Monday, August 3, 2015

A Peach of Pair

A Peach of a Pair by Idgie Says: 
Take a lovely and serious music student who is crushed by the "love of her life", a very handsome small town doctor, plus two meddling and set in their ways spinsters..... and you have a lively and rambunctious story.  

Nettie runs away from life for a while and settles in as a caretaker to spinster sisters.  She meets a fine young town doctor, who unfortunately receives information that leads him to believe she's ran from school for different reasons than are true, much to his disappointment.

As Nettie slowly gains herself back, it begins to be obvious that there's quite a back story to the spinster sisters too - and it all unfolds on an unexpected roadtrip. 

A lovely story set in the late 50's South - a time of fine sensibilities and a different way of looking at life. 

A Peach of a Pair

Berkley | Aug 04, 2015 | 304 Pages | 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 | ISBN 9780425281994

April, 1953. Nettie Gilbert has cherished her time studying to be a music teacher at Columbia College in South Carolina, but as graduation approaches, she can’t wait to return to her family—and her childhood sweetheart, Brooks—in Alabama. But just days before her senior recital, she gets a letter from her mama telling her that Brooks is getting married . . . to her own sister.

Devastated, Nettie drops out of school and takes a job as live-in help for two old-maid sisters, Emily and Lurleen Eldridge. Emily is fiercely protective of the ailing Lurleen, but their sisterhood has weathered many storms. And as Nettie learns more about their lives on a trip to see a faith healer halfway across the country, she’ll discover that love and forgiveness will one day lead her home . . .

Friday, July 31, 2015

3 Women Walk Into A Bar

3Womenb (2)Idgie Says:
I found Linda's styling of the book to be really interesting in how all the characters became fully fleshed out - even the dead girls.  No one in the book is a flat filler character.  From the bar owner, to his ex-wife, to each of the girls, they all have their own detailed chapters describing their characters, backgrounds and lives.  While some of this might not be integral to the story of the murders itself, it makes you become invested in everyone involved.  Usually the murder victim is a chalk outline and nothing more. 

The dialogue is snappy and sharp, the murders hold a lot of mystery and questions and the story itself makes for a good read. 

A fun way to while away an afternoon. 


Down & Out Books
June, 2015

Click HERE for an excerpt.

Book Description:
When three women are found shot and killed in an Irish bar in Syracuse, the cops think it’s an open and shut case, pointing the finger at missing bar owner James John Smith, until a mother of one of the victims hires former exotic dancer and karaoke star turned Private Eye, Bill “Free Willy” Tedesco to investigate. Then, the who becomes more important than the why.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Katrina, Mississippi: Voices from Ground Zero

Idgie Says:
As many of you know, I have always been vocal about the fact that I felt Mississippi was often forgotten by the public in terms of the damage and heartache the state suffered as the star of the Tourist Season, New Orleans, took the limelight. The damage to both was great, and many people suffered in both states.  To this day there are displaced businesses, homes and people who still feel the affects of this storm.  

I am a strong proponent of Mississippi getting a voice in this tragedy also and I'm happy to say that this book does just that.

This is an incredibly detailed account of the beginning, middle, end, and aftermath of Katrina, told by first responders and government workers who were left behind, or stayed there on purpose, to help as they could. 

This is the story of Katrina from the people that watched, warned, waited and did what they could to rescue those that needed rescuing. 

To me, this book tells an important story by some of the most important people that were out there. 


Triton/Nautilus Publishing
July, 2015

Book Description:
The narrative follows the men and women who stayed behind on the Mississippi Coast as Hurricane Katrina — the worst natural disaster in our history — made landfall. These first responders rode out the storm. When they emerged from their bunkers, they realized that nothing would ever be the same again (see attached press release for more info).

NancyKay, an award-winning journalist and a public health expert, brings to life these never-before-told accounts of the men and women who saved thousands of lives and started to rebuild the Mississippi Coast.


 A work of creative nonfiction, Katrina, Mississippi: Voices from Ground Zero showcases heroes and their work from the epicenter of preparedness, response, rescue, recovery, and rebuilding. This account weaves individual stories from first responders and critically important volunteers into a timeline that also reports events simultaneously occurring beyond – the accounts of state and federal governments’ activities and the response of people and organizations from Florida to Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. This book deals with the public health impact of both the natural disaster and the unnatural consequences that emerged through human efforts. The book reveals personal recollections of health and medical aspects, special needs victims and mass care through sheltering, pop-up medical clinics, and the sole hospital that withstood the storm and continued providing services.

The book introduces characters who addressed issues related to food and water, sewers, volunteers, donations, and other emergency support functions. Readers learn of catastrophe and courage through the experiences of a public health physician, Robert Travnicek, MD, in upheaval not of his own making but caught in a quagmire of natural disaster, local and state politics, and moral determination. Harrison County EOC Commander General Joe Spraggins directs with able assistance from Rupert Lacy, a veteran law enforcement officer whose history, knowledge, and respect for the power of the storm enabled him to oversee operations for all emergency support functions and, later, succeed his boss as emergency management director. Paramedic-elected-multiple-terms as coroner Gary Hargrove set aside his own family’s predicament to lead search and rescue, then recovery, and, finally, identification of each person Katrina killed in his county. And Steve Delahousey, veteran EMS leader on local and national levels, made sure special needs people were moved from harm’s way before the storm and that adequate medical care was available after.

