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Review: Dead Men Don’t Talk: A Daisy Red-Tail Novel by Deb Sanders #Mystery #ReservationLife #GhostStory

Dead Men Don't Talk: A Daisy Red-Tail Novel - Deb SandersOne day, the Great Spirit brought all creation together. . . “I want to hide something from our people until they are ready to learn.” “What is it?” he was asked.

“The knowledge that people create their own reality.”

Daisy O’Connor knows about creating her own reality. With a mother who drug her along like a rag doll from husband to husband, she had to become self-sufficient. Then, when husband number whatever, Running Bear, beat Daisy unconscious, Daisy and her mother left the Lakota reservation far behind. Then her mother left Daisy far behind, in Atlanta with her aunt while her mother moved with husband six to Germany

No one wanted the young Daisy on the rez – not a pale skinned, redheaded, full-blooded Irish girl. But when her adopted grandfather, Charlie Tall Tree, calls her back to the rez to help her step-brother Eddie, how can she refuse the man who was so kind to her all those years ago? And Eddie himself, the other half of their mismatched pair, “bound together by a marriage between her full-blooded Irish mother and his full-blooded Lakota father.” Eddie was always her friend, even when the other children made her life a misery. So, the Jimmy Choo wearing, southern-speaking Daisy finds herself back in South Dakota on the Piney Creek. In-and-out. Find Eddie. Solve whatever problem he has gotten himself in this time. Get back to Atlanta and her catering business. Easy-peasy.

Well, not so much.

What Daisy finds isn’t simple. Or nice and clean, cut and dried. Instead, she finds her much loved Eddie, but he is strange and distant, showing up to beg for her help, then disappearing just as quickly without explanation or goodbye. Only a warning.

“He killed Father . . . and now he’s poisoning the rez.”

The “He” is apparently Kurt Jessup, owner of the Blue Dog Trading Post, rich man and aspirant mayor of Whittier, South Dakota. And if Daisy is going to find out what is going on, and why Eddie is so certain Jessup is ‘poisoning’ the Piney Creek, she is going to have to get close to Jessup. But getting close could cost more than Daisy ever expected.

I have to thank Ms. Sanders for writing such a realistic view of life on the rez. Being half Quapaw, I have walked my share of rez lands, and seen the deep poverty, the depression, alcoholism and lack of hope. The white people (of which I am half, admittedly) pushed the natives onto the poorest lands possible, where no crops will grow. Schools and medical facilities are nearly nonexistent, as is hope. But often alcohol and drugs are in easy supply, as they are on the Piney Creek in Sanders’ book.

The mystery in the book is very well written, and the characters are well designed. As this is the first in what I see will be a series (I see the next book is in development, “Dead Men Can’t Dance”) and I am excited to read that one as well. The only thing I found wanting in the book was proper editing. There were a plethora of grammatical errors and a few errors of logic and continuity. Other than that, a very satisfying book.

Oh. And the Chocolate Cola Cake with Pecan Glaze? GOTTA try that!!!

I received this book from ReadingAlley.com in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.

ABOUT DEB

I’m an adventurer – more by destiny than design. I’ve explored the back roads and highways of 35 states, resided in eight, and ventured into parts of Mexico, Canada and the Bahamas. It’s been fun weaving bits and pieces of my travels into my stories.  As an optimist, I believe anything is possible if you refuse to accept failure as an option. When I’m not in front of my computer, you’ll find me perched atop a rock at the back of a box canyon, crouched low in the middle of a dry creek bed with camera aimed at a majestic Elk, or perhaps hanging onto a skiff after a whale has breached next to me.  At other times, you’ll find me Geocaching with my grandsons, attempting a new project inspired by something I’ve seen on Pinterest or canning a recent crop of veggies and fruits.

Not all wanderers are lost. Some of us prefer to throw away the map and meander through life on a road less traveled.

I physically reside in North Carolina with my husband, Golden Retriever and two rescue cats. My soul resides in Arizona.

I am proud to say my family is rooted in the great Cherokee Nation  ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ

Goodreads – http://bit.ly/zPmGwm
Twitter – @debsanders01
Facebook – Deb Sanders
LinkedIn – D.S. Sanders

CONTACT ME THOUGH EMAIL – debsanders01 at gmail dot comJake and Momma

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Review: Spirits, Stilettos and a Silver Bustier by Deanna Chase

People tend to dwell more on negative things than on good things. So the mind then becomes obsessed with negative things, with judgments, guilt and anxiety produced by thoughts about the future and so on. – Eckhart Tolle

I keep going to the river to pray
‘Cause I need something that can wash out the pain
And at most
I’m sleeping all these demons away
But your ghost, the ghost of you
It keeps me awake –
Ella Henderson – Ghost

I am a Deanna Chase junkie. There. I said it. Loud and proud, Baby! Her Jade Calhoun series, beginning with Haunted on Bourbon Street is an automatic ‘must buy’ for me. The books combine fantasy, humour, great characters and of course the spectacular New Orleans life into a treat for the reader.

