gimmethatbook

Reviews of what you should be reading next.

Tag: Kelly Stone Gamble

Call Me Cass by Kelly Stone Gamble

Cass Adams is finally happy. She has a man who loves her, a family that understands her, and a baby on the way. Other than seeing the occasional dead person, Cass feels normal. But pregnancy has an unwelcome side effect. Cass is having visions of the future, just like Grams does. While some are cloudy, Cass knows one thing for certain. Her best friend, Maryanne, is going to die.

Police Chief Benny Cloud has his own problems. His father has been released from prison and is on his way home to surprise Benny’s mother, who’s been keeping time with the county sheriff. Fat Tina’s Gentlemen’s Club is under siege by protestors. And it’s growing dark outside.

A devastating storm is coming to Deacon, Kansas. In its wake, the town must deal with tragic losses that force everyone to reevaluate their lives.

Thanks to the author for this review copy!

One thing about Kelly Stone Gamble is that she is adept at creating character backstory. In CALL ME CASS we see all of our favorites from her previous two books but with more depth. This is accomplished by having each chapter told from a different point of view – something that I usually dislike – but it works here. We are privy to each character’s deepest thoughts and fears and learn who dislikes who (and why). These inner thoughts are both poignant and hilarious at the same time.

In this 3rd book of the series, Cass is ready to give birth while a massive tornado is bearing down on Deacon, Kansas. She is also struggling with one of her visions – her best friend Maryanne is supposed to die. Each character experiences the huge storm in their own way, and no one is unaffected. Deacon is destroyed and we stay with Cass & Co. while everyone picks up the collective pieces.

Gamble’s real talent lies in her ability to create friendships and deep connections in her storytelling. It feels like there are true bonds between Fat Tina, Angus, Clay, and the rest of the Deaconites. Kindness shines through on nearly every page no matter which character is telling the story at the moment. The characters are quirky and fun, and they all show compassion when the situation warrants.

The storm creates serious suspense while also serving as a cleansing for the town, since a few of the characters experience revelations about their life, their relationships, and their dreams. This proves to create a satisfying ending despite the fact that some of the characters did not survive the storm. I felt truly sad for these characters and wish things turned out differently. This shows how strongly the author is able to create lasting emotions in her readers through her writing. Anyone who can make the reader feel for a fictional character is a winner in my opinion.

Want your own copy? You can pick it up here.

Call Me Daddy by Kelly Stone Gamble

call-me

Cass Adams comes from a long line of crazy, and she fears passing that on to her unborn child. Also, she’s run over Roland and Clay’s surprise half brother Britt, landing him in the hospital. With her inner demons coming out to haunt her, she doesn’t know if she should keep the baby.
Clay Adams has his own decisions to make. His half brother shows up to tell him their father, Freddy, is still alive but needs a liver transplant. When Freddy blew out of town thirty-five years ago, secrets were buried. But it’s time for them to be dug up, because only then can Clay hope to lay the past to rest.

Call Me Daddy is a story of family, the secrets they keep, and to what lengths someone would go to protect them.
This sequel to They Call Me Crazy can be read as a standalone novel.

Thanks to the author for gifting me this book for review!

Cass Adams has run over a man in the street while driving home one night.  Little does she know that the accident will set things into motion that could destroy her family and everything she knows to be true about them.

Cass is still crazy, but a bit more grounded. Clay still turns to his worms for comfort, and Cass’ sister Lola is surprisingly big-hearted. Lots of great character exposition here; this is one of my favorite aspects of the book. We read about Roland’s family, learn about new additions to it (both welcome and unwelcome), and find out Cass is pregnant. Her ruminations on whether she would be a good mom or not are very touching and down to earth. She wants to do the right thing but she’s not sure if she has it in her. As a matter of fact, most of the characters want to do the same – there’s a theme here in CALL ME DADDY.

Each person has something that they need to do, and they all struggle with the decision. Events from the past are explained, and we get to learn more about evil dead husband Roland. Clay’s father, Freddie, is evil also – I hated him from the beginning. Fantastic work on the author’s part to create such a heinous and dislikable man! I was truly on the edge of my seat towards the end of the book to see what Lola and Clay were going to do about his “need”. Plus, I was prepared to start yelling at these fictional characters if they made the “wrong” decision.

Kelly Stone Gamble is an accomplished writer, blending dark humor, family drama, and oddball situations together in a way that is smooth and fascinating. It’s quite easy to become invested in the plot from the first few pages, and you will remain hooked until the end. It’s always a pleasure to spend time with Cass Adams, and I hope to see more of her soon.

Want your own copy? You can pick it up [easyazon_link identifier=”B01LWJGQ37″ locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”gimmethatbook-20″]here[/easyazon_link].

 

They Call Me Crazy by Kelly Stone Gamble

call me crazy

 

Cass Adams is crazy, and everyone in Deacon, Kansas, knows it. But when her good-for-nothing husband, Roland, goes missing, no one suspects that Cass buried him in their unfinished koi pond. Too bad he doesn’t stay there for long. Cass gets arrested on the banks of the Spring River for dumping his corpse after heavy rain partially unearths it.

The police chief wants a quick verdict—he’s running for sheriff and has no time for crazy talk. But like Roland’s corpse, secrets start to surface, and they bring more to light than anybody expected. Everyone in Cass’s life thinks they know her—her psychic grandmother, her promiscuous ex-best friend, her worm-farming brother-in-law, and maybe even her local ghost. But after years of separate silences, no one knows the whole truth. Except Roland. And he’s not talking.

 

 

 

 

Thanks to the author for gifting me this book in exchange for this review!

Sometimes I get review requests and I’m not sure I’ll like the book, but something tells me to take a chance anyway. THEY CALL ME CRAZY was one of those. I did some brief research and discovered that Goodreads had excellent reviews, so I took a gamble. I’m so glad I did! Well written and a shining example of the Southern Noir genre,  this was a fantastic ride.

The chapters are all told in the perspective of each of the characters, which makes everyone a pretty unreliable narrator. Cass herself is also unreliable, as she is determined to be the “crazy” one early on. She routinely denigrates her husband, while others who know him paint him as a wonderful man. Those characters who appear as shining paradigms may or may not turn out to be the bad guys—you just have to read it and see for yourself.

Cass is a pretty sympathetic character right off the bat, despite her townsfolk attesting to the contrary. She is just marching to the beat of her own drummer and is comfortable there. She is definitely one of the most colorful characters I’ve come across this year.

The author’s knowledge of country towns and their foibles make the tale sing—her descriptions of the houses, hobbies, weather, and people’s sartorial choices place the reader firmly in the middle of Anytown, Kansas. You get just a whiff of desperation in the background; those who have not managed to escape to A Big City are resigned to make life as interesting as they can, while tearing down poor old crazy Cass.  All through the book she maintains her guilt, telling anyone who is willing to listen that, of course, she DID kill her husband. How this story was going to be wrapped up was a big question in my mind as I read on. The author does not disappoint–the ending is just to the left of center and quite satisfying.

As the reader begins to understand the entire story (by piecing together everyone’s separate version of the truth), THEY CALL ME CRAZY turns into quite the delicious story; like one of those chocolate truffles that have many layers and then a sweet nougat at the center.  Completely satisfying, humorous, and suspenseful, this unassuming story will make you think twice about those people in your life that seem just a little odd.

Want your own copy? You can pick it up [easyazon_link identifier=”1940215412″ locale=”US” tag=”gimmethatbook-20″]here[/easyazon_link].

 

 

© 2020 gimmethatbook

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