Bitter Pill by Stacey Kade — Cover Image Revealed Here

As you know, we at Pop Culture Curmudgeon love a good book. And we are looking forward to the release of Bitter Pill by Stacey Kade.
So we were thrilled that Stacey chose us to be part of the reveal of the cover image for Bitter Pill. Even better, you can participate in a contest to win some great prizes, including an annotated advance review copy of Bitter Pill.

When I wrote this story, I was desperately homesick for the very tiny town where I lived in junior high. As some of you know, my dad is a Lutheran pastor, so we moved quite a bit during my childhood. For whatever reason, that small town in Southern Illinois really stuck with me. Morrisville is a (very) fictionalized version of that place.
There’s an odd mix of intense gossip and deep reserve that seems inherent to small towns. It’s part of the culture—“We know everything about everybody, but we don’t talk about that.” Certain things were just not discussed, which makes small towns a prime environment for secrets. And secrets are at the heart of every mystery.
So, when I sat down to write this story, that element of knowing someone well but not really knowing what they might be capable of intrigued me.
Rennie Harlow is my grown-up version of Nancy Drew, I suppose. Except, unlike cool, calm and collected Nancy, Rennie’s life is a disaster. She’s trying to make it through a particularly rough patch, but she’s flailing and fumbling, and I can so relate to that.
As for Sheriff Jake Bristol…well, what can I say, there’s something about an honorable man in a tough situation that’s pretty irresistible. :D
Thank you again for checking out Bitter Pill, and I hope you’ll give it a try!
—Stacey Kade

Now, without further adeiu, is the cover and description.

Kade - Bitter Pill The truth is a bitter pill…Rennie Harlow is having a bad year. She had a handsome husband, a good job, and a renovated condo in Chicago. Now, thanks to one “exotically beautiful” paralegal, she’s divorced, faking her way through a writing career, and living above her hypochondriac mother’s garage back in Morrisville, the small town she couldn’t leave fast enough at eighteen. On top of all of that, she just found Doc Hallacy, the local pharmacist, dead behind his counter. And the worst part is, he’s the third body she’s stumbled across this year.Jake Bristol has lived in Morrisville his whole life. A former bad boy turned sheriff, he doesn’t believe it’s just Rennie’s luck or timing that’s the problem. He thinks she’s too nosy for her own good. The last thing he needs is her messing around with his murder investigation so that she can freelance for the Morrisville Gazette. But as they both delve deeper into Doc’s death, they find that things don’t add up. This isn’t a robbery gone wrong or the work of a desperate junkie. Someone has a secret they’re killing to keep. The only question is—who’s next?

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Au revoir, Bunheads.

As the news of the cancellation of Bunheads (ABCFamily) began making the rounds yesterday, I have to admit I was more saddened by the news than I’d have expected. Evidently Michelle and the girls wormed their way in to my cynical, world-weary heart.

If you enjoyed Bunheads, be sure to read this lovely piece over on Pajiba by Amanda Mae Meyncke. For that matter, read it even if you haven’t been watching – it may convince you to give Bunheads a shot.

I’ll leave you with the rather show stopping performance of Makin’ Whoppee from the season’s finale.

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The two faces of ABC Family

My name is Jen. I am 40 years old, and I watch ABC Family. Regularly. My husband might even say religiously.

They hooked me with Greek, and I’ve been coming back for non-age-appropriate entertainment ever since.

The thing that is weird about ABC Family is that they seem to be two networks. There is the socially responsible network that lives the mission “A new kind of family.” Show that fulfill this mission include Switched at Birth, Bunheads, and The Fosters. I also think that is what they were trying to accomplish with the painfully bad but still addictive Secret Life of the American Teenager.

I love how these shows give us insight into people and worlds we wouldn’t normally experience, but that are grounded in reality. I feel like I know a ton more about deaf culture because of Switched at Birth. The show navigates the deaf and hearing worlds and shows the positive and negative in each.

The Fosters, which I almost didn’t watch when I first heard Jennifer Lopez was attached, is proof that families can be created in many different ways and that parents can love children deeply no matter how they came together. I love the mix of biological, adopted, and foster children, and I love that the family has two moms. How amazing for kids who have two moms (or two dads) to see a family like theirs that isn’t treated as an anomaly or played for comic effect.

And Bunheads. My beloved Bunheads. Beyond the obvious comparisons with Gilmore Girls, one of my favorite shows of all time, it also brings real teenagers to the forefront. These girls have actual teenage problems, dress like actual teenagers, and navigate actual teenage situations.

And then there are the other shows. Pretty Little Liars, The Lying Game, and The Fosters, which seem to glorify parents and teens doing bad things. These shows are in distinct contrast to the other three dramas I mentioned. I know that Pretty Little Liars is the channel’s ratings winner, and I do watch it. After however many seasons it’s been on, I want to find out who the eff A is just as much as the next person.

The Lying Game started out fun, but it has twisted into kind of a mess.

And Twisted didn’t grab me when they ran that sneak preview a few months back, and my summer viewing lens was no more forgiving of its flaws and annoyances.

What do you think. Does ABC Family’s split personality bug you? Or do you even notice?

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