We first met Pyper Rayne in Haunted when she was being terrorized by one of the nastiest ghosts you can imagine. Now, with Spirits, Stilettos, and a Silver Bustier Pyper gets her own series – (yes, that is me, dancing around the room and giggling. Get over it. 😉 )

Pyper’s life is working out pretty well, if she does say so herself. She owns her own coffee shop right next to the stripper bar where she used to work. Her friends are all safe (for now), she has good friends, and she is getting ready for a gallery showing of her body painting. Exciting! The only thing is – when she shops for a vintage dress for her gallery show, everything starts running off the rails. The shop owner ends up dead, and Pyper is the prime suspect. Add to that the ghostly voices coming from the walls, and the hot ghost who is following her around, and life is getting a lot less happy than it was just yesterday.

Spirits is a great new addition to the original series. Pyper was always one of my favorites of the Bourbon Street series, and the first book in her series does wonders for the character. We get to meet new characters, including a sexy ghost with highly unusual talents, the mystery is very well done as all Deanna’s mysteries are, and the setup for the next book is awesome. If you like your UF with a bit of mystery, not a lot of ‘over the top’ smexy, and a good deal of humour, this is a series you should try!

I receive this book from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. Highly recommended.

Review: Dark Paradise by Angie Sandro – Available July 1!!!

dark
Mystery, suspense and a good dose of ghost story set in the backwoods of Louisiana. What could be more delicious?

But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. – William Butler Yeats

There are souls which fall from heaven like flowers, but ere they bloom are crushed under the foul tread of some brutal hoof. – Jean Paul

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. – Hamlet (1.5.167-8), Hamlet to Horatio

The nature of evil. Dissected, pulled apart, studied, and still, no one really knows, do we? Evil is the pedophile and the serial killer. The crazed and the cruel. The dark shadows that walk the night. We might agree on that. But what of those dark, quiet evils that live next door? The ones who smile to your face and wish you good morning, while horrors live in their basements – and the basements of their souls?

Malaise LaCroix never really had a chance, even before she was born. The daughter of the local whore and ‘hoodoo woman’ in backwoods Louisiana, Malaise, or Mala for short, ekes out a living in the swamps, fishing and watching for the ubiquitous gators that can pull her under and kill her in a heartbeat. But it is the darkness and shadows, the crazed and the cruel, who may take her life in the long run. For Mala has found a body, floating in the swamp. A body that some very rich, and very powerful – and very mad – people do not want found.

Lainey Prince is the daughter of the Reverend Prince, he of righteousness and purity, the king of the pulpit and voice of god. Finding her floating in the swamp, Mala pulls her out and calls the police, thereby dropping herself into a whirlwind of terror. For the townsfolk are all determined to blame her for Lainey’s death. She is, after all, the daughter of a black hoodoo witch, right? So the righteous and the pure of heart (can we all hear a halleluiah, amen?) determine to punish Mala and her mother, Jasmine. And purity of heart has nothing to do with these people who hide behind their “faith” in order to commit the most horrendous of evils. Funny how religion works that way. . . Things become even more interesting when Landry, Lainey’s younger brother and rising football star, comes to Mala, determined to learn the truth no matter what it may be. Did Mala really kill Lainey in some sort of black rite? Or is the woman he has loved from afar for so very long truly innocent? What Landry learns is more than he ever could have expected. For Lainey might be dead. But she is far from gone. And she is one very unhappy spirit.

Dark Paradise grabbed me from the beginning and didn’t let me go. Of course, I am a sucker for a mystery/suspense/thriller novel set in Louisiana. Curled up in my chair, the lights out except for the glow from my reader, soft southern Blues playing, I immersed myself in the story, walking with Mala through the swamps, smelling the scents and hearing the cry of the insects, the grunts and roars from the gators and razorbacks, feeling the heat against my skin, even as the temperature of the night drops lower and the crickets begin to sing outside my window. The faces of the characters, their wrinkles from the harsh weather and the harsh life, the cold eyes and superstitious hatreds all come clear in my mind, rising up like mist in my memory.

