Book Tour Day 3: The Haunting of Chatham Hollow #newrelease #ghoststory #spiritualism #mystery @BeemWeeks @stacitroilo

Promo ad for The Haunting of Chatham Hollow shows book in various formats to left of lamppost at night, tree silhouettes in background

Happy Monday! It’s a new week which promises to be a busy one for the short tour Staci Troilo and I are unrolling for our new release, The Haunting of Chatham Hollow.

Today, I’m visiting Story Empire colleague and amazingly talented author, Beem Weeks. If you’re unfamiliar with Beem’s work, I suggest correcting that oversight post-haste. Beem is a literary story-teller who excels at character voice and narrative. Whether writing short fiction or novel length, he’s guaranteed to keep you flipping pages. Having read all his short story collections, and his novel, Jazz Baby, I can easily vouch for that!

You can find all of Beem’s work on his Amazon Author Page. After you’ve had a good browse, hop over to join us on Beem’s blog, where I’ll be introducing a pair of sisters who don’t always see eye to eye.

Comments are closed on this post, but I hope to see you THERE.

Book Review Tuesday: Jazz Baby by Beem Weeks, #historical fiction #comingofage, Outside by Ragnar Jonasson #internationalmystery #crimefiction @beemweeks

Warm and cozy window seat with cushions and a opened book, light through vintage shutters, rustic style home decor. Small cat on window seat, along with coffee cup by pillow, Words Book Review Tuesday superimposed over image

It’s past the mid point of April and we had snow yesterday. Not anything that laid on the ground, but the fact that it was even tumbling from the sky seemed so wrong. I resisted the urge to sob, reminding myself we have warmer temperatures coming later this week. Hopefully, yesterday’s snow was winter’s last sneeze.

On a positive note, I have book reviews to share! The first is a gritty and vibrant piece of historical fiction. Sadly, the second fell short of what I expected, but since it’s a Net Galley selection, I felt the need to post my review.


book cover for Jazz Baby shows framed picture of barefoot young girl in sundress, sepia-tone finish

JAZZ BABY
by Beem Weeks

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Beem Weeks will take you back in time with this story of a young girl who dreams of becoming a jazz singer. Emily Ann “Baby” Teegarten is gifted with an amazing voice, but her life falls apart when her mother murders her father, and she is left orphaned at thirteen. Taken in by an aunt, she struggles to navigate her own way, singing in speak easies, getting caught up in a life of gangsters, drugs, and sex.

The setting is gritty and raw, perfectly rendered. This is a dark book—the character endures a lot at the hands of those who would use her for their own gain—but it also presents a realistic slice of life that brings the seedier side of the 1920s to vivid clarity. The writing is a mesmerizing combination of “plain-speak” and crude beauty. I don’t think I’ve ever read dialogue that felt so authentic or flowed so effortlessly. Characters are exquisitely drawn. Some, like Nessie, will steal your heart. Others, like Pig and Rydekker, will make your skin crawl. There is a side plot related to stolen money, and others involving infatuations and the first flush of love.

Emily Ann is feisty—daring but also naïve. There were many times I wanted to shake sense into her, and others where I cringed over the danger she found herself in—time and time again. This is a coming-of-age tale that doesn’t pull punches. I felt like I stepped back in time to an era when “speaks” and cathouses ruled the night and dreams of overcoming circumstance resulted in reckless choices. Bravo to the author for painting such a stark reality of hardscrabble living.

AMAZON LINK

Book cover shows set of footprints through heavy snow leading to small house at base of mountains, light shining from doorway of house

OUTSIDE
by Ragnar Jonasson

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Thank you to NetGalley and Minotaur Books for this ARC.

I love books set in winter climates, and the idea of this one being set in Iceland was extremely appealing. Add in four old college friends reuniting for a hunting trip, plus a snow storm, and it sounded like a fantastic set up for a great mystery.

Unfortunately, I found myself plodding through chapter after chapter of lengthy backstory and next to zero action. I couldn’t even connect with any of the characters. I normally don’t mind backstory (I love seething undercurrents) but this was just so dry and often repetitive that it took an effort to finish the book. Sadly, not at all what I expected. This one just wasn’t for me.

PRE-ORDER FROM AMAZON
(Release date is June 28, 2022)