Rock Paper Scissors, By Alice Feeney ~ 4.5 Stars


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Thanks to NetGalley and Flatiron Books for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Release Date: September 7th, 2021

304 Pages

Synopsis: Think you know the person you married? Think again…

Things have been wrong with Mr and Mrs Wright for a long time. When Adam and Amelia win a weekend away to Scotland, it might be just what their marriage needs. Self-confessed workaholic and screenwriter Adam Wright has lived with face blindness his whole life. He can’t recognize friends or family, or even his own wife.
Every anniversary the couple exchange traditional gifts – paper, cotton, pottery, tin – and each year Adam’s wife writes him a letter that she never lets him read. Until now. They both know this weekend will make or break their marriage, but they didn’t randomly win this trip. One of them is lying, and someone doesn’t want them to live happily ever after.

Ten years of marriage. Ten years of secrets. And an anniversary they will never forget.

Rock Paper Scissors is the latest exciting domestic thriller from the queen of the killer twist, New York Times bestselling author Alice Feeney. (Goodreads)

If you’re a fan of Alice Feeney, you already know that she excels at misdirection and Rock Paper Scissors is a perfect example of how splendidly she does this without annoying the reader.

The story is told from the POVs of Adam and Amelia, as well as a mysterious person named Robin who lives near the vacation getaway that Amelia won. Once I got past my disbelief over why anyone would take off to the remote Scottish Highlands in the winter on a vacation they supposedly “won” with such little information, I was thoroughly sucked into this mesmerizing page-turner. Unsurprisingly, none of these characters are reliable, and I’ll be honest and admit I absolutely loathed Adam despite my initial sympathy for him because of his Prosopagnosia (face blindness). However, they absolutely fascinated me and the more I read, the more I was dying to find out more about them.

This is a creepy, atmospheric, multi-layered story that’s fleshed out even more by the letters from Adam’s wife, one written on each wedding anniversary for the ten years they’ve been married. It was an ingenious way to add to their backstory and give you a tantalizing peek at what led up to where they are now.

Having read Feeney’s previous books, I was prepared for surprises, but this really kept me on my toes. Except for a couple of minor ones I was truly shocked at the direction the story took, and didn’t see even the final big reveals coming. These were jaw dropping in every way!

Rock Paper Scissors in my humble opinion is one of Feeney’s best books yet, and I highly recommend it to both fans of the bestselling author as well as readers who haven’t tried her books yet. It’s an exciting psychological/domestic thriller tinged with horror and I guarantee that it will grab you and not let go until you’ve reached the last page. Suzanne Mackie’s Orchid Pictures has already optioned this for a six-part Netflix series. Mackie is Executive Producer of The Crown, so I’m really excited about seeing this brought to life on the screen. That said, don’t wait. Read this fabulous book first!

Black Cat Appreciation Day



Black cats were created to give everyone the opportunity to be owned by a mini-panther.

~ Unknown ~


Rather than be feared and hated, these beautiful creatures should be celebrated. Jeanne has a wonderful post celebrating the day. Check it out!

Waiting On Tropical Storm Fred



Here in Southeast Alabama we’re waiting for the arrival of Tropical Storm Fred. Honestly? Fred? Who decides the names for these storms? I now have the face of Fred Mertz from I Love Lucy stuck in my head. Go away Fred!


Anyway, with flooding rains and possible wind gusts up to 60 mph, and a slight chance of a tornado or two (please no), there’s a possibility that we may lose power, so if I go missing for a bit, that’s why. Here’s my mantra for the next twenty-four hours:

9BC141CC-85EC-4FC4-B562-0AA9E18785AD Continue reading

A History of Wild Places, By Shea Ernshaw ~ 4.5 Stars


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Thanks to NetGalley and Atria Books for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Release Date: December 7th, 2020

368 Pages

The New York Times bestselling author of The Wicked Deep weaves a richly atmospheric adult debut following three residents of a secluded, seemingly peaceful commune as they investigate the disappearances of two outsiders.

Travis Wren has an unusual talent for locating missing people. Hired by families as a last resort, he requires only a single object to find the person who has vanished. When he takes on the case of Maggie St. James—a well-known author of dark, macabre children’s books—he’s led to a place many believed to be only a legend.

Called Pastoral, this reclusive community was founded in the 1970s by like-minded people searching for a simpler way of life. By all accounts, the commune shouldn’t exist anymore and soon after Travis stumbles upon it…he disappears. Just like Maggie St. James.

Years later, Theo, a lifelong member of Pastoral, discovers Travis’s abandoned truck beyond the border of the community. No one is allowed in or out, not when there’s a risk of bringing a disease—rot—into Pastoral. Unraveling the mystery of what happened reveals secrets that Theo, his wife, Calla, and her sister, Bee, keep from one another. Secrets that prove their perfect, isolated world isn’t as safe as they believed—and that darkness takes many forms.

Hauntingly beautiful, hypnotic, and bewitching, A History of Wild Places is a story about fairy tales, our fear of the dark, and losing yourself within the wilderness of your mind. (Goodreads)

Oh my goodness, what a creepy, mesmerizing read A History of Wild Places turned out to be! As the story begins, Travis Wren has been hired by the parents of controversial children’s author Maggie St. James, who has mysteriously gone missing. Travis has a unique talent that assists him in locating people, but it’s one that’s taken a toll on him personally. Because of this and a personal tragedy, he’s taking taking on this last case as a favor for a friend before quitting this difficult business. As he arrives in the small Northern California mountain town where Maggie was last seen and discovers her abandoned car near a forest that doesn’t seem to have had any recent human visitors, Travis also disappears. The story then switches to the isolated commune of Pastoral nestled deep in the woods. The chapters alternate between three of its inhabitants, Theo and his wife Calla, and Calla’s sister Bee. 

I have to be honest and say it wasn’t terribly difficult to foresee what the central twist was going to be, but that really didn’t matter because of the hypnotic writing style of Ernshaw. Theo, Calla, and Bee are all unreliable narrators because they each only possess bits and pieces of the larger puzzle. They’re all relatable though, and I had no trouble connecting with them whatsoever.

The story itself is a slow burner in the beginning, but thanks to Ernshaw’s evocative and richly detailed prose I never once found my attention wandering. While I figured out the main reveal fairly early, I remained mystified in regards to the hows and whys, and along the winding way to getting those answers, there were quite a few twists that managed to surprise me right up until the ingenious ending.

A History of Wild Places is a stellar read that I recommend to not only fans of Shea Ernshaw’s previous books, but anyone who’s a fan of unique, imaginative and unforgettable storytelling. If I were to compare it to something, I’d say in some respects it’s reminiscent of M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village, but trust me, it ultimately diverges quite a ways from that and completely stands on its own merits. 


AGT ~Jimmy Herrod


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I have loved Pure Imagination since I first heard Gene Wilder sing it in 1971 in the movie Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. I’ve heard other singers cover it over the years, but for me no one came close to capturing the magic of Wilder’s performance. That is, until Tuesday night, when AGT contestant, Jimmie Herrod put forth his unique rendition that had me spellbound. In case you missed it, here it is.

And here is the original which honestly, never gets old does it?