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Bless Your Heart

Vampires in Texas? Yep! Luckily so are the Evans women!



It is 1999, and Strigoi, or the original vampires, besiege a small town in Texas. While trying to keep a lid on a situation quickly spinning out of control, it is up to four generations of Evans women to stop the Strigoi. Viewed by many in town as strange, the Evans family has run the local funeral home for decades. Luckily, these ladies are experienced vampire slayers.


Admittedly, I do not read much horror, but I love a good vampire story. I also love Bram Stoker's Dracula. Ryan's tributes to that iconic book were so much fun to read, including bits of Strigoi myth, and the first victims in both Dracula and this book share a name, Mina and Mina Jean. One of the heroes of Stoker's 1897 classic was a character from Texas. I don't know if this was set in Texas as a nod to Dracula, but either way, I loved the small-town Texas setting and all the 90's references as a backdrop for the bloodstained mayhem!


Told in a multiple POV format, this has excellent world-building, spooky vibes, a bit of a mystery, humor, secrets, and a fair amount of gore. I enjoyed the author's descriptive writing style and the generational family dynamics that round out the story. The Evans women were quirky, quick-thinking, and feisty. And I particularly loved the character of Ducey, the no-nonsense, butterscotch candy-loving matriarch.


I don't want to say much more for fear of spoilers, but this is fun, escapist, and dripping in blood and Southern charm! I read this during a stormy weekend here in my little corner of Texas, and it was a fun way to wrap up my spooky season reading!


Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press Minotaur Books for the opportunity to review this ARC!


Pub Day is April 9, 2024. Yep, I read this super early, but I was pretty excited about vampires in Texas taken on by a family of female vampire slayers!

...

My steep was Ruby Moon from Club Magic Hour Tea. A blend of hibiscus and elderberry with black currant, rosehips, cranberry, and rooibos, this brews up crimson and has a tart berry flavor!

www.clubmagichour.com


Happy Halloween, book friends!!


PUBLISHER'S SYNOPSIS:

Rise and shine. The Evans women have some undead to kill.


It's 1999 in Southeast Texas and the Evans women, owners of the only funeral parlor in town, are keeping steady with…normal business. The dead die, you bury them. End of story. That's how Ducey Evans has done it for the last eighty years, and her progeny―Lenore the experimenter and Grace, Lenore's soft-hearted daughter, have run Evans Funeral Parlor for the last fifteen years without drama. Ever since That Godawful Mess that left two bodies in the ground and Grace raising her infant daughter Luna, alone.


But when town gossip Mina Jean Murphy's body is brought in for a regular burial and she rises from the dead instead, it's clear that the Strigoi―the original vampire―are back. And the Evans women are the ones who need to fight back to protect their town.


As more folks in town turn up dead and Deputy Roger Taylor begins asking way too many questions, Ducey, Lenore, Grace, and now Luna, must take up their blades and figure out who is behind the Strigoi's return. As the saying goes, what rises up, must go back down. But as unspoken secrets and revelations spill from the past into the present, the Evans family must face that sometimes, the dead aren't the only things you want to keep buried.


A crackling mystery-horror novel with big-hearted characters and Southern charm with a bite, Bless Your Heart is a gasp-worthy delight from start to finish.



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