Hi dear readers,
I hope your summer has been going well. Our family has been a little under the weather with COVID and the stomach virus during the month of July, and now we are in the back to school season. We did venture to the Fort Worth Stockyards this past weekend, and my husband and I took a mini vacation to Lindale (childhood home of country artist Miranda Lambert), Tyler and Sulphur Springs. We visited The Bookworm Box in Sulphur Springs, and I will write more about that later in the blog.
Freida McFadden is a popular thriller writer. I first heard about her through Amazon Kindle when I searched in the thriller genre. McFadden, a practicing physician specializing in brain injury, knows her stuff. Her psychological thriller, and the first one I read, The Locked Door, has an impressive 30,000 five star reviews on Amazon. The Housemaid, the second novel of hers I read, has 28,000 five star reviews. I am currently reading my third novel, The Inmate.
Title: The Locked Door
Author: Freida McFadden
Publisher: Hollywood Upstairs Press
Date of Publication: June 1, 2021
Page Length: 273 pages
Nora Davis is a surgeon and is intent on keeping her childhood secret just that, a secret that once discovered could damage her career. She grew up with a father that showed affection and love to his family, all the while secretly murdering women in the family basement. Nora changed her last name, went to med school and ran from her tumultuous past. She enters into practice with a charming friend from med school and keeps a quiet existence. She runs into an old college boyfriend that manages the bar at her favorite local hangout. His landlord is suspicious of him, and warns Nora to stay away. One night she is headed home from the bar, and is chased by a car on the way home. She receives an anonymous note that someone knows of her true identity, and is starting to slowly take the lives of her female patients in the same manner as her father so she will take the fall. Nora is unsure of who to trust, and if she will be able to keep the practice and her new relationship.
McFadden’s novel is witty and smart. Her main character keeps the reader engaged and wondering about her true character. I wondered how much of her behaviors are attributed to her father’s choices, if she still spoke to him and what her past was really like. Her creative, intelligent writing causes the reader to question if sociopath behaviors are more nurture or nature.
Title: The Housemaid
Author: Freida McFadden
Publication Date: April 26, 2022
Page Length: 334 pages
The Winchester’s hire Millie as their maid and give her the spare bedroom in the attic. Millie is too charmed by the family and the lavish lifestyle to notice the scratches on the door with the lock facing out and the window that doesn’t open. By the time she fully realizes the game of cat and mouse she is in with the closed off family, she’s already caught in the trap.
The Housemaid is one of my favorite reads this year. McFadden uses her experience as a physician to write psychological thrillers with relatable characters and sharp plots that amuse the reader. Her works are smart, but not too smart that they overwhelm with too many twists unrelated to the plot and dry, humorless characters. Each novel has its own personality, like a character itself.
From the publisher:
#1 Amazon bestselling author Freida McFadden is a practicing physician specializing in brain injury who has penned multiple Kindle bestselling psychological thrillers and medical humor novels. She lives with her family and black cat in a centuries-old three-story home overlooking the ocean, with staircases that creak and moan with each step, and nobody could hear you if you scream. Unless you scream really loudly, maybe. To read more about the author, visit the website at https://www.freidamcfadden.com/
Fort Worth Stockyards Museum
The museum not only has artifacts from the Stockyards, but from the time period when the Stockyards was known as the “Wall Street of the West.” One of the most well known artifacts from the time period is the Bad Luck Wedding Dress designed in New York City. Of the four women that wore the dress, three lost their husbands and one bride became sick. The dress was brought to the museum by the owner because she didn’t want the bad luck in her home. New York Times bestselling author Emily March, aka Geralyn Dawson, wrote The Bad Luck Wedding Series based on the dress. Click here to visit the author’s webpage and to learn more about the series.
From the author’s website:
Emily March is the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty novels, including the critically acclaimed Eternity Springs series. Publishers Weekly calls March a “master of delightful banter,” and her heartwarming, emotionally charged stories have been named to Best of the Year lists by Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Romance Writers of America.
A graduate of Texas A&M University, Emily is an avid fan of Aggie sports and her recipe for jalapeño relish has made her a tailgating legend.
The Story of Cynthia Ann Parker
Quanah Parker is considered the greatest Comanche chief of all time and the book about his life, Empire of the Summer Moon, was a Pulitzer finalist and New York Times bestseller. The story many do not know about is the tragic story of his mother, Cynthia Ann Parker, who was kidnapped by a band of Comanches at the age of nine during the raid of Fort Parker in 1836. The band of Comanches became her family and she married Nocona, the most feared of Comanche War Chiefs. She, along with her young daughter, were recaptured by the Texas Rangers in 1860 during the Battle of Pease River. She was permanently separated from her two sons, Pecos and Quanah. Parker never adjusted to her new surroundings and became filled with despair after her daughter died of pneumonia in 1864, only four years after their recapture. Parker passed away in 1871 due to voluntarily not eating and drinking due to heartache. She never knew the man Quanah became.
In 1910, Parker’s son, Quanah, moved her body to Post Oak Mission Cemetery near Cache, Oklahoma. When he died in February 1911, he was buried next to her. Their bodies were moved in 1957 to the Fort Sill Post Cemetery in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. In 1965 the state of Texas had Parker’s daughter moved from her grave in Van Zandt County, Texas to join her mother and brother.
Read more of Cynthia Ann Parker’s story here and purchase the book about her life here. Click here to purchase Empire of the Summer Moon.
The Stockyards Museum includes a Quanah Parker Exhibit and The Log Cabin Village is the location of the Parker cabin, which is where Cynthia Ann Parker and her her daughter were returned to in 1860 by the Texas Rangers. It is Tarrant County’s oldest structure. To learn more about these historical sites and others that Quanah visited in Fort Worth, click here.
The Bookworm Box in Sulphur Springs, TX
The Bookworm Box is a chic bookstore located in picturesque downtown Sulphur Springs. The store was founded by New York Times bestselling author, Colleen Hoover, as a way to give back to her hometown community, help indie authors gain exposure and provide financial assistance to numerous charities. Click here to learn more about the monthly subscription box service and to visit the store website.