Swamp by Karen Yochim



By: Karen Yochim

Book Synopsis:

A post Civil War 1868 Louisiana Swamp murder mystery set on the eve of decades of destruction of the vast Atchafalaya Swamp by Yankee logging companies. Sidonie, a young Acadian woman unravels the mysteries of the mutilated, unrecognizable body retrieved from the swamp, her cousin’s stolen gold coins, and her missing fiancé, Jean Claude. She is aided in her search by a hermit swamper and a traiteur, or Cajun faith healer. Deep in the swamp she learns the long hidden secret of her identity, a stunning revelation that utterly transforms her life.

My Review:

Five Stars!!!

When I go to author events, I usually take a stroll around to see what other local authors have to offer. It’s no secret that my first love when reading is good books that capture the essence of Cajun Country. So I use these events to find more great stories. Last month, I picked up the book Swamp, by Karen Yochim. I was intrigued with historical aspect of it, as it is set in 1868. When I started reading, I was captivated.
Yochim’s writing style is as haunting and lyrical as the swamp itself. It has a flow that mimics our beloved Atchafalaya, it’s smooth, constant and rich. The swamp even becomes almost a character in the novel, “I smiled at the completeness of the swamp. It needed nothing and lacked for nothing,” much like this novel. This novel needed nothing and lacked for nothing.
Because a character, Jean Claude, has gone missing, I thought this would be more of a mystery. Instead, it was more of a coming of age story for Sidonie. When the novel begins, Sidonie is engaged to Jean Paul. She is a young girl living in her rude sister’s home, daydreaming as she goes about her daily chores. By the end of the book, Sidonie is standing up to her demanding and controlling sister, she has left that home, and even left her arranged engagement. She follows her heart to find love, independence, and a new life that I won’t give away because it would spoil the story.
Definitely a five star read for me!

Buy Link: http://a.co/fhsdviH


A House Divided, by Deborah Leblanc

ahdA House Divided

by: Deborah Leblanc

Book Synopsis:

Keith Lafleur, Louisiana’s largest and greediest building contractor, thinks he’s cut the deal of a lifetime. The huge old, two-story, clapboard house is his for the taking as long as he can move it to a new location. It’s too big to move as it is, but Lafleur’s solution is simple: divide it in half. He has no idea, though, that by splitting the house he’ll be dividing a family- a family long dead, a family that still exists in the house, including a mother who will destroy anyone who keeps her apart from her children.

My Review:

5 STARS!!!

I saw Deborah LeBlanc at a writer’s conference, and knew I wanted to read one of her books.  How could a ghost hunter not have a great paranormal novel? I picked up A House Divided, and once I started reading, I could not put it down.

First, I love books set in south Louisiana written by local authors. LeBlanc does a great job of capturing the local color and character of Cajun country. Her characters feel like people I would meet while standing in line for groceries.

Second, the storyline moved at a perfect pace. I was able to read this book in two days, its flow was so smooth. I kept turning pages wanting to see what was coming next. The story was also unique. Haunted house stories can become clichéd and predictable, and this book was neither.

The story is about a house that is literally split in half. A local contractor purchases the huge house and moves it to another town. In the process, he divides the house into two sections. Each has an apartment on the top floor and a business on the bottom. Lara and Tawana, take one section and open a beauty salon. Matt Daigle opens a new location for his successful café. Soon after opening, the euphoria of new beginnings is replaced with fear. Waking up one morning, the inhabitants of the house find flocks of dead birds littering their yards. And that’s only the beginning…..

What happens later is a journey through a family’s history that will leave one of the characters reeling.

I give this book five stars for a flawless Southern ghost story.

Buy Link:

Link: http://a.co/bOXqOdD