Sunday, October 23, 2011

"Ghost On Black Mountain" by Ann Hite

This debut novel....will blow you away!
I recently got a real good laugh when I read this comment on FaceBook by a well known author:
"these days it seems anyone with a keyboard thinks they can review books"

I was born in the "land of writers"...Mississippi is a who's who of Southern Lit.........
William Faulkner, Eudora Welty,Willie Morris,Ellen Gilchrist,Barry Hannah, Elizabeth Spencer, Shelby Foote, Alice Walker, Walker Percy,Tennessee Williams, Richard Wright, Nevada Barr, Carolyn Haines, Charlaine Harris, Greg Iles, Melinda Haynes, John Grisham, Kathryn Stockett and Donna Tartt are just a fraction of the list.........

Having read everyone of these authors throughout my life along with countless others from the south yes,
I think I and my keyboard are qualified to review books.
Being qualified and doing are two different things my Mother would have said. I read lots of good books but I only review books that leave me feeling loss when they're over. Books I consider worthy of remembering not only the book but the author as well. When a true book lover reads a book she or he wants everyone to read, they've found a treasure !!!!!

I found treasure this week in this debut novel from Georgia author Ann Hite! I was so blown away by her prose, I lay the book down, went in search of Eric and said;
" this woman has channeled William Faulkner as her muse, she's a female Faulkner"
Throw in a dash of Ron Rash, Sharyn McCrumb, Flannery O'Conner and Sue Monk Kidd and you have.... ANN HITE !

"Ghost" is set in Black Mountain, NC, Asheville, NC and Darien, GA..............
Told though the strong voices of 6 women linked together forever by the love,betrayal and evil deeds of one handsome, dastardly mountain man Hobbs Prichard................

Nellie; " he looked so far off I was afraid he might never come back"

Josie; " it's a weakness trying to keep our daughters from making the same mistakes. But I didn't make one bit of difference, I didn't stop one thing"

Shelly; " we was the only Negroes on the mountain and that made for a mighty lonely life. All I had was Faith Dobbins who made me her baby doll until I got old enough to be her maid "

Rose; " she was prettier than me. If I had to compare myself to this girl, I was an elephant dressed up in ribbons and satin to disguise my tough hide"

Iona;" it would take me years before I came to understand that every thought that came out of my head had rolled downhill from something she tried to instill in me for better or worse"

Annie; " a mother has no business living with her daughter. I might tell some important secret when I start to lose my mind"

Hobbs Prichard's evil deeds cause spirits to roam Black Mountain and these women are the ones they haunt!!

Below is a trailer for the book set to Mississippi Delta Blues which I have no doubt pleases Faulkner............ :)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Saturday Hodge Podge

It's been an interesting week......leaving me dragging!

But...........hope has risen! I'm headed for my Smokies this week for a MUCH NEEDED vacation!
I'm so pepped... I'm thinking I'll make the hike up to The Walker Sisters Cabin while I'm there!

This is the view from our Townsend cabin taken by my daughter a few weeks ago....

I'm hoping it has or will change to this while I'm there!!!!

And when I return to the farm, maybe this view..............

Will look like this..............

Spinach ............this went in the freezer

I put up Turnip Greens too this week! I was going to go the freezer route but decided they'd be worth the extra trouble and canned them!

The Prison Chicks are doing great! We have eggs out to you know what! We started with 9 hens and 1 rooster. We now have 16 hens and 2 roosters! That's Queen Vicki keeping her distance and posing! She lays an egg big enough to be a double yolk!

Oscar Wilde is head warden and keeps a tight rope with his 4 inch spurs! He has yet to jump the young one named Bragg ( named after Rick Bragg) but I'm watching for it!

Can you believe we have been running 10 degrees cooler than the mountains this week!
33 night before last and 37 last night! They caught up today! Foggy Mornings too!

Took this pic of a "volunteer" yellow Squash plant in the pastures edge the other day.
It had blooms but I bet the cold got em!

My faithful Rosemary bush!

My Butterfly Weed keeps on keeping on! Waiting on the Monarchs?

This is a Double Bloom Hardy Hibiscus! It doesn't bloom till fall..........

Ahhhhhhhhh the Roses! This is the front bed.........

One of the back beds..........

And some I gathered this morning....I froze my patooty off too!


Saturday, October 15, 2011


The Wait Is Over ! It's Tuesday October 18, 2011! The 5th book in the Elizabeth Goodweather Mystery Series by Vicki Lane is here!

