Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore

In honor of Sunday – a day I reserve for reading and lollygagging – I bring you a short and sweet book review! 


From the publisher
: Amy Goodnight’s family is far from normal. She comes from a line of witches, but tries her best to stay far outside the family business. Her summer gig? Ranch-sitting for her aunt with her wacky but beautiful sister. Only the Goodnight Ranch is even less normal than it normally is. Bodies are being discovered, a ghost is on the prowl, and everywhere she turns, the hot neighbor cowboy is in her face.

Why I picked this book: Confession – I had absolutely no business buying another book because I have a stack of review copies to attend to. But how could I pass up a book titled “Texas Gothic”? I spent a good 20 agonizing minutes at BookPeople picking up the book, setting it down, picking it up again and then setting it down. My conscience was telling me to be practical and wait until after I read my stack of books…but the devil on my shoulder always wins.  Come to think of it, this is the exact process I go through in the ice cream aisle at HEB. Texas Gothic is the literary equivalent of a big calorie-laden tub of Blue Bell.

Why I loved it: OMG – where to begin? The hot cowboy next door, the foreboding “Mad Monk,” the Nancy Drew mystery, the hilariously quirky main character – everything about this book roped me in like a steer at a Texas rodeo! Plus it’s set in the Texas Hill Country, a deeply storied region steeped in ghostly legends and lore.  And if that’s not enough – the author (a fifth-generation Texan, I might add!) researched a forensic archeological dig project at my alma mater, Texas State. As a student, I was always interested in the body farm, so this was a real treat. I’ve also been very fascinated by the ghosts and legends of the Texas Hill Country, specifically the Devil’s Backbone. I consulted with Bert Wall, author of a series of books about the haunted hill country, and the Texas Ghost Hunters for a special Halloween story for my college newspaper. Read more about it here.

The romance: The chemistry between Amy and Ben McCullough, the rugged cowboy next door, really revved my engine. They have the whole love-hate thing going on – and it works! Imagine pairing up Nancy Drew with a young, hot Clint Eastwood and throwing some ghost-hunting and witchcraft in the mix. I’m not sure what was more fun, solving the mystery of the missing gold mine and the evil “Mad Monk” or watching Ben and Amy’s relationship develop.

Favorite scene: The author did a fine job using the eerie backdrop of the hill country’s lonely roads and rugged canyons to her advantage. I really got the creeps when Amy pulled over on the side of the road on a dark, moonless night to investigate a ghostly apparition. Lo and behold, she falls down a sinkhole and finds herself trapped in a dark cave caked with bat guano. The thought of being inside a dark cave with a dangerous ghost – and possibly some murderous gold-digging humans – on the loose, really gives me the heebie jeebies!

What I want more of: I’m hoping the author will write another novel about the Goodnight sisters, but with a focus on Phin, the absent-minded genius of the family. I got a big kick out of her nutty experiments and scientific theories. And unlike her self-conscious sister, she has no qualms about waving her “I’m a magical witch” flag around in public. The dynamic between the two sisters is quite hilarious.

Overall: This book is a surefire winner for fans of whodunits and the supernatural. It’s a welcome departure from high-fantasy YA thrillers filled with fairies, sprites, swoony vampires and Hogwarts rip-off academies. If you’re in the mood for a good paranormal-infused mystery with fun characters and hilarious dialogue, give this book a shot.

Teaser Tuesdays: Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore


I’m about halfway through with this fun little Texified thriller – and let me tell ya – it’s downright addictive! Somehow this author found a way to mesh a super creepy ghost story with hilarious hijinks without getting too cutesy. Plus it’s set in the gorgeous Texas Hill Country, so I’m an instant fan!

On a side note, in her acknowledgements, she thanked my former internship supervisor, Jayme Blaschke, for helping her research Texas State University’s body farm. Never have I been so proud of my alma mater!

Without further ado, I bring you a funny little snippet from Rosemary Clement-Moore’s YA thriller, Texas Gothic:

“They lived in the limestone caves that riddled the hills, and dusk brought them out to hunt bugs. I was generally pro-bat, except when I was trekking through the dark trying not to think about the inevitably dire fate of every horror movie character stupid enough to go into the dark with a flashlight and check the fuses.”

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Welcome to My Pity Party

Well this sucks. I have been counting down the days until the Austin Teen Book Fest like a little girl waiting to get her Barbie dreamhouse on Christmas day. But just as luck would have it, I woke up this morning with a nasty cold-like virus.  Really?!?!  Why couldn’t this thing ravage my body during the workweek so I could legitimately stay home and watch Lifetime movies?  This is almost as bad as that hangover last Thanksgiving after I tried to drink my Uncle John under the table at the Broken Spoke.

So while I was chugging Nyquil and drifting in and out of consciousness, I missed out on hanging out with my fellow book blogger chums and meeting some fabulous YA authors.  I was especially excited about meeting Alyson Noel and Rosemary Clement Moore.  These are the books that I planned on having them sign today…life is so unfair.

Evermore by Alyson Noel
Since a horrible accident claimed the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever can see auras, hear people’s thoughts, and know a person’s life story by touch.   Going out of her way to shield herself from human contact to suppress her abilities has branded her as a freak at her new high school—but everything changes when she meets Damen  Auguste . . .

Ever sees Damen and feels an instant recognition.  He is gorgeous, exotic and wealthy, and he holds many secrets.  Damen is able to make things appear and disappear, he always seems to know what she’s thinking—and he’s the only one who can silence the noise and the random energy in her head.  She doesn’t know who he really is—or what he is.  Damen equal parts light and darkness, and he belongs to an enchanted new world where no one ever dies.

Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement Moore
Amy Goodnight’s family is far from normal. She comes from a line of witches, but tries her best to stay far outside the family business. Her summer gig? Ranch-sitting for her aunt with her wacky but beautiful sister. Only the Goodnight Ranch is even less normal than it normally is. Bodies are being discovered, a ghost is on the prowl, and everywhere she turns, the hot neighbor cowboy is in her face.

Oh well, at least I can still look forward to the Austin Book Fest this month. I’ll get myself a flu shot just to make sure I won’t be bedridden that day.