Visits to Angie Sandro’s father’s family in Louisiana inspired Dark Paradise, and those visits flow through in her writing. There are no missed notes, no cliché to her story. Instead, there is a touch of realism to the story which sooths and comforts the knowledgeable when it comes to the quirks and fallacies, the kindness and the cruelty of the Southern mind.

There is only one thing that really itched my “What the Huh?” spot. As LaCroixs, Jasmine and Mala descend from a long line of “witchy women” which reaches back to the shores of Africa. Tied to the Loa Baron LaCroix, the women take his name, and supposedly, his spirit as well. Much like the Loa Baron Samedi, Baron LaCroix, also one of the five Ghede, are often rude, crude and oversexed, but they are not by nature evil. LaCroix is rather more fun-loving with a deep sense of play. Something that isn’t depicted in his interactions in this novel. Be that as it may, a person who shares no knowledge of Voudon, of the cultures and rituals of this ancient religion, should not be bothered by this not-quite-realistic portrayal. Artistic license forgives much, and in this case it pushes forward the story in a way both interesting and frightening by turns. And yes, Ms. Sandro, I do get your twisted sense of humour! Overall? I completely enjoyed the book and am looking forward to Dark Sacrifice. Bring on the hoodoo, women, I am ready!

—————————-

I received this book from Grand Central Publishing in return for an honest review. Honestly? I loved it. If you love what I like to call Southern Suspense, you will undoubtedly like this book. It publishes JULY 1, 2014 so be sure to pick it up!

Review: The Midnight Side By Natasha Mostert

midnightside
Originally published in 2000. Republished for Kindle by Portable Magic, 2013.
Click for the goodreads page.

How much worse are suitors, who to men’s lust
Are made preys? O, worse than dust or worms’ meat,
For they do eat you now, whose selves worms shall eat. – John Donne, Thou shalt not laugh in this leaf, Muse (British Poet, Satirist, Author, 1572-1631)

The sin of pride may be a small or a great thing in someone’s life, and hurt vanity a passing pinprick, or a self-destroying or ever murderous obsession. – Iris Murdoch (British Novelist and Philosopher, 1919-1999)

We’re going to start a rumour. It’s easy: here’s how. And thus starts a tale of twisted obsession, of ghostly presence and lucid dreaming. A tale of suffering. But whose? And how far will obsession live within the soul? To the grave? Beyond?

Too late hee would the paine asswage,
And to thick shadowes does retire;
About with him hee beares the rage,
And in his tainted blood the fire.
Edmund Waller –The selfe-banished –  (English Poet and Politician,1606 – 1687)

Isabella, or Isa to her friends, lives a life of quiet desperation in South Africa. The mistress of a married man for the past thirteen years, Isa has set aside her own needs for those of her lover, Eric. Eric, who has just died, leaving her with nothing but heartache.

In the night, as she lies dreaming, the phone rings, a flat, atonal sound, odd and strangely off-key, and the crackling voice of her cousin, Alette comes through. Alette, the wild and flighty girl with whom Isa was raised. Alette the strong, Alette the vibrant. And, as Isa is soon to learn, Alette who is two days dead.

Now back in London to close Allete’s estate, Isa receives a message from Allete along with a copy of her will. A very odd and devastating message, which leads Isa to carry out a twisted scheme against Jason, Allete’s ex-husband – an ex-husband whose tortures Allete lays out in a letter, sealed for only Isa.

Lucid dreaming, African mysticism. Alchemy and premonitions. Mostert’s The Midnight Side is a brooding, atmospheric tale of suspense and psychological thrill, full of the kinds of fear and gloomy atmosphere sure to lure in even the most jaded of readers. Isa wanders through the halls of her dreams, following orders, reaching out . . . and changing within herself. The Vigyan Bhairava Tantra, the seventh sutra, says, “ . . . reach the heart at the instant of sleep and seek direction over dreams and over death itself.” Is Isabella following her heart? Or are the dreams of death drawing back the soul of her beloved cousin?

What cruelty, wasted love – love which lies only in recompense? Mostert speaks to deep waters of the mind, dark corners of the soul, the ruin brought on by wounded and damaged souls. And yet, her journey also showcases the beauty and drabery of London itself, with it’s fogs and rains, the Egyptian Sculpture Gallery of the British Museum, the odd libraries and collections, the tea shops and cathedrals. The mass of cultures and foods and beliefs. A brooding city of history and blood and loss and joy, all wrapped up in banks of fog and fire, melancholy, and old, old guilt.

What Isa does and doesn’t do, thinks and feels and suffers leads you through murky darkness, fear, and the question, or promise, of forbidden destiny.

I received this book from Netgalley in return for an honest review.  Highly recommended.

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