Following Disasters by Nancy McCabe has the feel of the gothic novels its heroine reads. There is an old house, a ghost, and lots of personal realization in this atmospheric novel.
At 21, Maggie-Kate Owen is living a nomadic life "following disasters" for an insurance company. All that changes, though, when her Aunt Beth dies and leaves her the old Victorian. Maggie-Kate moves in and begins to think back on the disasters that have befallen her own life so far. She comes to realize that her life has parallels to her aunt's but, unlike her aunt, she has time to change her fate if she can learn from the relationship mistakes of her elders.
Following Disasters starts a little slow, but the atmosphere is there from the get-go. McCabe starts with what feels like a simple coming-of-age story, but things become deeper and more complex as the story moves along. The switching between Maggie-Kate's past and present is just as easy to follow as the switches to Beth's journal, which helps keep the pace moving as the plot picks up speed.
Following Disasters is a deep work that will appeal to those who like gothic-esque novels. Nancy McCabe's first foray into fiction is a success that begs for more.
Title: Special Dead Author: Patrick Frievald Publisher: Journal Stone
Why Read?: Early Review
Thoughts: Although a sequel, this was easy to pick and read almost as a standalone. However, there were plenty of parts that just dragged, which somehow hurt the reader's empathy towards the characters.
Title: Holiday Mystery Short Story Bundle Author: Gemma Halliday, Leslie Langtry, Gin Jones, Janel Gradowski, Jennifer L. Hart, Kelly Rey, Kerri Nelson, Traci Andrighetti, & Jennifer Fischetto Publisher: Gemma Halliday
Why Read?: Fresh Fiction
Thoughts: This collection contains short stories/novellas from nine cozy mystery series. All but the first story were cozies (the first was just plain romantic comedy), but I enjoyed some better than others.