On the western edge of ground zero and under the stubborn leadership of Hancock County Emergency Management Director Brian “Hooty” Adam, 35 stalwart citizens risked their lives to stay behind and keep emergency operations going during the storm’s assault on Bay Saint Louis and Waveland. They refused to evacuate, even though state and federal officials demanded they do so. WQRZ Radio operator and founder of the Hancock County Amateur Radio Association, Brice Phillips set up inside the EOC and remained on the air throughout Katrina’s monstrous assault on his community; after her catastrophic devastation, WQRZ staff communicated life-saving information about safety and health, points of distribution for ice, water, and other commodities, and answered questions from listeners. The station took many AMR calls, helped Hancock Countians contact family across the nation, and helped get parts shipped in to bring the Bay Saint Louis water system back up.

 This book documents the players’ personal and professional views as they reveal their alliances and actions, their concerns and issues, their truths and consequences. Theirs are stories about human suffering and survival – often not because of but in spite of assistance from government. The book does not distinguish right from wrong or comment on whether individuals or organizations succeeded or failed. Readers must draw their own conclusions. These stories – the characters’ perspective on the problems they encountered and what they themselves revealed to be their values through the storm of the centuries – can bridge to whatever becomes the United States’ and the Gulf Coast’s next Katrina.

Books Going to the Dogs!

Idgie Says:
Two interesting books out this summer that star our best friend and companion  - dogs.  The first one, Lawyer for the Dog, is a fictional novel sharing the story of a lawyer who learns more about life and what she wants while deciding the fate of Sherman the Schnauzer.  Let the hijinks ensue!  (P.S.  not a nonsensical premise, I have seen people go to court over who gets the family dogs when divorce occurs!)

The second book, Lessons from Tara, is filled with true life stories created from the forming and working with a rescue association for dogs, from the perspective of a man who had never owned a dog before meeting his wife, and her dog....and having his eyes opened to the love an animal can give you. They claim to average a home with 20 dogs at a time now - apparently the rescue is their living room!

I love dogs and always enjoy a good dog story, be it a fictional novel or a true life memoir.  Both books are available now.


LAWYER FOR THE DOG (Thomas Dunne Books; July 7, 2015) is a moving, poignant, and often funny story about people’s battles for love, whether the love of another person or the love of a family pet. Filled with warm and engaging characters and several real-life themes—the canine-human bond, family, divorce, caring for an aging parent, and mid-life dating, it is a fresh and timely novel that will keep readers engaged until the very last page.   

One of the sharpest attorneys in Charleston, S.C., Sally Baynard isn’t your typical Southern belle.  She’s certainly not what her mother hoped she’d grow up to be, especially since she divorced her husband, a family court judge with an historic family as well as historic wealth.  Maybe Sally was never going to be a proper society lady, but her success as a public defender and family lawyer have been enough for her.  She’s represented murderers, burglars, and drug dealers and has taken on some of the thorniest divorces, closing all her cases with her special blend of wit, charm and brains.
 One case she’s never successfully closed, though, is her marriage.  And when Judge Joe Baynard assigns her to one of his divorce cases by appointing her as the lawyer for the couple’s dog – Sherman, a miniature schnauzer—she’s forced into close quarters with him again.  As Sally investigates Sherman’s relationship with both the husband and wife, she knows she must ultimately determine who would be the better guardian for the dog—a task she soon finds is far more complicated than one would think. Juggling the needs of the dog, the angry, divorcing couple, her amorous but uncommunicative ex-husband, her aging mother, and the expectations of the court is more than Sally could have imagined.  But as rascally Sherman digs his way into Sally’s heart, he also helps her make some important decisions about her own life.


Mystery writer David Rosenfelt is the Edgar and Shamus Award-nominated author of eighteen novels, twelve of which feature sleuth Andy Carpenter and his dog, Tara.  Carpenter and Tara are extremely popular with readers, and in Rosenfelt’s non-fiction book, Dogtripping, fans learned that the fictional Tara was actually inspired by Rosenfelt’s first real-life dog of the same name.   Now, they’ll be delighted to learn that Rosenfelt shares his sage and funny recollections of what Tara taught him about life, love, and being a man in his newest book, LESSONS FROM TARA: Life Advice from The World’s Most Brilliant Dog. (July 21, 2015 St. Martin's Press)
Rosenfelt first met Tara when he began dating Debbie Myers, who would later become his wife.  As David and Debbie’s relationship grew, they also bonded over their love of Tara.  Tara was David’s first experience with having a pet dog, and he learned about the amazing love and comfort dogs have to offer.  It was because of Tara that the couple began volunteering at animal shelters and eventually founded their own rescue group, which they named The Tara Foundation.  Over the years they found homes for over four thousand dogs, and have adopted hundreds themselves.  At any given time, they have at least twenty dogs of their own; however, there was that one time when they had forty!  In LESSONS FROM TARA, Rosenfelt shares what he learned from Tara and all their rescue dogs about life, love, and happiness, including the importance of overcoming your fears, appreciating the little things in life, that there’s nothing wrong with growing old, and that the world has gotten smaller and we are all connected.  He also includes the small things he’s learned like who gets the pillow when four dogs sleep in your bed with you…it’s not the human!

Infused with David’s trademark wry and self-deprecating sense of humor, LESSONS FROM TARA will move readers to tears and laughter.