It's hard to believe that it's been 3 years ( June 2008) since Vicki Lane left us all on a cliff in " Dark Season"! So long in fact, I had to re-read "Dark Season" recently to remember what cliff I was on in preparation for being honored with an ARC of " Under The Skin " !!
Those of you who visit this blog know: " I Am A Connoisseur of North Carolina Authors and their works "! I've read them all! They are a special breed, right up there with MISSISSIPPI ( you know we have Faulkner,Welty, Morris, Grisham, Stockett to name a few)
and... Vicki Lane is a "blue blood" among her NC peers!

In my opinion her best yet...

" Of Two Sisters....One is always the watcher.. One the dancer".....Louise Gluck

" Rivalry adds so much to the charms of one's conquests"...
Louisa May Alcott

In " Under The Skin" we delve into the relationship of Elizabeth and her only sister Gloria. Rivalry comes front and center as Elizabeth the "watcher" is sucked into the vortex of Gloria the "dancer"....
As with all Vicki's books, we are treated to then and now of Western NC which I love!
" Then" being Hot Springs, NC 1887 where The De'Vine sisters are perpetrating a "medium" scheme of bringing forth the dead in their much sought after seances....
" Now" being not only Elizabeth's home, Full Circle Farm but also present day Hot Springs where Gloria has taken the reluctant Elizabeth for their own seance with the departed!
Gloria has come from her home in Florida in hopes of hiding out from her current(3rd) husband whom she's convinced is trying to kill her, landing full force in the middle of Elizabeth's wedding planning, where she causes chaos and resentment to take over Elizabeth's life.
The reader is treated to not only a great mystery but an up close look at the complicated bond that exists between two very different sisters from two very different eras.

It was 3 years ago yesterday that I discovered the works of Vicki Lane! I was fortunate that she already had written 4 books in The Elizabeth Goodweather Series and I ordered all 4! We have become good friends and "sisters of the written word"in these past 3 years and she is one of my VERY favorite authors. She has that "rare " ability to capture place so have to see it for yourself!

She made me fall in love with Western NC and last year I was blessed with the opportunity to visit with her@ Full Circle Farm and enjoy a wonderful meal I still remember well !
Above is a collage of pics I took on her gorgeous farm while there........

Below you'll see my complete collection of Vicki's wonderful books!!!!!
If you haven't read them.... shame on you! You are missing out!

AND.....Vicki, please tell me I don't have to wait 3 more years to visit with our girl Elizabeth!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

" THE BEACH HOUSE " by Mary Alice Monroe

Several months ago one of my friends recommended a book " Time Is a River" by Mary Alice Monroe to me and though I had never read any of her work I agreed that it sounded like one I'd enjoy. I loved it, so I purchased 2 more! "The Beach House" and it's sequel "Swimming Lessons".

I wasn't sure about "The Beach House" because it was centered around a woman named Lovie Rutledge who was a Turtle Lady. The Turtle Ladies are a group of women on the Isle of Palms, SC who protect the Loggerhead Hatchlings. Now I love nature in all forms but I'd never given Loggerheads much thought. Now, they will never leave my thoughts!

Mary Alice Monroe is a readers dream author! Not only is her writing superb but she has something many writers lack, the ability to"capture place" so well you are THERE while you're reading and dying to GO THERE when you get to the books end!
Another endearing quality of her work is , whatever the theme in the book, (in this case Loggerheads) you are in love with it at the end. I wanted to learn to Fly-Fish after reading
" Time Is A River "!
I was up till 12:38 am finishing this book last night. It takes a awesome book to keep me up past 10:00 pm ! When it was over, I bawled like a baby!
"The Beach House" is a wonderful Women's Fiction read. Trust me, you will fall in love with the books characters, with Isle of Palms, SC and YES, you will LOVE those endangered Loggerheads with all your heart and want to be a Turtle Lady yourself !!!!!

This is an Ariel view of Isle of Palms. We have planned a trip in the Spring to Myrtle Beach, Folly Beach and Charleston, Isle of Palms is now a MUST see also! Can't wait!

I probably won't get to see a Mother Loggerhead lay her nest of eggs...... the hatchling's when they "boil" out of the nest and head to the ocean...

BUT...if I'm lucky I will get to stay in this beach house while on the Isle...In the meantime...

I'm going to read the sequel and see what's going on with Carra, Brett, Toy and Little Lovie!!

Thank You Mary Alice for writing this AWESOME read!!!