Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Tea-Olive Bird Watching Society

Click HERE to order
This book surprised me (I was expecting a light-hearted chick lit reading). And again brought home to me the truth that we southern women are not the weak, soft little old ladies that people usually like to portray (or infer from the writings of others). The first time I heard the term "southern belle" my mind immediately went to the tough, cast iron bell that used to hang on a post in front of my parents' house. This book by Augusta Trobaugh is a reminder never to cross a genteel southern "little old lady" and never attempt to come between one and her family or her land.

From the Amazon page:

Coconut cake, grits, poisoned turtle stew and bird-watching . . . the ladies of tiny Tea-Olive, Georgia share a lot of interests, including murder. Retired judge L. Hyson Breed, a Yankee, picked the wrong Southern woman to trick, bully and steal from. The members of the Tea-Olive Bird Watching Society plot revenge after the judge’s marriage to their friend, Sweet, turns out to be a greedy grab for her land and for control of their town. To the rescue: Beulah, Zion and Wildwood (all named after hymns, as is Sweet). The only problem? The wannabe murderers are southern matrons from a more civilized generation. How does one remain polite even while planning to kill a man and get away with it?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Stirring Up Trouble

I love magic. Tell me the protagonist in a book is a witch and I'm sold. Sometimes (a lot of times recently) I've been disappointed by people who threw a witch into a story just to be able to advertise it as a "paranormal" without giving magic center stage anywhere in the book. NOT the case with this book written by Juli Alexander. Magic sneaks in when least expected and fills every corner of every page. I even learned something about witches! Did you ever wonder why good witches are always beautiful and nasty witches have moles and green skin and wiry chin whiskers? Casting self-serving spells damages a witch's appearance. Doing magic that helps someone enhances your looks. Isn't that a cool factoid? And, you heard it here! I'm looking forward to reading the 2nd in the series, Trouble's Brewing, already waiting for me on my Kindle .

From the Amazon page:

Zoe Miller is a 15-year-old witch with a talent for potions. She's working hard to find a substitute for toad slime. Since fat-free margarine has been found to be a substitute for dead man's toe, she's hopeful that she'll find one.

Then there's all the so-called normal stuff. Like high school, her annoyingly selfish "friend" Anya, and her crush on Anya's ex-boyfriend Jake.

Now, Zoe's dad is dating Jake's mom, and things are getting more and more complicated. If only Zoe could brew a potion or two and set everything straight. Zoe can't. If she brews a self-serving potion, bad things will happen to her appearance. Like a crooked nose, giant wart, green skin, rotting teeth--the whole ugly witch stereotype.

Zoe's tired of fate interfering so cruelly in her life. Can you really blame her for putting her potions to not-so-good use and stirring up trouble?