Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Pleasant Day by Vera Jane Cook (Book Review)

In association with Premier Virtual Author Book Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Pleasant Day by Author Vera Jane Cook!

Pleasant Day by Vera Jane Cook
Publisher: Moonshine Cove Publishing, LLC
Publication Date: February 13, 2015
Format: Paperback - 322 pages
               Kindle - 3011 KB
               Nook - 687 KB
ISBN: 978-1937327613
Genre: Southern Fiction / Women's Fiction

Buy The Book:

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Premier Virtual Author Book Tours.

Book Description:

With murder in common friendship is inevitable:

As fifteen year old Pleasant Day struggles with her mother’s distance, her father’s infidelity and the death of her best friend, she draws closer to Clarissa, an older woman with the secrets to heal her. But Clarissa has struggles of her own as she faces betrayal and seeks to come to terms with old wounds. With her unpredictable but psychic ability to ‘read people’ Clarissa uncovers the answers to a deadly crime and to Pleasant’s true identity. In the end, both Pleasant and Clarissa’s worlds are transformed by the truths they’re forced to accept.

Praise for Pleasant Day By Vera Jane Cook:

“Absolutely unputdownable, a real page turner. Be prepared to clear your schedule for the day. You’re going to read this one straight through! This is Vera Jane Cook’s best one yet!” –Wall to Wall Books

“A beautiful blend of past and present with loveable, memorable characters and a page turning pace, I was sorry I couldn’t read it in one sitting.” –Jenn Doyle, Books & Life.

“A beautiful piece of southern fiction…a great page turner…this book is filled with delightful characters, charm, warmth, love and last but certainly not least, wonderful humor.”-Arlene Uslander, Editor and writer.

Book Excerpt:

Chapter Four: Pleasant Day 

John Peter told me that Mr. Grady was at the police station same time he was and he was crying and screaming, saying that that couldn't be his daughter's body they found because Millie was home sleeping. Sergeant Brown drove Mr. Grady to Doctor Rand's office so he could get a sedative. John Peter said he started crying himself 'cause Mr. Grady was so distraught.

"I think he's going to go a little crazy," John Peter said to me. "I never saw a man's face look like that in my life. He looked like he was taking fire into his body, burning to death. He had this horrible grimace. I swear, I couldn't look at him."

I didn't know what to say. I wanted to pay my respects to Mr. Grady but on the other hand, I never wanted to see him again in my life. I couldn't bear his distress. I even wanted to get away from John Peter and go hide under a blanket.

"I gotta go," I said. "Mama wanted me to pick up pork chops at Madison's."

I started down the block and I heard him yelling behind me to meet him up on the hill next day. I didn't know if I wanted to see John Peter again so soon. I couldn't help myself but I kept wondering if he could have saved Millie's life. If they'd only waited it out together, waited for the strange man to leave the doorstep. If he'd only not made her jump out the window then maybe the man at the door would have left and John Peter would have gone back up to the bedroom and taken Millie's virginity the whole way. Then she could have told me all about it and I'd be begging for all the clandestine details instead of flying into town, wishing I was dead too.

I was real distracted after buying the pork chops and I guess I wasn't thinking. I hopped on my bike and took the corner at top speed. Before I knew it some damn woman was on the ground under my front bike tire. I nearly flipped my lid. She looked like she was dead, the way she was staring at me, like I held a harp and had wings. I sure was relieved when she got to her feet and wiped herself off. She didn't reprimand me or anything, like someone else might have done. She had kind of a nice face.
I said I was sorry a thousand times but she just kept staring at me. I think she mistook me for someone else but I couldn't be sure.


I put the pork chops on the kitchen counter and ran back outside. I didn't want Mama to put a paring knife in my hand and a sack of potatoes in my lap. That was Sawyer's job anyway, peeling carrots and being in there to savor Mama's gastronomic wonders and telling her how absolutely French her cooking was and how she should be on television showing people how to find flavor. That boy had so much sugar in his shoes I couldn't hardly keep a straight face. He had this little dance he did over the pot when Mama asked him to salt something. I could hear the two of them laughing like hyenas from upstairs; then I'd show up in the kitchen just as hungry for attention. Mama would turn silent and Sawyer would start rattling off things that didn't make no sense, silly songs like I got a chicken in the barn, what barn, whose barn. I got a chicken in the barn.
That was like their private code, she's here, let's get stupid now. That's when I'd tell him that his head was so empty, filled with nothing but pennies, like a pig bank, and his pig head rattled so loud it kept me up nights. I'd tell him he was supposed to have brains in there like everybody else but he got out of line when they were passing them out. Mama would sigh long and hard and tell me he had her genes, that's why he liked to cook. What was that supposed to do, make me feel good? I'd say "Ha, and I have Daddy's." I didn't use that argument none too often though 'cause Mama would always say "You didn't get the better of us. You hear that, Pleasant? You didn't get the better of us."

