds gather, the two women unbury secrets from their past involving Quinn's husband that could resurrect their once-strong sisterly bond. But he has secrets of his own.The Gravedigger's Guild examines the indelible ties of sisterhood and the complicated legacy we leave behind.With a style similar to Andrea Bobotis (The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt), this novel will appeal to readers who enjoy stories of strong sibling relationships like Tara Conklin's The Last Romantics and fans of picturesque Southern tales like Sweet Magnolias. 

Pick up your copy here...

Susan Farris is a former marketing manager with her MFA in Creative Writing from Lindenwood University and a background in editing and tutoring other writers.

The Gravedigger’s Guild is her debut novel and she has a collection of poetry coming out soon called Flooding the Delta that experiments with the Thai Nirat form of poetry.

When she is not wrangling words on the page, she can be found gardening, playing board games, or snuggled up with her three cats and two dogs appreciating her husband’s amazing cooking skills. 

My Thoughts...
Fans of Sweet Magnolias and Southern Fiction are sure to enjoy this drama filled read.
So grab your sweet tea and cuddle up in your favorite reading spot and enjoy this 4 star read.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Everyone Worth Knowing By Jeff Richards


A remarried man dreams of his dead wife. A widowed preacher seeks out guilt and inspiration in a brothel. A man who refuses to wear a mask in the spring of 2020 faces the consequences of his choice. Through the eyes of these and other flawed men, Jeff Richards explores childhood, parenthood, love, life, and toxic masculinity.

The men in these stories struggle in relationships and mourn the loves of their past as they search for meaning. Often hoping to find clarity through work, they are instead left questioning their preconceived ideas of what being a man truly means.

Approaching his flawed characters without judgment in these tightly written stories, Richards shows men who have brief violent urges against themselves and others. They drink too much. They have crushes and get divorced and watch their lives fall apart. And, finally, they attempt to overcome their directionless yearning and shame to understand their place in society. 

Pick up your copy here...

Jeff Richards is the author of Open Country: A Civil War Novel in Stories and the domestic noir novel Lady Killer. His fiction, essays, and cowboy poetry have appeared in over twenty-seven publications, including Prick of the Spindle, Pinch, New South, and Southern Humanities Review, and in five anthologies, including Tales Out of School; Letters to J.D. Salinger; and Higher Education, a college composition reader. A fan of blues music, he lives in Takoma Park, Maryland, with his wife and two dogs and travels often to Colorado, where his kids live.