Maybe that was Mama's way of telling me I was unique. I could read all sorts of things into that but I wasn't going to waste my time. I stayed clear of the kitchen as much as I could. Anyway, Sawyer had pissed in there and left his mark, metaphorically speaking. Fine, I metaphorically pissed all over my bedroom like a male dog too, also out the backyard and in the den, where my fruitcake brother liked to watch cooking shows.

The fence around our house wasn't too high. I sat cross-legged on the ground and stared across the road at Mr. Wiley. If he threw rocks he couldn't hit me, long as I stayed low. He was just sitting there with his sign, Homemade Jellies, $6 a jar. On the little table in front of him he had all Mrs. Wiley's jellies. I think there were five or six different kinds. I didn't like the plum but the cherry was real good and made my lips pucker. The strawberry was Sawyer's favorite. I sometimes swiped one for him. It all depended on how he'd treated me that day. The apricot jelly gave me the runs and the marmalade was made with rum so I couldn't have that.

My Book Review:

Pleasant Day by author Vera Jane Cook is an intriguing southern women's fiction with a suspenseful murder mystery twist that will keep the reader sitting on the edge of their seats!

Set in the small southern town of Hollow Creek, South Carolina, this riveting story is told in the first person narrative by fifteen year old Pleasant Day, who wants to solve the mystery of who really killed her friend Millie Grady. Pleasant unexpectedly meets sixty year old Clarissa Blackwell, who has the gift of psychic ability. With a small town full of complex people, buried secrets, and two murders that were committed fifteen years apart, Pleasant and Clarissa are brought together by an old mystery and a dark past that comes to the surface and will forever change their worlds.

Pleasant Day is an intriguing tale that has enough drama, mystery, and suspense that easily drew me in and kept me turning the pages. Author Vera Jane Cook weaves a complex story told by a sassy southern teenage girl with a potty mouth, she's an old soul whose point of view was so unique that I found myself liking this straight talking and take no crap kind of teen, even though I wanted to wash her mouth out with soap!

There is a great mixture of humor and raw gritty drama within this multi-layered storyline, it has enough gripping twists and turns that keeps the reader guessing what will happen next. As a fan of southern fiction, the author does a great job of transporting the reader to the small town of Hollow Creek with a rich description of the setting, southern charm, and quirky memorable townspeople. From the complex relationships between the characters, the deeply buried town secrets, to the clever intertwining of the past and present murder mysteries that unexpectedly brings Pleasant and Clarissa together, Pleasant Day is a thoroughly riveting story that will keep you captivated until the surprising conclusion!


About The Author

Winner: Eric Hoffer Award for publishing excellence and the Indie Excellence Award for notable new fiction! 5 Star Clarion ForeWord Review!

Vera Jane Cook, writer of Award Winning Women’s Fiction, is the author of The Story of Sassy Sweetwater, Lies a River Deep, Where the Wildflowers Grow, Dancing Backward in Paradise and Annabel Horton, Lost Witch of Salem.

Jane, as she is known to family and friends, was born in New York City and grew up amid the eccentricity of her southern and glamorous mother on the Upper West and Upper East Side of Manhattan.

An only child, Jane turned to reading novels at an early age and was deeply influenced by an eclectic group of authors. Some of her favorite authors today are Nelson DeMille, Calib Carr, Wally Lamb, Anne Rice, Sue Monk Kidd, Anita Shreve, Jodi Picoult, Alice Walker and Toni Morrison. Her favorite novels are too long to list but include The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, Cheri and The Last of Cheri, The Picture of Dorian Grey, Wuthering Heights, Look at Me, Dogs of Babel, The Bluest Eye, The Art of Racing in the Rain, Body Surfing, Lolita, The Brothers Karamazov, She’s Come Undone, Tale of Two Cities, etc., etc., etc...

Author Website

Virtual Book Tour

Click on the above link for the list of tour participants.

No comments:

Post a Comment